Slate’s weblog… well, sort of….-Slate

Slate’s weblog… well, sort of….
-Slate starts a weblog — of sorts. It’s not terribly webby but it is overly techy (not surprising: it’s Microsofty). They create a framed page and suck other web sites into that frame, arguing that this is oh, so convenient because you don’t lose your links (though you do lose the ability to bookmark a page and media sites don’t much like being subsumed under another brand and address).

What’s terribly disappointing is that this isn’t so much a weblog as a printlog, pointing to print columnists, editorial pages, and news. There is just one “mezine” section pointing to a small and overall predictable list of ‘logs — from Andrew Sullivan, Lucianne Goldberg, Mickey Kaus, et al. Where’s Matt Welch (well, he’s in France, but you know what I mean)? Where’s Ken Layne? Thomas Nephew? Tim Blair? Rossi? Nick Denton (now that he’s getting back to blogging)? Reid Stott? Add your nominees here. And, hell, I’ll say it: Where am I?

Blog of blogs
Tim Blair has been doing a great job with his BlogWatch (though he still hasn’t included me, making a lame excuse that he’s using Netscape 4.7 and thus can’t read my damned template — a likely excuse). Now he has teamed up with Will Vehrs and Tony Adragna on Quasipundit to do the northern hemisphere version starting in the a.m. (I hope they use I.E.).

Life and death
– Very good story in USA Today today studying fatalities and survivors out of the World Trade Center:

The line between life and death that morning was as straight as a steel beam. Everyone on the 92nd floor [of the north tower] died. Everyone on the 91st floor lived.

When a second jet hit the south tower 16 1/2 minutes later, the pattern was virtually the same. In each tower, 99% of the occupants below the crash survived….

Four hundred seventy-nine rescue workers died making the evacuation a success. The sacrifice of New York firefighters and police is well-known. But 113 others, from low-paid security guards to white-collar workers at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the buildings’ owner, stood their ground with firefighters and cops….

Clinton v. bin Laden
– The Washington Post reports today on Clinton’s covert war against bin Laden. Andrew Sullivan is sharpening his spear now. But note that Clinton and Bush operated within the same boundaries (e.g., no ground troops to hunt out bin Laden) until all that changed on Sept. 11

Sullivan is properly outraged at lobbyist’s efforts to cash in on 9/11, taking particular aim at an idiotic proposal to give tax credits if you dare to get on a plane.

But what’s really appalling is that they are considering this pork barrelling at the same time they’re ripping off New York. Bush promised $20 billion. He’s giving just $10 billion. And the latest estimate is that New York’s economy is going to lose at least $100 billion because of the attack on us.

Priorities, boys, priorities.

Osama bin fleeing
– Al Jazeera says bin Laden has arrived safely in Iran. Do you think he’s dead, in the nabe, or far away? Take my latest utterly meaningless, unscientific poll, at the right.

More West-Coast unthink about Walker
– Michael Kinsley has been hanging out on the West Coast too long. He has been breathing in too much humid air. It has made him as stupid as a San Franciscan.

On Slate, Kinsley argues that we shouldn’t be mad at John The Rat Traitor Superdoofus Walker beause he joined the Taliban seven months ago when, according to Kinsley, we all didn’t know who the Taliban was and didn’t yet hate them.

What a crock o’ crap.

We knew damned well that the Taliban was bad seven months ago. They were the guys who robbed women of all rights, remember? They stoned people for offending stupid rules. They blew up ancient statues of other religions, so deep was their intolerance. They jailed missionaries. And they gave aid and comfort to Osama bin Laden who, let’s remember, had something to do with a few bombings of our people long before Sept. 11. Maybe you didn’t know the Taliban was bad seven months ago, Mikey, but we sure did. Amercans aren’t idiots.

Kinsley then tries to write off Walker’s treachery to youthful indiscretion following the example of none other than President Bush, recovering bad boy. “The only voice of perspective,” says Kinsley, “has been that of President Bush, who once said of himself, ‘When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible.’ About John Walker, Bush said that ‘this poor fellow Ö obviously Ö has been misled.’ :

This poor Kinsley has been misled, too. He concludes:

Should we even have a bit of understanding about how a troubled teen-ager might be ìyoung and irresponsibleî enough to get himself in this fix? The answer is yes, of course we should. The superior benefits of American citizenship are ìwhy they hate us,î as the president points out, and what weíre fighting to protect. Now that the Taliban is defeated, even John Walker has the right of every American to forget about Afghanistan.

Wrong, espresso breath. I don’t want to execute Walker; I’m not shooting for the firing squad; never have, never will, no matter how bad the crime; I’m no murderer.

But I do want to see this guy brought to justice for going off to fight with evil despots against his fellow Americans. I do want to see him be responsible for his actions.

And that is the problem with all the West Coast unthink we’re seeing from the Chronicle and Slate regarding Walker: the belief that one is not responsible for one’s actions. One is, Mike, one most certainly is.

Ashleigh, war babe
– I don’t mean to devalue Ashleigh Banfield’s smarts in the slightest but I have to note that there’s something appealing — yes, sexy — about her tromping around the Tora Bora caves on MSNBC. Is there anything wrong with noting this? Of course not. The last war had its Scud Stud. This war has Ashleigh and it has Nora O’Donnell in the Pentagon. It’s good that women are covering war nowadays. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re smart and gutsy and pretty, too.

Fundamentalists feud
– Right-wing fundamenalist “christians” whine and complain at Beliefnet that their boy, George Bush, is paying too much attention to Muslims in his PC attempt to show the world that he doesn’t hate Islam, just terrorists. These petulant little idiots are making fools of themselves, just as Falwell and Robertson have. Warms my heart. They will lose credibility and clout and that couldn’t make me happier. And they keep digging their hole deeper and deeper. Get their equation of Islam and homosexuality:

Some leaders are comparing Islam to the homosexuality issue. ìItís the same difference we have with the homosexual community,î he says. ìWe care about homosexuals, yet weíre opposed to their agenda because we know it destroys their lives. Likewise, we care about Muslims, but weíre opposed to even any tacit endorsement of Islam because itís against the will of God.î

War spreads
Yemen attacks an al-Qaeda base.

War spreads II
– Rumseld freaks Europeans warning that the next attack could be against London, Paris, or Berlin and it could be worse: nukes or chemicals or disease. The Times and Telegraph play this as if he’s warning of imminent attacks on these cities. I read it differently: He’s warning that if they don’t continue to help us eradicate the world of terrorists, they could be next.

– Bush quietly declared Sept. 11 Patriot Day, a holiday in remembrance of our heroes and victims in the war on terror.

– Some tasteless fool is auctioning off a letter that was on one of the jets that crashed into the World Trade Center — through a firm that specializes in letters from disasters (one from the Hindenburg, one from the Titanic).

I don’t care that they say “some” of the money’s going to charity. It’s tasteless to buy or sell it. When I was there before the towers collapsed, I saw thousands of pieces of paper that floated down to the ground from the floors that were hit: expense accounts, memos, office directories, employee manuals. I would never have thought to pick one up as a souvenir to sell. No one did. It’s sick.

First we go network, the strip in syndication, then DVD…
– More Osama tapes coming…

Next, they’ll march against Korea
– Winning the bad timing award for the week, a bunch or protestors in Illinois march against the U.S. war in Afghanistan and calls it news. Uh, hello, idiots: The war’s basically over. We won.