Friday, June 27, 2003

Ah, vacation
InstaPundit has gone on vacation, off to the Caymans for some scuba diving (check the picture). It's too bad he couldn't delay about a week 'cause that's when I'll be down there. My wife and I didn't have time for a honeymoon when we were married, and we figured now was as good a time as any, even if it is nearly ten years late. I've never met Glenn Reynolds, but reading his blog on a daily basis makes me feel like I know the guy. It would have been keen to have the chance to bump into him down there, but oh well.
Cloning VDH
I stumbled across a rosy review of Victor Davis Hanson's new book Mexifornia: A State of Becoming in which the author, Mona Charen, calls for VDH to be cloned so he(they) can more easily share his(their) wisdom. Charen wrote a piece back in 2002 calling cloning a "revulsion", but I guess she thinks it's okay if she really, really likes the clonee.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Ending discrimination
Jay Nordlinger views the Supreme Court's affirmative action decisions the same way I do, and he writes circles around me, so I'll defer to him:
White liberals — the Lee Bollingers, the Maureen Dowds — think they're doing black Americans a favor by pushing reverse discrimination (or just plain "discrimination," as many of my readers have admonished me to call it). When they get the idea — from black Americans themselves — that they're not doing anyone a real favor, and that they can take their paternalism and their discrimination and shove it, they will back off, chastened. Until then: no way.
In other words, affirmative action will continue to exist as long as minorities continue to demand it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

This photo gives me the heebie-jeebies. Can the guy still talk?

Monday, June 23, 2003

Taking it to them
I know why Hamas is suddenly willing to consider a cease-fire:
A key sticking point has been Israel's refusal to date to halt targeted killings of wanted Palestinians. Israel says it reserves the right to go after "ticking bombs," but uses a broad definition that includes not only assailants about to carry out attacks, but also those who send them. Over the weekend, Israeli troops killed a Hamas leader, Abdullah Kawasme, whom Israel blames for the deaths of 52 Israelis.
Not quite the same when the guns are pointed at you, eh?

It's certainly debatable whether Israel is in the right when it uses "targeted killings", but there is no doubt that the Hamas leadership is as morally culpable as the underlings who do the dirty work. The U.S. is bringing political pressure, the culture of death is slipping and Israel is going for the throat. The combination is having an incredible effect.

Is Hamas' call for a cease-fire simply a ruse as the Israelis fear? I'm not optimistic in this particular case, but overall I am encouraged that the stage is being set where peace, even a temporary, tepid peace, is at least conceivable.
Tax cuts are meaningless without spending cuts. Shoot, we don't even have to cut spending per se, just spending increases:
According to Riedl, all Congress has to do is limit the average annual growth of mandatory spending programs to 4.6 percent per year — instead of the 5.6 percent proposed by President Bush — and freeze non-defense discretionary spending at the 2003 level, and we could have a balanced budget by 2008.
Do President Bush and the Republican Congress understand this?
The affirmative action decision
In a word, disappointing. My position on affirmative action is pretty simple - it's racism. There's no denying it or spinning it any other way. Racial preferences, by definition, imply a person is defined by his skin color. In principle, what is the difference between that and, say, a KKK member's beliefs? Of course, there is no difference, and that is why affirmative action must be ended.
My son and I saw "Hulk" this weekend. His review: "Awesome!" My review: "Eh."

I laughed when I saw Lou Farigno (a nice tip of the hat). I laughed when the Hulk shot down a helicopter by spitting a warhead at it (so Looney Tunes). I laughed when the Hulk beat one tank with the turret of another (just found it amusing), and I laughed when they froze Talbott's image as the explosion from his own grenade engulfed him (also amusing). I found the rest to be nothing special.

If you'd like to frame it with the other Marvel movies that have been released in the last few years, it's not as good as Spider-Man or the X-Men flicks, but it's better than Daredevil. Much better than Daredevil.

About the ending: When I was a kid I used to watch the Bozo the Clown show on WGN before going to school. At around 7:30 they'd show a cartoon of some sort, usually an old Superman or Batman and Robin tale. One of the Superman cartoons I remember very well had a villain who could absorb all kinds of energy (okay, so I can't remember the bad guy's name). So whenever Superman would punch him, the guy would just get bigger and more powerful. Finally, Superman gives the guy a big hug, letting his super powers flow freely into the bad guy. It doesn't take long for the guy to realize he's absorbed too much, that his human body cannot contain all that power. So he tosses Superman off, runs down the street and explodes.

That pretty much sums up the climactic fight scene at the end of "Hulk". Is there really a super villain in the Marvel universe that has these super spongy powers, or did they make him up for the film? If he already existed, I'd be interested to know which came first, Marvel's or DC's. If Super-Absorbent Bounty Man was made him up for the film, then shame on them for stealing from Bozo.

If Bruce inherited his Hulkiness from his father, wouldn't his father be a Hulk, too? It would have been more fun to watch two Hulks beat each other than the Hulk vs. Sponge Bob match that was presented.