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The official blog of the National Center for Public Policy Research, covering news, current events and public policy from a conservative, free-market and pro-Constitution perspective.

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Canadian Friends in Freedom

Tom Harris sent over this letter he and his wife had published in the Ottawa Citizen today:

On behalf of many of the ordinary residents of the nation's capital, we would like to welcome President George W. Bush to Canada.

Many of us admire the way he has stood up to international terrorism and, while we may not agree with his actions on every front, we would like to reassure him that many, many Canadians are strongly supportive of the enduring alliance between our nations and feel nothing but goodwill towards his country and its fine citizens.

As my wife and I proclaimed in a sign we held up when President Ronald Reagan visited Ottawa in the 1980s, our two nations are indeed "Friends in freedom."

Sadly, because of the hundreds of protesters who are being bused to Ottawa from universities in Toronto and other locations to "unwelcome Bush" in "two days of mass protest and creative resistance" (to quote organizers), the media focus will undoubtedly be on the problems caused by an unrepresentative but very vocal few. Groups such as the Communist Party of Canada (who have booked their own bus to travel from Toronto to Ottawa to protest the visit) do not represent us or anyone we know.

Unfortunately, most ordinary Ottawa residents simply cannot afford the time away from their busy lives at work or at home to come out and demonstrate our support for the United States.

Mr. Bush should be assured that he has an enormous well of popular support in the silent majority of hardworking citizens in Canada and throughout the world.

Tom Harris and Laurie Lemoine

It is important for us to remember that America has friends like this in Canada and all over the world -- there even are some in France. Unfortuantely, one sometimes gets the impression that almost everyone living abroad hates us. This is not so. Only the stupid ones do. (Just kidding with that last sentence. Mostly.)


Espresso Sarcasm: Parental Guidance Suggested

Norman at Espresso Sarcasm is posting a series on parenting advice.

Definitely lives up to the blog's name -- although telling kids that chicken nuggets are made from the Easter Bunny so they'll be willing to eat something else seems inspired. What did children eat before chicken nuggets were invented?


Animal Rights Activist Wants to Live Like a Pig

An animal rights activist in Australia says he wants to live like a pig:

An animal rights activist is seeking a piggery owner who will let him live in a pig stall in an attempt to bring attention to piggery conditions.

Ralph Hahnheuser, from Animal Liberation of South Australia, has challenged commercial piggeries to put him in a sow stall for three weeks...

Mr. Hahnheuser hoped living in a pen would draw attention to the plight of pigs but said it could have serious repercussions on his health and he could be hospitalised during the stunt.

"This is not something that should be done willy-nilly," he said...

Mr Hahnheuser is currently facing contamination of goods charges after he allegedly fed ham to a shipment of sheep bound for halal-conscious Muslim markets.

Almost 2,000 sheep had to be slaughtered and a shipment of 73,000 animals to Kuwait was delayed for two weeks following the discovery of ham in a sheep feedlot at Portland, in Victoria's south-west, last November.
Hahnheuser, the Melbourne Herald Sun article says, "was having difficulty finding a piggery that would agree to his challenge."

That's no surprise. Maybe he should consider building one of his own.


Wacky Names for Kids

Inspired by Julia Roberts, the Washington Post lists some truly wacky names celebrities have given their children, and then asks: "Isn't it hard enough being the child of a celebrity without having to endure additional commentary about one's unusual name? Hi, everyone, my name is... Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily?"


Putin's Russia: An Air of Politburo

Yukos Oil surrenders, as its top executives flee Russia.

This story explains:

Eight months into President Vladimir Putin's second term, momentum for economic reform in Russia has all but halted as vested Kremlin interests fight for control of the nation's resources and purse strings, economists and analysts say.

"What's happening in Russia at the moment is an asset grab across the board," said UBS Brunswick economist Al Breach...

The reform of state-controlled Gazprom, now "dead in the water" according to the World Bank, as well as steps to rein in monopolies, are key to Russia's long-delayed entry to the World Trade Organisation...

"These guys ... don't believe in a free market. They don't believe in liberties..."

Alfa Bank analyst Chris Weafer said part of the government's strategy for growth is to take a chunk of available cash flows from the natural resource industries.

He said this would eventually hurt Russia's economic boom, which has seen annual growth rates in excess of eight per cent in the early months of 2004.

"Why bother with privatisation when the state can enjoy the benefits of ownership... We were all being naive, expecting reforms," Weafer said. "Now there is an air of Politburo to the place."
Read the entire story here.

Or, if you are in a hurry, you can just read my thirty-word version of the Yukos saga: Yukos Oil was Russia's top blue-chip company. Then its CEO became known as a possible political rival to Putin. So Putin used the power of the state to crush it.


Christmas Sales

I just want to go on the record on this, the projected busiest shopping day of the year, with a prediction that, sometime in January, retailers will pronounce sales during the Christmas 2004 shopping season "disappointing."

It seems to happen every year, and get headlines every time.



If I were Captain Ed, I would have dug deeper into my pocket.

(Just kidding.)


Fighting Words - Oh, Never Mind, It's Just Not Worth It

As Sean once said about a screed by an American leftist, sometimes these left-wing communiques just fisk themselves:

I have sensational news for everybody who thinks that the general European Anti-Bush "movement" is simply created by biased media, and that Bush is a misunderstood intellectual.

We do not hate Bush because of that. We dislike him because of the politics he advocates.

Bush is not a "strong leader." A strong leader is a man who knows what he is dealing with, who is able to consider every aspect and many viewpoints on a case before making big decisions.

No one can seriously accuse Bush for being that. Bush is a mediocrily gifted man without much knowledge of politics or the world in general, nor has he much interest therein. He does never think twice before doing what his advisers tell him.

His war on terror has not and will not make the world a safer place, because its efforts are directed at the wrong places (Iraq instead of Saudi-Arabia).

Bush has scorned many international agreements in a minute - Kyoto, Hand weapons, ABM-treaty, landmines, international court tribunal and alternative energy.

We disagree with his attitude towards homosexuals, abortion and capital punishment, and we have his belief that he is in contact with God in as much derision as the like belief of Osama Bin Laden - yes, in that aspect they have indeed much in common.

No positive press could help these facts - we simply do not like his politics, and that's it.

And we can actually read American news - contrary to 99% of the U.S Americans, we Europeans actually speak more than one language.

And no, we can't allow ourselves to be indifferent of which president the U.S.A elects - your policies have profound consequences for us as well. We will ultimately pay a great deal of the price that will soon need to be paid for Bush's disastrous economic policy with the huge budget deficits.

Bush is the president, that's right - we have to live with him, but we do not have to like him - and we never will - we simply have too little in common.

That's the hard facts - Americans, DEAL with it, then we will try to live with George Bush.

Christoffer B. Harder from Denmark

P.S. Please don't call me anti-American because of this - I come from Denmark, one of the few European countries whose government still supports Bush's war in Iraq (though most people did not or were very skeptical). I really do think that even a U.S.A led by Bush is to prefer as sole superpower from which it could be else - China, France or Russia, who knows.

We still think that Europe and the USA have indeed much in common. But I also do think that my above view is absolutely fair, balanced and based on facts, viewpoints and opinions from many sides.
I have no doubt this gentleman believes himself to be "fair and balanced," and I do credit him with the grudging compliments to the U.S. he did make (we're better than Russia, China or France). But it seems pretty clear that he does not understand us very well.


Arctic Warming -- Or Not

Wondering if there is anything to the latest bit of Chicken Little global warming alarmism, to wit, the "news" that the Arctic is melting?

Sean at Everything I Know Is Wrong tackles it for you.


The White Ann Coulter and Her Clone

I find it interesting that the journalist from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot who called Michelle Malkin an "Asian Ann Coulter" used those words. Why didn't he just refer to Michelle as "another Ann Coulter"?

After all, if Michelle Malkin is an "Asian Ann Coulter" (see David Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin), shouldn't the Virginian-Pilot refer to the original Ann Coulter as "the White Ann Coulter"?

(Frankly, though, anyone who confuses Ann Coulter with Michelle Malkin hasn't been paying attention. Maybe to some leftists, all right-of-center women who speak plainly seem alike, except for racial differences, of course. We wouldn't want to judge people by the content of their character. That so 1963.)

Addendum: Dean's Journal has an interesting take on this.


Squaring the Boston Globe: A Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving message was written by Harry Forbes at the Squaring the Boston Globe blog.

As I read it, my mind's ear (if there is such a thing) began to hear it in Ronald Reagan's voice. It is that Reaganesque.


Dean's Journal: The Blind Acceptance of Anything "Government"

Dean's Journal fisks the indignant e-mail we received Monday from a college student regarding our non-government funded website.


Limbaugh Should Have Slugged a Black Quarterback

Let me get this straight. Rush Limbaugh loses his job at ESPN merely for saying the news media hopes black quarterbacks will do well.

Meanwhile, NBA players slug their customers and only get suspended (yet still, their union complains).


Negroes vs. Black Conservatives

Mychal Massie doesn't mince any words.

Addendum: The Sparse Matrix is kind to Project 21.


Debating Intelligence Reform: A Visit to the Rush Limbaugh Echo Chamber

Says Rush Limbaugh on the intelligence reform bill:

Oh, woe is us! Oh, woe is America! The media obsessed today with: 'Why can't Congress agree on intelligence reform?' It's another non-story that's being blown up and ballyhooed... My first question is: Who said, where is it written, that the 9/11 commission's recommendations get implemented without question? Who the hell are these people? Nobody elected them. Why in the world do we have to sit there and whatever they come up with, we have to implement? Everybody's so concerned that there's no debate in the Bush administration, right? 'We're not debating anything at the State Department anymore. No! Bush is going to coalesce power there. Why, there's no debate! Why, Bush is stifling debate. Why, Bush is stifling debate in the CIA. Oh, no. Oh, no!' Well, what are we doing in Congress? We're debating the bill. Oh, no! We're supposed to rubber-stamp that. We're supposed to rubber stamp something that Richard Ben-Veniste had something to do with? Excuse me. I want a timeout.

We're supposed to rubber stamp something that Jamie Gorelick had something to do with? Excuse me, I want two timeouts. We're supposed to rubber stamp something that Timothy Roemer had something to do with? Excuse me, I want three timeouts. We're supposed to implement something without question that Richard Clarke had a role in? Excuuuuse me! I want halftime. Because, my friends, we're debating this.
Gotta agree. Debate is what they are supposed to do.


Sparse Matrix: Politics is Ugly, Politics is Dirty, Politics is War

David at The Sparse Matrix provides a Cliff's Notes version of the debate between Professor Bainbridge and I over the House GOP rule change.

He then concludes we're both wrong.


I'd love to say he's wrong about politics, but, alas, I cannot.


Commonwealth Conservative: Worth a Visit

If you are interested in Virginia politics, as we DC-area conservatives tend to be, this blog may interest you.

Actually, it may interest you even if you don't care about Virginia politics.


Chocolate as Cough Medicine

Will this be coming soon to your druggist's shelves? Hershey's Chocolate Cough Syrup.


Another Horror Story

How many babies are going to die horribly in Texas (and elsewhere) before people take post-partum depression seriously?

Death penalty.


CBS: No DeLay Indictment

CBS News reports (almost sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn't it?) that all the kerfluffle about the House GOP changing its rules for Tom DeLay was just that: Kerfluffle.

Says CBS:

The powerful GOP chieftain is unlikely to be indicted by a state grand jury probing alleged campaign finance violations in Texas, according to an official involved in the investigation.

"No, no, I really don't think DeLay will be indicted," the official told "And to be quite honest, [DeLay's] lawyers know that."
Of course, the source here is CBS, and a sidebar to the story uses the phrase "even if convicted by grand jury." Of course, grand jurys can't convict.

For what it is worth, however, I doubt he'll be indicted as well.

Addendum: Instapundit has some good CBS jokes up today.