Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Art of Derision

Comments on the Iraq Study Group and its final report:

Eliot Cohen: A fatuous process yields, necessarily, fatuous results.

James Lileks: [following a summary of some of the proposals] All conducted under the watchful eyes of Unicorns, of course.

Hugh Hewitt: ... it immediately reminded me of the Hoare-Laval Agreement...
Christopher Hitchens: ... the first name in that pact is almost perfect, isn’t it?

Victor Davis Hanson: ... it reminds me of somebody who's diagnosed with, perhaps, a brain tumor, then wants to do hip surgery.

Victor Davis Hanson: I would not want these people issuing a report to Lincoln after Cold Harbor.

John Podhoretz: The nation's capital hasn't seen such concentrated wisdom in one place since Paris Hilton dined alone at the Hooters on Connecticut Avenue.

Mark Steyn: The ISG -- the Iraq Surrender Gran'pas

Jonah Goldberg: ... the report hits stratospheric heights of banality.

Jonah Goldberg: Baker did not seek to find a solution for Iraq at all. His mission was to stuff a grab bag with enough mundane blather that nine graybeards plus Sandra Day O’Connor could assent without really risking anything.

Mona Charen: If this document were not so unrealistic, it would amount to suing for terms.

Mona Charen: ... this report consists of platitudinous, utterly naïve wishful thinking.

Tony Blankley: ... a cynical document intended to build a political consensus for "honorable" surrender.

Tony Blankley: ... transparent sophism ...

Saturday, December 9, 2006

ISG: Let's all hold hands

It's a war, not a buffet

Jonah Goldberg on NRO (they're on a roll today)

Apparently, someone forgot the guitar so the ISG could sing Kumbayah

... viewers at home (all three broadcast networks broke in to cover the “news” live) watched as one commission member after another grew misty-eyed over their own statesmanship. Former Clinton Chief of Staff Leon Panetta waxed lyrical about how this document represented “one last chance at unifying this country on this war.” Heads sagely nodded at the relentless self-adulation of commissioners who put their “partisan differences” behind them in the spirit of unanimity, unity, bipartisanship, comity, handholding and all around mutual respect and love.

(It’s no wonder one of their key recommendations is to form an international Iraq “support group.” Who can resist the image of Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whining about how his father never loved him, only to be interrupted by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia complaining that the Zionists ate all the good doughnuts?)


The group also recommends that “Iran should stem the flow of arms and training to Iraq, respect Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and use its influence over Iraqi Shia groups to encourage national reconciliation.” Phew. Thank goodness Vernon Jordan signed on to that one. If only nine out of ten had agreed, some people might have concluded that maybe Iran shouldn’t do that stuff.

In short, Baker did not seek to find a solution for Iraq at all. His mission was to stuff a grab bag with enough mundane blather that nine graybeards plus Sandra Day O’Connor could assent without really risking anything. Indeed, former Justice O’Connor was a perfect choice given her preternatural gift for reaching decisions with no discernible principle to them other than the need to please everybody a little. Yogi Berra once said, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” That, it seems, was the commission’s approach.


September 10th again

Negotiate with Iran?

Andrew McCarthy, Nat'l Review Online

Details Iran's 25-year war against America and deplores the Iraq Study Group's call to negotiate.

... We abdicate now. We turn a blind eye as our implacable, insatiable enemies pick off our best and our bravest. We shrink from the duty a quarter century of mayhem imposes. We don’t have the will.

It will be for my son, and yours, to face down this challenge. A challenge that endures because we offer to talk while they plot to kill.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Two cops shot in New Lenox

Got a call from Neeley last night at 9:00 p.m.: "Check out the news, there were two cops shot at Lincoln Way Central"...

It was all over the news alright. There was a shootout at the L-W high school parking lot at around 7:45. The high school is less than a mile ENE of our house. The only thing we noticed at the time was a squad car came flying down the main street by us. We were at Movie Gallery, across the street, two hours before that.

We wondered if Mark was one of the ones who were shot. Neeley tried to call him but got his answering machine. I imagine the whole force was over at the scene for a good part of the night. There can't be more than 3 or 4 dozen NL cops. Of course Mokena PD, Frankfort PD, Will Co. Sheriff, and Illinois State troopers were all on the scene too.

Here's the "Daily Southtown": 2 New Lenox cops shot at L-Way Central

One of the officers is Andrew Dowding. The other is not named but it doesn't appear that it could be Mark -- I think he was on the force prior to 9/11 (?)

Monday, December 4, 2006

Word Pet Peeves

Here are some of the mistakes I've come across in professional writing:

Should of and could of instead of "should have" and "could have" (or "should've" and "could've"). ("Of" is correct in "kind of", however.)

(Spotted today, 12/4/06) "Lightening rod" should've been "lightning rod" (unless the rod somehow reduces the weight of things.)

"Alter" instead of "altar" as in "returning to the alter".

Confusion of "their", "there", and "they're" -- I do this often too, but their is really no excuse for they're mistakes on this -- there supposedly professionals, right?

Then there are "your" and "you're". Oddly, "yore" is almost never confused with either.

Using apostrophe-s for plural's.

Favorite pun of the day: "it takes me back to Kerry in ’04 when he tried to convince gun owners and hunters that he’s a Nimrod."

(Another one spotted today, 12/4/06) "Standing up to" used in the context of "supporting"; it should've been, "standing up for".