Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Survey (narrow scope)

Ok, this is survey of my readers.  Arguably it is as narrow of scope as one could want, but please indulge me if you fit in:
Do you/have you used any of the Martial Arts as exercise?  If so, which.
If yes, what was the monthly charge to attend the school?
What was the promotion fee?
Readers may recall I practice Tae Kwon Do with my son, and we attend a local Do Jang.  While I am not 'shopping around', I am curious how his rates stack against others.

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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Speaking of Books...

Earlier I posted on books I own, have read, etc.

Today I saw a title in a store that gave me pause:


I wonder how many people have this on their bookshelf???

Oh look! There's a doll available!

The copy doesn't say how aromatic the doll is...

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Friday, June 24, 2005

Only Liberals are complaining

Lots of howls from Liberals this week regarding Presidential Advisor Karl Rove’s comments this week in a prepared speech.

Note, I said ‘howls from Liberals’, because Liberals were the target of Mr. Rove’s comments. Not Democrats, not Moderates, not Libertarians, but Liberals.

I was a bit surprised to learn how many people are demanding an apology, having read around the Net today, but apparently in some people’s mind there are no differences in Liberals and Democrats. I can see the difference clearly, can you? Case in point: former Senator Zell Miller is a Democrat. Senator Edward Kennedy is also a Democrat, but he is a Liberal Democrat. Certainly, neither man would favor a positive comparison to the other.

Liberal isn’t exclusively a Democratic term. I believe Republican Senator Olympia Snowe is a Liberal Republican… she certainly isn’t Conservative!

So when Karl Rove was speaking about Liberals, he wasn’t indicting the Democratic Party, just certain members of it.


Washington Post; But perhaps the most important difference between conservatives and liberals can be found in the area of national security. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/11, liberals believed it was time to… submit a petition. I am not joking. Submitting a petition is precisely what did. It was a petition imploring the powers that be" to "use moderation and restraint in responding to the… terrorist attacks against the United States."

MoveOn.Org, Michael Moore and Howard Dean may not have agreed with this, but the American people did. Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said: we will defeat our enemies. Liberals saw what happened to us and said: we must understand our enemies. Conservatives see the United States as a great nation engaged in a noble cause; liberals see the United States and they see … Nazi concentration camps, Soviet gulags, and the killing fields of Cambodia.

Karl Rove could have also referred to Not In Our Name, a decidedly left-of-center group that protested the Bush Administration actions against the Taliban in Afghanistan (see; if that is not a petition, someone please tell me where I am wrong. Please also review the signers, and tell me which of them are not Liberal (or the other name: Progressive).

Now let’s contrast those statements, directed clearly to Liberals, with the comments made by former Vermont Governor, Dr. Howard Dean:

  • "I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for, but I admire their discipline and their organization."— Association of Democratic State Chairs meeting in New York City on Jan. 29
  • "You think the Republican National Committee could get this many people of color in a single room? Only if they had the hotel staff in here."— Feb. 11 meeting with Congressional Black Caucus
  • Republicans "are mean. They are not nice people."— Air America Minnesota, April 4
  • "Well, Republicans, I guess, can do that because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives," – Jun 1 "Take Back America" Conference
    Source: USA TODAY research

Clearly, Dr. Dean was referring to all Republicans in these criticisms, not some select ones.

Even more clearly, it is apparent that those Senators who have expressed outrage at Karl Rove’s comments either identify themselves as Liberals, or are incapable of comprehending the words Mr. Rove used.

Since I won’t assume their intelligence is faulty, the only conclusion I can reach is that they are admitting they are Liberal. That’s fine with me, mind you! Anyone is free to be any affiliation they wish.

Just keep this in mind in a few years, when a certain junior Senator from New York tries to paint herself as a

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Supreme Court tramples on our rights. Again

I find it ironic that over lunch I referred to Mark Levin's Men In Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America and I find out that this morning, the Court chipped away yet another of our rights.

So we're all on the same page (emphasis by me):

Article [V.]
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The Court ruled today that cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue. Notice it doesn't say anything about MAKING revenue, that is more than they are spending, but that it just generate revenue. What was the last municipal program you heard of that actually generated more money than it spent?

What's worse: how long before some atheist decides to petition the local town council that the nearby church be bulldozed for a strip mall?

Now do you see why the choice of Supreme Court Judges are so important? And why the Senate minority party has been using the practice of filibuster in an unconstitutional manner?

And Liberals, please don't ever try to suggest to me again that the current Court is stacked with Right-wing judges.

UPDATE TOO LATE! Already there's posts demonstrating their ignorance of the facts. case in point: I refer you all to Len at, who apparently can't figure out which judges lean to the left and which to the right. <---UPDATE To his credit, Len acknowledged his mistake in blamming the Conservatives. He and I have had our run-ins, but he's at least indicated in his comments the more Liberal minded Justices are to blame for this ruling.

More links:
Don at Conspiracy to Keep you Poor & Stupid: Can you imagine the outcry if the conservatives on the court had backed this decision? "Conservatives deliver the little guy to greedy businessmen." Well, that's just what has happened -- and the liberals did it. Where's the outcry? There will be none. Nowadays it's not what you do. It's who does it.

Ken at Wizbang All Your Property Are Belong to US

Right Voices: I cringe thinking about what Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, and the others who formed this great country would think of this ruling.

LeatherPenguin Y’know, I was born Democrat…then 9-11-01 pushed me toward the Republicans…but this {stuff} pushes me closer to anarchist...

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on Reading

I first saw this at BlurbOMat, where I made some comments but wasn't formally invited to contribute. I am flattered to have been tagged by Gina to participate in this Meme...

Number of books I own:
Dozens. Most are tech titles. I am not a geek in the true sense of the word, but rather a cross between Dilbert and his PointyHaired Boss --a tech type that also manages to, uh, manage. I use a bookstore like some people use the Tool Aisle at Sears: I get what I need to solve a problem... I rarely read these books cover to cover, but know where to find what I need to solve a particular problem. This gives me broad experience in a number of areas.
My mother used to visit the local library weekly, and would always come home with more than a couple books. She still does, yet her love of reading never caught on with me. (My dad is also well versed on a broad variety of topics, so I suppose I got that trait from him)

My dislike for reading was a particular problem during the various Lit courses I took in my schooling: too disinterested to read the books, too foolish not to buy Cliff Notes. Reading often puts me to sleep, particularly when works of fiction are involved. Life, I believe, is strange enough; how can fiction compete?

Even with my extended commute, I don't use books on tape/CD.... the level of interest and concentration needed to follow the story is often difficult to maintain. I prefer current events or music, so the radio is always on.

Back to the original point -- the number I own: Most tech books have a definite shelf life, so after a few years they can be donated to a library or church sale. However every year there's more to learn, more to know. So the number, I'd say, is certainly less than 100, but definitely in the 'dozens' range.

Last book I bought:
Essential System Administration - Ælleen Frisch -- yeah, I know this isn't the kind of title you had in mind. I needed a quick and dirty reference book that inclided Linux, HP-UX, and Solaris 9. I thumb through it on an ad hoc basis.

How To Talk to a Liberal (if you must) - Ann Coulter Bought it a month ago, still sits unread.

Last book I read:
Men In Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America - Mark Levin Bought it in February, read it in May. (see? I don't immediately read the stuff I actively seek out). Lots of information on how corrupt the Court has been from time to time throughout our nation's history. I've gained new respect for the Judicial Nomination process, and the importance of a President's selection.

Five books that mean a lot to me:
Five? I don't have any emotional attachment to a book, if thats the intent of this section. In no particular order....

  1. What Would Maciavelli Do? Stanley Bing -- good advice, if taken as intended

  2. The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy -- counting as 1), Tolkien -- Modern-day equivalent to mythology. Good beats evil. And before someone suggests I don't read much because of movies, I am also too lazy to have seen any of these movies as well. I do fondly recall the animated production of the Lord of the Rings, but that was years ago (there was also an animated Return of the King, but the quality of the animation was pale by comparison).

  3. 1984, George Orwell -- I read this (as I said above, allegedly) in high school, but re-read when I was 24 when I could fully comprehend the warnings about an all-providing government.

  4. Zen and the Art of the Internet, Brendan Kehoe -- now very much out of date, I include it not only because it was greatly useful to me in the early days of the Internet, but because I also like the title. Not surprisingly, you can read it online.

  5. If I said the Bible, that would be seen as using one of Gina's selections. Still, I used Zen to reach 4, so I may as well include the Bible here as well.

Book(s) I wished I'd written: Any best seller; I could use the money.

That's my list... Post yours and link back to it here, or just use the Comments.

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Quick Hits

For those with short attention spans, it's Quick Hits.

Regional News

  • Stroudsburg Area School District is the first in Monroe County to follow the nation-wide trend of providing a full-day kindergarten.
    Other local districts seem to be cautiously moving in the same direction. East Stroudsburg Area School District is not planning to offer full-day kindergarten in the immediate future, but does want to look at offering it down the road. Assistant Superintendent Greg Naudascher said, like other schools in the county, his district struggles with having enough classroom space to offer such a program.
    Why not call it what it is, in reality? Subsidized day care. Sure, there are plenty of parents who must have both parents working (and plenty of single-parent homes), but how many pairs of parents work because they WANT to, or feel they need to climb the corporate ladder?

    And wait... soon, the day care providers specializing in kindergarten ages will complain they’re losing money.

  • Plenty of places to buy fireworks in PA, so long as you don’t live there.
    Pa. stores are selling fireworks to everyone except state residents. Pennsylvania residents still can buy what are referred to as ground-based "safe and sane" fireworks - ones that do not explode or shoot into the air - like sparklers, smoke items, snakes, etc

    Reminds me of Jack Daniel’s (my favorite adult beverage), which is produced in a dry county.

National News

  • Reality Hammer points out President Bush’s repeated call for an energy bill, and notes the renewed desire for nuclear energy. As the hammer says, it is about time!


Admittedly, these are blogs I’ve only just started reading, and I am ashamed I took this long to do so. Two posts caught my eye yesterday, written by people who are actually on the ground in the war:

  • Lessons Learned: IEDs in Iraq Some fascinating points on how IEDs work, and some surprising views on those armored-up Humvees we’ve sent to the troops. I hope Sec. Rumsfeld refers to some formal statistics on this matter for when next he gets ambushed in a press conference.

  • A MilBlogger is injured in combat: I had only started to read CPT Charles Ziegenfuss's blog late last week, and was impressed with his writing. Last night I was saddened learned he was injured in combat, and is on his way home. I am most impressed by the courage of his wife and how their child reacted to the news of his father’s injuries. Clearly, there are few better examples of the kind of people we have serving in our military forces. Our prayers and respect go to him and his family.

Lighter side

  • Exactly how much money does millionaire Bruce Wayne have? Joe Katzman of Winds Of Change links to Forbes and expliores the issue.

  • And finally, I’ve been MemeTagged by Gina … how can I resist? More on this later.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Senator apologizes, finally

Senator Richard Durbin formally aplogized for the outrageous comments he made on the Senate floor last week. 
It is about time!  In fact, in spite of his prior assertion, this was the first time he apologized  (well, sort of) - as opposed to what he claims was an apology Friday. 
Sen. Durbin's choice of words last week was not an accident.  This was not an off-the-cuff comment, not an opportunity to speak at a party.  No, these were words he prepared in advanced and spoken from a prepared speech on the floor of the Senate.
In fact, however, he has only aplogized *if* you happened to be offended for his comments:
"I am sorry if anything that I said caused any offense or pain to those who have such bitter memories of the holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time,"
Had the man had any real remorse, he would have apologized for the statements ON THEIR FACE.  I am curious to learn if anyone could actually claim to have NOT been offended by his earlier comments.
And don't get me started on Senator Voinovich's tear-filled plea on the Senate floor.   Yeah, that's the kind of face we want to present to the enemy.


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And now for another edition on how to be Manly...

And now for another edition on how to be manly, today lesson #23,548…

Mr. Manly is back. He was syndicated on radio for years in the ‘90s, offering his advice on ‘How to be a manly-man.’ The lessons generally followed the same theme: Mr. Manly would set up a situation, and offer three or so suggested ways to handle the matter in a manly manner:

Well, it appears that your Saturday afternoon watching pro-wrestling has been ruined. This morning, when you woke up, at 1pm, your wife informed you that your refrigerator has broken down yet again.

"That does it!" you say. It's alright to have the wife go out and get takeout meals to bring home for dinner, but what's unbearable is the fact that now you won't have any cold beer to drink while you watch your favorite shows on TV.

So it's off to the appliance store to buy a new fridge. You cautiously check to make sure that no one sees you entering the appliance store, for purchasing a new ice box straddles the fine line between manly and unmanly activities.

However, when you discover that your salesperson is a most highly attractive, buxom, young woman, you decide that you will be able to assert your manliness after all. But how can this be accomplished in a manly manner?

Follow along in your Manly Manual, page 4521 and repeat after me:

Follow the link for the suggested comments, but it should be obvious the comments would not endear the person to Mr. Manly. The targets of his comments are generally his wife, mother in law, random store clerk, boss, random barroom patron, etc. And the results are pretty much the same.
Use any of the above phrases in just such a situation and as the female salesperson demonstrates just how well their deluxe deep freeze will hold your entire body, you can rest assured that she will have no doubts as to what kind of many you really are.

Colom Keating, actor and writer, was the voice behind the Manly one, creating the character at a radio station that he once worked out. There were rumors of a TV-sitcom starring the Manly man himself, and somehow those rumors seemed to evaporate about the same time his radio presence did as well. Recently I recalled one of his ‘lessons’ and decided to see what happened to him. To my delight, he is back on air, and online.

Mr. Manly’s own website offers a few of his radio bits in MP3, and where you, too, can hear his daily reports, so you can revel in all of his manliness.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Word of the day: filibuster

Here's a mental exercise for you in the studio audience and the viewers at home:

Go to Google News and search on the name 'Bolton' (click here if you wish) As of this writing, there are a number of stories dated within the last 17 hours. Fine.

Now, Google News 'Bolton filibuster': just 4 stories since 17-Jun.

Please, dear reader, what is the definition of filibuster, and why are the media apparently afraid of it?

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Monday, June 20, 2005


I must clearly state for my own CYA, the opinions, views, and thoughts expressed in this Blog are mine and mine alone.

They do not represent -– either officially or unofficially -- my employer or any customer of said employer in anyway. In fact, little is ever mentioned specifically about my employer beyond the facts that:

  1. I am employed
  2. I have an unusually long commute to get to said employment
Input from the reader is welcomed. Criticisms are also welcome, but common decorum and courtesy are always assumed. Whereas I will never say ‘So-and-so is a S.O.B’, I would expect the same level of maturity in any comments directed towards me (except in those few occasions when I am actually acting like a S.O.B.). I use this outlet to speak my mind on a variety of topics, and you are either free to read them or not. You are also free to reply, and your only requirement then is that you respond in kind, and stay on point. I recognize that no one in particular has asked me for my views (and thus this Blog’s title), and the same goes for you (unless I specifically ask for your input). Even when I do specifically request reader input, I maintain the privilege to delete/edit comments with extreme prejudice. In the rare instance I engage in the editing of a comment, I will mark said comment with a note indicating an edit has taken place. However, since I am lazy, I probably will delete more often than edit.

Updated 27-Mar-06:
As an addendum to the above paragraph on Comments, I am not responsible for and sometimes disagree with material posted in the comments section. Read at your own risk.

All e-mail received by me to is considered intended for publication unless otherwise indicated in the initial message from the writer. If you don't want me to comment about your mail in my Blog, you had better state as much when you write, or do not bother writing at all.
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One more

It wouldn't be a Father's Day without a rememberance...

Igor: It's times like this that I remember what my old dad used to say.

Dr. Frankenstein: What was that?

Igor: "What the hell are you doing in the bathroom all day and night? Why don't you get out of there and give someone else a chance?"

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Another Holiday, Hallmark variety

I am writing this late Sunday night, 19-Jun-2005. I didn't want to post this on that day, for some may take exception to my thoughts below (especially since, as this Blog is titled, Nobody asked me, but...).

This weekend, we travelled to visit family in NYC. All totaled, 3 nephews and 1 niece had some form of graduation celebration this month, so we all gathered at my parents to have a big to-do. With my siblings living in different corners (myself, included) these get-togethers don't happen nearly enough, so it was a good deal all around. My parents enjoy these gatherings immensely, and anytime they happen at their house, even more so.

Lots of good wishes and cheer, lots of food, good time had by all.
So what am I blogging about?

What is this Father's Day business?


In addition to celebrating the kid's graduations (and in the case of two of nephews, the celebration of their parents wedding anniversary), the day had my brothers and I wishing my dad a Happy Father's Day. I saw the grand kids wishing him well, and what I saw I could best describe as he accepting the good wishes, but certainly did not want to make a big deal of them. My brothers (those with kids, natch) seemed to revel in the backslapping and greetings, but I feigned enjoyment and replied in kind.

I don't get these holidays... like birthdays. Some have said I downplay my own birthday because I don't want to get old, but that's just silly reasoning: whether I embrace the day or not, I'm getting older, so what? Do I think if no one notices my birthday day I won't get old? Of course not.

When my much-better-half's birthday rolls around, or my kids, or my family or friends, I do whatever is appropriate and I make a decent show of it (at least I hope I do). I do it because they appreciate it, and seem to enjoy it. To me, their birthday its another day, and if my acknowledgement helps make them happy, great. On my birthday, I'd just as soon ignore it all and move on, but for those who think to mark it I gracefully thank them (and silently hope they move on). I mean, after all, what have I done to deserve praise on my birthday? That I woke up?

I have two sons, 9 and 2, and of course the 9 year old made a big deal of Father's Day; bigger than I would have preferred, but he didn't know that. At his age, who am I to offer this discussion to him? If he wants to make the day a big deal, I will certainly not interfere with him.

Near as I can tell, I am bluffing my way through fatherhood, and the only way to find out if I am doing a half-decent job or not is so far down the temporal highway that any cheers or the like today seem far too premature. And even then, should my kids become wildly successful, how much credit should I get? (Before you scoff, think of your response should I invert that last sentence 180 degrees).

My son's and I made a big deal out of Mother's Day, as we ought, because my much-better-half appreciates those gestures (or, perhaps, she's as big a con artist as I am). My dad, near as I can tell, never hated the attention but never sought it out, never reveled in it. And that's how I see myself.

So maybe I am reflecting my father's modesty, or maybe I am becoming jaded with age, I don't know. Maybe I see many of these holidays being rooted in the tradition of nothing more than selling greeting cards and ugly ties (note: I did not get any such ridiculous pieces of attire... my thoughts on ties may not yet be known to readers of this Blog, so I will have to expand on them another day).

Regardless of my thoughts, to any dads reading this, I hope yesterday was as grand a day for you as you'd like.

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

You know it's time to kick the habit...

SCENE: Inside a Turkey Hill Minit-Mart, getting a much needed
candy-bar_and_chocolate-milk fix, when the young man in front of me
paid for his generic-brand cigarettes with quarters, dimes, nickles
and 16 pennies.

When you're paying for smokes with silver, its time to seriously quit.

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Call for Sen. Durbin's resignation

This must not stand!
To compare our troops doing their job to the heinous crimes of the Nazi's, Stalin and Pol Pot is not what our troops deserve.
As of this writing, no senior Democratic Party member has condemmed the words of Sen. Durbin.  None.   Who has endorsed those same words?  None other than Al Jazeera.  Talk about aid and comfort to the enemy!
Contact your Senators NOW: demand Richard Durbin's resignation.

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How dare he?

As reported in and on talk radio (sadly, MSM seemed to miss it- has to be that vast right-wing bias, eh?)
Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, took the Senate floor yesterday and likened American servicemen to Nazis:

When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here [at Guantanamo Bay]--I almost hesitate to put them in the [Congressional] Record, and yet they have to be added to this debate. Let me read to you what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his report:

On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.

If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.

We are fighting an enemy that murdered 3,000 innocent people on American soil 3 1/2 years ago and would murder millions more if given the chance--and according to Dick Durbin, our soldiers are the Nazis.

Sen. Durbin, how dare you??  Moreover, how dare anyone defend such an absolutely absurd assertion?? 


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I knew it

Didn't I say Jennifer Wilbanks was going to sell her story?

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Am I the only one just plain bored with OCC? I saw a few episodes last season, and they were good, but I wasn't hooked. People seem drawn to it, fine.

This week, I have heard no less than three radio commercials featuring the hosts of the show hawking 2 different products (2 for NAPA, 1 for 7-Eleven Big Gulps). And since I hear a lot of radio, I hear these three often.

I know, 2 of the commercials are for Father's Day gifts, but enough OCC already.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Step by Step

"You can't fix in six months what it took 35 years to destroy." These words, spoken by Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iraq's first democratically elected Prime Minister in half a century, should be inscribed in 3-foot-tall characters as a preface to all the reporting from Iraq. Sadly, the underlying reality all too often seems to escape many reporters caught in the excitement of "now."
Step by Step: A roundup of the past three weeks' good news from Iraq, published in the Wall Street Journal, gives hard evidence to the progress being made in Iraq.

No one wants a single life sacrificed for any cause, but there are times when such a sacrifice must be made. In the modern media world of 'if it bleeds it leads' the underlying good is often neglected. This piece helps to set the record straight.

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Monday, June 13, 2005

IQ Test meme

Been so long since I've posted a meme.... as seen at Is This Life?

Your IQ Is 105

Your Logical Intelligence is Average
Your Verbal Intelligence is Exceptional
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Average

I would submit my general knowledge ought to have scored higher... people who know me have commented that I know a lot about nothing, but...

What's your score? Take the test and post your score in comments.

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Friday, June 10, 2005

It's like deja vu' all over again

Same as last night.

Same commute.

Same highway.

frigging mile marker.

Only as of this posting I have spent 90
minutes crawling in stop and go traffic to cover 15 miles, and it
isn't over yet.

Another long ride...

UPDATE: Made it home it just under 4 hours... what fun!

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Chief of Operations for Phoenix Foundation dies

Dana Elcar, who is best remembered as Pete Thornton - best friend of MacGyver, is dead at age 77.

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Pigs on the Wing is home to a comic strip suited especially for IT geek types. It covers the trials and tribulations of work at an ISP -- think of Dilbert but on a narrower plane.

My all-time favorite UserFriendly is this one; if you don't understand it, you're not an IT geek.

Today's strip will amuse PC and Mac users alike...

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Click to view the entire strip

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dammed raccoon

As I was about to leave my driveway I noticed one of my garbage pails was missing. Despite being 5:00 AM and that it was raining, I had to investigate.

The pail was dragged about 20' and wedged between a tree and a hedge where the bugger managed to open the lid and liberate my trash.

I hate that raccoon...

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

It could be worse

Think you have a bad commute? Nevermind my distance, but due to a 2
car wreck I have just covered 5 miles in just over 80 minutes. And I
have 50 miles to go...

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Howard Dean makes things (almost) too easy

A lot of Republicans are crowing at how often DNC Chairman Howard Dean
leaves himself open for criticism; this blog has shown the hateful
rhetoric on more than one occasion (most recently).

More and more, I think that's his plan, to make the Right think they
need not worry about what the DNC is doing.

I'll still enjoy pointing out the racist, class envy, and just plain
meaness Dr. Dean spews, but I won't think for a moment they can't
mount a campaign that could possibly win.

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Different kind of Play...

So Sunday night, my 9 year old son watched some of the Tony Awards before bed. When he was getting ready to turn in, he offered the following gem:

He: One day, we should see '12 Angry Men' on Broadway.
He's heard me refer to the movie more than once, when I've commented that the original movie stands the test of time, and no doubt that's where this conversation came from.

Me: Well, you're still a little young for the 2 hour drive to NYC, the show, and the whole deal. We'll look for local theaters for other plays, and hold Broadway until you are a little older.

He: OK, that sounds good. Dad, what's Playboy?

Me: Err... what?

He: Playboy. I've heard it mentioned, what is it?

Me: Um.... where have you heard this mentioned?? (my mind is racing to find the thread that links '12 Angry Men' and Hef)

He: On Regis and Kelly!


He: Whenever they have an actor from Broadway, Regis holds up a copy of Playboy and ...


He: Oh... Ok, so what's Playbill?

Fortunately, he hasn't asked about Playboy yet.... I missed the bullet... this time... maybe this is a wake-up call to me to start planning how to answer such questions down the line.

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Howard Dean gets my vote.

Howard Dean: physician, retired Vermont Governor, former presidential candidate, current Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Quite a résumé’, indeed.

Howard Dean has never been shy of the camera in his political career, and recent weeks are no exception. Dr. Dean has gone on record accusing Republicans of being evil, of having never made an honest living, and of preventing Mark Felt from reaping any reward from having been Deep Throat.

OK, the last one was made up, but the point that Dr. Dean is acting in ways that can be described as ‘off the deep end’ cannot be ignored. And if you don’t believe me, Read more...perhaps you will believe the AP Wire:

While discussing the hardship of working Americans standing in long lines to vote, Dean said Thursday, "Republicans, I guess, can do that because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives."
That was purely uncalled for. I live in a state that can hardly be called ‘red’ (although we are making gains), and the lines to vote last November were pretty long. What did I do? I voted absentee. I did, in fact, wait on line and cast my official vote in person, but I planned ahead and made sure my vote was counted. Regardless, Dr. Dean fails to assume that any of the people in those long lines he refers to are even possibly Republican voters who may have voted for Sen. Kerry.

Lately, however, his rhetoric has begun to hit the nerves, and not of people who are the targets of his hate, but in fact members of his own party. Ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joseph Biden, has said pointedly that Dr. Dean
"doesn't speak for me with that kind of rhetoric and I don't think he speaks for the majority of Democrats."

SayAnything links to a story in the Boston Globe wherein Rep Barney Frank chastises Dr. Dean for speaking as if Rep Tom DeLay was a criminal.

Returning to the AP: Former senator and vice-presidential/presidential candidate John Edwards has said Howard Dean "is not the spokesman for the party."

That last one is a tough one to swallow: is Howard Dean, Chairman of the DNC, the spokesman for the party or not? Perhaps this yet another example of Sen. Edwards’ ‘two Americas’?

Regardless, Howard Dean’s DNC is falling behind in new party members, and in fund raising. His rhetoric is so volatile that the only way a candidate can hope to win the 2008 election is if she or he positions themselves as a moderate and point to Dr. Dean and say ‘I am not like him.’ This is essential because what many people don’t understand is that elections are not won on creating hatred for your opponent, but rather by giving the voters something to vote for. If the Democrats hope to sway the so-called 20% of undecideds and some Republican voters, they are going to have to field someone who can reach across the aisle.This advice, however, may fall on deaf ears.

Readers may recall my postings about Len at Esoterically. Len and I had several debates over the months, since he and I are on opposite sides of the political aisle. Back in March, he and I went toe-to-toe on a judicial matter, and in the end Len asked that I no longer post to his Blog (read all about it here). I still keep an eye on Len with my newsreader, and found this week that he embraces the rhetoric of Howard Dean:

Howard Dean speaks for me, and I believe he speaks for the majority of Democrats.

Republicans are evil. Look at what they've done to our country and tell me they are not. Tom DeLay does belong in jail, and George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Don Rumsfeld belong in there with him.

So, Joe Biden, do not purport to know who speaks for me. The chairman of my party speaks for me. If he doesn't speak for you, perhaps you are in the wrong party.

Tough words to a senior Senator. We'll have to wait and see what happens in the comming months and years, whether this tough-talk helps, or whether the Democrats will continue their string of losses in both in the Congress and in the Oval Office (and lets not forget the last time Democrats elected a President with a majority of popular votes was in 1976).

Personally, I am hopeful he ignores the naysayers of his own party and keeps up with the rhetoric; that will surely ensure future Republican victories.

Isn't it funny: the Republicans are the ones who are always called ‘mean spirited.’

All I know is, with Dr. Dean at the helm of the DNC, it is going to be a long and interesting -- if not funny -- summer.

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Another era of radio passing

Growing up in NYC, you couldn't help but learn about oldies radio. In my youth it was tunes from the 1950's, and as I aged the playlist grew with it to include the '60's, and some '80's hits.

WCBS was home to the legendary Cousin Brucie, after 'MusicRadio' WABC switched formats and later became the #1 talk station in the nation. He was the anchor commodity to WCBS, hosting two shows weekly.

On Friday, however, the station changed formats. Now known as
JACK FM, the station boasts the best of the '70s through today. In a few minutes of listening I gave the station, I heard Black Eyed Peas' Lets Get it Started segue to Bruce Hornsby's Valley Road... Eclectic? Without a doubt.

I don't pay much attention to music as much as I used to; call it the beginning of my Old Fartdom. I enjoy Joe Jackson, The Counting Crows and Delbert McClinton ... talk about eclectic! And as my music listening has declined, I can't recall the last time I tuned to WCBS-FM in years; obviously most of their listeners have tuned away as well. I used to tune to it as a last resort, knowing there would be something worth hearing; having moved out of NYC area, it hasn't been needed in quite a while.

Anyone still wanting to relive those golden years of oldies radio can still hear WCBS-FM streaming. What will become of Cousin Brucie now? While he is under contract, it remains to be seen. Maybe I'll tune in, relive some of those old days, and find out.

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

More reasons to dislike teacher unions

Old Forge, PA: For the third time within 15 months, teachers in the Old Forge School District will be walking off the job. The call came Friday morning informing the district there will be a strike, forcing more than 900 students out of school.

Seniors went to the high school Friday ready to start day one of final exams. That's when they learned the strike, planned for Monday, will postpone graduation. Word of the strike spread quickly and by mid-morning seniors were walking out of school wondering how they would end their senior year.

It is really hard to justify a union and their strikes when things like this happen. Usually parents who use a school as a defacto baby-sitter get enraged when there is a strike. Here, right in the middle of finals, it is unconscionable to strike.
Teachers have not had a contract since 2003. Monday's strike will be the third since that contract expired.
The reason to strike seems valid, although I believe unions have long outgrown their usefulness. The timing of this stinks for those kids waiting on graduation. The union should be satisfied they made their noise and get back to work; they're hurting the kids and the reputations of unions in general.

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Friday, June 03, 2005

What was never there (allegedly) is missing

Once again, what was never in Iraq (allegedly) is missing!

Not since a week before the 2004 election has a story of this magnitude been largely ignored by the mainstream media.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - U.N. satellite imagery experts have determined that material that could be used to make biological or chemical weapons and banned long-range missiles has been removed from 109 sites in Iraq, U.N. weapons inspectors said in a report obtained Thursday.

So even though critics say there were never any WMDs in Iraq (paging Sen. Kerry), the UN itself says that WMDs they were tracking are missing.

If many of President Bush's opponents weren't people in high office, this would all be funny.

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Long week

As of about 2:30 Thursday, I logged about 45 hours for the week. Recalling that Monday was a holiday, it's certainly been a long week. Lots of late nights, lots of REAL early starts.

Our deliveries are out, and next week we begin deployment in earnest. I took some of the comp time I earned and decided to bag Friday. Oh there's still a test or two going on even as I speak, and I'll check my e-mail in the morning, but I think I'll make up for the lost time last weekend.

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Things that make you say hmmmmmm

I've been looking at this sign in the window of a sign shop for 6 months; finally remembered the camera... maybe one of them pigs will help with my raccoon problem...

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Progressives don't get it

FOX NEWS: Progressives Vow to Take Back America: In some quarters of American politics, liberals stand accused of having no ideas — but that hasn't stopped those on the left from plotting to shift the balance of power.

In Washington on Wednesday, the most liberal wing of the Democratic Party salivated over the prospect that President Bush is in deep trouble and Democrats have a prospect of winning back ground lost in the last two elections.

No one, certainly not this Blog, will say the minority Party has no right to campaign for their own victory. However, they will remain a minority Party unless they give voters something to vote for as opposed.

In extensive polling for the conference, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg said he found deep disenchantment with the war in Iraq and President Bush's proposals on Social Security as well as uneasiness over his economic policies.

By a margin of 55 to 37 percent, poll respondents said they believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. In a separate question, 55 percent said they want the country to go in a significantly different direction than it is now.

Well alright then.

Except... wasn't that the same poll margins in November '04, when President Bush was re-elected with the largest number of votes of any President, with a margin of 51-48%?

Democratic polling shows that one thing voters do like about Bush is the clarity of his ideas, something they do not see in Democratic candidates.

I could have told you that! This Blog had several posts lamenting the lack of ideas from Sen. Kerry during last year's campaign; to this day, he has never provided even a broad outline of plan for Iraq. (Sidenote: Sen. Kerry has only recently reported he has signed his SF-180, to release his military records, some 4 months after he promised to do so... guess some things take time. Wonder when we'll see it?)

The Democrats -- sorry: Progressives -- need to get away from their I-hate-Bush mantra and build a platform of ideas. With the steady decline in their numbers in Congress, and the fact that they haven't won a decisive majority of voters since Jimmy Carter (remember, both times President Clinton won by Electoral votes alone, and wasn't even close in popular votes), the mandate from the Constituency has a decidedly Conservative lean.

Or they can ignore this and remain a minority party... which, with their failing to offer any substantial ideas, suits me just fine.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Revelation of Deep Throat

A friend of mine, who has known me about 10 years, offered this in an instant message this morning:

I bet you're relieved that the identity of Deep Throat has been revealed ---- this turn of events will definately take all the suspicion off of you once and for all! Have a good day!
She's a good soul, and knew I'd enjoy the laugh. This Blog doesn't go to great lengths to ID himself, but I am old enough to remember the Nixon years (some of them at least). I remember when my family vacationed at a family resort in Middlefield, CT, when during the twice-weekly square dancing I remember a man holding a transistor radio to his ear while trying in earnest to 'swing your partner, dosie-do'.

Even at that young age, it was easy to see that something huge was happening. We all knew. Sadly, however, how many people today know what really happened?

The President had done something wrong, that much was clear... but what exactly did he do? Ben Stein (yes, that Ben Stein) offers the following:

(Yeah, it is an excuse to try the expandable post).

Deep Throat and Genocide By Ben Stein
Re: The "news" that former FBI agent Mark Felt broke the law, broke his code of ethics, broke his oath and was the main source for Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward's articles that helped depose Richard Nixon, a few thoughts.

Can anyone even remember now what Nixon did that was so terrible? He ended the war in Vietnam, brought home the POW's, ended the war in the Mideast, opened relations with China, started the first nuclear weapons reduction treaty, saved Eretz Israel's life, started the Environmental Protection Administration. Does anyone remember what he did that was bad?

Oh, now I remember. He lied. He was a politician who lied. How remarkable. He lied to protect his subordinates who were covering up a ridiculous burglary that no one to this date has any clue about its purpose. He lied so he could stay in office and keep his agenda of peace going. That was his crime. He was a peacemaker and he wanted to make a world where there was a generation of peace. And he succeeded.

That is his legacy. He was a peacemaker. He was a lying, conniving, covering up peacemaker. He was not a lying, conniving drug addict like JFK, a lying, conniving war starter like LBJ, a lying conniving seducer like Clinton -- a lying conniving peacemaker. That is Nixon's kharma.

When his enemies brought him down, and they had been laying for him since he proved that Alger Hiss was a traitor, since Alger Hiss was their fair-haired boy, this is what they bought for themselves in the Kharma Supermarket that is life:

1.) The defeat of the South Vietnamese government with decades of death and hardship for the people of Vietnam.

2.) The assumption of power in Cambodia by the bloodiest government of all time, the Khmer Rouge, who killed a third of their own people, often by making children beat their own parents to death. No one doubts RN would never have let this happen.

So, this is the great boast of the enemies of Richard Nixon, including Mark Felt: they made the conditions necessary for the Cambodian genocide. If there is such a thing as kharma, if there is such a thing as justice in this life of the next, Mark Felt has bought himself the worst future of any man on this earth. And Bob Woodward is right behind him, with Ben Bradlee bringing up the rear. Out of their smug arrogance and contempt, they hatched the worst nightmare imaginable: genocide. I hope they are happy now -- because their future looks pretty bleak to me.

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Expandable Posts work

OK, I've managed to make the expanable posting work...

Not as nice as I had hoped. The hack I found requires me to post twice whenever I use 'read more'... I know there's a work around for that, too, but for now this'll do. It's not often I drone on in length (yeah, right), but for the times it happens, this is nice.

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Morning check-in

WHat a way to start a day... running scripts to export a database... these things take time, and since I'm the whacko up at 4:00, why not me... am waiting for another step or two to complete before I head out..

  • Yes, I made another template change. I've enabled 'READ MORE' to be displayed on my longer ramblings. So far the only complaint is from ME! On Opera, the 'READ MORE' link appears on every post; how does it look on your browser?

  • To date, the only post that has the READ MORE enabled is my test post.

  • Smoking Gun on Christian Slater Grope Bust - You know, he may well have done the deed. But we're talking about the possibility of a YEAR in jail, for what? I know.. some out there will ask 'what if it were YOUR daughter, Charlie?' Well if she's out and about a 2AM, I damn well hope she knows the kinds of people who come out of pubs at that hour. Give him Communtiy Service and lets move on.

  • More later... gotta head out.

    UPDATE: Yeah, the 'read more' appears on EVERY post... need to work out the stylesheet just a tad.

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