Monday, May 23, 2005

Rant Wraith Is Retiring

That's right dear reader. After a year and several hundred posts I'm moving on. It's been an eventful year but I'm closing shop. I just started a new job and moved to a new city so obviously I'm quite busy. More than that though. I feel constrained by the blog format or at least the format I adopted for Rant Wraith. The ever-present blog deadline and the increasingly bizarre world we live in have forced me to take a break from the blogosphere.

Fear not dear reader. I'm just egotistical enough to think that the world needs my opinions. I will return to the blogosphere in the future, perhaps with a weekly essay or longer pieces of some kind. I just need to find the proper format. I'd also like to figure out a way to deliver these future essays in PDF format in addition to just plain blog text.

I should be back online by the fall. However, I will not post my new location to Rant Wraith. If you have ever emailed me in the past then I will send you an email with my new home. If you want to stay informed, drop me a note at rantwraith@yahoo.com. Otherwise, this is the end of a fun year. I'll leave Rant Wraith up for as long as Blogspot will let me. It's great to have a record of the past year.

Best wishes to my few readers out there. Have a safe summer and God bless.
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Monday, May 09, 2005

Guernica, Indeed

Christopher Hitchens drives the nail into the black heart of the Guernica/Abu Graib analogy.

How shady it is that our modern leftists and peaceniks can detect fascism absolutely everywhere except when it is actually staring them in the face. The next thing, of course, if we complete the historic analogy, would be for them to sign a pact with it. And this, some of them have already done.
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Sunday, May 08, 2005

BNP - Now In Fourth Place

With all the MSM whining about Blair's victory and all the blogger hand-wringing over 'Jihad' George Galloway, most people seem to have missed the real story of last week's elections in Britain. The British National Party (BNP) is now the fourth largest party in the UK, even larger than the Greens . Check out the BNP results here. Notice that the BNP is up in nearly every district compared to 2001: 16.9% in Barking; 13.1% in Dewsbury; 9.7% in Dudley North where their raw vote count more than doubled over '01. And this is during good economic times in a country free of jihad attacks.

I have been warning of a rise on neo-nationalism as a way of defining the identity of native Europeans facing immigration and Islamism. No one listens. Bitching about Blair is so much more important.

Update: the "4th largest party" claim is from the BNP's site here. I don't know how they are measuring this but I assume it is based on more than just seats in parliment. For example here is the BNP showing in County Council elections. (They were 3rd in Padiham and Burnley West, only 30 votes behind the Liberal-Democrats.) They also contested mayoral elections but I can't find any results. A commenter left this link to the BBC parlimentary totals.

Update 2: Some commenters have dismissed the BNP since they didn't win any seats. I think that is short-sighted. They won more votes than 6 parties that did win seats. They won 3 times as many votes as Respect. Parties do not have to win seats to have an effect on the political system. I do not think that the BNP is ever going to more than a marginal party. But the 192000 people who voted for them did so for a reason. Why? Should the media and other responsible parties be paying some attention to this. Remember those 192000 votes were only in 119 race (the BNP did not contest every race). Do not dismiss the voters as cranks or lunatics. They have concerns and grievances that someone besides the BNP should be addressing.

Another commenter mentioned that the economy is not uniformly good. True enough. But during bad times at a macro level those areas that are not doing well now will be even worse. How will those people vote during a recession? Can you blame the BNP showing on economic factors? If so then how well will they do during a downturn?

Again, I am not really concerned with the BNP. Their legacy taints their brand. But another party without their historic baggage could tap into the same issues and emotions if these are not addressed in a responsible way. Ignoring, mocking and dismissing the people who voted for the BNP is a mistake.
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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Fjordman: Is Swedish Democracy Collapsing?

Fjordman has a long, detailed and link-rich post on the state of Sweden today. This is very important stuff. Sweden is the front line in the Struggle Against Jihad and it is only a matter of time before serious and widespread violence break out.

This is a must read and I encourage you to take the time. Enlightening.

Trifecta of Offense

Italian IndyMedia, the regional offshoot of that always stupid landfill of insane bullshit, has managed a rare trifecta of offensiveness with this image of Pope Benedict XVI dressed as a Nazi before a giant swastika.

Obviously this is offensive to Catholics to have their spiritual leader compared to a genocidal death machine. It's got to be offensive to Germans to have their compatriot slandered as a Fascist simply because of his nationality. And it's probably offensive to Nazis, to be associated in any way with a Catholic priest.

Good job IndyMedia.

Rant Wraith is Moving

Rant Wraith is packing up the undisclosed location in greater metro Atlanta and moving the whole operation to .... the Kansas City area. I took a new job and we are moving at the end of May.

Here's the catch. I've never been to Kansas City. I went to St Louis for one day about 13 years ago. I've never been to Kansas at all. I'm looking for tips and insights into the KC area. Is there a brew pub or a fabulous local watering hole? A great used bookstore? Who are the local KC bloggers? The Wraith Wife and I are looking forward to a having a pile of little Wraith kids. Where should we live?

Give me a sense of the area. Throw me a bone here people. Leave a comment or send an email to rantwraith@yahoo.com.
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Subaru-blogging

I bought a new Subaru Outback last week. So far I've only driven it about 160 miles but here's my impression.

First the interior is very nice. The materials and design are higher quality than the previous Outback. Everything is well-laid out. The 6 CD changer makes a lot of noice when it's changing discs. It has dual climate control which sounds nice and maybe I'll get used to it but for now it's just more knobs to turn. It has a great steering wheel with audio controls, including the very popular Mute button. Power seat, plenty of headroom, and I love the big-ass sunroof. Overall, more than you would expect from a Subaru.

The power is smooth but not overwhelming. There are two automatic settings: normal automatic and Sport mode. The Sport mode lets the engine rev higher before sifting gears. There's also a manual shifting mechanism but I haven't used it much yet.

There is some understeer but it's not noticable unless you are used to a rear wheel drive car.

The trip computer has a display that can let you view the gas current mileage. This is depressing as it drops to 2 or 3 when accelerating, although it hits 45 or more when cruising and 99.9 when coasting. Still, the constantly changing mileage is so disconcerning that I switched the computer to display the outside temperature. (I think the feds should make the current mileage a required feature that cannot be disabled. If everyone saw what shitty mileage they were getting in real life people might change their driving habits. I'm looking at you Escalade drivers.)

I got a good deal at the end of the month and a low interest rate. The only downer in the whole deal was that I traded-in my Honda S2000. I loved the convertible but it is completely impractical. Still, why would anyone trade a fast convertible for a station wagon? See my next post.
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