Solidarity Between the Georgias:

I met some fine soldiers from the Republic of Georgia in Iraq, where they have heretofore kept a brigade of their fighting men to help the Iraqi people free themselves from the tyrant Saddam, and the petty tyrants who sought in so many places to replace him. The emergence from long tyranny into constitutional liberty is a difficult one, often a painful one, but the Georgian people understand that too well.

As we watch Russia invading their sovereign territory, we should remember that the Georgians have been our friends and allies. They are a good and noble people, though bitterly poor in many places: and we have ties of culture to them as well as our current alliance. The Cross of St. George flies over Georgia as it did over England; one of my friends from Georgia in Iraq was named for the Greek hero Hercules. They are a part of the West, and should enjoy Western liberty and self-determination.

For too long the Soviet Union sought to force Georgia and so many others under the shadow. We should stand by the Georgians at this time and ensure Russia understands that Georgia is not prey to be gobbled up. They have been our friends and our reliable allies, and we have much in common with them.

I suggest that you write to tell your Senators and Representatives today that a strong endorsement of Georgian independence is needed. A wider and more dangerous war may be avoided if Russia is shown that it cannot have an easy victory over a weaker neighbor. They have often stood by us. We should be strong in our support for them now, when they need us.

What? Georgia?


Via our friend and regular commenter Dad29, an oddity.

And so, last Friday, in stumbled Sens. Lindsey Graham, John Thune, Saxby Chambliss, Bob Corker and Johnny Isakson -- alongside five Senate Democrats. This "Gang of 10" announced a "sweeping" and "bipartisan" energy plan to break Washington's energy "stalemate." ... the plan is a Democratic giveaway. New production on offshore federal lands is left to state legislatures, and then in only four coastal states. The regulatory hurdles are huge. And the bill bars drilling within 50 miles of the coast -- putting off limits some of the most productive areas. Alaska's oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is still a no-go.

The highlight is instead $84 billion in tax credits, subsidies and federal handouts for alternative fuels and renewables. The Gang of 10 intends to pay for all this in part by raising taxes on . . . oil companies!
That's both of my Senators. I haven't gotten any letters or emails explaining why the Senators from the Great State of Georgia are united in their opposition to drilling... have any of the rest of you Georgia readers?

Another Judicial Outrage

Another Judicial Outrage:

Assuming the facts are even close to what is presented here...

As Elaine Jones said in a letter published by the Idaho Press-Tribune, “A good, honorable widower is leaving his daughter to others to raise, and is going to prison for following the rules, obeying the law and helping his friends stay safe from flooding.”
Via Kim du Toit, who challenges readers -- after finishing the essay in full -- to write a 100 word essay explaining why the judge shouldn't be hanged. I presume anyone submitting such an essay will say something about the importance of formal judicial processes and so forth, since that's the only thing I can think of as a reason not to hang him.


A Satisfied Woman Speaks:

A quote for the ages:

I am now the happiest woman on earth. When you marry a man with 86 wives you know he knows how to look after them.
Another wife says, "As soon as I met him the headache was gone. God told me it was time to be his wife."

Don't mess with success, I say.

Media Love Affair

Women and Senators First:

So we've seen the story about the idiot bail bondsman from Florida. "Man held in Fla. on charge of threatening Obama," says the story.

But you get down to paragraph six, and he apparently also told a student that he wanted to 'put a bullet in George Bush's head.'

Since when is threatening to assassinate a President not that big a deal? Much, much, less newsworthy than the fact that you also intended to maybe shoot a Senator? Since when is the threat to the Presidential candidate the headline, and the actual sitting President a very minor footnote?

That's the media space of summer 2008. Barack Obama is the news. Nothing else matters.

UPDATE: Heh. Old Bob Owens is on the task. Apparently CNN and CBS4 found the AP story too Bush-focused, and edited him out altogether.



Ouch. This one's kind of good.


A Vision of the Future?

Here's a question I'd like to ask the Obama campaign: was this just a campaign gimmick, or do you intend to push for PSAs like this if elected?

Gas Station TV, which provides video content on gas pumps around the country, decided against running an ad for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Wednesday saying it’s decided to stay politically neutral. At the same time, however, Obama campaign staffers are telling media they believe the refusal had more to do with the content of the ads — which attacked oil companies for creating high gasoline prices — than for simply staying away from politics.
So, if given the levers of power, would a President Obama push to require such ads? The government has in the past forced people to carry PSAs as a consequence of holding a broadcast license; it could do so in the future as a consequence of having a license to sell gasoline. Or alcohol. Or tobacco.

These aren't normally issued by the Feds, but the Feds can push states to comply with their guidelines because of funding concerns. So the question is: does he intend to follow this up if elected? And as a followup, do I really want to listen to lectures from Sen. Obama while going about my daily business?


A Warning on Science:

Our friend Jeffrey was recently speaking on this very topic, so when I saw that the Chronicle of Higher Education had written about it, I thought it might be a topic of interest to all of us.

In March, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, testified before the House Committee on Science and Technology about the abject failure of American schools, colleges, and universities to prepare students for advanced study in the sciences.

Well, that's not exactly what he testified. The purpose of his trip to the Hill was to impress on Congress the need for more H-1B visas.
Read it through, and let's discuss.

Dogs on the Furniture??

Dogs on the Furniture???

What kind of house is Cassandra running, anyway? I trust that readers recognize the incivility associated with... hey, what's that noise?

...never mind.

La Quete du Graal

La Quête du Graal:

Here is a short sample of a haunting piece of music by a group called La Nef ("The Ship"). It treats the Grail legend, and the arming of a young knight to wander in search of something beautiful -- though he cannot quite say what.

Le Depart - La Nef

The full version is available here and here.

Do you recognize the song being sung? The lyrics are different, but the tune -- now slow, with polyphony -- is the old drinking song "The Star of the County Down."

But the tune is surely older, and it is no sin to imagine it ancient: for it well might be, fitted to other songs in other times, as is so often the case.


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Campaign Edition:

So today, Sen. Obama endorsed the California Model as the road to energy independence.

The state of California has implemented such a successful efficiency strategy that while electricity consumption grew 60% in this country over the last three decades, it didn’t grow at all in California. There is no reason we can’t do the same thing all across America.
I was in California last in 2001. As the author points out, "rolling blackouts" was the watchword of the day. And "brownouts." This wasn't a "Model" to emulate, but a failure. As I recall, at the time we were last discussing who was responsible for the failure. Liberals cited deregulation as the cause of the failure (which means that for liberals the "California Model" is one to be avoided by governments in the future, as it was nothing but an abdication of their responsibility to act in the interest of the people); conservatives pointed to the governor (and succeeded in having him recalled over the point).

It's a demonstration of a complete misunderstanding of the facts, which ought to be telling in a man who is running as the smart guy. Sen. McCain may have the IQ, but Sen. Obama has the reputation. I assume Sen. Obama is not intending to "endorse blackouts," as HotAir puts it, but it's plain that he doesn't know what he's talking about. The whole thing was a misery for everyone involved, not a model to emulate.

More, it shows how short the candidate is falling from his rhetoric.

The Obaman New Politics was going to put the South in play. Tell me one more time how endorsing California and Europe as your models is going to win Southern votes? Are you sure Hank done it this way?

The media is doing its best to keep Sen. Obama in the bubble. They sent the son of the great writer James Dickey down South to take the waters:
Dent argues that when Southerners criticize Obama, "They say, 'He's a Muslim, he's a mulatto Muslim, or quadroon Muslim … [only because] they don't want to use the old N word."
"Quadroon"? Seriously?

I have lived in the South most of my life, and I have heard the word "quadroon" exactly three times. The first was in a class on 'the social construction of race' that I took as an undergraduate at Georgia State University, where it was used to explain that places other than the American South had an "escape valve" from "blackness." Whereas in the South there was the "one drop rule," in places like the Dominican Republic a family could move from black to white through a series of carefully-calibrated marriages. Americans, the professor explained, had a notion that this was much more racist than our system, because it tracked how "black" you were to a sixteenth percentage, and took serious stock of who your grandfathers and even great-grandparents had been; but islanders thought we were the racists, because we offered no escape.

The second time I heard the word it was from a fellow student at the university, who was making a satirical point. The third time was yesterday, when I read the article from the younger Dickey.

The younger Mr. Dickey seems eager to repeat the favor his father -- a man I once met, and whose experience as a night-fighter pilot in the Pacific Theater of WWII I greatly respect -- did for the South. As Deliverance painted the South for a generation of outsiders, so too the Newsweek articles manages to find a host of improbables. A guy who sells evil bumperstickers and muses about "quadroons." A sheriff with a noose-wielding supporter. A group re-enacting a lynching -- indeed, lynching occupies a remarkable percentage of the article. Given the actual prevalence of lynching -- that is, its close-to-nonexistence in the last forty years -- one might almost say it's what he came to find. If all he found of it was theater, well, we'll just talk about that, then.

He paints the immigrants to the region as fearful, whether Spanish-speaking girls yelling "la migra!" when he approaches, or Hindi-speakers in Savannah who didn't want to talk to him. Certainly there are many immigrants to the South, including Hindi-speakers: when I lived in Savannah, some of our neighbors included a family like this, headed by a kind-hearted grandfather that language proved no barrier to befriending. I can attest that Dairy Queens throughout Georgia are largely run by a family of Indians, including the one not too far from here: but I never heard of them suffering anything but wealth from their chosen occupation.

"Obama's going to win," the article closes. "And if he does not?" Well, if he does not, it may be because you came to the task with such an odd view of what it entailed. You can't sway people you can't even imagine.


In Todays News: The Knights Templar. Really.

Here's something I didn't expect to see when I got up today: Knights Templar sue Pope.

The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ, whose members claim to be descended from the legendary crusaders, have filed a lawsuit against Benedict XVI calling for him to recognise the seizure of assets worth 100 billion euros (£79 billion).
Ok... one thing I think I know about the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon is that they were under a vow of chastity. I realize that not every priest, even of the church militant, kept his vows with absolute faithfulness. Neverthless, is it really possible that there is a whole "association" of people in Spain who, seven hundred years after the Order was dissolved, can show that they are "descended" from knights of this Crusader order? Would a modern court really accept their standing to sue, on a seven-hundred year old question?

I'm guessing, since Google shows nothing about this before today's story, that the association has a different name in Europe -- in Spanish? Latin? If anyone knows more about the question, and can point me in the direction of better information, I must admit to being deeply intrigued by the subject.
Now this is fun:

Introducing over 175 Movie Posters of Classic War Films that are Outstanding Reproductions in Original Colors.


Update: link fixed. (I think. Works for me, anyway)
Boyd's Cycle.

Simon over at Classical Values, thinks McCain (or his campaign) is getting inside Obama's (or his campaign's) decision cycle.

Elections are nothing if they are not time competitive. Evidently the "freezing of the opponent" that Alinsky recommends has not worked on McCain. He was not frozen. Once that happened McCain was operating inside Obama's decision loop.

(via Instapundit)


A New Politics:

One that will not involve questions from the voters.

Barack Obama’s campaign made its distaste for free-style debates more or less official yesterday in their letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates. Team Obama only will agree to three debates, which has been the tradition through the last several presidential cycles, and all of them in the standard moderated format. He will not accept McCain’s challenge to meet him in a format where voters can ask the questions...
Team McCain hits back with humor, which they have apparently decided will be the trademark of their campaign.
“We understand it might be beneath a worldwide celebrity of Barack Obama’s magnitude to appear at town hall meetings alongside John McCain and directly answer questions from the American people, but we hope he’ll reconsider.”
We've talked about the disconnect between rhetoric and reality in this campaign before, so this is just another example. Sen. Obama is running on "a new politics," but in fact wants the campaign to run just as previous ones have run. He wants the media to continue to serve as the moderator and filter (no surprise, given that they are strongly allied with him), and to limit debates to the traditional number.

Sen. McCain, whom rhetoric would have as the candidate of Not-Change, not only wants to move to frequent Town Hall debates where the voters can question the candidates directly -- he also has adopted laughter, rather than fear, as his mode. Karl Rove's former employees may be working for him, but it's clear that the tone is being set by the candidate, not the campaign. Indeed, the tonal difference between McCain 2008 and Bush 2000 or 2004 could hardly be greater.

So, which one is the change candidate again? Which one actually changes things? Whether for better (as here and in Iraq) or for worse (as in campaign finance reform), if actual change is what you want, McCain is your man.