"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours." -Sir Charles Napier
:: :: bloghome | contact ::
Michael, God bless that cotton pickin' fertile ding dang noodle of yours! I now know that there is a thinking man among us who dares to speak up. xoxox Pam
Reported as BANNED IN CHINA!
recommended sites
Accuracy in Academia
Alarming News
Benador Associates
Bill Whittle, on War
bleeding brain
Blog Iran!
Daily Lunch
Experimental Insanity
Junk Yard Blog
Midwest Conservative Journal
¡No Pasarán!
The OmbudsGod!
Scylla and Charybdis
Sgt. Stryker
Stuart Buck
The Truth Laid Bear
The Urban Grind
I know how the Jacksons feel
The Other Michael Parker
Hunt Waterfowl and Flyfish in Western North Carolina
Yellow Dog Outfitters: Jerry Ward, NC State Licensed Guide, 828-231-0570
::website:: Jerry's e-mail
BigEarth of New Mexico sez, The warmest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great national moment, reserve their neutrality.
Bill Whittle's mom sez, If you can’t say anything of deep and meaningful scientific or political import that is not supported by fact, reason, historical precedent and in-depth step-by-step logical analysis then don’t say anything at all!

:: Monday, February 28 ::


"We Didn't Criticize You When You Fired Those Reporters at CBS"
Is it that Putin is crazy, or not smart enough to run a country? - meaning, who might be pulling his strings? How in the world can you be the Russian head of state and a former KGB agent, and not know about the power of the American press, and that Presidents don't fire reporters? How can you know of rolling heads at CBS but not that it was ratings, something more like people pressure, and certainly not Presidential pressure.

Is this Putin projecting his relationship with the Russian media?

Perhaps, this was a bone thrown to the American media for more favorable writing toward Putin's leadership.
(You can take the man out of the KGB, but you can't....)

Reading it gave me the same chill as when I read the dialogue of old Soviet interrogations and related propaganda, and the same chill I got when the likes of Gore and Kerry delivered their distracting whoppers at Presidential debates. I am betting, in part, that Putin really believes it, but also he wants the favor of the American press - a little bit stupid, a little bit smart, with a scary dash of Vishinsky.

Still, we have a Sovietologist for Secretary of State, and therefore an informed President. The Bush Administration seems to be doing the right thing with this mess:
U.S. aides say that to help fight against this kind of misinformation, they are struggling to build relationships that go beyond Putin. "We need to go deeper into the well into other levels of government," explains an aide.
Damn right, we do.

Now, this:

Something told me to keep the music on and not tune in to Meet the Press yesterday morning. If I had heard her say this, I might have broken something:
Russert: " Would you now accept the fact that because of the invasion of Iraq, there is a possibility of democracy in Iraq and that may spread in the Middle East?

Dowd: "We are torturing people, we're outsourcing torture, the administration is trying to throw journalists in jail and basically trying to replace the whole press corps with ringers, including male escorts."
Are there shadowy figures whispering into Putin's ear, or does he read Maureen Dowd? If he's reading Dowd, why does he suppose she has not yet been fired by Bush?

:: michael Monday, February 28, 2005 [+] ::


..and it spoke well when Bill Gates said this to 45 governors:
"America's high schools are obsolete," Gates said. "By obsolete, I don't just mean that they're broken, flawed or underfunded, though a case could be made for every one of those points. By obsolete, I mean our high schools _ even when they're working as designed _ cannot teach all our students what they need to know today."
and this:
"Training the workforce of tomorrow with today's high schools is like trying to teach kids about today's computers on a 50-year-old mainframe," said Gates, whose $27-billion Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made education one of its priorities.

"Everyone who understands the importance of education, everyone who believes in equal opportunity, everyone who has been elected to uphold the obligations of public office should be ashamed that we are breaking our promises of a free education for millions of students," added Gates, to strong applause.

:: michael Monday, February 28, 2005 [+] ::

For the property rights case that really does have me nervous. Jeff Jacoby's column makes it easy to understand even if you didn't know about the case before now.

:: michael Monday, February 28, 2005 [+] ::


It's an instructive collection of liberal venom, the result of cartoonist Ted Rall's bring-it-on. (The "execrable" Ted Rall, as Bill Whittle put it while putting "execrable" permanently in my vocabulary.)

At the end, something positive from someone I gave up on long ago:
"Believe it or not, no, I did NOT know that any of this stuff was out there. I'd read references by Republican bloggers to such things, but no one ever provided a link and I could never find it....Has the challenge been met? Yes."

:: michael Monday, February 28, 2005 [+] ::
:: Sunday, February 27 ::

I really should have known better, but friend and superb martini-maker Thomas helped me understand - "Fractals are infinite," he pointed out to me.

This is a loop:

:: michael Sunday, February 27, 2005 [+] ::
:: Friday, February 25 ::
But when asked if he feared that the alliance could impose Islamic rule in Iraq, Allawi said he opposed the creation of any form of Islamic government.

"We are liberal powers and we believe in a liberal Iraq and not an Iraq governed by political Islamists."
In the meantime, next door where Islamists rule:
Iran girl gets 100 lashes for sex

The court dismissed the girl's claim that she was raped. It said she had sex of her own free will, the official Iran Daily newspaper reported. The girl was sentenced to 100 lashes because her accusations of rape and kidnap could have landed her partners a death penalty, the Tehran judge said. Sex outside marriage is illegal in Iran and capital punishment can be imposed. The young men in the case were sentenced to 30 and 40 lashes each.
I had to read this twice before I saw it - her punishment was greater because of her willingness to risk others' executions with a false accusation. Now, I have no idea what really happened, but if there was this tiny element of justice within that judicial mullah-brain, how much lithium do we need to send to help them connect the rest of the dots and stop it with punishing sex crimes altogether? Of course, that won't happen. Minds like that need laser-guided elimination and for better people to replace them.

Has anyone tried to search Amnesty.org? It pulls little up, and much of it is old stuff. Recently, NPR reported that Amnesty International was bitching about the treatment of women in Iraq, but I can't even find that there. I wonder if Amnesty does anything besides bank on its nice-sounding name.


...by contradicting Vladamir Putin
The White House has argued that Iran's nuclear program appears aimed at producing nuclear weapons, not just generating electricity, as Iran maintains.

Putin disagreed. "The latest steps taken by Iran have convinced us that Iran does not intend to produce nuclear arms," he said after meeting at the Kremlin with Hassan Rowhani, the head of Iran's national security council.

"We will continue cooperation in all areas, including nuclear power," Putin said, adding that there would also be "military-technical" cooperation.

In Washington, Bush and his senior aides offered a muted response to Putin's assertions.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the architect of Bush's Russia policy, noted that Russia has promised to provide fuel for Iran's Russian-built nuclear reactor at Bushehr only if Tehran agrees to inspections and promises to return the spent fuel so it can't be used to manufacture a nuclear or radiological weapon.

"I think the behavior of everyone suggests that there are good reasons to be suspicious of what the Iranians are doing," Rice said at an appearance with Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot. The European Union is negotiating with Iran over nuclear issues, and the International Atomic Energy Agency also is scrutinizing Iran's activities.
She don't wear them boots to just look pretty.

:: michael Friday, February 25, 2005 [+] ::
:: Thursday, February 24 ::
Ann Coulter writes on the Gannon thing, a liberal-interest topic otherwise not worth discussing, except that she chooses the words perfectly:
Are we supposed to like gay people now, or hate them? Is there a website where I can go to and find out how the Democrats want me to feel about gay people on a moment-to-moment basis?
..but implies that three men ran for President not with the names they were given at birth.
How did Gary Hartpence, Billy Blythe and John Kohn (Gary Hart, Bill Clinton and John Kerry) run for president under invented names?
Well... Gary Hart dropped the "Pence" in his thirties. Mr. Blythe died, And Mr. Clinton was given the name of the stepfather (remember that?). I didn't think Kerry was not born Kerry - just that his Jewish grandfather escaped European persecution (no surprise there) and made the name change after coming to the states. This is why you gotta read Coulter carefully.

:: michael Thursday, February 24, 2005 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, February 23 ::

Do you write letters to your editor?

More people than King deserve a memorial road

In naming roads nationwide, Presidents Washington and Lincoln are honored the most. In third place, Rev. Martin Luther King is so honored around 730 times.

The Feb. 8 AC-T headline, "Haywood's African-American community seeks Martin Luther King memorial road," reported an unoriginal, even hackneyed idea, especially when there is already a national holiday for him.

The idea brings to mind two current race problems: 1) resistance to such a dedication often evokes bullying, unjust charges of racism, and 2) it elicits more utterly unoriginal calls for a "white history month."

Weren't there other civil rights activists whose sacrifices also deserve a road name? Can you name the man who endured a pot of coffee poured on his head at a sit-in? Surely, there is a deserving Haywood County activist who endured humiliation, whose sacrifice brought good change, more than those who sanctimoniously wear black at the Vance Monument ever will.

Name a road after that person.

I was worried about the editing that happens on letters pages. In the past, the entire meaning of some letters was lost. This time, they changed nothing.

This will offend local people who cannot read. Fortunately, there are several Michael Parkers in my phone book so my house should still be here when I return from work. Those who wear black are the Women in Black, who protested the war at the town's center, "Standing in silence mourning violence." They do the King march as well.

My message: do something real and have an effect. Give honor to the little people who have. And to the W.I.B.: have you prevented a single act of violence in the world by your... standing there?

:: michael Wednesday, February 23, 2005 [+] ::


Please remember, dear non-blogging readers, the real occupation over there is not the territory Israel won in the wars it didn't start, but in Lebanon, by Syria.

Daniel Pipes writes with exciting optimism, and in a way instructive to aspiring dynastic dictators:
The fate of Syria was in good measure determined on January 21, 1994. That's when, driving at a too-high speed to the Damascus airport for a skiing trip abroad, Basil Al-Assad crashed the Mercedes he was driving, killing himself and his passengers.
After the car crash, his younger brother Bashar got yanked back from his ophthalmologic studies in London and enrolled in a rapid course to prepare as Syria's next strongman.
The lesson: don't put all your loins in one basket. But think again - grooming two didn't work for Saddam. This is a nifty round-up of the world's hereditary autocracy:
(This made Bashar the second dynastic dictator, with Kim Jong Il of North Korea having been the first in 1994. The third one, being Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, emerged earlier this month. Other sons waiting in the wings include Gamal Mubarak of Egypt, Saifuddin Gadhafi of Libya, and Ahmed Salih of Yemen. Saddam Hussein's pair never made it.) [later addition: a reader notes that Ilham Aliev succeeded his father Heidar as prime minister of Azerbaijan in August 2003.]
Saddam Hussein's pair never made it. Let's savor that for a moment, shall we? And who do we thank?

Back to grooming a couple of back-ups...
There can be little doubt that Mr. Assad was behind the massive (probably underground) blast on February 14 that gouged a 20-yard-wide crater, killing Hariri and 16 others. With his flair for incompetence, Mr. Assad presumably decided that the former prime minister had to die for this betrayal. But, quite contrary to Mr. Assad's presumed expectations, far from reducing pressures on Syria to leave Lebanon, the atrocity magnified and intensified them.

Mr. Assad's response – pretending to denounce the murder, putting a relative in charge of the intelligence services, purchasing SA-18 anti-aircraft missiles from Russia, and announcing a mutual defense pact with Tehran – points to his cluelessness about the trouble he has stirred up for himself. For the first time in three decades, Lebanon now seems within reach of regaining its independence.
His optimism doesn't stop there. Click the text and read the whole thing.

:: michael Wednesday, February 23, 2005 [+] ::


I like stories about old found frozen friends. The wooly mammoth was a favorite.
Currently in the news: much ado about another frozen man:
Alpine Iceman Reveals Stone Age Secrets

BOLZANO, Italy (Reuters) - Some 5,300 years after his violent death, a Stone Age man found frozen in the Alps is slowly revealing his secrets to a global team of scientists.

But despite more than a decade of high-tech efforts by geneticists, botanists and engineers many questions about his life and death remain unsolved.
Well, that would suggest the Alpine Iceman is not revealing secrets, now wouldn't it?
This raised an eyebrow:
In the latest project, genetic researchers in Oxford and Bolzano are testing his DNA for clues about ethnicity. Scientists expect the first results within months. The outcome could stir controversy in a region controversially claimed by Italians, German-speakers and members of the ancient Ladin culture.
Oh-oh, I thought. Now the Arabs are going to use this to claim the bin Ladins were there first. Al-Jazeera picked up the story, but they haven't jumped on it yet.

:: michael Wednesday, February 23, 2005 [+] ::
:: Monday, February 21 ::

By contrast, Karol at Alarming News posted recently, "Resuscitate!"

However, an interesting, opposing point of view from an old doctor:
AN emergency medicine specialist has given himself an 80th birthday present with a difference – he's had DO NOT RESUSCITATE tattooed across his chest.
Albert Cutter has performed enough resuscitations to know what his wishes would be if the tables were turned and he was the patient.
Click the text above and read the whole article.
:: michael Monday, February 21, 2005 [+] ::


Cell phone jammers are increasing in use, and its wrong. The FCC says it has fined no one so far, but I await the first negligent homicide case because someone blocked an emergency call.
Their sole goal is to zip inconsiderate lips. The smaller gadgets emit radio frequencies that block signals anywhere from a 50- to 200-foot radius. They range in price from $250 to $2,000.

But don't expect to find jammers at the local Radio Shack — they're against Federal Communications Commission regulations because they interfere with emergency calls and the public airwaves. They are illegal to buy, sell, use, import or advertise.

A violation means an $11,000 fine, but the FCC's Enforcement Bureau has yet to bust one person anywhere in the country.

"This is not a crime that they're going after," said Rob Bernstein, deputy editor at New York City-based Sync magazine.
If someone is talking loudly, people should be able to ask for some quiet in the same way they should be able to ask someone to not smoke. It's all about civility, which does leave some of the responsibility with the would-be-bothered.

The only good that could come from this is if that annoying Verizion guy asks, "Can you hear me now?" and gets no answer.
:: michael Monday, February 21, 2005 [+] ::
:: Friday, February 18 ::

The AP has 884 words about the torture of Manadel al-Jamadi.

Two-thirds of the way down the article, they offer thirty-one words as to why he may have been the subject of such contempt:
Navy SEALs apprehended al-Jamadi as a suspect in the Oct. 27, 2003, bombing of Red Cross offices in Baghdad that killed 12 people. His alleged role in the bombing is unclear.
According to court documents and testimony, the SEALs punched, kicked and struck al-Jamadi with their rifles before handing him over to the CIA early on Nov. 4. By 7 a.m., al-Jamadi was dead.
Gee, do you think he had information about upcoming events and wouldn't spill it?

Such bombings don't just kill 12 people, they leave behind survivors with missing limbs, blindness, deafness, and shrapnel in their bodies to provide pain - torture, if you will - as long as they live. Then there is the loss of the medical facility and the number of would-be patients affected.

Quick, leave open the possibility that Bush knew:
The prisoner died in a position known as "Palestinian hanging," the documents reviewed by The AP show. It is unclear whether that position was approved by the Bush administration for use in CIA interrogations.
(Notice how the Leftist idea that Bush knew about 9-11 would be reprehensible and deserving of constant contempt, but the probability of a terrorist holding vital information is no reason to get tough.)

Of course, let's give the routinely terrorized Jewish State some bad publicity, too:
The European Court of Human Rights found Turkey guilty of torture in 1996 in a case of Palestinian hanging ? a technique Iacopino said is used worldwide but named for its alleged use by Israel in the Palestinian territories.
So the technique is certainly used worldwide, but we'll still name it after the tiny, terrorized Israeli state which is alleged to use it.

Let's finish today with the x-ray of a bombing victim:

:: michael Friday, February 18, 2005 [+] ::
:: Thursday, February 17 ::
as VDH put it:

Abbas okays 'collaborator' executions
In the first decision of its kind since he succeeded Yasser Arafat, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ratified death sentences against three Palestinians found guilty of "collaboration" with Israel.
You would suppose they were murderers. Their crime:
tipping off Israeli security forces about the whereabouts of wanted gunmen.
Well, I guess that speaks for itself.
:: michael Thursday, February 17, 2005 [+] ::

Ann Coulter writes a reminder of what many have already written, and what those of us who went to supposedly good universities witnessed:
Tenure was supposed to create an atmosphere of open debate and inquiry, but instead has created havens for talentless cowards who want to be insulated from life. Rather than fostering a climate of open inquiry, college campuses have become fascist colonies of anti-American hate speech, hypersensitivity, speech codes, banned words and prohibited scientific inquiry.
..and they teach students (but only the right kind, their kind, of students) to want the same: I experienced my own trouble at UNC for publicly ridiculing a student government leader. I faced sexual harassment charges while she and her fellow lawbreakers were absolutely no cause for concern to the school's administration. This was the event that confirmed my conservatism. After that, everything else I witnessed made sense.

Fascist colonies? Well, a friend argued that public support for the Vietnam War was evidenced by huge box office success of The Green Berets. He got a D on his paper until he argued the professor back up to a B. The student newspaper opined that there was no coincidence when the Allied forces lauched Operation Desert Storm on Martin Luther King's birthday.

Hypersensitivity? When Rite-Aid Pharmacy moved their number-one category of shoplifted inventory to within visual range of the cashiers, organized black activists on campus went nuts. Black hair-care products were what got moved. Instead of calling against their own for making them all look bad, they blamed the store that suffered the losses.
I remember mere a handful of days, in four years, when the Daily Tar Heel did not mention racism, sexism, and homophobia on the front page.

Harvard, of all schools, was the first I remember actually creating free speech zones. My language was blamed for creating "a demeaning academic environment for another student's academic pursuits." My victim, the one who broke four laws, never filed a complaint. Someone else made the decision for her that she was a victim. Her grades were never presented as evidence. Five months later, my case was dropped for lack of evidence by the Chancellor. Thank God it was not the current UNC Chancellor.
talentless cowards who want to be insulated from life
An accurate description? Yes, especially if lawbreaking is not an issue with them but being told they are wrong is. And all that happened over 14 years ago. To keep up with current campus antics, I regularly read Dr. Mike Adams's columns, in total amazement that he hasn't been fired or beaten on campus.

:: michael Thursday, February 17, 2005 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, February 16 ::
As more and more hybrids hit the road, cash-strapped states are warning of rough roads ahead.
Officials in car-clogged California are so worried they may be considering a replacement for the gas tax altogether, replacing it with something called "tax by the mile."
Way to go. People who make less money cannot enjoy centrally located living. Therefore, they commute. Let's punish the work force. Screw the truckers.

Oh, and do you remember when now-ousted California Governor Gray Davis wanted to force car dealers to sell the hybrids? TheWall Street Journal asked, "Will he require the people to buy them as well?"

:: michael Wednesday, February 16, 2005 [+] ::

This was reported in June of last year, but I forgot all about it. So again, I got to laugh out loud when I read this:
Navy to Commission Attack Submarine Jimmy Carter
Uh-oh, it's nu-kyu-ler.
Do you think it'll go to North Korea bearing gifts? You can bet money they won't send it on a hostage rescue mission.

When Presidents' names usually go to the very visible aircraft carriers, we can be thankful this one will be under water and out of sight.

There's a photo of the sub here:

It would be an interesting movie plot to have a captain with an inferiority complex resulting from the name of his vessel. The captain would then have to prove something so the world would know him and the crew rather than the original honoree.

:: michael Wednesday, February 16, 2005 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, February 15 ::

John Leo addresses the question , "What will Alec Baldwin find in Canada?" with some predictable humor, but also with some eyebrow-raising reporting of official Canadian censorship:
Un-nice books and videos are seized at the border or banned from libraries. Any material cited for “undue exploitation of sex” or for being “degrading or dehumanizing” can be banned. Speech is illegal if it “promotes hatred” or spreads “false news.” Advertising “directed at children” can be ruled illegal. If the recorded message on your answering machine is deemed discriminatory, you can be prosecuted for it.
Baldwin has not, after more than four years, moved to Canada as he said he would if Bush won in 2000. Perhaps the nasty, pouty Baldwin was censored at the border?

:: michael Tuesday, February 15, 2005 [+] ::

I never thought that much about the Grammy's. But there's always someone to set an example for critical thinking, or at least good angry ranting.:

Cut in the last year of his life, "Genius" captures a man who's clearly far from his towering power. Little of his brilliant phrasing or rich tone comes through. Worse, pairing one of music's greatest stars with a round of overexposed boomer-bait names from Elton John to Van Morrison plunges straight into the heart of marketing cliché.

This is the most depressing, and reflexive, Album of the Year award since Natalie Cole won for "Unforgettable," her morbid series of duets with her late father, 15 long years ago.

Words like these from Daily News's Jim Farber should make you think about what you thought, if you thought anything about the awards to begin with.

:: michael Tuesday, February 15, 2005 [+] ::
:: Monday, February 14 ::

With a special message fom Michelangelo:

Remember - vertical stripes make you look thinner!

:: michael Monday, February 14, 2005 [+] ::


Reminiscent of Hillary reclaiming "Rodham" after Clinton's 1992 election:
Teresa Heinz drops 'Kerry'
So now it's just Maria Teresa Thierstein Simoes-Ferreira Heinz. Hey - it's her money!
Happy Valentine's Day, John!

:: michael Monday, February 14, 2005 [+] ::
:: Sunday, February 13 ::
It wasn't personal . It was business:
Jordan was speaking in Switzerland, in front of a largely European and Muslim audience. He no doubt wanted to impress them with his anti-American credentials. So in order to make himself look important, he accused American troops of murder. Then again, this is the same character that did not report on the true extent of Saddam's butchery because he didn't want to jeopardize CNN's access in that country.
What liberal media?
Would Ward Churchill say he was a little Eichmann as well? He was just following ratings, after all. But he wasn't burned alive at work by the enemy - not literally, anyway. So, no, Churchill will have nothing to say.

Bleeding Brain on the Big Picture:
The cartel of the dispensation of daily news is now facing its own demise. The fall of Dan Rather and now the resignation of Eason Jordan of CNN fame marks the end of the Nixon era newscasting and the beginning of the Bush era (or post-911) internet dispensed news.
Internet-dispensed and blogger-monitored. We are watching you... in our pajamas!

:: michael Sunday, February 13, 2005 [+] ::
:: Friday, February 11 ::

Last Thursday's Best of the Web opens with a word so difficult I forgot to finish reading the column:

Iraq synecdochically thanked America for its freedom last night. During his State of the Union address, President Bush introduced a couple who were sitting with the first lady, Janet and Bill Norwood. The Norwoods' son, Marine Sgt. Byron Norwood, was killed during the liberation of Fallujah.

Whereupon another honored guest, Iraqi human-rights advocate Safia Taleb al-Suhail, stood, turned and embraced Mrs. Norwood, who was seated behind her.

The man who resurrected "kerfuffle" may not have such success with this one. I have failed to use it for a week. To look it up, you have to find "synecdoche":
A figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole (as hand for sailor), the whole for a part (as the law for police officer), the specific for the general (as cutthroat for assassin), the general for the specific (as thief for pickpocket), or the material for the thing made from it (as steel for sword).
Was the hug a synecdochical thank-you? Wouldn't it have been fun to play Karl Rove and inject that word into the Liberal lexicon in such a way that they assume it meant "staged." It would have been better than when the MSM went nuts with the word "gravitas."

I ran it through the Ali G translator to see how it's said on the street:
Iraq synecdochically thanked USAiiiii fer its freedom last night. During his State hof da Union address, President Bush introduced a couple who were sitting wif da first bitch, Janet and Bill Norwood. da Norwoods' son, Marine Sgt. Byron Norwood, was killed during da liberation hof Fallujah.
Oh. I didn't know "synecdochically" was a gangsta word. Our common language just keeps going to hell.

* * *
My favorite word of the week was used by Bill Whittle to describe the "execrable" Ted Rall. I know two execrable people. I have called them that all week. No need to look it up - If Whittle uses that word to describe Rall, you know what it means.

* * *
Yesterday, Ann Coulter brings back the old street word for a two-for-the-price-of-one coupon:
By Churchill's own account, a crucial factor in his political development was "being an American Indian referred to as 'chief' in a combat unit" in Vietnam, which made him sad. This is known to con men everywhere as a "two-fer."
I didn't immediately get it, but the 3rd definition is priceless:
a person who belongs to two minority groups and can satisfy two quotas or appeal to two political constituencies, esp. a black woman, who can be counted twice in a position she holds, as fulfilling a racial and a sexual quota.
Ah - the vet thing and the native thing... do you think if they had run Churchill for President, he may have actually won just a few more votes than John Kerry?

:: michael Friday, February 11, 2005 [+] ::
:: Thursday, February 10 ::

Well done, Mrs. Cheney!

While I chiseled a hole in an antique door for a mortice lockset, I listened to Terry Gross's interview of Mrs. Cheney, who was on to talk about history and history-oriented children's books. That happened for a while, but, predictably, Terry had to go to the lesbian thing and Mrs. Cheney's views. Terry was polite, I suppose, in comparison to and especially in the wake of John Kerry's low-class handling of the subject during the last debate.

As Terry continued to imply that Mrs. Cheney was reluctant to contradict the President, it finally came to this head, "Terry, I have contradicted the President six times in the last ten minutes. I thought I was here to discuss history."

What followed was the most on-air silence I have witnessed since Bob Costas rebuked Katie Couric at the opening of the Olympics.

"Do I remind you of your daughter, Mrs. Cheney? Would you be ashamed of me, too?"

But Terry had to go there again, and continued to imply that Mrs. Cheney was reluctant to discuss the subject. It finally came to this head, "Terry, I have discussed this subject more with you than probably anyone else has on this show in the last six months."

Again, silence. Terry was totally tripped, and she deserved it. Interestingly, pehaps predictably, I cannot find the interview posted or even followed-up at the NPR website.

:: michael Thursday, February 10, 2005 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, February 9 ::

I am still ready to buy Secretary Rice a new pair of Ferragamos for pretending the Grave of Yasser Arafat does not exist.

In the meantime, I am mulling over the November remark by Dr. Jack Wheeler posted below:
Yasser Arafat was the Hitler of Palestinian Arabs. Just as Hitler led the German people in a euphoric frenzy to their doom, so Arafat has done the same to his people.
The Left has overused the Hitler and Nazi analogy as much as it has incorrectly used it. As I fought against wishing Dr. Wheeler had chosen something else by remembering why he was right:

*The Palestinian National Covenant called for exile from Palestine of all Jews who had arrived after 1917 and their descendants. After Yasser Arafat agreed to remove this from the Charter, it was still displayed in its original language.
*Palestinians celebrate suicide bombers by:
-naming streets after them
-creating shrines for them
-honoring the mothers who have abandoned their children to explode and knock on the door of heaven with the skull of a Jew
-allowing Palestinian children to trade suicide bomber cards the way American kids trade baseball cards
-dancing in the streets and passing out candy on September 11, 2001
The list goes on and on, but I am outta time, but this short list makes it clear to me that Wheeler's analogy is correct and appropriate.
:: michael Wednesday, February 09, 2005 [+] ::


A dissed Downtown Lad points to a provocative post by a philosophy professor:
By the way, the proper analogy is not to slavery, which is obviously unjust, but to not allowing dogs to vote, which is just.
However, BOTW points to the fact that earning a PhD is not the beginning of wisdom. The NYT reported a near-scientific conclusion about as necessary as a Nazi medical experiment:

Predatory killers often do far more than commit murder. Some have lured their victims into homemade chambers for prolonged torture. Others have exotic tastes--for vivisection, sexual humiliation, burning. Many perform their grisly rituals as much for pleasure as for any other reason.

Among themselves, a few forensic scientists have taken to thinking of these people as not merely disturbed but evil.

A few? - a whole few? wow.

However, additionally linking to this, the Downtown Lad at least still has his sense of humor:
So Fred and Barney are gay... the article threw me back to when Eddie Murphy ranted about cereal.

:: michael Wednesday, February 09, 2005 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, February 8 ::

I got hot when she said Israel would have to face "hard decisions," but I loved reading this:
Rice ignores Arafat's grave
The PA decided not to make a fuss about the issue to avoid marring relations with the US.
Now that's a damn fine statement against the man who led the Palestinians into war, oppression, and deeper poverty. They could have had a four year-old state by now, with foreign investment and a growing economy to make them less focused on Israelis having more. Instead, we see the Palestinians for who he led them to be - haters of Jews and lovers of death living unproductively, in squalor.

Last November, Jack Wheeler put it precisely:
Yasser Arafat was the Hitler of Palestinian Arabs. Just as Hitler led the German people in a euphoric frenzy to their doom, so Arafat has done the same to his people. On his deathbed next to him lies the myth of Palestinianism.
It would have been better only if she had worn an AIDS ribbon.

:: michael Tuesday, February 08, 2005 [+] ::
HEADLINE - Ceasefire raises hopes for peace

Why? The second intifada was the Palestinian response to the liberal Israeli PM Ehud Barak's offer of all of Gaza, more than 95% of the West Bank, and a capital in East Jerusalem. Arafat chose war.

"Ceasefire raises hope?" - why? To begin with, Arafat is gone.
But the State Department repeats the same old lines. I love Rice, but I snorted at her remark:
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told Israel it must make "hard decisions" to advance the peace process with the Palestinians.
"Hard decisions?" Like what? Was that Dr. Rice, or Maddie Albright in blackface?

Perhaps the other Arab nations could make the "hard decision" to let the Palestinians settle in their vast territories. Another "hard decision" would be for those Arab nations to invest a little oil money in their fellow men. Too bad they sided with Saddam Hussein, and too bad that the genocidal mission of the Islamic world requires a never-ending Palestinian problem next to the Jewish state.

Here's a believable headline:
Hamas, Jihad respond negatively to ceasefire with Israel

:: michael Tuesday, February 08, 2005 [+] ::

I successfully installed deadbolts and doorknobs, including drilling all the holes, in very irregular doors and jambs ... and everything fit!
I bowled a 173 after bowling a 137.
Those fukkin hippies next door moved away and took their worthless, barking, aggressive dogs with them. Good riddance.

One year ago today, my now-ex-boss called my house to tell me that being friends with women she did not approve of created "trust issues" between us at the office. Yes, she actually left that on a recording, after starting a catfight with them two nights before in a bar. It is so amazing: how can someone have what is literally a million dollar idea and then do something that damn dumb?

:: michael Tuesday, February 08, 2005 [+] ::
:: Monday, February 7 ::

It's not just insular Americans:
"American fashions always arrive here 10 years later, and now this fashion is arriving," says Amleto D'Amicis, a leading government nutritionist who helped write the latest report on obesity in Italy. Among the findings: 25% of Italian children are now overweight or obese making them the heaviest in Europe.

Of children ages 6 through 10, 36% are overweight, the Italian Ministry of Health reported last month.

And it's not just here. Throughout Europe, the scales are bouncing upward. In many countries, more than half of adults are now overweight and up to 30% obese.
My conservatism does not stop me from somewhat agreeing with this:
The British Medical Association already has called for a 17.5% "fat tax" on junk foods.
Especially when only more public resources will have to go to these people who cannot control themselves. That does not contradict my stand on personal responsibility, but there will always be people who will never take control, and we will have to pay for them.

The problem has already started here.

Read this Timeline of Trial Lawyers and Obesity Lawsuits

:: michael Monday, February 07, 2005 [+] ::

I stumbled across this rarely-updated blog and found a smart observation of so-called black media. I have been long aware of Ebony, Jet, etc, but was unaware of these sites:

The blogger at Black Media Watch copies a press release about a survey connecting conspiracy theories about AIDS popular among Black Americans and condom use. He reports very interesting omissions from that survey when reported in the above black media.

Since the blogger writes that these media sources are also rarely updated themselves, I wonder if there are other black media sites that should have his attention instead. I think it is a great idea, but that he may be watching the wrong sites instead of black media sites more influential of the black population. If I find them, I'll do my own survey of the reporting of the genocide of black Africans in Sudan. I have a hunch I will find only minor reporting and little outrage.

In the meantime...


A group has formed to pressure the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to pull its head from the sand and address the very real genocidal mission of Islamism.

I think this is a great idea, but their outreach is lousy. Holocaust Museum Watch has no website. I saw their ad in the latest Commentary Magazine, but in that ad no is no contact information. At least having their ad accepted by Commentary is an indication that they are legitimate.

So, in the meantime...


:: michael Monday, February 07, 2005 [+] ::
:: Sunday, February 6 ::
God-damnably Stupid
Garofalo: "The inked fingers and the position of them, which is gonna be a 'Daily Show' photo already, of them signaling in this manner [does the Nazi salute], as if they have solidarity with the Iraqis who braved physical threats against their lives to vote as if somehow these inked-fingered Republicans have something to do with that.
via Crosswalk
via Alarming News, where Karol asks, "Is there anything that can't be described with a Nazi analogy these days?"

At least it has led to a new big word at "What's the Rumpus?"

It gets only ever, ever more clear how the Left is on a mission to make people stupid. From this blockhead on MSNBC to best ex-President Jimmy Carter, from "Nazi" to "unilateral," the abandonment of established definitions will be the undoing of civilized society.

:: michael Sunday, February 06, 2005 [+] ::

Two goody two-shoe teens in Colorado baked cookies for their neighbors. They delivered, knocked, left the cookies, and ran:
On Thursday, Ostergaard and Zellitti found themselves in small claims court and on the losing side of a decision by La Plata County Magistrate Doug Walker.

Ostergaard, a senior at Durango High School, and Zellitti, a freshman at Colby College in Kansas, were ordered to pay $930.78 to Wanita Renea Young. The judgment stems from a July 31 incident that began when the two girls decided to skip a local teen dance and bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies, which they then left - together with anonymous notes - on the doorsteps of nine of their rural neighbors.
So the bitch neighbor had an "anxiety attack" and went to the hospital. I can't believe the judge tolerated her gross overreaction, and further added that the girls exercised poor judgement in being out so late at night. The girls had skipped a teen dance to bake the cookies. I suppose the rest of the teens being out later at a dance didn't bother the judge nearly as much.

I guess the girls are lucky the victim and judge didn't seek damages for failing to list the ingredients. (Dammit, they're now thinking, if only we'd thought of that!)

This illustrates what I hate the most in people - dramatics, and the desire to be a victim. This bitch also ran up a $1400 hospital bill... for an anxiety attack, and then took the girls to court. It gets better:
(The father) successfully filed a restraining order against Young's husband, Herb, on Friday afternoon in county court, claiming he continues to make harassing telephone calls to the Ostergaard residence.
White trash is as white trash does. Another report says the litigious neighbor feels like she will have to leave town. She should.

UPDATE: If you Google this, the bad publicity for Wanita Young and the judge is immeasurable!
The three best rants I have so far found on this are:
1) Infinite Monkeys Blog
2) Asbestos Dust
3) Cynical Idealism

:: michael Sunday, February 06, 2005 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, February 2 ::

As I blog, FOX talks non-stop about the crash of a corporate jet outside NYC in northern New Jersey.

Does hyper-analyzing the crash of a corporate jet serve the interests of the average viewer? Are there other stories in the world right now, like, say, the ones below?

:: michael Wednesday, February 02, 2005 [+] ::


This is a very educating read about the Vietnam War, where Hitchens argues against the hackneyed notion that Iraq compares. Here are three reasons for your casual talking points:

Vietnam as a state had not invaded any neighbor (even if it did infringe the neutrality of Cambodia) and did not do so until after the withdrawal of the United States when, with at least some claim to self-defense, it overthrew the Khmer Rouge regime. Contrast this, even briefly, to the record of Saddam Hussein in relation to Iran and Kuwait.

Vietnam had not languished under international sanctions for its brazen contempt for international law, nor for its building or acquisition, let alone its use of, weapons of mass destruction.

Vietnam had never attempted, in whole or in part, to commit genocide, as was the case with the documented "Anfal" campaign waged by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds.

But of course, lovers of quagmire and WMD fixations have conclusively demonstrated that they do not care about the reversal of many evils under a Republican administration. Here, have this:
In Vietnam, the most appalling excesses were committed by U.S. forces. Not all of these can be blamed on the conduct of bored, resentful, frightened conscripts. The worst atrocities—free-fire zones, carpet-bombing, forced relocation, and chemical defoliation—were committed as a direct consequence of orders from above. In Iraq, the crimes of mass killing, aerial bombardment, ethnic deportation, and scorched earth had already been committed by the ruling Baath Party, everywhere from northern Kurdistan to the drained and burned-out wetlands of the southern marshes. Coalition forces in Iraq have done what they can to repair some of this state-sponsored vandalism.
Oh, and they just voted on schedule in Iraq, too, didn't they?


But lookit - the Waddling Thunder blog wasn't upset by by the bombing of Dresden:
Almost certainly, the idea behind bombing Dresden was to kill so many civilians that Germany was brought to her knees, finally. Was it wrong? It might not have been strategically ideal - that is to say, allied command could have been wrong about its ability to shorten the war. But morally? Bombing Dresden was no more wrong than most other things we were compelled to do during that war.
And likewise, no outrage from me over getting Japan to surrender... either!

To end this post on a happy note, check the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche and turn up your speakers.

:: michael Wednesday, February 02, 2005 [+] ::


Amid the conspicuous and very instructive absence of a UN declaration labeling the Darfur situation as genocide, the Strategy Page argues for a no-fly zone. Kurds love 'em!
If the UN and EU really are outraged by the Sudanese air attacks, they could declare a "no fly zone" in Sudan's Darfur region. The no-fly zone in Darfur would operate like the no-fly zones the US and Britain enforced over northern and southern Iraq after 1991. A dozen French and German fighter aircraft based in Chad could protect the defenseless Darfurian villages from air attack.
Of course this begins with the if - the UN gives a damn about marking Auschwitz if there is a glamorous dinner after the event. And the media is more concerned if the American dignitary doesn't wear black. And American blacks remain, in general, unconcerned about the disarming, displacement, and mass murder of African blacks by their Sudanese Arab masters. They just keep marching with the party who would disarm Americans and subject them to the gun-control vision of the UN.

via the Volokhs

:: michael Wednesday, February 02, 2005 [+] ::


-for those who really deserve our sympathy:

Convicted serial killer Michael Bruce Ross was granted a stay of execution Monday, when his lawyers argued that Ross had been suffering from "death row syndrome" when he decided last year to forgo appeals that might have delayed his execution. What is death row syndrome?

(The) term that refers to the dehumanizing effects of living for a prolonged period on death row. The term is legal, not clinical: Neither death row syndrome nor death row phenomenon is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association...
I guess when you do something to get the death penalty, life really is going to be a bitch until you get the needle. Keep an eye on death penalty opponents using this new coin and forgetting what the condemned have done.

:: michael Wednesday, February 02, 2005 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, February 1 ::
No time to blog, but you can read my locally-oriented wine column here.

Well, I will blog this: While wallpapering Mother's bath yesterday, I turned on CNN from the other room. I almost never do that, but forgot why. How many times did I have to hear about Hillary Clinton fainting? I swear it was more than once every half-hour. At least I heard about the launch of the Michael Jackson trial enough to remember to not turn the news, any news, back on for six months, but CNN... good grief. If there are only seven headlines in the whole world that are worthy for TV, then only bloggers can be counted on to deliver the truly worthy stories.

And this: if you steal the conservative newpapers on campus, and even burn them, it's free speech. If you write a paper advocating spanking unruly children in school, your speech is unacceptable. Go to this site to watch a video of the consequences of non-discipline in Dutch schools.

And this: Bleeding Brain rants on Germany's good intentions potentially forcing a woman into prostitution, an interesting event in the country that just had to acknowledge it's ownership of Auschwitz, yet actually appropriate, considering Germany's opposition to our closing of the Ba'athist rape-rooms.

Update: Zelda's on it, too, with a question I bet you hadn't thought of yet...
What happens if a straight man in unemployed. Would he be forced to take a job in a gay brothel?

:: michael Tuesday, February 01, 2005 [+] ::