December 27, 2001

More Than Just Civilized Decorum

Little Green Footballs embraces racial profiling. I disagree.

Saying that all our enemies are of a common ethnic and religious group is one thing; treating all members of that ethnic or religious group as our enemies is quite another. And that's what racial profiling is, whether it's used to fight terrorism, drug trafficking, or any other social ill.

There's another problem here, in that the premise - most of our enemies look like X - simply isn't true. Racial profiling won't catch a Timothy McVeigh. It won't catch a David Gunn. It won't catch the lunatics who sent anthrax to Senate Democrats and liberal media outlets (does anyone still think that was a foreign effort?).

Racial profiling won't make us any safer - in fact, it may lull us back into a false sense of security like the one we had on the morning of September 11.

If we have to treat our fellow citizens as if they were criminals, solely because of their appearance, in a futile effort to improve our "security" then we have all become less secure, not more.

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December 24, 2001

On Vacation

I'm off on vacation for a few days. Everyone have a very happy holiday with your friends and families.

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December 21, 2001

Daschle Sucks

I'm getting more and more hits these days for the phrase "Daschle sucks." If you'd like to read everything I think about our Senate Plurality Leader, please be thorough.

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Mike Wallace Pulls His Punches

The Hotline's Tom Dalton thinks Jim Jeffords lied to Mike Wallace about former President's Bush's supposed admission that he had swung too far to the right:

Forgive me for being skeptical, but does anyone really believe that an embattled president would find time in the middle of a campaign to go tell a lowly senator from Vermont that he should have taken his advice and been more moderate? Apparently Mike Wallace does.

Dalton says:

Certainly anyone who had a pulse from 1988 to 1992 knows that it was conservatives, not moderates, who felt alienated by Bush 41... Jeffords’ account of the alleged Bush 41 apology is peculiar, and Wallace should have challenged him on it. In a 1996 interview with PBS’ David Frost, Bush himself acknowledged that the "biggest mistake of my presidency was that I damaged my credibility by agreeing to a tax increase." Therefore, wouldn’t it be contradictory for the former president to admit that the 1990 budget deal foiled his presidency, but at the same time, also believe he should have followed Jeffords’ advice and been more moderate?

Why did Mike Wallace not follow up on this harder? He may have been running out of time.

NOTE: This link will probably expire within the week.

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On Your Knees, Boy

The official U.S. government translation of the bin Laden tape left out a lot of crucial information, including the names of nine of the hijackers, and bin Laden's advise to followers immediately before the attack:

When you hear a breaking news announcement on the radio, kneel immediately, and that means they have hit the World Trade Center.

My advice to him: when you hear our bombers, kneel immediately, and that means we have hit you.

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December 19, 2001

Fifty Two Things

In response to John Sutherland's Fifty-two things they do better in America, I present Fifty-two things they do better in the United Kingdom.

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December 18, 2001

Telemarketer a Deux

I just this minute got another telemarketing call - from a different company for a different charity - and they handled it much more professionally.

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PLONK. Welcome to my Killfile.


The pleasure of getting a telemarketer fired.

I just got a call from a telemarketer on behalf of a regional organization. I don't like phone solicitations, and have learned to ask them for company name, address, telemarketer's name, a hard copy of their Do Not Call policy, and when I'll be receiving it.

So some cretin calls me this afternoon, and when he stumbled over the name - as they always do - I began to ask him some questions. He refused to give me a company name, correct address, and then, when I asked when I'd be receiving my copy of the Do Not Call Policy, he told me, "Probably never," and hung up.

That made me unhappy.

I called the regional organization the cretin purportedly represented. They were very concerned about the rude treatment I had gotten, and gave me the name of the telemarketing company they use. Then I called the telemarketing company in West Virginia - one with a somewhat checkered past - and spoke to the cretin's boss.

The boss was extremely concerned about the call and recognized that his employee had violated several provisions of federal law. He promised that he would mail me the Do Not Call information along with a follow-up note informing me of how he handled the employee in question.


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December 17, 2001

Vegas in The The Winter

Vegas was very cool - in fact, it was downright freezing. The coldest, wettest weather they'd had all year, said the locals. Other than that, Vegas was both lavish and tacky - more lavish and less tacky than I expected, but still heaps of both. Spec-tacky-lar. We stayed at the Mirage, one of the nicer places in Vegas, for dirt cheap since it's off-season and slumping.

The wedding turned out great - they got married, and to the best of my knowledge, they still are.

Dineen and I also got to have brunch with a friend of ours who lives out in Vegas now and enjoyed the chance to catch up with her for a while.

I even won a nice little sum on the slot machines, although I think we were still slightly in the red for our three days of gambling - depending on how the college bowl games turn out.

Would I ever go back? Sure, if someone else I know gets married, and I'll have a good time again. But I'd probably rather go someplace warm.

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December 14, 2001

Dull, In An Interesting Sort of Way

Yesterday's lunch with Judge Gonzales was simultaneously interesting yet dull. Funny how that can happen.

We're in Las Vegas this weekend for a wedding. Expect a full report on Monday.

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December 12, 2001

Noboday Here But us Cabal

Tomorrow I and my fellow cabal members gather to hear White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales. Should be pretty neat.

Right now, it just gives me pause to think how the previous eight years affected my mental perception of the term "White House Counsel." I hope that connotation will shortly be erased.

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Boycott Lifted

It felt really good to see the White House this morning. I had been boycotting it for years while it was occupied territory, and since the liberation in January, just hadn't had a chance. Now all I need to do is get the super-secret West Wing tour.. heh heh heh.

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White House Christmas Tour

It pays to know people in high places - even though the White House is closed to the public, we got in for a Christmas tour.

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Without a Conscience

This week at the National Press Club - Exercise Your Conscience - CANCELLED.

This stuff is just too good to make up.

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December 11, 2001

Dar Williams Shows on the Horizon

Two new Dar Williams shows coming up in the new year - Jan. 16 and April 14 at the Birchmere. Anyone interested?

UPDATE: Didn't make it either one. Bummer.

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December 10, 2001

A Man Walks Into a Bar...

Last week, I became a member of the Washington, D.C. Bar. At that time, I took yet again, an oath which required me to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Wouldn't it be nice if our judges and elected officials had to take that oath, too?

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Mullings on the Daschle Pay Raise

Ah, another wonderful edition of Mullings:

Tom Daschle has started a PR offensive to offset the quickly growing understanding among American voters that the Republican-controlled House has adopted:
  • An energy bill,
  • A faith-based initiative bill,
  • An economic stimulus bill, and (as recently as last week),
  • Fast-track authority for the President, the Trade Promotion
  • Authority bill.
While all that was going on, the ONLY thing the Daschle-controlled Senate has passed is a pay raise for itself.

Despite the gentle avunclular image that he sells like snake oil to the public at large, Washington insiders know that Tom Daschle is one of the most partisan, bitter, dirty-fighting, flat-out evil politicians inside the Beltway.

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December 08, 2001

Meanwhile, In An Alternate Universe, Attorney General Racicot Said...

How different the headlines would look over the last two months if, as I speculated last year, Mark Racicot had agreed to be Bush's attorney general ...

He was Bush's first choice to be attorney general, but took himself out of the running for family and financial reasons. Conservative activists objected to his candidacy because he was considered too moderate on some issues. Bush selected staunch conservative John Ashcroft, a former Missouri governor and senator.

Very different, indeed.

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December 07, 2001

Block That Appointment!

Tom Daschle doesn't just block floor votes on judicial nominees, he also blocks floor votes on executive branch appointments, like the nominee for Department of Labor Solicitor General, Eugene Scalia:

"I don't think the votes are there at this point," Mr. Daschle told reporters. "And so I don't know that it merits a lengthy debate."
Mr. Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, said he made the assessment against holding a confirmation floor vote for Mr. Scalia after consulting with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The panel approved Mr. Scalia's nomination by one vote in October.

Daschle doesn't think Scalia deserves a floor vote becase he doesn't think the Senate will vote to confirm him? What kind of piss-poor excuse is that?

Pharoah Daschle, let our people go to a vote!

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Racicot at the RNC

Holy cow. A year ago, I thought Mark Racicot did a fantastic job at explaining the many problems with the whole re-count process in Florida, and I thought he was at the time an intelligent, articulate party spokesman headed for greater things.

Today I found out that the President has picked Racicot to chair the RNC. This is an interesting choice for the party at this particular time. While Ashcroft seems best at generating dissent, Racicot comes across as moderate, thoughtful, and trustworthy. Even those on the right who don't agree with his policies should recognize that the party needs a spokesman like him right now. The RNC chairman is not a policy figure, he's a politial figure, and I feel confident that he can calm much of the furor heading into the next election.

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This Generation's Viet-Not

Remember how nay-sayers thought Afghanistan would be this generation's Vietnam? Remember how Soviet generals warned us we would get massacred? Remember those who spoke in awe of the Afghan ability to wage guerilla warfare?

All that ended today. The United States has become the first nation, perhaps in thousands of years, to successfully invade Afghanistan and topple the existing regime.

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December 06, 2001

Invoice the Spammers

If you want to cause spammers nightmares, I can't think of a good reason why it's not legal to send them invoices if they persist in spamming you. I would beef up the language a bit, though - don't make it a "tacit agreement" but a contract.

Link from Eatonweb.

UPDATE: In Virginia, you probably don't even need a contract - just an invoice that the spammer doesn't dispute.

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December 05, 2001

Feel the Power

Chris Raettig wrote a cool note on the power of blogging.

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Krispy Kreme Ko-Branding

Matt's post about Krispy Kreme...

I love the doughnuts, but the store design, logo design, and brand positioning has always impressed me more.

...reminded me of something that has been bugging me.I grew up in the South, and there was a Krispy Kreme store on my way home from school. It had been there since, it seemed, about 1950. Everything the doughnuts were, this store looked - classic, quality, eternal. But until a few years ago, there weren't many KK stores around at all. Outside of Florida, I'd never even seen one.

The company has had great success expanding through franchises. But these are no mom-n-pop stores. In order to qualify, you need to be rich already.

We currently grant franchises on an area development basis. Specifically, our area developers are required to build multiple stores (10 or more) in a market. The minimum net worth requirement is $5 million or $750,000 per store to be developed which ever is greater. For instance, a 15-store market requires a minimum net worth of $11,250,000.

The net result is that new franchise owners have already become wealthy from owning other franchises, resulting in more and more and co-branding situations, like Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut under one roof. They're opening in corners of gas stations, convenience stores, and sandwich shops. Now, I understand that co-branding is the hottest thing in food franchising, but I think Krispy Kreme is making a huge mistake allowing franchisees to put its retail stores in tiny corners of gas stations. They totally lose that old-time feel that really gave Krispy Kreme its allure, and I think ultimately, dilute the value of the Krispy Kreme brand.

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How Democrats Block Judicial Nominations

Can a Republican possibly accuse Democrats of blocking judicial nominations? You'd better believe it, sister.

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December 04, 2001

Dear KPMG,

Dear KPMG,

If you're going to sue me, please send all legal papers to my office address. Because if KPMG is so stupid that it has its agents sending e-mails like this out into the media, KPMG is stupid indeed. I agree with Jason, who also links to the intellectually-challenged KPMG.

With lots of linky love,


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December 03, 2001

Ashcroft On the Defense

Ashcroft defends his policies:

Ashcroft said the furor over many of his anti-terrorism policies has been overblown, in part because the measures sound more sweeping than they really are. One example he cited was the order allowing the monitoring of attorney-client conversations, which he said currently applies to just over a dozen prisoners and includes substantial oversight to ensure that their rights are not violated.
"The more you know about them, the more you support them," Ashcroft said.

It's true, I'm a little less offended by this right now, but freedom always escapes in gradual doses. Just remember the Sixteenth Amendment, promised only to apply to 1% of the population.

Far more alarming than Ashcroft's policies, however, is the warm acceptance of them by the sheeple:

A new survey by The Washington Post and ABC News shows, however, that six in 10 people agree that suspected terrorists should be tried in special military tribunals and not in U.S. criminal courts. Three of four surveyed also agree that it should be legal for the federal government to wiretap conversations between suspected terrorists and their attorneys.

To clarify, I don't think the measures are unconstitutional, but I also don't think that road leads us anywhere good.

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December 01, 2001

Link and Think 2001

I didn't really make a sufficent effort for Link and Think but a lot of other people did. Go see what they did.

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