> October 06, 2005 <

Baby Strollers Will Attack

New York City became the center of terriorism threats again today, but luckly nothing came out of the unambigious tip.  Mayor MICHAEL BLOOMBERG was qouted on the matter: "The FBI has recently shared with us a specific threat to our subway system. Commissioner Kelly, and FBI Assistant Director, Mark Mershon, will go into more detail, but I wanted to assure New Yorkers that we have done and will continue to do everything we can to protect this city...In the meantime, you should know that tonight I'm going to take the subway going uptown, and tomorrow morning I'm going to do what I always do, get on the train and go to work, and I know a lot of other New Yorkers will do exactly the same thing".

⇒ Posted by Officer Friendly on October 6, 2005 at 10:46 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 2)

> October 04, 2005 <

Viet Blog

There has been a shift in popular opinion about the war that has changed along with the president approval ratings. It is to be expect that both these areas has changed because rarely does a country enjoy war or the president that but them there, yet the commentary of both is what is bothersome. There are those people who are not being truly honest with themselves and others those that say they were against the war from the beginning. If these people would just admit that they were carried away in the frenzy-as was I-with winning a war in Afghanistan and not jump on the anti-war all the time band wagon I would not have a tough time.

In political opinion you are either for or against the war. You have either been for or against the war from the beginning. Furthermore you must either agree that this war is either like Vietnam or not like Vietnam. Well of course this war is similar to Vietnam, as it is similar to many modern wars we have fought.

⇒ Posted by Officer Friendly on October 4, 2005 at 08:14 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 3)

> April 28, 2005 <

No Idea What We Are Doing...

We have been lazy and will continue to be lazy until we see some comments posted!!!!!!   Give R & W some idea of what you would like to see us write about.  If not, we will take it as you don't care for us and will continue our news boycott.

⇒ Posted by Officer Friendly on April 28, 2005 at 02:28 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 0)

> February 18, 2005 <


Much of this site's recent traffic has been pouring in from eTalkingHead, which maintains a sizable but high-quality list of choice blogs from 'round the Web. The folks there saw fit to link to Right And Wrong (thanks, y'all), and as our referer logs reveal, their endorsement carries a good bit of sway.

Browse their listings for a peek at some of their other recommended content. Good stuff.

⇒ Posted by Semolina Pilchard on February 18, 2005 at 02:59 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 0)

> February 16, 2005 <

John Kerry Is A Nut

For some odd reason I was transported into a parallel internet universe and I ended up at John Kerry's site.  Under the link "women" in the Plan For America heading there is a small tidbit about protecting women's heath care and their right to choose.  Nothing new for JohnKerry we know where he stands.  What I found odd is the wording of the short paragraph.  "John Kerry will only nominate individuals to the federal bench whose records demonstrate a respect for the full range of constitutional rights, including the right to privacy and the right to choose."  Does it not sound as if there is a right to choose and a right to privacy directly stated in the constitution? 

I, like most,  value my right to privacy.  Yet, I am well aware that the constitution does not explicitly  guarantee me this right.  1965 -- Griswold v.Connecticut established a precedent for the right to privacy (not Roe vs. Wade).

⇒ Posted by Officer Friendly on February 16, 2005 at 12:08 AM | Permalink | Comments ( 1)

> February 13, 2005 <

Adding Fuel to the Firefox Revolution

All right, I've taken the plunge: Today I downloaded the Firefox web browser, that free Internet Explorer (IE) substitute whose advocates grow more vocal and passionate with each passing day. Now, it's worth nothing that this is a fight in which I have no dog. I'm perfectly satisfied with IE, which immediately separates me from the growing horde of Firefox converts who seem driven more by Microsoft hatred than by anything else.

And a growing horde it is. Based on the anecdotal evidence I can offer from analysis of Right And Wrong statistics, use of the new browser has skyrocketed since its November debut. As of today, 26 percent of this site's visitors are surfing with Firefox, and the proportion is increasing daily. If that figure is even vaguely representative of what's happening elsewhere on the Web, it marks pretty astonishing penentration for a product that's barely 90 days old.

So far, for me, Firefox seems to be living up to its cool cachet, though I haven't spent the sort of leisure time — or, more important, the frantic work-crunch time —to know if it merits a permanent place in my cyber life. Among the touted Firefox benefits: stability, speed and nifty little functions like built-in popup and spyware blockers. I'll have to mess around a little more to see if it really fits the bill.

Meanwhile, I have spotted one con among the pro's: This very page looks a little odd compared to the view I'm accustomed to seeing in IE. The revolving quote box, for instance, juts out above the border of the banner up top. (An aside: Those quotes are clickable, if you've never noticed, and are worth clicking.) And Firefox apparently doesn't support embedded fonts, which means the site's intended typefaces — Georgia, Perpetua and Charter ITC — are being rendered as plain old Times New Roman. I see, too, that the drop caps leading each post (like the "A" that starts this one) aren't lining up quite right.

I'll keep toying around with the thing, because if a solid quarter of Right And Wrong visitors are viewing the site with Firefox, I obviously need to try tweaking the coding for compatibility. In the meantime, if you Firefox fans notice any other oddities in this site's appearance, give me a heads-up so I can figure out if I'll be be able to figure out a way to figure them out. Many thanks ....

⇒ Posted by Semolina Pilchard on February 13, 2005 at 05:43 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 5)

> February 10, 2005 <

Department of Corrections

We're committed to accuracy here at Right And Wrong, even if reality makes us mad. For the record, then, let it be noted that North Carolina did not win by 17 points last night.

But it was another Carolina-Duke classic. It never fails.

⇒ Posted by Semolina Pilchard on February 10, 2005 at 08:33 AM | Permalink | Comments ( 1)

> February 09, 2005 <

What's in a Name When a Name Isn't In

We all know somebody named "Michelle." Most of us, in fact, have probably known more than a few. But I doubt anyone reading this paragraph is acquainted with a single human being who goes by "Bertha."

In 1930s America, you would have known plenty of lovely ladies named Bertha, and it's unlikely you'd have known a single Michelle. One of those names would have sounded attractive and familiar, the other strange and outlandish.

We've all seen those annual baby-name popularity lists. They're fun curiosity feeders, and each of us probably has a general sense where our own name lands on the scale. These folks, however, have taken it to the extreme, tracking American naming trends with a nifty visual presentation that shows the vast ebb and flow of the past century. Type in a name, and the graph zigs and zags across time.

Unless you enjoy the safety of being a Michael, William, Elizabeth or Katherine, the whole exercise can send a quick chill, once you see just how quickly common names can tumble into obscurity. You can't help but feel a little humbled upon realizing that your own name — your very identity, for heaven's sake! — is vulnerable to Berthafication.

And there's nothing you can do about it. Only time will unveil the trajectory of fashion, revealing whether the Zachs and Haileys of today are the Harrys and Dorises of 2060.

⇒ Posted by Semolina Pilchard on February 9, 2005 at 10:03 AM | Permalink | Comments ( 1)

> February 08, 2005 <

Oops ...

Yes, she did it again; too bad Britney Spears didn't remember she'd done it before.

The fast-fading pop princess is suing insurance companies left and right because of her own stupid mistake. Seems Spears failed to check "YES" in that little box where you're asked about existing injuries, because she'd overlooked knee surgery from five years ago.(“Um, like, I forgot.”) Um, like, sure. She forgot about the surgery because her knee had healed. How do you forget about knee surgery?

She is now demanding the outrageous sum of $9,801,118. And six cents.

So the raw end of the deal is that Hollywood types like Britney extort money from the insurance companies, which duly pay up, then pass the costs on to us all. Meanwhile, those same Hollywood types lovingly insist that the rest of us folks — our premiums now in the stratosphere thanks to Britneyesque big-money frivolity — should be receiving federally mandated, universal health care coverage.

Gee. Thanks for the eagerness to "help."

⇒ Posted by Officer Friendly on February 8, 2005 at 11:01 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 0)

This Is Not A Sports Post, Um, Honest

Nature bestows us with wondrous rituals, those perpetual cycles that replenish our comfort in life's familiar rhythm. The cocoon spawns a butterfly; the Monarch flies south on winter's summons; with spring comes the call of home.

Or:  Carolina plays Duke tomorrow night.

That is How It Works. This is How It Ought to Be. The Super Bowl ends; the NFL disappears; college basketball kicks into high gear. It is a merciful transformation.

Nature, alas, doesn't always get her routines right. In recent years, UNC teetered to and fro, veering from OK to sort-of-OK and back. It was a glitch in the system, an unexpected mutation. But the world, as it does, has corrected itself. The Tar Heels, now perched at No. 2 in the nation, again inhabit a rightful realm. "Felton-McCants-Williams-May" is taking on the familiar strains of "Jordan-Worthy-Perkins-Black."

Duke, meanwhile, is close to tumbling out of the Top Ten. This too is the way things should be — contrary to the beliefs of those with short memories. These are the folks awed into ignorance by the pedestal upon which Duke basketball has been placed during the past decade. But it's worth remembering that in the grand scheme of things, in the broad evolutionary picture where a year is just a blink, the reality is that Duke, like, sucks.

It's certainly true that Carolina-vs.-Duke, a battle between schools just eight miles apart, is one of the premier rivalries in all of modern sport — certainly the fiercest in college athletics. But I've been around long enough to remember when the real rivalry was between UNC and N.C. State. Those games mattered, because those teams were good. Duke did not matter, because Duke was not.

But bygones can be bygones, so we shall temporarily forgive Blue Devils basketball for being so bad for so long. Because right now, Wednesday night is important stuff.

The Super Bowl was Sunday, but with Wednesday night looming (9 p.m., ESPN!), nothing else this week matters. And as Carolina trots out of Cameron Indoor Stadium (Heels by 17!) for the late-night cruise back over to Chapel Hill, we'll remember that in the long run, nature is always, inevitably right.

⇒ Posted by Semolina Pilchard on February 8, 2005 at 01:31 AM | Permalink | Comments ( 1)

> February 03, 2005 <


Have you googled, yet?  More than likely you have, and that is how you found this little gem of a blog.  But if you haven't I don't know which search engine you have been using to navigate the web.  Certainly not MSN Search!  I had to use Google to even find MSN Search.  This new web search has left some at Microsoft with a bad taste in their mouth.  Have they even heard of Google?  It is so common that nowadays it is used frequently as a verb--I may be exaggerating.  To Google:  The act of looking up some meaningless website (except for R&W) to occupy your time. 

So why did Microsoft do it?  I guess we will never know, but I have one thing to say; "Microsoft will never be our internet equivalent of Big Brother"

⇒ Posted by Officer Friendly on February 3, 2005 at 03:30 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 0)

> February 02, 2005 <

No, Not THAT  Kind of Funny

The late Sen. Patrick Moynihan kept himself armed with a cogent quip to explain why fellow liberals resist improving Social Security's financial returns: “They worry,” he'd say, “that wealth will turn Democrats into Republicans.”

Now, I'm not equipped to diagnose the sources of liberal angst (after all, who knows what lurks in the hearts ...). But I do know there's some truth lurking in the second half of Moynihan's bon mot — though not for the reasons he likely imagined.

“Wealth will turn Democrats into Republicans.” Well ... yes, but not quite.

It's not wealth itself that can magically transform donkeys into elephants; a quick glance at Hollywood will confirm that. Rather, it takes a grasp of something deeper, an acceptance of a certain idea, the adoption of a certain philosophical physique. It requires, to be precise, a genuine appreciation for individual liberty, and the accompanying understanding that wealth is simply a byproduct of that liberty.

Conservatives uphold liberty, and liberty allows the creation of wealth. But liberals get it backward every time.

The left's biggest misconception about conservatism is that it's an enterprise constructed to protect and boost the rich. (Of course, the second big illusion — that conservatism is primarily driven by Christian fundamentalism — is in direct conflict with the first. But then, logic isn't a leftist strength.) This misreading of conservatism's underpinnings necessarily results in a misreading of conservative motivations. For many Democrats, the top hat, handlebar mustache and tails aren't just a Monopoly game caricature; they are the lingering, unshakeable image of fat-cat Republicanism.

That's why Moynihan's seemingly self-deprecating joke was actually a sly jab the other way: “Someone who gets wealthy becomes a Republican, you see, because Republicans are devoted to the interests of the rich.” It's the same reason President Bush's broad tax cuts led Democrats to instinctively fixate on the rich. The ritual is second nature.

Sure, variations abound on the conservative family tree. We're all familiar with the prefixes — the neo's, the theo's, the paleo's, and so on. But those are merely branches with a shared root, and at that root lies the real deal: an emphasis on liberty, rights and private property. Conservatives revere the ideals that were revered by America's founders.

That's where capitalism comes into the picture, because capitalism is the only economic system that meshes with liberty, rights and private property. The formula is simple: Liberty makes way for capitalism, which makes way for a free market, which makes way for the creation of wealth.

But those on the left get tripped up by the first two elements in the equation. Whether through willful blindness or simple ineptitude — or both, via an overdose of Marx — they focus on the "wealth" part. And that's where they make the logic-defying jump: Conservatives promote capitalism because conservatives want to protect the rich.

The reality, of course, is that conservatives promote capitalism because conservatives want to protect liberty. The free market is celebrated not because it is a path to a goal, but because it is the goal: freedom. Yes, capitalism lets people become rich. But that's incidental. Liberty, individual rights, capitalism — these are valued because they are important in and of themselves.

Pat Moynihan was smart, but not smart enough. The threat to liberalism isn't an increase in wealth. The threat comes when Democrats realize that it's impossible to force equality but it's easy to defend freedom, and that with freedom — hey! — we could also get rich.

⇒ Posted by Semolina Pilchard on February 2, 2005 at 05:06 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 2)

> February 01, 2005 <

Is There A Doctor In the House?

This is almost more exciting than "The Fall Of Communism". While giving a speech in Buffalo, Senator Clinton fainted. Lucky there was a doctor in the audience who was able to tend to her. After her speech she went to Canisius College, where she gave a speech on health care. A very effective tactic — let a sick woman give a talk on health care.

⇒ Posted by Officer Friendly on February 1, 2005 at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 2)

> January 31, 2005 <

I'd Like a "P," Please

For Pleasant surPrise of the day. Now, I've had my encounters with Pat Sajak, best known as the longtime host of "Wheel of Fortune," which was to '80s television culture what "Survivor" has been in the '00s. But even for all our collegial familiarity, I had no idea Pat was an avid conservative Catholic with his own column and even a personal Web site where he spouts his political stuff.

While his prose won't be turning him into the next George Will, such a public stance is the stuff of Burbank bravado. Kudos to Mr. Sajak for his honesty and professional daring.

⇒ Posted by Semolina Pilchard on January 31, 2005 at 11:41 AM | Permalink | Comments ( 3)

> January 30, 2005 <

Crazy For You

I don't know whether this is tasteless or funny. What do you think?

⇒ Posted by Officer Friendly on January 30, 2005 at 01:27 AM | Permalink | Comments ( 3)

> January 28, 2005 <

This Is What A Loser Looks Like

Apologies for the uncharacteristically harsh post title, but it's hard to hold back contempt for Jeffrey Lee Parson, the jerk who created and unleashed a nasty variant of the Blaster computer worm that hobbled the Internet back in 2003.

The 19-year-old Minnesotan, who faced his sentencing today in federal court, could have been saddled with 10 years behind bars. But thanks to a judge who "took pity" (actually, let's just call him a pitiful judge), the loser loner will spend only 18 months at his low-security prison digs.

The Internet is special and important because it's a wide-open realm, an unregulated world where chaos is transformed into order by millions of Invisible Hands. It's a place liberated from the central planner, immune to the custodial impulses that have always, inevitably crept in to choreograph human affairs. In that sense, the Internet is perhaps the grandest of history's social and anthropological experiments, providing the most compelling evidence in support of freedom and free markets.

The Jeffrey Lee Parsons do serve a role in this grand experiment: They're the big, fat reminders that humans aren't any good at the utopia thing. Even in the best of circumstances, there's always someone lurking about to screw things up.

Right And Wrong isn't a big fan of copyright infringement, so you'll have to point your mouse here for a glimpse at this latest big-fat-reminder of human fallibility.

⇒ Posted by Semolina Pilchard on January 28, 2005 at 11:13 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 1)

> January 27, 2005 <

Libertarian Pen Pal

While searching the Web for education-related articles I ran across a blog run by Brian Micklethwait, who cites on his header that his education blog is libertarian-inclined. On further investigation I found I rather liked Micklethwait's take on on the topic, and thought to myself, "Precisely what I was thinking!"

I would suggest that everyone check on his London-based site for another take on education and culture.

⇒ Posted by Officer Friendly on January 27, 2005 at 11:42 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 3)

> January 25, 2005 <

First, I Would Like To Thank Oscar...

F or giving me the snub.  I think the most underrated award show of the year is for worst picture. Yes, that's right — really bad movies that people actually paid to see. Not "Million Dollar Baby," which is playing in only four cities nationwide. The Razzies award a cheap statue to the worst movies of the year, such as "White Chicks," or worst actor, such as Colin Farrell in "Alexander." How can you be disappointed in an award show based on disappointing movies?

So here are a few of my own picks:

Worst Picture: "White Chicks"; Worst Actor: Ben Affleck ("Jersey Girl" and "Surviving Christmas"); Worst Actress: Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen ("New York Minute" — they really are like one person); Worst Director: Oliver Stone ("Alexander")

⇒ Posted by Officer Friendly on January 25, 2005 at 11:08 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 0)

Football Freedom Fighters or: How They Stopped Worrying And Learned to Fight Freedom

In an ideal world, the upcoming Super Bowl matchup between Boston and Philadelphia would offer a dandy opportunity for those headline writers with historical bents: "the Liberty Bowl," "the Four-Quarters-and-60-Minutemen," "War of the Colonies," that sort of stuff.

Alas, for all their vital contributions two centuries ago, neither metropolis has much claim anymore on the American Revolution, considering everything they've done to trash the very ideology for which city fathers once gave their lives. Dominated by labor unions, welfare networks and excessive taxation, modern-day Boston and Philly are now most aptly described as homes to the Desecration of Independence.

Last year's Super Bowl was not only one of the most memorable nail-biters in NFL history, it offered a more interesting historical head-to-head: a battle between Boston and Charlotte. Both cities played key roles in American independence, but only one continues to revere individual liberty and rights. The "Patriots" won the football game for New England, but it's in Carolina where the genuine freedom-lovers still thrive.

⇒ Posted by Semolina Pilchard on January 25, 2005 at 12:07 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 3)


Over at the leading Web warehouse of all-things-film, there's a formidable list of history's best movies, as selected by hundreds of thousands of diehard cinema aficionados. As these things go, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), which has been online longer than most Americans have had dial-up service, is about as comprehensive and authoritative as they come.

At #32 on this Top 250, just a notch below 1950's "Sunset Boulevard," lies the highest-ranked film of last year: my much-touted "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." It's miles ahead of any other 2004 movie on the list, and just a relative hop-and-skip down from the unassailable #1, "The Godfather." Thankfully, the democratic nature of IMDB hasn't warped it into a lame popularity contest; such well-received hypes as "Ray" and "The Aviator" don't even make the chart.

Perhaps nothing reveals the problems inherent in today's motion picture academy more than this little piece of evidence. With this morning's announcement of 2004 Oscar nominations, we find that "Eternal Sunshine" has landed just two nods — best actress for Kate Winslet and best original screenplay for Charlie Kaufman. In the best actor category are five thespians whose roles are best described as imitation acts: all five performed in biographical pics. Jim Carrey's richly constructed character in "Sunshine" — more real than any mimicking of Howard Hughes — didn't make the cut.

Fans complain every year when their pet films get the awards shaft. Indeed, this post is just another boring contribution to the perpetual litany of whiny Oscar beefs. But I figured it's at least worth pointing out the massive disconnect between one well-crafted barometer of merit and the much glitzier one that will air on Feb. 27.

There is one bright spot to be found in today's announcement, or to be precise, one dark spot not to be found: "Fahrenheit 9/11" racked up a grand total of zero nominations.

⇒ Posted by Semolina Pilchard on January 25, 2005 at 10:06 AM | Permalink | Comments ( 2)


Laura Thomas, "Who's Counting on Social Security?" →

Rich Lowry, "The Rise of Reactionary Liberalism" →