November 25, 2004


The December 2004 issue of ACM's Communications is a special issue on "The Blogosphere", including articles by Andrew Rosenbloom, Ravi Kumar, Jasmine Novak, Prabhakar Raghavan, Andrew Tomkins, Bonnie A. Nardi, Diane J. Schiano, Michelle Gumbrecht, Luke Swartz, Steve Cayzer, Rebecca Blood, and Cass R. Sunstein.

Cass Sunstein's article, Democracy and filtering, worries once again about the dangers to democracy of people cocooning themselves with only like-minded thinkers. Funny how that doesn't seem to be an issue when it comes to the political makeup of academia.

ACM acknowledging the blogosphere as a legitimate field of study is a better indication that it has arrived than anything the NY Times or CBS might say about it.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:03 AM | Comments (1)

November 24, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am blessed with a wonderful life full of family near and dear, new friends close and old friends far away, co-workers, customers around the world, brave men and women in uniform, great food, great wine, single malt scotch, vintage ports, lambics, real ales, hi-end audio toys, CDs, DVDs, vinyl records, live music, cigars, ideals, good health, the theater, a culture of freedom and the rule of law, foreign travel, philosophy, history, movies, art, antiques, the Internet, games, books, sports, National Parks, medical miracles, modern dentistry, fabulous consumer technology, commercial space travel in my lifetime, myriad golf courses, guns, and, yes, blogs. I've got more than twice as much as I deserve and cherish the goodwill and good fortune I enjoy less than half as much as I should. I sincerely hope your life and your Thanksgiving are as wonderful and fulfilling as mine.

Oh yeah, I'm decanting a 1977 Graham's Vintage Port tomorrow and the family doesn't arrive for the official Thanksgiving dinner until Friday, so if you're in the neighborhood stop on by for a drink or two with some apples, pears, Stilton, and chocolate. I don't mind drinking alone, but I do like to share something this good. And if it's too good I may be tempted to break out the 1985 Graham's or the 1992 Fonseca as well. And that's just to get started!

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and say a prayer for those so far from home tonight defending us and bringing freedom and hope to so many who have never enjoyed it before.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:38 PM | Comments (1)

November 20, 2004

European Values

Consecutive headlines at The Drudge Report:

EU officials implore new immigrants to learn 'European values'...


Popular politician wants Holland shut to non-Westerners...

Outraged Greeks say Alexander was not bisexual...

Who knew racism, xenophobia and homophobia were European values?

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:00 PM | Comments (1)

Letting the Lunatics Run the Asylum

Looks like Ron Artest is going to have plenty of time to work on promoting his rap CD now:

Indiana's Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson charged into the stands and fought with fans in the final minute of their game against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, forcing an early end to the Pacers' 97-82 win.

I can only read about this in the paper, since I lost interest in the NBA about 10 years ago and frankly barely realized their season had started up again. I see that things have only gotten worse since I was repelled by the lawlessness on the court as it now spills into the stands. I mean, if you aren't going to enforce the rules for travelling and carrying the ball, why would the players think you are serious about any of the other rules? Maybe David Stern should consult with Rudy Guiliani about the "broken windows" theory of restorig and maintaining order. Anything less than at least a half-season suspension is just begging for more nonsense from those whom Charles Barkley correctly and appropriately labelled "the knuckleheads."

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2004

Who Let the Blogs Out?

Dodd did a bad thing. He's letting anybody post anything over at Ipse Dixit.

But if you want to read some really clever, funny stuff, check out the Caption Contest archives.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

Enlightenment Ends! White Men, Conservatives Hit Hardest

What I find most illuminating about this article by John Tierney that documents the discrimination against conservatives and Republicans in academia is that it once again reveals in the starkest possible terms the blatant hypocrisy of the Left and illiberal utopian statists of all stripes. When it comes to Title IX compliance, glass ceilings, or affirmative action, substantially weaker statistical correlations are trumpeted and accepted by the chattering class, politicians, and, most depressingly, the courts, as de facto evidence of discrimination against women and minorities.

While conventional wisdom likes to suppose that there is a very high correlation coefficient between conservatives and white men, and vice versa, I would guess that the conjunction of these two sets is, while significant, somewhat smaller than the Left thinks, and it is getting smaller all the time due to a growing trend of younger people towards conservatism, an ever-growing black middle class, and the impact of immigration.

So, what's it going to be? Since I seek intellectual and philosophical consistency in my positions, I'd prefer to abandon all quota-based solutions across the board and let the market solve whatever problem there is rather than introduce new quotas to effect some "desired" change in society. If there is a demand for less liberal colleges and universities, some enterprising chancellors and presidents are going to capitalize on it. If there isn't a demand, then perhaps this is all just a tempest in a teapot driven predominantly by anecdotal evidence. But will the Left maintain a consistent, coherent policy by now applying the same quota-driven restitution solutions for a clearly, and overwhelmingly, discriminated against class of people, or will it resort yet again to one set of rules for me and another for thee?

See! There are stupid questions.

(Title of the post changed from "Sauce for the Goose" after reading this.)

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2004

One Small Problem

Congratulations to Condi Rice as she is selected by the President for confirmation to be the next Secretary of State! This is a true milestone, and I certainly expect Ms. Rice to shine when compared to, say, Madeleine Albright. Dancing with dictators is undoubtedly off the agenda. Too bad the President didn't have a woman lined up to be Attorney General that would have compared favorably to Janet Reno. But, I digress.

Some have speculated about a 2008 matchup now between Ms. Rice and Senator Clinton in the race to be the 44th President of the United States. The biggest problem with this is the job that Ms. Rice will be taking on. As a practical matter, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to run for President, or Vice President for that matter, while acting as Secretary of State. On top of that, there is a long precedent for Secretaries of State to try and avoid domestic partisan politics as much as possible. So Ms. Rice taking the helm at Foggy Bottom and running in 2008 only makes sense if she expects to stay in her new job for less than two years.

Somehow, I don't think that this is what she or the President has in mind.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:37 AM | Comments (8)

November 15, 2004

It is the Season For Mulled Wine

The hits just a keep on comin':

Netherlands Mulling Anti-Terror Laws

Don't use too much cinnamon!

DOWNDATE: James Taranto adds:

Marwan Barghouti was mulling a run for the Palestinian Authority presidency

It warms the heart to see so many getting in the, ahem, Christmas spirit.

DOUBLE DOWNDATE: What is this, the word of the day?

Glenn Reynolds mulls cabinet moves

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

A Finger in the Dike

While we're on clichés:

Holland Prepares to Dam Up Jihad

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)

The Yolks On You

Somebody had to do it. Although I haven't yet seen a reference to Mr. Carville's problem being one of counting his chickens before they hatched.

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

In the Immortal Words of Yoda...

"Do, or do not. There is no try."

An unidentified man tried to set himself on fire outside the White House fence midday Monday, witnesses said... A spokesman for the District of Columbia Fire Department said the man suffered burns over about 30 percent of his body.

Gee, are we going to see him now on Sorry Everybody! Or is this fellow another outcast from the Burning Man? Or was he merely trying to call forth Moses with his burning so close to Bush? At least we are pretty certain it wasn't a case of spontaneous combustion.

Oh, and let me guess, someone is now going to suggest we should listen to what this cripy critter has to say because he set himself on fire. Man, do I have a bad attitude or what?

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:22 PM | Comments (1)

Enquiring Minds and All That

Anybody want to wager on when John Kerry or John Edwards next tell us that Mary Cheney is a lesbian? As little as four years ago, who could've guessed that two Senators would make talking about lesbians a major point of their campaign -- I mean, aside from us redneck brownshirts in Jesusland?

Posted by Charles Austin at 12:15 PM | Comments (2)


From the Latin plusquamperfectus, literally, more than perfect.

Posted by Charles Austin at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)

May I Suggest, "Murderer's Row"

Uh, shouldn't that be "misgoverned"?

Several French municipalities governed by communist and left-wing majorities are considering naming a street or a square after Yasser Arafat.

Here are some other alternatives a la Francais:

Rue Terroriste
Assassin Avenue
Meurtier Cul-de-sac

Any more suggestions?

Posted by Charles Austin at 12:05 PM | Comments (1)

November 12, 2004

The Realignment is Real

The latest vote totals from the election are as follows:


This isn't exactly news, but after doing some analysis I discovered a couple of very interesting things that will greatly trouble the Angry Left. I looked at the difference in votes in each of the states and noticed two trends that would seem to indicate that the election wasn't close at all and, in fact, may not be close again any time soon.

First of all, look at the states either candidate won by at least 10%:


Then look at the states where either candidate won by less than 5%:


These numbers indicate that the red states are very, very red, and that there aren't many red states where great efforts will have to be extended to keep them red; whereas, the blue states are fewer in number and not secure at all. I have to admit that I expected this to be true before I started crunching the numbers, but I was surprised at the strength of the Republican's hold on the red states vice the Democrat's hold on the blue states.

Maybe this is why nobody is leaping forward to take on the hopeless task of Democrat Party Chairman.

(The spreadsheet that was used to generate the numbers above is too large to display here, but it is rather simple. I can probably mail it to anyone that is interested in it. Oh yeah, I bitched about Washington, D.C., being considered a state in an earlier post, but it is the easiest way to deal with it in this context.)

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:03 PM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2004

Fact Checking Her, Um, Facts

Peggy Noonan is positively giddy about the election. So giddy, in fact, that she cheated the United States Marines out of 29 years of their history:

But of course none of this is anything to what is being done today, and tomorrow, in another battle, called Fallujah. It was launched on what might be called the Feast Day of the United States Marines, their 200th birthday as an American fighting force.

For the record, it's 229 Ms. Noonan.

Posted by Charles Austin at 01:59 PM | Comments (2)


I'm trying to reduce the vitriolic political hyperbole and be a little more understanding and gracious towards the less serious amongst us, but this sort of thing makes it really, really hard:

VINCENT D'Onofrio, the star of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," passed out while shooting the hit TV series yesterday morning — prompting insiders to gossip that the actor is "losing it."

"Ever since John Kerry lost the election, [D'Onofrio] has lost his [bleep,]" said our on-set insider.

"He has been getting into fistfights with people, and when he passed out today, we all thought he was faking it. But then he insisted they call 911."

An ambulance raced to the Queens studio, where paramedics found nothing wrong with the gifted actor, who became a star in 1987 with his searing performance as a misfit Marine in "Full Metal Jacket."

Tensions on the "Criminal Intent" set are running high. "No one thinks Vincent will last for much longer," the insider said.

"He is so hard to work with — a total freak. He constantly complains about the scripts and has held up production a lot."

D'Onofrio, a big Kerry supporter, was said to be devastated over President Bush's re-election. "When PAGE SIX [last week] wrote about 'Law & Order' putting up signs forbidding political discussions on set, it was funny," our source said. "Those signs were put up because of [D'Onofrio]."

About a month before the election, D'Onofrio "insisted" on putting up anti-Bush posters and fliers, "and would attack anyone who disagreed with him," the spy added.

In response, "Law & Order" producers posted signs banning political discussions or anything else that would impede work on set, implying that D'Onofrio had held up taping of the show with his political zealotry.

Maybe he's having a Vietnam flashback from his role as Private Pyle in Full Metal Jacket.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

A Heartfelt Thank You

Thanks to all the men and women who now wear, or have ever worn, any of the uniforms of the United States Armed Forces. Your courage, strength, resolve, and sacrifice are what make so many things I value possible.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)


Via Instapundit:

NPR'S ANNE GARRELS IS REPORTING that Sarin nerve gas has been found in Fallujah.

Any guesses on which media outlet will be the first to claim that President George W. Bush is responsible for the Sarin since it was created by the insurgents after Saddam Hussein was deposed in response to the United States' illegal war on the people of Iraq? I mean, we all know that there were no WMDs in Iraq, or is this another of those conveniently deferred facts that can now be openly discussed since the election is over and their guy lost?

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

Pity Poor Barbara Plett Today

BBC reporter Barbara Plett's tears flowed when Yasser Arafat left his compound for what turned out to be the last time. She must be heartbroken that the murderous old bastard has finally died.

Here's hoping Gulbuth the Rampant enjoys his new boy-toy.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2004

The Scourge of Richard Cohen, Vol. CVIII

(Ed. -- The following is a bit of mean spiritedness that will be an on-going feature of this blog. Normally the author will endeavor to be reasonably fair, but this is an exception.)

Sisyphus was (is?) a wimp. Greg tempted me last week to once again slide up against the rough-hewn stone with the post-election rhetorical brain droppings of noted fecal-encephalite Richard Cohen, but I successfully resisted the siren’s song and shunned the always futile labor of tactfully traversing the tangled webs of deception so carefully woven by the Shelob of Sheboygan (yes, yes, I know he’s from New York, but Shelob of New York doesn’t scan), always knowing that another column, more insipid than the last, would be coming out in less than a week. Having instead put my energies since the election into paying work, riddling paper targets with extreme prejudice, home maintenance, and familial opportunities and obligations (I am the pater familias, after all), I felt quite chipper knowing that the monkey of a shrieking red-faced blue-state flunky was off my back.

And then today, Martin goes and suggests that I, the Scourge of Richard Cohen, would have to admit that yesterday’s bedpan contents comprise a “pretty good column.” Without challenging the necessity of “admitting” anything, eschewing the gamut of subliminal connotation that carries, let me just say that I shall do no such thing. I can, and will, be baited into bating this admixture of acerbic half-truths and semi-serious punditry as it so poorly deserves. And so, without stepping in further a doodoo, I shall take up my non-Herculean duties at least once more, suppressing the flashbacks of high school chemistry lectures on the difference between adsorb and absorb, and the fear and loathing that brings on, long enough to properly hold up to ridicule the dissembling Dupes and Dopes Of Campaign '04:

A phrase from a press release struck me:

Doubtless, with good cause. But isn't it amazing how clear everything has become after the election?

"In voting for George Bush, religious Americans were duped into voting against their best interests."

“And by best interests, we mean what we decide is best for you, the little people.”

The operative word is "duped," and it explains, almost by itself, why the Democratic Party is in the pits and John Kerry is not the next president of the United States.

Well, technically, John Kerry could still be the next president of the United States – in 2008. But don’t hold your breath or you’ll turn all blue-state, or something, waiting for it to happen. And as for the Democratic Party being in the pits, well, if you are open to some gentle advice -- stop digging! Or is Richard Cohen merely advocating that the Democratic Party needs to get better at fooling people?

Only a dope thinks these voters were duped.

Why do you think we call them dopes? (Man, this stuff just writes itself if you’ve lived through the same 45 years of PSA’s I have.)

The press release comes from an organization called "Retro vs. Metro America," which -- par for the course nowadays -- is also a book and a Web site and soon, probably, a breakfast cereal.

Or, Stix Hix Nix Blix-loving illiberal utopian statists. But don’t worry, those rubes in flyover country will never figure out the irony laden name.

It is Democratic, …

But, of course!

… and consists of some pretty impressive people, including the pollster Celinda Lake.

Hmm…, it doesn’t seem right after the election to have the words “pollster” and “pretty impressive people” in the same sentence.

And while a press release is, after all, just a press release …


… the one from Retro vs. Metro does represent the fairly common view that cultural conservatives have no idea what they are doing.

How commonly unfair! Thank goodness the cultural progressives are here to save us from the enemies of enlightenment.

For a little piece of heaven, they will sacrifice a better standard of living, health insurance and a chance to live their retirement in splendor.

Whereas, for a chance to engineer a little piece of heaven on earth, the sophisticated will sacrifice your freedom, your money, and your future. Splendor is so bourgeois.

In some theoretical way, this may be the case.

And when theory conflicts with reality, well, we know who trusts the exit polls more than the actual vote tallies, now don’t we Mr. Olbermann?

But in the real world, as they say, you tell me what Democratic program would have improved the economic well-being of your average family so that, even for a moment, it would have to weigh trading off a cultural conviction.

I can’t name any. Does that mean I win?

Is there a single American out there who really thought that Kerry's program to end or limit or whatever the outsourcing of jobs overseas was going to amount to anything?

Well, yes there are. Or is Mr. Cohen stating unequivocally that John Edwards was lying?

If so, that person should have been deprived of the right to vote on the grounds of insanity.

Um, ok. Though I have to admit that letting Richard Cohen decide who can vote, or who is sane does worry me a bit.

And tell me, is there anyone out there who thought you could narrow the deficit and fund all sorts of programs merely by eliminating the tax breaks President Bush gave the very rich -- people who make more than $200,000 a year?

Well, yes there are. But please, $200,000 a year isn’t anywhere near “very rich.” And anyway, being rich has a lot more to do with your assets than your income, though I would note that the real “very rich” like to punish those of us who may be earning a lot but can’t hope to compete with the assets they can live off of without ever having to work again. Helps to keep the hoi polloi out of the club, don’t you know?

I voted for Kerry, but I didn't believe that for a second.

Ok, but it’s us cultural conservatives that are all, like, stupid and everything.

So just how, precisely, were all these cultural conservatives duped?


It seems to me that they saw through the promises for what they were -- empty -- and voted on what mattered most to them.

In other words, cultural conservatives realized that John Kerry was, at best, an empty suit and voted accordingly. Whereas, Richard Cohen realized that John Kerry was, at worst, an empty suit, and voted accordingly.

They knew, just as we all know, that nothing in the Democrats' oh-so-moderate program was going to make much difference to them -- or, even if it did, it was not worth what they would have had to give up in exchange.

Whoa, dude! That makes sense. You’re freaking me out here.

Sometimes a voter may actually decide to vote against his or her economic self-interest.

Alas, this is the Democrat’s real problem, but until all those damned trees are cut down they won’t be able to see the forest. In other words, it’s not the economy, stupid! Sure the economy matters, but not so much when there are people trying to kill you, and another very large, and very loud, group of people are telling you it’s your own damn fault somebody wants to kill you, you freakin’ Jesusland morons! My personal economic self-interest demands that I be alive to have an economic self-interest. Or maybe, just maybe it could that a large swath of people in Middle America do not worship mammon over all else.

In an Oct. 26 column I cited Jewish voters as an example. As a definable group, they are among the wealthiest in the country, and yet time and again they vote overwhelmingly Democratic. In the 2004 election, Bush got only about 20 percent of the Jewish vote. In that column, I cited the power of culture, which is not simply inherited, like hair color, but can be the product of thought as much as tradition.

Is there a point here? And couldn’t it be made without the simplistic caricatures of the good Jew who earns lots of money but thoughtfully assuages his guilt for doing so by spending his money (and my money) on those less “fortunate” than he, and the money-grubbing “very rich” Republican who thoughtlessly would rather see people starve than part with the ill-gotten gains he has achieved by exploiting the downtrodden?

Most Jews are not voting Democratic out of mere habit.

Oh? Many of my Jewish friends seem to think they are.

They are making a conscious decision to forgo an economic benefit for something that matters more -- a cultural imperative for social justice.

I’m not entering this fever swamp. The miasma has taken its toll on me already. But you gotta love the track record of those cultural imperatives.

They believe in social welfare programs.

So do I. But believing in social welfare programs is not synonymous with advocating unconstrained and unaccountable spending on every hare-brained scheme that is proposed. Especially those whose unintended consequences are ignored, despite overwhelming evidence that they have had deleterious effects on families, self-reliance, and independence.

They believe in redistributing wealth (some of it, anyway)…

Especially mine, apparently. It really bothers me that people are so anxious to spend my money to do their good works. Here’s a real kick in the ass – find the first blue state in this list of which states are the most charitable with their own money. Here's a hint, don't look in the top half of the list.

… and they believe firmly in civil rights and civil liberties.

And, of course, I don’t. Is that it Dick?

What are these rights worth?

Well, that depends on what you … wait for it …, value.

Anything you can name, because history teaches that without them even the pursuit of happiness is futile.

Wow, so it’s not all about money and economic self-interest then. If only we had known.

It behooves Democrats to understand that Christian conservatives can make the same, hard choices.

You mean Christian conservatives can be as smart as the Jews? Isn’t it sad that Richard Cohen believes he has to tell Democrats that?

Of course, real economic privation can change the equation -- would you rather have a job or stop gay marriage? -- but barring that sort of choice, culture wins out.

But, of course, cultural conservatives are all about barring choice. Although I have trouble imagining a scenario that has someone choosing between a job or stopping gay marriage.

That does not mean that liberals have to feign agreement or abandon their values.

Of course not, but naturally those cultural conservatives should.

When it comes to gays, for instance, the Republican Party has engaged in unconscionable demagoguery -- and the president knows it.

Yeah, the Democrats have a patent on unconscionable demagoguery – and the president better damn well start respecting it. After all, John Edwards has a lot of free time on his hands.

In the short run, gay rights may be a losing issue, but this is a matter of human rights, not to be traded away.

Privileges, Dick, not rights. People who think and act like Mr. Cohen have so debased the concept of human rights that it has little meaning left for me anymore, but I’m too tired to go into it any further at this point. And while all gays are human, not all humans are gay, whether we are swapping anything or not, not that I was aware anyone was offering you anything in return for gay marriage.

With all due respect to the voters of most of the states, on certain issues, I'd rather be right than red.

And we all just know that red is wrong. A profound sense of one's moral superiority is such a tricky thing, eh Dick?

Still, what matters most is attitude, a mind-set that does not convey the message that people who vote the "wrong" way are dupes.

Oh, I don’t know. I think the Angry Left has plenty of attitude. Note that Dick didn’t say the Angry Left is wrong to think that these morons voted the “wrong” way, just that they shouldn’t convey their true feelings so that they can be properly “duped” next time.

These people know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it.

Yes, you see they don’t vote the “wrong” way because they are stupid or deceived – they do it because they are evil!

It is the people who insist otherwise who are the true dupes in this case -- not of some political candidate, but of their own wishful thinking.

In other words Angry Left Democrats, you’re stupid.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:30 PM | Comments (5)

November 04, 2004

Is It Alright to Speak Ill of the Virtually Dead?

As others have noted, it is a great irony that Arafat died in a bed. Peacefully. In France. If he does get up, I'm going to have to go back and reread Revelations, what with living in, you know, Jesusland and all. But hey, maybe somebody can make a movie called Ocean's 13 about a madcap chase by a bunch of lowlifes to find Arafat's billions.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:12 PM | Comments (2)

Get Well Soon

Elizabeth Edwards has been diagnosed with breast cancer. There is never a good time for this, but right now has to be especially difficult. I wish Mrs. Edwards the best of luck with her treatments and hope she fully and quickly recovers. Best wishes to her and all her family as they all go through this ordeal. They've had more than their share of bad luck. If any of this was weighing on John Edwards' mind yesterday, then he gets a pass from me.

Here's one way to help and express support: Susan J. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:59 PM | Comments (0)


Hey, liberal America! You want to know what the problem you have connecting with red state America is? It's when I read something like this I can't tell whether he's serious or if it's a parody.

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:14 PM | Comments (3)

But When I Became I Man, I Put Away Childish Things

This ought to put to rest the desire by some to see John Edwards in 2008:

When Cahill told him the numbers didn't add up, the candidate's reaction was immediate — he told her to put together a plan for a graceful concession.

Kerry's family was devastated. The legion of Democratic lawyers and operatives on the ground were eager to mount a challenge.

Kerry's running mate, the boyish John Edwards, said they shouldn't concede, the fight wasn't over.

But the more mature, 60-year-old Kerry would have none of it.

"He instantly made the decision that he didn't want to put the country through any lengthy litigation," Cahill said later. "To go forward [with a lawsuit] in a time of war — that was something he didn't want to do."

This helps to explain the petulant nature of John Edwards pre-concession speech yesterday. Little John has been drinking the Kool-Aid for far too long. Either that or he seems to think that suing is the answer to all problems. John Edwards is a little too old to be "immature" about such matters, especially if he wants to be president, don't you think?

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:47 AM | Comments (6)

November 03, 2004

When Your Answers Don't Add Up, Check Your Assumptions

Long, ad hoc, wandering post in the extended entry explaining why some really, really, smart people are missing something that should be crystal clear about the election results. Cripes, I need an editor.

Some nights when I work late, I catch a repeat of the Tavis Smiley show on the way home. Normally, I do this just to get myself riled up with a case of radio rage, but about once every four years I do it to gloat. Tavis and his guests didn't let me down tonight. Once again, I heard one of the oft-repeated memes from the "reality-based community" that Bush couldn't possibly have won more than 50% of the popular vote since more than 50% of America thought the country is headed in the wrong direction. The only thing more surprising than the "reality-based community's" confusion over this point is their shock and amazement that "morality" was the single most important issue to the largest number of people voting according to another poll (usual caveats apply), and that these voters broke overwhelmingly for Bush. What these really, really smart people -- and we know they are really, really smart because they keep telling us that they are really, really smart -- can't seem to grasp is that some of the people who think the country is headed in the wrong direction are the very same people who think morality is the most important criterion in deciding whom to vote for. Take my word for it that this particular demographic were not going to be voting for John Kerry and they do not blame President George W. Bush for all that ails America. The liberation of Iraq is not the only issue on the table, even if the shouting in the echo chamber tends to drown most everything else out. Heck, even Bob Kerrey said the people of Gallia, Ohio, didn't give a damn about the war in Iraq. Now I doubt that Mr. Kerrey was correct when he said that, and his condescension has been duly noted, but I don't doubt that some of the people in Gallia, Ohio, are very much opposed to say, gay marriage, partial birth abortion, or stem cell research that requires the destruction of human embryos.

Or, maybe, it's not so much that they are opposed to gay marriage as they are opposed to having gay marriage forced upon them by people who consider them stupid, extremist, fundamentalist bigots. Or, maybe, they take offense when what they consider as their sacred regard for human life is ridiculed. I'm certain that the moral plurality don't like to be treated with contempt by people whom they believe are motivated by a self interest that seems to make them a little too casual when it comes to what the ridiculed truly believe is the murder of the weakest and most defenseless amongst us.

The progressive forces who were behind the nationwide push this past year for gay marriage didn't stray outside their cozy little echo chambers long enough to realize how much they were alienating and energizing people who were very much opposed to them. The take no prisoners pro-choice crowd isn't exactly winning any friends or influencing any people either with their absolutist stand on partial birth abortion. No matter how noble the intentions of those advocating the most experimental stem cell research, in the eyes of the pro-life crowd, the most assertive voices are perceived as being a little too willing to take actual lives for nothing more than the potential to sustain other lives. These are profound moral issues, and yet, rather than try to educate and convince their opponents, progressive reactionaries lambast them as illiterate, retarded, or crazy. Most people are emotional mirrors. If you treat them with disdain, anger and condescension, you shouldn't be surprised when the hostility is returned, with interest.

I have no way of determining this, but I would wager that the number of people who think the country is headed in the wrong direction and believe that this is President George W. Bush's fault is probably only in the 40-45% range. If I'm right, then it resolves the apparent paradox of how President George W. Bush could get 51.5% of the popular vote even when more than 50% of the populace thinks the country is headed in the wrong direction. Is the us versus them mentality that is so prevalent today what causes so many to set up false dichotomies, such as imagining that everybody either believes President George Bush is 100% perfect or that he is 100% evil, and further that everyone must conveniently fit into one of these two pigeonholes? The need to demonize those not in their own pigeonhole is another tribal-based pathology that I'm even less qualified to pontificate on.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:31 PM | Comments (5)


Sometimes, it is justified:

A post-election comment from George Soros

Obviously, I am distressed at the outcome of the election. I hope, but don't trust, that the second Bush administration will have learned something from the mistakes of the first. What is at stake is our ability to recognize our own fallibility.

Starting with "our" own, right George? As we look at the success of SpaceShipOne and anticipate the widespread availability of space travel, I wonder which wealthy celebrity will be the first to threaten to leave the planet if the proles don't bow down to their preferred electoral whims? Anybody interested in starting X-terra pool to bet on who will be first and when?

Posted by Charles Austin at 05:06 PM | Comments (4)

Elections and Allies

Two down (Australia and the United States), one to go (Great Britain). Come on Tony! Rumor has it that Prime Minister Blair will call for the election in February. And while we are at it, congratulations to the people of Afghanistan and good luck to the people of Iraq in January.

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

Did D.C. Become a State When I Wasn't Looking?

Yahoo seems to think so.


* Just in case the inference isn't clear.

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:03 PM | Comments (2)


Drudge says:


Well, sort of:

“We feel strongly that our pre-election polls were accurate on virtually every state. Our predictions on many of the key battleground states like Ohio and Florida were within the margin of error. I thought we captured a trend, but apparently that result didn’t materialize."

So, I suppose Zogby's trend was fake, but accurate. But what is most revealing, and damning, is his admission that he had a predefined conclusion that the data failed to support.

Posted by Charles Austin at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

And So, CBS Sucked It?

Time to buy a clue:

Bloggers blew it

Or so says the headline on a CBS Marketwatch story written by Fred Barnarko that wants to lump all bloggers together and condemn them because Matt Drudge posted the early exit poll numbers and they then propogated throughout some parts of the blogosphere. Well, aside from Matt Drudge not being a blogger as I understand the term, a lack of appreciation for how the blogosphere links and spreads information, and giving the exit pollers a pass for being so egregiously, and conveniently, wrong, I suppose he has a point.

But before you swallow this insightful analysis competely, consider this additional wisdom buried within:

The biggest Election Day winner was The number of Tuesday visitors to the site was nearly 1 million, according to an analysis by comScore Networks.

I don't know who comScore is, but Drudge said he got over 36,000,000 hits yesterday, which only makes Mr. Barnako's numbers off by approximately 3500%. Hey, maybe that's better than average at CBS. But I think the big winner yesterday was President George W. Bush, even if the journalists at CBS have trouble actually saying it.

Oh, and the sub-headline on this tale read:

Commentary: Much posting, little impact

So, I guess we all have something in common, eh Mr. Barnako?

Posted by Charles Austin at 01:21 PM | Comments (0)

Gracious and Good

Senator Kerry has conceded. This is a gracious act that reflects very well on his character and his future. It also happens to be very good for all of us. I believe this reflects the true nature of Senator Kerry now that he is unburdened by the seamier side of trying to win. Maybe he'll run for Senate Minority Leader now.

To paraphrase the Bard, for Al Gore and now John Kerry: Nothing in his campaign became him like the leaving it.

Posted by Charles Austin at 12:07 PM | Comments (1)

The Morning After

Hey! Bush won! But the heaping wads of cash I wished for still haven’t shown up. I bet you thought I was wishing for a Bush victory yesterday when I blew out the candles -- and you would lose. I was wishing for great wads of cash to be dropped on my doorstep since I was quite confident that Bush was already going to win. No use wasting a birthday wish on something that will already happen.

As of this morning, President Bush has 51.55568% of the popular vote and Senator Kerry has 48.44431%. I can’t help but wonder that if the numbers were reversed Big Media would be rounding the larger number to 52% instead of truncating it to 51%. I predicted a 52% vote total to Bush. With rounding, which is normal in these instances, I declare that prediction a success.

Over at Ipse Dixit I also predicted that Bush would get 312 electoral votes, and that the GOP would pick up 3 Senate seats and 6 seats in the House. With respect to the electoral vote, the total now seems to be closer to 286. I was wrong about New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. With respect to the Senate, it looks like the GOP will pick up 6 seats (DeMint, Burr, Isakson, Martinez, Vitter, Thune ) while losing 2 seats (Obama, Salazar) for a net gain of 4. I expected Murkowski to lose. Unfortunately, with the rules of the Senate, not much will change. With respect to the House, it is still too early to tell, but I feel comfortable with my estimate of a GOP pickup of 6 seats. All told, this tells me that I was being fairly realistic in my outlook based upon my filters of all the news and polls.

Before 8:00 PM I thought that the exit polls were crap. Strangely enough, I didn’t know about the exit poll predictions until about 7:00 PM. I had been out of the house and not on the ‘net so I didn’t know about Drudge or anyone else posting the bogus exit polls. But it does explain the early evening depression on Fox, except, of course, for Juan Williams, who got a lot quieter as the evening wore on. As I predicted then, the exit polls will become another Big Media scandal in the coming days.

And yet another prediction I made last week came true. Every “heartland” state went for President Bush.

Transnational Progressivism’s victory party has been deferred, but the battle will rage on.

I predict blogosphere hits will drop precipitously in the coming weeks. But blogs are here to stay.

I saw Wonkette for the first time while flipping channels last night. She appear to be nothing more than a flippant poseur who wouldn’t get the time of day from Big Media (or Big Blogosphere) if she looked like Helen Thomas and didn’t talk about sex.

As a thought experiment, imagine how badly John Kerry would have lost without the 5% boost from Big Media that Evan Thomas suggested. You’d be a fool to imagine that this Big Media bonus will now go away.

Megan McArdle says:

THINGS ARE LOOKING BAD FOR TOM DASCHLE IN SOUTH DAKOTA. I confess I don't understand the obsession that led to pouring $25 million into the state to defeat a rather moderate minority leader, but this will be a big scalp for the Republicans.

Megan is very smart, but maybe the lack of sleep was clouding her judgment on this one. Aside from the obvious advantage of taking down the leader of the other party, the number of truly contested Senate seats is small in every election, so if you can flip one, that justifies the expense.

And while I’m commenting on Instapundit guest contributors, there's also this from Ann Althouse:

Here in Madison, I'm surrounded by overwhelming numbers of people who voted against the President and must be horrified at the prospect of four more years. I was just saying yesterday afternoon, as I was reading the exit polls that so favored Kerry, that it might be better for the national psyche, at least, if Kerry won, that it would be much harder for Kerry supporters to tolerate more Bush than for Bush supporters to accept giving the other party a chance for a while. But, despite some lingering denial among Kerry supporters (including some MSM outlets), that is not to be. Those of us who are happy with the outcome would do well to resist gloating. There is a lot of pain out there, and perhaps setting an example of graceful winning can help inspire some graceful acceptance of loss.

Oh please. I do agree that we should be graceful winners, but people that are horrified by the thought of four more years of Bush need to grow up or seek some professional help. Frankly, I don’t give a damn about their self esteem. I wouldn’t have liked it if Kerry had won, but I wasn’t promising to leave the country if he won. Whatever happened to the virtues of putting up the good fight and then accepting the outcome? The infantile behavior and underlying thought patterns of the Angry Left that drive them do not deserve kid gloves and sympathy. I’m happy about the outcome and I’m not gloating. Sure, there are some who positively revel in the schadenfreude today, but that’s nothing compared to what those of us who are happy today would have been subjected to had the result gone the other way. Oh, and I feel the same way about Europe.

Primary benefits of President Bush’s reelection:

1. The malignant malevolence of the political malefactor Terry McAuliffe should be become a thing of the past. If I were a Republican, I’d wish him to stay considering his track record. As it happens, I am not a Republican, so I’d rather the adults retake control of the Democrat Party. My support of President Bush had a lot more to do with a concern over the election of John Kerry than any strong belief that George W. Bush is a great president. Having said that, President Bush is much better on the War on Terrorism than he is generally given credit for. The negativity surrounding the reportage of Iraq is just ridiculous. Events on the ground are much better than anyone expected before we went in – and that’s a fact. Maybe now the saner heads in the Democrat Party can stop wishing for bad things to happen just to make President Bush look bad. Maybe Mr. McAuliffe can open up an You're Doomed! consultancy with Bob Shrum.

2. Chief Justice Rehnquist can safely retire now and relax for his remaining years. The same is true of Justice Stevens and Justice O’Conner.

3. The days are now numbered for the scum of Fallujah. Did anybody else see the live feed of our troops watching Fox News from Fallujah last night? Who knew we had troops who could sit and watch TV in Fallujah? Isn't Fallujah supposed to be a lawless encampment that we cannot enter?

4. North Korea and Iran (the remaining members of the Axis of Evil) just received their wake up call.

5. Maybe Andrew Sullivan will stop exhibiting the symptoms of bipolar punditry, with all its higher than high highs and lower than low lows. Andrew is bright, talented and perceptive, but his wild mood swings do not do him justice.

6. After his concession speech we may never have to hear Senator Kerry's monotone, sonorous platitudes again.

7. The silly, and I do mean silly, talk about dispensing with the electoral college will subside for a while. Anybody who thinks the electoral college is going away either hasn't read the U.S. Constitution or they didn't understand it when they did read it.

8. All the meaningless, nonsensical coincidences that are offered up as predictive correlations, if not causal agents, for presidential election results can be put to rest, e.g., the Washington Redskin's final home game result before the election.

9. Ron Reagan should retire from public life. Ron, trust me, your friends on the Left find your commentary as uninformed and your politics as juvenile as I do. Now that the warm glowing warming glow of having Ronald Reagan's son dis his political heirs has worn off, they'll be taking your microphone away because you are embarrassing even them.

10. Political polling has become almost hopelessly disreputable.

11. Sean Puffy P. Diddy Daddy Combs can go back to whatever he was doing before his Big Media hyped power grab to become the hip-hop political power broker. So, with the absence of the youth vote, how many people died Diddy Daddy?

And now, back to life...

DOWNDATE: I added a couple more benefits that slipped my mind earlier.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:09 AM | Comments (8)

November 02, 2004

1955 CST: I Remain Extremely Optimistic

As I've sat watching the returns for a little over an hour it has seemed as thought what the talking heads were saying were not matching the numbers that were rolling by the screen. I'm watching Fox primarily, and the folks there have been starting to worry about Bush's chances based upon the exit polls and the slowness in calling obvious Bush states like Virginia and Mississippi. But what I've seen, as the numbers roll by, has Bush steadily increasing his lead across the board.

And now, Bill Kristol just nailed it. He speculated for the first time about whether or not there might be a systematic error in the exit polls based upon what they are actually seeing in the returns from the precincts where the polling was done.

Nothing has changed. Big Media has been drinking their own bathwater for so long they no longer realize that that is what they are doing -- even the folks at Fox. It's still Bush with 52% of the popular vote and 312 electoral votes from where I sit. And by the end of the week, the problems with the exit polls and why they were so wrong will be the big story.

DOWNDATE: Michael Barone is offering evidence now as well from Florida that the actual returns are breaking much more strongly for Bush than the exit polls indicate.

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:53 PM | Comments (0)

I'm Back

I had the day off, so after voting I went to the Y and then went shooting. It seems strange that making things go "BOOM!" is so very relaxing.

So, has the election been stolen yet?

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:12 PM | Comments (0)

Da, Da, Da, Da, Da, Da, Da, Da, Da, They Say It's My Birthday!

I've mentioned it before, but today's my birthday. I've blown out the candles and made my wish. Now, all of you are going to give me a present and make my wish come true... aren't you?

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:34 AM | Comments (7)

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Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:36 AM | Comments (1)

November 01, 2004

America Is From Mars, Europe Is From Venus

I don't know, I just had to say it.

With Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery playing on the TV in the background, I am inspired to say something about where Senator Kerry's from, but good manners and decorum prevent me from doing so.

Say, maybe I can use the Austin Powers to great effect tomorrow...

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:17 PM | Comments (1)

A Typo?

Kerry Looser, Ready to 'Bring It Home'

Posted by Charles Austin at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)