Thursday, July 20, 2006


Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

Tons of good stuff today, and I had to stop looking before I wanted to due to a browser crash....

Get your intellectual ammunition right here.

Yesterday, I posted the following quick list of pro-war commentary at the end of a fisking of Professor Bainbridge.
Andy at the Charlotte Capitalist has posted another roundup, which is all good and does not overlap with the above list!

Andy also includes a link to Cox and Forkum, who have been superb since the fighting in Lebanon began. (And until this morning, I hadn't even seen this cartoon, which made me laugh out loud. How did I manage to miss that?)

In addition, we have the following:

Robert Tracy uses a painting of the stoning of St. Stephen as a lead-in to discuss the evils of pure democracy before linking to Peter Schwartz's excellent "Freedom vs. Unlimited Majority Rule".

Amit Ghate links to an excellent editorial in the New York Post on the prisoner situation.
Conferring unprecedented legal status upon these murderous transnational outlaws is unnecessary, unwise and ultimately suicidal. It exalts monsters. And it provides the anti-American pack with living vermin to anoint as victims, if not heroes.

Isn't it time we gave our critics what they're asking for? Let's solve the "unjust" imprisonment problem, once and for all. No more Guantanamos! Every terrorist mission should be a suicide mission. With our help.
My only criticism is that, unless I've missed something, Ralph Peters forgot to suggest that we dip our bullets in pig fat.

And finally, Debi Ghate offers the best summary of the entire situation in a letter to the editor. The letter reads in part:
The combined military strength of the freer countries is more than enough to eliminate decisively and definitively the assorted collection of murderous terrorists and the governments that support them financially or ideologically. There is no need for an endless global conflict. What there is a need for is a recognition that those of us living in freer countries have the right to take any necessary actions to defend ourselves -- and that our lives are at stake.
I thank everyone I mentioned here for doing their part to make this conflict as short as possible -- by arguing for a more decisive prosecution of the war.

Two on Writing

I stopped by James Lileks for the first time in eons and found his assessment of Mickey Spillane's writing style humorous: "[H]e wrote like someone ripping meat with a bent fork." The rest of the post is quite enjoyable, too.

And then, frequent Rule of Reason blogger and historical fiction writer, Edward Cline, whose stylistic toolkit is not merely far better maintained than Spillane's but better equipped, has been posting about how he writes his fiction. I enjoyed this post, in which he discusses his use of literary devices.

As an aside, I particularly liked the following quote from a scene in the second novel of his Sparrowhawk series, probably because I could identify so well with the character.
Jones glowered up at him, not only because he disliked the man, but because he had interrupted a thought. "Yes," he answered. "And, like Demosthenes, I shall spit stones." [my italics]
I am particularly irascible when I am interrupted while trying to concentrate. In fact, this explains the origin (item 3 in the list) of my blog's logo!

But then, far from being an aside, perhaps this serves to demonstrate that the man is good at making his characters real to the reader....

Save that title for later, Captain.

Captain Ed explains why I was mildly puzzled to see a certain episode on South Park last night.
Ten days ago, I wrote about the conundrum faced by Comedy Central. The Emmy nominations came out that week, and the South Park episode "Trapped In The Closet" got picked for Best Animated Show. Unfortunately, Comedy Central had pulled the episode from the rotation after Isaac Hayes quit the show, complaining about the insensitivity of SP creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker towards his Scientology faith.
I think my feeling came from the fact that I'd read about this episode being pulled, but only pulled this memory incompletely into my consciousness during the show. (As it turns out, I had in fact blogged the original capitulation by CC.)

But really, to say that "Comedy Central Grows A Pair" as he does in his title is a bit much. Comedy Central can earn that appraisal only by showing an image of Mohammed on the air.

You, too, LGF.

In a post titled, "Canadian PM Stands Up", Little Green Footballs praises the Canadian Prime Minister for standing up for Israel. His statements are a major improvement, but that evaluation reflects more on just how far gone many of the West's politicians are. These two parts of the quote show what I mean.
Making his strongest statement yet on the Middle East crisis, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said yesterday that more innocent people will die unless Israel and its terrorist enemies negotiate an end to the violence.


"Hezbollah's objective is violence. Hezbollah believes that through violence it can create, it can bring about the destruction of Israel. Violence will not bring about the destruction of Israel ... and inevitably the result of the violence will be the deaths primarily of innocent people." [bold added]
Yes, this is perhaps an improvement, but the time to get excited is when our leaders stop saying that Israel (or anybody else) should negotiate with terrorists.

The Chi-Comms' "Red Diaper Cloth"

The Gaijin Biker blogs an incident in which a Chinese reporter was jailed for writing such heresies against the Communist Party as:
When a Chinese used a hunting rifle to shoot at birds on a university campus, he shot a hole in the Communist's red diaper cloth [the Chinese flag] by accident. As a result, he was sentenced to 20 years in jail. In America, "publicly" burning the American flag on the street is regarded an expression of thought and an exercise of freedom of speech, and is constitutionally protected.

The day that I can burn the Chinese national flag at Tiananmen Square will be the day when mainland China becomes an "America" with democracy and economic wealth -- a beautiful, good and wealthy country.
I agree with GB when he says, "Li's words should be emailed to every US senator who recently voted in favor of adding a flag-burning amendment to the Constitution." [link dropped]

Mike's Eyes ...

..., like Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, is a title which can make you look like a bad writer if you fail to italicize it. Having said that, Mike's Eyes is full of good stuff. I'll quote from his post on the "Unity08" political movement.
I agree with Mr. Dzwonkowski that more unity would be a good thing, but only if that unity is around or about some good idea or ideal. Unity as such has no value apart from that which one seeks to unify. There is unity in a lynch mob. Is that a good thing? Of course not. In the 1930's, the German people were united behind the idea that Hitler and his Nazi party would be good for Germany. Look what that unity achieved.
But I could have just said to go over there and start scrolling

The Brick Testament

The folks over at Principles in Practice may be perfectionists, but they aren't stuffed shirts. This week, they linked to a site that had me laughing out loud. Alan Germani quotes Brendan Powell Smith of
There I was enjoying a leisurely lunch one evening at the local Taco Bell when suddenly my bean burrito burst into flames and I heard the unmistakable voice of God. "Brendan," it said, "from this day forth you will illustrate for me my most holy of books, The Bible, completely in LEGO®."

"Surely there is someone more qualified than I for this task," I humbly replied. "For I am but a simple man with no special talent for building with plastic bricks."

"Who are you to question the will of God?" the angered voice boomed back. "Was it not I who created the world from nothing and whose hands control the destiny of mankind?

"But I'm an atheist," I protested.

"Then you are especially unqualified to question me!" came the response. "Now get to work!"
This guy is even funnier in his chosen artistic medium.

-- CAV


Today: Fixed a typo.