Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Samuel Alito has finally been confirmed as Sandra Day O’Conner’s replacement on the Supreme Court. The fight, both internal against the Miers nomination and external against the Democrats, has been well worth it. This moves the court a little bit further towards a constructionist imterpretation of the constitution, but not reliably. Justice Kennedy becomes the new wild card. If Bush gets another nomination, and he probably will, the fur is really going to fly because it will be that nomination which could make the court reliably constructionist.
Hoping to ease the nightmare of flying next to a crashing bore, a company in New York will match like-minded passengers to help make the time fly.One of my greatest flying pleasures ever took place in early 2004. I had a Sunday afternoon flight from Denver to Milwaukee, and I was seated next to a young woman from an Ivy League school I forget which) who was on her way back to her classes. She was dressed in the shabby, grubby manner of an activist, and her oversized purse was plastered with buttons shouting out feminist slogans and political buttons for Clinton-Gore, Gore-Lieberman, Howard Dean, John Edwards, and John Kerry (she was obviously covering her bases). So I sat quietly beside her until just before take off, at which point I pulled out a couple of issues of National Review to read and watched her squirm for three hours. I waited and waited for her to say something, but not a sound came out of her mouth the entire trip.
Inspired by a flight where he found himself happily seated next to Miss Texas, company founder Peter Shankman says he set up AirTroductions to give travelers a chance to choose their seatmates.
"It is for anyone who travels who does not want to have to deal with the psychological hell of sitting 2 inches from someone you don't know for eight hours," he said.
Crimes committed by elderly people in Japan have risen sharply in the past 15 years, a trend that has officials worried as the population ages rapidly due to longer lifespans and a falling birth rate.I don't see this problem developing here in the states. I suspect the aging baby boomers will be enjoying their medicinal marijuana too much to harm anyone. Which reminds me, I need to move some of my retirement money into Frito-Lay.
Police data shows that people aged 65 and older accounted for more than 10 percent of those arrested or taken into custody for crimes other than traffic violations in Japan in 2005, compared with just 2.2 percent in 1990, the Asahi newspaper said on Monday, citing National Police Agency data.
Did anyone else think that W's praise of Bill Clinton, which was all over my AOL startup menu yesterday, was sly sabotage of Hillary (grossing out the Kossacks)?Heh. It doesn't take much to get the Kossacks' noses out of joint, so while it isn't likely a Bush strategy, it just might throw a monkey wrench in Hillary's doomed attempt at triangulation.
Monday, January 30, 2006
The article opened with this story:
When a Brookfield alderman launched a Web site to promote and pummel candidates in local elections, he took a step that perhaps no other blogger in Wisconsin has taken.
He registered under state campaign finance rules as an independent person trying to influence voters.
Ald. Scott Berg even filled out a form listing every elected official and challenger he would advocate for and against on his site, www.brookfield2006.com. He signed an oath that he is operating independent of any candidate.
Berg says he's being careful and following the letter of the law - even if he thinks it infringes on his right to free speech.
I undersand Berg's CYA here, but I resent it just the same. By voluntarily registering, Berg has made the rest of us just a little bit weaker in our efforts to stand up for our rights to free political speech. Blogs should not have to receive any exemptions or be consider any other type of "safe" speech. They are what they are, citizen exercises of the First Ammendment. Pardon my language, but Congress and the courts can kiss my ass if they think they are going to regulate my political speech without me fighting them every step of the way on it.
"I wish I knew," Favre said. "I still know I can play. I still love to play. But there's just so much more to it than that now. I never thought it would be complicated, never thought I would give out mentally before I did physically.
"But right now if I had to pick, if someone said make a damn decision and live with it, I would say I'm not coming back."
The Favre era could be coming to a close, and nobody in Wisconsin looks forward to the uncertainity that brings to our fall Sundays.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
President George W. Bush says Bill Clinton has become so close to his father that the Democratic former president is like a member of the family.
Former President George Bush has worked with Clinton to raise money for victims of the Asian tsunami and the hurricane disaster along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Asked about his father and Clinton, Bush quipped, "Yes, he and my new brother."
If there are two former Presidents who really shouldn't have liked each other all that much, it is Clinton and Bush. It's nice to see two former presidents set an example like this. Not liking someone's politics does not automatically mean you have to dislike the person.
SPIELBERG: I think we all have been given our marching orders ... Maybe I shouldn't get into this. [Pause] I just feel that filmmakers are much more proactive since the second Bush administration. I think that everybody is trying to declare their independence and state their case for the things that we believe in. No one is really representing us, so we're now representing our own feelings, and we're trying to strike back.
So Bush has been good for film?
SPIELBERG: I wouldn't just say Bush. The whole neo-conservative movement.
CLOONEY: Because it's polarizing. I'm not going to sit up and say, "This is how you should think." But let's at least acknowledge that there should be an open debate, and not be told that it's unpatriotic to ask questions. Steven, you're taking it from all sides right now.
The question of interest here is has George Bush been good for film. Spielberg and Clooney in particular think that yes, he has, because the 'unpopular' decisions of Bush & the neo-cons have pushed film makers to force through movies (see article) that make people think more. Okay, fine, that is their opinion. I'm curious what their definition of good is, though. If a 4 to 6 percent drop in attendance from 2004 is good, then yeah, I guess we all have to thank them for taking a stance against the evil Bush through their movies.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
<>A brain-damaged 11-year-old girl who was nearly removed from life support before she suddenly began breathing on her own was moved to a rehabilitation center Thursday.
Haleigh Poutre had been hospitalized since September with severe brain injuries that authorities say were inflicted by her stepfather and adoptive mother.>
Less than two weeks ago, the state Department of Social Services won approval from the state's highest court to remove Haleigh from life support, saying she would never recover from her vegetative state. But a day later, she started showing signs of improvement, and she was weaned off her ventilator.
Now, agency officials said, Haleigh can move her eyes toward where she hears a sound.
"There's so much absolute hope now," department spokeswoman Denise Monteiro.
Who knows how much better Haleigh can get with rehab, but thankfully the state was wrong. They still need to throw the book at her father.
The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.
The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, "Saddam's Secrets," released this week. He detailed the transfers in an interview yesterday with The New York Sun.
"There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands," Mr. Sada said. "I am confident they were taken over."
Mr. Sada's comments come just more than a month after Israel's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam "transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria."
Is it true? Maybe, maybe not. The General is trying to sell books. But so much has been quietly made about the probability that Iraq shipped WMD off to Syria before the war, and it never seems to get a lot of coverage in major media. I'd like to see one of our major news services do a series on it to prove or disprove it once and for all. I'm not holding my breath on that, though.
A prominent member of Canada's incoming Conservative government said Wednesday the party will stand behind its promise to arm border guards, a day after guards fled their posts because two murder suspects were heading for the border from California.
Vic Toews, who will soon be a part of the government after serving as Canada's justice critic in opposition, said he did not relish the sight of Canadian border guards leaving their posts as gunmen approached.
Some unarmed guards abandoned their posts at four crossings along the British Columbia border on Tuesday when they heard the murder suspects were coming their way, said Paula Shore, a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency.
They aren't guarding much if they run away at the first sign of danger. Their border guards should be armed. They shouldn't trust us thugs to the south, anyway. ;-)
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Iran is showing clear, if at times anecdotal or circumstantial, evidence that it plans to annihilate Israel with a nuclear strike. Now would be the time to prevent this, but world opinion is tinted with anti-semitism and antipathy towards Israel. The world, while concerned, also does not appear to have the will to do now what would be much more painful later, which is to eliminate Iran's nuclear threat. Must we wait until Tel Aviv or a Western city is burning under a mushroom cloud before we are willing to act?
If we will have a saving grace here, it is national self interest. Israel is in a position to take preventive actions itself this time. Unfortunately, that may be the least palatable option as it may seriously destabilize portions of the Middle East. A nuclear tipped Iran is also a significant threat to the United States, which is Iran has declared over and over to be an enemy, the "Great Satan." I'm still not sure if there is the will to go through with eliminating Iran's nuclear threat, though.
I can be very wary of "learning from history," because it is very easy to learn the wrong lessons sometimes, or to learn the right lesson but then mis-apply it to the present. In this case, though, we are probably seeing some strong parallels between the past and the present. What we do in the next year or show how much wisdom man has accumulated over 65 to 70 years.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Men in Mexican military-style uniforms crossed the Rio Grande into the United States on a marijuana-smuggling foray, leading to an armed confrontation with Texas law officers, authorities said Tuesday. No shots were fired.
The men retreated and escaped back across the border with much of the pot, though they abandoned more than a half-ton of marijuana as they fled and set fire to one of their vehicles, authorities said.
The Mexican government denied its military was involved.
Despite Mexico's denial, it is difficult to confirm whether these individuals were or were not associated with the Mexican army. Corruption is common enough that it is possible these were Mexican soldiers doing a little moonlighting.
Monday, January 23, 2006
There were dueling abortion rallies in San Francisco this weekend, and one notable participant in the pro-choice rally had written on her pregnant belly, "My baby is pro-choice." I'm sure, if we could all communicate with a developing baby, it would be pro-choice, but pro his or her own choice, not its mom's. And I'm pretty sure that it would choose to get the hell out of its mom's womb as soon as possible to make sure she didn't take the opportunity to trump its choice with her own.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Thursday, January 19, 2006
France said on Thursday it would be ready to use nuclear weapons against any state that carried out a terrorist attack against it, reaffirming the need for its nuclear deterrent.Okay, so if France is threatened with anihilation during war, they won't use nukes. If, however, they came under terrorist attack, they will? That is logic that just doesn't add up-in other words, it is very French logic. Something tells me nukes are to France as $200,000 sports cars are to guys with little...nevermind.
Deflecting criticism of France's costly nuclear arms program, President Jacques Chirac said security came at a price and France must be able to hit back hard at a hostile state's centers of power and its "capacity to act."
He said there was no change in France's overall policy, which rules out the use of nuclear weapons in a military conflict. But his speech pointed to a change of emphasis to underline the growing threat France perceives from terrorism.
(Reuters) - Warning comes in audio tape, the TV network says. Bin Laden says new attacks are under preparation, Al Jazeera says. Details to follow.
As I see it, we really have two choices. We can be pragmatic conservatives, working off of the motto, "Yeah, they're asshats, but they're our asshats." That means putting politics above conservatism. After all, the majorities in our State and Federal legislative bodies are important if we want to accomplish any of our goals. Our alternate choice is to be "conviction" conservatives. In other words, we can apply the conservative value of personal responsibility to ourselves when it comes to Republican representatives who fail to represent us. Yes, those elected Republicans are doing stupid things, but we put them there, and we can bring them home. This isn't without its perils. Convinction on personal responsibility means backing, supporting, and volunteering for stronger conservative candidates who can defeat tarnished Republicans and/or RINOs in primaries while sending a message to the party that we won't support the incumbent. These primary fights inevitably mean that Republicans will lose seats in legislatures, though, because they will weaken whichever Republican wins.
The majority of us right now are trying to walk somewhere in between "pragmatic" and "conviction" conservatism, myself included. We can complain from the middle all we want, but it isn't going to accomplish much. Yeah, the subjects of our ire will make little concessions to us, but once we are quieted down, they'll be back to business as usual We either resign ourselves to the nature of politics and accept that more often than not, most Republican representatives will not be as conservative as we'd like while also working to raise the stature of solid conservatives, or we actually take personal responsibility for the less than conservatives we've elected and do something about it. Otherwise, get used to a whole lot more of the same in coming years. Such is the business of being the majority.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Hillary Clinton is not a sure thing for the Presidency in 2008. She isn't even a sure thing for her own party's nomination in 2008. Hillary's supporters are loud and passionate, and I think that is why it appears that she has enough momentum to be a sure thing, but she doesn't have solid backing from the left. If you go to some of the harder left liberal blogs and message boards, you'll see that she does not have a great deal of support from the far left. In fact, I'd say that there is a certain amount of amnity towards her on the far left because she hasn't been anti-war enough for their tastes. It is going to take something radical on her part to get the far left to come behind her in force, and she will need the far left because they drive the Democratic party today. Her current support seems to be strongest with the standard Democrat, but she could risk that if she goes to far to appeal to the far left. And as much as she attempts to triangulate, I think she'll be susceptible to losing moderate Democrats if Republicans were to choose their candidate wisely.
Then there is what I'll call Hillary's "Tammy Wynette" trait, to coin a term. She has a habit of occasionally spitting out something that is out of rhythm with a lot of American people. As Ariana Huffington noted yesterday, Hillary has a tin ear that leads her into situations Bill Clinton never would have gotten into. When everybody starts gearing up for the presidential race in late 2007, Hillary will live with cameras in her face. She is going to have ample opportunity to show off that tin ear, and I fully expect her to do so. I also expect that it could derail her efforts to even get the nomination.
Saying that anyone is a sure bet for the presidency almost 3 years before the election even takes place is foolish, especially if that person is Hillary Clinton. Is she a big threat at this point to win the job? Certainly. She has her issues she has to deal with, though, and is anything but a lock.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Actually Hillary, I don't know what you mean. I'd appreciate it if you would elaborate on your analogy in detail. Please, when you explain, stand closer to the microphone, please.
Arianna Huffington gets it right on this one. Especially about Hillary's tin ear. That's why I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary has her own, more subdued Dean moment during the 2008 Presidential primaries.
Irony, thy name is academia. Today’s academia revels in its rabble rousing past, particularly its dissent during the Vietnam War. It also romanticizes the free exchange of ideas. But in today’s universities, speech codes are common, ideas are only welcome if they fit into a liberal orthodoxy, and dissent is most unwelcome. Do the professors of today not understand that they have turned higher learning into a liberal version of the academic structure they so rebelled against thirty to forty years ago?
I consider myself fortunate. I thought I was a liberal for most of my college years. I espoused some views that, in hindsight, were quite conservative though. I by and large avoided trouble by quickly learning how far I could and could not push individual professors (I still earned myself a little trouble). Only God knows how much trouble I’d have gotten myself into during my college years if it weren’t for my naïveté and a little common sense.
The majority of Iran's population is younger than the revolution: whether or not they're as "pro-American" as is sometimes claimed, they have no memory of the Shah; all they've ever known is their ramshackle Islamic republic where the unemployment rate is currently 25 per cent. If war breaks out, those surplus young men will be in uniform and defending their homeland.
Why not tap into their excess energy right now? As the foreign terrorists have demonstrated in Iraq, you don't need a lot of local support to give the impression (at least to Tariq Ali and John Pilger) of a popular insurgency. Would it not be feasible to turn the tables and upgrade Iran's somewhat lethargic dissidents into something a little livelier? A Teheran preoccupied by internal suppression will find it harder to pull off its pretensions to regional superpower status.
Who else could we stir up? Well, did you see that story in the Sunday Telegraph? Eight of the regime's border guards have been kidnapped and threatened with decapitation by a fanatical Sunni group in Iranian Baluchistan. I'm of the view that the Shia are a much better long-term bet as reformable Muslims, but given that there are six million Sunni in Iran and that they're a majority in some provinces, would it not be possible to give the regime its own Sunni Triangle?
Destabilization is never a very paletable option in international relations for the West. The West prefers stability as it offers predictability. Also, there is no guarentee that the destabilization of Iran would work, or even get off the ground. I remember an article from about a year ago where some Iranian young adults where quoted as saying that they wished the American troops had gone through Iraq and kept going into Iran. To me, that says that while Iran's youth may not like their current regime, they don't have much interest in taking things into their own hands, either. Still, this idea of Steyn's may be the best option available to the West when it comes to restraining Iran's nuclear threats.
Monday, January 16, 2006
Sunday, January 15, 2006
I know many Iraq War opponents will want to jump in here and somehow make this about Iraq. It isn't, and by trying to tie the two together, you may be obfuscating the one chance that exists to prevent a nuclear war started by Iran. If anything, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have given the United States the perfect platform to prevent Iran's nuclear ambitions from ever getting off the ground. Ambitions which, I might add, precede 9-11. History seems to be working against that, though. The anti-war movement's growth since the Vietnam Era has made this country politcally weary when it comes to the wise preventative use of warfare. Taking on Iran would be problematic and messy, and it does not appear that the United States will have the will to do this without the support of Europe, and Europe doesn't have the will for anything that cannot be cleanly completed in a 35 hour work week. History may look back on this as the world's latest failure to prevent what will seem in hindsight to be inevitable.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
The Humvee is a great military vehicle, but it may not be the best vehicle for the type of warfare we are fighting in Iraq. New vehicles cannot be designed, tested, and mass produced overnight, though, and soldiers and the military have done an admirable job of adjusting to the enemy and modifying the Humvee to offer added protection to its inhabitants. New vehicles, such as The Rock, are being designed to address the problems facing vehicles like the Humvee. As long as there is war, though, our enemies will find a way to circumvent the protections of an armored vehicle. Being a soldier in theater is a dangerous job, and the risks to life and limb can never be fully negated. The best you can ask of the soldiers and the military is to adjust to threats in order to better protect soldiers. That is being done. You cannot expect the military to find a way to place an impenetrable bubble around soldiers because those would be expectations that can never be met.
Friday, January 13, 2006
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, kinda near Garden Grove and Orange, not to mention Santa Ana, in California, official team of John Wayne airport
I was in L.A. and Anaheim last year around this time, and billboards for Angels season tickets were all over the place. I sympathize with the owner's attempt to increase the Angels visibility in the Southern California/greater Los Angeles market, but I think the city has a strong case. Personally, I hope the judge strikes a compromise-returning to the only name that sounds right-the California Angels.
I can't help but think that, while there are excellent individual teachers out there, the overall quality of teachers is at an all time low. Here is another example of a teacher who does something stupid:
A high school research assignment on Internet pornography was canceled after parents in this Cleveland suburb complained.
Superintendent Jeff Lampert said that although the teacher's apparent goal _ to discuss the harmful effects of pornography _ was well- intentioned, he agreed with parents that the assignment was inappropriate for 14- and 15-year-old freshmen at Brooklyn High.
The teacher is going to get away with this without facing any punishment. The assignment was to research pornography on the internet, list 8 facts, and share their personal feelings and experiences with it. Think about that for a moment. Researching pornography on the net. I dare anyone out there to research porn on the net without happening upon many pages that are supposed to be restricted to those over 18 years of age. And asking 14 and 15 year olds to share their personal experiences with porn? Come on. What kind of a teacher makes this assignment? It is an a assignment that might be appropriate in a University setting. It is completely inappropriate at the secondary level.
This story dove tails with John Stossel's Stupid in America on 20/20 tonight.
But now it seems we need to think again. In a discovery that has left climate scientists gasping, researchers have found that the earth's vegetation is churning out vast quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent even than CO2. This is not a product of trees and plants rotting, which everyone already knew was a source of methane; it is an entirely natural side-effect of plant growth that scientists had somehow missed. Yet it is by no means trivial: preliminary estimates suggest that living trees and plants account for about 10 to 30 per cent of the methane entering the atmosphere.
(Tongue in cheek alert!) This means two things. First, thank goodness all those rainforests were cleared or we'd be living on a mini sun right now. Second, clear cutting is good after all!
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Take a gander at Jonathon (The Impaler) Sharkey, who will launch his gubernatorial campaign in Princeton, Minn., on Friday the 13th as a "satanic dark priest" and the leader of the "Vampyres, Witches and Pagans Party."
I don't know how well received Sharkey will be by Minnesota Lutherans, but if a satanic vampire can win anywhere, it would be Minnesota. We probably shouldn't laugh too hard, though. He plans to run for President in '08.
(By the way, if you want a real treat, go to the article and click on the link to his campaign site.)
"The tribes are fed up with Al Qaeda and they will not tolerate any more," said a senior Iraqi intelligence official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The intelligence official confirmed reports that a Sunni tribe inThe article provides a deeper background and understanding of what may be going on in Iraq on the streets.
had tried and executed Qaeda members for their role in assassinating a local sheik. Samarra
"It was a beautiful mistake," the intelligence official said of the sheik's assassination by Al Qaeda. "Now the tribes will kill Al Qaeda. Now they have the courage."
Damn that History Channel for planting these frivolous ideas in my mind.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
-- A small -town rumor that sparked world -wide interest about a mouse burning down a house has been found to be untrue.After 81-year-old Chano Mares's house burned down Saturday in Fort Sumner, news services picked up the quirky story."Flaming Mouse Burns Down House" read the headline over an Associated Press story that appeared on WSBTV.com, for example.According to the initial report, Mares threw the critter in a pile of burning leaves near his home, but it ran back to the house on fire.A local firefighter said the mouse ran to just beneath a window and the flames spread up the window and throughout the house.All contents of the home were destroyed, but no one was injured.Interest in fires has been high lately. Unseasonably dry and windy conditions have charred more than 53,000 acres and destroyed 10 homes in southeastern New Mexico in recent weeks.The mouse story, however, has been doused by Mares."It's really humorous more than anything that a mouse burned down the house," he told KOAT-TV in Albuquerque. The mouse was dead when it hit the burning leaves.Mares said he trapped and killed the critter and tossed it on the fire.The flames, he said, probably reached his house because they were driven by high winds.Ya know, if you ignore enough stories, sooner or later one is proven false and you can crow that you knew it was too good to be true, even if you were just too lazy to write about it.
Sumeyya Mamuk considered the chickens in her backyard to be beloved pets. The 8-year-old girl fed them, petted them and took care of them. When they started to get sick and die, she hugged them and tenderly kissed them goodbye. The next morning, her face and eyes were swollen and she had a high fever. Her father took her to a hospital, and five days later she was confirmed to have the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.Kids, don't kiss chickens.
The U.N. children's agency said singer Harry Belafonte was speaking as a private citizen, not a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, when he called President Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world."
The 78-year-old Belafonte, famous for his calypso-inspired music, made headlines during a trip to Venezuela when he spoke out against Bush and said millions of Americans support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF said in a statement that Belafonte — a UNICEF goodwill ambassador since 1987 — made the comments "as a private citizen and was not speaking as a UNICEF ambassador, nor acting in an official capacity on behalf of the organization."
I think that is a big oops, Harry. Even your sympathizers won't back that one. Enjoy Venezuela, big guy. Try to say hi to some of those citizens Hugo Chavez doesn't want you to see.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Feminists, you've come a long way in America. How about you start helping your international sisters who really do have it bad?
As bird flu cases rise at a disturbing pace in Turkey, new research offers a bit of hope — it's likely that many people who get it don't become seriously ill and quickly recover.
Although not definitive, the new study suggests the virus is more widespread than thought. But it also probably doesn't kill half its victims, a fear based solely on flu cases that have been officially confirmed.
"The results suggest that the symptoms most often are relatively mild and that close contact is needed for transmission to humans," wrote Dr. Anna Thorson of Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm and colleagues who conducted the study. It was published in Monday's edition of Archives of Internal Medicine.
The results need to be confirmed with blood tests, but if true this would mean the bird flu would be much more like most other flus people get.
And, according to Iranians I trust, Osama bin Laden finally departed this world in mid-December. The al Qaeda leader died of kidney failure and was buried in Iran, where he had spent most of his time since the destruction of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The Iranians who reported this note that this year's message in conjunction with the Muslim Haj came from his number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, for the first time.
Interesting if true.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
So far it appears that the disease has been contracted only through direct contact with fowl, but the extensive human exposure to infected birds in eastern Turkey has given rise to concern that an even more infectious mutant strain could emerge. (emphasis mine)
Let's separate facts from conjecture. Known cases of the bird flu look to have been contracted through direct contact with fowl. Many more cases are being treated as possible bird flu infections. At this time we do not know if they are bird flu and/or how the cases were contracted. Let's not jump the gun just yet. Given the existance of the bird flu in Turkey, it is a very good thing that they are questioning whether some bad cases of flu are the bird flu. This does not mean that they are, and given the apparently high incidence of human-chicken interaction in Turkey, even if they are they may not be human to human cases. Remember, preparation may help you in the future, but worrying about what you can't control will not.
This lead to a couple of thoughts on my part. First, if I saw another blogger in public, one who I had never met nor really ever interacted with, would I introduce myself? The answer for me is decidedly no-I'd go home and write about how I thought I may have seen blogger x or blogger y :-). Secondly, how would I react if someone somehow recognized me from the two poor photos of myself that I've posted here and introduced themselves? I think I'd be flattered and creeped out. Thirdly, how would I feel if I were sitting in a cafe, minding my own business, and someone came up to me and asked if I were James Wigderson of Wigderson Library and Pub? To the third question, I decided that I'd politely say yes and charge $10 for an autograph.
Kane has a new blog, and he was smart enough to realize that if he wanted traffic, it was best to antagonize. Now everyone on the right side of the Wisconsin blogosphere seems to be writing about Kane and his new blog. I guess it is only appropriate that Kane's blog antagonizes, because that's all he is really good at, antagonizing. I've read Kane for quite a while now, and I used to get upset at many to most of his columns. Over time I learned that Kane isn't really about helping his community through his writing, though. Kane is about getting attention through antagonizing and that's it. That's why I have an unofficial policy of not giving him the time of day at this blog. Giving him the attention rewards him, and I hate rewarding Eugene Kane, even if I only send one new reader his way. Out of good blogging etiquette, I'm going to toss a link his way. After that, I'll be done with Kane for another 8-10 months (the frequency with which I refer to him at this site.)
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Despit the long lead in, the fun of stinging your friend with an air soft gun is not what this post is about. No, this post is about the business that Asian manufacturers should be outsourcing to us-warning labels. This evening I was doing some minor maintenance on the above toys when I saw for the first time the warning label on the handgun. Here's a little closer look.
"Dont point at the creature." Sufficient enough for me, but I couldn't help but chuckle when I read it.
Try doing a Yahoo News or Google News search on the name of one of those suspected of this plot, Yasmine Bourhama. You'll get nothing from Yahoo News, and one hit from a South African paper with the Google News search.
A farmer angry over a court ruling set off a bomb in a Chinese courthouse, killing himself and four other people, a news report said Saturday.As it turns out, this isn't all that uncommon in China.
Bomb attacks motivated by grudges or business disputes are common in China, where most gun ownership is banned but explosives are widely available for mining and construction. (Emphasis mine).This is what most in anti-gun crowd never understand. People who kill are going to kill regardless of what they have to use to do so. No guns? They'll use bombs or fire or knives-whatever works in that situation. Even if the anti-gun crowd were succesful in taking guns away from responsible citizens and criminals, the criminals would still find a way to kill, and some of those methods of murder-like bombs-are even more deadly than guns. At least with guns legal, and legal to carry by responsible citizens, society has a reasonable way of protecting itself from its criminal element and possibly preventing violent gun crime.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Senate Democrats have put into place a plan that includes one last push to take down the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito as he heads into his confirmation hearing next week, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.According to Drudge, they are going to try to smear Alito by association, not by anything Alito did or said. If it occurs, it will be a typical last minute Democratic smear job. Unfortunately, they tend to be effective even if they are weak.
Senate Democrats intend to zero in on Alito’s alleged enthusiastic membership to an organization, they will charge, that was sexist and racist!
Shame on me for not going through my entire reading list before posting on this. I guess this is dead already.
Drudge Flash: Democrats Plan to Destroy Alito
Given the above, I'm curious if anyone knows of any independent "Biggest Loser" contests that are popping up. I'm familiar with one. In these freelanced contests, a group of people will get together and chip money into a pot. At the end of 6 or 8 weeks, the three biggest losers share varying percentages of the prize money. I'm curious to see if these take off, and if they do, how successful the participants are at losing weight.
Former Syrian vice president Abdel-Halim Khaddam is trying to rally opposition parties to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad, according to an interview published in a leading Arabic newspaper on Friday.
In an interview with Asharq al-Awsat from his home in Paris, Khaddam said he was trying to "create the right atmosphere for the Syrian people to topple the regime."
I don't think you can consider a long time aide to any Assad a friend of freedom (Khaddam was an aide to Assad's father), so this says volumes about how bad things are in Syria right now. It also may be a little opportunistic. Khaddam claims to not be interested in the Syrian Presidency, but denial of ambition is not an uncommon act.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Photo via JSOnline.
When you were 9, playing your armpit was a cool trick. Now, as an adult, you can still appreciate a good body-based feat, but you're more discriminating. Take that tickle in your throat; it's not worth gagging over. Here's a better way to scratch your itch: "When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm," says Scott Schaffer, M.D., president of an ear, nose and throat specialty center in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. "This spasm relieves the tickle."18 Tricks to Teach Your Body.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Democrats are now using the term “whistleblower” when it comes to leaking state secrets that they want leaked. It seems that a talking points memo went out somewhere over the New Year’s holiday, because it seems a lot of them are getting on board with this softer, gentler terminology for what is still a crime.
I know that Mike Sherman elicited a strong negative reaction from some fans out there, and I understand where that came from. While a very good coach, I’m not sure that he is a Super Bowl caliber coach. Also, he never should have been made General Manager, and I suspect that he was only made one because Ron Wolf thought highly of
Just the same, I think some fans are a little too blood thirsty here. Yes, it was time for
Mike Sherman deserves his fair portion of the blame for the 4-12 record because he was the head coach, and the buck for that stops with the coach. Some of it was of his own making from his days as GM, too, although he had already felt the repercussions of his lackluster GM tenure. Just the same, cut back on the hating, folks. You’ve apparently been so spoiled that you no longer remember what a truly bad coach really is.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Word is the Packers have fired coach Mike Sherman, and yesterday Brett Favre seemed to be waving goodbye to the crowd at Lambeau. Today, Barry Alvarez will be coaching his last game at