Sunday, January 30, 2005

And So It Begins...

The first multi-party election in an Arab country in over 50 years - Iraq - is happenning right now.

I have said it before, I will say it again:
If the seed of democracy planted in Iraq blossoms and spreads into other arab countries Bush and Blair will be the next Lincoln and Chuchill.

Congrats to the Iraqi people - you have been through a lot and have a lot more coming. Stay strong - wonders what a little private property can do for the soul.

Don't forget who's blood was spilled along with yours to secure your right to vote.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Gotta Love It

This billboard will be put up in and around Hollywood in the coming weeks.

I'll Be Damned

Those who are regular readers of this blog are aware of my disdain for the AP and their posed photos and general dishonesty. Here is another great example of dishonesty from the AP, this time from Iraq. All this leads me to ask the very basic question: What the hell is going on at the Associated Press? This today from the Belmont Club:

The Obsidian Order is applying the commonsense test to photos taken by Ali Jasim of Reuters, Ali Al-Saadi of AFP and Khalid Mohammed of AP purporting to show a car exploding in front of a high school scheduled to be a voting center. These provide powerful visual proof of how 'insurgents' are winning in Iraq. The Obsidian Order observes that for openers, the car in the photos is not experiencing any kind of high-order explosion; it is simply burning. (Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds)

What do you see? A car on fire, apparently not close to anything flammable. We are told this is in front of a school, but we do not see the school. The fire looks like petrol, probably in cans in the back of the vehicle, set off with an incendiary WP shell (White Phosphorus - the white smoke and sparks). ... The key and blindingly obvious point: there are at least three photojournalists from different outfits there exactly at the time it goes off! Interpretation: ... this was staged. Staged? Staged?

The Obsidian Order forgets that coincidences of this type are normal in Iraq. An AP photographer also happened to be around when Iraqi election workers were murdered on Haifa street. Some French journalists just happened to be present when 'insurgents' attempted to shoot down a DHL cargo plane. So why shouldn't three wire service photographers happen to stroll by when a car 'explodes' in front of an obscure high school building in Baghdad? But Chester is not to be persuaded that everything is on the up-and-up. He observes that the three wire service accounts differ from that provided by the Iraqi police.

One of the comments on the site says:
Fox News had the sequence on the TV tonight. FNC said the Iraq police had shot up the car and stopped it -- the car caught fire -- then apparently a bomb inside went off. When the camera pulled back, the police with their guns raised were in the near filed framing -- as if they had been shooting at the car. So I am not sure what your point is. Looked to me like the Iraqi police got their man before he could reach the school.

FNC said a school was the target, not that it was hit by the explosion. Ah ha! There we have it! The reason the pictures look funny is because the Iraqi security forces killed the attacker before he could properly position his vehicle and the vehicle then sympathetically detonated. But wait! This is good news right? Iraqi security forces disrupted an attack. Then why does the Reuters caption under each photo read thus: An Iraqi boy runs past a car just as it explodes in front of al-Nahdha High School which was scheduled to be used as a voting centre in Baghdad, January 28, 2005.
Hours earlier in the same area in southern Baghdad, a car bomb exploded next to a police station, killing four Iraqi civilians, police said. REUTERS/Ali Jasim

Not only does Reuters refuse to acknowledge the success of Iraqi security forces in every single caption, but they instead mention a completely different bombing that was successful in killing innocents. So what? The wire services have reported it and it must be true. The last posts have coincidentally dealt with Orwell's description of how totalitarianisms manufacture an media alternative reality to suit their ends. In 1984 real events are never reported; false events are manufactured out of whole cloth. The Party intones, "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past". Thankfully, that is fiction. The car really exploded as three photojournalists were strolling by, even though the pictures show it is just burning. Honest it did.

Friday, January 28, 2005

rrrrrrrrribbit, rrrrrrrrrribbit

This article says a lot about two subjects.

First, the always dishonest Associated Press, whose star reporter wrote the article, tries to make the excuse that French wine exports are down due to "the toughening global market" and other nonsense like production from the "new world".

That is AP speak for "Americans don't want French shit anymore, especially French wine" as we like to say here in the great Midwest.

Second, this shows just what an impact the American economy can have on the rest of the world if we really want to put our minds to it. Mess with the bull, you get the horns, froggie.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Quote of the Day

The Diplomad is ALL OVER the UN technocrats sitting in luxury hotels in Jakarta trying to take credit for all the great work certain countries (cough, cough) are doing over in the tidal wave zone. My favorite quote from the post:
And the 300 trucks? Notice how the UN press release rolls together IOM and UN. It would be akin to stating, "Between them the United States and Mexico have 12 aircraft carrier battlegroups." Technically true, but . . . The overwhelming majority of those trucks are IOM's -- arranged and paid for by USAID. The Indonesian Minister of Defense noted, January 16, "The U.S. Military [in Aceh] has been the backbone of the logistical operations providing assistance to all afflicted after the disaster. We'd like to pay tribute to the soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen of the U.S. Forces deployed in Aceh throughout the relief effort." He didn't say the UN.

Read the whole thing, as they say in the blogosphere.

Watch What Your Kids Watch

From the Trib, an article that says that a childrens show was going to feature a lesbian couple or two.
I have personal experience with this show and many others. The bottom line is even when you are letting your children watch kid shows, you still need to be there to censor inappropriate content. Most, however, are fine. As an interesting aside, the show in question here is not watched in my house - by request of the viewer! She just doesn't think the show is any good.

The bigger problem here is the fundamental role of government - or, non-involvement, in this case. There is no way the government should be funding ANY TV station or network. PBS is totally out of control and past interviews with Bill Moyers, who was the head of PBS until recently, prove that not only was he an ideologue, but a total leftist (not liberal, leftist) to boot.

PBS was created in what I call the "socialist reformation" (LBJ called it the "Great Society") in the late sixties when LBJ was busy screwing up everything for everyone; an administration that so wrecked America that it took us twenty years to straighten everything out. But lots of socialist programs are left over, PBS being one of them.

You Wanna Play Hardball, OK Let's Play Hardball!!!

This is an article that a reader showed me a few weeks ago. It is one of the more interesting I have read in some time and I have a few thoughts about it.

I had been wondering during the election season not if, but when and where we would be hit by another 911 level catastrophe. Nothing happened. Day after day, nothing. The only terrorism during the election season was being subjected to Kerry's stump speech.

I wonder if the article is true. It does make sense, bin Laden being the zealot that he is. If it is true, it is the best possible move we could ever make! We cannot let our lives be threatened by these thugs. Maybe bin Laden and his ilk don't really think that Allah is the end all - if so, you would think something would have hapenned by now.

Monday, January 24, 2005

It's the Economy, Stupid

Last weekend, I took the family to the Wisconsin Dells for the Flakeout Festival and to go swimming. Oh yes, swimming - we always stay here, the largest indoor water park in North America (maybe the world). It is great to get out of the winter and into some water for a while to break things up a bit.

The Flakeout Festival was cold, but fun - lots of snow and ice sculptures, a warming tent (*with beer*) and pony and horse rides.

If you browse the hotel site, you can see how astronomically high the weekend rates are to stay there. This huge hotel was completely sold out last weekend.

I am no professor of economics, but if the economy is so bad, as the Dems were harping on during the presidential election, I can only assume that this hotel would be at least half empty. Not at all. It was JAMMED to the top with people and they were partying, to boot. The sounds from the bar downstairs were heard by me in my room until 11pm - way past my bedtime. I remember distinctly hearing a man singing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" on the karaoke machine. Ugh.

If you have the extra cash, I highly recommend the hotel - room service is very good, too. Weekdays are lots cheaper, if you can swing it.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Hey Kids, Get Out of the Mud!

I have written before about the questionable nature of photographs from the Associated Press and here is another, this time a photo of suffering tidal wave kids. I have seen this one in many print and internet sources. A larger, clearer version of the photo can be found here. Just go to the right column and click on the photo.
The AP photographer (as usual) is in a perfect place to catch these kids in the act of begging for stuff from what is supposedly a helicopter overhead dropping supplies. Notice that the photo is exactly centered. Also note something even more damning - if you have ever been anywhere near a helicopter when it's blades are in full flight power, you know how breezy it is. The water the kids are standing in isn't really moving due to the helicopter blades and their hair is not moving. I would expect a fine mist to be everywhere in this photo if the helicopter were actually overhead.

Now for the really damning evidence that this photo is staged - two things actually. Notice the DRY LAND just over the kids' shoulders? What the hell are they doing in the mud? Also, some of the kids have bottles of water in their hands. If the helicopter is so high that its downdraft doesn't disturb the water they are in or move their hair, then they are basically bombing these kids with bottles - from that height not only would the bottle explode, but you may even injure or kill the kids underneath.

I don't mean to make light of the plight of the kids, rather to draw attention to the now very annoying habit of the AP photographers staging photos - for whatever reason.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Guilty as Charged

The story below about Michael Moore's bodyguard was drawn to my attention by The Drudge Report. He had a headline about Michael Moore's bodyguard arrested for illegal handgun posession in New York. I clicked on it and was taken to the Fox News website. Then I felt that I would write a snappy title for a post and link to it for my tens of thousands of daily readers. Well, I have fallen into the very same trap that many others have - buying the headline. And, believe it or not, I feel pretty bad about it. Not that I would ever feel bad about Michael Moore being tarred for something made up - hell, he makes his living at making things up, taking quotes out of context and editing footage to invoke one thing when the actual footage says another. I just feel bad because I did something sloppy.

The man arrested in New York wasn't "Michael Moore's Bodyguard". He was a bodyguard employed by an agency that hires their agents out to famous people. The man who was arrested in New York was actually Bill Clinton's bodyguard for a while - that doesn't make him "Bill Clinton's Bodyguard", rather a man assigned to guard Clinton for a while through the agency he works for.

The bottom line of all this is that today's media, Fox News included, is very sloppy. Whatever sells is printed.

None of this changes the fact that Michael Moore employs bodyguards that are armed with guns - something he should get grilled for after his terrible film "Bowling for Columbine" where he rages about the sins of gun ownership and spliced snippets of Charleton Heston speeches together to make a totally new speech that never happenned. Hypocrite.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Not One Damn Brain Cell

One of my employees mentioned that there was a "not one damn dime day" coming up. I, of course knew nothing about this and asked him what it was. Apparently some disgruntled folks think the solution to defeating Bush rather than actually articulating some sort of coherent position is to whine and bitch.

Thus, Not one damn dime day. Do you think they will like this comment I left in their comments section of the survey on their website?

"Does electricity count? It is only 5 degrees up here in Madison, WI and if I turn off the gas and electricity in my house I will freeze and my pipes will burst. I really want to participate so let me know what you think."


Condoleeza Rice's comfirmation hearings were yesterday. I haven't had the opportunity to watch them yet - I suppose they will be rerun on CSPAN eventually.

Condi's life is one of the greatest rags to riches stories ever. If you ever feel like you aren't smart enough to do something, just read about her humble beginnings and you will be inspired.

I read some of the transcripts of the confirmation hearings this morning. Previously I posted on how much mental anguish the Gonzales hearings put me through. Looks like this is more of the same. Of course, Rice, being the smartest person up there by far (with the possible exception of Cheney or Scalia) handled the dumb questions very well.

There were the usual suspects grilling her - nincompoops like Chris Dodd, Joe Biden and John Kerry, but mental midget Barbara Boxer took the cake.

From the boys over at Powerline:
Barbara Boxer just said she was very disappointed to hear Condi say "the tsunami was an wonderful opportunity for the United States to show what they can do to provide humanitarian relief". Barbara explained the tsunami was a bad thing, not a wonderful thing.

Now that's brutal.

Here is the transcript if you need something to fall asleep by or to see that yes, you too can be a senator from California. You really don't need to be smart at all.

Of all people, Barbara Boxer is the one person who should never engage in a battle of wits with with a mental titan like Condi, much less with the nearest rock.

UPDATE: These guys take Babs apart too.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Deoxyribonucleic Acid

That's DNA. This story has me very concerned.

My dad once told me a long time ago the following:

"If the government has anything to do with it, it will be all fucked up." Keep that in mind as you read on.

Those of you reading this who know my dad will agree that it is pretty much an exact quote. Anyway, I cannot voluntarily give my DNA to the government like those folks in Massachusetts did. No, I don't have anything to hide so don't start.

Imagine if there were a clerical error or a corrupt DA just wanted to convict someone - no matter the evidence! I know these things sould far fetched, but they just might happen.

Many have spent years and years in jail for crimes they did not commit. The story above, in my opinion, just presents an opportunity for the government not only to make an error, but to sieze my private property (yes, your saliva is your property).

The only way the government will get my sample is if they come for it with a proper warrant issued by a judge. It is the same thing entering my house. No warrant, no enter.

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Geneva Conventions

Being a military historian, I have probably read about every major conflict in the history of warfare. In every conflict that I have read about there have been acts of barbarism that make Abu Ghraib look like Gymboree. And in every conflict since the Conventions were written, neither side has abided by them. It is obvious, however, that the US does at least TRY.

Since we invaded Iraq the mainstream media has taken the Geneva Conventions and waved them around ad nauseum. They point out how our inhumane treatment of prisoners and interrogation methods are "violations of the Geneva Conventions". No mention of where beheading or rape of our female soldiers lies in that document.

Unlike most reporters and most of the MSM (I would estimate 99%) I actually have read the Geneva Conventions. Long story short, both sides have to sign the damn thing for it to be binding (as of this post, Al Queda hasn't signed, nor any other terrorist organization). There are lots of other rules, too but if your name isn't on it, it doesn't apply for the other side.

This is an excellent post by a law prof. that shows how the Washington Post uses the Geneva Conventions incorrectly as relates to the Gonzales hearings. For more on that excruciating moment in history, see my post below "Mental Anguish".

I Just Figured Out Where My Tidal Wave Donation is Going

WOW what a morning.

There was a huge fire in my neighborhood this morning. Actually, it was across the street, probably 250 feet from my house as the crow flies. The flames were literally 30 feet in the air, as I could see them OVER the house that sits between mine and the burning one. All of the streets are blocked off. As I left for work this morning the stench of the burning materials filled the air.

That moment, my wife and I decided that the donation that I was going to give to the tidal wave victims is going to the family whose house burned down if needed.

I am tired of "the world" complaining that the US isn't doing enough for the tidal wave victims. The real sharp stick in the eye is that when we have a hurricane or tornado, I have yet to see the Finnish government or the UN come riding to the rescue with money or other aid for our citizens.

My biggest fear is that if I give money to an organization like the Red Cross with a huge bureaucracy that the money would just go into the toilet or go toward buying cigars for a third world dictator. This way, I can know I am helping someone in need.

Friday, January 14, 2005

International Law My @@@

Occasionally (more often the last few years) I hear the term "International Law" used on TV or on the radio or in a column. This term has been bothering me for some time. As a citizen of the US, I am bound by no law other than the laws of the United States, the State of Wisconsin, and any other laws that a municipality has passed. So, basically, three sets of laws that I, as an average citizen of the United States am bound by.

So what the heck is "international law"? How does it affect me here in the great Midwest?

Justice Scalia was on CSPAN and summed it up perfectly for me. I stole the following from Ann Althouse's blog which is much better than mine. I highly recommend you read it daily - she is a law professor here in Madison, and a very nice person to boot.

Justice Scalia goes first and says you really should ask Justice Breyer and not me, because I don't use foreign law (except to interpret treaties). In constitutional law, it might be "nice" to know our law is like that of the rest of the world, but it isn't. The Framers would have been "appalled" if you'd have told them what they were doing is making us like the rest of the world. They didn't have much respect for European countries. He notes that Madison was contemptuous of countries that were "afraid" to let their citizens bear arms.Scalia suggests that people who want to use foreign law want to use it selectively. They never say let's abandon the exclusionary rule or strong abortion rights because other countries don't have these things. And they only want to use the foreign law that supports what they want to do anyway, as in Lawrence, when the foreign law that supported the decriminalization of homosexual sodomy was cited, but foreign law that did not was avoided. Obviously, they don't want it to be authority. So then what is the criterion for using it? Whenever it agrees with you?

UPDATE: I always carry with me a copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Every so often I read them and over my life have probably read both at least 30 or 40 times and I still can't remember where that part about international law is. ;)

Dick Morris Has Lost It

Dick Morris is seen frequently on Fox News and I honestly have no idea why. He really hates the Clintons and Democrats in general. He also writes lots of columns about politics and makes lots of predictions that end up being wrong.

This column, however, takes the cake. His thesis is that Hillary when she runs in '08 will take some southern states. And I'm going to win the Tour de France next year.

Here is a quote from the article:
In a poll taken last month, Americans said they felt the New York Democrat was “qualified to be president of the United States” by 59-34 percent. Clinton showed strength among all traditional Democratic voters, winning the approval of Sen. John Kerry supporters by 80-13, blacks by 80-8, all women by 64-29 and unmarried women by 69-24 and people under 30 by 73-20.

Lets take a look at this. She won the approval of Kerry supporters by 80-13? Great - he lost so she can lose by more. Blacks by 80-8? Great. Gains for Republicans in the black vote. By the way, I thought that the word blacks was taboo. African-Americans we are supposed to say.

Here is another:
Nor is there any basis for believing the conventional GOP wisdom that a Hillary candidacy would trigger a backlash among men, conservatives and Republicans.

Yea right! There is really no data to support this statement, it is sort of jammed in there as filler. First, NO conservative or Republican will vote for her - some men may, the same men that voted for the last woman that the Democrats put up for the presidency, John Kerry.

You can read the whole article if you want but really don't have to. It is a bunch of garbage, polling for President in '08 when we haven't even inaugurated the one for '04.

I really think Dick Morris needs help.

Springtime for Hitler and Germany

That title is a line from the great Mel Brooks movie "The Producers". They were trying to produce the worst broadway show of all time. If you haven't seen it, rent it tonight for a good laugh. It is what I was reminded of as the bru-ha-ha unfolded about Prince Harry and his Nazi costume.

My take on it has several angles.

Angle 1: Of course, the royals go to the best schools in all of England. Did he have to take courses in the history of - England? Does Harry really have any idea what the Nazi regime represented or what they did?

Angle 2: Harry is only 20 and I was also very stupid when I was 20. Not making excuses, just pointing something out.

Angle 3: It is painfully obvious that Harry's handlers had no idea what the costume was about. I assume his handlers are all in their 40's so ALL of their parents must have remembered SOMETHING about WW2!

Angle 4: Maybe no one gives a damn about anything anymore. My hero poor Sir Winston is rolling over in his grave. It is hard to believe that the royals would get through school without reading at least one biography about Winston Churchill. His hatred of the Germans at that time and especially Hitler and the Nazi regime would be very apparent in any biography.

At least Charles is a good dad and is now making Harry go to Auschwitz. He should also make him read this, this and especially this if Harry really wants to know what a good Nazi does.

Winston Churchill, 1940, and I quote:
"We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields, and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!"

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Kabbalah Snags Babes

Kabbalah is all the rage with the Hollywood types. Madonna got involved and now such scholars as Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Demi Moore are claiming membership.

Religion isn't necessarily a bad thing, but cults are.

As usual practice with any cult, this cult promises all kinds of far flung things. Kabbalah is a bit different though, mish-mashing Judaism, Buddhism and a few other "isms" into one big pot.

But this article shows that Kabbalah cult members are just as loony as other cult members. Chanting to cure Chernobyl? Hey Madonna, why don't you just chant away all that damn water in Indonesia. Or maybe if that is too big of a project just look out your back door in California and chant at the hills so they stop burying people.

Also, one of the leaders of Kabbalah claims to have cancer healing water (that they sell at a very high price). Wouldn't you think they would take a few gallons down to their nearest cancer treatment center and give it away?

Note in that same article that the man giving that lecture says that the Jews deserved the holocaust because they didn't have Kabbalah. Whoa doggie!

The Kabbalah members distinguish themselves by wearing a red string around their wrist. You can buy the "official" red string from the Kabbalah web site (scroll down for the item - length unspecified) for a measly $26! Or for the cult value shopper you can buy 125 yards of red yarn for $6.80.

The Religion of Peace Gets Ready to Rumble

Every year around this time millions of muslims converge on Medina and Mecca for the Hajj. I find this yearly ritual very entertaining and every year try to guess how many will die in the inevitable human traffic jam around the pillars where the pilgrims are throwing rocks at the devil. Last year the total reported was 244 deaths. That is a reported total, and I assume the real total is much higher. Interestingly enough, I can't find any photos of the people actually getting crushed or the human mass surging forward even though I can find any other type of photo ever taken on the internet with just a few clicks.

Of course, every year the Saudis refuse to fix the human choke points at the site of the pillars so this year the same thing will happen. My prediction will be 395 reported deaths during the holy ritual. Maybe we will have a few deaths when they are walking around the big box in Mecca this year, too.

This is interesting. A very scientific approach to explain how and why so many people get crushed at the site every year. Not that it will be fixed, just showing you how they get crushed.

Here is info on a plan to construct a 9 story bridge to replace the current two story bridge to avoid crushing more pilgrims.

UPDATE: Here is a list I found of recent hajj disasters courtesy of the BBC:
2001: 35 people die in stampede during stoning
1998: At least 118 trampled to death
1997: 343 pilgrims die and 1,500 injured in fire
1994: 270 killed in a stampede as worshippers surged forwards during stoning.
1990: 1,426 pilgrims killed in overcrowded pedestrian tunnel leading to holy sites
1987: 400 die in Iranian-Saudi confrontation

I'm Not As Think As You Drunk I Am

Read about Madison's finest and the latest example of the direct corrolation between being a police officer and the abuse of alcohol. This is a pretty funny story, although good for him he didn't kill anyone driving around all tanked up. He had a previous DUI, apparently.

I could never be a cop, but I respect them and hate them at the same time.

Respect: I am not as sympathetic as I would need to be to have that job. If I came to a house where the wife and the kids are beat up and it was apparent that the guy did it, I would probably throw the suspect's rights out the window and play a tune on his cranium with my nightstick.

Hate: I cannot believe the time and money spent on traffic/speed enforcement. I saw an article a few weeks ago that stated that a full half of all court time is traffic. We have murderers, rapists, psycopaths, terrorists, Democrats and all types of other scum running around free and the police have nothing better to do than write tickets for going "55 in a 45". You figure it out.

Monday, January 10, 2005

234 Pages!?!?!?

How am I supposed to find the time to read the RaTHergate report when it is so long? It is nice to see some heads roll anyway.

Mental Anguish

That is the only way to describe the confirmation hearings of Bush's AG nominee, Alberto Gonzales. I had some down time this weekend, so in between football and reading the Morison set (I am on volume 4 now) I flipped on CSPAN to watch some of the Gonzales hearings.

It is so sad seeing all of the senators grandstanding in there, waving around copies of the Geneva Conventions, army interrogation manuals and other obscure pieces of literature (acting as though they have read more than the cover).

The biggest dose of mental anguish was administered to me by Pat Leahy, senator from Vermont. He was, of course, hammering Gonzales on detaining American citizens. There was a case of a US citizen who was captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan and, of course, that person is being held incommunicado. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court. What Leahy wanted to know was if Gonzalez believed that the President of the US could legally detain US citizens incommunicado if arrested on US soil. Gonzales said yes, if the previous case about the person in Afghanistan were to be tried that possibly the verdict would be to the affirmative, that is to say, that the US citizen may be detained incommunicado. Leahy was asking about a hypothetical case and Gonzales gave him a hypothetical answer.

Well, Leahy kept asking the same question over and over and over and over. He likes to hear himself talk and likes also to put me to sleep.

Joseph Biden's questions were so long and drawn out, I honestly could not make out what the question actually was and I think Gonzales was having a problem deciphering what the question was, too.

I won't even start with Ted Kennedy's line of questioning.

The Republican senators simply pointed out that Gonzales was a good guy and what a really really good and great guy he was.

We are so ill-served by our public servants in Washington.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Guns, Guns, Guns

This is great news. Finally the Republicans are taking the bull by the horns and rather than defending the individual right to bear arms, they are going on the offense.

Besides the massive amount of military history that I read, the other subject that I have been concentrating on for the last few years has been the American Revolution, the founders and the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

It is crazy to imagine anyone who has read what the founding fathers were thinking when they founded this country that the second amendment means anything but protecting the individual right to bear arms.

To boil it down, please see Chicago and Washington DC, the two cities with some of the most strict gun control laws in the nation. Of course, they have the highest per capita murder rates in the nation.

I simply do not understand the rationale that says that a lawful person cannot own a handgun for protection or pleasure on the range.

The bad guys still have guns, even if the good guys don't!

And for the stupid quote of the decade about guns see the esteemed Fred Risser of the Wisconsin State Senate here. Makes you wonder where Fred goes on vacation - hope is isn't one of the other 46 states in the US that allow conceal carry!

Friday, January 07, 2005

RaTHer Disappointing

I think the title of this post sums up what everyone will feel later today when the SeeBS "investigation" report comes out. Hugh Hewitt has some great advice for CBS:

Memo to CBS:
Release a draft of the Rathergate report to a half-dozen bloggers for pre-publication comment (on the condition that they not comment on the report until it is released. The right list will produce honorable people who will abide by the embargo.) At a minimum, run any paragraph mentioning a blogger past that blogger for vetting. Receive their comments and publish them along with the report, along with responses. Don't pretend that the bloggers that humbled Rather and CBS don't exist.
The new medium brought you low. Try to figure out how to at least engage it. Be sure as well to e-mail the report to every major blogger the moment of its release, and to make it available on the web, and not just in PDF format.
This will be among the most scrutinized documents ever. Don't expect any error to be overlooked.

I think the key here is that second to last sentence. Bloggers who are all over this story are going to simply take the report apart if it is bologna.

My opinion is that the report will basically be 30 or 40 pages of nothing.

I have stated this before, but I will state it again - I really don't think RaTHer knew the documents were fake. I also don't think he cared. The story was definitely on the top of the "to do" list once Rather got them, though.

The real "sharp stick in the eye" for me was when Rather went on air the next day and vouched for the authenticity of the documents in the face of literally hundreds of pages of evidence against the documents. His basic defense was that "we are big media, we investigated these documents, screw you". If only Rather would have simply sat down at his computer and checked out a few of the blogs that totally discredited the docs.

The bigger question here, of course, is the one that everyone wants to know the answer to. And that is did CBS knowingly coordinate this attack with the Democratic National Committee? If proof can be found to that end, CBS might as well close. Actually, if the ratings that CBS news has been getting are any indicator, they might think about closing the newsroom anyway. In large metro areas, reruns of the Simpsons get higher ratings than most network newscasts. But the dumbing down of the American people is definitely a topic for another post and another day.

Then again, you probably learn more about the real world from a Simpsons rerun than a network newscast!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Democrats Hit New Bottom and Begin Digging

For gods sake, give it up already!

I am no politico, but I really don't see how this does the Dems any good. Kerry even said there is no real evidence of tampering that would sway the election.

To Give or Not to Give, That is the Question

I have been somewhat torn the last few weeks as the terrible details of the tidal wave become more apparent.

On the one hand, I am moved to try to help the innocent kids who are now orphaned. Since I became a dad I care much more about children in general, and especially about children who are victims of adult misconduct or natural disasters.

On the other hand, I was one of the many who donated to the 911 disaster relief organizations like the Red Cross, and that was a complete fiasco except for the Salvation Army, of course.

So, what to do?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The Chains, Part 2

If you read my post on the chains below, you understand that there are many random placements of the football that precede the bringing out of the fixed 10 yard distance known as the chains. While at the Bear game last Sunday, I noticed that there are even MORE random events involved. If there is a sweep to the sideline, for instance, and the guy is tackled or goes out of bounds, the linesman puts the ball down "here", where he thinks the runner is down or out of bounds. Then the referee in the middle of the field (the nearest hash mark) puts the ball down "here" or approximately where the ref on the sideline put the ball down.

Ridiculous? Absolutely.


TV is hardly worth watching - the only things I watch any more are news, sports and occasionally the Weather Channel. Last night I was channel surfing and stopped to watch "Sex in the City", which is now re-run on TBS. I watched it for about 5 minutes and could hardly stand it. Stupid plot, poor screenwriting, bad acting, you name it. And this is an award winning show!!
I turned it off and read for a while, then decided to give it one more try. Then I hapenned upon this show and was thoroughly entertained. White trash guys arresting people who have skipped out on bail - watch the video previews for a taste.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

So Why Do I Do This to Myself?

That is the question I ask myself every time I leave a Bear game before halftime (that is pretty often lately).

I guess the answer is that I like to get together with friends, have a couple of beers and eat some great food if tailgating. The Bears are certainly in the death spiral and there is no end in sight of the poor product on the field.

Yet, I still go - but it is getting tougher. I will keep going and keep bitching but bitching is stupid if you think about it. If you are unhappy with a product, do you keep buying it? No.

I will keep worrying about the product on the field less and start concentrating on having a good time with friends more.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Cabbage Blogging

Ann Althouse is a law prof at UW here in Madison and has a great blog. She lives here in Madison and blogs about lots of places and things I am familiar with, being a fellow Madisonian (actually I live in Fitchburg, which is a city that butts right up on the south side of Madison - does that make me a Fitchburger?).

She had a post on December 23 called "A dialogue about food". Before I go further, a little background.

For the last few weeks, Glenn Reynolds over at (widely known as the king of all bloggers) has had a running joke about "tire blogging". He actually blogged from the garage where he was getting a tire change since he is a blogging madman. The joke ran for a while and was actually pretty funny as Prof. Reynolds kept linking things about tires and tire changes and noting that tire blogging was the next big thing. Althouse also made a post about her oil change.

Well, after the Althouse post in "A dialogue about food" I e-mailed her and noted that you can forget all about tire blogging, cabbage blogging is the next big thing!

Check the next post in Althouses' blog on December 23 - momentum is gaining - it was also linked by Prof. Reynolds at Jan. 2 - yet another post on Althouse about cabbage.

This is very entertaining to me to know that a simple e-mail by a simple guy like me has caused who knows how many links to links to links over the internet. Goofy? Yes.

By the way, I have e-mailed Ms. Althouse before and she seems like a very nice person.

Anyway, my turn. I came up with the term "cabbage blogging" for gods sake, so here is my shot.

Kraut - I love it.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

The Chains

I was sitting in a local restaurant at the bar and ordered takeout for the family. On the TV in the bar was the Purdue-Arizona St. non-important bowl game. Out came the chains for a measurement.

The chains are probably one of the very few relics left over from the golden age of football. They represent the actual 10 yard distance that a team has to reach to receive a first down, unless you are using these chains.

You have laser printers scanning photos on the field for quarterbacks and coaches calling plays from the pressbox over wireless equipment installed in the helmets of players. We also have instant replay, instant stats over computer systems and a myriad of other high tech items on the field at any given time. Yet when it comes time to decide if a team actually got a first down, out trundle two guys with posts and a chain hooking them together. To add to the low tech insult, if you watch, the guy holding the chain has to pass it off to an official as the official is certainly more qualified to do the measuring.

What's worse is that the whole system is kind of "ball-parked" as far as placing the ball goes. After kickoff, a guy gets tackled and the official comes in and says you fell "here" and puts the ball down. Then the chain gang on the sidelines estimates where the nose of the football is and puts the chans down "here". Then you have three plays where the ball is estimated to be down "here". OK, now it is fourth down and time for a measurement. We have now had FOUR random placements of the ball and ONE random placement of the chains for a total of FIVE random placements.

But for the measurement we now have this FIXED RIGID ten yard length to measure by, trundling out on the field. Has anyone in the NFL heard of lasers? GPS?

Something unrelated, but equally annoying is the practice of the umpire not calling touchdown. You have seen it a million times. First and goal from the one, the running back runs right up the middle and we have to wait 10 or 20 seconds for the ref from the SIDELINE run into the pile and declare touchdown, while the umpire, who is standing RIGHT THERE can't seem to be able to make that call.