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Showing posts from August 13, 2006
Question:

Who was the greatest president we never elected? Not just in your lifetime, ever.
Giuliani Sprints in Carolina As Band Plays ‘New York ...'

Could he be the one? So far I think he's a strong contender for the lead. It's still early but I'll say the GOP crop looks more electable than their opponents. Midterms will make a big difference.

The election cycles seem to be coming so quickly as I get older. It's like someone is always campaigning for something. It's exhausting if you follow it too closely.
Passing the International Test

Excellent, excellent post. Read the whole thing. There is no explanation for exactly how the UN functions when the US isn't involved. They're an abject failure.

Read the whole thing, really.
We're always told that our misdeeds in foreign policy and "disrespect" for Muslims is why they attack us. Ok, fine. Why then, were they planting bombs in German train stations?

As noted: "I'M SURE IT WAS THEIR INVASION OF IRAQ, or maybe their opposition to the Kyoto Protocol that led to this"

I anxiously await an explanation.
More fuel for the fire. If he's in recovery and doing so well, why hasn't he resumed power? How long before he "takes a turn for the worse" and then ultimately dies? I'd give him less than a month. Otherwise there's no way they could keep up the charade. Every day that passes that we don't see him is more evidence to me that he's dead.
This is a good start. If you stop encouraging them, maybe they'll retire as they should have 20 years ago.
Reverend Al channels Bill Cosby.

Interesting. I still think he's an odious human being. He does deserve one cheer for this one. Let's see if he keeps this up and if it gains any traction.
Shrinking the tent.

The Dems are poised to strip Lieberman of his committee assignments. This makes one's stance on the war a litmus test for party membership. Given that the entire forseeable crop of candidates for '08 (Gore excluded) voted for the war, this makes them persona non grata to the Kos crowd? I suspect if they threw themselves at the feet of the anti-war crowd and recanted they'd grudgingly welcome them as the candidate. Hillary has being trying to triangulate by being pro-war and a critic of how the war is being managed at the same time. That dog won't hunt. It comes across as hedging to both sides of the aisle. It's looking more and more like 1972 again. The anti-war is looking to seize control of the party and if they do they'll snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Shrinking the tent.

The Dems are poised to strip Lieberman of his committee assignments. This makes one's stance on the war a litmus test for party membership. Given that the entire forseeable crop of candidates for '08 (Gore excluded) voted for the war, this makes them persona non grata to the Kos crowd? I suspect if they threw themselves at the feet of the anti-war crowd and recanted they'd grudgingly welcome them as the candidate. Hillary has being trying to triangulate by being pro-war and a critic of how the war is being managed at the same time. That dog won't hunt. It comes across as hedging to both sides of the aisle. It's looking more and more like 1972 again. The anti-war is looking to seize control of the party and if they do they'll snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Flight passengers describe hours of bizarre behavior: "'She's got some very serious mental health problems,' " Well, yes. She is a member of the anti-war crowd which is a good first indicator.
Great Scott! This guy is really losing it. First he "airs" but "doesn't endorse" the idea that Cheney, Rumsfeld et al. conned the President on Iraq and have designed it for failure to relieve us of the burden of any future nation building efforts. This is craven and cowardly. The right slammed Howard Dean for suggesting the Bush administration knew about 9/11 in advance but danced around the issue saying that "some people" believed it but he didn't personally.

If you don't believe it, why bring it up? I think Sullivan believes it but he can't bring himself to fully join the DU/Kos crowd. On some level he knows that way lies madness.

In a second fit of lunacy, he links the President to Islamic terrorists via addiction! Of course! The president is an alcoholic so it's only natural that he's drawn to extremism! The man will do anything to link Fundmentalists and this president to extremism and terrorism.

I know I should…
I have previously noted the case of the men arrested in a suspected terror plot in Michigan. At the time I noted that the Mackinac bridge was not a sensible target. Now it seems it may not have been terrorism after all. Defense attorneys outraged as terror case switches to fraud.

Fraud seems the more likely scenario here. Logistically, to use a thousand cell phones to blow up a bridge means you'd have to wife each of them with a charge. That's very labor intensive and increases the risk of getting caught to nearly 100%. It's also a poor way to blow up a bridge. Bridges have stress points designed to carry the load in the event of failures elsewhere. You need to destroy these abutments if you hope to bring it down. Numerous small charges are not going to be effective. You need something on the order of a truck bomb to do that.

The investigators were right to think that two Palestinian males with a thousand phones might be involved in terrorism. That they announce…
I'm on the fence regarding the proposal to split Iraq into three separate states. It seems the Iraqis have decided however. Hundreds of Iraqi Parties Unite, Several Endorse Security Plan. That plan calls for a single nation not three. In the end, it's their country and their choice. Additionally the translated article indicates that the security situation is better than reported. This is at odds with what I'm reading from even the war supporters. That troubles me as it casts doubt on the rest of the article's accuracy. This makes things less clear for me rather than more.
I've been tagged:

Tagged by Anavenger: with linky love.

1. One book that changed your life: Thinking In Pictures: and Other Reports from My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin. One of the best books I've ever read that really helped me understand how my son thinks about and sees the world.

2. One book that you've read more than once: Eat The Rich by P.J. O'Rourke. Hilarious and sadly true. O'Rourke is a modern day Mencken without the misanthropy.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Hmm...I'd have to pick something really long like Lord Of The Rings 50th anniversay edition. Either that or the Bible. I avoided picking the Bible as it seems the obvious choice.

4. One book that made you laugh: Job: A Comedy of Justice by Robert Heinlein. It's a satire of religion and faith. I'd add that any book by H.L. Mencken or P.J. O'Rourke would qualify also.

5. One book that made you cry: Lament for a Son by Nicholas Walterstorff. Heartwrenching account o…
File under: Shooting themselves in the Foot;

Print Story: Lieberman leads opponents in new poll on Yahoo! News. Granted these polls are not necessarily scientific but they are a good indicator that Joe is going to win. He's going to get a big bite of the Democrat base and now that he's an I not a D, he'll get a good number of R's and he'll win solidly. Major strategic error for a small tactical victory.
Gah!

YouTube - The Lone Gunmen (pilot episode) - PREDICTS EVENTS OF 9/11


I actually watched this show and don't remember this as the central plot point (which is odd in itself.)

This is just eerie moreso because the plot mimics the current conspiracy theories for 9/11. This is not the first time fiction suggested such an attack. Stephen King's short story "The Running Man" (written under his Richard Bachman pseudonym)ends with the protagonist flying a hijacked 747 into the top of the Empire State Building. Tom Clancy's "The Sum of All Fears" ended with a hijacked airliner into the Capitol building. Nonetheless this episode coming so close in both time and method to the actual attacks gives me a knot in my stomach.
White Sun of the Desert has a post entitled The Ignorance of Americans. His experience mirrors my own especially when talking to non-Americans about Israel. I can only imagine the ire White Sun endures by supporting Israel in the Arab world.

To the sidebar he goes.
Bartender Myths. Most of these are absolutely true. My only qualm is with #4. Bartenders are not entitled to a tip, it is not a fee for walking in the door. The egregiously overpriced drinks are the price for walking in the door. Good service is what garners tips. Automated tipping subsidises bad service. Same for waiters.

I've been a bartender which is why I support selective tipping. I've seen terrible bartenders get tips out of habit. Guess what, they're not going to get better unless you punish/reward them as necessary.

I once had a bartender ignore me because I didn't tip her on the first round. There were three of us and we ordered three beers. She then proceeded to ignore us thereafter. When I finally said "Hey!" in a sharp voice she wheeled around and told me she "I'm not here for my health." which I told her, was true, she was there to get me drinks.

As the shouting match escalated the head bartender came over trying to …
Suspect Arrested in JonBenet Ramsey Case. If he's guilty, fry him. However, it looks sketchy. This guy might be lying and possibly crazy.

I hope he actually is guilty just so this thing can finally be over.
Kidman condemns Hamas, Hezbollah. Hooray for Hollywood! Finally one of them has some sense. You'd think that since "the Joooos run Hollywood" they'd be coming out of the woodwork to sign this one but no, it takes a Catholic woman from Australia to come up with this. Maybe there's hope for them yet.
CNN.com - 48 marathons in 47 days -- and still going. Because people are idiots. I cannot imagine the damage he's doing to his body. Seriously, this cannot be good for you.
Gah!


I wanted to let everyone know that earlier this morning, we dismissed [employee] as an employee of [company]. We have had ongoing problems with [employee] in terms of attendance at work. While terminating an employee is one of the most difficult things to do, we felt that it was in the best interest of [company] and the IT team to take this action.

I wanted to take this time to reinforce some of the attendance and work time policy that everyone in IT should adhere to. Please review the bullets below and see me, [manager] or your manager if you have any questions.


I don't like this. I don't like when managers discuss employee terminations in broadcast emails. It's unprofessional and unnecessary. Let the employee keep their dignity when leaving.
I often chide public education and public educators for being substandard. I usual regret hammering them so hard as there are a million reasons why kids do poorly in school.

Then, because God must have a sense of humor, my son comes home from school last week with a laminated yellow star. The handwriting is obviously the teachers (my son cannot write). The star says:

"Your a star"


I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
War Warps the Mind a Little: "I heard a faint whump somewhere off in the distance. The rocket had landed. Nobody moved. Nobody cared."

Ugh. God help us if we ever get to that point. I've heard this from combat veterans as well as people who grew up in war torn areas like Beirut. There's a certain grim fatalism that takes over as a coping mechanism. Either it's your time, or it isn't. People who are ordinarily completely logical become believers in predestination.

Kim du Toit wrote an essay once about death in Africa. He recounted the number of people who met with untimely deaths when he was growing up. That constant presence of death became so commonplace that it no longer had an impact. Death was met with a shrug and a sigh of regret for what was lost but it was brief and accepted as a part of life. We have the luxury of not worrying like that. It's one blessing that is often overlooked and it's a mighty big one.
Boys subjected to 9 hours of rote memorization a day in NYC.

9 hours a day!? This is learning? Isn't rote memorization one of the hallmarks of a cult? What possible value could there be in memorizing something you can't even understand what it means?

How on earth are these kids getting into any sort of university? If they're doing this for 9 hours am I to believe that they're getting additional time learning to read, write and do math?

Color me skeptical.
Immigrant Crackdown Challenged in Pa.

I'm a bit confused how the logic of the ACLU's arguement works. Nowhere does the statute specify which immigrant group or groups is to be targeted for enforcement. This law would apply equally to an illegal immigrant from Sweden and one from Mexico. The Congressional Research service, when contacted, said that Federal law probably prohibits municipalities from making such laws. If that's the case, I'd say there's something seriously wrong with the federal statute.
Insults allowed at Tech

Heaven forfend! Imagine being subject to...insults! At college! How will our poor delicate students survive?

Notice the headline does not say "Free speech allowed".

On a serious note, if your ideas and beliefs are so untested and unchallenged until you leave college, how exactly do you suppose they're going to survive when they collide with reality?


h/t: Boortz
New Jersey Democrat Caught in Ethics Violations, Steps Down.

A long list of why Democrats cannot run on an anti-corruption campaign.

GIVE ME A BREAK PEOPLE! Keep voting Democrat everything is fine
In George Orwell's Animal Farm, there was a law that "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others." Meaning: We're all the same except for those who rule. They are better and more important than anyone else so the rules don't apply. To wit: Barack Obama lectures people about gas guzzling and then hops into his SUV and takes off.

The man has no shame. Seriously, how can you possibly keep a straight face and lecture people about their consumption and then take of in an SUV? How does the green wing of the party not pound this guy?

This reminds me of a PSA I saw featuring Cameron Diaz and Gwenneth Paltrow telling me to turn down the thermostat and such. That's right, people who cruise around in limosines, live in mansions and fly on private jets are lecturing me about my overconsumption. Leaves me speechless.
The depths of depravity.

Is there no bottom?

In Apocalypse Now, Colonel Kurtz recounts a tale to Willard about fighting the VC:


Kurtz: I've seen horrors... horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that... but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face... and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with Special Forces. Seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate the children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for Polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of litt…
Spending money behind closed doors?


Something new is happening today as The Examiner invites readers to help uncover which members of Congress sponsored the 1,867 secret spending earmarks worth more than $500 million in the Labor-Health and Human Services appropriation bill now before Congress.

These earmarks average more than $268,000 each. To our knowledge, The Examiner is the first-ever daily newspaper to join with readers, citizen activists from across the political spectrum and bloggers in this manner to uncover the facts behind government spending.


More please. Pork is a bipartisan problem. Defining it isn't always easy. Arts funding is pork for Republicans but not Democrats. However, bring this spending out into the open and let's have an honest debate about how the money is spent. Personally, I think earmarks are contrary to the spirit of the Constitution. Congress loves them because it allows them to spend like crazy without having to consult anybody. How else to …
What if 9/11 never happened? I agree with some of this but certainly not all. The one common thread is that the 2004 elections were a referendum on the war. That is something that had been denied by MSM and liberals since before the votes were cast. That there is wide agreement that this is so is progress. It follows that if the 2004 election was a referendum on the war, the Americans have said they don't trust Democrats to fight wars. As the war continues apace in both Afghanistan and Iraq it is possible and even likely that next election will also be a refendum on the war. Some have been saying it's 1972 all over again. The Democrats are purging the party of any elements that are not fiercely anti-war, a decision led the to decades of losing the Executive. There are battles underway for the souls of each party. The GOP is battling the Big Government Conservatives vs. Reagan/Goldwater Conservatives. The latter tends to house the paleocons who are more isolationist …
Not here. Not ever. I watched the documentary Three Days in September which is based on the same incident. It's one of those things that I had to watch even thought I didn't want to. Sometimes you have to stare evil in the face to really believe people are capable of such things.

Read the article if you're not able to stomach the film.

As a parent, this scenario terrifies me which is exactly the point. There is not possible way to win in this scenario. The whole thing was inevitably going to end badly. Frankly, I'm amazed we've not seen a repeat of exactly this sort of attack here and I pray we never do.
Brutal. You wonder why you don't see a moderate leader in Palestinian territories? Here's your answer. Would you have the stones to stand up to these guys? Me neither.
Make Mine Freedom. An old cartoon (1948) explaining the link between capitalism and freedom. A link that it's very popular to deride. I recently took issue with a rant about capitalism and the pay of corporate officers. My concern is that once you let something other than market forces determine salaries, you distort the market and it has unintended side effects. This one shows the importance of economic freedom.

Am I the only one....just kidding.

We are a capitalistic society and we learn those mechanisms and are indoctrinated by immersion. However, the logic behind our system and "our way of life" as the video calls it, is usually missing from basic education. It is increasingly clear that we need to integrate basic economic education into school curricula. I have a bachelor's degree in business which means I know just enough economics to know that I don't know much about economics. That said, I find most people are gobsmackingly ignorant of even the …
Are you an anti-Semite? Take the quiz!

I rather liked question #2.
Tea Partay. I originally thought this was a parody like Taco Town or Lazy Monday but it isn't. It's a real advertisement for Smirnoff.

The oddest part for me is that my high school days were pretty close to the imagery seen here. I grew up on the "poor" side of the tracks in an increasingly wealthy town.

(NB: I put poor in quotes as I as not in any way poor growing up but to put things in perspective, I went to the beach for my summer vacation with my family and my friends were off to Europe and Egypt and such. Sometimes having friends with that kind of money is surreal.)
EU Referendum has more about "fauxtography". It's interesting in that, he connects the photos together in a coherent form to show how the events unfold. Read the whole thing.
Christopher Hitchens writes about Cuba's "military coup". He states rather plainly that Fidel was deposed by his brother in a coup. He points to a previous case where a Cuban military official was tried, convicted and executed for corruption and drug trafficking in the span of 4 short weeks. Hitchens proposes that Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa Sánchez may well have been guilty of the charges but more likely that he saw Gorbachev's Peristroika and Glasnost as models to be emulated and that may be what really got him killed.

Still no word from Fidel and the more time passes without hearing from him, the less likely it is that we will ever hear from him again. Good riddance.
8 Changes I Experienced After Giving Up TV. This is interesting. It's amazing how habitual television watching can be. It's something people do out of habit more than anything else.

The one benefit of having TiVo is that I watch specific programs and then I'm done. I don't usually channel surf. That said, I still watch entirely too much TV and I really need to stop.
America's 25 New Elite 'Ivies'. Other than taking issue with the title, It's a good read. The Ivies are finite in number and will never change. Since their inception, many second tier schools have been trying to glom onto that group and it's glory. It never works and never will. MIT has never been a pretender to the throne. They don't have to. Instead of clamoring for recognition, they decided instead to build one of the best engineering schools in the nation and argueably, the world. (They are on the list, 'natch.)

My alma mater is not on th list. Should it be? Maybe. It's close but I think they have some work to do before being included. If they continue to improve as they are, they will likely be down the road. There are a number of constraints they're up against which have typically helped as well as hindered them. Ironically, their inability to expand the school has made them more selective and thereby inccreasing it's standin…
I declare shenanigans! No way is that photo real. It looks composited. The typeface on the newspaper is just wrong. To me, it's clear they took an old photo and photoshopped the newpaper on the front.

This reminds me of the movies when they have a kidnapping victim and they take a picture with the day's newspaper to prove the hostage is still alive.

Notice that AP puts a disclaimer on the bottom that they cannot verify the authenticity of the photograph. It's a start. A small one but a start nonetheless.
Men held in Michigan suspected of plan to attack Mackinac Bridge. An odd target to be sure. Frankly I'm surprised we haven't heard anything out of Dearborne's more radical mosques yet.

These guys had over 1,000 phones in various states of disassembly. I assume they were going to link them somehow to respond to the same activation signal.

I don't understand why they'd target the Mackinac bridge. That's like attacking the Summit Bridge. It's hardly the big spectacular thing they're usually looking for but perhaps that's the point. A bridge like that is much less likely to be watched by law enforcement.