One could argue the death of Michael Jackson is an example of natural selection in action, that would be a matter of debate, however I think there is no question that the people in this story illustrate Darwin award winners:

Gary Taylor, president and owner of, said he understood the tragedies had mostly taken place outside of the UK but he believed one may have been British.

“I know there has been an increase, I now believe the figure is 12. I believe there may have been one Briton who has taken their life,” he said.

If this report is true than it is idiocy to the nth degree. It’s bad form to speak ill of the dead but I have a hard time feeling sorry for people whose lives are so empty that they can’t live without Michael Jackson.

This is one of the least Catholic posts I’ve written, I confess I’ve always had a bit of a prejudice against people who kill themselves I really should be more charitable but COME ON this is Nelson award territory.

The LA times article on “What if TMZ was wrong” is mostly forgettable but there is one line that says a lot about the MSN.

Jeffrey Seglin is quoted saying the following and it is treated as gospel:

“Few people expect TMZ or Drudge or the National Enquirer to get things right or to report on issues of substance.”

I must confess I’m not an expert on TMZ but DRUDGE? DRUDGE? Few people expect DRUDGE to report on issues of substance of get it right?

This stands in stark contrast to a decade of reporting by Drudge. In addition due to the rise of blogs Drudge is not as often the “first source” for many stories that it covers.

It’s almost a Pauline Kael moment but the MSN has a lot of them.

Bernie Madoff is off to Jail for the rest of my yet to be born grandchildren’s life:

Bernard Lawrence Madoff, who by his own admission sometime 18 years ago concocted a devious plan that would turn into the world’s biggest and most diabolical financial fraud in history, will spend the remainder of his existence in prison.

Inside a U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Monday morning, a judge sentenced the former Wall Street bigwig to 150 years behind bars for his crimes, the maximum possible sentence.

He deserved it big time but I couldn’t help but laugh at this headline from Drudge:

He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in between.

It reminded me of the 2000 year old man and his description of Robin Hood

On Robin Hood: “He stole from everybody and kept everything — he just had a good press agent”

The press agent was Murry< Marty.

and part 3 that includes Marty

If Madoff had Martyy working for him he would not be in jail today!

Very busy yesterday so no posting but one thought.

Just finished re-reading Six Days of War that was returned to me after a loan. (My old Amazon review from 2002 is here) At the time the thing that struck me the most was the story of the BIG LIE, namely that the US and England had actively attacked Egypt and Jordan during the 1967 war. I wrote the following at the time:

This more than anything else shows the weakness of dictatorship in general and the arab states in particular. Building a foundation on falsehood; false victories, false reports, false charges is necessary when you have to control your people in order to lead them. Problems can’t be addressed and situations can’t be advanced while this is true, likewise troops can’t be inspired when they can’t believe what their commanders say for can the people be expected to sustain a war when they don’t believe what is being said. For Arabs this cycle is still being repeated today, my favorite example being Imam Muhammad al-Gameia who a few days after attending a service in NY preaching love and unity (in English) went to Egypt and said that the Jews were behind Sept 11 and Arabs were being shot in the streets in NY. (In Arabic)

The rest of my review at the time was edited by Amazon as it was an indictment of current Arab government. Not only has that opinion been vindicated (Remember Baghdad Bob) and the “massacre of Jenin” and ofHaditha” but the tactics were frankly copied by the American left in their description of the war in Iraq and of Gitmo.

I hate to say it but It’s my opinion that there is no real chance for peace in the middle east. Arab leaders don’t dare embrace actual peace and normalcy for fear of their public and power since the Arab street hasn’t embraces reality publicly. The only way democracy is going to be the answer is after a democratic Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt demand fight and lose a war a catastrophic war against Israel.

Until the average Arab feels and acknowledges defeat peace will never happen. Limbaugh is right on this one.

119chaospoolMy Review of the Big Finish Doctor Who adventure Number 119, The Chaos Pool is available at here.

This is the third part of the 3 part Key 2 Time series featuring Peter Davidson as the doctor. I haven’t reviewed the first two parts although I have reviewed the Companions Chronicles crossover featuring the 7th doctor and Ace.

One more oddity concerning the rather bad vote yesterday.

Did you note this from Redstate?

His office STILL wouldn’t say which way he was voting on it, so I called them on it, and said that he’s just waiting to see if there are enough votes so he can oppose the bill for political purposes.

This is Rep. Thomas Perriello of Va.

One of the thing that Sam Rayburn used to always say is “A congressman’s first duty is to get re-elected.” There are and were times when a vote that an administration would want or demand might be against the interests of a particular congressman. Rayburn being Rayburn could command a certain amount of votes and loyalty but he never forgot the first duty of a congressman. So he would line up extra votes on controversial measures so he could if necessary release members of his caucus that a particular vote would hurt.

The purpose of those 8 republicans who voted for that bill wasn’t to make it a “bi-partisan” measure. It was to give a large enough margin for Pelosi and company to let a few of their people vote the other way.

In 1957 Senator Lyndon Johnson had a problem. He wanted to be elected president but it was apparent that no southern candidate could win the democratic nomination without being made pure on Civil rights. Due to the use of the filibuster (these were they days before 60 vote cloture) the southern democrats were able to block any kind of vote so it was necessary to craft a bill weak enough to keep the democrats from filibustering while not gutting the bill to the point where supporters of civil rights would consider it a scam. Johnson managed in one of the most amazing balancing acts in political history managed to shepherd the Civil Rights act of 1957 through the Senate.

One of the pieces of that puzzle was a vote on the Hell’s Canyon Dam. A freshman Senator Frank Church and other senators from the northwest had been fighting for that dam for years to no effect. Johnson managed to make a deal with those senators that in exchange for the votes needed to remove parts of the Civil Rights Bill (section III) unacceptable to the south, southern senators would provide the votes to get the Hell’s Canyon bill through the senate.

What those senators didn’t realize but Johnson did was the House of Representatives would reject the dam. It would be another 7 years (under President Lyndon Johnson) before the dam would be approved and a full decade before it opened.

Something similar is going on right now with Cap & Trade. President Obama and the House Democratic leadership are looking for a win for political reasons and house democrats leaders are making deals to get the votes they need for passage. Like LBJ of old democrat leaders know they are selling a pig in a poke to their members for their own political benefit on a bill that will not actually help those who it purports to help.

The question remains will the undecided members see through it? Time will tell.

…and the party advice that I put up a few days ago.

“Go get him, go get him,” President Obama yelled to press outside the Oval Office as they marched toward the South Lawn to attempt to dunk his press secretary into a dunk tank.

Gibbs, 38, normally clad in a dark suit and tie now had a different suit on — navy blue swim trunks and a long navy blue shirt.

between this and the media’s Michael Jackson Obsession these guys could pass a bill re-establishing the Monarchy and nobody would notice.

If you consider the short attention spans of Americans and the need for attention to keep the pressure on Iran the last few days have been really lucky for the Mullahs.

Between the Sanford affair, Farrah death and now Michael Jackson kicking the bucket the Iranian leadership couldn’t have planned for a better combination to keep the bodies off of western TV screens.

The fact that we are distracted so easily speaks volumes about us as a people, none of it good.