Thursday, September 28, 2006

Greatest Figures In American History

From Hawkins:

Out of all the titans in American history -- Presidents and generals, inventors and entrepreneurs, reformers and revolutionaries -- have you ever wondered who the best of the best were? Well, RWN decided, for the first time in more than 3 years, to email more than 225 right-of-center bloggers to get their opinions.
I participated. Go to Hawkin's site to see the top 25 plus some honorable mentions.

Note that submissions were sent in unranked, so the ranking on the list doesn't correlate with how submitters would have ranked these individuals. The rankings on the list just represent how many sumitters included each individual.

Mine that didn't make the top 25:
Patrick Henry: For his advocacy of American revolution and the Bill of Rights and for giving clear voice to the idea that liberty is a fundamental right.
Booker T. Washington: For his emphasis on self-reliance and excellence, for his total rejection of victimhood, and for his commitment to getting people involved in industry.
Douglas MacArthur: For his distinguished service, incredible military leadership during WWII, and his work during the occupation of Japan, especially the writing of the Japanese Constitution.
Sam Walton: For his contributions to industry and for his business model which, contrary to what in-style political activists would like to have everyone believe, greatly helps the poor and has helped to develop economies around the world.

Mine that were in the top 25:
George Washington
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Paine
Frederick Douglas
Martin Luther King Jr.
Abraham Lincoln
Ronald Reagan
George S. Patton
Bill Gates

Who would you have picked?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The 39th Carnival of Homeschooling...

... is up.

Ultrasound Finished

Looks good, and it's a boy! Pictures to come later when I get home to my scanner.

UPDATE: And here he is... sort of. A skeletal-ish look at him anyway. That's the face on the left. Torso on the right.

The Real Clinton...

...is who boiled over into the public spotlight on Sunday according to Dick Morris.

Rice Corrects the Record

Clinton's tirade is not going unanswered:

Rice hammered Clinton, who leveled his charges in a contentious weekend interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News Channel, for his claims that the Bush administration "did not try" to kill Osama bin Laden in the eight months they controlled the White House before the Sept. 11 attacks.

"The notion somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn't do that is just flatly false - and I think the 9/11 commission understood that," Rice said during a wide-ranging meeting with Post editors and reporters.

"What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years," Rice added.

The secretary of state also sharply disputed Clinton's claim that he "left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy" for the incoming Bush team during the presidential transition in 2001.

"We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda," Rice responded during the hourlong session. ...

She also said Clinton's claims that Richard Clarke - the White House anti-terror guru hyped by Clinton as the country's "best guy" - had been demoted by Bush were bogus.

"Richard Clarke was the counterterrorism czar when 9/11 happened. And he left when he did not become deputy director of homeland security, some several months later," she said.
Not that anyone aside from his zealous choir of defenders took Clinton's angry version of events seriously in the first place, but it's nice to see someone in the administration calling him on it. Even better to see that someone reiterating the long term importance of the war in Iraq:

"I find it just extraordinary that the argument is, all right, so they're using the fact they're being challenged in the Middle East and challenged in Iraq to recruit, therefore you've made the war on terrorism worse.

"It's as if we were in a good place on Sept. 11. Clearly, we weren't," she added.

"These are people who want to fight against us, and they're going to find a reason. And yes, they will recruit, but it doesn't mean you stop pursuing strategies that are ultimately going to stop them," Rice said.

She insisted U.S. forces must finish the job in Iraq and the wider Middle East to wipe out the "root cause" of violent extremism - not just the terror thugs who carry out the attacks.

"It's a longer-term strategy, and it may even have some short-term down side, but if you don't look at the longer term, you're just leaving the problem to somebody else," she said.
Read the rest of it.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Modern Technology Rules

Two things:

  • Ultrasound tomorrow. I haven't posted yet today because the only coherent thoughts in my head are (1) Healthy? and (2) Boy or Girl? I'll post about it tomorrow after the appointment. This particular doctor's office even gives you a DVD which is pretty cool.
  • Same day FedEx delivery. That's pretty amazing. Mr. Freeman Hunt sent his first feature length film off to Sundance for submission today, and it was delivered at 5:45.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rosh Hashanah

Today is the last day of Rosh Hashanah. Coleman's done some Rosh Hashanah blogging this year:

And remember, Rosh Hashana is, as the liturgy teaches, the "birthday of the whole world," not just a special date for the Jews. So happy birthday, world, and may we all be blessed for a year far better than the one that just ended.
So happy birthday, World, it is. How about a piece of classic honey cake to mark the occasion?

UPDATE: I decided to make the honey cake. Wow! It's tall.



UPDATE 8:47PM: At the same site, there's also a recipe for baklava, one of my favorite foods. Have to file that one away for a rainy day.

Learning to Cook

Due to impending parenthood, I'll be resigning from my job in a few months. In the interest of proper division of familial labor, I'll be taking on the job of cooking all family meals.

I did a Google search to find articles about how to learn cooking basics and came across some articles by Elaine Cook. I liked those well enough that I bought her book: Now You're Cooking.

Each chapter teaches some set of skills and then there are recipes at the end of the chapter that utilize those skills. For example, the first chapter explains how to properly chop an onion and dice celery. At the end of the chapter there is a recipe for egg salad which requires one to, of course, chop an onion and dice celery. It's a great format.

Now if I had only paid more attention to my father, who is an extraordinary cook, I would already know how to do all of these things. Let that be a lesson to all non-cooking teenagers: You will regret the habit of rolling your eyes and saying, "Whatever, I don't want to help. Cooking is boring."

An Inflated Sense of Self-Entitlement

Clinton's interview, the talk of the weekend. I missed it on television, but I read the transcript. I was surprised. This is what I posted in the comments at Althouse:

Clinton comes off as having an absurd sense of self-entitlement in that transcript. Until now I'd only seen the video clip. I figured that he'd had one little outburst and that was it.

But all the screeching about Wallace daring to ask him the question--what was that all about? Of course Wallace had to ask him the question. People are talking about that. People want to know; they want to hear the answer. And ironically, it's mostly Clinton's fault that everyone is so curious about it now. It was his ruckus about "The Path to 9/11" that revived people's interest in his record on terrorism.

Why get indignant about being asked? Why not just answer the question reasonably? His outburst made it seem like he had something to hide or that he wasn't confident in what he was saying.


Ann watched the interview today and has a new post up about having actually seen it:

What Wallace asked just doesn't seem to be enough of a "hit job" to justify attacking the interviewer like that. For people who hate Fox News already, it might make sense, but he's on Fox News, being seen by the regular Fox News viewers. How is it a good strategy to rant on the assumption everyone knows Fox News is unfair? He gets irked at Chris Wallace in a personal way: "And you’ve got that little smirk on your face and you think you’re so clever." I hadn't been planning to think about Richard Nixon, but I got a Nixon vibe from this. He lets it show that he thinks about how his enemies are persecuting him. ...

Wallace ends the interview, saying "Mr. President, thank you for one of the more unusual interviews." They shake hands, and Clinton, says "Thanks." There's just a glimmer of an expression on his face that seems to say uh-oh, I might have exposed myself out there.
Is he really so used to softballs that when someone asks him a regular question, he explodes? Or is he insecure about this issue? Or was the overblown indignation just an ill-planned attempt to make some kind of point?

UPDATE: Wallace comments on the interview.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Pathetic Death

Osama Bin Laden is believed to have died of typhoid (via Instapundit):

Saudi intelligence services have determined that terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden died of typhoid in August, the French regional daily L’Est Republicain reported on its website on Saturday.

The newspaper said it based its information on a document classified ‘defence secret’ originating in the French DGSE intelligence services. ...

The document goes on to say that bin Laden’s geographical isolation rendered all medical assistance impossible.
The leader of AQ, cowering in fear off in some godforsaken place, dies of an easy to treat ailment. I don't know if it's true, but it does seem fitting.

May his heart have turned before he died and may his followers turn theirs as well.

UPDATE: Well put:

Whether he's actually dead, who knows? I rejoiced in the death of Zarqawi, and I'll be delighted by the death of bin Laden. But these are not ancient Nazis hiding in the jungles of Brazil. The deaths of individual jihadists do not end their murderous "religious" philosophy. Until that philosophy is defeated and discredited, guys like Zarqawi, bin Laden, and Zawahiri will be as replaceable as copies of Sayyid Qutb's rantings.

I Can't Watch College Sports

We don't watch sports at our house. Not for any particular reason; it's just something we don't generally do. I'm sure the fact that we don't really watch any television is part of it.

Today I watched the end of the Arkansas-Alabama game. I can't watch college sports again.

How do you people watch this stuff? I thought that I was going to have an anxiety attack. Everytime one of these 18-21 year olds would mess up, I would cringe and feel bad for him and imagine all the mean things that would be said about him in his home media. I've listened to the local sports radio shows here; those callers can be savage.

The poor kicker on the Alabama team was having a particularly bad time of it today. I live in Arkansas, but by the end of the game I found myself rooting for Alabama just so that this kid wouldn't have to go back home with all the local Alabama sports fans hating him. (At least the Alabama kicker's coaches and teammates seemed supportive.) Arkansas won.

I can't watch this stuff. I get too invested in all the people. I can't stand it when they fail.

Friday, September 22, 2006

More Deranged Rhetoric

If you thought this was bad, how about something like this (via Donklephant):

I'd much rather have Chavez or even Ama-whatsit running this country. Look at the profile of the U.S. since Bush took over- down, down, down. Look at the profiles of Iran & Venezuela- all up arrows.
Yow. And there's worse. But don't question their patriotism.

US Elementary and Middle School Science Curriculum "Overly Broad and Superficial"

According to a recent government report:

Science education in U.S. elementary and middle schools is overly broad and superficial, according to a government report issued on Thursday that also faults science curricula for assuming children are simplistic thinkers.
I generally hold very little stock in government reports, but based on my own experience and from what I hear from other people about what their children are learning, I agree with the report's conclusion. Especially with the part about assuming that children are simplistic and incapable of learning more complex ideas. As I've written before, your average person has an incredible mind capable of extraordinary things. The same applies to the minds of children. Most schools greatly underuse all that brain power.

Part of the problem is that state and national learning standards for students in elementary and middle schools require children to memorize often-disconnected scientific facts, the report said.
Yes! Why? Science is entirely interconnected, so there's no reason for science curriculum to be disjointed. Also, in the lower grades there is, perhaps, too much emphasis on memorizing lists of vocabulary words and not enough emphasis on understanding the actual scientific concepts.

Other countries such as Japan have students explore a core set of ideas, with increasing depth as they get older, it said.
This seems like a more logical way to go.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tired of Hitting Refresh?

I've noticed that with most Blogger blogs, including this one, you have to hit refresh everytime you go back to the same blog to see new posts if you haven't cleared your cache. I find this annoying. Some of you have let me know that you find it annoying too.

I just installed a bit of code that I'm hoping will fix this. Let me know if you still experience problems. Thanks to Matt of Overtaken by Events for the code bit.

Second RCIA Meeting

Was last night. Learned all about annulments. The priest said that it probably didn't seem like a normal thing to have a first lesson on, but he wanted to give divorced people plenty of time to start on their paperwork. Makes sense--it can be a long process. Neither my husband nor I have ever been married to other people, so neither of us need annulments, but it was still interesting.

I did have to ask if people married in nonreligious ceremonies before they became Christians would have to be remarried in the Church. Tha answer: no. No matter what kind of ceremony one was married in, at the moment of baptism, the sacrament of marriage is bestowed on you. That's kind of cool. I wish someone had told me that before I was baptized. Of course, why would they have? We weren't Catholic.

Here's a whole blog devoted to the RCIA process that was posted from fall 2004 to spring 2005.

Casting Dagny Taggart

An interesting choice. The real question: Will the writer and director present the ideas correctly? I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Note to Variety: A popup ad and another text-blocking add that refuses to close = too much. Very annoying.

More Selective Coverage from the MSM

And this time it's particularly egregious. (Via Instapundit.)

The news media doesn’t think that 35,000 people protesting the president of Iran outside the UN is worth a story. But 2,000 people protesting the Iraq war? Now that’s news.
The New York Sun was the only MSM outlet found to be carrying the story about the protest at the UN.

UPDATE: Great pictures of the protest at Atlas Shrugs.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Looks, Sex, and Professionalism

There's some discussion of women using T&A pics on their blogs to increase traffic over at RWN. Hawkins himself loves T&A pics:

This gets into a wider point and it's an area in which I disagree with Ann and some of the other people around the blogosphere who, for example, rip on Pam from Atlas Shrugs for showing some skin in her vlogs.

There's this attitude out there, a perception, that there's something wrong with beautiful women using their looks to draw readers. The idea is supposed to be that it's all about their brains, it's all about their writing, that it's cheap or improper for them to have guys checking out their web pages just to ogle them.

That's bullcrap.

...Long story short, we all have different strengths and weaknesses and life isn't fair. If you're a female blogger and one of your strengths is your looks, there's nothing wrong with trying to look sexy to entice guys over to your page. Nothing. At. All. If you've got it, flaunt it, and enjoy the increased traffic.
Someone else took offense. And here is where the problem becomes obvious. Hawkins conflates the regular advantages of being attractive with using T&A. There is a difference. There's a reason that Fox News doesn't have Laurie Dhue sitting at the news desk in pasties. Yes, she is highly attractive, and yes, there are probably many male viewers who watch her for this reason, but it would still be highly unprofessional for her to lean forward to flash her cleavage while making doe eyes at the camera.

Yes, being attractive can be an asset, and no, being attractive does not render a blogger more or less serious. Highly unserious, however, is any attempt to turn oneself into sexual fantasy material for traffic. If you want people to pay attention to your ideas, it's generally not a good idea to distract them by injecting sex into everything that you do.

All of that aside, this bit is just plain offensive:

Here's a theory: A lot of the women bloggers who get so upset about these pics (and yes, it mostly seems to be women), don't want to put their own pics up regularly for whatever reason, which is, once again, fine. However, could it be that what they really don't like is that another woman is getting a leg up on them in pulling in traffic by putting up her pic?
The old they're-just-jealous routine. It's perfectly common and legitimate to think that using one's body in a sexual way for self-promotion is wrong. Women shouldn't be tarred as jealous or catty for advancing that argument. This is also highly unfair to unattractive women as it implies that their arguments against sexualized material are tainted with jealousy and inherently less valid.

In the end, it's up to each individual blogger as to how she wants to gain traffic, but bloggers who choose to rely on sexuality probably shouldn't complain if they find that readers seem to be stopping by more for the pics than for the ponderings.

Hugo Chavez and I Agree on One Thing

He [Chavez] also said the U.N. "doesn't work" in its current system...
And that's where our agreement ends.

I don't think we're getting much value out of hosting and giving money to the United Nations. It's a clubhouse for thugs and dictators.

If you rule people under any system other than liberal democracy (meaning a democracy with guaranteed individual rights and limited governmental power), your power is illegitimate. Why should such rulers be especially respected? Who cares about what they have to say? They are oppressors of their peoples and should be treated as such.

Sometimes you have to negotiate with a tyrant out of necessity, but you don't have to let him set up shop in your home. We should be meeting and planning with other liberal democracies and telling the barbarians that they can come inside when they start answering to their citizens.

Obsessions with Althouse

Check out the comments of this post at firedoglake : (Found via The Anchoress, via Ace of Spades HQ.) Note that the actual post has nothing to do with Althouse. People still seem to be smarting that Ann raised questions about the compatibility of feminism and supporting Bill Clinton.

Jane Hamsher herself comments:

Agreed. I just am sighing over the fact that the idiots crawl out from under rocks everytime something good happens. Ann Althouse all but called Jessica Feministing a whore. For meeting Bill Clinton.
No shit. Why is it the (sic) women are taking crap for this — from other women?
Nevermind that Althouse never did that. As for me, I was wondering why some women are shrilly denouncing Althouse instead of commenting on the sellout of feminism over Bill Clinton.

The commenter Hamsher quoted chimes back in:

...Althouse should learn to age with dignity.
What a very un-feminist thing to write.

I was really suprised at how pissed I got at the two blogger slams today. Mostly at Althouse for picking on Jessica. At my age I consider Jessica just a kid and I think it is very brave of her to carry a feminist torch. And then to have that old Phyllis Schafly wannabe go after her for her boobs, of all things, really bugged me.

...Damn that Althouse is a bitch.
Except that Ann didn't go after Jessica's boobs, but hey, what can you do? Reading comprehension is down, isn't it? That's why they keep lowering the standards on standardized tests. Also, I don't know that calling Jessica a "kid" and Ann a "bitch" is particularly empowering.

And in response to that comment, the first Althouse-related commenter chimes in yet again:

Both of them bothered me. I guess, because it’s late, I’m having thoughts like, “How much of that repug war chest is being spent to sow discord?
Emphasis mine. Shhhhhh... They're all Rove plants!

Hamsher comes back in with this:

Althouse is abjectly irrational and incapable of basic reading comprehension.
Highly ironic. Hamsher continues:

That her stuff gets posted in the New York Times is emblematic of how the national discourse has been dragged into a ditch and left to die by traditional media.

Althouse will default to her standard line of bullshit — claiming that her serious points are not being addressed and her opponents have devolved into personal attacks.
Except that is isn't bullshit. It's true. Hamsher continues:

It will never graze her consciousness that calling out Jessica like that for her wardrobe choices is petty, bitchy and degrading.

Sorry, we do not “let these things slide.” We fight and kick and scream, even if the cost is giving unwarrented (sic) attention to the extreme narcissists amongst us.

Welcome to the New Democratic Party.
Heh. Good luck winning over voters then.

I'm not sure what this commenter was going for:

I do hope we can somehow “get” Althouse. I never did like Phyllis Schafly and I certainly don’t like her sockpuppet.
Emphasis mine. It's a commenter who wrote about Althouse in one of the earlier comments quoted above but in this comment has his/her writing wrapped in a blockquote. I don't know if that has some kind of significance or if it is a typo. Regardless, another commenter agrees:

Liza is not worth the ink.

The anti-woman Althouse is another matter and a real problematic persona.
A "problematic persona?" What does that mean? This woman, she is becoming a problem for us. Keep an eye on her.

UPDATE: I meant to include these links the first time around. More background on these people's anger at Ann can be found at Dr. Helen's place, here and here.

UPDATE 2: Discussion of the "language of totalitarianism" in the comments.

UPDATE 3: TS at Seixon finds it a bit hypocritical that Hamsher would fault others for commenting on a woman's wardrobe.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Reporter Question from Bizarro World

My husband told me about this strange occurrence during the Allen-Webb debate, and I thought he was kidding until I looked it up.

One of the panelists, a woman named Peggy Fox, asked Allen, “It has been reported your grandfather Felix, whom you were given your middle name for, was Jewish. Could you please tell us whether your forebears include Jews and, if so, at which point Jewish identity might have ended?”
What would compel someone to ask a question like that in a political debate? I especially liked this bit of commentary by Dean Barnett:

Fox’s inquiry had no place in a political debate. How could this question have spurred an exchange? Was Webb supposed to counter Allen’s answer by saying, “Yes, you are a Jew!”
Maybe Peggy Fox was doing her best Borat impression.

The 38th Carnival of Homeschooling...

... is up.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Pope's Parents Met Through a Singles Ad

It's true. American Papist has the story. Be sure to check out his main page for running coverage on the controversy over the Pope's recent statements concerning Islam.

UPDATE: More running coverage on the controversy over the Pope's statements at Ignatius Insight Scoop.

Jihadists Can't Photoshop

Malkin's got the latest anti-Pope photoshops from jihadi websites (scroll down a short bit).

Those are the ones they're passing around? Those represent their best work?

Maybe they should run through a Photoshop tutorial or two.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Cowards

If this is jihad, then jihadists are cowards.

But they aren't the only cowards. I've read comments on more than one blog this morning claiming that the Pope should have known what effect his statements would have and should have kept his mouth shut. Is that what it's come to? We're going to tippy-toe around the ridiculously fragile sensibilities of extremists who want us dead? Appease them like a bunch of four year olds in the grocery store, hoping to avoid their tantrums?

These are men we're talking about. Grown men who are every bit as responsible for themselves and their actions as any other men. Men aren't coddled, they're held to account.

Their manufactured outrage is laughable and their violence: damnable. If they want to go on rejecting modernity to live like a bunch of barbarians, they do it at their own peril. The rest of the world and the non-extremists among them will not tolerate their depraved exploits forever.

The god of people who commit these heinous acts of terrorism and violence is not Allah, though they vainly call on his name. Their gods are blood and death and violence and suffering. If they do not give up these gods, they will die among them.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

We Are Not Violent!

And if you say that we are, we'll blow up your church.

That isn't terribly convincing. The constant, unquellable, manufactured outrage is tiresome as well. It's the Danish cartoons all over again.

Much, much more at Michelle Malkin's place.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Burning Stuff Is Fun

While reading about the "Muslim fury" over the Pope's recent quoting of a 14th century emperor, I clicked into the picture of some supposedly furious Muslims.

Look at them. Everyone is laughing and smiling. It's a bunch of guys having a great time burning stuff. Yes, it's under the guise of a protest over the Pope, and yes, that is an effigy of the Pope smoldering on the ground, but by the faces in the crowd, it looks like quite a party.

As for all the leaders actually tearing at their clothes in anger:

But Turkey's top Islamic cleric Ali Bardakoglu asked Benedict to apologise and made a string of accusations against Christianity, raising tensions ahead of a planned papal visit to the country in November.
Doesn't that undermine his request for an apology?

Also note the cultural difference: It seems that many Muslims in many countries are extremely angry about the Pope's statements. Protests are going on. Had the most highly respected imam in the world made statements insulting Christians, I could never gather enough friends and neighbors to hold a protest. I'd be lucky if I could find one other guy to hold up the pole with the effigy hanging from it.

UPDATE: In a new post. Cowards.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

No Time to Explain Their Positions to Voters?

Why didn't any so many of the Democratic candidates in Arkansas, including the candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general, fill out the Arkansas Family Council's Voters Guide this year? I agree with this analysis.

I found the guide extremely helpful during the primaries. It's clarifying for politicians to put pen to paper and write out their positions on the issues. Any politician who refuses to do that cannot be trusted. Why would I trust someone if he won't even plainly state what he stands for?

A man like that stands for only one thing: getting elected. Wouldn't be my kind of guy.

And if they are doing this to avoid stating what they believe about gay rights, what a bunch of cowards! Not everyone is obsessed with that issue. I'm certainly not.

UPDATE: At least two Democratic candidates, Vic Snyder and Mike Ross, did fill out the questionaire. Kudos to them in that regard. See their answers at the Voter's Guide.

The 37th Carnival of Homeschooling...

... is up.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

First RCIA Meeting

Went to my first RCIA meeting tonight. (Mr. Freeman Hunt will be starting RCIA in a couple of weeks. He's working around the clock to finish a project by September 25th.) I was surprised that so many people were there. We went over the RCIA schedule and were given a tour of the church. Basic, introductory stuff. Everyone was very nice.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Liberal Case for Pork

Unpersuaded Instapundit linked it. But couldn't the liberal case for pork be the same as the liberal case for everything else? How about:

We spend your money better than you do.
or

Think of how much we're spending already. What's a little more?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Bush's 9/11 Address

Excellent. My favorite part:

At the start of this young century, America looks to the day when the people of the Middle East leave the desert of despotism for the fertile gardens of liberty _ and resume their rightful place in a world of peace and prosperity. We look to the day when the nations of that region recognize that their greatest resource is not the oil in the ground _ but the talent and creativity of their people. We look to the day when moms and dads throughout the Middle East see a future of hope and opportunity for their children. And when that good day comes, the clouds of war will part the appeal of radicalism will decline ... and we will leave our children with a better and safer world. On this solemn anniversary, we rededicate ourselves to this cause. Our nation has endured trials _ and we face a difficult road ahead. Winning this war will require the determined efforts of a unified country. And we must put aside our differences, and work together to meet the test that history has given us. We will defeat our enemies we will protect our people ... and we will lead the 21st century into a shining age of human liberty.

September 11th

I woke up five years ago to the clock radio, and a DJ announcing that a plane had struck the World Trade Center. This radio station did a lot of sarcastic bits in poor taste, but this one, I thought, was particularly bad. I brushed my teeth, and when I finished, the DJ announced that another plane had struck.

For a moment I was furious at the DJ. How could he think that that was a funny thing to say on the radio? How did he plan to score laughs by making up a horrible disaster?

Then it occurred to me that he might be serious. The DJ continued (paraphrased and fuzzily remembered), "It is not yet clear whether these crashes were accidents or intentional actions, but the chance of two planes accidentally striking these buildings is very remote." No kidding.

I raced into the living room and turned on the television. I had no doubt that this was an act of terrorism.

One moment in particular sticks out: the first tower falling on live television. I shrieked, and I remember someone telling the news anchor who must have been looking at something other than the live monitor--I think it was Jennings--"The tower just fell." "What?" "The tower, it just fell." "Part of the tower has fallen off?" "No, the whole tower. It just collapsed." (Again, that's to the best of my memory.)

At the time no one knew how many people were left in the tower. I remember thinking it could be tens of thousands.

I also remember thinking that this was only the beginning.

Two days later I thought that Iraq must have been involved in the attacks, and I put up a website about it. Now we know who committed the attacks and where they came from. There is no evidence that Iraq was involved in 9/11, but I left the site in place as a record of the kind of thinking that went on just after that day.

In the week after 9/11, no one would have believed that we would go five years without another attack. We were all waiting for the next bit of horrible news to break, but it never did. I think we've done well.

It is important to remember these things. We must never allow ourselves to become as complacent as we were on 9/10.

------------

The timeline of that day. A link roundup at Wizbang.

------------

Where were you five years ago?

What You Missed from "The Path to 9/11"

Some, but not too much. You can see much of the pre-edited material here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Government Wants to Censor Political Content on TV

As if McCain-Feingold wasn't enough, now members of the government ask a television network to pull a program that they don't like while being sure to twice mention that the network holds its license at the government's pleasure.

The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events. ...

Should Disney allow this programming to proceed as planned, the factual record, millions of viewers, countless schoolchildren, and the reputation of Disney as a corporation worthy of the trust of the American people and the United States Congress will be deeply damaged. We urge you, after full consideration of the facts, to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program. We look forward to hearing back from you soon
For anyone, members of government included, to say, "We don't like this picture--it's crap," is fine. For members of the government to say, "We don't like this picture--it's crap, and we don't provide you with a broadcast license to produce crap, so chew on that," is not okay. Especially when the argument is over political content.

Government, butt out.

(Of course, if Republicans were doing this, it would be all over the news and everyone would be outraged. Why are Democrats getting a free pass to violate First Amendment rights?)

Lots of links at Instapundit.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse provides a quote (referencing something else) from Arnold Schwarzenegger that's applicable to the man most upset about this ABC program:

"You really pissed him off... But you know something? You pissed him off because it hit home. That's why it pissed him off. People always get irritated; always when you hit something that is the truth, that's when people flame out."
Ann also has the action email from the Democratic party asking their supporters to help get the program pulled. Check it out.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

When Your Gender Embarrasses You

This news item about Southern women leaving the GOP is full of cringe-worthy quotes:

"I'm going to go for the moderate, and these days that tends to be Democrats," Knight said.
Did Ms. Knight miss the last decade?

"I care about job security and education. The things I hear the Republicans emphasizing in their campaigns are not things that affect me or my family."
This woman was contrasting her interests with what she perceives to be the focus of the GOP: gay marriage and abortion. Leaving aside her dislike of those two issues, how does she suppose that the Democrats are going to give her job security or better education? And why would you even ask the government to provide you with job security? Isn't that up to you?

"I never did understand why we went into Iraq and didn't instead clean up the mess in Afghanistan first," Knight said.
Foreign policy is not like cleaning a house. In your house you may not be able to mop the floor and do the dishes at the same time. Your government is expected to carry on thousands of tasks at once. Why would anyone have to explain this to an adult?

"I'm a mother and that makes me think differently about [Iraq]," Cranford said.
If you formerly supported the mission of Iraq and now think differently because you have children, are you saying that the things you used to think were worth fighting for are now not worth fighting for because there's a remote chance that a sacrifice could be asked of you? Have you no concern for your future posterity and ensuring that they live in a safe and free world?

The Bush supporter quote is bad too:

"There are some people, and I'm one of them, that believe George Bush was placed where he is by the Lord," Tomanio said. "I don't care how he governs, I will support him. I'm a Republican through and through."
No matter how he governed, you would support him? Why? This sounds like some permutation of the Divine Right of Kings. Embarrassing.

I hope that these quotes were selected by the reporter to make the South look bad. At least in that case, they would not represent the true ruminations of your average Southern, female voter.

UPDATE: And sometimes I embarrass myself by forgetting to insert the hyperlink to the story I'm referencing. Fixed!

Some provocative writing going on in the comments.

Barbarians

You'd think there was a big hole in the world under a time warp port into the Dark Ages.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Did You Know that Amazon Has a Homeschooling Store?

I didn't, but here it is. Judging by the current selection, it looks like this Amazon section is new. Any veteran homeschoolers that can refute or vouch for that?

Romney Lays Down the Law

Excellent.
Governor Mitt Romney declared yesterday he would not allow any state resources to be used to protect a former Iranian president during his visit to the Boston area this weekend, and he sharply criticized Harvard University for inviting Mohammed Khatami to speak on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Finally someone who recognizes that taxpayers should not have to pay for despots and terrorists to be whisked around in their limos with police escorts.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Katie Couric Convinces Me to Tune in to CBS

I cannot believe that I just typed that. This is what convinced me.

If she really does have these little segments with different commentators and without obnoxious refutation bits (silly when the original commentator cannot respond), I think that's great and worth tuning in for.

I write that as someone who, at most, watches an hour of television per week.

UPDATE: I watched the debut. Well, okay, I sort of watched it. It was on while I had a conversation with someone else. TV news is just too inefficient. In the time it takes to watch a television program, I can go online and skim dozens of news items.

Now and then I'll watch a bit of Brit Hume; his Grapevine segment is especially good, and the Fox News All Stars panel is usually excellent. Hume also reports on the things bloggers are writing about. I dig that.

As for Couric, I'll tune in now and again in the future to see who the commentator is. Morgan Spurlock? That was sort of a let down. I'm still not sure why that guy is famous. Super Size Me was not as good a movie as many seem to think that it was.

The 36th Carnival of Homeschooling...

... is up with a Labor Day theme.

I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend. I took Friday off, so I had a four day weekend and enjoyed it immensely.