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Friday, March 18, 2005

'Don't Kick It' - If Terri Schiavo is killed, Republicans will pay a political price
Bill Frist and Tom DeLay and Jim Sensenbrenner and Denny Hastert and all the rest would be better off risking looking ridiculous and flying down to Florida, standing outside Terri Schiavo's room and physically restraining the poor harassed staff who may be told soon to remove her feeding tube, than standing by in Washington, helpless and tied in legislative knots, and doing nothing.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Rich Lowry posts some interesting lessons we've learned in our time in Iraq.

Rich Lowry posts some interesting lessons we've learned in our time in Iraq.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

"Freedom is independence of the compulsory will of another, and in so far as it tends to exist with the freedom of all according to a universal law, it is the one sole original inborn right belonging to every man in virtue of his humanity." --Immanuel Kant

"Young man, the secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered I was not God." --Oliver Wendell Holmes

"The first destroyer of the liberties of a people is he who first gave them bounties and largess." --Plutarch

"When your insurance company has to buy its way out of a frivolous lawsuit, guess whose premiums go up. When developers trying to build homes or apartment buildings get sued at every turn by environmental extremists, guess what that does to rents and mortgage payments." --Thomas Sowell

"The Iranians and the Syrians have worked like Siamese twins in a desperate effort to drive us out of Iraq, and the terror war will continue until somebody wins, and somebody loses. Either we defeat them, and drive them from power, or they will defeat us, and drive us out of Iraq, with all the terrible global consequences that would follow." --Michael Ledeen

"I can understand why the transnational jet set -- the EU, the UN, the NGO neo-imperialists, the foreign correspondents for CNN, the BBC and so forth -- have a preference for strong, centralized states. The State Department was still in favor of keeping the Soviet Union together even after the Soviets had given up on it. It's a pain in the neck to have to update your Rolodex every half-century or so." --Mark Steyn

Jay Leno.... [Last Wednesday was] Dan Rather's final night as the CBS anchorman. Seems like just yesterday he was making up his first story, doesn't it? .... Here's my question: Who quits on a Wednesday? Who makes their last day a Wednesday? [After] 24 years, he can't put in two more half-hours? .... I don't know what he's going to do now, but I think we can rule out joining the Texas Air National Guard. .... For all his years at CBS, the network gave Dan Rather a gold watch. Well, they told him it was gold -- you know, he'll believe anything.

Mass Transit Hysteria
There are just two problems with mass transit. Nobody uses it, and it costs like hell.

Death to Cats!
Well, the inconvenient truth is that cats kill more American birds, particularly songbirds, than DDT and pesticides ever did.

Wisconsin is considering allowing residents to shoot feral cats in part because a respected study found that felines kill between 7.8 million and 217 million birds in Wisconsin alone. Data from a Michigan study suggest that some 75 million birds are killed there just in the summer alone.

Estimates for how many birds cats kill in the United States vary almost as widely. The lowest estimates are around 100 million and go up to the 2.5 billion, though the consensus seems to hover around half a billion. What this leaves out, of course, is that many vulnerable bird species are particularly threatened by cats (and, alas, sometimes dogs as well), a non-native predator that often kills small animals for the fun of it.

NARAL Haiku Contest
Yeah, NARAL is having a haiku contest. Jack Fowler has some hilarious entries on The Corner.

Being Irish...
Being Irish can be rough.

Link via The Corner.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Dyngus Day
Apparently, there are Polish customs relating to the Monday after Easter. Interesting read.

I'll have my bucket ready....

Stromata Blog: Bankruptcy in the Blogosphere
Excellent response to criticisms of the bankruptcy bill.

Link via The Corner.

Stromata Blog: Bankruptcy in the Blogosphere
Excellent response to criticisms of the bankruptcy bill.

Link via The Corner.

How Social Security reform can bring about a Republican realignment
The president's real prize would be a significant realignment in party politics. It has been no secret that Mr. Bush and Karl Rove have their sights set on a political realignment not experienced since FDR built a coalition of urban ethnics, liberal ideologues and Southern conservatives under the Democrats' big tent. Like the New Deal, the president's "ownership society" is a compelling new vision and veritable redefinition of a society less dependent on government largess, of a middle class more independent and more capable of securing financial security on its own.

Thomas Sowell: Cynicism exposed
Anyone who does not understand the utter cynicism of politics does not understand politics.

Irish High Holy Day is Coming
As the "Irish High Holy Day" (that St. Patrick's Day to you non-Irish lot) draws near...let us take some time to reflect:

Being Irish means...

* you will never play professional basketball
* you swear very well
* at least one of your cousins holds political office
* you think you sing very well
* you have no idea how to make a long story short
* you are very good at playing a lot of very bad golf
* there isn't a huge difference between losing your temper and killing someone
* much of your food is boiled
* you have never hit your head on the ceiling
* you spent a good portion of your childhood kneeling
* you're strangely poetic after a few beers
* you're poetic a lot
* you will be punched for no good reason...a lot
* some punches directed at you are legacies from past generations
* your sister will punch you because your brother punched her
* many of your sisters are Catherine, Elizabeth or Mary...and one is Mary Catherine Elizabeth
* someone in your family is incredibly cheap
* it is more than likely you
* you don't know the words but that doesn't stop you from singing
* you can't wait for the other guy to stop talking so you can start talking
* "Irish Stew" is the euphemism for "boiled leftovers from the fridge"
* you're not nearly as funny as you think you are, but what you lack in talent, you make up for in frequency
* there wasn't a huge difference between your last wake and your last kegger party
* you are, or know someone, named "Murph"
* if you don't know Murph, then you know "Mac"
* if you don't know Murph or Mac, then you know "Sully"
* you'll probably also know Sully McMurphy
* you are genetically incapable of keeping a secret
* your parents were on a first name basis with everyone at the local emergency room and last but not least...

Being Irish means...
* your attention span is so short that---oh, forget it.

Enjoy your St. Patrick's Day!!

Let us be grateful and share what good we have.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Robert Novak: Jeb for VP?
Nationally prominent Republicans are talking to each other about the possibility of getting Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to accept the vice-presidential nomination in 2008 since he has ruled out running for president that year.

Bush probably would be the front-runner for the party's next presidential nomination if he only had a different last name. GOP politicians agree that five Bush presidential nominations out of the last six campaigns would be one too many for the country to take. But second place on the ticket might be acceptable to voters.

A footnote: Florida Republican leaders still hope that Bush might change his mind about not running against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson's bid for a second term in 2006. Nelson is considered vulnerable, but no strong Florida Republican has indicated an interest in running against him.
Senate. VP. Whatever. We just can't lose this guy from public life.

So true...
There are a lot more important things in life than baseball. I just haven’t found out what they are yet.

- Marty Schupak

Study Shows U.S. Election Coverage Harder on Bush
The annual report by a press watchdog that is affiliated with Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism said that 36 percent of stories about Bush were negative compared to 12 percent about Kerry, a Massachusetts senator.

Only 20 percent were positive toward Bush compared to 30 percent of stories about Kerry that were positive, according to the report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Putting numbers to what we already knew.

"It is a singular advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. They prescribe their own limit, which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end purposed -- that is, an extension of the revenue." --Alexander Hamilton

"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress. ... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America." --James Madison

"A number of years ago, I heard a young father, a very prominent young man in the entertainment world, addressing a tremendous gathering in California. It was during the time of the Cold War, and Communism and our own way of life were very much on people's minds. And he was speaking to that subject. And suddenly, though, I heard him saying, 'I love my little girls more than anything.... And I said to myself, 'Oh, no, don't. You can't -- don't say that.' But I had underestimated him. He went on: 'I would rather see my little girls die now, still believing in God, than have them grow up under Communism and one day die no longer believing in God.' There were thousands of young people in that audience. They came to their feet with shouts of joy. They had instantly recognized the profound truth in what he had said, with regard to the physical and the soul and what was truly important." --Ronald Reagan

"Congress never votes on the things we used to talk about when I got there -- like reining in entitlements or the balanced budget amendment or closing down Cabinet agencies such as the Department of Education. And under Republican control, for goodness sake! Whatever happened to getting rid of the National Endowment for the Arts? Medicare should have never been passed in the first place. And now Republicans compound the problem by enacting this prescription drug bill when the White House has no idea what it will ultimately cost. Choosing between Democrat and Republican bills on prescription drugs is like saying how do you want to shoot yourself -- with a silver bullet or a lead bullet?" --Former Rep. Mel Hancock

"The other day I found myself, for the umpteenth time, driving in Vermont behind a Kerry/Edwards supporter whose vehicle also bore the slogan 'FREE TIBET.' It must be great to be the guy with the printing contract for the 'FREE TIBET' stickers. Not so good to be the guy back in Tibet wondering when the freeing thereof will actually get under way. For a while, my otherwise not terribly political wife got extremely irritated by these stickers, demanding to know at a pancake breakfast at the local church what precisely some harmless hippy-dippy old neighbor of ours meant by the slogan he'd been proudly displaying decade in, decade out: 'But what exactly are you doing to free Tibet?' she demanded. 'You're not doing anything, are you?' 'Give the guy a break,' I said back home. 'He's advertising his moral virtue, not calling for action. If Rumsfeld were to say, 'Free Tibet? Jiminy, what a swell idea! The Third Infantry Division [will] go in on Thursday,' the bumper-sticker crowd would be aghast." --Mark Steyn

Catholic Dictionary
AMEN: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.

BULLETIN: Your receipt for attending Mass.

CHOIR: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the Parish to lip-sync.

HOLY WATER: A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY.

HYMN: A song of praise usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation's range.

RECESSIONAL HYMN: The last song at Mass often sung a little more quietly, since most of the people have already left.

INCENSE: Holy Smoke!

JESUITS: An order of priests known for their ability to find colleges with good basketball teams. [Unfortunatelym they find colleges with poor theology...]

JONAH: The original "Jaws" story.

JUSTICE: When kids have kids of their own.

KYRIE ELEISON: The only Greek words that most Catholics can recognize besides gyros and baklava

MAGI: The most famous trio to attend a baby shower.

MANGER: Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph wasn't covered by an HMO. The Bible's way of showing us that holiday travel has always been rough.

PEW: A medieval torture device still found in Catholic churches.

PROCESSION: The ceremonial formation at the beginning of Mass consisting of altar servers, the celebrant, and late parishioners looking for seats.

RECESSIONAL: The ceremonial procession at the conclusion of Mass led by parishioners trying to beat the crowd to the parking lot.

RELICS: People who have been going to Mass for so long, they actually know when to sit, kneel, and stand.

TEN COMMANDMENTS: The most important Top Ten list not given by David Letterman.

USHERS: The only people in the parish who don't know the seating capacity of a pew.

John J. Miller on John Barron on National Review Online
His first book, KGB: The Secret Work of Soviet Agents, prompted the Soviet spy bureau to issue at least 370 damage assessments and other reports. Moscow was so rattled by his journalism, in fact, that it sponsored a smear campaign against him. Here’s how Christopher Andrew described it in The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB:
The resident in Washington, Mikhail Korneyevich Polonik (codenamed ARDOV), was instructed to obtain all available information on Barron, then a senior editor at Reader’s Digest, and to suggest ways “to compromise him.” Most of the “active measures” used by the KGB in its attempts to discredit Barron made much of his Jewish origins, but its fabricated claims that he was part of a Zionist conspiracy (a favorite theme in Soviet disinformation) appear to have had little resonance outside the Middle East. ... The files noted by Mitrokhin list other KGB countermeasures against Barron’s book in countries as far afield as Turkey, Cyprus, Libya, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Somalia, Uganda, India, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan.
While Barron’s KGB book was causing heartburn in Moscow, Americans were making it a best-seller. Newsweek hailed it: “In terms of hard geopolitical importance, this book outranks and helps illuminate Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Achipelago.” That’s an overstatement, but probably less of one than many people imagine.
Coincedentally, that's a book I just picked up to read off my father's bookshelves. Unfortunately, there's a number of books in front of it.

A Committee on Steroids (washingtonpost.com)
Cynics will say that, absent television, congressional behavior would be different. But to be fair to Waxman, he is a liberal representing Beverly Hills and Hollywood, so he is not expected to have a lick of sense regarding the limits of government, and he rarely sees a human activity that he does not think merits increased federal supervision.
The one witness eager to testify is Canseco, who is flogging a book in which he accuses many players of using steroids. Jeff Merron of ESPN.com read the book -- has Canseco done that? -- and found:

Canseco says that during spring training 2001, when playing for the Angels against the Mariners and their second baseman Bret Boone, "I hit a double, and when I got out there to second base I got a good look at Boone. I couldn't believe my eyes. He was enormous. 'Oh my God,' I said to him. 'What have you been doing?' 'Shhh,' he said. 'Don't tell anybody.' " But in five Angels-Mariners games that spring, Canseco never reached second base.

He recounts Game 6 of the 2000 World Series -- which ended with Game 5. He recalls baseball in 1982 being "closed" to Latinos -- although there were 62 major leaguers from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and more from other Latin countries.

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