Scott Rubush is a recovering journalist living in West Chester, PA. He is a native of York, PA, and grew up in Cary, NC. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Scott has an extensive background in writing and politics. He is Publisher Emeritus of Carolina Review, and a former associate editor of the Los Angeles-based website FrontPageMagazine.com. He currently works as a grant-writer for an educational foundation in Wilmington, Del.
The car race [at Daytona] and the war protest in New York had about the same turnout....We're talking about half a percent of the U.S. population -- and that's using the very generous numbers -- attending rallies around the country. Impressive, sure, but "Daredevil" beat that by nearly 5 million people.
Or, to be a bit cruel, the protests attracted about as many people this weekend as the movie "Kangaroo Jack." I'm sorry, but it's true.
French President Jacques Chirac launched a withering attack Monday on eastern European nations who signed letters backing the U.S. position on Iraq, warning it could jeopardize their chances of joining the European Union.
"It is not really responsible behavior," he told a news conference. "It is not well brought up behavior. They missed a good opportunity to keep quiet."
And they wonder why we hate them.
Scott 10:47 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, February 16, 2003 ::
Wilmington Mono-Daily: Delaware's a Target Too!
Daily metro papers in mid-sized markets such as the one I live in tend to be rather shameless about promoting their home city, but this piece in today's Wilmington News-Journal has to set a new low for civic boosterism.
Delaware offers an inviting variety of possible targets for a terrorist attack, according to experts on terrorism and terrorist tactics. But gauging the likelihood of a terrorist attack in Delaware is an exercise in futility, they said.
Everything from the Delaware Memorial Bridge to Delaware's poultry industry could wind up on a terrorist's radar screen, along with the vital chemical plants and refineries that line the Delaware River from Delaware City north into Pennsylvania.
Fair enough. In a world filled with Osamas and Saddams, we're all targets. But the rest of the story reads like a press release from the state's chamber of commerce. EG:
According to Gale, who teaches a course on terrorism, Osama bin Laden's goal is to paralyze the U.S. economy and thus force the United States out of the Middle East.
"The way you do that is try to stop primary production," Gale said. "If you're going to do that, you find the source." And Delaware is one of those sources, he said.
For instance, the DuPont Co. produces 65 percent of the world's titanium dioxide, which goes into everything from paper to paint. Disrupting that production could bring auto production to a halt, Gale said. [...]
Terrorists also could direct a cyber attack on the credit-card banks in Wilmington, disrupting millions of transactions. Sabotaging an oil refinery or attacking the region's electrical power grid also could cause severe financial damage. [...] If al-Qaida or another terrorist group decides to target the system, the nation's food supply could be vulnerable. [...] And the poultry industry, the backbone of Delaware's agricultural economy, might attract terrorists' attention.
Ah, yes, that's my Delaware! Attracting business--and terrorists--since 1787!
There have been a whole bunch of birthdays recently that I have failed to mention in this space. Birthday greetings therefore go out to:
--Sister Katie, who turns 23 today.
--Ben Kepple, who turned 27 yesterday, to
--Former President Ronald Reagan, who turned 92 years young this week as well as to
--Brother Matthew just turned 20 on Jan. 31.
Happy, happy birthday to all!
Scott 3:44 PM [+] ::
CD Review: Ry Cooder, Manuel Galban, “Mambo Sinuendo”
Attention Cuba-philes: Ry Cooder, producer of the popular “Buena Vista Social Club” series, has released a new album with guitarist Manuel Galban: “Mambo Sinuendo.” It just arrived in my mailbox today after I ordered it on Amazon last week, and I’ve been listening to it on repeat for the past two or three hours. It’s some pretty good stuff.
For those of you familiar with Cooder’s earlier “Buena Vista” projects, this new album might catch you a bit off guard. Cooder and Galban fuse together 1950s style rock with the Cuban folk music with which Cooder has long been identified. In listening to it, I can’t help but feel as though the Yanqui Imperialistas have gotten the better of the producer. The electric guitar riffs are really cool—but instead of conjuring up images of Havana and Varadero, they evoke scenes from ‘50s style diners and road-trips along Route 66. Although the rhythms on each track are undeniably Cuban, this little strand of Americana can be a bit of a surprise to those who are expecting to hear the folksy acoustic sounds found on earlier Cooder albums. The almost total lack of Spanish lyrics throughout this album (ten of the twelve songs are totally instrumental) further blurs the line between what’s Cuban and what’s American on this disk.
Still, there’s no denying the craftsmanship on “Mambo Sinuendo,” or for that matter, that the music on this disk is really first-class. My favorite tracks are the infectiously rhythmic “Caballo Viejo” and the piano-accompanied “Bolero Sonambulo.” Another track that caught my ear was “La Luna en tu Mirada,” which sounds a bit like the original Buena Vista album with an electric guitar. I also enjoyed the skillful bass work and the subdued sound of “Bodas de Oro.” Really there’s a lot of good music on this disk if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone and try something new—which is what Cooder’s albums consistently challenge listeners to do anyway. He had definitely succeeded at doing that again. Overall this album is a real departure from “Cuban” music as defined by Ibrahim Ferrer and Celia Cruz—but old-school rock aficionados and connoisseurs good guitar work will enjoy it a lot. And even if you don’t fall into those two categories, “Mambo Sinuendo” is still worth checking out and exploring on your own.
[French President Jacques Chirac] is a man who had to run for re-election last year in order to preserve his immunity from prosecution, on charges of corruption that were grave. Here is a man who helped Saddam Hussein build a nuclear reactor and who knew very well what he wanted it for. Here is a man at the head of France who is, in effect, openly for sale. He puts me in mind of the banker in Flaubert's "L'Education Sentimentale": a man so habituated to corruption that he would happily pay for the pleasure of selling himself.
Here, also, is a positive monster of conceit. He and his foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, have unctuously said that "force is always the last resort." Vraiment? This was not the view of the French establishment when troops were sent to Rwanda to try and rescue the client-regime that had just unleashed ethnocide against the Tutsi. It is not, one presumes, the view of the French generals who currently treat the people and nation of Cote d'Ivoire as their fief. It was not the view of those who ordered the destruction of an unarmed ship, the Rainbow Warrior, as it lay at anchor in a New Zealand harbor after protesting the French official practice of conducting atmospheric nuclear tests in the Pacific. (I am aware that some of these outrages were conducted when the French Socialist Party was in power, but in no case did Mr. Chirac express anything other than patriotic enthusiasm. If there is a truly "unilateralist" government on the Security Council, it is France.)
Download of the Day: Angie Martinez, "Live at Jimmy's"
The Carolina-Dook game comes on in about an hour, so I don't have much time for blogging tonight. Still, I'd be remiss if I withheld from you a fun song I just discovered the other day: "Live at Jimmy's" by an artist named Angie Martinez. It's our download of the day. I don't have time for due diligence on it; in fact, this song is the first I've ever heard of Martinez. But suffice it to say that it's a festive crossover of hip-hop and Latin Pop, and of English and Spanish. A sampling of the lyrics:
Jimmy, "Copa Cabana," in Miami, Little Habana Aiy.. Latin Quarters, la Gran Manzana We're gonna party hasta por la manjana Aiy.. Santo Domingo - tomando Mama Guana Gozando en Columbia, Venezuela y la Bahamas Aiy.. Costa Rica pero y Ti' Juana Ven con migo mami, porque te van a robana Aiy..
Great song to play in the car on the way to a bar to meet with friends--just like I'm about to do now to catch that game. Hasta...
Scott 8:02 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 ::
Hitchens to Anti-War Pols: F--- You
I've been wanting for a long time to send a big "f--- you" to the Lilliputian Leftists who have spent the past several months offering possible excuse to not invade Iraq. Christopher Hitchens does the job admirably in this interview with the America's Future Foundation:
Recently, Hillary Clinton was with Chris Matthews in Albany, doing a show, and she says, “Well, it’s clear that there are a lot of people in the Bush administration who have old scores to settle.” Does she have any idea what she’s saying? I mean, Saddam is in breach of every possible resolution, every conceivable interpretation of every international rule. What does she mean this is an old score; how dare she? Nonsense. I wouldn’t listen to a single bar of that song.
All of the groundwork on Iraq was laid a long time ago, by Saddam Hussein. It’s pointless to pretend otherwise. But there’s one thing that nobody dares mention to this day. I’ll never forget it—Clinton’s impeachment trial—he bombed Iraq the day it started and stopped the bombing when the trial was over. That action led directly to the collapse of the inspection regime. He destroyed the inspection regime, treated the UN with contempt, the Congress with contempt—everything Bush is accused of doing. And then stopped because he had no more use for it.
And now Gore and wife say that Bush is picking a fight with Iraq? Fuck them. I really mean it. I have nothing but contempt for them. We are risking people’s lives, and all they can be is flippant. There are people who are against the war, who are very serious and have offered some very good criticisms. But not Gore, and not the senator from New York, either. The thought of these people in power frightens me.
Scott 8:25 PM [+] ::