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July 30, 2004

No &^(%!#@ Kidding


Not only was the U.S. recession in 2001 the shallowest on record, it may not have been one at all -- at least in the classic sense of two straight quarterly declines, new government data show.

I don't want to say I told you so I told you so:

It's not morning again in America, of course, as it was twenty years ago, in part because this might be temporary and in part because we weren't nearly as poorly-off as we were back then. That's a selling point in itself, I think. The message to the electorate is: things are getting better - and that wasn't so bad, now, was it? Obviously that belittles those who lost jobs, but I don't think this downturn compares to the recession of the early nineties. In fact I don't think it's clear we ever hit recession - the economy kept growing, it just wasn't growing very fast.

That was October 30, 2003.

Posted by David Mader at 03:55 PM | (1) | Back to Main

Getting Serious

Civil libertarians are going to love this:

The U.S. Census Bureau has given the Department of Homeland Security detailed demographic data on Arab-Americans, New York Times said Friday...

One piece of datum provides ZIP-code-level breakdowns of Arab-American populations, sorted by country of origin. The categories provided are Egyptian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Lebanese, Moroccan, Palestinian, Syrian and two general categories, "Arab/Arabic" and "Other Arab."

I'm of two minds. On the one hand, this seems rather big-brother-esque, and may well encourage many Americans - regardless of descent - to distort census information.

On the other hand, it suggests that Homeland Security is finally, finally getting serious on the issue of racial profiling. The tactic may be ham-handed, but the idea seems to be right.

Posted by David Mader at 11:29 AM | (2) | Back to Main

Terror Attack in Uzbek Capital

Bombers have struck the American and Israeli embassies in the Uzbek capital Tashkent, according to reports.

Posted by David Mader at 11:23 AM | (0) | Back to Main

July 29, 2004

So Much for Access

Isn't Patrick Belton supposed to be blogging the convention? It's Thursday morning - the last day of the show - and so far he's chimed in with precisely one post. What gives?

Meanwhile, Slate's Will Saletan has an excellent convention journal.

UPDATE (15:27 EDT): Belton explains his absence and promises more to come. Meanwhile, Dave K forwards me this article suggesting that many convention bloggers have gone native, and declaring the phenomenon a bit of a bust.

Based on what I've seen so far, I'm tempted to agree. Bloggers aren't reporters, as the article points out, and their skills at fact-checking and cross-referencing aren't being put to much use at the convention. That may be a testament to the Democrats' tight scripting in Boston; no doubt convention blogs would be more exciting if the convention itself were exciting. But giving bloggers credentials at an uneventful convention is an important step, I think, towards giving bloggers credentials at other events.

White House press conferences, for instance.

Posted by David Mader at 10:37 AM | (5) | Back to Main

July 28, 2004

9/11 Commission

The full 9/11 Commission report is available in .pdf format here.

Posted by David Mader at 01:51 PM | (0) | Back to Main


These numbers seem pretty incredible, though it's a good sampling size. If they're wrong, the post-convention bump will be exaggerated. If they're right, the post-convention bump might not be enough to draw him even.

Posted by David Mader at 10:26 AM | (1) | Back to Main

July 27, 2004


The AP reports that a large number of South African passports seem to have been acquired by al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists. Some element of treason is suspected.

Posted by David Mader at 09:31 PM | (0) | Back to Main

Down-Home American Pizza

Long(er)time readers will remember a story last year about a Danish man who refused to serve German and French tourists at his pizzeria because of his anger at their respective governments' positions on the Iraq war.

Now the AP reports that Aage Bjerre - who was found guilty of descrimination for the earlier episode but chose to serve jail time rather than pay a fine - has been fired from another job for again refusing service to Franco-German tourists:

He emigrated to the Faeroe Islands, a Danish territory between Scotland and Iceland, in October and was hired to work at a pizzeria in Klaksvik, a town of 5,000.

"They knew my point of view when they hired me and that was OK until the first tourists came," he told The Associated Press.

On July 24, Bjerre refused service to German tourists who had ordered a meal.

Njal R. Petersen, who owns the Napoli Pizzeria "gave in to pressure from the town council and the tourist board and fired me after that episode," Bjerre said.

I'm less symathetic this time around - but only because Bjerre was an employee, and not a business-owner. I continue to believe that his pizzeria, or the pizzeria of his employers, should have the right to refuse service to anyone. But since he was not in a position to allow or bar anyone from the property, his refusal to serve amounts to a refusal to fulfill his contractual obligations. It is fitting that he was fired, even if his misguided stand is in some small way laudable.

Posted by David Mader at 09:28 PM | (0) | Back to Main

Moore and O'Reilly

Different planets. That's more or less all I can say. Except this: does Moore really find his own brand of 'gotcha' argument convincing?

Posted by David Mader at 09:15 PM | (1) | Back to Main

Dress British. Think Yiddish.

Saw a blogad for this law firm over at Instapundit, running under the above-noted slogan. Clicking through, I find that the firm specializes in Internet law (though also practicing other areas of law) in New York and Jersey.

So what am I missing here? I'll go out on a limb and wager that Patrick McDonough and Nancy Exume aren't, uh, 'yiddish.' So what's the story? Is it a cultural allusion that I'm not picking up on? Is it simply an attention-grabber? Or are people subconsciously drawn towards Jewish lawyers? I'm stumped.

UPDATE (17:50 EDT): Seems it's some sort of anonymous proverb. I await enlightenment.

Posted by David Mader at 05:45 PM | (1) | Back to Main

Operation Coffeecup

Thanks to Dan for forwarding me this, which is very, very cool. I haven't been able to listen to the Gipper yet, but the concept itself is fascinating. And here's a tidbit: as far as I know, Ronald Reagan was still a registered Democrat in 1961. Though I may well be wrong about that.

Posted by David Mader at 05:22 PM | (0) | Back to Main

Democracy in Action

Of the 'capital-D' sort. Good convention blogging from Oxblog's Patrick Belton and from David Frum. Last night's big hit seems to have been - perhaps unsurprisingly - Bill Clinton; Andrew Sullivan and Paul Wells fawn.

I'm in a peculiar position regarding Clinton. I'm opposed to the presidential term limit, and am quite convinced that Clinton would have won the 2000 election handily. And what a disaster that would have been. Don't get me wrong; I'm too young to have been a Clinton-hater. I recognize that the guy gives a great speech. But a great politician? I grow ever less convinced. Name Clinton's greatest policy achievement in office. Health-care? A flop. Foreign policy? How's 'democratic enlargement' working out in the Balkans? (Note that I was all for the Kosovo intervention). Security? Not so much.

What was Clinton's greatest lasting policy achievement? Welfare reform. And it wasn't half bad, as a matter of fact. Sure, you could argue that Clinton could only get conservative policies enacted due to the Republican Congresses he had to confront - but what kind of masterful politician a) has no coat-tails and b) can't negotiate a win every now and again? Clinton was in office for eight years, for goodness' sake. And his lasting policy achievement is one that most Democrats disown and most Americans have probably never heard of.

Wells writes: "Clinton betrayed his incandescent talent in office, sinned and lied and lost three years digging himself out of the mess he made." Yea. But unfortunately, the sinning and lying - I hesitate to use the word, but I quote Wells - was and is as much a part of Clinton as the speech-making. I don't think history will remember him as a great politician-president stymied by occassional lapses. I think history will remember him as a philanderer whose foibles and misadventures perfectly captured America's insularity during the 1990s, a place-holder between the serious presidents of the Cold War and the War on Terror.

Posted by David Mader at 03:21 PM | (5) | Back to Main

July 26, 2004

Still Here

What? It's not like there's anything going on.

Posted by David Mader at 03:00 PM | (0) | Back to Main

July 22, 2004

Sow Relief?

The story of Ann Jacobsen's harrowing flight at the end of June, which swept the blogosphere last week, appears to be explained in this article at the National Review Online. Everything seems common-sensical, and I'm more or less prepared to accept the explanation and back down from my earlier concern.

On the other hand, reading this report from the Washington Times, I'm not so sure Jacobsen was wrong in her analysis. It's just possible that the men she saw were both a Syrian band and a group of 'dry-runners.' Their legit story would be good cover, and would allow them to test air marshal and airline responses without fear of serious repercussions.

So the bottom line is this: they could both be right. Best response: vigilance.

Posted by David Mader at 02:34 PM | (3) | Back to Main

July 21, 2004

Building a Conservative Canada

There's been a lot of spilled ink since the Canadian election as pundits discuss why the Conservative Party disappointed (though we Good News Conservatives concede no such disappointment) and how the party should change in order to pick up more support next time around.

As I say, most of the commentary has been little more than spilled ink. But now some of Canada's finest conservative writers are tackling the issue, and their comments may be laying the groundwork for more dynamic and assertive conservative movement.

Required reading is Adam Daifallah's watershed article on what it will take to build a true conservative political movement in Canada. Daifallah, who writes for the National Post, makes simple yet immeasurably important points about the necessity for a conservative counter-establishment and the intellectual campaign necessary to shift Canada's political goalposts to the right. The importance of the piece is reflected in the response it has received.

Daifallah's piece anticipates and is augmented by two columns in the July 19 issue of Western Standard Magazine. John Robson castigates the Conservative Party for waffling on its own conservatism, while Andrew Coyne challenges Conservatives - and conservatives - to present to Canadians well-considered and well-argued market approaches to the whole range of policy issues confronting the nation. It's a mistake, he argues, to surrender certain policy areas - such as the environment - to the left-of-center parties when market-based arguments could persuade many non-traditional Tory voters to swing Conservative. He's right.

Canadian conservatism could have shifted many ways following the recent election. Thankfully, it seems to be heading towards a more robust, more self-confident political expression. The above-mentioned authors are at once marking the path and blazing the trail. Time to follow.

[Registration required for the Standard pieces.]

Posted by David Mader at 10:10 PM | (0) | Back to Main

Now that's a Blog

Three cheers to the National Post editorial team, who've finally managed to get permalinks on their Across the Board weblog. Congrats to those board members (you know who you are) who have been pushing for the change, and many thanks to the CanWest techies who've finally managed to put the darned things in place.

Posted by David Mader at 09:51 PM | (0) | Back to Main

July 20, 2004

Drawing a Line

The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly today to demand that, pursuant to an extra-judicial and unprecedented decision by the International Criminal Court, Israel destroy the security fence and wall it has started to construct between the Jewish State and the Palestinian territories in Gaza and the West Bank. Since construction began some months ago, suicide attacks against Israeli civilians within the State of Israel have fallen dramatically.

The following countries believe Israel has a right to defend her borders and her civilians: Australia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Palau and the United States.

The following countries exhibited no strong sentiment either way, choosing to abstain from the vote: Cameroon, Canada, El Salvador, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Uganda, Uruguay and Vanuatu.

Every other member of the United Nations voted for the destruction of Israel's security.

Posted by David Mader at 11:08 PM | (9) | Back to Main

July 19, 2004

Cowboy Nation

Some interesting observations about America, through a local comparison to a Canadian town. The best bit: a sign on the American side of the border reading

Hyder Alaska--a town of about a hundred happy people and a few old s---heads.

And you should see what they sell.

Posted by David Mader at 10:11 PM | (1) | Back to Main

This Land

Many thanks to Daniel J. Stern (Esq.) for bringing this to my attention. Wonderful.

UPDATE (11:28 EDT 7/20/04): I'm told that some users have discovered viruses in the application, so beware.

Posted by David Mader at 09:50 PM | (1) | Back to Main

Terror in the Skies

A follow-up.

Posted by David Mader at 05:21 PM | (1) | Back to Main

Oh, That Big Ball of Fire in the Sky

You know, the one that heats the Earth up?

Anticipating the inevitable (assuming anyone reads the blog anymore), let me state that I'm all for reducing and reusing and, once we get the technology down, recycling. Keeping costs down is economic, not to mention plain common sense. But it often amazes me that so many people are so eager to blame global warming on the single factor of increased carbon dioxide and similar gas emissions, rather than, say, the fact that the big hot thing next door is getting hotter.

Posted by David Mader at 05:20 PM | (1) | Back to Main

The Uncomfortable Truth

French President Jacques Chirac has denounced Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's suggestion that Jews in France should emigrate to Israel in order to escape the republic's growing anti-Semitism.

Sharon's frank assessment of the state of anti-Semitism in France, while accurate, was no doubt a diplomatic faux-pas. Still, it's somewhat telling that the reaction to Sharon's comment from all quarters of French society has been stronger - judging by the above-linked article - than the standard response to acts of anti-Semitism themselves.

Posted by David Mader at 04:38 PM | (0) | Back to Main

A Pitiless Jungle

Check out this unintentionally hilarious op/ed by a French academic on the hidden, subversive message of Harry Potter.

You can't make this stuff up. As a matter of fact, I largely agree with the substance of the article - I really do think Rowling is, whether intentionally or unconsciously, presenting a fundamentally English (if not strictly liberal) societal order in her books. What I find hilarious is the Frenchman's utter inability to recognize the national rather than ideological nature of the message, as well as his over-the-top hostility to the very possibility of a 'neo-liberal capitalist' argument. An incompetent ministry? A meritocratic educational system? A 'pitiless jungle where competition, violence and the cult of winning run riot'? Sacre-bleu!

And that, my friends, is why the Anglo-Saxon nations stand astride the world, while France lives out century-old memories of supposed grandeur and importance.

UPDATE (15:13 EDT): Almost forgot the best bit:

The psychological conditioning of the apprentice sorcerers is clearly based on a culture of confrontation: competition among students to be prefect; competition among Hogwarts "houses" to win points; competition among sorcery schools to win the Goblet of Fire; and, ultimately, the bloody competition between the forces of Good and Evil.

Why, oh why won't that buffoon Dumbledore enter negotiations with the Dark Lord? Good Tom Riddle must have some very deep and very legitimate grievances to have become such a misunderstood fellow, after all.

[Via Instapundit]

Posted by David Mader at 03:08 PM | (2) | Back to Main

July 16, 2004

Sow Fear

This scares me, oh I can't tell you how it scares me. I appreciate the skeptics; I understand the impulse to nit-pick, to cast doubt, to find any little reason not to believe. But it also strikes me as absurd to discount a story of real people in a terrifying situation because the individuals involved don't act like a government manual - because a stewardess, unsure if she'd ever reach the ground, told a terrified passenger that there were marshalls on board; because a group of suspicious men managed to get carry-on bags passed airport security; and so on.

No, I'll believe it whole cloth until it's revealed to be a hoax or an exaggeration, and I'll happily suffer the scorn that comes with believing a tall tale. Terrorists are desparate to strike another blow to America, and they would love to do it in the coming months. Being hyper-sensitive is no longer hyper-sensitive. Being hyper-sensitive is rational.

And if true, what does the account tell us? Were these men on a practice run, armed with nothing more than musical instruments, determined only to test the responses of law enforcement officials? Were they hoping to draw air marshals into the open, forcing them to reveal their procedures, their in-air practices? Was their intent only to sow fear? It matters little to me; the reaction must be the same.

And what of the reaction? Jacobsen suggests that the men were let free, that no arrests were made; I have no doubt, given Michelle Malkin's confirmation that 14 Syrians were questioned upon disembarking at LAX, that the men are now under close surveillance. None may have triggered any flags before, but they all will now. But what about the apparent response of the air marshals said to have been aboard the flight? Jacobsen says she was told they could only act if there was an "actual event." It's hard to understand how suspicious activity of the kind described by Jacobsen is not an 'actual event.' I'd like to give the security services the benefit of the doubt, to say that they had everything under control, that they knew it was a dry run and not the real deal, that they wanted to observe the men and not let themselves be drawn out.

But again, I'm not confident that life runs according to a plan of action. And the lesson, to me, is simple: if you are on a flight and suspicious activity is underway, stand up and say something. Believe me, if you lead, others will follow. They will have your back. When one of the group of men heads towards the lavatory for the fourth or fifth time - after the plane has begun to descend - block his path. Tell him to wait until the plane lands. Tell him that it would make everyone more comfortable. Tell him no one will mind if he soils himself. Tell him you're sorry to be rude, but that you won't budge. Look him in the eye, and don't budge. If it comes to it, cause an altercation. Be the racist he will accuse you of being. Strike the first blow; commit an assault; risk the arrest and the civil suit that may well come when you are safe on the ground. Because unless you are entirely confident you will arrive safe on the ground, you have every right to do what it takes to make sure that the plane lands safely.

The first counter-strike in the new war on terror was struck not in Afghanistan by the armed forces, but in the skies over Pennsylvania by regular folks like you and me. Our security forces are doing a tremendous job keeping us safe. But it's not all up to them. It's up to us as well.

Posted by David Mader at 04:36 PM | (5) | Back to Main

July 15, 2004

Less a Pop-Quiz Than a Trivia Question

The difference being that I don't know the answer to these:

A) Has any winner of a popular Presidential vote died before the Electoral College could meet to officially elect him President-elect?

B) Has any President-elect ever died after the Electoral College met but before he took the oath of office?

I'm fairly certain no President-elect has ever died in such a scenario, but I'm less confident regarding Vice-Presidents-elect. Scenario B seems to be covered by the 20th Amendment, Section 3, which states in part:

If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President.

Section A may be covered by the Amendment's next sentence, which reads in part:

If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified.

Anyway, I'm just wondering if either of these scenarios has ever come to pass. The existence of an Amendment addressing the eventuality suggests that it has (during the twenties, perhaps), but I can't think of when.

Posted by David Mader at 09:25 AM | (6) | Back to Main

Pop Quiz

Yesterday, the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment failed on a procedural vote in the Senate. When was the Constitution last successfully amended? No cheating; send your answers to... let's try my new gmail.com account, username davidmader.

Posted by David Mader at 09:16 AM | Back to Main

July 14, 2004


I link to Mark Steyn a lot on this blog, and make no bones about the fact that I love his writing. (In fact, an earlier incarnation of Maderblog had a 'Steyn Watch' feature wherein I linked to every piece he published as soon as it became available online. Those were the days before SteynOnLine, though).

I know many of my readers share my admiration for him; I know other's aren't quite so crazy. Both camps should read this piece by the Boston Phoenix' Dan Kennedy.

Kennedy is critical, to say the least, arguing that Steyn is as much a 'carny barker' as Rush Limbaugh or Anne Coulter, but - because he can write better than they, and because he contributes non-political pieces to 'respectible' magazines such as the Atlantic or the Spectator - has developed " a greater reputation than he deserves." [Never mind that he writes political pieces for the Spectator.] The notion that one could develop a 'greater reputation than [one] deserves' is interesting, since reputation is, for better or for worse, created or diminished by aggregate opinion and not individual fiat.

Mr. Kennedy does his best, nonetheless, to bring Steyn's reputation down a notch or two on his own, largely by citing two of Steyn's most vicious passages from the past year. Neither example is particularly persuasive. Regarding former Senator Max Cleland, a multiple-amputee, Steyn had pointed out that although Cleland did not suffer his wounds in battle, and had at one time resented the medals he wore, the veteran had taken to implying (or allowing the implicaiton) in campaign appearances that he lost his limbs in combat. Kennedy damns Steyn for making such a suggestion, going on to point out a) that Cleland's wounds weren't suffered in battle, but b) all operations in Vietnam were war operations so don't quibble.

The second example - regarding Edward Kennedy and a young lady who we're apparently not allowed to discuss anymore - is similarly unpersuasive to my mind, but enough about that. The most unusual part of Kennedy's piece is his vague accusation that Steyn is a homophobe. Kennedy infers as much from Steyn's various and humorous references to homosexuals and homosexuality in his various columns. Now maybe he's right. But I've never picked up on any sort of anti-gay animus in Steyn's writing. What I have found is a particularly British approach to homosexuality - which doesn't have nearly the same taboo status on Fleet Street (or at Westminster) as it does in the US. When Steyn makes a quip about homosexuality, it's often because his subject is, you know, homosexual. In America, for all our latter-day liberalism, simply riffing on a subject's sexual preference is a big no-no. Homosexuality is a Very Grave Subject, and playful references to flamboyance are necassary examples of a writer's bigotry. In a way, Kennedy's censure of Steyn for breaking this taboo only confirm's Steyn's portrayal of the politically-correct orthodoxy of America's mainstream media - an orthodoxy the determinedly-irreverent Steyn continues to confront.

Didn't mean to write nearly that much about it. Guess I needed to get my blogging fix. Note that Kennedy's article was originally published last month.

Posted by David Mader at 04:15 PM | (0) | Back to Main

July 13, 2004


MT-Blacklist is now up and running for Maderblog. I've gone through the past few hundred comments and have deleted a lot of junk - and banned a lot of urls and word strings. I may have inadvertently deleted some legitimate comments, but I'm afraid them's the breaks. If you start having trouble commenting, and you're a legitimate reader, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

(Chuck, I'm sort of looking at you for that one.)

Posted by David Mader at 10:39 PM | (1) | Back to Main

Chaos & Security

You don't see this every day:

The U.N. Mideast envoy on Tuesday said the Palestinian Authority has made no progress toward combating terror attacks against Israel and is "in real danger of collapse." [...]

Roed-Larsen painted a grim picture of lawlessness in the Palestinian Authority, its failure to institute critical reforms, and he blamed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

He lamented that there was "no sign" of the bold leadership needed to tackle Palestinian reform and move toward peace.

"The Palestinian Authority, despite consistent promises by its leadership, has made no progress on its core obligation to take immediate action on the ground to end violence and combat terror, and to reform and reorganize the Palestinian Authority," he said.

Roed-Larsen said the only explanation is "the lack of political will" to advance toward reform, which is critically needed in the security services...

"Lawlessness and gang rule is becoming common in Nablus," and "Jericho is actually becoming the only Palestinian city with a functioning police," he said.

This is an expected development, and I've suggested that it may well be Israeli strategy.

It's also interesting to see Palestinian partisans tie themselves in knots. The AP quotes a Palestinian UN Observer saying that "We have an occupying power that has been engaged on a daily basis in illegal activities, war crimes," but notes that he "also criticized the U.N. envoy's support for Sharon's plan to withdraw from Gaza." Did you catch that? Israel is an occupying power responsible for all the troubles in the Palestinian territories, but they're not allowed to leave the Palestinian territories.

Or something. The World Court's decision is dismissed by all reasonable people, the construction of the border continues apace - amended by the judgement of Israel's own Supreme Court - and as the Palestinian Authority slides into irrelevance, the Palestinian territories slide into chaos.

Posted by David Mader at 10:13 PM | (4) | Back to Main

Everything is Economics

One day, I believe (and sometimes pray), economics will be taught in schools the way the sciences are taught. When that day comes, this book from the Fraser Institute will be a standard introductory text. Whether you've never studied economics before or whether you hold a PhD in the subject, read this book. It states the very basics - those fundamental economic principles that everyone should know, that are entirely (well, almost entirely) common sense but which far too many people today have never encountered.

The book is available in its entirety at the link above (.pdf format), or for sale here.

Posted by David Mader at 01:02 PM | (0) | Back to Main

July 12, 2004

The Enemy Has a Vote

Read this e-mail from blogger Austin Bay, currently serving with US forces in Iraq. Bay addresses - and, in his quiet way, refutes - the notion that we must take a 'time out' from the war in order to regroup or regain our focus.

Posted by David Mader at 01:52 PM | (0) | Back to Main



France recoiled in horror over the weekend to an anti-Semitic attack on a woman and her baby on a train in Paris.

Six men attacked the young mother on a suburban Paris train on Friday morning, chopping off her hair and scribbling swastikas on her stomach.

Her 13 month-old child was reportedly tipped out of its pram in the assault.

The 23 year-old woman was attacked as passengers on the train watched, but did nothing to help her or her child...

Officials of all political stripes urged police to quickly find the men, described as being of North African appearance.

They also chastised train passengers for not intervening.

I thought 'not intervening' was French policy. (My apologies, but I'm not feeling too charitable at the moment. Tell me again, Charles, about the superiority of French culture.)

The CBC also engages in a wonderful bit of equivocation:

The attack came only one day after Chirac complained of a series of racist and anti-Semitic attacks in France, including the desecration of Jewish and Muslim graves. The first six months of 2004 has already seen almost as many hate crimes against Jews and Muslims as all of 2003.

Yes, I'm sure there have been just as many anti-Muslim as anti-Jewish incidents in France this year. Aside from the government's ban on head-scarves, of course.

[Chirp chirp chirp chirp chirp chirp.]

UPDATE (10:23 EDT 7/13/04): Doubts about the veracity of the attack, via Dave K. As he puts it, I'm not sure what to believe.

UPDATE (15:11 EDT 7/13/04): The story has been confirmed as a hoax, with the alleged victim admitting she fabricated the whole ordeal.

Posted by David Mader at 12:55 PM | (11) | Back to Main

July 09, 2004

Let Hamilton Shoot First

Aaron Burr's descendents are staging a re-enactment of his famous duel, hoping to 'rehabilitate' Burr's image. I'm not quite sure how reminding Americans that your obscure ancestor killed one of America's greatest minds will serve to rehabilitate his image, but then I'm not a Burr - nor a Jeffersonian.

[Thanks to Dave K. for the pointer.]

Posted by David Mader at 02:22 PM | (1) | Back to Main

July Surprise.

So apparently the Bush administration is leaning on Pakistan to capture Osama bin Laden before the November presidential election. And apparently this is some sort of political scandal.

So would the critics prefer that bin Laden not be captured before November? That he remain on the lam? (In fact I suspect many, if they were honest with themselves, would answer in the affirmative).

And can anyone honestly suggests - Michael Moore nothwithstanding - that this administration has tried not to capture bin Laden to date?

I can understand why Democrats and other critics of the president are nervous about the prospect of bin Laden's capture. But if trying to capture bin Laden before the election is crass politics, isn't hoping against his capture - or bemoaning its possibility because of its potential ramifications - equally political and equally crass?

Posted by David Mader at 10:41 AM | (2) | Back to Main

Mmmm. Yellowcake.

Bush didn't say 'Niger' in his State of the Union, of course. But it seems he should have.

UPDATE (14:23 EDT): Mark Steyn weighs in .

Posted by David Mader at 10:22 AM | (1) | Back to Main

Silly Season

It's been quite a couple of weeks for the American left. First Michael Moore releases 'Farenheit 9/11' to significant ticket sales (remember how evil corporatist Disney refused to distribute the film, ensuring none would see it?) Then John Kerry puts the baby-faced John Edwards on his ticket, adding some much-needed energy to a lethargic campaign.

The net result? Fifty-percent approval ratings - for President Bush.

Ok, ok, there's no way to tell if this is a result. Still, Bush seems to be rebounding, and that can't make the Dems too happy - the announcement of Edwards must have been expected to start a month-long process of consolidating poll leads leading up to the Democratic convention.

I'm still far less confident than some that Bush will win re-election, and far less unconditional than I once was in my support for him. Still, things are not quite as grim as I had expected them to be at this point.

Posted by David Mader at 10:20 AM | (0) | Back to Main

July 08, 2004

Tear Down the Apartheid Fence!

You know, the one in Africa. Built by the European Union.

Posted by David Mader at 05:13 PM | (2) | Back to Main

Pile On

James Lileks fisks Michael Moore.

A little while back I pointed out this Hitchens piece, a macro-refutation of Moore's latest diatribe. If you're interested in this sort of thing - or if you ever plan to bring up Moore's film in any sort of conversation in even a semi-serious manner - you should read this piece by Dave Kopel, which addresses point-by-point more than fifty claims made either explicitly or implicitly by Moore which are either demonstrably or intuitively false.

Posted by David Mader at 09:21 AM | (0) | Back to Main

July 07, 2004

Rock Paper Saddam

I know, I know, I'm behind the pack on this one. All I can say is Sic Semper Tyrannis.

UPDATE (22:40 EDT): I forgot to give props to Charles for bringing this to my attention.

Posted by David Mader at 04:33 PM | (1) | Back to Main

Instapundit Co. Ltd.

As I mentioned earlier, I've been a little remiss in my blog reading, and I notice that Instapundit now displays a 'Patron Blogad' for the Wall Street Journal's Political Diary feature. I'm not sure how long it's been up there - but it's certainly distinct from Reynolds' normal blogads. Has Instapundit taken the Boeing? Is Instapundit now brought to you by Dow Jones Incorporated? I mean, not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm just wondering.

Posted by David Mader at 02:54 PM | (0) | Back to Main

Still Here

Apologies. A brutally busy work-day on Monday, coupled with a fast-day on Tuesday, has kept me from posting more. The truth is that I've hardly had time to read the news since the election. I hope to get back on the ball soon.

Posted by David Mader at 09:06 AM | (1) | Back to Main

July 06, 2004

Good News Conservatives

George Jonas had an excellent column in yesterday's National Post, which appears to be available in its entirety even to non-subscribers here. After indulging in some I-told-you-so-ism, he tells Conservatives to stop moping.

Why all this agonized analysis and soul-searching? Because a party that didn't even exist a few months ago didn't win top prize? Because a party no one anticipated to stop the Liberals from forming another majority government the day the election was called failed to do what it was never expected to do?

I'm European by birth. Even after 48 years in this country, certain mysteries of the Canadian psyche elude me. I appreciate that being Canadian is a state of mind for some (which is a polite way of saying "mental condition.") I recognize that many Canadians spend half their waking hours in search of their identities, and the other half feeling holier than, as well as slighted by, their regional or cross-border neighbours...

I understand that this isn't a character flaw, only an infirmity -- call it "the Canadian malady." It's a persistent ailment, though, and while its worst symptoms can be controlled -- and perhaps stem cell research holds out some hope -- the underlying condition is as yet incurable.

Even so, I doubt that if we don't have a Tory prime minister today it's because Ontarians won't let Albertans come to the table. Yes, federal elections can double as provincial psychodramas, but Canada is larger than the sum (or the sensitivities) of its parts. Stephen Harper and his troops achieved much of what can be realistically achieved in one electoral cycle. They resurrected a historic party that had been reduced to near-extinction in the 1990s. They discarded some of its Red Tory baggage, and turned it into a viable entity with 99 seats in the House of Commons. While doing so, they reduced the ruling Grits to a minority. Nothing changed? Only for those who refuse to see it.

Um, yea. For the past decade, Canadian conservatives have been trying to hit homeruns at every at-bat. They raise their own expectations and then become bitterly disappointed when they pop out or hit a single. Well, to extend this lame metaphor, the Conservative Party has just rounded second and the ball is still very much in play. Du calme, my friends. There's good news behind us, and good news ahead.

Posted by David Mader at 01:10 PM | (5) | Back to Main

July 04, 2004

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Posted by David Mader at 06:17 PM | (6) | Back to Main

July 02, 2004

Q. Is it the Summer-time?

A. Yes, yes it is.

Posted by David Mader at 04:24 PM | (2) | Back to Main

July 01, 2004

Saddam Says

Agence-France Presse
"This calls for a Bud Light!"

Posted by David Mader at 12:07 PM | (1) | Back to Main

Happy Dominion Day

In days of yore, From Britain's shore, Wolfe the dauntless hero came And planted firm Britannia's flag On Canada's fair domain. Here may it wave, Our boast, our pride, And join in love together, The thistle, shamrock, rose entwined, The Maple Leaf Forever!

Posted by David Mader at 12:02 PM | (3) | Back to Main