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Unions Antithetical to Liberty.
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Some Call It A Bonfire/Carnival Of Classiness...

We call it "Classiness, All Around Us."


Click to explore more WILLisms.com.

In no particular order, WILLisms.com presents classiness from the blogosphere (100% more classy, this week only!):


Vietnam Syndrome-


WunderKraut examines the Left's obsession with Vietnam:

...I really hope the Left can put aside their sickness long enough to see that they do not want one either. For common decency and respect for human life, we have to stay. Even if you feel that Bush is the biggest terrorist threat to the world and we should have never invaded Iraq, can’t you see that we have to stay? Lives of hundreds of thousands depend on Iraq being stable before we leave.

Chuck Hagel's recent parallel between Iraq and Vietnam was not helpful. At all. That kind of foolishness plays right into the "useful idiot" strategy the insurgents/foreign terrorists/former regime elements in Iraq are counting on. The bad guys don't have to win, militarily, or strategically, they just have to win over a few unprincipled, flippant individuals like Hagel.


Fisking An Overrated Right-Of-Center Blogger-


Bryan Preston, guest-blogging for Michelle Malkin, is one of the few high-traffic bloggers willing to rip the blogosphere's worst conservative blogger for his limp-wristedness on Iraq, although Preston does so far too respectfully:

This is straight out of the WhyCan'tTheyJustMoveOn.org playbook--all the left's anti-war canards are there. WMD weren't the only cause for war, as the Prof surely knows by now--human rights and the attempt to break the back of tyranny in the MidEast were part of the deal from the beginning.

I don't get this Bainbridge character, and why he occasionally gets the attention of the entire right-of-center blogosphere. Is it because he is a rare conservative in academia?

He opposed Social Security reform earlier this year, based on flawed, nonsensical reasons. He's now buckled under the pressure (maybe from drinking too much wine) on Iraq. And now he's worried that the Iraq war has distracted from the advancing of conservative movement?

Newsflash for the Professor: Social Security reform was your chance to move the conservative movement forward, this year. You missed the train. You, therefore, have no right to complain about the conservative movement's lack of progress (which is not even an accurate assessment, given the recent successes of the conservative movement).


The Jew Couple-


He's not a law professor who opposes Social Security reform, but if you want right-of-center analysis on legal issues, choose A Stitch In Haste blog instead. Try this post out on the "Jew couple" kerfuffle:

The couple was not denied service. They were not charged a different price. They were not publicly embarrassed (until they themselves chose to go public). Where exactly is the discrimination?

There is no evidence, absolutely none, that any crime was committed. The state attorney general therefore has no authority, absolutely none, to subpoena the restaurant's records....

My father always used to say that Richard Nixon should have taken the tapes, walked out into the middle of the White House lawn, poured gasoline on them and struck a match.

I feel much the same way for the restaurant and their register receipts.

Completely absurd situation.


People really need to get over themselves sometimes.


No Israeli-Made Items Allowed-


Speaking of Jews, Tim Blair (via GOPINION) points out a legitimate reason for outrage among Jews and Gentiles alike:

First it was deadly Jewlasers. Then came the poison Jewbananas. And now ... paper cups of vicious Jewishness:

Paper cups with Hebrew writing disturbed both employees and medical staff at King Khaled National Guard Hospital on Saturday. The catering subcontractor for the hospital coffee shops began using them on Saturday after their usual supply ran out.

“We were shocked and angry,” said an employee. “How can Israeli products be allowed and how did they enter this hospital?” he asked.

To the "Jew couple": save the drama for your mama. And think about what you can do to address real examples of anti-Semitism in the world.


Vehicular Jihad-


Speaking of actual anti-Jewish sentiment in the world, can you guess where this car was wholly designed and built?

The answer may surprise you.


Streamlining The Death Penalty-


Urban Grounds examines the efforts to streamline the death penalty:

Very few habeas corpus appeals have anything do with establishing the convicted killer’s innocence—rather it is their lawyers attempt to get them off-death row (and into a life-sentence, because they know their client is still guilty, regardless of the alleged ineffectiveness of previous counsel).

We should be exceedingly careful in assigning the death penalty, and in carrying it out. But the average number and length of death penalty appeals has become absurd.

With some death-row inmates spending decades in the appeals process, streamlining is a good step. And fortunately, the efforts to streamline the process would still protect civil liberties and allow a reasonable appeals process.




Marginal Revolution blog points out an interesting tidbit:

In July the Spanish-language Univision was No.1 among all networks for 18 to 34 year olds, a critical demographic for advertisers. The station averaged 1.2 million nightly viewers from this age group; Fox was second.

This likely has a lot to do with the proliferation of cable networks and will likely not continue into the Fall Season, but it is an eye-opening social marker and worth some discussion.


The Fair Tax-


Dan Mitchell, writing for C-Log, explains his preference of the flat tax over the fair tax:

To be sure, we should fight for what is right, regardless of what appears more popular. But if I have a choice of two great tax reform ideas, I'd rather pursue the one that has the best opportunity of crossing the finish line.

As I mentioned before, I am going to buy the Neal Boortz book at an upcoming book signing, and my mind remains open to the idea of a national sales tax to replace the income tax.

But right now, if it comes down to flat income tax versus a national income tax, I tend to favor the flat tax.


Who Needs The White House Press Corps?-


Dean Esmay makes the case for firing the White House press corps:

We, the people, do not need any self-appointed "interlocutor" to the President. The White House can issue its statements, and the Congress can issue its statements, and the people can weigh them. When the next election comes around, we will make our choice at the ballot box.

The comments section is also lively, so check that out, as well.

An interesting idea, getting rid of the formal White House interlocutors and one I have agreed with for years now, dating back to President Clinton's tenure. What is the point of the clique-ish White House press gaggle? In today's ongoing media revolution, why do we allow the monopolization of-- and filtering of-- information?

As a blogger, I prefer to link directly to a primary source rather than a news article about a primary source. And bloggers almost always back up their assertions and characterizations with links directly to sources. You can go examine the information for yourself.

The establishment media rarely offer that courtesy (which is rapidly becoming an expected necessity in the blogosphere). They rarely link directly to the "study" or "survey" they are citing to prove their point; they almost never link to the full text of the speech from which they pulled a quote.

And that's just part of why they are losing relevance, slowly but surely.


The Life/Death Of English Cities-


Ed Driscoll offers a fantastically thorough and fascinating post on architecture and centralized urban planning:

What's remarkable is how universal the negative effects of what American bureaucrats in the 1950s dubbed "urban renewal" have been....

...modern architecture designed to benefit the poor has been a disaster of hugely epic proportions. Ironically, most of the modernist architects of '20s never envisioned that they'd be best suited to be either builders of spaces for enormous corporations, or of villas for the wealthy bourgeois patrons they (somewhat ironically) relied upon to launch their early careers. Amidst the rubble of post World War I Europe, they wanted to entirely rework the landscape to match the tabla rasa that Freud, Marx and Lenin all saw the modern man to be.

Bravo, Ed.

It's a long piece, but it is well worth it.


Productive Productivity-


The Econbrowser blog examines the underreported phenomenon of increased productivity:

If you focus too much on the latest statistics and speculation about what could go wrong, it's easy to lose sight of some very important long-term trends. The solid growth of U.S. productivity is one piece of very good news that's not getting sufficient attention....

So why doesn't that get more attention in the press? I guess the headline, "decade of good news continues" just doesn't sell as many papers.

Let's just hope that poor reporting on the economy does not become a self-fulfulling prophesy.


Freedom For Western Sahara-


Winds of Change blog picks up on efforts by the U.S. to achieve freedom and independence for the Saharawis:

So why is America so interested in pushing for peace there now? Well, if you've read your Zinn and Chomsky, you know to look for the natural resources. Sure enough, the Western Sahara, which can boast of little else, is rich in phosphates. And there may be oil off the coast. Hear that sound? The wind in the sand dunes seem to be whispering "Halliburton."

But wait. Morocco still is one of our chief and most reliable allies in the region. And Morocco right now is firmly in charge of Western Sahara, de facto. So why don't we just do the usual imperialist thing and stick with the strong horse, in defiance of international legitimacy, and get what we want out of it?

Putting our money where our mouth is, walking the walk, it's a reason to be proud of America's current foreign policy. The Bush administration is serious about promoting liberty and democracy over the flawed status quo. A long-term vision for a free and democratic world is replacing-- bit by bit-- cynical, short-term, ad hoc alliances with dictatorships.


How 9/11 Changed Everything-


Patrick Ruffini examines New Jersey's swing toward President Bush from 2000 to 2004:

Most of the map is red, although the state is blue. This map isn't about who won in what areas, but the degree of Bush gains or losses since 2000. The reddish tint is courtesy of New Jersey coming in with the third strongest pro-Bush swing in the country. The right GOP candidate could put New Jersey's 15 electoral votes in play in '08.

Giuliani, perhaps?


Sheehan, Sheehan, Sheehan-


The Texican Tattler blog (via Eric Pfieffer) offers a couple of fantastic first-hand posts (part 1, part 2) on the madness that is Crawford, Texas:

As I walked back to my car, I couldn’t help but notice the sheer professionalism of the protestors. I wonder how many of them do this for a living? As I mentioned earlier, this was not a spontaneous event. This was well organized and well managed. Frankly, those of us on the right could learn quite a bit from them when it comes to organizing demonstrations. I also couldn’t help but wonder if the explanation for the smaller number of pro-Bushie’s is that we actually have jobs and a life with responsibilities while the anti’s flit from one Grateful Dead concert to another?

Fun times. Although, Jerry Garcia died long ago now.

What is the preferred hippie jam band today, Phish? Or are they back from hiatus?


Class Warfare-


The Heritage Foundation blog notes that in America, the rich are getting richer, but so are the poor and middle:

...everyone is getting richer. Pundits complain about the shrinking middle, but the middle is shrinking only because so many from its ranks are getting wealthier (this graph, from an October article in Washington Post, serves as an example of both these facts). According to the Census Bureau, those making below $50,000 decreased from 75.1% of the population in 1967 to 55.9% in 2003. In some ways, the debate ends there. The economic pie is getting bigger, and though the rich’s slice is growing faster than the poor’s, there is no obvious way to equalize this rate of change without reducing the absolute size of the poor’s piece.

The post is so full of great facts on the economy that I might just have to make a Trivia Tidbit out of one or more of them.


Best Hillbilly TV show-


Don Surber offers an examination of which oldschool TV show was better:

Gal: Daisy vs. Ellie. Both could kick butt. Gotta admit Elly knew her critters. But Daisy Dukes rule. I never heard of no gal wearin’ her Elly Maes. Point: Dukes.

Good point.


Grieving Mothers-


The neo-neocon blog looks at grieving mothers in two posts (part 1, part 2):

Sheehan and the media have a symbiotic relationship. Each needs the other right now: the media needs Sheehan for the sensationalism and the anti-Bush rhetoric she offers, and Sheehan needs the media for publicity for the cause that is driving her so strongly. So while there is exploitation, it goes in both directions, as each uses the other for their own purposes....

And so you have deeply antiwar parents, children of the Vietnam era, frustrated and puzzled by their children's desire to join the military (I myself have a friend in exactly that position). Even for the ones whose children return unharmed, you can almost hear them asking themselves, "Where have I gone wrong?" These parents, in turn, had rebelled against the previous generation, their parents, whose formative war experience was World War II and who had a very different take on military service. This accounted for a large amount of intergenerational conflict during the Vietnam era, with protesting children causing parents to ask themselves, in turn, where they (or their children) may have gone wrong.

A great couple of takes on the situation. This is the kind of fair, well-reasoned stuff that ought to be in mainstream magazines, read by hundreds of thousands (or millions) of people.

Incidentally, please note that military recruitment is stronger than you might imagine, and re-enlistment is also robust.


Pat Robertson-


Jeff Harrell, rather than offering the standard rebuke of someone from "his own side" who says something outrageous, offers a refreshing and unique perspective on Pat Robertson's injudicious comments about Venezuelan tyrant Hugo Chavez:

The United States isn’t just-another-country. We’re the world’s only superpower. We have a responsibility to lead the world not because we choose to, or because we deserve to, but because we can, and God knows the world needs leading. The Venezuelan people got themselves manipulated into installing an expansionist autocrat as their absolute dictator. Like the guy who sees that his neighbor’s house is on fire, we have a responsibility to run over there with a bucket and help him put it out.

And if the best way to put out the fire is to kill a power-mad dictator, then so be it.

So yeah, as much as I disagree with Pat Robertson on some things, I think he’s doing a valuable service today by calling national attention to a huge geopolitical time bomb ticking away on our own back steps.

1. Robertson's comment was not really helpful to the actual situation; 2. it puts Bush in a tight political spot; and 3. it may even produce a slight rally-around-Chavez effect. Ultimately, no matter how valid or not valid the concept of regime-change-through-assassination is, it's not the kind of idea that should be promoted on television by a former candidate for president.

That being said, I know it is the obligation of all right-of-center bloggers to rebuke "our own" when they go off the deep end (unlike the left-wing blogs, who glorify the craziest crazies on "their side"), but Jeff Harrell's particular rant is just really worthy of a link.




Charmaine Yoest offers a review of the movie Alexander:

Worst. Movie. Ever.

It's a three word post. But for whatever reason, it cracked me up.

Oliver Stone is making a 9/11 film. Yeah, that's going to work. Not.


Israeli Settlement Evacuation-


Rob Port is amazingly skilled at finding subtle-but-absurd headlines and assertions in the media, and this one is no different:

The Jewish residents of Gaza put up one hell of a fight against the government as they were forced out of their homes, even crossing the line of decency with the use of violence in some cases. Hamas didn’t make things any easier by promising to keep up their terror attacks and telling their followers that Jerusalem is next.

But hey, moving these settlements was “easy.” Reuters said so.

Unfortunately, it appears as if Israel will get far too little credit for its extraordinary efforts.


Also, don't forget to check out all the old Trivia Tidbits Of the Day, the Reform Thursday series, the Quotational Therapy sessions, and the Wednesday Caption Contest (entries are due each Tuesday at 11:59 PM Central Standard Time).

Last Week's Classiness Certification from WILLisms.com:

*Aug. 9, 2005.

WILLisms.com offers a weekly classiness roundup as a weekly feature, every Tuesday, with 15 blog posts deemed classy. The criteria for submissions: incisive original analysis, quirky topics nobody else is covering, fantastic graphics, or other posts that took a lot of work. We love to spread the word on upcoming blogs, being that WILLisms.com also fits that description. If you would like to nominate a post on your blog or another blog for inclusion, email us at WILLisms@gmail.com. Write "Classy Nomination" in the subject. You can also utilize this page to make your submissions. The deadline is each Monday at 11:59 PM Central Time.


Posted by Will Franklin · 23 August 2005 04:40 PM


I have to say! ...Pat Robertson has a pretty good idea!...BUT...I do believe it is illegal to assassinate a leader of another country! Poor Pat! He only said what many people wish and hope for Chavez. I admire his political incorrectness!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at August 23, 2005 08:09 PM

Great carnival, Will. But you needed to link your own Flat Tax post - I'll do it here. Number 21 in the Carnival of Classiness. Blackjack!


Posted by: Giacomo at August 24, 2005 05:15 AM

This particular Carnival seems to be especially good!...Thanks WILLisms.com !!!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at August 24, 2005 03:45 PM

I liked what someone had asked about serving coffee in those cups! Would it be Hebrew?... HA!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at August 25, 2005 05:54 AM