Tuesday, October 31, 2006

John Kerry

Just in time for Veterans Day Democratic Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts John F. Kerry has found a new way to break faith with American servicemen:
You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you dont, you get stuck in Iraq.

This man is despicable. He takes two positions on every issue, has delusions of grandeur and is an insufferable prick. That's just my opinion, one guy typing out loud. He owes an apology to every American Serviceman everywhere. You see John, not all of us are born with silver spoons stuck in our pie holes. Some of us had to pay for college ourselves. Some of us love our country and want to serve it, not be served by it. Some of us despite serving as enlisted men, looking at clouds or translating Korean or jumping out of airplanes and shooting at people are pretty fucking smart. Smart enough to know an asshole when we see one.

Martin Luther


Today, Halloween, in 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door at Wittenberg Castle church. I invite Zaphod and Cultman to comment and defer to their insight and expertise.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Three Quotes, Two Thoughts on Beethoven

The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.
W. Somerset Maugham
Life can't be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years.
William F. Buckley, Jr.
If Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at the age of 22, it would have changed the history of music... and of aviation.
Tom Stoppard

U2 and Green Day

Cool song

And here's the whole set.

Global Warming, Chicken Little


British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned that global warming will ultimately result in "green taxes". Just in case you forgot how liberals view taxes as the solution to everything. Before we all get our shorts in knot, let's get some facts straight.
  • The climate has warmed almost a full degree in the last one hundred years.
  • NO ONE knows for CERTAIN why this is so.
  • In 1883 when Krakatoa erupted it snowed in July in New England.
  • Volcanoes have been unusually quiet in the last 100 years.
  • Our planet is supposed to be 5 billion years old, don't you think jumping to conclusions based on 100 years of data, some of which is suspect, is a little rash?
The Krakatoa eruption in 1883 caused upwards of 25 cubic kilometers of volcanic debris to be blown into the atmosphere. To put that into perspective, that's like twelve 1968 Chrysler Imperials running non stop for 6 hours. This was not the first time this volcano cooled the earth, there were events in 416 a.d. and 535 a.d. which caused global cooling and famine.
My point in bringing up Krakatoa is that long before we have to worry about our atmosphere heating up dramatically, I would wager that we will have to endure a few non-summers due to volcanic activity. When I was in high school, all the science magazines were blathering about the coming Ice Age, since we are long, long over due for one. How do you think we would do if the grain fields in Canada were once again under miles of ice and if July snow storms in New York City never melted? Call me an optimist but I prefer what we have right now.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fall Back

I love October, it's my favorite month of the year, but I dread the coming darkness of the New England winter. When I was in high school, I got on the bus in the dark and came home in the dark, even then I found it depressing. I remember one year when I was a kid when we didn't "fall back" at all. Even though my bus trip to school was nearly an hour it was still pitch black when I got to school. Kids were getting clipped left and right walking to school so they came up with these "hot spots", little reflective dots you were supposed to place on your coat and book bags.
Over at Dr. Helen's blog she has an interesting post on S.A.D., seasonal affective disorder, be sure to read the comments. I think the best treatment would be a to spend February fly fishing for Bonefish somewhere tropical.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Crikey!


The U.S. has banned the importation of Vegimite:

The bizarre crackdown was prompted because Vegemite contains folate, which in the US can be added only to breads and cereals. Expatriates say that enforcement of the ban has been stepped up recently and is ruining lifelong traditions of having Vegemite on toast for breakfast.

Great. Now what am I supposed to eat while listening to Men At Work?

David Eckstein


How can you not like the guy? He does more, with arguably less, than any other player in either league. There is something about watching somebody overcome whatever limitations they might have by sheer hustle that I find inspiring. Watch him next time, he plays the game like a Jack Russel Terrier chasing the last rat on earth.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Fox Kerkuffle

A few partially hatched thoughts on Michael J. Fox and the Missouri senate race.
  • Fox is Canadian, why doesn't he stump for someone in his own government or are they too busy up there finding ways to be unoffensive?
  • Canada has socialized medicine, didn't Hillary try to make our health care system like theirs? Apparently Fox, being a Canadian, thinks his chances are better down here. What does that tell you about socialized medicine?
  • The science behind stem cell research is not nearly as promising as it's proponents would have you believe. If was such a sure thing, government funding would not be necessary.
  • Some have accused Fox of being off his meds for dramatic effect in the commercial. Others have countered with great alacrity that Jim Caviezel who did a commercial giving the opposing view is not really Jesus. Ignore this claptrap and focus on the issue.
  • People are afflicted with diseases that stem cells may one day relieve. Pluripotent stem cells come from embryos that are just a few days old.
  • Sentient, voting humans may one day be treated with genetic material of insentiant humans that can't speak or vote.
  • If you have pluripotent stem cells in the lab, you took a human life to get them. Ask me when I have Parkinson's Disease, God forbid, and I'll tell you that's a fair trade. If only we could get the consent of the donor.
  • Last and most importantly, Missouri Amendment 2 was written in such away that it sounds like it forbids exactly what it allows. Why is that?

Soul Searching

Hugh Hewitt interviews Andrew Sullivan about Sullivan’s new book, The Conservative Soul. Here's the transcript.

Sullivan doesn't acquit himself well but Hewitt's claim to be an "Evangelical Roman Catholic Presbyterian" didn't help him. I may understand what Hewitt is saying but it left him in a bad position to challenge Sullivan on his theology.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Father George Rutler In First Things

Gazing upon the ruins of Timgad in North Africa, a city founded as Thamugas by the emperor Trajan in 100 a.d., and destroyed by the Vandals after it had lost its cultural balance, Hilaire Belloc wrote: “We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.”

Read the whole thing and think about how the counter culture has "improved" the lives of millions of Americans.

Jeter On A-Rod

Don't get me wrong, I still hate the Yankees but I think it's funny when people try to get Derek Jeter to say something crappy about a team mate. He's far too classy a guy for that nonsense.
Jeter said. "If I would ever have any conversations with anyone, I'd keep it between me and who I'm speaking with."

Happy Saint Crispian's Day


And Crispin, Crispian shall ne'er go by from this day until the ending of the world but we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother, Be he ne'er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition, and gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves acursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks, that fought with us upon St. Crispin's day!

Who Do They Keep In Prison?


A convicted sex offender, who served time in a federal prison after he was caught soliciting sex from boys over the Internet, was arrested Tuesday after he was caught looking at child pornography on a computer at the main branch of the Hartford Public Library, officials said.

So they put this guy in the federal pen, yet inexplicably he still wants to have sex with children? SO - they let him out and now he's caught at a library doing "inappropriate" activity. What did they think this guy would do? Go away and sin no more? I'm sorry to seem like a hard ass, but if your particular bent is illegal, i.e. sex with children, nothing is going to change that. Nothing. As a society do we we concern ourselves with Mr. Murtagh and his rights or the rights of the innumerable innocent children he would victimize if given the chance? As Helen Lovejoy would say "Won't somebody please think of the children!"

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Tooth Fairy Cometh


Just this summer I threw out the bottle of children's Tylenol we bought for when he was teething. Does anyone know how much the Tooth Fairy leaves nowadays?

Debate Interrupted


The debate between Alan Schlesinger, Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman was interrupted ostensibly by supporters of Ned Lamont and a Lyndon Larouche nut job. Why is it that people who purport to be democratic can't allow others to present their views? This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. In other instances the subject of debate and the participants have been different but the political stripe of the hecklers the same, what gives?

Look No Further

If you want an example of how our criminal justice system is broken look no further:
EAST HARTFORD -- A man convicted of killing his girlfriend in 1975 and murdering an accomplice in a Hartford bank robbery in 1981 was arrested over the weekend after threatening to kill his wife, police said. Henry Robinson, 64, of 211 Long Hill St., was on parole Saturday night when he got into an argument with his wife at their home, police said.
If you read the whole story it gets worse, apparently this career felon and murderer shot at a policeman as well, which forces me to ask the obvious questions; Who let this animal out of his cage and are they still employed?

Monday, October 23, 2006

I Hoped For More

When I read this headline "Hoffman fury at Hollywood 'euthanasia' ", I was encouraged to hear that someone as prominent as Dustin Hoffman would talk about this somewhat controversial issue.
THE double Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman has made an angry attack on the "euthanasia” of the film industry, which he complains tries to “bury” any film that is not an instant cash cow.

Boy do I feel silly. What have we become when as a culture we speak of films in terms of "euthanasia" and routinely ignore the lives of the unborn, the infirm or the inconvenient? Those in favor of legalized euthanasia speak of those poor souls with no hope of recovery and racked with pain who may, in truth, wish to die sooner rather than later. What they will never mention, either made mute by their genuine advocacy for the afflicted or sheer mendacity is that once the euthanasia genie is out of the bottle, many who would rather live will die a sanitized death of expedience.

The Stench of Desperation

I think the Lamont campaign is grasping at straws here:

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Ned Lamont's campaign filed a complaint with the Federal election Commission today, accusing Sen. Joe Lieberman of failing to account for $387,000 in petty cash his campaign spent days before the Democratic primary.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

"metronatural"


Seattle's new slogan "metronatural" is a non starter. I'm not sure why a city that has all that Seattle has to offer needs a slogan but almost anything would be better than "metronatural". Try "Seattle it rains here" or "Seattle the next Pompeii". I bet Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau is a government agency or just spends money like one, because any group that spends $200,000 for a slogan like that, then plans on spending an additional $300,000 promoting it can't be too concerned with anything resembling results.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Lamont is Doomed


According to a new poll Lieberman leads Lamont by 17 percentage points, big surprise that. I think Needle Nosed Ned the millionaire forgot that after winning the democratic primary where only registered democrats could vote, he would have move right a little bit to win the general election. I wonder why he didn't try to broaden his appeal to moderates and perhaps even liberal Republicans? Is it that he really has nothing more to say or does he not understand elections? Either way Joementum will carry Lieberman back to Washington quite handily.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Gun Control

"In 1776 all rifles were assault rifles." P. J. O'Rourke
"The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) asserts that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." Thomas Jefferson
"The Second Amendment is just a remnant from revolutionary days. It has no meaning today." Lisa Simpson
"I don't care if you think it's your right. I say: Sorry, it's 1999. We have had enough as a nation. You are not allowed to own a gun, and if you do own a gun I think you should go to prison." Rosie O'Donnell
"When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans . . . And so a lot of people say there's too much personal freedom. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it. That's what we did in the announcement I made last weekend on the public housing projects, about how we're going to have weapon sweeps and more things like that to try to make people safer in their communities." Bill Clinton

In my opinion all sane, law abiding citizens who can demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency should be able to carry any weapon they choose, including any weapon the police or military carry, concealed or unconcealed. Barbaric? Maybe, but the idea that government "allows" you to have certain weapons and forbids others sticks in my craw. How would it be if they "allowed" certain religions, certain newspapers or prohibited you from meeting with certain people? I may feel different if the people passing gun control laws had demonstrated any clue whatsoever of what they were doing. Back when they wanted to outlaw assault weapons like the Colt AR-15 they allowed it to be continued to be sold if Colt got rid of the bayonet lug. The bayonet lug? WTF, how many people in North America have been bayoneted since the Civil War? You hear certain members of congress speaking of "high powered assault rifles, designed to do nothing but kill." Well they're partially correct, all weapons despite any peaceful use are designed to kill, but assault rifles are not high powered. In fact when the cartridges of many of the most popular assault rifles were designed they were powered down to cause injury rather than death to force the opposing force to expend extra manpower to care for the wounded. More importantly all gun control laws have more to do with appearances and politics than fighting crime. Quite simply I'm tired of politicians tinkering with enumerated constitutional rights in order to appease people like Rosie O'Donnell who will never be placated with anything less than complete confiscation.

Monday, October 16, 2006

2006 Election Endorsements

Am I the only one sick to death of all the election advertising and can't wait until the election is over? Here are my endorsements for elective office for 2006:

Governor
Jodi Rell, R. Incumbent. She officiated at my nephews wedding and seemed a nice enough lady, John Destefano the Democratic candidate is a tax and spend liberal of the worst sort, he really believes the government can help you. Silly Destefano.
Senate
Joe Lieberman, D. Incumbent. Joe used to be the guy I would point too when asked to name a Democrat I respected, then came the 2000 election. Now I may have to vote for him to avoid electing the highly questionable Ned Lamont to the Senate. The GOP hit the sleep alarm on this one, instead of capitalizing on the Dem's internecine drama they put forth an extraordinary weak candidate, sorry Alan you just don't move me.
Congress
Scott Maclean, R. Challenger. He will lose to John Larson, D, but anyone has got to be better than Larson, who is just too liberal for my tastes. People I know, who know Larson swear he's a great guy. As for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th districts GOP all the way. I predict that that pinhead Joe Courtney, D. will defeat Rob Simmons, R. incumbent in the 2nd, Rosa Delauro, D. incumbent will defeat Republican challenger Joe Vollano in the 3rd. Chris Shays, R. incumbent will defeat Diane Farrell, D., Nancy Johnson, R. incumbent will handily defeat prevaricator Chris Murphy, D.
Attorney General
Robert Farr, R. Challenger will probably lose to the Nanny in Chief Dick Blumenthal, D. incumbent. Farr is a local attorney and a decent guy. Just last week he closed a loan for my firm and did an admirable job of it.
State House of Representatives
GOP all the way. Here in West Hartford we have three representatives districts 18, 19 and 20. Barbara Carpenter, R. was El Nino's teacher last year did an excellent job teaching the energetic little monster. Andrew Fleischman, D. an incumbent and college buddy of a good friend of mine will win against Republican Judy Aron. In the 20 district Democrat David McClusky runs unopposed.
State Senate
Incumbent Democrat Jonathan Harris will defeat challenger Kimberly Ryder, R. although I will vote for her.

Long story, short version, WMTN endorses a straight GOP platform with the exception of Joe Lieberman for US Senate. I have never voted for a Democrat before and I am loathe to do so now. I will probably vote late, that way if it's a runaway for Lieberman I can just not vote for anyone for Senate.

Hypocrisy At The BBC

The BBC is fighting the release of a document that may prove embarrassing to them. There's nothing new about CYA, everyone does it from time to time. What is particularly galling is that if this were a government or large corporation withholding information, the self righteous mewlings of the BBC would be deafening. Remember that the next time some reporter jeopardizes your safety by revealing the existence of some classified intelligence program, because it seems that the public's right is not absolute and is best interpreted by grandees inside organizations like the BBC.

Harpers Ferry


John Brown, abolitionist and Connecticut native commenced his infamous raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry Virginia this day October 16,1859. I have always thought of Brown as a man who did all the wrong things for all the right reasons. His plan to attack the arsenal was' in effect, an attack on the federal government and therefore doomed to fail from the beginning or maybe that was his plan, to have an audacious and noble failure as a galvanizing example to the nation. One thing you can't question about Brown is his commitment, he gave his life and the lives of his two sons to the abolitionist cause.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

@$!*&%#@ Bumper Stickers

As many of you may know I despise bumper stickers. Today I saw on that made bile boil in my spleen, or wherever the hell bile does it's thing in your body. The sticker said "Carrying Homeschooled Children". How 'effing pretentious and more ______ than thou. The whole baby on board thing was bad enough back in the 80s. Then there were the "Caution Carrying Show Dogs" stickers. Do these people think that an out of control semi driver has the luxury of choosing which car not to flatten based on a 4'x4' warning? Of course there are some of us Bukowskiesque types who might think that anyone who has time to waste on show dogs deserves a little taste of reality.

Friday, October 13, 2006

October In New England


It's the time of year for Old Spice, rag wool sweaters over your oxford shirt, listening to Them on endless trips to nowhere. Sometimes there's even baseball.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Horse Hockey

Did you know there's a bill in congress that would shut down three plants that slaughter horses and send the meat to Europe? Well there is. I'm not sure what bothers them, the horse part or the Europe part, but it has at least one dingleberry's shorts in a knot:
"Americans do not eat horse flesh," declared Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.Va. "The concept is repugnant to most Americans." He implored his fellow congressmen to support a bill that would shut down the three plants in the U.S. that kill horses and send them to Europe "for some warped demand among foreign diners."

Considering that AMERICANS are employed at this facility and we have a large trade deficit, this seems like yet another silly idea. If Rahall et al are doing this for ethical reasons, it seems a curious place to draw the line and I say that as someone who loves horses. I have no desire to eat Trigger or lobster for that matter, but I don't think others are warped for doing so. On the other hand people who eat mushrooms are not to be trusted, always remember that, never trust a mushroom eater.

El Nino "Studies" at The Library


When did Mad Magazine start accepting advertising? Is nothing sacred? I used to read Mad all the time before I moved on to The National Lampoon, there were even cashiers who wouldn't sell it to me because they thought I was too young. I'd tell them I was buying it for my older brother for his birthday. Oddly enough that almost never worked. Refresh my memory, was Mad always so sappily liberal or is that something new?

Victor Davis Hanson on 300

The phrase “300 Spartans” evokes not only the ancient battle of Thermopylae, but also the larger idea of fighting for freedom against all odds — a notion subsequently to be enshrined through some 2500 years of Western civilization.

How can you resist an opening line like that?

What Does It Mean To Be A Liberal

What does it mean to be a liberal? Other than armpit hair, multiple bumper stickers and Birkenstocks, there are supposedly ten characteristics of liberalism according to Geoffrey R. Stone, a law professor at the University of Chicago. Let’s see what he has to say shall we?


1. Liberals believe individuals should doubt their own truths and consider fairly and open-mindedly the truths of others. This is at the very heart of liberalism. Liberals understand, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once observed, that "time has upset many fighting faiths." Liberals are skeptical of censorship and celebrate free and open debate.
Bullshit. Sure liberals are more than happy to use your tax dollars to pay for crucifixes in mayonnaise jars filled with urine, how else will their ne'er do well art major children move out of the basement? But when Benjamin Netanyahu or Robert Bork speaks at your local university watch who “engages in direct action” to prevent them from speaking. Hint: it won’t be conservatives, we all have jobs.

2. Liberals believe individuals should be tolerant and respectful of difference. It is liberals who have supported and continue to support the civil rights movement, affirmative action, the Equal Rights Amendment and the rights of gays and lesbians. (Note that a conflict between propositions 1 and 2 leads to divisions among liberals on issues like pornography and hate speech.)

Again bullshit. Dexter, Doolittle and I were all RAs at UCONN the bastion of all things diverse and PC. Try saying you oppose gay marriage because of your religious convictions and bask in all the toleration and respect, you would do well to keep your job. It was the GOP not the dems who overwhelming supported civil rights legislation back in the 60s. Affirmative action despite all intentions is just another form of prejudice based on things other than merit.

3. Liberals believe individuals have a right and a responsibility to participate in public debate. It is liberals who have championed and continue to champion
expansion of the franchise; the elimination of obstacles to voting; "one person, one vote;" limits on partisan gerrymandering; campaign-finance reform; and a more vibrant freedom of speech. They believe, with Justice Louis Brandeis, that "the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people."

True enough and complete and utter bullshit. Liberals want everyone to vote early and vote often. According to them asking for a picture ID is far too onerous a burden for a citizen to bear while attempting to exercise his or her franchise. More harm has been done to free speech under the guise of campaign finance reform than any other legislation in our life time. Liberals are all for gerrymandering, just like conservatives, when it works to their advantage. Check out this bit on ACORN.

4. Liberals believe "we the people" are the governors and not the subjects of government and that government must treat each person with that in mind. It is liberals who have defended and continue to defend the freedom of the press to investigate and challenge the government, the protection of individual privacy from overbearing government monitoring, and the right of individuals to reproductive freedom. (Note that libertarians, often thought of as "conservatives," share this value with liberals.)

Who knew? This is the first time I’ve heard liberals coop this conservative meme. Liberals are all for investigating and challenging the government as long as it is a GOP administration, political expediency posing as moral virtue. What he doesn’t say here directly is that liberals are also great at inventing rights. Like the right to privacy, or the right to an education or health care. While these may be good things, it takes a bit of an imagination to see them in the bill of rights.

5. Liberals believe government must respect and affirmatively safeguard the liberty, equality and dignity of each individual. It is liberals who have championed and continue to champion the rights of racial, religious and ethnic minorities, political dissidents, persons accused of crime and the outcasts of society. It is liberals who have insisted on the right to counsel, a broad application of the right to due process of law and the principle of equal protection for all people.

True. Ask any pedophile who he wants for a judge a liberal or a conservative? As for religious minorities if you refer to tree worshipping Wiccans who want to frolic naked in a public oak copse, yes. If you refer to the Sisters of Mercy who seek to place orphaned children exclusively with married heterosexual couples, no.

6. Liberals believe government has a fundamental responsibility to help those who are less fortunate. It is liberals who have supported and continue to support government programs to improve health care, education, social security, job training and welfare for the neediest members of society. It is liberals who maintain that a national community is like a family and that government exists in part to "promote the general welfare."

True. H. L. Mencken said: "Whenever A annoys or injures B on the pretense of saving or improving X, A is a scoundrel." He was speaking of liberals. They love to help others with your money and believe you should pay more, yet they don’t like to pay taxes much themselves – don’t take my word for it, just look at John Edwards tax returns. This would be a good thing if government was capable of either quality service or efficient use of tax dollars. Time and again they have proven otherwise. DMV, the multimillion dollar Alaskan bridge to nowhere, the infamous $700 toilet seat.

7. Liberals believe government should never act on the basis of sectarian faith. It is liberals who have opposed and continue to oppose school prayer and the teaching of creationism in public schools and who support government funding for stem-cell research, the rights of gays and lesbians and the freedom of choice for women.

True. Liberals have taken the separation of church and state to such extremes that they react to a crèche on the town green like Mrs. Smails to the Baby Ruth in the pool. I’ll not defend creationism or intelligent design in this blog, but going back to liberal point one, liberals don’t seem to doubt their own truth when it comes to abortion, affirmative action or all things Darwin except, of course, social Darwinism.

8. Liberals believe courts have a special responsibility to protect individual liberties. It is principally liberal judges and justices who have preserved and continue to preserve freedom of expression, individual privacy, freedom of religion and due process of law. (Conservative judges and justices more often wield judicial authority to protect property rights and the interests of corporations, commercial advertisers and the wealthy.)

True. What liberals, who purport to be democratic, can’t win in the ballot box they seek to impose by judicial fiat, i.e. gay marriage, unrestricted abortion on demand.

9. Liberals believe government must protect the safety and security of the people, for without such protection liberalism is impossible. This, of course, is less a tenet of liberalism than a reply to those who attack liberalism. The accusation that liberals are unwilling to protect the nation from internal and external dangers is false. Because liberals respect competing values, such as procedural fairness and individual dignity, they weigh more carefully particular exercises of government power (such as the use of secret evidence, hearsay and torture), but they are no less willing to use government authority in other forms (such as expanded police forces and international diplomacy) to protect the nation and its citizens.

Reeking, stinking pile of festering bilious herpes infected bullshit. Liberals aren't unwilling to defend hearth and homeland, just unable. Jimmy Carter gutted the military and is the poster boy for ineffectual liberal hand wringers. Ronald Reagan restored the military and brought down the iron curtain. G.H.W. Bush led the world successfully against Iraqi aggression. Bill Clinton "abhorred the military" and lady MacRodham-Clinton wouldn't tolerate men in uniform in the White House, unless of course he was fetching her a bevy. Ask a liberal what he would do to the man who raped his wife and he’ll say he’d appoint one committee to investigate it and another to try to understand the root causes of the aggression. John Kerry the war hero liberal candidate for president was nominated because it was felt that his 3 months in Vietnam inoculated him against charges that the dems are weak on national security. Unfortunately, after Vietnam Kerry came back to U.S. where he bad mouthed his fellow servicemen and voted against every military expenditure he could and did all that he could to damage the efficacy of our intelligence gathering agencies. International diplomacy! Liberals view the U.N. as answer to the world’s problems. Let’s ask the Tutsis or the Christians in Darfur how that worked out for them.

10. Liberals believe government must protect the safety and security of the people, without unnecessarily sacrificing constitutional values. It is liberals who have demanded and continue to demand legal protections to avoid the conviction of innocent people in the criminal justice system, reasonable restraints on government surveillance of American citizens, and fair procedures to ensure that alleged enemy combatants are in fact enemy combatants. Liberals adhere to the view expressed by Brandeis some 80 years ago: "Those who won our independence ... did not exalt order at the cost of liberty."

Again bullshit. Liberals oppose the government monitoring electronic communication. Conservative view it as reasonable to know who is calling Dar Al Salaam with any frequency or if the terms “container ship”, “nuclear” and “Newark” come up in that communique. Getting back to number nine, who do you want minding the shop?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

PRNK Goes Nuclear


So lil' Kim has exploded a nuke, or maybe not, who can be sure? There have been lots of interesting articles and blogs with much to say on this subject. I think it's important that we not over react, as it seems that's what Pyongyang wants. The Atlantic has an excellent piece by Robert Kaplan on the complexities of dealing with and underestimating Kim Jong Il. Michael Rubin over at the Corner chimes in with this nifty little tidbit:
Could I just chime in and say that I hope that diplomats consider whether or not Pyongyang was successful or not besides the point? Just as I’ve always felt that the penalty for attempted murder should be the same as for murder on the grounds that poor aim shouldn’t be a mitigating factor, so too should we focus more on Pyongyang’s goals rather than their implementation.
True enough. Will this situation cause Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and others in the region to go nuclear? Will that be good or bad for us in the long and short runs? I have no frickin clue. I am pretty confident that North Korea is a bad actor who uses the threat of nuclear instability to mau mau the international community into financing their screwed up armpit of a country. But the most important thing to do at a moment like this is to sort out is who was having gay e-sex in congress and who knew about it and when. Shades of Gary Condit in August of 2001.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy


I'm about half way through it and so far it's pretty damned good. It's about a man and his boy making their way through a landscape scorched by nuclear war. I admit, I find the whole thing rather depressing but McCarthy's prose is brilliant, austere and devoid of any sentimentality. I keep thinking that everyday we live in our current world with our soft, clean beds, warm homes and endless selection of delicious food is a blessing. I have known for some time that we live better than any of our antecedents, perhaps this hour - this day may turn out to be the pinnacle of our expression. That's the good news, the bad news is that McCarthy's hellish vision is not that inconceivable.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Tigers Win, The Tigers Win!


The vaunted Yankees lose, the underdog Tigers win. Somehow the post season just got a little bit better for this RedSox fan. How did this happen? One can never be sure, but it's been said that good pitching beats good hitting. In my opinion I think the Yankees were just outplayed by a younger team who wanted it more.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Buck O'Neil Dead at Age 94


ESPN reports that John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil died Friday October 6, 2006. You may remember Buck from Ken Burn's PBS baseball epic. I could have listened to him all day.
The charismatic Buck O'Neil is truly an American hero. His eloquence, grace and genuine love for people have captured the hearts and imaginations of kindred spirits world wide. His illustrious baseball career spans seven (7) decades and has helped make him a foremost authority and the game's greatest ambassador. O'Neil was born November 13, 1911 in Carrabelle, Florida. His father, who played for local teams, introduced him to baseball at an early age. He was nicknamed "Buck" after the co-owner of the Miami Giants, Buck O'Neal. A segregated America denied O'Neil the chance to play Major League baseball so he showcased his skills with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues. He joined the Monarchs in 1938, was named player/manager for the club in 1948 and continued his association with the team through the end of the 1955 season. O'Neil had a career batting average of .288 including four .300-plus seasons at the plate. In 1946 the talented first baseman led the league in hitting with a .353 average and followed that in 1947 with a career best .358 mark. He posted averages of .345 and .330 in 1940 and '49 respectively. He played in three Negro American League All-Star games and in two Negro American League World Series. In addition to his career with the Monarchs, O'Neil teamed with the legendary Satchel Paige during the height of Negro League barnstorming in 1930's and 40's to play countless exhibition games. Following his Monarch career, O'Neil moved on to Major League Baseball as a scout with the Chicago Cubs. He was named the Major's first black coach by the Cubs in 1962 and is credited with signing Hall of Fame baseball players Ernie Banks and Lou Brock to their first pro contracts. He has worked as a Kansas City Royals scout since 1988 and was named "Midwest Scout of the Year" in 1998. O'Neil rose to national prominence with his compelling narration of the Negro Leagues as part of Ken Burns' PBS baseball documentary. Since then, he has been the source of countless national interviews including appearances on "Late Night with David Letterman," and "Late, Late Show with Tom Snyder. " Today, O'Neil serves as Board Chairman of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) in Kansas City, Missouri. He was a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee (Cooperstown, New York) until 2001 and continues to lead the charge for deserving Negro Leaguers to be inducted. Through his tireless crusade, America is awakening to the incredible story of the Negro Leagues and the NLBM as the world's only museum dedicated to preserving Negro Leagues history.

Go Tigers!


The enemy of my enemy is my friend. We have a five game series tied up at one each with two to play in Motown, then one in New York. Here's to hoping the Tigers beat the Yanks twice at home!
UPDATE: Yanks lose and are one game away from elimination, shut out 6-0. A Rod 0 for 3, Giambi 0 for 4 and Damon 0 for 4. Nice.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Mark Foley Saga Continues

I thought I might share my thoughts on the ongoing Mark Foley kerkuffle in two hundred words or less. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I just don’t care.

Recently found in Podonia...

I'm just starting to explore the world of Podcasting. Glenn Reynolds & Helen Smith recently did very interesting podcast interview with Michael Totten. Mr. Totten is a freelance journalist who has blogged extensively from the Middle East. You can check out his blog here.

He Should Be Fired, "On Moral Grounds"

Michael Rubin over at NRO's the Corner links to a UK Sun article about a British policeman who refused to guard the Israeli embassy on "moral grounds". I suppose it might be superfluous to add that the refusenik policeman is a Muslim. He should be canned immediately. To protect and serve is just that, it's not choose, protect and serve. How can justice be served when this police officer intervenes in a traffic accident between two citizens one Muslim the other Hindu, Jewish, Catholic, Wiccan, Protestant, Orthodox, Sikh, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness or agnostic? Or does Sharia begin with the hiring of Islamic police officers?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

State of Denial

Michael Ledeen explains why he isn't going to bother reading Bob Woodward's latest. (link via Hugh Hewitt)

Okay, obviously, I'm posting the Ledeen link because I think it is in some way telling as to the nature of what Bob Woodward does. However, it's fair to point out I thought ABC's docudrama, "The Path to 9/11", was very good. So what's the difference between what ABC did and Woodward's effort? Simple, Woodward doesn't give us any caveats. He doesn't hedge; he doesn't give us any warning, any reason not to believe his book is an accurate, journalist's account of the events he writes about. ABC plastered their movie with disclaimers. Just be "upfont" about what you are doing and I'm okay with it.

Black Eyes For My Beloved Air Force

Instapundit, Austin Bay and Strategypage are discussing a story about how USAF brass are preventing airmen from wearing decorations awarded for combat on the ground, specifically the Marine Corps Action Ribbon and the Combat Action Badge. Why would they do that? The short ugly answer is that the Air Force is run by pilots who place little value on ground combat, at least for the Air Force. This is b.s. plain and simple. Not that any award will replace a missing leg or for that matter get you a cup of coffee if you don't have a dollar, but to prevent the display of awards earned in combat by those who didn't sully themselves in the same, shows that the Air Force brass need to get their head out of the clouds and their ass on the ground, because one day - God Forbid - when they're jetting about in some multi million dollar temperature controlled aircraft that meets some pernicious AAA, the guy's that will jump into to rescue them are going to be Air Force ground pounders.

No, It's Not Fair

Katherine Jean Lopez of NRO's The Corner Links to a London Times piece about women who leave work for childbirth loosing the automatic right to the same pay as male colleagues doing the same work but who have not taken time off, and asks if this is not fair. Well it's not fair, but it's certainly fairer than any attempt to remedy the situation.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Helicopters Circling Over My House

Sirens, helicopters, more sirens and traffic backed up on a usually very quiet street. What could possibly be going on? I'm one of those who immediately assume the worst and do a quick inventory of those closest to me, then scour the Internet and surf the t.v. news to find out what the hell is going on. In this case, apparently someone fled from a nearby traffic accident, sending a local Prep school into lock down. I can't help but think there is more to the story since there is more than one helicopter and a large police presence. Is this yahoo armed and presumed dangerous? The response would seem to indicate so.
UPDATE: The accident was fatal.

Smart Yogurt?

A BT futurologist muses about, well, the future.
"... DNA is already being used in a test tube to assemble macro electronic circuits - basically shove in a suspension of carbon nano tubes and gold particles, stir in some DNA. You can persuade the DNA to assemble the gold particles onto the end of the carbon nano tubes and make simple circuits. That was demonstrated about two years ago, and the company has gone secret since, as they are now working on developing more sophisticated circuits. The idea is that you do bottom up assembly which is the next generation of chip assembly by using DNA and protein clusters to basically grab the stuff and stick it together using clever chemistry. The key point is that you can do this with DNA.

We were thinking, one of the good ways of doing this is spending billions of pounds for a real live bacterium - e-coli, or something you find in yoghurt - and you don't modify it so much that it can't survive because you want it to replicate, but you modify it so that it creates electronic circuits within its' own cells. That's really good fun then, because you've got electronic bacteria - real live bacterium which can replicate with electronics in it. The electronics have nothing to do with the bacteria, they are just there, but they turn it into "smart bacteria", because you can then connect those electronics together using infrared or bioluminescence and make completely scalable electronic circuits. So you start off with one bacterium, which is essentially a module, and you link billions of these together and you've got something that makes your PC look pretty primitive. You've got a "smart yoghurt" by about 2025, and we did the calculations, and we reckon that it's possible to make a yoghurt with roughly the same processing power as the entire European population..."
Link via slashdot

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wallace Stevens 1879-1955

How could I let the second of October pass without mentioning the birth of Wallace Stevens on this day in 1879. Wallace is the unofficial poet laureate of this blog, because I like him and he lived in Zaphod's building, maybe even his apartment back in the day.

Sunday Morning By Wallace Stevens

I
Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of a cockatoo
Upon a rug, mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.
She dreams a little, and she feels the dark
Encroachment of that old catastrophe,
As a calm darkens among water-lights.
The pungent oranges and bright, green wings
Seem things in some procession of the dead,
Winding across wide water, without sound.
The day is like wide water, without sound,
Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet
Over the seas, to silent Palestine,
Dominion of the blood and sepulchre.
II
She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries: “The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering;
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or Island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.
Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;
Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;
And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.
III
She says: “I am content when wakened birds,
Before they fly, test the reality
Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings;
But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields
Return no more, where, then, is paradise?”
There is not any haunt of prophecy,
Nor any old chimera of the grave,
Neither the golden underground, nor isle
Melodious, where spirits gat them home,
Nor visionary South, nor cloudy palm
Remote on heaven’s hill, that has endured
As April’s green endures; or will endure
Like her remembrance of awakened birds,
Or her desire for June and evening, tipped
By the consummation of the swallow’s wings.
IV
She says, “But in contentment I still feel
The need of some imperishable bliss.”
Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,
Alone, shall come fulfilment to our dreams
And our desires. Although she strews the leaves
Of sure obliteration on our paths—
The path sick sorrow took, the many paths
Where triumph rang its brassy phrase, or love
Whispered a little out of tenderness—
She makes the willow shiver in the sun
For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze
Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet.
She causes boys to bring sweet-smelling pears
And plums in ponderous piles. The maidens taste
And stray impassioned in the littering leaves.
V
Supple and turbulent, a ring of men
Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn
Their boisterous devotion to the sun—
Not as a god, but as a god might be,
Naked among them, like a savage source.
Their chant shall be a chant of paradise,
Out of their blood, returning to the sky;
And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice,
The windy lake wherein their lord delights,
The trees, like seraphim, and echoing hills,
That choir among themselves long afterward.
They shall know well the heavenly fellowship
Of men that perish and of summer morn—
And whence they came and whither they shall go,
The dew upon their feet shall manifest.

Samuel Johnson Was Wrong


Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Well not quite. Patriotism is the penultimate refuge, rehab is the last. Republican congressman Mark Foley has checked himself into rehab after revelations of sexually suggestive electronic messages sent to teenage congressional pages. I see, you were drunk and drinking is an illness and now you're in rehab so all will be better soon. Well, I've been drunk once or twice in my life and a few 3:00 a.m. drunken phone calls to ex-girlfriends not withstanding, I can honestly say I never felt the urge to hit on teenagers, unless of course I was a teenager myself at the time. I don't know what's worse, this loser and his antics, the possibility that GOP grandees knew and did nothing or John Kerry playing the scold. Kerry is one man you never have to worry about hitting on a teenager, because there are so few teenage billionaire widows.

Shootings in Lancaster County, PA

News reports of Amish children shot and killed, execution style, in their classroom cause me to wonder WTF? In Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Lady Eowyn said:
“It needs but one foe to breed a war, not two, Master Warden. And those who have not swords can still die upon them. Would you have the folk of Gondor gather you herbs only, when the Dark Lord gathers armies? And it is not always good to be healed in body. Nor is it always evil to die in battle, even in bitter pain. Were I permitted, in this dark hour I would choose the latter.”

These poor children, who did nothing to my human imagination to deserve this fate, died for what reason? Because some nut job nursed an arcane grudge for twenty years or so? That may well turn out to be the case, but despite my 21st century mind and apostate's slouch I can still recognize evil when I hear of it, and this my friends, is evil.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Last Game of The Year


Another season is done. All over New England Red Sox Fans cover their perennial hopes and dreams for winter. Awaiting opening day next year when all things great are possible. Next year, when the bull pen is rested, the prospects are all promising and spring's hope is eternal. I have nothing to complain about, the Sox won it all in 2004. That buys them at least a couple of year's worth of substandard teams in my book. That's the beauty of being a Sox fan, you hope the win it all every year but don't really expect it. A Yankee fan is disappointed if the Evil Empire doesn't win it every year. For the record I hope the Twins win it all and the Yankees blow another 3-0 game lead somewhere along the way. You gotta like the way the Minnesota puts together a Giant Killer team every year despite their shoestring budget.