Friday, March 28, 2003

Instapundit reports that Gary Hart is blogging. Skeptic that I am, I note that the sidebar says, "Questions pertaining to this blog can be emailed to: kevin at garyhartnews dot com." So. Is it Gary or is it a staffer that's writing the blog? My guess is that it's a staffer, putting out campaign pap. If you look at the only post on the blog, it says nothing, but does it in the typical quasi-condescending way of political rhetoric.

Understand, I have nothing against Gary, particularly. But I do think that if he wants to blog, then HE should do it, and not a staffer. Otherwise, what's the point?

Saddam and Syria, sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then come "dozens of volunteers, primarily Palestinians from the refugee camps in Lebanon, [crossing] over into Iraq through Syrian-controlled border posts" in a baby carriage.

OK, so I'm feeling cute today. Read the whole story.

Thanks to David Mercer, who gives me a good URL for Salam Pax's blog, Where is Raed. He also says, in response to my musings that Salam is French:
I caught the weird spelling of cousin too, but in French a male cousin would still be spelled cousin, cousine would only be a female, so he messed up twice in one mis-typing. Doesn't surprise me though, the French have had a large influence on the Middle East, so I'd think a francophone misspelling would be expected over here. I put it in the same category as black people from England having a British accent.

David, you're probably right.

Sorry I've been off the "air" for a few days, but my law partner had a heart attack on Monday, bypass surgery yesterday, and guess who has had to step into the breach? I'll try to get back into the swing of things, but my caseload has now doubled or tripled, so I'm likely to be off and on for a while.

Monday, March 24, 2003

I blogged a while back about a lousy 60 Minutes story about the tort reform bill. Here's an open letter to Mike Wallace from ATLA's president, in response. Among other things, the letter says:
"A Gannett News Service examination of court records and [Florida] state and national insurance data found no significant increase in malpractice cases in recent years, few jury awards to speak of, and only modest growth in payments made to settle cases with patients. That's true across Florida and throughout nation, records show. To be sure, doctors have endured painfully sharp rises insurance premiums. But much of the conventional wisdom about what's causing the so-called malpractice crisis is wrong. And although insurance companies would enjoy a $100 million windfall from capping pain-and-suffering awards for patients, there's no indication they would lower rates for doctors, industry financial documents show."

$100 million windfall. Don't let anyone tell you differently. To Big Insurance, it's all about the money. Which puts me in mind of a wonderfully malicious line from "Jerry McGuire": it's not called "show friends," it's called "show business." [ed. note: go to p. 63 of the script. This linked script of "Jerry McGuire" is not completely consistent with the finished movie. In the movie, the snake agent, Sugar, says the line, not the father of the blue chip athlete.]

This Salam Pax, who is blogging from Baghdad, well, don't try to access his blog, because all I can get is an invalid URL error. CNN does have this report on him, though, which makes me wonder why I can't read his blog, since CNN obviously can. My guess is that he's French or Belgian, since one of CNN's quotes caught him misspelling "cousin" by using the french spelling of "cousine." Call me S. Holmes.
Instapundit links to Lileks' rant [in part] about the BBC approaching war coverage from an arabist point of view. It doesn't surprise me, and it doesn't concern me. Britain has perennially been arabist in nature. Lovers of history will recall that when the British pulled out of the Palestine Mandate in 1947, it left the Jews on the scene essentially defenseless against 100 million arabs surrounding the soon-to-be-birthed [re-birthed?] Israel. In fact, in the months leading to the proclamation of the State of Israel, the British turned over bases and arms to Arab irregulars and the Arab Legion. Britain's support of arab regimes relative to western-style democracies, i.e., Israel, has been pretty consistent since the creation of Israel in 1948. Said the British Ambassador to Israel last year, referring to other british envoys in the region: "British Arabists send back highly colored reports, forgetting the realities in Israel," he said. "My job is to remind them of those realities".

Considering Britain's history of siding with the arabs, its support of and participation in the Iraq war may be seen as perhaps a watershed event in global relationships.

Ever'body wantsta get inna de act [apologies to Jimmy Durante]: Coalition forces have come under fire from Iranian military units across the border from Iraq, British commandos said. Iranian anti-aircraft gun emplacements and fixed machine-gun posts have opened fire sporadically at British Royal Marine commandos and low-flying US aircraft.