Wednesday, November 08, 2006

After the election

Well, 40% of the people have spoken, and now Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will be running Congress. Not the outcome I was hoping for, really. It's not that I think all that highly of the GOP (newest practitioners of the circular firing squad strategy), it's just that the Dems managed to take power running on a vague, pretty much undefined platform that seems to reduce to:
  • Raising taxes.
  • Spending even more money than the GOP.
  • "Redeploying" the troops out of Iraq.
  • Not being George Bush.
  • Not being corrupt like the GOP.
At least two of those points are of rather dubious pedigree - when your party has guys in it who keep $90,000 bribes in their freezers, plus the new Speaker planning to appoint an impeached federal judge as head of the House Intelligence Committee (?!), it gets hard to legitimately claim the GOP is the only corrupt party in Washington. I also would like to know how abandoning Iraq does not give the bad guys (remember the Islamofascists?) a big victory.

The thing that frosts me even more is how these folks have been rewarded with power after six years of throwing an extended temper tantrum over their election losses in 2000 and 2004. The Democrats have spent that time making things personal. How often did we hear from them how: The GOP cheated, Bush is a criminal, Bush is stupid, Bush is not the President, BushHitler, Bush and Cheney are evil, Karl Rove is the devil, etc. . People who disagreed with the liberals in Democratic party were not merely wrong, they were evil (ask Joe Lieberman how it feels). The Democrats tossed aside all pretense of civility while pursuing an obstructive, scorched-earth policy in Congress. To me, this made them a party unfit to govern. Unfortunately, they are going to have the chance.

But now that they've got power, the Democrats have to give up the carping from the sidelines and actually propose solutions for a change. I expect they'll find it's much easier to bitch than create constructive solutions they will be held accountable for. Maybe they'll even learn some manners. (and exile the Kos Kids to Siberia, but that's too much to hope for - ed.)

As for the GOP, here's my unwanted advice for them. In my view, the GOP lost because they forgot what got them elected in 1994. Smaller, less intrusive, more efficient and honest government, remember that? I hope the GOP's new leadership takes that vision to heart before 2008.

One other thing. Don't give in to the temptation to personally attack the other side. Leave that crap to the Democrats. Don't be saying stuff like this ( a comment I culled from an unnamed righty blog about Nancy Pelosi:
…Pelosi…the greatest thing since Patton and Napoleon and that other general-guy…I quiver to see her in Kevlar!

…wait…isn’t that Kevlar that she has injected in her face?

I think the botox is getting into her synapses.

Soon she will not be allowed to give interviews to anyone other than Larry King.

Work on solutions to our problems that don't compromise conservative and GOP principles, then be ready to sell them if the Dems screw up. The one monopoly the Democrats can have is the one on hate speech.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Kerry's "Apology"

Somehow I don't think these guys are going to be satisfied with Senator Kerry's "apology".

The funny thing is, Kerry's apology might have been good enough if he had left it at this:

As a combat veteran, I want to make it clear to anyone in uniform and to their loved ones: my poorly stated joke at a rally was not about, and never intended to refer to any troop.
I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended.
But then he just had to say this as well:
It is clear the Republican Party would rather talk about anything but their failed security policy. I don’t want my verbal slip to be a diversion from the real issues. I will continue to fight for a change of course to provide real security for our country, and a winning strategy for our troops.
Trust John Kerry to turn an apology into a political cheap shot.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Shame on the Strib

I haven't much felt like writing of late (work pressures and general malaise are a potent combination), but I just feel obligated to vent my feelings about the Strib endorsement editorial for Minnesota Secretary of State. It isn't so much the Strib's disgreement on policy that bothers me. The DFL aversion to any protective measures against election fraud is well known, so the DFL's house organ's disagreement with requiring a form of ID to vote is unsurprising. If Secretary Kiffmeyer annoys some election officials out of their complacency by trying to tighten things up, that seems like a good thing even if it does bug the Strib. The lines that ticked me off are the ones that followed:
Attentive Minnesotans have learned from disgraceful examples around the country that monkeying with the mechanics of registration, voting and ballot-counting has become the modern method for manipulating election outcomes. Also, that Kiffmeyer's Republican Party is usually the leading beneficiary of measures that discourage participation at the polls.
The attempt to tar Mary Kiffmeyer by associating her name with non-existent (to everyone except lefty MoveOn types and Star Tribune editorial writers) Republican attempts to disenfranchise voters is slimy. If the Strib wants to look for examples of attempts to discourage voter turnout they need go no further than their own party, like in Milwaukee. Or St. Louis, if outright fraud is more to their taste. Once again, the Star Tribune demonstrates why their op-ed pages are a joke.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Middle East Conflict, round 37,498 and counting

I must confess that I don't know what is going through the minds of the Israeli government these days. When Hizbullah invaded Israel and kidnapped (and killed) its soldiers, it was no surprise at all when Israel retaliated. After all, what nation would tolerate random rocket attacks launched at its civilian population, plus attacks on its soldiers?

When the Israelis used their air force to cut off southern, Hizbullah-controlled Lebanon from the rest of the country, it occurred to me the IDF was using this occasion to damage Hizbullah enough to allow the Lebanese government to move in and finish them off. Pound Hiz from the air, then go in on the ground and destroy as many missiles and kill as many Hizbullah thugs as they could find, turn the place over to the Lebanese government.

Then Israel started hitting Lebanese army bases and other targets that I don't associate with Hizbullah. What for? For once, Arab governments were blaming the right parties (Hizbullah and Hamas) for a change, as were substantial numbers of non-Hizbullah Lebanese. I think someone in the Israeli high command has miscalculated this.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, USA!

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

-- He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

-- He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

-- He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

-- He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

-- He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

-- He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

-- He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

-- He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

-- He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

-- He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

-- He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

-- He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

-- He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

-- For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

-- For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

-- For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

-- For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

-- For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

-- For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

-- For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

-- For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

-- For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

-- He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

-- He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

-- He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

-- He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

-- He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Obtained from here.

More Proof the Strib Doesn't Get It

And Adam Platt, too, judging by today's commentary defending the New York Times. He apparently is of the opinion that secret (and legal) anti-terrorist programs work best when advertised in the NYT. But don't accuse him of being a limosine liberal:
Before you pigeonhole me as a limousine liberal, I am personally inclined to give the White House the benefit of the doubt on these programs, even though they are inevitably prone to abuse by an overzealous, secrecy-mad administration. Such is the nature of the threats the nation faces. And I am willing to grant the Times' critics that the SWIFT revelations were merely that. There was no implication of illegality or wrongdoing. Gratuitous? To some. The truth, to me.

What I am not willing to cede is my right to know that these programs exist, nor my elected representatives' right to scrutinize them. In the United States we elect a president, not a king (not that you'd know that these days).

How would I tell?

Here's the gist of his defense of the Times' decision:

What renders the administration's outrage at the Times so hollow is that it has acknowledged since 9/11 that it is using every technique at its disposal to monitor terrorists' communications and impede their fundraising. If Al-Qaida were capable of pulling off 9/11, did it take the NYT to clue it in to the fact that its phone conversations, e-mail communications and financial transactions were subject to electronic scrutiny?
No, but it took the NYT to tell them how the US was doing it. The point, Mr. Platt, is the US government not trying to hide the fact it tries to monitor terrorist communications and financing isn't the same thing as telling the bad guys how it is doing so. If the terrorists were so smart about this stuff, why were the authorities able to use it to nab the dirtbag behind the Bali bombing with it? The fact is the Times unilaterally chose, despite the request of the Treasury Secretary, to deprive our government of a useful anti-terrorist tool by telling the world (and Al Qaeda) about it. That, not hostility to civil liberties, is why a lot of people are ticked off at the Times. Nobody is attempting to take away freedom of the press here, but freedom of the press does not confer freedom from criticism, and the Times' bone-headed stunt has got them some.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Via Instapundit, this Ana Marie Cox review of Katha Pollit's new book, Virginity or Death caught my attention. I don't really care for her writing, since it's basically the warmed over, narrow-minded, ignorant of the other side leftism that seems to permeate The Nation, where columns that comprise the book were originally published. I'm not claiming to have read the book, a passage from the review did inspire a bit of comment. This one (already commented on by Professor Reynolds):
There's a certain preserved-in-amber quality to some of the thinking here. For example, Pollitt herself confesses that the opinions that underpinned her most controversial column — against displaying American flags after 9/11 — were formed during the Vietnam War; she despairs that her pro-flag daughter cannot see "the connection between waving the flag and bombing ordinary people half a world away." I'm not sure if she's right about that, but it's significant that Pollitt would see the world outside her window through a scrim of 30-year-old lefty rhetoric. She simply rejects the argument that the meaning of the flag (like the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance, which was composed by a 19th-century socialist) might change.

There's some importance to the Vietnam-era leftist prism she looks through, but I think Ms. Cox misses something else. I think Ms. Pollit's prejudices prevent her from understanding the flag doesn't represent the same things to her that it does to people who don't share her narrow, fossilized, stuck-in-the-sixties world view. (Both then and now - ed.) Moreover, in the flag she sees only the things she hates about our country. For all her purported concern for women's rights in the Middle East, Pollit ignores the progress for women's rights there obtained by dropping bombs on the Taliban (not ordinary people). In Afghanistan, a good argument can be made that the high explosives dropped by our armed forces did more for women's rights there than any efforts made by the feminst left. It must grate on her... .

Judging from this passage, I would guess that Pollit really doesn't understand conservatives very well:
"The truth is, most of the good things about this country have been fought for by liberals," she warns in a 2004 pre-election column. "If conservatives had carried the day, blacks would still be in the back of the bus, women would be barefoot and pregnant, medical care would be on a cash-only basis, there'd be mouse feet in your breakfast cereal and workers would still be sleeping next to their machines."
For example, do I have to remind Pollit that the Democrats are responsible for Jim Crow, not conservatives? The quote displays her notion of people who disagree: they are bigoted sexist slave drivers. In other words, you are a good person only if you agree with my politics. How narrow... .

I also have a question - how many guys out there demanded the woman in their lives cut off toes to fit in Jimmy Choo shoes? Any?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Just wanted to note the passing of Rob Smith, the Acidman. Ornery, intermittently grouchy, always willing to say exactly on his mind and at the same time a Southerner from head to red toes, his site was one of the first I found when discovering the world of blogs. He could be annoying and infuriating at times but I enjoyed my vists to Gut Rumbles anyway. I never had the opportunity to meet the man, but that isn't going to stop me from wishing him well, and in his new abode may the 'fridge never be empty, the ladies always nearby, and 'Dawgs always winners.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Welcome to Hell, Al-Zarqawi!

Abu, you look so surprised!

On a different note, I just can't feel sorry for a murderous, terrorist SOB. This guy's greatest contribution to humanity will be as fertilizer. Congratulations to the Iraqi government and the United States armed forces for getting this dirtbag.

UPDATE: This is how some of our Democratic elected officials reacted to the news. How twisted and pathetic.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Not much to write about lately,

but I did want to point out one thing about Minnesota Public Radio. Who else on the 62nd anniversary of the Normandy invasion would run programs about Afghanistan and Vietnam? C'mon folks, how about exercising some sense of history?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More Negativity from the Strib

Another "Iraq is a Disaster" editorial from the Star Tribune. I think the last paragraph sums it up fairly neatly:
What is to happen to Iraq? Perhaps this new government will defy all odds and actually pull the country together. We can all hope that will happen, but don't bet the farm on it. More likely is what many are coming to expect and some seek: a loose confederation of three states, one Kurdish in the north, one Sunni in the middle and one Shiite in the south. The big question is whether Iraq gets there relatively peacefully, or whether the division results from a protracted, bloody civil war. Either way, it won't be much of a legacy for this failed experiment in exporting democracy from the United States.
To the Star Tribune, Iraq is a failure even if we happen to succeed there.

Just one question

for Newt Gingrich, Nancy Pelosi, and Dennis Hastert. In what universe is videotape of a Congressman taking a cash bribe insufficent cause to obtain a search warrant? I'm not in the business of exhorting people to do stuff, but I'm sure going to write my Congresscritter to express an opinion on the subject...

Monday, May 22, 2006

After reading the text (courtesy of the Wall Street Journal) of John McCain's speech to the graduates of the New School, I disagree with Professor Althouse's take on his speech. I don't believe the speech was inappropriate for a graduation, being about the need for civil debate and for reconciliation. As far as his delivery of it, I can't say without actually hearing it. I'm not all that sure I'll get an objective account from someone who blogs for the Nation, given that magazine's political slant. I suspect that a different view of his speech would be expressed at National Review, for example.

Was he "asking for it" by speaking in front of a so-called liberal crowd (so-called because they definitely failed to behave in a way consistent with "liberal" values)? Yes, speaking in front of a crowd that disagrees with you tends to encourage hecklers. On the other hand, if the Senator only spoke to friendly crowds, the same people who would turn their backs on him during his speech would accuse him of being afraid to speak to those who disagree. He just can't win.

Not that it really matters all that much. The boorish, rude, and insulting behavior of the students and faculty of the New School who condemn someone for giving a speech to a group they dislike tells me that the actual content of Senator McCain's speech was irrelevant. Their minds were closed long before he opened his mouth to speak.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Today's Kersten column makes the point (oft-made in the blogosphere, not very often in the mainstream press) about the difference in treatment between works that offend Muslims and those offensive to Christians. I don't have anything to say on the subject that hasn't been said before, but in the very same Opinion Exchange section there is a Garrison Keillor piece making fun of Catholics that makes Kersten's point for her. Does anyone think the Star Tribune would run similar pieces making fun of Muslims?

Note: The link to the Keillor piece is not to the Star Tribune because it's not present on the Strib site.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

How things have changed

I never thought I would ever see this in my lifetime. (Click on the TV ad partway down the left side of the page). Who would ever have thought that California would need to advertise to get visitors?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Moussaoui Sentence

Although the editors of the National Review are disappointed in it, I don't believe the jury's verdict in the Moussaoui case is wrong. I admit that it wouldn't have kept me awake nights if the jury had sentenced this clown to death, but I don't know that he's worth killing. He no longer has a soapbox and the jury denied him what he claimed to desire - martyrdom. If he conned the jury to avoid execution, he may find the prospect of spending twenty-three hours a day for the next thirty or forty years counting dimples in the concrete walls of his cell less attractive than he thinks. He will become a pathetic, mostly forgotten figure sitting in a little room from which he can't even see the sky.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Jobs Americans won't do

According this profile (note: audio file) at National Public Radio, illegal immigrants make up just under 5% of the workforce, and tend to be more concentrated lower skilled occupations. Examples of where they are concentrated include:
  • 24% of farming jobs
  • 17% of cleaning jobs
  • 14% of construction
  • 29% of roofers
  • 12% of food preparation jobs

Average earnings for a Latino male:
  • undocumented, in US for 5 years: $430/wk
  • legal immigrant w/green card: $700/wk
  • immigrant who becomes US citizen: $930/wk

These numbers, if accurate, suggest a couple of things to me. 1st, the majority of "jobs Americans won't do" are done by, well, Americans. 2nd, the gap in earnings between illegal and legal workers is not small, probably more than the 8% figure found in the WSJ. You guys sure there isn't any exploitation going on?
I just finished watching the whole of Firefly this week, and although I don't believe it was intentional the 'verse portrayed in the series has some similarities to the Spinward Marches in the Traveller universe. This in spite of the fact the Alliance is a very statist government compared with the Third Imperium. The constant search for work, dislike of psychs, a certain devotion to free enterprise come to mind. Both places have a touch of the Wild West about them, as well.

I was also wondering why the most attactive of the women charaters to me happened to be Kaylee...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I haven't had much to say of late (given the traffic level here, who'd notice? - ed.), but there's one question bugging me at the moment. The president and his administration gets a lot of scrutiny and critcism (some valid, a lot of it not) as they should, being the folks in power. The question is, why doesn't the press give more of the same scrutiny to the Democrats doing the critcising? The stock answer is they are not in power, but that doesn't wash. After all the Democrats wish to take over the levers of government for themselves, so shouldn't their policy ideas (or lack thereof) and partisanship receive a similar level of examination? If not, why not?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Few More Words about Immigration

I just have a few more words about our immigration policy, directed to some of the parties involved:

To the editors of the Wall Street Journal -
  1. Cheap labor is not the only consideration in forming immigration policy.
  2. The "Jobs Americans Won't Do" line is translated by a lot of folks as "Jobs done for below market pay by folks who can't complain".
  3. People who don't favor open borders (most of us) aren't going to buy the idea of amnesty, then enforcement. Tried it in 1986 and got no enforcement and 11 million more illegal immigrants. Try enforcement first, then make the case for more immigration (of the legal variety).
  4. No guest workers. Look where the guest worker policies in Europe (especially France) got them.
To President Bush -
  1. Vincente Fox does not make US immigration policy.
  2. There are not enough votes on Wall Street to justify the open borders policy you (and they) want. Listen to your party.
To the rest of the US Government -
  1. Our current immigration system is broken. It's confusing, contradictory, and capricious.
  2. Fix it. It's your job. Try to create a new set of rules that are consistent, understandable, and enforceable. You can't please everyone, so don't try. Just remember that citizens should have some claim to your attention over illegal immigrants.
  3. Build the damn wall, if that's what it takes.
To the illegal immigrant demonstrators -
  1. You are not citizens, you do not have a right to be here.
  2. If you insist on demonstrating in order to gain rights that you don't have, the cause is not helped by waving Mexican flags. If you don't want to be citizens, why the hell are you here? You just convinced a lot of people that you're only here for money, and that pisses them off.
  3. If you love Mexico (or wherever) so much, why are you demonstrating here instead of working to make things better back home?
To the enforcement-only folks -
  1. There are 11 million people within our borders who are here illegally.
  2. It is not likely to be practical (or desireable) to deport them all.
  3. Consider settling for proper border enforcement, along with deporting the criminal element among the illegals. The rest probably will need to be given a choice about whether to become citizens or go home.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Open Borders, Closed Minds

The immigration debate is not advanced by arguments like those in this WSJ editorial. First, they misrepresent the positon of those who do not favor open borders and unlimited immigration, by claiming they want to "seal the borders". No, they don't. What's desired is control of the borders, which is very different. The issue isn't whether to allow immigration or not, it is what to do about illegal immigration. The majority of those who want stricter border enforcement don't want to end immigration, they want it controlled. No one of any importance has called for an end to legal immigration, just the illegal variety. A distinction ignored by the Journal, either out of sloppiness or disingenuosness.

The Journal also ignores another reason for stricter border controls, like security. It apparently hasn't occurred to them that the same routes used by "coyotes" to smuggle Mexicans into the US can be used by terrorists and criminals. How can we call our borders secure, when law enforcement officials discover stuff like this running under our border?

The Journal also shows little or no concern for the problems faced by the border states popular with illegals, including added burdens on social services (taxpayer supported, of course) and the heightened competition for low-skilled jobs that hurts our poorer citizens. I guess WSJ editorial writers don't think that being a citizen merits anything over being in this country illegally.

I guess they've forgotten that economics is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The extent to which our economy fails to meet the needs of our citizens is also a kind of measure of its failure, not whether every last theoretical measure of profit is wrung out of it. Insteat, the Journal prefers subsidising employers via depressing wages via illegal immigration rather than allowing the market to work fairly, i.e. by hiring people who are legally permitted to be here.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Via Best of the Web - I'll bet the folks cheering this guy have all reserved their places in the other ten percent. My suggestion: with courage like theirs, they can be the pathfinders! (on some other planet, that is...)

One hopes this is a lame April Fool's joke, but somehow I doubt it.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Courtesy of CNN,

we get this nugget of wisdom from Christiane Amanpour:
Each time I go to the Palestinian territory of Gaza, I am shocked by the reality on the ground. On a recent visit, I passed through a short tunnel from the First World in Israel and emerged into the Third World that is Gaza. The poverty there is among the worst in the world.

Hamas officials told me they did not expect to win the election as overwhelmingly as they did. They say their main priority now is to meet the demands of the people for a better life.

But that may be impossible, because Israel and the United States refuse to deal with Hamas and have already cut funding to the new Palestinian government.
Why am I not surprised that she omitted the part about how those Third World conditions she is so shocked by are largely the result of self-inflicted wounds?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Not much to write

I haven't written much of late (not that anyone will notice, given the talent level around here...), mostly because work issues have taken precedence over blogging, and when I started this blog I made the decision not to blog about work or about my employer, mostly because I'm not sure what kind of potential reaction my employer would have to my blogging about them.

What little spare time I've had lately I've used to play Traveller and to start reading the Black Book of Communism. I haven't finished it yet, but judging from what I've read so far, one question comes to mind: given the historic "accomplishments" of communists, why would anyone even consider adopting a Marxist ideology?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

At Miss Kelly's, advice on what to pick out for a home defense weapon for Buy a Gun Day. Personally, I don't have the dough to be buying guns, so one has to make do with the gun(s) one has.

Anyhow, what to choose, the 12ga Benelli autoloader or the Ruger 10/22? The shotgun has the hitting power, but the little Ruger is easy to handle and has greater magazine capacity. Decisions, decisions... .

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Saw the last episode of Project Runway this evening, mostly just to see who the winner was. Chloe won, and I guess I don't have any argument, but none of the 3 collections really impressed me. It could be my fashion ignorance and lack of taste showing, but I was just unimpressed.

Maybe the kind of clothes shown at Fashion Week are not intended to be the sort of thing ordinary guys are supposed to be able to relate to.

About the collections:

Santino: I wonder if the judges penalized him for not being the Santino they expected. It seemed sort of subdued, somehow.

Daniel: Although he said the theme of the collection was invoke a combination of Japanese and military influences, but I couldn't see it and apparently neither could the judges.

Chloe: Shiny, shiny, shiny. I didn't understand it, either.

I wonder if the Project Runway people could have found a way to separate the model contest a bit more from the designers. I guess for the models it was very much a matter of luck, depending on who the winning designer is. Personally, I thought that Daniel's model really should have won.

As far as it's successor show in that time slot, "Top Chef", I watched it a bit out of curiosity and discovered that there is an industry with people even more full of themselves than the fashion industry. The chefs they picked seemed to be a pretty arrogant, nasty bunch. I don't know if this is typical of the industry or the producers selected for cattiness. In any case, I don't think I'll pay attention to this one.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Because of these $#@*!s, our state legislature is considering a bill limiting protests, specifically to ban protests at funerals. I can't say that funerals are out of bounds for that sort of thing, but I'm wary of anything rule that interferes with our rights to speech (even the offensive kind) and I think it's a bad idea.

At the same time, if Phelps and his cronies showed at a funeral for one of my relatives, the temptation to rearrange his face could prove to be overwheming (and you haven't been in a fight in 30 years - ed). Judging from the furor over the protesters, I'd say their actions showed us more about the protesters themselves than the "cause" they represent. They represent a sort of idiotic,petty vileness that comes from something other than the Christianity they claim to profess.

If they really hate homosexuals that much, I understand Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have some open positions these days.

Monday, March 06, 2006

G'bye Kirby

Kirby Puckett died today after suffering a massive stroke yesterday at his home in Arizona. I don't have a lot to say that other people with more talent will be saying in a lot of places, but...

I didn't get to see any of Kirby's big World Series games in either '87 or '91, since I was working nights at the time. I saw the replays later, but what I remember was Gordo's calls when Puckett robbed Ron Gant, and then winning Game 6 in '91 with an 11th inning home run.

I didn't get to see many ballgames while he was playing, so most of what I remember is the games I heard on WCCO, saw on TV, and the stories in the newspapers. What I remember is the guy who hit the ball, threw the ball, caught the ball and looked like he had a great time doing it. Thanks Kirby, wherever you are.

Garrison Keillor, Pop Psychologist

Oh. Yeah. Garrison Keillor wrote an "Impeach Bush" commentary today. (broken link provided by the Star Tribune. It seems that it was on their servers less than a day.) Shocking surprise, right? No?

Garrison has decided that Bush is a torturer,so he must go. Interesting, since the military is punishing those personnel who have been caught mistreating prisoners, and the President has stated over and over again that torture is not acceptable conduct. Bush has also failed to defend the country. But what the hell, we'll just take Gar's word for it, right? He admits the Dems have come up short of doing a bang up (or any type) job of presenting an alternative policy. But Impeach Bush!

Oh, and why else should Bush be impeached? To "bring some focus to this man's life". I don't recall Mr. Keillor recommending that course of treatment for Bill Clinton's focus back in '98.

If we're lucky, this piece will get about as much attention as it (and Keillor) deserves.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Why Nick Coleman Riles

Kate Parry lets us know that columnists who generate strong reactions to their work are good. I think she fails to understand why some folk disapprove of Nick Coleman.
"The reason they're often on the front of the paper or a section is they're often doing some of our best work. The fact that Nick, Doug and Katherine attract a tremendous reaction is a sign they're doing a good job," he added. Coleman's recent trio of columns critical of television commercials supporting the war in Iraq were, to Gyllenhaal, a good example of a columnist "bringing the news home to readers." So was Kersten's rejoinder that she thought criticism of the ads by Democrats was hypocritical. Why does the paper put these columns on pages that otherwise contain news stories? Is there a difference between columnists whose work appears in a news section and columnists who appear on the editorial pages? Gyllenhaal thinks there are many similarities, but the emphases differ: Op-ed columnists tend to write directly about issues; metro columnists often get at issues by telling a story. They have license to push storytelling further than a reporter would and to add their two cents.

[snip stuff about confusing opinion columns with news stories]
"Our columnists are very capable, dedicated reporters. They occasionally make errors, but they're minor, not at the core of the column. Considering the battleground they're working in, their work stands up to tremendous scrutiny," Gyllenhaal said.

I think they both miss the point about Coleman. The problems I have with his work fall into two general categories. First, he has a nasty habit of getting important stuff wrong. He also tends to use his column to make personal attacks on people he doesn't like (mostly conservatives). The second problem is how the Strib seems to protect Nasty Nick. Where criticism of Katherine Kersten's columns often appears as early as the day after one of her columns is printed, critcism of Coleman on the letters page tends to be sparse and late in appearing. Why is that? Doesn't the Strib get reader mail critical of Coleman?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Endangered Blondes?

Yes, natural blondes really do have more fun but are dying out, according to the Times of London. Fortunately, it looks like the Times got taken.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

And now for something just a little bit different...

Via Slashdot and MPR, the Minnesota Republican party may have provided a lesson in privacy and data security, by way of a bad example. Next time guys, tell your survey subjects that their personal data is being collected and please, don't post that data on a public website. (link not given) Oh, and send your IT consultants out for a refresher on data security.

Monday, February 27, 2006

On Further Consideration

I was premature in trashing all of the members of the US men's Olympic team for bad behavior. Perhaps his teammates should emulate Joey Cheek's example. Via Harry's Place.

Coleman, Again

Nick Coleman produces another column complaining about the ads currently running here in Minnesota that paint a different picture of Iraq than the one he believes.
I've written twice about the pro-war TV ads sponsored by a fat-cat conservative group based in Washington. My points were simple: 1) The ads exploit the deaths of soldiers in order to advance the political agenda that led to the unnecessary war in which they fell. And 2) The ads do NOT represent all troops and families (the mother of one fallen soldier, an opponent of the war, was coldly left out).

Not all veterans agreed with the point of view expressed in the ads. Fair enough. One of the problems with Coleman, though, is the double standard he applies. I haven't seen any columns from him decrying the support by liberal fat cats who enable Cindy Sheehan's efforts to exploit her dead son for her political views, nor have there been any about the folks supporting Code Pink, who busily are attempting to exploit the war's wounded to their political advantage. As to his second point, veterans do not unanimously oppose the war either, which is the impression he tries to create in his column. Both points he makes are trivial. Plus, the only people he criticizes are those whom he disagrees with.

It isn't surprising that supporters of the war feel need to use paid advertising, given the inability or unwillingness to report (last link just in case the Strib link is bad) any stories other than negative ones out of Iraq. The other problem he has, namely getting his facts right, is better discussed by the guys at Power Line. Unfortunately, the Star Tribune is unwilling to print much criticism of him for his sloppiness and intellectual dishonesty, rather unlike the way Katherine Kersten is treated... .
Given his rabid partisanship along with his propensity to use his column to make personal attacks on his political opponents, I once again urge the Star Tribune to engage in a little addition by subtraction, and drop this guy.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Not-so-Fine Whine

If there were a medal count for whining the US men's team would be atop the leader board. It kind explains why I've lost interest in the Olympics since the '80s, I guess. They should take a lesson in sportsmanship from the US women.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Who's Threatening Free Speech?

Via Instapundit, more evidence that the largest threat to freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry may be coming from academic left.

I didn't write anything about the Summers flap, mostly becuase it was so ludicrous. Summers posed a proposition/question that was a researchable question. He wasn't stating a conclusion, he posed a hypothesis. It was the reaction to what he said that didn't make any sense.

The people who had a case of the vapours over his words and forced an (in my view unwarranted) apology and an even more unwarranted resignation reacted in a emotional and political way to an idea outside of their emotional and conceptual comfort zone. They heard a voice from outside the echo chamber and rather than meet the challenge posed by the question, they attacked the person who challenged their comfortable world view. Instead of the academic give and take that is at the heart of free inquiry, these faculty showed the close-mindedness these same faculty undoubtedly assume is the province of rednecks, hicks, and midwestern hausfraus.

Update: Maybe the Summers debacle is just a symptom of this (via Arts and Letters Daily).

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I came across an interview Laura Ingraham was doing with a a Long Island mayor this morning while driving to work. The subject was illegal immigration, and the mayor was explaining why local officials did not have any responsibility to help enforce immigration laws. He cited two reasons.

First, it was not the responsibility of local officials to make up for a failed federal immigration policy/system. Reasonable enough. His second reason was the economy of his upper-class New York suburb depended on illegal immigrants for labor. In his view, American citizens and legal immigrants are unwilling to do the jobs done by illegal workers. Basically, he took the same position often espoused by President Bush and the Wall Street Journal editorial page.

Setting aside the security problems posed by our inability to control the movement of people across our borders, the problems with this reasoning are twofold. First is the disrespect for the rule of law that happens when we turn a blind eye to illegal immigration. Why should anyone go through the legal processes required to immigrate to the US legally when there is essentially no penalty in coming here illegally?

Second is the distortion of the labor market due to the presence of large numbers of illegal workers. When someone says that legal residents of the US are unwilling to do a job, what they are really saying is they are unwilling to do the job at the price the complainer is willing to pay. Not to mention doing the work under conditions that would normally be considered unsafe or unfair. Are legal residents willing to do dirty jobs? Yes, if paid enough. For anecdotal proof, one could watch a few episodes of Dirty Jobs, which documents all sorts of tough, dirty jobs. Fact is, if there were not illegal workers here to do those kinds of jobs the mayor was depending on them for, the price of doing those jobs would go up, and legal residents could then be found to do them. Illegal competition in the job market by illegals drives down wages and distorts the market. This makes life even harder for people who work the lower wage jobs by increasing competition in a market that is already extremely competitive. Appparently, that didn't bother the mayor much.

It's funny how the WSJ types decry market distortions caused by regulation when it raises costs for owners, but encourage government negligence in controlling our borders when it drives down labor costs. A fellow could get the idea that it's just all about the money or something.

Dick Cheney's Hunting Accident

There've been a lot of jokes over the last couple days about the Veep's shooting one of his hunting companions. Assuming Mr. Whittington recovers, there is a lot of humor potential. I think I'll leave that to people who are actually funny. I've only got a couple of things to say about the incident.

First, Cheney screwed up. Despite some people's claims that Cheney was not at fault due to Whittington's failure to warn his fellow hunters that he was in the area, Vice President Cheney is still responsible for knowing what is in front of him when he fires, and is the fellow who pulled the trigger. That makes him responsible, no ifs, ands, or buts about it and he should publicly say so. Also, in a reasonable world the fact that he was involved in a hunting accident would not be a political issue. Unfortunately, we don't live in a reasonable world.

Next, the hissy fit thrown by the White House press corps because they didn't get the story first is embarassing. David Gregory in particular made a jackass of himself (Windows Media video via Michelle Malkin).

Wonder if they've got openings?

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with

I was quite pleased with this result....

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Nick Coleman Rides Again

Nick Coleman, Star Tribune resident partisan hack Master of Misinformation, writes a smear job on the folks who produced the "Midwest Heroes" ad that started airing this week. The Power Line guys disassemble it here, so I don't have much to add. It's the kind of piece the I've come to expect from Coleman, showing his usual ability to ignore truth when it gets in the way of an attack on people that he politically disagrees with. Naturally, it also wouldn't be a Nick Coleman column without his usual application of double standards - to wit, condemning Progress for America for the same kind of activities that he never criticizes MoveOn or ACT for. In Nickworld, political speech funded by liberal groups = goodness and "speaking truth to power" , political speech from conservative groups = evil Bush administration spin.

All in all, another example of why getting rid of him would be an example of "addition by subtraction" for the Star Tribune.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Confusing Criticism and Censorship

at the DFL, of course. In this story about the DFL's new blog, David Ruth hints that GOP criticism is the same as attacking freedom of speech:
"There is a lot of overheated editorializing," said Mark Drake, communications director for the GOP Minnesota.

"I think the DFL is playing catch-up with the blog in the state," Drake said. "A lot of the energy from blogging has always been on the GOP side."

Although the state Republican Party does not have its own blog, Drake said it has a good relationship with bloggers across Minnesota who promote the ideas and messages of the GOP.

"It is a new medium, but the same old tired DFL attack stuff," Drake said of the new DFL site.

Said Ruth: "If they [Republicans] want to hammer on the freedom of speech, I welcome that. And if it drives more people to our site, I encourage Mark Drake to post regularly."

Just once, I would like to see proof that the GOP is against the 1st Amendment. Seems to me that lefty types who push stuff like banning hate speech are a bigger threat to free expression than the GOP.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Once more down the Runway

This week's installment of Runway was a challenge requiring each designer to makeover one of their colleagues. The outfits were at best a mixed bag, but it was interesting that the two women did the best job on designing the menswear. Especially since Chloe admitted that she had never designed or constructed men's clothing before. None of the guys did a particularly praiseworthy job.

The episode also provided more illustration of the overall bad attitude of Santino. Nothing is ever this guy's fault, even when the outfit (he designed a jumpsuit for Kara) is falling apart on the runway. He also is a remarkably brazen liar, telling tall ones about Kara's opinion of his outfit. All this while draining all of the goodwill out of the workroom.

Anyway, the outfits:

Chloe : designed pinstriped pants and vest for Nick. Looked like it fit well and it looked finished, it improved the way he looked. The winning outfit. Can't really argue with the judges about that.

Daniel V : red dress and leather vest for Chloe. Must have been slacking off becuase of his immunity. Not good. With the mere addition of a pair of fishnet stockings, she would have the compleat hooker look in his outfit. A rotten thing to do to her. I am disappointed because Chloe is adorable, gorgeous and absolutely pegs my hormone meter, she deserved better.

Kara: Sportswear for Santino. She had the almost impossible task of making the Great Santino presentable. She mostly succeeded, what greater praise can I give? Perhaps the judges should have given her the win.

Nick: A "gray" suit for Daniel. No pockets, the fit wasn't good, it didn't look well put together, even to my ignorant eyes. The material looked almost lavender on the runway, and the transformation of Daniel to Leisure Suit Larry was complete. The cause of Nick's farewell to Project Runway.

Santino: a jumpsuit for Kara. He literally sewed (and glued it) on to Kara for the runway show, and it was literally falling apart on the runway. The fit was terrible, making her look a little like the Michelin Man. He lied outrageously to the judges about the fit and and Kara's reaction to the garment prior to the show. I thought Kara did him a service by making sure to cover the disintegrating sleeve with her hair and by not giving him away on the runway. This outfit should have gotten Santino auf'ed. I guess with Santino, not even three strikes is enough.

Right wingers hate Muslims!

Yep, the word is out thanks to that beacon of reason and light, Antonia Zerbisias. The sign she picked up on is the willingness to defend freedom of expression by being willing to publish something that some Muslims are offended by. The horror! Worse yet, they actually have the temerity to criticize the rioting, killing, embassy-burning morons that have been making the news of late in Europe and the Middle East. Heaven forbid that someone actually hurt their widdle feewings... . What a steaming pile of you-know-what!

I wonder if she was so caring about the feelings of Christians and Jews being oppressed and persecuted in Muslim lands, or those Christians offended by the Virgin Mary depicted in elephant dung, or Jesus Christ dunked in urine? I'll bet she backed those artists to the hilt. When will we see columns from her objecting to cartoonists in Arab newspapers depicting Jews and Israelis in the same ways the Nazis did? Maybe sometime after Hell freezes over, I expect.

In any case, in Zerbisias' world criticizing the groups she defends is the same thing as hatred. Dumb. Moreover, I didn't see glee in the postings of those supporting the Danish cartoonists. I did see a spirited defence of free expression, which Zerbisias is quite willing to abandon as long as it is Muslims and leftists who are offended. I also saw that name-calling is all right by her, as long as it is directed at people she disagrees with. Hypocrite.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

From the Malaysia Star, an excerpt from the Vatican's statement on the Mohammed cartoons:

"The freedom of thought and expression, confirmed in the Declaration of Human Rights, can not include the right to offend religious feelings of the faithful. That principle obviously applies to any religion," the Vatican said.

"Any form of excessive criticism or derision of others denotes a lack of human sensitivity and can in some cases constitute an unacceptable provocation," it said in a statement issued in response to media demands for the Church's opinion.

With all due respect to His Holiness, I think they got this one wrong. There is no right of not being offended by others. The reaction to the offensive material, though, is up to the viewer and parts of the Muslim world have not aquitted themselves very well.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

They can dish it out, but

they sure can't take it. (via Michelle Malkin)

The Muslims now engaging in a violent temper tantrum because of a few cartoons of the Prophet need to grow up. Threats of violence, beheadings, riots are not exactly the hallmarks of a mature, peaceful faith or culture. It's more like the whiny, adult version of whiny, childish behavior. Given the intolerance and disrespect shown by extremist Muslims to those of other faiths, it also is pretty hypocritical.

Yes, I understand that depictions of Mohammed are not allowed in Islam. Yes, I can see how that would be offensive to many Muslims. Is it in good taste to print these kind of cartoons? Probably not. Does that justify death threats and acts of terrorism? Absolutely not.

See the larger versions of the cartoons

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

This Year's SOTU

wasn't all that impressive, but in a way I can understand that. The country is in the middle of a long grind in Iraq, blind opposition from the other party, and a desire not to offend people in swing districts represented by GOP congressmen/women probably lead to a less than bold, exciting speech. The mention of the defeat of Social Security reform is worth mentioning, if only because of the Democrats' applause showing their eagerness to proclaim themselves part of the problem.

The Democratic response was pretty lame, basically consisting of claiming they have a better way, but no explanation of what that "better way" is. The stuff to generate apathy with.
The latest Project Runway challenge was to design a garment for garden party, using materials available from plants and a gardening supply store. The dresses didn't really hold my interest, but the Santino's reaction to the prize of immunity to the winner was interesting.

He had two incentives to win. First, proving that Santino is still Santino, was that immunity would allow him to design something "really offensive" for the next challenge. Considering a couple of the dresses he designed for previous challenges, what, does one suppose, would Santino consider offensive? Since offense is subjective, which judge or judges would he try to offend? Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, Heidi Klum, or all of the above? It's a shame he didn't win, because it might have been fun to find out.

The second incentive was as he put it, to keep an undeserving designer from hanging around an extra week. Kind of illogical, since if that other designer won the challenge, wouldn't it imply that he/she would be "deserving"? (Scratches head)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Words for the Day

Today's words are Filibuster and Failure, as in the Democrat's attempt to filibuster Judge (soon to be Justice) Alito's nomination was a failure.

Now that Judge Alito's confirmation is all but assured, the next question is: when the Democrats (or their successor party, whatever it is) wins a presidential election and nominate a Supreme Court Justice, will the GOP engage in the same lame, BS partisan exercise just completed by the Dems? Hopefully not, as it would make them even bigger partisan jackasses than the Dems because they saw an example of what happens and ignored it anyway.

Today's words brought to you by the letter F, along with the words bluster and bloviate.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Ten Top Trivia Tips about Million Monkeys Typing!

  1. The Eskimos have over fifty words for Million Monkeys Typing.
  2. A sixteenth century mathematician lost his nose in a duel over his love for Million Monkeys Typing, and wore a silver replacement for the rest of his life.
  3. It's bad luck for a flag to touch Million Monkeys Typing!
  4. All shrimp are born as Million Monkeys Typing, but gradually mature into females.
  5. If you drop Million Monkeys Typing from more than three metres above ground level, it will always land feet-first.
  6. Million Monkeys Typing can usually be found in nests built in the webs of large spiders!
  7. South Australia was the first place to allow Million Monkeys Typing to stand for parliament!
  8. Million Monkeys Typing can be very poisonous if injected intravenously!
  9. Million Monkeys Typing has a bifurcated penis.
  10. Never store Million Monkeys Typing at room temperature.
I am interested in - do tell me about
I had no idea! I wonder if I sleepwalk or something... (via the Acidman)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Saw this list of the 10 most hated athletes over at GQ Features. Two things about caught my attention. First, that A. J. Pierzynski made the top 10. I had heard that he was a bit of a jerk, but I would never had guessed he was Top Ten material.

The other was how the article's authors felt no explanation was needed to rank Terrell Owens at #1.

Honorable mention goes to Kurt Busch (#3 on the list), for channelling Eric Cartman after winning the 2004 Nextel Cup - "To NASCAR - they can lick my salty balls!"

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Since I'm bored with politics ...

... more Project Runway blogging. Tonight's challenge was to create an outfit from a photo (taken by self) the designer finds inspiring. I have to admit with the exception of three designers, I didn't see how (except for color) the designs produced would remind me of the photos. Of course I'm handicapped by being a fashion/design ignoramus, so no surprise there. On to amateurish comments about the outfits.

In no particular order:

Kara - simple black dress with a yellow hazard warning tape sash. Kind of boring, but the dress did flatter the model, who looked great in it.

Zulema - red dress that looked about half put together. Liked the color choice though, too many of the designers avoid bold colors. In my opinion, the worst outfit of the lot. It was ironically funny that she gets eliminated for lack of imagination and poor construction, given that she would criticize others for lack of sewing ability.

Santino - Love his Tim Gunn impressions, liked his colors, hated the dress. Is his ideal model an asymmetrical woman who looks 7 months pregnant? I wonder if the producers slipped some Prozac in his water this week, he actually seemed sort of likeable this time.

Nick - Top was interesting, skirt was not. After getting over his fit at losing his model, he seemed to do a really good job of getting his new model to show her best stuff. He seems to have a good rapport with his models as opposed to Zulema for example.

Andrae - No dramatics this week, thank goodness. His dress seemed to be closer to the idea for the challenge than the others, I would never have thought a good looking dress could be made from the image of dirty water in a gutter. But, what the hell do I know? It shows I have the same potential for a fashion career as I do for playing center in the NBA.

Chloe - Liked the skirt, disliked the top, but I could see the similarities to her photo of a curtain wall in the dress.

Daniel - Judges liked the outfit, me not so much. It did seem to fit the challenge though. Of all the remaining designers, he seems to be the nicest fellow of the bunch. He could have played tactically and not helped Nick through his loss-of-model funk instead helping Nick put his head on straight. Give him an additional award for Sportsmanship.

Amazing, really, that after dissing reality shows since Survivor came out, I've actually become a bit hooked on one. I'll be damned... .

Friday, January 20, 2006

Runway Blogging

Over at Althouse, there be Project Runway blogging. I didn't come across this program until recently, but as "reality" TV goes it's rather interesting. Probably because if one defines designer fashion at one end of a scale, the way I look defines opposite end of it. I am puzzled by many aspects of fashion as depicted on Runway, but to me the most puzzling is the continued presence of Santino.

In two of the challenges, he has clearly created the most craptacular outfits, yet someone else is sent packing. I have two ideas as to why. First, Santino stays due to his shall we say, dramatic personality. His theatrics may make for better TV than the fellows that were auf'd, so the producers intervened. The other is that part of the judging is based not on the clothing produced for the challenge, but on whether in the view of the judges the designer has potential to be in the final 3 or not. This is a little disturbing because to me it implies that some of the contestants are given more room for error than others, and thus the playing field is not quite level. If so, that rather sucks.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Today's Cross Burning

Today's Strib included a story about how some dimwits burned a cross at the Liberty Temple Church of God in Christ the day after Martin Luther King Day. It was a stupid, hateful act, but I must admit my first reaction was "How cliche'!". I mean, after almost 150 years of practice, couldn't these idiots be a bit more original? I mean, if moldy old chestnuts like burning crosses is the best they can come up with, I don't think they will be remaking society in their image anytime soon. The same could be said for their spiritual comrades in Minnesota's very own Nazi Party (their website is here, if anyone cares), who still model their clothing on Nazi Germany's brownshirts, worship der Fuhrer, and use Nazi era terminology (in the original German, no less). No originality whatsoever, slavishly copying the trappings of a failed ideology. Talk about inability to learn from one's mistakes... . Don't the citizens of Minneapolis find the presence of this group in their midst just a little bit embarassing?

I suppose that providing a link could be seen as giving them some legitimacy, but exposing this crap to the sunlight is a necessary step in draining the cesspool. The ideas expressed by these folks don't hold up when subject to scrutiny, so why be afraid of them? Make them defend this garbage in public, hold their ideas up to much-deserved ridicule, and they'll go back under their rocks.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Over at Harry's Place I found a post containing this excerpt from an interview with Paul Berman in the New York Press:
The people who conclude, “Bush has blundered, therefore I don’t want anything to do with it” ought to remind themselves that Bush blundered from day one. He wasn’t taking bin Laden seriously; he blundered on September 11th; he blundered on September 12th when he allowed the bin Laden family to leave the country. He made a million blunders. But just because Bush has gone about things idiotically doesn’t mean that we should abandon the struggle.

I get tired of people who assert that George W. Bush's every move in response to the terrorist slimebags who attacked us 4 1/2 years ago was incompetent. Especially when repeating the bin Laden family bilge from Michael Moore. I'm not a fan of the guy, but I've seen precious little analysis from his critics that wasn't made from the view point of 20/20 hindsight. Given only what he knew at the time, what was the better response? Surely these know-it-alls can at least do us the service of tellings us that.
I was reading the Strib's Blog House piece Saturday. and came across this little gem from Matthew Yglesias (full post is here):
Realistically, hopes of keeping Alito off the bench were lost in late fall 2004, when George W. Bush was re-elected and the GOP expanded its Senate majority. ... Realistically, the question facing the Alito nomination has always been whether Alito will be confirmed and the nuclear option implemented or whether Alito will be confirmed without the GOP needing to break a filibuster. But a congressional minority can't actually stop the Republicans from doing what they want to do. ... The Republicans won a majority, the Republicans are bad people (emphasis mine - ed.), and so they're going to do something bad. It's their fault, and the only remedy is better performance on Election Day.

More proof to me about which side is more intolerant. If you're a liberal and someone disagrees with you, that person is Bad. The prominent Dems on the Judiciary Committee seemed to act that way. On the other hand could it be, Mr. Yglesias, that you guys are just wrong about some things and need to rethink?