Friday, September 28, 2007

Bedtime for Bono

I see Bono is in the region. Good man. But that does not make him right about all things.

He once said this:

"Today I read in the Economist an article reporting that over 38 percent of Americans support some type of torture in exceptional circumstances. My country? No. Your country? Tell me no. Today, when I receive this great honor, I ask you, I implore you as an Irishman who has seen some of these things close up, I ask you to remember, you do not have to become a monster to defeat a monster. Your America’s better than that."

Now, I am not familiar with the poll the Economist cites but I am quite surprised. I am surprised the number of Americans not willing to support torture in exceptional circumstances is not MUCH higher.

For it doesn't require that much imagination to imagine circumstances where the torture of an individual would be justified in order to save many more lives.

Or just one.

Think the original Dirty Harry.

Creep has little girl kidnapped and buried alive. Creep is captured but refuses to say where his victim is buried. Time is running out on her. What does Harry Callahan do? He steps on the creep's bullet-wounded leg and induces pain until he talks.

What would you do? What would you countenance if the girl were your daughter, a friend's daughter, or even a little girl you didn't know half way around the world?

This is akin to the "ticking bomb" scenario. To say that torture can never be used, is never justified, strikes me as simple-minded, feel good morality.

Bono cites the humiliations inflicted at Abu Graib as being hurtful to America's reputation. That is, of course, true. But these were not acts of American policy. These were the acts of a few ill disciplined and ill trained renegade reserve soldiers who are being fairly punished.

Bono says, "You don't have to become a monster to defeat a monster."
True. But sometimes you have to do monstrous things to defeat a monster. Think Dresden. Think Hiroshima.

If Bono, or anyone thinks that 62 percent of Americans will never contenance "torture" I think he and they are wrong. Give them the right scenario, and they will contenance it until the cows come home. And so will Bono's fellow Irishman.

UPDATE: In thinking about this further, it seems to me people who say they are "never" in favor of "torture" are simply thinking about the sort of torture used by dictators and their secret police for the purpose of terrorizing and controlling their populations. They inflict it on the innocent to enhance their own for power.

Many are sadists who inflict torture for their own sexual pleasure. These are the Uday Husseins of the world. They truly are monsters.

But the Jack Bauers of the world use torture in the most exceptional of circumstances to extract information from bad guys to save innocent lives.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Syrian Silence is Deafening

It ain't Penn-Delco but this could be very good news for US and the rest of the world.

Tomorrow's News Today

A preview of tomorrow's print column:

So now what?

Now that solicitor Mark Sereni has been discharged, ridding the Penn-Delco school district of its hapless Inspector Javert, where does the district go from here?

Who knows? But based on what I saw Wednesday night, it doesn't look good.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Miss Manners and Petty Dictators

The president of Columbia U, Lee Bollinger is now getting grief from his faculty for speaking so harshly and inhospitably to the Iranian president Ahmadinejan.

They are, of course, right. You don't invite someone to your home to insult them, to call them a cruel and petty dictator and what not.

That's why you don't invite cruel, petty dictators, terror sponsors, holocaust deniers and what-not to your home in the first place.


Congress Votes Not to MoveOn

Congress trashes MoveOn ad in bipartisan vote.

Dems, no doubt are shocked, shocked their bankrollers would engage in such slander of a U.S. military commander in the field.

Is this the end of a beautiful friendship? Not on your life.

As prez Eli Pariser announced to Democratic leaders, "Now it's our Party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back.”

What's a little disagreement between employer and employee?

Put the Old Coots to Work

A modest proposal by Ilya Somin when it comes to forced National Service.

Money Q:

"Unlike the young, the elderly usually won't have to postpone careers, marriage and educational opportunities to fulfill their forced-labor obligations. Moreover, the elderly, to a far greater extent than the young, are beneficiaries of massive government redistributive programs, such as Social Security and Medicare--programs that transfer enormous amounts of wealth from other age groups to themselves. Nonelderly poor people who receive welfare benefits are required to work (or at least be looking for work) under the 1996 welfare reform law; it stands to reason that the elderly (most of whom are far from poor) can be required to work for the vastly larger government benefits that they receive."

Sauce for the Goose

George Will piles on the NYT over its taking of's General Betray Us? ad. And nails them for their obvious hypocrisy.

Stolen Valor in Upper Darby?

Marine Corps League Commandant James Anthony Alleva stands accused of falsifying his war record and wearing medals he didn't earn.

“I plan to vigorously defend these charges,” Alleva, a member of 741 since 2002, said, claiming disgruntled members of the detachment have it out for him.
“They are envious of the way things are going and they are trying to discredit me and the detachment. It’s a vicious, immature, cowardly attack against me and the detachment,” Alleva said.

Interesting phraseology, there.

Actually, the charges will be defended by the federal prosecutors who brought them. Alleva, with the help of a lawyer, will defend himself against the charges.

Money quote:

“A lot of people went through a lot of pain for the Purple Heart,” said Matt Crawford, who lost sight in his right eye from an improvised explosive device in Iraq. “It’s not right for someone to pretend they have it. To earn the Bronze or Silver Star you pretty much have to put your life on the line. If he did wear it and didn’t rate it, he’s a scumbag.”

Harsh, but true.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Good Advice From a Gold Digger

Arianna Huffington is announcing a new financial advice column at The Huffington Post.

Yeah, marry a gay billionaire.

By the Way, There Are No Gay People in Iran

Bret Stephens explains the grossness of inviting the president of Iran to speak at Columbia University to the simple minded. It remains doubtful that they will get it.

UPDATE: The editorialists at the NYT sure don't.

The Jena 6

As I was saying, said better.

Kevin Buys a Hugo?

Kevin Spacey played Bobby Darin in Beyond the Sea. Now he meets with Venezuelan strongboy Hugo Chavez?

He should remember the lyrics to Bobby's greatest hit.

Oh, that shark bites, with such teeth, dear
and he shows them, pearly white...

Remembering Little Rock

Shelby Steele recalls Little Rock 50 years ago and the death of white supremacy.

"Innocence face to face with evil."

I've said it before and I'll say it again, nobody writes better about race in America than Mr. Steele

Monday, September 24, 2007


... from Northern Michigan and I see some people have been very busy responding to "Situation Normal in Penn Delco."

And to each other.

With all the traffic there, no need for me to weigh in.

But, I understand much has been going on in the district in my absence. Enough to warrant a print column for Wednesday.

As it happens, Wednesday night the school board will meet in public to decide a few things.

What's more interesting, however, is what happened last week when they meet in executive session with their solicitor.

More to come...

A Rather Dubious Document

Charles Lane shoots a fish in a barrel but it's still pretty funny.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The $70 Million Man

Hey, it worked for Don Imus.

Then again, Imus was trying to get laughs. Rather is supposed to be reporting the news, not falling for hoaxes and then defending them as true.

Situation Normal... in Penn Delco

An interesting snafu over in Penn Delco.

Tonight the school board will be meeting in their monthly work session. Normally, at these sessions the board can vote on stuff like personnel issues and what not.

If say, they wanted to get rid of their solicitor, they could vote on it and it would be a done deal.

But thanks to the official notice being sent over late to the Daily Times, I am told, they can't. Hmmmm. I wonder how that happened.

School district sources tell me that ex-super Leslye Abrutyn's old secretary is blaming the newspaper and claiming she received an apology from the head of our ad section for us not getting it in on time.

Yet, as I understand it, it was the ad that was sent in late with no request that it had to be run immediately.

I am told this is the first time in eight (8) years Penn Delco has allowed such a thing to happen.

However it happened it has purchased embattled solicitor Mark Sereni another week to attempt to convince the board of his own invaluabilty and in the untrustworthiness of his perceived enemies.

No doubt he hopes the appearance of a poor work evaluation in the file of CFO John Steffy will help his case. But just how that negative evaluation, apparently written by his former boss, Leslye Abrutyn, got there at this late date remains something of a mystery.

According to my sources, it was just recently added to Steffy's file. Given that Abrutyn resigned months ago you have to wonder if there is dirty work afoot.

In any case, any negative evaluation of any administrator coming from Abrutyn would have to be taken with a grain of salt.

Her own poor judgement allowed her to enter into one of the more bizarre relationships between a school board president and a schools superintendent this county has ever seen.

No doubt her belief that the nature of their relationship was about to get out was one of the things that led her to resign last July.

Anyway, just another day in Penn Delco.

Tonight, as always, should be fun too.

UPDATE: Quick Question.

With the screw-up concerning the late notice to this newspaper, will Mark Sereni be requesting a special counsel to look into this troubling incompetence?

Lord of the Towers II

The interior demolition of the Chester Towers has begun but my spies tell me all is not going according to Hoyle.

Some material is being hurled out upper floor windows raising questions about whether safety chutes are being utilized in all cases required by regulation.

Someone has called for the EPA to investigate. There's a load of asbestos in the towers that has to be removed in the proper way to avoid health and safety concerns.

More troubling about the proposed project is that that suddenly the community arts center that was supposed to be so beneficial to the young people of Chester no longer appears on the site plan.

It was the arts center that developers used to gin up community support for the project. It is also on the HUD Hope VI grant application which raises the question is this the same project that was approved by the feds.

Also gone from the site plan are the retail stores. But there are an additional 42 apartment, 22 more than approved by the HUD and negotiated with the city.

Questions also remain about the 99-year lease the developers have been awarded. I am told, it is 60 years longer than the contract for low-income housing.

What happens to the property after that contract is up in less than 40 years? Can the developers do whatever they want with it? That would be a pretty sweet deal.

In the meantime, Swarthmore College professor Keith Reeves, who wrote a 700-page report on the Chester Housing Authority and the plan for the Chester Towers, remains elusive.

I have called him mucho times. And he has failed to call me back. Not even the the school's communications officers, with whom I have spoken, were successful in getting hold of the elusive Dr. Reeves.

Questions have been raised about changes he might have made in his report at the request of interested parties. I wanted to ask him about this for almost a month. He is either a very busy man or he is ducking me.

There is a hearing at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning (Thursday) at City Hall at which the project will be discussed.

Maybe then the developers will be able to sufficiently answer all these questions to the satisfaction of city officials and residents.

I will not be able to attend but the Daily Times will staff it.

And, of course, my spies are everywhere.

UPDATE: Correction. The site plan calls for 142 total apartments, that's 22 more than the plan that was approved by HUD.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

He Remembers It Like It Was Yesterday

Have you seen the video of the angry Florida student yelling at John Kerry and taken away by the cops?

Sen. Kerry won't soon forget him.

UPDATE: Feminist Naomi "The Beauty Myth" Wolf falls for Andrew Meyer's theatrical victim play for the cameras.

"Don't tase me, Bro!"

And please don't throw me in the media briar patch either!

Your Morning Constitutional

Neal Boortz raises some pretty good questions about Hillarycare.

Including this one:

"Just where in our Constitution does the federal government acquire the right – the power – to force free citizens to purchase anything, let alone a health insurance policy."

The Best Fans in the World

Based on what we saw Monday night, this is fair.

Politics of Personal Destruction for Thee

WaPo's Richard Cohen, a man of the left, takes the leading Democratic presidential candidate to the woodshed for not blasting the "Betray Us" ad.

Money Q:

"The ad was the moment for Clinton to rise above hackdom. It was a moment for her to insist that the business of politics, not to mention governing, is made even uglier and more difficult when people who merely differ with one another resort to insult. It was a moment for her to say that an Army general, under orders and attempting to fulfill a mission, should not be so casually trashed -- especially since she herself has been on the other side of the Iraq War issue and said things she must now regret."

He is Music... to His Own Ears.

Barry Manilow was turned away from The View, after he refused to share the stage with Elizabeth Hasselbeck, the lone conservative panelist on the show.

Mr. I Write the Songs That Make The Whole World Sing called Hasselbeck's views scary.

"I strongly disagree with her views. I think she's dangerous and offensive. I will not be on the same stage as her," he said.

Then he dropped his purse and burst into tears.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Credit Where Credit is Due

Kudos to Inky reporter Ed Colimore and Photographer Charles Fox for the excellent job they did covering the special welcome home Iraqi and Afghanistan war vets have been getting at Fort Dix, headlined: "Vietnam Vets Give What They Never Got."

My only quibble with the story is the sub-head:

"A surprise for the recipient; therapy for the giver."

No need to medicalize such a nice gesture with psycho-babble (though one vet did -- a little oddly -- compare it to trip to a psychiatrist's office.)

Anyway, other than that great story and great job!

Oh, one more quibble: It should've been played on the front page.

Republicanos No Habla Espanol

Republicans ignore Spanish-language media networks at their peril, even if such networks do have a pronounced liberal bias.

Sereni Vindicated? How?

It seems supporters of Penn Delco solicitor Mark Sereni are claiming vindication with the revelation that several anti-Sereni school board members failed to keep their state ethics forms up to date.

The crime-fighting solicitor and corruption exposer has been proved right.

If back-dating an ethics form that doesn't appear to hide any ethics violations is the height of corruption, well then I hope no one finds out about the two parking tickets I got last Wednesday.

Still, how this is supposed to help Mark Sereni hang on to his $260,000-a-year job as the district's solicitor is beyond me.

It looks like it can only hurt his chances more.

After all, it's pretty clear that in his attempt to keep his 17-year gig going, he's perfectly willing to tattle on and embarrass his own clients. His attempt to drum up public support for himself at their expense, urging other clients to demand answers from them on matters he's advised them to keep quiet about, is not something many lawyers would do. Or find seemly.

Add in his history and self-serving view of the attorney-client privilege, his questionable legal advice on a number of matters and his close, personal and enabling friendship with Keith Crego and there seem plenty of good reasons to get rid of him.

Sereni played lead trumpet with K.C. and his Sunshine Band. Apparently, that's a bit of an embarrassment to him now that Crego is under criminal investigation and privately
reviled by local GOP leaders.

"Thanks, Brother," Sereni once wrote Crego for trying to get him yet another district solicitorship.

In retrospect, he might have added, "Yeah, thanks a lot!"

Given Sereni's concern with being tainted by the corruption he feels is all around him, it's amazing that he hasn't felt the need to wash his hands of the district once and for all.

Oh, I forgot. He cares so much about the district that he simply can't walk away from it now in its greatest hour of need. And then there's all those billing hours...

What would Penn Delco do without Mark Sereni? I have a feeling we're going to find out.

Robin Hood Rangel

New York Congressman Charlie Rangel is gearing to propose the largest tax hike in the history of the world. Don't worry it won't affect you, if your family income is less than $200,000.

Of course, if enacted it could affect the U.S. economy to the point of affecting you, plunging America into a recession of which it will be tough to dig out.

Just remember, as Democrats like Bruce Bikin of Radnor point out, tax rates have no effect on the economy. People who say they do, are tired and discredited and don't know what they're talking about.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Israelis Hit Syrian/Iranian/NK Weapons Cache

Anybody have a problem with this?

Summers Is Not Worthy

Former Clinton Treasury Secretary, Harvard President and John Bates Clark medal winner Lawrence Summers is declared unfit to address the regents of UC Santa Clara.

You gotta love campus Leftists and their gender police, tolerant to a fault.

Student College Prez Busted

See what happens when you attack the Media?

The Tide is Turning

I missed this piece by Faoud Ajami last week before Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker testified before Congress.

He quotes Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki:

"We may differ with our American friends about tactics, I might not see eye to eye with them on all matters. But my message to them is one of appreciation and gratitude," he said. " To them I say, you have liberated a people, brought them into the modern world. They used to live in fear and now they live in liberty. Iraqis were cut off from the modern world, and thanks to American intervention we now belong to the world around us. We used to be decimated and killed like locusts in Saddam's endless wars, and we have now come into the light. A teacher used to work for $2 a month, now there is a living wage, and indeed in some sectors of our economy, we are suffering from labor shortages."

It's nice to be reminded of the graditude that many Iraqis have for our help in liberating them. The question is where they (and we) go from here.

Brother, Can You Spare 40 Grand a Year?

Lefty Michael Kingsley does a good job explaining the student loan "industry" and why Republicans defend and prop it up.

Hint: It's the money, stupid

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Moving On Down To The Left Side

Rich Lowry convincingly explains how the Dems shot themselves in the foot by kowtowing to the anti-war left.

Money Q:

Throughout this past year, they (the Dems) could have seized the broad middle in the debate concerning the war. They could have worked with a slice of moderate Republicans on legislation that wouldn't have forced an end to the war, but made them the representatives of a bipartisan alternative to Bush's strategy. Instead they talked of ending the war outright, positioning themselves to the left of the public and setting themselves an unattainable goal.

Thus, they became the party of the impotent left-wingers. They fell victim to all the same dreary failings of overreaching congressional Republicans after their takeover of Congress in 1994 -- hubris, self-delusion, and a slavish devotion to their political base.

Corzine in Camden Quagmire

Governor Speed Merchant decides democracy is a little too tough for Camden residents. Maybe he's right.

Any chance of him invading Chester and appointing someone to run things there?

Nah. He and Ed Rendel are both Sunnis.

The Fonda Syndrome

This is freaky.

Freaky but dead on.

Hsu Hsu Hsu-dio

Hillary makes a tough decision. Scott Ott scoops the world.

Sestak and The Angry Left

I have it on good authority that Rep. Joe Sestak was recently caught complaining about and its assault on the moderate wing of the Democratic party.

Who can blame him?

The Angry, anti-war Left is unlikely to help Democrats regain the White House or lead the country in a direction that the country is likely to go.

It could be 1972 all over again.

UPDATE: Elizabeth Edwards carefully scolds MoveOn.Org. It's a start.

UPDATE II: Jane Hampster explains the rules of engagement to Elizabeth Edwards over at Firedoglake. They will brook NO DISSENT!

Spencerblog Announcement

I not satisfied with the level of discussion here at Spencerblog.

Too many personal insults. Too many low references. Too much name-calling. So I am cracking down.

I am going to start deleting comments that, in my authoritative opinion, do not elevate the discussion, intellectually stimulate, or amuse me personally.

So challenge yourselves to be nicer, wittier and more thoughtful.

It's good to be king of Spencerblog.

The Management.

Greenspan Sings

The former fed chairman lets free-spending Republicans have it with both barrels.

Money quote:

Mr. Greenspan, who calls himself a "lifelong libertarian Republican," writes that he advised the White House to veto some bills to curb "out-of-control" spending while the Republicans controlled Congress. He says President Bush's failure to do so "was a major mistake." Republicans in Congress, he writes, "swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither. They deserved to lose."

Man, he's got that right.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Where The Sun Don't Shine

The New York Times is taking a lot of heat for running the "Gen. Betray Us" ad. Deservedly so.

But I think the accusation that the paper gave MoveOn a discounted rate because it's owners and staff like the ad so much is mostly a distraction. Ad discount rates are available to anyone savvy and knowledgeable enough to get them.

There are better criticisms to be made of the Times taking the ad in the first place. One of them is that it attacks the patriotism of an American military leader in the field.

The First Amendment doesn't require the NYT or any newspaper to make money off the slanderous ravings of a far left-wing, anti-US military hate group, any more than it requires any newspaper from accepting ads paid for by Osama bin Laden.

When New York City was offered $10 million from a Saudi prince after 9/11, then mayor Rudy Guiliani told him where to stick it.

That's what the Times should have told to do with their despicable attack ad along with all the money they offered them to run it.

UPDATE: Then again maybe NYT's politics did have something to do with the ad and the rate quote after all.

Looking For 10,000 Good Men

I have serious doubts about whether this approach will work but it's worth a try.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pigeon Love?

How dare these two try to top Toonie and Lulu.

But I gotta' admit, pretty cute.

Swarthmore Professor MIA?

As I noted in Wednesday's column I have been trying to get a hold of Swarthmore College Prof. Keith Reeves to ask him about the study/report he did for Judge Norma Shapiro and/or HUD concerning the Chester Housing Authority and the Chester Towers.

I got a call yesterday from the university's public information department informing me that they've been trying to get a hold of him too. But "so far," said Marsha Mullen, "he hasn't returned our calls, either."

She says they'll keep trying, which I appreciate.

To be clear, Reeves is under no obligation to talk to me about his report. But I wish he would so I could clear up some rumors swirling around about it. The report, however, is a public document, paid for with public money, and should be made available upon request.

Me Look Pretty One Day

The always insightful Dan "The Hammer" Henninger nails, Democrats, and some of the rest of us in the blogosphere.

Money quote:'s "General Betray Us" ad in the New York Times made it difficult for any Democrat to breathe fire at Gen. Petraeus. pre-used all that political capital. A malady endemic to the Web is that much of the Netroots is essentially narcissistic. That ad proved it's more about them than about elected Democrats. The politicians had better figure this out. A marriage of two narcissists often proves difficult.

Broken Thumbs Up?

FOX News celebrity columnist Roger Friedman gives Rosie O'Donnell's new memoir, in which she writes that as a child she used to break her own "limbs" with a baseball bat, a big thumbs up.

He calls her and the book "brave," whatever that is supposed to mean.

Well, it does certainly suggest that Rosie had pretty severe psychological problems as a child that even as an adult she obviously hasn't gotten over.

Friedman gushes:

"All the proceeds from “Celebrity Detox” are going to Rosie’s charity, by the way. So it’s not like she’s putting her most painful personal memories on sale for self-aggrandizement."

That is a complete non sequitur.

She may not be publishing the book for financial gain, but self aggrandizement is the act or practice of enhancing or exaggerating one's own importance, power, or reputation.

That's exactly what she's doing here. And it's working, if silly and sycophantic reviews like Friedman's are any indication.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What Would Frank Do?

Frank J. doesn't just pick on John Edwards. He has strong feelings about terrorists too. He says they should be killed.

I think Frank is harsh. Harsh but, you know, right.

A Nod To Joe

Some might have noticed that I have never been Joe Sestak's biggest supporter. (See today's print column)

But I would like to say I respect him as one of the real grown-ups on the Democratic side of the congressional aisle.

Agree or disagree with him on policy, he understands the importance of the situation in Iraq, the sacrifices that are being made by the U.S. military men and women over there and their families at home.

He knows and can testify to the courage and intelligence of our warriors on the ground.

It would be nice if he would forceably disavow the disgusting actions of to smear Gen. Petraeus, and their claim to "own" Democratic Party because they "bought and paid for it."

I doubt Joe Sestak has been bought and paid for by anyone. He should say so. And he should say the same about his military colleague Gen. Petraeus.

A Warrior's Warrior

Owen West has earned and deserves a listening to when it comes to Iraq, Gen. Petraeus and two fallen Marines named Zembiec and Mendoza.

Spencerblog Announcement

I am concerned that the tone of a lot of the comments being made on this site are becoming increasingly personal and nasty.

At times, I have been guilty of running up too close to the line myself. Others have obviously crossed it.

So, let's remember, attack the argument not the person making it. Personal insults don't do anything to advance the discussion. And name-calling is, after all, middle-school stuff.

The Management

UPDATE: That doesn't mean I won't link to sites that promote this type of middle-school stuff. Like this one. But WE'RE better than that!

Indoctrination U

Mark Bauerlein exposes the ideological hysteria and bullying that goes on in too many college classrooms.

Money quote:

We end up with indoctrination passing as proper teaching. When Kilmer states, "What happens to the feminist classroom when students challenge feminist principle?" we might respond, "An energetic discussion follows." But for Kilmer, it means disruption and intimidation. By her own admission, she can no longer distinguish honest disagreement from insubordinate conduct. That's what happens when disciplines admit ideology into their grounds. Accept the ideology and you're sure to advance. You're okay. Decline it, and you're not okay. You're not only wrong - you're illegitimate.

Parents of and college students should read the whole thing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

They Married an Axe-Murderer

It's just one anti-war protester but it's clear the left world-wide is becoming more and more unhinged.

Moving On To McCarthyism

The "decency" question has been raised.

And it's not the first time.

Six Years Ago Today

Worth remembering, mourning and celebrating.

First click here.

Want more? here

And to sum up here

A Slimey New Low

A pretty fair assessment of how low the Democrats have sunk and what that portends.

Money quote:

"Betrayal," as every military officer knows, is a word that through the history of their profession bears the stain of acts that are both dishonorable and unforgivable. That is to say, didn't stumble upon this word; it was chosen with specific intent, to convey the most serious accusation possible against General Petraeus, that his word is false, that he is a liar and that he is willing to betray his country. The next and obvious word to which this equation with betrayal leads is treason. That it is merely insinuated makes it worse."


How Charitable of Her

Hillary is going Hsu-less as well. Is giving back 850 Gs.

Now, about that $100,000 she got from Jimmy Blair in that cattle futures deal.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Don't Say It Ain't So, Joe

In case you missed it, Joe Sestak is, apparently, something of an ogre as a boss.

Why voters should care how he treats his staff is beyond me. That's his problem and, of course, theirs. It's a free country and they're free to quit for better more humane employment elsewhere.

In the meantime, former Sestak staffers can click here to blow off a little steam.

Hsu-less Dems Say It Ain't So

Gov. Ed "Norm Hsu Is One of the Best 10 People I've Ever Met" Rendell has changed his mind about returning the dough given him by the fugitive Democratic financier.

After at first refusing to return the thousands of dollars Hsu tossed his way, Rendell, a former prosecutor, now says he will donate the Hsu's money to charity after Hsu took off and jumped bail a second time.

If Hsu is one of the 10 Best People our governor has ever met maybe he ought to get out and meet more people.

In the meantime, Mr. Hsu can look forward to a full presidential pardon from Hillary Clinton at the end of her second term.

If Fast Eddie runs as her vice president, maybe at the end of her first term.

How About a Tax on Ignorant Arrogance*

I loved this.

TNR's Jonathan Chait may be smarter than me but he's not smarter than economist Martin Feldstein. He shouldn't act like he is for the same reason I don't pretend to know more about linguistics than Noam Chomsky or challenge George Foreman to a fist fight.

(*admittedly, it would be tough to collect.)

Petraeus Tesitifies

Gen. Petraeus is testifying before Congress as I write this but here's an early summary

Including this:

Rebutting charges that he was merely doing the White House's bidding, (Petraeus) said firmly, "I wrote this testimony myself. It has not been cleared by nor shared with anyone in the Pentagon, the White House or the Congress." and Huffington Post types now ought to prove their accusations that Petraeus is a lying White House puppet or they should apologize for slandering him and beg his forgiveness.

Don't Eat the Yellow Taxi

I must've heard the Counting Crows version of Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" a hundred times. I have it on a CD in my car. I like it. But some of the lyrics just crack me up.

Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT
I don't care about spots on my apples,
LEAVE me the birds and the bees...

And the mosquitoes and the malaria that kills more than a million African children a year.

And of course,

They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin' hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone...

Yeah, no place to sleep, party or park.

No wonder Joni's "Old Man" and Adam Duritz' girlfriend took off in that Big Yellow Taxi. They got tired of being sung to and lectured by imbeciles.

Does Emily Want a Pillow for Her Head? makes short work of Emily Brazelon's complaints about the dangers reclining car seats.

Let's Just Move On... Dot Org

The editors of the Weekly Standard convincingly rebut the New York Times' view that it's time to get over what happened on 9/11/01.

(UPDATE: I had a bad link here. It's been corrected. Thanks Davey.)

General Betray Us?

It looks like the ultra-liberal group is questioning the patriotism of our top military leader in Iraq.

I thought that nice people weren't supposed to question the patriotism of their fellow Americans.

Silly me.

UPDATE: It looks the same way to an Iraq war vet who isn't amused.

Dems Need New Pair of Hsus

Hillary and Obama "bundled" up with admitted criminal Norman Hsu (pronounced Shoe).
Now that it's time to give the money back they're having a hard time distinguishing Hsu's money from the rest he helped raise for their campaign warchests.


Learning More Than a Thing or Two

Peter Berkowitz has more than a few cogent thoughts on our Compassless Colleges and what it means to be "educated" in this country. This is must reading for parents of high school students.

Money quote:

The reason to worry is that university education can cause lasting harm. The mental habits that students form and the ideas they absorb in college consolidate the framework through which as adults they interpret experience, and judge matters to be true or false, fair or inequitable, honorable or dishonorable.

A university that fails to teach students sound mental habits and to acquaint them with enduring ideas handicaps its graduates for public and private life.

Just who can turn this problem around? Only a handful of people. Read it all.

Sean of the Dead Right

Almost lost in a story and interview with Sean Penn, director of "Into the Wild" starring newcomer Emile Hirsh (who reportedly gives a dynamite performance) is this nugget:

"Penn dismissed praise of his directorial turn, saying he's always resented it when people ask directors how they elicit great performances from their actors.

"Doesn't happen," he said, tossing in an expletive for emphasis.

"Directors don't get performances out of actors. Actors give great performances to directors."

Penn's politics are adolescent, even atrocious, but you've got to give him this: He's a great actor and here he probably knows what he's talking about.

Wagging Fingers and Tongues

Andrew Klavan on the tumor that is big government, sex scandals and on casting the first stone. You've got to admit, he makes a lot of sense. Read it all here.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


"We Feel the Way We Feel"

Sen. Diane Feinstein was just on FOX News Sunday saying that the Democrats changing position on setting a goal to end the surge in Iraq and redeploy troops:

Money quote:

"Look, we feel the way we feel."

To anti-war group Code Pink: Feinstein claims to have said. "We can only do what we can do."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was on too. He kicked Feinstein's her butt all over the map.

We're finally starting to win in Iraq against al Qaida and bring the sort of security that will help end sectarian violence. To let the enemy "off the matt" now would be bad for America.

Money quote:

"I'm not worried about the next election. I'm worried about the next generation."

And the Winner Is...

Brian De Palma takes Best Director in Venice for "Redacted."

A clip from his acceptance speech:

"I'd just like to thank everyone who made this possible. The rapists and killers of the U.S military, Mark Cuban for his brave financial backing, and Saddam Hussein, who, tragically, is no longer with us to help in the fight against a rogue and corrupt U.S. president and his administration. Saddam, this is for you!

And finally, I'd especially like to thank all you wonderful people in the nutroots whose anti-war views I've helped shape for a generation. You're the best.

Kicking and Screaming

State Rep Thaddeus Kirkland already is poo pooing the plan to build a new soccer stadium in the city of Chester for a pro team.

“Our kids don’t have a rec center, we don’t have a new boys club, the girls (YWCA) is falling down around them … our newest school is over 30 years old, but we’re building things for adults and, quite frankly, for a whole different population of people than the (residents in the) City of Chester,” said State Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-159, Chester.

Did he ever think of this: The first might help lead to the second. And maybe then, the third, a fourth and a fifth.

Or is it the fact that its going to be somebody else who gets rich off the deal that sticks in his craw?

Oh yeah, Chester Community Charter School was built six year years ago.
It's owner is getting rich running it. But then the Chester kids who go to it are finally getting a decent education in a safe environment. Sounds like a fair trade.

You would think that Keith Olbermann's George Bush rants are so over the top that they are unsatirizable.

You'd be wrong.

Here's an old Olbermann rant. And here's the incomparable Iowahawk version.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

Geez, I leave the country for two days and another Penn Delco school board member bites the dust.

Margie DiVito had the honor of representing her community on this illustrious board for less than a month before deciding it was all too much for her.
That's two resignations in the last 30 days. (Jim Haley booted himself off the board a couple weeks ago.)

Her tenure involved a single controversial vote and that was not to fire district solicitor Mark Sereni.

Now she claims to friends that she regrets her vote. She says if she had to do it all over again she'd vote to rid the district of Sereni once and for all. Instead she voted to keep him and then decided to resign.

Who knows what to make of that. If she truly regretted her vote why didn't she just stay on the board and vote the other way when the issue comes up again this month? She could quit right after that.

Crazy stuff. In the meantime, Sereni is lobbying everyone he can think off to keep his job.

He invited several of his harshest civilian critics to dinner in an attempt to convince them he's exactly what the board needs right now. A brave truth-teller and corruption fighter.

Yeah, he just what Penn Delco needs right now. Just like Britt Reid needs another drink and his car keys.

Now that Sereni and board president Dave Seitz are on the outs, Sereni is looking to get Tony Ruggieri promoted to the president's seat. That the solicitor would involve himself in the political machinations of the board is weird to say the least. Not in Penn Delco,

Besides, you don't have to listen to Ruggieri for more than five minutes to know that he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He's perfect for Sereni.

He's completely bought into Sereni's persecution campaign against business manager John Steffy. He did come forward with knowledge that Keith Crego may have allegedly extorted a $1,000 "bribe."

This Sereni thinks is major corruption, while for four years, he sat in the district's solicitor seat, buddying up to Keith Crego while Crego behaved like a combination of Jack Nacrelli and Larry Flyntt.

What next? Well, Carol Cannon will presumably be at the next board meeting. Presuming Kim SanGorgio brings the motion back up, that's another probable vote to remove Sereni. That would make the vote 4 to 3 against him.

But who knows what will happen between now and then.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Columnist Wide-Stance

As it happens, I am travelling today. As I write this I am the Charlotte N.C. airport waiting for a connection. Does anyone know a good men's room in this place?

That's a joke, son.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

De Palma's Film Will Fire Up Our Enemies

The Confederate Yankee makes an excellent point about Brian De Palma's anti-soldier, anti-American, anti-war firm.

"De Palma and like-minded souls in Venice, Cannes, and Santa Barbara, of course, feel brave for making a film that portrays the young Midwestern privates and southern specialists and street-smart second lieutenants from Jersey on the frontlines as savages, capable and yearning to unleash unbearable cruelty.

"As sweat drips in the eyes of soldiers and Marines as they attempt to bring peace to a land that has rarely known it, their enemies will be watching pirated and crudely-dubbed bootlegs of Redacted in training camps in Syria, in mosques in Saudi Arabia, and in homes throughout the Arab world, who already take a suspicious view of the American soldier in Iraq."

In another time, like 1944, De Palma would be charged with treason or sedition. No need for that. The American people are smarter than De Palma gives them credit for.

They may not like this war much but they won't much like a Hollywood director smearing the troops either.

Read the whole post here

Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

In this column, scold George Will beats up Larry Craig and PBS (a little), Mitt Romney and Alberto Gonzales (a lot) "values voters" and those of use who took merriment in the confusion and embarrassment of Miss Teen South Carolina.

It's a fair cop. We are well rebuked.

De Palma's Anti-Troops Movie Panned

Forget its smearing of U.S. troops, and its blatant attempt to foment disgust and propagandize, Brian De Palma's "Redacted" isn't a very good movie, according to Variety.

"The bullet veers far off the mark in Brian De Palma's "Redacted." Deeply felt but dramatically unconvincing "fictional documentary" -- inspired by the March 2006 rape and killings by U.S. troops in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad -- has almost nothing new to say about the Iraq situation and can't make up its mind about how to package its anger in an alternative cinematic form."

Dead Man Walking II

The surprise resignation of Penn Delco school board member Jim Haley sure changes things in the Mark Sereni Solicitor Sweepstakes.

Haley was one of the "yes" votes to oust Sereni as the district's lawyer last month when the board deadlocked at 4 to 4 to get rid of him. Board member (and no Sereni fan) Carol Cannon was on vacation. When she returned it was presumed that there would be a clear majority to dump the embattled solicitor.

But with Haley gone, the vote would remain 4 to 4.

Unless another board member changes their vote Sereni survives another month. And if the pro-Sereni forces can engineer the appointment of a new board member beholding to them, he could survive much, much longer.

What caused Haley to resign so suddenly is almost as much of a mystery as what caused him to vote to remove Sereni in the first place. We'll be looking into it

Where Penn Delco goes from here is anybody's guess. But it's hard to believe the district's anti-Sereni/Crego/Abrutyn forces are going to quietly accept another GOP stooge appointment.

Somehow, the GOP managed to slip stealth candidate Margie DiVito on to the board without her loyalties being known. (She revealed them when she took a shot at fellow board member Kim SanGorgio at last month's meeting and then voted to keep Sereni.)

Aston GOP leader and Sereni-supporter, Joe Possenti will have to be very clever with this next one.

In the meantime, Sereni has gotten a stay of execution, if not a downright reprieve.


It seems things are as precarious as ever for Sereni. I understand he and Board president Dave Seitz are barely, if at all, speaking to one another.

Plus he can't count on Margie DiVito's vote the next time the measure is brought up.

Word is she's gone to ground since the last meeting and has failed to show up at more recent board functions. Given the fact that both her parents signed the petition to fire Sereni and that she had privately suggested low regard for him, her's is another vote he can't count on retaining.

If DiVito should fail to show up at the next meeting and Carol Cannon does (and all other votes stay the same) Sereni would be gone.

It's hard to see how he can survive with the board as fractured as it is and so many in the public demanding his head. Why he doesn't just resign remains a mystery to me.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Happy Labor Union Day

It turns out the early U.S. Labor movement's historical record when it comes to race isn't any better than the rest of the country's.

Its idea of Affirmative Action was to exclude minorities in the most aggressive ways imaginable. Check out the quote of labor hero Eugene Debs. Pretty bad.


(Here's a copy of my print column in Sunday's Daily Times. Someone requested making it available here. So here it is.)


Driving home from the grocery store one afternoon in late July, Ericka Hahn spotted something small moving in the middle of the street.

"There was this little white thing in the road," she recalled. "I thought it was a cat."
It wasn't. It was a beagle.

She stopped her car and then stopped traffic in both directions to keep the dog from getting killed.

The dog, a puppy, wanted to play. Ericka wanted to get it out of the road.
She waved her arms at it. The puppy zigged, then zagged and finally it ran through some bushes into a field.

In the field, Ericka lost track of the puppy. But she immediately spotted another beagle, a bigger one.

"I ran up to him and he cowered down and let me catch him. I didn't see the other one anywhere."

Holding the bigger beagle in her arms, she went up to the nearest house and asked the owners for help. The husband and wife said the two dogs had been hanging around all day.

It didn't take long for them to spot the littler beagle. The husband scooped her up and handed her to Ericka. She put both dogs in her car and headed home.

When her boyfriend, Mark Baylor, saw the dog in her arms, he smiled.
"What do you have there?" he asked.

"There's another one in the car," she replied.

Ericka and Mark had just moved to Chester county a few months earlier. They didn't know any of their neighbors but they set out to find the dogs' owners.

The dogs were "skinny and smelly and didn't have any tags or collars but we figured they belonged to somebody," Ericka said.

They spent three hours, driving down dirt roads, and going from house to house in the wooded countryside.

They met a lot of nice people that day, including an old man named Mr. Toonie and a high-spririted gal named Lulu, who told them that "whatever you do, don't take them to the SPCA."

They didn't.

Instead they made up posters and put them up all over the area. After a few days, when no one called to claim the dogs, Ericka and Mark decided to keep them.

They named the bigger one Toonie and the little one, Lulu.

A couple of weeks later, Mark came home from work to discover Lulu in the back yard, off her leash and barely moving.

Mark noticed blood on either side of her belly. At first he thought another animal had gotten to her or that she'd gotten loose and cut herself on a fence.

But upon closer inspection, it was worse than that. It was a bullet wound. Someone shot her.

He called Ericka. By the time she got home, Lulu was having real trouble breathing.
Leaving Toonie behind, they rushed her to the vet.

She was X-rayed and put on an IV. Both her lungs were collapsed. She was very weak from bleeding internally.

Early the next morning, Ericka was awakened by a low persistent howl. It was Toonie.

"It was," said Ericka, "the most heart-breaking sound I'd ever heard."

For a couple of days, it was touch and go whether Lulu would make it.
Ericka and Mark visited her every day.

The first day, "It was like all her puppy spirit had drained out of her," Ericka said.
But the next day she was a little better.

On the third day, Ericka and Mark brought Toonie along for the visit. That visit especially seemed to improve Lulu's spirits. The two dogs were excited to see each other and briefly played together in the visiting room.

It looked now like Lulu would survive.

As it happened Ericka and Mark were scheduled to go on a two-week trip to London a few days later.

They considered postponing their trip but then a very nice woman who worked for the vet, offered to take care of Lulu while they were away.

A dog walker was recommended for Toonie. Ericka's dad would stay at the house.

Leaving the dogs in good hands, they left for England the following Friday night.

They arrived in London Saturday morning and were still half asleep when they got an emergency phone call from their dog walker.

Toonie was gone.

The dog walker explained that she was taking him for his first walk when a noise startled them and she dropped the leash. Toonie took off.

He bolted through the woods, still in his harness his leash whipping behind him. He crossed a dirt road, shot through a meadow, and was gone.

The dog walker spent hours looking for the dog. She put up flyers and went from neighbor to neighbor asking if anyone had seen him.

Finally, she called Ericka and Mark to tell them what happened.

They were devastated. But there was nothing for them to do but hope for the best.

Of course, they knew what had happened. Toonie had gone looking for Lulu. Their biggest fear was his leash would get tangled and he'd get stuck somewhere where he might die of exposure or thirst.

For the rest of their trip Ericka and Mark waited for good news that never came.

Until their last day in England. That's when Ericka's father called to say a neighbor had spotted Toonie.

After almost two weeks, a family who lived about a mile and a half away stopped by to say they'd seen a beagle in a blue harness but they couldn't catch him.

Ericka and Mark returned to the states Sunday morning with renewed hope.

Their first order of business was to pick up Lulu.

During their absence, Lulu had been treated like a "princess" by the vets' assistant and her three doting daughters.

Healthy now, it was Lulu's turn to do a little work.

Ericka and Mark took her over and walked her around the property where Toonie had last been seen.

Excited, Lulu started sniffing around and wagging her tail. She had picked up Toonie's scent. But still, no Toonie.

After a half hour they took her home and walked her around their own three-acre wooded lot.

With their hopes up, they put Lulu on her running-line and went inside.

A little over two hours later, Mark looked out the window. He noticed something moving between the trees, perhaps 30 yards behind the house.

"It's Toonie," he called out to Ericka. "Toonie's back!"

He was sitting up in the woods, trying to get a better look at Lulu, when they came outside.

"He was skittish and wary," Ericka said.

But within minutes he came running up to be hugged and held and closer to Lulu.

"He was so skinny," Ericka said, and a little scraped up but other than that he was fine.

He'd spent 16 days in the wild, which included a week of the coldest, wettest
August weather in recent memory, doggedly looking.

For Lulu.

And he didn't quit until he found her.

The Man Behind the Smear

Pat Dollard says this is the billionaire who bankrolled Brian De Palma's smear of the troops.

What's next, a documentary on a gang of NBA referees running a puppy mill?

UPDATE: Dollard's page has gone missing. But here's a different link to the story

With Apologies To IMAO

The John Edwards Fabulous Fact of the Day:

When John Edwards is president he will require everyone to go to the doctor for a check up at least once a year.

This is no joke.

This is

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Senator Neincomepoop

Sen. Arlen Specter just said on FOX News Sunday that Larry Craig should rescind his guilty plea on the disorderly conduct charge and his announced intention to resign. Specter rehashed the weak legal case against Craig and said if he could beat the charge, it could change the way the whole situation is viewed by the public.

I don't know if Sen. Specter is insane or secretly an operative of the Democratic National Committee. But his advice is moronic.

And the proof of that was the smirk on Democrat Patrick Leahy's face, while complimenting our senior Senator on his brilliant legal analysis.

How to Create Creep-Free Men's Rooms

Mark Steyn is creeped out by Officer Footsie.

"Larry Craig feebly accused Sgt. Karsnia of "entrapping" him but, in fact, the officer didn't even need to entrap him into anything other than an allegedly intrusive shoe movement. That's a crime? On the tape, Craig sounds sad and pathetic, a prominent man cornered in a sordid transaction. Yet Karsnia sounds just as weird and creepy: a guy who's paid to sit in a bathroom stall for hours on end observing adjoining ankles. I'd rather hand out traffic tickets."

Steyn's right. That's no way to have to make a living.

Maybe instead we should put up a life-size cardboard cut-out of a cop in the corner of every public men's room in America with the words: "Do you feel lucky, Punk? Well, DO YA'?!"

Or one of Jack Benny (for the old guys) saying: "Now, CUT THAT OUT!"

Or one of George Michael (also for the old guys) singing: "Do you really want to poop with me?"

Or one of Larry Craig in handcuffs: "Think, before you take your stance!"

Sipping the Hatorade II: Tastes Good!

Now Frank J. is being mean to Markos Zuniga, founder of the extraordinarily popular and influential (with the Angry Left) Daily Kos.

Why can't we all just get along?

(Warning: Some bad words in Frank's comment section.)

President Bullworth?

Newly announced GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson will be campaigning in a luxury bus with the words "Security Unity Prosperity" emblazoned on the side.

Apparently he is going for the Hip Hop vote. As he travels around the country he will be explaining "Waaaaaa SUP!"

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Father of the Year on Larry Craig

Actor Alec Baldwin weighs in at HuffPo:

"No one can honestly say what Craig did or did not do. No one can know his real intentions. In the new, jacked-up reality of airport "security", maybe those cops in Minneapolis jumped the stall. But if Craig has the chance, especially now that his Republican colleagues have cut his throat, maybe he will experience a change of heart and realize that to be gay, whether he is or not, ought not be a shameful thing, let alone a crime, for anyone. Had he embraced at least that he might still be a Senator today."

It's against the law to be gay in this country? Who knew?

And remember, sex with strangers in public restrooms is only a shameful thing if you smoke afterwards.

If only Craig had embraced Baldwin's values he might still be a Senator today.

From Massachussetts maybe.

Not Idaho.

Tell Someone Who CAIRs

Joe Sestak's friends at CAIR are embarrassed again by their terrorist connections.

Isn't he?

Hollywood Hates the Troops

The Compliment Vice Pays to Virture

Powerline's John Hinderaker makes a good point.

"Under the circumstances, it is easy to ridicule Craig. Easy, but not very productive. I think it is more useful to defend him against the principal charge leveled against him by liberals: hypocrisy. The conventional claim made by liberals who ought, in principle, to be sympathetic to Craig if he is indeed gay, is that he is a "hypocrite" because he has not supported political causes like gay marriage.

"This, however, is a non sequitur. Homosexual legislators are under no more obligation to support gay marriage, gay hate-crime legislation, etc., than African-American legislators are obliged to support affirmative action. In both cases, the issue is one of public policy. A homosexual, just as well as a heterosexual, may conclude that gay marriage is a bad idea. Gay activists of course disagree with this judgment, but it is not "hypocritical" for a homosexual legislator to hold a public policy view opposed to their own, any more than it is "hypocritical" for a legislator who has received a speeding ticket to support speed limits.

"What happened to Larry Craig is a tragedy for him and his family, and a misfortune for his staff, his friends and many others. He may be guilty of a number of sins, but hypocrisy is not among them."

Sen. Wide-Stance Resigns

"Sen. Larry Craig made a difficult decision, but the right one," (Sen. Mitch) McConnell said. "It is my hope he will be remembered not for this, but for his three decades of dedicated public service."

Nice of him to say, but fat chance.

A Sense of Decency

Surely, Anti-War critics have one, suggests Bill Kristol. Based on my experience, I wouldn't be too sure of that.