Sunday, September 14, 2003
Normally I like Hurricanes. The football Canes. See, I went to the University of Chicago. All we had were the Fighting Maroons. The Maroons hadn't done anything since the early 1930's, when Jay Berwanger won the Heisman. Shortly after winning the trophy, Robert Maynard Hutchins (U of C's President, and the Midwest intelligentsia answer to Alberto Stroessner) declared that football was no longer fit for the Chicago Man and pulled the Fightin' Maroons out of the Big Ten. Football was brought back in 1969, but only at a Division III level (I got to cheer for my good friend Dan once. I think he was an offensive lineman.). As an aside, there is still a codicil in the Big Ten's agreement with the U. of C. that allows the University to rejoin the conference at any time.
Which leads one to a visualization of the U. of C. football team being beaten up by Ohio State's cheerleading squad while the football team looks on in wry amusement, but that is for another time and place.
The only Hurricanes I root for are the Miami 'Canes, of course. But their namesake, a real live bitch named Isabel is moving north by northwest towards North Carolina's Outer Banks and the Chesapeake Bay. As of this writing she remains a Category 4 storm, and is poking along at 13 miles an hour. The National Hurricane Center's latest advisory continues to suggest that Isabel will turn north by northwest towards a landfall between the South Carolina/North Carolina Border and Southern New Jersey sometime on Friday. Most betting men and horseplayers believe that if you split the difference, Isabel comes ashore somewhere between Cape Hatteras and the southern Delaware coast abutting the Chesapeake Bay.
Reports from Free Republic's Eastern seaboard posters indicate that the plywood is running out and there isn't a jug of water to be had. Batteries are becoming rather scarce as well. Concern is running high, as the National Hurricane Center's forecasters suggest that this Hurricane will be a Category III storm when it makes landfall (anywhere between 115 and 130 miles per hour).
I'm not sure how many folks are out there reading this blog as of yet, but if I had a phone line to the President, I might suggest that he activate Northern Command and do a callup of state National Guardsmen in the Eastern seaboard states for active duty to police the recovery areas and to assist in immediate reconstruction needs. Oh, and there are those who live in the Outer Banks areas who suggest that they need to be gone and out of there by tomorrow night (as in, evacuated).
Meanwhile, in Blogland, the most famous blogger out there, Andrew Sullivan, continues to get it as he tracks the deterioration in the fighting spirit of the Democratic Party. Sullivan's blog, always insightful and uncommonly well written, can be found here. Andrew is one of the leading lights of gay Republican thinking, and continues to be a forceful advocate for victory in this war against Islamic Fascism, at all hazards. He also gives some insightful arguments against a Federal Marriage Act that are well worth following up.
Speaking of the war, a rather revealing article about the successes of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment in the Sunni Triangle showed up, of all places, in the Arab Times, an online version of the same English language Arab daily published in Kuwait City. I think the news is starting to percolate out that the Americans have the initiative in Saddam's old stomping grounds, and are doing so by denying the local jihadi any sanctuary zones.
This comes on the heels of a thoroughly awful incident the day before in which an American outfit ambushed a car ful of Iraqi policemen who drove into an ambush. The Iraqi officers were considered independent by the local population and were respected. It is this kind of thing that stokes calls for revenge among the local Sunni. It will remain for units like the 1st/22nd to remain aggressive enough so that the bad guys never believe they have the initiative.
It will remain like this until American units pull out of Iraqi urban areas and back to the boonies.
A curious thing is happening in Europe. The European Community is drawing up a supranational constitution without so much as a mention of The Good Lord in the preamble to their new legal foundation. Despite pressures from the Vatican and the Orthodox Churches of Europe, the mention of the Deity, and more specifically of Christianity, was opposed by (you guessed it) the French. The nation that gave us La Circ de Soleil at the Beaux Rivage Riverboat Casino, Pierre Laval, and the Fall of the Third Republic, has now decided that it must oppose the presence of the Almighty in Europe's new constitutional architecture.
Apparently the French insist that France is "a lay state" (no, not as in "lay down for the Wehrmacht") and insist that a thoroughly secular approach to the Constitution is appropriate here. What is really going on is that the Catholic Church has collapsed in France while the level of Islamic immigration grows ever larger, and ever more radical. Islamists have a fertile ground to till for future jihadist recruits and the French react not in confidence, but in fear.
Finally, the Tom McClintock Cargo Cult continues to believe in principle above all things. It was hoped that Tom would get the message and pull out to give Arnold Schwarzenegger a clear run at Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante. McClintock, being a man of principle, chose to attack Schwarzenegger instead. This despite the growing concern of Republican county committee chairmen that McClintock will do more damage to the Party in the long run if he remains in the race. Regardless of some noises of concession, I expect McClintock to hang around until the debate on the 24th. That debate, a three way between Cruz, Arnold, and Tom will give McClintock the statewide exposure that only Arnold can bring to the table.
The more I look at it, the more I think that McClintock is staying in to get enough media buzz to give him a shot at Barbara Boxer next year.