Sunday, January 30, 2005

Congratulations, Iraq.
from the mind of  Evan Kruse.

"I walked forward to my station, cast my vote and then headed to the box, where I wanted to stand as long as I could, then I moved to mark my finger with ink, I dipped it deep as if I was poking the eyes of all the world's tyrants.
I put the paper in the box and with it, there were tears that I couldn't hold; I was trembling with joy and I felt like I wanted to hug the box but the supervisor smiled at me and said "brother, would you please move ahead, the people are waiting for their turn".
-Mohammed and Omar of Iraq the Model

Freedom took a step forward today. Regardless of how complicated staging a vote is in a country such as Iraq, regardless of the statistics behind the election, regardless of who wins... Freedom prevailed today. I feel lucky to be alive and be able to witness so many people tasting for the first time a freedom that my friends and family and I take for granted on a daily basis.

Where are the cries today of 'No blood for OIL!' and 'Bush Lied' from people other than Mr. Chappaquidick and our favorite French looking Vietnam War hero. It doesn't take much decency and logic at all to see how great of a day today is.

Watch out Iran. Watch out Syria. Watch out Egypt. Watch out N. Korea. A force much stronger than the United States' Military is coming to town... Freedom is on a roll.

Welcome to the club, great people of Iraq. Your joy and enthusiasm displayed today has reminded me of how great of a world we live in. The next time I vote, I will be thinking of you... and possibly dipping my finger in a bottle of blue ink.


Monday, January 24, 2005

I Have 'Scores' of Toes!
from the mind of  Evan Kruse.

If I were to say I had 'scores' of friends... how many would you assume I have?

If I were to say that I have scores of baseball caps in my baseball cap collection... how many would you think I have?

If you were to ask me how many episodes of Seinfeld I've seen... and I replied 'scores!'... how many would you think I've seen?

So, when I opened my MSNBC email this morning to see the headline "Baghdad bomb wounds scores"... I was thinking "uh-oh... another big one!" But, as I read on... well... just see for yourself.



(note: Arrow comes from me, not MSNBC.)

I just had a hard time believing that 'scores' could be a word that properly conveys the number of 'at least 10'. Sure, if X>10, then it is possible for X=80, which would be four score. I just had a hard time believing that this was a accurate representation.

So, I went to dictionary.com and peeked around. This is what I found.



(note: Masking is mine, not Dictionary.com.)

So, I had to wade through all of those first 5 definitions to get to the one pertinent to this subject, which describes a 'score' as 20 units. Even if you take #7, I would assume that if one score is 20, then the plural of score would be more than 20... Abe Lincoln definitely governed more than 47 years after the forefathers did what they did.

Sure, I know that this is nitpicking, but it deals with the standard that the MSM employs today. (Or perhaps the lack...) I just think I would get laughed at if I said I had scores of baseball caps in my collection and people found out it was less than a dozen. This is just a gross exaggeration of the reality of the situation.

On a more serious note, isn't it pretty amazing that these attacks are happening now and people aren't getting killed in each of them? Doesn't that mean that things are working? Sure, it's unfortunate that people are being injured, possibly permanently, but they still have their life and they will still get to experience the freedom that comes with the impending democracy. To me, this is a success story, but the Media just doesn't want to portray that image.

Oh well. Just be sure to take your liberalism goggles. You don't want any of that crap to actually reach your eyes.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Global Warming = More Snow???
from the mind of  Evan Kruse.

As a skier, if one of the effects of global warming is lower temperatures and more snow... then I say "Bring It On!!" It seems odd to me that if we are getting warmer and warmer, why are we breaking all cold temp records and winter storm records? Riddle me that!

Here is an interesting screenshot from Drudge. Look at the two headlines. (I didn't want to embed the image in the main blog page because of it's size, it's an entire screen's worth. It is absolutely positively safe for work. Click away, my friends...) This is almost as bad as a former VP being the keynote speaker at a global warming conference on the coldest day in decades....

Well, enjoy the pic. It ain't much, but it might be worth a laugh or two.

Friday, January 21, 2005

"US out of the Middle East..."
from the mind of  Daredemo.

I had CSPAN streaming in the background yesterday as the festivities unfolded at the Inauguration. Around lunchtime the President's motorcade, on its way back to the parade viewing stand, quickly passed through a crowd of protesters. CSPAN's cameras of course were there, recording all the silliness. They went through various chants, accusations... They excitedly declared that the president in the process of appointing the first African American woman as secretary of state (not his former opponent who had just voted against her) was against civil rights. As the car went by, one woman remembered that they were supposed to turn their backs to him, and did so while those behind her craned their necks, peering into the limousine with expectant "is he really in there?" looks on their faces. Finally they broke into what seemed to me to be a fittingly honest chant:
US out of the Middle East!
No Justice!
No Peace!
US out of the Middle East...
Exactly -- if we left it is guaranteed there would be no justice or peace. Maybe they're starting to learn.

I got hungry, put down the earphones & went in search for lunch. At the EMU a group was staging an anti Inauguration protest. Without a campus security or police officer, without a brown shirt save those worn by his enthralled audience in sight, a professor was freely giving a speech, claiming repression on par with 1930's era Germany, Italy, and several other fascist regimes (just realized the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cambodia, Iran, Saddam's Iraq, Saudi Arabia... None of these guys made his list. He probably hasn't gotten to that chapter yet.)

I reached the UO bookstore. A dog had just crapped on the sidewalk next to the UO's pet parasite "Frog". He was giggling loudly, pointing at the offending pile, chanting: "dog shit! dog shit!". Somehow it fit.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Just Watch
from the mind of  Daredemo.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Is this equal rights?
from the mind of  Daredemo.

So this Christmas my brother and fiance' gave us a pleasant, not entirely unexpected, surprise: Look out there's a kid on the way! They both work in the retail industry, but currently only he has medical benefits. They are at this moment in the process of accelerating their marriage plans because it appears his insurance company refuses to include her on his plan unless they were married. This is not entirely a bad thing, except that it appears, had they been the same sex, there would not have been any problem including her at all (not entirely sure what gender pronoun is approprate for this hypothetical case, so we'll just leave it at "her", nod our head, and pretend we understand). Now leaving out the issue of how any sort of procreation could occur between couples of the same gender, why should biologically viable couples be required to obtain government sanction before receiving the same benefit?

Just something that's been percolating in my head on a day ostensibly intended for reflecting on equality...

Sunday, January 16, 2005

A Flying Money Pit...
from the mind of  Evan Kruse.

Airbus is using it's anti-competitive EU muscle to bring out a new behemoth...

Airbus to Unveil Largest Passenger Jet

Look at the last paragraph. Couldn't we just put seats in an An-124 and beat that record? If that won't work, let's revive the 225 and beat them that way.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Thank God for Dirty Harry
from the mind of  Duke.

I will kill Michael Moore, says Clint Eastwood

New York, Jan 14 (ANI): Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood while speaking in an awards ceremony in New York said that he would kill 'Fahrenheit 9/11' filmmaker Michael Moore if he ever showed up at his front door with a camera.

With Moore sitting in the audience, Eastwood said, "Michael Moore and I actually have a lot in common - we both appreciate living in a country where there's free expression.

"But, Michael, if you ever show up at my front door with a camera - I'll kill you. I mean it," he added.

The 'City Heat' star, who is a Republican, made the comments at the National Board of Review awards held in New York where he picked up a Special Filmmaking Achievement prize for 'Million Dollar Baby'. According to New York Daily News, Moore, who received a special 'Freedom of Expression' award for his famous anti-Bush documentary, laughed off Eastwood's 'mean comments'.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

To Give, Or Not To Give...
from the mind of  Zeke_Wilkins.

Some interesting thoughts by John Derbyshire on giving aid to Tsunami victims can be found at National Review (here). I'm glad I'm not the only one who has had similar thoughts. Colin Powell recently warned against sending too much money too fast, a possibility I think is more of an inevitability. As Derbyshire points out,

"Our charitable impulses are mediated by, well, our media. We see an orphaned child or a weeping mother on our TV screen, and are moved to pity. Nothing the least bit wrong with that; but the world is full of orphaned children and weeping mothers who never make it to the nightly news."

It just seems a little askew when celebrity-types try to play up their humanitarian role by donating and raising funds for the cause of the month when there were millions dying horrific deaths before the Tsunami that Hollywood has ignored.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Ping?
from the mind of  Duke.

For a period of at least an hour this evening, a number of right wing blogs were unreachable for me. Among them were eject eject eject, instapundit, little green footballs, blue eyed infidel, michelle malkin, powerline, and vodkapundit.

Like any good scientist, I required a control group, so I tried a few left leaning blogs, and they all seemed to be functioning normally. A DOS attack perhaps? Everything seems to be back to normal now.

The moonbats love to whine about censorship, so why would I not be surprised to learn that they were behind something like this?

A Hotdog Post
from the mind of  Zeke_Wilkins.

For those of you not familiar with Zeke Speak, a "hotdog" anything is usually an ungodly mixture of things; in this case opinions, observations and such.

Yes, Washington recount!
Up here in Washington we've had a vote, two recounts, court opinions and hopefully we'll have a revote. Felons, illegal aliens and the deceased turned out in droves to support Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Christine Gregoire. So much so that in heavily democratic King County it is reported that 1200 more votes were cast than the total number of registered voters on the county rolls. Some argue that the millions of dollars needed to fund a revote is too high a cost. I argue the opposite: it is money well spent. A revote would settle the election and bring to the forefront the integrity of our system by affecting the pocketbooks of the citizenry; and that is what will really put pressure on the government and both political parties to maintain the honesty and integrity of the system. Hell hath no fury like a populace that has to pay to clean up the mess of a high-profile government snafu.

Libertarian Radicalism
A week or so ago I was listening to a libertarian guest on Sean Hannity's show. The guest was stating that no one should pay taxes, they should be completely voluntary. When asked by Sean how would roads be built and maintained, etc., the guest just reiterated that taxes should really be voluntary contributions. Now, I could be classified as libertarian in some respects (definitely not all), and I know that some on this website have libertarian leanings. But the guest on Hannity's show displayed a trait that I have belittled the radical left for having. That trait is the naive belief in the inherent goodness of people and the possibility of utopia.

The Founding Fathers and most conservatives are astute enough to know that not all is right with the human race. Human government from time to time must use force to promote the greater good. It is so with taxes: leave it to voluntary contribution to provide infrastructure and secure the common defense and very little will be accomplished. The heavy burden of admitting this fact is to walk a fine line between collective good and government abuse. The conservative creedo can be summed up as "as much as needed, and not a penny more". In order to determine what needs to be funded and how much should be raised through taxes we must have a clear picture of the function of government: to provide for the common defense against foreign and domestic enemies, and to preserve the union. It is though these key insights that we can (and must) justify the government's power to levy taxes, and at the same time set rigid limits on that taxation. Alternatives, including the idea of voluntary contribution proposed by radical libertarians, would be (and are) disasterous.

A Tale of Two Worlds, or "Schizophrenic Zeke"
I've always enjoyed pursuing an education. I've also always known the joy and value of "working with your hands". When I went first to college, and then to graduate school I felt an increasing sense that though I talked like an academic, often thought like an academic, and enjoyed the academic lifestyle I was secretly not like them. I had working-class blood in my veins. I did not have an aversion to do manual labor and come home at the end of the day exhausted and sore. I did not have nearly the contempt towards those who made a living doing dirty and unglorified jobs as did my academic peers.

Now that I have graduated with a Masters degree and have bills to pay while I try to start up my career, I find myself working at a hardware store doing exactly the kind of job I saw academics look down on with contempt. For the most part I fit in well. I work hard, talk rough and get along with the other employees. And yet, I feel this increasing sense that though I talk like a laborer and often think like a laborer, I'm secretly not like them. I find myself trapped in the netherealm between the working-class and the academic elite; able to speak both languages, but completely comfortable as neither.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

A complaint from Saddam
from the mind of  Daredemo.

There's an interesting article on Debka dated Jan 2 about what Saddam's up to these days, giving some interesting tidbits...

Apparently he has two gripes, one that he supposedly isn't being allowed to shave his beard, the other:
His second complaint was against the Red Cross workers. He wanted their visits stopped because he said they are neither polite nor respectful.
So I guess the Red Cross are assholes to everyone, not just us... Evidently he has also been spending his time composing "poetry":
If you can't be the head, don't be the backside because there is nothing there but a tail.
One supposes it loses a lot in translation...