Monday, October 31, 2005
This is a funny video, and I hate "The King". Personally, I'd like to see McDonald's score some points off this whole thing though. They should take the video of the security guard laying this guy out, superimpose "The King" over Gall, and then superimpose Grimace over the security guard. Watching Grimace rattle "The King's" retinas would ensure that I ate 20% more McDonald's.
On the theory that even HuffPost readers cannot live on Scooter & Karl alone, I cannot let the just-ended World Series go by without a comment. It was a great series.
It was made better for me by the fact that the very diverse Chicago White Sox, who look like America, defeated the retro-looking, and very pale, Houston Astros.
Here's why this is the dumbest blog post ever. The pre-Jackie Robinson, all white Major League Baseball was a terrible thing because talented and very qualified ball players were kept out of the league solely because of the color of their skin. Since the 1970's, though, Major League Baseball has become about the most color blind entity you can imagine. What counts in today's baseball is the production on the field. With a stupid post like this, Cobble sets the sport and to some extent the country back 40 years. Who cares if the Houston Astros were a very white team? Those white players were the best talent available to the Astros, and that collection of players was also the best team in the National League this year. Part of the reason we celebrate Jackie Robinson today is because when he broke through the color barrier, he started baseball on the path towards becoming a meritocracy where race doesn't matter. The "very pale" Houston Astros earned the National League pennant. By bringing race into this, Cobble is dirties the meritocracy that Jackie Robinson started the sport towards. It would be a very different issue if their were any proof what so ever that the Astros were discriminating against hiring minority ball players, but that's just not the case. In fact, if any of the top ten minority ball players in the game said they wanted to play in Houston at a price the Astros could afford, I guarantee you the team would jump at the chance to sign them.
This is just another example of how far the left has jumped the tracks of traditional liberalism. If the goal of the Civil Rights Movement was to create a color blind society, current liberals, nay, progressives are doing their damndest to prevent it by interjecting color into everything.
I'd like to note this before it gets lost in the swarm of deserved coverage about Judge Alito's merits. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that White House Counsel Harriett Miers was with the President over the weekend, helping him sort through the available choices and settle on a nominee for the Supreme Court seat that was dangled before her up until her honorable withdrawal last week.Couldn't agree more. The dissent over her nomination was never about her being a bad person or incapable. It was about her not being the best person for the job.
That had to be a very hard thing to do, but judging from the apparent choice, she did it with her characteristic professionalism.
I don't know her, but she sure sounds like a class act. The President and the country should be grateful for her service.
Conservative bloggers, a good way to start might be to join Blogs for Bush's Alito Coalition.
Somewhere in a densly populated, poor region of Asia, possible China or Malaysia or Vietnam, the bird flu mutates. The mutated virus becomes easily transmitted between humans. At very first, the mutation is overlooked, but all too soon it becomes apparent to the entire world that the virus has mutated as a large portion of the host nation's population becomes sick. Borders around Asia are shut down. Western nations close their borders to anything from Asian nations. The flu very quickly spreads in Asia, as closed borders are not enough. The Western media goes into full crisis mode, and governments begin to panic a little. And so do citizens.
National economies slowly begin to close up to the outside world, but they do not halt. In fact, within nations there is a huge spending splurge as people buy the things they think they need. But then it happens. A case of the Avian flu pops up in Turkey. Then Canada. Then Russia. Then Western Europe. Then the rest of the Americas.
The flu spreads more quickly than any illness has ever spread across the globe. International travel never ceased, it just closed up to "common" people, and the remaining travel of diplomats, militaries, and other government and business officials spreads the flu around the globe. Panic fully sets in, aided and abetted by media outlets. Poor nations become very violent. Rich nations become violent and their economies slow greatly, but black markets surge. Things look very bad.
But then something becomes apparent. When the virus mutated, it became easier to transmit from human to human, but it also became less lethal. Fewer people are dying than was expected. Instead of half of the infected dying, health professionals are discovering that roughly 7% or 8 % of the infected are dying. The number of people dying from the flu still strains societies' abilities to process the dead, but it is not unmanageable. And in healthier, wealthier nations, people's immune systems are much more capable of fighting the virus, leading to lower death rates.
Unlike past pandemic flus, the worst of this one passes very quickly-in one flu season. By the end of the first season of this flu, several things have happened. A vaccine has been developed and manufactured. Scientists sequestered by governments also make a breakthrough on the treatment of flu viruses. These two events allow humans to set up something of a firewall against the virus before it can go through a second or a third wave of infections.
The world economy by this time has taken a hit. The combination of ill and dying workers and people willingly removing themselves from the free market for black markets leaves the world in a depressed economy. Things begin to ramp up quickly, though. A lot needs to be done, and and people need to be hired to do those things. In looking back on the pandemic, a couple of things become apparent. First, people panicked unneccessarily, in part because they had been conditioned by mass media to do so. Second, scientists admit that they could have created vaccines in advance of the pandemic that would have given people some but not full immunity to the virus. Had those vaccines been made and distributed, it would have reduced further the lethality of the virus. Third, leadership in many nations is found wanting. Had the leaders in those nations actually led, they would have calmed their populations and reduced the panic.
The most disturbing legacy of the avian flu is a distrust in state governments and market economies. People become more willing to accept global governments and the influence of global NGO's, thinking this is the only way to exert control of these situations in the future. They also become much more willing to accept socialization, thinking this is the only way that they can be taken care of in these situations in the future. The budding global economic recovery stalls as nations find their place in this new world.
I hate writing on this topic, and this prognostication is not exactly rosy. But this seems much more logical than the dooms day scenarios the media spins out, scenarios that have hundreds of millions of billions dying and the global economy all but shutting down.
But I also learned a big lesson immediately after those two days. Traffic was huge, and then I went off to Las Vegas, as I will do this week. My room did not have an internet connection, and I was unable to write for several days. That huge rush of traffic dried up immediately. When I did not have new or compelling material, I lost most of the audience the "Hughicane" had brought me. After thinking I was big blog on campus for a couple days, I came to learn that traffic blitzes are fleeting, and that building a regular audience over time is much more important. Would I love this blog to be a million visit site right now? Hell yes. But I haven't earned that yet, and I'm happy to see the traffic slowly and consistently grow. Maybe if I'm patient enough, I can just out last everybody else. :-).
I don't say it often enough. Thank you to my regular visitors, my occasional visitors, and my one time visitors. I used to write in a journal, and I'd lose interest in it quickly. Whether you like it or not, those of you who stop by here to visit, and maybe comment once in a while, keep me going. Thank you.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Read Letters in Bottles for a first hand account with pictures.
1. Don't ogle the sixteen-year-old in the cheerleader costume. Especially if you play pro football or if you've been drinking or if you have a hot tub. Or all three.That's just wrong. I have a parents' rule for trick or treating. If your son has grown facial hair or your daughter has moved on from that training bra, it might be time to put the kaibash on trick or treating. If they have their driver's license, it definitely is. If they can legally buy smokes but are still trick or treating, and doing so in revealing clothes, its time to kick them out of the house and call the cops.
1. Go into your archives.Okay, here's my 23rd post, titled "Crib notes". And here is the fifth sentence:
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to it).
3. Post the fifth sentence (or closest to it).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along
with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same thing.
It was their's for the taking, a political ruling class in the name of Kennedy.I like the sentence. The entry was about possible bitterness that lefties had over the fact that there is a Bush dynasty.
I'm going to break a rule of the game now. I'm not going to tag anyone. But if you want to give it a try, consider yourself tagged by me.
"If You Want To Keep The Beer Cold, Put It Next To My Heart."Heh.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
As much fun as it was to keep an eye on everyone in Vegas, I was ready for disinteresting quiet on the redeye flight home. Wisconsin again did not show up to sit quietly. Settling into my seat after two plane delays, I quickly noticed that the middle-aged couple in front of me were completely obliterated (I spent the delays reading, they spent it getting liquored up). I (and everyone else within a few rows) could hear them start arguments over every little verbal misstep, ranting in slurred drunk-speak. As the stewardess went down the aisle to check seat belts and hand out pillows, the woman grabbed her arm and asked for a Jack 'n Coke (what is it with the JD?). The attendant looked taken aback. “Um ... we don’t offer in-flight drink service until we’re at cruising altitude.”From Wednesday through Saturday of this coming week, things will be sporadic here as I will be working in Vegas. Yes, believe it or not, some people do work there. If history is any guide, I am going to be exhausted by the time I board the plane back to Milwaukee. I can handle seeing everything Mandy saw in Vegas, but by the time I get on that plane Saturday night, all I will want is peace and quiet. Something tells me I won't get it.
When that time came, the woman wanted another drink, but her husband talked her into getting some soda, straight-up. Within seconds, she had dumped the drink all over her seat, all over the arm of her man’s UW sweatshirt and all over my bag under her seat. So they were moved across the aisle and thankfully passed out....
Friday, October 28, 2005
The news it came out in the Plame War
The bloody Fitzgerald was flying once more
The George Bush Command ignored all of its men
And called on Cheney to do it again
Was the night before Fitzmas and Miers’ no more
When Cheney went out in search of his foe
He spied Fitzgerald and deftly they fought
With things getting tight, Cheney knew he was caught
Fitzmas bells those Fitzmas bells
Ring out from the land
Asking peace of Democrats
And good will to man
Fitzgerald had Cheney dead in his sights
He preached to the Grand Jury to put up a fight
Why he di’n’t indict, well, we’ll never know
Or was it the bills, that the D.C. bestowed
Fitzmas bells those Fitzmas bells
Ringing through from the land
Asking peace of Democrats
And good will to man
Fitzgerald made Cheney give up Libby
And forced him to kiss Ted Kennedy’s behind
Cheney was certain that this was the end
When Fitzy cried out, “Merry Fitzmas, mein friend!”
Fitzgerald then offered Libby to toast
And Cheney our hero saluted his host
And then with a bore they were both on their way
Wond’rin’ if they’d meet on some other day
That silence you hear is the American public reacting to the indictment of Scooter Libby. May justice be done, but the Democrats are grossly overestimating how much this story resonantes with the American people.
(Headline idea gratuitously borrowed from Lakeshore Lament's "So this is Fitzmas?" post, which I found devilishly creative. Head over there for deeper analysis of 'Fitzmas'.)
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I'm not talking about "Plamegate." As I write no indictments have come up. I'm not talking about "Miers." I mean . . . the whole ball of wax. Everything. Cloning, nuts with nukes, epidemics; the growing knowledge that there's no such thing as homeland security; the fact that we're leaving our kids with a bill no one can pay. A sense of unreality in our courts so deep that they think they can seize grandma's house to build a strip mall; our media institutions imploding--the spectacle of a great American newspaper, the New York Times, hurtling off its own tracks, as did CBS. The fear of parents that their children will wind up disturbed, and their souls actually imperiled, by the popular culture in which we are raising them. Senators who seem owned by someone, actually owned, by an interest group or a financial entity. Great churches that have lost all sense of mission, and all authority. Do you have confidence in the CIA? The FBI? I didn't think so.Oh yeah, there's more where that came from. Just the stuff I like to read 2 months short of 30.
I'm trying to be a more optomistic person, so in response to Noonan, I would like to say that this feeling of the wheels coming off is cyclical. I would argue that there was a similar feel in the late 70's to early 80's, especially among those of a certain age bracket. But still, she brings up some worthy fears. I think the philosopher Billy Joel said it best when he said, "the good old days weren't always good, and tomorrow ain't bad as it seems."
A woman who took an unpaid leave of absence from work to see her husband off to war has been fired after failing to show up for her part-time receptionist job the day following his departure.It always pays to be careful with stories like this. Most employers have the common sense to know what a storm of public sentiment they would bring upon themselves for firing a woman for seeing her husband off to war. There is much more to this story than meets the eye. First, she was expected to show up for work the next day and she did not. Second, the employer says there are other factors involved in the discharge. In this case, I believe them. If they are guilty of anything, it is stupidity. If the woman deserved to be fired, they should have done it, but not at that time or for that reason.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
"It's an American custom that's got nothing to do with our culture," Kohler wrote in letters sent out to households. By midweek, the mayors of eight neighboring villages had thrown their support behind the boycott. So had local police, annoyed with the annual Oct. 31 uptick in vandalism and mischief.
And it's got purists in countries struggling to retain a sense of uniqueness in Europe's ever-enlarging melting pot grimacing like Jack o' Lanterns.
Halloween "undermines our cultural identity," complained the Rev. Giordano Frosini, a Roman Catholic theologian who serves as vicar-general in the Diocese of Pistoia near Florence, Italy.
Frosini denounced the holiday as a "manifestation of neo-paganism" and an expression of American cultural supremacy. "Pumpkins show their emptiness," he said.
Ahem. Halloween has its origins in the pagan rituals of Europe.
My karaoke recordings will not make me subject to this bounty. People enjoy them. After 10 to 12 beers.
Piling on is a thing I hate to do, and Ms. Miers is obviously a pleasant, useful, hard-working & harmless person who's been put in an impossible position by GWB's blundering. But reading her thoughts, messages & speeches is dismaying. I mean, the sheer, dreary, numbing m--e--d--i--o--c--r--i--t--y of them.
This is a person who never had an original or interesting thought in her life. Reading Miers is like suffocating under a mountain of polystyrene packing blobbles. What on earth does it say about the President that, knowing as he must have how completely and irredeemably second-rate she is, he would put her name forward?
The world, certainly in places like the Supreme Court, is a never-ending war of ideas. To ask which side of this war Ms. Miers would fight on is pointless. She doesn't know the war is under way; and if she knew, she'd probably think it could easily be brought to an end if we'd all just be nicer to each other.
This is a terrible, awful blunder by George W. Bush.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
*One of the sets of brakes on the bus "were seriously out of adjustment."
*The bus driver was not wearing his glasses, despite having a glasses restriction on his license.
*The bus driver may also have exceeded regulations for number of consecutive hours he was awake.
This information does not assign blame to the bus driver or anyone else. These are just possible contributing factors. The NTSB should be finishing up its investigation on Thursday
Too bad the media isn't listening. Take this AP article which is about urging calm. The lede is a winner:
People should not panic about a possible influenza pandemic, despite the steady spread of a deadly strain of avian flu among humans, leading health officials and politicians said on Tuesday.Nice job of editorializing the lede. The fact is it is misleading. Yes, 60 people have died in Asia, but human infections have yet to follow the migrating bird infections. And this article isn't the only example. Nearly every story about the spread of the bird flu fails to mention in a timely manner that it is only steadily spreading among birds, not humans.
Look, panic is a real possibility in the event the bird flu virus mutates and becomes easily transmitted between people. The media, in an effort to attract eyes, is being irresponsible and will bear much culpability if this were to occur. But they will blame everyone they can before their responsibility for panic becomes readily apparent.
Eh, maybe not. Then they'll probably double their volume with people looking for links to their blogs.
I don't really like making this generalization, because their are so many whose conservatism is affected by both faith and philosophy, and those individuals can be found on both sides of this fence. But in general, those who I'd define as faith-based conservatives, Miers opposition to abortion and evangelical faith are enough justification for her nomination. On the philosophical side, opponents seem to be saying, "that isn't enough, Miers needs to be a reliable constructionist in a host of topics."
Unfortunately, quality communication between the two sides has really broken down over this nomination, and while the divide will heal, I'm not sure it will be in the near future.
Her rise has not gone unnoticed by radical Islamic clerics in largely Hindu but officially secular India, home to some 130 million Muslims.
Mirza was given extra security last month after an Islamic cleric denounced her for wearing short skirts and sleeveless shirts on court and threatened to stop her playing in a WTA event in Kolkata.
America was built on the talents of people who came here because they were persecuted, misunderstood, or repressed in their native lands. There may be no group of people alive today who are being more persecuted and repressed than women who belong to certain Islamic sects. These women live a life that is slavery in all but name. A Sania Mirza is able to escape because of circumstance. But for every Mirza, there are probably hundreds of talented women who are having their spirit extinguished. There is no easy answer for the question, "how do we unlock their chains," but I don't even see anyone asking the question. Repressed women should be our natural ally in our struggle against radical Islam, but they are ignored by feminists as well as diplomats.
Monday, October 24, 2005
And actually, I'm leaning towards giving her a hearing. It would be risky, but I don't see any way Democrats could vote for her, given her position on abortion. A few defections on the Republican side, and the Democrats get to block a Supreme Court nominee. And I think it would leave them less able to block the next one without appearing blatantly obstructionist.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
"I've been a lifelong Democrat," the widely acclaimed smut peddlar said. "But I guess I'm going to have to find a third party or maybe some Republicans."The day I see Larry Flynt (R) is the day I start work on my bunker.
When you shine a light on quantum dots or apply electricity to them, they react by producing their own light, normally a bright, vibrant color. But when Bowers shined a laser on his batch of dots, something unexpected happened.
"I was surprised when a white glow covered the table," Bowers said. "The quantum dots were supposed to emit blue light, but instead they were giving off a beautiful white glow."
Then Bowers and another student got the idea to stir the dots into polyurethane and coat a blue LED light bulb with the mix. The lumpy bulb wasn't pretty, but it produced white light similar to a regular light bulb.
The new device gives off a warm, yellowish-white light that shines twice as bright and lasts 50 times longer than the standard 60 watt light bulb.
This invention is probably years from seeing commercial use, but it could render the light bulb of today obsolete by the time our grandkids or great grandkids (depending on your current stage in life) arrive on the scene.
I know we all look to bring in traffic in variety of ways, but I see few blogs willing to put their money where their keyboards are and actually advertise their sites. Any thoughts?
*It is amazing how much this movie underestimated the intestinal fortitude of the American people in the face of terror.
*It is eery to see the twin towers in a skyline shot during a movie about terrorism in NYC.
*Did you know Arianna Huffington makes a brief appearance in the movie? In her shot, she's on a talk show arguing in favor of martial law following terrorist attacks. Think she'd take that position now that she's become a Democrat?
*In 1998, Hollywood was still willing to portray Islamic terrorists. Now that we've taken a grievous hit from Islamic terrorists, Hollywood avoids them like the plague.
*Things the movie got right: Terrorists using student Visas, their willingness to attack schools, and the need to put pressure on every source available to get the intel needed.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
The president is like anyone else: He can look back at the last few years and see that he's made mistakes. Who hasn't? Mistakes of judgment, mistakes of approach. Some of the mistakes in the president's case would have grown out of human miscalculation. Others perhaps grew out of vanity, of a largeness of ego. It's not hard to make a list. There were mistakes of judgment, such as Social Security. Mr. Bush decided to reform the bedrock entitlement of modern America in even though, while most thought reform important, few thought it urgent. Why would he do this? And in the middle of a war and an uncertain economic climate? I'm George Bush and I only do big things!Her thesis is that the President, in the interest of saving his political family, needs to take a deep, hard look inside and question his mistakes and adjust. But that assumes that the President does or would view Noonan's examples as mistakes. He likely doesn't, which means Nonan's entire argument is for naught. Sometimes mistakes are in the eye of the beholder, and in this case, I don't think that beholder is the President.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Teen Saxophonist displays courage after crash, Part 1
Teen Saxophonist displays courage after crash, Part 2
The stories put the reader in bus 1, and they highlight two of the people who rose to the occasion, Todd Bowe and Kyra Sommerfeld.
"If you think she's seems brilliant and sassy strutting around the Middle East, you should try talking to her in person," Executive Producer Amy Sherman-Palladino said in a statement. "We are very honored, very lucky, and soooo not worthy."Soooo not worthy? What, did the closet Republicans on the set start waving their hands in front of their face, chanting "doodlie-doo, doodlie-doo, doodlie-doo"?
Party on, Wayne. Party on, Madelline.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Our goal at DHS (Homeland Security) is to completely eliminate the 'catch and release' enforcement problem, and return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions.Oh, Mr. Chertoff. I bet you tell all of the disgruntled conservative opponents of illegal immigration that.
"It should be possible to achieve significant and measurable progress to this end in less than a year," Chertoff told a Senate hearing.
Kozlowski’s truck overturned one or two minutes before the bus carrying students, staff members and chaperones in the Chippewa Falls Senior High School Fighting Cardinals marching band crashed into it, accident investigators said.That is a little bit disturbing. I'm very familiar with that stretch of road. It is very, very dark on moonless nights and a little hilly with some sweeping curves, but no real blind spots. As long as the semi driver still had his lights on the truck (the trailer would have been difficult or impossible to see tipped on its side), the bus driver should have been able to see something was wrong ahead of him and been able to at least slow and greatly minimize the impact. If the lights were off on the truck, and the driver turned them off, then he is in a lot of trouble. If the truck lost all lighting due to the jackknife, then the logistics of this whole thing makes more sense.
I hesitate to even bring this up because the reports on how this accident played out are still so dicey, but there is something odd about that one or two minutes in between events.
I think voters are becoming more and more savvy, and I hope other voters in town noticed the same things I did and voted no. If the school district wants to come back and ask voters for the expenditures separately, and set end dates on the spending, I'll gladly reconsider. But if they feel they need to put these slippery referendums in front of us, I'll vote no every time.
Welcome Boots & Sabers readers. I wish I had the text of the referendum to show to you all, but I've been unable to find it. Still working on that, though.
This referendum failed. 60% voted no, 40% voted yes.
Support her or not, Harriet Miers will have to be nearly perfect in her confirmation hearings. Politicians love expediency. This nomination has been beset by enough headaches that if she slips up once, the Senate will take the easiest path and vote against her.
As they rode in the ambulance, they began to argue about the wreck. And that's when Patrick allegedly socked Lazier in the face. Heh. Maybe there is a future for Patrick in NASCAR, after all. Jaques Lazier today, Robby Gordon tomorrow.
Monday, October 17, 2005
The Miers nomination shows the strength of the conservative movement. This is no "crackup." It's a crackdown. We conservatives are unified in our objectives. And we are organized to advance them. The purpose of the Miers debate is to ensure that we are doing the very best we can to move the nation in the right direction. And when all is said and done, we will be even stronger and more focused on our agenda and defeating those who obstruct it, just in time for 2006 and 2008. Lest anyone forget, for several years before the 1980 election, we had knockdown battles within the GOP. The result: Ronald Reagan won two massive landslides.I'm coming around, everyone. But I still remain concerned.
The real crackup has already occurred--on the left! The Democratic Party has been hijacked by 1960s retreads like Howard Dean; billionaire eccentrics like George Soros; and leftwing computer geeks like Moveon.org. It nominated John Kerry, a notorious Vietnam-era antiwar activist, as its presidential standard-bearer. Its major spokesmen are old extremists like Ted Kennedy and new propagandists like Michael Moore. Its great presidential hope is one of the most divisive figures in U.S. politics, Hillary Clinton. And its favorite son is an impeached, disbarred, held-in-contempt ex-president, Bill Clinton.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Douglas Greenhalgh, 48Douglas Greenhalgh was the shool's band director, Therese his wife, and Morgan their granddaughter. Brandon Atherton was a student teacher, and Paul Rasmus was the bus driver.
Therese Greenhalgh, 51
Morgan Greenhalgh, 11
Brandon Atherton, 24
Paul Rasmus, 78
I went to Chi-Hi, and I met Greenhalgh several times, but I never had him as an instructor. I remember Greenhalgh being much beloved by his students, who often referred to him with the affectionate nickname "Gee". His bands were always excellent, and they were an asset to the community. The credit for that belongs to him. He will be missed by the city, the school, and the students.
This will be especially difficult for the Greenhalgh family. They should be in all of our prayers. It will also be difficult for current students and staff, and also all of Greenhalgh's past students.
Please also include the Rasmus and Atherton families in your prayers.
Greenhalgh's Life Struck an Upbeat Note
Fatal crash kills school band director
Tragedy hits students so close to home
Word of crash spreads, community unites
Eau Claire Leader Telegram
Deadly accident shocks Chi-Hi (part 1)
Deadly accident shocks Chi-Hi (part 2)
Most students were sleeping at time of crash
Driver had license suspended in April
Hours of work to free kids added to rescuers' horror
Nearly home, a nightmare
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Bus hits overturned semi
Oh, and Gary, if I ever find myself in your neck of the woods for a Packer-Giants game, we're going to get together to watch it. At a Packer bar.
When I write my book, I'll remember all of you in the prologue.
Chippewa Falls is a small city of almost 13,000, and this is going to be a big tragedy for the community. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
I've put more on the actual accident over at the Badger Blog Alliance, and updates will occur there.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
A Diane Sykes candidacy for the SCOTUS is far more viable than the
mainstream media have reported. I received this email from a Conservative
A friend of ours (NAME REMOVED BY ME) was in Washington the last
week of September lobbying with REMOVED BY ME. He said when they were in
(Congressman Jim) Sensenbrenner's office, Sensenbrenner on his own brought up
the topic of SCOTUS. Bear in mind this was before Miers was announced as
nominee. Sensenbrenner told the small group assembled that Bush's next nominee
would NOT be confirmed and that Bush's next nominee (after that) was going to be
McBride goes on to list a series of points that show how politically advantageous a Sykes nomination could be. If the Miers nomination fails, and the President followed it up with a Sykes nomination, I would gladly forgive and forget the last few weeks the President has put us through.
I'm no longer angry. I'm now disappointed and squeamish. My gut is screaming at me that, contrary to conventional wisdom, Miers is going to be to the left of Sandra Day O'Conner. My political sense tells me that this choice has caused a deep cut on the Republican party that will heal, but for which a hard scar will remain. Former easy allies within the party faithful will now have standing distrust of one another. Some blame the supporters. Some blame the opponents. Some blame Bush. It doesn't matter anymore who you blame. This choice has brought us to this reality. The question is where will our President lead us from here? So I wait. To me, George W. Bush's legacy depends partly on whether he can lead a government capable of keeping us safe from terrorists. The other part of his legacy depends upon where he tries to lead us domestically from this point right now. I watch, willing to be led, but without any confidence that I will be.
The President may be disappointed in the perceived disloyalty of messages like this (not that he has any clue of my existence), but it is his job to inspire those like me, to instill our confidence in him, and to lead us. It is not my job to follow blindly. I sit and wait, Mr. President. Where now?
Let me begin this message by removing any awkwardness. I'm married, and I ain't interested in ya. Good, now that we have that out of the way, we can talk.
Ladies, I'm sure that the search for the right man is a difficult one. Guys can be obnoxious, testosterone filled pick up line machines. I know that when you go out for a simple night with the girls, you have to put up with a lot of unwanted attention from guys who are looking for one thing. And when you are out on the town actually looking for guys, it is even worse. So I sympathize with your various tricks to throw these blood hounds of your tracks. You need to do things like give out fake numbers, but we really need to discuss your etiquette.
Fake numbers is the tactic I'd like to discuss with you. Giving them out is a necessity at times, I realize this. The only way you are going to get rid of some drunk, over-earnest frat boys is to give them a fake number. But you cannot keep giving out the same fake number over and over. And for the love of God, do not toy with these schlubs by promising them certain 'favors' if they call it. Let me tell you why.
One of your sisters in singlehood, a young woman whose name is apparently Jackie, likes to give out a fake number to guys that she wants to get rid of. She also promises them 'favors' if they call her. The problem is, Jackie always gives out the same fake number-my cell number. The first time I got a call in the middle of the night from some drunk loser looking for any easy piece from Jackie, it was kind of funny. But it got annoying quick. Frankly, I'm tired of getting calls from Jackie's drunken schlubs on Friday and Saturday nights. I'm tired of the weepy drunks who think there really is a Jackie here. I'm tired of the angry drunks who think I got with Jackie and now I'm trying to shield her from them. And I'm really tired of the guys who feel the need to tell me what obscene thing she promised them if they called. And the worst part about it is this is my cell number, so I have to pay to listen to this crap in the middle of the night.
Ladies, I know it is tough wading through a sea of jackasses trying to find a knight in shining armor. But you don't need saddle some other soul you've never met with it all. Spread the love and change your fake number up. Give a lot of people a chuckle. I've had my chuckle. Frankly, if I ever find out who Jackie is, her number is going to be on the restroom wall of every truck stop between here and New York City. Ladies, don't be a Jackie.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Okay, back? It is looking like no felony level crimes were committed, just misdameaners like prostitution, drug use, and possibly harrasment, although no charges have been filed yet. Given that no one was hurt, how can you not sit back and enjoy this story as a Packer fan? Finally, the Vikings give us a team that can make up their own punchlines. For example: How bad are the Vikings? So bad they can only score in their bye week, or How do you convert a tight end into a wide receiver? I dunno, ask Fred Smoot.
This must sting Viking fans to no end. So as the Packers swirl down the drain, it's nice to see the Vikings will beat us there.
The AP is reporting that a Bush teleconference billed as a talk with the troops was "staged":
It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution.Okay, where to start. First, let's look at the word "staged." The perception that this word gives is that the soldiers had their answers scripted for them and were given performance cues. Not only is their no evidence of this, there is no claim of it. The use of staged in the headline is either an act of sensationalism, or it is just plain sloppy journalism by use of inaccurate words.
Next, let's look at the claim the questions were choreographed. What the hell does that mean, exactly? Are questions only choreographed when President Bush has a media event designed to get the message of the administration out to the wider public? What about when a President Clinton would ask pointed questions of a single mother when trying to get, say, his government health care message out? Every President uses these events to get a message out, and every President uses questions and carefully chosen, sympathetic audiences in order to get their message across. The advantage for an anti-Bush reporter in using "choreographed" is they can make the event look fake and contrived. I'm fine with that, as long as they shoot down all events of these types by politicians of all party affiliations. And they can start by calling Bill Clinton's patented lip bite "choreographed."
If you read the article a little further, you see that the author tries to make this teleconference look like a movie set even more by pointing out that Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Alison Barber asked that two bottles be removed from the shot, gave a quick pep talk to the soldiers, and arranged in what order people would answer questions. I'll bet you a dollar that when the networks had their "common man" panels after the Presidential debates last year, they prepped the panel in much the same way. Does that mean that their panels were just contrived events, or does that mean they are trying to make the segment go as smoothly as possible with the fewest possible distractions for the viewers.
The left wonders how the right can see the media as liberal. I give you exhibit 'A'.
Just two additional items of note.
One of the soldiers involved in Bush's teleconference had a blog. He discusses it here.
If staged is what you want, NBC shows how it's really done.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
"TV is trash. I was raised without it. We don't have magazines or newspapers in the house either."This from the woman who has done as much to trash up television as anyone. I'm not sure whether I should roll my eyes or applaud her for responsible parenting. Perhaps I'll do both.
Interesting note, though. It was interesting to see that Europe already viewed Americans as louts early in the twentieth century. If you are looking for an opera with an idyllic American hero, this ain't the one for you.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
(Cross posted at the BBA)
The Gang of 14’s centrist Democratic and Republican senators met and gave preliminary approval yesterday to Harriet Miers as President Bush’s nominee to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court.Nothing is codified on this, so it is not unconstitutional or illegal, but it is disturbing that they managed to accumulate this power above and beyond what the Constitution and Senate rules normally gives senators in the process. Legally.
(Outh. Kin thumbone hewp me git ma tounge outta my cheek?)
Heavy rain and hailstorms in northern Pakistan further hampered efforts on Tuesday, grounding rescue flights and a planned aerial tour of stricken areas by the prime minister.Death tolls from this past year's disasters do not compare to the death tolls of some past disasters, but hailstorms? What's next for that region? Locusts?
Oh, and I'll say what so few have so far. I feel terrible for all the victims of this tragedy but one. I hope Osama is buried in a cave somewhere.
Monday, October 10, 2005
If there is a silver lining to all of this, it is that this is happening now and not 6 months or a year from now. Just the same, Democrats might have something to gain from torpedoing this pick.
*The elitism charge is funny. The uproar is more about Bush than it is about Miers. So it is elitist to criticize an Ivy league educated President?
*The sexism charge is funny. Most of the critics are supporters of candidates such as Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen.
*I've always been baffled by the left's claim that Bush is a "neo-con." He's always been willing to cross conservatives.
*The fracture lines within the Republican Party aren't exactly clear, as much as some are wanting to portray them to be.
*I just said recently that I thought the Republican party was more susceptible to a schism than the Democratic party. This isn't going to result in schism, but I also think this is indicative of how fractious the Republican base can be.
*I JUST CAN'T STOP POSTING ON THIS. SOMEONE BREAK MY FINGERS, PLEASE.
*I take that back, don't break my fingers. Kick me in the shins, maybe?
6. If Miers is indeed confirmed, will conservative pundits regain their focus?Depends on what one considers focus. In the 2000 primaries, there was question as to how conservative George W. Bush really was, and the result of that was the "Compassionate Conservative." That rankled a few pundits back then, and it wasn't entirely convincing. Anytime someone has to put an adjective in front of Conservative, there is reason to worry a bit. I don't think a lot of pundits were really convinced of Bush's conservativism until late 2001 into 2002. Even then, there were nagging issues in Bush's agenda to question how conservative he really was. But I think most pundits put their faith in him. There was hope he was more of a Reagan than a Bush 41. This debate, combined with the Pork debate that preceded it, has eroded that faith. The pundits may in fact have a sharper focus on Bush's conservative failures. There may not be free passes for decidedly non-conservative legislation like the Medicare expansion and No Child Left Behind were. His conservative credentials are starting to look a bit shaky.
If by "focus" we mean "just going after Democrats in order to further Republican gains," then I wouldn't count on it, but a lot of that will depend on Bush himself. If he can again convince everyone of his conservative credentials, then pundits will probably go back to their usual targets. I'm not sure how likely that is, though. I think a lot of pundits have been willing to reason away Bush's non-conservative streaks, but I don't think he'll get that slack any longer. But if by "focus" we mean criticizing those who are due criticism, then I'd say yes. The problem with that definition, though, is that to some of us that means the punditry has had focus all along.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Very few are as eloquent as Mark Steyn, but if I have one piece of advice for you, it is to follow Steyn's example. Steyn's column today in the Chicago Sun-Times is very even handed and offers reasonable reasons why conservatives should have some confidence in this nomination. If you truly want the party re-unified, then you've got to stop attacking and you've got to put your rhetorical gun powder away.
"We wanted something that was real war - Smurfs losing arms, or a Smurf losing a head -but they said no."Most people have an ingrained sense of right and wrong. Yes, they will be shocked by the animated bombing of innocent Smurfs. But do you think anyone would bat an eyelash at the bombing of, say, Gargamel? Probably not. So instead of sending a message, this is just another example of emotional manipulation for the purpose of propaganda.
The algae Didymosphenia geminata, commonly called rock snot, has been found in at least a half-dozen key trout fishing rivers on South Island and Biosecurity New Zealand officials began testing rivers in North Island on Friday for signs of infestation.
The algae, which covers rocks and is reported to have originated in Canada, makes waterways look grey and polluted, smothers the insects fish eat and can clump on to fishing lines and lures.
Hopefully New Zealand won't be afflicted next with Canadian boogers like Alan Thicke.
And as for the Packers victory today. It was a pleasant three hours of Packer football, but it didn't change my opinion of this team. Medicocre teams occasionally have big games. Think about two things. First, this was the most points scored by the Packers since 1983-a mediocre team. Barnet's interception return for a TD was the longest since 1986 (a game I remember). Again, the '86 team was mediocre. They've not turned a corner, they just came up against a team worse off than they are.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
In the case of my local school district, they've done a nice job of convincing me that they've worked hard to cut non-admistrative/teacher costs, and they've done a so-so job of telling exactly how the money will be spent. I was leaning yes until I saw the above signs pop up around town. The "Vote Yes for Kids" campaign may have just pissed away my vote.
Look, unless Miers really screws up her hearings, she is going to be a Supreme Court Justice. The Democrats are going to do everything in their power to see to that in the hopes she'll be another O'Conner. Let this opposition play its role. The President is not infallible, and Republicans have not expressed feality to him. This opposition will be good in the long run, if the President learns from it. Trust me.