Saturday, September 30, 2006

New cause...

In addition to writing a book, doing Think Tank , planning for a new one, moving, etc. etc. I have a new cause. (Arbito ergo sum, preceded only by familio-ergo sum)

As readers of this blog know, I love Washington. I think it is the pre-eminent city in the world, bar none.

But, listen up:

Household accidents, and falls, are a major killer.

I broke a wrist some months. It is healed. It was partly my fault (macho-man at work.)

But, in DC, there are potholes on the streets. Trees grow from the curb onto front yards. The sidewalks and garages are are tilted.

Luxury apartments, of almost obscene opulence, that cater to near-every whim --- have ivory floors and polished slate. Bathrooms are slithery in every way.

The good Mayor of DC, Anthony Williams, suggested some rubberized sidewalks. He was almost laughed of town.

There ought to be a law. No. But there ought to be some awareness of things as they are.


I haven't read these yet, but...

Dear All:
Dr. Muravchik recently participated in two debates--one on Human Rights and the other on the United Nations. To read the transcripts please visit:
"The Effectiveness of the UN Security Council"
"On Human Rights Watch, etc."
Golnar Oveyssi
Assistant to Joshua Muravchik

Ben's response:

I haven't read these yet.

But if Josh says it is so, it almost invariably is so --- in my opinion.

He is a quite remarkable young man --- i.e, under Sixty.



I just saw a DVD of Blackboard Jungle with Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier.

It is a remarkable film of growing up on the mean streets.

We talk of "man's inhumanity to man."

Kids can be as cruel as their elders.

"Four-eyes," "Shaky Joe" ( kid with a tremor), "Shrimp," "Jap" for a sneaky kid (in the old parlance) --- and so much more.

"The child is the father of the man" --- is that the good news or the bad?



Click here: - Reporter's Notebook: Why He Fights - FOX Fan

SecDef Rumsfeld is regarded as a cold-hearted, cold-blooded technocrat.

I do not delieve that for a moment.

He knows what the game is about.

He served as Member of the Board of Freedom House, established to non-coercively promote
democratic values --- everywhere.

The first Chair (Ugh! I hate that formulation) was the High Priestess of Liberalism, Eleanor Roosevelt, one more brave but tragic figure of our remarkable times.


War War Cabinet --- Dyfuntional? Who's dysfunctional, Bob?

Click here: Threads2

I haven't read Bob Woodward's new book mentioned in Lucianne's post. I intend to do that. I would love to have him as a guest on Think Tank.

He is a unique reporter. (Interpret that as you wish.)

But do recall that when Bush first assembled his foreign policy team it was regarded as probably the most experienced in all American history.

VP Cheney, SecState Powell, SecDef Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Peter Rodman,
Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams --- among many others --- formed a Neo-Con all-star team.

Whoever would have thought that no serious attack on Americans would occur?

Or that Iraq would have a freely elected government, a court system, a President, Constitution --- and more?

That America would continue it's historic task: To non-coercively attempt to promote and purvey human liberty.

That is has done since 9/11/01.


I do not mean to be mean...

Click here: DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2006®

As I recall it, Al Gore's family farm in Carthage TN raised tobacco.

After his beloved sister died from lung cancer, they continued growing the weed.

A great supporter of the family over the years was Armand Hammer, a Captain of Industry, with very, very close ties to the USSR.

You will know if Al Gore decide to run for President if he opts to lose pounds.

He looks like a tub.

That is dangerous to him, and his beloved family.


Too bad...

Click here: Washington Nationals : News : Washington Nationals News

I think Frank Robinson is a man of discipline, honor, intelligence, courage and, of course, consummate athletic skill.

The problems of the 'Nats are the reult of three critical factors: Pitchin, pitching and pitching.

When John Patterson ended up injured --- there went the season.

Wait 'till next year.

Hear come the Wizards, with great talent (led by Gilbert Arenas) and an owner (Abe Pollin) who has been a magnificent public citizen.


Still peasant societies...

Click here: In Teeming India, Water Crisis Means Dry Pipes and Foul Sludge - New York Times

It is quite peculiar.

Financial savants regard three peasant societies as our greatest competitors: Russia, China, India.

Russia and China are always said to be on the verge of greatness.

I gather China was indeed a great, if cruel, empire (Genghis Kahn etc.) So what?

The Russians, I don't think ever made it to the big leagues, although have a great cultural heritage. They are better off now than they were. But emigration, plunging prices for fossil fuels, rampant alcoholism, suicide and plunging birth --- do not augur well.

India may make it to center-stage in the world arena. It is democratic, but riven by internal conflict.

Still, it is an innovative, proud and aspiring place.

But it has a long way to go.


Dumb. Stupid. Won't Work. Shouldn't work.

Click here: With Senate Vote, Congress Passes Border Fence Bill -

Look, we can't keep drugs out of the U.S.A.

Nor can we keep out immigrants.

Nor should we want to so. Cross-national surveys show, clearly, that immigrants are even more patriotic than most home-grown Americans, who, in turn, are the most patriotic people in the world.

Mexican-Americans have won a far-disproportionate share of Congressional Medals of Honor, our highest decorations.

By the second generation most all children of immigrants speak English. They work hard and pay taxes, including Social Security, which will to help finance the shortfall --- which I think is

Immigrants tend to emulate the nation: Mostly good, occasionally evil.


Friday, September 29, 2006

If ...

Click here: India Economy Grew at Torrid Pace Last Quarter - New York Times

Second only to the U.S.A, (and Washington DC Metroplex real estate in specific) India is the best investment bet on the international scene.

Europe and Japan are de-populating.

China is an autocracy, possibly in a pre-revolutionary mode.

And we should diversify.

I have owned an Indian mutual fund for about a dozen years and done quite well thank you.

I am not a registered financial advisor to anyone.


Ollie, shape up !

Click here: - Clinton's Braggadocio Will Haunt U.S. in War on Terror - Blog | Blogs | Popular Blogs | Video Blogs

I rather like Oliver North. He's smart, brave, daring --- a bit too much of all that, actually.

But, consider: Suppose Ollie, or me, or you, had a chance to nail Adolph Hitler in, say, 1938. That might have save the lives of 30-40-50 million people.

Worth a shot, or a bomb.

The rules for potential assasination have to be very tough.

But on this one former President Bill Clinton is dead right.


Utopia Revisited ...

Click here: New Left Review - Malcolm Bull: States of Failure

It's an old idea: A peaceful global society.

George Orwell explored the idea in 1984, about which he felt so strongly, that he would not treat the tuberculosis that killed him, in order to finish it.

It turns out that the Utopian society is dystopian.

Totalitarian, intrusive, coercive, murderous, barbarian, propagandistic and more.

One of the inherent great aspects of free societies is their relative inefficiency.

On Think Tank a Neo-Con icon (usually) Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan and World-Class sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset jointly mused that it takes three Congresses to get anything done.

That provides protection for you and me.


And then they say...

Click here: Senate, 100-0, Backs Budget for Pentagon - New York Times

They all vote for it. If they didn't, they would be accused of "not supporting our brave young men and women in uniform."

But many of those Senators also say "Stop the War."

They could do so by pulling the plug, pronto.

But they dasn't.

Are they gutless?

Some of them are even if "safe seats"

Do you get it?

I do not.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

I do not think that all that is right...

Check out IRS Yanks Democratic Leadership Council Tax Status

The Democratic Leadership Council sprung from the fertile mind of Rep Gillis Long D.LA at the 1984 Democratic Leadership.

In some ways it was modelled on the Coalition for a Democratic Majority which I helped launched and was running out of steam when the DLC was formed.

The DLC and CDM had some talks about joining forces but it was not to be.

DLC Members are elected officials and somewhat circumspect in their statements.

Many CDMers snorted fire.

But two go-to-guys in DLC land, President Al From of the DLC and Will Marshall of it's twin The Progressive Policy Instutehave, I believe, been theri since day one. Marshall is no pussy-cat and From calls Loony Lefties "liberal ayatollahs."

Irony: A real mensch from NYNY has/was been (I believe) the biggest funder for President Clinton, the biggest funder for DLC/PPI and the biggest funder for Think Tank.

Bill Clinton was the first Chairman of the DLC. My sense of the matter is he learned a great deal from the DLC, ignored it, in his first two years in office, and consequently took his party down in flames. He then saw the error of his ways, and won in 1996,

I predicted that Sen Bob Dole would win.

Take me for what I'm worth


Cutting Frank Robinson unceremoniously is pfui

Click here: Washington Nationals : News : Washington Nationals News

Frank Robinson, WashNats manager will not be back in that capacity next year.

He strikes me a man of great dignity and baseball savvy.

He should be offered an another job in the organization.

Or go to another team.

This is a 500-home run All-star, super-star Hall of Famer.

The players respected him, and learned much from him.

In retrospect, the WNats' season collapsed when star pitcher John Patterson was injured --- no fault of FR's.


From me????

Click here: China Lets Currency Rise a Bit

There seems to be some accumulating that the Chinese are behaving reasonably, mildly, cautiously.

Maybe because they are just such nice people,

Reversion to form:

Maybe because the sword of Damocles hangs over their head.

If, for any reason, there was a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the ChiComs would lose face for a century.

It might well be enought to overthrow the government in a way that Tiannamen Square did.

Sports and society, as I have said here again, and again --- is very big time stuff.
Ping Pong diplomacy, soccer wars, de-segregation of athletic show the power of larger swaths of society.

I was in Souh Texas --- black, tans and whites apparently working and living in some sort of harmony --- when the color line was broken in High School Football, which is bigger than big.

The Coach of the powerhouse Alama Heights jumped in ecstatsy saying: "Look at our colored get their Nig--r.''

Sports unleashes a powerful stream of human emotion.

Figure out a how to tap it right and you have a big step to a more peaceful world.


Comment on comment

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "New mantra...":


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Thank you, Big fan.

Publish this comment.

Reject this comment.

Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by Anonymous to Wattenblog at 9/28/2006 05:02:44 PM


My Mother's family emigrated from Odessa to Ottoman Palestine shortly after the Kishinev Pogrom in 1904 (?)

There was only a small Jewish community there at the time --- although the case has been made that there has been some Jewish presence in what is now Israel for 4,000 years.

As a child I came to know many of my Mother's chidhood freinds some of whom later achieved great eminence. They would sit around our wonderful dinner table in The Bronx --- middle class --- no more than that.

One was Moshe Sharrett, who had changed his name --- as is a custom practiced by many Israelis --- from Moshe Shertok.

I once asked him how many languages he spoke.

He said:

Well, I grew up in Poland, so I spoke Polish, and Ukranian, and Russian.

Yiddish, he continued, was the Mama Loschen of Jews in Eastern Europe.

I was a Zionist, so I learned Hebrew. I studied The Bible, so I knew some Aramaic.

In Palestine, I learned Turkish, and then, when the Brits took over, English.

Every educated man had to some Latin.

I got to know Arabic by osmosis.

I was interested in literature, I had to learn French.

I was interested in science, so I learned German, which is close to Yiddish. (Nicer, softer, in my opinion. German is harsh Achtung ! )

I count twelve. I may have missed a couple.

Americans are known for how few languages they speak.

American/English has become the world's First Universal Language. Not Espiranto, an artificial construct which was as was once deemed for for the job.

Between colonization and wars English/American has become the Lingua Franca most everywhere. That would include North America, the Carribean, Africa, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and more.

At the first meeting of The European Union none of the members spoke English/American.
So they spoke in English, much to the dismay of the French, who once thought they would inherit the mantle of linguistic champ.

Around the world , people flock to English classes.

In the U.S., Latina mothers, who love Spanish and their children, whisper to them, "Spanish is the language of bus-boys."



In a way it is sad. I speak pidgeon in about four languages.

But a child of mine went to a quite permissive private schhol in Washington. She/he took six years of Latin. The teacher loved my child, really, but would never give her more than a B+.

Not so permissive.


With all due respect...

Click here: Scientific American: Scientists on Religion

Richard Dawkins of The Selfish Gene is manic about his atheism.

How does he know?

He was on Think Tank some years ago.

I mentioned that USA Today a pretty good newspaper (not McPaper) when it comes to pop sociolgy, cited a study that showed that Believers live longer, healthier lives than Non-Believers.

That figures. They believe they know what comes next, and are not worried about it.

He growled, and dismissed the notion out of hand.

Pushy-Me: I then asked whether if Believing might extend the life of one his children, would he advise same.

He then came as close as anyone on the program --- twelve years and counting --- to flipping out.


This is in-cred-ble

Click here: - Heating Bills Will Be Lower This Year, Natural Gas Producers Say - Energy | Alternative Energy | Oil

I dare not predict a Republican gain in Congress.

But the dots seem to be connecting.

I used to growl at the GOP.

In 1966 I wrote a line for President Johnson when I was a speech-writer for that Flawed Giant (the title of Robert Dallek's interesting book about LBJ --- fairer by far that Robert Caro's bitter book{s}).
It went this way:

Afraid, afraid, afraid,

Republicans are afraid of their own shadow,

and afraid of the shadow of progress.

Most Americans are afraid of Republicans.

It was the Quote of the Day in the then straight-shooting NYTimes.

For a brief moment I thought it had reached that elevated spot because I was
was such hot stuff. Not.

Presidential speech-writers --- most of them --- learn that it's not who writes it that counts, but who says it.


The AP has to be straight.

Check out

'Fighting Dems' have slim hopes - Nation/Politics - The Washington

The Associated Press is better than most journalsitic organizations.

Newspapers most everywhere count on their being "fair-and-balanced."

When the AP says we've been hustled --- listen up.


New mantra...

One of our blogging community has offered the following: I have underlined the key sentence:

+ + +

You've got to accentuate the positive Eliminate the negative Latch on to the affirmative Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum Bring gloom down to the minimum Have faith or pandemonium Liable to walk upon the scene

(To illustrate his last remark Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark What did they do Just when everything looked so dark?)

Man, they said, we better Accentuate the positive Eliminate the negative Latch on to the affirmative Don't mess with Mister In-Between No, do not mess with Mister In-Between Do you hear me, hmm?

(Oh, listen to me children and-a you will hear About the elininatin' of the negative And the accent on the positive) And gather 'round me children if you're willin' And sit tight while I start reviewin' The attitude of doin' right

(You've gotta accentuate the positive Eliminate the negative Latch on to the affirmative Don't mess with Mister In-Between)

You've got to spread joy (up to the maximum) Bring gloom (down) down to the minimum Otherwise (otherwise) pandemonium Liable to walk upon the scene

To illustrate (well illustrate) my last remark (you got the floor) Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark What did they say (what did they say) Say when everything looked so dark

Man, they said we better Accentuate the positive Eliminate the negative Latch on to the affirmative Don't mess with Mister In-Between No! Don't mess with Mister In-Between



The two most impartial...

Click here: DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2006®

All political Washington knows that Stuart Rothenberg (not Wattenberg, who tries to write that way but has found that, alas, his once-beloved Democratic Party has deserted its roots) and Charles Cook are the two most impartial call'em-as they-see'em analysts.

They are well-motivated. That's how they make their living.

Stu's posted take squares with my own.

Pollsters in the employ of either party too often jiggle their polls to impress the fat-cats who fund campaigns.

Usually --- not always --- they tell the candidate what the numbers seem to reveal, in private.

Not the way it should be, but, alas, the way it it.


By nature, I am booster, but...

By nature, and professional pronouncements,I am a booster.

"In American history, the optimists are the real realists" wrote mentor/co-author Richard M. Scammon and I in This USA in 1965.

I rather firmly belive that the best investment in the world right now is in Greater Metro DC.

Prices are about 20% lower than in parts of NYNY and tony part of the CA.

And DC has much more to offer.


I like the Brits, but...

Click here: spiked | 'Where are the Margot Fonteyns?'

Not touch in ballet in the UK?

Not to put a Christmas wreath, or a Hannukah menorah, in a public place in the USA?

This is PC run amok, which rhymes with schm-ck.

Right here in River City.


How to go Joe. Go Joe Go !

Click here: Pajamas Media: Lieberman: "I can forgive... but I probably won't forget."

Right attitude ! Don't get get grrrowly. Very unhealthy.

You may have the unexpected pleasure of voting against some Loony-Toons Dems.

And you may be on Fusion ticket in 2008.

You may become President.

Just as those old Jews in Cummings Park, in Stamford CT, said, lo those many years years ago.

I was there.


Going, going...

Click here: Money, Finance, Investing, Stock Quotes, and Market News - AOL Money & Finance

My scenario: The various indices go up, up, sideways, sideways --- until Election Day 2006.

Then, if the Blue-Staters do not capture either House of Congress --- the rocket achieves lift-off.

I am not a RegRep etc. etc. etc.


If anyone...

If anyone knows the full set of lyrics to Acc-ent-uate the Pos-it-ive; Eliminate the Neg-at-ive etc. etc. etc. --- I would appreciate having them sento me.

And welcome to the full list on the viewer list of Think Tank.

Pls respond, or post independent thoughts, teach me how me (us) how to cross-link etc.




Maybe liberty is coming to China.

It can be unsettling, as the great American historian of immigration Oscar Handlin noted in The Glory and the Grief.

But is better, by far, than authoritarianism on any stripe.


This may be the the weirdest stor I hve ever seen

Check out What if It’s (Sort of) a Boy and (Sort of) a Girl? - New York Times


This is ugly, skip if you must this old grey head...

Click here: Bush Meets Leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan - New York Times

I once had a urologist who said if could ever get Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat to take joint prosate exams, he could get peace in the Middle East --- instantly.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Like most voters...

Click here: Falling US gas prices boost Bush poll numbers - Yahoo! News

Like most voters --- everywhere --- Americans buy conspiracy theories.

Non-voters, too.

Too bad.

Of course, Tony Snow is right: Why would they have boosted them in the first place ?

BTW: Snow is the first Presidential with a serious constituency of his own.


Down and down they go...

Click here: Missouri Gas Prices - Find Cheap Gas Prices in Missouri

Gasoline in the US was priced at over $3.00 a gallon just a few months ago.

Now --- this report that Missouri gasoline prices are below $2.00.

That's the Show Me state.

They just did.


I have not met

Click here: Chomsky Still Best Seller - New York Times

I have not met Noam Chomsky.

I would love to book him on Think Tank.

From what I understand he is brilliant linguisitic expert.

Also from what I understand, and from quotes of his that I have read:

He is a screwball --- really weird. Way over the edge.

I'd still like to get him on the program. I would not be hostile.

My producers can muzzle me in two differerent ways: By yelling in my ear "Let him talk," or in "post-production" where I almost always go along with their editing decisions, which I believe are superb.



Up or down...

Click here: - Street Continues Rally, Dow Near All-Time Closing High - World Market Analysis | Financial News | Ma

The Dow rose modestly on 9/27. I think this: It will go up steadily until Election Day 2006 and then --- if the Democrats do not take over one or both House of Congress --- it will likely soar.

I am not a licensed financial advisor etc. etc.

But the man who does that for me, and I, form a good pair.

He is cautious; I am bold.

Over the years, I have done better than expected.



Former President Bill Clinton can indeed be a charming man.

He was not a bad President, although he was at times captured by the Left Wing of his own party and poor personal behaviour apparently hand-cuffed him on some critical items of foreign policy (i.e. Wag the Dog.)

PM Blair has been, in my opinion, a sensational political man.

But he has apparently been over-taken by the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately
syndrome which regularly strikes elected leaders of free countries.

In the UK, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, very successful leaders in my opinion, --- Churchill sensationally so --- were unhorsed by voters who wanted to get on to the next act.

The next American President --- of either major party, or a Third Party --- could do much worse than to appoint Blair as SecState.

I do not believe the SecState has to be a US citizen.


I've always wondered about that....

Click here: Mark Maske's NFL Insider

If I have a minor ache or pain, and they do come somewhat more frequently as you get older, (according to profound new studies), I have to situate myself just so to get some sack time.

But what about football players? Worse yet boxers?

Might this be what lurks behind some of the drug abuse scandals ???


Legitimate tool of diplomacy...

Click here: - 7-Eleven to End Relationship with Venezuela-Backed Citgo - Business And Money | Business News | Fina

Good for 7-11 ( ! )

The Jackson-Vanik amendment of the 1970s was transformative.

It linked trade with human liberty.

From that day to this one that has been American policy.

A remarkably successful one, I do believe.


Best Advice ...

A 1940s pop tune --- a Hit Parade hit --- said :

You've got to acc- cen- tuate the postive, ee-liminate the negative , and don't mess with Mr. In-Between.

Every culture, religion, ethnicity, offers similar advice.

The toughest part is Mr. In-Between.

There is the story of a man who went la-la over that.

He was an egg-sorter: Large - medium - small.

He moaned: "Decisions, decisions --- all day long decisions.

In poker they say "Play the way you feel."

Make up your mind. Dream the Impossible Dream. Go for it.


Israel ... More

Like every other nation in the world, Israel is an imperfect state.

But there has been an unbroken line of at least some Jews/Hebrews in their Promised Land since Abraham left Terah, 4,000 years ago. Their claim to the land is as good as any in the world, perhaps the best.

The archaelogical evidence keeps coming in showing some truth to the beautiful, boring, heroic, tragic narrative of The Old Testament.

There seems to have been an Egyptian Prince named Moses who led his people from the Land of Goshen. The various ten plagues seem to have a grounding in fact.

I do not think Methusalah lived for 900 years or that the World was created in seven days.

But perhaps they counted differently.

Israeli courts release prisoners they deem innocent.

The jihadists torture them, or kill them.


I guess he could be worse....

Of course it is...

Click here: FOX News Poll

I believe that is called a "tax expenditure."

Money = money.


I don't believe that ...

Click here: Backing Policy, President Issues Terror Estimate - New York Times

It was before, not after, 9/11/01 that Osama bin Laden and his crazed loony-tunes jihadists took over four 747s and crashed them into American soil.

That was several years before the U.S. and the Coalition of the Willing invaded Iraq.


BTW the author of the piece is another of the long line of Research Assistants I have had over the years at The American Enterprise Institute, most all of whom have been stellar, and have enabled me to do the work I love doing.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Long before Rupert and Rush

Click here: We’re Not Losing the Culture Wars Anymore by Brian C. Anderson, City Journal Autumn 2003

When I did book tours in the 1970s and 1980s I was always struck by how many of the leading radio talk show hosts leaned Right-of-center, if not more Right than that.

Moreover, they most always asked astute questions and had read what I had written.

Not many Lefties made it big in talk radio.

One was Larry King, in Miami, Washington and probably elsewhere.

Mr. Powder Puff, deep beneath his current softballs, is a man well to the Left --- which is OK --- and too often mean which is not.


The toughest part of the job...

Click here: For Bush, War Anguish Expressed Privately -

There are plenty of perks that flow to POTUS (President Of The United States.)

He has a squadron of planes to take where he wants to go. He has dedicated staff who (usually) heed what he says. He can get elegant meals from great chefs (although President Gerald Ford --- an oft-unsung fine President --- toasted his own English Muffins in the morning.

But meeting the wives and children of men who were killed in battles under your orders, is the toughest task.

President Johnson used to meet with war widows regularly. So did President Reagan. I imagine President Nixon did too.

It is bad enough as in the case described, when the greiving widow asks you to cahnge your policy.

But I think most say to The President: "John believed in what he was doing, and why he was doing it. He would want you to continue."


Bruce Reed --- Wake up and smell the coffee ! ! !

Click here: Theirs to lose. By Bruce Reed - Slate Magazine

Bruce Reed is one of the smartest, most decent, most dedicated, most modest, most knowledegable men I have met in Washington. (He probably even knows how to spell knowl----)


Something seems to be going on.

The stock market is flying. Oil prices are down.

The Brits, not the Yanks, have just nailed one of the big bad guys among the Jihadists.

O-S-bin-L may well have bought the farm.

President GWB's poll ratings are up.

The Red-Staters are running even in the Gallup Poll, but it the Dems who usually poll higher than the votes they ultimately receive.

Bruce: The GOP used to commit ritual suicide. They still do many dumb things.

But the mantle of stupidity seems to have migrated Left.

(Pat Moynihan --- stunned --- said it looked as if the Dems were turning into "The Stupid Party.")

Press Pause. No one what happens next.

Not even,


Check out


Please consider linking to and using and posting to my blog which is fun and frussstrating.

If you send me a note I will give you the blog link.

I am not advanced enough to do that, yet.


That sound right to me

Click here: 'Iraq Is Not in Chaos' -

Nothwithstanding it's reputation as a conservative-bashing rag, I believe the WashPost is a stellar broadsheet.

They are fair and balanced, and have been for a long time, ever since I arrived in Washington in 1966, when Russ Wiggins ran the editorial page.

Charles Krauthammer, Anne Applebaum and others are super-stars.

Lally Weymouth's interview with President Talibani sounds spot-on to me.

She is the quite-remarkable daughter of the late Katherine Graham.

Nepotism, when merited (not neccessarily a contradiction in terms) can work wonders.


Dow approaches record ...

Thar she blows !

Come on in the waters fine.

I am not a registered etc. etc. etc.

Just plain


You might well...

Click here: GOP's uptick just in time for Election Day - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper

Donald Lambro is one of America's best political reporters.

If you haven't heard of him it may well be because he works for The Washington Times, a newspaper well right-of-center, but sometimes eclectic, and with some wonderful award-winning sections.

In any event those approval ratings of President Bush are very solid, well outside the margin of error.

As I read them, they indicate a small GOP gain not a GOP loss, as Ken Mehlman says.

Interesting: Not long ago most every Jew in American politics was a Democrat. No more. A topic for another post


You might well...

Click here: GOP's uptick just in time for Election Day - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper

Donald Lambro is one of America's best political reporters.

If you haven't heard of him it may well be because he works for The Washington Times, a newspaper well right-of-center, but sometimes eclectic, and with some wonderful award-winning sections.

In any event those approval ratings of President Bush are very solid, well outside the margin of error.

As I read them, they indicate a small GOP gain not a GOP loss, as Ken Mehlman says.

Interesting: Not long ago most every Jew in American politics was a Democrat. No more. A topic for another post


Monday, September 25, 2006

No surprise...

Click here: Destroying a Law to Save It - New York Times

In 1968, when anti-war demonstrators rampaged in the streets of Chichicago, threw fesces at policemen, and tried to disrupt the proceedings of the oldest political party in the world, The American Civil Liberties Union backed the rioters, not the thin blue line.

Once a most honorable organization, the ACLU has gone over the edge. Way over.


Record intact...

Click here: - Hamas, Fatah Talks on Forming Palestinian Unity Government Break Down - International News | News of

The oratorically sensational former Foreign Minister of Israel, Abba Eban ( a Jew from South Africa) said this:

"The Palestianians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

So far, that's the way it's been.

Ever thus?


Record intact...

Click here: - Hamas, Fatah Talks on Forming Palestinian Unity Government Break Down - International News | News of

The oratorically sensational former Foreign Minister of Israel, Abba Eban ( a Jew from South Africa) said this:

"The Palestianians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

So far, that's the way it's been.

Ever thus?


More reasonable than it reads...

Click here: U.S. Relaxes Air Travel Restrictions - New York Times

I haven't done much air travel in a couple of years.

What I had read about it sounded as if it would be a horror show.

I flew up from BWI to Islip on Long Island a few weeks ago.

Southwest Airlines, a truly remarkable American corporate success story(Caveat: SWA ---- I am a small shareholder --- can't be too careful these days or you end up with slammer time) --- had quite reasonable regulations.

I wear a knee brace from a common injury, a tear in the miniscus tendon (in my case from too much tennis poaching in doubles.) I hadn't realized it had metal in it. So the inspectors asked to look at it.

In a few weeks I expect to go to Prague, a wonderful city, to help dedicate a new building for Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty. (For almost a decade I was Vice-Chairman of the Board of RFE/RL, short wave stations that kept hope alive behind the Iron Curtain.)

It used to be in Munich, a stolid city that had been a Nazi stronghold. Not appropraite.

In Prague, I expect to meet one of the sainted men of our time, Vaclev Havel, a man of or time: poet, belle lettristric author, wildly succeseful political activist.

I interviewed Lech Walesa twice. He too thought RFE/RL did a grand job. But he was an angry gruff man.


You didn't read what I wrote...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "At last --- a mistake ! ! !":

What exactly are you saying is a mistake? Keeping the 4,000 troops in Iraq? This isn't the first time the Army has forced troops to stay on after their tour was over. What's different about this time? I certainly hope you aren't advocating altering military strategy abroad in order to swing an election one way or another at home.

Obviously, the Army wouldn't be doing this if the commanders didn't think the security situation warranted it. Why are you second guessing them? With no end to the carnage in Baghdad and environs in sight, the Army bringing those troops home could affect the election even more than letting them stay.

Ben's response:

Mr/Ms A.,

I didn't say keep 4,000 troops in Iraq; I asked what conceivable purpose could it serve to add 4,000 troops in Iraq.

If you an idea about that, please let me know.


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Posted by Anonymous to Wattenblog at 9/25/2006 06:47:41 PM

The only empire that survives...

Click here: Foreign Policy: Empires with Expiration Dates

Good riddance to the old colonial empires.

Even the U.S. played the game, unsuccessfully.

The only one empire surviving today in the American Empire.

How so? Why?

Because it is a voluntary empire of ideas, peddling and promoting what has cvome to be known as The American Dream.

People everywhere want a piece of it, even when they snarl at us.


At last --- a mistake ! ! !

Click here: - Officials: Army Extends Combat Tours For 4,000 Soldiers in Iraq - Local News | News Articles | Natio

This takes courage so soon before an election.

President George W. Bush has demonstrated courage.

I am a strong supporter of the Coalition of the Willing (American-led) in the cause of Iraqi liberty, democracy and human rights. The Iraqis want it. It's good for them, good for us and good for the world.

But it has to be their fight.

The 4,000 additional troops are principally symbolic.

Wrong move.


Richard Reeves ...

Click here: Richard Reeves | Latest Column

The New Yorker is clearly a very fine magazine.

Just as clearly it has a left-of-center tilt.


The business community just as clearly has a right-of-center tilt.

It's that way all over the world.

Richard Reeves is one of the outstanding journalists of his generation. His views are to the left of mine, but his reporting is scrupulously accurate.

He has been on guest on Think Tank several times.

His book on President John F. Kennedy is stunning.

I am a great admirer of JFK.

But his treatments for Addisons Disease involved an early (?) form of cortisone.

That involved a hyper-active sex drive. That's his business, not mine.

It also involved delusions of grandeur.

Pumped full of the stuff, in Paris, he negotiated nuclear arms weaponry with Nikita Khruschev.

Eeek ! ! !

We made it By The Skin of Our Teeth, the title of a play by Thornton Wilder that was produced shortly after the beginning of WWII.

His point was that humankind always seems to scrape by.

So far, so good.


That expert who...

Click here: Oil Prices Fall as Speculators Retreat - New York Times

That expert who said the price of a barrel of oil on the spot market would go below $10 --- may not have been crazy.

Who would it hurt?

Mostly those already in the Rogues Gallery:

The Arabs who protect terrorists; the Russians, who are not being nice fellows these days; the Venezualan nut-hatch Hugo Chavez.

In each of these cases, alas, plain people get hurt too.

That's life.


Half full ? Half empty?

Click here: - Home Prices Drop for First Time in Over 10 Years - Real Estate News | Mortgage Information | House H

I have come to the conclusion, over many years of careful study, that the glass (for Americans) is 71.77 % full.

Ergo: This makes it a buyer's market.

As it happens, I am hoping to buy a Condo in the Greater DC Metroplex.

I can not think of a better investment.



Talibani not Nouri al-Maliki

Ben's response:

I believe I said it was Talibani.

Maybe I've got it wrong. Maybe you've got it wrong.

Check it out.

Let me know.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "It didn't ...":

Perhaps you meant to link to a different article? There is no statement from the Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki in this article. It does have quotes from US military officials, John Abizaid in particular. No statement from the Iraq prime minister. I read it three times and searched for his name with the "search" function.

In any case, the website you linked to is the official website of the US coalition forces in Iraq. It says so right at the top of the page.

Publish this comment.

Posted by Anonymous to Wattenblog at 9/24/2006 06:14:09 PM

See comments in italics.

Mr. Wattenberg,

I think you are wrong about how Geo. Bush will be judged by historians. Reasons:

-Iraq War lies/misrepresentation (Like what? I think he told the truth as he understod it at the time...)

-Deficits 3 trillion & counting (Chump change in a $13 trillion dollar economy, with tax receipts coming in at far greater than expected)

-Hurricane Katrina disaster (Had been long expected. Four storms hit at once causing chaos and confusion. No surprise.)

Thank you Carol for using your name, not "annonymous."


Posted by Carol Underwood to Wattenblog at 9/23/2006 01:46:56 PM

Report from the Financial Front...

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened this morning at $11,531.71, very close to an all-time (unadjusted for the changing value of the dollar.)

I will keep you posted.

But I do think that the financial networks must be preparing one of those one-hour specials.

We may do something about it on Think Tank. We did a special a few years ago: The Stockholder Society.


Some day, I think, historians will turn to Think Tank as an outstanding (the?) outstanding record of this weird and wonderful time.

We have produced about 400 programs, with about 600 panelists. We are planning an expansion (with some younger co-hosts.) We expect to air programs via TV, radio, I-Pod, Cell phone, computer. Some our programs (e.g. The First Measured Century) could go into theatrical release.

The PBS audience is skewed grey. I think they are a generation that understands, and loves,
television and and movies.


Not all hypo, or hype.

So, let me ask you, you still shave, being a hypochondriac, as you state here? Sara Lomes, Boston

Posted by Anonymous to Wattenblog at 9/22/2006 08:13:19 PM

Ben's response:

I am a hypochondriac. For the life of me I don't know why everyone else isn't.

If there isn't a Hypochondriacs Annonymous --- there should be one.

Dying is not a pleasant prospect to me: I have miles to go before I sleep, etc.

But I also have somewhat sensitive skin. As I recall it, I enjoyed shaving just once. The first time. It felt so cool and refreshing. It is a coming of age matter.


Poison in the air...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Old stuff for those of us who...":

Hi Ben. You know KZ so well that I wonder what was your reaction to the Thomas Frank article (Thus Spake Zinsmeister) about him in the August 25th NY Times?

Publish this comment.

Posted by Anonymous to Wattenblog at 9/25/2006 06:07:59 AM


Ben's response:

I do know KZ well.

He has put his life on the line to see what was going on. .

I regard Karl, and his wife, as salt of the earth. I can't imagine that his three children are any less so.

(We all have our problems.)

I would go with his view of the world over most anyone else's.

There is, I think, more poison in the air now than there was during the Vietnam war.

I ascrible this to the 7/24 media situation. Something happens, terrorists strike, --- and it is on TV, radio, pod-casts --- five minutes later, too often (by my lights) with an anti-American spin, tilt, etc. Alas.


Not yet,, they're not...

Click here: Charles Krauthammer

Happy High Holy Days for those who are Jewish and those are not.

They are beaututiful holidays.

I grew up in a very Zionist, very Jewish family, but a-religious, not atheist. Of my friends and acaquaintances in an almost totally Jewish neighborhood, I only recall one that was Bar Mitzvah.

Some of the early Zionists were vehemently anti-religious.

As posted here, I recently ran into to an Israeli woman who had 5 children and who had a sister who had 11 children. If the five each had five and the eleven each had eleven, might they "be fruitful, multiply and inherit the Earth" as God speaks unto to the Hebrews after the Flood.

After all, they are, arguably, the oldest continuing folk in history.

And there are those Lost Tribes to consider.

Judaism, for the most part, is not a prosletyzing religion.

There are some unusual off-shoots: Jews for Jesus for one.

There are Jews who have become Catholic and Catholics who have become Jews.

As noted here in an earlier post, one of the haunting points of the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) holidays concerns the notion that no one knows what will happen next.

Given the tragic (and glorious) history of the Jews (from enslavement, to the destruction of the their holy places, to exile, to Inquistion, to Holocaust) --- I can understand why some Jews have opted out.

Just as some as some blacks choose to "pass."

Happy New Year ( ! )


Sunday, September 24, 2006

MG s 180 turn

I said that Mel Gibson should be excused for his recent anti-semitic outburst when drunk...

I guess I'll stand by that.

But, truth be told, I thought that way because he made some movies like Braveheart and a string of others good ones, many of which had patriotic themes. There aren't too many of those around these days.

I didn't see Passion of the Christ. What I read about did not not convince me that it was anti-Semetic. Harsh and cruel, yes. Anti-Semetic no.

Comes now this:

At an Austin filmfest, according to Reuters, Gibson

"... returned to the spotlight to promote his upcoming movie "Apocalypto," and to criticize the war in Iraq, according to the Hollywood after he presented a work-in-progress screening of his Mayan adventure tale, and then took questions.

"Gibson described the theme of his movie this way: "The precursors to a civilization that's going under are the same, time and time again," drawing parallels between the Mayan civilization on the brink of collapse and America's present situation. "What's human sacrifice, he asked, '" if not sending guys off to Iraq for no reason?'"

I had thought MG had his wits about all these years.

What's this?

A suck-up to the Hollywood Left?

A moronic change of mind?

A dunderhead who faked me out?

The best that can be said is that it is a smelleroo in anotherwise fairly distinguished career.

But putting a multi-national force (mostly American) into nation whose citizens were clearly being tortuered, robbed, raped and jailed was anything but a human sacrifice.

Iraqis have voted in a government, a constitution, and courts. The last neutral survey showed 70% of Iraqis approved of their new secular democratic government.

Keep your eyes wide open Me.


It didn't ...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Old stuff for those of us who...":

It would be more credible if the statement didn't come directly from the US military forces in Iraq official website.

Publish this comment.

Ben's comment:

Dear Mr. A:

It didn't.

Please read before you write.

It came from the duly elected and certified President (Prime Minister?) of Iraq.

PS: I like it better when responding bloggers, or those posting independently, use their names.

As you choose.


Why? I'll tell you why...

Click here: Survival of the harmonious - The Boston Globe

Alas, I am not very good at music.

My older sister was wonderful. Her teacher said if she practiced piano three hours a day she could get to Carneigie Hall. She didn't.

I took two piano lessons and the teacher said "Mrs. Wattenberg, don't waste your money." Nice woman; idiotic statement.

At the Interfraternity Sing at Hobart College I was officially designated a "mouther."

But thanks in large measure to my sister, I listened to Your Hit Parade, the music of Eddie Condon, Art Tatum, Sidney Bechet.

She swooned for Frank Sinatra and said he would be a fine actor. He was, although he had other big problems.

I saw Artie Shaw and Dave Brubeck in unlikely places when they, and I, were on the road.

We did Think Tank programs on Duke Ellington and George Gershwin.

Through my kids, and now DVDs, like Walk the Line and the Bobby Darin Story, I am beginning to understand what I hated. (It was so loud.)

I took one of my children to hear Jimmi Hendrix.

My youngest child introduced me to The Smashing Pumpkins.

I learned American, Yiddish and Hebrew songs.

I vividly recall many of these tunes 65 years after I heard them.

OK. So I'm not good at it. But I love it.

I have purchased a Yamaha keyboard and ukelele. I intend to take lessons.

No one has to listen, but me.


Old stuff for those of us who...

Click here: Multi-National Force - Iraq - Iraqi citizens, Coalition force can move Iraq toward peaceful future

That is a very nice statement by President Talibani. Very.

For those who read Karl Zinsmeister's four books on the Iraq it comes as no surprise.

Or saw the two part Think Tank program with him.

KZ was an embed four times. He came close to getting killed.

He was my first Research Assistant at The American Enterprise Institute.

He is now top honcho of The White House Domestic Policy staff.

I am very proud of him.


I don't mean to be crass... but...

Click here: Video

OSL: Dead? Croaked? Buried? A stake in his heart?

What might that mean in the 2006 Congressional Elections only weeks away?

The RSG (Red State Gang, GOP) has already apparently pulled even in the by-party polls. Most unusual: Dems usually poll higher than they get.

No Democratic Party takeover?

No Rep. John Conyers to head Judiciary?

No Rep. Alcee Hastings, (convicted felon ?) to head Intelligence?


(Sarcasm is not a healthy human emotion, but better than anger or jealousy.)


He did it ! He did it !

Click here: Washington Nationals : The Official Site

I don't care if the 'Nats are in last place.

40-40-40 is beyond belief.

AS for MVP

Wait 'till nexy year !


Most unusual

Click here: Democrats' edge erased in new poll - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper


Historically, Democrats have polled higher than the actual number of votes they received.

I wonder what, if anything is going on.

Rememeber: Good survey research firms say their polls are accurate + or - 2-3%.

But only 19 out of 20 times.

There have some notable exceptions: Probably a murderous poll showing McGovern beating Humphrey in the critical 1972 California primary.

It tended to dry up HHH's money supply.

And, as then-CA-Speaker of the House said, "Money if the Mother's milk of politics"


This is a remarkable firm...

Click here: Dumbing Up - New York Times

John A Wiley is one of the biggest of the publishing firms in the world.

American-owned, it will be celebrating it's 200th anniversary in 2008.

The stock is doing very well. If I were a registered whatever I would reccomend it.

With rare exceptions, the "backlist" is what makes the big bucks for publishers.

They have Betty Crocker Cookbooks, Arthur Frommer Travel Books, and, of course, those 200 For Dummies books.

I wonder if they have a How Not To Be A Dummie For Dummies book.

Caveat: My new book Tales of a Neo-Con and (I hope) and accompanying Eric-Hoffer-like companion volume made up of these blogs will be published in the Fall of 2007.

I have a very fine, bright, experienced, creative, innovative editrix.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Wrong, I believe.

Ben's comment:

I believe the American voters are:

* Very proud of their country,

* Seek to take care of the least among us,

* Want to non-coercively promote to the views and values of human liberty.

* Seek wealth for mostly good purposes, in the (regulated) give and take of a free market.

President Bush, with a remarkable amount of OJT, has done that.

George Will --- with whom I have some disagreements --- said that "America is the most important story in history."

Next to the Big Bang I guess I'd buy that.


This I believe.

We shall overcome, one day...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Big Mistake. Very.":

Big mistake to keep Bush under wraps? Why? If the polls indicate that Republican candidates in certain critical districts will do better with voters if President Bush is kept at a distance, isn't that a good electoral strategy?

In case you haven't noticed, Ben, President Bush's poll numbers are still pretty low. The economy might be doing well, but most voters don't think so. I believe Bush will be viewed in a better light in a few years, too, but that doesn't mean he is a good campaign tool right now. Do you seriously believe Lincoln Chaffee or Christopher Shays will be helped by campaign visits from President Bush??!?!?

If you want Republicans to retain the House in a couple of months, better to keep the unpopular Republican president away from swing districts. It just makes sense.

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Posted by Anonymous to Wattenblog at 9/23/2006 01:41:54 PM

I think the best ...

Click here: Officials Wary of Electronic Voting Machines - New York Times

Old-fashioned as it may sound, I think the paper ballot dropped in box, was the best way.

The Ancient Greeks dropped colored pebbles (psephos) in a box to indicate their prefereences.

Hence the word "psephologist" --- one who examines elections.

In my time --- and maybe for all time --- my colleague and co-author Richard M. Scammon reigned supreme.

He taught me I great deal. I honor him. on these Jewish High Holy Days.


Big Mistake. Very.

Click here: - GOP Keeping President Bush Under Wraps During Campaign Season - Politics | Republican Party | Democr

President GWB --- whom I have only met twice --- very briefly each time --- is an American original.

When the history of this time is written I believe he will be one of the giants.

He has tried to help the poor and the afflicted.

He has tried to promote and purvey, non-coercively.

The economy has done quite well and I think will do better still.


Says it all... I think, Therefore I am... I think...

This in from a dear friend in California:

The prayer-poem U'netanneh Tokef, figuring prominently in the Musaf
service of the High Holidays, is traditionally attributed to Rabbi Amnon of mayenee, a legendary martyr at the time of the Crusades (12th century). Since, however, this prayer was among the finds in teh Cairo Genizah, it must have been composed at an earlier date. According to some, it was published by Rabbi Kalonymus ben Meshullam, head of the Jewish community of Mainz and one of the most eminent liturgical poets of 11th century Germany.

The poem depicts Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as the days of heavenly judgment, when it is decreed "how many shall pass away and how many shall be brought into existence; who shall live and who shall die; who shall come to a timely end, and who to an untimely end; who shall perish by fire and who by water; who by sword and who by beast; who by hunger and who by thirst; who by earthquake and who by plague; who by strangling and who by stoning; who shall be at ease and who shall wander about; who shall be at peace and who shall be molested; who shall have comfort and who shall be tormented; who shall become poor and who shall become rich; who shall be lowered and who shall be raised. But repentance, prayer and charity cancel the stern decree."

The U'netanneh Tokef meditation mentions also G-d's consideration of human weakness and his benevolence


It seems to cover all the bases.

There is an argument about to call God G-D or God. Whatever.


What a record !

Click here: Old Reliables Lift the Nats -

What a record ( ! )

Speed, power, endurance, dedication, daring.

AS could still plausibly get some of those numbers up to 50.

Wow (!)


Frank Fukuyama ...

Click here: Doomed international - TLS Highlights - Times Online

Francis "Frank" Fukyama is a very bright man, a fine writer, and an entrepeneur. (That's good.)

I value him as friend. I think it is mutual.

Japanese-Americans have been among those called "model minorities" --- after being hated.

But changing the name of the game from Neo-Conservatism to Wilsonian Realism does not change much.

The poisonous Left, on the 500-channel info-highway etc. etc. --- would only say: Aha! FF's model is a racist.

WW was.


In Italy,

Click here: In Northern Italy, the Agony of Aging Not So Gracefully - New York Times

In Italy, once the Land of the Bouncing Bambino, the Birth Dearth is proceeding with fury.

Where it ends, no one knows.

The BD is weird and unprecedented.

Personal Note, Ignore if you must:

Yesterday, I was at Sibley Memorial Hospital shortly after a grand-daughter was born,

She is beautiful.

I cried.

Playwright George S (F?) Kaufman wrote a line for a character in the a play: "He cries at card tricks."

Most all of us have a sentimental streak.

Maybe even Hitler, Stalin, Mao --- mass murderers.

For me, Hitler was worst.


I have mixed emotions...

Click here: - Free Video Player

Former President William Jefferson Clinton is strange man.

I voted for him in 1992. I was particulary attracted to his stump speech line " No More Something For Nothing ."

But Monica wasn't about sex.

WJC was a lawyer, a law professor, and Chief law enforcement officer of the land.

He perjured himself when he said "I did not have sex with... etc."

Irony: His Number One fund-raiser, Bernard Schwartz, real mensch from NYNY, turned about to be the most important funder for Think Tank

Interesting --- and right

Click here: Productivity trophy - Commentary - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper

Larry Kudlow is an interesting man.

I saw him at the Claremont Colleges dinner at the Mayflower
Hotel in DC.

I believe he has converted to Catholicism.

He sound spot on re the market.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Minnesotta --- strange":

FYI Ben, you will need to stop saying that the number of Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan is less than the number killed on 9/11. The Pentagon confirms the latest death in Iraq has brought the death toll to 2,973, same number as on 9/11.

Ben's response



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Posted by Anonymous to Wattenblog at 9/22/2006 07:20:29 PM

A Tale of Two Papers --- or Three

Click here: Tribune Co. Eyes Major Changes Under Pressure -

The NYTimes, with adequate news coverage, and a horror-show loony-left nut-case screwball edititorial page wants to be the last dog baying, barking, booming, grrrowling --- the sole surviving national newspaper. That would be a national disgrace from the Old Grey Lady.

Colonel McCormick's ChiTrib used to be far-right rag. It no longer is.

For all the abuse it takes, it seems to me that the WashPost is best newspaper in America, and probably in the world.

All the big papers are in trouble in the 500-Channel etc.

The WashTimes is a very interesting sheet. Too bad it doesn't have enough dough.

Sooner or later Rev. Moon will have to let go. I don't think his followers would pick up the lance.

I suggested severeral times to my good friend, the late Phillip Merril, publisher of the fabulously successful and interesting Washingtonian magazine that he buy the WashTimes, scrub the unfair "Moonie paper" image, and build the best NeoCon daily in the world. That's what Phil was, I believe, an NC.

I think his family generally shares his beliefs. He was quite peruasive man.

Such a paper could prosper, win friends, and inluence people for genrations yet unborn.

No commission for this idea.

At least not much.

We could work it out.


PS: I wrote regularly for all but the Trib.

Tricks history plays

Story on the Web that Israelis ore troubled, nervous and upset.

With reason.

I met an Israeli woman at the Hip-Hop Schul the other night. She had five children. Plenty.

Her sister had 11. Way too much. Unhealthy.

But if each of the 5 had 5 and each of the 11 had 11 the time would come when the Hebrews would inherit the Earth.

As the Good Book says.

I guess stranger things have happened.



Friday, September 22, 2006


Click here: Hugo Chávez Helps Noam Chomsky’s Book Sales - New York Times








Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Weird story...":

So, let me ask you, you still shave, being a hypochondriac, as you state here? Sara Lomes, Boston

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Posted by Anonymous to Wattenblog at 9/22/2006 08:13:19 PM

I never did like shaving.

Except the first time

Dawkins is strange...

Click here: Scientific American: Scientists on Religion

Dawkins author of The Selfish Gene , and an outspoken atheist. (How does he know?)

He was a guest on Think Tank a few years ago. (You can check on PBS.Org hit on the letter on T etc.)

I said to him that the great sociological journal USA Today (it actually has best pop demographic material available) reported that people who were religious lived longer and healthier lives.

He grrowled.

I then asked: What would he say if I said his children would live longer if they were Believers?

He grrrrrowled.

I used to growl. It is an uphill battle, but I think I am winning...

(What is the antonym for growl in our rich language?)


Minnesotta --- strange

Click here: E. J. Dionne Jr. - Good News for Republicans? -

The Gopher State has a probaby well-deserved reputation for honest liberalism, fair elections, and famous politicians, VPs Hubert H Humphrey and Walter Mondale.

A lawyer and politcal savant David Lebedoff has written insightful political books. We agree on most everything.

But during the 1970 Senate 3H campaign I heard racist remarks in the elevator. There was felonious campaign financing, albiet I beielve unwitting.

Not even Minnesotans get it all right.

Not even me.


Billionaires !

The WashPost reports that Forbes reports that all 400 of the richest in America are billionaires.

Poor Martha Stewart didn't make the cut.

It is said that "you can't be too rich, or too thin." Too thin can be bad --- gaunt, emaciated.

But too rich?

I have come to meet some very rich people, through funding of Think Tank and through The American Enterprise Institute. ( AEI) (Where I have hung my hat since 1978, to our mutual benefit. I think.)

Rich people are just like you and me and people you know.

Some are very smart, some are not. They put their pants on one leg at a time.

Most importantly, most of them give a great deal of money to philanthropies, which help poor people, with much less regulation than governments --- federal, state, or local.

Somehow it works out.


We shall see...

The Blue-State Democrats always say things like that.

But they are thinking of appointing a Leftist convicted felon (???) Rep. Alcee Hastings (D. Fla.) as Chair of the Inteligence (or sub-) Committee on Intelligence over the hard-headed Rep. Jane Harman of California.

Can you believe that ?



Report from the front.

DJIA down mildly this AM.

No one knows how it works.

I'm still very bullish. (I even bought --- for a small sum --- nine-month call options. (Smart???)

I will keep posting.

Remember, we are exceptional, not perfect.


I remain, your postman who always rings twice, for the sake of redundancy,


Weird story...

Click here: U.S. Recommends Routine Testing For the AIDS Virus -

I am hypochondriac. Why isn't everyone?

One night I was in the Green Room waiting to appear on a segment of the MacNeill Lehrer Report. Pancake make-up was being applied.

Adjacent to me was Dr. Robert Gallo a great and early pioneer in of HIV-AIDS at NIH. He mused, "I wonder if make-up applied to a shaving cut could spread the disease?"

Eek ( ! )