Showing posts from October 22, 2006

Blogroll updated

I've updated the blogroll for the DE blogosphere. If I've missed anyone, please let me know in the comments or via email and I'll add you. Thanks.

The growing cynicism

Has it come to this?

A vote for civil war.

Diane West is not some firebrand. She's usually a sober reasoned person. I have a hard time agreeing that we ought to stand back and let the civil war in Iraq rage. How long will it last? Scores to settle are old and numerous. Each new one begets another. Blood fueds with no end in sight.

Frederick Turner has another take:

Baghdad Vigilantes and the Dark Side of Civil Society

His arguement is essentially that there's thems that need killin' in Iraq and the US and Iraqi forces can't or won't get it done. He contends this bloodshed is necessary prior to the rise of a civil society. Men are forming posses to go out and clean things up. Imagine if you saw a man you knew was one of Saddam's torturers in your neighborhood. Imagine he had killed members of your family. What would you do? Would you turn him in to the Americans and hope something happened? Or, would you be so blinded by the need for revenge, kill h…

What's on your iPod?

Ok, here's the game: Put your iPod (or iTunes) on shuffle and write the first ten songs that are played. Here's what mine gave me.

6 String Belief by Son Volt

Best of Friends by The Saw Doctors

Damn Shame by Jay Farrar

Respect by Train

Talk To Ya Later by The Tubes

The District Doctor by Tandy

Sing along Forever by The Bouncing Souls

The Rivers Of Rohan by Howard Shore

The Red Violin Joshua Bell

Road to Chicago by Thomas Newman

NB: I skipped if I got the same artist twice in a row.

Sweet, sweet irony

My younger brother dated a girl for a while but it didn't work out. He's been dating a new girl for about 6 months. My wife and his ex are friends and still occasionally talk on the phone. Needless to say, we recently met New Girlfriend and she looks strikingly similary to Old Girlfriend. It's not just me, my wife, parents and my in-laws all independently came to the same conclusion.

That said, my wife was on the phone with Old Girlfriend the other day and OG remarked that she saw New Girlfriend on the subway. OG said, and I quote: "No offense, but she's ugly." I really hope that was just sour grapes.

Friday quicknotes

Why we need federalism

What do you do when the Federal government will not enforce federal law and your hands are tied by jurisdiction?

Roswell's police chief faxes lists of suspected illegal inmates to U.S. officials every day, for the most part a gesture ignored.

The north Fulton city of 100,000 has faxed the booking sheets of 1,396 detainees to ICE in the past nine months alone, according to police department records. Immigration agents have picked up three of them, Williams said, or one out of every 465.
Once, an immigration official called to say the police department was wasting its time with the daily faxes, Williams said. So the jailers quit. When the chief found out, he went ballistic. "I said 'You will continue,' " Williams recalled. "I don't care if they just throw it away. It's my fax paper."

Emphasis mine.

Can someone, anyone explain to me why federal authorities are vigorously prosecuting glaucoma patients who smoke weed but ignore ICE officials who simply do…

I work with lunatics

Since I work at a candy company, you can imagine that Halloween is the King Mother of All Holidays.

Since I'm new, nobody saw fit to tell me that everyone it getting dressed for Halloween today.

I'm usually the first guy in the office. I support a number of people in Europe, the Baltics and Russia so my hours are a bit off. (Upside: I get to leave early. Woo Hoo!)

I walk in this morning and the maniacs here have erected two ENORMOUS pirate ships on the floor. They're probably 30 ft. long and 10 ft. wide each. They are replete with treasure chests, billowing sails (a fan billows the sails), cannons, masts and riggings. Each group is a different tech. team the wireless support team's ship is the "Blackberry Pearl". Awesome.

Each team is dressed as different theme. Aside from the two teams of matching pirates, we have a section of nerds, a team of ninjas, a haunted house is taking shape at the far end of the floor and is run by witches, ghosts, ghouls…

Air America Founder Likes Michelle Malkin's Show

Kudos for intellectual honesty. I'm amazed she's able to recognize quality over ideology.

The point that Kirsten Powers raised which was seconded by Lewis is that such a conversation would never happen on network TV as "people's heads would explode".

What network TV producers fail to realize is that deviancy and crass sexuality isn't "edgy" or "risky". People are more inclined to rolls their eyes at the next guy who eats something gross for money or explicit sexuality in primetime. We've seen it all before. If they really want sparks on news shows or talk shows, put up people who can debate effectively from rationally opposing viewpoints. Take on hot-button topics like guns, abortion, social welfare you'd be amazed at the results.


Extreme Mortman notices the AG race in Delaware and gets the vapors. Interesting that a down ticket race in our wee little state is getting noticed.

h/t: Insty

What kind of blogger am I?

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.

Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few

What Kind of Blogger Are You?

Philosophical question of the day:

Tell me something you believe but you cannot prove.

Thank you Miss Heaton.

No, really, I was...uh...witnessing!

Score one for Antigua

I have to support Antigua against the US on this one. It seems the the Federal Government's latest move to ban internet gambling was a blatant attempt to stifle international competition for domestic services. See here for details.

The Antiguan government is absolutely correct. This is a blatant WTO violation and we have no right to ignore their ruling. I, for one, hope Antigua goes forward with their intent to fight back by allowing infringing on copyrighted US products. It gives me no joy to support such illegality but in the face of such blatant bullying we've earned it.

This is no small matter. Either we support the WTO or we don't. Not just in some half assed manner. We either lead by example or pull out of WTO entirely.

Brits are completely insane

After arresting a teenage girl for requesting a new study group, Brits have now decided that a new surveillence should be implemented to buy beer.

The clubs and Avon and Somerset police, who are supporting the scheme, argue that it is not compulsory. Nobody can be forced to give a finger scan, which works by analysing a fingertip's ridges and furrows. However, the clubs admit they will not allow people in if they refuse to take part in the scheme.

Got that? Not compulsory. You won't be able to drink if you don't comply. Well, that's ok I guess. After all, this is something the pubs have decided as private entities to do to reduce crime, right? Well, no.

Some landlords were reluctant to sign up until they were told they faced having their licences revoked – and were given the incentive of being able to stay open later.

Emphasis mine.

So system wasn't compulsory for the bars either. They didn't have to comply, they could go out of business. They have a name …

Wednesday Quick Notes

A few quick things that don't merit entire posts by and of themselves:

This remains Colbert's finest hour. I can watch this one over and over.

Anyone play WoW? I don't. I don't have the time. My brother plays but much of what is said here rings true from what I hear from him.

He's young(er) and single (well, unmarried anyway) and he's more likely to give up one weekend night out to stay home play. He's not nearly as addicted as the author of the article was but I can see how it can draw you in.

Read the article, but mostly the comments. The anecdotes about European's conceptions of America are funny. I've run into the same thing in my travels as well.

David Zucker makes another ad for the GOP. This one about taxes. However, given the job Republicans have done with spending, this is not any place for them to be bragging.

I see this woman's billboard on the way to work every day. Finally, we have someone with less chance than Jan Ting. I …

But what if they win?

Pete DuPont poses the very question that troubles me:

Republicans deserve to lose, but what if the Democrats win?

First, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has promised that election of a Democratic House would insure "a rollback of the [Bush] tax cuts." Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, who would be chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, would make sure no tax cut extension bill would ever get to the floor. He voted against the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts and the bill that later extended the tax cuts until 2010 (as did all but seven of the 205 Democratic House members). In September Mr. Rangel said that he "cannot think of one" Bush tax cut he would agree to renew.

Funny how Democrats never trumpet their support for raising taxes.

The only upside to having the Democrats control Congress is that it will guarantee a Republican victory in 2008 no matter who they run. Two straight years of rising taxes and listening to Nancy Pelosi and it won't matter who the GOP runs…

Negotiating with Palestinians

I'm forever told that we, as a nation (not to mention me personally) are way too supportive of Israel. The problem is Israel, they just won't roll over and die negotiate in good faith. If they did, all would be well. Palestinians would sit around with Zionists and sing songs and hold hands. Right? Well, no.

We will never recognize Israel. The Zionists have occupied our land like the Nazis did with France during the Second World War. Israel is a foreign element in the Middle East. Why don't the Jews establish their state in Europe?

That's the Palestinian government spokesgoon. That is not a position from which one can begin negotiating. The message is: We are either going to expell you or kill you to the last. There is no room for negotiation there. Keep the wall, they're turning on each other and sadly it looks like things are going to have to get worse before it gets better.

The Rise of the Independents

Â?Right now, both parties are way too far apart and nobody is looking out for the good of the people,Â? he said.

He speaks for me.

The rising number of people who are fed up with their own party but don't feel they can cross over is increasing. Both parties frequently speak of "The Big Tent" they enjoy but I think the tent is only so big. Try being critical of the Bush administration and stay in the good graces of the GOP. Try supporting the war on the Dems side and see what happens. The "Big Tent" line is used to keep the dissenters in line long enough to get them to cast their vote. Thindependentsts as swing voters is not new. It's been a fact for decades. Each side enjoys a core consituency they have to turn out to win. Without their base they will undoubtedly lose. Similarly, they have to appeal to the center. There is the real trouble. The primaries are designed to gin up the base and support the right guy. How do you appeal to the center wit…


Apparently theseguys worked on my house.

The Magic of Schoolbuses

When I take my child anywhere I have to put him in a carseat lest he be killed by the teeming millions of careless and downright dangerous drivers. Failure to put him in such a seat would earn me scorn from my neighbors and tickets and fines from the police. I have just one question.

How is it that my child becomes magically protected from harm by boarding a schoolbus?

When he's on a schoolbus he needs no helmet, carseat or seatbelt of any kind and yet he is "safe". How can this be? Are there inertial dampeners as on Star Trek or is there some arcane magic at work? We really ought to deploy this technology/magic more widely. It seems like it would be a great way to fund the public schools. License the technology to automakers and airlines. Military pilots and race car drivers. The applications are limitless. We'd have the best funded schools on the planet. They'd be unable to spend it all.

Or maybe, it would just cost too much money and be too much of…

My life in tech support

So we went live with our new software this morning. Things have been very quiet. Such silence was unexpected by my manager. He is unwise in the ways of users. He is yet unable to snatch the pebble from my hand.

If this actually were Kung Fu, the meeting we had on Friday would have gone thusly:

(NB: for our purposes, I am The Master and he is The Student)

Student: Master, we will have many calls and requests on Monday morning. You must arrive extra early

Master: I'm already here by 7:00 and no, my pupil, there will not be any extra calls on Monday.

S: How can this be? Our new software is going live. All users who failed to show up to myriad training sessions will be lost and unable to run their reports.

M: Yes, and?

S: What do you mean, "and"? How will they use the new system

M: You fail to see because you do not know where to look. The old system is still online for 3 more weeks. No users will use the new system while the old is still available. The day we shut…

And now for something completely different

I stand on the shore, barefoot. I rolled my khakis up but the rushing tide still gets them wet. The water is warm and I watch it recede toward the darkening sky. I hold my shoes in one hand and her hand in the other. The breeze pushes back my hair and I can taste the salt of the sea on the air. I feel the setting sun on my shoulders. I look back to see a massive orange red ball that shimmers in the haze, mocking me as it sets on my last day for the summer. We stand in silence. There’s nothing left to say. In a few minutes, we’ll part ways. We said we’d write and that we’ll see each other next summer but we both know neither is true. I turn to face her. She turns and looks up at me. Her eyes are crystal blue and catch the sinking sun. She looks at me expectantly. I don’t know if she wants me to say something or just kiss her. I search her face she doesn’t know either. I lean in and she closes her eyes in slow motion. She presses my lips to her and I wrap my arm around…

I Hate October Part II

While some are cautiously optimistic others are confident. That confidence is driving some people around the bend.

Others are already convinced it's Germany in 1939 and that unless or until there is civil unrest, we're all doomed. These are the very same people who would be on the first private plane to France if there ever was anything approaching the world they pretend existed.

Happy October.

NYT: We Were Wrong To Run The SWIFT Story

The Ombudsman at the NYT has decided he was wrong to air the SWIFT story that caused so much controversy. (File under; Ready! Fire! Aim!)

I said the same thing then and I'll permit myself just a bit of gloating now. I'm glad the man has the principles to admit he was wrong and unreservedly admit it. I just wish he had exercised such judgment the first time around when it really mattered.

Biased Broadcasting Company

Recently, I wrote a bit about a suppressed report that exposes the BBC as openly biased. They appear to be heading the report off at the pass.

At the secret meeting in London last month, which was hosted by veteran broadcaster Sue Lawley, BBC executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals and people from ethnic minorities, deliberately promotes multiculturalism, is anti-American, anti-countryside and more sensitive to the feelings of Muslims than Christians.

As for that last bit, I wonder if they're candid enough to figure out why that might be. I find it greatly ironic that a corporation "dominated by homosexuals" would be so accomodating to people who have a track record of very poor relations with gays (to put it mildly)

There more:

In one of a series of discussions, executives were asked to rule on how they would react if the controversial comedian Sacha Baron Cohen known for his offensive characters Ali G and Borat - was a guest on the programme Room…

It's hard to argue with this one

Jonah Goldberg hits the nail on the head with this post

Readers are all over the board in response to today's column (hence the stuffed e-mail box). I'm too car sick to respond in detail to very much of it (lots of stop-and-go traffic on the Turnpike/95). But I do think some folks misunderstood the column's point, in part.

First, if we get the job done in Iraq, it won't be a mistake in the historic scheme of things. I do believe that.But I just think it's very, very, very hard to believe that if Bush could do it all over again, he would say "let's do it anyway." Too many assumptions have been undermined by reality for me not to believe that in hindsight we shouldn't have opted for different way.
I think the regime change policy established under Bill Clinton was the right policy. I think taking Saddam seriously after 9/11 was the right policy. But, of the many arguments in favor of toppling Saddam in 2001-2002 one of the most important — in my mind…

Outing gay people is fine....

when they're Republican...

It's amazing to me that the left is now promoting behavior they were practically rioting if anyone even hinted that someone might be anything other than straight. Now they're perfectly happy to throw people under the bus if it serves their political ends. You'd think that any liberal who finds themselves in lockstep with Pat Robertson would take a look around at the intellectual ground their standing on.

About that death toll.....

It seems there were "serious errors" in the methodology that came up with the 665,000 number.

The general response is "Well, yes. You got it completely wrong the first time too."

Nothing to see here, move along.

Ok, this freaks me out

GAH! I'm no luddite but seriously, this kind of thing makes me a little leery of our expanding scientific frontiers.