Around The ‘Sphere

Our occasional linkfest featuring interesting items from various weblogs. Links are NOT restricted to just one political viewpoint. Opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of The Moderate Voice or its Guest Bloggers.



ARE IRAQI TERRORISTS LOOKING FOR AN EXIT STRATEGY? The always-thoughtful Donald Sensing thinks they are:



I posted late last month of the report that native Iraqi terrorists seem to be looking for an exit strategy from their insurgency (al Qaeda terrorists not so). The insurgents concerned are Baathist holdouts – dead enders,â€? as Donald Rumsfeld called them – and Saddam loyalists who fought the Americans and other coalition forces. Since the Jan. 30 elections in Iraq they have become increasingly persuaded that Baathism is not ever to return to Iraq and that loyalty to Saddam is a lost cause.



Sensing explores in detail the idea of reconciliation as an exit strategy. Actually, we’ll know more as time goes on. We DO seem to be seeing a lot fewer beheadings these days. Perhaps it’s a sign of the terrorists trying to “make nice…”



SOME THOUGHTS ON LIVES AND DEATHS from Jack Grant. TMV is a HUGE fan of Grant, a scientist who lives and works in France. And he is one of our Guest Bloggers. Grant doesn’t write in blogspeak; he thinks (and agonizes) before he writes. Read his WHOLE post, but here is a small excerpt 4 U:



For the culture in the United States, issues of life, and especially of death, are rarely dealt with in proportion to the whole, to the larger picture.



I attribute part of this inadequate and anti-survival response to the tendency of Hollywood to always provide us with happy endings, a feel-good termination of the stories they present so they can make more money. We want to go see something we can walk out of the theater feeling happy about, because learning things is too much work.



Our modern myths, our archetypal tales, they all now end happily. The boy gets the girl, the hero’s best friend isn’t really dead, the bad guys wear black so they are easy to recognize and in the end they never win.



Real life isn’t like that.Real stories often don’t have endings, they just fade into memory and eventual forgetfulness… Any endings that we do have are messy, inconclusive, with always many of those involved unsatisfied and angry if not completely unaccepting of the ultimate outcome, fighting beyond all reason.



A CONSERVATIVE BLOG NOW READ BY MILLIONS is the way you can now describe Wizbang, which has just gotten its 8th millionth reader. (We have a lot in common with Wizbang: TMV has gotten his 8th millionth spam..)



ANOTHER VIEW OF THE POPE:
We’ve given you our view of Pope John Paul II here and on Dean’s World (see below) and done our long roundup on Dean’s World (see below). But due to time constraints we weren’t able to include all points of view. One let-stand-back-and-look-at-this-again view comes from Running Scare’s Jazz Shaw, who looks at the Pope warts and all. A must read to balance some of the other posts.



THE NEW HIT MOVIE SIN CITY IS “PORNO,” writes Cobb — and he tells you why he loves it.



THE NEW HIT MOVIE SIN CITY IS EXCESSIVELY VIOLENT, contends Oxblog’s Josh Chafetz — and he tells you why he hates it.



THE NEW HIT MOVIE SIN CITY SOUNDS OUTRAGEOUS
and TMV can’t wait to see it (but how can another movie about Washington, DC be interesting?).



THE CITIZENS’ MINUTEMAN MOVEMENT IS CONTROVERSIAL ALONG THE U.S. MEXICAN BORDER AND ELSEWHERE
and Carpe Bonum gives you his detailed take on it.



WHO WILL BE THE NEXT POPE?
A detailed rundown on the possibilities can be read at A Little More To The Right.



GOOD VERSUS BAD BLOGGERS
is a loaded question and Crooks And Liars looks at the issue.



IF YOU’RE A CONSERVATIVE POLITICO YOU BETTER SUPPORT TOM DELAY OR ELSE is the message going out to Delay’s allies. Digby looks at that in a post that lambasts the GOP on other aspects as well. A small taste:



This has been brewing for quite some time. This undemocratic streak in the GOP waxes and wanes but it has been dramatically on the upswing for the last decade or so. But this time the radical Republicans are piping their revolution straight into homes and cars and offices all over this country and it’s starting to freak out the normal people.





MAKE PERFECT TACO TANGLES (no this is not a news story about the Minuteman group): The Ultimate Recipe is here.





A GREAT SERIES OF SHORT MOVIE REVIEWS
(from all eras) via Cutting to the Chase.



IRAQ REPORT: A comprehensive briefing of news and analysis by Andrew Olmsted at Winds of Change. MUST READING.



THERE’S ALSO GOOD NEWS FROM AFGHANISTAN and Arthur Chrenkoff has it.



SUPERBLOGSTER TO BEIRUT:
Michael Totten is heading towards Beirut, Lebanon for a few weeks with Spirit of America Founder Jim Hake. “On Tuesday we’re kicking off a new project to support the Lebanese people in their fight for independence. I’d love to give you the juicy details right now. But we aren’t quite there yet, so stay tuned.”



A NO-HOLDS-BARRED TAKE ON THE MICHAEL JACKSON TRIAL is a MUST READ from the almost always must-read The Talking Dog (who knows some things about law). A tiny taste:



I’m sure there are people out there who believe Jackson is innocent of the child molestation charges leveled against him. I tend to think he is guilty. In my opinion any grown man who has pajama parties with young children in a king sized bed, is a freak of nature and should spend the rest of his life in prison. Even if he is found not guilty…..



I remain perplexed: Jackson is a one-man franchise worth at least hundreds of millions of dollars, and I’m sure hundreds of people owe their livelihood to that franchise. After accusation after accusation against him of this nature, I just don’t understand how his handlers allowed him to jeopardize their investment in him, time after time. This is simply not a man that should ever be left alone with children (including his own). Even if completely innocent, he still opens himself up to shakedowns (which may nor may not be the current case).



We agree. (Our first post on our blog on Blogspot was on allegations about the King of Perps Pops).