Friday, April 30, 2004

Can 194 Searches Be Wrong

As of this post, the real-tiem referrer script I use indicates that this Blog has been viewed from Yahoo! Searches a whopping 194 times. SiteMeter indicates the majority of searches led people to the snippet of Michele's piece on Pat Tillman, and at least one arrived here by searching on 'tweens preteen pics'; I won't try that search here at work, but I must say I am curious how that would lead to this humble blog.

But 194 refers! Wish I had a way to store a screen shot; I never had such volume. And yet not a single comment...?

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Meme of the day: What are you listening to?

Following Michele's lead , I am following Treacher's suggestion:

1. Grab the nearest CD.
2. Put it in your CD-Player (or start your mp3-player, I-tunes, etc.).
3. Skip to Song 3 (or load the 3rd song in your 3rd playlist)
4. Post the first verse in your journal along with these instructions. Don’t name the band, nor the album-title.

At a bar at 43rd and a quarter-to-two
Met my friend the Chinese Elvis and hoisted a few
He talks like Mickey Mouse
And sees with X-Ray eyes
Lives in a cardboard house
I almost gave him the prize

Leave a comment if you guess the artist/title.

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Observation of the day

Today is Friday, and in the greater Philadelphia area it is indeed a gorgeous day.

I just conducted an unscientific survey and found approximately 60% of staff and management are out today. Which leads me to one inescapable conclusion:

Only the most important people are here today.

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I know, I am tired of the -gate phrases, too.

Jonah Goldberg on John Kerry & Medals on National Review Online: "But the problem goes much deeper for Kerry because this mini-scandal illustrates the more fundamental contradiction at the core of Kerry's candidacy.

The 'argument' (quotation marks are necessary since often it's really a sputter) from Kerry's supporters and the Democratic National Committee is that his service in Vietnam proves that he's strong on defense and qualified to be commander-in-chief. (They also suggest his service proves he is patriotic, manly, cool, sexy, and impregnable from criticism.)
The response from his critics (which in fairness often takes the form of a growl) is that whatever Kerry did in Vietnam is vitiated by his antiwar behavior and his long and detailed record of peacenickery in the Senate.

But if signing up for Vietnam proves Kerry's got the right judgment to be commander-in-chief, how come Kerry believes Vietnam was a huge mistake for America?

Think about it. Kerry and DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe have mocked Dick Cheney and other members of the Bush administration for not serving in Vietnam. But Kerry made his political career by saying that Vietnam was a moral and national-security disaster. He claims that going to fight for "a mistake" (Kerry's words) was his defining moment. Well, if Vietnam was a mistake, how does it demonstrate Kerry's good judgment?"

How indeed!

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Definition: Irony

Wired News: Will RSS Readers Clog the Web?: "News aggregators may be the best new tools to appear on the Web since the browser, but as the programs and the underlying RSS standard grow more popular, some question whether the Internet will be able to handle the traffic.

Aggregators, sometimes called newsreaders or RSS readers, are a hybrid of a Web browser and an e-mail program, allowing Web users to peruse hundreds of information sources, from Boston-based restaurant job listings to Taiwanese political blogs. The beauty of an aggregator is that it displays articles from hundreds of websites in one place, so the user doesn't have to pull up the sites individually.
But some are wondering: What happens when everyone discovers the power of aggregators? Will the Web be able to handle it? In Internet boom-speak, will it scale? "

I titled this 'Definition:Irony' because I read this piece on Wired via my newsreader, Bloglines.

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Ramesh Ponnuru on Karen Hughes & Life on National Review Online

Ramesh Ponnuru addresses comments made by President Bush and Karen Hughes:

National Review Online: "Hard words get said in politics. At last weekend's march, politicians suggested, explicitly or implicitly, that pro-lifers are enemies of the Constitution, haters of women, slave drivers, people without consciences, and opponents of civil rights."

Indeed, it seems harsh words in politics are only punnishable if they come from the right. Further comparision: Sen. Trent Lott's birthday wishes to Strom Thurman vs. Sen. Chris Dodd's wishes to Sen. Robert Byrd. In defense of Sen. Lott: at least his comments were not on the floor of the Senate!

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Day By Day...

Just a day in the life of Mr. Everyday Man

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Sounds of spring

This just in from SIGH CLUB:

Sounds of spring:
"Don't you just love when spring comes around and you can open all the windows in the house? That way you can enjoy the breeze and hear all the sounds of the outdoors: birds chirping, lawns being mowed, planes flying above, cars whizzing by, radios blaring, an angry man down the street yelling, 'You f---ing whore!'

Yes, indeed, I love spring!"

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Thursday, April 29, 2004

More on Pat Tillman: When Idiots Attack

Not surprisningly, Michele is right on target. Again.

A Small Victory - More on Pat Tillman: When Idiots Attack: "Rene Gonzales is a graduate student at UMass. She is from Puerto Rico where, apparently, soldiers are pendejos or idiots.

Rene wrote an editorial for the school paper, the Daily Collegian. The title: Pat Tillman is not a hero: He got what was coming to him.

Something in that heading told me to just stop reading there. Click the X, close the page, hit the back button; do anything but read it.

Of course, I read it. And I am left with the conclusion that Rene Gonzales is, for all intents and purposes, a pendejo."


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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

New ways to contact

Starting today, you can reach me at CharlieOnThePA.Turnpike*AT*;
... that's right GMail, by Google (and yes, replace *AT* with @).

Also, IM me at CharlieOnPA Tpk

The old SneakEMail was a way to filter spam, but I am willing to try Google Mail for a bit and see how well it does.

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PoliBlog (et al) Gets Results!

PoliBlog: PoliBlog Gets Results!: "Earlier today {PoliBlog} noted:
Kerry risks creating yet another example of flip-flopping by personally attacking the President's Guard service, since in 1992, in defending Bill Clinton's lack of Viet Nam service, he said the following on the Senate floor: (the rest in this post)

And now:

Bush campaign spokeswoman Nicolle Devenish said Kerry is 'doing exactly what he said he would never do, 'divide America over who served and how.'' She was referring to Kerry's defense of Bill Clinton in 1992 when critics said the future president was a draft dodger who avoided service in Vietnam.

Whaddya know."

Knowing PoliBlog gets considerably more hits than this Blog does, I'll tip my hat in their direction.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Happy Birthday Israel

Almost forgot...

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Evidence of WMD's

Sean does it again!

"WorldNetDaily is reporting that Weapons of Mass destruction have been found in Iraq but have been dismissed by the media as insignificant.
In virtually every case -- chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic missiles -- the United States has found the weapons and the programs that the Iraqi dictator successfully concealed for 12 years from U.N. weapons inspectors.

The Iraq Survey Group, ISG, whose intelligence analysts are managed by Charles Duelfer, a former State Department official and deputy chief of the U.N.-led arms-inspection teams, has found 'hundreds of cases of activities that were prohibited' under U.N. Security Council resolutions, a senior administration official tells Insight.

'There is a long list of charges made by the U.S. that have been confirmed, but none of this seems to mean anything because the weapons that were unaccounted for by the United Nations remain unaccounted for.'
What the president's critics and the media widely have portrayed as the most dramatic failure of the U.S. case against Saddam has been the claimed failure to find 'stockpiles' of chemical and biological weapons. But in a June 2003 Washington Post op-ed, former chief U.N. weapons inspector Rolf Ekeus called such criticism 'a distortion and a trivialization of a major threat to international peace and security.'

This is a long and well-sourced article and a must read. But it's not the first time WMD have been found and ignored.

More at Everything I Know Is Wrong...

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In relation -- but not directly connected -- to my ramblings about doing without sleep comes this from

A Small Victory - Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurge!: "Did anyone else have a fondness for Surge soda? Sure, it made me piss green, but it shocked parts of my brain into awakening that had been dormant for years. And yes, my hair stood on end and I shook like Katherine Hepburn, but damn, that shit was good.

I really hate soda. But Surge was more than soda. It was No-Doz in beverage form.

I never did Surge, but I used to favor JOLT COLA (which appears to be 404 right now). Now I drink gallons of coffee, altho I don't really care for it much.

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Yahoo! News - Kerry Campaign: Key Unanswered Questions on Bush's Record In National Guard: "'If George Bush wants to ask me questions about that through his surrogates, he owes America an explanation about whether or not he showed up for duty in the National Guard. Prove it. That's what we ought to have. I'm not going to stand around and let them play games.' -- John Kerry, NBC News, 4/26/04"


"Kerry stayed silent on the subject Tuesday.

"I just don't have any comment on it," he told reporters between campaign stops in Tennessee and Virginia. "It's not an issue that I chose to create. It's not my record that's at issue and I don't have any questions about it."" Associated Press Feb. 10, 2004

What a difference 8 weeks makes, especially when you aren't gaining in the polls!

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So-called Current Republican Argument

According to Oliver Willis, the reasoning goes like this:

"Senator Kerry, release your military records so we can reveal your excellent performance reviews and compare them to President Bush's middling and missing ones."

I guess we're playing that game now.

To Sen. Kerry and to Oliver I say this: If the Senator personally promised to open his own records, then he ought to do so or be called on the latest flip-flop. We've seen all of the detail of then-Lt. Bush's service record (not to mention his dental exams), and have had eyewittness accounts of his service. On the other hand, there are growing numbers of men who served alongside Sen. Kerry who are even asking for his service records.

So, yes Oliver, the Senator should not have continued to pull the campaign into the 1970's and instead tell us what he will do differently if he were president.

Incidentally, hadn't Sen. Kerry promised he would not touch the NatioanL Guard service of George Bush??? Must have be yet another flip-flop...

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Rock On

Not sure why but this David Essex song has been in my head all morning... another moldy oldie from a one hit wonder...


Hey kids, rock and roll
Rock on, ooh, my soul
Hey kids, boogie too, did ya?

Hey shout, summertime blues
Jump up and down in my blue suede shoes
Hey kids, rock and roll, rock on

And where do we go from here?
Which is the way that's clear?

Still looking for that
Blue jean, baby queen
Prettiest girl I ever seen
See her shake on the movie screen
Jimmy Dean (James Dean)

And where do we go from here
Which is the way that's clear

Still looking for that
Blue jean, baby queen
Prettiest girl I ever seen
See her shake on the movie screen
Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

Rock on, rock on
Rock on (hey, kids rock and roll) rock on
(Hey, kids rock and roll) rock on
Rock on (hey, kids rock and roll) rock on
Rock on (hey, kids rock and roll) rock on.......

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Monday, April 26, 2004

Pennsylvania Primary tomorrow

Don't forget to vote!

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Double standards

Great muse from OneDwarf:

"With windows in the surrounding area taped to prevent shattering, {Senator Hillary Clinton} spoke to the group. Perhaps she was a little confused when she made this statement.
'This administration is filled with people who disparage sexual harassment laws, who claim the pay gap between women and men is phony and who consider Roe v. Wade the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history.'
Apparently Hill was too busy gasping for breath to notice that her husband enjoyed treating women like pieces of meat and turned the Oval Office into his own personal smokehouse. "

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Cars and Dancing

There was a time, I am sure, that people would connect 'cars and dancing' with something like of, I don't know, American Graffitti. Or, taking something from a less-ancient era, the big dance scene in Rod Stewart's Young Hearts. My dancing skills are on par with that of a slug (my apologies to slugs). At my wedding reception my much-better-half donned a pair of OSHA-approved steel-tipped shoes (do you have any idea how hard it is to get them in white??). My Tae Kwon Do instructor thinks he can get me to become more "coordinated" with the threats of push-ups (he can't, but my biceps
are showing improvement). Regardless, while it is clear I know precious little about dancing, it is not quite the point of this post.

This is : while catching up with Jen's Very Big BlogI came across this: the Roanoke Ballet's NASCAR Ballet

Now to dispell some populat misconceptions, people who enjoy NASCAR are not all rednecks. In fact, it's a more popular sport than NFL, which can be evidenced by the tracks decidedly north of the Mason-Dixon line. And as to its fans I can point to my much-better-half who has been a fan of NASCAR since she was a child; and while we are hardly at odds at all times politically, she would more htan bristle at any mention to her being Conservative.

She and our oldest boy are hard-core NASCR fans... I am lucky to understand about half of the rules, just so I have something to say during Sunday dinner.

Be that as it may: NASCAR BALLET???

As Vice President Cheney said durign the now infamous debacle over the 2000 election: "It makes you scratch your head and wonder 'What the hell is going on'."

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Sleep - *HUH* What is it good for??

Michele was answering questions as a way to encourage donations to her wonderful charitble exercise - the Sprit of America (which I mentioned last week), and I encourage each reader to click over to her site and pledge what you can.

One of the questions she answered regarded sleep, and I was inspired to write about that very same topic. And mind you, I am doing this on my lunch hour, which is important to note as it will become apparent shortly.

I don't get 'sleep', myself. What an utterly underproductive act!

What is sleep?

If my body needs physical rest, I ought to sit or lay down (I do those now, in fact), but not lose consciousness. Why is the act of becomming 'out of it' connected to physical wear?

If it is a release of my subconcious (to dream), then what point is there in imaginging things that are not or (potentially) cannot be; or, in a word, daydreaming? At least I stand a chance of remembering my daydreams, as opposed to my sleep-dreams. In fact, right now I have the image of a beach in my mind, with a perfect sunset (not to mention a gorgeous woman, but I digress). Why should such use of my imaginantion wait for me to largely 'forget' this thought?

On a weekly basis, I average 5 hours per night, but that stat is misleading. During the work-week, I typically get 4 hours of sleep each night, Saturday I get about 8, and Sunday's fluxuate around 7-8. Rarely do I get more than that, and certainly not enough to affect the average appreciably.

Why so little? A combination of two factors:

1) I leave for work so early that for me to retire in order to get the mandated '8 hours' of sleep would require me to bed down at about 7:30 each evening, and that's hardly any fun.

2) Because I *CAN*

Add to that a schedule involving Tae Kwon Do, Cub Scouts Den Leader duties, and the whole host of other tasks a parent, spouse and homeowner engage in and you see why I have such little free time.

Now that's not to say I don't get 'tired', because Lord knows that's not so. But I get by on this sleep largely because I can, and I've done so for quite sometime now. As it is, on the odd days I am compelled to sleep more, I give up lunch for a nap in my car. On those extremembly rare days I know I need a nap, I'll pull over and sleep for 20 or so minute and will be right as rain.

If I could do away with those 35 hours per week, I would in a heartbeat. I'd spend more time with the family and be productive in ways I haven't the time to be today.

What else could sleep be used for if not the reasons I listed above?

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Friday, April 23, 2004

Day is over

Nearly 20 hours after it started, I am about to turn in.

As weird as I make this sound, it's nothing compared to what my much-better-half endures. One day I'll find a way to document her travels...

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Workday over

Well I had hoped to bail out before 3:00pm, but that didn't happen.

Hey, looks like the weather forcast was wrong... it appears to be a nice afternoon! Hope the same is true outside your window.

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Privileged to Serve

The Wall Street Journal reposted a wonderful piece by Peggy Noonan, written about and in honor of Pat Tillman

Privileged to Serve
In this war, not only the sons of the poor are enlisting.

Friday, July 12, 2002 12:01 a.m. EDT

Maybe he was thinking Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. Maybe it was visceral, not so much thought as felt, and acted upon. We don't know because he won't say, at least not in public. Which is itself unusual. Silence is the refuge of celebrities caught in scandal, not the usual response of those caught red-handed doing good.

All we know is that 25-year-old Pat Tillman, a rising pro football player (224 tackles in 2000 as a defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals, a team record) came back from his honeymoon seven weeks ago and told his coaches he would turn down a three-year, $3.6 million contract and instead join the U.S. Army. For a pay cut of roughly $3.54 million dollars over three years.

On Monday morning, Pat Tillman "came in like everyone else, on a bus from a processing station," according to a public information officer at Fort Benning, Ga., and received the outward signs of the leveling anonymity of the armed forces: a bad haircut, a good uniform and physical testing to see if he is up to the rigors of being a soldier. Soon he begins basic training. And whatever else happened this week--Wall Street news, speeches on the economy--nothing seems bigger, more important and more suggestive of change than what Pat Tillman did.


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Support the Victory Coalition!!

I should have done this yesterday but I was forgetful...

Support our troops and the Victory Coalition. Follow this link for a suitable 'reward' for contributing, courtesy of Michelle.

Sadly, all I can offer at this time is this space...

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All in the Family

Back during the Primary, I looked forward to NineDwarf's updates from the road. Well we're down to OneDwarf now, and not as many posts, but as usual he's insightful! "All In the Family
On Earth Day John Kerry was asked if he owned an SUV. His response: 'I don't own an SUV.' But when asked about the Suburban at his Idaho ranch, Kerry broke out the Waffle Iron, 'The family has it. I don't have it,' Kerry stated. What?!? Is John Kerry not part of his own family? That's like Ted Kennedy saying 'I didn't kill Mary Jo, the river did.' Is Kerry so beholden to the environmental lobby that he can't admit owning an SUV? The car Kerry does admit to owning, a Chrysler 300M, gets 18 MPG around town, only 4 more miles per gallon than the Suburban!

If Kerry was truly the advocate of the environment he claims to be he should be cruising the strip in a Honda Insight. Someone should ask Kerry how many miles per gallon the Real Deal Express gets? We all know what the answer would be, 'I don't have it, my campaign does!' Can someone pass the maple syrup. "

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Aussi, Nous Sommes Desolee Pour Euro-Disney. Mauvais Idee.

Can't say I frequently agree with Wonkette, but this was too funny to pass up (especailly her WWII comment)

Aussi, Nous Sommes Desolee Pour Euro-Disney. Mauvais Idee.: "Aussi, Nous Sommes Desolee Pour Euro-Disney. Mauvais Idee.
LAT reports that sales have doubled for a Seattle-based company marketing luggage whose labels read (in French): 'We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We didn't vote for him.'

Ooo! Secret messages to the French! Maybe they'll write back. Would an apology for blowing World War II fit on a label?"

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Made it to work

My 122 mile ride is over, and including a stop at WaWa for a fresh cup of inspiration (the overnight crew alwasy neglects the pot, so I need my own till I make a fresh one), I am at my cubicle by 6:15 AM.

Yes, I know that 122 miles divided by 65 MPH isn't quite a round number, but lets not go there.

I need to see to a number of secured database refreshes, so I am off to my daily routine. More later.

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An interim post...

Here I am now 35 miles into my commute and just getting on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Left a bit behind schedule but will fare well with light traffic, especially at this hour.

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A Day in A Life (of a Blog)

Woke up
Fell out of bed
dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
and looking up I noticed I was late

So starts a day in in the life of this Blog.

I'm about to hit the shower and will be on the road by 4:00 AM.

Found my coat and grabbed my hat
made the bus in seconds flat...

Next entry at the office...

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Thursday, April 22, 2004

Abortion is a state issue ....... Sen. Kerry




Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry will attend a rally for women's abortion rights in Washington, DC on Friday.

At the rally, Kerry will ask attendees to join him in the fight by getting involved in his campaign.

But the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal: Kerry claimed in an interview he was "opposed to abortion" and how its an issue "that should be left for the states to decide."


Kerry told the LOWELL SUN in October, 1972: "...It's a tragic day in the lives of everybody when abortion is looked on as an alternative to birth control or as an alternative to having a child. I think that's wrong. It should be the very last thing if it has to be anything, and I say that not just because I'm opposed to abortion but because I think that's common sense."

Kerry declared: "I think the question of abortion is one that should be left for the states to decide."

In 1975, SUN reporter John Mullins outlined how Kerry believed there were larger issues than abortion including "how to put people back to work, how to reduce crime and how to keep institutions from breaking down."

"'I think liberals spend too much time pushing issues which just aren't relevant to the mass of people,' Kerry said, including among such issues abortion, the death penalty and amnesty."


More to come

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Evidence of the need for a strong and decisive Senate

National Review/Digital May 03, 2004

President Bush signed the ban on partial-birth abortion in November, but now our second legislature — the federal judiciary — is deciding whether to accept or veto it. The abortion lobby is challenging the ban in three federal courtrooms. Bush's Justice Department is defending it. Even the pro-abortion witnesses are helping to make the case for the law. In a New York courtroom, a judge got one abortionist to admit that he could not "think of a circumstance that would require [a partial-birth abortion] for maternal health conditions." The law's opponents are left arguing that since partial-birth abortion is not a distinct medical procedure, laws against it will end up outlawing other abortions as well. This claim contradicts their other argument, that partial-birth abortion is a (distinctly) "safer" procedure than the others. Besides, courts are perfectly capable of restraining overzealous prosecutors should any come to them. This law will stand if the courts behave as courts, rather than as activists.

The phrase Second legislature properly defines what the courts have become in recent years.

(bold emphasis made by this blog)

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"Republicans move to repeal Federal gasoline tax

In an move sure to annoy liberals in and out of the media, Republicans in Congress are pushing for a temporary repeal of the Federal gasoline tax to the tune of $0.185 per gallon.

If Democrats start whining about how this is going to be 'paid' for, Republicans should respond that we're going to cut foreign aid to certain European countries by a few hundred million."

IT IS ABOUT TIME!! I'veb advocating a repeal of the 'Gore Tax' for years, finally they've shown so back bone are are working towards that end! Sure, it's only ~$0.19 cents, but that's nearly $9. per week in savings on my commute alone! Forget temporary repeal, make it permananet!!

Hat tip to Reality Hammer:

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Paging Dr. Cheech, paging Dr. Chong, please report to pediatrics...


As a California pediatrician and 49-year-old mother of two teenage daughters, Claudia Jensen says pot might prove to be the preferred medical treatment for attention deficit disorder — even in adolescents.

"Why would anyone want to give their child an expensive pill … with unacceptable side effects, when he or she could just go into the backyard, pick a few leaves off a plant and make tea for him or her instead?" Jensen asked the Drug Policy Subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee earlier this month.

While some wonder whether Jensen was smoking some wacky weed herself, the clinician for low-income patients and professor to first-year medical students at the University of Southern California (search) said her beliefs are very grounded: The drug helps ease the symptomatic mood swings, lack of focus, anxiety and irritability in people suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders like ADD and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

OK, I am not one of those who say marijuana shouldn't be available by prescription. I reason that there are plenty of prescription drugs that are as potent (if not more so) than pot, and with a script folks ought to be able to get it.

But for kids? Sorry... not going to cut it with me. There are, in my estimation, far TOO MANY kids who are being treated for ADD/ADHD etc. Are there kids who need to be treated? Sure. But has it become a catch-all for every kid who acts up? Absolutely yes.

Say no to drugs, all drugs, unless you absolutely need them.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Said what you want?

So I stop in the local bar ya know people
I go to the bar, I rent my coat,
I call the bartender, I said look man
Come down here, he got down there,
Said what you want
One bourbon, one scotch, one beer
George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers

It's been that kind of a week, and it's only Wednesday....

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Heinz backing Republicans

"Kerry Snub: Heinz Executives Supporting Republicans, Bush... "

From Yahoo! News, by way of DRUDGE REPORT 2004

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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

One, Two, Three, it's all over!!!

Pelosi, Clinton in WWE smackdown=The

In an effort to capture the elusive youth vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) will get into the ring tomorrow with two World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) competitors, superstar Chris Nowinski and the brawny women’s champion, who goes by one name — Victoria.

Can you smell the fear??? The fear in the Deomcrats, that is...

Joined by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Pelosi and Clinton are hosting the first “Next Generation Democratic Summit” for some 250 young leaders on Capitol Hill. ...more....

I'll give Sen. Daschle credit for demeaning himself by getting into the ring...

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Pimping the book: A good idea or no?

Wonkette is all abuzz about team Bush making Bob Woodward's PLAN OF ATTACK a suggested read:

BC04 Official Site Pimps the Wrong Book: "We took a screen shot because sooner or later someone at BC04 is going to realize that it looks really bad to be recommending this book along with all the expected ones:


I, on the other hand, think they've got it right. For starters, other than a brief few inaccuracies and some mischaracterizations that have been made about the reaction of Secy. Colin Powell to the war -- which were all cleared up in both an AP Radio interview on the Sean Hannity Radio program -- there's precious little in this tome the Bush Team has spoken about.

And even so: why would any one expect any form of censorship?

Here's a bet: This link won't come down any time today, tomorrow, or the rest of the week.

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David Frum of National Review Online regarding Bob Woodward's alleged bombshell:

After 24 hours, critics agreed that the biggest news to emerge from Bob Woodward's book is the allegation that the Saudis promised to manipulate the price of oil to help President Bush's re-election. John Kerry had this to say yesterday in Florida:

"If what Bob Woodward reports is true -- that gas supplies and prices in America are tied to the American election, then tied to a secret White House deal -- that is outrageous and unacceptable."

But is it true?

Ask yourself this: Who could have been Woodward's source for this claim? Only one person: the canny Prince Bandar, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States and a frequent purveyor of titillating items to selected journalists.

Next question: If such a deal existed, what motive could Prince Bandar have for revealing it? The revelation could only hurt Bush, the candidate Bandar was allegedly trying to help.

Logical next thought: If, however, Bandar wanted to hurt Bush, then the revelation makes a great deal of sense.

But why would Bandar want to hurt Bush? Don't a hundred conspiracy books tell us that the Bush family are thralls of Saudi oil money? Perhaps the Saudis don't think so. Perhaps they see President Bush's Middle East policy as a threat to their dominance and even survival. What could after all be a worse nightmare for Saudi Arabia than a Western-oriented, pluralistic Iraq pumping all the oil it can sell?

In other words, if what Bob Woodward reports is true, then the Saudis are meddling to defeat Bush, not elect him.

You must admit: he's got a point! The alternate view is that Bob Woodward made up the claim himself, but that's another story.

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Naming Children

KC Lemson, a Microsoft employee, departs from her routine MS Outlook postings to discuss naming children; always a daunting task!

Early on I realized that Asher Owen Lemson wasn't going to work - not because of where we work, but because we respect the right of the CD-ROM to actually be used in a computer rather than as a coaster. For a related reason, Levi Own Lemson was out - reminds me too much of annoying teenagers, or most of the average folk who hang out on the net.
I am not sure anyone would consider me 'average' for the times I've used LOL, but her points were well made and funny. Read the rest of her naming challenge here.

Expanding on the process she listed for choosing a name, that

#1: Would this get my kid beat up on the playground?
#2: Would these initials spell a word that he or she would be taunted by for years to come?
#3: Does the first name rhyme with a part of the body that kids find fascinating and gross?

I offered a simple test I used when picking a name with my much-better-half for our sons:

HEY! Give me your lunch money, _blank_!

See? Fill in the blank and you'll know if you have a good name, especially for boys.

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Monday, April 19, 2004

A request

I keep getting random notes stating the right frame of this Blog appears at the bottom, but when I test on all three popular browsers and various Windows versions, I do not see it. So to that end I am asking folks to let me know if they see anything on the right side of this text.

Leave your comments, or e-mail me; I am also working towards replacing this comment function, to one that is universally accessible.

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Friday, April 16, 2004

Getting screwed while being laid up

Rob from SayAnything brought this gem to my attention:

From Reuters:

A man laid up in hospital with multiple fractures telephoned out for a prostitute to help him end weeks of sexual frustration.
But it ended up costing more than he bargained for, police said on Wednesday; unable to walk, he gave the woman his bank card to collect her fee and she helped herself to his cash.
What kind of an idiot hires a prostitute to come to their hospital room? I guess it happens more often then you'd think, according to this excerpt from the article.
"I'm told it's a common problem in hospitals. People get frisky," said Wolfgang Jungnitsch, a police inspector from Nordhessen district in central Germany.
This idiot, however, not only hired a prostitute but also gave her his bank card and pin number so she could get money out of his account for payment.
The 47-year-old car crash victim had asked the woman, described in her newspaper ad as "Blonde Angel, aged 18," to take 150 euros ($185) from his bank account.

Only later did he discover she had taken 2,000 euros -- all the more expensive since he had taken cold feet for fear of getting caught and had sent the woman away without having sex.

Not sure which is sadder: the fact the guy gave away his PIN to a pro, or that he filed a police report. Somewhere in this story is an argument for legalized prostitution (as discussed perviously), but I'm too tired to go there now...

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Random Sentence Generator

Taking a cue from Kathleen at ~Unsettled~, the latest meme goes like this:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

Nearest book, eh?

"Huh? And that's lucid compared with the master's discussions of how KIng Ludovico of Fresnia conquered his adversary, Queen Rhumba of Tasmania."
Stanley Bing
What Would Machiavelli Do? The Ends Justify the Meanness
Harper Collins, 2000

OK, so that's two sentences, but Kathleen already used 'Regardez' as her sentence, and somehow ''huh" just didn't cut it.

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200 days and counting

Remember to get your fam and friends to register to vote... 200 days until the general election!

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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Nothing to Hide

Show your support for the Bush cabinet!

Go Team!

Hat tip to

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Sounds of Silence

Yahoo! News - Kerry Faults Bush on Iraq, Draws Heckler:

"During a question-and-answer session with the audience, retired college professor Walter Daum angrily accused Kerry of backing an imperialist policy in Iraq and called on the candidate to demand the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops.

'You voted for this,' Daum shouted. As he spoke, a group stood silently and unfurled a large sign that read, 'Kerry take a stand: Troops out now.'

'You're not listening,' an exasperated Kerry said at one point. "

I first heard about the comments made by Mr. Walter Daum at about 4:15 this morning, on the Steve Malzberg show. Later, as I stepped into a colleague's office, I heard Rush Limbaugh speaking of the same incident.

I just Google'd the last heckler Sen. Kerry encountered in Bethlehem, PA. I found quite a number of hits.

When I Google for "Walter Daum" I barely get 6 hits.

It's still early in the day, but I think there's quite a little attention paid to Mr. Daum. Could it be there's more attention paid to a heckler who is from another party -- which, when you think about it, you'd expect an adversary to heckle you -- then when it's from your own party?

Maybe it's just me....

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Senator's wife to keep her tax returns private




Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who has called for full-disclosure of rivals' tax returns, now faces growing pressure to release his wife's records.

But in a Tax Day controversy, Teresa Heinz Kerry is personally determined to keep her returns out of public view -- at any cost!"

Were it not for the drastic differences in their income, I'd say it was a moot point. As Drudge documented, the interest payment to the loan Sen. Kerry took to fund his campaign exceeds his annual salary.

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Air America loses major markets

Wizbang: Air America loses major markets: "The owner of the station say he is sitting on over $1,000,000 in checks that they have asked him not to cash.... GEE- Liberals writing checks they can't cover- Who would have guessed that would happen."

Just goes to show you: you can only buy your way into a competitive market just so far. If you have nothing to say (i.e.: nothing people want), you won't succeed. On the other hand.... there's

  • Rush
  • Lionel
  • Sean Hannity
  • Glen Beck
  • Ken Hamblin
  • The I-Man
  • Mark Levin
  • Laura Ingraham
  • Steve Malzberg
  • Randi Rhodes
  • Neal Boortz
  • Alan Colmes
  • Curtis & Kuby
  • Bernie Ward
  • ....

    the list goes on... all of these talkers are on commercial radio, not pay-for-play as AirAmerica is was. And check the list: this is partial list of talkers from across the country and political spectrum, which demonstrates that you not only need something to say, you have to be able to say it.

    I doubt we've heard the last of AirAmerica... but short of a bail out by George Soros, I doubt they'll make it to election day.

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    On April 6th, residents of Pennsylvania earned enough money to pay their Commonwealth taxes for 2004. This passed Sunday, every Federal taxpayer in America reached their federal Tax Freedom Day!

    This year marks the earliest American's have reached this important threshold in 37 years! Read the full report, and find your state's Freedom Day.

    As a single income father of two, I can tell you that my only regret is that my taxes aren't lower!! All in due time...

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    Wednesday, April 14, 2004

    Warmth deficit

    Inside Politics / The Washington Times INSIDER: "Warmth deficit

    Democrat John Kerry 'doesn't warm anybody up,' and organized labor must help him create an emotional bond if fence-sitting union members are to vote for him in November, according to focus groups of undecided union voters.

    But these union members find President Bush likable and strong, 'with a nice family and good moral values,' said a memo of results prepared for the AFL-CIO and obtained by the Associated Press. The focus groups were conducted last month in St. Louis and Philadelphia by Lake Snell Perry & Associates, a Democratic firm.

    The findings offer fresh evidence that Mr. Kerry's reputation for aloofness is a hurdle the presumptive Democratic nominee must overcome -- even among his party's core constituencies, the AP reports. And despite the acidity labor leaders direct toward Mr. Bush and his policies, he still appeals to a segment of union members, namely the Reagan Democrats. "

    Strange.. haven't read this or heard this on any news programs

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    Catching up

    ...where this Blog plays catch-up on a number of heretofore missed points.

    I've been busy at work this week, and my routine of getting a mean of 5 hours of sleep per night (and that includes sleeping late on Saturday) is a particular drag of late, so I've missed some headlines (yeah, yeah, I had time for Miss USA, I know).

    So then:

  • President Bush's press conference: Fantastic. Despite the critics who will point out his sometimes mispronounced words, the content of his message means more to me (and, arguably, the people of the nation and world) than his verbal skills. He came out on message, in no uncertain terms. I'd take to task his prep team for not handing him a 'what were your mistakes' answer. While I think such a question is useless -- be it in a job interview or press conference -- I seem to be in the minority on that point.

  • 9/11 Commission continues to show its partisan stripes. I nearly drove off the road when I had heard Attny General Janet Reno blame the Reagan Administration (here's a clue, Ms. Reno: there was another president after Mr. Reagan). Instead of the committee members continuing to pontificate about the current events in Iraq and the US Economy, they ought to remember their charge and stick to the topic. Sadly, the blatant partisanship, coupled with a lackluster media, will let this dog and pony show go unabated.

  • The insurgents in Iraq must be put down, and with a heavy hand. Remember they never used to take civilians, be they Contractors or Journalists. Why are they now? They know their days are numbered. You cannot negotiate with terrorists, a lesson that is often forgotten (see the US' position on Israel and Hamas, et al)

  • I used to defend Andy Rooney. Often. On many different points. I remained silent on his 'review' of The Passion of the Christ (and on Imus), mostly chalking up his opinions to that of a crank old man (which he's admitted as much on Imus' show frequently). But his recent piece, commented on greatly on other Blogs, tells me his contempt for President Bush has eclipsed his better judgment. I am not one to suggest censoring him, I just know I won't enjoy his witty comments any longer.

  • The St. Petersburg (Florida) Democratic Club has put a hit out on Secy. Donald Rumsfeld. Tell me again the Right is the party that fosters hate. Then tell me how many pols - especially in Florida, but in the national spotlight as well (including Sen. Kerry) - condemn the statements made in that heinous ad.

    Oh wait, the Left never say anything they regret, I forget that...

    That's enough out of me for now...

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  • Don't Stare At The Nude People

    This is just in from Rob at Say Anything to start your Wednesday:

    "Some nudists in Canada are upset about a high-rise dormitory being built within eye-shot of their nude beach.

    From The Associated Press:
    If the University of British Columbia builds the 20-story residences, binoculars and Web cameras will soon be trained on Wreck Beach, ruining beachgoers' privacy, Wreck Beach Preservation Society protesters said.

    'It's mean for the university to do,' said Stephanie Gibson, 12, who has been raised in the buff on the beach. 'I know they need more residences for the students, but they have to think of us.'
    University Vice President Dennis Pavlich said Monday that the university will keep the group's concerns in mind when designing the buildings.

    Maybe I'm too much of a puritan, but does it strike anybody else as odd that a 12 year old girl has been 'raised in the buff' on a nude beach?

    Anyway, why exactly are these people upset. Their hobby is to get naked in public, why would they be upset by more people looking at them? They certainly don't have problems with posting nude pictures of themselves on the internet, what exactly do they think the students are going to do?"

    Gotta agree with Rob on both points... while there is something to be said about beach goers NOT wanting a honking building put up right along the boardwalk, even that argument falls flat in the face of hotels built along any given stretch of beach in the world. Seems to me lil Stephanie has to learn to deal with the webcam potentials.

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    Tuesday, April 13, 2004

    Another remake that need not be made

    Wizbang: A "Wonk" Not Making Penis Joke (We Hope)...: "Why is it necessary to remake Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?
    Given that the target audience for the movie is aged in the single digits, who are the one's clamoring for a remake? You? Me? Is Gene Wilder not believable enough as Wonka? Are the effects not believable enough? I've not seen a massive outcry among the grade school set for a new and improved version of the film.

    Face it, the original works just fine, even if it was a bit of a flop when it was released.

    Sure Charlie is annoying, but does the specter of Jonathan Lipinksi as Charlie, Jim Carrey as Wonka, and Wilford Brimley as Grandpa actually sound good to you? ***

    *** I've got no idea who, if anyone they have in mind for the casting..."

    Update: I now know that it's to be a Tim Burton film staring Johnny Depp. Hmmm... Edward Chocolatehands sounds interesting...

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    Iraq - Sadr Captured??

    The Command Post - Iraq - Sadr Captured?? (Grain of Salt warning): "Sadr Captured?? (Grain of Salt warning)

    A reader passes along this link from ITAR-TASS:

    The U.S. troops arrested radical Shiite Imam Muktada al-Sadr in Baghdad on Tuesday. The report came from Hazem al-Araj, his closest associate, who is the head of the Baghdad bureau of the "Mahdi army" group.

    Looking to either confirm or deny. More as we find it."

    Let's hope!

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    Miss USA Is A Republican

    Shandi Finnessey, the recently-crowned Miss USA, is a Republican and plans to use her reign to defend the U.S.A.'s mission in Iraq."

    Miss USA (R)

    From Reuters:
    A Republican, she told Reuters she would use her position to help explain America's involvement in Iraq. "What needed to be done had to be done," she said.

    During the final question category, she was asked what serves her better in life -- experience or education. She immediately chose the former, saying "You can have all the book knowledge in the world, but to have the knowledge from experience. ... I think that teaches you more knowledge than anything you could possibly read in a book."

    Since it is well established in this Blog that I am a male-chauvinistic pig, I'll simply state that I agree with Miss USA.

    Hat tip for the story goes to Say Anything ; read the full post to note the differences between Miss Finnessey's stated position and the pagents owner, Donald Trump. (Full disclosure: I have been an avid fan of Mr. Trump since reading his Art of the Deal some 15 years ago. I believe he embodies Capitalism at its best, but he is also wrong in matters of foreign policy.)

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    Mets Take Home Opener

    Gothamist: Mets Win Home Opener: "Yesterday, on a drizzly afternoon day, with several players out or banged up with injuries, the Mets defeated the Braves, 10-6 (box score). The Mets have started the season by learning to win without their star players. Mike Piazza, Jose Reyes, Cliff Floyd, and Karim Garcia (we don't really consider him a 'star') were all out with injuries. Despite the weather, loyal fans turned out, finding reasons to cheer, as the Mets tried to capture some old magic."

    Truth be told, baseball is the only sport I take a considerable interest in, and by typical, contemporary standards that isn't much. I can't quote stats from memory, I'll barely name a dozen or so players in the combined leagues, and I've been to one game in over 17 years (and that was a minor league game -- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons were defeted by the Toledo Mudhens- a team that I previously thought existed soley in the mind of Cpl. Klinger. ).

    But having been born in Corona, NY -- the actual home of the Mets (and also home to the USTA National Tennis Center) despite what people may tell you otherwise -- I still remain true to my local team. I spent 13 years a little over a mile from Shea Stadium, later moving a bit further away (less than 10 miles), and now live in Pennsylvania, but I will always root for them.

    Whenever the Mets have a big win -- and they do have them, from time to time, like when they met the Yankees in the World Series in 2000 -- I think back to the days I ran up and down Nicolls Avenue shouting 'You Gotta Believe'...

    I was all of 5 back then. Guess some memories never die. A tip of my hat to the Mets on their good start; lets hope they end up in the post-season, or at the very least in the top-3.

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    Monday, April 12, 2004

    Wizbang turns one

    New to my Blogroll is Wizbang, which has just marked its first anniversary, and which is offering the Kerry Sloginator, in response no doubt to the similar one promoted by opponents of President Bush's re-election.


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    Friday, April 09, 2004

    Five for Friday

    The FridayFive....

    1. What do you do for a living?

    2. What do you like most about your job?

    3. What do you like least about your job?

    4. When you have a bad day at work it's usually because _____...

    5. What other career(s) are you interested in?

    Add yours to the comments...

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    Sen. Dodd accused of making racist comment - (United Press International)

    Sen. Dodd accused of making racist comment - (United Press International): "Sen. Dodd accused of making racist comment

    WASHINGTON, April 7 (UPI) -- A mini-scandal has erupted in Congress as some Senate Republicans question whether comments made by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., were racist.

    In a speech on the Senate floor last Thursday marking Sen. Robert Byrd's 17,000th vote in the body, Dodd said the West Virginia Democrat, member of the Ku Klux Klan before taking office and opponent of the 1964 Civil Right Act, 'would have been right during the great conflict of Civil War in this nation.'

    Dodd's comments struck some as similar to remarks made by former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., that led to his losing the position.

    The comments were made as part of large praise of Byrd's great service as a Senator, which Dodd said, 'would have been right at anytime.'

    Lott claimed at a private party for former Sen. Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday that if Lott's 1948 segregationist presidential bid had succeeded, 'We wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years.'

    While some Republicans on Capitol Hill and conservative blacks pundits have ripped Dodd's comment -- in light of the Lott scandal -- Democratic leaders dismissed such comparisons."

    I certainly wouldn't consider Sen. Dodd a racist, but he delivered his statements during official Senate proceedings. Sen. Lott, equally not a racist, delivered his statements at a birthday party.

    Both men are guilty of one thing: they said something nice about an elderly man.

    Now I am not calling for Sen. Dodd to be punnished in any way. I am merely calling for people to REMEMBER this event, the next time someone on the Left falsely accuses someone on the Right of being a racist.

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    Senator Dodd praises KKK member, calls him appropriate leader for all history.

    Reality Hammer - Senator Dodd praises KKK member, calls him appropriate leader for all history.: "Senator Dodd praises KKK member, calls him appropriate leader for all history.

    Not a peep from the liberal media on this!

    The bias and hypocrisy of the liberals in the media cannot be denied, yet liberals continue to claim they have no bias and there is no liberal spin in the mainstream media.

    If that were the case then Senator Dodd would be treated the same way Senator Lott was treated by the media.

    Until the liberals in media understand that most Americans see their bias, and admit that they do indeed have a bias, they will continue to lose market share to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and other alternative news sources like the Internet."

    Reality Hammer strikes again!

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    Subserviant Chicken

    Courtesy of Joy at Confessions of a G33k, I learned a little about the law and a lot about : "Burger King's Subservient Chicken. "

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    Thursday, April 08, 2004

    Shades of Kennedy v. Nixon?

    In 1960, John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon squared off for a presidential debate. Those who watched it on TV -- a first for presidential debates -- saw a cool and media-savvy John Kennedy -- properly coiffed for the camera -- facing a hot and sweaty Richard Nixon. Those who saw the debate on TV said Kennedy cleaned Nixon's clock; those who heard the debate on radio said just the opposite.

    Something tells me we have a repeat in history.

    I listened to Dr. Rice's testimony on radio, and the parts I heard sounded like a confident person handling the sometimes partisan slams of the Committee. Jen over at VeryBigBlog suggests she appeared to be "ready to run out of the room."

    Time will tell; or rather, the oft-times biased media will tell. Regardless, the parts I heard of her testimony seems to have put Richard Clarke in his place. Hope he enjoyed his most recent 15 minutes of fame, as I imagine it will be his last.

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    Update on Dr. Rice's testimony

    I can't say I've heard a lot of her testimony, what with mid-morning meetings and all, but from what I have heard, things are going well. While there have been individuals on the Committee who have been blatantly biased (and yes, I mean in both directions), on balance it has been fair, and I suspect it will continue to be such.

    I think Dr. Rice will surprise her critics, much like Col. North did when he testified; but that's a thread for later...

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    ignore this post also

    like the previous, it will be deleted

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    ignore this post

    it will be deleted

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    10 million jobs?

    Sean reiterates the foolhearty claim of Sen. Kerry's proposed creation of 10 million jobs, providing BLS stats.

    The problem is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data says there are only 8.532 million unemployed right now. With only 5.7% unemployment (which is below the average unemployment for the last three decades) and even if you take into account an increase in population, it could be tough to create 1.5 million more jobs than there are people to take them.

    I don't know. You tell me.

    If you want to see the data...

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    GETHSEMANE (I only want to say)


    I only want to say
    If there is a way
    Take this cup away from me
    for I don’t want to taste its poison,
    Feel it burn me.
    I have changed --
    I’m not as sure as when we started

    Then I was inspired,
    now I’m sad and tired
    Listen surely I’ve exceeded expectations;
    Tried for three years, seems like thirty.
    Could you ask as much from any other man?

    But if I die
    See the saga through and do the things you ask of me
    Let them hate me, hit me, hurt me; nail me to their tree
    I’d wanna know, I’d wanna know my God
    I’d wanna know, I’d wanna know my God
    I’d wanna see, I’d wanna see my God
    I’d wanna see, I’d wanna see my God
    Why I should die;
    would I be more noticed than I was ever before?
    Would the things I’ve said and done matter any more?

    I’d have to know I’d have to know my Lord
    I’d have to know I’d have to know my Lord
    I’d have to see I’d have to see my Lord
    I’d have to see I’d have to see my Lord
    If I die what will be my reward?
    If I die what will be my reward?
    I’d have to know I’d have to know my Lord
    I’d have to know I’d have to know my Lord

    Why should I die?
    Can you show me now that I would not be killed in vain?
    Show me just a little of your omnipresent brain.
    Show me there’s a reason for your wanting me to die;
    You’re far too keen on where and how and not so hot on why!

    Alright!! I’ll die!!!
    Just watch me die!!!!
    See how, see how I die!!
    Oh, just watch me die.

    Then I was inspired,
    But now I’m sad and tired
    After all I’ve tried for three years,
    seems like ninety.
    Why then am I scared to finish
    what I started,
    what you started,
    ... I didn’t start it

    God thy will is hard.
    But you hold every card.
    I will drink your cup of poison:
    nail me to your cross and break me.
    Bleed me, beat me,
    kill me
    ... take me now before I change my mind.

    Webber & Rice

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    Tuesday, April 06, 2004

    As the economy unmistakably grows, whats next for Sen. Kerry?

    In Dick Morris's latest column, he talks about what's next for Sen. Kerry's campaign:

    Without the economy to use as a hot button issue to attract voters, the Democratic Party is likely to begin to focus instead in Medicare and Social Security, raising alarms and fears about Bush's privatization alternatives and attacking the prescription-drug benefit. A nice countermove would be to focus on Kerry's support for higher taxes on Social Security recipients and the fact that he missed the vote on Bush's prescription-drug legislation.

    The Democrats really have no issues and their candidate is way too far to the left. The hiring of John Sasso, competent as he may be, is indicative. Kerry seems destined to run the worst Democratic campaign since Mike Dukakis, Sasso's previous employer.

    Read the whole thing here.

    Lets also keep in mind President Bush Social Security proposal involves allowing workers to ELECTIVELY take 1-2% of their Social Security monies to be invested privately. This is not 'privatization' as the critics cry, but a way to let people have some control (IF THEY WANT) over their retirement.

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    Courtship rituals: Prostitution in disguise?

    I read a piece on ~Unsettled~ where Kathleen detailed an 'overheard at work' moment wherein a guy whined about not getting 'any' after he spent an evening with his girlfirend in a bar (at least he thought she was his girlfriend). Now lest you think his whining was justified -- which I don't -- his manner in relaying his displeasure to his now-ex-girlfriend is most despicable; read ~Unsettled~ for the full story (but don't forget to come back here when you're done). For her part, Kathleen correctly labeled this guy a Neanderthal for the way he handled things with his former girlfriend, and I think the gal in question responded in a most suitable manner.

    Be that as it may, Kathleen's subject line of her post,
    If You Wanna Buy Some Ass, Perhaps You Should Call A Hooker, while being amusing also provoked thought in me. For starters, I've been married to my much-better-half for 14 years now, so I don't pretend to be up on current dating procedures, but I don't imagine things have changed THAT much over the years. Beyond that, while being in favor of women in business and of all things being equally accessible among the genders, I am an old fashioned chauvinistic pig when it comes to paying for a date; I would not be diametrically opposed to a gal paying my way on a date, but I would do so only after putting my best efforts to pay instead. Am I a 21st Century male? This kind of thinking probably indicates I am not; so be it.

    That being said, there's always been this subset of the male species that thinks 'well, Hell... I went to the damned chick flick, I bought you dinner, so lets even the score with you putting out.'

    My question is simple: How is this kind of mindset any different from prostitution? And with the common attitudes of people I know from both genders -- and even the dozens of pop culture references -- this begs the question of why prostitution is illegal in much of the Union.

    Even if we remove the immediacy of the date/sex, I can hardly think of any who, when -- faced with 4th or 5th date and 'nothing' happening -- would continue seeing this other person at all. And that goes for people I know from both genders.

    Is it the immediacy of 'here's the cash, lets have sex' that makes hookers seem distasteful? Or perhaps have back-alley call girls given upscale ones a bad reputation? What is it that makes one act 'prostitution' and another act a 'score'?

    Needless to say, if I ever ventured to a prostitute, my much-better-half would make damned sure to exceed Lorenna Bobbit's excess, to say the least, so please do not construe this piece as anything remotely endorsing violating anyone's trust.

    These kind of thoughts will consume me in my commute, but for now I better get back to work. I throw open the floor to your thoughts and observations.

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    Didn't I say this already?

    OpinionJournal - Best of the Web April 5th: "Labor Secretary Carl Sagan
    John Kerry isn't impressed with the March job-creation numbers. In a statement Friday, he declared the month's 308,000 new jobs inadequate: 'I've proposed a strategy that that [sic] revitalizes our manufacturing sector and puts us on track to create 10 million new jobs in the next four years.'

    Ten million new jobs? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are only 8.4 million unemployed people in America. As long as Kerry is promising to create more jobs than there are people to take them, why doesn't he go all the way and promise 'billions and billions'?"
    Didn't I say pretty much the same thing back here??

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    Monday, April 05, 2004

    The Floo Floo Boird

    A double-shot of Sean today.... and I am ashamed I hadn't read William Safire's column yet, but had to read this piece from Everything I Know Is Wrong:

    An excellent, un-biased article in, of all places, the New York Times. William Safire tries to point our gaze back to where it should be. Ahead.

    The Floo Floo Bird
    WASHINGTON — The architect Frank Lloyd Wright warned of the floo floo bird, "the peculiar and especial bird who always flew backward . . . because it didn't give a darn where it was going, but just had to see where it had been."

    That's us. With our eyes fixed on our rearview mirror, we obsessively review catastrophes past when we should be looking through our windshield at dangers ahead.

    Today we are engaged in the wrong debate. The brouhaha about whether the new Bush administration treated the threat of Al Qaeda as "important" versus "urgent" is history almost as ancient as whether F.D.R. did enough to avert Pearl Harbor.

    The you-should-have-known inquisition, with this week's target Condoleezza Rice, is surrogate for a more contentious backward glance: Did concern about missile defense and the refusal of Saddam to permit U.N. inspections somehow keep us from preventing 9/11?

    Read the whole thing (it's excelent).

    Indeed he is right; excellent!

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    Sen. Kerry flip-flops on his faith

    Sean (of Everything I Know Is Wrong) lays out evidence of Senator Kerry's flip-flopping on his faith then sums up asking some tough questions. While not chastising the Senator's belief overall, he does ask the tough questions any person of faith would ask of another who claims to hold the same beliefs.

    "If Mr. Kerry does not believe the things that one must believe in to be a Catholic, why does he persist in calling himself one? If he does believe the things that would make him a Catholic why does he not practice them? If he does not believe them and does not practice them why does he call himself a Catholic? Why not join a religion that believes as he does?"

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    How We All Pay for Left-Wing Thuggery

    A closer look at left-wing thuggery

    Michelle Malkin

    There is a guerrilla group on the loose in this country. But you wouldn't know it from the liberal media, which portrays the group's members as harmless activists with good hearts.

    The group is called "National People's Action." The Washington Post described NPA this week as a "coalition of neighborhood advocacy groups based in Chicago." A more accurate description is left-wing goon squad. This nationwide organization is made up of professional grievance-mongers from the Bronx, N.Y, to Santa Monica, Calif. They warn: "We are black, we are white, we are Latino, we are Asian. We are old, we are young, and we are in your neighborhood!!!!!"

    NPA members are funded by the usual suspects -- "progressive" charities such as the Tides Foundation, Ben & Jerry's Foundation, and the MacArthur, Ford and Rockefeller foundations. But they are also funded by your tax dollars. My research shows that the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency and Massachusetts Department of Education have given tens of thousands of dollars in grants to NPA members. Their agenda is the usual big government, race card-playing, entitlement mentality claptrap: "homeowner security" (more government minority home loans), "workplace rights and training" (more government job programs), "good policing" (a ban on racial profiling), and "promoting security and opportunity for immigrants" (more benefits for illegal aliens).

    But what distinguishes NPA from other liberal advocacy groups is its tactics. The group engages in what it calls "direct action" -- publicizing the home addresses of business and government leaders it wants to shake down and then busing in protesters and schoolchildren (using public school buses) to invade the private property of their victims and intimidate their families. The NPA song explains:

    Who's on your hit list, NPA?

    Who's on your hit list for today?

    Take no prisoner, take no names.

    Kick 'em in the (a--) when they play their games.

    After meeting in Washington for its annual convention this weekend, NPA members descended on the Washington, D.C., homes of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and White House adviser Karl Rove. NPA targeted Chao after the Department of Labor refused to meet with the group and acquiesce to its demand to "form a partnership" to "improve opportunities for low-wage workers." In other words, the gang didn't get a government contract through legal channels. So it's going to bully its way into the public coffers.

    An estimated mob of 800 protesters trampled on Rove's lawn to demand passage of Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch's abominable "DREAM" Act granting amnesty to illegal alien college students and allowing them to receive in-state tuition discounts. The Washington Post reported that after chanting and knocking on Rove's door, the "crowd then grew more aggressive, fanning around the three accessible sides of Rove's house, tracking him through the many windows, waving signs that read 'Say Yes to DREAM' and pounding on the glass." An angry Rove called the authorities and berated the protest leaders for driving the children inside his home to tears.

    As a vocal critic of Rove's idiotic pro-illegal alien policies, I am not all that sad to see Rove come face to face with the consequences of his politically expedient ideas. (Rove is the one who declared that Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., the nation's leading advocate for secure borders and immigration enforcement, would "never darken the White House door.") Now Rove knows how millions of ordinary Americans -- who don't have Secret Service protection -- feel when illegal invaders overrun their homes and darken their doors.

    That said, NPA's militant tactics cross the bounds of decent political debate. (Aren't liberals always the ones moaning about the need for civility?) Grievance-mongering belongs on the Capitol steps, not private doorsteps.

    If NPA's agenda were the protection of unborn life or Second Amendment rights, the New York Times would be calling for the arrest of its leaders. Sen. Hillary Clinton would be barking again about the vast right-wing conspiracy. Civil rights leaders would be demanding that President Bush condemn NPA's extremist tactics. And crusading lawyers would be lining up to find clever ways to use federal anti-racketeering laws to shut NPA down.

    Instead, the left-wing thugs get away with their lawlessness. And we are, literally, paying for it.

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    Grace under pressure


    'But what may become the enduring exemplar of the {Senator} Kerry style was his spontaneous expletive on the ski slopes when his Secret Service guard bumped into him by accident (while guarding him): 'I don't fall down. The S.O.B. knocked me over.' To instinctively say that about the man who is sworn to put himself between Mr. Kerry and a bullet, paints a lasting and contemptible character portrait. Contrast that with what Ronald Reagan said shortly after he was shot: 'Honey, I forgot to duck.' It was at that moment that 60 percent of the American public fell permanently in love with the Gipper. As Ernest Hemmingway put it in another time, that is grace under pressure -- and Mr. Kerry doesn't have it.'
    --Tony Blankley"

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    Nickeloden Kids' Choice isn't mine

    Gothamist mentioned the Nick Kids' Choice Award shown last night.

    In her review she mentioned one of the reasons my kids didn't see it last night, and are not likely to see it in the future:

    Gothamist: If Only We Were Kids Again: "But the best was Outkast's acceptance speech (for winning Best Song - 'Hey Ya'):

    'Thank you for inviting us to your award show,' the group's singer, Andre 3000, told a crowd filled with mostly screaming kids. 'We're having a great time, and it is so great to learn how to read. You have to read, that's it, and count, and all that type of stuff. Stay away from drugs.'

    Big Boi added: 'We love you, yeah. And don't forget to tell your parents to get out and vote.'

    Gothamist loves musicians with a message who also sign a song about man-whores and big guls needing love to kids."

    Forgetting for a moment the lyrics of their hit song (as if we could), do we really need illiterates on stage telling our kids about the benefits of education?

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    Grammar Quiz

    OTB's James Joyner posted the results of his Grammar Quiz, and point out he earned the rating of Grammar God. He ventured to say that since he's only seen other who earned the same rating that he believed the quiz was overly easy, that only those who were proficent in grammar would take the quiz, or that perhaps only those who excel at these quizzes would post their results.

    Well, I do pretend the quiz was easy. If you've read my blog, you know already I am not a 'grammar god' (nor a 'spelling deity' either). And as for my results, well while not reaching the rank of 'almighty', I don't think I fared poorly at all:

    You are a MASTER of the English language!

    While your English is not exactly perfect,
    you are still more grammatically correct than
    just about every American. Still, there is
    always room for improvement...

    How grammatically sound are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    One addition I'd make to this quiz would be a score sheet, so I can learn from my mistakes and perhaps do better. Of course, there would be those who use the sheet to cheat, so I suppose I ought to hone my skills on my own.

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    We interrupt this Blog for a special announcement


    (we now return you to your previous blogging.)

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    Sunday, April 04, 2004

    A worthy Googlebomb

    Red Wheelbarrow suggests that bloggers link the word Jew to a informational page rather than the anti-semeitc page that comes up as #1 on Google in an attempt to get a non-evil hate filled link hit points.

    I'm so game, I'll do it a few more times - Jew Jew Jew

    Got this from Jen's VeryBigBlog, and I encourage everyone else to link likewise.

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    The Ted Rall Wing of the Democratic Party

    Blogs for Bush: The Ted Rall Wing of the Democratic Party: "
    I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.

    'Well so what?' you say, this is just some left-wing blogger with a disgusting opinion. What does that have to do with Presidential politics? Well it turns out a lot.
    You see, Kos is a big-time fundraiser for the Democrats:"
    Yes, folks, that is an actual quote from a Blog that would enjoy seeing Sen. Kerry elected president.

    Once again, I ask (and I do mean this: please speak up!): why is it the Right is always called 'mean spirited'?

    Incidentally: follow the link, and see exactly who Kos associates with... you may be surprised!

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    Outside the Beltway: Army Hits Re-Enlistment Targets

    Outside the Beltway: Army Hits Re-Enlistment Targets

    "The only thing one can conclude is that, contrary to the idea that most of these folks are in it for free college and other benefits, most soldiers not only know what they’re signing up for but they actually want to do it."
    James Joyner of OTB admits he would have thought the outcome would be different (as many other would, as well), but realizes the truth about our volunteer army, especially in light of the Army re-enlistment targets being met.

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    Early morning April 4th
    Shots ring out in a Memphis sky
    "Free at last" -- they took your life
    They could not take your pride!

    I may have differences on the idea of a national holiday for him, but it cannot be ignored that what happened to Dr. King was unquestionably a horrible act worthy of condemnation.

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    Saturday, April 03, 2004

    Insane verdict

    A woman who claimed God ordered her to bash in the heads of her sons was acquitted of all charges by reason of insanity Saturday after a jury determined she did not know right from wrong during the killings.

    Am I a bad person? I wish nothing more than for a crowd to stone this woman. If you wish to argue that she ought to be committed to a rubber-room for the rest of her life as opposed to a jail cell for life, I'd entertain it. But to acquit her?

    I am sorry... the idea that she had no clue what she was doing is just so lame to me.

    One thing is certain; one day she will be judged.

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    Friday, April 02, 2004

    How many people are unemployed in this country?

    I heard this yesterday and thought it was an April Fools joke. So I did a search using keywords Kennedy Visas and look what I found:

    Bill offers new hope for foreign summer workers
    [B]usinesses that rely on foreign workers during the busy summer season are heartened that the state’s two U.S. senators have co-sponsored a measure to temporarily increase the number of H-2B visas issued this year by the Department of Homeland Security.

    "We really hope that this will pass. A loss of foreign workers will have a dramatic impact on our businesses," said Amy Landers, executive director of the Lakes Region Association.
    Further down is the kicker:
    Landers said Bay State Sen. Edward Kennedy has also announced his support for the measure. Businesses in the tourism and hospitality industries, she said, are especially dependent on temporary, seasonal workers.
    So let me get this straight: Sen. Kennedy goes around complaining (in part, on Sen. Kerry's behalf) that President Bush is allegedly responsible for this hypothetical '3 million jobs lost since he took office', but the Senator will endorse a measure to OUTSOURCE our tourism jobs, instead of finding unemployed people in his own state??

    I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

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    How many new jobs is he promising??

    The latest ad from Senator Kerry goes on to make quite a big promise:

    “John Kerry's proposed a different economic plan that encourages companies to keep jobs here. It's part of a “detailed economic agenda” to create 10 million jobs.”
    OK... assuming that's true, how does that stand against what the Senator said just on March 30th when his campaign said:
    The first thing John Kerry will do is fight his heart out to bring back the three million jobs that have been lost under George W. Bush. He will fight to restore the jobs lost under Bush in the first 500 days of his administration. Kerry has proposed creating jobs through a new manufacturing jobs credit, by investing in new energy industries, restoring technology, and stopping layoffs in education.
    Assuming for a moment the stated figure of '3 million jobs lost' is correct (and assuming that translates directly into 3 million people are currently unemployed), where does the Senator propose finding the additional 7 million bodies to fill the remaining jobs?

    Or do we really have 10 million people out of work?

    Or, perhaps the Senator hasn't seen the real data on manufacturing jobs, courtesy of The Institute for Supply Management, which goes on to say:
    ISM's Employment Index grew for the fifth consecutive month, following a 37-month trend of contraction. The index registered 57 percent in March compared to 56.3 percent in February, an increase of 0.7 percentage point. The last time the Employment Index registered higher than March's index was in December 1987, registering 59.1 percent. An Employment Index above 48 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on manufacturing employment.
    Perhaps the Senator isn't interested in readign that report; afterall, if he conceeds the economy is getting better, what else does he have to run on?

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    Thursday, April 01, 2004

    Err America

    Michael Graham, a talk show host himself, discusses Air America:

    Michael Graham on Radio America on National Review Online: "I happen to think the name The O'Franken Factor is the best thing about the show. Nobody needs a lancing of the ego as badly as the preeningly pompous Bill O'Reilly, who combines the journalistic integrity of Walter Winchell with the self-effacing modesty of Howard Stern.

    Unfortunately, the counterpoint to pomposity is wit, a commodity in dangerously short supply on Franken's first outing. His closest brush with comedy was a bit where Franken's cohorts allegedly had Ann Coulter locked in the green room and had cranked up the thermostat. What made the joke work was the listener's knowledge that, had the media-omnipresent Coulter been invited, she would have gladly been O'Franken's first guest. And she would have stolen the show, which in this case would only qualify as a petty larceny."

    I live in one of the majority spots in the country where I can't hear AirAmerica, and my employer has some definite opinions on the subject of 'bandwidth', so I can't stream the programs. Alas, I rely on reviews such as these.
    Franken's debut guest was former Senator Bob Kerrey, who let fly a bit more unrefined partisanship than he might have on Morning Edition, but mostly confirmed the show as NPR Lite — assuming you mean "Lite" as in "less," and not "having a light-hearted tone." Franken followed up with Michael Moore who was, well, Michael Moore.

    This was the most telling segment of the show. The question that keep coming to mind as they ping-ponged their Bush-bashing bits between them was "Didn't at least one of these guys used to be funny?" There was a time when SNL alum Franken was on my imaginary "If you could have dinner with anyone alive today" list. His Lying Liars book, while pure nonsense politically, was far more humorous and insightful than anything on day one of Air America

    Like the joyless John Kerry claiming insult over President Bush's WMD joke last week, Moore and Franken's broadcast duet was yet another reminder that the days of the American Left being the "fun guys" are long gone. Even an appearance by the genuinely funny (and radio savvy) Bob Elliott couldn't save the day.

    One last comment: The O'Franken Factor features several "liners" (one-sentence promotional bites) announcing the show to be "Farther to the Left than Betty Crocker" or "...than the NRA" or "...than the John Birch Society." If I've unlocked the secret humor code, the joke is that my brand of talk radio is not to the Left of the John Birchers and the House Un-American Activities Committee, but right in there with them.

    If this is how hard listeners have to work to get the jokes, and the jokes remain this far from worth getting, Air America is in for a short and bumpy flight.

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    What must be done

    The world is used to bad news and always has been, but now and then there occurs something so brutal, so outside the normal limits of what used to be called man's inhumanity to man, that you have to look away. Then you force yourself to look and see and only one thought is possible: This must stop now. You wonder, how can we do it? And your mind says, immediately: Whatever it takes.
    With these words, Peggy Noonan lays out what must be done in the wake of the Fallujah abush and subsequent atrocities.

    It is possible that the atrocity in Fallujah was spontaneous or not fully thought through, but it doesn't look like it. It seems likely to have been at least to some degree, and perhaps a high degree, well planned and calculated. The brutalizing of the bodies was done in a way that seemed imitative, as all have noted, of the incident in Mogadishu, Somalia, where in 1993 a frenzied mob dragged the dead body of a U.S. Army Ranger through the streets. The civilized world was horrified, and everyone knows what followed: a quick American retreat.

    It is not a stretch to imagine the young murderers of Fallujah had this on their minds: Do it again to America, kill them and string up their corpses, because when you do this America leaves.
    I cannot help but agree with Ms. Noonan's assertions. As I've mentioned before in this Blog, the last thing we should do here is to repeat what we did in Mogahishu. Cuttign and running is what emboldened Osamma Bin Laden in the very first place. No, the answer is all too clear.

    And so this time the response must be the opposite of the response in Mogadishu.

    We know what the men and boys who did the atrocity of Fallujah look like; they posed for the cameras. We know exactly what they did--again, the cameras. We know they massed on a bridge and raised their guns triumphantly. It's all there on film. It would be good not only for elemental justice but for Iraq and its future if a large force of coalition troops led by U.S. Marines would go into Fallujah, find the young men, arrest them or kill them, and, to make sure the point isn't lost on them, blow up the bridge.
    We need to take a stand, as does every nation - in the vast coalition we've assemebled as well as those few who've turned away - and condem this vicious act in no uncertain terms. And echoing Ms. Noonan again, the United Nations must also join in, and voice their condemnation.

    The terrible pictures of the charred bodies on the bridge cannot be erased, and no one who saw them is going to forget them. But they can in time come to be accompanied by other pictures--of determined U.S. Marines, for instance, rounding up the men who massed on the bridge under the bodies, and brandished their weapons, and laughed.
    Perhaps there will come a day, in the not too distant future, when a video such as she describes here will make the cowards who would do this kind of heinous act will make them think twice before doing it again.

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