Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Welcome to Canada, don't mind the raving moonbats

Babble on.

Paul at Ravishing Light scores an Instalanche with his photoblogging of the pathetic lemmings gathered in downtown Ottawa:

I hope not shaving, messing my hair up, and wearing an old jacket is enough to infiltrate the crowd. No one's capable of more violence than Persons of Diversity and Tolerance, and I don't plan to get hurt in the name of citizen-journalism, if at all possible.

Debbye at Being American In T.O. has no flashy photos, but instead posts typically insightful commentary:

In other words, the president, from a position of decidedly stronger domestic strength than, say, Prime Minister Martin, is extending his hands in friendship; a lesser man would behave far differently, but I doubt rabid Bush-haters will recognize or understand what they are seeing.

Wiser heads may reflect that he is capable of doing so because he has much bigger concerns than personal pique or feelings of self-consequence; they will even recognize that he is indeed a leader because he can consign the slurs and insults to their proper place and keep this young century's chief challenge at the forefront of his agenda.

He is determined to give credit wherever he can, to encourage the efforts - large and small - to the allies in the war on terror, and to continue to build that coalition and urge it forward.

She's right: Bush follows that theme precisely, and even the CBC can't find a way to report around it. I've said before that I think Bush has the best speechwriters around, and they've proven me right once again, as their boss manages to deliver the best one-liner I've heard in awhile:

I want to thank the Canadian people who came out to wave, with all five fingers, for their hospitality...

Heh. Welcome to the Great White North, eh?

Babble off.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Babies, bathwater, and the nanny-state

Babble on.

One of my favourite rant-bloggers - you know, the type that make you hold your breath in anticipation while they roll up their sleeves and open up a big ol' can of whup-ass on some idiotarian - is Occam's Carbuncle. He's back from his sabbatical - thank heavens! - and has decided to...wait for it, this is a shocker!...take on the Liberal nanny-state, as it imposes itself upon a child's sexual education.

When my son wanted to know why people die, I answered. Not the nanny state. When he asked whether God and the Earth were one or separate, I answered (tried anyway). Not the nanny state. When he wants to know about sex and reproduction, if I do not answer, I will have failed as a parent. The nanny state is not welcome in the conversation, whenever it takes place.

Given some of the garbage that's force-fed to our kids every day under the guise of 'education', I understand OC's desire to have parenting take precedence. But as one of the commenters to the post said, what about those kids whose parents aren't up to the task? Because the state can't teach this subject in a way we can all agree upon, is the solution to stop teaching it at all?

I remember coming home from a grade nine history class one day talking about the 'Disaster at Dunkirk'. After asking what the hell I was talking about, my mom had me recite what I'd been taught, shook her head and muttered a few...colourful...phrases under her breath, and then educated me on the rest of the story. I was also informed that anything further I heard from a teacher who would put forth only his own ideologically-motivated slant on such a seminal event should be taken with more than a grain of salt.

In any sort of education system worth the name, there will always be points with which individual parents take issue. Sex-ed, history, economics (I was taught Keynes like it was written on stone tablets brought down from a mountain by a guy named Moses) - pretty much every subject not spelled M-A-T-H is open to biased interpretation. In a perfect world we'd all agree on what should be taught and how. But if we lived in a perfect world, I wouldn't have much to blog about.

My point is this: unless we dismantle public education entirely, they're going to have to teach something. And that 'something' isn't always going to be in agreement with our own personal views as parents (although some examples are more egregious than others). Most of us who blog understand that it's impossible to present information in a completely objective manner; most of us also understand that the best way to get the truth out is to have a variety of voices talk about any given issue.

From a sex-ed perspective, whether the school is involved or not, children will hear a variety of perspectives: from media, from their friends, from the kid who teases them in the lockerroom or at the sleepover. We can't stop our kids from hearing bad information. All we can do is try to give them the rest of the story. And for kids whose parents refuse to do their duty, sex-ed is a better place to start than the schoolyard.

It's not a great solution, it's just the best one we've got.

Babble off.

Update: From OC's comments: "Implied in your comments is the idea that the state must somehow take up the slack for bad parents and instill the commonly held values of the day in the unfortunate chldren of these people. The state is not a salve for the shortcomings of its citizens." There's an argument to be made that the state exists precisely because of the shortcomings of its citizens, because of the inability of individuals to perform some tasks as well as a state (e.g. self-defence). Whether sex-ed in a public school is one of those tasks is certainly open to debate.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Do these people not have a Starbucks to vandalize or something?

Babble on.

The I-smoked-my-own-white-man-dreadlocks-by-accident-because-I-thought-they-were-doobies crowd is apparently boycotting any purchases of anything today (hat-tip to She Who Posts Too Irregularly).

Like any of these twits with unwashed bodies and thoroughly washed brains has money to buy things anyhow. People like that are why I never keep loose change in my pocket (if you've ever strolled down Government Street in Victoria, or outside Union Station in Toronto, you know what I'm talking about).

Even if I had the slightest inclination to participate in this infantile stunt, I couldn't. I buy water every time I flush a toilet at my house. And believe me, you don't want me skipping a day of flushing. It's cold enough outside that I'm pretty much stuck buying electricity and natural gas today. And since it's Friday, I'm buying health and dental benefits (conveniently deducted directly off my paystub) simply by earning a wage. I guess you pretty much have to be homeless and unemployed to participate, which says a lot about the people who have served up this steaming pile of stupidity.

The truth, though, is that like most men, I like buying stuff. Not shopping, mind you - that particular female invention invokes emotions somewhat akin to those I imagine having while my fingernails nails are removed with hot pincers by an advanced Parkinson's patient. But buying? Laying cash on a barrelhead? Exchanging the product of my hard work for ownership of something tangible? That's kind of fun.

In fact, I was already planning to buy a big, garrish, plastic Christmas present for my kids at Toys R Us on the way home from work tonight. Not only will the kids love it, my wife and I will love seeing the smiles and hearing the shrieks when they rip off the wrapping paper and realize it's theirs to play with whenever they want.

And I'll have the added pleasure of knowing I've engaged in my own little protest against the delusional idiots who think prosperity and its consumerist trappings should be a crime.

Babble off.

Thursday, November 25, 2004


Babble on.

I usually don't do these sorts of surveys, and I'm pretty sure I've never posted a result. But everyone else is doing it, and what can I say? I'm a sheep.

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few

(via Every Single Other Writer On My Blogroll)

Do you care what kind of blogger I am? I mean, enough about the big wide world...let's talk about me. All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.

And if I do a snarky post about it, will that transmogrify me into Dr. Monger?

Babble off.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Our shifting 'moderate centre'

Babble on.

Kate at The Last Amazon has brought attention to a Jerusalem Post article that shows just how 'centrist' Canada, the moderate and balanced voice of reason, the honest broker, has performed on the world's most divisive issue on the world's biggest stage. The truth is that we have performed abysmally:

Let's begin with the United Nations. Here Israel's friend, Canada, has voted against Israel 78 times, abstained 38 times, and voted in support of Israel, by its own admission, only once – although a phone call to Israel's UN delegation in New York was unable to confirm even that.
And if all the above was not sordid enough, how is this:

Canada's porous refugee and immigration laws have allowed PFLP terrorist Mahmoud Mohammed Issa Mohammed, convicted in the hijacking of an El AL plane and subsequent killing of one person at Athens Airport in 1968, to live comfortably in Brantford, Ontario, while enjoying refugee status.

Mahmoud Issa is a convicted terrorist and murderer, he lied his way into Canada in 1987. Thirty appeals later and he is still here and running a candy store in Ontario. According to this Stephen Brown article it has cost the Canadian taxpayer $3 million and counting.

I've only recently embraced the clumsy and inadequate label of 'right-winger'. For years I resisted, preferring to think of myself as a centrist. But I finally realized the centre of political thought in Canada has shifted away from me, away from Canadian traditional values, away from historical allies, and away from principled leadership.

The other Kate, of small dead animals, points today to a story on the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and their threats of legal action for libel against David Frum and the National Post.

Until recently, [CAIR] has had considerable success winning acceptance in the United States and Canada as something close to an official spokesman for local Muslim communities. CAIR has been influential in advocating for a sharia court to arbitrate divorces and other family-law matters in the province of Ontario. CAIR's strong criticisms of Canada's anti-terror legislation have won respectful hearing in Ottawa.
Over the past 10 years, CAIR has grown rapidly. It now claims a total of 29 affiliates, including CAIR Canada. CAIR's media savvy won it much official attention after 9/11. With that attention, however, also came a higher degree of scrutiny.

Since 9/11, three CAIR associates in the U.S. have been indicted on terrorism-related charges.

That an organization like this has become 'mainstream' in our proud country speaks volumes about how rudderless we have become.

I don't want Canada to be 'balanced', I want us to be 'fair'. I don't want our government to be 'centrist', I want it to be 'principled'. I don't want our leaders to give equal weight to every opinion when not every opinion is equally sound. I want our country to stand for something again.

That's why I fly both the Red Ensign and the Maple Leaf on this site: to remind us all not only that we have a past, but also that that past would undoubtedly be instructive in how we should chart our future, if only we would study it and respect the lessons it teaches.

Thousands of years ago, Solomon threatened to cut a baby in half, and taught us that simpleminded compromise and the illusion of evenhandedness is no substitute for sound judgement. It's long past time we remember that wisdom.

Babble off.

From a professional

Babble on.

Thanks for responding, John:

I've been asked what I think on the issue of the Marine, so I guess I'll take a stab at it. And having gotten the 1MEF brief on what they found in Fallujah, I've got the ammunition I need for it.
The point is - the purpose of the "Laws of War" is actually to set some limits on indiscriminate violence that serves no purpose - and to provide a recognized mechanism by which conflict can be ended, both retail and wholesale, by giving a recognized, agreed upon framework to signal one's intent to cease hostilities - with a recognition that given those signs, the victor will respect the vanquished's intent to cease fighting. There are three basic underpinnings: proportion, discrimination, and the written laws of war. War crimes are acts that exceed the legitimate requirements of military neccessity in the conduct of military operations.

If you think you know what John's going to say, I'll bet you're wrong. He makes no claim to being a wordsmith. He's just a professional soldier, trained to present cogent arguments in an unadorned, straightforward manner. And that's why you should read his entire piece about The Marine in Fallujah.

Babble off.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Better late than never...

Babble on.

...but I'd Rather he had stepped down a couple of months ago.

Babble off.

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Red Ensign Standard - in a waffle cone thank you very much

Babble on.

Dust My Broom has done a bang-up job compiling the latest edition of the Red Ensign Standard. Felicitations, good sir.

Recently the Red Ensign Brigade has taken a somewhat backhanded shot from a blogger I read and admire: Theresa at Heart of Canada. Unfortunately - on this one particular issue - Theresa seems to have come a bit unhinged, first posting a variety of screeds on the issue of Flea's content and comments editing, and subsequently surprising the hell out of me by criticizing all those of us who fly the Ensign:

Of course, don't forget those stunning pics on his blog of Avril Lavigne, reportedly intoxicated at the time, in a Hooters outfit. Very professorial -- he just had to post that. Then, again, he makes his opinion clear: "This is not a forum and I am not interested in debating my views." Yes, sounds like much of academia to me, especially with regard to women.

I hope he doesn't teach like that. What does this say about the Red Ensign? Surely they must condone this fleabag stuff.

Really? All of us flying the Red Ensign think with a single brain and hold identical positions on all things bloggish under heaven? I think with the passage of time, and the cooling of emotion on this issue, that Theresa will acknowledge those words were not her finest.

I agree with some of of my fellow Brigade members on some issues, and with others on other points of interest. But I suspect that if we talked among ourselves for long enough, we Red Ensign types would eventually find points of disagreement on just about every topic imaginable within our collection of kindred souls. Just as Theresa wouldn't always agree with Jim Elve, or Shannon Davis, even though she associates herself with them through E-Group and the W League of Blogs respectively.

Oh, and for the record, I like Flea's free ice cream. Not always the chocolate sprinkles or the pistachio nuts, mind you, but the ice cream itself. And just because I don't like every topping doesn't mean I won't return for the ice cream when the craving hits. Like daily.

Babble off.

Update: The Monger weighs in. I could have said all that...if I was a better writer. Damm ejukatd sawbones maykin' mee luk bad!
and Jaeger, and The OC, and Mother of The Last Amazon.
and the Raging Kraut, and...wow, what a dissection...Chris Taylor. Yeah, what he said.

He's walked his own mile

Babble on.

You should read Kevin Sites' own account of the events surrounding his incendiary video footage, and his efforts to remain as even-handed a journalist as possible under extremely challenging circumstances (via Pogge). It is written as an open letter to the Marines with whom he was embedded:

No one, especially someone like me who has lived in a war zone with you, would deny that a solider or Marine could legitimately err on the side of caution under those circumstances. War is about killing your enemy before he kills you.

In the particular circumstance I was reporting, it bothered me that the Marine didn't seem to consider the other insurgents a threat -- the one very obviously moving under the blanket, or even the two next to me that were still breathing.

I can't know what was in the mind of that Marine. He is the only one who does.

Sites' words regarding his own reservations about and motives for finally airing the piece he did resonate with a raw honesty:

For those who don't practice journalism as a profession, it may be difficult to understand why we must report stories like this at all -- especially if they seem to be aberrations, and not representative of the behavior or character of an organization as a whole.

The answer is not an easy one.

In war, as in life, there are plenty of opportunities to see the full spectrum of good and evil that people are capable of. As journalists, it is our job is to report both -- though neither may be fully representative of those people on whom we're reporting. For example, acts of selfless heroism are likely to be as unique to a group as the darker deeds. But our coverage of these unique events, combined with the larger perspective - will allow the truth of that situation, in all of its complexities, to begin to emerge. That doesn't make the decision to report events like this one any easier. It has, for me, led to an agonizing struggle -- the proverbial long, dark night of the soul.
The Marines have built their proud reputation on fighting for freedoms like the one that allows me to do my job, a job that in some cases may appear to discredit them. But both the leaders and the grunts in the field like you understand that if you lower your standards, if you accept less, than less is what you'll become.

There are people in our own country that would weaken your institution and our nation – by telling you it's okay to betray our guiding principles by not making the tough decisions, by letting difficult circumstances turns us into victims or worse...villains.
So here, ultimately, is how it all plays out: when the Iraqi man in the mosque posed a threat, he was your enemy; when he was subdued he was your responsibility; when he was killed in front of my eyes and my camera -- the story of his death became my responsibility.

The burdens of war, as you so well know, are unforgiving for all of us.

I pray for your soon and safe return.

Read it all.

Babble off.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Walk a mile

Babble on.

I'm still hoping John puts together a post on this issue, but in the meantime I need to say this.

The difference any day right now between a live Marine and a dead Marine in Falluja might be a double-tap into a wounded rebel in a mosque. That is a very hard and unpleasant truth. "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6" is a maxim the vast majority of us - thank heavens - can only understand on an intellectual level. The men and women serving in Iraq (and those who have served in other scary places at other scary times) LIVE IT.

Matt at Froggy Ruminations is an ex-SEAL, and he has a different perspective than most of us when it comes to combat. Of course, he's actually been there, done that, unlike most of us pundits.

Remember, in Fallujah there is no yesterday, there is no tomorrow, there is only now. Right NOW. Have you ever lived in NOW for a week? It is not easy, and if you have never lived in NOW for longer than it takes to finish the big roller coaster at Six Flags, then shut your hole about putting Marines in jail for war crimes. (via Ghost of a Flea)

Are you listening, Madame Arbour?

Personally, I think you shouldn't shoot unarmed, wounded men. I think there has to be a standard of civilized behaviour expected from professional soldiers even in the most uncivilized of situations. Most militaries and the democratic societies they serve would agree.

But I've never been in combat. I've never had a friend and comrade's life depend upon my split-second decision whether to pull the trigger or not. I've never had my wife and kids' futures with their husband and father rest upon my ability to make life-and-death decisions in the blink of an eye. And so I feel completely and blessedly unqualified to judge this Marine.

Whatever you think you saw on that video, this is not a black and white case, people. And I have to tell you, after hearing some of the vicious and uninformed bile from some on the left, it's refreshing and heartening to see that there are some honest people on the left remaining in the world who will stand up and say "right or wrong, there but for the grace of God go I".

May He have mercy upon all of us, and never put us in a situation where we will be judged by those who have not walked a mile in our dusty, sweaty combat boots.

Babble off.

Last word on Parrish until she moons Bush in the Commons

Babble on.

I apologize to any of you who got an unwanted visual there. I'm sure the nausea will pass quickly.

Jason Hayes makes an excellent point about the pathetic reasoning behind Paul Martin's dismissal of this overstuffed sack of anti-American offal.

However, Stephen Harper nailed Martin’s response for what it was: a self-serving assault on someone who had called him out. Martin didn’t respond to Parrish’s petulant foolishness on principle. He didn’t care that Parrish had once again openly attacked Bush and the Americans, just days before Bush was to arrive in Ottawa in an attempt to heal the rift in US-Canadian relations. Martin was miffed that Parrish had badmouthed him.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper criticized Martin’s motives, saying he only decided to oust Parrish when she attacked the prime minister.

“Carolyn Parrish has not been expelled for violating Liberal policy, for damaging Canadian interests or for insulting our American friends,” Harper said. “In the end, she was expelled only for attacking the prime minister. And I think it shows weak leadership.”

Interestingly enough, Parrish herself agrees with this assessment:

Martin dumped her because their personalities clashed and she refused to toe the party line, she said.
The MP also said that if Martin had a problem with her anti-American comments, he wouldn't have signed her nomination papers in June. (Babbler's italics)

This just reinforces my impression that the prime focus of Paul Martin's 'public service' career involves redefining the term 'public' to mean 'Paul Martin'. And, Pierre Trudeau notwithstanding, hubris leavened with a touch of narcissism is not an attractive quality in a Prime Minister.

Please tell me what karmic old lady the Canadian public tripped in the middle of the crosswalk to deserve Paul Martin's special brand of 'leadership.'

Babble off.

Update: Colby has some wise words that Scott Feschuk should put into Paul Martin's mouth:

"The United States of America is a great nation and, in most respects, a good neighbour. Having such power as it does, it must be held to the highest moral standards, and we have a role to play in that--the role of a friend, not a childish, obsessive harasser. We must never forget, as Ms. Parrish does when her medication runs out, that criticism is easy for countries that have less onerous military responsibilities. U.S. actions in Iraq have led to the destruction of a fascist regime and the capture of its leader. Was the gain worth the human cost? That's a complicated question, not decidable by means of simple mathematics or brute syllogisms. Our answer as a government was 'No,' and that's an answer people will be reassessing forever. But even when we say 'No,' diplomacy between partners must be informed by a presumption of good intentions and shared values. I'm the one who has been chosen to represent Canada and Canadian Liberal ideals to the world. With due respect to the voters of Mississauga-Erindale, I give thanks to a merciful God every day that Carolyn Parrish is not."

Is that so difficult? Like Mr. Cosh says: this stuff writes itself.

A rash of sanity from our Liberal government...the end is near

Babble on.

First Parrish perishes (sorry, I couldn't resist) just as Fox News is coming to town. Then we get a biblical plague of locusts in Egypt. Finally, our Heritage Minister is actually saving a piece of Canadian heritage.

Heritage Minister Liza Frulla issued a statement yesterday announcing she "will contribute funds to the campaign so that this treasure [Fred Topham's VC] will remain in Canada."

Not that I'm complaining, but what's next? Dogs sleeping with cats? Oops, it's already happening. Evidently the time has come to bone up on my Book of Revelations.

Babble off.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Ding dong the witch is dead

Babble on.

Paul Martin has finally done something right, expelling the addlepated douchebag from caucus for her latest foray into the distasteful world of unapologetic moonbattery.

From CBC News:

Unless she chooses to cross the floor to join another federal party, she will sit as an Independent in Parliament, joining Independent British Columbia MP Chuck Cadman.

I'm sure Chuck's thrilled with that characterization of the situation. If he's as principled a man as I believe he is, it probably makes him want to go take a shower. Note to the CBC: 'Independent' means 'not joined to anyone'. In Chuck's case, it might even mean 'especially not joined to that brain-dead twit from Mississauga'.

Babble off.

Update: Some readers believe I've been too hard on Paul Wells recently (including Paul himself, I think). Well, here's a good example of why he's still a must-read:

And now we come to day's most richly entertaining lesson. No prime minister can tolerate a display of open contempt from somebody who is supposed to be a member of his team. The proper response to such behaviour is dismissal. Paul Martin reached that inevitable conclusion today.

Just as Jean Chrétien reached the same conclusion in June, 2002.

You see? That's what I'm talkin' about!

Careful what you wish for...

Babble on.

It looks like we're getting Fox News.

I'm glad Canadians will finally be able to legally see this stuff - truly I am - but with two important caveats.

First, whatever Fox News is, it's not as good as some of my Canadian rightist-type fellows are building it up to be. This will not save us from the unholy alliance of ravaging CBC and Toronto Star hordes.

Second, Canadian conservatives, please be prepared to get bludgeoned by our leftist 'mainstream' when a talking head on Fox says something stupid. This is going to be considered 'our' network whether we like it or not. As if being in the same party as Randy White wasn't enough.

The old saying holds true: "careful what you wish for..."

Babble off.

Random thoughts

Babble on.

For a couple of days now, I've had ideas for posts, and no time to actually write them. Unfortunately, I don't forsee having any more time in the near future, so I'm compromising - mentioning them without actually discussing them in full.

Without further ado, here are a bunch of things that deserve some further thought:

  • Damian Penny makes note of the one issue in the Monday Night Football tempest-in-a-teapot that has gone blessedly unremarked: a black man and a white woman isn't raising any eyebrows. Personally, I think it's equally interesting that back-to-back people of colour have been appointed America's top diplomat, and all anyone seems to be talking about is moderate vs. hardliner, not black vs. white. That has to be progress.
  • The videotape of a U.S. Marine shooting a wounded, unarmed man in a mosque has caused some justifiable outrage (I don't include the nutbars who say "SEE! Amerikkan SS! They're ALL terrorists and murderers!"). Louise Arbour needs to spend more time shutting up - she has no mandate unless the soldier's own country refuses to act. See Target Centermass for the thoughts of an ex-serviceman: "If the evidence on this tape and the accompanying allegations are true, this soldier needs to be prosecuted...Let’s watch how the UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice] wheels roll on this one." Note to John at Castle Argghhh!: I've been hoping you'd post on this, as I'd really like to hear your take on the issue.
  • I don't have a problem with buying the Upholders from the UK. I would have preferred nuclear subs so we could get under the ice-cap in the arctic, but that's pie-in-the-sky here in Canada. The Upholders were a good alternative (whether they were the best alternative is hard to say - and the argument becomes cloudy with the benefit of hindsight). What upsets me is that the Chretien/Martin government took so long to make the decision. I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts corrosion problems limiting dive depth wouldn't have existed in the early-90's when the deal was first proposed. Having said that, you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater by eliminating Canada's sub-surface capability entirely, as has been suggested.

Ugh. These all deserve longer posts, but work calls.

Babble off.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Dream the impossible dream: become "lame"

Babble on.

Hey! My traffic is inching towards "lame" according to Paul Wells! I'm so excited! Because I hadn't realized if you get less than 120 hits a day you have to shut your blog down in abject shame and humiliation. Phew! Dodged that bullet!

Hopefully next week I can snag a couple more readers and move up to "pathetic"!

Babble off.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Don't tempt the man

Babble on.

I wonder if Kate knew about this (nod to On The Fence) before she posted about this. Because after this, I'm thinking the man she's categorized as fraternizing with ruminants could use some more of this.

Apropos of absolutely nothing, I refer you to this.

Babble off.

A diplomatic departure

Babble on.

So Colin Powell is finally resigning from the Bush administration, although class act that he is, he's waiting for his replacement to be found. This has been rumoured for quite awhile, and comes as no real surprise. I know some commentators will say good riddance: Powell didn't have the hard edge that seems so prevalent on the Bush team, and his resignation allows the appointment of someone who won't send mixed messages to the world about U.S. resolve.

Personally, I think that's complete bunk. No serious international observer doubts the Bush government's resolve to do what it feels is in the best interests of the nation, regardless of global niceties.

Powell was exactly what you'd want in a Secretary of State. He could object without being objectionable, disagree without being disagreeable. He had military credentials that allowed him to speak up as an equal in a militaristic administration, and that should have enabled him to coordinate Defense and Foggy Bottom in an unprecedented way.

Furthermore, Powell understood that he was supposed to be a diplomat. If Bush had asked him to be Defense Secretary, I think you would have seen a harder edge to his public persona. But he was asked to be a diplomat, and so he was. Much has been made of the supposed conflict between Powell and Rumsfeld. The rift between State and the Pentagon says much more about Rumsfeld than it does about Powell. I think if I had been forced to choose between the two of them, I'd have kicked Rummy out and kept the General. Powell did everything asked of him. Rummy was a loose cannon in the lead-up to the war, his public statements making waves that didn't need to be made, and making Powell's work a whole lot tougher. Rumsfeld presided over an occupation that has become more difficult than necessary because of troop shortages and scandals like Abu Ghraib. It's all guesswork, but I don't believe Powell would have made those mistakes (he might have made others, but not those).

What's next for Colin Powell? He's riding off into the sunset, but to do what? Maybe to distance himself from an administration that has done the right thing the wrong way and seems more pig-headed than steadfast some of the time? Maybe to set himself up as the 'moderate' Republican candidate in 2008? I could well be wrong, but I think Powell will be an interesting man to watch for the next few years.

Babble off.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

"If everyone's 'special', no one is."

Babble on.

Litlbit, Joje (Litlbit's bratty kid sister - yes, you can still be a brat at 29), Boo and I just got back from watching The Incredibles.

It's an absolutely phen0menal movie. The writing is clever and quick, the CG animation is all that we've come to expect from Pixar, and the action is over-the-top. There are some misty-eyed moments, but they're pleasantly outnumbered by LYAO moments.

But best of all, the movie refuses to be politically-correct. It tells kids it's OK to use their talents and excel at whatever they're good at. It tells all of us that it's OK to dream big and live those dreams. It completely demolishes the idea that we shouldn't compete, that we should strive for equal results instead of equal opportunities. Given the fact that the movie is a Hollywood blockbuster, I'm surprised it got made at all.

The thing is conservative counterculture fer gawdsake, and it's like a drink of cold water on blisteringly hot day. I'm giddy here, I know. But what a movie, what a great movie for kids of all ages.

Babble off.

Update: Bratty isn't a fair characterization of Joge. After fifteen years or so, I give her a hard time more out of habit than anything else, but in some cases it's inappropriate. Remark withdrawn, with my apologies.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Never forget

Babble on.

One would be hard-pressed to find an adult educated in a Canadian primary school who could not recite at least the first line of In Flanders Fields by Major John McCrae. The poem stands not only as a seminal piece of Canadian art, but as a pillar of Canadian culture: introducing the poppy as Canada’s unique contribution to honouring and remembering our war veterans. The words are poignant and graceful, and I hope today’s schoolchildren are still taught this piece of historical art.

But as a recruit at RMC almost fifteen years ago, I discovered another lesser-known poem that expressed my feelings of remembrance in a far more personal way. Its opening lines are inscribed upon the Memorial Arch:

The Dead
BLOW out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There's none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
That men call age; and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.

Blow, bugles, blow! They brought us, for our dearth,
Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain.
Honour has come back, as a king, to earth,
And paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And Nobleness walks in our ways again;
And we have come into our heritage.
- Rupert Brooke

The late Air Commodore Len Birchall, Canadian war hero and Saviour of Ceylon, remarked upon the power of these words to give “strength in adversity”:

As every ex-cadet also well knows, we memorized every word on the Arch and were able to recite them at a moments notice for anyone who asked to hear them, especially our seniors. Thus these inscriptions became an integral part of my life. ...I recall those horrible days as a POW during World War II. The suffering, pain, torture, starvation, sickness, beatings and living as animals through which we tried to exist. When, after fighting the good fight with everything within our poor emaciated bodies, and even after dredging up that final bit of reserve which we never knew we had, still it was not enough for some of us and we would have to say good-bye to comrades as they left us. It was then that those words on the Arch came to shine before me with their true meaning. As we carried out the blanket covered bodies I found myself silently reciting that memorable inscription:

Blow out you bugles over the rich dead,
There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old
But dying has made us rarer gifts than gold.

Today, as I try to every day, I will remember with respect, admiration, sorrow and awe those who dug the wells of liberty from which I drink. I will say a prayer, and thank them with my words and in my heart. And I will renew my vow to defend the freedoms they bought for me at so dear a cost.

Blow, bugles, blow!

Babble off.

Update: I have removed the comments from this post, as I felt the discussion had strayed into disrespect for our veterans. To those who were trying to engage me in a debate over whether Nazi Germany posed a threat to Canadian freedom: go elsewhere. I'm sure there are blogs where you can have that debate, but this is not one of them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Nail. Head. Debbye.

Babble on.

I started wandering around the blogosphere just as Debbye at Being American in T.O. began her sabbatical. I remember wondering who she was, and why people were so worried about her unannounced hiatus (in fact, that's how I introduced myself to her at the VRWC Toronto Chapter meeting the other night: *sternly* "A lot of people were really worried about you, you know.")

Now that she's returned, I'm beginning to understand why she was so sorely missed:

I just can't take any more of CNN. Is it just me, or is it as plain as daylight that for the Iraqi army to work with us to take Fallujah is in many significant ways more important for them than for us? CNN's main talking point continues to be that having the Iraqi army fight is part of our exit strategy, which overlooks the rather obvious fact that the Iraqi army is taking responsibility for the future stability of Iraq on behalf of and for the Iraqi people and, if you will, this is a major part of their entrance strategy as a sovereign nation.

Debbye, you're hereby forbidden to leave us without your writing for any extended period of time, ever again.

Babble off.

Where's a Chretien-slush-fund when you really need it?

Babble on.

Would someone please tell me what the hell Heritage Canada's purpose is if not to preserve Canadian heritage?

War veterans regard it as one of the last Victoria Crosses ever to be awarded to a Canadian and say it's a precious artifact unlikely to be bestowed here again.

But the military medal of Cpl. Fred Topham, a former hard-rock miner from Toronto, is up for auction, and friends and relatives say it would never be seen again if allowed to slip into the private collection of a wealthy overseas bidder. (salute to Sinister Thoughts)

These twits in Ottawa can spend "$127,223 on a poll last February testing approaches to diffuse negative reaction to the bombshell auditor general's report [on AdScam]", but can't shell out a single nickel to keep one of only sixteen Canadian WWII Victoria Crosses in Canada.

Absolutely disgraceful.

Babble off.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

High on The Hog

Babble on.

I read about Hog On Ice over at Paul Jané's place a few days ago, and decided to make a visit. My sides are still sore from laughing.

"What a find!" I thought. "If it's consistently this good, I'll have to blogroll the guy."

Now, as I was just about to post the link, I decided to check Hog's sitemeter to see if anyone else had dug up this little gem yet.

"Hmmm, it looks like Hog will really benefit from an influx of traffic from Babbling Brooks."

More hot tips from The Babbler: check out a snazzy little restaurant I stumbled onto, then head out to a quaint but cutting-edge coffee-shop I discovered.

Some days I wonder how this whole "interweb" thing even got started without a pioneer like me to lead the way. Thank God for Al Gore, I guess.

Babble off.

The Politics of Python

Babble on.

I'm trying to figure out which Python-as-politics post is my favourite:

Mudville Gazette's Sir John Kerry the Black Knight?

Black Knight: Have at you!
King Arthur: You are indeed brave, sir knight, but the fight is mine.
Black Knight: Oh, had enough, eh?
King Arthur: Look, you stupid bastard. You've got no arms left!
Black Knight: Yes I have.
King Arthur: Look!
Black Knight: It's just a flesh wound!

The Black Knight continues to threaten Arthur despite getting both his arms cut off

King Arthur: What are you gonna do, bleed on me?

No Pasaran's “Oh, peace! SHUT UP!”?
Finally, with a sharp voice, Reg cuts the discussion short “Alright, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, the roads, a fresh-water system, and public health, what have the [Americans] Romans ever done for us?”

A shy finger goes up…“Brought peace…”

“Oh, peace! SHUT UP!”

Political Staples' Dead Terrorist Parrot?
D: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable leader, Yasser Arafat, idn'it, ay? Beautiful headdress!
R: The headdress don't enter into it. He's stone dead.
D: Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!
R: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up!(shouting at the bed)'Ello, Mister Arafat! I've got a fresh load of UN laundered money for you...(doctor hits the bed)
D: There, he moved!
R: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the bed!

Other nominations are welcome (here's your chance, Bradley).

Babble off.

Update: Ray at PolSpy joins the contest with a hopeful "Bring out yer dead!"

Monday, November 08, 2004

Go, already

Babble on.

Everyone seems to be speculating about Yasser Arafat's death. Impending or recent, all that really matters is that he's not coming back to the Palestinian Authority.

But as the world press gets swept up in retrospectives, I'd like to remind my loyal readers (who will no longer all fit legally into a minivan!) that Abu Ammar* is not only a murdering swine, but a theiving, murdering swine.

Considering that 'his people' live on less than $2 per day, it's a wonder that he's not burned in effigy in the streets of Gaza City.

Good riddance, whenever it turns out to have happened. To repeat a line I read (and can't find now, or I'd link to the good blogger that typed it): Arafat's going to hell, and he's going to find he gets 72 demons, and that he's the virgin.

* I wonder if Sean knew about the cheese-puffs when he speculated about Vienna sausage? There goes my appetite.

Babble off.

Like a big ol' catcher's mitt...

Babble on.

The U.S. military is buying truly astounding technology to protect its soldiers from RPGs:

A small radar detects the incoming RPG or RPGs and inflates the airbag with a carbon dioxide gas cartridge. The RPG is literally "caught" by the airbag like a pillow and slowed enough so the nose-mounted fuse doesn't detonate the warhead. Instead, the RPG ends up collapsing upon itself, shredding the secondary self-destruct fuse and looking like a stomped-on beer can. Currently, the airbag and cartridge have to be replaced after one use, but the designers are working on a reusable airbag that can simply be rolled up and put back into place.

Go read more about this and some even more serious Western ingenuity at Castle Argghhh!

Babble off.

Hear ye, hear ye...

Babble on.

The Red Ensign Standard has been published over at Bound By Gravity. It has become the tradition that the Standard-bearer write an introduction to the post that expresses why he or she flies the Red Ensign. Andrew adheres to this custom with striking honesty:

If you were to have asked me if I would fly the Red Ensign on my blog nine months ago, I would have looked at you and asked if you were crazy. "Canada's fine," I would have answered, "we're a great nation of peacekeepers and we help millions of people around the world with our aid programs." I look back at what I believed only a few short months ago and can only shake my head. I was naive. I trusted that what I was taught about Canada in school was the complete truth, and I never bothered to question the information I was given. In short, I was a fool.

I don't always agree with Andrew's opinions, but I'll take one of him over a hundred blinkered right-wing fools. Good on you, Andrew.

And I must now make amends for an oversight two weeks ago. Myrick did an outstanding job with the Standard, and I didn't make the slightest mention of it. I was just back from my trip, and trying to catch up and deal with the Voldemort affair, but that is no excuse. Myrick, please accept my apologies, and also my congratulations on a job well done.

Babble off.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Boy, that AdScam sure was money well spent...

Babble on.

I mean look how completely unified we all are now! And just think: all it took was a little of our hard-earned taxes greasing Liberal ad exec palms to push the flag in completely ineffective innovative ways. Except...wait...who could have predicted?!

A Bloc Québécois MP is refusing to hand out Canadian flags to the local Legion for Remembrance Day services this year, angering veterans as they prepare to remember their fallen comrades.


In Ottawa, Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe defended his MP.

“It's not that he's refusing,” Mr. Duceppe said. “We give these people the information to go to Heritage Canada, or if not, it's the [Bloc] whip's office who gives them out, so that each MP is not caught in this little game that some Liberals enjoy.” (Babbler's emphasis)

Sorry, I can't keep the chippy sarcasm up at this point. I am aghast at the complete disdain for our veterans - even the Quebecois veterans - expressed by the phrase "these people." What pieces of subhuman excrement the Bloquistes have yet again proven themselves to be. Penny's right: no alliance, no truce, no quarter.

[breathe deeply...calm down]

Kate at The Last Amazon has the best of the serious posts on the issue:

I suggest that he and his like-minded sovereigntists immediately give up all benefits of Canadian citizenship and learn to speak German.


Until then, go buy the flag and stop trying to score cheap political points on the backs of Quebec veterans.

But Sean at PolSpy is the one who broke through my frustrated anger and made me laugh, as one needs to, at these small, petty men who denigrate such larger-than-life, selfless men. Quickly, to the quote, before I get myself worked into a lather again:

Veterans from a small town Royal Canadian Legion hall are under fire from Francophones after one of their members refused to perform cardio-pulminary resucitation (CPR) on a separatist MP. Bloc Quebecois MP Andre Bellavance was in the midst of a heated argument with Legion members over his refusal to provide them with Canadian flags for Remembrance Day when he suffered a heart attack. One of the veterans called for medical assistance on his cell phone, but refused to perform CPR on Bellavance when instructed to by the emergency line operator.

"I fought for my country in Korea," veteran Rick Flemming of Richmond, Quebec told PolSpy. "I have spilt blood for my country. It’s completely inappropriate to ask a decorated soldier like myself to press his lips to a raggedy BQ traitor this close to Remembrance Day. Let somebody else French Kiss the little bastard."

Thanks Sean, I needed that. Otherwise the RCMP might have found me in a clock tower overlooking Parliament Hill lovingly cleaning and oiling a well-made rifle with a big-assed scope.

Babble off.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Paul Wells has left the building

Babble on.

Over at Shenanigans awhile back, I opined that Paul Wells at his best was my favourite Canadian columnist (please note that I don't include Mark Steyn in that category; there is a difference between being a columnist in Canada, and being a Canadian columnist - Steyn is the former, not the latter).

Unfortuntately, Paul is not at his best right now. And I'm not just saying that because he was hoping for a Kerry victory. Sullivan was hoping for a Kerry victory, and he's been as readable as ever. No, I'm disappointed with Wells for allowing his writing to deteriorate into a complete and utter shambles. It's embarrassing. Yes, this is the pot calling the kettle black, but I sell insurance for a living people, not my written opinions. I expect Wells to write better than I do because he's a better writer, for heaven's sake.

His recent blog entry on the Democrats' defeat is particularly poor. Angry Paul works; bummed Paul doesn't. You know we're in for some cheap prose when he starts off recycling unclever Bush-won-it's-the-end-of-the-world hyperbole:

"...the results are in. Bullets, please, and save one for me for after I log off..."

My shoulders slump, but I continue reading out of loyalty and a misguided hope the piece will improve. It does not.

The majestic Howard Dean coalition — youth, new voters, the "wired," the "disenfranchised" — remains the France of electoral coalition-building: genuinely useful, if only it would freaking show up for the freaking fight.

This from the man who short weeks ago penned these words about France-bashers in the media:

It would be just swell if the editorialists at the Globe and Mail would resist the urge to write patronizing crap about France.

...as opposed to Wells' patronizing words of wisdom about France we're left to presume. The descent continues.

So the next time some candidate enjoys a surge of popularity among Hitherto Disenfranchised Urban Youth — especially if he claims an advantage among cell-phone users and bloggers — bet heavy against him. He's dooooooooooomed.

I guess Paul didn't get the CBS/Democratic Party memo that outlines precisely how blogs are eeeeeeeeeeevil (if he can use that many o's, I can use that many e's) puppets of the Rove White House:

DAN RATHER: One would expect that the blogging machine which the White House and the Bush-Cheney campaign has used for any number of purposes over their four years will start now, if it hasn't started already, to say, listen, Kerry-Edwards, for the good of the country, need to concede.

ED BRADLEY: I'm sure it's started already. If we could tune into the Internet we'd see that people are already saying that now. That's certainly the drum the White House is beating. (thanks to Shamrocks)

I wonder how many conservative cell-phone-owning bloggers voted in both the Canadian and U.S. elections this year Paul? When is the real commentary coming? Should I even bother continuing? What the hell, I'm getting close to the end.

Bush has pursued an unpopular war and a ruinous economic policy — cheered on, especially in the latter course, by people who used to claim they were against fiscal irresponsibility when it was practised by Canadian Liberals — and, if democracy is to have any meaning, the only lesson he can take from this election is that he must continue unimpeded in both pursuits.

I should have followed my better instincts and stopped while I was behind. So "if democracy is to have any meaning" I can't vote for a guy who's right on one issue of overwhelming importance, but wrong on another of slightly lesser weight because "the only lesson he can take...is that he must continue unimpeded in both pursuits?" Hunh? My first-year logic professor would have chased me from the lecture hall with a yardstick if I'd tried to pass that sort of garbage off on him. Who are you, and what have you done with Paul Wells?

Lastly - and I sincerely hope I won't years from now point to this as the moment Wells jumped the damned shark - he serves up this steaming, fetid Howard Dean impersonation:

Mark Steyn threatened, in his Spectator column, to quit writing if he was wrong in his prediction of a Bush victory. I don't ever want Mark to quit writing, but I had hoped he would continue because he had reconsidered, not that he would continue because he was right in predicting a Bush victory. Arrrgh, is all I can say.

Really. A professional writer, and that's all you can say. Horsefeathers. I've seen what you can say, and "Arrrgh" doesn't cut it, buddy (with apologies to John and Dusty, who generally have plenty to say).

Next time, Paul, do me a favour and start with the primal roar. We'll have it be our own private code that lets me know you have nothing of value to share today, and I won't have to waste so much time reading uninspired pap.

Babble off.

William Saletan is on a roll

Babble on.

Slate's chief political correspondent is on a roll. Two must-read columns in two days. And Bob, who pointed me to both pieces, is dead right when he says Conservatives in Canada should heed Saletan's advice as well.

Babble off.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Earth to Judy Sgro

Babble on.

Greg at Sinister Thoughts pointed me to a story about disgruntled Democrats emigrating to Canada:

"Let me tell you -- if they're hard-working honest people, there's a process, and let them apply," Immigration Minister Judy Sgro told Reuters.

Here's a newsflash for you Judy: the type of person who would take you up on that offer isn't a 'hard-working, honest' person, they're a Democrat.

Let 'em move to France, or the Netherlands, or Spain, or any of the rest of the Bush=Hitler world. Canada's already full to the brim with Bush-haters. We don't need a single one more (not even if he's wafer-thin).

Babble off.

You read it here first...

Babble on.

I know I'm jumping the gun by a few years, here, but I wanted to beat the rush: Hillary Clinton vs. Rudy Giuliani in 2008. And what a great contest that will be. Of course, just about anything would be better than The Incredible Bore vs. Inarticulate Man like we had this time 'round.

Besides, by making this bold prediction now, I get the best of both worlds. If I'm wrong, most everyone will have forgotten about it by then. If I'm right, I can dredge my own archives when the time comes and look like a prescient genius.

OK, that's a stretch. At least I'll look like I can make a lucky guess once in a blue moon. And that's better than I look now.

Babble off.

He's paying attention

Babble on.

Ask most Americans to place Carolyn Parrish accurately in a political sentence, and they would blink at you with an empty expression. I can't blame them. But ask Doug at Loose Coins, and you get this pithy commentary on the results of the presidential election:

Bashir Assad will break out in hives, George Galloway will choke on a danish, and Carolyn Parrish will be stricken with with Tourett syndrome which will go unremarked.

Too true, my friend. Too true.

Babble off.

I had the most wonderful thought as I woke up this morning...

Babble on.

Michael Moore failed.

Have a warm and fuzzy day everyone!

Babble off.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Lotusland or nanny-state with Victorian morals?

Babble on.

Jay Jardine is leaving libertarian-hell and taking The Freeway to Serfdom all the way out to Lotusland.

Getting out of Ottawa must be a sweet relief for Jay. Of course, Vancouver isn't all bubblegum and lollipops for those who believe a person's home should be a safe haven for consensual sexual activity (and it's pretty hard...um, I mean difficult to get more consensual than a solo act):

The Supreme Court hears arguments on Tuesday about whether a Vancouver man caught masturbating in his own apartment living room should have been convicted of committing an indecent act in public.

Daryl Clark was sentenced to four months in jail because he could be seen from the outside through his windows.


A neighbour viewed Clark masturbating from her own apartment and called police. An officer who was also able to see Clark shone his light to attract Clark's attention. Clark then jumped back from the window.

I am steadfastly resisting the almost-overwhelming urge to speculate on Jay's own habits regarding window-coverings, however tempting. I do wonder, though, how long it will be before some other governmental invasion of privacy sets Jay off on one of the awe-inspiring rants for which he is so appreciated.

Have fun out west, Jay...but not too much fun, lest you end up behind bars.

Babble off.

Update: From my comments section: He wasn't just masturbating in his own home. He was masturbating in his own home while spying on the neighbours' kids through the window. Yuck.

I will echo that thought: Yuck. As the father of a young daughter, I can assure you I find that sort of behaviour thoroughly disgusting. Feel free to re-read my profile to see my preferred method for dealing with problems such as this.

Having said that, I still think charging a man for whacking off in his own home sets a dangerous precedent. I'm better able to control a pervert looking in my window than the state peering in. You can't take a baseball bat to the state.

Some things can be decided with a vote, others simply can't

Babble on.

Both Jerry Aldini and Carine at E-nough! have hit the nail on the head regarding America's choice - or lack thereof - today. Bush or Kerry, hick or sophisticate, cowboy or swift-vet: the petty and envious masses of the world will still hate America.

Every American President in the past 30 years has had a mean French nickname, at the very least. Most have been dubbed imbeciles or idiots, including the oh-so-regretted-now-here Bill Clinton. So is anti-Americanism really about George W. Bush? That would be so simple.

I'm sorry to say that there's only an anti-Bush (not necessarily pro-Kerry, btw) Democrat to still believe this. Even the French are quick to say "Bush, Kerry, what's the difference? They're both Americans!" They're both Americans, anyway. Can you guess how many times I heard this sentence lately? (E-nough!)

Americans, as a whole, are viewed as money-grubbing, gun-crazy, self-absorbed, Jesus-freaked, and of course, fat. It was like this when Ronald Reagan was president, and when Bill Clinton was president. There is no president you could elect with sufficient statesmanship and selling skills to alter this perception. (Jerry)

There are plenty of reasons to vote for Kerry over Bush. Some of them are good ones, though I don't believe any of them are good enough.

But voting for Kerry to gain international goodwill is a fool's bet. Americans haven't had the world's goodwill in a very long time, and they won't again soon - no matter who wins.

Babble off.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Nuclear nuance that goes right over my head

Babble on.

Kate at small dead animals has already written the definitive piece on Kerry's plan to give Iran nuclear fuel. In case any of you missed what all the brouhaha was about, Kerry's own website contains the following passage outlining his position on this issue:

Iran claims that its nuclear program is only to meet its domestic energy needs. John Kerry's proposal would call their bluff by organizing a group of states to offer Iran the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they cannot divert it to build a weapon. If Iran does not accept this offer, their true motivations will be clear. (Babbler's italics)

By all means, let's have some clarity on Iran's motivations:

On Sunday, Iranian lawmakers shouting "Death to America" unanimously approved the outline of a bill that would force the government to resume uranium enrichment.

Maybe I'm just not 'nuanced' enough in my thinking, but isn't a bloodthirsty "Death to America" screamed by government officials a clear enough indicator of Iran's motivations? I don't believe the good fellows of the Iranian legislature are prone to "I was for it before I was against it" rhetoric that effectively renders their true position unintelligeable. "Death to America" is a long-standing political ideology in that country, and it seems pretty clear-cut to me.

If JFK doesn't know the Iranians are putting together atomic weapons using electrical plants as a cover, he's pretty much the only serious observer of international affairs on the planet not to. Which is pretty scary given that he's currently an even-odds bet to be the most powerful man in the world come next year.

What's even scarier is that none of the Democratic foreign-policy braintrust seems to remember the old phrase: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

Of course, if Kerry wins tomorrow, shame will be the least of all of our worries.

Babble off.

Buying the vote

Babble on.

Shameless. Absolutely shameless bribery by James Lileks:

Most amusing moments [from Halloween]: three boys screamed “BUSH IS SCARY VOTE FOR KERRY,” whereupon I took back the bowl of candy. The look on their faces was priceless.

“Aren’t you going to vote for Kerry?” asked one.

“Your choice: I can vote for Kerry and you get one piece, or I vote for Bush and you get two.”

Total pieces dispensed: six

Why, with underhanded vote-buying techniques like that, you'd almost think Lileks was a card-carrying Liberal.

Babble off.