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October 31, 2007


Must read stuff up top. There are some amazing political anecdotes in this Standard cover story by the inimitable Matt Labash - "Roger Stone - Political Animal". If you read nothing else here, do this one.

Andy McCarthy on waterboarding and the Mukasey confirmation.

At OpinionJournal, Pete Du Pont on the Rangel tax plan.

NYT - David Brooks - The Happiness Gap

FIRE documents the insanity that passes for a "residence life education program" at the University of Delaware. UPDATE 11/1: FIRE and blogs like Hot Air get results!

It's two weeks old, and got lost in my shuffle, but it's worth a look. Radley Balko on how an HRC administration would look a lot like the GWB administration. Tomorrow's Neocon Today

New OSU-Michigan Documentary

HBO has filmed a new documentary on the Ohio State- Michigan football rivalry, scheduled to be aired four days prior to this year's game. Adam Jardy of BuckeyeSports.com attended an early screening in Columbus.

Incidentally, word is this week's game with Wisconsin will be the Buckeyes' "first real test." Again.

October 30, 2007

Horowitz at UW

From the text of his remarks at the University of Wisconsin last week, David Horowitz defends his use of the term "Islamo-Fascism", answering critics who claim he defames Islam in general.

That’s really what we intended to do with this week, to make people aware of this problem. I have called it “Islamo-Fascism.” That is not a term designed to say that all Muslims or a majority of Muslims are fascists. In fact a majority of Muslims are either victims of Islamo-Fascists or threatened by them. The FoxNews channel anchor and other misguided individuals think that the term “Islamo-Fascism” is hate speech. That’s the same thing as saying the term should be banned. In a democracy, at least in our democracy as it has been degraded by so-called liberals today, the way you ban ideas is by calling them “hate speech.” But saying that Islamo-Fascism implicates all Muslims make no logical sense.

We use the term “Italian Fascism” without assuming that all Italians are fascists. Hitler did not even win a majority of the vote in Germany, yet we use the phrase “German Fascism” without implying that all people of German descent are fascists. People like Alan Colmes will throw around the term “white racism” pretty casually. Everyone in this room has either used the phrase “white racism” or read it without objection. Do you mean to call every white person a racist when you use that term? That would make Alan Colmes a racist. Yet that’s precisely what the opponents of Islamo-Fascism week seem to be claiming.

The hateful attacks on this week are, in fact quite stupid, when you think about what they are claiming. If I intended to come on a college platform and say hateful things about all Muslims, I would be hooted off the stage. No campus organization would invite me to say such things and if I did say them I would never be invited by any campus organization again. Since no one on a college campus is prepared to hear hate speech, why bother to protest it in advance. It’s self-discrediting. Yet we live in such Orwellian times that no one laughs when the left makes these preposterous claims.


The term Islamo-Fascism is, in my view, a useful and justifiable term because of the merger of religion and state in the totalitarian ideology we're facing. It is also historically based. What we are facing is a global religious movement that is a movement within Islam. It is not to be confused with Islam itself. The Islamo-Fascists want you to confuse them with the Muslim community as a whole. They want to hide behind the Muslim community. And they are inflicting great damage on the Muslim community by doing so. When Ahmadinejad speaks or when Zawahiri speaks, they speak in the name of the Muslim ummah, but they do not actually speak for the Muslim ummah. And that distinction has to be made.

It's one thing for a prominent conservative intellectual to draw parallels to fascism in the radical Islamist movement. It would be quite another for a large group of Muslims to publicly do the same thing.

As Stephen Schwartz reports in the new Weekly Standard, it happened last week, and what should have been big news seems to have been overshadowed by the Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week hoopla.

Coincidentally, even as college students and visiting speakers were exploring the concept of "Islamofascism" in an academic setting, more than 1,000 American Muslims from the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard gathered in Washington on October 22 to demonstrate outside the Saudi embassy against Saudi Arabia's support for "Wahhabi fascism." Called by a new coalition, Al-Baqee.org, the protest demanded that the Saudis stop exporting Wahhabism, the ultrafundamentalist state religion in the Saudi kingdom, and thus end support for global terror.

Al-Baqee.org is named for Jannat al-Baqi, a cemetery in Medina that housed the graves of the Prophet Muhammad's relatives and companions, and which was leveled by the Wahhabis in 1925. The Wahhabis justified this vandalism with their claim that religious honors to any human being, living or dead, even Muhammad himself, detract from worship of the one God. Al-Baqee.org was established by Iraqi-American and other Shia Muslims affiliated with moderate Iraqi ayatollah Ali Sistani.

According to the Al-Baqee leaders, the demolition of that cemetery in Arabia is a direct antecedent to the bombings of Shia and Sufi sacred structures in Iraq, such as the Golden Shrine in Samarra, blasted three times over the past two years. Their demonstration at the Saudi embassy was inspired by a report in the Saudi daily al-Watan (The Nation) in late July that Wahhabi clerics had issued fatwas calling for attacks on Shia holy sites at Karbala and Najaf in Iraq. If these sites were attacked, coalition soldiers as well as innocent Iraqis would almost certainly be killed in the chaotic aftermath.

Al-Baqee's literature provides a novel and encouraging example of American Muslim candor about the problems within Islam today. Above all, the group has no compunction about identifying radical Islam with fascism. A leaflet distributed at the protest called Saudi Wahhabism

a radical doctrine that is a dangerous and violent threat to Americans and non-Americans, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. As a close U.S. ally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible to uphold the values of the American Constitution in defending religious freedom and providing safe spaces for worship within its borders.

A letter addressed by Al-Baqee to Saudi ambassador Adel al-Jubeir declared,

The Kingdom has neglected to provide basic civil rights to many of your citizens, and knowingly persecutes them based on their race, gender, and religion. . . . As a government, you are not fulfilling your responsibilities in providing the basic civil rights all humans deserve.

October 29, 2007

Where You Stand

A friend emailed me a link to VoteHelp.org, a site that purports to be non-partisan, and which surveys your views on political, cultural and social issues, as well as how strongly you feel about each issue, and then tells you where you stand relative to the positions taken by the 12 candidates for President in both parties.

It's interesting, and could be somewhat helpful to folks who are not sure which candidates share their positions on certain issues. I say somewhat helpful, because several of the questions don't really reflect the actual policy preferences and differences between candidates.

Example: The survey asks for your level of agreement or disagreement with the statement "I support stem cell research". As it happens (and as you might expect) all 12 of the candidates have taken positions supporting stem cell research. Just as they all might have taken a position against putting puppies into blenders.

The area of disagreement of course is the type of stem cells involved (embryonic versus umbilical or other) , and at that, it is not even the research that is opposed by many Americans, but only the federal funding of the embryonic variety, a practice opposed by many Americans on moral grounds. And I do not know the specific positions of the candidates on that issue, but I am sure of one thing. They are not all the same. But the survey tells me they are all the same. Not helpful.

And on the issue of health care, the statement to agree or disagree with is as follows:

"I believe government should help provide health care for all citizens."

Obviously, it's an issue that is too complicated to give a simple yes or no answer, and the two words that caused me to decide on an answer of 'disagree', were 'help' and 'all'. Because I believe that there are a great many people in this country who neither need nor want the government's help with their health care. Take out the word 'all', and I agree. Take out the word 'help' and I disagree strongly. The result then is naturally less than clarifying.

Bottom line, I was not surprised to find Rudy at the top of my list, and Dennis Kucinich (is he still running?) at the bottom. One measure of the nebulousness of the survey is that it showed me agreeing with Kucinich on five out of the 28 issues. Don't let that get around.


Stumbled on a blog post called Houses with a View. Here's a (resized) sample:


October 28, 2007

Lateral Madness

It's not quite the Stanford band, but it is the most remarkable, even ridiculous, game-winning play you've seen in a long time. Division III Trinity has 60 yards to go with two seconds left in the game....

UPDATE 10/31: Via Deadspin, a better camera angle on the Trinity play.

October 27, 2007

We Know It When We See It

The announcement that John Podhoretz will become the Editor at Commentary magazine in 2009, a position that was held by his father Norman Podhoretz for 35 years, had the New York Times fretting about the nepotism of it all. ("Others say...")

Pointing out the comical tone-deafness of a paper at which the positions of publisher and CEO were inherited by the incumbent "Pinch" Sulzberger from his father has been done ably by Ed Lasky and James Taranto. So I'll just observe that John Podhoretz is an accomplished journalist and author in his own right, and he is entering the job some 12 years after his father left it, rather unlike the birthright employment practices at the Times. Lasky also gets into the shady stock practices at the publicly-held Times Co. that allow the Sulzbergers to evade accountability to shareholders.

And Ace articulates as only he can the utter amazement many of us felt about the decision by the Times to jump into this particular ring to take a swipe at someone.

October 26, 2007

It's the Hardscrabble Upbringing

For anyone who has either had it up to here with Boston sports fans, or endeavors to be more like them, (what with all the winning teams and all....bandwagon-jumper), Kissing Suzy Kolber offers up:

The KSK Guide To Being An Insufferable A--hole S--thead F--kface Fan Of Boston-Area Sports Teams

(via JVL at Galley Slaves)

Slate on Charlie Weis

Quite possibly the first piece by Jonathan Chait ever deemed post-worthy here at Wizblog. Because, I mean, who can argue with this?

Notre Dame's Charlie Weis, the worst football coach in the universe.

Low Profile Hero

Philippe Karsenty visits with Phyllis Chesler. Karsenty is the media analyst who was sued by France 2 TV for defamation for telling the truth about the Al Dura hoax. Seven years after the events at Netzarim Junction, a French court ordered the government-owned station to turn over the 27 minutes of footage from which the original 59-second clip was compiled. Karsenty awaits vindication, and shuns the hero tag that Chesler thinks he deserves.

"It is important to stand up for the truth, no matter the cost. That should not make you a hero."

Lots of Al Dura links here.

October 24, 2007


A couple of unrelated items from "The Week", in the print edition of NR (Nov. 5 issue) that I thought were well stated:

-- As Americans contemplate making Senator Clinton their president, they would be wise to consider the company she keeps. Sandy Berger, the disgraced former national security adviser, has reportedly hitched his star to her candidacy. Berger, you may recall, is a crook. As Bill Clinton’s liaison to the 9/11 Commission, he was given access to classified documents in the National Archives. He stole many of these, destroying some — a felony, even if the Bush Justice Department let him off with a guilty plea to a misdemeanor. As our Byron York has reported, some of the destroyed documents may have been scathing criticisms of the Clinton administration’s efforts to fight terrorism. Which reminds us: Sandy Berger was a rotten national security adviser, too. Bill Clinton failed to respond forcefully to the bombings of the Khobar Towers and the USS Cole largely because Berger made serious misjudgments about the Iranian regime and al-Qaeda. That Hillary would turn to him now is evidence of her unfitness for the presidency.


-- On the campaign trail, Obama told an enthusiastic audience that he hoped to be “an instrument of God.” Fine and dandy. So should we all. But can you imagine if a conservative Republican had said that? Can you hear the cries of “Theocracy!”? There are different rules for different parties. Speaking before the Democratic convention, Jesse Jackson can say, “God is not finished with me yet.” (He can also compare Dan Quayle to Herod — one of the lowest blows in recent political history.) President Bill Clinton can wave his big, fat Bible at the cameras, as he enters and exits the Foundry United Methodist Church, the Rev. J. Philip Wogaman, presiding. But a conservative Republican had better keep his head down. There is separation of church and state in this country, you know.

We don't need to conjure an imaginary Republican for this thought experiment. George W. Bush has been mocked and derided for years for suggesting that he was following God's plan for his life, acting as His "instrument". And the double standard for campaigning from the pulpit has been in force for years too.

Matchless Reporting From Iraq

Independent journalism has taken the lead in reporting from Iraq, and Michael Yon is carrying the banner. Please take the time to read an important post from Yon, and consider supporting his work with a donation if you can.

Michael Yon: Resistance is Futile

A gulf...a gap...a chasm...a parallel universe...

All describe the bizarro-world contrast between what most Americans seem to think is happening in Iraq versus what is really happening in Iraq. Knowing this disconnect exists and experiencing it directly are two separate matters. It’s like the difference between holding the remote control during the telecast of a volcanic eruption on some distant island (and then flipping the channel), versus running for survival from a wretch of molten lava that just engulfed your car.

I was at home in the United States just one day before the magnitude hit me like vertigo: America seems to be under a glass dome which allows few hard facts from the field to filter in unless they are attached to a string of false assumptions.

Yon focuses in this dispatch on the issue of media and the war, and he has now made an offer to provide his reporting free of charge to to a large syndication service, the National Newspaper Association (NNA). He is asking for reader support to contact editors of member newspapers to suggest they pick up his reports. I think readers would respond positively to Yon's style, especially since all most people are seeing in their newspapers on Iraq is wire reports, when they see anything at all.

Be sure to look also at a two part series from another embedded, reader financed, Iraq correspondent, Jeff Emanuel (bio), linked here via American Thinker. His two excellent photo-essays are:

Part One: The Surge is Only the First Step

Part Two: The Coalition and Iraq


Dean Barnett on media coverage (or not) of the declining casualties in Iraq.

October 23, 2007

Iran Roundup

Michael Rubin's expansive summary of news from and about Iran, at NRO.

Cartoons From the Arab Press

MEMRI presents a sample of editorial cartoons from the Arab press, commenting on the status of women in Arab society. The introduction to the cartoons:

Although not constantly in the headlines, the status of women in the Arab world is an issue frequently addressed by Arab cartoonists. Cartoons published in recent months have approached the issue from various angles. While some have criticized the discrimination against women and women's inferior status relative to that of men, others have condemned Arab society for keeping women prisoners and for depriving them of their basic rights. Others have dealt with problems related to marriage, including husbands' violence against wives and the effect this has on the children; the phenomenon of marriage of older men and very young girls; and the ease with which Muslim men can divorce their wives.

Check them out. What it says to me is that societal change relating to the treatment of women will come eventually, but that cultivation of a free press will be crucial to helping bring it about. This is encouraging though.

October 21, 2007

Tribe Rolled

The Indians went down in flames tonight like the Malibu Castle. They lost the ALCS to the Red Sox after being up three games to one, mostly because their two best pitchers couldn't give them one quality start in the entire series, and two of their best hitting players, Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore, didn't produce at the plate. Cleveland assumes the position.

I'm told the World Series will be played anyway. I just became a Rockies fan for a week or so.

October 20, 2007

Incidentally No.1

When you're ranked 13th early, but the 12 teams ahead of you all lose a game and you win all of yours, you're No.1. The Buckeyes are probably not the best team in the country, and Boston College isn't the second best either. Get over it.

The New York Times was the first national publication to send a reporter to Columbus to report on the accidentally top-ranked Buckeyes. Here's a bit from Pete Thamel's article

If Notre Dame, Texas or Southern California had won 26 times in 27 games, talk of dynasty and history would be dominating college football.

Instead, as Ohio State has become the latest top-ranked team in this most fickle of college football seasons, it is being greeted with skepticism. That is because the Buckeyes’ loss in the past 27 games, a 41-14 mauling by Florida in the Bowl Championship Series title game last season, hovers over the program and the Big Ten Conference.

It is not apparent yet whether "The Debacle in the Desert" will prove to have had a net positive or negative effect on the 2007 Buckeyes as a team, (my observation is that they appear focused and very hungry) but we know what it has done to the national perception of the Big Ten overall, and of the OSU program specifically.

The skepticism was fed of course by Michigan's loss to Appalachian State in the first of many bizarre upsets in the Top Ten this year. And the Big Ten is down a little this year, at least at the top, where Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan have proven quite beatable. Ohio State may well still prove to be beatable too, but if they are not deserving of the top ranking in the polls, the problem the skeptics have is answering the question of who is.

It was a given that the offense might struggle in 2007, because it's tough to replace the Heisman Trophy winning quarteback, two NFL first round choices at receiver, and a two-time 1000 yard running all back at the same time. The question was whether the young , green defense would be good enough to keep the team in games when the offense struggled. So far, that defense leads the nation in scoring defense...with one senior starting.

The real bad rap is criticism of the Buckeyes' for their scheduling. People forget that Jim Tressel has made a point to schedule powerful opponents in the non-conference slate. 2007 just happens to be a season that falls between OSU's two-game series with Texas (2005-06) and their two-game series with USC (2008-09), followed by two-game series with Miami (FL) and Virginia Tech scheduled for the four years after that. Other elite programs are invited to compare their toughest non-conference games any time.

But 2007 is what is at hand, and the highest ranked team Ohio State has played is 23rd ranked Purdue. The Boilermakers high-powered offense scored their only points against OSU second-teamers with 10 seconds to go, in a game completely dominated by the Buckeye defense. Most program observers hoped to be 8-0 going into Happy Valley to play a nationally-televised night game against Penn State, and if they get by Michigan State tomorrow, that will become a reality.

All of the Buckeyes remaining opponents with the possible exception of PSU have excellent running backs, and Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan have very good offenses overall. In fact, I'd venture to say that very few teams nationally have a tougher road in their last four games than do the Bucks (at Penn St, Wisconsin, Illinois and at Michigan) based on how those teams are playing now.

But the Times writer is right. Even if they win out, Ohio State will have to get on the field with a highly-ranked SEC or Pac-10 team in a BCS Bowl Game and win before the taint of 1/8/07 is washed away. Most of us felt that probably wouldn't happen until 2008, if then.

No.1 has been a dangerous place to be this year, but a lot of these Buckeyes spent four months there last season, so they know what to expect. I expected one or two losses for these 2007 Bucks, and I might yet be right. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the ride.

October 19, 2007


An Anglosphere Future by Christopher Hitchens, City Journal; Autumn 2007

America has always provided its own toughest critics. In the (London) TimesOnline, Gerard Baker, "The U.S. is a great place to be anti-American."

I learned more about the Armenian genocide in this piece by Barbara Lerner than in anything else I've read on the subject. (A fairly low bar, I admit.)

Lebanon's pro-Western members of parliament are holed up in a fortified hotel, trying to stay alive long enough to complete presidential elections. In the L.A. Times, "Lebanon's Government by Murder"

Also in the L.A. Times, the story of the odd rush of Chinese-American busboys and dishwashers to contribute thousands of dollars to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

"Soros the Guiltless", at American Thinker. The man has issues.

WSJ; "What Happened at Haditha?"

Game 5

So we have to do this the hard way. Red Sox 7, Indians 1.

Wedge will take heat for sending C.C. Sabathia out for the 7th inning, and maybe he should. I was shocked when he came back out, having barely survived the 6th, and already over 100 pitches.

But it didn't matter, since we scored one run. On to Boston.

October 18, 2007

Acrobatics, Etc.

OneMansBlog put together some videos of performances by Cirque du Soleil. The video isn't great quality, but there's some amazing stuff going on there.

Also via OneMansBlog, another video of what may be an even more impressive display of acrobatics. Filmed at the 2006 world championships of "sports acrobatics", we see highlights of the five disciplines of the sport. I didn't know there was such a thing, but I was awed by it.

October 17, 2007

State-Sponsored Infanticide

Jamie Glazov interviews Brooke Goldstein about her new documentary film:

Goldstein: "The Making of a Martyr" is about the ongoing, state-sponsored incitement and recruitment of innocent Palestinian children to become suicide bombers. The film centers around a fifteen year old, physically dwarfed, Palestinian boy named Hussam Abdu who was arrested at an Israeli border checkpoint with live explosives strapped around his waist. Hussam had been recruited for a suicide-homicide mission by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades just 48 hours before. Fortunately, out of love for his family and hope for his future, Hussam chose not to go through with the act and voluntarily turned himself in to the IDF. Tried and convicted of attempted murder, Hussam is now serving out the third year of an eight-year sentence in the HaSharon prison.

I was finishing up my second year at law school when I heard about Hussam's case. His story was compelling and it occurred to me that there was a legal argument here that was not being made. Which is that Hussam, an innocent party who doesn't deserve to spend his formative years in jail, is as much a victim of a human rights violation as would have been the civilians killed in his explosive wake.

Hussam, like thousands of other Palestinian children, is the product of a shrewd brainwashing and recruitment strategy, targeting children from infancy and teaching them to revere martyrdom and seek their own death as suicide bombers.

This horrific strategy is being propagated by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and is being copied outside the area by other terrorist entities such as the Taliban. Television shows, music videos, sticker albums, summer camps, school textbooks, you name it, are being used in the most sinister fashion, to indoctrinate Palestinian children towards martyrdom for the sake of Jihad. This practice is horrific child abuse, it is a form of state-sponsored mass infanticide and frankly, it is tantamount to societal suicide.

I made this documentary because I wanted to expose this crime against children, in the hopes that it will soon be stopped.

Not If But When

When is your iPod going to die?

Because it is going to die.

(via scophy.com)

No Good News Goes Unpunished

In the category of underreported good news, a couple of recent items:

From Bizzy Blog, a demonstration of climbing tax revenues and a steadily declining budget deficit, and the media organizations who won't report them. I realize that for leftists to admit that cutting taxes actually increases tax revenues is to nullify some of their favorite catchy slogans, if not to undermine their every economic assumption. But there it is.

A few days ago at Protein Wisdom's Pub, RTO Trainer assembled a monster post of positive news from Iraq. I've barely scratched the surface, but I'm not ignoring it.

When I first saw it, I searched this article for any sign that it was satire...a discrete logo from The Onion or something...but the need to somehow find bad news in the declining death rates in Iraq has apparently reached desperation stage. As the New York Times might phrase it; "Iraq Deaths Down Sharply - Gravediggers Hardest Hit"


I guess the key to success in this brand of journalism is to seek out and interview people who are happiest when lots of people are dying:

"Certainly, when the number of dead increases I feel happy, like all workers in the graveyard," said Basim Hameed , 30, a body washer. "This happiness comes from the increase in the amount of money we have."

October 16, 2007

Up 3-1

(Jhonny Peralta watches his 3-run homer go out to right field) (AP / Tony Dejak)

So far, the Indians are winning the battle of starting pitching, and the battle of bullpens, and they lead the ALCS 3-1.

Little things are going our way. Cabrera's hit catches a piece of Wakefield's glove going by, and instead of Pedroia turning two and ending a one-run inning, the Tribe socks them for seven. Pedroia's liner is snagged in the webbing of a fully extended Cabrera's glove instead of keeping the inning going with the big boys coming up.

For the second day in a row, the Indians scored runs without the help of Sizemore and Hafner, who went 0 for 7. But Casey Blake got it going with a home run, and for the third straight game Victor Martinez knocked out the Boston starter with a 2-out base hit in the 5th inning. With Blake, Lofton and Peralta, the Indians are getting offensive help from down the lineup, something the Sox haven't been able to do, with just two hits tonight after the cleanup spot in the order.

Asdrubal Cabrera played like he was 31 instead of 21, and as much as I like Pedroia's game and think he's deserving of ROY for 2007, I think the outcome there might have been different had Cabrera played the whole season in the bigs. What a find. For Eduardo Perez, no less.

And I guess the whole world knows about Rafael Betancourt now.


Misc. game stuff:

Indians.com Game Wrap, and Game Story

ESPN.com Wrap

Sports Illustrated (AP)

Before the game Jacob Luft said the Indians needed Game Four more than the Red Sox did. Right about that.

The DiaTribe

Ryan Garko's blog

Boston blogger says "Remember 2004". We know, man. It's not over yet. Boy, do we know.

UPDATE 0/17: Howard Bryant says Cleveland has had most of the money moments since Game 2.

Sports Guy's Game 4 Diary

October 15, 2007


(AP/ Paul Sancya)

This is great baseball. The losing is painful, but even the winning is excruciating. Relaxing is out of the question.

After the Indians outlasted the Red Sox early Sunday morning, Boston manager Terry Francona allowed that when the playoffs started, and even after they swept the Angels, the Red Sox didn't really feel like they would win every single game. I guess that's about as humble as these guys get, but tonight it looks like Francona may need another great start from Josh Beckett just to get the series back to Boston.

Jake Westbrook took a shutout into the seventh inning tonight, and the Indians took the ALCS lead two games to one with a 4-2 win. The surprising thing was that the Tribe won without significant contributions from Sizemore, Hafner, Peralta and Martinez, as the foursome went just 1 for 13. Instead it was Lofton and (The Only Man in Major League Baseball history to have the name Asdrubal) Cabrera who lifted the Indians offense to four early runs.

The ball-strike umpiring tonight was - to be kind - spotty. Both starters had pitches well off the plate called strikes, and both guys had some real jaw-droppingly obvious strikes that for whatever reason, Brian Gorman decided were not strikes. I thought Westbrook's jaw was dropping more times than Matsuzaka's, however. A good many of the questionable calls were commented on by McCarver and Buck, but one thing they agreed on was that a 3-0 strike called on Manny Ramirez, that did look to be a bit inside, changed the whole at-bat (duh!) for Ramirez, leading to his slapping into an inning-ending double play.

I mean, I know that these broadcasters are trying to mask their East coast bias, (no such effort here to hide my Tribe homerism), and they have been politely complimentary to the Indians, but it shows through at times like this when they zero in on that one pitch to excuse Manny's failure to deliver.

Travis Hafner meanwhile, had earlier taken two grossly out-of-the-zone first pitches that were both called strikes by Gorman, and Travis reacted angrily to both of them, something out of character for him, all of which went completely unremarked upon by the Fox broadcast team. Talk about changing the tone of the whole at-bat. There's a much bigger difference between a count of 1-0 and 0-1...twice... than there is between 3-0 and 3-1.

Hafner was also called for a strike on a checked swing that didn't appear to be even close to breaking the plane of the hitting area. No comment, and no replay (they always replay these checked swing decisions), but instead we get a pity part for Manny for getting strike one. As if it isn't common for the strike zone to be a bit wider when the count is 3-0 anyway. Sheesh.

And now the announcing team and I have both made too much of that one pitch. But I feel better.

Who the hell knows what we'll get out of Paul Byrd on Tuesday...other than everything he's got. Byrd has been jazzed about being in the pennant race ever since it became obvious we were in one...like July. I have a feeling he'll show up. Francona has apparently decided that he can't win the series with one pitcher, and plans to give the ball to Wakefield Tuesday, saving Beckett for Game Five.

Regardless of what happens tomorrow, I like the chances of a humbled C.C. Sabathia pitching at home in Game Five, Beckett or no Beckett.

October 14, 2007

We're Square

I'll never say anything bad about Trot Nixon again. Indians 13, Red Sox 6, in 11 innings.

October 13, 2007

Celebrating the Goracle

The announcement of Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize is as good an excuse as any to post some Gore stuff I have been accumulating for a couple of days. But first, reaction to today's news:

Power Line supplies some context for the announcement by listing a few of the liars, poseurs and frauds among recent Nobel Peace Prize recipients, and Jesse Walker advises on how you too can win a Nobel Peace Prize. (Ex. "#3 - Kill a lot of people, then stop") Or, as in the case of Yasser Arafat...don't stop.

Gore could probably use the prize as a springboard to run for President in 2008, and he probably would if he didn't think Hillary is unstoppable. Yet Allahpundit's glass is half full:

Look on the bright side: after Arafat, Carter, and Iranian marionette Mohammed ElBaradei, the award couldn’t possibly be more degraded.

And James Taranto believes a Gore run for in 2008 is unlikely:

If Gore really believes in global warmism, he couldn't possibly want to be president, a job that would require him to spend most of his time dealing with more important matters.

Steven Hayward says this announcement "will probably turn out to be the high water mark for climate change hysteria".

That assessment might be informed by some news from earlier this week, when a court ruled that it will permit Gore's film to be distributed to all schools in the UK. Sounds like a big win for the Goremeister, until you get to the asterisk. The court requires that before showing the film, English schools must alert students to numerous significant inaccuracies and misstatements in it. From Iain Murray:

In order for the film to be shown, the Government must first amend their Guidance Notes to Teachers to make clear that 1.) The Film is a political work and promotes only one side of the argument. 2.) If teachers present the Film without making this plain they may be in breach of section 406 of the Education Act 1996 and guilty of political indoctrination. 3.) Eleven inaccuracies have to be specifically drawn to the attention of school children.

The inaccuracies are:

* The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The Government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.

* The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.

* The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute one-off events to global warming.

* The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case.

* The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.

* The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.

* The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.

* The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.

* The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.

* The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.

* The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.

(bold in original)

Who knows whether or not British schoolchildren will actually get any of this required balancing of the Gore distortions, but at least the notoriety the decision gets should raise consciousness a bit.

And since Mr. Gore has refused to debate his global warming positions with scientists citing studies with differing conclusions, (the debate being "over" and all) here's a video that juxtaposes his claims with those of a number of professional climatologists:

UPDATE 10/14: Another climate scientist who hadn't heard that the debate was over...

ONE of the world's foremost meteorologists has called the theory that helped Al Gore share the Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous" and the product of "people who don't understand how the atmosphere works".

Dr William Gray, a pioneer in the science of seasonal hurricane forecasts, told a packed lecture hall at the University of North Carolina that humans were not responsible for the warming of the earth.

His comments came on the same day that the Nobel committee honoured Mr Gore for his work in support of the link between humans and global warming.

"We're brainwashing our children," said Dr Gray, 78, a long-time professor at Colorado State University. "They're going to the Gore movie [An Inconvenient Truth] and being fed all this. It's ridiculous."

UPDATE 10/15: From the Hewitt archives, a summation (through 2000 or so) of Gore playing loose with the truth.

October 11, 2007

Pre-Game Pump Up

Need I say it?

Go Tribe!

(Thanks, Judy)

October 10, 2007

Abandoning Hirsi Ali

Salman Rushdie in the L.A. Times calls on the Dutch government to make good on their years-old promise to provide security for Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

Hirsi Ali may be the first refugee from Western Europe since the Holocaust. As such, she is a unique and indispensable witness to both the strength and weakness of the West: to the splendor of open society and to the boundless energy of its antagonists. She knows the challenges we face in our struggle to contain the misogyny and religious fanaticism of the Muslim world, and she lives with the consequences of our failure each day. There is no one in a better position to remind us that tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.

Having recapitulated the Enlightenment for herself in a few short years, Hirsi Ali has surveyed every inch of the path leading out of the moral and intellectual wasteland that is traditional Islam. She has written two luminous books describing her journey, the most recent of which, "Infidel," has been an international bestseller for months. It is difficult to exaggerate her courage. As Christopher Caldwell wrote in the New York Times, "Voltaire did not risk, with his every utterance, making a billion enemies who recognized his face and could, via the Internet, share information instantaneously with people who aspired to assassinate him."

(via David Frum)

See also Pieter Dorsman at PJM

Campus Left in Action

A conservative group is being maliciously smeared on the campus of George Washington University by way of a fake flier filled with anti-Muslim hate messages. From David Horowitz' blistering response to the campaign:

In a stratagem typical of the deceitful smear campaigns the left seems to favor, an obviously fake hate flyer has been posted all over the George Washington University campus with the intention of sabotaging Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week (October 22-26), and smearing its sponsors the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Young America’s Foundation.

The flyer, which is headlined “Hate Muslims? So Do We” and masquerades as a publication by GW students now organizing Islamo Fascism Awareness Week activities, is itself a hate crime as well as a forgery. Its authors, cowering behind anonymity, are part of what has become a national movement to attack Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.

Hot Air has lots more, including an update reporting that several leftist students have now confessed to distributing this clumsy smear job. As per usual, it is being called "satire" by the offenders in the aftermath. What a knee-slapper this one is!

In the face of this phony hate campaign by campus leftists, which is sponsored by hard-core anti-American groups like International A.N.S.W.E.R., Horowitz restates and defends the goals of Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week:

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is an effort to give moderate Muslims support against the forces that have hijacked their religion. It is also an effort to defend Christians, Jews, Hindus, gays, and other groups now under attack by Islamic fundamentalists. We are particularly concerned about the oppression of women under fundamentalist Islamic regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, and about the silence of the Women’s Studies Departments on this campus in the face of that oppression.


We are not going to be dissuaded by these tactics. We will hold Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week on over 100 college campuses in addition to GW between October 22 and 26. Our purpose remains unchanged: to condemn the outrages committed by the Islamo-Fascists against women, gays, Christians, Jews and moderate Muslims, and to support those Muslims who are always the first victims of the radical jihad.

For more on the troubling alliance between the Western Left and radical jihadist Islam, see Horowitz' book on the topic.

October 9, 2007

Youth is Served - Yanks Go South

It is telling that the big story in the national media today is about the losers instead of the winners in the Indians-Yankees series.

We should be accustomed to the unrelenting media focus on the Yankees' every move by now, even as they were dominated by the Indians in four games, but it's still galling to us small-market fans. The TBS announcers were finally giving a grudging nod to the Tribe's team superiority last night, when it became apparent that their desired dream matchup in the ALCS wasn't going to happen.

Prior to that, it seemed like every New York baserunner was saluted with a "here come the Yankees!" pronouncement. Tony Gwynn likened the Yankees offense to a shaken liter bottle of soda pop...one that just had to eventually explode. Turns out that when the cap came off, the stuff was flat.

When the Indians drilled them convincingly in Game 1, it was the Yankees' hitting slump that dominated the narrative. And the already infamous "bug" debacle in Game 2 was written about as if the bugs were following Joba Chambelain around all night, and retiring to their clubhouse when Fausto Carmona took the mound.

It does look like the end of the Yanks strong second half run may also signal the end of the Joe Torre era in New York. Firing Torre seems like an idiotic reaction to what has happened to the Yankees this year, but it's par for the course for The Boss. Steinbrenner and Cashman have re-tooled the farm system in recent years, and it is producing good young talent for them now.

But the fact remains that the payrolls of three of the four remaining playoff teams (Arizona - $52 million, Colorado - $54 million and Cleveland - $61 million) combined are less than New York's. And it was their grizzled (read old, expensive) veterans, Clemens and Mussina especially, who faded down the stretch. The tens of millions paid to Clemens for his cameo role were essentially flushed down the drain. The perils of having more money than sense, I suppose.

If ever the old adage that "good pitching beats good hitting" was verified, it was in this series. The Indians two aces pitched like aces, while Wang, the Yanks' number one starter, had a 19.06 ERA in two starts. All year the Yankees' starting pitching has been suspect, and there's no way to hide that deficiency in the playoffs, no matter how awesome the offense. The Indians will have no such mismatch in the series with the Red Sox, who can throw out quality starters in every game. As usual, the teams with the best starting pitching will end up in the World Series.

On a side note: Much has been made here in the Cleveland area of Lebron James showing up for Game 1 with a Yankees hat on, and then leaving early with his entourage when the outcome was decided. He has been accused of being a front-runner, or for being insufficiently supportive of the other teams from Cleveland. Others have criticized him for generating bad "PR" in the city whose sports fans pay his salary (which pales by comparison to his endorsement earnings, by the way.)

Enough already. James has been a Yankee all his life according to reports, and while the front-runner tag may be justified, at least he's an unabashed fan of a baseball team. More power to him for flying his favorite team's colors in a hostile, if awestruck crowd. And it's actually refreshing to see a professional athlete take a position for something other than reasons of pure self-promotion and P.R. Cleveland fans should climb off his back.

My ALCS prediction: The Tribe in seven.

UPDATE: Good stuff at DiaTribe...go read it all:

Stunning? Not if you looked at the pitching staffs for the two participants of the ALDS.

Not if you were informed enough to ignore the payroll disparity and focus instead on the talent disparity of the two teams, particularly on the pitching staffs.

An Upset?
Not to people who recognized the Yankees for what they were – a flawed team with an old and shallow rotation, an unproven bullpen, and a “historically great” offense reliant on the contributions of one singularly great regular season by the A-Rod.

Goliath crashing to the Earth?
OK, I really like this one – so I’ll go along with it; but only if you count the ridiculously biased media (I believe that TBS’ Chip Caray was actually wearing a Yankees hat in the booth and Jon Miller’s call of the final out on ESPN Radio sounded like the Indians had just won a meaningless game in April, before turning his attention to what this game means for…wait for it…the Yankees!) as part of the giant brought to its knees. The way that they portrayed the series as the Indians “surprising everyone” to beat an inferior opponent in 4 games, with the clincher coming on the road was nothing short of (sadly) exactly what was expected from the national perspective.

Also via Diatribe is this Tribe Fan in Yankeeland post with links to New York media accounts of the first two games. On the bug matter, TFIY's Ron Vallo says:

For me, the bottom line is this. Fausto was not flustered. Mariano had no problems (other than a nasty 14-pitch at-bat by Grady). The bugs were a factor to be dealt with. Like crowd noise, catcalls and the bright media lights that accompany the post-season.

Everyone else coped. Joba didn't.

Maybe the Yankees should think twice before filling their post-season bullpen with guys who were called up in August and September.


UPDATE 10/10: Bill Simmons feels much like I do on the LeBron James kerfuffle .

October 8, 2007

Worst. Trip. Ever.

Actually, it was great, but I had to get that line in there for the fellas.

I was honored to be invited to the 7th annual Myrtle Beach Open this past weekend as a replacement player for a last minute cancellation. The event is a four-day, 90-hole golf orgy planned and attended by my son's work associates and other friends and relations, totaling 16 guys, most of whom live in the Raleigh area, and trek down to golfer's heaven to see how they handle some of the top courses in Myrtle Beach while depriving themselves almost entirely of sleep.

While protocol prohibits me from disclosing much of what goes on at the MBO, it's fair to characterize the weekend recipe as roughly two parts golf to one part beer and one part poker, with occasional food. (It turns out it was also the annual "Bikers Weekend" in Myrtle, and as far as I could tell, their recipe was much like ours...minus the golf, poker and food. It also meant it was impossible to get a car into any of the Hooter's parking lots.)

With one exception the guys were about half my age, so 90 holes in four days probably wasn't as hard on them as it was on me, but I'm hurting in places where I didn't even know I had places. I have never crammed that much golf into such a short time span before, but I'll try to work myself into shape if I can play courses like we did this weekend....Tidewater, Myrtlewood Palmetto, Myrtle Beach National, Wild Wing and Shaftesbury Glen. Beautiful venues all. It was even worth giving up a ticket to the Indians-Yankees game on Thursday to make the trip down.

Another bonus was discovering that there are a few Wizblog readers in the group. Who knew such an animal existed? So I am hereby resolved to tailor more future content to interest groups like Virginia Tech, NC State and Georgia Bulldog football fans, Miller Lite drinkers, web developers and twenty-somethings.

Just kidding. I have no intention of doing any such thing. But consider this an official thank you for the invitation to join you guys...especially Kevin (Irv too), Detour, Rich, Ryan and Andy....great guys who really get after it on the golf course, and party off of it. As for me, I'm golfed out. I may not look at a golf ball for two weeks, and by then the snow may be flying here in Ohio...maybe just in time for the World Series?

And mark the calendars for Ohio State-VT in 2014 in Columbus. I'm working on tickets as we speak.

October 2, 2007

Beaming 'Peanuts' Direct

Lileks links to the first ever syndicated "Peanuts" cartoon published 57 years ago today, and says even the death of print newspapers can't kill Peanuts.

By the way, Lileks' Buzz.mn, at the Star-Tribune site, is cited as an example of newspapers doing blogs right by Ed Driscoll.

And Steve Boriss is always talking about the future of news.


The Chinese have been uncharacteristically candid about the potential environmental catastrophe caused by the operation of the new Three Gorges Dam. Arthur Waldron at Contentions blog calls it "the most important news from China in decades."


Thomas Joscelyn's "Iran's Proxy War Against America". The link is to the forward at the Claremont Institute site, from which you can link to the full pdf document.


"Rude Giuliani" by John Fund at OpinionJournal.com


An American soldier who served in Iraq writes: "Five Things I Saw that Make Me Support the War"


Commentary has published a series of letters to the editor in response to Norman Podhoretz' June article "The Case for Bombing Iran", followed by Podhoretz' response to them.

October 1, 2007

The Hillary Drug

There's a whole new generation of Americans who are too young to remember the Hillary Clinton of misplaced Rose Law firm records, cattle futures windfalls, and the smearing of inconvenient women. For the rest of us, there's Tryphorgetin.

(via To the Point News)