Saturday, May 10, 2003

Just a quick post to say, "Good Morning!", and to let you know that today is National Small Business Day.

We're on our way out the door, so have a great weekend, and I'll see you all tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Apropos of nothing at all, I would like to point out that Ian Anderson, of Jethro Tull fame, is probably the best flute player living today.

Thank you for your attention.
I've been crunching the numbers, and it looks like I might break the 5,000 visitor mark either late night Sunday, or early Monday. My wife has promised to cook dinner that night, with a nice bottle of sparkling cider (since I don't drink alcohol). But I'm torn between my choices for such a dinner. I've been fond of T-bone steaks (with a baked potato), but my doctor says I have to watch my cholesterol, so maybe some Lemon Herb Chicken on a bed of rice.

Either way you look at it, the threshold level will be reached because of your efforts, not mine. I'm just glad that you find it interesting enough to keep coming back. However, if you happen to read this, and check at the bottom of the left column and see that the Site Meter reads exactly 5,000, that means that you're the one, and I'd appreciate you dropping me a line, just for posterity's sake. I promise to raise a glass of cider in your honor (and you can toast yourself with whatever adult beverage you wish - assuming you are of legal age to do so).

Anyhow, I'm going to go pack my weekend bag. I might get a chance to post something tomorrow morning, but if I don't, I'll be back Sunday evening (the wife won't dare to miss the Survivor conclusion, and she'll also want to record the 2-hour Charmed season finale.)

Good evening, and have a Happy Mother's Day weekend.
Wow. It's gone beyond the lawsuits, and now the Federal Government has started warning fast-food restaurants about their contributions to obesity. I guess they think that McDonald's and Burger King are kidnapping people and forcing them to cram down the Big Macs and Whoppers (I couldn't find a picture). Whatever happened to free will and personal accountability? Do they think people should be protected against their own choices? I splurge occasionally (I dream of the day the McRib returns), but I understand that I'm going to have to work off the extra calories. I guess I should just kick back and relax, waiting for the check from McDonald's, because it's their fault they make such good food, and offer it for such reasonable prices, right?

In other news, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), has decided that he has had just about enough of the Democratic filibuster threats over judicial nominees, and has started suggesting ways that the filibuster rules could be changed. This is also known as the "nuclear option". It would lower the number of votes needed to stop a filibuster (called 'cloture') from the 60 normally required, reduced by three votes each time the vote is called, until a simple majority of 51 votes is needed to stop a filibuster. The 60-vote limit would be reset with each new filibustered nominee, and wouldn't apply to legislative matters, just the "advise and consent" portions of the Senate's duties (judicial, ambassadorial, and Cabinet nominees). I can understand, but I think that Senator Frist should wait until early next year to start enforcing the filibusters, demanding that the Democrats actually make themselves look bad in the eyes of the voters at the most effective point in the election cycle.

Of course, this could be just a threat and bluff to try and shake loose the votes necessary to get these nominees (some of whom have been waiting for more than a year - Judge Miguel Estrada was nominated to the Federal Appeals Bench two years ago today) voted on, one way or the other. We shall just have to wait and see. I'm not sure that changing the rules over something like this would be a good idea. "Live by the sword, die by the sword", after all.

Blogging is likely to be light over the weekend, because of the Mother's Day holiday. The wife and I will be going to visit her parents, her daughters, the grand-kids, and even my two sisters (and their kids). Heck, my brother might even show up! We'll be back before sunset on Sunday, and I'll fill you in when I get back. We've got a son-in-law who has a birthday coming up early next week, as well as his daughter - our grand-daughter, and a sweetheart in her own right - having a birthday next week, too. I might take her with me to go see X-2 after the standard Mother's Day Brunch (four generations together), but we'll see... Maybe I'll wait until next weekend for The Matrix Reloaded. Maybe.

Have a great day, and a better weekend!

Thanks for coming by, I appreciate your support. Oh, before I forget, today is "Childhood Depression Awareness Day".

Thursday, May 08, 2003

We're starting to hear reports that the Pentagon is going to be tripling the size of the WMD search team in Iraq, and hints that the WMDs thought to have been smuggled into Syria didn't stop there, but went on to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon (which Syria is open-handedly running through their army, since Lebanon has no civil government in place). With the recent story showing that there are all kinds of intel reports slowly being revealed about various politicians and countries that had been violating UN sanctions against Iraq, the Middle East may see a major shake-up in the next few months.

I've heard reports that some people (who have obviously never served in the military) are claiming that chemical and biological weapons shouldn't be counted as Weapons of Mass Destruction. While they do not commit massive destruction like the nuclear wepons would, they kill indiscriminately in mass quantity, and are specifically designed to kill anyone in range. (Using their definition, the Neutron Bomb - which killed people, but left buildings standing - wouldn't be a WMD, either.)

I found an on-line handbook over at FOXnews.com which may help quite a bit with their obvious confusion. But since the link is at FOXNews instead of at DU, they would probably not bother to learn anything from it. I hope that you do.

I've started logging my local referrers, so that I can tell where people come in. Just an interesting bit of info for my own records. Thanks for coming by, and I hope you're having a pleasant evening.
Good morning, and welcome! I would also like to extend a welcome to the seven new members of NATO, whose membership was ratified by the Senate earlier today: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. All of the citizens in those countries (of voting age) grew up being taught that NATO was the aggressor, and that the "benificent, peace-loving" Soviet Union was there to protect them. Of course, the tanks and repression and crushing of dissent was for their own good, and something that would make them a happier nation.

When I was in High School, my World History teacher was from Lithuania whose family had escaped during the post-WW2 period of consolidation, and she was never-ending in her condemnation of the Evil Empire (this was even before Reagan was elected). I hope that she is smiling over this news, wherever she may be (it has been more than 20 years, after all).

Oh, before I forget, here's the list of boycotts for last night's "The West Wing" (once again, skipping any movies): GE Appliances, Ford Motor Vehicles (they had three commercials during the hour-long show), AFLAC Insurance (I guess Gilbert Gottfried's voice wasn't annoying enough, since they added Chevy Chase), America's Cotton producers, McDonald's restaurants, Maybelline cosmetics, some commercial against smoking by California's Health Services Agency (I'm not sure whether that means I should start smoking again), Dell Computers, Phillips "Duro-Max" light bulbs, Pacific Life Insurance company, Radio Shack, "Berry-Burst" Cheerios, General Motors, Kay Jewelers, Mercedes-Benz Motor Company, SBC Telecommunications, and Dreyer's Ice Cream.

A new flag over Georgia this morning, one without the "Stars and Bars" of the Confederate Battle Flag. I swear, sooner or later, the "Political Correctness" movement is going to erase our history entirely. I'm not suggesting that the Confederate Battle Flag doesn't have negative connotations, but just changing the flag to keep people from being offended doesn't mean that they won't be offended by something else tomorrow, or the next day. At what point do we draw the line and say, "Y'know what? You say you don't like the color brown, and say that 'it represents the oppression of brown people'? Tough cookies. Chocolate ice cream has always been that color, and we're not going to quit making it!"

The pendulum has swung about as far as it can go in this direction, and the farther they push it, the harder it's going to snap back when it does...

Anyhow, I'm all for speaking the truth, and if people's feelings get hurt, I don't see anything in the Constitution about the protection of bruised feelings. I do see "Freedom of Speech", and when a government (city, county, state, or national) says, "You can't say this because it might offend someone", I say, "Let them be offended. They'll either get over it, or they'll be offended an awfully long time".

{Sigh} Well, I hope you are having a good day.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that today is "World Red Cross Day". Take that for what it's worth.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Good morning! It looks as though North Korea is doing everything they can to increase the pressure on the United States by saying that they will sell nuclear weapons, or test them, despite the Treaties they have signed to the contrary. Of course they have never let silly little things like treaties stop them.

In other news, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) made an angry speech on the floor of the Senate criticizing President Bush for making the carrier landing aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, comparing it to "the simple dignity" of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Sen. Byrd criticized the President for landing in a "fighter jet" rather than in a helicopter.

Umm, Senator Byrd? I'm probably not the first person to point this out, but the S-3 isn't "a fighter jet", it's designed to be a sub-hunter. And while I'm sure you were there for the Gettysburg Address (probably protesting, since your politics of times past - and membership in groups with "questionable ethics" are well documented), the two situations are utterly different.

Lincoln gave the speech (in a cemetary - but no message there, right, Bobby?) to remind the nation why the war (which was still going on at that time) needed to be fought. Bush did the carrier landing to see it from the pilot's point of view (since he was a former fighter pilot), and gave the speech to tell people that the war had been successfully fought to free a nation from a murderous thug, and as a message of thanks to the military members who had performed so well and so admirably. But since everything the Dems do is from the point of view of getting re-elected, they assume that everyone acts in such a craven manner. Since the previous Resident of the White House had done everything based on public opinion polls, I can't fault Bobby for his assumptions because he has yet to catch on to the fact that the President actually means what he says, and says what he means.

And in still more political news, Vice President Dick Cheney has said that there will be no changes in the Presidential ticket. Which means that there will be four more years of Bush/Cheney, and we can start speculating about the Republican ticket of 2008. Since it seems obvious that Shrillary will be running on the Democratic ticket, I'm hoping that (National Security Adviser) Condaleezza Rice will be running against her. I'd be laughing my ass off because there is absolutely no way Shrillary would win in such an instance. On education, on ethics, on national security, just about any subject imaginable (except for the concept of dealing with cheating spouses), Condi would just shred her, and on national TV, too. There would also be no doubt about the winner of a character debate, either. Just ask Shrillary about Vince Foster and Travelgate, and watch for that vein in her forehead to pop up.

Anyhow, I'm going to go poke around some more. Thanks for coming by, and here's a special error page for you, courtesy of Baghdad Bob. Remember that today is "Beaufort Scale Day".

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Flashbunny has learned that Governor Gray Davis has submitted a few coin designs for the California State Quarter (due out in January, 2005), and, in the spirit of full disclosure, has come up with a few designs that reflect the real Gray Davis legacy.

Remember, folks, this is the same Gray Davis who not only has the lowest approval rating of all 50 governors, he has the lowest approval rating in the history of the poll. And with good reason.
It's time, once again, for This-or-That Tuesday:

The Media Edition

1. TV or radio? Both. TV when I'm at home, and radio when I'm driving in the car.
2. On the radio: talk or music station? Music. Classic rock, to be specific.
3. Actual books or books-on-tape (or e-books)? Actual books. I've been reading since I was very young.
4. Actual newspaper, or web version? Actual newspaper. (There's just something about holding the material in your hands.)
5. Wall Street Journal or National Enquirer? Neither. One is too dry, and the other is too much bullshit.
6. TV news...news channel such as CNN, or your local broadcast news? FOXNews. CNN is too anti-American to want to tell the truth. They're almost Al-Jazeerah WEST.
7. A movie you've been looking forward to seeing gets bad reviews all around. See it anyway, or pass? I've never agreed with movie reviewers anyway, so if they think a movie sucks, I would like it, and vice versa. Usually, anyway.
8. See movies when they first come out, or wait a few weeks for the lines at the theater to get shorter? Rent it when it hits the video stores.
9. TV: cable, satellite dish, or just plain old antenna? Digital cable, if it's possible.
10. Thought-provoking question of the week: If you had to choose only one form of media to come into your home, which would you choose...print (newspapers, magazines) or electronic (TV, internet)? Why? Electronic. It offers a wider access, and can be searched on a whim for anything that crosses my mind, depending on train of thought. It also offers hyperlinks. Print never changes, which is fine for archived material, but the world is changing too rapidly for the print media to keep up.

That's it for this week's round, and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 05, 2003

Imperial:

  1. Of, relating to, or suggestive of an empire or a sovereign, especially an emperor or empress: imperial rule; the imperial palace.
  2. Ruling over extensive territories or over colonies or dependencies: imperial nations.


I'm not quite sure how this definition can possibly be applied to anything that the United States has done at any point in its history.

Let's try another:

Fascist

  1. often Fascist An advocate or adherent of fascism.


Well, that didn't tell us anything we didn't already know. Okay, then, let's try fascism:

  1. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
  2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.


So will one of you left-wing twits explain to me exactly how we have "centralization of authority under a dictator", "suppression of the opposition through terror", and a policy of nationalism?

We have a Chief Executive who was elected (although the results in one state were fairly close, the Electoral College results were quite clear) rather than a naked power grab through assassination, whose political and ideological opponents have free rein to say pretty much anything they want at any time they want, and not a single one of them is being terrorized or censored. (A few are being censured, but that is because the public are sick and tired of these dancing monkeys spouting off about things, especially things that they have neither the training, the education, nor the aptitude to understand. The beauty of the First Amendment is that it applies to everyone, not just the unpopular opinions of a few loudmouths.)

As for the policy of nationalism (which implies one nation over all others), let's not confuse that with 'national pride', which is making a resurgence. We have tried to get the International body of the United Nations to actually enforce its own rules (remember UNSC Resolution 1441, passed 15-0?), but france threatened to veto any further resolutions, sight unseen. We had almost 60 nations supporting us in our actions, and more than a dozen of those were contributing troops. So which nation's interests are we enforcing here? Iraq? Israel? Great Britain? Australia? The United States? If it is more than one of these, then the charge of "nationalism" is as fallacious as the rest of their twaddle.

Until (and unless) one of these whiners manages to provide real, substantive, verifiable evidence to back up their claims of "imperialism", "fascism" (or as is most commonly said "facism"), or the rest of the "Loser's EZ Handbook of Insults", they will be relegated to the "Wrong Side of History".
Good morning, everyone! I'm sitting here watching the legal pundits discuss the Laci Peterson murder, since Scott is going for one pre-trial motion or another. His attorney, Mark Garregos (who had been making money by describing how much of a monster Scott was on national TV for many weeks before being hired), is now saying that he will "prove" that Scott is innocent, and not just by instituting "reasonable doubt".

I remember one famous story where a man was on trial for a murder charge, where there was lots of circumstantial evidence, but no body. His lawyer had seen something he saw in a movie, and thought he'd give it a try. He said, "The prosecution has never been able to produce a body, because there was no murder! Because the victim is just outside those doors!" pointing at the courtroom entrance. Eyes all over the courtroom zeroed in on the doors expecting to see the prosecution's case shatter. The doors never opened, and the lawyer went on, "If you looked, you have to admit to yourself that you have a reasonable doubt that my client didn't kill anyone, and you have to vote to acquit."

After deliberations, the unanimous verdict came back, "Guilty." The stunned lawyer caught up with the jury foreman as everyone was leaving the courthouse, and asked, "Why did you vote that way? Wasn't there any reasonable doubt?"

The juror replied, "Because your client never turned around to look."

Scott wouldn't want me as a juror, because just from the things I've seen, I would not only vote to convict, I would also vote to execute. Anyone who would murder his wife, and cause the death of his unborn son in the process doesn't deserve to be breathing the same air as the rest of us. The death penalty doesn't serve as a deterrent in cases like these, but it sure as hell serves as a punishment.

Kind of a rough way to start the day, but oh, well, huh? Hope you have a good day!

Sunday, May 04, 2003

It looks like I'd be sent to the Second level of Hell.

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Second Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
LevelScore
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Extreme
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Moderate
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Low
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

I guess it could be worse...
Good morning to you all. The Democratic Presidential hopefuls:

  • Carol Moseley Braun, former Senator from Illinois
  • Governor Howard Dean of Vermont
  • Senator John Edwards (D-NC)
  • Congressman Dick Gephardt (D-MO 3rd)
  • Senator Bob Graham (D-FL)
  • Senator John Kerry (D-MA)
  • Congressman John Kucinich (D-OH 10th)
  • Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
  • Reverend Al Sharpton


have gotten together for a debate (if you can call it that) over the War, health care and tax cuts in South Carolina. I wonder why they even bother. They are going up against a war-time President who is incredibly popular, and who has learned the lessons of his father from 12 years ago. The Democrats in the Senate are doing everything they can to delay any improvement to the economy because that is the only card they have left their hand. No clear winner has yet emerged (which is a sentence the nine - count 'em, nine - of them are going to have to get used to hearing).

The Democrats have already shown that they are not supportive of minorities (by filibustering and delaying the confirmation vote of two minority appointees to the Federal Appeals Court - traditionally considered a stepping-stone to the Supreme Court). They have already shown that they are against the war (except after its already been won - Tom Daschle and Nancy Pelosi have displayed the sudden reversals) to libertae the Iraqis from Saddam's regime. They have already shown that they are against the average American having a lower tax burden. (I guess they don't think we can be trusted with our own money.)

If Bush manages to improve the economy, despite the interference from the Senate, then he's a lock for re-election (which is likely to be one of Reagan-esque proportions), and they might as well put away their posters and banners until '08, when Hillary will step up to the plate. I hope that the GOP will put Condi Rice up against her. That would be a fight to see. I think Condi would slap her around on just about every issue imaginable, but that's a few years off. So I'll wait before I start laughing at Hillary.

I'm sitting here listening to the Classic Rock channel of Digital Music and downloading songs that sound interesting. I just got the Doobie Brothers "Long Train Running". So far, I have just a bit under 500 different musical and comedy selections (ranging from Doris Day's "Slow Boat to China" to Tenacious D's "My Biznitch is the Shiznit" to Weird Al Yankovic's "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi"), and with a CD-R/W burner, it makes it easy to pick and choose my driving music. Or, if I'm sitting here and want to listen to the Eagles, it's just a double-click away. So to speak.

Anyhow, it looks to be a slow Sunday, so I'm going to kick around a bit. Hope your weekend is a good one.