Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Can't get it right

Kicking Ass, one of the DNC's blogs, reports the following:

{President Bush} hasn't convinced the American people that Social Security privatization is a good idea, with polls showing massive opposition to his risky scheme.
Now that would be very bad, indeed, were it true:
WASHINGTON TIMES: The poll by independent pollster John Zogby for the Cato Institute, which is being released today, found that when voters understood the benefits of personal investment accounts, including a better financial rate of return than the current system, the Bush plan was supported by 52 percent of Americans and opposed by 40 percent.
The full article, detailing the results of the Zogby poll, is found here.

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Monday, May 30, 2005

A thief the size of a dog



What a month... home-wise.

I've been doing battle with a critter that seems unstoppable. I've had problems with raccoons (or other critters) from time to time, being that I live in a rural area. I've even found ways to keep them at bay, and have recommended my method to others since it worked so well.

Ammonia is cheap, effective and won't kill the critters, just send them away with their noses turned up. I use a spray bottle to mist the bags in the pails and that's that.

That is, until recently. Pails were being tipped, trash was being strewn about. So I started to spray more. No effect. So I got bungee cords and locked the pail handles together... no good.

This is a good time for reminiscing. When I grew up in Queens, NY, we had aluminum garbage cans, not the Rubbermaid-like ones today. And certain families had these nice springs that meant the trash-men needed to pull the lids aside and they would 'stick' to the side of the cans. Pretty neat. My dad had us searching for our unsprung-lids, that were inevitably flattened under one cars tire or other. Oh well...

Tonight, I met the intruder. HOLY CRAP! This bugger was grey, mean looking, and could easily weigh 45 lbs. It looked twice as big as my cat, and he's no featherweight. I came out to drop tonight's trash and I apparently interrupted him working over the chicken carcass from last night's dinner. He scowled and sauntered off... not run, mind you, but sauntered. I am not sure it was due to arrogance or the fact his weight prevented a faster gait.

I cleaned up what I could (I left the chicken remains for him) and sprayed the trash with ammonia again... how worthless was that idea?

What's next? Insecticide? Gotta give this beast a reason to forage somewhere else...




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Weekend Warrior



Well I got off lucky. I spent a lot of time reading and writing e-mail, but I wasn't with the handful that spent working 'till midnight 2 nights this weekend. Software testing, debugging, rebuilding servers that suffered a 4 hour blackout (the actual power outage did nothing to the servers, but if you are testing an Oracle database upgrade, you need to reset it to its original condition if the upgrade is terminated early).

But we did get out to look at new minivans, so the weekend wasn't a total loss.

Hoping your weekend was more fun!





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Friday, May 27, 2005

More on how time flies

How fast time flies…

 

A year ago I was angry as all hell… I was given a two week notice to clean out my desk.  The reason given was that the Prime Defense Contractor that hired my company (and thus, me) had budget issues; the contract was a fixed-cost (as opposed time + material) and they had missed several deliveries (none even remotely connected to my tasks).   So the DoD had started holding back their payments, and suddenly I became expendable.

 

"Oh," my manager added. "Could you train 3 people to replace you before you go?"  Sure.   THEY can't afford me, but they can afford to pay 3 people to do my work.

 

I had worked for this prime contractor for over 7 years.  6 of those years I worked on Project J, but the prime contractor said the sun was setting on Project J.   So in the summer of 2003 I applied for and moved over to the prime's other big ticket contract in the area, Project L.     A year later, and I was done.

 
Oh, and to clear up the time line:  the Prime Contractor neglected to formally notify my direct employer they were cutting me; as such, my company said they could either give me an extra two weeks, or pay me through year end.  Thus, I lasted through the beginning of July.
 

I did a menial job for about 3 months; I hated it, and this Blog recorded my rants (see the archive for August, September, and early October).   But I wouldn't let myself stay on the bench (i.e. unemployed) for too long.  In fact, I was unemployed from the close of business July 2, through 8AM August 2;   not bad, considering how bad the economy supposedly was.

 

What's funny about how things work out… that old Primary Contractor, the one that said 'the sun was setting on Project J' was wrong.   There was more work to be done on Project J.  I know, because I was hired by another Contractor -- this time not as a subcontractor – to work on Project J again.    As far as Defense Contract work goes, I am comfortable where I am for the next 18 months.  Long before we get there, I'll have a clearer picture about the future beyond that mark, but that's only Project J.   This new company has its sights on other work, and I've already demonstrated my worth here, so it's not inconceivable that I could move to other projects.  

 

We have a scheduled delivery to make; massive database upgun to 70 sites to commence June 7th, so there is a fair amount of OT, and the likelihood of my working most of this holiday weekend.   Hey, I'll take the OT.

 

I'm making a comfortable enough living; yes, my legendary commute is still a pain, but that's the breaks.    But I can sit back and laugh at the irony of it all.
 

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They got what they wanted....

...but can you guess which 'they' I mean?


Day by Day

Click image to see a larger view.

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Updating BlogRoll

I'm cleaning house on my BlogRoll... a few dead links, that sort.

I don't have any hard and fast rule for entries. If I like your writing (insightful, witty, thought provoking), I’ll add yours to my list.

If you’re not listed and would like to be, let me know.

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Semantics

The Hedgehog Report weighs in....


This is the official definition of “filibuster” at the United States Senate website.

filibuster - Informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions.
So the Democrats attempts to claim that the delaying of the vote on Bolton was not a “filibuster” runs afoul with the official Senate definition of a “filibuster”. The Democrats move would fall under the “any other delaying or obstructive actions”.

Don't say I didn't warn you this would happen...
See: if one side gets to change the rules (without due process) once, they'll do it again. Count on it.
It all depends on what your definition of is is...

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Time flies

It was just one year ago today I was given some really crappy news...

And things worked out....

..More musing later.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

America: Annual Report

Right Thinking Girl hits one out of the park with her Annual Report:

Let's be honest: Conservatives are winning the battles but not the war. The Conservatives in office are acting like the minority party insead of doing the job that Americans sent them to office to do, which is to beat the everliving hell out of Democrats and their stupid ideas are so that they are left paralyzed and bleeding on the bar room floor for decades to come.


For some, her language may be a little harsh, but it is nothing that hasn't crossed the minds of many in the is country for some time. Regardless of tenor, her message is clear:

Tip for the right: remind your leftist friends that this is not Burger King, you don't get it your way when the other party is in office. We sat through Clinton and Reno; it's payback time.

It is true: some may bristle at the term 'pay-back time', but as she clearly points out:

It's the President's right (and obligation) to see his ideals put into action in the judicial system. You don't like it, you can find a constitutional way to defeat the nominee, but you do not have the right to filibuster judicial nominees

Add to it the mandate of the people: note the win of the President, and the gaining of seats in both houses of Congress... clearly, the country does think the Republican's are heading in the right direction, and only the minority party seems wholly disappointed.

Other's may find her advice objectionable:

The economy is fine. If you're poor, you're not working hard enough. Also, you probably don't have much imagination or industry. Again, it's not society: it's you and your loser attitude.

A lot of people will hate that line. Oh well. I am not rich, but I am not poor. It is no one's fault I am not as rich as I'd like to be. I make choices and sacrifices: my daily commute amounts to a second job (4 hours daily), but I can afford my standard of living this way. Does it bite? Sometimes, yes. But I make time for what matters.

The Right could make this country better by forcing our representatives to actually represent our interests.
Amen to that!

If you aren't sufficiently angry yet, read the rest.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Consequences of Compromise

Mark Noonan at GOPBlogger thus spake:

John Podhoretz over at NRO's The Corner says the compromise is not a GOP defeat:

The compromise deal averting the filibuster showdown is a victory for the majority and for the Republicans. It is not a wipeout. It is not a rout. And for the two judge candidates who may have been sacrificed, it really really stinks. But what happened last night is very important. It breaks the Democratic logjam on circuit-court nominees. It establishes the principle that conservative judges have every right to serve on the higher benches even if Democrats can't stand it. And it means that if Republicans have to break the filibuster to ensure an up-or-down vote on a Supreme Court justice, they will have a very strong argument indeed.

I tend to agree with this line of thinking; but I also cannot help feeling anger towards the compromisers. Its not compromise which bothers me (the US political tradition is all for compromise), but the fact that it wont actually ameliorate the rancor in our system...a rancor injected into our system with malice aforethought by the Democratic left.

Mr. Noonan's point is correct; what was done last night was to make a formal agreement out of the minority party being able to usurp the votes of the people. Rules limiting filibustering are nearly as old as the Republic, and yet no one cared that Judicial Nominees could not be blocked; at least no one cared until a few years ago. Then the media accepted the spin that it was the Republicans who wanted to change the rules, when it was completely the opposite (so much for that fair media).

Mr. Podhoretz's assertion that when the Republican's majority is sufficient to break future filibusters, things will be different. That is, of course, unless Democrats tamper with the rules again. Winning confirmation used to take 51 votes; thanks to this unprecedented filibuster, it took 60 votes. Who knows what would happen next time? See: if one side gets to change the rules (without due process) once, they'll do it again. Count on it.

However, there may be a silver lining: The debate over a replacement for Justice Rehnquist is not the issue; he'll be replaced by another Conservative, and the Senate will confirm that choice. The debate over who would replace a less Conservative Justice, say Justice O'Connor, is when this battle will be rejoined. And if the President cannot get his choice through the Senate, then the Moderates like Sen. McCain will have to answer to the voters.

And they will be pissed.

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Moderates do their damage again

Wonderful.

People work hard to elect those that support their beliefs.

And a bunch of people who want nothing more than 'to be liked by everyone' come in and make a deal.

I swear, for the lack of backbone exhibited ONCE AGAIN by the majority, it makes my blood boil to think these rouges call themselves 'Republicans', or worse yet, 'Conservative.'

Those on the Right who thought Sen. John McCain was presidential material, see here today what we all would have had if he had been elected.

I will do whatever in my power to unseat these RINO Moderates. I will no longer support the NRSC; they push around the money to all comers. Instead I will target my support to ANY Republican who challenges these Moderates for their seat.

This isn't over. Far from it. If these three judges were called 'radical' -- when there is NOTHING of the sort in their record, just wait until the first SCOTUS position opens... and then you will see the price these Moderates paid for this evening.

UPDATE: The candidates for whom I will work towards their defeat in upcoming elections:

  • Lincoln Chafee (Rhode Island)
  • Susan Collins (Maine)
  • Mike DeWine (Ohio)
  • Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)
  • John McCain (Arizona)
  • John Warner (Virginia)
  • Olympia Snowe (Maine)

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Why one man no longer stands with the American Left

A turning point came at a dinner party on the day Ronald Reagan famously
described the Soviet Union as the pre-eminent source of evil in the modern
world. The general tenor of the evening was that Reagan's use of the word "evil"
had moved the world closer to annihilation. There was a palpable sense that we
might not make it to dessert.

When I casually offered that the surviving relatives of the more than 20 million people murdered on orders of Joseph Stalin might not find "evil'" too strong a word, the room took on a collective bemused smile of the sort you might expect if someone had casually mentioned taking up child molestation for sport.

My progressive companions had a point. It was rude to bring a word like "gulag" to the dinner table.


This is a compelling piece people from all political views should read. The author, Keith Thompson is a Petaluma writer and the author of "Angels and Aliens" and "To Be a Man." His work is at www.thompsonatlarge.com should the above link become in active.

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What's next? Free porn for rapists?

Hat tip to the Leather Penguin...

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Idiot. Incompetent boob

So I had to put in overtime over the weekend. Big deal.

So instead of getting to work before 7:00 AM this Monday morning, I decided to get a second breakfast. Leaving the house at 5:00 AM generally makes one pekish long before lunch, and as such I usually grab 2 packets of instant oatmeal around 9-10:00, but today I had hankering for BACON (yes, yes, there are many who have tried to tell me the evils of bacon... hey, I found at least one article that defends the humble pork).

So I get to the drive through of the local McDonalds... why oh why did I not drive across the street and go to the deli? Because NJ is famous for its 'NJ Lefts' and jughandles and the like, that's why). Regardless, I went to McD's.

Hanging on the menu board is a crudely written message... I swear it was written on an unfolded napkin. I wish I had my camera to photograph it. Roughly, it look like this:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Click to enlarge


Mind you, that is a recreation. The capitalization and spacing are all accurate, but the handwriting was never as neat as this potrays.

So I talk to the speaker:

HE: Thank you for waiting, welcome to McDonalds; can I help you?
Me: Yes, I'd like a #2, coffee, cream, no sugar, that's all.

(pause)

HE: OK. That's a bacon egg and cheese biscuit...... right?
Me: Yes, a # 2.
HE: You want the meal?
Me: Um, yeah, a #2, coffee, cream.. that's all.

(pause)

HE: OK, a bacon egg cheese biscuit, a hashbrown, and what else?
Me: Coffee... cream, no sugar. A #2!
HE: Ok... um... that'll be....

(pause)

HE: ... $3.23. Please drive around.

(I pull up to the window; the counter guy is a face I recognize as having worked here for at least as many months as I have been at my current job -- yeah, I get bacon cravings from time to time)

HE: You want cream or sugar??
Me: Just cream. That's all!
HE: Ok, that'll be..... um....
(searches for a scrap of paper... I could be wrong but it may be another napkin)
HE: $3.23.
Me: Out of four .... (as I hand him four singles).

He grabs yet another 'napkin' and a pen. I counted... it took him 52 seconds to subtract $3.23 from $4.

HE: Here is your change. Um, is my sign still out there?
Me: What sign?
HE: Our computers are down; no one knows how to work without them. I hung a sign up.
Me: Ahh... that was your sign. It's still there.
HE: Oh good.


I never want to be lectured about the need to raise minimum wage. I never want to be lectured why it's more important for schools to instill 'self esteem' in students as opposed to education. Never should someone dare to discuss 'Outcome Based Education'.

And people wonder why kids from other countries whip our asses...

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

SCAT is for Seniors, at least in NJ

If I hadn't seen it myself, I'd call it a joke in poor taste.

However, in New Jersey there is a public service for senior citizens named SCAT:

According to County DOT's own Introduction page, SCAT is defined as "the Monmouth County Transportation System (SCAT)." Er, right.

I suppose no one ever offered them an alternate meaning of the word scat.

This reminded of a job I held in southeastern Pennsylvania about 10 years ago. It was an SAP implementation project, named the North American Distribution System, or NADS.

Apparently no one at that company ever heard the George Carlin routine, wherein he wished there was a sports team named the Nads, so he could stand on the sidelines shouting "Go Nads! Go Nads! GO NADS! GONADS!" I had heard of that routine, years earlier, and in the job interview I nearly busted an artery trying to stifle my laughter...

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Friday, May 20, 2005

Support for the fallen heroes

Love him or hate, you have to give him credit here.
 
Sean Hannity has organized his third annual Freedom Concert, benefiting the Freedom Alliance which provides college scholarships for the children of fallen soldiers. While he has promised to do more than one concert this year, the kick-off concert is the only one annoucned thus far, and it will be held at SixFlags Great Adverture in Jackson, NJ (exit 7a NJ Turnpike).  Headline acts include LeAnn Rimes, Aaron Tippin and Buddy Jewel.
 
I don't know about the rest of you, but the best thing I can say about Country Music (in general) is that I tolerate it. My much-better-half and sons could probably name individual songs these three singers have performed, but surely I can not.  They play it whenever we're in the car, and beyond that I would listen to Rock or talk radio.  So don't use me as a judge for this genre of music.
 
That being said, a big portion of the ticket price goes to the Freedom Alliance, and it is indeed a worthy cause.   Tickets are available by phone at 800-329-5454 or at SixFlags directly.  And if you don't care a whit about Country music, you can go to Freedom Alliance and make a donation directly, as I will do!
 

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Still can't find the point...

REPOST: I am reposting this piece in light of the recent stories on local area news that highlighted teens going to tanning salons in order to look good for their prom. What are these kids trying to say?

Yeah, well after finals, I flew to Bermuda and hung out at the beach, and then came back the next day, in time for the prom...
Why go to such extremes?? I know in many communities, teens aren't allowed in tanning booths without parental permission; how is this something a parent would endorse, simply for single evening?

No one offered any insight when I first posted; perhaps someone can enlighten me today. Read on for the rest of my rant...


OK, I admit I am likely to get flamed, but be that as it may, I will ask the question anyway.

This is being brought on by a number of different posts I've read this week surrounding alleged 'prom' dresses and how revealing they've become (see Jen and Michele - Jen offers a link to a site which features a number of different dresses, while Michele has a pic that is both scarily racy altho apparently discredited).

Nearly universally, the only people who have spoken in favor of these 'prom' dresses are men who admittedly are having sexist, chauvinistic thoughts (that they may directing said thoughts to girls their daughters ages is a different thread altogether!).

So it makes me wonder: What is it that makes proms so 'special' in the first place?

Now let the record be clear: I never attended a prom. I could easily state I didn't see the point in them when I was in high school (and I didn't), but that would be easily trumped by the fact that I couldn't get a date in high school if my life depended on it. So the idea of getting a date to the prom was never in question, since I couldn't get a date on any given Friday night to start with. That much being said...

Why a prom? What is it that makes a night at the end of senior year (and each year before that, going back to primary school, but in descending importance) such a hallmark event? The same question can be applied to Collegiate Formals, as well.


Why?

It can't be simply to prepare the youths for social gatherings of this kind when they are out in the real-world. As near as I can tell there are few parties that adults I know go to that start at a ballroom and end at a beach (with huge amounts of drinking in between).

And limos.

Now there are weddings, which can offer a lot of the same features of a prom, but I've been going to weddings since I was a child, long before I knew the word 'prom', and somehow I've been able to carry myself at formal and business events without having been to a prom. And from my youth I learned what behavior is appropirate at such events and what behavior is not, which is funny, since from what I've read, a considerable amount of behavior at proms would most certainly fall into the latter category.

I don't have any daughters, so in a way, I won't need to worry much about skanky dresses and their ludicrous costs. Sooner or later my oldest boy will ask about a prom (and I'll assume his younger brother will likely ask him the same question 7 years later) so I am taking this opportunity to ask what is it that makes a prom such a seemingly life and death issue for girls, in general. I could easily wave my hand, dismiss it as unimportant, and add 'but if you want to go, have fun and be careful', but I am interested in what others state is the real reason its important. Or if it is important at all!

Your thoughts are welcome....

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Double Standards: Newt Gingrich

The former Speaker of the House Representative, Newt Gingrich has been a potent force of politics for many years. In 1990 he helped usher in a Republican majority in the US House of Representatives by making the individual House races a national issue, behind his Contract with America. This was no small measure: the Democrats were in control of the House for 40 years prior, and the change of majority is often referred to the Republican Revolution. That majority hold firm even today, with net gains each election since.


Critics would argue that Mr. Gingrich's Contract with America came too late in the election season to make any difference at the polls; but those same critics would deride the plan as the Contract on America. How can something so seemingly trivial be 'so bad' as to negatively target the country? As a bonus, when you ask those critics how many of the points in the Contract were vetoed by President Clinton, you'll often silence those naysayers. Not all of the Contract points were signed into law; some never left the House. The point was a commitment to debate improvements in the House was made, and that commitment was kept, and few would argue the House or the nation suffered for it.


Speaker Gingrich is a statesman, a historian, and world-class speaker. He is a best-selling author, having written several books on politics and novels on the history of the South. His political philosophies embody the best of Conservatism principles. He was and remains a powerful voice in politics.


His personal conduct, however, is not an area that can be overlooked. What he has done involving his wives over the years is well known, and in more than one case downright despicable. To many, these matters do not matter. But I would hypocritical were I not to hold the Speaker of the House, the # 3 position in the Government, to a similar status as I would hold the #1 position.


Speaker Gingrich is often ridiculed that his dealings with women are made doubly bad because of his sharp criticism of President Clinton regarding his despicable acts in the White House. The only trouble is, nowhere is there any evidence that Mr. Gingrich ever took the President to task regarding Monica Lewinski. Furthermore, while I would not nominate Mr. Gingrich for any medal of valor, nowhere has ever been found liable for lying under oath.


The Speaker was found liable for a few ethics violations, and that was after some 40 or so charges of impropriety were leveled against him. As stated previously in this Blog, few in the Congress in either party can pass such an acid test, while that is not an excuse for Mr. Gingrich, he is at least in a broad company. The bigger double-standard came in 1997 from an incident involving an illegally taped conference call that was chaired by Gingrich. At the time, Gingrich had agreed not to involve himself in forming a strategy with fellow GOP members for dealing with a response to his ethics violations.


The problem, above the fact that phone call was illegally tapped and recorded, was that the call had nothing to do with the strategy, but rather the Speaker delegating general House tasks to subordinates during that time. No evidence was presented that he discussed the proposed response; it simply wasn't reported that way.


Mr. Gingrich is in the news of late, having been paired with the former First Lady and current Junior Senator from the great state of New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton. This, it has been explained, demonstrates the lengths he will go to make himself more appealing to Democratic voters, since they are teamed up on the matter of Health Care.


I find it odd that it is Speaker Gingrich who is said to be leaning left, and not Sen. Clinton suggested to be leaning right. Could it be both pols see the advantage in working together, towards the middle, on a matter so highly charged and important? After all, the First Lady does have first hand knowledge of how her radical left-wing agenda for health care left a bad taste in the mouths of the voters.


Some have suggested that Speaker Gingrich's recent book tours to Iowa mark the vanguard of his 2008 presidential run. This may be simply an attempt to test the waters. Were he in the Republican primary, he would not be my first choice against 'Republican X', because of the consistent disrespect shown for his wives. On the other hand, when compared against many of the 9 recent Democratic primary challengers, Mr. Gingrich stands head and shoulders above the rest on political principles.


It would indeed be a difficult choice for me to make. Fortunately, that choice need not be made for another 3 years. In that time, the captivating oratory of Mr. Gingrich may well cause a groundswell of support in his favor. If he fashions an agenda in a similar fashion to that of the Contract, he stands to garner broad, bipartisan support.


Coming full circle, this piece was the third installment in double standards. Undoubtedly, there will be those people on the Left who suddenly find the history of Mr. Gingrich to a case of moral turpitude; I wonder how many of these people thought the same way about President Clinton?


Compounding matters, should the House Ethics Panel ever reconvene, one of the first matters to be dealt with indirectly involves Speaker Gingrich. For that illegally taped phone call was acquired by Rep. James " Baghdad Jim" McDermott (D – Wa), who was recently found guilty of distributing that same tape to the New York Times. Any conviction of a House member automatically triggers an ethics probe in.


I wonder what the Gingrich critics will say about Rep. McDermott's ethical lapses.

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Yes, I promised

Yes, I promised a piece on Newt Gingrich; the last two weeks have been hell.
 
Wait... I plan on proof reading during lunch...

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Journalistic Standards

What can be said of the journalistic standards at Newsweek? It was just 6-1/2 years ago that Michael Isikoff had a story -- one that he worked hard to source -- spiked by the editors of Newsweek; many credit Matt Drudge for helping break the story of Monica Lewiniski, and forcing the hand of those same editors.

Mr. Isikoff was no stranger to such conflicts; years earlier he built the story of Paula Jones, and the Washington Post refused to run it.

So now we're in 2005; this time, Mr. Isikoff is reported to have submitted his resignation to Newsweek, due to the scandal that came from his poorly sourced story of 'Koran flushing'. I will give Mr. Isikoff credit in this: if it is true he tendered his resignation, at least a portion of his journalistic standards remain.

Mr. Isikoff's resignation was turned down and considering his skills and experience, it is not a surprise, although his reputation is surely tarnished. I won't fault Newsweek for not accepting his resignation, but rather for their assumption that the military was wrong. Clearly their journalistic standards are tainted, evidentally once again in a liberal bias.

Rich Lowery of National Review Online made the following point:

During the fallout from last year's CBS forged-documents flap, shrewd Newsweek political writer Howard Fineman said: "A political party is dying before our eyes — and I don't mean the Democrats. I'm talking about the 'mainstream media.'" He argued that the media had been identified with a crusading liberalism since Watergate and Vietnam, but their power was waning in the new political and information environment: "It's hard to know who, if anyone, in the 'media' has any credibility."

It's only getting harder. Back in November 2003, Newsweek complained in a cover story that Vice President Dick Cheney "bought into shady assumptions" leading into the Iraq war, partly because of his "dire view of the terrorist threat." In its Koran story, Newsweek itself bought into shady assumptions, partly because of the media's dire view of the U.S. military. And so the media party continues its decline.
It is stories like this, and the criticism that the White House was 'too slow to deny the story' -- as if it is the Administration's fault Newsweek ran the story -- which only leads me to reitierate how the mainstream media has lost much of its credibility in my eyes.

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It's got a good beat...

It's got a good beat and you can really dance to it (may be NSFW)


I'm slipping up! Thanks to my friend Sue for pointing this gem out to me!

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Interesting revelations

Quick look at some headlines:

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Friday, May 13, 2005

CNN: We'll do whatever we damn well please

Here's another example of why I don't trust CNN. Note the sign just above the mouse pointer.



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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Missed Point, once again

The debate over new standards in drivers' licencing is being misstated/misreported again:

National ID Battle Continues WIRED NEWS: Legislation supporting a standardized national driver's license may have won unanimous approval in the Senate on Tuesday, but the bill's apparently smooth passage left some jagged edges in its wake.
[snip]
Supporters of the bill say it would prevent terrorists and undocumented immigrants from obtaining legitimate documents that would help them move freely through the country. Last year, the 9/11 Commission called for tightening control over government-issued IDs because 18 of the 19 hijackers in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks used U.S. IDs to pass through airport security.

But opponents of the bill say it would create a national ID card and a de facto national database -- a concept that Congress rejected when it was first proposed several years ago.

Some critics call the legislation anti-immigration because it would prohibit undocumented immigrants from obtaining a driver's license.

Excuse me... but legislation of this caliber is not 'anti-immigaration'. Anyone who has legally entered this country is eligible to get a driver's licence. What this legislation is in reality is anti-illegal-immigration. There is a difference.

Now there is a part of my thinking that does not like a national id, but current drivers' licences are so easy to obtain fraudulently that something needs to be done.

Once again, the Republican's have brought an idea to the table, and the House approved it twice, and the Senate once. It should be noted the House approved its initial presentation when it was not attached to a spending bill.

What ideas have the Democrats brought to the table?




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Monday, May 09, 2005

ACLU AWOL

Michelle Malkin has two pieces on people who were politically persecuted.

NOW they're going to say profiling makes sense?


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Catching up

How is it time flies so fast? Even faster every day?

So the camp-in was a lot of fun. A great way to introduce a kid to camping. For May 6th, it was amazingly cold, and this is from a guy who doesn't get cold, even in the winter. The pre-packaged cups of juice were frozen... Orange juice freezes a bit less than at 32°, so it wasn't simply my imagination!

So as I lamely bragged, I finally have broadband. No one probably remembers how long I've been planning on this event, but it finally came true Friday. The obligatory service tech came to my home, handed me a modem and instructed me to plug in the power supply, but nothing else. He then opened his laptop, connected a CAT-5 cable to it, and handed me the other end.

"We're not allowed to handle any of your equipment." he said. "Now plug this end into the modem."

I complied, but hated every moment. Once connected, he loaded IE, and said "You're good; sign here."

That's what a $35 service call buys these days. He did wait until I got a browser window opened before he left. "I always make sure people get at least this far." If he was waiting on a tip for that extra service, he was disappointed.

Unfortunately, after he left, I found the DSL connection went down whenever I tried to access my office via Cisco VPN. The ISP Tech Support's answer was simply "Uninstall the VPN". Aren't monopolies fun??

So on this Mother's Day, I left my much-better-half and the kids to come to the office to finish the task I promised for Monday morning. I'll get my tech guys to help me sort out the VPN... then I need to find out if my wireless router and card will clash with my 900Mhz cordless phones at home; with any luck, those two tasks will be done by Saturday.

So here I sit at my desk. Not only do I generally get the impression I live in the office, tonight I am going to go so far as to sleep in it.

As some might suggest, the only difference is I am sleeping here at night.

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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Movie and Camping: a Camp-In

About an hour from home is a drive-in, where some 200 Scout families have gathered for a night of movies and to pitch tents and spend the night.

My much-better-half stayed home with our youngest, so my Bear Cub and I are here alone.

We saw The Pacifier and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Pacifier was well received, but HH went over everyone's head (I am a fan of the books so it wasn't lost on me.)

The big disappointment : its about 40 degrees or less!

UPDATE: Yes, we survived the camp-in. At about 5AM I walked about the camp grounds, and came across the cooking area. One of the troops were tasked with cooking breakfast for all of the scouts and their families, and the eggs and ham-and-eggs were great (and, of course, COFFEE!). The single serve cups of juices - orange, cranberry, grape - were frozen. Imagine that! How cold was it? Who knows...

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Friday, May 06, 2005

It's about effing time

Well, for am IT professional, it's taken me far too long to finally have broadband at home, but today wap the day. I haven't configured the router yet, but at least I can finally work productively at home.

Too many things to do today; we're going camping tonight!

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Haven't forgotten

I still owe several people replies to e-mails and to comments made... I haven't forgotten you all...

On the upside, I'll finally bring my home Internet access into modernity: getting broadband this week. The Podunkville phone company insists they need to send a technician to my home to set me up (a/k/a: an excuse to charge me $35 for a service call).

Hoepfully, I'll be able to make more time for these and other postings.

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Living proof report is wrong

MSNBC: Researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton watched how parents interacted with their children while shopping in supermarkets and found that so-called ugly ones were more neglected and allowed to engage in potentially
dangerous behavior.

OK, so we've all heard about this story, so I am not necessarily breaking the story.

However, speaking for my own lifelong research, I never felt neglected by my parents in any way growing up.

And heaven knows: I would never be mistaken as GQ material...


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Monday, May 02, 2005

Lots to say

Not surprisingly to readers of this humble Blog, I have some things to say regarding several items in the news.
 
To be overly brief:
  • Jennifer Wilbanks: Charge her, try her and move on.
  • Teenagers lost at sea: why did Ms. Wilbanks get all the ink and these two boys nary a mention until they were found?
  • Anti-Nuke Rally: When I was 20 these were a joke, saved only by Bruce Springsteen's music (despite his rhetoric).  Today they've become an instrument of the Communist Party, and thus as meaningful.
  • MinuteMen Project:  They're folding their tents, for now.  All of the predictions of the ACLU and radical organizations proved false.  Finally, Congress and the President may realize 'Hey, we really need to do something about our borders.'   Neither Party is sparred criticism on this point.
  • Iran and their Nukes:  Anyone still think President Bush was wrong for putting our presence in the region?
  • North Korea and their Nukes: Anyone still think President Bush's plan for multi-lateral talks was a bad idea?
  • Pope Benedict XVI: Sue has asked why I haven't said anything about our new Pontiff.  She's right, I am late with the comments, but from what I've read of the man he's the perfect choice to pick up JP-II's staff.
  • Newt Gingrich: Yes, yes, I did promise to speak my mind on the former Speaker.  You might be surprised at what will eventually evolve out of my draft folder. 
 
 

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She's counting the years...

In other news,  my much-better-half and I were speaking, of all things, cemeteries.  How the age-old tradition of burial will eventually disappear, sooner or later, as land becomes less and less available.  I pondered aloud that with modern technology, the need of 'visiting a grave marker' will become unnecessary.
 
'Give Artificial Intelligence another 10 years or so, and we'll be able to program a chip before we die with our basic personality.  Then when I'm dead, you could have an intelligent conversation with me.'
 
She replied: 'Great, I have to wait another 10 years and for you to die to finally have an intelligent conversation with you.'
 

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