Tuesday, August 23, 2005


From this story in Tuesday's Star Tribune, we learn that Medica spent two and a half million dollars defending itself against our camera-loving Attorney General, Mike Hatch. I hope this embarrasses him, since the citizens of Minnesota are going to get screwed both ways - 2.5 million of costs Medica will pass on to its customers, and the 100,000 spent by Hatch's office paid in taxes levied on those same customers and the rest of Minnesota taxpayers. Wonderful.

Pat Robertson, Idiot

Pat Robertson demonstrates once again indulges in his penchant for saying idiot things by advocating the assassination of Hugo Chavez. Just as the Democrats have to suffer Howard Dean and Barbara Boxer, the GOP has its Pat. The difference is the Republicans don't make their wackos DNC chairman or elect them to Congress.

I wonder whose idiot remarks will get more criticism from the MSM, Robertson's or Cindy Sheehan's?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Nick Coleman, Twit

Nick Coleman, current holder of the Most Hateful Star Tribune Columnist Award, wrote a snide piece (I'll link it when I can access the Strib's website) in Wednesday's Strib about his dislike of the University of North Dakota's efforts to keep its team nickname, the Fighting Sioux. UND had the termerity to actually object to the new NCAA policy banning Indian logos, mascots, and nicknames at NCAA post-season games. Just the kind of politically correct garbage favored by people of Nick's political persuasion. The University president, Charles Kupchella, wrote an open letter to the NCAA detailing the University's objections to the policy.

Rather than actually evaluate President Kupchella's arguments, Coleman spends several hundred words calling him a toady to a dead guy. That's our Nick - never make a reasoned argument when there is an ad hominem to hand.

Do us a favor, Nick. Get a job in Berkeley. We'll both be more comfotable with you there.

Things as they should be

I did a couple of Google searches to see what kind of reaction there would be to the news that Coleen Rowley and Becky Loury were making a pilgrimage to Crawford in support of Cindy Sheehan. Some of the lefty blogs seem to be efflusively praising it, but nothing from the righty blogs. That seems appropriate. Why is it news, after all, when politicians act like politicians?

Note: Ms. Rowley is presently running for the US House seat presently held by John Kline. That makes her a politician. Exploiting a dead soldier for political gain seals it. Any denials of political motives by her are laughable.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Syl Jones Writes, Syl Jones Wrong

The Strib's second most hateful writer (only because Nick Coleman writes more often), Syl Jones gives us this piece of reasoned, thoughtful prose in today's Star Tribune.

The point of it, (if he actually has one) is that there is no leadership in this country and what leadership exists is morally corrupt. His "proof" is to give a laundry list of complaints that are pretty much the MoveOn type-laundry list:

  • Tim Pawlenty's "No New Taxes" pledge (as if MoveOn actually even notices MN)
  • Bush "lied" about WMDs in Iraq (Not proven. Best conclusion from the facts, he listened to intel folks - not just ours - who believed they were there.)
  • We liberated the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Bush gave the press the middle finger (disproven in this video from The Political Teen, as long as one can tell the diffence between a middle and index finger. Maybe Syl can't.)
  • Donald Rumsfeld told an unpleasant truth about war in general - "you go to war with the army you have and not the Army you want".
  • Bob Novak "outed" Valerie Plame. (Scare quotes because it apparently was common knowledge among the press that Plame worked at CIA, and Novak apparently cooperated with the investigation sparked by his column. Hardly the act of a "prince of darkness".)
This looks a lot more like a litany of complaints about an administration he dislikes than evidence of moral decay. He didn't seem to think that moral decay involved oral sex in the Oval Office, so I have trouble understanding what standard other than a partisan one Syl is using. He doesn't mention such insignificant items as kickbacks and bribery in the Oil for Food program, for example. Is it just because it was administered by the UN, thus making corruption moral?

He complains the current administration is vulgar. This after referring to Karl Rove as a "Turd Blossom" and Ann Coulter as a "skank". Even so if the administration does have a "vulgar" edge, where would GWB get good taste instruction, Syl? From Howard Dean and Sid Blumenthal?

Did I mention the Star Tribune could improve its quality by an order of magnitude simply by firing Syl Jones and Nick Coleman (Like Janet Robert did, in Nick's case?) Not that it would improve the rest of the paper, just that it would provide the Strib less exposure to ridicule.

See, Not Everything French is Bad

Via Winds of Change and the New York Times, evidence that good things can come out of France, just in case we need reminding. One can get lost in all the frog-bashing sometimes (yes, even if a lot of it is justified). Also a reminder that lifesavers don't always have to be complicated and expensive.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I wonder if Cindy Sheehan has given even a moment's thought to what her son Casey might think of her activities since his death. I don't presume to know what he would think, but the fact that he did volunteer to serve in the armed forces suggests that he might have looked on the war in Iraq differently than his mother does.

If that did happen to be the case, is it right for her to use his memory to score political points against a president she dislikes? Maybe not... . Note that her family has asked her to stop.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

This Makes Me Tired, Again

This item from Marc Cooper isn't at all bad, but he tosses off a meme that just annoys the hell out of me. It's in this line:

It doesn’t matter, it seems, that Cohen supports the war because he actually believes it is consistent with his liberal views on human rights; no. must just must be some sort of a right-winger. Too often the instinct on the Left is to discredit and dishonor your antagonist by suggesting there is something more sinister in play.

Note the part about right-wingers. Sorry, Marc, but the majority of people on the Right believe in the classical liberal ideals of human (read individual) rights, too. It's the kind of casual, thoughtless smear that convinces me those of the Left are every bit as intolerant, bigoted and ignorant as they regularly claim conservatives are. The inability to even consider the possibility that those on the right can have principles, too. When you can't argue ideas, attack your opponent's motives and ethics instead. A shame Cooper only recognizes the Left's tactics only when used against other lefties.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


This column at Jewish World Review by Ruben Navarette Jr. puzzles me somewhat. Mostly becuase I don't quite understand what he wants. The column is about immigrant workers and the all-to0-often deplorable conditions that they work under (in this column, farm workers in CA). He agrees with President Bush's description of the jobs they do - "jobs that Americans won't do." He dismisses the idea of Americans doing the work for the right price (implying that strict immigration enforcement is what he has in mind, but at the same time deplores the "guest worker" plans proposed by Republicans. Why? Because it makes it too easy for employers to get more low-wage workers. His solution? Don't legally recognize them as having a right to work here, but treat them as if they do. Chaos!

Wouldn't it be better to figure out what we should allow, instead? Either allow guest workers or not, and if one does subject their employers to the same rules that apply to citizen workers. Don't mess around with this half-in, half out nonsense.

One other thing. There are large parts of the country that do not have lots of illegal immigrant labor, and the dirty jobs there get done - by Americans. Perhaps part of the problem is the willingness of some people near the borders to use the presence of illegal workers to drive down wages? Hmm?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Good Luck, Discovery

I just wanted to wish the crew of Discovery Godspeed and good luck for their return to Earth on Monday morning.

Update: Ok so make it Tuesday. Anyway, welcome home!

This Makes Me Tired

This is a typical example of the kind letter appearing on a regular basis in the Star Tribune (this from Saturday's):

Though it may be more neoconservative spin than substance, it's been refreshing to learn recently that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts may have somewhat balanced views and a softer, more compassionate side ("High court nominee helped with a key gay-rights case," Aug. 4).

This is a startling anomaly compared to the typical automatons we've come to expect from the Bush/Rove administration.

Now if we could only find out something like this about John Bolton.

Apparently the quality of compassion is a surprise when found in a conservative. I guess they aren't human or something. I'm so tired of this crap.

Of Traffic and Networking...

I haven't been blogging much of late, which undoubtably has improved the traffic numbers for this place. It's pretty tough to tell the difference between really unnoticed and merely very unnoticed, but in the name of masochism we endeavor to do so . If nothing else, the words just written can be filler while I actually think up something worth saying.

I haven't been following the news much in the past week because of the problems I've been encountering while switching to the new PC. I recently decided to augment the old PII here at the manor with a new generation, and it has left me with the problem of moving the old data that I still want to from the old to the new one. The old machine was built before CD burners, and the price of SCSI CD burners managed to dissuade me from putting one in the old box. That left networking them together so I could copy the data I wanted to save to the new machine. Should be easy for a computer guy, right?

Both machines are set up as dual-boot (Windows/Linux). Setting up Windows file sharing between the two actually went pretty well, as Windows XP generated a floppy that set up the old Win98 machine with only modest tweaking. (Did I mention that I don't know anything about networking PCs?) A few grudging points to Microsoft, there. The linux part, to put it euphemistically, was rather more of an adventure. I managed to turn a five minute job for someone who knows what they are doing into a week's comedy of trial and error involving dhcp, nfs, shorewall, and a host of configuration files. The end result is that they talk to each other, but I'm pretty sure I did it wrong... . I now know what is meant by "expert friendly".

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I Love Hate New York

Via Norman Gera's Normblog, comes this pseudo-serious piece of punditry. Ms Decca Aitkenhead is having a problem reconciling her and her friends' anti-Americanism ("a legitimate response to the current political climate") with the attitude held by many of the same anti-America types that New York City is somehow different and exempt from the rest of the hated Bushland. Her contention is that NYC is just like the Red States she apparently despises.

She goes on for several paragraphs about the perceived flaws of New York and psychoanalyzes New Yorkers. In her world, people from Idaho are "lard-arsed inbreds", New York is no different from any other major city in the world (except worse), New Yorkers are lacking in self-confidence, and that the "I (heart) NY" campaign is a response to 9/11. A great many words, even greater ignorance. She has the tone of someone who visits the USA, then comes home to proclaim how superior she is compared to the proles she saw on vacation. Lileks would handily deal with this kind of stuff, but since his site is currently a mess I'll take a shot at it.

She doesn't like our political climate. What a damn shame. I don't like hers. And we don't care. I suppose she would be happier spending money here if we had elected President who sends a cop to serve a warrant in Kabul instead of sending the armed forces to liberate it. And permanently shutting down the torture chambers in Baghdad being thrown into the bargain. Bitching about us is easier than going to Tehran or Pyongyang and registering her displeasure with the mullahs or Lil' Kim, I suppose.

She thinks New Yorkers are delusional in thinking they are different from other Americans. Guess what, dearie! All the regions of the USA think they are different from all the others. We also are pretty proud of the differences. Some silly idea about variety being interesting or something. We are composed of fifty sovereign states, and if you think all Americans have the same attitudes and opinions you haven't visited many of them. Ask a Southerner what they think of Yankees, if you want a quick lesson.

New Yorkers brag because they have no self-confidence, she says. Hey, it takes considerable self-confidence to shout "Ours is the Best!" to the whole world. It takes confidence to rebuild even higher after what happened there on 9/11/2001. It takes confidence to build the greatest city in the world. Yep, we who don't live there do make jokes about New Yorkers, but they (and their city) are ours. Despite the differences. Despite their voting Democratic. Despite their brusqeness (not rudeness, not really).

Ms Aitkenhead is inadvertently right about one thing. New York is like America. What she doesn't understand is that America is so much more (and I think better) than she bothers to perceive. I'll make her an offer. If she can ever bear to bring herself back to the USA and go farther west than NYC, I'll be happy to bring her to Boise, where she can explain to the local folks what makes them "lard-arsed inbreds".

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


/end sarcasm.

As expected, President Bush took advantage of the current congressional recess to appoint John Bolton UN Ambassador. This was the trigger for two varieties of BS.

The first was the "I am shocked, just shocked" reaction from the Democrats. Guys, Claude Rains could pull that one off, but you all sure aren't Claude Rains. Grow up. This was an inevitable move ever since you chose to make this guy's nomination a political football for the sole purpose of embarassing the President.

Then we have some conservatives. I heard the fellow who was filling in for Hugh Hewitt today talking about how this recess appointment was a courageous move by the President. Spare me. Everyone knows this move was coming for months, no courage necessary. On the other hand, spare all of us this crap.

We have a disfunctional government in Washington right now, and I think it is due to two factors. First and foremost is the willingness of the Democratic Party to brazenly flout Senate convention in their efforts to block or otherwise obstruct everything the administration proposes, regardless of merit. Look you clowns, if you want to set policy win a damn election. If you intend to act like the majority party, it is very useful to actually, like, have a majority... .

Then we have a Republican Senate majority that doesn't know how to act like one because they are all too busy running for President. Earth to GOP: the election is 3 years away, do the damn job you've been elected todo for a change. The current manuvering just pisses people off. (Ok, maybe just me, but I think I've got company.)