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A Alexander Stella - 9/3/2003

The studios, from which Mr Joe Scarborough does his broadcasting, are located at--get this--One MSNBC Plaza in Secaucus, New Jersey. Now let's imagine those studios are engulfed in a swarm of humanity, as thick and as numerous as biblical locusts. Let's further imagine that each and every constituent of that swarm is demanding justice for Lori Klausutis. Were that to happen, there would no way that our major media could avoid dealing with the thus-far inexplicable death of Lori Klausutis. Too bad, it's not going to happen just after you finish reading this courriel.

Nonetheless, it can be brought about. Certainly, one may ask how. Let's suppose you get in touch with two kindred spirits. Thanks to your urging, they then write a letter to the editor of their local newspaper or get on the horn to local call-in radio, or do both. In your communication with your kindred spirits, you urge them each to do the same in turn with two more friends.

No, I won't bore you with the mathematics of it. Please just accept that it won't take long before millions are informed and taking action. Here's what you can do right now. Please consider forwarding this courriel to two kindred spirits, in other words, get the ball rolling for Lori's sake.

Ya'know, it would be a nice touch, if you would insert your website's URL somewhere in the body of this missive.

Oh, yeah, as for the text below the red asterisks, it concerns my attempt to reach the major talk radio pontificator in the Greater Binghamton (NY) region.

warmest regards

* * * * * * * * * *

Your Friend A Alexander "Bogey" Stella considered the following article
interesting and wanted to send it to you.

Here's rip'n'read for WNBF radio's Tony Russell
(Date: 2003-08-29 12:23:23)
Topic: A. Alexander Stella

URL: http://www.bcvoice.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=142


conchrick - 8/9/2003

It's simple, Sue. This is THEIR celebrity, ergo HE'S wonderful, brilliant, has his head on right (pun intended), and hasn't gotten himself all addle brained by the sad liberalism of Hollywood that has ensnared so many of the evil celebs.
The Lardass Limbaugh dittoheadless folks out there are sad, little lemmings.

RJ Johnson - 8/7/2003

Is like accusing a parent who tells a two-year old that "no, you can't have another cookie " right after dinner is guilty of child-abuse and needs to be removed from the home.

The California budget was stonewalled by the Republican minority in the legislature (For out-of-state readers, CA requires a 60% affirmative vote to approve the budget) and was miraculously adopted _after_ the recall was adopted. In essence, the GOP held its breath until it got what it wanted and continues to blame the duly-elected governor for the "crime" of not letting them have their way.

Sue Davis - 8/7/2003

I can't wait to watch the pundits that crucified Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, try and explain why Arnold is a good candidate for governor. If celebrities are not qualified to have a political opinion and express it, then I don't see how a celebrity is qualified to run for governor.

Rand Race - 8/7/2003

Anybody even entertaining the notion of voting for Schwarzenh... Schwartzeny.... Ahhhnuld needs to go rent the DVD of Conan The Barbarian and watch it with the commentary on. It's actually quite funny in a "I can't believe he's so dumb" kinda way.

Milius (the director) keeps up a good stream of comment, although he tends to dwell on how hot the actresses they got were, but Arnold keeps saying "exahktly" to whatever he says. The only time Arnold really talks on his own is about his weightlifting buddies who were cast in the film... it's kinda homoerotic actually.

Milius will be saying something like "Oh, and this actress was so hot, she was a model in Spain and if she had spoken a word of English we would have given her a better role" and Arnie replys with something like "Exahktly, now look at Jim here, he was so cut when we made this, he looks great".

Sarah Connor - 8/7/2003

Not to mention the fact that there's film of the black plowman putting the fire to a massive joint with Lou Ferrigno (sp?) in the 70s documentary Pumping Iron. Now word out of Hollywood is that Ah-nuld has bought the copyright to the film to prevent distribution - but who knows whether that will preclude its release - or whether it will matter.

Jon Bastian - 8/7/2003

Just remember, Arnold started this campaign with a lie, floating the trial balloon through his people that he was not going to run. He even had Matt Drudge fooled -- this morning, the site announced that Schwarzenegger was not going to run, but was going to introduce "next governor of California" Richard Riordan instead.


It's actually sort of fun to watch the carpetbaggers in their filing frenzy. Besides The Terminator, there are all the usual political suspects, plus publisher Larry Flynt, actor Gary Coleman and even "famous for nothing" bimbo Angelyne. The more the merrier, I say. And although I'm against the recall, I'd vote for Flynt for governor in a heartbeat. After all, he built a successful business from nothing, did a great job exposing Republican hypocrisy during the impeachment insanity, and would consider legalizing drugs and prostitution to reduce crime and bring income to the state. Out of all the candidates, he's the only one who strikes me as a no-BS, can't be bought kind of guy.

But Schwarzenegger? Give me a break. And I sincerely hope that the unwashed masses of my home and native state don't mistake onscreen heroics for any kind of governmental ability. ("Take dat, ju evil defeeecit!" ) After all, last time we had an actor as governor of this state, look at what a bad deal we got. At least, for the moment, Schwarzenegger is Constitutionally barred from running for President. But I've heard right grumbling recently that that requirement should be dropped, and now I wonder whether that isn't part of their bigger plan.

Hey -- Arnold's a big star overseas, and those terrorists would know better than to mess with a country that's run by Conan the Barbarian. Right...?

Philip - 8/6/2003

The Clinton administration did not claim that 100,000 people had been killed. They said up to 100,000 were MISSING. Big difference. At the time they said this many moret than that had been driven out of their homes and villages.

- Philip

Rebecca Goetz - 8/6/2003

You might also think about, in comparing Clinton's intervention in Kosovo and Bush's in Iraq, about the relative consequences. Americans were not alone in the Balkans interventions, and the rest of the world seemed to think it was important to stop the slaughter regardless of whether or not it was 3000 or 100000. We didn't find ourselves isolated from the international community after Kosovo. Our work there didn't come with a $90 billion-dollar price tag. So I see Clinton's intervention in Kosovo as having a strong international mandate with the funding shared among our allies (especially NATO). Right wingers who are desperate to justify Iraq need to remember these factors.

Second, I don't think Clinton lied. A difference in numbers of people killed can occur easily without anyone being misleading (doesn't anyone else remember how in the days immediately following Sept 11th there were rumors of tens of thousands of people dead? No one accused the Bushies of lying then...it was simply a case of needing time to determine the actual number of casualties). There is a qualitative difference between getting the number of people massacred wrong and deliberately and repeatedly distorting intelligence about Saddam acquiring African uranium. If your fellow blogger can't recognize that then I would suggest that the Iraq war's supporters are having a serious crisis of confidence and are trying very hard to hide it by lashing out, again, at Clinton. R.

plunkitt - 8/6/2003

This kind of thing started long before the nineties. You might want to take a look at Ben Ginsberg and Martin Shefter's book POLITICS BY OTHER MEANS, on "institutional combat," i.e., the continuation of political conflict after the election (the analogy is to underdeveloped countries where the losers in an election find recourse in military revolt). Resorting to media exposes, congressional inquiries, and legal prosecutions is the American version of this.

peter jung - 8/5/2003


Why not just ignore the schmuck? Don't give him the satisfaction of another visit to his site. We've got better things to do than getting aggravated with Reynolds.

Sally Quinn - 8/5/2003

...gives the right time once a day?

Hello Tom:

FYI the blog has a minor tic...the timestamp on updates is now always 5:35 p.m. CDT.

George - 8/5/2003

Thank you for reminding certain dweebs of the obvious, that car racing is a mass sport and that with events attracting as many people as NASCAR you can probably find any political perspective known to man. With the probable exception of hardcore Greens.

These are probably the same people who wouldn't know Paul Tracy from Matt Kenseth if they got hit in the middle of the crosswalk.

bodhisattava - 8/5/2003

The win at all costs mentality that you have correctly identified
as at work during Clinton's impeachment and since, has produced a series of crisis events that W and the GOP have exploited to their advantage.I believe that 9/11 was the first such crisis event and I would not at all be surprised to find that it was engineered by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al.

They knew that they needed a boogy man to frighten the public and boost their electoral prospects against the democrats.What better way than to demonize the Arabs/Muslims who already had a
low rating among their racist followers?

The best analogy I can come up with to this statement was a case
in Boston where a white man named Charles Stuart claimed he took a wrong turn at night and wound up in the middle of a black ghetto and was held up by black muggers who stabbed his seven month pregnant wife and seriously wounded him by slashing.His story came unraveled when his own relatives told police of his attempts to buy large insurance policies on his wife to pay for living a lifestyle well beyond his means.

Unfortunately, we not merely have a President who lacks integrity
but has no one in his entourage with even a semblance of integrity or authenticity.This is truly beginning to resemble
a criminal enterprise where only those who are loyal to the
Don survive and are expected to dissemble for him.

Two years ago, I would not even have thought it possible that a President would intentionally cause the deaths of Americans
for political purposes. I am now certain this one has done the

God have mercy on all of us.

Paul - 8/4/2003

Hey, Tom, I've written before and follow your site closely. I like it and will continue to read it. That said, yes, save the thanks. Just adding 2 cents.

your supporter,


Dee Younger - 8/4/2003

Great web site,But please stop. Thanks Dee Younger

CW - 8/4/2003

First, I like your running tally of hits. You're being appreciative, not pompous, and I do like to know how many visitors you've drawn. It helps reassure me that not everyone is buying what the mainstream media is selling.
Just a comment on your Bush-hating vs. Clinton-hating article--I wouldn't say the GOP stands for nothing except winning. Notice what the administration is doing with its power. I'm old enough to remember when the GOP stood for fiscal responsibility, small government and state's rights. It hardly seems fair to call the current regime "Republican". But they do stand for something--I'd say crony capitalism with an emphasis on defense, aka war profiteering, neo-con PNAC empirialism (tho do the neo-cons really believe we need to take over the Middle EAst and develop a Space Force as they argue in their position paper, or was it a rationale to keep defense spending high after the collapse of the USSR? which would take us back point one) and fundamentalist Christianity, tho this one I really believe is just a bone to get votes.

John B. - 8/4/2003

It's your blog; you can do what you want.
Post your #'s; it doesn't bother me.

P.S. I really enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.

Quaker in a Basement - 8/4/2003

I can remember when the signs outside McDonald's read "Over One Million Sold."

(OK, that makes me sound really old, but it wasn't all that long ago.)

It took forever for them to change the signs to "Two Million." But then the next change came more quickly. Pretty soon they installed a counter that looked like the digital clocks on bank buildings so they could change the number every week.

Now they just say "Billions" and leave it at that.

Maybe its time to increase the interval.

ymr049c - 8/4/2003

For the sake of those forced at gunpoint to read every single thing on your site, please stop posting your stats!

Seriously, only a long-time regular reader would even note the pattern of posting those milestones. And only a self-absorbed one who forgets that it's your site, which they are voluntarily visiting and presumably benefitting from for free, can complain about what you choose to post. Let them set up a mirror that reposts everything except your numbers post.

I for one have been happy to see the numbers climb from the early days. You run a good blog that is both issues-oriented and impassioned.

ymr049c - 8/4/2003

Jim - 8/4/2003

I feel silly commenting on such a trivial issue when I so greatly appreciate all your hard work (sound, informed opinions; links to pertinent articles; etc), but since you're asking - maybe just a brief, one line mention of visits: 500,000,000 and counting! for example.
Keep up the good work. E-x-c-e-l-l-e-n-t work!

Elissa Lowe - 8/4/2003

You have every right to be proud of those numbers - and I don't see it as bragging. As a reader, it's nice to feel a part of a large (and growing!) community of people whose political views roughly correspond to mine (as opposed to those of the community I actually inhabit...).

John - 8/4/2003

I say do what you want. It's wonderful to hear that a site like yours is getting so much traffic.

Rick - 8/4/2003

Keep posting them, who's it hurting, someone with so little time they can't scroll down an inch or two?

Sally Quinn - 8/4/2003

My opinion is that because of the worth of your blogshares and the big number of visitors, it might be time to raise the threshhold to 50,000 before thanking us visitors.

I don't think it's childish at all to thank the audience. I makes me feel good that I share the distinction with a few others. It's a nice l'il personal touch that the visitor enjoys chez Spencer.

I do a little dance if I get 300 hits a day but my blogfans don't know it...maybe I should include a web cam...this boogaloo is for youuuuu!

Ed - 8/4/2003

I think Samuel might want to switch to decaf.

Samuel - 8/4/2003

Why do you make a point of advertising so often and so loudly your blog's numbers ? It is so childish. We know, you are *very* proud there are so many of us reading this, but could you just limit your self-congratulation to bigger occasions ? Like every 100,000 hits rather than every 10,000 ? It's becoming rather tedious.
Otherwise, I rather like your blog. Keep up the good work.

Linda - 8/3/2003

I read Herbert's column the other day and have since forwarded it to everyone I know. It is not only "dead-on," it has that quiet dark tone of someone who's made contact with the fact that each individual dying, maimed, made sick in Iraq--whether ours or theirs--is losing their whole world, and who the hell are we to do that if there wasn't absolute proof we were in the gravest danger?

Bodhisattava - 8/3/2003

The PNAC document actually calls for the rulers to lie to the people about their real intentions so as to gain the compliance of the people.So no matter what was put forth as the reasons for the war(WMD's,AlQaeda links, bringing democracy to Iraq) are all smokescreens. Trying to analyze these reasons only makes
us more foolish. We were set up during the elections, at 9/11,on the leadup to the war and all the things that will follow. We now have the bank robber Chalabi on Iraq's Governing
Council bringing democracy to Iraq.Expect him to be elected President for Life with 99% majority soon.

All depressing and all predictable. Somewhere Judith Miller is waiting to proclaim the dawn of democracy in Iraq.

.K.M. Carlin - 8/3/2003

What is surprising to me as a resident of a "red" state is how many lifelong conservative and Republican acquaintances here dislike Bush with a passion. While I do not worry about this I was startled to overhear one ask another if she thought Bush could actually be the "anti-Christ". What a change from 2000 when they thought he would be such a great Christian change after Clinton.

snorfbat - 8/2/2003

Where Spencer gets it wrong, IMHO, is by buying into the idea that W actually believed that Saddam had WMDs. W had the same evidence that we all had (see links http://www.abettertoday.com/Iraq%20posed%20No%20Threat%20to%20US.htm">here, http://edop.thetriangle.org/2003/02/14/wilkie.html">here, http://www.bestandworst.com/bw/pages/voteresult-333.html">here, http://www.globalexchange.org/countries/iraq/invadeIraq082702.html">here, http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15854">here, http://www.oceanbooks.com.au/iraq/articles2/294.html">here, http://www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article-2-88-797.jsp">here, http://www.dawn.com/2003/07/12/int2.htm">here, http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/07.25A.wrp.iraq.htm">here, http://home.swbell.net/cmcedit/tpf/saddam1.html">here, http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,786332,00.html">here, http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0721-02.htm">here, http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0306/S00211.htm">here and http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_791327.html?menu=">here [for starters]). W knew that there was no threat of WMDs in Iraq.

majkia - 8/2/2003

This is exactly what is wrong with the whole idea of pre-emptive war. Anyone can attack on any damn pretext. Then, when proven wrong, say, uh, sorry about that. We Thought he was gonna attack us. Next bidder for XXX oil field please?

freelixir - 8/1/2003

Israel has a lot of explaining to do. Why? They are leading us down a dark alley. A crumbling plank. We keep defending Israel, and supporting them, while the rest of the world refuses to do the same. So we ask for some concessions from the Israelis, to grease the wheels of the peace process. Sharon tells Bush to forget it, they're going to build their wall, and then they go and pass a law that disallows any Palestinian who marries an Israeli to become a citizen. Or even to live in Israel. Why? For security reasons, and to preserve the Jewish character of the state. You can almost hear the footsteps of the world continuing to distance themselves from us and the Israelis. Who can blame them?

"I think this bill is simply a disgrace to the state of Israel," said Michael Melchior, a rabbi who heads a liberal religious parliamentary faction. "This will tear families apart. . . ."

Yuri Stern, who heads the parliamentary panel that pushed the measure forward, described it as a contingency made necessary by the brutality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"This is merely a law that for one year restricts the right of Palestinians to settle in our midst," he said. "We are at war. I hope the war will end during this year, but I am not optimistic."
What goes unmentioned is that the Israeli government has been denying this recognition of marriages between Israelis and Palestinians, along with residency and/or citizenship, for years. Long before the latest intifada.

The bill enshrines in law years of foot-dragging by the Interior Ministry which has systematically denied requests from Israeli citizens, most of them from the country's Arab minority, to grant citizenship or residency for their Palestinian spouses.
The most disturbing aspect is that this has solely been focused on Israeli marriages to Palestinians. Solely. Any other race or ethnicity is not treated in the same way. This is unacceptable in the age of enlightened democracy, and creates a true conundrum for the die-hard supporters of Israel. What great principle sustains you, and Israel, that anyone else in the world should care about? It's not freedom. Not democracy. If the state of Israel is only about being Jewish, above and beyond everything else, what example does that set?

"This law takes away constitutionally protected rights explicitly on the basis of ethnic or national affiliation," said Hassan Jabareen, the director-general Adalah, a human rights group active on behalf of Israeli Arabs. "That is not only discriminatory, it is racist."

Israel does not ban any other nationality from joining spouses in the country and seeking citizenship.
No other nationality. Just the Palestinians. Imagine such a policy here in America, initiated by whites in reaction to increasing minority population numbers. Imagine.

"You have an Israeli citizen who is an Arab, and you won't allow him to live with his spouse?" she said. "If this is not racism, then perhaps we need to have a new definition."
In reality, there is no justifiable, enlightened defense for this action. It is clearly racist, and against the values and vision of the free world.

"This bill blatantly discriminates against Israelis of Palestinian origin and their Palestinian spouses," said Hanny Megally of Human Rights Watch. "It's scandalous that the Government has presented this bill, and it's shocking that the Knesset is rushing it through."

Human rights groups plan to petition the Supreme Court to overturn the law, which they contend violates Israel's unofficial constitution protecting ''human dignity and liberty'' and a gamut of international conventions the country has signed.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch sent a joint letter to the Knesset, Israel's parliament, urging members to reject the bill. "The draft law barring family reunification for Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens is profoundly discriminatory," Amnesty said in a statement. "A law permitting such blatant racial discrimination, on grounds of ethnicity or nationality, would clearly violate international human rights law and treaties which Israel has ratified and pledged to uphold."

B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organisation, joined in the criticism of the law. Yael Stein, a spokesman, said: "This is a racist law that decides who can live here according to racist criteria."

Some Israelis believe they are sitting on a demographic time bomb, with an Israeli Arab community, already 20 per cent of the population, growing faster than the Jewish population.
I am not an anti-Semite, but an American, and a lover of freedom. This is not just about Israel. It would be wrong for anyone to do this. Any country.

And going beyond the issue of racism, this is also about the disturbing trend of citing security as a reason to suspend our most cherished ideals. Of this trend gaining too much traction in the post-9/11 world, and probably just making things worse.

Perhaps we all should become more comfortable with the idea of living with some risk for awhile, as a condition for freedom and democracy. These calls for security are becoming tiresome, and the overall conditions of such security, as a result of such focus and policy, never seems to get any better.

It's time we implement something that works, and that is reflective of our stated ideals and beliefs. Freedom and respect. Equal rights and dignity. Who would the terrorists appeal to then? A shrinking congregation.

freelixir - 8/1/2003

As I was perusing over at Billmon, I couldn't help meditating on this George W. Bush quote.

"I'm confident that our search will yield that which I strongly believe, that Saddam had a weapons program."
What is the basis of this confidence? Is it based on facts at all? If he was so confident before the war, what were the facts then that formed and sustained it? Hasn't it shaken his confidence at all that he is in a mad scramble to find such evidence now? After the fact? So much so that they are putting a tight lid on any information until such time a solid case can actually be made?

In other words, there never was a case. A solid one. As we've been saying all along, many of us here in the blogosphere, the case was a fraud. A bait and switch. The mainstream media has finally latched on to this, even though all the evidence was there to figure this out before the war. It's nice to have the mainstream media actually noticing the obvious again, but what took them so long? What was the nature of the mass denial and repression that took place before the war? The trauma of 9/11? Anthrax? The continuing scares related to the constant and highly publicized color-code terrorist watch system?

I still want to know what the basis of President Bush's faith, and confidence, was and is. Before the war and now. It doesn't make sense. Is this a religious kind of faith, which needs no facts and only revelation? How can President Bush possibly be so assured? So confident? The guy was the first to tell you a few years back he was no foreign policy guru, and in fact was quite ignorant about the in's and out's of the world, and now he's got crystal vision on events and conspiracies for which he has no evidence?

He's lying. Or he's a self-deceiver. Neither is honest, or prudent in a president and leader of a chaotic and dynamic nation and world. It's time the administration comes clean, and at least acknowledges some doubts. Self-doubts. Because there is no reason for absolute confidence. None. No certainty whatsoever. Otherwise, there would be no mad scramble now to find the evidence. And no effort to keep everything under wraps, in order to temper criticism, in the meantime.

The critical moments are ahead of us. Will our leadership come clean, and admit the obvious? Or will this farce continue, steadily eroding our good name and real faith in the defense of deception?

Denise Bice - 8/1/2003

Does anyone believe that BUSH landed that plane on the aircraft carrier? Jesus, they will sell the public anything and the sheeple buy it! He was clearly flown in by a pilot and we all saw that, but suddenly he is the hero who can land his own jet.

michael b - 8/1/2003

This is true, however it's important to note that this guy has 'retired' so many times before, and I don't doubt that it one keeps their ear to the ground they would find him resurfacing after this ordeal is out of the attention span of the general public. I'll take what I can get now, though i suppose.

Toni Brown - 8/1/2003

It's good news that he is gone. What about the awful department of which he was head? I suppose it's asking too much to hope that it's gone too.

Sally Quinn - 7/31/2003

I recently viewed a civil liberities lecture video in which Alan M. Dershowitz called for using torture in interrogation. His argument was, 'so what if they're maimed, they're still alive!' What is happening to this country? Our 'distinguished civil libertarians' sound like Torquemada; our 'distinguished public servants' sound like Louis XIV. The tongue-in-cheek Bush reelection campaign slogan rings true: Bush/Cheney '04: Building a bridge to the 12th Century.

Warren Greer - 7/30/2003

I've never heard how Stalin operated in a legislature controlled by fascists, but I do know how a few million Stalinists operated in a country the fascists were trying to control. See "Stalingrad" and calculate how many of our lives were saved by these Stalinists. When the fascists in this country, (fate forbid,) have made it impossible for our Constitution to operate, when the Supreme Court has called defeat "victory," and when "democracy" becomes the right to shut up any dissent, I suspect there will be a few Stalinists around to show how to rid ourselves of the disease that is trying to corrupt our republic. And I also suspect that a few pissle- tail whiners will still be around to mis-attribute the credit for saving our nation. No shame, no shame!

Software Eng - 7/30/2003


of the average historian. Isn't it a treat to behold?

Historians are generally of significantly less-than-average intelligence, and they're generally a pretty incurious and conservative lot. Heck, most historians will freely admit they majored in history because they couldn't decide what they wanted to do with their lives. I've taught many of them in my time and have had many friends (past and present) who are historians.

God bless them, they're usually well-meaning but often astonishingly ignorant folks. That means that often their arguments (even about history) consist of little more than the repeating of tired reactionary cliches. Max Boot is certainly exhibit A at the moment.

I guess it's all that coursework in which they rely on their professors to tell them what the ONE right answer to every question is -- or something.

I'm not really sure it's their fault ultimately (I honestly think they're a strange sort of "historian culture" that is to blame) but I pass along these observations anyway.

Bob Dunn - 7/30/2003

A sidebar in the Great Tom DeLay Texas Redistricting Escapade came a couple of days ago when DeLay/Gov. Rick Perry were outflanked yet again as the state Senate fled to New Mexico, prompting Perry to say the following:

"Today, a minority of members in the state Senate prevented the Senate from finishing important work and killed legislation that would have generated an additional $800 million to help meet the priorities of our citizens. We could have spent that money to boost Medicaid payments for home care services, to help pregnant women receive Medicaid services, to expand health insurance for children of working families."

As I pointed out on http://www.writerrific.com, Gov. Perry in the above instance is lying out of an orifice ordinarily hidden within his trousers. The above statement is such a fuming whopper of a lie that it could not have come from his mouth, although it apparently did originate from somewhere within his being.

The idea that Gov. Rick Perry would exert even the slightest movement in his index finger on behalf of pregnant women or children of uninsured working-class Texans - let alone work to pass legislation that would actually provide them with some sort of monetary assistance - is ludicrous beyond imagination. He only provides monetary assistance to wealth white corporate types as directed by Tom DeLay or Karl Rove.

Quaker in a Basement - 7/30/2003

The engineer arrived at work to find the marketing department on the company's front lawn, engaged in their annual team-building exercise.

"What's up?" asked the engineer.

"We have to employ synergistic capabilities to figure out how to measure the height of this flagpole," said the VP of marketing.

"Well why don't you just lift the flagpole off its base, lay it on the ground, and pace it off?" asked the engineer.

"Typical engineer," the VP snorted. "We need to know the height and he tells us how to find the length!"

Sally Quinn - 7/29/2003

Grrr. Somebody should at least drum Wolfowar out of academia. He's up on Capitol Hill spouting nonsense to the CongressSheep...according to Wolfie's "analysis" there are 20,000 Saddam loyalists because he estimates that 1 out of every thousand Iraqis must be a sympathizer. If he'd consult an area studies expert who knows a thing or two about the nexus of tribalism and Ba'athism in Iraq, he'd have some idea of where Saddam nostalgia is coming from. But no, not when he can _invent_ his own figures and scenario...and be believed!

Speaking of engineering, the Engineering College boycotted the first Earth Day on my campus back in the day. We humanities people were there in force. We were hairy, they had crewcuts. Um, I married a math and economics major...well, um, nevermind, have a nice day.

Quaker in a Basement - 7/29/2003

My own father was an industrial engineer.

Once my family visited the St. Louis zoo. My father became bored quickly. He would spend just a few seconds at each animal exhibit and move on. Several times we lost track of him and, after searching, found him way ahead of us. This happened several times.

Then, we became separated from him once again. But looking ahead, I couldn't see him. Finally, I backtracked and found him in the large cat exhibit staring intently into one cage. I looked to see what had captured his interest. The cats has been removed from the cage. He was watching a worker repaint.

Randy Paul - 7/29/2003

According to den Beste's own bio on his website, he dropped out of college. So, if he failed to complete his degree does that still make him an engineer?

Ed - 7/29/2003

Aziz illustrates Den Beste's naivete and ignorance of any history that doesn't "fit".


Rand Race - 7/29/2003

Hey, if software engineers count then so do network engineers. Woohoo! I'm an engineer! And here I thought it was just title inflation.

Alas though, I'm a commie. I suppose it could be because in networks there's never one right answer. Well, there is. But it doesn't work.

Chuck Nolan - 7/29/2003

Engineers disease: The delusion that because one has earned a degree in engineering, one is now an expert in every field of human endeavor. Highly contagious, difficult to cure.

George Bush - 7/29/2003

Your post about engineers is foolish, and I am quite surprised that
you would bash someone's field rather than the basis of their
obviously flawed and easily refuted argument. There are plenty of
engineers who believe, rightly, that bush is a murdering crook and
should be removed. I would guess that there are plenty of history
professors who think bush is an intelligent man and a great
leader. I'd further guess that there are plenty of statisticians who
are also disappointed at your making generalizations from only a small
sample size, namely a WSJ columnist and a bunch of undergrads. This
post of yours does not live up to your blog's namesake: thinking it

- disappointed

Dennis Slater - 7/29/2003

Engineers cannot express opinions? Harrumph. Harrumph.

I can still hear the loud chant coming from the young engineers at my daughter's graduation from Northwestern directed at the liberal arts majors marching forward to get their degrees: "We have jobs. We have jobs." All in good fun, but it was unfortunately true. My daughter was a $100,000 liberal arts major without a job. Maybe your low opinion of engineers and their ability to express significant and worthy ideas stems from an analogous uncomfortable experience in your youth? Envy is an emotion that the passage of time does not wash out of one's tortured psyche very easily.

As you are probably aware, blatant Ad Hominem attacks on another say much about the person who is attacking and about the validity of their ideas. My simple, unsolicited advice is to take issue with what Den Beste says and not with how his educational background colors what he says.

Please note that the use of clichés does not signify ignorance or stupidity but unvarnished criticism of the use of them may. Most writing contains a fair number of clichés in various forms. Your writing, not unexpectly, is no exception.

sagesource - 7/29/2003

on the lamb? Holy Santorium!!!!

surely you mean, "on the lam."

Morat - 7/28/2003

I'm a software engineer, but only because it pays the bills until I'm ready to tackle physics again.

However, if you're talking about engineers being a remarkably conservative lot, there's always been the Common Wisdom that, for some reasons, engineers tend to be Creationists far more than you'd think.

There's a lot of pop psychology about it similar to what you're saying, but in the end...it's hard to tell if they really do tend towards Creationism more often...or if they're simply promoted more because the average laymen considered engineers and scientsts to be about the same thing.

Frankly, though, it's always been my experience that engineers are almost always very very detail and process oriented people. For very good reasons. Engineers who aren't tend to build collapsing bridges.

susan - 7/28/2003

Love your site.

Have a question for you, though. With all the articles about "black box voting", i.e., computertized voting, are you not just a teensy bit worried about the electoral process in the US going forward? I know I am. The fix of an election will be so mechanically easy!!!!!

We didn't have the mechanisim in Florida in place in 2000 and look what happened there -- I'm convinced that without a paper trail, the repugs will have a shoe-in in '04.

Rand Race - 7/28/2003

Ye gods, can you feel his fervent hope that this mind-boggilingly stupid idea of Kristol's is actually true? It's faith based punditry!

They've got us just where we want them.

Sally Quinn - 7/28/2003

We've been in ends-justifies-the-means mode for quite a while now and behaving more like inquisitors going after the Albigenses than liberators freeing the Iraqi masses from the yoke of tyranny. As the inquisitors used to say, you're either with us or against us.

hylander - 7/27/2003

You think Bennett is done? These folks have no shame. Their history is to lie low then run for congress in a couple of years ala North and Liddy. Bring up their lies and hypocricy and you are accused of hitting below the belt. Especially this guy.
What really disturbs me is that I understand that he and Novak went to Rome and spoke with the Pope about how the Pope was out of line with Catholic doctrine as it relates to the death penalty and their belief that ultra-capitalism, the kind that starves the peons, is just fine and dandy. This is not Catholicism. It sure as hell isn't virtuous. It puts us social activist type Catholics in almost as bad a light as that creep Scalia.

ymr049c - 7/27/2003

You forgot that redistricting project in TX, featuring, um, *resourceful* use of the Dept of Homeland Defense to support the GOP's goals.

AugDog - 7/27/2003

I agree that the implications made in the linked ampol article may not have merit. BUT to me the larger issue is the ridiculous double standard given to GOP'ers like Scarbrough. If the mainstream media had applied the CONDIT standard to this story then Joe Scarbrough wouldn't even be able to get a job on a landscaping crew much less his own show on a "mainstream" cable network. It amazed me that nobody found it odd that a congressman quit amid a swirl of hushed marital infidelities FOLLOWED closely by the mysterious fainting-then-hitting-your-head type of death of a comely, young intern in the aforementioned congressman's office. You have to be hard-headed or just stupid to tell me that Condit deserved worse.

brew - 7/27/2003

I love new windows, because it makes it easier to surf. That said, I usually open them that way with the old right click no matter how they were coded.

Rick - 7/26/2003

Give me the new windows, please.

I'm forcing it myself (into tabs, using Safari) right now, but if you could add the target="" to the href I would much appreciate

ymr049c - 7/26/2003

I like new windows, especially for blog-type reading where the links are branches rather than paths. And when I'm at a site with new-window links, but I'm done there and ready to move on, I drag the last link and drop it on the address bar- taking me to the next link in the same window!

TR - 7/26/2003

Tom, opening in a new window is a lot more convenient...

fullwood - 7/26/2003

Stephen Hadley, 53, served as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy from 1989 to 1993 and was responsible for defense policy on NATO and Western Europe, nuclear weapons and ballistic missile defense, and arms control. He was also active in the negotiations that resulted in the START I and START II treaties. Hadley worked closely with the Bush-Cheney campaign as a foreign policy advisor specializing in European and Russian affairs and was a principal in the Scowcroft Group international consulting firm. Hadley was a partner in Shea & Gardner, the Washington law firm representing Lockheed Martin. He is a member of the Vulcans, an eight-person foreign policy team formed during the Bush campaign that includes Condoleezza Rice and Richard Perle. Hadley also worked for the Tower Commission investigating U. S. arms sales to Iran.

Why is this relevant or important?

Stephen Hadley is more than some flunky bungler who would be unaware of intelligence guidance from the CIA in regards to Uranium or anything else. As early as November of 2002 Hadley was involved in what was called as a "new phase," by a White House spokesman, who described the goal as building fresh public support for White House policy regarding Iraq. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice and her deputy Stephen Hadley, were directly involved.

In an article by Steve Hadley,in the Chicago Tribune February 16, 2003, he amplified the administration view that: "According to British intelligence, the regime has tried to acquire natural uranium from abroad". He concluded that, all of the facts pointed to a sustained, wide-ranging effort to develop nuclear weapons.

Hadley is not a new face. He co-wrote a National Institute for Public Policy paper last year portraying a nuclear bunker-buster as an ideal weapon against the nuclear, chemical or biological weapons stockpiles of rogue nations such as Iraq. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0311-05.htm

He co-authored a report advocating a new nuclear arms race which said,"Under certain circumstances very severe nuclear threats may be needed to deter any of these potential adversaries."

In a byliner titled:"Tribunal is Threat to USA," Hadley promotes President Bush's determination to protect U.S. citizens from the judgement of the International Criminal Court.

Sally Quinn - 7/26/2003

My opinion is that spawning a new window is an elegant solution. Wouldn't know why people find them annoying. It's trivial to dismiss the new window rather than going back a page or two or three.

eyesopen - 7/26/2003

Heck, Those who are complaining should try Mozilla or Safari browsers. Then they can use TABBED BROWSING. I always just open the links in another tab, then click on them when I want to read them. This is INFINITELY better than zillions of windows open on your desktop.

As for the size of the text... I just use a keyboard shortcut to make the text smaller or larger. On MACS it's "Command and the +/= key", and PCs I believe it is "Control and the +/= to make text LARGER. To make text smaller you use the "Command and the _/- key that's right next to the +/=". Try it on any web page.

Prior Aelred - 7/26/2003

I have no idea how this stuff works, but if you are of two minds (must be a liberal), could you do what Atrios does at Eschaton and have a box to check for those who want new windows to open (or is that too libertarian)?

Nice blog -- I check it every day -- well, not EVERY day but almost every day... BTW, I do think you have the clearest list of links -- easiest to find things on your site

RM - 7/26/2003

I like to be able to return directly to you, but it makes no difference really.

RM - 7/26/2003

I like to be able to return directly to you, but it makes no difference really.

RM - 7/26/2003

Joshua - 7/26/2003

How about something like Haloscan to allow separate areas for comments? It's your call on the level of responses you'd like from your readers, but if you'd like more feedback a centralized thread per post would get you more responses.

Keep up the good work,

Rand Race - 7/26/2003

I open links in stories into new tabs anyways so that wouldn't bother me, but I use your blogroll as a sort of jumping off point so I'd prefer they keep opening in the same window. No big thing though.

Kriselda Jarnsaxa - 7/26/2003

If you can use javascript on your server (and I don't see anything to indicate you can't), I've got a snippet of code I picked up somewhere that lets the visitor check a box on your page if they want links to open in a new window. If they don't want links opening in a new window, they just leave it unchecked and it works the same way it does now. It has two big benefits: The visitor gets to choose whichever they prefer, and you don't have to do any extra coding once you've added the script. :)

It's really easy to add, and I think you should be able to fit it up near your font size selector, so it'd be easy for people to find. If you want it, just send me an e-mail and I'll send you the script and instruction on how to add it to your page.

However you decide to do it, good luck!


tom brown - 7/26/2003

Could it be that Daddy is being called in to fix things? First, Baker maybe to Iraq, now Scowcroft. I believe we've seen this movie before.

tom brown - 7/25/2003

I wonder if anyone else has ever made note of Condi's over-use of the words "clear" and "clearly" and the phrase, "The president has made it very clear that..." I've never noticed anyone writing about it, but it has always struck me as being a little much in her Sunday morning talk show appearances.

Could it be that those are her unconscious alerts that falsehoods are to follow? Perhaps not, but a woman of her learning should be more familiar with synonyms, one would think. Or is over-exposure to W a linquistic occupational hazard?

Sally Quinn - 7/25/2003

Surely you're not unaware of the double standard, Tony? Republican disloyalty is never treason. Col McFarland persuades Komeini to release the Iran hostages only after Carter is defeated at the polls, Col. North runs Iran-Contra, Mr. X outs Mrs. Wilson, the the neocon gang drives the US to war to hand Ariel Sharon a plum. These acts are not of treason but of acting in the _real_ interests of the nation.

etc. - 7/24/2003

Could someone please point me to a discussion of how the US ultimatum to the Taliban government of Afghanistan to give uo members of al-Queda after 9-11 was or was not like the Austro-Hungarian government's ultimatum to the Serbian government to give up members of the Black Hand after they assasinated Archduke Ferdinand?


TONY LOPEZ - 7/24/2003


Will Morris - 7/24/2003

Intentionally revealing the identity of any secret CIA operative is definitely a crime. It's not just "unpatriotic" - it's treason. Two members of the White House staff have resorted to a clearly treasonous act, for two obvious reasons: (1) to retaliate against Ambassador Wilson, and (2) to intimidate others who might be tempted to cast light on deceptions and machinations of the Bush regime.

If this isn't outrageous enough, it's also astonishing that neither the New York Times, nor the Washington Post, have yet to address this matter as a news issue. Where is the mention of this major scandal on our televised network news? Is it not newsworthy that White House staff have willfully resorted to treason?

I'm not engaging in hystrionics, here. Let's be clear. What is being committed here is clearly treason, for the purposes of political revenge and intimidation.

If the major news outlets continue to ignore this, then I can only conclude that they are complicit, and must eventually be viewed as "un-indicted co-conspirators".

I suppose John Ashcoft will "get right on" this matter, and have them investigated and prosecuted under provisions of the Patriot Act, which provides for them to be designated as "foreign combatants". All he has to do is secretly arrest them, ship them off to Cuba, deny them legal counsel, find them guilty by military tribunal, and execute them. Why, maybe he already has. How would we know? I'm being facetious, of course. I'm betting he does nothing, just like the mainstream media are doing nothing.

Will Morris

Gabriel Rosenberg - 7/23/2003

I believe the post you mentioned on Glenn Reynolds was by Randy Barnett who is guest blogging, not by Eugene Volokh. Randy Barnett is a contributor to the Volokh Conspiracy but should not be confused with Eugene Volokh.

mark safranski - 7/23/2003

Oh, I'd wager several million Iraqis are quite pleased to see the end of two of their tormentors, whom they still feared. It's hard to fight to restore dead people to power.

Overall, a bad couple of days for the antiwar brigade - first the BBC engages in the same kind of " lying " they accused Blair and Bush of doing about Iraq and now a major American success in Iraq. Kinda deflates the whole " Iraq is a disaster " meme campaign.

Charles Dodgson - 7/23/2003

I don't think you really need to guess about whether Condi was involved; according to the WaPo story, she was one of two listed recipients (along with fall guy du jour Hadley) of the Oct. 6th memo, reiterating and expanding on the doubts that the agency had expressed about the Niger story on Oct. 5th to a different set of recipients.

charles - 7/23/2003

I think it's cute that Hadley just got around to reading his in-box memoranda and e-mails from October, 2002. It's a good thing that the CIA keeps copies and knows how to use the telephone. As TBOGG points out, apparently more people in the Bush administration (including former academics) need to spend more time reading their homework. What else doesn't the National Security Council know about, or is seven or eight months behind on? Have they heard of North Korea? Or the reconstituted Taliban? Etc. If Mr. Bush continues to have the "utmost confidence" in Hadley and Rice, the question should be "Why?". Now they've been caught in multiple lies. I don't think justification for a war should come down to , as TBOGG says, "Whoops! My bad! Sorry."


charles - 7/23/2003

I think it's cute that Hadley just got around to reading his in-box memoranda and e-mails from October, 2002. It's a good thing that the CIA keeps copies and knows how to use the telephone. As TBOGG points out, apparently more people in the Bush administration (including former academics) need to spend more time reading their homework. What else doesn't the National Security Council know about, or is seven or eight months behind on? Have they heard of North Korea? Or the reconstituted Taliban? Etc. If Mr. Bush continues to have the "utmost confidence" in Hadley and Rice, the question should be "Why?". Now they've been caught in multiple lies. I don't think justification for a war should come down to , as TBOGG says, "Whoops! My bad! Sorry."


Lis - 7/22/2003

If you haven't heard, http://www.osmond-riba.org/lis/journal/2003_07_20_j_archive.htm#105883900784030636">Wilson has confirmed with NBC that his wife is/was a covert CIA operative. And http://www.osmond-riba.org/lis/journal/2003_07_20_j_archive.htm#105884556166655854">here's the relevant law that makes it an aggravated felony to "intentionally disclos[e] any information identifying [a] covert agent." Interestingly enough, the law was pushed by George H.W. Bush.

Readers of Tom Spencer's Blog. - 7/21/2003