Friday, September 30, 2005

Movie Night

Echo Zoe found a new reason to go to McDonalds: cheap movie rentals.
At $1/movie, I can see why Hollywood is crying about decreased theater ticket sales. I’d much rather sit in the privacy and relative quiet of my own home than go to a theater that charges $8 with a tall guy sitting in front of me and a kid kicking my seat behind me, along with cell phones ringing and sticky floors, while being charges $4 for a Coke and $3 for a box of Dots.
And as good as the facilities and employees at our local Rave theaters are, they still can't curtail the rude behavior of some of their customers.

I'm Offended!

...but they are more so.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

your money or your...

I think we've been mugged.

Revelation: Symbology

See also Introduction and Revelation: Chronology

3) To what extent should the descriptions of events, persons, and creatures be taken literally, symbolically, or figuratively? It's obvious the Persons of the Trinity are literal, with some occasional figurative images of the slain Lamb and later with the sword coming from His mouth. The image of the dragon is most likely Satan himself. The image of the beasts in Revelation 13 could be symbolic, similar to the images of the "horns" in Daniel 7 which represent kings. The image of Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18 seems to simultaneously represent a person, a city or two, and a country? And what of the four creatures with six wings and covered with eyes?

4) Is there any proof for the popular idea that current world powers are represented in Revelation? During the Cold War, I heard some say that Gog and Magog (which occur after the thousand years) mentioned in Revelation 20:7-9 were obviously the East/Communists and West/Capitalists, which now is probably not the case. ;) But I still hear some say that the King of the North (not in Revelation - in Daniel 11) must be referring to Moscow in Russia.

Revelation: Chronology

See also Introduction and Revelation: Symbology

1) Is there proof that Chapters 4-19 of Revelation are strictly chronological? The scene in Revelation 12:1-6 which shows the lady giving birth seems to depict the birth of Christ. But the next three verses seem to tell of the war in heaven where the devil was cast out, and that event is usually thought to have occured before the fall of Adam, if not before Creation altogether. And both of those scenes are described after five of the seals have been broken, including the scene in Revelation 6:12-17 of the kings hiding in the mountains, which seems not to have happened yet.

2) Which parts, if any, of Chapters 4-19 of Revelation have already occured? There is quite a wide range of opinion on this. Some say that most or all of it had occured by the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD. Some say that none of it has occured, and all of the events of the Book will take place during the last 1007 (or so) years before the end of time.

i may be opening a can of wormwood here...

(I was going to make a single post with several questions, but I decided to make two posts with related questions. Here is the preface for those questions.)

Here are the two background items that brought about the questions to follow:
  • I recently bought a parallel Bible, which has four translations in a side-by-side format. It includes the (traditional) KJV, the (modern, more idea-for-idea) NIV, the (modern, more word-for-word) NASB, and the (paraphrased, which i don't like as much) NLT.
  • I've seen several sites which seem to discuss the Book of Revelation, but in fact are discussing instead the "schools of thought", "traditions", and "-isms" about the Book, rarely even mentioning the Scriptures themselves.
Reading the four translations of the Book of Revelation without commentary, it seems that many of the "schools of thought" and "traditions" are not really in sync with the actual Scriptures. And the popular ideas about "Armageddon" (especially the movie of the same name...) seem to bear little resemblance to them at all. SO, in that light, I have some questions in the next two posts.

Revelation: Chronology

Revelation: Symbology

Everybody Singe!

Mad Ol Mullah
had some nukes.

The Colors of Money

Or: Why Johnny Can't Make Change

Revised Joe Ohio

I wonder if he's headed to Mississippi without it...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

13 out of 101 isn't bad

...which is the number of trivia bits I knew out of "101 Things You Didn't Know About Rock N' Roll" (profanity warning)

supreme arrogance

Pompous idiots.

Read the comments. I bet the French aristocracy was surprised at all the hostility in 1789 too.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Jared's safe...

Power Line headline: Would-Be Subway Bombers Arrested In France


Here's a slightly quirky comparison between various creation stories. It includes these quotes:
Some people might say that there are many other claimants of the universe and therefore God's claim of authorship can be doubted.

Well, let us look at the other claimants shall we?

Allah was first heard from in the 7th century. The God of the Old Testament documented his authorship of the universe at least 3000 years before Allah. Allah might have known that it would be necessary to wake up early to get to the registrar's office to stake a claim. He was too late...

In most instances, creation stories seem to begin in a world that was already made. That is kind of like claiming to be the inventor of the automobile you just bought off the dealer's lot.

Freedom's NOT another word for nothin' left to lose

Check out this "freedom index"
Freedom is instead a confluence of two conditions:

a) The condition of sole responsibility for one's self.
b) The condition of voluntary interactions with others.

When freedom prevails in a country, it's people chart their own paths and enjoy (or suffer) the consequences thereof. In a free country, people are only compelled to do what they have voluntarily agreed to.

Monday, September 26, 2005


The Clintons are in dire need of a dictionary. Slick Willy didn't know the meaning of the word "is", and neither one of them know the meaning of the word "morality".

Ground Zero Memorial

Where there are bodies, the vultures will gather.

China Tech

Many are bemoaning that some American technology companies are helping China in that country's supression of free speech.

But wouldn't it be cool if the whole thing was a massive Trojan Horse operation?

Fry Spam

I Love Jet Noise is locked onto the spammers, and should be impacting them soon.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

CNN Lied! The Elderly Died!

From Point Five - Media Lied About “Storm of Massive Destruction”:
After a long runup to the arrival of Hurricane Rita, which breathless media commentators from all major networks promised was an imminent threat to the American people, the storm made landfall without causing the damage discussed for almost a week.

Now, with millions evacuated and the threat rapidly evaporating, critics are making accusations that the media lied in ginning up support for mandatory evacuations and pre-storm hysteria.
Read the rest.


UPDATE: Power Line, via Cheat Seeking Missiles, has more questions.

Friday, September 23, 2005

spam poetry

i got four spam messages today that were probably generated by the same random-word program. with some punctuation, they sorta go together to make a poem:

royal trade name, but economical
by turnoff. be fondue. strikebound
is fill, an broadsword scaly
as. count it evanescent.

(see also spam poetry 2)

Surprising USA Today Headline

I was surprised to find this USA Today headline:
Bush deserves better than these low ratings
Could it be that America's most colorful free hotel doormat has come to its senses? Nah. The story goes on to slam him with backhanded compliments:
Most of you across the USA are turning thumbs down on President Bush. Your reasoning is right, but your timing is wrong...

Those of you who are regular readers of this column know that I strongly criticized Bush's "pre-emptive strike" in Iraq before we invaded and have long urged that we "support our troops" there by bringing them home. But ...

In my book, Iraq aside, Bush has made some of his best decisions in recent weeks. His ratings should be going up rather than down...

Iraq, of course, remains Bush's biggest blunder. It will haunt him forever unless he fires Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and brings our troops home.

If Bush "stays the course" in Iraq, his ratings will hit bottom. If he fesses up that he was wrong and gets us out, he still can salvage some of his presidency.
I'd entitle the article "Bush deserves better respect than these low-life reporters give him."

Oh Ruth

How we wish the Aardvark's first reaction comes true!

pay no attention to the anarchist behind the curtain!

Blue Goldfish has the sordid story of a radical strategist who is using Cindy Sheehan for her own sinister purposes:

(slightly edited, bolding mine)
To anyone familiar with the world of professional protesting — protests against globalism, capitalism, war, police tactics, and dozens of other causes — the presence of Fithian is a sign of how far Cindy Sheehan has strayed from the roots of her "one mom" crusade against George W. Bush. Or, perhaps more accurately, it is a sign that the "one mom" crusade was never just one mom. Fithian is a legendary organizer who operates in the world of anti-globalism anarchists, antiwar protesters, and union activists; an advocate of aggressive "direct action" demonstrations...

Although she has received virtually no attention from reporters covering Sheehan, Fithian has been part of the Crawford protest from the very beginning...

Fithian demurred when asked if she was a leader of the demonstrations — she claimed that the movement was "nonauthoritarian" and "nonhierarchical" and had no leaders at all — but the Times was not convinced. "To say that Fithian is not a leader is an admirable political idea, but it's not entirely honest," the paper reported.

And she was a tough-minded leader, not at all a peace-and-love type. Her specialty was action; she wanted to break in, cut through fences, and shut things down. "You don't go to Fithian when you want to carry a placard," the Times profile said. "You go to her when you want to make sure there are enough bolt cutters to go around." Asked for a fuller explanation of her role in the protests, Fithian said, "When people ask me, 'What do you do?' I say I create crisis, because crisis is that edge where change is possible."...

Her inspiration, she explained, was not so much those (nonviolent) leaders as the anarchist movement in Spain in the late 19th and early 20th century. And that meant different ways of doing things. "Nonviolence is a strategy. Civil disobedience is a tactic," Fithian said. "Direct action is a strategy. Throwing rocks is a tactic."

"I just fundamentally don't believe (the establishment) will ever serve our interests as it's currently constructed."

These days, Fithian's tactic for dismantling the old order — at least her tactic for the moment — is Cindy Sheehan.
I bet if somebody threw rocks at her, she would try to "stifle their dissent" pretty quick too...


update: "you spin me left round, WaPo, left round like a commie, baby..."

Art Commentary

Lileks compares the classics to the moderns:

As for art, I am always amused by those who say that this is the absolute unqualified equal of this. I’m not saying the former is bad; it’s different, it has different objectives, describes a different culture, but the latter is art, and the former is merely the something done by an artist.

I’m not sure what that means, but it would sound great in a lecture if I had a nice posh turtleneck and was tall and handsome. In any case, Raphael could do Albers, but I am quite certain Albers could not do Raphael, anymore than John Lennon could score a symphony. Complexity and sophistication count for something; if they didn’t, you’d hired the man who designed the Port-A-Potty to design your dream house. Hey, it has walls and a hole.

Never mind the sheer talent required - there's the matter of intent, the pedagogical purpose of Raphael’s painting. It's a history of History, a summation of how we think about thinking, AND if you act now he'll throw in a little shot at Michelangelo, down at the bottom. The fellow writing on a square block of marble, looking away. Raphael added that portrait, scholars believe, after Raphael saw the first half of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. Now look at it again: you can tell it was added later, can’t you? But it wasn’t entirely an act of admiration; Raphael – a young good-looking guy popular with everyone, including the ladies – painted Michelangelo as Heraclitus, a philosopher known for his bad moods and universal scorn. Which was pretty much Mike’s deal, to use Hovingspeak. (Michelangelo was also disinclined to bathe or change clothes.) So it’s a nod to the Master and a taunt and an homage and an insult to smelly old grumpy ugly-face and a floor polish and a dessert topping. So the painting isn’t just a compendium of Western philosophy up to the time of the Renaissance; it’s full of sly gossip and office politics.

Do you get that from this?

Has the race card been trumped?

I was forwarded an email about a recent Jesse Jackson appearance in Louisiana. I don't know whether it actually happened, but if not, it probably should have. According to the email,:
Yesterday the Rev. Jesse Jackson showed up in Baton Rouge, I wished he would have showed up in Sheriff Harry Lee's office as we would have NEVER heard from him again. He said, "Bush has NOT appointed a Single Black to head up this Katrina Relief, the Black Caucus and Black Leaders all over America are upset with him putting the Black Folks on the side and it is OUR people who are sitting on their roof tops waiting for Rescue, OUR people who are standing in line at the Superdome waiting on food, water and a ride to a safe place, OUR people who have been locked down in poverty..." and so on.

George Sell the Anchorman for TV 9 news responded to Jesse, "Rev. Jackson, the Mayors of New Orleans and Baton Rouge are Black, the Police Chief's of New Orleans and Baton Rouge are Black, the Head of the LA State Police is Black, the Head of the Army conducting the Army's operation on the Ground in New Orleans is Black, the Congressman from New Orleans is Black and for the last 40 years, the leaders of LA have been members of the Democratic Party, YOUR Party, don't blame us like you are doing, look in the mirror, you pull the Race Card any time you don't get your way, we are in a terrible crisis and right now we need to come together and here you come to Louisiana and holler Racism, just like you do, it is NEVER EVER your fault, ALWAYS someone else, but here you are sitting high and dry. Why don't you go out in to the waters where they are shooting at the rescue personnel and help in the rescue?"

Thursday, September 22, 2005

don't shoot!

Mark Steyn says he would "have been quite content for the John Roberts confirmation hearings to go on for another six months, couple of years, half a decade, until the last registered Democrat on the planet expired in embarrassment at the sheer maudlin drivel of it all. It was obvious on the first day about 20 minutes in -- i.e., about halfway through Joe Biden's first question -- that the Democrats had nothing on Roberts. But they're game guys and, like the fellow in a tight spot in a caper movie, they stuck their right hands in their pockets, pointed them through the material and pretended they had a real gun in there. By the second day, their pants had fallen down, but they bravely stood there waggling their fingers at the nominee and insisting they had enough firepower to blow his head off."

Air Amerikkka Sickos

If that were true, then Franken = Goebbels...

alternative MIDI

Just imagine if Alvin and the Chipmunks had one of these, or if Scott Joplin worked with one of these. But this is much cooler.

Gun-Totin' Sean

Not only was Spicoli trying to flood New Orleans, it now looks like he might have been shooting at some helicopters too, just like he did back in '85.

...or maybe this is just a sequel to Fast Times at Ridgemont High: "All I need are some smelly waves, a shotgun, and I'm fine."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

been there, done that, pt.2

My post - Awareness - dated 4/17/05 - 2 comments

Greg Gutfield's post - Raising Awareness - dated 9/19/05 - 51 comments

I wonder if Greg is aware that I'm aware of his post...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

newspaper cutbacks

Power Line notes:
The New York Times Company announced today that it is cutting 500 jobs, on top of 200 cut earlier this year. Also today, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, both of which are owned by Knight Rider, announced cuts totaling 100 jobs because of lower circulation and revenue.
I didn't realize that a customized 80's Trans-Am was even capable of owning a corporation! It must have made a lot of money during the height of its popularity...

update: I guess that was a typo. The company name is Knight Ridder. So never mind.


Class, and the lack thereof, pt.3

slick willy is no longer president, but his stain continues.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Class, and the lack thereof, pt.2

Tonight I overheard a new dialect of the Spanish language. Although the dialect sounded to me as if it included profanity, the two young couples were speaking in this dialect in the presence of their four preschoolers, and I'm sure the parents were intent on setting the best example for their children.

The peculiarity of the dialect is this: Although punctuation is not usually vocalized, it seems as if punctuation in this dialect has been replaced with the word "unchit".

Example: The sentence
"Me and my cousin Doris went to the mall, and she was talking about her boyfriend, then we bought some clothes, and saw a movie."
would translate to
"Me and my cousin Doris went to the mall unchit and she was talking about her boyfriend unchit then we bought some clothes unchit and saw a movie unchit"
in the new dialect.

That was simply an example, practically every sentence uttered by the adults followed this pattern of punctuation replacement.

What class...

(On further reflection, it's possible this phenomenon is related to the trend for britons and east coast urbanites to replace all adjectives with a single two-syllable adjective that begins with "f".)

mugged by reality

read this former liberal's account of his ideological change. two interesting quotes:
(no one) was ever as young or angry as me. I marched, I chanted and I rioted; I ‘rejected’ this, I ‘resisted’ that and I ‘reclaimed’ the other; I would protest at the drop of a hat, at each and every opportunity and regardless of whether I understood – or cared about - the issues; I talked loudly about Karl Marx in bus queues; I used phrases like ‘capitalistic patriarchal hegemonic discourse’ and urged people to ‘subvert the dominant paradigm’ - all with an entirely straight face and only the vaguest idea of what it actually meant ... I regarded anyone who had the gall to disagree with my political opinions as either mentally ill or irredeemably evil; I honestly thought that Noam ‘the discredited linguist’ Chomsky possessed one of the keenest analytical minds of all time and if The Guardian had run an article claiming that the moon was made of green cheese I’d doubtless have believed that as well.


Something I often think about when looking back is that my periods of radicalism always seemed to occur alongside my periods of excessive drug use. I certainly don’t think that was a coincidence; you needed to chug down some seriously primo **** to believe the nonsense that I did.


a criminal by any other name...

media avoidance

Andrea Harris gives some reasons not to watch tv or movies - here's the introduction:
Even those films that purport to be full of ironic, postmodern “questioning of our assumptions” have a base of smug surety in the rightness of the filmmakers’ viewpoints, and leave unexamined several current notions that are as sacred today as the dreaded triumvirate of mother-country-God supposedly was in the past.

Friday, September 16, 2005

been there, done that

Inquisition I

Inquisition II

you be the judge

Class, and the lack thereof

I've said it before and I'll say it again - If I were to live and work in another state, I would make it a point not to ridicule the natives of that state.

Certain co-workers, with more strength in their vocal cords than their intellect, clearly do not share that opinion. They are more than willing, however, to loudly share the rest of their opinions, whether or not anyone else is interested.

It's a good thing headphones are available at work...

New Military Vehicle

Yahoo Headline: NASCAR Engineers Help Design New Combat Vehicle
The U.S. military unveiled this week a concept combat vehicle that combines new blast-deflection technology with the safety features of a commercially available truck and NASCAR engineering...
Here's a picture of it.

I've got just one question - what good is a tank that can only turn left?


To paraphrase a paraphrase, "The same people who think the government screwed up on Katrina are the same people who think the government should be in charge of health care."


From Strong Sad's Lament: good is lukewarm water? It doesn't get the attention it deserves as a beverage. To expertly prepare a glass of lukewarm water, put a cup of water in the microwave for 19 seconds, then let it cool for about 3 minutes. If you start at 2:58, it should be perfect right about 3:02. For best results, finish before 3:16. After that, the "luke" is lost and it's just warm water. Gross!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Oh Ann

I wonder if Ann Coulter liked poking at anthills as a child.
It would be a lot of fun to watch liberals going through their "Howard Dean phase" right now, except liberal hysteria always frightens Bush. Instead of poking them through the iron bars of their cages with a stick like a normal person would, Bush soothes them with food pellets and reassuring words. What fun is that? We're winning! This is no time to concede defeat.
Maybe it's something about Bush being a uniter, not a divider. Plus, the rebuilding will be expensive, and democrats are fond of paying taxes, so...

Oh Eleanor

one of those random one-time referrals on my sidebar turned up some good photos. (profanity warning on the text though)

Karlton-Seeking Missiles

Check out these two posts on Klown Karlton

The Rule

The Pledge

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Stifling Dissent

Read the story of how THE BIGGEST ANALOG BROWNSHIRT IN AMERIKKKA (I won't say his name, but it rhymes with Garisson KKKeilor) is suing a noble clothing manufacturer for SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!!!


Hog on Ice gives this advice: Keep your trolls trimmed.


Dustbury coins yet another phrase - Deficit Inattention Disorder.

Star-Spangled Banner

I Love Jet Noise notes that today is the anniversary of our national anthem, and gives the story behind it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Post-Modern Post-Mortem

Here is an excellently written piece that eviscerates the hypocrisy of political correctness.
The postmodernists ... run a sort of moral protection racket. They make people feel guilty, and then they offer them absolution. They are our only protection against hellish shame and humiliation. Join them, and your sins are washed away. Refuse, and bear on top of your own sins, which were already too heavy to carry, the burden of the sins of the whole world.

Hee Haw

"Gloom, despair, and agony on me!
Deep dark depression, excessive misery!
If it weren't for bad news, we'd have no news at all!
Gloom, despair, and agony on me!"

Islamic Astrophysics

From Kman via Mish Mash, an explanation of the Islamic cosmos:
Tabari I:244
“Allah then created for the sun a chariot with 360 handholds from the luminosity of the light of the Throne and entrusted 360 of the angels inhabiting the lower heaven with the sun and its chariot, each of them gripping one of those handholds. Allah also entrusted 360 angels with the moon.”

Tabari I:232
“Gabriel brings to the sun a garment of luminosity from the light of Allah’s Throne according to the measure of the hours of the day. The garment is longer in the summer and shorter in the winter, and of intermediate length in autumn and spring. The sun puts on that garment as one of you here puts on his clothes.”

Qur’an 18:83
“They ask you about Dhu’l-Qarnain [Alexander the Great]. Say, ‘I will cite something of his story. We gave him authority in the land and means of accomplishing his goals. So he followed a path until he reached the setting place of the sun. He saw that it set in black, muddy, hot water. Near it he found people.”

“I walked hand in hand with the Prophet when the sun was about to set. We did not stop looking at it. The Prophet asked, ‘Do you know where the sun goes at sunset?’ I replied, ‘Allah and His Apostle know better.’ He said, ‘It travels until it falls down and prostrates Itself underneath the Throne.

Monday, September 12, 2005

a long time ago... a galaxy far, far away

whole lotta nothin'

just spent all weekend with a sore back, and work today was kinda busy, so no real posts today - sorry. will post again when the absorbine jr. kicks in...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Steven Wright moment #2

The other night, a girl asked me "do you know how to two-step?" I said "no, but I know how to twelve-step."


Here's a summary of Vodkapundit's findings:


From the Washington Post:
In Katrina's wake, Louisiana politicians and other critics have complained about paltry funding for the Army Corps in general and Louisiana projects in particular. But over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.

Much of that Louisiana money was spent to try to keep low-lying New Orleans dry. But hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to unrelated water projects demanded by the state's congressional delegation and approved by the Corps, often after economic analyses that turned out to be inaccurate.
From Fox News:
Garrett: FEMA does not have jurisdictional control over any state's National Guard, only the governor does. The governor in this case, Kathleen Blanco, a democrat, did use the Louisiana National Guard for some purposes, did not deploy them in massive numbers initially and they were not used to move any of these relief organizations in and they could have been for the very same reason I talked about earlier, the state decided they didn't want the relief organizations where the people needed it most because they wanted those people to get out.

Hume: But even today we know that Governor Blanco has now decided that a mandatory evacuation may not be necessarily after all. But we can go into that later. What about the use by her of the National Guard to impose law and order during the early looting and all of that?

Garrett: She had a choice, as I am told. She could have taken up the offer from FEMA to federalize all of the activities in Louisiana, meaning that FEMA would be in control of everything. Not only law enforcement, but everything else. She declined to give them that authority. So essentially FEMA was trapped between two bureaucracies. One the Department Of Homeland Security where many of its decisions have to be reviewed and in some cases approved, and a recalcitrant state bureaucracy that wasn't going to give them the authority they needed to make things happen, among them, the National Guard.

This isn't your father's Dodge(ball)

According to Mish Mash, "It's like The Matrix with better graphics and more plot."

O'Connor Replacement

I am sooooo looking forward to witnessing the "At long last, have you no sense of decency" moment that shuts the lunatic left up once and for all.

new career field

As an aside, Dustbury notices the new field of "professional umbrage-takers".

Friday, September 09, 2005

whose fault?

Looks like environmentalists are to blame for New Orleans' weak levees. (profanity warning)

the screwtape therapist

This is hilarious - "Satan To Distance Self From Congressional Democrats".

Steven Wright moment #1

Today I bought some battered fish filets. The box they came in was all dented up.

we want answers

Rightwingsparkle wants answers, not just insinuating questions:
For days we were subjected to (reporters questioning) about the hurricane victims lacking food and water for DAYS! How could this happen in America?? We were asked over and over. We finally get an answer to that question and (the reporters) are nowhere to be found. When they thought it was Bush's fault it was the lead, but when it is proven it was not, they don't even mention it. Since Tuesday when the story broke, I have looked and looked and could not find one mention of it in any msm news other than the one who broke the story, Fox News. If this story is a lie or a spin, then THAT should be the story. But there is NO excuse for ignoring this story. NONE.
She has a lot more to say about the hurricane's aftermath - check out her previous posts too (including a link to this map).


California Assemblyman Mark Wyland has this piece about illegal immigration.
Most people recognize that illegal immigration is unfair to tax-paying citizens and unfair to legal immigrants who wait their turn in line. Further, the United States is a nation built on the rule of law, and failure by the government to enforce immigration laws is a dangerous lesson that law in general may be selectively enforced or obeyed.
Read the rest - the article goes on to contradict some of the myths about illegal immigration, including this:
In fact, most illegal immigrants are competing directly with America's most vulnerable citizens: our working poor and those with less education and skills. Studies demonstrate that between 1980 and 2000, the overabundance of immigrant labor has decreased the average yearly earnings of citizens by $1,700, or 4 percent. Worse, citizens without a high school diploma have experienced a 7.4 percent decrease in their earnings directly attributable to this competition.
So the next time you hear anyone speaking against stricter border controls, you'll know that they care nothing for America or its poor.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

under the sea

It's a little cold, but this letter to Mark Steyn gets it mostly right:
Following the disaster in New Orleans and being Dutch, I was amazed about the stupid remarks made by various politicians and so called professionals. The suggestion that New Orleans should not be rebuild, because it is 5 or 6 meters below sea level proves the professional nitwits haven’t seen much of the world. New Orleans has never been sufficiently protected. Would a team of engineers been in the Netherlands for one day, they would have noticed how 10 million Dutch citizens live between 10 and 3 meter below sea level for hundreds of years. A little historic update would have learned them that since 1953 (the last big catastrophe we suffered from inundation) the Dutch have constantly improved the techniques of building bigger and more reliable dykes.

All inundations in our past history (or near inundations) were caused by a lack of funding, lack of maintenance and idiots in green parties who delayed the reconstruction of old dykes. In New Orleans I see incompetence, lack of funding, lack of interest. Après moi le déluge. A storm with gale forces like 150 miles an hour is a bad thing. Bad governors and inept engineers are worse. I advise the proper US institutions to make an appointment with our dyke builders and research institutes before they start building lousy dykes again. I am sure they will be welcomed with open arms. We have not forgotten how the US helped us with helicopters and food aid, when our dykes broke in 1953 killing 2500 people and inundating an area at least 10 times the size of New Orleans with a few million people and causing millions of dead animals. This area is a life and kicking now. New Orleans will be too, but first needs to kick out all inept politicians.

Barend Hak
The Netherlands, living 20 feet below sea level
Of course, the major reason they built their system of dykes was to add more land because there was nowhere else to go in Europe - which is a problem we don't have over here.

Mark also asks the question:
On 9/11, they stuck to the 30-year-old plan; last week, they didn't bother implementing the state-of-the-art 21st-century plan. Why argue about which level of bureaucracy you prefer to be let down by?
update: Also read this summary at the Washington Times.

"Saddam's" "Confessions"

"Notice" "the" "heavy" "use" "of" "scare" "quotes" "in" "this" "report".

poor guy :P

Sean Penn is just a Not-Too-Swift Boat Veteran:
Penn had planned to rescue children waylaid by Katrina's flood waters, but apparently forgot to plug in a hole in the bottom of his vessel, which began filling with water seconds after its launch the other day, reports the Melbourne Herald Sun. The star was seen wearing what appeared to be a white flak jacket and frantically bailing water out with a red plastic cup. When the motor didn't start, Penn and his entourage — including a personal photographer — were forced to use paddles to propel themselves down a flooded street.
Did a CIA agent give you that cup, Spicoli?

Monday, September 05, 2005

a good word

In the context of writing about the Supreme Court nomination, Hugh Hewitt wrote some other things we all need to hear:
Five years after a disputed and deeply divisive presidential election, a week short of the fourth anniversary of a devastating attack on the United States and the start of a war with a deadly enemy which has seen the U.S. invade and topple two brutal enemy dictatorships and replace both with the seedlings of free regimes, two months after a surprise resignation from the highest court in the land and now on the night of the death of the court's anchor for two decades and a member for 33 years, and just five days after the greatest natural disaster to ever smash into our country, with order restored in the New orleans and a massive relief effort underway throughout thousands of square miles for the displaced and the devastated...

and I doubt if there is even one elected or appointed member of the United States government in any of its three branches, or any of its states' governors or state supreme court justices, any of its senior military commanders, any among its responsible bishops, pastors, rabbis or other senior religious leaders, or any of its major newspaper editors, network execs, church or widely respected public intellectuals, or any major college or university president who does not agree that the state of the union is secure, its people committed to the government as it has existed for 216 years, its partisan divisions while severe, not disabling, and the love of country as deep as the Grand Canyon and as enduring as the Rockies.

Five years of extraordinary change and turbulence, war and disaster, and yet there is no crisis of confidence in the country's purpose or its structure outside of the very small precincts of the extremes, and nothing but certainty as to its orderly transitions of power on the court in the next few weeks, in the elected branches in November of next year, and in January, 2009, in the presidency.

And while the task of recovery from the storm is huge, and while the loss of life and livelihoods cannot be underestimated, the vast resolve of the American people to come to the assistance of their fellow citizens is unmistakable. In no other country in this age or any age could so much have been done to come to the aid of its people as has happened in the past five days. Far from perfect, but far more effective than anything else in recorded human history.

And all of this record of the past five years is unremarkable because it is the United States of America. Because of the nature of its people and the genius of its Constitution's framers...

Even though the past five years have been full of all sorts of shocks - of terror attacks at home and across the globe, political upheavals, and now from nature - the country is fundamentally secure and stable because of its Constitution. Which is why I expect this president to name another new justice in the mold of Roberts, and a third and a fourth if he has the chance. It is the Constitution that has kept the country together not just for the past few years of crisis and uncertainty, but through its young years, its Civil War, depressions and conflicts that dwarf the one we are now enagged in.

The president knows that it is the Constitution that has, along with God's grace, allowed this country to survive and prosper and, when necessary, recover...

Whittle's Back!

Go read it now!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Roberts' Confirmation Hearing

With an insincere apology to Monty Python, here's a possible transcript of how John Roberts' Supreme Court confirmation hearing could go:


John Roberts: Tr'bl at S'preme Cort!

Barbara Boxer: Oh no - what kind of trouble?

Roberts: Ole O'Connor she gone un retire frm Sprimcort.

Boxer: Pardon?

Roberts: Ole O'Connor she gone un retire frm Sprimcort.

Boxer: I don't understand what you're saying.

Roberts: (slightly irritatedly and with exaggeratedly clear accent) Sandra Day O'Connor has gone and retired from the Supreme Court.

Boxer: Well what on earth does that mean?

Roberts: *I* don't know! Mr Bush just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at the Supreme Court, that's all. I didn't expect a kind of Democratic Inquisition.

(The senators enter)

Ted Kennedy: EVERYBODY expects the Democratic Inquisition! Our chief weapon is whining ... whining and fear ... fear and whining ... Our two weapons are fear and whining, and ruthless demagoguery ... Our *three* weapons are fear, whining, and ruthless demagoguery ... and an almost fanatical devotion to Karl Marx ... Our *four* ... (hic) ... *Amongst* our weapons ... Amongst our weaponry ... are such elements as fear, whining ... (hic) I'll come in again.

Roberts: I didn't expect a kind of Democratic Inquisition.

(The senators enter)

Kennedy: EVERYBODY expects the Democratic Inquisition! Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, whining, ruthless demagoguery, an almost fanatical devotion to Karl Marx, and racism... %@$! (to Senator Durbin) I can't say it, you'll have to say it.

Durbin: What?

Kennedy: You'll have to say the bit about 'Our chief weapons are...'

Durbin: (rather horrified): I couldn't do that...

(Kennedy bundles the senators outside again)

Roberts: I didn't expect a kind of Democratic Inquisition.

(The senators enter)

Durbin: Er... Everybody... um....

Kennedy: Expects...

Durbin: Expects... Everybody expects the... um... the Democratic... um...

Kennedy: Inquisition.

Durbin: I know, I know! Everybody expects the Democratic Inquisition. In fact, those who do expect...

Kennedy: Our chief weapons are...

Durbin: Our chief weapons are... um... er...

Kennedy: Whining...

Durbin: Whining and...

Kennedy: Okay, stop. Stop. Stop there, stop there. Stop. (hic)... our chief weapons are whining... blah blah blah. Senator, read the charges.

Feinstein: You are hereby charged that you did on diverse dates commit constitutionalism against the holy ACLU.

Durbin: That's enough. (to Roberts) Now, how do you plead?

Roberts: I'm innocent.

Kennedy: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

(Superimposed caption: 'DIABOLICAL LAUGHTER')

Durbin: We'll soon change your mind about that!

(Superimposed caption: 'DIABOLICAL ACTING')

Kennedy: Fear, whining, and a most ruthless... (controls himself) Ooooh! Now, Senator... the rack!

(Durbin produces a plastic dish-drying rack. Kennedy looks at it, clenches his teeth, and hiccups)

Kennedy: You... Right! Tie him down.

(Feinstein and Durbin make a pathetic attempt to tie Roberts on to the drying rack)

Kennedy: Right! How do you plead?

Roberts: Innocent.

Kennedy: Ha! Right! Senator, give the rack (hic) give the rack a turn.

(Durbin stands there awkwardly and shrugs his shoulders)

Durbin: I...

Kennedy (gritting his teeth): I *know*, I know you can't. I didn't want to say anything. I just wanted to try and ignore your crass mistake.

Durbin: I...

Kennedy: It makes it all seem so stupid.

Durbin: Shall I?

Kennedy: No, just pretend for Moore's sake. Ha! Ha! Ha!

(Durbin turns an imaginary handle on the side of the dish-rack)

Kennedy: Now, young man, you are accused of heresy on three counts: constitutionalism by thought, constitutionalism by word, constitutionalism by deed, and constitutionalism by action... *four* counts. Do you confess?

Roberts: I don't understand what I'm accused of.

Kennedy: Ha! Then we'll make you understand! Durbin! Fetch...THE BLOVIATIONS!

(Durbin lines up Boxer, Feinstein, Byrd, and Reid at the microphone)

Durbin: Here they are, Ted.

Kennedy: Now, young man, you have one last chance. (hic) Confess the heinous sin of constitutionalism, reject the works of the founders... *two* last chances. And you shall be free... *three* last chances. You have three last chances, the nature of which I have divulged in my previous utterance.

Roberts: I don't know what you're talking about.

Kennedy: Right! If that's the way you want it... Senator! Annoy him with the inane bloviations!

(The other senators waste everyone's time with their rather pathetic speeches)

Kennedy: Confess! Confess! Confess!

Durbin: It doesn't seem to be hurting him, Ted.

Kennedy: Have you got all the hyperbole up one end?

Durbin: Yes, Ted.

Kennedy (signals the other senators to quit speaking): Hm! He is made of harder stuff! Senator Durbin! Fetch...THE DELTA 88!

(Zoom into Feinstein's horrified face)

Feinstein (terrified): The... Delta 88?

(Durbin drives in a Oldsmobile Delta 88)

Kennedy: So you think you are strong because you can survive the inane bloviations. Well, we shall see. (hic) Durbin! Put him in the Delta 88!

(They roughly push him into the Delta 88)

Kennedy (with a cruel leer): Now, you will stay in the Delta 88 until tomorrow, at the bottom of the river (hic) with only a small pocket of air. (aside, to Durbin) Is that really all it is?

Durbin: Yes, Ted.

Kennedy: I see. I suppose we make it worse by shouting a lot, do we? Confess, man. Confess! Confess! Confess! Confess!

Durbin: I confess!

Kennedy: Not you!

conspiracy theories pt.2

Professional investigative reporting from Soros/MoveOn's eastern bureau.

(That site does not deserve a link, except for reasons of "knowing your enemy").

food for thought

"Why would anyone want to be president?"

(no, I don't link to every article at Varifrank, it just looks that way...)

i've got that sinking feeling...

...and so do they

Friday, September 02, 2005

krazy kards

Check out the funny descriptions on these baseball cards - page one and page two - from a guy who asks:
"Is it ironic that in ESPN Classic’s list of the Top 20 Most Overrated Players/Things in sports, ESPN didn’t rank itself?"


Regular readers of this blog may have noticed a change in the pattern of when new posts appear here. At first, I had been posting in the early mornings Mon-Fri, but that had changed to Tue-Sat lately.

The explanation is that I had used blogging as "caffeine augmentation" to help keep me awake during the lulls on the overnight (1am-10am central time, the worst hours possible for me personally) work shift, so when I started working Tue-Sat a couple of months ago, the posts followed.

Fortunately, my shift will be changing next week, to the best possible hours for me (4pm-1am), and back to Mon-Fri. I don't know yet how that will affect posting. I won't need the help staying awake, but I have no plans to quit. Stay tuned...

p.s. Speaking of changes, I also got a new refrigerator today, which should have absolutely no bearing on my posting frequency. :)

Katrina's Aftermath

Discerning Texan sums up the pathetic and corrosive blame game that's starting, as does Varifrank - each in their own style.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

musical links

i went to high school with this guy.
it was the same high school where this guy went.
my dad went to the same high school as this guy.
i also know this guy.

(yeah, i'm namedropping, so what?)