Archive for September, 2006

TTWWADI

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

Looks like another Morgan Acronym…but I didn’t build it, I’m just shamelessly ripping it off. No apologies intended, none offered.

Everybody’s heard this story before, and the situations just keep popping up under which it bears repeating. But it’s hard to find a source for the story. Wouldn’t it be great to source it; even better, to find a link. Well, this one seems to be the best out of all of them, right here (PDF).

A preamble about monkeys

Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the bananas. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all the monkeys with cold water.

After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result � again all the monkeys are sprayed with cold water. This continues until pretty soon whenever another monkey tries to climb the stairs all the other monkeys will try to prevent it. Now put away the cold water. Remove one of the monkeys from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey will see the banana will attempt to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror all the of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt, and attack, he knows that if he climbs the stairs he will be assaulted.

Next remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with new one. The newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Like wise replace third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth and a fifth. Every time a new monkey takes to the stairs it is attacked. The monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing all the original monkeys none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the bananas. Why not? Because as far as they know that�s the way we�ve always done it around here.

We call this TTWWADI.

Heavy Crap

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

Heavy Crap

Nobody ever reads this blog, of course, but when people do, they’re not in the mood for heavy crap on a weekend. So I’ll pass on commenting on these…until, like, maybe, Sunday night or something. But they look like things I don’t want to lose entirely.

Remember, the “innernets” is not a library, it’s a superhighway. Libraries stand still. Actually, it’s more like a river, with bits of driftwood drifting on by…drifting on by, forever.

I have questions about Common Article 2 of the Geneva Conventions, and how it pertains to the The Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision. Even after reading the decision.

Why Bush’s interrogation plan will deliver what he says and why it�s a cost we can’t afford to pay.

Vice President Cheney is hard at work quashing dissent, or is he? He is to be chastised for this, says the prevailing viewpoint.

House Majority Leader John Boehner says, “I listen to my Democratic friends, and I wonder if they are more interested in protecting the terrorists than protecting the American people.” He, too, is to be chastised for this.

Looking over all this heavy crap that surfaces from the depths of the rushing river on a Friday night, I see a common thread: Very few people shy away from a dialog, but many amongst us seem to want to start a monolog: This is the way it is, and thou shalt not disagree with me. If you do, you threaten to end America.

And among those, only conservatives get crap flung in their direction for doing this. Liberals can do it all day and all night, nobody calls them on it. Vice President Cheney says, the terrorists are fighting a propaganda war as well as a physical confrontation…and a whole chorus of voices figures, if they let this pass without comment, they’ll get some kind of membership card taken away or something.

But those who attack the Vice President, do so by using exactly the same logic he’s using when they show the Bush administration as some kind of threat to our freedoms…the way the VP shows the terrorists to be a threat to same. It’s the same logic, just being pointed in different directions.

So it’s interesting, to me, that the “prevailing viewpoint” allows one side to get away with it, and not the other. Must be a lot of people watching movies like this lately.

Stuck in the 80′s

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

Stuck in the 80′s

Humility is good for the soul. I like to blame the “Baby Boomers,” specifically, the oldest ones, for the sixties. Well it’s helpful to remember that by my own logic, the eighties are my fault.

How bad were they? This blogger has rounded up a list…probably the best one you’ll find.

Vinnie Barbarino! What happened? Worst movies of the 80s (Nos. 41-50)

50. Dirty Dancing (1987)
49. Quicksilver (1986)
48. Look Who’s Talking (1989)
47. Tarzan, The Ape Man (1981)
46. Going Overboard! (1989)
45. The Toy (1982)
44. Best Defense (1984)
43. Two of a Kind (1983)
42. Flash Gordon (1980)
41. Best of the Best (1989)

Everything you can imagine. Movies, videos, songs; all bad. Yeesh.

What A Great Question

Friday, September 15th, 2006

What A Great Question

What did Patrick Fitzgerald know, and when did he know it?

That’s Gonna Leave a Mark

Friday, September 15th, 2006

That’s Gonna Leave a Mark

I have nothing further to add to this.

Asked if he dreads the prospect of being “Swift-Boated” all over again, [Massachusetts Senator and 2004 Presidential contender John] Kerry counters that he would relish such a fight.

“I�m prepared to kick their ass from one end of America to the other,” he declares. “I am so confident of my abilities to address that and to demolish it and to even turn it into a positive.”

Kerry�s tough talk triggers laughter from John O�Neill, a fellow Vietnam veteran who helped found Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth and wrote a blistering 2004 book on Kerry, “Unfit for Command.”

“Well, he�s got eight times as much time to prepare for us as he spent in Vietnam,” says O�Neill, referring to Kerry�s short tour of duty.

With puff-pieces like this one, who needs Swift Boat Vets anyway?

A Tiny Bit Disturbing At First

Friday, September 15th, 2006

A Tiny Bit Disturbing At First

Last week, someone said something via e-mail that disturbed me a little tiny bit…kind of like, when a fella marries a beautiful, skinny girl, sometimes during the honeymoon she gains a little tiny bit of weight. It just freakin’ snowballs from there. During the first pregnancy, she gains seventy pounds, and during the delivery, loses seven. By the time the kid is sixteen, his mother weighs more than the car he’s learning to drive, and she’s blaming it on “baby fat.” Dad’s wondering what happened to that glass-cutting ass in the Bongo shorts that inspired him to propose, although he won’t say it out loud — and the answer has something to do with that first mouthful of wedding cake frosting. An ounce here, an ounce there.

That’s how this fella’s e-mail comment disturbed me. Just a little tiny bit at first, and then, it grew. Now we’re at the point where it’s worth a mention. Past it, rather.

Dear Fellow Democrat,

Does a major national broadcast network want to stain itself by presenting an irresponsible, slanderous, fraudulent, “docu-drama” to the American public?

Not if you and I have the last word — but either way, we’re about to find out.

The ABC television network — a cog in the Walt Disney empire — unleashed a promotional blitz in the last week for a new “docudrama” called “The Path to 9/11″. ABC has thrown its corporate might behind the two-night production, and bills it as a public service: a TV event, to quote the ABC tagline, “based on the 9/11 Commission Report”.

That’s false. “The Path to 9/11″ is actually a bald-faced attempt to slander Democrats and revise history right before Americans vote in a major election.

The miniseries, which was put together by right-wing conservative writers, relies on the old GOP playbook of using terrorism to scare Americans. “The Path to 9/11″ mocks the truth and dishonors the memory of 9/11 victims to serve a cheap, callous political agenda. It irresponsibly misrepresents the facts and completely distorts the truth.

Yeah, a few months ago I registered as a Democrat. Heh, you know what? Let’s borrow a few words from this Democrat-writer guy: “That’s false.” I did nothing to indicate to anyone, anywhere, that I was a Democrat; I simply visited the Democrats’ official website, and when it asked me if I would like to receive updates I said, hell yes! Since then, I’ve received education after education, and I’m glad I answered the question the way I did.

There is something about being a Democrat. You know the saying, “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts, when the law is on your side, pound the law, when neither is on your side, pound the table”? Democrats…have a habit of jumping forward to those last three words.

Here, in “Path to 9/11,” we have a rather unique situation. I say this after listening to both sides, not from watching the film itself, but it doesn’t matter because I don’t have access to the information that the film would be dramatizing and/or distorting anyway. But having disclaimed that, I can’t help noticing that so far as I know — the facts are on the Democrats’ side. This really doesn’t come up very often. But the film says something happened a certain way that makes 9/11 look like the Clinton administration’s fault…Clinton and crew say “Hey, that didn’t happen and nobody said that” — and the network drops the hot rock.

Now, this letter-writer guy could have made a powerful case by articulating the following: The script plays “fast-and-loose” with the truth, it’s inserting spoken lines and events that didn’t happen, and couldn’t have happened. There are Republican-leaning people involved in the production of the movie, and the movie is coming out around Labor Day of an even-numbered year, right before a midterm election in which terrorism is seen by both sides as a lynchpin issue. These are compelling points to make.

But he said…

Does a major national broadcast network want to stain itself by presenting an irresponsible, slanderous, fraudulent, “docu-drama” to the American public? Not if you and I have the last word…

And that’s why this missive bothers me the way it does. The way a brand-new wife gains three pounds when the wedding ring goes on her finger, and four hundred pounds in the next ten years. Bothers me a little, then bothers me a lot.

I can’t help but notice, having “the last word” is what it’s all about for these people.

To the people who don’t give a rat’s ass about Democrats OR Republicans — the ones who decide our elections — the paramount question is this: The last time Democrats had power, did they do some things that made the September 11 attacks possible? Could the Democrats bear culpability in allowing this to happen? At least somewhat? And if so, does that culpability rest on policy decisions in which the Democrats are politically vested? Policy decisions they can be counted upon to decide the same way, decade after decade, anytime they are put in power? Like, for example, treating terrorism as a law enforcement problem rather than a military issue?

If there’s a way to answer those questions that makes the Democrats look good…at least kinda good…the Democrats could just address them kinda directly. But they didn’t even choose to do that, they chose to go the “last word” route.

And this is why the comment from last week bothers me a whole lot more right now, like an 800-pound wife, when, last week, it bothered me just a tiny bit, like the first time after the wedding the wife no longer fit into her miniskirt. Democrats could have ‘fessed up and ended up looking okay. They could have gone the way the Republicans have gone, pushing the “9/11 == Wake Up Call For America” angle. They could have said, yes, we handled terrorism as a law enforcement issue instead of as a matter of life and death…because we were elected to reflect public sentiment, and that’s what the prevaililng sentiment was at the time. And since then, we’ve all learned something.

I think Krauthammer captured it best in this article from 2003:

Bracing for the Apocolypse

The domestic terror alert jumps to 9/11 levels. Heathrow Airport is ringed by tanks. Duct tape and plastic sheeting disappear from Washington store shelves. Osama resurfaces. North Korea reopens its plutonium processing plant and threatens pre-emptive attack. The Second Gulf War is about to begin. This is not the Apocalypse. But it is excellent preparation for it.

You don’t get to a place like this overnight. It takes at least, oh, a decade. We are now paying the wages of the 1990s, our holiday from history. During that decade, every major challenge to America was deferred. The chief aim of the Clinton administration was to make sure that nothing terrible happened on its watch. Accordingly, every can was kicked down the road:

  • Iraq: Saddam continued defying the world and building his arsenal, even as the United States acquiesced to the progressive weakening of U.N. sanctions and then to the expulsion of all weapons inspectors.
  • North Korea: When it threatened to go nuclear in 1993, Clinton managed to put off the reckoning with an agreement to freeze Pyongyang’s program. The agreement — surprise! — was a fraud. All the time, the North Koreans were clandestinely enriching uranium. They are now in full nuclear breakout.
  • Terrorism: The first World Trade Center attack occurred in 1993, followed by the blowing up of two embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole. Treating terrorism as a problem of law enforcement, Clinton dispatched the FBI–and the odd cruise missile to ostentatiously kick up some desert sand. Osama was offered up by Sudan in 1996. We turned him away for lack of legal justification.
  • That is how one acts on holiday: Mortal enemies are dealt with not as combatants, but as defendants. Clinton flattered himself as looking beyond such mundane problems to a grander transnational vision (global warming, migration and the like), while dispatching American military might to quell “teacup wars” in places like Bosnia. On June 19, 2000, the Clinton administration solved the rogue-state problem by abolishing the term and replacing it with “states of concern.” Unconcerned, the rogues prospered, arming and girding themselves for big wars.

    How much more worthy of our trust Democrats would be, if they simply stepped forward and said “we slumbered like all of you; we have learned something important like everyone else.”

    But noooooooo. They chose to protect their golden-boy Clinton, who can do no wrong. Because — it’s been proven — when Clinton does something wrong, we just change the truth of what transpired so that his glorious legacy stays spit-shined and polished. Truth always makes Clinton look good…where his name is uttered, truth is pliable.

    Democrats have to get in “the last word.” Were our previous President deserving of his “so shiny I can see my face in it” legacy, this would not be necessary. But that’s the way they operate. The way they think. Truth has nothing to do with it. They’ve said it themselves.

    It’s massively disturbing. Gilbert-Grape’s-Mom disturbing.

    Some people are still married to two-ton-Tessie. I really don’t get why.

    Rancid Termagant

    Thursday, September 14th, 2006

    Rancid Termagant

    I really miss this show. But on the other hand, this is why I don’t have television; my “guilty pleasures,” it turns out, are all “constant drumbeat” type shows. Same thing, episode after episode, season after season. So to plunk down at the end of a day that’s four or five hours longer than I can comfortably manage, anesthetizing the awkward surplus for virtual amputation with the same intoxicating elixir year after year, remote in hand…sixty dollars a month for the privilege…it just doesn’t fit my personality.

    But damn, this kind of stuff is funny. And there’s some truth to it. There are a lot of women who are golden sweethearts, but on the whole, if you compare our generation of available females with their mothers and their grandmothers…I dunno. It’s like, they used to be the fairer sex, and a large number amongst their constituents have grown tired of the role. They appreciate the respect that comes from being held to a higher standard than men, but they don’t want the work. Or they don’t even like being respected. Or they don’t respect themselves. Or they want to make damn sure, for every single bad habit men have, they themselves have an equally bad habit.

    Like after six thousand years, they’re in a process of taking the apple back again.

    I guess you shouldn’t generalize, especially based on dating situations…even if the generalization endures the testimony of lots of straight mens’ dating experiences. It’s dating. It’s a process of screening available people — who are available for a reason. I was available once, for about ten months…out of the last, um, what…sixteen years. I, too, was available for a reason. But a lot of the ladies I dated, boy howdee, did it ever show sometimes that they were available for a reason too. One of the problems I saw come up most frequently, was that the lady had her own idea of who her partner should be…and one way or another, the sedan of this vision came to rest on the train tracks of reality, and it got smooshed. Live-in boyfriend gave her “The Speech,” or husband cheated on her…whatever.

    And so, reality dictated the lady was available again.

    But there’s something about the female mind, it appears, that is a little on the slow side in accepting reality. And so the brittle ones would saturate the market of available ladies, by classifying themselves as being available, but at the same time, being determined not to act that way. Because, after all, being “available” implies being worth less than someone who is not. Not very appealing to the feminine mindset, at all.

    And there are simpler factors, too. Thanks to feminism, a polite women is thought, by many, to be a subjugated, dominated woman. The simple logical extension of this is that a powerful woman must be a cantankerous bitch — and, of course, there’s some high betrayal to The Sisterhood if any woman fails to sieze “power.”

    And so, out of those ten months, I saw some of the most reprehensible behavior. Perhaps, what it is, is I deliver such a high octane of carnal pleasure in bed, that women simply can’t keep a rational focus on the events at hand — I bring out the wild beast in them. Sure, I’d like to think that, it would make both of us look good. Massive ego stroke for me, desperately needed excuse for them.

    But it’s far more likely, that the pool is polluted. There is something going on in dating-land. The harpie ratio is a little on the high side out there. A lot of little girls are being raised to adulthood with no manners — children of both sexes, I notice, develop the gifts they have need to develop to meet life’s challenges day-to-day, and very few others — and once these newly-minted adults swim through life like sharks, grabbing all they can…their relationships don’t last. And so the selfish ones are released into the dating scene.

    And it looks to me like the women have the far bigger problem. But I know that’s an issue of perspective. A rude woman, for all of us, packs so much more “shock value” than a rude man, and is therefore more likely to be noticed, and remembered. Plus, when I date, I date women…I’m rather inexperienced going on dates with men, and therefore not in a position to notice their poor behavior on dates. I’m more than confident that if/when a woman trips across this post, she’ll comment on some equally boorish behavior she’s seen from my brethren in her dating experiences. And she’ll be right.

    Just An Observation II

    Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

    Just An Observation II

    Someday, I should make a list of delusional people. By that I mean, delusional classes of people. A week ago, I asked, “Is there a more delusional character, anywhere, than the guy who hates blogs?” Blogs, after all, like any purely “free” communication medium, have achieved a nearly perfect balance. I can find a hundred blogs that say Republicans suck, I can find a zillion blogs that say Democrats suck; I can find a good assortment of blogs that say peanut butter sandwiches taste good with cottage cheese and tartar sauce on them, that Celine Dion is overrated and ugly, that Nepal is a great place to raise a family of cats…you just name it, I’ll find a blog that agrees with you. The “‘sphere,” it seems, is ready to chirp up and say anything about everything…which means, as a form of communication, it really has nothing to say about anything.

    And I’ve answered my own question. A more delusional character: It would be the guy who hates George W. Bush, for the simple reason lots of other people do. Just peer pressure at work. Whether he’s willing to admit that’s what is going on, or not, this guy has to be the most delusional type of person walking around today. And you just know he’s out there, because people who hate George Bush for other reasons spend a lot of time and energy and money talking about the President’s approval ratings, when the ratings are on a downslide…the subject abruptly changes when said ratings are on an uptick. Why go to so much effort to saturate us in the reminder that “most” people dislike the President, unless, that message has a bearing on the decisions a lot of people will be making?

    Now, there are a lot of reasons to dislike this President. Those who have identified a reason, or two, or three, and settled on those as their justification for hating him, are outside the scope of my observation. I’m just looking at the Bush-haters who have no reason aside from the impression they’ve formed, that it’s the cool thing to do. Or…those who recognize, with a more-or-less equal level of empathy, all of the available reasons — hating George Bush comes first, finding a reason for doing so is decidedly secondary. Those people. They’re delusional. More delusional than the forementioned blog-hater, I think.

    I’m counting 860 days, give or take, before our current President has just as much of an influence on the events that truly impact you or I, as, let’s say, his Dad. His successor, Republican or Democrat, will appoint judges, cabinet members, diplomats, Supreme Court justices; declassify information; command the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard; issue executive orders; veto bills coming out of Congress, and approve others; restrict government funds from some programs that have to do with abortion and separation of church-and-state, and approve those funds for other such programs; and issue pardons. And make decisions about a number of other critical concerns, many of them unilaterally.

    People who hate George Bush because it’s the chic thing to do, may, at that time, be responsible for electing a Democrat, a Democrat who campaigned on the “I hate George Bush too!” platform. And they have some pretty good odds, four years from now, for regretting it once the “I hate George Bush!” President starts working his magic. Americans, now and then, have shown strong support for what my media instructs me to believe were “extreme right-wing” platforms; Americans have never shown that kind of support for what I know to be extreme left-wing platforms, even if my media instructs me to believe they are “moderate” platforms. That whole sandal-wearing baby-killing soldier-slandering mediocrity-promoting rich-people-hating wundermush of liberal goodness.

    So it’s more of a certainty than most other things that are called certainties: In four years, we’re going to have millions of people who voted for an “I hate Bush” President, and, should that candidate prevail in 2008, will regret it. It’s good meat for the prospectus of some new business concern aspiring, somehow, to make millions of dollars off this certainty. And when it comes to pass, and people ask themselves “Why did I vote for this guy again?” they’ll have just one answer. I voted for him, because he said nasty things about…that guy, down in Crawford Texas, about whom I never hear anymore. That guy I hated because hating him was the cool thing to do.

    And so four years from now, George Bush will be what Gerald Ford is now. Hating George Bush, at that time, will be what owning a Cabbage Patch doll, or a Pet Rock, is now. To even have an opinion about George Bush, then, will be like having an opinion about William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech, now. Nobody says this out loud. Everybody, Republican and Democrat, knows it to be true. We’re fighting, rather bumptiously and spittle-flingingly, about a bunch of crap due to become utterly irrelevant with a speed that is best described as somewhere between astonishing, and neck-breaking.

    Hating President George Bush: It’s not a logical argument, it’s a fashion trend. Everybody knows that to be true, too. Except even as fashion trends go, this one leaves a lot undone. Fashion trends, after all, go out of style…whenever. They can burn out in the blink of an eye, like the Spice Girls, or they can smolder endlessly like that sagging pants thing. You just don’t know when it’ll happen; I suspect, for those given to following fashion trends, this is part of the appeal. This one has an actual expiration date, right down to the hour! And so — while I can understand the appeal of fashion in general, I’m really lost in understanding the appeal of this one.

    It bears repeating: The above does not apply to the substantial reasons for hating George Bush. Like, for example, the Bush Doctrine with the pillar of pre-emptive action. That’s a good, solid, meaty argument with great points on both sides, having a direct bearing on our continued survival. I’m just talking about this highly fashionable practice of hating George Bush, for the simple reasons that this is what “everybody” is doing.

    Yes, that’s about the most delusional class of people we have walking around right now. Until I think of another.

    What Everbody Else Gets

    Sunday, September 10th, 2006

    What Everbody Else Gets

    Bless Dr. Melissa‘s golden heart, for she has taken a stab at clarifying for me what’s going on. And succeeded…partially. The subject is the Clintons’ marriage, which, before her explanation as well as after, confounds me in its covenantal ramifications as well as its meaning to the general public.

    I am blessed to have the attention of a woman just as patient as Dr. Mel, nearly as articulate, and who somehow puts up with me throughout much of her routine. She’s wired the same way as I am, but has strengths in relating to other people, whereas I only have handicaps. I have done my best to exploit this relationship of mine, to try to answer some of the questions the Doctor has tried to answer for me, and this continues to be a learning experience.

    But it’s unfair of me to imply that this challenge of acquainting me to the enigma of “What Everybody Else Gets,” is some kind of negligible task, when it’s actually a much larger one. I’ve been keeping track of Things Everybody Else Gets, that I don’t…there are about two dozen of them, believe it or not.

    Note the following:

    If a lot of other people like something, and I happen to personally dislike it or disapprove of it — but I understand why they like it — it doesn’t make the list.

    If lots of people like something, and as individuals, they demonstrate they don’t understand what’s going on any better than I do…they’re just going with the flow…it doesn’t make the list.

    The list is what the list is called. Things everybody else gets. On an individual level, people understand — or they show the appearance of understanding — why they like the thing they seem to like. And I just…plain…don’t…get it. That part of the brain is missing.

    1. The Clintons’ Marriage

    Linked above. My comments speak for themselves. I just don’t get it.

    2. Forrest Gump

    Everybody seems to understand this movie. There is something profound going on here; something really deep. It has something to do with trying over and over again, not being intimidated, even when you’re “not a smart man.” The lesson is…well, after seeing the movie about four times, maybe more, I’m still clueless as to what the lesson is. I just don’t understand what’s going on here.

    3. Krispy Kreme

    Okay, I understand why people like Krispy Kreme…about as much as you’d like any old glazed donut. I’ve had Krispy Kreme. They’re decent enough, but there’s nothing special about them. They’re glazed donuts. That’s all they are. But when/if a new Krispy Kreme branch opens, traffic is stalled for miles. Why? They’re donuts. That’s all.

    4. Baggy Pants

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I don’t understand the fad. Why do you want your pants to fall down below the crack of your ass? Especially if you’re going to steal something and try to outrun somebody.

    5. That scene where Wilson floats away in “Cast Away”

    Oh no, this is starting to look like a “bash Tom Hanks” thing. I don’t mean for it to be, the man is a talented, dedicated actor and I admire his work very much. Even though his political opinions suck, he’s a marvelous actor. But I don’t understand the Wilson thing. The ball floats away, while he yells at it. The scene goes on and on and on, like I’m not supposed to be bored out of my skull. A man yelling at a ball? What is the point here?

    6. iPod

    Based on the information that has made its way to me, they seem to be able to hold a lot of data, but they can’t do a damn thing besides play music. Other appliances cost half as much, and can do much, much more. What’s the appeal?

    7. Top Gun

    Yes it has a lot of music in it, but as a movie it’s mediocre at best. And what is up with all the men having these long, straight white teeth? I don’t know if they’re smiling at each other or getting ready to bite each other in half.

    8. Oprah

    I can see why she’d have a show; I don’t understand how and why as many people have been talking about her, have been talking about her. For as long as they have.

    9. Katy Couric

    Now I don’t want to pile on and beat up on Katy when everybody else is at the same time…but the comments about Oprah, hold for Katy. I don’t get it. She’s a silly woman who delivers silly things that are supposed to be “news.” Cutely. Why so much praise after the delivery; and from whence arose the demand, that inspired the delivery? Who the hell wants “cute” news, and why?

    10. The Big Chill

    JoBeth Williams is a honey, or was back in the day. But I’ll go see this if I want to see a cute JoBeth Williams. As for the rest of the movie, well, I don’t get it. There seems to be something profound going on here, that I don’t understand.

    11. One guy, sporting a goatee, and a cowboy hat…at the same time

    Cowboy hats are American. Goatees aren’t. We seem to have a lot of people walking around who think the two go together like chopped nuts and chocolate sundaes. From whence does this cognition arise? And when you have a room with a hundred guys or more, and ninety-and-up of those guys have huge belt buckles, cowboy boots, bolos, ten-gallon hats and goatees…how can that possibly not look like a bunch of guys copying each other? It’s like a bunch of penguins wearing the same color of propeller-beanie or something. No way could they be getting dressed without peeking at each other.

    12. Football

    It’s supposed to just reach out and grab you, make you want to be a part of it, until you can’t think about anything else. It just bores the hell out of me. It looks like what it is, a bunch of other people playing a game…why would I want to watch that?

    13. Bull Durham

    It’s a movie. I’ve seen it three times. It’s pretty boring…mostly because, whatever is going on in it, is something I don’t get.

    14. The frogs in “Magnolia”

    Does anybody, anywhere, understand this?

    15. Negativity about “blogging”.

    I didn’t understand why this fellow hates blogs so much, and I don’t fully understand how it is that this guy hates them either. Hating blogs, is like hating telephones, books, typing paper or calligraphy.

    16. Lord of the Rings

    Heroes. Villains. Weird creatures. A Maguffin. The story’s been told before, in a lot less than nine hours. This movie trilogy is boring, and the nine hour length isn’t what make it boring. Half an hour of it is boring. I can feel my ass getting tired. It’s not Peter Jackson’s fault, either. King Kong went on and on and on, but it wasn’t boring. There’s something about this thing that just makes me want to fall asleep. I don’t understand why people like it so much.

    17. Soccer

    I don’t see why you’d want to watch it, let alone get in a fight about it. Except most female soccer players look hot. But the games that attract all the attention, have to do with male soccer players. Running around not scoring any points. I don’t understand it.

    18. Barbra Streisand

    Why would you want to see this woman sing?

    19. Julia Roberts

    She’s not a bad actress at all…but others are better.

    20. “Supermodels”

    They’re models.

    21. Japanese Cartoons

    My son and my girlfriend watched one of these. Get a load of this: Bad guy challenged good guy. Bad guy started beating the crap out of the good guy. Good guy fought back and surprised the bad guy. Then the bad guy came back and beat the good guy, real good. The good guy’s teacher started to cry. That is all that happened, I swear to God. A whole hour. With that crappy, cheap, recycled Hanna-Barbera cartoon quality from start to finish. When it was over, I told my son he needed to get his japanese-cartoon-watching friends together, and storm the offices of the people who made the cartoon, with pitchforks and torches. They were ripping him off.

    22. Tennis

    I really don’t understand why anyone would want to see this.

    23. Jewel-encrusted cell phone and matching cases

    Barf.

    24. Men piercing their junk

    What kind of drugs are consumed right before this lends an appearance to being a somewhat good idea?

    Tribute

    Sunday, September 10th, 2006

    Tribute

    Life is a gift that was given to me before it was given to him, and I was left to enjoy it long after it was taken from him. Beyond that, I know very little about Joe Holland. You see it all below…

  • He was born and raised in Riverdale and Inwood.
  • He attended Good Shepherd grammar school, the Bronx High School of Science, and Manhattan College.
  • Mr. Holland showed up for work sometime before 8:46 a.m. on the critical date. He would have been on the 92nd floor of the North tower when Flight 11 hit, taking out Floors 94 to 98.
  • With his wife Kathy, he had recently bought a blue, raised ranch home in Glen Rock, NJ after living in an apartment in Manhattan. His son, Joseph Francis Holland IV, had been born September 1.
  • His first cousin writes to me of the irony that he “had a cop for a grandfather, a fireman for a father, and yet Joey the stockbroker died.” Joseph Holland I would be the policeman and Jr. was the firefighter.
  • In a gesture that must have seemed campy at the time but has done much to enshrine Mr. Holland’s virtual immortality, he sang to Kathy’s growing belly before his son was born. “‘You are the sunshine of my life,’ went the lyrics to his favorite song. ‘That’s why I’ll always be around…’”
  • He had a reputation as a jokester. He could make anyone laugh.
  • Joe and Kathy Holland had recently taken up golf, including a trip to Hilton Head, S.C., this spring. His tribute page on the CNN September 11 Memorial project is here.
  • I don’t know if the man donated to charity or not. I don’t know how he voted. I don’t care. Nobody deserves to go that way. He was butchered in order to make a political statement, for those who love death more than life, but are too cowardly to show their love of death by embracing it and leaving everybody else alone. In that sense, Joe Holland represents not only the other 2,995 who shared his fate on that day, but all of us. The men who killed him, will kill us all if they can. Those of us who are on time for work, those who are late, those who don’t work at all, men who sing to their pregnant wives’ tummies, men who can’t stand their pregnant wives, the pregnant wives themselves, mothers, fathers, children, stepbrothers, grandma’s, the sky’s the limit. They have a statement to make, and the statement doesn’t have anything to do with family status…not too much to do with religion, either. It has to do with power and threats. And so, they will kill whenever the agenda says to go forward, and the opportunity has presented itself. No exceptions…save for, perhaps, when there’s a strategy that says the point can somehow be made more incandescently if the killing is done at a later time. Other than that, no exceptions.

    Now, on Friday I got an e-mail, with some of the other 2,996 bloggers pledged, from The 2,996 Project itself. The request reads as follows…

    This is just a thought… I have been sending releases to some of the major media to get this picked up. It’s such an amazing project and I really hope the message gets out there to the families that we haven’t forgot and their loved ones are still remembered. I think there would be more bang if each and every one of us (if you feel comfortable doing so) sending an email to their local major news media explaining what the 2996 project is. I hope this will get the exposure this deserves. Average people honoring those lost. It will take 5 minutes to do….

    No big deal, right? Well, a little bit of Googlin’ raised the issue that perhaps this was more important than it would at first appear; searching for local stories on the 2,996 project, I came up with Zip. Zero. Butkus.

    So on Saturday night, I sent off the following to the “Blog Lady” at the Sacramento Bee. Keep in mind, that was last night.

    I’m looking for mention in the Sacramento Bee on the 2,996 Bloggers project, which is a non-partisan tribute to the victims whose lives were lost in the September 11 attacks five years ago. One blog(ger) has been matched up to each of the deceased whose life was ended in the WTC, the Pentagon, the airplanes that collided with those structures, and Flight 93, as well as the emergency responders who gave their lives in the aftermath so that others might live.

    Monday is the critical turning-point of the project, of course. I could find no mention of this in the paper or on any other local news resource, but I don’t mean that as a slight toward the Bee or anybody else; it could say more about my searching efforts & facilities, than anything. At any rate, it’s high time I took the effort to direct your attention to this if it has not already been so directed, because the project is well worth your perusal and I think many Sacramento Bee readers would like to know about it. You can find out more about the 2,996 Bloggers tribute here:

    http://www.dcroe.com/2996/?page_id=34

    Thanks so much for your time and consideration.

    Morgan K. Freeberg
    House of Eratosthenes
    http://mkfreeberg.blogspot.com

    And so you can imagine, it was a little bit of an eyebrow-raiser to crack open the Sunday paper, I’m guessing maybe twelve hours after hitting the “Send” button, and see the write-up shown on the right. Do things work this fast? It doesn’t seem possible; this is probably an example of great minds thinking alike.

    The “Surfin’ USA” column in the morning paper, seems to do much to publicize my blog, which nobody actually reads anyway — and very little to throw much-deserved traffic to the 2,996 Bloggers tribute project, which was more the focus of my intent, and which I think people would show more interest in seeing. Honestly, I don’t know why The Bee did things the way they did them. But I’m glad there was some mention made anyway, they didn’t have to do that.

    That’s what I know about Joseph Francis Holland III.

    Rest in peace, pal. I hope wherever you are, you know you’re not forgotten. Kathy and crew, tomorrow, we will be with you in spirit if we can’t physically be by your side. Joseph IV, I’m sure in the years ahead it may become tedious for you to hear it, but you’re an important part of our nation’s history and it’s critically important that people don’t forget who you are and what you represent. You sprang forward, after all, at a crossroads between life and death. I hope, in your lifetime, the whole battle we’re fighting now, collapses into the trash bin of history, along with the machinery and organizations of the evil men who murdered your dad.

    It would be indecent of me to try to address you without your Mom saying it’s okay, and so I shall not. Should these words somehow find their way to you, I hope you consider them a message not to you, but to your generation. Your entire generation has been born into something special, the way you were born into something special. It is targeted for well-intentioned peace-people who will try to sell you on the idea that your father died of something resembling…an accident. A natural disaster. Some kind of “whoopsie!” Now, tomorrow is a sacred day for your family and I wish to keep it cleansed of any undercurrents that have to do with “politics” to the best I can…but this piece is vitally important. An accident is an accident, murder is murder. Those two are different. Forgiving your fellow man of his transgressions is one thing, and getting sold a pack of lies is another. And so I hope it is remembered, by you, that your father and people like him didn’t die in an accident. There is this huge, expansive, yawning gap between what your father deserved, and what he got. And the difference between those two is man-made.

    I expect the peace-people will be hitting you pretty hard in the years ahead, that to simply keep the above in mind is “hatred.” It isn’t hatred. It’s a decent respect to the truth and the facts, and it matters. A whole lot. Hate — that would give far too much attention to the men who did this evil thing. I hope the men who killed the 2,996 in cold blood, are brought to justice, without the bringers lowering themselves into the depths of hate. But bring the justice about, by whatever means necessary. If people of my generation fail at doing this for whatever reason, may your generation succeed.

    Some people need to be asked, so go ahead and ask: Have You Forgotten?

    Under Fire

    Friday, September 8th, 2006

    Under Fire

    Heard a guy call in to a radio show about a month or two ago. I don’t remember what the topic was, but he managed to neatly encapsulate something I’ve been thinking for a long time about people who argue. It’s nothing original, by any stretch; mystery shows have been making note of this throughout all of the twentieth century. Super-sleuth will inform the husband that he’s a widower now, his wife was found dead a few hours ago and could he explain his whereabouts? And the husband will reply “I’m telling you, I didn’t shoot her!” Super-sleuth says to the husband, or to his sidekick after husband leaves…ya know, I never said anything about her being shot.

    Moral of the story is, sometimes when we say stuff, the wise listener will pay only a little bit of attention to what we’re actually saying, and a great deal more attention to the necessity that appears to have arisen for us to get it said. And what that might mean.

    Or as the caller to the radio program said, “My dad always told me when you throw a rock into a pack of wild dogs, the one that yelps is the one you hit.”

    Well, there’s a whole lot of yelping dogs right about now because of this new movie out, “The Path to 9/11″ starring Harvey Keitel. The film purports to be an unbiased, non-partisan look at all the things that went on in the world of intelligence, subterfuge, politics, military operations, etc. before the September 11 attacks came about. Non-partisan it may be, but apparently it’s pretty tough on the Clinton administration and this has created some bad feeling in people because…well, I’ll let this commentator speak for himself, since he’s seen it and I haven’t.

    Regardless of ones political leanings, I think it is despicable for 9/11 to be fictionalized and history rewritten simply for political gain. Does ABC have no shame? Are the nearly 3000 lost souls of that horrific day just political tools, now?

    I have no problem with a FACTUAL documentary on the events leading up to 9/11. There is plenty of blame to go around, to both democratic and republican administrations. Telling the truth is always a great way to go. But to completely falsify information, and then LIE about falsifying it, especially about an event still so painful to many people, is just way below acceptable.

    I seem to recall when CBS tried to “fictionalize” a Reagan “docudrama”, the conservatives and republicans were so incensed that the program was finally pulled. Are those same people going to be equally incensed about this “swiftboating” debacle?

    Yeah, it’s fictionalized. And the one piece of fictionalizing that is causing angst more than any other piece, has to do with this

    In one scene, CIA operatives working with Ahmed Shah Masud, the charismatic Afghan mujahedin leader who fought al-Qaida and their Taliban sponsors, are assembled on a hillside above bin Laden’s residence at Tarnak Farms. “It’s perfect for us,” says “Kirk,” a composite character representing several of the CIA operatives and analysts involved in the hunt for the terrorist leader.

    But the team is forced to abort the mission when Berger hangs up on them in the middle of a conference call, after telling them he cannot give the go ahead for the action. “I don’t have that authority,” he says.

    “Are there any men in Washington,” Masud asks Kirk afterwards in the film, “or are they all cowards?”

    See, it’s “fiction” in the sense that there’s no such thing as “Kirk”…there’s no such thing as Mel Gibson’s character in The Patriot, he was a composite of Francis Marion and Daniel Morgan. This leads to a lot of lines in the script that “didn’t happen.” Or, to take another Gibson movie as an example, Braveheart didn’t knock up Queen Isabella, nor could he have.

    It’s stylization. Limited meddling with the factual events, for the sake of a better presentation. Whether the meddling goes over the top is a matter of opinion, but some meddling is necessary for the format.

    That’s what Thomas Kean, Co-Chairman of the 9/11 Commission himself, said in the film’s defense.

    Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, the co-chair of the Sept. 11 commission and an adviser to the miniseries, said in its defense that “for dramatic and narrative purposes, there are scenes that are fictionalized in some ways because they’re composites of what took place. You have to do that in a miniseries.”

    And yet the “big” events are still consistent with the truth. And there’s no better evidence of that, than the sense of urgency in all the yelping.

    But this yelp impressed me more than any other. It’s from Sandy Berger himself.

    A statement from Samuel “Sandy” Berger, who was national security adviser to President Bill Clinton at the time, calls the scenes involving him “complete fabrications.”
    :
    “The incidents depicted did not happen,” said Berger in the statement. “They are not contained in the Sept. 11 Commission report, which is the most authoritative review of the events before and after the attack.”

    Get a load of that. The man who smuggled confidential documents out of the archives in his pants…took them home, illegally…shredded who-knows-what. They can’t even find out what he shredded. He’s intoning to us we should believe only what’s in the 9/11 Commission report, and disbelieve anything that’s not in it. When, thanks to his own actions, it’s impossible to tell what couldn’t have made it in…because nobody was able to find it. It was shredded, BY HIM.

    Anyway, there’s more yelping going on over here and here, and I’m also admiring the fisking job that was done over here.

    It will be discussed much in the days ahead, I think. And it’s interesting how many of the headlines contain those two words “under fire.” The film is under fire. Isn’t it great to be a liberal? Liberals, it seems, get to decide what’s “under fire.” When’s the last time a hit piece on a conservative was “under fire”? Was that silly Reagan film ever “under fire”?

    Update: Blogger friend Buck Pennington found, thanks to the New York Post, the biggest yelp of them all.

    Update: Threat! h/t Hot Air, via Jawa.

    Update: This is a must-read too.

    Update: Neal Boortz has a few points to add to this. Points well worth reading.

    Update 9/10/06: Thanks to the left-wing website Think Progress, I managed to trip across a copy of Sandy Berger’s letter over here.

    The Other Border

    Friday, September 8th, 2006

    The Other Border

    I just had this pop into my head the other night, during the inky blackness long before dawn, when a man’s wakeful state calls his very sanity into question. I’m sure someone else has thought of it before, but such a rumination has not made its way to me except from between my own two ears.

    Let us play devil’s advocate on the whole “border” issue, and collect every argument anyone’s ever heard before, on why we should just leave the border problem alone. Why we should go ahead and let all the illegal immigrants in. Why we should make the border more porous. A lot of people are walking around, after all, who feel that’s the right way to go.

    Gather all their arguments. Let’s see, what do we have here…this is a “nation of immigrants,” and allowing immigrants easier access to our country and its resources, is consistent with our heritage. What else. There’s the “don’t be so rigid” argument that says a strong, civilized republic recognizes a time to flex a little bit on the rule of law, especially when following that law makes us bitchy and mean. Okay. What else? The “Archie Bunker” argument, intoning, correctly, that an all-or-nothing attitude about our nation’s border in some cases belies out-and-out bigotry and racism and small-mindedness. Got it. What else? There’s the “How would it make YOU feel?” argument that says, if you or I were the illegal immigrant in question, we’d hop the fence too, so we’re a bunch of hypocrites if we take extraordinary measures to keep someone else from doing so.

    I’m sure the “let ‘em all in” crowd has a number of other important points to make, that I may have missed.

    Make your own list. Got it together?

    Now…let’s turn to the subject of letting God into our schools. Do they apply, or not?

    Oy.

    Majority Leader We Can Spare?

    Friday, September 8th, 2006

    Majority Leader We Can Spare?

    President Lincoln, placed under pressure to relieve General Ulysses Grant after the battle of Shiloh, famously responded, “I can’t spare this man; he fights.”

    If you need a reminder that a lot of asphalt has been put down since 1862 and we just don’t think the same way as we did back then, chew on this. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who, as it is, may not be in that position too much longer, had this to say about passing an immigration bill before the elections:

    I think it would be next to impossible to pass a comprehensive bill that includes dealing with the diversity of 12 million people here in the next three weeks.

    Gosh Dr. Frist, I guess what you’re saying, then, is it’s next to impossible for you to keep your job.

    Can we spare this Majority Leader? It would appear from the looks of things, that thanks to his decisions and not anybody else’s, we’re going to be sparing him pretty soon.

    He doesn’t fight.

    Memo For File XXIV

    Thursday, September 7th, 2006

    Memo For File XXIV

    Quoth Ann Coulter in Slander at the beginning of Chapter Seven, p. 121:

    The Joy of Arguing with Liberals: You’re Stupid!

    If liberals were prevented from ever calling Republicans dumb, they would be robbed of half their arguments…Like clockwork, every consequential Republican to come down the pike is instantly, invariably, always, without exception called “dumb.”

    This is how six-year-olds argue: They call everything “stupid.” The left’s primary argument is the angry reaction of a helpless child deprived of the inability to mount logical counterarguments…The “you’re stupid” riposte is part of the larger liberal tactic of refusing to engage ideas.

    Quoth Aristotle on the definition of an educated mind: It is “…to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

    Submitted for your approval: The FARK thread about President Bush appointing Clay Aiken to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Difficulties.

    Huh. It would appear Annie is on to something here. So is Ari.

    Any ideas on why the “dumb” ones are always Republicans?

    1) It’s a false observation, Democrats are ridiculed for being stupid just as often as Republicans.

    2) Because Republicans really are dumb, and somehow, there’s something at work to ensure Democrats are always smart.

    3) …?

    So You Hate Blogs, Do You II

    Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

    So You Hate Blogs, Do You II

    Aw lookee what we have here…another person who hates blogs. How cute.

    “Blog” itself is short for “weblog,” which is short for “we blog because we weren’t very popular in high school and we’re trying to gain respect and admiration without actually having to be around people.”

    Creating your own blog is about as easy as creating your own urine, and you’re about as likely to find someone else interested in it. One popular technique for building readership is to send e-mail to more well-trafficked blogs offering to exchange links with them. One popular response from those blogs is to laugh derisively and hit the Delete button.

    The snippet about not being very popular in high school is particularly painful, it’s like twisting the knife. Ooh, that hurt. Excuse me, I’m going to have my mom bring a cup of warm milk down here in the basement so I can curl up in my pajamas with my teddy bear and suck my thumb. A few episodes of Dawson’s Creek and I should be good as new.

    Look, Sjoberg, this may come as a shock…but people who were “very popular in high school” are generally pretty fucking irritating. Truth be told, I’d much rather be shipwrecked with a bunch of people who weren’t very popular in high school, than with a bunch of people who were. I mean, ignore the problems with the stuck-up snotty valley girl bitches for a second or two — the nerds and I, would have all that cool stuff made out of bamboo. People who were popular in high school? What the fuck can they do anyway. Tell them to smash something, give them a rock, and you’ll just get back a blank stare. That’s if you can get them to put down their cell phone and hold the rock.

    Is there a more delusional character, anywhere, than the guy who hates blogs? Blogging is a medium of communication; give me an idea, no matter what it is, I can find a blog in favor of that idea somewhere, and another blog arguing against it. Hating blogs, is like hating paper, or the letter “S,” or hating b-flat. Makes no sense. But people do it anyway.

    I have noticed there are a lot of people walking around who have devoted their entire lives to cultivating what could be called the “gift of gab.” Placed in situations where the g.o.g. enjoys less than pivotal usefulness, they become quite emotional. They don’t need anyone to point out to them, the situations that call for something besides refined verbal delivery skills. They don’t need anyone pointing that out…just seeing it for themselves, really sets them off. Really gets ‘em going. It’s like they’ve got a great big hole in their lives, a hole they can forget most of the time, and they’ve just been reminded of it.

    There’s a certain fragility to them. Kind of like the woman who took her husband back after he slept with her best friend, with a promise that from this day forward we shall never mention her name ever again…and just found out he’s been having trysts with her at lunchtime every day, and got her pregnant too. It’s like a real deep-rooted insecurity has been probed, and this insecurity has something to do with their position in life itself. It seems the g.o.g. folks peaked early — like, before the high school in which they were oh-so-popular — and they damn well know it, they’d prefer to forget it, and the blogs just remind them of it.

    Shut Up and … ?

    Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

    Shut Up and … ?

    Pity the poor “Dixie Chicks,” but pity their fans a little more. Back in May, Martie Maguire, speaking for the whole group apparently, said she didn’t “want those kinds of fans” anymore.

    “I’d rather have a small following of really cool people who get it, who will grow with us as we grow and are fans for life, than people that have us in their five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith,” Maguire said. “We don’t want those kinds of fans. They limit what you can do.”

    So…the fans tuned out. Interestingly, Maguire was making her comment as part of a media swing to promote, among other products, their single “Not Ready To Make Nice.” A single released in celebration of the band’s pissy attitude, I guess.

    So…the fans tuned out.

    So…now the band has a new softball docudrama out called “Shut Up And Sing,” about their dismal ticket sales.

    Filmmakers have created a nonchronological story to emphasize the Greek tragedy behind the Dixie Chicks’ spiral into country music’s public enemy No. 1. The Chicks vs. President Bush, the Chicks vs. Toby Keith, the Chicks vs. country radio — every antagonistic angle is covered, and yet Maines, Emily Robison and Martie McGuire persevere, with their chroniclers providing a sympathetic tone to their every struggle.

    “Shut Up” identifies the Dixie Chicks as sincere and honest, a self-contained matriarchal community that doesn’t back down and, per the doc’s p.o.v., deserves support for its integrity alone.

    Heh heh. You know what, maybe the Dixie Chicks’ fans agree entirely, and would love to show that support…but Martie Maguire won’t let them buy any tickets. She doesn’t want certain kinds of fans.

    Why They Hate Fox

    Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

    Why They Hate Fox

    Isn’t it strange? The anti-war leftist loudmouth just loves to tell us why he thinks the things he thinks. Bush is a stupid idiot…and here’s a list of “Bushisms” to “prove” it. The World Trade Center was demolished by the government…and here’s the video to “prove” that. John Kerry is a war hero…and here are the medals to “prove” how brave he is.

    But when it comes time to say Fox News is biased — there is no “proof” forthcoming.

    Well, maybe now at least we can understand why Fox is the object of so much hatred.

    Soldier’s Diary: Soldiers Came to Iraq For Each Other, No Other Reason
    By Capt. Dan Sukman

    When I was on leave, I had many discussions and heard many reasons why U.S. soldiers are in Iraq. The opinions varied from person to person, and when you turn on a TV, or read a paper, there always seems to be an op-ed piece with someone explaining what brought us here.

    The opinions have a wide range; some will tell you we are here for the noblest of causes � to bring democracy to the freedom loving people of Iraq. Others will tell you we came over here for oil, to keep the price of oil up, and others will say to keep oil prices down. Some say we are fighting for the president, while others will say we are fighting for Halliburton.

    You can read stories about soldiers who refused to come over here. Some go to Canada, others call the media to make their case. Some people make them out to be heroes. The immediate thought is they have no idea what is means to be a soldier. The real heroes in those cases are the soldiers who came over and are doing the job for them.
    :
    We did not come here for democracy; we did not come here for oil. We came here for each other. If you cannot understand that, I am sorry, but I can explain it no further.

    It must suck SO much to see men like Captain Sukman given a chance to express their views, when over half a century you’ve become accustomed to good, stalwart leftists like Walter Cronkite having the last word.

    This Is Good XXII

    Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

    This Is Good XXII

    Now this…this is my kind of humor. And to think, they aren’t even trying to be humorous. Well, maybe half-assed trying.

    www.tvtropes.org…includes hundreds of priceless entries like this one

    Bond One Liner
    When the hero has just killed someone, often in a gruesome manner, they do a Bond One Liner.

    James Bond does this in every Bond film.

    The classic Bond One Liner is typically a bad pun on the manner in which the victim was dispatched.

    Examples:

    * (After decapitating someone) “He really lost his head”
    * (After disemboweling someone) “I’ll say this for him: he had a lot of guts.”
    * (After forcing a grenade down someone’s throat) “Something he ate disagreed with him.”
    * (After throwing someone to a shark) “He went out for a quick bite.”
    * (After tethering someone to a rocket) “He got rather carried away.”
    * (After killing someone with ninja throwing stars) “It just wasn’t in the stars for him.”

    Buffy The Vampire Slayer both used and subverted this trope, as Buffy would nearly always have a Bond One Liner after (or just before) killing a baddie, but occasionally she would be mocked for using a stupid-sounding one. Also brought to the attention of the audience when Willow tries to do a One Liner in the first episode of season three (“Anne”), and when it doesn’t work out, she explains that Buffy always says something clever, and she thinks it throws the bad guys off their guard.

    Note that while William Peterson’s one liners on CSI and Jerry Orbach’s on Law And Order are often similar in content, they fail the test for this trope, as Grissom and Briscoe were never the killers. But see: Grissom One Liner.

    For added entertainment, flip forward to the pages on the Six Million Dollar Man, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Incredible Hulk and MacGyver.

    Very cool find.

    Must-Tards X

    Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

    Must-Tards X

    Feminists, do you want to hold Linda Hirshman up as your representative? Do ya? Do ya really?

    MINDY FARABEE: Why do you take issue with what you call “choice feminism”? Why not live and let live?

    LINDA HIRSHMAN: When women opt out, and make what they call in preemptive language a “personal choice,” they’re doing harm to two interests I have. One is they’re doing harm to themselves, and insofar that they are human beings, as a political philosopher, I’m interested in every one of them. Secondly, they’re doing harm to others. Opting out makes women dependent, it hurts other ambitious women, and it doesn’t use their full capacities. I want to have a social conversation about it.
    :
    FARABEE: What about those who say raising children is the most important job a person can do?

    HIRSHMAN: I have no idea what they mean by that. If, in fact, it were the most important thing a human being could do, then why are no men doing it? They’d rather make war, make foreign policy, invent nuclear weapons, decode DNA, paint The Last Supper, put the dome on St. Peter’s Cathedral; they’d prefer to do all those things that are much less important than raising babies?

    I love these sayings, because they’re so stupid. I’ll tell you what I think is actually going on: People think that women’s lives aren’t important enough to merit a real analysis. We get aphorisms in place of analysis. Why do we say stuff like that instead of actually trying to figure out what’s going on here when it’s women whose lives are at stake? If you can make an argument for why childrearing — especially in the context that they are at school from the age of around five on for most of their waking hours — why that is the most important job, I’d like to hear that.

    Got it. So if I’m a woman, and I fail to support feminism and womens’ choices, Hirshman doesn’t like me. If I do support womens’ personal choices about working vs. staying home, then maybe she’ll approve of me — BUT! — in making my “choice,” I have to choose to work, or else she still disapproves. I’m opting out, I’m making other women dependent, I’m hurting ambitious women. So it’s kind of like ordering any color Model A Ford I want, as long as it’s black. Some choice.

    So to earn her approval, if I’m a woman, I have to support womens’ choice, then I have to “choose” to work.

    But maybe even that won’t do the trick!

    Because I could be a woman, support womens’ choice, choose to work…and then, paycheck in hand, trot down to the magazine stand and buy…Playboy for my husband, instead of Cosmopolitan or Ms. for me. Is that okay, Linda Hirshman? Probably not!

    So I have to support womens’ choice in career over home, choose that for myself, cash the paycheck, not patronize Playboy, or Hooters, or The Man Show or anything advertised on Comedy Central…buy Cosmo, buy Ms., and then…VOTE REPUBLICAN! Would you approve of that?

    PROBABLY NOT!

    You see, once you start down this road of “Oh no, we can’t just let you live your life as you choose because you’re still attacking me”…once you go down that road, there’s no stopping. You have to keep on marching, relentlessly, unstoppably, unceasingly, until the entire world is nothing but massively-produced carbon copies of yourself. In this case, women must support womens’ choice…exercise that choice the way Hirshman wants…use that paycheck to support the products Hirshman wants supported…support her political causes…oppose the ones she doesn’t like…and, it’s logical to assume — quite illogical not to assume — a whole fistful of other crap she wants done her way.

    Oh I suppose she could insist some things be done her way, and other things not be done her way…she does have that option open to her. But there’s no reason to promote such an inconsistency. No reason except political expediency, a wilfullness of upholding some objectives that are politically inexpensive, and foresaking others that are more politically costly. Nothing principled about that. Or…personal fatigue. Nothing principled about that either. The only option that remains, is to remain consistent. Micromanage everything a woman has earned the right and privilege to “choose”…or micromanage nothing. Clearly, “micromanage nothing” is an option that doesn’t appeal to Hirshman. So, she must micromanage everything.

    Grreeeeeeaaaaaaatttt job, feminists. Just great. Real crusaders for womens’ liberty, you are.

    Update 9/6/06: What the hell is this, “Show The World I Need To Be Slapped Silly Week” in Feminist-land? Germaine Greer, feminist expatriate from Australia, says the “Animal Kingdom has finally taken its revenge” on Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter.

    Australians were outraged Wednesday over feminist writer Germaine Greer’s claim that the death of wildlife documentary maker Steve Irwin was payback from the animal world. “Every creature he brandished at the camera was in distress,” Australian expatriate Greer wrote in an article in London’s Guardian newspaper. “The animal kingdom has finally taken its revenge.”
    :
    Greer, an academic who left her native Australia in the 1960s, had written: “The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin, but probably not before a whole generation of kids in shorts seven sizes too small has learned to shout in the ears of animals with hearing 10 times more acute than theirs, determined to become millionaire, animal-loving zoo-owners in their turn.”

    I tell ya…some days, it’s just good to be a man. There are nutty men out there, and there are women who are much smarter and saner than the Hirshman/Greer duo. But us guys have it good. Nobody’s making a point of picking out our most loudmouthed and psychotic specimens, and sticking microphones in their faces.

    Batty women like this speak up, and they reflect poorly on all feminists…and not too well upon women in general. But thanks to their zaniness, they get all the coverage from the press. Girls, I think you should hunt down this pair and duct-tape their gaping maws shut — to safeguard your own collective reputation.

    Chickies like Hirshman and Greer, they make more and more of the dreaded “chauvinist pig” wherever they go.

    Sidebar Update VI

    Monday, September 4th, 2006

    Sidebar Update VI

    The sidebar has been updated so that this blog, which nobody actually reads anyway, can support the 2,996 Bloggers tribute to the victims of the September 11 attacks that occurred five years ago. This blog honors Joseph Holland, cheated out of everything in his natural life beyond his 33rd year, for the innocuous act of showing up for work in the World Trade Center before 8:46 a.m., just days after the birth of his first child. And, of course, we honor the memory of the 2,995 others.

    The words above are lent in support of the non-partisan 2,996 Bloggers project.

    What follows, are my own, not to be associated with them.

    Those whose lives were cut short, cry out for us to avenge their memories. On this, all depends. Toward that end, I’m glad President Bush has achieved what he has, and I wish his administration was capable of achieving much more.

    Anti-war folks who’ve been watching way too many episodes of M*A*S*H and Star Trek, are going to say this is “raw blood-lust” on my part, and it’s the wrong way to go. I recommend they educate themselves on the subtle distinction between “avenge” and “revenge”:

    Avenge, revenge both imply to inflict pain or harm in return for pain or harm inflicted on oneself or those persons or causes to which one feels loyalty. The two words were formerly interchangeable, but have been differentiated until they now convey widely diverse ideas. Avenge is now restricted to inflicting punishment as an act of retributive justice or as a vindication of propriety: to avenge a murder by bringing the criminal to trial. Revenge implies inflicting pain or harm to retaliate for real or fancied wrongs; a reflexive pronoun is often used with this verb: Iago wished to revenge himself upon Othello.

    Like Martin Luther King, I have a dream. I have a dream that, when & if Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants start recruiting for the next suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, or the next attack on a United States embassy, approaching men, women, children, old, young, sick, well, rich, poor…they find no takers.

    Isn’t that what we all want?

    Good. Then let’s just set up the scenario; make it a reality. Speak whatever language we need to speak, to make things understood. To target civilians in whatever conflict exists between Islamo-fascists and the west, whether it’s part of a suicide mission or not…is like, borrowing money from a loan shark. Running through a burr patch in Grandma’s sweater. Pissing up a rope. Tuggin’ on Superman’s cape, spittin’ into the wind, pullin’ the mask off the ol’ Lone Ranger.

    You don’t want to be doing it. PERIOD.

    President Bush has failed to send that message. Now, that could be because of something that applies to all Presidents, due to political and economic forces that are difficult for laymen to understand. But I’m sure of one thing: Where the enemy that we’re currently fighting, is concerned…and it’s a wholly new breed of enemy, the likes of which we’ve seldom seen before…victory depends on that. Sending that message. Call it Reverse-Nike: JUST DON’T DO IT. Without that message sent, the enemy will succeed at whatever the enemy sets out to do — save for whatever the enemy resolves to do at a later time.

    Osama bin Laden has put the word out that he is not to be fucked with. The United States…has not put that word out. There’s a price to be paid for fucking with bin Laden, there isn’t one to be paid for fucking with us. I’m afraid that’s as complicated as it gets. This is what has to be changed. Will a new President get that done for us? It’s doubtful. Will a new Congress? Almost certainly not.

    Also, I’ve added three excellent resources. Two of them are blogs, and one of them is a satire website much better than most.

    Caerdroia;
    Cold Fury;
    The Nose On Your Face.

    On Greenwald

    Monday, September 4th, 2006

    On Greenwald

    Glenn Greenwald makes some brilliant points about Mark Steyn’s column that appeared Saturday.

    To make those points, Greenwald has to assert Steyn said a whole lot of stuff, that Steyn didn’t really say.

    So, to recap: The West is like a 16-year old girl assaulted by aggressive Middle Eastern men – weak, vulnerable, humiliated, and in submission. Gay hedonist Andrew Sullivan, along with the bound and submissive Fox journalists, are the symbols of the weak, decadent West which Steyn so despises — devoid of any manly values and courage. Each week, Steyn screeches that we must wage war — aggressive, unrestrained, manly glorious war against our Enemies — because the alternative, which he fears so deeply, is to be a 16-year-old submissive girl or a gay Andrew Sullivan — the men without chests, as Warren put it. You can find this transparent dynamic in most warmongering screeds these days.

    Go read up; Steyn didn’t say any of that. In fact, it would appear Steyn referred to Andrew Sullivan as “Time magazine’s gay Tory” and that really set Greenwald off, so now he’s calling Steyn, and everybody who agrees with Steyn, a bunch of big sissies.

    Interestingly, if you do something Greenwald clearly doesn’t want you to do…which is to go get Steyn’s column and actually read it…you see he’s actually doing something pretty interesting. Remember how the anti-war folks were clamoring for us to understand those who wanted to attack us? Get inside the heads of the jihadist Islamo-fascists, and find out what motivates them, with an objective of perhaps finding a way to stop further violence? Steyn, it turns out, was doing exactly that thing.

    Why did Greenwald choose to put an entirely different spin on it? Does this whole pro-war/anti-war thing have something to do with being gay? Is there some bizarre brotherhood at work, where one gay guy says he’s opposed to the war, and if he’s engaged in discussion by a pro-war straight guy, all homosexuals are honor-bound to dispense baseless propaganda to help the gay guy “win”? If Greenwald sees it that way, I wonder how many homosexuals support him in that vision.

    Like I said, Greenwald’s points are brilliant. They’re also very insightful…a little bit too much so, it turns out. He sees things that aren’t there.

    Once again, I’m left with the disturbing feeling that Greenwald intends for people to read his own comments — skipping past the link he provided to Steyn’s piece — and just take his word for what Mark Steyn said, and/or intended to say. I can’t prove it, but all the evidence is there supporting this, and this seems to be a pattern with Mr. Greenwald. In truth, I have yet to see a Greenwald piece that colored outside of these lines. It’s almost like a signature.

    Personal Responsibility

    Monday, September 4th, 2006

    Personal Responsibility

    This blog, which nobody actually reads anyway, likes to come up with titles for it’s blog posts that reflect…themes. That’s the way life works, you’ll notice. Themes. The raging dickhole in the silver BMW 320i who cut you off on the freeway, he’s an instance, whom you’ll probably never see again…”assholes who annoy you when you drive to work” is an ongoing theme. And so we have titles that end with roman numerals. It’s cheesy, but that’s how we keep ourselves reflecting real life, or, something vaguely resembling it. Themes pop up again and again, and we “cap” them with a roman numeral.

    And this thing with Australians taxing each other to raise Medicare money to change fat kids into skinny kids — when skinny kids should be cheaper than fat kids to begin with — is an instance of an ongoing theme: Personal responsibility. Now I’m not sure what is up with Labor Day, it seems to be “Personal Responsibility Day.” Or lack thereof.

    We have some more things coming out today…again, these are instances of a common theme.

    Like, uh, you can buy insurance in case you’re a little league coach, and get sued for yelling at some little motherfucker who uses the “F” word.

    Almost everyone would agree that insurance to cover your home or car is a good idea.

    How about insurance to cover your costs if your wedding gets canceled?

    Or liability coverage if you’re a Little League coach and you get sued for hurting some kid’s feelings?

    Or insurance to cover expenses in case you’re a victim of stalking?

    The world of insurance includes all these possibilities and more. Insurance broker Kenneth Kukral calls it “oddball, weirdo stuff.”

    The Insurance Information Institute calls it “niche” or “specialty” insurance. [emphasis mine]

    Oddball, weirdo stuff. Yeah I’ll just bet. Some real creative genius-types in the marketing department of those noble insurance companies, are just seeking out all the nooks and crannies of ways they can protect the insurance consumer from…whatever.

    Or, it could be more like…greasing the skids so lawyers can make more money. Well, I’ll leave that to the reader to decide.

    In case you’re ever “sued for hurting some kid’s feelings”…sheesh.

    And here’s another instance that is part of the same theme. Warning labels about keeping data secure on wireless connections. The new nanny-state law is passed in my home state…as usual.

    From 1 October 2007, manufacturers must place warning labels on all equipment capable of receiving Wi-Fi signals, according to the new state law. These can take the form of box stickers, special notification in setup software, notification during the router setup, or through automatic securing of the connection. One warning sticker must be positioned so that it must be removed by a consumer before the product can be used.

    The warnings would have to contain information on how to secure files, folders, and connections. Wireless internet connections can be used by anyone with Wi-Fi capability within the range of the transmitter unless they are secured.

    Okay, here’s the bee up my butt.

    We have lots of “soccer moms” out there demanding 55-mile-an-hour speed limits, and draconian gun control laws. “Real” people are out there, wanting that stuff…I don’t agree with them, but they are real people. They do exist.

    We do not have “real” people demanding new medicare plans to teach chubby kids to be thin.

    We do not have “real” people demanding new insurance policies in case little-league coaches are sued for hurting widdle kiddoes feeeeewwwings.

    We do not have “real” people taking to the streets with pitchforks and torches, demanding WiFi warning labels.

    We have lawyers wanting more ways of making money.

    That is ALL we have here.

    All the world over, people put up with this, and I don’t understand why they do. It’s like, when your house is already on fire, throwing a few more matches on it. Or when your car’s emergency brake has failed and it’s rolling downhill, running behind it, and giving it a good PUSH.

    We have “soccer moms” who demand silly nanny-state rules, like you can’t keep score in a soccer game. Or you have to rip things out of an amusement park that might result in an occasional skinned knee on the poor widdle babums. And warning labels, and more warning labels.

    They are politically powerful. Nobody wants to fuck with the soccer moms. They win, a lot more often than they lose.

    Why do their political agendas have to be supplemented, with a bunch of blood-sucking lawyers who want to make more money, demanding all kinds of additional ridiculous legislative/litigatorial machinery, for which the soccer moms didn’t even ask?

    Someday, I’d like to pass the bar and become a lawyer, just to find out how this works. We absolutely abhore people who are rich, who mutilate the way our society works, the implied social contracts between us, for no higher purpose than to become richer. Somehow, when it’s lawyers…we give ‘em a pass. And the new laws they want — they get. Nobody stands in their way.

    I honestly don’t understand it.

    Jocularity

    Monday, September 4th, 2006

    Jocularity

    The British Royal Family has another scandal, and Colbert gets the giggles.

    Is It Okay To Call Them Unpatriotic Now?

    Monday, September 4th, 2006

    Is It Okay To Call Them Unpatriotic Now?

    Mein Blogovault…good place to find out what’s going on. From there, we learn about this thing which speaks for itself over at Flopping Aces.

    Includes a dissertation on whether the clip was made by a liberal or not. It’s valid to record the evidence saying so, but as a practical matter — anyone who contests it, is never going to be convinced anyway.

    My method would be quicker: It appears there is a large faction of connected, or unconnected, persons and/or organizations ready to blame lots of things on America, and to credit the United States with absolutely nothing positive in the world. Constantly sliming America, constantly bashing America, constantly calling attention to the skeletons in America’s closet.

    Maybe those folks are liberals, maybe they aren’t.

    Maybe being a liberal is all about joining that crew, maybe it isn’t.

    If this is NOT what being a liberal is all about…let us see some well-known liberals take on the America bashers and try to beat ‘em. Liberals seem to be pretty capable of throwing around some pretty nasty words; let’s see them throw some in the direction of the America bashers, if they aren’t all part of the same crowd.

    Let’s see it happen. Not holding my breath.

    I’m a Lardass Because You Don’t Spend Enough Money

    Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

    I’m a Lardass Because You Don’t Spend Enough Money

    This blog, which nobody actually reads anyway, makes it a regular habit to probe the thoughts we have that widen the already-gaping chasm between public policy, and public policy that would make some sense. And in that pursuit, we are drawn to, and re-drawn to, and re-drawn to again and again and again, like a moth to a flame…the never-ending issue of people finding new things to worry about, wombat-rabies bollywonkers crazy things, when a little bit too much time has slipped by since they’ve had something real to worry about.

    Er, about which to worry.

    Heh. I’m an example of my own point. Roofs over our heads, food in our guts, you even understand what I’m saying just fine and dandy…and least, with a couple of re-reads, you do…and here we are obsessing over the prepositions I end my sentences with. Well, anyway. Back to the subject at hand.

    We just don’t think the same way after Beowulf brings in Grendel’s head, as we do an hour before. The candy machines are installed. The breakrooms in which those candy machines sit, have linoleum and power. The buildings housing those breakrooms, have good foundations, and the swamps that once lay in the spots where those buildings sit on their foundations, have been cleared. Naturally, before the swamps were drained, the snakes were killed. And now that people have nothing more worthy of their carping and complaining, besides the machines eating the dollar and not dropping the right candy…on the very spot where poisonous snakes once slithered…about what shall we worry?

    How about this?

    THERE now are more overweight people than undernourished, organisers of an international obesity conference claim. The escalating problem, particularly in children, could make today’s generation the first to die before its parents.
    :
    Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows almost 70,000 extra South Australian adults have joined the growing ranks of obesity since 2001. In 2004-05, 18 per cent, or about 202,800, were obese; 32 per cent, or about 370,000, were overweight. In 2001, 15 per cent, or about 168,400, were obese and 30 per cent, or about 335,800, were overweight.

    Campbelltown mother-of-three Kerry Scerri is conscious of protecting her children from becoming obese or overweight.

    “I put on extra weight and I know what it’s like to feel uncomfortable with yourself, feel unhappy and wonder what people are saying about you,” said Mrs Scerri, who has been a life member of Jenny Craig for 15 years. “I don’t want to put my kids through that.”

    The Dietitians Association of Australia has called on the Federal Government to:

    RECOGNISE obesity as a chronic disease under Medicare.

    PROVIDE a significant financial commitment to help struggling Australian families get the skills and support they need to feed their families properly. [CAPS in original]

    Woo hoo! Things must be going great in Australia. Looks like a few too many opera houses have gone up since anyone has had to worry about losing a leg to a Great White shark, or getting kicked in the head by a kangaroo, or having a dingo eat one of their babies.

    It just goes to show what I’ve been saying all along: Too much civilization. Once the snakes are killed and the swamps are drained and the buildings built and the candy machines installed…we, as a species, appear to be incapable of conducting our lives the way we did when we were killing those snakes. We can’t think the same way. It’s like a chunk of our collective brain goes missing. Once the concerns are addressed, the new priority becomes to find more concerns.

    Which is fine by itself, I suppose, as long as it’s a linear process. When you have what it takes to build a ten-story building, it’s just the human instinct for progress to try to find a way to build a twenty-story building…and it makes sense that we’re incapable of worrying about twenty-story buildings when the swamp has not yet been cleared so the foundation can be set. Put some buildings on this continent, when you’re done, put some buildings on that continent over there — then, build a spaceship, and conquer space. Progress.

    But this is not a linear process. Not when you have egghead scientists twisting the arm of the Australian government to give money to fat people, so fat people might stop being fat…which, I’ll wager, nobody anywhere is going to bet some serious coin or some left testicles is what’s really going to happen.

    No, this is a cyclical process. This is an empire getting ready to fall. Only the brain-damaged can recite this in a one-line summary, with a straight face. We got all these fleshy kids…we’re worried that a whole generation of Augustus Gloops could expire before their parents because they’re so chubby…government has to appropriate some funds, to give these porkers and their parents the skills they need to thin the kids down. Yeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhh…right.

    No, here is the next thing about which the international community can get worried, now that the swamps are cleared and the buildings are built. How about this: Scientists, who have figured out that if their research says the right stuff, it will have a positive effect on their grant money. It’s been a problem for a long time now. Give me anyone willing to argue with me about it and tell me it’s not a problem, I can change their mind, toot-sweet, simply by citing some scientific research such a critic would happen to not like, and I’ll have an instant convert. In other words, we all know this is true, some of us just choose an opportune time to admit it.

    And so what we have come to call “science” is now something quite different from what science really is…and we are blind. We have been commanded — or Australia has been commanded, anyhow — to take as our next priority in the continuing human struggle, the appropriation of public funds to turn fat kids into not-so-fat kids. EXCUUUUUUSE ME…it’s cheaper to make a skinny kid, in the first place, than a tub-o-goo. Turning out skinny kids instead of fat kids, should produce a freakin’ savings — from whence arises the necessity to pay for it?

    I mean, I’m sure there’s a decent answer to the question…but how come nobody seems to at least be asking it in the first place?

    Thing I Know #113. A crisis precedes logical thinking. Logical thinking precedes a solution to the crisis. Too long a time without a crisis, precedes indulgence and sloppy thinking. Indulgence and sloppy thinking precede the next crisis.
    Thing I Know #125. They tell me rules are needed for civilization, but I notice civilization is needed for the rules. Civilization arises from where a wild frontier was tamed. On the taming of a wild frontier by a rulebook, history stands mute.
    Thing I Know #130. The noble savage gives us life. Then we outlaw his very existence. We call this process “civilization.” I don’t know why.
    Thing I Know #146. The day a lingering challenge finally abates, atrophy starts setting in. People lose their capacity for dealing with the challenge; slowly on their own, and much more quickly in groups.

    Whiskey…Tango…Foxtrot… IV

    Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

    Whiskey…Tango…Foxtrot… IV

    What the–

    Did he just kill off Jan??

    Completely Uncalled For

    Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

    Completely Uncalled For

    Okay, now after that last one let’s go for something light. One of my son’s favorite jokes…transformed…

    Fumento on AIDs

    Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

    Fumento on AIDS

    In ’93, my mother died from a cancerous brain tumor. I was a subscriber to the American Spectator, and I couldn’t help but notice the irony, given my personal situation, in the writings of one Michael Fumento.

    Bill Clinton was a brand-new President back then, and he was bound and determined to make sure that what our Government spent on the AIDS epidemic, as vast a sum as that may have been under the administration of George H. W. Bush, be nevertheless multiplied. Which, in due course, it was.

    It’s 2006. We still have AIDS.

    What took my mother’s life thirteen years ago, was something we had been reading about clear back in the seventies: Cancer. Cancer of this, Cancer of that. And the irony is not lost on me: In order to catch AIDS, you have to do…certain things which we will leave unmentioned in this forum. To catch cancer, you have to do…who knows what? Sunbathe, eat lots of salty food. Well, my mother did neither one of those, but in 1991 she figured out her brain was working, you know, not quite properly. So she went in for a CAT Scan, and lo and behold, there was a cloud. Eighteen months later she was worm food.

    Now I ask you. What’s scarier? I mean, really.

    So while I freely confess to a personal bias, nevertheless, regardless of the reason, I am solidly on the Fumento bandwagon.

    Fumento likens a rational analysis of the AIDS crisis, which is sadly lacking, nowadays…to John Snow’s analysis of the cholera epidemic in mid-nineteenth-century London.

    The entire science of epidemiology � which began when London physician John Snow determined that cholera cases in his city clustered around a single water pump � depends on identifying risk factors to ameliorate them. In Snow�s case, he simply removed the pump handle and the epidemic ended.

    He was lucky he didn�t have to deal with activists carrying signs reading: “Water doesn�t cause cholera; ignorance and prejudice cause cholera!”

    Indeed. Isn’t it funny? What we call “science” plays this game of leapfrog with what we call “truth”…sometimes in front of it, sometimes over it, sometimes under it, sometimes in back of it. But never are the two concepts more distant, than when mind-boggling numbers of human lives are at stake.

    Found more info on the John Snow Pump Handle thingy over here.

    Happy reading.

    This Is Good XXI

    Friday, September 1st, 2006

    This Is Good XXI

    Wuzzadem on the Plame fiasco. Of course this is from April, but it’s not as if anything’s changed since then.

    Oh it has? Or…sorry, I can’t remember. Oh well. Funny stuff. Does what good humor should do: It reflects reality.

    Press Alt Tab, The Boss Is Coming

    Friday, September 1st, 2006

    Press Alt Tab, The Boss Is Coming

    Nobody ever reads this blog, especially on Fridays, but if anybody is reading blogs on a Friday we all know what that means: They’re too lazy to do any more work, everybody else is too lazy to count on them for anything anyway, but they’re not quite out the door on the way home just yet because they’re too lazy to shut down the computer.

    Hey I’m in your corner guys. We champion hard work here, and coming through in a pinch when people are counting on you for stuff…but who the hell’s counting on anybody on a Friday afternoon? And for the guy who brings home the bacon, let’s face it…paychecks to deposit, movies to rent, take-out food and dry-cleaning to pick up, getting the family fed by seven, asshole drivers everywhere…the logistics before the weekend can get a little thick. So I understand, a little bit of lighter fare in the blogosphere is kind of welcome.

    Who better to provide it than Holtie’s House (his website generally NSFW though).

    AUSSIE COMPUTER TERMINOLOGY

    LOG ON: Adding wood to make the barbie hotter.

    LOG OFF: Not adding any more wood to the barbie.

    MONITOR: Keeping an eye on the barbie.

    DOWNLOAD: Getting the firewood off the ute.

    HARD DRIVE: Making the trip back home without any
    cold tinnies.

    KEYBOARD: Where you hang the ute keys.

    WINDOW: What you shut when the weather’s cold.

    SCREEN: What you shut in the mozzie season.

    BYTE: What mozzies do.

    Read the whole thing