Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Archive for May 2004


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There is a wonderful lady in Newport RI who runs a marvelous gallery. Her name is Ilse Buchert Nesbitt, and she creates woodcuts which she prints herself on very old-fashioned equipment. I own two of her pieces, one of which, a Daphne, is reproduced here:

My other piece is a woodcut entitled “Forest Pond.” Should you find yourself in Newport, I highly recommend a visit with Ilse at Third & Elm Press.

Written by martinipundit

May 31, 2004 at 5:52 pm

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This Is Good

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Wonkette, gets it right.

Written by martinipundit

May 31, 2004 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Politics

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I Don’t Know What to Make of This

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TIME has an odd piece about Saddam’s last gun and its present whereabouts. Key quote:

“The study—the one where Bill Clinton held some of his infamous trysts with White House intern Monica Lewinsky—has become a place where Bush keeps the memorabilia that hold special significance for him.”

Something always seems to be happening in that room.

Written by martinipundit

May 30, 2004 at 3:03 pm

Posted in General, Iraq

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Something Liberal this Way Comes

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The Democrats are coming to town. Of course, in Massachusetts, the Democrats are pretty much always in town since the Commonwealth is two thirds ‘D’ on a bad day. True, we’ve had Republican governors for some time now, but they haven’t been the sort of Republicans who would pass muster in oh, say, Texas. No, they tend to be moderates, if there is such a thing these days. But the State House and most of the important levers of government remain firmly in the hands of the Democratic Party. It’s almost as if the Commonwealth has decided that it’s okay to put the governor’s office in the hands of those boring Repugs just in case we need a check on the legislature – we probably won’t – but one never knows.

Meanwhile, for some months now, we’ve been told of the economic benefits the Democratic National Convention will bring (the original boon was in the neighborhood of $18 million, which doesn’t seem like that much to me). Naturally, when Mayor Menino and his cronies touted this plan, it was not certain that the nominee would be native son John Kerry, nor did inconvenient things like the productivity of Boston businesses come to be considered. Instead, we were told how much coin of the realm the delegates, journalists, and assorted hangers-on would shower on the city. Uh huh. None of the small businesses I know (Cafes, restaurants, and what) expect much in that vein. They’re far more concerned with their regular customers being able to get in and out of the city while the blessed event transpires. I personally plan to be away that week on business, and I know a lot of people getting outta Dodge for the duration – most of them Democrats in good standing. There is an economic bonanza to be had, but instead of Boston it’ll be reaped in the Bed & Breakfasts of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Cape Cod, and the islands.

Yesterday, a bomb threat diverted an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Boston, forcing it to land in Tennessee. Since Air Force One was nearby, the flight may have been further delayed even though a subsequent check revealed the threat to be a hoax. Someone’s puerile joke delayed a flight for approximately twelve hours at an unknown cost to the airline and the passengers, and demonstrating a total inability to grasp the challenge our nation faces. Or so we hope, for while the bomb was imaginary, the threat may not have been. This in the face of the real news this week of the elevated terror alert. These seem to come annually with summer traffic and high gasoline prices. Yet, considering 3/11 and its effect on the Spanish elections, one cannot rule out the strong possibility of an attack on US soil sometime before the election. Indeed, I feel certain an attempt will be made, although I remain confident that it will not succeed. That the results of 3/11 have emboldened the terrorists seems clear.

But America is not Spain. It has been three centuries since Spain has been a great power, and even then they had been declining for a century. No, it would take more than a bombing to influence the outcome of an election in the United States. And if so, such a bombing would need to be calculated to embarrass President Bush, and most certainly not Senator Kerry. It is true, that past Al-Qaeda performance has sometimes been sloppy, but I am not convinced that the terrorists are so boneheaded as to attempt an attack on the DNC while in Boston. Imagine, for a moment – and many have noted this – that Osama bin Laden was eligible to vote in November. Can anyone honestly see him pulling the lever for George W. Bush? And if that’s the case, why on earth risk injuring the one man who can possibly give you what you want? On 3/11 did Al-Qaeda wish to harm Zapatero? I think not. Now, it is true that John Kerry has not taken a position one way or another on what he will do in Iraq. Apart from bring in our allies – read the French – and the UN – the same folks who’ve winked at genocide and pocketed millions in oil-for-food money – it’s by no means clear what a President Kerry will do (Senator Kerry suffers from this malady as well). Bush pulled a fast one on Al-Qaeda and did not perform according to the script. We were supposed to cut and run from Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, and stop supporting Israel after 9/11, not invade and secure Afghanistan and Iraq. No doubt Al-Qaeda thinks a President Kerry will act just like Prime Minister Zapatero and withdraw the moment he’s sworn in. Though I’m no Kerry supporter, I actually don’t think he would do that. That’s for another post, but the long and short of it is that when the liberals come to town, the city will be totally disrupted by the Democratic Party, not Al-Qaeda.

Written by martinipundit

May 28, 2004 at 5:28 pm

The Perfect Martini

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It seems appropriate for me to post my own recipe for a perfect Martini given the name of this relatively new blog. To be sure, I did not invent this particular mixology, but I do stand by it. (A friend’s mother outside Philadelphia taught it to me a long time ago and that is all you need to know.)

Start with a shaker, a proper Martini glass, a premium gin (I prefer Bombay Sapphire or Beefeater), a dry Vermouth, olives – preferably without pimientos – and lots of ice. The gin must have been in the freezer for a long time beforehand and possibly the glasses as well. Put ice in the shaker and pour in Vermouth – the amount is not relevant but be generous. Cover, shake, and drain the Vermouth. By all means, keep the ice. Pour in an amount of gin suffficient for the desired number of drinks. Shake vigorously, and then strain into the Martini glass. Add one or more olives (I usually put in one to taste, but some people actually eat them from their drink). That’s it – enjoy a perfect, dry Martini!

Written by martinipundit

May 26, 2004 at 9:30 pm

Posted in Cocktails

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What Is it about Europeans?

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I came across a reference on the Wall Street Journal ($) editorial page today quoting Hans Blix, the erstwhile arms inspector from Sweden:

“Then yesterday a friend sent us the following excerpt from an interview published Monday in the Italian newspaper La Stampa:

Q: “Are you tracking the U.S. Presidential campaign?”

Mr. Blix: “I place my trust in the multilateralism of Democratic candidate John Kerry. And in any event, I think that the whole world should vote on 2 November because so much depends on the outcome of that vote.”  Link

I can recall having run across similar sentiments in the recent past, although not much further back. (It’s certainly possible that I’m just being a victim of short-term memory.) The Constitution of the United States seems fairly clear on the subject that voters in Federal elections must be citizens of the U.S. I can certainly understand the desire of the Hans Blixes of the world to have a say in the election of the most powerful person on the planet, and neither am I concerned that this might suddenly happen in contravention of the Constitution. Rather, what concerns me is the arrogance of the Europeans suggesting that we clumsy colonials can’t be trusted to elect the right person to the Presidency. Indeed, with the not so disguised opinion that we got it very wrong in 2000.

Consider if GWB wins in 2004. Hans Blix is implying that he will not consider Bush a legitimate leader since the Europeans had no say in electing him. This would be a significant foreign policy issue were this viewpoint to take hold amongst a large percentage of the world’s population. As an American, I find the idea offensive, but taking a step back, I think it is an insight into the impotence that many Europeans appear to feel. It is not much a step at that point for them to make common cause with our enemies.

Written by martinipundit

May 26, 2004 at 6:35 pm

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