Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Failed Society

First it was the alarming statistic that 1 in 6 children in Hartford have at least one parent in the penal system, now comes another charming tidbit: Hartford schools rate dead last in cafeteria safety:
Of the 20 jurisdictions evaluated, Hartford, Conn., received the lowest score, 37 out of a possible 100. Hartford had the highest number of critical violations, including multiple cases of dirty equipment and utensils, inadequate hand-washing facilities, and poor personnel hygiene. Hartford also had infrequent inspections (on average, one per year, violating the federal requirements for two inspections), poor access to inspection reports, and a weak food code.

Nice. When contacted for comment the person most responsible opted for the statistical dodge:
"I'm a little disappointed with the presentation of ... 'last in the country' when only 20 school districts were looked at," said Lonnie Burt, the district's food service director.

Would it make you feel better if Hartford were rated dead last out of 50, 250, or 10,000 districts? Or if Hartford were ahead of a handful of dirt poor districts in some dirt poor states? A rough estimate of per student spending in Hartford is nearly $9,500.00 a year. How about some accountability for that money?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Blogging with Mario and Jonah and James...

Two recent posts culled from NRO's The Corner regarding Senator Webb's SOTU response.

The first is by Mario Loyola where he contests the Senator's claim that President Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end. He begins with an excerpt from James Taranto's Best of the Web:
Actually, it's not quite accurate to say Ike brought the Korean war to an end. The Koreas signed an armistice but never a peace treaty, and thus remain technically at war, with some 30,000 U.S. troops still in South Korea to protect against the North—though the current stalemate, for the moment at least, is bloody only for the people of North Korea. The inconclusive outcome of the Korean War can easily be interpreted as a warning of the dangers of leaving threats for future generations to deal with.

Mr. Loyola then fleshes out the history of the Korean conflict that preceded the armistice. His point is, it didn't just happen. The military situation had to be changed first.

A few posts later Jonah Goldberg picks up on Mario's theme and asks, "Maybe Webb Wants to Use Nukes?"

The Academy Awards

I remember staying up as a kid to see if Rocky would win the Academy Award. Life imitated art when Sylvester Stallone didn't win Best Actor, but his screenplay went the distance and won Best Picture. I was 11.
Then I grew up and realized that some very shitty movies win Academy Awards, even some shitty actors: Titanic, Gladiator, Platoon, The Piano, Marissa Tomei, George Clooney, Leonardo Dicaprio, Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Roberto Benigni, Michael Douglas. What's worse The Academy Awards are self awarded. That would be like the baristas at your local coffee shop getting together every year and awarding each other queer little statuettes for best latte by a non-chain female barista, non caffeinated.
Trey Parker co-creator of South Park puts it pretty well into perspective, hat tip Kim du Toit:

“People wonder why we rip on celebrities, when all around there are pages of shit glorifying celebrities like Winona Ryder. And celebrities view themselves as the fucking Mozarts of their time. Even fucking Ray Romano thinks hes an enlightened individual. These people all think they’re enlightened artists and therefore speak for the country. But I haven’t met one celebrity who wasn’t a little bit fucked up. Actors and actresses are the worst, because they’re just fucking monkeys. Half the people in this country could do what they do but for some reason they think their opinion matters.”

Saturday, January 27, 2007

new website

A friend recently started a new website so she can sell her art.

Check it out:

The Jean-Paul Sartre Cookbook

(Versions of this can be found elsewhere on the web. I like this one the best.)

The Jean-Paul Sartre Cookbook

by Marty Smith.From The Free Agent, March 1987 (a Portland, Oregon alternative newspaper).

We have recently been lucky enough to discover several previously lost diaries of French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre stuck in between the cushions of our office sofa. These diaries reveal a young Sartre obsessed not with the void, but with food. Aparently Sartre, before discovering philosophy, had hoped to write "a cookbook that will put to rest all notions of flavor forever.'' The diaries are excerpted here for your perusal.

October 3

Spoke cookbook. Though he has never actually eaten, he gave me much encouragement. I rushed home immediately to begin work. How excited I am! I have begun my formula for a Denver omelet.

October 4

Still working on the omelet. There have been stumbling blocks. I keep creating omelets one after another, like soldiers marching into the sea, but each one seems empty, hollow, like stone. I want to create an omelet that expresses the meaninglessness of existence, and instead they taste like cheese. I look at them on the plate, but they do not look back. Tried eating them with the lights off. It did not help. Malraux suggested paprika.

October 6

I have realized that the traditional omelet form (eggs and cheese) is bourgeois. Today I tried making one out of a cigarette, some coffee, and four tiny stones. I fed it to Malraux, who puked. I am encouraged, but my journey is still long.

October 7

Today I agian modified my omelet recipe. While my previous attem bitterness, they communicated only illness to the eater. In an attempt to reach the bourgeoisie, I taped two fried eggs over my eyes and walked the streets of Paris for an hour. I ran into Camus at the Select. He called me a "pathetic dork" and told me to "go home and wash my face." Angered, I poured a bowl of bouillabaisse into his lap. He became enraged, and, seizing a straw wrapped in paper, tore off one end of the wrapper and blew through the straw. propelleing the wrapper into my eye. "Ow! You dick!" I cried. I leaped up, cursing and holding my eye, and fled.

October 10

I find myself trying ever more radical interpretations of traditional dishes, in an effort to somehow express the void I feel so acutely. Today I tried this recipe:

Tuna Casserole

Ingredients: 1 large casserole dish

Place the casserole dish in a cold oven. Place a chair facing the oven and sit in it forever. Think about how hungry you are, do not turn on the light.

While a void is expressed in this recipe, I am struck by its inapplicability to the bourgeois lifestyle. How can the eater recognize that the food denied him is a tuna casserole and not some other dish? I am becoming more and more frustated.

October 12

My eye has become inflamed. I hate Camus.

October 25

I have been forced to abandon the project of producing an entire cookbook. Rather, I now seek a single recipe which will, by itself, embody the plight of man in a world ruled by an unfeeling God, as well as providing the eater with at least one ingredient from each of the four basic food groups. To this end, I purchased six hundred pounds of foodstuffs from the corner grocery and locked myself in the kitchen, refusing to admit anyone. After several weeks of work, I produced a recipe calling for two eggs, half a cup of flour, four tons of beef, and a leek. While this is a start, I am afraid I still have much work

November 15

I feel that I may be very close to a great breakthrough. I had been creating meal after meal, but none seemed to express the futility of existence any better than would ordering a pizza. I left the house this morning in a most depressed state, and wandered aimlessly through the streets. Suddenly, it was as if the heavens had opened. My brain was electrified with an influx of new ideas. "Juice, toast, milk.." I muttered aloud. I realized with a start that I was one ingredient away from creating the nutritious breakfast. Loathsome, true, but filled with existential authenticity. I rushed home to begin work anew.

November 18

Today I tried yet another variation: Juice, toast, milk and Chee-tos. Again, a dismal failure. I have tried everything. Juice, toast, milk and whiskey, juice, toast, milk and chicken fat, juice, toast, milk and someone else's spit. Nothing helps. I am in agony. Juice, toast, milk, they race about my fevered brain like fire, like an unholy trinity fourth ingredient! What could it be? It eludes me like the lost chord, the Holy Grail. I must see the completion of my task, but I have no more money to spend on food. Perhaps man is not meant to know.

November 21

Camus came into the restaurant today. He did not know I was in the kitchen, and before I sent out his meal I loogied in his soup. Sic semper tyrannis.

November 23

Ran into some opposition at the restaurant. Some of the patrons complained that my breakfast special (a page out of Remembrance of Things Past and a blowtorch with which to set it on fire) did not satisfy their hunger. As if their hunger was of any consequence! "But we're starving," they say. So what? They're going to die eventually anyway. They make me want to puke. I have quit the job. It is stupid for Jean-Paul Sartre to sling hash. I have enough money to continue my work for a little while.

November 24

Last night I had a dream. In it, I am standing, alone, on a beach all about me. It begins to rain. Night falls. I am struck by how small and insignificant I am, how the entire race of Man is but a speck in the eye of God, and I am but a speck of humanity. Suddenly, a red Cadillac convertible pulls up beside me, In it are these two beautiful girls named Jojo and Wendy. I get in and the take me to their mansion in Hollywood and give me a pound of cocaine and make mad, passionate love to me for the rest of my life.

November 26

Today I made a Black Forest cake out of five pounds of cherries and a live beaver, challenging the very definition of the word "cake." I was very pleased. Malraux said he admired it greatly, but could not stay for dessert. Still, I feel that this may be my most profound achievement yet, and have resolved to enter it in the Betty Crocker Bake-Off.

November 30

Today was the day of the Bake-Off. Alas, things did not go as I had hoped. During the judging, the beaver became agitated and bit Betty Crocker on the wrist. The beaver's powerful jaws are capable of felling blue spruce in less than ten minutes and proved, needless to say, more than a match for the tender limbs of America's favorite homemaker. I only got third place. Moreover, I am now the subject of a rather nasty lawsuit.

December 1

I have been gaining twenty-five pounds a week for two months, and I am now experiencing light tides. It is stupid to be so fat. My pain and ultimate solitude are still as authentic as they were when I was thin, but seem to impress girls far less. From now on, I will live on cigarettes and black coffee.


Sartre died in Paris in 1980. His last word is reputed to have been, simply, "Trix."

Friday, January 26, 2007

Maybe A Salad Would Help

Fact is always stranger than fiction.

Life Posing as Parody

Instapundit on Dennis Kucinich, sausages and the law:

AN IMMORTAL TURN OF PHRASE FROM DENNIS KUCINICH: "You know how they say, Don't ever ask how laws or sausages are made? Well, I can attest to the wisdom of that with the exception of kielbasa made with tofu."
posted at 10:53 AM by Glenn Reynolds

World's Oldest Woman

114 Year old Emma Faust Tillman of East Hartford was born in 1892 to former slaves. How the world has changed in her lifetime. I wonder what her parents would think of our country today?

Thursday, January 25, 2007


It turns out that the Barack Obama madrassa story is pretty shaky. Now comes the story that the man isn't "Black" enough.
The madrassa meme allegedly came from the Clinton camp so it won't surprise me a bit to find out that this not Black enough thing originates there as well. Baseball has it's Ruth, painting it's Caravaggio and the politics of personal destruction has the Clintons. Look for these memes to start floating around:
  • Obama cruel to animals. It will be alleged that as a 4 year old he would play his cat like bagpipe.
  • Obama unfair to labor. A story will come out that Obama is a lousy tipper, spills a lot and leaves lots of crumbs.
  • Obama unfair to women. A breathless expose will report that not one of Obama's children were carried to term inside his body, in fact he forced his wife to endure all the family pregnancies.
  • Obama really a closet Republican! HRC camp will suggest that while in eighth grade Obama's favorite president was Abraham Lincoln - a dead , white, male REPUBLICAN.
  • Obama avoids the fat and lazy! Would you vote for a man who prefers well read, fit people who don't watch daytime TV or professional wrestling? No. Well don't vote for Obama, all his friends are not obese and read books. For FUN!!! He's obviously out of touch with mainstream America.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I Was Wrong

Nancy Pelosi blinked much earlier and much, much, much more often than expected? I had predicted on January 1, 2007 that she would blink on December 3, 2007. Boy was I wrong.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Screeching or Non-Screeching

Another airline bounces another disruptive passenger, this time it's AirTran who bounces a family with an uncontrollable, inconsolable 3 year old.

AirTran Airways on Tuesday defended its decision to remove a Massachusetts couple from a flight after their crying 3-year-old daughter refused to take her seat before takeoff. AirTran officials said they followed Federal Aviation Administration rules that children age 2 and above must have their own seat and be wearing a seat belt upon takeoff.
"The flight was already delayed 15 minutes and in fairness to the other 112 passengers on the plane, the crew made an operational decision to remove the family," AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver said.

Well done AirTran, well done. While I have some sympathy for parents with screeching kids, what parent hasn't been there, I think it's only reasonable to expect passengers of all ages to be seated before the plane takes off. If the parents can't seat their child in a timely fashion, the airline owes it to the other passengers to take care of business. Can you imagine what it would be like to sit there while some pint sized prima dona throws a 15 minute hissy fit?


Few things really piss me off, but one thing that's sure to is when an American soldier in Iraq tries to buy sleeping mats from a Wisconsin company and gets the high hat:
We do not ship to APO addresses, and even if we did, we would NEVER ship to Iraq. If you were sensible, you and your troops would pull out of Iraq.

At the risk of seeming churlish or vindictive I would love to see the SOB who responded so flippantly run up a freaking flag pole by his short and curlies.

Gay Bishop Gene Robinson

Gays Belong In The Church
Let me start by stating that I believe that homosexuals, like everybody else, have a place within the church - by church I refer to orthodox Christianity of any denomination. I have often heard that ideally churches should be hospitals for the sick of spirit, not country clubs for the saved. Viewed this way we all have a place in there somewhere.
The Wrong Man
My problem with Gene Robinson is that he is the wrong man, at the wrong time, saying and doing the wrong things.
He was a married man and father of two who left his wife of 13 years for another. The fact that the other is a man is irrelevant, for the moment. Then there are the little scandals. Some of which are probably a bit unfair, such as when a parishioner made allegations of sexual harassment against Robinson. Then there was a web site associated with Robinson that had links to pornography and finally his recent treatment for alcoholism. Let's for a moment forget all the turmoil within the Anglican Communion and the fact that Robinson is Gay. Is this the best man to serve as bishop?
You Can't Serve Two Masters
When you look at who Robinson is and the effect he has had on his church you wonder who is being served. It certainly is not the interests of his flock as a whole.
One might say that it is high time Christianity reconciled itself with the issue of gays within the church, like with slavery, civil rights and the rights of the unborn. True enough, to an extent. The bottom line is that from Orthodox, Catholic or Biblical perspective the teachings on homosexual ACTIVITY is pretty clear. They are against it. Is this fair? That's not for me to say. Robinson and his supporters act as if this were some minor Levitican technicality to be ignored, like refraining from eating shell fish. They view this conflict as if Christianity needs to conform to them, not the other way around.
I like to fly fish for trout. But if it said somewhere in the Bible and 2000 years of Western tradition and Church teaching that God abhors it when a man pesters a trout, I would have to rethink my ACTIVITIES.
High Standards, Humility
Call me demanding, but I think a man charged with the religious and ethical teaching of others should be somewhat of an example to follow, which is why we are all so disappointed when clergy fail us. It seems to me that if a man were appointed to a position of authority and for whatever reason his appointment detracted from overall mission of his appointment, that person in all humility should step aside. Sadly this won't ever happen. Read this story about Robinson in The Hartford Courant, somehow despite everything else in the world this debacle remains all about him - a position he seems disinclined to part with.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Anti-Bush Yahoo Bounced From Qantas Flight

Allen Jasson a lefty yahoo wearing an anti-Bush T-shirt was bounced from a Qantas flight after refusing to remove or cover the "offensive" item. Well done Qantas. I for one don't care if it's an anti-Bush shirt or an anti-Osama shirt, I'd rather not fly with somebody so invested in his or her advocacy that they feel compelled to constantly remind everyone around them about it.
Before you get your ACLU issued electric eel skin thong in a knot, this is not a free speech issue. The yahoo is free to say or wear whatever the hell his fevered little mind pleases, that is his right. The right to be offensive and or disruptive stops at the door of any responsible airline. I'd love to meet this guy, argue with him, have a pint or two with him and maybe come to see his point of view or at least how he came to have it. A perfect place for this sort of thing is the corner pub, where you can come and go as you please and a punch in the nose between friends is considered fair play. The worst possible place for this sort of discussion is 40,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean on a 32 hour flight with images of rapid decompression and Semtex lurking not so far back in your mind.

Aids Group Sues Over Viagra

Sometimes it's difficult to tell news from parody:
A major U.S. AIDS treatment group plans to file a lawsuit on Monday that accuses drug giant Pfizer Inc. of illegally promoting recreational use of its blockbuster impotence pill Viagra.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) told Reuters it wants Pfizer to be barred from marketing Viagra as a lifestyle or sexual enhancement drug. The nonprofit organization said Pfizer's actions had led to risky behavior by men and an increase in HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
What's next? A law suit against the Weather Girls for "It's Raining Men"?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

Investigators working on behalf of HRC have determined that Barack Obama may be more Muslim than he lets on:
An investigation of Mr. Obama by political opponents within the Democratic Party has discovered that Mr. Obama was raised as a Muslim by his stepfather in Indonesia. Sources close to the background check, which has not yet been released, said Mr. Obama, 45, spent at least four years in a so-called Madrassa, or Muslim seminary, in Indonesia.
"He was a Muslim, but he concealed it," the source said. "His opponents within the Democrats hope this will become a major issue in the campaign."
When contacted by Insight, Mr. Obama’s press secretary said he would consult with “his boss” and call back. He did not.
I knew the Clinton camp would be formidable in exposing scandals large and small within the Democratic presidential field. I'm a bit surprised that her campaign sees Obama's religion and upbringing as an issue. If Clinton's campaign is not careful, this could easily backfire on her.
Hat tip: the Corner

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Movie Review: Children of Men

This is a very strong effort with a whole bunch of stuff going on in it. Children of Men is set in the not too distant future in a Britain that has been reduced to a police state. As messed up as it is, this Britain seems to be one of the few functioning societies left in the world. Illegal immigrants pour in from fractured poleis everywhere where they're just as quickly gathered up into brutal detention camps. Terrorism is rampant, media everywhere reminds the populace to be aware and inform, paranoia is high. On top of all this no woman has given birth in 18 years. With all this going on, it's hard to say what this movie is about. What is clear, however, is that without children there isn't much point in anything for too long.

A movie this somber and dystopian must have a message. There's probably several, but the main one and the one to take home with you is that as mankind ages and dies without hope of renewal, you can expect the shit to hit the fan in every way imaginable. When hope of renewal is rekindled - even in the most humble and meager way imaginable, all things seem possible again.

Clive Owen is the main protagonist and he's pretty damn good, understated and believable. Julianne Moore and Michael Caine have small interesting roles, which they inhabit admirably. The rest of the cast is pretty much unknown - at least to me, but excellent nonetheless.

Everybody and his Uncle Vanya seems to use hand held cameras these days. Here this technique adds to the abundant gritty realism, but enough already. I saw this film in one of those Ginormo stadium theatres and all the bouncing nearly made me lose my popcorn. Still the sound and the imagery was transporting. See if you can find the Pink Floyd album cover.

Much better than your average Hollywood flick and probably memorable. Go and see it if you have any interest.

Doomsday Clock

Remember these guys, the "Doomsday Scientists"? I guess they were tired of figuring out if dimes cause cancer in rats on your dime so they have combed out their ponytails, re-stickered their VWs and came out with a new time for the doomsday clock. In a desperate attempt to seem relevant, they now take into consideration global warming in their threat assessment. Somebody please hold me, I'm ascared!
At the risk of seeming insouciant, who gives a rats ass what this imaginary clock says? It's not like we can do anything about the threat of nuclear war short of nuking the living hell out of Iran, North Korea and Pakistan - just to err on the side of safety. Which is probably immoral and kind of defeats the idea of the clock to begin with. There is even less we can do about global warming. If the United States had zero carbon dioxide emissions it would not effect the earth's temperature one tenth of one degree. This at the cost of our economy, heated and cooled homes, travel, entertainment, pork, chicken, dairy and beef, electricity etc. Sounds like a bargain doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

MLK and Health Care

If the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, it's almost certain he'd be talking about health care. The Hartford Courant
I have no idea what MLK would be talking about if he were alive today. Ostensibly, things we be very different if he had been alive for the past four decades.
Maybe with the benefit of Dr. King's leadership the African American community would view discrepancies in health care, income and life expectancy etc. as afflictions of the distant past.
Alas since 1968 a sad string of shake down artists, race baiters and Islamicist Apologists have claimed to speak for Black America. I can only wonder how things might have been with responsible leadership.
If you read the whole Courant story, they cite this example of how our health care system is dire need of universal access:
Martinez, 29, has experienced daily bouts of vomiting and stomach pain since she had stomach-reduction surgery. She was so sick that in August she left a marketing job that offered health insurance. She now earns about $30,000 a year as an administrator for a nonprofit agency that offers no insurance.
Apparently we live in a society that is so callous, that it forces an innocent person to gorge themselves until they require extremely risky elective surgery. Then when the questionable surgery causes problems, that poor innocent person has to leave a good job with health care benefits to work for a caring nonprofit agency that offers no insurance. Maybe that nonprofit agency should be picketed like Wal-Mart.
Being self employed, I am well aware of the inadequacies and expenses of our health care system and I am sure there are horror cases out there where Americans suffered due to lack of proper health care. With that said, Martinez is poor example to point out. She is, however, an excellent example of a poor decision maker who would like help dealing with the consequences of her poor decisions.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Skunk on a Stick

Check this out. Puerile humor, completely work safe and unoffensive.

The New Minimum Wage

The bill also extends for the first time the federal minimum wage to the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands. However, it exempts American Samoa, another Pacific island territory that would become the only U.S. territory not subject to federal minimum-wage laws.

One of the biggest opponents of the federal minimum wage in Samoa is StarKist Tuna, which owns one of the two packing plants that together employ more than 5,000 Samoans, or nearly 75 percent of the island's work force. StarKist's parent company, Del Monte Corp., has headquarters in San Francisco, which is represented by Mrs. Pelosi. The other plant belongs to California-based Chicken of the Sea.

So much for looking out for the little guy. If the new, higher minimum wage is necessary for workers in markets with many different employment opportunities, wouldn't it be absolutely essential in a market where one company employs 75% of the work force? If only Samoans mattered to the powers that be, at least from a political perspective.

Iraq, Iran and Syria

I am of two minds on our new Iraq policy. Primarily, I'm glad that we haven't cut & run, at least for the moment, but I am rather peeved that heretofore we've been doing anything less than all we can do. Call it sentimentality, but I think you owe it to those fighting, bleeding and dying to give it everything you have from day one, politically, diplomatically, strategically and tactically. I hope we go full Roman from here on out.

It amuses me that you have all these talking heads calling for talks with direct dialogue with Iran and Syria. What do you think they will say? "Yeah, sorry about all that funding, arming aiding and abetting of insurgents. Even though we hate you and all you stand for we'll won't do that so much anymore. We promise." Be serious. Cry havoc and slip the B-2 Spirits. Several dozen strategically placed air strikes on key elements of infrastructure and insurgent training camps will say to Iran and Syria all we need to say.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Barry Bonds Rat Fink

In case you need yet another reason to dislike Barry Bonds:

Barry Bonds failed a test for amphetamines last season and originally blamed it on a teammate, the Daily News reported Thursday.
When first informed of the positive test, Bonds attributed it to a substance he had taken from teammate Mark Sweeney's locker, the New York City newspaper said, citing several unnamed sources.

What a cheating, lying, weaselly, rat fink.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Chris Dodd Is In

Senator Chris Dodd (D) Connecticut will announce tomorrow that he intends to run for president. Rots -O- ruck Chris.

Even though Dodd is as liberal as a Berkeley Urban Poetry Professor, he is much easier to listen to than John Kerry. I wonder if the Dems think that a Kerry without the borderline personality and Vietnam baggage might have a chance in 2008. If so, Dodd is their man.

Symbolic Vote?

The NYT reports that democratic leaders are proposing a symbolic vote on President Bush’s plan to send more troops to Iraq. How courageous. This way the anti-war types can posture and pontificate without any repercussions for their inane positions, leaving others to do the heavy lifting both politically here at home and militarily in Iraq.
It would be refreshing to see a up or down vote, with teeth, for funding, troop levels etc.. Win or lose the electorate, to whom these elected poltroons are responsible, can reward or punish as they see fit.

Deaf Culture

A long time ago I mentioned the deaf community's opposition to cochlear implants. Over at A&L Daily they link to a thoughtful article in Friday's The Chronicle of Education about "Deaf Culture". I particularly like this paragraph:
And is a deaf person excluded from his ethnic identity of deafness if he or she chooses not to act deaf? Some deaf people have lip-reading and speaking skills that might allow them to pass for hearing. Others might choose to avoid the more obvious deaf markers — such as colloquial ASL, physical warmth, and intensity — that I've already mentioned. African-Americans who speak standard English and do not code-switch are sometimes accused of being "Oreos" — black on the outside and white on the inside. Do we really want to go down the road of thinking of some people as deaf "Oreos"? (Or would the comparative term be "cochleos?")

Idiots in New Jersey Can Now Vote

In New Jersey the State Senate President wants to permit idiots to vote:

State Senate President Richard Codey introduced a bill on Monday that would remove language from the New Jersey constitution that was designed more than 150 years ago to prevent people suffering from mental illness or handicap from casting their vote in national, state or local elections.

Codey wants to eliminate a section that says "no idiot or insane person should enjoy the right of suffrage" and substitute with a reference to "a person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting."

Needless to say Codey is a democrat.


Well I finally got off my big butt and went to see Apocalypto. My first impression is that it's an extremely well done, audacious film. The actors, none of whom you've seen before, were outstanding, the costuming even better. There are three things I love in a movie, quality of production, unpredictability and transportation to a world or viewpoint you don't normally see. Apocalypto is a strong 3 for 3 on all counts.

I have a high tolerance for gore so I was undeterred by complaints that this film is far too violent, but I don't think this film is any more violent than it needs to be, after all it is about Aztec human sacrifice. What a world that must have been. Thanks to Mel Gibson's audacious film we get a much better than average look at what it may have looked like.

Not for everybody, but if you have any interest in the subject I would make a point of seeing it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Looks like I'll be switching wireless providers

Apple announced it's new iPhone today. First impression is that it looks seriously yummy. However, it's only available via Cingular and I have Sprint.

That's okay. Been thinking about switching carriers for some time now. Now I know who I'll be switching to.

In addition to the iPhone, it also incorporates a widescreen iPod. Like I said, seriously yummy.

Sorry Scooter

Florida wins.

Movies to See and Avoid

I finally got around to seeing Spielberg's Munich and was pleasantly surprised. The casting was pitch perfect and the acting was superb, especially Eric Bana. If you haven't seen it, try to. You probably will think it's time well spent. Despite all you may have heard, some of it no doubt true, Munich presents very well the nature of the fight we are in, such as when good men have to do bad things at great personal cost. It presents the opposing side's view as well without agreeing with their methods.
Another great film with Aussie actors in it, including Geoffrey Rush is Lantana. Which is about how one woman's disappearance effects the lives of several different people. This is one of those rare "adult films" where people change and learn to deal with each other without explosions or car chases.
I find it odd that Eric Bana started off as a comedian and Anthony Lapaglia does comedy so damn well (Simon Moon on Frasier) yet both are such excellent dramatic actors. Is it me or are the Aussie producing some great films and actors in recent years?
On the other hand there's Stealth with Jessica Biel, some white guy and Jaimie Foxx. Boy did this movie suck. It makes the oh so crappy Fire Birds seem like Citizen Kane by comparison. Did anybody read this script before filming began? If Stealth is on cable and there's an infomercial on about the Flowbee, watch the Flowbee infomercial. In terms of believability, dialogue, story and character development the Flowbee infomercial is the better bet.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Dumbassery In Hartford

The brain trusts in Hartford in an attempt to get more people to go downtown have doubled the amount of parking tickets issued in 2005 during 2006. I guess their theory is that if you car isn't stolen, vandalized or broken into and if you're not hit up for "spare change" by some self medicated bompy wallowing in his/her own crapulence, you should at least get a capricious fine for visiting Hartford.

Just the other day downtown merchants were waxing hopeful that a new beat cop will help people feel safer downtown, so maybe people will come down town to eat, drink and be merry. Rots -O- Ruck. Downtown Hartford has to compete with it's own South and West ends for diner's dollars not to mention West Hartford Center, where you can dine at any number of places and park without concern for your car or your person. Smooth move Hartford.

Those Jeeeews!

Wesley Clark can't possibly be this tone deaf:
How can you talk about bombing a country when you won't even talk to them?" said Clark. "It's outrageous. We're the United States of America; we don't do that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the military option is off the table -- but diplomacy is not what Jim Baker says it is. It's not, What will it take for you boys to support us on Iraq? It's sitting down for a couple of days and talking about our families and our hopes, and building relationships."
When we asked him what made him so sure the Bush administration was headed in this direction, he replied: "You just have to read what's in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers."

Wesley, Wesley, Wesley. What a schmuck.
Hat Tip: The Corner.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Political Tests

I'm a 35, with 0 being Jessie Jackson and 40 being Ronald Reagan. Take this test and see how you do.
And then there's the Political Compass Test, supposedly I'm one pip right of center and one pip south in Libertarian Land. Who knew?
Thanks to Ann Althouse.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Inanity Masquerading as Stupidity

A Connecticut Über Liberal thinks Joe Lieberman made "a mockery of the Connecticut electoral process" has decided to make a mockery of his own. This is what passes for clever at Fairfield University. Numbnuts.

What Do Our Enemies Want?

The current debate in Washington is whether to pull out of Iraq, i.e. cut and run - with honor of course, or to double down with a large and long lasting surge in troop strength and finish what we started. At the risk of being churlish and vindictive, I support the troop surge if for no other reason than to vex our enemies and the no blood for oil crowd. If you imagine there are insurgents anywhere in Iraq who would welcome 30,000 more American Troops you need to add a layer of foil to your hat.
It seems insane to me to quit at this point. The only place we are close to losing are in the imaginations of those who opposed the war to begin with. Them and of course our enemies, foreign and domestic who for whatever reason prefer to see the U. S. humiliated and vicious insurgents of varying degrees of depravity triumph.
There is so much more at risk than the Middle East and cheap oil. The prestige and influence of our Republic is at stake. The next time we get involved in a foreign war, we may be surprised that allies are hard to find and who could blame them? A feckless hegemon is a dangerous ally.
Victor Davis Hanson has an excellent piece on our Iraq policy, read the whole thing.

Big Unit Back To Arizona

Who couldn't see this coming:

All the while, Johnson proved ill-fitted for New York. He got off on the wrong foot, pushing a TV cameraman on a Manhattan street the day before his introductory press conference. He brooded over what was written and said in the media, and teammates generally found him aloof and self-absorbed.

The shoving incident was the the death knell for Johnson's New York foray. He wasn't in town two days and he was already shoving the press, go back to Hooterville you gangly hayseed.

If he can't figure out how to pitch now that his fast ball ain't so fast and his slider don't slide, he could always become a pitch man for Viagra, with a name like Randy Johnson he can't go wrong.
Evil Empire Picture shamelessly lifted from Boston Dirt Dogs.

Chuck Hagel

Yet another lean Cassius who slumbers to the strains of "Hail To The Chief" wafting through his fevered brain. The problem is that Chuck Hagel is 95% politician 5% statesman, and 100% RINO. Read what he has to say about Iraq. He starts off with semantics segues with an appeal to authority, and just gets worse from there:

Leaving Iraq, Honorably

In fairness maybe Hagel views honor differently than I do. Anything less than resounding defeat of our murderous insurgent adversaries is less than honorable, we are not France we don't have the luxury of surrender.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

About Time

Officials at Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport are proposing stiffer penalties - including suspension of an airport taxi license - to Muslim cab drivers who refuse service to passengers toting alcohol or service dogs.

I would make it very plain to these yahoos, service everyone in the community or no one at all. If this seems too pluralistic for them, there are plenty of openings at Mogadishu International Airport where they can discriminate all they want.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Interesting Corner Post

Cliff May wonders what would happen if Saddam had received a life sentence:
Imagine that Saddam had not been executed. Imagine that he had been sentenced to life in prison.
Now imagine that a group of pro-Saddam terrorists seizes an elementary school. They say they will kill all the students and teachers if Saddam is not released within 24 hours.
Should Saddam then be released? Or should several dozen innocent children and their teachers be killed?
Is it not better that we have guaranteed that it will never be necessary to make such a choice?

I have to agree with him.

Just Say No

Muslims in Spain asked the if they could pray inside Cordoba's Cathedral, they were told no by Bishop Juan Jose Asenjo. A better answer would have been "Sure, as soon as Roman and Orthodox Catholics, Protestants of every denomination, Jews and Hindus can practice their religion openly in Saudi Arabia without fear for their lives." The end result would have been the same.

Happy New Year 2007

Was Y2K really 7 years ago? I still have two cases .223 and 10MM in the basement, you know, just in case. What a clusterhump that all turned out to be. I'm not a survivalist by any stretch, I would hate to be the last man alive on the planet. On the other hand I think it's only prudent to have sufficient supplies on hand to withstand minor interruptions of infrastructure without resorting to cannibalism and the ability to defend those sufficient supplies from those grasshoppers who may not have planned so well.
What will happen in 2007? More of the same I bet. There will be some ups, some downs and lots of political intrigue for those of us who care to pay attention. So here are my specific predictions for the coming year:

  • The War in Iraq gets worse briefly, then improves greatly. GWB ignores the ISG report and calls for a large, long lasting troop increase. In related news Dexter and I are called back to active duty, forced to loose 40 pounds and spend two years watching a Shia goatherd named Abu Tumnus romance his flock.
  • After much watching, waiting and speculation it is thought that Nancy Pelosi blinks one or both eyes on December 3, 2007.
  • The Democratic presidential field will be narrowed by scandal, at least one, possibly two candidates will go the way of Gary Hart thanks to a certain blonds candidate with stout ankles. On the GOP side, Romney's and McCain's stars rise. Rudy Giuliani withdraws after his act doesn't play so well on the national stage.
  • The Mighty, Mighty Boston Red Sox win the world series. This feat is almost ignored due to the glorious victory in game 7 of the ALCS over the hated New York Yankees, who were ahead at one point 3 games to none. Never in the history of sports has such a vaunted and highly paid team choked so badly, except a couple of years ago.
  • Fears of global warming are assuaged when an iceman defrosted from a melting glacier tells the world it was really warm in his time too, right up until the glacier ran him over.
  • John Kerry tries to tell another joke but nobody wants to pull his finger.
  • Iran's nuclear capability gets "shit hammered". Is it Israel or the US? Or both?
  • North Korea behaves after Kim Jong Il is promised a shot at stardom on American Idol. All hell breaks loose when Simon Cowell calls him "A no talent, evil looking dwarf Elvis wannabee with a bad hairdo and gay looking glasses." No amount of Paula Abdul's sucking up will calm Jong's wrath. He runs amok on the ABC sound stage and ruins a miniature version of Tokyo.
  • Turkey is refused entry to the EU and immediately besieges Vienna again, for old times sake. This proves no sport for the Turks because there hasn't been a fighting man born in Austria for 80 years except Arnold, and he won't return their calls.
  • Experts are pretty sure a bunch of stuff happens in Africa.
  • Singularity occurs 20 years early, every human is force fitted with an AI implant that squelches all passion, spontaneity, warmth and humor. Al Gore remains curiously unaffected.