27 July 2005

Ugly Folks! Relief Is Just An Operation Away ...

Face transplants.

Yes, you read that right. Actual tranplanting of human faces.

I suppose this is good technology for burn victims, and the like. And we all remember some folks from our past that could have used a new face. Perhaps some of us were those very same people.

But still. Face transplants? Is this really a good idea?

How long before some lawyer sues an insurance company on behalf of some fugly-ass client who demands coverage to get a face that is both newer and less-fugly-ass because it is discriminatory to have to go through life all fugly and whatnot?

A violation of my rights, bitch! My right to not be all fugly and whatnot!

Start your timers.

13 July 2005

Stupendous Opacity

"White House Silence on Rove's Role in Leak Enters 2nd Day"

That headline is a real prize. The White House stalls a rabid press corps for one day, and it's got a timer on it already.

I anxiously await day 12, myself. Though day 284 can be good, too.

And as we all know, it's always good to see headlines that start timers until somebody resigns. This is what the First Amendment, after all, is all about: regime change!

Other headlines we can expect:

"40 Years and Counting: Kennedy Still a Tool"
"Media Enters Year 33 of Self-Regarding Uselessness"
"Democrats Celebrate 40 Years of Clueless Pandering to Special Interests"

12 July 2005

Hey LOOK!

That rarest of birds! A Lefty with common sense ...

Are we perhaps witnessing a watershed moment in the Loony Left's slow, grinding descent into insanity?

Nick Cohen, the author of the above, raises some excellent points.

In these bleak days, it's worth remembering what was said after September 2001. A backward glance shows that before the war against the Taliban and long before the war against Saddam Hussein, there were many who had determined that 'we had it coming'. They had to convince themselves that Islamism was a Western creation: a comprehensible reaction to the International Monetary Fund or hanging chads in Florida or whatever else was agitating them, rather than an autonomous psychopathic force with reasons of its own. In the years since, this manic masochism has spread like bindweed and strangled leftish and much conservative thought.

All kinds of hypocrisy remained unchallenged. In my world of liberal London, social success at the dinner table belonged to the man who could simultaneously maintain that we've got it coming but that nothing was going to come; that indiscriminate murder would be Tony Blair's fault but there wouldn't be indiscriminate murder because 'the threat' was a phantom menace invented by Blair to scare the cowed electorate into supporting him.

And:

On Thursday, before the police had made one arrest, before one terrorist group had claimed responsibility, before one body had been carried from the wreckage, let alone been identified and allowed to rest in peace, cocksure voices filled with righteousness were proclaiming that the real murderers weren't the real murderers but the Prime Minister. I'm not thinking of George Galloway and the other saluters of Saddam, but of upright men and women who sat down to write letters to respectable newspapers within minutes of hearing the news.

'Hang your head in shame, Mr Blair. Better still, resign - and whoever takes over immediately withdraw all our forces from Iraq and Afghanistan,' wrote the Rev Mike Ketley, who is a vicar, for God's sake, but has no qualms about leaving Afghanistan to the Taliban and al-Qaeda or Iraq to the Baath party and al-Qaeda. 'Let's stop this murder and put on trial those criminals who are within our jurisdiction,' began Patrick Daly of south London in an apparently promising letter to the Independent. But, inevitably, he didn't mean the bombers. 'Let's start with the British government.'

And so it went on. At no point did they grasp that Islamism was a reactionary movement as great as fascism, which had claimed millions of mainly Muslim lives in the Sudan, Iran, Algeria and Afghanistan and is claiming thousands in Iraq. As with fascism, it takes a resolute dunderheadedness to put all the responsibility on democratic governments for its existence.

The entire column is a must-read.

Via Judith Apter Klinghoffer


08 July 2005

Tipping the Scales

Wretchard, of Belmont Club, on the London terrorist bombings:
The Al Qaeda have characterized the attack on London as 'punishment' for Britain's temerity to resist the inevitability of Islam. It is the kind of punishment these self-ordained masters of the universe are accustomed to meting out against harem women and insolent slaves. A few administered licks, and no doubt the cowardly kuffar will crawl back to his place. The tragedy is that Al Qaeda's perception is perfectly correct when applied to the Left, for whom no position is too supine, no degradation too shameful to endure; but incorrect for the vast majority of humans, in whom the instinct for self-preservation has not yet been extinguished. It will result in history's greatest case of mistaken identity; the mismatch that should never have happened. The enemy is even now dying at our feet, where we should kick him and kick him again.
Emphasis added.

Wretchard's assessment of the Left -- "no position is too supine, no degradation too shameful to endure" -- might read as a bit harsh, to some.

But along comes George Galloway, the poster boy for the Hard Left:
We argued ... that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain. Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of the Government ignoring such warnings.

So, in other words, we must bend to the will of thugs and murderers who want to continue to run their death camps on the other side of the world -- cultivating the very terrorism that Galloway both condemns, and blames squarely on the wrong people -- because they might kill a few of us.

If that isn't running away with your tail between your legs, I don't know what is.

05 July 2005

Bravery and Honor at the Library

Somehow, with all the ways terrorists are surely trying to subvert our security, the American Library Association imagines itself at the front lines: simultaneously protecting the precious library rights of both foreign nationals and American citizens, to read up on how to build nukes, without the bother of government jack-booted thugs storming in to arrest everybody on a whim.

Happens all the time, of course. Well, no; actually, it never happens. But it could. And if it did, oh, brother, look out! Yellow stars and death camps!

And so, according to this theory, we must get politically atwitter about this theoretical potential suspension of our non-existent library rights. Can't trust a certified psycho like a Republican Attorney General, ya know!

He has nothing better to do, apparently, than search the library records of innocent people. Or more accurately, to keep that option open, so that he can choose the exact opportunity to pounce on unsuspecting library patrons. The cads.

Of course, I'm sure that the ALA and all their brothers-in-books were similarly hyperventilating about the reign of Janet Reno, using the FBI to investigate Clinton's political enemies. You know, just like Nixon. Remember him? King of the Evil Republicans. Clinton, even though he did the same thing, is perceived so much differently. Imagine that.

Or the various actual killings, attributed to mismanagement of both FBI and ATF, like the Branch Davidian debacle at Waco, or the Randy Weaver episode. You heard about that, didn't you? An FBI sniper shot and killed Weaver's wife, while she was holding a weapon. Nope, check that, it was her baby. Odd choice of weapon, that. At Waco, federal agents heard the screams and cries of children as they burned to death, as a direct result of the actions of those agents.

So when an out-of-control Dept. of Justice led by an out-of-control Attorney General, kills real live mothers and children, while a Democrat is in office, that's just one of those things. Sorry!

But when a law such as the Patriot Act is passed by both Houses of Congress, attempting to level the playing field for prosecutors trying to track down real live terrorists, while a Republican is in office, that is the beginning of the end for freedom in this country.

I'm so glad we have that cleared up.

03 July 2005

Some Things Are So Stupid ...

... Only an Intellectual Could Believe Them

Resolved: that Justice Stepehn Breyer is the most ridiculous and sorry excuse for a Supreme Court Justice in, well, forever.

The competition, however, is fierce, especially of late, with the Ten Commandments decision, followed by the Eminent Domain decision.

Even so, Mark Steyn's column in today's Chicago Sun-Times makes the case:
His grounds for doing so were that the Texas Commandments had been there 40 years and were thus part of ''a broader moral and historical message reflective of a cultural heritage,'' whereas the Kentucky Commandments were newer and "a more contemporary state effort to focus attention upon a religious text is certainly likely to prove divisive.''

Really? Not as "certainly likely" to prove divisive as grandfathering the display of some Commandments but not others, so that the only way to be sure yours is constitutional is to sue over it. For one thing, Justice Breyer didn't identify the year in which he believes the Commandments ceased to be constitutional. Nineteen-sixty-eight? Nineteen-seventy-three? Maybe a sliding scale? If you put up the Commandments before 1965, you can have all Ten; between 1966 and 1979, you can have six firm Commandments plus a couple of strong recommendations; from 1980 to 1991, it's two Commandments and half a dozen lifestyle tips?

To be sure, the Supreme Court took other factors than the year of manufacture into consideration -- whether the display was inside or out, whether it was surrounded by a full supporting cast of religious artifacts or secular knick-knacks, etc. But it's hard to discern any principles here, at least when compared to their one-size-fits-all abortion absolutism. To the best of my knowledge, Justice Breyer has never claimed you can have a first-trimester abortion in the parking lot but for the full partial-birth you have to be indoors.

Question. Why would the Founders have written a Constitution with clear, concise, inviolable rules, if what they really wanted was for touchy-feely equivocating intellectuals to split the difference, across the board?

There is a very simple observation I'll make here: those who advocate such foolish meddling with the United States Constitution are, by definition, advocating the replacement of it, with a form of progressive Big Government, where those who are smarter than you and I, or so the theory goes, get to rule over every detail of our lives.

Which is fine, for some, I guess. To them I say, move to Europe, then.

They've already got that system, plus high taxes, 10% unemployment rates, abortion on demand, militant secularism, and a complete lack of confidence in who they are as a people, which results in a complete lack of will to defend themselves, both militarily and socially.

If that sounds like the path that we too are headed down, congratulations, have a cookie.

As for me, no thanks, I'm trying to cut down.

UPDATE: See also, Thomas Sowell, Property Rites.

01 July 2005

Even Money

Pink Floyd is having a reunion this weekend, for the first time in over 20 years.

And the big question, of course, is this: can the other bandmates resist the urge to drive a pair of scissors directly into the throat of Roger Waters? Don't bet on it.