lesterblog
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
 

Rise of the Chaldo-Assyrians

One of my pet causes is the plight of Arab Christians. Here the Christian communities of Iraq, which also include the ethnic Assyrians and Chaldeans, are reported to be working in unison to ensure their religious and linguistic rights under the new Iraqi constitution. You might know many of these people speak Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic. I predict this is one more story that will go underreported in the West simply because it's more good news.
 
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Justice Brown

Thomas Sowell is my favorite columnist of all because he gets straight to the heart of the matter every time. Here he tells the plain truth behind the efforts by Democrats to block the nomination of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown. Apparently they really don't want another powerful black woman influencing alternatives to the party line. To me, she must be a pragmatist who, as a judge is entrusted to do, works for the bottom line of truth and justice. And being a California Supreme Court justice, I doubt very seriously if she's an ultraconservative demagogue because no such person could ever make it that far in California. I suppose justice is just one more thing that must yield to Democrats' struggle for power. Or maybe they just want more activist judges who'll legislate from the bench, like the 9th Circuit.
 
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More Holiday Music Notes

I decided to see what I'd find at christmasmusic.com and I found a guy who does his own original holiday tunes. As I post, I haven't listened to them yet.

I've written quite a few holiday-oriented songs over the years, myself, however skewered they may seem in comparison to the usual traditional and novelty styles. I have a show booked at Tasty World to perform some of these, and this will also be my first time on stage performing in over two years. I've chronicled some of the recent progress at my Clubville blog and I'll have some more news later, perhaps even some audio to link you to.

In addition to the link in the post below, there's a site called simply christmasradio.com that also has 24 hour streams of nothing but Christmas music.
 
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An Early Chance to Give Back for Christmas

Those of you with broadband connections (not stuck out in the country with noisy phone lines like I am) might be interested in volunteering to make your PC a relay for the non-profit Christmas Radio Network. I wish I could do it myself because I always love the holiday season, the decorations and the music, no matter how tacky or bad it may get. I understand it's a small program and doesn't really ask much of your bandwidth, as all you'll be doing is helping lighten their load as they try to expand. They'll print your name in thanks for helping, too.
 
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Tuesday, October 28, 2003
 

From Obvious to Blatant

Such is the state of European anti-Jewish sentiment. Now European leaders, including NATO members, are actively following a plan that would effectively end the state of Israel. I find my attitude towards Europe hardening a little more almost every day.
 
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A Road Paved with Good Intentions

Here we go again with another round of celebrity diplomacy. I must admit my own naivete in honestly believing that Brad Pitt, Jennifer Anniston and Danny DeVito might have better sense than the likes of Janeane Garofalo and Sean Penn but, alas, we see their actions for ourselves. I wonder if they're aware that programs like "Friends" are considered by most traditional Arabs to be morally depraved?

Thanks to Joel at SoCons for the lead.
 
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Sunday, October 26, 2003
 

The Truth About Michael Schiavo

This George Neumayr commentary makes it plain what's really going on with the Schiavo case. The parents want to keep their daughter alive but the husband wants a sanction to kill her, essentially. I don't care what the poll numbers look like on this issue; truth is truth.

On a similar topic, I'd like for all of you to make a note of who voted against the partial-birth abortion ban as well as anyone who's ready with the legal challenge. All of us know someone who was born early or premature yet grew into a healthy, productive citizen. To keep this procedure as an elective choice is essentially another license to kill somebody.
 
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Thursday, October 23, 2003
 

Well-intentioned if not Helpful

P.Diddy's quotes supporting change in New York's harsh drug laws show he can be thoughtful once in a while but the fact remains that he is P.Diddy and it'll take more heavy hitters to really influence change by the New York Legislature.
 
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The Ground Floor

When large numbers of businesspeople express interest in investing in a single area, it's usually a clear sign of real growth potential. In Jordan, probably the best-ruled of the major Arab states, the Jordanian-American Expo is happening this week in Amman and being attended by hundreds of participants from different levels of each country's private and public sectors, with a focus on opportunities in Iraq's reconstruction. The program notes a number of encouraging facts about the state of Iraqi reconstruction at this time, which is especially good news considering this story comes from a Jordanian source.
 
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Wednesday, October 22, 2003
 

Absolute Corruption

I hate the fact that we ever do business with Islamist dictators and monarchs, and here's one more reason not to trust any of the sort. Musharraf the dictator (and partially responsible for the creation of the Taliban through Pakistan's ISI) and Abdullah the ranking prince of Wahhabi Saudi Arabia are apparently in cahoots to share nuclear weapons technology. Debka takes it a step further and says there are plans to actually deploy Pakistani nuclear weapons in Saudi Arabia. The original UPI reporter swears by the reliability of the anonymous Pakistani insider providing the lead. By now we all know these leaders don't think anything of telling any lie they want to the infidel.
 
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A Story of Real Importance

This is more like it. Such an accomplished man of the Enlightenment as George Washington surely also demanded only the best for his whiskey.
 
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Another Non-Story

There they go again, running a negative-sounding story about Rumsfeld and the war effort. For those of us who were taught to read by the phonics method as opposed to the see-say method (which makes English words like Khanji characters to the student), we read from left to right and arrive at the part where it says Rumsfeld is really just challenging his deputies to think, which is what a leader does all the time. I wonder if the literacy problem in this country is something liberals in the press intentionally exploit?
 
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Tuesday, October 21, 2003
 

Syrian Accountability

This column by Hassan A. Barari is a very plain, matter-of-fact bit of truth for what may lie ahead for Syria in the coming months.
 
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Friday, October 17, 2003
 

CNBC Makeover

CNBC on Monday unveiled their new world headquarters and a new look to all the sets and the graphics, sort of making it look more like the similarly garish styles of Fox and CNN. I didn't feel the presentation really needed any changes but I can tell the staff is naturally enjoying the new HQ just because it's so fresh. Supposedly they have a gym upstairs. I'm not sure where this new HQ is because they occasionally show it from the air, making it obvious by the amount of land surrounding it that it's not in Manhattan. The web site isn't clear about the changes at all. They still have all the same shows and people, so thankfully those factors haven't been changed.
 
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Tuesday, October 14, 2003
 

Progress or Sham?

So Saudi Arabia is holding its first ever elections on the local level for municipal councils and the like. These elections conveniently coincide with a human rights conference happening in the kingdom around the same time.

This is sort of like the Chinese experiment in local elections. It's nice to see but I wonder how serious the ruling family is about reform. Surely they understand that if more elections were held for higher-level offices, all their people would be voted out in a landslide.
 
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Thursday, October 09, 2003
 

Why Ya Buggin'?

The FBI did the right things by admitting they were in fact who planted the microphones in Philadelphia mayor John Street's office, and by assuring Street that he was never the target of the investigation. What they haven't said yet is why exactly those microphones were put there, who they're listening to or if they were ever right to bug the office in the first place. This should be an interesting story, with the potential to grow into something bigger.
 
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Ghetto Censorship

So somebody adapted the classic "Monopoly" board game to a ghetto setting in "Ghettopoly," prompting calls from black clergy to remove the game from circulation on the usual "racist" grounds.

Why is anyone surprised? Turn on MTV2 at any given moment and see one hip-hop artist or another perpetuating and even celebrating "ghetto" themes, preaching material possession and exploitation. This is aside from the undeniable truth of the underclass communities throughout America, many of which were in fact created, to a large extent, by welfare and public housing projects. Are these protesting preachers the same ones who keep race-hustlers in business and Democrats in power, who call for more social spending but not for empowerment of individuals and communities?

David Chang has created "Ghettopoly" as the first in a series of such games, one of which promises to give the same treatment to redneck stereotypes. He's one man trying to make a living from his creativity and hard work. To have this man's product banned would be censorship for the benefit of some but a bad business precedent for all.
 
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Wednesday, October 08, 2003
 

California Uber Alles

By the end of next month we'll be saying the words "Governor Schwarzenegger" as a matter of fact. I'm very pleased that Arnold really did get 50% of the popular vote and the election didn't turn into a plurality contest. If you add up the over 1 million votes Tom McClintock got along with the other more or less conservative candidates, you'll see that Bustamante was outvoted better than 2 to 1.

Here is a complete list of how all the candidates fared, some surprisingly better than others. Ueberroth and Huffington got five figures each from people who weren't aware they had withdrawn from the race, same as the four figures who went with Bill Simon. Larry Flynt outperformed Gary Coleman. Mary Carey and Angelyne got a few thousand. Lee Gallagher might have gotten more if other people, like me, had been reminded that he isn't dead yet (I honestly thought he was).
 
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User

It would appear Howard Dean, like Bill Clinton before him, is a user of people. While it isn't Dean's fault that the graffiti artist he hired to make a backdrop is an idiot (is there such a thing as one who isn't?), hiring the guy in the first place demonstrates a callous disregard for what happens to him as a consequence of making himself a willing pawn. Expect more such examples in the future.
 
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Tuesday, October 07, 2003
 

Kill Britney

Demmons at Discount Blogger found this story. Apparently the Maryland first lady said "if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears, I probably would." I think the only newsworthy part of the story is who said it, not that one more person said essentially the same thing.
 
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Wally George

Wally George has passed. I remember watching his show "Hot Seat" in the 80's, which was ahead of its time and one of the first of its kind as a political talk show. It always seemed like the audience was younger guys resembling fraternity brothers, encouraged to cheer loudly and get rowdy, which added a dimension of popular conviction to George's common-sense conservatism. I'm not sure how many of those in the audience had a deeper understanding of the issues of the times but it gave levity to the viewing experience, long before rowdy studio audiences ever became commonplace on TV, predating even Morton Downey, Jr.

While I didn't know he was Rebecca De Mornay's father (doesn't she have a sister?), the obituary fails to note that George also played the bag boy at the grocery store in "Leave it to Beaver."
 
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Monday, October 06, 2003
 

Journalistic Double Standards

It may be just as well that journalism has nothing like the Hippocratic oath for its profession because it would never be enforceable. Jill Stewart exposes supposedly 2-year old information I've seen for the first time this morning, that Gray Davis presides over an oppressive office environment.
 
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Sunday, October 05, 2003
 

Rush's Roulette

I don't think I knew Hunter Baker when he was in Athens attending UGA, as he mentions he did in the early 90's. His take on the Rush Limbaugh/ESPN fiasco is probably a good last word on the whole matter.
 
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Democracy Grows in Middle East

Oman has just held elections, this time open to all citizens who registered, even though people are still getting used to the idea.
 
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Saturday, October 04, 2003
 

They Never Learn

The best and the brightest among us simply do not become animal rights activists. Once again, liberating minks from a farm has proven disastrous to the minks, just like it always has every other time it's been attempted. Domestic minks are incapable of surviving in the wild, and if you ever got close to one of them at a farm you'd never feel sorry for them again.
 
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Jon Lester at large. Multimedia artist, musician, retrogamer, free thinker and pop music fan from Athens, Georgia.




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