Friday, June 30, 2006

The SCOTUS and Guantanamo Prisoners

Much ado about the Supreme Court decision regarding the proposed war-crimes trials for the Guantanamo detainees. Strangely enough, many of these prisoners were picked up in Afghanistan, during armed conflict and are certainly prisoners of the war, while not being a proper P.O.W.

The Supreme Court has again done what was previously thought unthinkable: they've granted rights and privileges on terrorists; this is an absurd ruling.
Read More...

Recall in 2004 the Supreme Court ruled that unlawful enemy combatants (see Geneva Convention Article 4) have access to our federal courts (not military, mind you). Suddenly, a person easily considered an enemy of state is granted rights of a US Citizen.

At the risk of using the hackneyed slippery slope, that is exactly what has happened. For today, as the Supreme Court ruled yesterday, these same enemy combatants are now completely exempt from military tribunals and instead are entitled to civilian courts.

The solution, we're told, is for the Administration to request from Congress legislation that addresses the handling of such prisoners. I am not a Constitutional scholar (nor do I play one on TV), but how is it that President -- whose definition in the Constitution is Commander-in-Chief -- has to seek permission to deal with lawfully captured prisoners (illegal ones, at that) from the Congress, which has no defined role in the military process, outside of declaring war (which they have already done)?

I defy someone to state where matters of military action involving prisoners are covered in the Constitution in regards to Legislative or Judicial oversight. If you say that the treaty - the Geneva Conventions - binds us to those obligations spelled out within - then I'll agree and point directly to where the Article 4 defines legal combatants.

Simply put: there is no oversight of either the Judicial or Legislative branches in regards to matters of a declared war. Congress can defund it, but they are not entitled to the day-to-day issues involving it; that's a job for the Executive Branch.

Side Note: Many pundits deride the use of the title Commander-in-Chief as being some kind of code-word for the President that allegedly deflects all sorts of criticism. Nonsense: when dealing with matters of domestic, fiduciary policy, that title is nondescript and correctly out of place. When dealing with matters of military or national security, the title fits -- much to the chagrin of those critics who can't stand that Mr. Bush was re-elected.

The Hamdan ruling has but one bit of good news: the prisoners will still remain under lock and key; but who knows when the next such case may call into question that safe-guard?

This ruling is an example of how this great nation will not fall from some stereotypical, invading Visigoths coming over the wall, but rather from within.





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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Late Night Music Meme

If you see something that looks like a star,
And it's shooting up out of the ground,
And your head is spinning from a loud guitar.
And you just can't escape from the sound,
Don't worry too much it'll happen to you;
We were children once playing with toys


Long ago, in a different time, I used to go out for long solitary rides in the night. I especially enjoyed riding at night during a rain storm. East of Queens, NYC, there's a stretch of highway that goes on for a few miles at a time with no exits and few distractions. Back in the day, they hadn't even installed street lights, so night driving was even more enjoyable 'in the dark.'

If you had just a minute to breathe
And they granted you one final wish
Would you ask for something like another chance?
Or something similar as this?
Don't worry too much it'll happen to you;
As sure as your sorrows are joys


I used to look for long songs on the radio... certainly nothing Top40. What was called AOR - Album Oriented Rock. The band Traffic was always a reliable choice at any time, but especially Low Sparks of High Heeled Boys ... on rainy nights. Something about that instrumental always comes calling back to me in the rain. Of course, the lyrics are none too shabby either.

I've had that tune rambling around my head a lot this week from all the rain we've had; like we're having as I type. Entire communities no more than 30 miles away have been evacuated. Interstate 80, north of my humble abode, is closed in several sections, cutting off drivers heading east or west. Nasty rains, indeed.

If I gave you everything that I owned
And asked for nothing in return
Would you do the same for me as I would for you?
Or take me for a ride
And strip me of everything including my pride
But spirit is something that no one destroys.

It's raining again, and unlike previous nights, instead of humming the tune myself I decided to share the lyrics here. I have this album on vinyl somewhere... perhaps it's time I break down and start buying some tunes of my own. Maybe take a long ride one night, too.

In the meantime, am I the only one who has a tune that speaks to him in the rain? What tunes do think of in the rain? Or what songs make you think of rain?

The percentage you're paying is too high priced
While you're living beyond all you're means.
And the man in the suit has just bought a new car
From the profit he's made on your dreams.
But today you just read that the man was shot dead
By a gun that didn't make any noise.
But it wasn't the bullet that laid him to rest
Was the low spark of high-heeled boys, high-heeled boys.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

9/11 Commission Chairman: A Good Program Is Over


Don't take the word of the pundits, don't take my word. But do consider the word of the man who ought to know:

[Thomas Kean, the 9/11 Commission chairman,] says the New York Times’s decision to expose the terrorist finance effort — Kean called Times executive editor Bill Keller in an attempt to persuade him not to publish — has done terrible damage to the program. "I think it's over," Kean says. "Terrorists read the newspapers. Once the program became known, then obviously the terrorists were not going to use these methods any more."

Read the rest at Captain's Quarters




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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Fastest Growing Syndicated Talk Radio Show

MARK LEVIN LANDS TAMPA, MIAMI AND SIX MORE MAJOR ARKETS

NEW YORK, NY (June 27, 2006)- ABC Radio Networks today announced that The Mark Levin Show has added seven major new affiliates, making it the fastest growing syndicated Talk show currently on the air.

Read more at The Mark Levin Fan Blog

You just know Lionel won't be happy about this...

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Poll:What Americans think of the NYT publishing classified information

Psych! There is no such poll. The media snap polls just about everything, but to date no media outlet has taken a poll of what Americans think of the NYT’s publishing the SWIFT program, or whether Americans think the Times and/or its reporters should be prosecuted. They’ve had days to do it by now.

Why do you suppose no media outlet has run to poll this question yet? Hmmmm?
Maybe the Times did poll it, and didn’t like the results.

h/t: HotAir




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Local Blogger goes to the Show

On a personal note this morning, I've often linked to posts on Pstupidonymous, a blog by fellow Commonwealth resident Alex Charyna (one of my more hopeful predictions is referenced here). He later moved on the Three Sources, another exemplary blog that I encourage all to read. And let's not forget the Blog to Re-elect Senator Rick Santorum.

Early this morning, I had the pleasure of learning that Alex is now contributor to National Review Online, and can be read here.

I can honestly say I knew him when...


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Monday, June 26, 2006

Of National Security, the Public's Right to Know, and The New York Times

The president should match this morning's tough talk with concrete action. Publications such as the Times, which act irresponsibly when given access to secrets on which national security depends, should have their access to government reduced. Their press credentials should be withdrawn. Reporting is surely a right, but press credentials are a privilege. This kind of conduct ought not be rewarded with privileged access.

Moreover, the Justice Department must be more aggressive than it has been in investigating national-security leaks. While prosecution of the press for publishing information helpful to the enemy in wartime would be controversial, pursuit of the government officials who leak it is not. At the very least, members of the media who report such information must be made to understand that the government will no longer regard them as immune from questioning when it investigates the leakers. They should be compelled to reveal their sources, on pain of contempt.


Read the rest: The Editors on New York Times & National Security on National Review Online

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I'd be afraid to lose my keys!

I've long had flash drives, and the ones I use for work are, as often as not, at the end of my keyring.

But this would just make me paranoid:


Yes, you read that correctly: 64GB on a flash drive.

All I need is a mere $5,000 burning a hole in my pocket...

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Have you signed my yearbook blog?

In it's Culture pages, Wired News reports on one high school where students have opted for web-based yearbooks instead of the traditional, glossy bound variety.

High Schoolers Pick Web Yearbook
[A] Tuckahoe High School student is trying to persuade as many as his friends as possible to sign up at MyYearbook.com -- and save some money, too.

"I'm going to bring everyone who matters to me to MyYearbook," said John, who attends school in Eastchester, a suburb just north of New York City. "I'm confident in that, and besides, they're like $70."

But skeptics wonder if the free website can ever truly replace the traditional printed chronicle of high-school memories -- even for the generation that's grown up with the internet.
Read More...

"Students continue to say they prefer print yearbooks for obvious reasons," said Rich Stoebe, director of communications for Jostens, which sells yearbooks, class rings and other scholastic memorabilia.

After all, will anyone want to haul a laptop to the 25th class reunion? And what happens if the technology changes or
something happens to the dot-com?

Hauling a laptop? Something tells me Mr. Stroebe has no clue how light-weight they've become (and that's not counting smart-phones, PocketPC's, etc.) . Perhaps someone can fill me in: do people actually bring their high-school yearbooks to reunions? I've never attended one, so I have no first-hand knowledge.

[T]he teenage siblings who created MyYearbook.com, Catherine and David Cook of Stillman, New Jersey, are confident their generation will trust the internet with their school memories.

"We just think yearbooks are obsolete," said Catherine Cook, 16. "If you think about it, all you're going to do with it is put it on the shelf and never really look at it."

Indeed! I had to ponder where my yearbooks were located; like nearly all kids, I had to get one each of the 4 years I was in high school. A call to my mother confirmed they're still collecting dust on the top-most bookshelf in the spare bedroom, untouched by me for over 22 years. Heh, the books are not lonely, however: mom says most of my brothers annual tomes are along side mine.

MyYearbook.com allows users to create a profile with separate sections for high school, college, graduate school and professional life. Students who sign up are automatically linked to others at their school.

Acting as their own editors, they can select friends from their classmates.

Members can "autograph" each others' yearbook pages. The site also connects students through school club and sports pages. Like other so-called social-networking sites, it allows members to upload photos and post messages.

Students have access to multimedia and interactive components that old-fashioned yearbooks can't offer, including a place for creating polls and storing music and videos.

So, it's MySpace without the pedophiles, right?

Or perhaps in a better light: a website that has generated nearly a million accounts (free subscriptions) that is sitting back and earning a lot on web ads. Not bad for a couple for kids who have created something a little more than a blog.

Simple arithmetic tells me another reunion is on the horizon; in 1982 I could never conceive the thought of a 25th reunion; that seemed so far away from the reality of the moment. Now I think back and wonder what the fuss is all about with reunions in general.

If there are any people from those years that I want to get in touch with, the Alumni office can easily help me, providing said persons want to be found. If I haven't stayed in touch with anyone in all this time, why would anyone think I have a desire to meet them over cocktails in some hotel ballroom?

What of college reunions? TV sitcoms always do High School reunions, but never College ones: after moving, I never bothered to update my University Alumni office of my new address, and I remain in contact with the friends of those years, so a reunion would be moot.

Am I alone on this? Am I the only one who couldn't care less about high school, 25 years later? Have you attended yours? Why or why not?

And do you know where your yearbooks are?

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Friday, June 23, 2006

The big non-story of the week

So the big non-story of the week has to be what Sen. Rick Santorum announced on Wednesday that evidence demonstrating WMDs were found in Iraq. I call it a non-story not to diminish the importance of the declassification of the data, but because many prior stories detailed similar finds over the years.

  • Remember what Dr. David Kay really believed when he issued his final report, and not what the media spun his words to say. While talking heads like to repeat the baseless mantra that Bush Lied, Dr. Kay had a decidedly different point of view, as seen in this post:
    • Asked by Sen. John McCain if he agreed "with the fundamental principle here that what we did was justified and enhanced the security of the United States and the world by removing Saddam Hussein from power," Dr. Kay responded, "Absolutely. ... If you read the total body of intelligence in the last 12 to 15 years that flowed on Iraq, I quite frankly think it would be hard to come to a conclusion other than that Iraq was a gathering, serious threat to the world with regard to WMD."
  • Remember the story about the UN acknowledging they knew Iraq was shipping WMD material out of country in the weeks leading up to the US and Allied invasion.
  • Remember the ink spent on the 3 tons of ammo that went missing in 2004; if a mere 3 tons of ammo could evaporate, why couldn't the reported WMDs also be stolen?
  • Remember the UN's own Dr. Hans Blix who repeatedly called on Iraq to end their game of hide and seek; if they were playing a game, they must have had WMDs to play with.

So before you go and criticize Senator Santorum, keep in mind he's merely declassifying data on things that have been found, and which are substantiated by other reports over the years.


, , , ,



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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I Love My Coffee, Butt This Is Ridiculous

Cam Edwards posted this piece this morning. I am a coffee addict, and while I maintain to each his/her own, this is just wrong.

Animal Coffee: Kopi luwak is a rare gourmet coffee ... [and] is produced in the stomach of an animal which limits the supply and adds to the air of mystery surrounding this most unusual beverage.
I, personally, am thankful said supply is limited!

Hat tip to: Cam Edwards - I Love My Coffee, Butt This Is Ridiculous

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15 years and counting


One evening in June, 15 years (and one day) ago, I opened a mailer containing 3 5¼ inch diskettes. I received the mailer because a few weeks earlier I found an ad in LOTUS magazine (for you youngin's out there, Lotus 1-2-3 was the forerunner to MS Excel); the ad touted an new online service that was looking for members.

That evening I created my first AOL Screen Name. Now I have been and remain an IT professional, and I've kept my original AOL account in spite of the persistent criticism (much of it well-deserved), and I have no plans to give it up. Being that I was one of the first to sign-up, I have been assigned Charter Member status, and have paid no more than $9 for service all this time. For the last 10 years I've used it as an e-mail client, primarily.

For the longest while I kept the account because I was known professionally by my address, and I was looking for work, so I didn't want to lose my contacts. Then it was the only ISP in the rural area where I relocated.

Then I kept it because my parents were getting online and they needed as much help as possible. Now I rely on it because my 10 year old is online -- and say what you will about AOL -- there is no better kid-filtered application for the money out there (certainly at my price point).

One day I envision a time where my trusty/rusty screen name will be dissolved, but that won't be for some time.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rockin' the Right

In last weeks National Review magazine, they listed the results of a reader poll asking for the Top Conservative Rock songs of all time. The author admits that while some are obvious, others were written/performed by outspoken liberals or libertines. Regardless, it is an interesting excercise to think about each tune and ponder the lyrics, perhaps for the umpteenth time, perhaps for the first time ever.

Read the list, debate the selection and/or add your own favorites.

  1. "Won't Get Fooled Again," by The Who.
    Read More...
  2. "Taxman," by The Beatles.
  3. "Sympathy for the Devil," by The Rolling Stones.
  4. "Sweet Home Alabama," by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
  5. "Wouldn't It Be Nice," by The Beach Boys.
  6. "Gloria," by U2.
  7. "Revolution," by The Beatles.
  8. "Bodies," by The Sex Pistols.
  9. "Don't Tread on Me," by Metallica.
  10. "20th Century Man," by The Kinks.
  11. "The Trees," by Rush.
  12. "Neighborhood Bully," by Bob Dylan.
  13. "My City Was Gone," by The Pretenders.
  14. "Right Here, Right Now," by Jesus Jones.
  15. "I Fought the Law," by The Crickets.
  16. "Get Over It," by The Eagles.
  17. "Stay Together for the Kids," by Blink 182.
  18. "Cult of Personality," by Living Colour.
  19. "Kicks," by Paul Revere and the Raiders.
  20. "Rock the Casbah," by The Clash.
  21. "Heroes," by David Bowie.
  22. "Red Barchetta," by Rush.
  23. "Brick," by Ben Folds Five.
  24. "Der Kommissar," by After the Fire.
  25. "The Battle of Evermore," by Led Zeppelin.
  26. "Capitalism," by Oingo Boingo.
  27. "Obvious Song," by Joe Jackson.
  28. "Janie's Got a Gun," by Aerosmith.
  29. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," by Iron Maiden.
  30. "You Can't Be Too Strong," by Graham Parker.
  31. "Small Town," by John Mellencamp.
  32. "Keep Your Hands to Yourself," by The Georgia Satellites.
  33. "You Can't Always Get What You Want," by The Rolling Stones.
  34. "Godzilla," by Blue Oyster Cult.
  35. "Who'll Stop the Rain," by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
  36. "Government Cheese," by The Rainmakers.
  37. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," by The Band.
  38. "I Can't Drive 55," by Sammy Hagar.
  39. "Property Line," by The Marshall Tucker Band.
  40. "Wake Up Little Susie," by The Everly Brothers.
  41. "The Icicle Melts," by The Cranberries.
  42. "Everybody's a Victim," by The Proclaimers.
  43. "Wonderful," by Everclear.
  44. "Two Sisters," by The Kinks.
  45. "Taxman, Mr. Thief," by Cheap Trick.
  46. "Wind of Change," by The Scorpions.
  47. "One," by Creed.
  48. "Why Don't You Get a Job," by The Offspring.
  49. "Abortion," by Kid Rock.
  50. "Stand By Your Man," by Tammy Wynette.



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Monday, June 19, 2006

Juneteenth

Today marks a distinct anniversary that is hardly ever mentioned.

Right Voices: "Today, Americans celebrate Juneteenth when in 1865 slavery finally ended throughout the entire United States. Sadly, few people know that Juneteenth was a high water mark for African- Americans. Soon after that great day, the Democratic Party defeated the Reconstruction policies of the Republican Party, postponing the civil rights movement until the 1950s.

An important fact which most history books ignore is that Abraham Lincoln's 1864 running mate was a Democrat, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee. And so after Lincoln's assassination, it was a Democrat who would be President of the United States for the first four years after the Civil War. That first President Johnson did all in his power to prevent African- Americans from experiencing Lincoln's new birth of freedom. "
Follow the link for more on this historic day, and also read up on The History of the Republican Party.

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Quick Hits

= Reality Hammer asks: "Democrats feel that Karl Rove is guilty despite not being indicted for a crime...here we have [Rep. Cynthia McKinney] who admits committing a crime and is not indicted...so is she guilty in the eyes of Democrats?"

= Dvorak Uncensored:
I'll have a large, hot fudge sunscreen, please! "As if you needed another reason to eat chocolate, German researchers have shown that ingesting types rich in cocoa solids and flavonoids — dark chocolate — can fight skin cancer." YUM!

= Vent: Taking a page from Laura Ingraham: The Chicks should shut up and sing.

= CleverHack: What do a blogger meet-up, software EUI, CSS, Rolling Stone magazine, and Madonna in a riding crop have in common? Check out Cleverhack's latest Podcast

Hoping your weekend was a good one.

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Who knew he had his own blog

Man, I am so out of it, I can't explain any other reason why I missed this!

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ouch


I'm reaching the third anniversary in my study of Tae Kwon Do. In previous posts I have alluded to how much I ache after each session.

I enjoy...
I look forward to...
I need the cardio work out, which I believe with some certainty I would not achieve without the drill-sergeant mentality of the Master, a 6th Dan in TKD.

So after three years, why do I ache so much still? I recognize no pain, no gain, and it should be duly noted that my strength is up, my dexterity is marginally better (but considering how poor it was before it's a fantastic increase), and I am certainly in the best shape I have ever been in my entire life (this is said with all sincerity). All of this is a given.

And although I've asked the question before, it begs to answered: when am I supposed to feel good about a workout? Each evening session finds me drained, sore, and soaked through with sweat; this is not to suggest others in the class haven't worked up a sweat as well, but I truly make an art out of it.

And a very safe bet: tomorrow when I drag myself out of bed, I'll know each and every muscle that was stretched this evening... they'll bug me most of the morning.

So will I ever reach this nirvana, or is this whole exercise makes you feel good just an urban legend?




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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Return to Sender: Well what do you know?


Well what do you know?? It can be done!

AP: ICE Arrest About 2,000 Illegal Immigrants A swarm of federal immigration agents sped silently, headlights off, down a Boston side street early Wednesday and surrounded an apartment house.

"Police! Policia! Police!" yelled Daniel Monico, a deportation officer, holding his badge to a window where someone had pulled back the curtain. "Open the door!"

Moments later, agents led a dazed-looking Jose Ferreira Da Silva, 35, out in handcuffs. The Brazilian had been arrested in 2002 and deported, but had slipped back into the country. He now faces up to 20 years in prison.

In a blitz that began May 26, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested nearly 2,100 illegal immigrants across the country. Officials said the raids are aimed at child molesters, gang members and other violent criminals, as well as people like Da Silva who sneaked back into the country after a judge threw them out.

The crackdown is called Operation Return to Sender.

"This sends a message," said Monico, standing outside the gray Victorian apartment where Da Silva had been hiding. "When we deport you, we're serious."

An Associated Press reporter and photographer accompanied a fugitive task force as it made Operation Return to Sender raids Tuesday night and early Wednesday.

The operation has caught more than 140 immigrants with convictions for sexual offenses against children; 367 known gang members, including street soldiers in the deadly Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13; and about 640 people who had already been deported once, immigration officials said. The numbers include more than 720 arrests in California alone.

More than 800 people arrested already have been deported.
More...



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Thinking of slamming Wal-Mart to get votes?

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Democrats Make Wal-Mart an Issue at Their Peril: "Democratic candidates hoping to gain politically by attacking Wal-Mart in this election cycle might want to rethink their strategy. In fact, results from a recent RT
Strategies poll indicate such a campaign strategy would be counterproductive. By a 3-to-1 margin, 62% disapprove and only 21% approve of 'Democratic candidates making Wal-Mart an issue in November's elections,' in the RT Strategies poll conducted June 1-5 with a representative sample of 1,209 adults nationwide.
Read the rest of this assesment, made by longtime leading Democratic pollster Thomas Riehle, at RealClear Politics .

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What Would Jack Bauer Want for Fathers Day?


SEASON ONE, all 6 DVDs, with free shipping: $19.99 at BestBuy



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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

If it's an agenda you want

We may finally have the long-promised Democratic Agenda, at least where the House of Representatives is concerned. How long-promise? Remember this post or this post?

SFGate: The Democratic program will consist of bread-and-butter priorities: increasing the minimum wage, cutting costs of prescription drugs, reducing interest rates on student loans, rolling back subsidies for oil companies, and pay-as-you-go budgeting, according to party officials.

Okay... so the House of Representatives proposed to do nothing about illegal immigration, nor anything about the effects of the free market on gas prices.

And what of Representative John Murtha and his call for immediate withdrawal of the troops? Nowhere to be seen.

What of a resolution to end the so-called Climate of Corruption? Oh wait, they'd have to act against Representative William Jefferson (D Louisana).

You read here folks, they're initial plan is above, which includes a throw-back to the failed national health-care plan. And please, do not kid yourselves: 'pay-as-you go budgeting' means one thing: higher taxes. It should mean cutting spending instead: the Conservatives used to speak of that, and I hope they remember it once again.




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Privacy and Exploiting Cheerleaders

The talk around the water cooler this morning dealt with a California high-school where the cheerleaders were videotaped – without permission – during games doing what cheerleaders do best: cheering, splitting, etc. These tapes are being sold on eBay, and without a doubt, the person making the videos and those who buy them are perverts, no question at all.

The parents of the cheerleaders in question are demanding the law should prevent this, but why? OK, I know: I wouldn’t want any daughter on a perv video. On this there’s no debate. Fine.

But if the person making the video – and I am not assigning gender to the videographer because there’s no way of knowing – is at a public event, and is in plain sight (not concealing the camera in any way), what crime is being committed? If the person went to the gym and hid a camera, etc., then there’s some expectation to privacy; this is not the case when the squad is performing in front of a crowd.

And if the parents are upset that their precious daughter is being used as perv fodder, what’s the difference between wearing skimpy outfits at a football stadium and being shown wearing the same skimpy outfits on video, presumably in a darkened living room somewhere? Couldn’t a pervert be sitting in the front-row of the stadium, getting an eyeful?

The only thing these parents could hook the video makers on is profiting from their daughters images without compensation. But then, who wants to go to court saying Your honor, this person is making money off my daughter wearing skimpy clothes and performing splits without just compensation… somehow that would not make the parents look good in the Legal Notices area of the newspaper.

KNBC news did a story on it here. Lionel raised the discussion last night, which was heard by a guy in my office.



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Monday, June 12, 2006

True Radicals

Lest there be any doubt, there are true radicals in this fine country of ours, but not the ones that get all the attention in political circles.


Can't see the video? Click here

When I first heard of the Westboro Baptist Church, the teaser on the radio said they held signs reading Thank God for Dead Soldiers and immediately I agreed.... but certainly not for the reasons I later learned they were espousing. I am grateful for the many soldiers who have given their lives for this great nation, without whom this nation would have never come into being, nor survived.

But then I learned this group is to Christianity what Osama bin Laden is to radical Islamic fundamentalists.

Fortunately, there are those who combat such stupidity: the Patriot Guard Riders.



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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Dixie Chicks Feeling Capitalistic Pressures?


In case you've lived in a vacuum, there may be some real effects of the Dixie Chicks comments made overseas 3 years ago.

Lionel last week took pleasure in repeating the fact their latest CD broke a Billboard record for sales (previously set by them) in its first week. Clearly, however, that sales rate was short lived, as sales have already dropped by over 45% despite of the huge publicity in major media outlets.

Kevin at Wizbang has also noted that their tour is struggling in several markets. The AP has reported:

Initial ticket sales for the Dixie Chicks' upcoming tour are far below expectations and several dates will likely be canceled or postponed.

No one, certainly not this blog, has ever said the members of the Dixie Chicks are not entitled to their own opinions or are prevented from expressing the same. What offended people more, in my estimation, is that they expressed their opinion, publicly and for the first time apparently, overseas. I submit the plethora of bad press would have been greatly reduced had they spoke of their embarrassment to a crowd in, say, Dallas before expressing it in the U.K.

Regardless, they are entitled to speak their mind as are their fans (or, perhaps more accurate, their former fans).

As usual, the free market will decide what the people want to hear. I don't, personally, care for Country music (or whatever genre the Dixie Chicks wish to be associated with), so I wouldn't buy their stuff in the first place.



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ZARQAWI DEAD

Quoting Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette:

Welcome to hell, bitch..


MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE - IRAQ
COMBINED PRESS INFORMATION CENTER BAGHDAD, Iraq
http://www.mnf-iraq.com
703.270.0320 / 0299

June 8, 2006Release A060608a

Coalition forces kill Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Multi-National Force-Iraq Commanding General, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., announced the death of al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi in the following statement during a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad June 8:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Coalition forces killed al-Qaida terrorist leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and one of his key lieutenants, spiritual advisor Sheik Abd-Al-Rahman, yesterday, June 7, at 6:15 p.m. in an air strike against an identified, isolated safe house.

“Tips and intelligence from Iraqi senior leaders from his network led forces to al-Zarqawi and some of his associates who were conducting a meeting approximately eight kilometers north of Baqubah when the air strike was launched.

“Iraqi police were first on the scene after the air strike, and elements of Multi-National Division - North, arrived shortly thereafter. Coalition forces were able to identify al-Zarqawi by fingerprint verification, facial recognition and known scars.


Read More...

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

6-Jun-1942

On this anniversary of what was named The Longest Day, let us all pause a moment and remember the over 3,000 who died on a single day of fighting.

Remember also the sacrifices of the US and Allied forces due to years of appeasement.



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Monday, June 05, 2006

Hedge over Heels

Saturday night, we loaded the kidlets into the car and went to a drive-in movie. Readers of this blog will know we don't get out to movies nearly as much as I'd like, so a drive-in is even more of a trip than one would expect. We saw OVER THE HEDGE and it was a lot of fun.

Our local drive-in really makes an evening event. Football and Frisbees are tossed in one field, there were pony rides, hay rides, and 5' Stella the Skunk walking about which our 3 year old dubbed 'Happy Skunk!'

The movie is a hoot for young and old. Enough puns over the head of the kids to entertain the adults, including a predictable Stanley Kowalski moment involving the above-referenced skunk.

The drive-in features two screens, and after the first showings they had a fireworks show that was pretty decent, a month out of the Independence Day. We passed on the second feature on our screen (Steve Martin's interpretation of The Pink Panther), but we sufficiently enjoyed ourselves.

If this keeps up, one day I might be able to catch a first-run movie that doesn't involve cute animals...



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The big hand will be on the 12, and the little hand on the 10

Scene: 8:15, Monday morning, my office

He: Charlie, you called a meeting for 9:30. Won't that interfere with Bob's?

Me: Depends... when is Bob's meeting.

He: 10:00.

Me: And?

He: Well? Didn't you see Bob's meeting on the calendar when you scheduled yours?

Me: Perhaps that's why my meeting is only scheduled for 30 minutes?

When your Monday starts like this, its not going to be a good week.




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Friday, June 02, 2006

Lost Clothing

George Carlin once observed there are certain phrases you hear around the home.  Like Where are my good scissors?   That’s a mom-saying if I ever heard one. Another one he attributed to only guys: Hey, who took my underwear??  I’ll tell you why I thought of George in a moment.


Read More...Tonight was my son’s Cub Scout PACK NIGHT, the monthly meeting of all the boys, where awards are presented, songs are sung, games are played, and general announcements and plans for the summer are made.

Our Pack is chartered at a local Methodist Church, which seems a little weird since more than 80% are Catholic (that’s my estimation, alone, not a hard figure).  Be that as it may, we hold these monthly meetings in the local Public School lunch room.

This school building house the elementary students 1st through 4th.  As our son is a student of a Virtual Charter School, this is a building he is only in once a month.  So there are occasionally sights that strike him – and sometimes me – as odd.  

One such sight happened tonight: the school year for the Public School is winding down, just 5 more days, so the signs announce.  Another sign proclaims ‘Last Chance for Lost and Found!  Go to the Lost And Found area in the Lunch Room.’    The lost and found area is nothing more than 3 oversized garbage pails (untouched by trash, evidently).    As we cleaned up the chairs and the like, I found myself at the spot where the lost articles were kept.

The first barrel had sweaters, scarves, hats and the like, obviously items that won’t be missed in the recent warm temperatures.  

The next barrel had a variety of lunch boxes, cooler boxes, and assorted drink containers.  Judging by the scarcity of those Thermos brand lunch boxes, another tradition of my youth seems to have gone by the way side.  I used to walk 2 blocks home for lunch, and boy did I envy the kids with their Six Million Dollar Man lunch boxes, or other such containers.  

The third barrel made me stop short.  A few tee-shirts were hanging over the side… fine, I can envision this being lost.  Jeans.   Jeans?  How do you loose pants?

A closer examination found a variety of underwear, both male and female.  LOST.    How do kids, no more than 10 years old (ok, 11 tops) lose underwear in school??  I found no less two bras and 3 briefs (2 girls, 1 boys) simply by picking up the top pair of jeans.  I shuttered at the thought of digging deep into this barrel, for fear of what else I might find.

What the hell goes on in this school?

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Whoopi Lee Roth

This just in from the wide world of radio:


FMQB: Radio Industry News: "Whoopi Goldberg has a new co-pilot for 'the morning muster.' Longtime WHTZ (Z100)/New York MD/afternoon drive guy Paul 'Cubby' Bryant has been chosen as Goldberg's sidekick for the her highly anticipated 'Wake Up with Whoopi' morning program when it launches in national syndication on July 31. The show will originate from New York on WKTU from 5:00-9:00 a.m. each weekday.

'Like a good, strong cup of coffee, Cubby will get me going in the morning. We're going to have some fun together. I can't wait to get started,' says Whoopi. 'I'd like to think of what we're doing as reflective of what's going on with our listeners. You have to muster yourself up and out the door. You have to muster the kids,
the house, your mate - it's the morning muster!'

'Who would have thought two people named Whoopi and Cubby would be waking up together,' added Bryant.
'To say I am honored to be a part of her show would be an understatement. I am beyond ecstatic and not even sure how to spell that!'"

This will be a crash and burn not seen since the recent demise of the radio career of David Lee Roth. Just because one party of the duo is a star (and, yes, I mean Whoppi) doesn't mean the radio show will be a hit. My prediction may be wrong, but if this were a Broadway show, I'd bet it would close during intermission.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: to be successful in commercial radio, you need talent and something people are willing to pay for (via sponsors) in order to hear.




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