Cover the Uninsured

SnowDog's picture
Submitted by SnowDog on Thu, 2006-05-11 00:11

This group

is now running national TV commercials on some of the news channels, and wants Congress to cover all those in the US who have no health insurance. They honestly believe that they are on the noble side of morality and are being left unchallenged in the arena of ideas. I think we should challenge them wherever we can. I wrote them an email.

I think we need to point out that free people are responsible for their own lives and should take responsibility for their own health insurance. Health insurance costs less than housing, food, and transportation, but few Americans would really want the government to furnish them with a house, food, and a car. Yet many of these same people want the government to furnish them with health insurance, or they want the employers of the country to do so.

Recent Comments:
That danged Hippocratic Oath — by wsscherk on Thu, 2006-05-11 14:39
Chris, you may be right, but — by SnowDog on Thu, 2006-05-11 11:08
The tragic part about this — by Chris Cathcart on Thu, 2006-05-11 02:59

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White Guilt and the Western Past

Submitted by wngreen on Wed, 2006-05-10 19:08

I've been out of the loop a couple of weeks and just playing catch up so if there has already been a discussion on this piece I'm sure I'll find it soon. If not, check out this article by Shelby Steele from Opinion Journal. In it he discuses why America is so delicate with our enimies citing guilt over 'white power', slavery and past imperialism as the reason the US is so minimalist in our execution of military power. Our military is the best trained, strongest and has some of the best equipment in human history. Terrorists, be they insurgents in Iraq/Afganistan or pot belly dictator thugs like Iran and N. Korea are no match for us.

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Letter from Mahmood Ahmadi-Najad to George Bush

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture
Submitted by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Wed, 2006-05-10 17:30

It's hard as holy hell to locate a copy of the recent letter from the Iranian dictator to the US president. The garbled and perhaps truncated copy below, from the Parisian daily Le Monde, is the best I can do:,40-0,50-769886,0.html

Recent Comments:
Declaring War — by Dan Edge on Fri, 2006-05-12 15:38
>There seems to be little or — by PhilipC on Fri, 2006-05-12 05:30
Re Lawless America — by Capitalist on Thu, 2006-05-11 22:12

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Our pathetic addiction to big government - The Australian

Julian Pistorius's picture
Submitted by Julian Pistorius on Wed, 2006-05-10 02:22

Janet Albrechtsen from The Australian makes some very good points in her article "Our pathetic addiction to big government" today:

WHAT is it with this country's budget obsession? Newspapers devote entire sections to tracking the winners and the losers. Being rather canny, presumably editors know what readers want. But the "what's in it for me" obsession is matched only by that other obsession that rarely gets any attention.

Recent Comments:
Interesting ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-05-10 06:40

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Laurel leaves

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Tue, 2006-05-09 03:03
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely
- Lord Acton, British historian
I have never agreed with that, and for various reasons. But it does have a grain of truth pertienent to this post.
Laurel leaves are the most potent of poisons
- Annon, as far as I know

When I showed the following cartoon to my Hamiltonian mate, Manda, she thought it was about my girlfriend "Laurel" leaving me. Manda's not too bright sometimes (I can say that, she'll never read this.)

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Today's Reprise—'Architecture is the scientific art of making structure express ideas'

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-09 00:15

"Architecture is the scientific art of making structure express ideas." A friend asked me recently just what the hell that quote from Frank Lloyd Wright actually means -- and to answer him, I had to go all the way back to the Middle Ages.

Recent Comments:
Peter, just like Lindsay's — by Ross Elliot on Thu, 2006-05-11 05:47
Beautiful, PC! — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-05-10 07:03
Thanks — by wngreen on Wed, 2006-05-10 02:51

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Islamofascists lose defamation suit against critic

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Mon, 2006-05-08 20:26

CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is an anti-semitic organisation that supports and is partially funded by terrorist organisations.

When Andrew Whitehead, the hero behind Anti-CAIR broadcast the truth about CAIR on his website, said Islamofascists brought a defamation suit against him.

That defamation suit failed, and FrontPage Magazine has an interview with Reed Rubinstein, the attorney responsible for the successful defense.

The Whitehead case has counteracted the tactic of using U.S. courts to stifle free speech by demonstrating that the blowback from a defamation lawsuit – properly defended – is generally far worse than the harm caused by the original statements themselves. Defamation plaintiffs that take on a defendant with a good legal team often lose in two ways: First, the act of filing suit results in the original statements becoming more widely circulated. Second, anything less than either a plaintiff’s verdict, a retraction or a correction, is quite rightly perceived as an affirmation that the challenged statements are in fact true in all respects. Because U.S. laws reflect respect for robust free speech, filing a defamation suit to chill criticism is a very risky tactic, and can work only if the target refuses to fight back. Mr. Whitehead fought back.

Sometimes reading the news cheers me up Smiling

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“Price Gouging”: Setting the Record Straight

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Mon, 2006-05-08 17:38

The Washington Post reports that the House of Representatives this week overwhelmingly passed a measure imposing severe penalties for “price gouging,” an alleged phenomenon it was unable to define and has left to the Federal Trade Commission to define. Once the Federal Trade Commission figures out what price gouging is, it is authorized to impose fines of up to $150 million for wholesalers and $2 million for retailers. Two year jail penalties for both retailers and wholesalers are also authorized, though presumably imposition of jail time would still require a jury trial in an actual criminal court, not a mere hearing before the FTC.

Recent Comments:
Ross, economics, and starter books — by Craig Ceely on Fri, 2006-05-12 04:36
Well, there are plenty of — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-05-12 02:53
Not reading Reisman? — by Craig Ceely on Fri, 2006-05-12 00:48

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Multi-Page Threads

PhilipC's picture
Submitted by PhilipC on Mon, 2006-05-08 16:46

As someone who's been posting a lot recently, I've noticed some annoying glitches on second and following pages of threads which really slow one down and make one flip through unnecessary already-read pages upon every posting and every reading:

For a thread in which you want to follow the "flow", it makes more sense to look at it in chronological order, i.e., select "oldest first". However, if you do that,

1. After you post or when you enter a thread you are always taken back to the first page not the most recent. It takes a lot of time for this page to load and you have to wait for it to load before you select a later page, because the selection (1,2,3, first page, next page, last page) is on the bottom which loads last.

Recent Comments:
GT 90 posts — by Rick Pasotto on Mon, 2006-05-08 20:05
Yeah, I'm having this issue — by Lanza Morio on Mon, 2006-05-08 18:57
Work in Progress — by Jason Quintana on Mon, 2006-05-08 17:01

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What if Ayn Rand had been a man?

wsscherk's picture
Submitted by wsscherk on Mon, 2006-05-08 13:39

None of her ideas and philosophy would be different, since her philosophy was not and is not gender-bound.

But what of her personal life and the facts of the Break?

-- Mr Ayn Rand
-- Mrs (Frankina O'Connor) Rand
-- Mr Robert 'Bob-Ra' Branden
-- Mrs (Nathania Blumenthal) Robert Branden
-- Mr Patricio Gullison

Recent Comments:
Ayn Rand -- parent, novelist — by wsscherk on Sat, 2006-05-13 08:12
Mother — by eg on Sat, 2006-05-13 06:20
"Unspeakably disgusting" vs "Woman Worshipper" — by wsscherk on Thu, 2006-05-11 04:04

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Support the Fine Arts

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Mon, 2006-05-08 05:15

I saw this t-shirt for sale today, and immediately thought of Lindsay. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he was one of their first customers Smiling

Support the Fine Arts

Recent Comments:
Sadly, we're more limited — by Duncan Bayne on Sun, 2006-05-14 21:02
Nice choice for the weapon, — by Andrew Bissell on Fri, 2006-05-12 07:52
I've bought the lot! — by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2006-05-08 07:28

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The new James Bond

Casey's picture
Submitted by Casey on Mon, 2006-05-08 01:46

Probably the best movie trailer since the Gladiator teaser trailer with the Conan music. Ladies and gentlemen... the new James Bond:

Recent Comments:
> The way to make a — by PhilipC on Fri, 2007-07-13 21:02
Dynamic Characters — by NickOtani on Fri, 2007-07-13 20:38
For example, he would — by PhilipC on Fri, 2007-07-13 18:47

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Fiendish Brain Researchers [was Theoretical Neuroscience]

wsscherk's picture
Submitted by wsscherk on Sun, 2006-05-07 07:00

(the last slide of 30, from The Oregon Health and Science University) -- for those interested in Computational/Theoretical Neuroscience, some very intriguing depictions . . . for those not interested, inanity.


Recent Comments:
To be fair to Rick — by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-05-12 13:35
Marching orders from Emperor Norton II — by wsscherk on Sun, 2006-05-07 15:08
Hey! — by Rick Giles on Sun, 2006-05-07 07:41

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The Chinese

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-05-06 05:56

I thought Trevor Loudon was being a bit over-cautious about letting the Chinese have part-owership in Port Lyttelton. But now it turns out he thinks any trade with China is a security risk to New Zealand! Now that's going way too far, Trevor.

Recent Comments:
Now, Jason, *don't* equate — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-05-07 01:07
Americans Are Insane — by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2006-05-07 00:23
NZers are nuts — by Jason Quintana on Sat, 2006-05-06 20:40

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You want fairness, you pay up

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Fri, 2006-05-05 18:51

NZer Jamie Whyte strikes back again in the Times.

This time against state health and education.

Recent Comments:
NHS — by Tim S on Sun, 2006-05-07 09:10

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May Update

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2006-05-05 16:28

I’m a bit late with this month’s update, and due to end of the semester pressures I haven’t been as active in participating and managing SOLO as I would like.  Rest assured that this will be changing soon.   One thing I want to make everyone aware of is that I will be traveling to China on May 13, and I will be returning from the trip on May 28.  I will probably be speaking to some of you privately about keeping an eye on Lindsay while I’m gone Smiling If you have any SOLO related issues during this period please contact the webmasters and of course if there is anything serious you can contact Lindsay.

Due to the recent problems we’ve had with the company hosting the SOLO website we’ve had to disable several site functions including chat.  These problems are being worked on and we should have solutions soon. 


The first announcement that I want to make is that SOLOC 5 is on hold.   Lindsay and I have decided not to have the event on the dates of July 7-9, which was our original plan.   Our decision is based on the fact that we just don't have enough pieces of the puzzle in place to move ahead with it on such short notice.  Since Lindsay is flying over that weekend it is a shame that this didn’t work out, but as things stand now we believe that it is best to postpone the conference.  We tried our best to make this work but unfortunately we came up short. Lindsay will still be in Los Angeles during that weekend and a dinner is in the works for those who will also be in L.A. and would like to meet up with him and others.  Look for announcements about this during the next month.  I apologize to anyone who may have made plans around a July SOLO Conference.

Recent Comments:
Note!! — by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2006-05-22 22:38
Wow. — by Prima Donna on Sat, 2006-05-06 00:45
Hey! Cut it out, already! — by Ross Elliot on Sat, 2006-05-06 00:06

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"Gaddafi Superstar" The Opera

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2006-05-05 13:34

Yes, it seems the prestigious English National Opera is doing a "Gaddafi" opera. The lead character is none other then Libyan dictator Maummar Gaddafi.  "'Gaddafi,' which opens in September, will feature Asian beats and rap in place of arias and romance, and the title role will be performed by a 39-year-old Irish-Indian nightclub MC called JC-001."

Recent Comments:
ENO — by Kenny on Sun, 2006-05-07 09:49
Vicious Circle Jerk — by JoeM on Sat, 2006-05-06 02:26
Just a guy named Maummar. — by Landon Erp on Sat, 2006-05-06 02:17

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O-blogs & O-lists

wsscherk's picture
Submitted by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-05-05 00:04

Image sourced from the fabulous Perfectly Imperfect blog . . .

I copied the source from the current Wikipedia entry for
'Objectivism, online groups, and blogs' -- seems a little out of date. I also checked out the listing at SOLO and RoR. What's missing?

Recent Comments:
The're HERE...and more COMING! — by Rowlf on Mon, 2006-05-08 02:52
Spot on, Mark — by Kenny on Sun, 2006-05-07 09:46
Understatement — by Mark on Fri, 2006-05-05 03:17

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Will medics' qualms kill the death penalty?

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Thu, 2006-05-04 21:53

I applaud the ends, but are these means worthy of the moral argument against the death sentence?

This method reminds me of Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice", whereby the winning argument against Shylock is - you can't take your pound of flesh without drawing blood.

"The goal of death-penalty opponents is to get a court order that says that lethal injections can only be administered by licensed professionals, because the ethics of medical professionals prohibit them from participating."

Nature 441, 8-9 (4 May 2006) | doi:10.1038/441008a

Will medics' qualms kill the death penalty?

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I have disabled the summary of recent comments

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-05-04 20:22

Before the DreamHost fiasco, you would see something like this at the end of a story summary:

Recent comments:

It was instructive to hear (by Ross Elliot at Tue, 2006-04-25 18:23)

Now you won't. The comments are still there, and they're still visible when you read the story, and you can still post your own comments. They simply won't be listed on the front page like they used to be.

This functionality will hopefully be restored once the CPU issue has been resolved.

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Today’s New York Times’ Headline: “Energy Crisis: Many Paths but No Solutions”

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Thu, 2006-05-04 15:00

The above headline, “Energy Crisis: Many Paths but No Solutions,” appears on page one of the print version of The Times’ National Edition. I can’t find it on the web version of The Times, however. (To wit: “Your search for Energy Crisis: Many Paths but No Solutions in all fields returned 0 results.”) Perhaps it was withdrawn to avoid embarrassment.

The headline should be embarrassing because it suggests either gross dishonesty or gross stupidity. This is because the solution to the energy crisis is so blindingly obvious. The solution is: allow the oil companies to drill for oil—in Alaska, in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of California, on all the land mass of the United States now set aside as “wild-life preserves” and “wilderness” areas. Allow the construction of new atomic power plants! Stop interfering with the strip mining of coal! Stop interfering with the construction of refineries, pipelines, and harbor facilities necessary to the supply of oil and natural gas! This will increase the supply and reduce the demand for oil (this last because substitutes for it will be more readily available). All this can be summed up in very few words: Politicians and environmentalists, get the hell out of the way!

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gone's picture
Submitted by gone on Thu, 2006-05-04 08:06
Recent Comments:
None of this is news — by Scott Wilson on Mon, 2006-05-08 11:21
There you go — by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-05-06 11:24
Ho-hum — by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-05-06 10:13

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Dreamhost = Nightmarehost

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2006-05-04 07:07


Overnight (NZ time) our site was disabled by our hosts, Dreamhost. I received the following e-mail explaining why:


Unfortunitly being that you have not contacted us to let us know that you are working on lowering the cpu usage We have had to temporarily turn off your site until you contact us to let us know that you will work on it. Sorry for the inconvenience but we can not allow you to impact the performance of other users on this server.


To which I replied:

My understanding was that my webmasters were indeed working on this issue with you - they were reporting frustration to me in their efforts to get the necessary information. But please be assured we want to resolve the matter as soon as possible & restore the site immediately.

Recent Comments:
dummy or idiot? — by PhilipC on Mon, 2006-05-08 01:29
Better Suggestion — by Marnee on Sat, 2006-05-06 23:18
$3.99 / month at GoDaddy — by Rick Pasotto on Fri, 2006-05-05 11:32

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Capitalism, what have you done for me lately?

Ross Elliot's picture
Submitted by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-05-03 01:46

From Prof. Reisman's blog:

Read the whole post. Quite funny.

Prof. Reisman's Blog Post

The following paragraph should be memorised and hurled at any of those sniffling, simpering, loopy-lefty, bed-wetting freaksters that you may from time to time encounter:

Recent Comments:
Thanks for being so ortho-Ed-ic ... — by Ed on Fri, 2006-05-05 04:56
Semantics — by Tim S on Thu, 2006-05-04 08:41
Yeah, 'real wealth,' that's it. But ... — by Ed on Wed, 2006-05-03 18:02

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My wonderful brother just bought me two bottles of Scotch ...

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-05-02 23:30

I just (this morning in fact) received two bottles of scotch, sent to me by my brother:

Glenlivet 15Lagavulin 16

These happen to be my two favourite drinks, ever. I'm actually hoping to convert my wife to the joys of scotch with the Lagavulin, which has a mellow, full-bodied, almost sandalwood-like flavour.

I can now imagine sitting back in my chair, writing up a functional spec (funny the things I do in my leisure time), sipping on a fine scotch ... mmmmmmmmmm ... pity it's only lunchtime, and I've a busy day ahead ... the bottles are sitting on my desk at work, taunting me ...

Recent Comments:
Have you tried the Laphroaig — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-10-04 19:26
I love beer... — by Greg Mullen on Wed, 2006-10-04 17:15
Ross, — by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-06-08 09:10

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Jihad, and the Conflation of Freedom with Coercion

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-05-02 21:12

When most people think of the word jihad, they think of a fanatical mujahid with an AK-47, struggling to impose his chosen religion on the rest of the world, by force of arms.

In fact, just one aspect of that definition pertains to jihad - the word struggle:

Jihad ... is an Islamic term, from the Arabic root ... "to exert utmost effort, to strive, struggle" ... which connotes a wide range of meanings: anything from an inward spiritual struggle to attain perfect faith to a political or military struggle to further the Islamic cause. To those the neologism "jihadist" is sometimes applied.1

Recent Comments:
Holy War — by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Thu, 2006-05-04 07:56
And it all goes to show that — by Richard Wiig on Wed, 2006-05-03 09:02
It always seems ironic to — by Capitalist on Wed, 2006-05-03 07:00

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Galbraith's Neo-Feudalism

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Tue, 2006-05-02 15:45

[Editorial Note: The following is a fitting remembrance for John Kenneth Galbraith, whom today's New York Times reports as having died on April 29.]

Material progress and individual liberty have once again been made the targets of a crude, sniper attack. In his book, The Affluent Society, John Kenneth Galbraith, Harvard social commentator, has indicated that he views with grave displeasure the “sense of urgency" which is attached to “the craving for more elegant automobiles, more exotic food, more erotic clothing, more elaborate entertainment—indeed for the entire modern range of sensuous, edifying, and lethal desires [sic].” (p. 140.) He has proclaimed that there are things of greater importance, such as more public schools, public parks, public roads, and anything else which “public authority” may deem to be in “relative need.” (pp. 311f.) And he has let it be known that the liberal should cease being “a co-conspirator with the conservative in reducing taxes." (p. 314.)

Recent Comments:
Incredible, Professor — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-05-03 00:43

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The Real World War

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Tue, 2006-05-02 07:17

Andre Glucksmann writes: "Our planet is not in the grips of a clash of civilisations or cultures. It is the battleground of a decisive struggle between two ways of thinking. There are those who declare that there are no facts, but only interpretations - so many acts of faith. These either tend toward fanaticism ("I am the truth") or they fall into nihilism ("nothing is true, nothing is false"). Opposing them are those who advocate free discussion with a view to distinguishing between true and false, those for whom political and scientific matters – or simple judgement – can be settled on the basis of worldly facts, independently of arbitrary pre-established opinions."

Recent Comments:
A good point — by Ed on Wed, 2006-05-03 06:33

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An Early Victory?

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-05-02 01:22

On my Sunday radio show I read out an item from that day's Sunday Star-Times quoting Green MP Sue Kedgley, chair-thing of Parliament's Health Select Committee, saying she would welcome a ban on the promotional toys given away by McDonald's in association with their Happy Meals (& by implication, a ban on the meals themselves). I railed about this for four hours, along with most of my callers. I urged them & all listeners to e-mail Kedgley, along with National MP Jackie Blue who said the idea was worth considering, letting her know what they thought of her nutri-nazism. Several listeners forwarded to me the replies they received from Kedgley. I e-mailed her myself. The exchange is below, her reply at the top:

Recent Comments:
Luxury?! — by Landon Erp on Sun, 2006-05-07 21:31
I corresponded briefly with — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-05-03 00:42
I appreciate Rick Gile's tart and sassy reply — by wsscherk on Tue, 2006-05-02 14:20

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Doves for War in Darfur

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-02 00:32
Marching yesterday for American military action in Darfur, Sudan, were many people who have previously marched (and voted) against American military action in Iraq including George Clooney, Al Sharpton and three members of the US Congress who voted against the liberation of Iraq.

Hypocrisy? Well, the New York Sun editorial writer is one who thinks so:

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