Saturday, August 30, 2003

Well I'll be doggone - - the Left are lying about Clean Air.
David Warren drips with sarcasm but nonetheless states his case, doesn't he?

Should the Americans withdraw from Detroit?

While they have been able to hold Detroit since General Harrison recaptured it after the Battle of Lake Erie (in 1813), hardly a day now goes by in which there is not an ambush or a killing. The rate has been rising through Detroit's notoriously long hot summer.

If the standard is one killing per day -- the current average in Iraq is a little less than that -- then the U.S. should also withdraw from Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. An analysis of the statistics, in proportional terms, suggests further quick withdrawals from Memphis, Dallas, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and of course, Washington, DC.
This is simply fabulous.

All this hysteria and unrest should come as no surprise given the ambition of our endeavor, which is no less than a war of civilization to end both terrorism and the culture and politics that foster it. Still, let us ignore the self-interest of contemporary parties and reflect on the very scope of American audacity. In little more than three weeks, and coming on the heels of an amazing victory in Afghanistan, the American military defeated the worst fascist in the Middle East. Surrounded by enemies, and forced simultaneously to conduct the war against terrorism in dozens of countries and restore calm on the West Bank, the United States nevertheless sought to create consensual government and order under legal auspices in weeks — rather than the decades that were necessary in Japan and Germany, where elections took years and soldiers remain posted still. The real story is not that the news from Iraq is sometimes discouraging and depressing, but that it so often not — and that after two major-theater wars we have lost fewer people than on that disastrous day in Beirut 20 years ago, and less than 10 percent of the number that perished on September 11.

It is no wonder that we have almost no explicit voices of support. Most nations and institutions will see themselves as losers should we succeed. And the array of politicians, opportunists, and hedging pundits find pessimism and demoralization the safer gambit than disinterested reporting or even optimism — given the sheer scope of the challenge of transforming Afghanistan and Iraq from terrorist enclaves and rogue regimes into liberal and humane states.

I'm back!

Of course, the phrase "out of touch" doesn't come close to applying to me right now. I've avoided the news for a week, and after watching my beloved M's get swept by the %@(&@#$ RED @#(*&&^$ SOX I even stopped watching ESPN. I spent the better part of the week walking around Boston, eating real Italian food, and poisoning myself with top-shelf booze. So, once I get back into the swing of things, you can expect more outraged posts.

See ya tamorrah!

Friday, August 29, 2003

Dem Dirty Dems

You'd think the California Left would be just FROTHING to remove this Gray Davis fella, after hearing this:

A new study released today ranked metropolitan areas nationwide by the highest number of days of unhealthy air pollution levels from 2000 to 2002.

The area with the most, a total of 445 unhealthy days, goes to Riverside-San Bernadino. Fresno comes in second place, and Bakesfield comes in third. Los Angeles-Long Beach ranks number four, and Sacramento is fifth.
California: home of the FIve Most Polluted Cities in America.

The scientifically-challenged wacko environmental lobby are really kind of odd, aren't they? First they march to try and save Saddam Hussein's ass, even though he may have committed the most harmful environmental crime EVER in 1991. Now they are doing all they can to keep California in Democrat hands, despite the environmental destruction heaped upon their great State during the Gray Davis regime.

(seen on AlphaPatriot)
Is there much to be said about this that hasn't been said already? Animal Rights Group Claims Chiron Bombing
The American Enterprise Institute web site has an intriguing article about how the media are "sexing up" American casualties in Iraq.

And there is this toward the end:

Since March thousands of terrorists from around the world have flocked to Iraq to wreak death on Americans. They are still pouring in, drawn like moths to flame. They hope to kill Americans. Instead, they themselves are being killed in droves. In early August, for instance, in an American sweep north of Baghdad, while eight Americans were being killed, more than 300 Fedayeen who engaged them died in combat.
THAT is the honey pot effect.

Did CNN or anyone else report those 300 dead?????? Oh I don't recall.

We also find this in the article:

More and more middle-level Iraqi are losing their fear of Saddam and the Baathist party, and are bringing intelligence to the Americans. Even restless, hostile youths on the street are refusing to take up arms against the Americans; the reward they are being offered for killing one American has had to be raised from $300 to $5,000.

Meanwhile, 95 percent of Iraq, while still bristling with privately held arms and dangerous, has brought very few deaths to Americans and others. Virtually all the killings of Americans these days take place within a triangle whose three sides are approximately 100 miles in length. This small triangle, a mere five percent of Iraq's land surface, runs from just south of Baghdad about 100 miles north to Tikrit, about 80 miles from Tikrit to Al-Ramadi, and another 80 miles from Al-Ramadi back to Baghdad.

This is the famous "Sunni triangle," Saddam's homeland, and his most-committed base, the main source of his leadership cadres, and his most trusted and fiercest loyalists. What future do these Baathist Sunnis face, in an Iraq democratically led by a Shiite and Kurdish majority? Even though their rights will be protected, and their interests represented in the new government, some of them will still have to face an unblinking justice. For how long will their scarlet crimes be remembered by those they tortured, murdered, and tormented for 30 long years? Some of them desperately fear a just society.

I suggest that you should read the whole thing, and then feel good about your country's commitment to hunting down the kind of despicable barbarians who have murdered non-combatants in Bali, Kenya, Tanzania, New York City, Jerusalem, Moscow, Amman, and, now, Najaf.
This is a tough call, if you will pardon the pun.

Consumers have until Sunday to add their phone numbers to the 41.7 million already on a list to block telemarketing calls starting Oct. 1. K. Dane Snowden, chief of the Federal Communications Commission (news - web sites)'s consumer and government affairs bureau, said those who sign up for the do-not-call list after this weekend likely will have to wait until early next year before calls are blocked.

Telemarketers have asked the federal courts to block the new rules, saying they violate their free speech rights. The case is pending.
I have heard both sides of the argument, and i think the calls are a pain in the butt sometimes, just like everyone else, but what of the First Amendment implications?

I just bought a power sander

I found myself with three choices:



Porter Cable

I bought the Porter Cable model, because it is made in America.

I've never been much for look-for-the-union-label and buy-made-in-America mantras spouted throughout the Eighties by organized labor, but in this economic and political climate, I find myself wanting to keep my money here, where it works best for my neighbors and their friends and their neighbors and their friends...

I suggest maybe you do the same.

Of course, sometimes it is hard to find products made in America. Sometimes one is compelled to wonder if the label is true.

Nonetheless, I submit the notion for your consideration.

Lastly, I purchased this product at Sears Hardware, because: "Sears, Roebuck & Co. maintains full job benefits and partial pay for military reservists called up to fight in the Iraq war"

For a list of other companies who are going beyond what is required by law for their employees serving the our Armed Forces, see here. If you can, buy from them.

Animal rights wackos release minks into the wild. Most die of dehydration or collisions with automobiles. Survivors run wild killing chickens and cats.
The Watcher's Council voting for this week has been completed.

The winners are:

Endgame / Reality Check by Exultate Justi

The Long Road Home by L.T. SMASH.

Find the entire compendium of results here.
Dem Dopey Dems

California Democrats are unhappy with Taco Bell. They think the restaurant is rigging the recall election. To wit:

Taco Bell announced the first installment of its Taco Poll results yesterday, in which 54 percent of the votes went to Schwarzenegger and his crunchy beef taco, and just three percent of the votes went to Davis and his chicken soft taco. All other candidates received 43 percent of votes through purchases of the chain’s Grilled Stuft Burrito.

Unhappy with the mock poll results, the chairman of the California Democratic Party, former state Sen. Art Torres said yesterday that “Taco Bell should stick to making tacos, not rigging elections.”

In a press statement released yesterday, Torres said beef tacos always outsell chicken tacos, which cost twice as much at the restaurant chain. In Sacramento, Torres said, Taco Bell sells beef tacos for 74 cents and chicken tacos for $1.50.
Yes. They're serious.

San Mateo Daily Journal

My guess is that Pepsico, who own Taco Bell, are vying for the lucrative contract to sell refreshments to Halliburton workers in Iraq.

It's just a guess.

(via The Angry Clam)

The New York Times online has a good Flash presentation of 9-11 transcripts here.
Strategy Page reports that American and local forces are dropping the hammer onTaliban and other RadIslamic forces in Afghanistan.
Restriction on political commercials struck down!

In Norway.
So you waltz into the bathroom at work to take a crunch and a coworker engages you in coversation.

What do you do? It's a quandary, to be sure.

NCBuy has the answer.
George Will opines:

Part of the good news out of Iraq -- good news obscured by recent bad news, and sometimes mistaken for unalloyed bad news -- is that the deaths, including at least 62 Americans, caused by hostile action in Iraq since major combat operations ended include the deaths of almost 50 Iraqis. They died, Wolfowitz says, as exemplary pioneers of Iraq's progress up from tyranny, while working with coalition forces to secure public order and create civil society.

Wolfowitz says such casualties are plain, and stirring, evidence of -- and an unavoidable consequence of -- a desirable development; the slowly growing willingness and capacity of Iraqis to take responsibility for their nation's recovery.
Read more here.
Anna Quindlen sez:

'What you saw time and time again was hubris brought low, people accustomed to instant communication without phone service, people accustomed to flying anywhere and at any time grounded at the airport."

There was also some finger-wagging at Americans for not reacting with proper humility and introspection. "No talk of changing behavior, of finding a balance," rues Quindlen. "Once the biggest power outage in history had begun, the only concern was for getting the juice back as quickly as possible. There was a faint undercurrent of revoked privilege."
Reason has it here.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Boeing is building the Air Force a new munition, the Small Diameter Bomb, a "a 250-pound class precision-guided weapon launched from a fighter, bomber or unmanned aircraft that will destroy targets from a range of greater than 40 miles and penetrate more than 4 feet of steel-reinforced concrete."
Did not the Bush Administration and Pentagon both say that the engagement in Iraq would be long, arduous, and costly?

Well, yeah, they did.

So why is "since the Bush Administration declared an end to major combat" the most oft-used phrase in today's media?

Returning from four weeks of holiday, in which I did my best to avoid all news, I find myself again somewhat shocked by the sheer malice of the mainstream media. The journalists themselves are overwhelmingly 'liberal'. In the U.S., for instance, they have been shown to vote as a class for Democrats over Republicans by margins of more than ten-to-one; and further, that they tend to identify with the left wing of that Democrat Party. They want to bring down President Bush, at all costs; and if Iraq is turned back into a Saddamite killing field, or Al Qaeda is given a new lease on life, they don't particularly care. For they smell Republican blood.
David Warren expounds.
Blackout in London!

Oh the irony is delicious.

First the American Left tells us we need EuroSocialized health care, and we listen and listen and listen right up until 10,000 people in France die from hot weather.

And what of power? The power goes out in the Northeast United States and "it's all about deregulation!" shriek the Left.

Who owns The National Grid in England?

BBC NEWS | England | London | Power cut causes chaos

UPDATE: The Grid in England was privatised in 1990.
This is interesting: Halliburton did more than $2 Billion in business with the United States Defense Department during the Clinton Administration.
Associated Press 08/29/00

The company run until this month by former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney has reaped more than $2 billion in federal contracts to support U.S. troops on some of the peacekeeping missions that George W. Bush says have helped run down the military.
What started out as a $4 million contract in 1992 to help the government plan how to provide meals, tents, toilets and laundry for troops sent on missions to far-flung lands has grown substantially for Halliburton, an oil-services conglomerate.

Halliburton's Brown & Root Services subsidiary has received the lion's share of the Pentagon's troop support business in the years since the Persian Gulf War, which Cheney helped direct as secretary of defense under Bush's father.

A big chunk of the business came in 1995 when troops were sent to Bosnia. The Army paid Brown & Root $546 million to provide logistical support for over 20,000 American soldiers in Bosnia, Croatia and Hungary. The company had already earned $269 million on the contract.

Two years later Brown & Root received a sole-source contract worth $405 million to continue support services in Bosnia. Last year the company beat out one other bidder to win a five-year Army contract to support U.S. peacekeeping troops in the Balkans region. Originally awarded for $900 million, work under that contract has now reached $730 million and could go to more than double that figure because more troops were sent to Kosovo last year.

Another contract for support services awarded this year by the Navy will bring in at least $300 million.

The government has hired Halliburton for dozens of other jobs, from a $100 million contract to improve security at U.S. embassies and consulates to a $40 million contract to maintain labs at the National Institutes of Health.
Oh dear.

UPDATE: See this from Right Thinking.
The Spectator Online has this...
Any realistic assessment of the Palestinian matter has to start from the fact that Palestinian terrorism is not sui generis. The Palestinians have nothing. With essentially no economy they live off the kindness of strangers. But the "kindness" comes with sanguinary strings attached. From Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq (while Saddam was in power, and perhaps still from his coffers) quite a lot of money comes in to the West Bank and Gaza to fund terrorism. If those same funds were put to constructive use, the Palestinian territories would look like Beverly Hills rather than the blood-spattered slums we see on the news everyday.

As I have said more than once, the Arab nations don't give a damn about the Palestinians. They are using them as proxies, as cannon fodder in their never-ending war against Israel. There is no possibility of peace in the area, far less the Middle East as a whole, until we face the facts of Yassir Arafat and his bankers.
...and more to say about the war between Israel and Arabs.
A British Labour (read: Leftist) PM says Cuba ain't perfect but it ain't too bad, either.
But for me, that visit was the start of a life-long love affair. There is no need to confuse that statement with uncritical acclaim for everything about the place. But criticism should never ignore the fact that Cuba's primary service to the world has been to provide living proof that it is possible to conquer poverty, disease and illiteracy in a country that was grossly over-familiar with all three. That is a pretty big service. The fact that it has been delivered in the face of sustained hostility from an obsessive neighbour makes it all the more stunning.
Yes. Remarkable.

While we're excerpting, here is some information about Cuba from Human Rights Watch:

Human Rights Watch has monitored human rights conditions in Cuba for more than fifteen years. Although severe restrictions on basic civil and political rights have been a constant in Cuba during this period, the current crackdown, both in its scale and in its intensity, far surpasses the violations we have documented in the past.

The current crackdown began on March 18, as the world's attention was focused on the impending war in Iraq. Within the space of a few days, state security agents arrested dozens of people, searching their homes, and, in many case, confiscating fax machines, computers, books, typewriters and personal papers. State-run television accused the detainees of "provocations" and "subversive activities."

Prosecutions began in early April. In four days of trials, from April 3-7, 75 defendants were tried and convicted; none were acquitted.

You can find more here, if you are so inclined.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Yes yes yes yes yes! Anyone who reads these pages (and admittedly there are only a handful of you at present) knows that I subscribe to the notion that Iraq is a honey pot - designed specifically to attract Radical Islamists into one arena where American and British forces can kill them.

Austin Bay at suggests the same. Here is an excerpt:

The second battlefield is a large 'strategic' ambush, and the enemy entering the kill zone still hasn't quite figured it out. From an American perspective that presents an opportunity, an opportunity with risks, but one with huge potential payoffs. In Iraq, America is ambushing Al Qaeda and tag-along jihadis powered by the fantasy ideology of Islamo-fascism.

The ambush was never completely secret. In a column from Jan. 29 of this year, I wrote: "The massive American build-up around Iraq serves as a baited trap that Al Qaeda cannot ignore. Failure to react to the pending American attack would demonstrate Al Qaeda's impotence. For the sake of their own reputation (as well as any notion of divine sanction), Al Qaeda's cadres must show CNN and Al Jazeera they are still capable of dramatic endeavor. This ain't theory. Al Qaeda's leaders and fighters know it, and the rats are coming out of their alleys."

Astute observers have dubbed America's ambush the "flypaper strategy."
Ah, well. I prefer "honey pot".

You can read the rest here.

UPDATE: There is more here, at Instapundit.
Lee at Right Thinking has a brickbat for the so-called peace marchers.
Now we can add Canada to the list of countries under siege by Radical Islam.

Nineteen foreign students arrested by a federal anti-terrorism task force two weeks ago have possible connections to al-Qaeda and may have been scouting the CN Tower, law courts and other buildings, officials say.

Canadian authorities claimed, in documents disclosed yesterday, that police raids had turned up material suggesting the men, 18 Pakistanis and an Indian, sought information about the size and operation of Canadian landmarks.
I honestly am completely incapable of understanding how anyone can believe we should just bring the troops home and go about our business.
So Oklahoma has filed charges against one time Worldcom CEO Bernard Ebbers. Here's the part I made a note of:

The complaint accuses Ebbers, the other executives and the company of violating state securities laws by giving false information to investors in 2000. WorldCom collapsed into the nation's largest bankruptcy last year amid an accounting scandal that has grown to $11 billion.
The year 2000. Somehow, even though fraud at Worldcom and Adelphia and Enron and Global Crossing ALL started before George W. Bush took office, the Left always seems to try to tar the Bush Administration with the wrongdoing.

See the Corporate Fraud section our Resources for more examples.

Another corner turned, I reckon - - the Ten Commandments monument has been moved.

There's just one thing i don't get, and it is mentioned herein:

The federal court had said the monument could be in a private place in the building but not the highly visible spot in the rotunda directly across from the building's entrance.
"A private place in the building", it reads.


I give up. How can there be a "private place" in a "public building"? I mean, there are no private smoking rooms in New York City restaurants, are there? So a privately-owned restaurant in Greenwich Village is totally public, but a courthouse in Alabama has private places.

My Grandmother, what twisted courts you have!
These are absolutely, positively hilarious. They may, it should be noted, not be politically-correct enough for work. View with discretion.
You can no longer smile while having your Canadian passport picture taken.

Perhaps the passport offices could pipe in some Janeane Garofalo material to sober up even the most stubborn of grins.
Alan Keyes argues that the Constitution of the United State does not prohibit States from establishing religions and that furthermore the Constitution certainly does not empower Federal judges from prohibiting same.

A campaign is under way to smear two scientists who question whether the God opf Global Warming really exists.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Looks like a group of Conservatives in Nevada want their own recall.

A statewide group of activists and conservatives angered by Nevada's record tax increases will notify the Secretary of State's office Wednesday of their intent to recall Gov. Kenny Guinn.

Members of the Committee to Recall Governor Guinn said Monday they have more than 600 volunteers ready to circulate petitions and collect the more than 128,000 signatures needed to recall the governor.

"Guinn wrote the tax plan. He was the catalyst behind it, and we need to get rid of the catalyst," said political consultant Tony Dane, one of five members of the group's steering committee.
Oh dear.
A fella on the ground in Iraq speaks a bit about rules of engagement.
10,000 dead in France...

...and Lee at Right Thinking has a word or two in commentary.
Boston's gotta hire Whitey

Judging people based upon merit and not skin color. What a fine ruling just after the anniversary of Doctor King's speech.

Four white men passed over for firefighting jobs in favor of minority candidates who scored lower on civil service tests must be hired as soon as possible, a federal judge has ruled.

The men had sued the Boston Fire Department for discrimination. They must also be awarded back pay and seniority they would have earned since October 2000, the date they were denied employment, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Stearns ordered Monday.

A fifth plaintiff who was hired last October also will get a pay raise under the ruling.

"I think hopefully we're just going back to normal, the way it was meant to be, so that now they are just hiring the best person, regardless of race or color," said Harold Lichten, the attorney for all five men.

Yahoo! News - Boston Ordered to Hire White Firefighters
California schools to curtail homework

I guess they're not content to be just near the bottom....

"It's recognizing these kids are people. They're not just these little academic machines,'' Assistant Principal Chuck Merritt said of Palo Alto High's efforts to alleviate student stress.

In a world where students load their transcripts with advanced classes, sports, clubs and volunteer activities to impress colleges, education experts say concerns about stress are valid. Too much tension is linked to everything from cheating on tests to binge drinking and suicide.

"It's very scary,'' said Denise Clark Pope, a lecturer at Stanford University's School of Education. "We're hurting our kids.''

Lynbrook High administrators said they have been working on reducing academic anxiety for a while. Students attend only half of their classes Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and they jump on trampolines and blow soap bubbles during the school's annual stress-free week.

"Some kids are just stressed all the time,'' said Barbara Minneti, Lynbrook's assistant principal for school climate. "They don't have time to do anything. They're trying to pad their résumés with jobs and 2,000 clubs. And then they're doing homework until 2 o'clock in the morning.''

Welcome to the Mercury News on
France has its own quagmire

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Ivory Coast rebels kill two French soldiers
Broader Conflict in Iraq

In the days and hours following the explosion which obliterated UN offices in Baghdad the bombing was blamed on Sunnis, Shiites, Ba'athists, Ansar al-Islam, al Qaeda, visiting foreigners, surviving Husseins, Syrians, insiders, outsiders, fat kids, skinny kids, and kids who climb on rocks. Suffice it to say, no one really knows who did the deed.

The latest official stab in the dark is that a remnant of the secular Iraqi secret service farmed out its resources to the fundamentalists in Ansar who actually carried out the attack. If true, this would demonstrate that nothing unites a country quite like invading it.

"Of course, ideologically they are not at all compatible. On the other hand you sometimes cooperate against what you consider a common enemy," General John Abizaid, head of the U.S. Central Command, observed.

And then there's this:

Second, offensive search-and-destroy missions are the only proven counter to insurgencies. If you are sitting around guarding pipelines or international aid offices you are not on the offensive. Which brings us to the third big problem with trying to prevent attacks on soft targets: You wind up making your troops vulnerable to attack.


Monday, August 25, 2003

Iraqi WMDs Lebanon?

U.S. intelligence suspects Iraq's weapons of mass destruction have finally been located.

Unfortunately, getting to them will be nearly impossible for the United States and its allies, because the containers with the strategic materials are not in Iraq.

Instead they are located in Lebanon's heavily-fortified Bekaa Valley, swarming with Iranian and Syrian forces, and Hizbullah and ex-Iraqi agents, will report in Wednesday's new weekly edition.

World Page
See it to believe it

Diplomatic advisor to President Chirac, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, is quoted to have said to the Israeli ambassador in France, Nissim Zvilli, that there is no proof that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are terror organizations. "If we find that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are indeed terror groups opposed to peace, we may have to change the EU's stand," said Gourdault-Montagne. "However, we mustn't limit ourselves to one, clear cut, position."

Israel News : Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Found on DANEgerus
BBC Follies has some neat news for that unbiased maverick anti-establishment beacon-of-truth BBC we hear som much about...
Remember when the States sued Big Tobacco...

...and the joke often heard was that soon people would be suing fast food restaurants for getting them fat?

Well, it's beyond that now. There are actually elected officials in Washington and lobbyists elsewhere who are calling for the Federal Government to step in and curtail the marketing and consumption of fatty and fast foods.

Oh, and guess who these wacky Leftists are starting with, guess who is most at risk, guess who is being exploited, guess who is being targeted, guess who The Left are slogging off to their McJihad for every day. Guess.

Know the answer?


Of course. It's the children, stupid.

Kelly Brownell, professor of psychology at Yale University, calls all this the "toxic food environment" and shows examples - baby bottles with soft drink logos and bibs labeled "Future Whopper Eater."

Children especially are getting bombarded. In a typical year, some 10,000 ads are seen by children; 95 percent of those are for candy, soft drinks, fast food and sugared cereals, Brownell said.

"If healthy foods were advertised as much as unhealthy, maybe we'd have a chance," he said.

Brownell says restrictions should be placed on characters used in advertising aimed at young people - much like they were for R.J. Reynolds' Joe Camel. He'd like to see Ronald McDonald eat his last fries and disappear.

"There is no evidence that the federal government is doing anything to address the problem," Brownell says.
RedNova News: Political Debate Looms Over Obesity

Update: Cox and Forkum have moreon this, and a good cartoon.
Feel better about Iraq

I was saying to my golf buddy just this weekend that it's so draining - hearing the daily story about American or British soldiers getting killed in Iraq without hearing any good news on a daily basis.

I just want to hear (and believe) that we're getting more of them than they are getting of ours. In other words, I'd like to hear that we are winning.

Yahoo! News - U.S. Raids Capture 7 Suspects in Iraq
Why Europeans (and others) often view America as, well, whatever

So it is back to rehearsing. They are to be the opening act tonight for an all-woman rock band called Concrete Blondes, who are headliners at a feminist music festival in town called "Estrojam". It's an important gig for the five, the biggest they have ever done. They are nervous and have to get the moves right. "George Bush and my bush, We're sitting by a tree. Said my bush to Georgie, Stay away from Me!" Suddenly, Eric and Margaret link hands and hoist Abigail, the smallest of the group, into the air. "George don't know jack about my Bush!" Someone leans out of a nearby apartment window and hoots approval.

It has been about a year since Lickity Split started subverting the all-American tradition of team cheerleading for political ends. They have kept the pompoms and the ear-to-ear saccharin smiles. And they gleefully display lots of flesh. (A little too much, you might say.) But this definitely is not the version of cheerleading you will see on the average college football field or as portrayed in films like American Beauty. Their energies are not going into perpetuating the macho image of the American jock, but rather into voicing anger at the system. Anger at Bush. Anger at homophobia. Anger at war. Anger at whatever.

And while they are the only group in Chicago, Lickity Split are hardly alone in the land. First dreamed up by two sisters in Florida six years ago as a new means of expressing political outrage, Radical Cheerleading is fast becoming a movement all of its own, with an estimated 100 squads trading clenched fists for pompoms in cities all across the United States and Canada. Watch out for them at a street demonstration near you soon.

Ah, well. I guess this is innovative...

Meet the ra-ra radicals
They say America belongs to the rich

I say that's bullshit. If people organize and push back hard enough at what they see as wrong, there will be movement.

For instance:

Nor were the "cracker" rank and file silent. "Imagine if the Sons of the Confederacy described the NBA as a punk-a** colored man's sport," Nascar fan and online commentator Grandstand Bob wrote. "It's roughly the equivalent of [Charles] Farrell's comments. Neither statement is fair, and both deserve equal disdain, but don't look for apologies from the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition."

In Nascar-friendly Nashville, Tenn., fans threw a collective rod. "We're all wondering what would happen if David Duke tried to extort money from the NBA and NFL because of the relatively low level of white participation," says local radio talk-show host Phil Valentine, who recalled an earlier interview with Mr. Jackson. "I told him that the appearance of graffiti is an early sign of neighborhood decay. Jesse responded by saying that graffiti is the 'hieroglyphics of poverty.' For him, everything is about oppression."

Mike Helton, the president of Nascar, tried to convince fans that they had it all wrong. "NASCAR does not endorse political views," he said in a statement posted at "NASCAR endorses DIVERSITY." Despite his heroic prose, USA Today and the Associated Press would soon report that the relationship with Mr. Jackson was on the skids.

NASCAR fans tell Jesse Jackson to step off
Feel better about American society

Violent and property crimes dipped in 2002 to their lowest levels since records started being compiled 30 years ago, and have dropped more than 50 percent in the last decade, the Justice Department reported Sunday.

The annual survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics identified about 23 million crime victims last year, down slightly from the year before and far below the 44 million recorded when studies began in 1973.

Could this be Bush's doing? Are people too busy looking for jobs to burglarize? Has increased levels of arsenic in drinking water tamed the would-be robber? Were prospective murderers converted en masse to a more peaceful life by the death of Rachel Corrie?

It all gets so confusing sometimes... - Report: Crime rate lowest since 1973 - Aug. 24, 2003