Sunday, April 30, 2006
Saturday, April 29, 2006
After the Hawk pick, I was lost, though. I watched and watched and watched, waiting for the Walker trade. Ultimately, they didn't get much for him. As it stands right now, with plenty of draft left, the Packers will have a moderately solid defense next year, and squat for offense. Walker had to go, and the Pack was hardly in a strong position, but this offense is looking like it will be noticeably weaker than last year's team. Yeah, they can pick up another receiver in the later rounds, but it probably won't be anyone who can make an impact. With rumors that Donald Driver is throwing a hissy fit now, too, Favre's (likely) swan song is going to be very out of key.
An Italian restaurant was fined 688 euros ($855) for displaying live lobsters on ice to attract patrons, in an innovative application of an anti-cruelty law usually affecting to household pets.
It's hard to take the continent seriously as an ally sometimes when they are fining restaurants for displaying on ice lobsters which will be boiled alive.
Friday, April 28, 2006
In other news, I'd like to thank Clint and USC Trojan for their input on my car bleg. We wrapped that up today, and we ended up going with a midnight blue, 6 cylinder 2005 Dodge Stratus SXT. I do loathe the car buying process, mostly because I dislike playing salespeople off of each other, but we got a good price on the car. They even took my old Dodge Neon off my hands, a car that had 136,000 miles on it, an air conditioner that didn't work anymore, and a passenger side window that didn't work, either.
It was like Christmas in April for the lovely Mrs. Jib. She got a PDA today, too.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
It made sense once I thought about it. Bedouin may be Egyptian Arabs, but they are completely isolated from Hosni Mubarak’s deranged state-run media. They could not care less about the politics of the so-called Arab-Israeli conflict. No one ever told them they are supposed to hate Jews. When politics can be pitched over the side, Israeli Jews and at least some Arab Muslims have a natural affinity for one another and they get along great.
Read the rest. It really is an excellent post.
I may finally have to break down and buy an iPod after all.
Amid the many scandals at the United Nations, a new mystery now looms. What happened to the world organization’s unique and valuable postal archive — in effect, the U.N.’s own stamp collection, one of the crown jewels of its past and a popular point of contact with the global public?
Word on the street is that the Boutros Boutros-Ghali rare belly button lint collection and the Kofi Anan credibility collection are also missing.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Mumps is spread by coughing and sneezing. The most common symptoms are fever, headache and swollen salivary glands under the jaw. It can lead to more severe problems, such as hearing loss, meningitis and swollen testicles, which can lead to infertility. It does not respond to antibiotics.
Italics mine. I'm paying attention now. Nobody told me about that problem. I'll take two meningitis, please, just keep the elephantitis of the beanbag away, thank you very much.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
This is not to say that this is why I Am The Force took some time off. I don't know why he took off-it could be that his personal life is crazy right now. Still, it wouldn't surprise me to see some other bloggers take some time off or quit in the near future. I'd still recommend to anyone that is thinking about doing so to stick with it, though.
The NFL's only three-time MVP and long-time quarterback of the Green Bay Packers will return for a 16th season, ESPN.com reported Tuesday night.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he's coming back, if only because the goodbye tour may be the only thing to make this season worth watching. Just the same, the longer Brett held off in making a decision the more convinced I became that he no longer has the drive nor the desire to prove anything. I was actually ready to see what Aaron Rodgers will bring to the table.
One more thing. All on its own, sometime around Memorial Day, gas prices will drop back down to the mid $2 range, lower if the ethanol industry can keep up, and it will stabilize there (barring unforseen circumstances). Just watch.
Electric utilities are worried they might not be able to obtain enough coal this summer to power the country's air conditioners if railroads have to scramble to untangle the logistics of oil refineries making the switch to a cleaner gasoline additive.
"With the peak summer season for electricity approaching and rail deliveries of coal still not where we would like them to be, we are monitoring this situation carefully," said Jim Owen, a spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute, a trade association representing shareholder-owned electric companies.
Energy prices are high right now, and most of the attention is on increased demand and on instability or potential instability in some oil producing nations. What is ignored is that it doesn't have to be quite this bad. The fact of the matter is we face some serious capacity issues in this country. We could use more refineries, but we don't have them. We could drill more oil sources domestically, but we don't. We could use more trains and track to ship goods and energy supplies, but we won't build them. Things like this, plus attendent government regulations, are putting an artificial cap on domestic supplies of energy sources.
Go ahead and have that second cup of coffee -- or third, or fourth. A study published on Monday shows heavy, long-term coffee drinking does not raise the risk of heart disease for most people.
That's news that I'm pleased to hear, as I drink way more coffee than I should during the day. Still, it does come with a caveat.
Heavy coffee drinkers did tend to smoke and drink alcohol more often and those two factors clearly do raise heart risk, the researchers report in the journal Circulation.
I anxiously await the study that says that drinking Leinie's will make you younger, healthier, and more vivacious.
Monday, April 24, 2006
In his announcement, the President referred to possible heavy handed pressure from environmentalists that has prevented domestic oil exploration off American shores and in Alaska. He also noted that it is rumored that many wealthy property owners support cheap oil, as long as it isn't looked for, produced, piped, or refined anywhere near their property, leaving 20 acres in Utah available for energy production.
Unnamed administration sources say that the investigation may expand to the Environmental Protection Agency, which may have conspired to drive up oil and gas costs through onerous regulation of oil production, refineries, and gas usage, unnecessarily restricting supply and adding costs to the price of oil and gasoline.
(What you have just read is a test of the emergency satire system. This was only a test.)
Hello my darlin', hello my darlin', hello my Clementine...
On second thought, nobody really wants to see me sing and dance.
...exit stage right
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Here's a suggestion to editors. If you are looking to do an article on blogging as the latest and greatest thing, don't send your readers to a dead blog that forwards readers to the bloggers new endeavors.
Okay, baseball fans. Live Science has an article that busts various baseball myths. I'd like to address some of them and see if any of you agree with my analysis. First, this is the basis for much of the article:
"In the last few feet before the plate, the ball reaches an angular velocity that exceeds the ability of the eye to track the ball," Fuld told LiveScience. "The best hitters can track the ball to within 5 or 6 feet of the plate."
I would agree with that. In looking back on my baseball days, there did seem to be an instant where there was a lack of input as to what a pitch was doing, and it was right smack dab in front of the plate. Now, onto the specifics.
But a hitter is at the mercy of what the pitch does in those last few feet. That's when their eyes have left the ball and a nasty 12-to-6 curveball--a pitch named after the face of a clock and which drops top to bottom--can make even the best hitters swing out of their shoes. The pitch looks like it comes in straight, but during the instant the hitter is blind to the ball, a good curveball will have dropped a foot or more, and the batter will likely swing over the pitch.
Now I realize that my high school experience is different from the experiences at the collegiate or pro level, and there is a kernal of truth to this statement, but you aren't completely blind in that last 5 or 6 feet. For me, an overhand curve or a curve/slider from a left hander was easy to hit. The pitch gives you plenty of information during its flight to allow you to figure out exactly where it is going. The way it leaves the pitcher's hand, the spin, the spead, and any break you may see all give you enough information to hit the pitch. I'm not sure that I ever saw a curve ball that didn't have a little break to it before it got five feet in front of the plate. This is from a guy who washed out of baseball at the collegiate level. I could hit fastballs, and I devoured overhand curves and left handed sliders/curves. It was the geometry of the right hander's slider/curve that confounded the hell out of me.
Next, the knuckler.
On the flipside are knuckleballs. Even though they're slow-moving and have little to no spin, they flutter erratically, making them one of the most difficult pitches to connect with. As legendary hitting coach Charlie Lau once said, "There are two theories on hitting a knuckleball. Unfortunately, neither of them works."
Our rivals had a pitcher who threw a knuckler. Again, a meager high school ballplayer such as myself had no problem hitting his knuckle ball, crushing one to left that the left fielder caught with his back against the 320 sign. Why was a meager ballplayer such as myself able to handle his knuckle ball? Because he threw it damn hard. The pitch probably came to the plate in the upper 70's. The ball danced, but it didn't dance wildly. You could make a good judgement in the last third of its flight as to where it would end up. A big component to a successful knuckle ball is the lack of speed. That makes the pitch flutter more and it contributes to timing issues that make hitting it more difficult.
Next, they take on the rising fastball.
The rising fastball deceives the hitter in almost the opposite way a good curve does. A 90-mph fastball will drop significantly less than one thrown at 80 mph. So instead of dropping a few inches in the last few feet, a fastball with some serious zip will maintain a nearly straight trajectory.
I'm not familiar with anyone that thinks that a fastball can actually rise; most do understand that it is an optical illusion, much like the fastball that seems to explode as it gets to the plate. I can speak to the exploding fastball, as our biggest rivals in high school had another guy who threw in the upper 90's. I once swung at a fastball that he threw and the damn thing seemed to shatter as it got to me. I didn't actually think that the ball exploded-I knew it was an optical illusion.
Finally, they take on fielding a ball.
Any pro would tell you that the hardest ball to catch is a line drive smoked right at them. Sure, there's the fear that it might put a dent in your forehead, but it's the lack of visual information that makes the ball difficult to judge.When a ball is hit to the left or right of a fielder, the player can observe the ball's velocity, acceleration, and angle to figure out where it might land.
They are dead on with this one. I was an outfielder, primarily in right but I played left early in high school and filled in in center from time to time. Balls to your left or right are easy to judge because you have many reference points with which to judge the ball. Even line drives right at you usually aren't that bad because they have spins (unique to each position) that put just enough curve to the ball as to give you some extra reference points and the ability to predict the path based on past experiences. Every once in a while a hitter smacks a line drive that is right at you and lacking that slice or hook that you are used to. In those instances, the ball is not only tough to judge, it seems to take on some knuckle ball characteristics. I can remember one ball my senior year like this. I made an ass of myself trying to catch it, and I was a very good defensive outfielder.
Their parting shot is on "getting under the ball." This is what got me riled up to write this.
"Good players do not run to a place where the ball will land and then wait for it, but rather catch the ball while running," Fuld said. "This is contrary to what many coaches prescribe, which is to 'get under the ball and not drift on it.'"
Again, a kernal of truth. Catching a fly ball flat footed is an invitation to misjudge the ball. And when runners are on base with less than two outs, you want your momentum to be moving towards the infield when you make the catch so you can get off a quick, hard throw. Having said that, you do run to the place where the ball will land. You then make adjustments from there. When you drift on a ball, your momentum is often not carrying you in the right direction for a throw. Drifting also is a habit of lazy fielders, and that drifting can contribute to half-assing a catch and having it glance off the glove. These guys do a nice job looking at the science of baseball, but it is apparent that they are scientists and not ball players.
This will all play well in liberal enclaves like Madison, Wis., and I have already poured enough water on what's meant to be a lark, but there is a final, troubling assumption at the center of American Dreamz. I'm more than ready to laugh at a scene that shows bearded terrorists gathered in a tent, raptly watching Omer in the final round, yelling, "He nailed it!" after a rendition of "My Way." But the scene also implies that we can charm our enemies with our glorious entertainment: Why attack the country that has given you Julia Roberts? That's a more dangerous American dream.
Isn't that the source of all of Hollywood's smugness, though-the belief that they (we) can entertain and charm themselves out of anything? The fact is, as part of their anti-American propoganda, Islamists have regularly used the decadence of American culture, as portrayed by Hollywood, as one of the reasons they hate America so. If you want to understand why many of us see Hollywood as out of touch with reality, that paragraph should go a long way in explaining why. There are times when nothing you can say or do can talk your enemies out of anything because they are fanatical about what they believe. This first decade of the 21st century is one of those times. Too many people think that the right smile and the right words (and maybe the right dollar amount) will lead our enemies to lay down their guns, their IEDs, their box cutters, and their explosive belts. There is no charm, no entertainment, no words that are going to change things, though. Sometimes you just need to stand up for yourself.
Tonight I was listening to La Bamba on my cable service's music channels, and it motivated me to look up the translation. You can learn what I learned by going here. To be perfectly honest, it was a bit of a disappointment; I wish had just left well enough alone and blissfully continued to sing along to the Spanish without knowing the translation.
Oooo! A Wilson Phillips song just came on...gotta go!
I'm going to shoot myself for live blogging the cable music channel, but hey, at least it ain't another post on Iran, right? Now a song is playing that was popular around the time of my Junior Prom, which was not a nice experience. I'll put my story up against any other bad prom story, and I'll take the competition 9 times out of 10. Despite it, the girl is nice enough, so I won't repeat the story here, but I will share via email if anyone cares to hear it.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
2. Mowed the lawn, and spilled some gas in doing so.
3. Worked on cutting down a bush. Plans are to burn it.
4. Purchased chemicals which will pollute the waterways and groundwater, but which will make my lawn nice and purty.
5. Fixed ventilation on clothes drier, threw out old, non-biodegradable venilation system.
6. Turned on all of the lights in the house, sat down in the recliner, and started watching 43 vehicles burn high octane fuel as they drive around in a circle for 4 hours. Oh, and I opened a beer.
Happy Earth Day, one and all!
April 22, 1870: Vladimir Lenin born.
April 22, 1954: Senate Army-McCarthy hearings start (hey, every religion needs its persecutions)
April 22, 1970: Earth Day first observed.
April 22, 1994: Richard Milhouse Nixon dies.
April 22, 2000: Elian Gonzales raid sends little boy back to beloved Uncle Fidel.
As best I can tell, there is only one thing preventing this day from becoming an official leftist nut job pagan holiday: On this day in 1864, "In God We Trust" was authorized for use on American coins. It's still there. If and when they get that removed, leftists will be dancing and cavorting naked in the streets on each April 22nd. Nobody wants that.
Friday, April 21, 2006
In some circles, yes, a quality blog can probably help your career. Never be lulled into a sense of security, though, because in the wrong circles it can and still will hurt you.
Go read Prof. McAdams on this topic. For the record, I actually wrote this about an hour after his post, but couldn't get it to publish until after work today. Any similarities are purely coincidental :-).
Five teenage boys who allegedly planned to carry out a shooting spree at their Kansas small-town high school were arrested on Thursday – the 7-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting spree – just hours after one of them divulged the plot on MySpace.com (italics mine), law enforcement and school officials said.
To plot a mass murder like this was dumb enough, but to then post it at MySpace was just icing on the cake. Thank goodness for the kid dumb enough to do that. Some parents in Riverton, Kansas should hug their kids extra tightly tonight, because they almost lost them yesterday.
Hardening its opposition to sanctions against Iran, Russia said on Friday the U.N. Security Council should only consider such measures if it had proof the Islamic Republic was trying to build nuclear weapons.
Something tells me that this is the kind of proof that Russia is looking for:
Of course, once they see this, it will already be too late for sanctions.
Bowing to intense pressure, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari agreed Thursday to allow Shiite lawmakers to find someone else to head the new government, abandoning his claim on another term in the face of Sunni and Kurdish opposition.
Al-Jaafari was a roadblock to the formation of a government in Iraq. While his stepping aside does not mean that everything will suddenly start falling into place in Iraq, it does mean that a wrench in the cogs of progress has been removed. Hopefully the various parties can maneuver to form a government now.
It's great to hear that he is on the heart transplant waiting list, Kevin & Kurt. He'll stay in our prayers until he can get one.
Under threat of United Nations Security Council sanctions for its own nuclear program, Iran has been elected to a vice-chair position on the U.N. Disarmament Commission, whose mission includes deliberations on preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.
I'm beginning to think Jerry Seinfeld may have ripped off the UN. After all, they were "The World Body About Nothing" long before his television series ever hit the airwaves. What a joke.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
In an interview in the The New York Times Magazine that will appear this coming Sunday, Madeleine Albright reveals, among other things, that even at 68, she works out three times a week "and I can leg-press up to 400 pounds." This follows a discussion of how she does not expect to re-marry, partly because, as she says, "I'm intimidating, don't you think?"
The worst part of of this story? The vision of Madeleine Albright doing leg presses in spandex.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
The Cypriot, British and Dutch organizers hope to string together as many as 100,000 bras on April 30, beating the current record of 79,000 bras held by Singapore, and forming a 56 mile chain.
79,000 and 100,000 bras. I never realized that chaining bras together had gotten bigger than phone booth stuffing was in the 50's. I'll give them an 'e' for effort, but if they really wanted to bring attention to breast cancer, the bras would all be full. Now that would get attention.
“We are members of the profession that brought nuclear weapons into existence, and we feel strongly that it is our professional duty to contribute our efforts to prevent their misuse,” says Hirsch. "Physicists know best about the devastating effects of the weapons they created, and these eminent physicists speak for thousands of our colleagues.”
I anxiously await their stearnly worded letter to Iran.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Is the America of 2006 more willing to thwart the unacceptable than the France of 1936? So far, not evidently. According to the New York Times, "One of President Bush's most senior foreign policy advisers" recently told a group of academics, "The problem is that our policy has been all carrots and no sticks. And the Iranians know it."
Even when we do indicate that we have the stick by, say, not subtly insinuating the potential use of tactical nukes to eliminate Iran's nuclear program, the press and the chattering classes become outraged and effectively handcuff diplomatic efforts. Iran may be utilizing "useful idiots" even better than the Soviets did.
Once Iran acquires nuclear weapons, and at the present rate, it is almost a foregone conclusion that they will, those who have been opposed to using military force to prevent it, particularly those who live in big cities like L.A. and New York, will suddenly feel very vulnerable and blame Republicans for not doing more to prevent it. Bet on it, because they've put politics above national security.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Angelenos at a series of 18 neighborhood meetings are suggesting ways to turn an ugly flood-control channel into a civic joy. Visions for greening the riverway include terracing and planting trees on the concrete walls, creating an inner-city beach for the East Los Angeles barrio and opening restaurants like those on the San Antonio River Walk that anchor the Texas city's $1.2 billion-a-year tourism industry.
"Reinventing the river will transform the urban landscape of Los Angeles," says Arthur Golding, an architect and river-improvement advocate. "Nobody's talking of restoring the river to pre-European-settlement times. But I think a lot of concrete can come out."
It will take a lot of effort to make that ugly channel of concrete look better.
I don’t believe that I’ve seen Western foreign policy & diplomacy in such a decrepit state in my lifetime. Leaders in all Western nations have shown themselves to have little backbone when facing the threat of radical Islam. They steadfastly refuse to accept the realities unfolding in front of their eyes, namely that Iran wants nuclear weapons and will not be talked out of it. Instead they create this fantasy alternate reality where Iran is a rational player in world politics that will give up their nuclear ambitions, simply because Western leaders would like them to do so. Fat chance.
I generally dislike speaking in analogies, but bear with me here as I find this one to be apt. There are times in history when international relations act like a boiling pot of water. Powerful nations can choose to lift the lid on the pot and release some steam, but they risk scalding themselves by doing so. The other option is to keep that lid on tight and hope that the water in the pot will not boil so hard as to blow the lid right off and burn everyone. In the case of Iran, the West is afraid to scald its hand; instead, it will wait until the pressure causes the pot to blow up in their faces, all out of fear of being burned. Unfortunately, you and I are in that fictional room as well, and some of us stand to be hurt pretty badly.
A cat saved the life of a newborn baby abandoned on the doorstep of a Cologne house in the middle of the night by meowing loudly until someone woke up, a police spokesman said on Saturday.
I'm still unwilling to give the cat too much credit. It might have been meowing because it was pissed that an easy meal was out of its reach. Never trust a feline.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
The Iranian plan is simple: playing the diplomatic game for another two years until Bush becomes a "lame-duck", unable to take military action against the mullahs, while continuing to develop nuclear weapons.
Thus do not be surprised if, by the end of the 12 days still left of the United Nations' Security Council "deadline", Ahmadinejad announces a "temporary suspension" of uranium enrichment as a "confidence building measure". Also, don't be surprised if some time in June he agrees to ask the Majlis (the Islamic parliament) to consider signing the additional protocols of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Such manoeuvres would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director, Muhammad El-Baradei, and Britain's Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, to congratulate Iran for its "positive gestures" and denounce talk of sanctions, let alone military action. The confidence building measures would never amount to anything, but their announcement would be enough to prevent the G8 summit, hosted by Russia in July, from moving against Iran.
Keep your eye on Iran to see if this the maneuver they try to make in the coming months. This is the least scary part of Taheri's piece. Go read the rest now.
1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"
4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "
8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Friday, April 14, 2006
Late in their third day of deliberations, an all white jury found three former Milwaukee Police officers not guilty of beating Frank Jude Jr. at a 2004 Bay View house party.
Circuit Judge David A. Hansher read the verdict to a packed courtroom at 11:19 p.m., after the panel had been deliberating for more than 26 hours.
What did the community learn? Well, the kids who are part of the "No snitching" movement learned that the "code of silence" helps Milwaukee police offers get off of the crimes they've committed. Good luck ridding the community of the "no snitching" movement now, Milwaukee.
For all the present sense of crisis, though, the moment of real urgency — one where Iran is churning out nuclear weapons — has not arrived. This can, and ought, to be turned into a time for a concerted and public debate about the reality of the situation and options. The unilateral rush to war in Iraq on faulty intelligence has underscored the dangers of acting precipitously and alone.
Talk about turning logic on its head-the real time for urgency is after Iran is creating nuclear weapons? That's way too late. Urgency turns into full out despair at that point.
Here is the second concerning paragraph:
In historical terms, this might be a slowly-unfolding moment of crisis, in which a deadly mix of fundamentalism and nuclear weapons is emerging. The key is to act to manage and avert the crisis. A good model: the diplomatically averted Cuban missile crisis.
What does that mean? Honestly. If a key is to avert the crisis, how is the Cuban missile crisis a good model? By definition, we averted no crisis back then, we were fully in one. Americans were terrified that we were on the brink of nuclear war. Is that really what the USA Today wants? We averted disaster during the Cuban missile crisis only because both the United States and the USSR had a modicum of sanity. Is the USA Today willing to literally bet their lives on the hope the Iran has enough sanity to avoid nuclear warfare?
Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Luke 23:34
And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." Luke 23:43
When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" Then He said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. John 19:26-27
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Mark 15:34
After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!" John 19:28
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, into your hands I commend My spirit." Having said this, He breathed his last. Luke 23:46
A Tasmanian company has obtained the first state or territory licence to use hemp in a pet food product.
Hemp is banned in food for human consumption in Australia, unlike most other western countries.
Just what dog owners need. You throw their tennis ball and they start laughing uncontrollably.
A row erupted on Thursday over plans by animal protectionists to symbolically "crucify" three activists with animal masks in a Good Friday protest outside Vienna's St Stephan's Cathedral.
The militant pro-animal group PETA said the activists would be suspended from crosses with crowns of thorns on their heads.
The slogan of the protest action would be "We suffer and die for your sins of nourishment."
Real brave on PETA's part. Let's see them spoof Mohammed during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia for a protest sometime.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Here's another lesson for all of you guys out there. When you tell your wife a bad storm is coming and you send her off to work early, and the storm peters out, you never hear the end of it.
And before I get the comment to this effect, I can and do differentiate between the innocuous image of Mohammed last night and the gross imagery of the Bloddy Mary episode, but unfortunately the Scientology epsiode was just as innocuous as last night's. Parker and Stone were spot on with their intended main message, which was essentially, "Islam can shit on President Bush, Jesus, and the American people but we can't show Mohammed just standing there." But the secondary message played out in Cartman's quest to kill Family Guy by getting just one episode pulled, not because he was truely offended but because he just didn't like it.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Iran, defying United Nations Security Council demands to halt its nuclear program, may be capable of making a nuclear bomb within 16 days, a U.S. State Department official said.
Iran will move to ``industrial scale'' uranium enrichment involving 54,000 centrifuges at its Natanz plant, the Associated Press quoted deputy nuclear chief Mohammad Saeedi as telling state-run television today.
This doesn't mean that 16 days from today Iran will have a nuclear arsenal, but it does mean that the estimates that Iran is years away from a nuclear weapon is likely wrong. It'll be here sooner than that.
A meteorite believed to have come from an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter sold for $93,000 Tuesday at an auction of rare space sculptures.
The 355-pound chunk of iron, thousands of years old and discovered in the Campo del Cielo crater field in Argentina, was one of 10 meteorites that went for high prices at a Bonhams' New York natural history auction.
The 'Sword from the Heavens' would be cool, but not as cool as a hundred grand.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Thrilled though I am, concern has arisen in me. As I started this post, I got a great big wiff of skunk in the wind. If Jiblog goes off line for a couple of days, it's because the skunk snuck up on me and I ran to the Minnesota state line.
I think it is safe to say that the current United Nations serves the purpose of stalling war with dithering until it is inevitable and as bloody as the situation will allow.
Oh, and this quote from the Washington Post story on Iran successfully enriching uranium is priceless:
"We all knew they were going to do this. The question is: What will they do next?" said one European diplomat, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.
That pretty much sums things up. We'll wait. Then we'll figure out what they plan to do next. We'll issue an even stearner warning. We'll watch them do it. That's the way of post modern Western diplomacy.
Officials say a bald eagle likely was in a springtime courtship ritual with its mate when they flew too low and the male got caught in the crotch of a maple tree at Jefferson.
He found the bird had one wing stuck in one set of branches and the other in other branches. He grabbed the talons and feet while freeing the wings, and also put a towel over the eagle's head to calm him down.
The eagle is going to be okay, and it will be released again near where they assissted it.
I think the flag fooled me into reading the headline as "Thongs rally for immigrants." All I could see was the Kurt Vlach bannana hammock (as displayed here by Aaron) marching for the rights of illegal immigrants. I threw up in my mouth a little, and then felt better.
I hate to say this, but conservatism has been out flanked. For twenty to twenty-five years, conservatives have held sway in the GOP. When "compassionate conservative" George W. Bush was elected in 2000, some conservatives were wary, but most still felt comfortable with conservatism's place in the Republican party. It may have signaled a change in the party's philosophy, though.
Democrats and the press have helped keep conservatives ignorant of the tide change in party philosophy by labeling every Republican and their brother as neo-conservatives. A funny thing happened on the way to neo-conservatism: President Bush filled cabinent positions with formerly rising stars of the Nixon and Ford administrations, hardly bastions of conservative philosophy. Along the way, we've elected to Congress more neo-Fordians than true conservatives. The result has been a ruling class of Republicans who pay lip service to conservative values but who are really big government Republicans of the pre-Reagan mold.
Not many have really put their fingers on this yet, but they experience it every time they air their frustrations with the current Republican leadership. Unless there is a notable personality change amongst D.C. Republicans, expect to see a return to the 1970's era fight for the soul of the GOP. Unfortunately for conservatives, this time it may be Ford Republicans who are in their ascendancy.
As the divide in the GOP becomes more defined, don't expect to see this framed as Gerry Ford Republicans vs. Conservatives for two reasons. The first is that big government Republicans are not going to want to associate themselves with Ford. Secondly, due to the effect conservatives have had one the party for the last 25 years, the neo-Ford Republicans are slightly to the right of Ford's party and the media will never make the connection. Make no mistake about it, though, Ford era Republicanism is exactly what we are watching grow in the GOP. It is a Republicanism that is not based on values and philosophy as conservatism is, but on governing, power, and party machinations. It results in wishy-washy stands on issues that only have the next election in mind. It results in bloated government spending as the party panders for votes. It also results in lost elections.
Part of the rise in Ford era Republicanism may have been inevitable. It is far easier to take principled stands on issues when you are the minority party. Once a party achieves the majority, the first instinct is to abandon principle in order protect power and privilege. While inevitable, it is not pre-ordained. Conservatives are awakening to the changes that are occurring in the Republican party. To borrow a phrase William F. Buckley, I expect conservatives will stand athwart the GOP's changes and yell, "stop!" Their stand will determine what the GOP looks like in 25 years and the future of conservatism in the United States.
First off, Leinenkugel's recommends that you pour the beer straight down the center of the glass to produce a full head. I recommend this as well. You'll want to smell this beer before your first taste. The aroma of the beer is very citrus-like. The beer is made with coriander, and I have no idea what coriander tastes like normally, but it seems to lend a citrus overtone to the beer, which is also very light. One thing I can assure everyone is that this is nothing like Berry Weiss, but it isn't anything like a normal Leinie's offering, either. If you are an Original/Light/Northwoods type person, this isn't the beer for you. If you are a straight Miller/Bud person, again, probably not for you. But if you enjoy the various craft beers out their today, I think you will like Sunset Wheat. Leinie's is definitely make a play for beer drinkers outside their typical circle of customers. Sunset Wheat will not be a big seller at the country bars in Wisconsin, but it should find a healthy market amongst the craft beer crowd.
With this as a background, Mark Steyn has a long but excellent piece on Iran at City Journal. I recommend that even news junkies read it, but it would be a very educational piece for the news challenged. Steyn lays out why Iran should be a concern, how serious a threat the Islamic state poses to the west, and why no options should be ruled out. As I said, it is long, but here are a couple of interesting tidbits:
On Iran's plan to succede the USSR:
In 1989, with the Warsaw Pact disintegrating before his eyes, poor beleaguered Mikhail Gorbachev received a helpful bit of advice from the cocky young upstart on the block: “I strongly urge that in breaking down the walls of Marxist fantasies you do not fall into the prison of the West and the Great Satan,” Ayatollah Khomeini wrote to Moscow. “I openly announce that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the greatest and most powerful base of the Islamic world, can easily help fill up the ideological vacuum of your system.”
On why Iran's history makes it more of a nuclear concern than, say, a nuclear Belgium:
Anyone who spends half an hour looking at Iranian foreign policy over the last 27 years sees five things:Go and read the rest. Steyn is never dull, so I doubt that the length of the piece will even be noticed.
- contempt for the most basic international conventions;
- long-reach extraterritoriality;
- effective promotion of radical Pan-Islamism;
- a willingness to go the extra mile for Jew-killing (unlike, say, Osama);
- an all-but-total synchronization between rhetoric and action.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Europe's financial regulators have held a "war game" exercise, simulating a continent-wide financial crisis, amid fears they are ill- prepared to stop a problem in one country spreading across borders.
The exercise involved simulating the collapse of a big bank with operations in several large countries to see whether the European Central Bank, national central banks and finance ministries could work together to contain the crisis.
I'm glad to see that they are at least 'war gaming' the possibility of financial crisis. What is scary is that many of the individual state economies in Europe are ill, and if a crisis were to develop in one, it is easy to see it cascade into the others. If Europe crashes, I'm not sure that the American consumer and economy will be able to prop up the global economy.
*Foreigners take control of the streets in major American cities.
*They fly their national flag while disgracing the American flag.
*They hold up signs in a foreign language.
*Legislators are intimidated by these marches in American streets and it affects the legislation they are willing to propose and pass.
Couldn't possibly happen, right? Nope, not here.
For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).
Read the rest. Bob Carter, the professor who wrote it, absolutely carves up the global warming adherents.
Oh, yeah. Good wood. The poor guy needs all the help he can get during these troubled times.” Cincinnati's Ken Griffey Jr., who presented one of his black-lacquered bats to President Bush on opening day, then was asked if it was one of his good ones.
Simple words, but in this era of chic celebrity Bush bashing, a very big gesture.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
The Bush administration is planning to use nuclear weapons against Iran, to prevent it acquiring its own atomic warheads, claims an investigative writer with high-level Pentagon and intelligence contacts.
President George W Bush is said to be so alarmed by the threat of Iran's hard-line leader, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, that privately he refers to him as "the new Hitler", says Seymour Hersh, who broke the story of the Abu Ghraib Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal.
It sounds scary, but just remember Theodore Roosevelt's quote, "speak softly and carry a big stick." The stick is only as big as the one your opponent credibly thinks you're willing to use. We're being blackmailed pretty effectively by Iran economically, militarily, and through terrorism and nuclear weapons. Not all of their threats are credible, and a key to a diplomatic solution is Iran understanding that our threats are very credible.
Favre's golden reputation has started to tarnish in the last week. As much as I dislike Mark Chmura, Brett is starting to look selfish. His comment this week about deadlines, "what are they going to do, cut me?" went a long way to casting things in a different light. He was dead right with the comment, but it was drippinging in arrogance. Two years ago, Favre would have been entitled to that arrogance. For the last two seasons, though, Brett has occasionally shown a lack of fire in his belly. They have been little things that usually involve him not taking a hit in short yardage situtations, and it was most notable in the Minnesota playoff game last year when instead of going for the goal line in an attempt to score or get a first down, an opportunity that was there, he threw the ball from beyond the line of scrimmage to kill the play. Maybe last year he tried to get it all back together again with his preseason program, but the losing seemed to have gotten to him early and mentally he seemed to go into a slow downward spiral.
If Favre can't make up his mind after this much time has passed since the end of the season, I don't think he'll have the fire and competitive spirit to be the Brett Favre that we remember. In fact, I don't think we'll see a much better performance from him than we did last year. I'd like to see Brett retire with some of the records he deserves, but I don't want to watch him have a year that would've been subpar for Lynn Dickey in an effort to do it. I'd much rather see the Packers get on with their future now rather than dwell on there past for one more year. Maybe it is time, as much as I don't like it.
" Even setting aside the kind of mentality revealed in the La Raza memo Kathryn posted last week, which I am willing to believe is a minority point of view among Central-American immigrants, one of the most troubling things about the illegals is their cultural & linguistic uniformity. This is Samuel Huntington's point. It's a new thing in American history. The last Great Wave of immigrants was, well, diverse: Irish, Italian, Armenian, Polish, Jewish,... Thrown together in workplaces and (especially) public schools, they had to assimilate, and of course were encouraged to by the dominant culture. With a great majority coming from a single cultural source, bearing a single language, into a nation whose intellectual elites regard assimilation as a species of racist oppression, the situation is utterly different. If today's Latin American immigrants don't want to assimilate, they really don't have to. Certainly there is nothing like the assimilationist pressure on them that worked on the Great Wave immigrants.
Language is a huge part of having a common culture, and the diverse immigration of the 1800's helped make English a 'must learn' for immigrants so they could not only communicate with native born Americans, but with each other. There isn't that natural need for Hispanic immigrants. As long as they stay together, most can get away with not learning English. Eventually, one of two things will happen. Either Hispanics will more slowly assimilate over several generations instead of the more typical one generation of earlier groups, or we'll wake up one day and realize that the American Southwest is no longer culturally part of America, and if we face that, we are going to be facing a ton of problems. What scares a lot of people is that they can already see the latter happening.
Legendary quarterback and Hattiesburg resident Brett Favre has scheduled a news conference for Saturday morning, and a family spokeswoman said he’s expected to announce whether he’ll return to play for the Green Bay Packers this season.
Becky Stuart, a personal assistant to the Favre family, said the news conference would be held at 7:30 a.m. at Favre’s charity golf tournament at the Cottonwoods Golf Course at Grand Casino Resort in Tunica.
Hopefully the time and venue of the press conference indicate that he's coming back for his final season. If not, time to take that Packers out behind the barn and shoot them.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Not that we can do much about that now. Thanks for the stellar and courageous leadership, President Carter.
As Congress debates immigration reforms, some experts say the most extreme proposal — deporting millions of illegal immigrants — would be a huge legal and logistical morass, and ruinously expensive, too.
Officials at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which would be responsible for deportations, said they have no projections on what it would take to rid the United States of an estimated 12 million people.
But the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington, has put the cost at $215 billion over five years.
First off, let me say that I don't think we need to root out all 12 million illegal immigrants and escort each one back over the border. But $215 billion dollars to deport 9 million people? Who cooked up those numbers? Almost $24,000 per deportation? What a joke. If you put a $10,000 bounty on every illegal turned in you'd come out ahead according to those numbers.
Look, deportation of illegals can be done very passively and comparitively inexpensively. Local law enforcement deals with illegals on a daily basis, and they can usually figure out quickly who is and is not an illegal, or at the very least ID those they strongly suspect of being an illegal. Set up a secure communications system between local police and ICE, and suddenly you have an efficient way of ID'ing and deporting illegal aliens who cause trouble in the United States. Do you go out of your way to hassle the otherwise law abiding (except for that pesky border crossing) illegal alien? No, but if they come to the attention of law enforcement, they're fair game.
The above is a little simplistic, yes, and wrinkles would need to be ironed out. I didn't exactly have time to lay out the entire system this afternoon :-). The point is, that illegal immigrant number can be chiseled down with a serious law enforcement approach to deportation, and it can be done for a hell of a lot less than $215 billion.
A toned-down edition of Playboy magazine went on sale Friday in Indonesia, defying threats of protests by Islamic hardliners who called the publication a form of moral terrorism in the world's most populous Muslim nation.
The magazine does not feature nude women, and its photos of female models in underwear are no more risque than those in other magazines already for sale in the country. More explicit photos appear daily in local tabloids.
So what do you do if the poo hits the fan?
"Let the people look at it and see what they think. Hopefully they will accept it," said promotion manager Avianto Nugroho. "If there are demonstrations, we will try to meet their demands."
Meet their demands? I can't wait to see the 2006 Playboy Burkahmate of the Year.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
DH (designated hitter): Foot Long Chili Cheese Dog (new!).
Stats: $6. It's a frank in a bun topped with tons of chili and melted shredded cheese.
Heavy hitter (No. 3): BBQ nacho (new!).
Stats: $6. Fried tortilla chips topped with barbecue pork, melted cheese and fresh veggies.
No. 9 (leadoff's on deck): Philly Cheesesteak (new!).
Stats: $5. It's a huge hoagie bun filled high with grilled steak and sauteed onions and peppers, topped with melted cheese.
Word on the street is that the Des Moines Mercy Medical Center will be building a second Iowa Heart Hospital underneath the bleachers in right field.
By the way, he's talking softball in the video.
The account goes on to relate that Jesus refers to the other disciples, telling Judas "you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me." By that, scholars familiar with Gnostic thinking said, Jesus meant that by helping him get rid of his physical flesh, Judas will act to liberate the true spiritual self or divine being within Jesus.Unlike the accounts in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the anonymous author of the Gospel of Judas believed that Judas Iscariot alone among the 12 disciples understood the meaning of Jesus' teachings and acceded to his will.
This should be an interesting read. Just from that paragraph and a half alone, I'd have to say the authors would have made either great defense attorneys or political strategists in this day and age, given the way they work to acquit Judas of his actions.
A Czech man ate frogs and other small animals for four days after he was trapped on an island cut off by flooding, the daily Pravo reported Wednesday.
Zdenek Bucek, 30, was taking a short-cut through the woods near the southeastern town of Breclav when a flood wave trapped him on a small patch of high ground.
Thank goodness he wasn't in New Orleans for Katrina. He'd have been one of those cannibals we were hearing about 4 days after that flood.
The old adage that women look for wealth in a man appears to be under threat after research on Wednesday showed women are starting to put physical attractiveness above solvency.
And the fad of male pec implants begins...
To hear Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed tell it, Osama bin Laden was a meddling boss whose indiscretion and poor judgment threatened to derail the terrorist attacks.
He also saddled Mohammed with at least four would-be hijackers who the ringleader thought were ill-equipped for the job. And he carelessly dropped hints about the imminent attacks, violating Mohammed's cardinal rule against discussing the suicide hijacking plot.
Read the rest. There is a lot of information in that LA Times article about what was going on behind the scenes in the al Qaeda higher ups prior to 9/11.
Swollen with melting snow and heavy rain, the Red River has spread across its broad valley. It was peaking in Fargo, N.D., at about 37 feet late Tuesday. Flood stage in Fargo is 18 feet and the crest was projected at around 37.5 feet. In Grand Forks, the river was rising quickly and could crest at 47.5 feet, said meteorologist Greg Gust of the National Weather Service.
Just another reason to never take a job in Fargo.
America produces nearly half the world's corn, one of the top crops for ethanol, but declining output, surging prices and demand from importers limit how much of the crop can be devoted to use as a motor fuel, an expert in the grain's trade said.
"We need all the ethanol we can get, but we can't get it all from corn," Pringle -- an expert in hedging, risk management, and basis trading in petroleum, natural gas and grains -- said at a commodities conference in this U.S. southeastern resort.
Pringle said water scarcity was limiting global production of corn and China was on its way to becoming a major grains importer as industrial development crowds out agriculture.
Midwestern farms and businesses are capitalizing now, but without great strides in yields, corn will not be able to meet the demand for ethanol. On top of that, corn will always be at a competitive disadvantage to ethanol created from sugar, which requires less work to convert. Simple economics says that if demand for corn rises due to ethanol demand, and there is a ceiling to corn production, and there are are cheaper and more efficient supplies, at some point it will become less than cost effective to make ethanol from corn.
I'm glad farmers are capitalizing on the current demand for corn created by the production of ethanol. I just hope that no one thinks that this is going to be a perpetual golden goose for the Midwest.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
“Don’t call me unpatriotic!”
Ugh. I’ve seen that in so many forms from anti-war types over the past 3 years. One thing that I’ve noticed is that in most cases, nobody called them unpatriotic. Their response to thoughtful opposition to their point of view has more often spurned that response than someone actually calling them unpatriotic. Is it a guilt thing? Do they maybe feel a twinge of guilt somewhere deep inside because they know that they aren’t exactly helping the troops by opposing the war and ‘unpatriotic’ is how they feel? Or is it just cliché to do it so everybody does?
One more thing. I don’t toss that one, the unpatriotic claim, at war opponents. But why the hell shouldn’t I be able to call you unpatriotic if that were my view of things?
Russ Feingold is like the kamikaze pilot of Democratic Presidential hopefuls. He believes in what he is doing, even if it is suicidal and will most likely fail. His censure of President Bush was as well received by his Democratic colleagues as a Teddy Kennedy beer fart in a capitol elevator. Now Feingold, instead of leaving himself political flexibility by merely opposing gay marriage bans, has further further distanced himself from that all important middle ground of voters by outright calling for the legalization of it.
The Wisconsin senator said he is prepared to work with supporters of same-sex marriage to ensure that it is legal in the future.
"Further steps would be appropriate," he said, noting that his first priorities are to defeat the proposed Wisconsin amendment as well as a federal constitutional amendment that is expected to come to a vote in the Senate later this spring.
Feingold is much more politically tone deaf than I thought was possible. Does he not understand that if he just keeps his trap shut on Wisconsin's constitutional ammendment, it stands a good chance of failing all on its own? By him getting involved in the fight, he is going to alienate a lot of conservatives who are currently undecided and stand a good chance of voting no.
Feingold apparently has the most inflated sense of self worth for a Wisconsin Senator since McCarthy. It is going to interesting to watch the wheels come off of the Feingold '08 train this year. If he keeps up this pace, he'll be completely derailed by '07.