Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Overheard at the ATM line

She : Hey, are you going to that Managing Multiple Projects and Deadlines seminar?

He : I want to, but I just have too much on my plate this week.

Sounds to me that guy OUGHT to go that seminar!

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International Blog Comment Week

It's circulating all over blogdom, it's International Blog Comment Week - Say Something Because You Were There.

Until April 2, comment on blogs that you read, especially if you've never commented before and even if you only end up there once this week. We all love to meet new (or lurking) readers, and I'm no exception! So start here and say hello! :)

Thanks to Gina ... stop by her Blog and drop her a line, too!

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Philly gets a repreive, but Union can't let it go

Following my post of last week, MTV has been gracious enough to work in Philly with their Real World program.

Not one known for leaving sleeping dogs lie (unless they had a union card), the Union shows their thanks:

Philadelphia Inquirer | 03/30/2004 | Carpenters picket 'Real World' site:

"The carpenters' union yesterday briefly picketed outside the building that will house the MTV series The Real World - six days after the city announced that the show's producers had reconsidered their decision to leave Philadelphia after unions had settled their disputes and agreed not to picket.

The 2 1/2-hour picket line, which went up about 10:30 a.m., was viewed as a signal that the carpenters were unhappy with the 'memorandum of understanding' that the city announced last Tuesday.

Pat Gillespie, who heads the Philadelphia Building Trades Council and who represented the carpenters and other construction unions in talks with the city last week, said in a brief interview that the carpenters' issue was resolved. He declined to elaborate.

Negotiators last week indicated that all unions had signed off on the confidential agreement, whose terms were said to have included a mix of union and nonunion workers at the job site."

So this shows Pat Gillespie is either unable to communicate with the people he represents, or they don't care what he says. Either way, this is a poor showing for Unions and Philadelphia.

Good going, unions!!

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Failing Teachers are protected

Philadelphia Inquirer | 03/31/2004 | Pa. refusing to release data on teacher tests:

"The Pennsylvania Department of Education has refused a request by The Inquirer to reveal how many middle school teachers failed certification exams in each of the state's 501 school districts.

Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, seventh- and eighth-grade teachers must have certification in the subjects they teach by June 2006. Teachers who do not have the certification can obtain it by passing exams in those subjects.
Last week, the Philadelphia School District released data - which it obtained from the Education Department - showing that half of its seventh- and eighth-grade teachers who took the exams in English, math, social studies and science failed.

But people outside Philadelphia - including in Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Delaware Counties - do not know how their school district's teachers performed.
That upsets Chester taxpayer Genevieve Christopher, a resident of the Chester Upland School District in Delaware County. She wants to know how many teachers there failed."


With attitudes like this, is it any wonder why public schools in Philly (and in far, too many other disticts in the country) are in the sad state they are?? The old argument that 'teachers are under paid' doesn't fly when so many can't pass the tests to demonstrate they know their assigned courses!

Bring on school vouchers!! Demand competetion!!

(Bold emphasis made by this Blog)

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Sen. Kerry and the 9/11 Commission

If in Sen. Kerry's own ads he claims to have "sounded the alarm on terrorism months years before 9/11" why hasn't he been called to testify?

Update: I blogged this from my cell phone earlier this morning when the thought hit me. I've edited it to show I should have said 'years' instead of 'months' and provided a link to the Senator's own blog as verification.

So if he 'sounded' the alarm, why isn't he being question on what he did to prevent 9/11? Or will he flip on that issue, as well?

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004


No matter what Dr. Condolezza Rice says to the 911 commission, it still won't be enough for Sen. Kerry.

Now I say we need to declassify Dick Clark's testimony.

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Good morning, Campers!

Thus were the words spoken that started the day at WSJU-Jamaica, the campus radio station of St. John's University (not surprisingly, in Jamaica, NY). I took a moment to revel in the days of yore when I was a DJ for that same station because Gina over at A Typical Female posted an entry that spoke of a TechTV segment teaching you how to build your own FM transmitter. Be your own DJ (and become what you play!).

Back in those golden years (yes, I know its another Bowie reference) WSJU was a carrier-current radio station. That meant our transmitter (roughly the size of a shoe box) was wired to the electrical circuit, and our signal was thus transmitted over the building electrical wires. That meant anywhere on campus (or rather, along the same main circuit) you could tune your radio to 685 AM (yes, I know, most radios can no longer tune to that frequency -- this was the early '80s) and our radio broadcasts were clear as a bell. Go a few dozen feet from the buildings, say while driving on campus, and you'd get a pretty good signal. Leave campus, or go to one of the lawns.... well, you were out of luck.

Still, we made it a radio station, from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and we broadcasted all of basketball games for the St. John's Redmen (now, sadly renamed Red Storm ... damn that political correctness!) to anyone who was listening in the Rathskeller. The core group of broadcasters and station personnel were true broadcast professionals in the making. They were there to refine and hone their skills, and many of them went out in to the world of broadcasting -- both on air and off -- and have made a a name for themselves.

Me? I was the comic relief. I didn't do comedy on air (well, not much) but I was the least likely of people to be on air, compared to the rest. I was a CompSci major who went up to complain about the quality of music they were playing one day. When I was asked if I thought I could do better, I was given an audition. Maybe the station manager Phil was drunk, who knows, but he gave me a chance. I made myself available to work the shifts no one wanted, all because I wanted to be on air. No one, certainly not I, ever expected me to be on radio, but I had fun, met some terrific people (including my later-to-be much-better-half) and the rest is, as they say, history.

Reading about "making your own transmitter" made me think of the days we hot-wired the transmitter to a wire on the roof of the building. That wire ran down to a chain link fence... and for awhile, we were a real radio station... transmitting about 20 miles... and even stepping on Imus in The Morning over at 660AM -then, WNBC radio (to say our signal bled is an understatement). I have no clue what our wattage was... but there was a desk fan placed under it, running whenever the trasnmitter was on, to prevent the cicuit board from overheating! The transmitter lasted a few years... then one day, while oddly enough, I was on air, a series of phone calls came into the station.

"Hi... what's your frequency?" "685AM" I answered.
"Thanks," followed by a hang-up.

10 minutes later, same voice:.
"Hi... what are your call letters?"
"Um, WSJU... who is this?"
"Thanks!" Click!

10 more minutes later:
"Hi... what's your output of your transmitter?"
"um... let me check.. I'll put you on hold"

I immediately turned off our transmitter. Within seconds, the telephone 'hold' light went dim. No more calls from the mystery man ever came in. I am guessing someone was sending us (or me, specifically) a polite message, telling us to get off the air. Now. Was it the FCC? WNBC? Who knows. The next year I left SJU, so my radio days were done. But they were great memories... maybe Jude would be so kind to post some of his memories (there's another not-so-subtle hint).

Anyways, Gina wanted to know what play list I'd use for my own radio station. I was a classic, album oriented rock kind of guy. Once I did an entire show of songs that spanned a side of an LP (that was the medium before CDs, children). Songs like Rush's 2112, Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother and the like. Yeah, I was clearly not destined for commercial radio!

In general, I was a classic rocker, and I purposely avoided Top40. In those days, The Police's Synchronicity was a big hit, and of course
Every Breath You Take was played everywhere, everyday, every hour. I never played it on principle: Top40 got boring (to me, at least) because they played 40 songs over and over for a few weeks until the public tired of them and they fell off the charts. I'd rather play a vast selection of different songs, so as not to produce boredom (nope, I had no future in the record business, either). But I'd pull cuts from discs that had little or no air play anywhere else (I remember playing The Police's King of Pain long before it hit the charts).

I'd do it again today, if I had my own transmitter... I've been out of the loop for new, rock and roll for so long, however, I wouldn't know where to start. Counting Crows Sure... I'd start there first!

Oh well.. I don't have the $300. burning a hole in my pocket, so I suppose this gets filed under 'what might have been'. Still, it would be nice....

My traditional sign-off was Shine On You Crazy Diamond, part IX with its wonderful instrumental, fading off. I think it's time I dust off that CD and hear it once again...

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Monday, March 29, 2004

More on 'The Margolis Incident'

From Whomping Willow :

I was alerted by Glenn Reynolds to a comment left on Margolis' post:

Hitler had his beliefs, just like Matt has his. Sometimes violence is the only way to show people how devastatingly bad their ideas are. When society is so distraught about policy that individuals feel the need to take violent action, revolution is not only expected, but neccessary. I’m no union man, but I’d have probably taken a swing at you too.

Read that again: "Sometimes violence is the only way to show people how devastatingly bad their ideas are."

Who The f&*$ Says things like that?? Someone like 1 Hot Dem, apparently. I am dumbfounded. I thought that was what civil discourse was for, but then again, I am assuming these people are civil. Bad assumption. Don't you love people who claim that not only do they feel a certain way, but the entire society feels that way too and it's only their 'expected' duty to act like stone age people and start beating the crap out of people who don't fall into line?

The fact is, regardless of any logic or rationale virulent Bush-haters may possess and even show in other areas of their lives, the nature of the position they have taken (i.e. Bush is evil, Bush is bad, etc.) is founded in emotion only and is therefore indefensible save for an emotional outburst, such as violence.

So what am I saying? Be careful out there guys. I have a feeling it's going to get worse before it gets better. Not only are we facing foreign enemies, we are facing domestic ones as well. 1 Hot Dem made that very clear. Watch your six.

I ask again: Why are the Republicans always called the "mean-spirited" party??

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Plumbing issues

A leaky pipe that is causing a minor flood in my laundry room will side-track me the rest of the day...

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Scooby Dooby Doo!

OTB recaps a Slate piece on this toon fav:

Scooby Doo Mystery
Chris Suellentrop explores the baffling mystery of Scooby Doo’s enduring success:

Here’s the easiest way to comprehend the longevity of Scooby-Doo: Casey Kasem has been doing the voice of Shaggy (Norville Rogers, if you insist on his given name) for longer than he hosted his weekly Top 40 radio show. He started voicing Shaggy in 1969, the year before American Top 40 debuted, and he’s still got the part, on television in the WB’s Saturday-morning cartoon, What’s New Scooby-Doo?, and in the direct-to-video movies the franchise keeps churning out.
Though it’s hard to believe—and for animation purists, practically impossible to stomach—Scooby-Doo is the most enduringly popular cartoon in TV history. Starting with the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, the show, in various permutations, was produced for 17 years (and, with its latest incarnation, it’s in production again), making it the longest-running network cartoon ever. Because of syndication, it’s never been off the air since it debuted, and it probably never will be. Now it’s expanding its empire: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed opens today in theaters nationwide, the second of what promise to be many live-action Scooby movies. In 2002, the live-action Scooby-Doo raked in $54.2 million on its opening weekend, on its way to a $153-million box office.

Acknowledging Scooby’s durability is easier than explaining it. Scooby-Doo wormed its way into the culture through years of drip-drip accretion. It’s the Cal Ripken of cartoons: Not the best, though certainly not the worst, it just shows up day after day after day, and you end up loving it for it.

For years, not even the show’s creators at Hanna-Barbera—the first TV animation studio and the inventors of “limited animation,” (that is, animation cheap enough for TV-size budgets)—realized the appeal of Scooby-Doo. Instead, The Flintstones, or even The Jetsons, was thought to be the studio’s flagship property. The 1989 50th anniversary TV special for Hanna-Barbera was dubbed “A Yabba Dabba Do Celebration.”

But Bedrock might as well be the, uh, Stone Age for today’s young audiences, while the gang at Scooby-Doo maintains its hypnotic appeal. The eponymous dog star’s Q rating tops Bugs Bunny’s among kids. The franchise’s direct-to-video titles consistently hit the best-seller lists. (And yes, in a nod to changing times, Scooby, Shaggy, and Fred do DVD commentary.) Kid-oriented Scooby-licensed video games have been popular since the mid-’90s. In 2000, Scooby-Doo won a mock presidential election held by the Cartoon Network, which still airs an hour-and-a-half of Scooby shows each weekday as part of its “Scooby Universe” package. Unlike the evening “Adult Swim” fare, the Cartoon Network’s daytime audience is dominated by tykes. One key to understanding Scooby is to realize it has never performed the double-ironic back flip that would make it an adult phenomenon. It has always appealed first to little kids.


TV snobs surely see Scooby’s ineffable charms as another brick in the wall of American decline, the latest example of how we’re all slouching toward Toon Town. As if our children should all be watching The Sopranos. Maybe Scooby’s appeal makes sense when you compare it to the rest of kids’ TV. The most ham-handed of children’s shows try to stuff a moral message down the audience’s throat. But the moral code of Scooby-Doo permeates the entire enterprise without you ever noticing it. The Washington Post’s Hank Stuever concisely elucidated the “Scooby worldview” when the first live-action movie came out: “Kids should meddle, dogs are sweet, life is groovy, and if something scares you, you should confront it.” What needs to be explained about that?


Still, this doesn’t explain the show’s popularity vis-a-vis Speed Racer. Now there’s a cartoon. And if you want lessons, there’s always Fat Albert.

OTB does raise a point about Speed Racer and Fat Albert, although I think the latter
former is pretty 'in your face' violent toon, with our hero getting the snot kicked out of him in most episodes (two points bear mentioning here: 1) Said hero always wins in the end over the bad guys, 2) I watched a lot of SR as a kid, and still do, although my 8 year old doesn't have any interest in it)

I wish Fat Albert was shown; it used to be a staple of late Saturday mornings.

As to the popularity of Scooby Doo, I am please my 8 year old son enjoys the show so; it is certainly much better compared to the bilge that is shown: "Courage the Cowardly Dog", any of the permutations of PokeMon (including Yu-Gui-Oh, et al), Much Luca, Ed, Edd & Eddy (Bevis & Butthead for pre-teens), that idiotic show about Mandy and Tim and a cemetary (I forget the name).... at least SD is a show that provkes some thought (whodunit).

Of course, I am partial to the works of the Brothers Warner, but that's another thread altogether...

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Rush on 'The Margolis Incident'

"Rush Limbaugh on 'The Margolis Incident"

Some visitors have expressed interest in Rush Limbaugh's Stack of Stuff regarding 'The Margolis Incident.' For viewers who do not have Rush 24/7 Membership, Rush's written commentary is being posted here:

The Boston Herald: 'Mayor Thomas M. Menino has slapped a gag on the Boston Fire Department Acappella Quartet, banning the group from singing during tonight's visit to Boston by President Bush.' His excuse? The Bush fund-raiser was 'too political,' but a political party's convention isn't! The American Spectator quotes a Kerry advisor saying they wanted to use the group at a fund-raiser last year, and at the convention.

Quote: 'We think the Bush people knew about those plans and they tried to embarrass us by using these singers first.' Who cares if they show up both places? This is the level of hatred, which is further illustrated by an event at a Park Plaza Hotel fund-raiser for Bush where Bush-hating union members attacked two brothers who support the president. 'They told us to get out of here or we'd get beaten up,' said Matt Margolis. Margolis said, 'I support your freedom of speech, please support mine.'

He urged the protestors off their perches, at which point they attacked his brother and tore their pro-Bush signs apart. One union thug, who refused to give his name, claimed that the brothers instigated the brawl. But we get an indication of this unnamed assailant's ability to tell the truth from his claim: "Bush wants to get rid of unemployment insurance and overtime." How many times has Bush extended unemployment insurance, and when has he ever said he wants to get rid of overtime?

How can the president do that even if he wanted to? The Bush-haters – identified as "Bush opponents" by a sympathetic press – "held signs that read, 'Get the Terrorists Out of the White House.'" There you go. Typical Democrats. The pro-Bush signs bore the substantially more civil slogan: "A Vote for Bush is a Vote for Freedom." You know that got the Democrats mad, because to them the election has nothing to do with freedom. It's about getting Democrats back in power."

Oh wait, Rush is considered to be inconsequential by his critics... I forgot! Thanks to Blogs for Bush

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Friday, March 26, 2004

End of day

I think next week I'll blog my entire day... from when I rise (in the case of today, 3:00AM) to when I eventually crash -- again, today, in the next half hour or so, it's not especially long day today.

Till next I blog...

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I just left 7-11 (which is a sad competitor to WaWa) for a 24 oz coffee and a quick snack.

There on the shelf were 4 sandwiches, each marked $1.29 There are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Who pays for a PB&J??

Not finding anything interesting, I grabbed a Pop-Tart.

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This post was going to be about nothing. I mean, I have nothing leaping off the browser that I want to share with the readers (and yes, I know you're out there! I read my own logs). I can go on about the inconsistencies of Richard Clark, or how boring Sen. Kerry's speech was last evening at the Democrat Unity Dinner (aptly abbreviated 'DUD'), but that stuff will wait for next week, I suppose.

A week ago I had about 12" of snow on the ground... by now its all gone, thanks to the mid-60 degree temps...

Regardless of the nice weather, I can't help but think of the desire to nap... days like this I think sleep is overrated... what the hell is the point of it all? Can't be just resting the body. Resting the mind? No... for what purpose are dreams then? For the sake of dreaming? Isn't an extension of our imagination? I can pretty much decide I want to free-associate or think about nothing particular any time I want; why do I need to be prone and disconnected from the world to do it?

"To sleep: perchance to dream" so said the Bard, but what else is there?

Maybe I am just tired, maybe I'm one of those in the minority that rarely remember my dreams, and thus have no value assigned to that which I don't experience like others do (on the plus side, no bad dreams either). Speaking of free association, there's that memorable J. Geils Band lyric:

And she never had dreams
so they never came true ...
the palest of angels
Angel in Blue

See what I mean? And I'm sitting here awake.

Well, back to work, and then home where there's anything but a relaxing weekend ahead.

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Thursday, March 25, 2004

Play a video game on a billboard in Times Square

To kick off their new enhanced Yahoo! Autos, Yahoo! has created an interactive video game in Times Square. At the Reuters billboard (Broadway & West 43rd), you can play a driving game with your cellphone if you call 1-800-660-4402. NY1 checks out the game and says, "The game is kind of like those old Hot Wheels games where you set up the track and just control the speed of the car, with no steering." You can play against the computer or someone else on the street. The game runs for 25 minutes out of every hour, and will be up until April 22.

It is things like this that make me long for my beloved NYC. Thanks to Jen at Gothamist.

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Donald Luskin chronicles some of the late night humor about Sen. Kerry...

These are too good to waste on Joke of the Day. Thanks to Jameson Campaigne.

"The White House begun airing their TV commercials to re-elect the president, and the John Kerry campaign is condemning his use of 9/11 in the ads. He said, it is unconscionable to use the tragic memory of a war in order to get elected, unless of course, it's the Vietnam War." - Jay Leno

"John Kerry has promised to take this country back from the wealthy. Who better than the guy worth $700 million to take the country back? See, he knows how the wealthy think. He can spy on them at his country club, at his place in Palm Beach, at his house in the Hamptons. He's like a mole for the working man." - Jay Leno

"I'm worried about John Kerry, he's so confident now that he's already planning his White House sex scandal." - David Letterman

"John Kerry will be the Democratic nominee for president. Democrats finally found someone who is Al Gore without the flash and the sizzle." - Craig Kilborn

"Kerry has already begun his search for a running mate. They say that because John Edwards still has $50 million in campaign money, Kerry might pick him. Pick him? Hey, for $50 million, Kerry will change his position on gay marriage and marry him." - Jay Leno

"Yesterday Senator John Kerry changed his mind and now supports the ban on gay marriages. I'm telling you this guy has more positions than Paris Hilton." - David Letterman

"According to a new study, Botox injections can help back pain. So you see, that's why John Kerry had all that Botox - his back was killing him from all that flip-flopping on issues." - Jay Leno

"An Internet report claims that John Kerry had an affair with a young woman, but that she still loves him and will deny it. When asked if this was similar to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, a spokesman said 'Close, but no cigar.'" - Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live

"Over the weekend, John Kerry - the big John Kerry juggernaut moves on - he won primaries in Washington D.C., Nevada and, I think, Canada. And he's so confident that he's started nailing that intern again." - David Letterman

"The head of the AFL-CIO endorsed John Kerry, saying, 'The time has come to come behind one man, one leader, one candidate.' Then he said, 'And until we find that man, we will have to endorse John Kerry.'" - Conan O'Brien

"The Democrats are all over this. Democratic strategists feel John Kerry's war record means he can beat Bush. They say when it comes down to it voters will always vote for a war hero over someone who tried to get out of the war. I'll be sure to mention that to Bob Dole when I see him." - Jay Leno

"John Kerry said today that he wants to get rid of tax cuts for the rich and his wife said, 'Hey, shut up! What's the matter with you?! Are you nuts?!'" - Jay Leno

"They had a profile of John Kerry on the news and they said his FIRST WIFE was worth around $300 million and his SECOND WIFE, his current wife, is worth around $700 million. His intern (with whom he supposedly had an affair) was worth several more million. So when John Kerry says he's going after the wealthy in this country, he's not just talking.
He's doing it!" - Jay Leno

"In his big victory speech last night, Senator Kerry said that he wanted to defeat George Bush and the 'economy of privilege.' Then he hugged his wife, Teresa, heir to the multi-million dollar Heinz food fortune." - Jay Leno

"A new poll shows that Senator Kerry's support in the South is strongest amongst blacks. Kerry's appeal to Southern blacks is obvious. He is an ultra-liberal, ultra-wealthy white man who lives far, far away." - Dennis Miller

"The big winner on Super Tuesday was Senator John Kerry. He won 39 percent of the vote, which is pretty good, and begs the question, why the long face?" - Jay Leno

"In his speech last night, John Kerry said this was the beginning of the end of the Bush administration. I agree. Sure, it will probably take another five years, but this is it." - Jay Leno

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Day By Day by Chris Muir, cartoon for: 3/25/2004

Day By Day by Chris Muir, cartoon for: 3/25/2004

Day By Day gets it; do you?

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Tear down the wall!

OpinionJournal - Featured Article: "Florida will be a pivotal battleground this November, but on the crucial subject of education reform the battle in that state is already joined.
In the past five years Florida has delivered real school choice to more American schoolchildren than anywhere else in the country. Which is no doubt why Jesse Jackson was down in Tallahassee earlier this month calling Governor Jeb Bush's policies 'racist.' He and his allies understand all too well that when poor African-American and Latino children start getting the same shot at a decent education that the children of our politicians do, the bankrupt public education empire starts looking like the Berlin Wall."

There's hope for our children's education! Read the rest of this piece.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Not sure what happened to format

There is a Blogroll (of other Blogs), a Word of the Day and the archive list that belongs on the right ---------------------------------> here in fact.

Not sure why it's floated to the bottom... working on it.

UPDATED: It's fixed now.... it worked in Opera, Netscape and AOL, but not in IE, which is odd, since AOL still uses the IE engine. A rouge {p align=right} tag was the culprit.

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Monday, March 22, 2004

Evidence of Bush Doctrine Working

Yahoo! News - Inspectors Verify Libya's Weapons Stash: "THE HAGUE, Netherlands - International inspectors have completed their inventory of Libya's chemical weapons stockpiles, reporting more than 20 tons of mustard gas and the materials to make thousands of tons of sarin nerve gas, the world's watchdog organization said Monday. "

Let's all thank President Bush, for without the Bush Doctrine, Libya would have no incentive to turn over their WMD stash!

Once again, more proof of a safer world, thanks to President Bush!

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The Links

A Small Victory: Some Days You're Chun Li and Some Days You're Akuma -- The Links: "

al Qaeda. Saddam Hussein. PLO. Islamic Jihad. Hezbollah. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Abu Sayyaf Group. Taliban. Hamas.
I don't need any other proof that they are all linked other than they all want me dead.

We are at war. Stop sleeping with the enemy. Please."

Well said, Michelle.

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Richard Clarke's claims ring hallow

Yahoo! News - White House Rebuts Ex-Bush Adviser Claim: "Clarke harshly criticizes Bush personally in his book, saying his decision to invade Iraq generated broad anti-American sentiment among Arabs. He recounts that Bush asked him directly almost immediately after the Sept. 11 terror attacks to find whether Iraq was involved in the suicide hijackings. "

I find it hard to understand why so many people pay so much attention to Mr. Clarke's assertions that President Bush was looking for every possible reason to invade Iraq after September 11th.

Assuming his claims are true, we didn't immediately invade Iraq; we went to Afghanistan.

Why are so many people giving so much credence to someone making such unreasonable claims?

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Sen. Kerry's record on defense spending.

Here's a quiz for voters everwhere: Who said the following quotes:

  • "We are putting blindfolds over our pilots' eyes"

  • "The amendment offered by the senator ... would reduce the fiscal year 1994 budget for national defense by nearly $4 billion, We have already cut defense spending drastically. ... Cutting another $4 billion is simply unwise and insupportable."

  • "It makes no sense for us to close our eyes and ears to developments around the world"

  • Answers?
    Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Robert Byrd (D-W.Va), Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz), all regarding Sen. Kerry's proposed cuts in defense-spending, 1994.

    If any of those Senators had the courage of their convictions, they'd either produce contrary proposals from Sen. Kerry that would offset this position, or refuse to support the Senator whenever the topic of defense funding comes up.

    Thanks to Blogs for Bush

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    The Radical Left knows no boundaries

    I recognize there are those who believe war is unjust under 'any' circusmstances. I'd submit 'many' circumstances, but others would prefer no war at all. Quite frankly, a world without violence of any kind is my Nirvanna, but I realize that humans being human, violence will exist. Peace through strength is the answer.

    That much said: this is a view of the Left that makes me shudder:

    from A Small Victory

    Michelle titled her entry as 'Speechless' and that says a lot. She also said she felt like crying after seeing this. I can agree.

    To those who endorse this warped sense, I ask: tell me again that the Right are the ones who are mean-spirited.

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    Democrats on WMD's

    Sean gets it right again!

    "Walter Williams, a very wise man, has some choice quotes from key democrats in his essay 'Saddam Hussein's weapons.'
    Sen. John Kerry, Democratic presidential front-runner, said in 2002, 'I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.'
    In January 2003, Kerry added, 'Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real.'

    He has several other quotes (Bill Clinton, Madaline Albright, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy) that do equal damage to the absurd Democratic assertion that President Bush misslead the world about Iraq and WMD's.

    The fact of the matter is that former President Clinton, as well as many members of Congress, believed, just as President Bush did, that Saddam Hussein possessed or was developing biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. The widespread attacks on President Bush are little more than political demagoguery and grandstanding and depend on public forgetfulness and ignorance to succeed. ...

    Listening to today’s politicians and what goes for informed media commentary, George Bush should have waited for unambiguous proof that a megalomaniac tyrant like Saddam Hussein had nuclear-chemical-biological weapons. I’m wondering if that unambiguous proof sufficient for America’s political hustlers and gullible public would have been a mushroom cloud over one of our cities or millions of Americans suffering and dying from chemical or biological toxins."

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    Even with Sen. Kerry's bad week, The Bush team takes a hit

    Ooops! Bush campaign gear made in Burma

    "The official merchandise Web site for President George W. Bush's re-election campaign has sold clothing made in Burma, whose goods were banned by Bush from the U.S. last year to punish its military dictatorship."

    I am certain it's been posted to other Blogs, and Jen was right to point it out on hers, so it bears mentioning here: Team Bush got tagged with illegal merchandise, it cannot be denied. The contractor handling the merchandise, Spalding Group, bears the responsibility, as they are the ones who place the orders with their subcontractors, but the buck stops at the Bush Campaign, and they need to get out front and say 'yes, we gave the contractor our instructions, and yes they didn't deliver the correct goods.'

    Undoubtedly this kind of mistake will cost Spalding Group business in one way or other --- lower negotiated prices in the future, or sales going to their competetors. That's the nature of capitalism, and that's how they ought to be handled.

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    Playing it Straight

    So the latest on reality programming comes, once again, from FOX, with it's Playing it Straight. wherein a gal is introduced to a bunch of guys, supposenedly gets intimate with them, and has to choose her mate all the while some of the guys are secretly gay (secretly, that is, to her).

    I'm not making this up.

    What could be next for FOX? What can they do to ratchet things up after this? Perhaps:

    Contestant gets to pick her mate from 20 guys: 10 have incurable diseases, 2 have only 3 months to live...

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    Unusual commodes

    I recognize this is now almost a week old, but Drudge had a photo of an unusual toilet that is now provided at the Virgin Airways Clubhouse at JFK.

    Way back in December this blog featured a photo of a similar commode, provided to me by the Karpet Kitten... I wonder where she saw it first??

    Naturally, I want to direct you all to Kathleen's Potty Page, if you haven't already bookmarked it.

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    Blogger having a bad Monday

    I had to post and repost the last two posts a number of times since last evening... not sure what's the problem, but that's the reason for the repeated entries in your Aggregator...

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    A bad week for Senator Kerry

    After nearly three months of bashing President Bush, the free-ride that is the Democratic Primary has drawn to a near close. The final chapter will be written at the Convention, of course, but since the beginning of the year the have pretty much had full license to say what they want in the quest for their nomination. Sadly, instead of giving their party members reasons why they'd be better for the job than their colleagues, much of the rhetoric dealt with why President Bush didn't deserve to be president.

    Re-elections are referendums on the incumbent, to be sure, but primaries ought not to be about which candidate can throw the most mud against the incumbent. It is this reason why I believe candidates with better credentials didn't catch on during the primary (i.e.: Sen Lieberman, Rep Gephardt). Be that as it may, Senator Kerry, arguably, is the candidate of choice (assuming there isn't a historic melt-down before/during the convention).

    Since January, Sen. Kerry has had free-reign to say what he wants about President Bush, and the president, to his credit, remained silent. Yes, there was the discussion about Lt. Bush's ANG service, but on a matter as personal as it is, he handled it well, providing documentation clearing the matter up (and later on: eyewitnesses who vouched for the young Lt. Bush). In the end, Sen. Kerry had tried to distance himself from the alleged scandal, and may have successfully done as much -- assuming he doesn't raise it again.

    This week, however, the attacks against Pres. Bush came with a cost to Sen. Kerry. The much ballyhooed conversations with {foreign other} leaders came to a crashing conclusion when the Senator disavowed any endorsements from abroad. This, he hopes, will take the topic off the table, but the quotes and the brash response to a voter in Bethlehem, PA will be a sound bite that will get a lot of mileage.

    Sen. Kerry also took hits for the 'open mic' comments that were allegedly attributed to Rush Limbaugh and/or Sean Hannity. Mr. Kerry's spokesman failed to apologize or even acknowledge the accusation was false when he was confronted by Sean Hannity on his radio program: listeners heard Mr. Hannity ask Mr. Wade for any specific lie or other 'crooked' comment; Mr. Wade had nothing to offer, so the answer was loud and clear.

    Last week on Meet The Press we heard about a bumper sticker that read 'Dated Dean, Married Kerry' when Tim Russert mentioned it to former Gov. Howard Dean. Dr. Dean has endorsed Sen. Kerry, and that was supposed to be good news for the Kerry campaign, in light of the multitude of Dean supporters that would be brought to the Kerry camp. However, Sen. Kerry was forced to distance himself from Go. Dean's assertion that the Madrid bombings could be blamed on President Bush. Perhaps the new bumper stickers will say "Married Kerry, but Dean is my ex".

    The ads Pres. Bush has put out this week are examining the voting record of Senator Kerry, and that makes the senator's camp angry. He's had problems dealing with his duplicitous stance on the Iraq war and his 19 year history of flipping and flopping on key positions. He's had problems juggling with his promise to raise taxes, but then promises to cut taxes for the middle class (sounds a lot like the promises made by Bill Clinton, and having been in the class that had his taxes raised, I don't trust Mr. Kerry).

    Adding insult to injury, the common man, John Kerry, went skiing this week and collided with a Secret Service guard. Unquestionably an accident, Sen. Kerry referred to his guard as a 'son of a bitch.' That's class!

    So this week goes to the president. Predictably, there will be weeks that go against the President, and even days when Sen. Kerry holds a double-digit lead over Pres. Bush. But so far Sen. Kerry has made a lot of foolish mistakes and missteps early on in the campaign --- isn't this what the Primary season is supposed to vet out? If the early results are any indication, so long as the President remains true to his vision and word, this election may not end up quite as close as some have already predicted.

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    Friday, March 19, 2004

    Pennsylvania Economy Turns the Corner :: Official Blog: "Pennsylvania Economy Turns the Corner

    A report in the Allentown Morning Call suggests that the southeastern Pennsylvania economy -- and particularly the manufacturing sector -- is in a firm recovery. Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region rose for the 10th month in a row in March and 73 percent of employers reported new job openings in the last three months. President Bush's pro-growth policies are working:
    Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region, which includes the Lehigh Valley, expanded for a 10th month in March, and more than three-quarters of factories said they expect to hire in the next six months, a Federal Reserve report showed.

    The Fed Bank of Philadelphia's business outlook survey, which includes 14 large Lehigh Valley manufacturers, registered 24.2 compared with 31.4 in February. A number greater than zero signals a higher percentage of the manufacturers surveyed reported an improvement in business than deterioration. The index reached a 10-year high of 38.8 in January and has been positive since June.

    Factory production has increased for six consecutive months as manufacturers replenish stockpiles depleted by improving demand. Faster production may help induce hiring in coming months.

    Much of this good economic news began right around the time President Bush's tax cuts started kicking in. Check out our archive for all the latest news on the economy. "

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    Ok I've had enough

    Enough with the snow. Been driving over 40 minutes and I'm still on back roads

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    Thursday, March 18, 2004

    Heard on Rush...

    High value al Quaeda target soon to be announced... OBL? Another of his lieutenants? Good news regardless!

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    Unions win, Philly loses

    Yahoo! News - Real-World Labor Issues Too Much for MTV: "The production company had angered labor unions by hiring a nonunion company to renovate the former Seamen's Church Institute in Old City, where it planned to have seven strangers live together and have their lives videotaped. Members of the building trades unions picketed outside the building. "

    So by now you've heard about MTV's RealWorld pulling out of Philadelphia. The whole story was told on WPHT-Radio this morning, by the non-union workers (who reported being threatened by the picketers), but in a nutshell: MTV didn't want to deal with Union labor, so they opted for non-union workers. Union, typically, picketed the site repeatedly. As the story goes, after being harassed by the unions (including Teamster representatives), the decision from MTV was to pull the entire project and leave town.

    And you know something? This sounds an awful lot like why a lot of manufacturing jobs leave the country. Unions say they want a fair wage, but fair only works if its competetive. So if it becomes competetively advantagous for a company to relocate (in MTV's case, across country, in manufacturing: across the ocean), who is really to blame?

    Unions like to pit the working man against the rich, company owner. Here's a question: how may blue color workers drive the kinds of cars the Union leaders drive? How many laborers vacation in Florida, vs. how many labor leaders go abroad?

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    Wednesday, March 17, 2004

    To-do list for the election:

    Lets review the laws and protocols that govern absentee balloting. We certainly do not want a certain party trying to exclude the votes of our soldiers as they tried in 2000.)

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    Neville Chamberlaine lives!

    Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online: "Meanwhile, in a statement that is surely the Chamberlainesque 'peace in our time' of our generation, European Commission President Romano Prodi declared: 'It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists.' Prodi's evidence is the increased terrorism since the Iraq war. By this logic, shooting bears is not the best way to kill them, since a wounded animal is the most dangerous kind."

    Read Jonah Goldberg's piece on this misguided idea, and how he translates what Dr. Howard Dean really meant to say on MEET THE PRESS last Sunday.

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    A recap of Sen. Kerry and his 'conversations' with other leaders

    Sean has succinctly summed up the 'leader' discussion -- and for those who are quick to jump to conclusions, in this case the Sean in question is not Sean Hannity.

    Which Is It Going To Be?

    According to the Boston Globe On March 9th, 2004 John Kerry said:

    "I've met foreign leaders, who can't go out and say this publicly, but boy they look at you and say, `You gotta win this, you gotta beat this guy, we need a new policy,' things like that," Kerry said.
    He did not identify the leaders in question, nor would campaign spokesman David Wade, and the senator's comment was a striking statement given that Kerry, a longtime foreign policy specialist in the Senate, has held to the belief that partisan politics should "stop at the water's edge."

    According to The Washington Times:
    Since then, he repeatedly has refused to divulge the identities of the leaders or even to narrow down the list. But in comments Sunday and yesterday, he no longer specifies that the meetings were face to face.
    "I have heard from people, foreign leaders elsewhere in the world who don't appreciate the Bush administration and would love to see a change in the leadership of the United States," he told reporters yesterday, while repeating his refusal to name names.

    Looks like he’s back-tracking just a little bit. I can’t wait to find out how they "looked at him" through the phone or by e-mail.
    An investigation by The Washington Times found few chances for the face-to-face meetings that Mr. Kerry first claimed.

    Mr. Kerry has made no official trips abroad since he began his campaign. The Times also found only one opportunity when Mr. Kerry was in the same city as a foreign leader. That was Sept. 24, when New Zealand's foreign minister was in Washington meeting with State Department officials.

    Mr. Kerry was receiving the endorsement of the International Association of Fire Fighters that day.

    Mr. Kerry is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which receives international heads of state frequently at the Capitol. According to members of the committee, they will usually meet face to face with the leaders at a coffee in the committee room.

    But Mr. Kerry did not attend regularly, said Sen. John E. Sununu, New Hampshire Republican and a member of the committee.

    "Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, Senator Kerry hasn't attended any of the coffees since I've been a member of the United States Senate," Mr. Sununu said.

    Looks like Kerry isn’t just absent from votes on the Senate floor, but isn’t living up to some basic duties as a member of the FRC.

    Sean goes on to recap the reporting of the Bethlehem, PA Townhall meeting where Sen. Kerry acted very unpresidential to a potential voter, and continues wrapping up the shiftign positions of the Senator and the 'leaders' he's spoken to. With added emphasis on key phrases, Sean's piece is indeed a well written review of this under-reported story.

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    On this March 17th

    Let me just say.....

  • Happy St. Patrick's Day to one and all!

  • I leave for early enough for work, and today even earlier because of the snow: Winter, it's time to go!

  • Bring on the sun and Spring!

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    Tuesday, March 16, 2004

    Let's have a dialog about terror and elections...
    People need to think and discuss NOW what the US would do should the terrorists manage another strike on the US days before the November elections. We need to decide now without the pressure of the attack weighing on us. More later...

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    Top Blogs to read

    Most Bloggers read other bloggers, and this Blog is no different. Were I to have half as much time as other people, I'd no doubt read more, but there is my career to think about!

    However, from time to time a list of sorts is made of the Top Bloggers, and I am pleased to say I am in good company, as many of the top Blogs are in my daily read. The complete list, from Blogrunner, comes today courtesy of Michele at A Small Victory:

    Look at the top twenty:

    1. Glenn Reynolds [snapshot]
    2. Kevin Drum Calpundit [snapshot]
    3. Joshua Micah Marshall Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall [snapshot]
    4. Andrew Sullivan - Daily Dish [snapshot]
    5. Michele A Small Victory [snapshot]
    6. Eugene Volokh The Volokh Conspiracy [snapshot]
    7. Tim Blair Tim Blair [snapshot]
    8. James Joyner Outside the Beltway [snapshot]
    9. Paul Krugman The New York Times [snapshot]
    10. Dana Milbank The Washington Post [snapshot
    11. Cory Doctorow Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things [snapshot]
    12. Mike Allen The Washington Post [snapshot]
    13. Atrios Eschaton [snapshot]
    14. Howard Kurtz The Washington Post [snapshot]
    15. Daniel W. Drezner Daniel W. Drezner [snapshot]
    16. Robert Scoble Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger [snapshot
    17. Steven PoliBlog [snapshot]
    18. Roger Simon Roger L. Simon [snapshot]
    19. Imao IMAO [snapshot]
    20. David Brooks The New York Times [snapshot]

    Brevity of time means I cannot provide each link here; look to the right column of my Blog for the appropriate link in my link of Blogs of Distinction, or click through to Michele's own site for these specific links.

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    Local man makes big waves

    From The Morning Call: Lehigh Valley, PA newspaper.

    Question puts Bethlehem man in spotlight
    Republican asked Kerry to back claims of foreign support.

    Cedric Brown is a 52-year-old Army veteran from Bethlehem who says he graduated in the same West Point class as Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of U.S. Central Command.

    He owns a two-employee business, Pathfinder Sign Systems, that makes signs for office buildings, most of them in Braille.

    Brown is a registered Republican who says he voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976. He claims he never attended a political event in his life before Sunday, when he went nose-to-nose with U.S. Sen. John Kerry during a town hall meeting at Northampton Community College.

    He said he went just to ask the apparent Democratic presidential nominee one question — the same question that in the last two days has tumbled from the lips of Secretary of State Colin Powell and Vice President Dick Cheney.

    What the rest of the media hasn't mentioned about Mr. Brown and his thoughts:

    He said he still remembers when he was spit on and berated for wearing an Army uniform as the Vietnam War — which he did not fight in — drew to a close. He said Kerry, a Vietnam veteran who protested the war after his tour ended, bears some of the blame for the treatment many troops endured at home.

    ''As the president, he would become an Iraq war protester and cause today's soldiers to be treated poorly,'' said Brown, who has a son planning to enter the military. ''I wouldn't want him — or anyone — to be treated the same way as I was treated.''

    Brown was thoughtful during a telephone interview Monday, saying that the sudden attention was ''stressful'' for his family. His name appeared in The New York Times and Washington Post. Rush Limbaugh talked about him during his radio show. He was inundated with interview requests.

    Today, Brown is scheduled to appear on the Fox News Channel's morning show ''Fox & Friends'' and the evening program ''Hannity & Colmes.''

    He expressed some regret for shouting at Kerry, though he was not offered a microphone like others who got to question the candidate.

    After telling Kerry he was ''proud of him'' for his service during Vietnam, Brown asked Kerry if was ''conspiring with foreign leaders to overthrow'' Bush. He asked him which countries' leaders he conversed with, naming North Korea as an example.

    ''I am talking about our allies,'' said Kerry, who declined to give specifics.

    ''Who are you talking to?'' Brown persisted. ''I want an answer.''

    Some in the mostly partisan Democratic crowd began to shout Brown down. ''Tell him to sit down,'' one man yelled. But Kerry held off the crowd and continued the conversation, which lasted more than five minutes. ''He has a right to speak,'' Kerry said. ''This is what democracy is all about.''

    Kerry said he did not want to betray confidences of foreign dignitaries who have to maintain a relationship with the current administration.

    ''Senator, you are making yourself look like a liar,'' Brown said.

    Kerry then asked Brown if he was a registered Republican and if he voted for Bush. The answer to both questions was yes.

    ''Democracy works both ways,'' said Kerry, as he walked away.


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    More on Sen. Kerry's {foreign, more} leaders quote

    From JustOneMinute

    Why do I bother, when the Post is going to explain it all anyway?
    Originally Kerry was quoted as saying, "I've met foreign leaders," but a review of the tape by the lone newspaper reporter at the event showed that Kerry used the word "more" rather than "foreign." That small wording change did not alter the context of Kerry's remarks at the fundraiser, nor had Kerry ever suggested otherwise.

    On Sunday, he disputed the quote, but not for implying that he was talking about foreign leaders. "I think the quote, the quote in the comment I made publicly, I believe, was that I heard from, that's the direct quote. I've likewise had meetings. I've also had conversations. I said I've heard from, that was what I believe I said," he said.

    OK, so if the reporter now claims Sen. Kerry was misquoted - and I don't have any problem with that occurring - why did the Senator continue to defend the statement in Bethlehem, PA?

    From JustOneMinute again:
    And why did he say this when pressed:

    "I'm not going to betray a private conversation with anybody," he said Sunday. "I have heard from people, foreign leaders elsewhere in the world who don't appreciate the Bush administration and would love to see a change in the leadership of the United States."

    Once again, did you or didn't you hear/speak to/meet with foreign leaders, and if so, whom?

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    The Young Kerry, Making a Name for Himself The Reliable Source

    The Young Kerry, Making a Name for Himself

    • The Nixon tapes, the gift that keeps giving. As reported by NBC News last night, this exchange occurred in 1972 between President Richard Nixon and aide Charles Colson about Vietnam War protester John Kerry:

    Colson: This fellow Kerry that they had on last week --

    Nixon: Yeah.

    Colson: Hell, he turns out to be, uh, really quite a phony.

    Nixon: Well, he is sort of a phony, isn't he?

    Colson: Well, he stayed, when he was here --

    Nixon: Stayed out in Georgetown.

    Colson: You know, he's just, the complete opportunist.

    Nixon: A racket, sure.

    Colson: We'll keep hitting him, Mr. President.

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    Weird choice for a family photo

    I was paying an insurance bill on Allstate last evening. They have a variety of photos, naturally, promoting their products and the like, as any commercial website would.

    In their 'family' collection are these two children, presumably twins, or at least sibilings:

    You may be in good hands, but what about these kids?

    (for those who may lack a clue, the right-most image in the photo is part of a larger image) Now no one, I mean NO ONE would call this Blog anyone's prize, and I am not suggestign the kids in the photo are unattractive.

    But there's something odd in the way the kid on the right looks, and I don't mean only because he's pictured upside-down. Intentionally or otherwise, he looks spooky to me.

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    Sen. Kerry can't take a simple debate with a townhall member

    Posted all over, but in particular, from Reality Hammer:

    Kerry refuses to substantiate allegations of support from foreign leaders


    The town meeting was contentious at times, with 52-year-old Cedric Brown repeatedly pressing the candidate to name the foreign leaders whom Kerry has said are backing his campaign.

    "I'm not going to betray a private conversation with anybody," Kerry said. As the crowd of several hundred people began to mutter and boo, Kerry said, "That's none of your business."

    Two problems with that, Mr. Kerry:

  • You brought it up.

  • You said "bring it on".

  • Your refusal to back up your allegations is (again) duly noted.

    Here's a few more problems this Blog has Sen. Kerry's position:
  • None of our business, to know which foregin leaders you've spoken to? While as a Senator, you are indeed entitled to meet and speak with dignitaries, am I too assume the public is in no way allowed to know with whom you have met with?

  • Moments later, you took Mr. Brown to task by demanding he answer the question you put to him, regarding his party affiliation. Senator, if you - as the presumptive nominee for president - can not or will not answer Mr. Brown's question on policy at a town-hall forum that is apparently open to the public, how can you demand more of a voter?

  • Reminds this Blog of the time Gov. Dean had a similar run-in at a TownHall meeting some months ago... when he said a potential voter "you sit down!" Could another eeaugh moment be far behind??

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    Monday, March 15, 2004

    The war goes on

    Another view on the win for the terrorists...

    The War Goes On

    Spain has surrendered, and thats certainly disappointing to all of us - and our Democrats are having a field day; as usual, a terrorist victory is perceived in Democratic ranks as beneficial to Democrats. But, my friends, the war goes on - and we continue to win it. Task Force 121, the group that pulled Saddam out of his hole, are in Afganistan, searching for Mullah Omar, bin Laden and other terrorist thugs:
    Elements of 121 have moved from Iraq to Afghanistan for a U.S. spring offensive, named "Mountain Storm," against Taliban and al Qaeda fighters now reorganizing in Pakistan. If the flushing action pinpoints bin Laden, who is believed to be moving in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas, Task Force 121 would likely infiltrate the country and try to kill or capture the terrorist who orchestrated the September 11 attacks.

    Some rather foolish people opined that there would be "no war in '04"; that President Bush, eye on the election, would wind down military activities in 2004 in order to keep things quiet for the election period. Wrong; President Bush makes decisions about the war with no relation to their effects on politics.

    Now, what do you want? To continue the war, or to surrender. If you wish to surrender, go vote for Kerry - if not, go here and do something for the cause.

    Thanks to Blogs for Bush.

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    Secular Absolutism Bold emphasis made by this Blog

    Secular Absolutism:
    The irreligious left tries to impose its religious views on everyone else.

    Sunday, March 14, 2004 12:01 a.m.

    Secular absolutism is becoming the most potent religious force in America. Just ask the Boy Scouts and Catholic Charities, which both fell afoul of secular orthodoxy and then found judges willing to punish them for it.

    Start with Catholic Charities. The California Supreme Court just ruled that the social-services arm of the Roman Catholic Church must include contraceptives coverage to women as part of any prescription drug benefit it extends to employees. When Catholic Charities insisted that as an avowedly Catholic organization it fit the religious exemption provided by the law in question, the court simply said it was not a religious organization. Catholic Charities?

    Leave aside the irony that of all America's Catholic institutions, Catholic Charities is arguably the most liberal and sympathetic to secular crusades. Even that didn't protect them. Nor did its practice of employing people outside the Catholic faith--which was used here as reason for denying its religious claims. If the state can order a Catholic organization to include contraceptive coverage as part of its health benefits or drop all drug coverage, it's not hard to see where that's leading. This is what passes for civil liberties now.

    The lone dissent in this 6-1 decision came from Justice Janice Rogers Brown. Judge Brown, nominated by President Bush for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, has been pilloried for refusing to bow before this increasingly stifling liberal orthodoxy. As she tartly noted in her decision here, the California high court has "such a crabbed and constricted view of religion that it would define the ministry of Jesus Christ as a secular activity."

    Compare this ruling with what's going on with the Boy Scouts. On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court turned down the Scouts' appeal of a Connecticut decision to kick them off a list of charities on its state-worker voluntary-donation plan. Meanwhile the American Civil Liberties Union has routed the Scouts in San Diego.
    In a settlement reached earlier this year with the ACLU, San Diego agreed to revoke a Scouts lease for public campgrounds, where the Scouts have had a presence since 1918 and a formal lease since 1957. The city also agreed to pay the ACLU a whopping $950,000 for its efforts.

    The Boy Scouts are suing, and they will not actually be evicted until the courts have ruled on all the outstanding issues and the litigation has been settled. But their opponents cite previous briefs in which the Scouts used the words "religious organization" to describe themselves as an association of believers and explain why they could not admit atheists. Never mind that by this broad definition, the Continental Congress that signed the Declaration of Independence would be a "religious organization."

    Twisting these words, the ACLU contends that leasing the Scouts public lands is tantamount to the public establishment of religion. Silly as that might sound--and the civil rights division of the Justice Department agrees with the Scouts here--the argument received a huge boost when a federal judge decreed that the Scouts are a religious organization and that the leases do raise Establishment Clause concerns, a decision that no doubt led to the city's decision to settle.

    Never mind that the Scouts have not discriminated against, or even been accused of discriminating against, anyone who has sought to use the campgrounds they maintain. Their real crime is to have won the Supreme Court case involving their First Amendment right not to admit an openly homosexual Scoutmaster. Ever since, a liberal jihad has been launched to strip them of any public association. As another federal judge put it in that Connecticut case the Supremes have just refused to hear, the Scouts "pay a price" for exercising their First Amendment rights.

    All this is being done notwithstanding that the results will leave people worse off than they were before. The easiest way for Catholic Charities to comply, for example, would be by withdrawing all its prescription drug benefits. Its female employees will end up with fewer benefits than now. And you can bet the people of San Diego will be worse off with the Scouts no longer maintaining those campgrounds.

    What's going on here is an effort by liberal activists and their judiciary enablers to turn one set of personal mores into a public orthodoxy from which there can be no dissent, even if that means trampling the First Amendment. Any voluntary association that doesn't comply--the same little platoons once considered the bedrock of American freedom--will be driven from the public square. Meet the new face of intolerance.

    What they can't win at the ballot boxes, they'll fight through the courts! God Bless America (oh wait! The ACLU won't like that I say that!!)

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    Terrorist win one

    So on the auspicious date of 3/11 , the terrorists win a battle. This was, of course, in Spain with the 200 dead and hundred wounded in the commuter train attack. And it was done, oh so well. ETA, the indigent Socialist terrorist group, often planted bombs days before elections to help their cause. But unlike their radical Muslim cousins, ETA's MO was to phone authorities with a heads-up prior to detonation (not very unlike the actions of the IRA), thus trying to curb the death and injury. I'll never have a good word to say for terrorism, but there is certainly a dramatic difference between radical Muslims and other terrorist groups.

    So ETA got the initial blame. But then the blame was thrown at the Conservative Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, who supported President Bush's war on terrorism. However the undecided voters went, the result were the same: PM Aznar is out, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is the new PM, and Spain has already pledged to pull their troops out of Iraq.

    But why? Haven't the critics -- as recently as yesterday on
    NBC NEWS' MEET THE PRESS talk shows, featuring former Gov. Howard Dean, been telling us that the war in Iraq has nothing to do with Al Qaeda??? How can what we've done to liberate the people of Iraq and force the regime change (in line with UN and US Senate Resolutions) be the reason those commuters were bombed?

    Or was it just a coincidence that on the eve of the first anniversary in Iraq, and curious 3/11 date, the terrorists struck?

    Either way, the US can't simply cut and run. Remember, Osama Bin Laden himself said he was emboldened by our pull out of Somalia after our troops were left unprepared for their mission. Spain has now become the new 'paper tiger', and their citizens will live with that consequence, but the US can not give in to the terrorists. People get ready: if they think they've 'won' in Spain, it's only a matter of time before they try to so forcefully persuade another nation; possibly even this one.

    Anyone who thinks there's a way to deal with 'terrorism' is obviously unaware of the definition of the word. You can either beat terrorism or lose to it; there is no middle ground.

    We tried diplomacy and complacency with the terrorists. Diplomacy works when there are rational people at the table; can anyone call these terrorists rational?

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    I say this, and you say...?

    It was LunaNina's idea, but I say ... and you think ... ?

    1. Old Navy:: Sea weed
    2. Out:: In
    3. Indecent:: Exposure
    4. UPN:: Wasteland
    5. Pupil:: Eye
    6. Toothpaste:: Brush
    7. 1999:: Space
    8. Passion:: Sex
    9. Social security:: Bad idea from the start
    10. Cliff:: Bar

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    Friday, March 12, 2004

    Spain's 3/11

    Spain's 3/11
    A horrifying reminder that the war on terror isn't over.

    Madrid now joins Bali, Baghdad, Najaf, Karachi, Istanbul, Mombasa, Jerusalem, Riyadh, Casablanca and of course New York and Washington in the lineup of terror targets. With several months having lapsed since the last such carnage outside Iraq, we have sensed a complacency developing in some circles that perhaps the worst is over. The late-night comedians have begun to make fun of the "orange alerts," the Patriot Act is being assailed by liberals and libertarians, and voices in Congress are once again daring to propose less defense spending.

    The danger is that we will once again return to the "law enforcement" mindset that dominated the world's handling of terrorism before 9/11. This view assumes that, however awful, terrorism is an endurable tragedy that can be prosecuted after the fact, like a murder in Chicago. John Kerry has been explicit in recommending this kind of policy.

    The Madrid bombings are a reminder that terrorism remains the largest single threat to Western freedom and security. It threatens every country that refuses to cower in fear and dares to take the battle to the terrorists. We've made large strides in this war since 9/11, thanks in part to friends like the Spanish. Their current grief should inspire America's renewed determination.

    I can't think of a thing I can add to this sentiment!

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    3.2: Memories of Chico Escuela

    Back in my days of
    utte I recall a Saturday Night Live routine during Weekend Update that featured a sports report from the NYC Mets' own Chico Escuela (Garrett Morris)

    Back in the day, the big news one week a recent contract signing by Pete Rose (side bar: ever notice how much of things that are old are in the news again??), and broken-English speaking Escuela reported:

    Hello. My name Chico Escuela. Baseball been berry-berry good to me. Tank jou berry much.

    Pete Rose. 3.2 million dollars. Baseball is berry-berry good to Pete Rose.

    Well at 4:00 AM I heard the news on the radio of the Senate passing a $2.35(US) Trillion Budget and for whatever reason my mind flashed on old Chico.

    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates it would cost about $1.3 trillion over 10 years to permanently entrench personal and corporate tax breaks that Bush would like.

    This quote makes the amount seem monumental, but consider this: everyone of the Democratic contenders for Presidency all proposed various health-care packages that were far and away over this amount, sometimes as much as 3 times as much. Why is it that spending trillions (over 10 years) is ok, but giving trillions (over 10 years) back to the taxpayers isn't?

    Sadly, the efforts to cut the tax cuts were valiant, and the efforts of the Republicans to trim non-defense spending is not a strong as I had hoped. On a positive note, I can only fear what kind of spending would occur under a Democrat-controlled Senate.

    Next stop: The House of Representatives.

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    Of ducks and geese

    Filed under
    Things you don't see every day... I stepped out of my car in the desolate office parking lot at 5:50 this morning and came upon a duck walking straight towards me. No other fowl was anywhere to be seen (which unusual this time of year, as the Canadian Geese leave land-mines of green droppings EVERYWHERE when they flock here).

    The lone mallard walked up to me, quacking away, and looked up at me. Not knowing what else to do or say, I simply said 'quack' -- who wouldn't, right??

    Well, I pissed off that duck, who turned and walked away while making what I can best describe as angry quacks.

    I chronicle this event here since no one else is around to share this moment.

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    Wednesday, March 10, 2004

    The Poll Results You Haven’t Seen

    Byrion York on the Gallop Poll results the media HASN'T reported (not that they're biased or anything...

    By now you've read about new polls showing Democrat John Kerry leading George W. Bush in the presidential race. The most recent Gallup poll, for instance, has Kerry leading Bush by a 50-percent-to-44-percent margin, with third-party candidate Ralph Nader pulling two percent. Kerry leads Bush 52 percent to 44 percent in a one-on-one match-up.

    The results have attracted a lot of coverage. But there are some other results in the poll that haven't gotten as much attention.

    For example, Gallup found that the public seems to believe Kerry and the Democratic party have, at least so far, conducted a dirtier campaign than Bush and the Republican party.

    Gallup asked, "Would you say that George W. Bush and the Republican party have — or have not — attacked John Kerry unfairly?" Twenty-one percent said yes, Bush and the GOP have attacked Kerry unfairly, while 67 percent said no, they have not. Twelve percent had no opinion.

    Then Gallup asked, "Would you say that John Kerry and the Democratic party have — or have not — attacked George W. Bush unfairly?" Thirty-five percent said yes, Kerry and the Democrats have attacked Bush unfairly, while 57 percent said no, they have not. Eight percent had no opinion.

    Breaking down the numbers by party, 33 percent of Democrats said Bush and the Republicans have attacked Kerry unfairly. But 53 percent of Democrats said Bush and the Republican party have not attacked Kerry unfairly.

    Twenty-one percent of independents said Bush has been unfair, but 65 percent of independents said Bush and the GOP have not attacked Kerry unfairly.

    Nine percent of Republicans believe Bush has been unfair, while 84 percent believe he hasn't.

    Looked at from the other party's perspective, 59 percent of Republicans said Kerry and the Democrats have attacked Bush unfairly, while just 35 percent said Kerry and the Democrats have not attacked Bush unfairly.

    Thirty-five percent of independents said Kerry has been unfair, while 55 percent said Kerry has not attacked Bush unfairly.

    Thirteen percent of Democrats said Kerry has been unfair, while 80 percent said he has not.

    In all, it appears that Republicans feel more aggrieved at the moment — not surprising, given the months of Democratic campaigning and the Bush campaign's belated counterattacks. But perhaps more importantly, more independents seem to believe that Kerry and the Democrats have been unfair than believe that Bush has been unfair.

    Finally, the poll had one more surprising finding. Gallup asked respondents, "Regardless of whom you support, and trying to be as objective as possible, who do you think will win the election in November?" Fifty-two percent said Bush, while 42 percent said Kerry. Six percent had no opinion.

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    The Politics of 9/11

    OpinionJournal - Featured Article: "Has anyone else out there begun to wonder just who these 9/11 'families' are that have been interviewed without end the past week about their 'outrage' over President Bush's TV ads with a quick clip of September 11? Are they all neutral innocents, as depicted, or are they part of an organized anti-Bush opposition?

    It seems to us that the media that gives these folks so much free face time and column inches might push the story a bit further to help viewers and readers put this dispute in context. Alas, what a little pushing of our own unearths is that far from disinterested parties, the activists who claim to speak for all 9/11 families are in fact subsidiaries of established anti-Bush forces--political entities committed to defeating the President this fall. We guess transparency only applies to the business world.

    Consider the benignly named September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. The group has been loudly protesting Mr. Bush's ads, organizing a rally for 'victims' families and firefighters' to condemn the President's 'offensive exploitation' of September 11. Peaceful Tomorrows says its goal is to 'turn our grief into action for peace.' In the Washington Post's coverage this group is 'nonpartisan.' If so, nonpartisan has lost its meaning. "

    Worthwhile reading.... click to read it all

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    Tuesday, March 09, 2004

    Scene from the PA Turnpike

    The rollings hills? No.

    The scenic farms? No.

    The purple mountains majesty? No.

    The restroom at exit 54 of the Northeast Extension? Yep.

    Visit it and other potties at Kathleen's Potty Album.

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    Monday, March 08, 2004

    A new strip in town!

    Jessica's Well offers news of a new comic strip featuring (gasp!) Conservative characters!

    She calls it an antidote to Gary Trudeau and Doonesbury, and so far I've read the last week and it's kept my interest. The strip does have an RSS feed, but only yhe links appear in Bloglines, which means I may have to manually link to the site daily, and there are only so many hours in the day; if the strip doesn't continue to amuse me, I may have trouble keeping up

    Day By Day

    By way of full disclosure, let me state for the record I have been a fan of Doonesbury since the 7th grade (or so). Despite the slant, it helped introduce me to politics and led to some vibrant dinner debates with my father, which helped me to learn spin from reality (on both sides of the aisle).

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    So wheres's the snow that was forecasted?

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    Saturday, March 06, 2004

    When you're right, you're right

    From the AP: (emphasis by this Blog)

    "Quite simply, the Boy Scouts of America is not a church, and canoeing, kayaking and swimming are not religious activities," said R. Alexander Acosta, assistant attorney general for the division. "Boy Scouts should not be prohibited from using public lands on an equal basis with other youth groups."

    Can't argue with that logic!

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    OK, so I proved it now

    You are 35% geek
    You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

    Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.

    You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!

    Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!

    You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.

    Take the Polygeek Quiz at

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    Early polls send mixed message

    Right off the bat, I don't care much for individual polls. I am more interested in tracking the outcome of many polls (preferably from the same osurce) over many weeks/months to guage the public's opinions.

    That much said, it is very telling when the latest polls show President Bush and Senator Kerry in a tie, and that's for the simple reason that Sen. Kerry has dominated the spotlight with his daily rhetoric against the president. President Bush has played some defense against the baseless 'desertion' charges that DNC operatives put forth (and Sen. Kerry did little to dispell), yet he's tied with the Senator.

    It's a long way to November, and the polls arre likely show a double-digit lead for one candidate one week, and the opposite the next. But I would have imagined a bigger bounce for the Senator this week, after Super Tuesday II.

    Perhaps his voting record is a matter of discussion after all!

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    Who would North Korea want as president?

    Rebecca MacKinnon offers prospective on the news this week that North Korea would prefer Sen. Kerry as president:

    {Quoting from the Financial Times}
    But both Mr Kerry and Mr Bush are committed to North Korean disarmament. Mr Kerry, however, would renew bilateral negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, while Mr Bush has sought to manage the conversation with North Korea through multilateral talks. Mr Kerry has also been more forthright about setting out the economic rewards for North Korea if it disarms.

    The problem, as I see it, with Sen. Kerry's plan is that it sounds a lot like how President Clinton dealt with North Korea, and in the end we know how well that turned out.

    Ms. Mackinnon concludes:

    Either way, it seems that folks in Pyongyang have forgotten that when the Soviet Union endorsed Mondale, that didn't help him much.

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    Democrats shots at Presidnet's ad unwarrented

    People who run glass-housed campaigns ought to be careful

    As you can tell from the FDR campaign button we found, FDR used the war. We did some further research and found from the May 12th, 2000, edition of the Washington Post, "In 1944, with the U.S. deeply involved in World War II, president Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigned for a fourth term arguing that his reelection was essential for an allied victory." It turns out that the godfather of the modern Democratic Party campaigned in ways they now think are vicious and mean in 1944. Who is it today that looks like FDR? It's George W. Bush.

    courtesy of

    Not enough? Here's a link to an article Rush mentioned on his show March 5:
    But beneath the calm surface there is some powerful churning in Democratic waters. The difficult truth is that Kerry is less a full-hearted choice for most Democrats than a fail-safe accommodation. He does not appeal to Democrats who questioned President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq. He voted for the war resolution.

    Are these Rush's words? Nope... NPR's own Juan Williams, also a Fox News Contributor, and a Liberal I can respect because he at lease does not flip his opinions with the wind (or polls).

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    Use of Sept 11th in Ads

    For what my opinion is worth (and since it's my Blog, why not?)....

    Yes, I am a supporter of President Bush's re-election, so that's in the claer.

    But consider this:

    Had the President's ad NOT included scenes from the September 11th attacks, can you imagine the fevor that would have errupted from his critics? "Why is he backing away from it? What is he ashamed of, his handling of the situation?"

    So he used a brief image of the towers and of the rescue teams recovering a body. And the critics complain.

    Tell me: can anyone name one positive thing a critic of the President has said of his record? Or has the last 3-1/2 years been a total loss?

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    People are strange

    The scene: ATM at a Wawa.

    The gent in front of of is unsuccessful at getting cash; not because of an insufficient balance, just a "not processed" message bliking on the ATM screen. Frustrated, he steps aside, and lets me step up.

    I try and get my cash immediately.

    I joke to the guy saying: "I'll try it for you. Give me your card and PIN."

    Would you believe he handed me his card and started to tell of his PIN?

    No, I didn't take his card, and yes it worked for him before I bought my coffee. But just think of how well my weekend could have been!

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    Thursday, March 04, 2004

    More bad news...?

    Unemployment down, again. That must be bad news, right?

    New claims for unemployment benefits dropped again.

    Democrats responded by claiming it meant that millions of more jobs were lost.

    In other economic news, personal income was up for January.

    Democrats responded by claiming it meant that millions of more jobs were lost.

    In yet other economic news, GDP grew at a brisk 4.1% in the fourth quarter of 2003.

    Democrats responded by claiming it meant that millions of more jobs were lost.

    The economy: the new "global warming"! No matter what happens, "millions of more jobs were lost!"

    Growth and Personal Income

    The Reality Hammer strikes again!

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    It's not my fault....


    I was just trying to re-enact a scene from The Database of The Christ, sir.

    Who? Dave Barry, of course!

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    You can call me Charlie, or you can call me Chuck...

    "People with high self-esteem like most things about themselves, including their name, height and hair color," explains Charles E. Joubert, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of North Alabama in Florence. But if you dislike your name, you don't have to live with it. Simply make a tiny change - tweak the spelling, choose a nickname or use your middle name - to send your self-esteem soaring.

    Kathleen at ~ unsettled ~ jokes that people ought to call her Kate from now on. In my professional life, for over 6 years I was known as 'Chuck', but for my entire life I was know as 'Charlie' (or Charles, by my aunts). Those who known me as Charlie can't imagine anyone calling me 'Chuck', those who knew me then as Chuck (and to this day I call friends) can't imagine anyone ever calling me 'Charlie'. I opted for CHuck because there was already a 'Charlie' at the job.

    So what do this mean? The bottom line is this (IMHO): self-esteem is what you make of it. Tweaking your name or hair color (I can't touch the height issue... I should be taller/shorter??) is a cosmetic that really doesn't do a thing for you.

    You either like yourself or not; changing the label (name) won't do much.

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