30 November 2006

Like, Ohmigod; Altman was so Brilliancy!

Hard to blame Lindsay - she's 20, rich, coddled, handled, and from Hollywood, so brainwaves are hardly going to be her strong suit:

"I am lucky enough to of been able to work with Robert Altman amongst the other greats on a film that I can genuinely say created a turning point in my career," she began, less than certainly. "He was the closest thing to my father and grandfather that I really do believe I've had in several years... He left us with a legend that all of us have the ability to do."

A little lower down, she fell into improv philosophy, apparently riffing on the notion that life is too short to waste: "Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourselves' (12st book) - everytime there's a triumph in the world a million souls hafta be trampled on. - altman Its true. But treasure each triumph as they come." And she signed off, "Be adequite. Lindsay Lohan."
It's one thing to have fondness for Altman, which is wonderful, but it's a very dofferent thing for your your fondness for yourself to foist your sub-literate yammering on the rest of us and expect us, the unwashed masses, to be impressed.

Teach you children well, America.

For even more high-quality thoughtfulness and poise from Hollywood elite, try this on.

Chilidogs and Potholes

Next time you see someone bragging(!) about the fact their car parallel parks itself, remeber this Jay Leno essay:

I watched an SUV in front of me drift out of its lane, off the road and down an embankment. I stopped, ran to it and saw two young women inside, apparently okay. There was music blaring and something was on the navigation screen. This happened on a straight road, on a sunny day, without much traffic. And I thought how much safer I was, driving in my 50-year-old Jaguar XK120--with no side windows, no radio, no distractions--than these women were in their new truck with its ABS, airbags and other modern tech.

Why? Because I was paying attention.

Rather than teach people how to drive well, we override their need for skills. How far are we from cars that drive themselves? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that car. Shouldn’t we be responsible for doing some things ourselves?
Automatic cameras, automatic cooking, automatic transmissions, hundreds of books 'For Dummies;' won't be long before humans are completely void of skills.

29 November 2006

Welcome to College, Now Get Your Head Right

Textbooks - check; iPod - check; mob rule - check:

While academia has its own crimes to atone for, it's the students who have become the bullies as of late. A disturbing number seem to feel that theirs is an inviolate world to which no one of differing opinion need apply. As a result, everything from pie throwing to disrupting speeches to attacks on speakers has become commonplace.

The fact that the rioting students could be heard yelling, "He has no right to speak!" was telling. Apparently, in their minds, neither (Jim) Gilchrist nor anyone else with whom they disagree has a right to express their viewpoints. In any other setting this would be called exactly what it is -- totalitarianism. But in the untouchable Ivy League world of Columbia, it was chalked up to student activism gone awry. While condemning the incident, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger has yet to apologize to Gilchrist or to conclude the supposed investigation into the affair. In other words, mob rule won the day.

It's a sad state of affairs indeed when the figures of moderation and reform that many who call themselves liberal or progressive should in theory support are instead shunned in the name of political correctness. For how can one expect to promote progress while helping to stifle the voices at its heart?

Read it all

28 November 2006

Castle Doctrine Stauts in the News

The phrase that pays - "not forced to retreat:"
The resident told police he was awakened to sounds of what he thought was someone breaking into his house on Bittersweet Street in Coon Rapids, sheriff's Capt. Bob Aldrich said. He grabbed a rifle that he kept in his bedroom around the time a man in his late teens or early 20s entered the room. "(The resident) fired a single shot, and the suspect was struck in the torso," Aldrich said. "The suspect was able to stumble or stagger down the stairs and then collapsed near a door. And died."
That's what we here at RDF call good shootin.' Here's some background on our English Common Law friend the Castle Doctrine.

Underreported Story du Jour

We'll see as the days go by how hidden this item becomes:

Several members of a government board appointed to guard privacy and civil liberties during the war on terror say they’re impressed with the protections built into the Bush administration’s electronic eavesdropping program. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board received a long-awaited briefing on the secret program last week by senior members of the National Security Agency.

Two of the five board members told The Associated Press on Monday they were impressed by the safeguards the government has built into the NSA’s monitoring of phone calls and computer transmissions and wished the administration could tell the public more about them to ease distrust.

“If the American public, especially civil libertarians like myself, could be more informed about how careful the government is to protect our privacy while still protecting us from attacks, we’d be more reassured,” said Lanny Davis, a former Clinton White House lawyer. Alan Raul, a former Reagan White House lawyer and the board’s vice chairman, said the group “found there was a great appreciation inside government, both at the political and career levels, for protections on privacy and civil liberties.”

“In fact, I think the public may have an underappreciation for the degree of seriousness the government is giving these protections.” said Raul, author of a book on privacy and civil liberties in the digital age.

27 November 2006

Why He's on Radio

'Cause he says stuff people need to hear:
This morning on radio and MSNBC, responding to NBC's decision to characterize Iraq as a "civil war," Don Imus said:"He and Brian Williams and all those other nitwits and Griffin, they all sit around and they make this command decision, and Zucker and all of them, and maybe bring ol' Wright in there?"More: "Do these nitwits at NBC News think this is going to have the impact of when Walter Cronkite came back in Vietnam and said we can't win, and Lyndon Johnson famously said 'well if we've lost Walter Cronkite, we've lost the country?'"
Semantics is a game played by those that can't win at any other game.

When Properly Equipped

Actually, (insert 17-year old male's name here), your slammed Civic will not be getting away tonight - at least not in Italy.

Hundred Days Late, Thousands of Dollars Short

The Boy Mayor strikes again!

Actually, 'strike' is perhaps too decisive a term - let's just say Rybak's made an alleged appearance and might have actually issued a none-too-harsh statement of some sort.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak on Monday called for the removal of controversial Fire Chief Bonnie Bleskachek, saying he no longer has confidence in her ability to lead the Fire Department. Rybak said in his letter that the city had reached an agreement in which Bleskachek will not contest her removal.
Bold, Mr. Mayor, bold, I say. You've finally made your first legitimate public statement on the matter AFTER the Kissing Chief has accepted her fate. Way to sidestep any political consternation.

(Bleskachek's) lawyer, Jerry Burg, said today that Bleskachek would still be a firefighter, although she would be demoted, and she would receive a settlement payment, if the City Council approves the deal. Rybak's spokesman, Jeremy Hanson, said the mayor's recommendation only concerns Bleskachek's removal as chief, and mentions nothing about a demotion.
Blesckachek's actions have the city embroiled in four discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits and now SHE'S in line for a settlement? And she's going to be demoted? To what? If she's too warped to be chief, is her warpedness just fine for a captain's job? What does that pay? Who are the lucky firefighters that get to report to her now? Who is running that pathetic municipal circus over there?

Bleskachek, 43, has been the focus of internal investigations amid those suits claiming discrimination and sexual harassment. A city investigation continues, but it has already been determined that the department gave preferential treatment to lesbians or those socializing with them. The city has spent more than $410,000 on the investigation, legal settlements and compensation of Bleskachek during her paid leave.
She's the one accused, and she's bailing out, but the city still somehow pays for her lawyer. Hundred grand here, hundred grand there; what the hell - it's only taxpayers money. There's always more to be had.

Rybak said that for more than a year, he has "been concerned about Fire Chief Bonnie Bleskachek's management of the department." Despite meeting with the chief and her lawyer, Rybak said, he is not confident that she can lead the fire department in a way that best protects the citizens of Minneapolis.
Maybe he's been concerned, but Rybak's been hiding behind the always-convenient shield/dodge of 'municipal employee privacy' until now. I guess he feels as though he's cleared some hurdle and will not suffer any political wrath from the GLBT gang or other similar single-issue constituency.

Rybak said Bleskachek would remain eligible for a severance payment. Since she was placed on leave March 22, Bleskachek has collected about $90,000 in salary and benefits, said Matthew Laible of the mayor's office.
Ninety grand just since March. Can you imagine what her total annual compensation must've been with salary, benefits, etc.?

This whole ridiculous episode reminds me of a definitive scene in Robert Altman's 1970 film MASH. As Frank Burns is being hauled away in a straightjacket, his time in Korea clearly over, Duke Forrest leans over to Colonel Blake and points out that "Fair's fair... if I punch Hawkeye and nail Hot-Lips, can I go home too?"

Celebrity Trumps Hypocricy

and irony also takes it on the chin:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee doesn't much care for Americans these days, but it knows who's an international draw and who isn't, and so the concert, as always, is top-loaded with American celebrities. The co-hosts are Sharon Stone and Angelica Huston, and the entertainers scheduled to appear include Lionel Ritchie and Wynonna. Also on the bill is a British singer who calls himself Yusuf - the same guy who used to be known as Yusuf Islam; before that he was Cat Stevens, and before that he was Steven Demetre Georgiou.

After the publication of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, (Yusef) as quoted in the New York Times as saying that if Mr. Rushdie came to his door for help, "I might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like" (insert your own 'Religion of Peace' joke here).

And what about free speech? Yusuf supports an Islam that "wisely prohibits the vilification of what people hold sacred, in order that people do not vilify or mock God the Almighty." In other words, he champions the same kind of Shariah-based censorship that obtains in Saudi Arabia and Iran and that was a way of life in Taliban-run Afghanistan.

The decision to invite him to perform at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert — which is supposed to be a celebration of civilization's highest values — sends a grim message about the values the Norwegian Nobel Committee exalts above all others.
Sounds like a hell of a party, just watch out for the Kool-Aid.

A Man's Got to Know His Limitations

Sure, the money makes you think you're superman, but then there's reality:
The 40-year-old businessman, worth $7.1 billion according to Forbes magazine, was speeding and weaving through traffic when he lost control of a black Ferrari Enzo on the Promenade des Anglais, the boulevard that runs along the Nice shoreline as he was speeding, said the policeman in Nice who is heading the investigation into the crash.

Kerimov lost control of the Ferrari while overtaking another car, hitting the sidewalk and then a tree before the engine caught fire, the policeman said.
Again, Darwin is right.

Has Anyone Seen Albert A. Gore Jr.?

With cataclysmic predictions that hurricanes would swarm from the tropics like termites, no one thought 2006 would be the most tranquil season in a decade. Barring a last-second surprise from the tropics, the season will end Thursday with nine named storms, and only five of those hurricanes. This year is the first season since 1997 that only one storm nudged its way into the Gulf of Mexico.

As they say about the stock market: Past results are no indication of future performance.
Wherever Gore is these days, you know there are jet-fuel contrails marking his huge personal carbon footprint.

More non-materializing hysteria here.

26 November 2006

This Modern World

Overheard in Mpls:

Woman taking picture to her daughter: "Smile or I'll PhotoShop you out of the picture!"

92 With a Bullet

Radley Balko:
If the police storm in and you -- not being a drug dealer and consequently having no reason to think the police might break into your home -- mistake them for criminal intruders and meet them with a gun, you are at fault. I guess your crime is living in an area where drug dealers could use your porch while you aren't home, or being a too trusting, frail, old woman. Sorry about your luck.

On the other hand, if the police break into your home and they mistake the blue cup, TV remote, the t-shirt you're holding to cover your genitals because they broke in while you were sleeping naked, or the glint off your wristwatch for a gun -- and subsequently shoot you (all of these scenarios have actually happened), well, then no one is to blame. Because, you see, SWAT raids are inherently dangerous and volatile, and it's perfectly understandable how police might mistake an innocent person holding a t-shirt for a violent drug dealer with gun.

Do you see the double standard, here? If the warrant is legit, they are allowed to make mistakes. You aren't.
Read it all, then read the Second Amendment, then the Fourth Amendment.

Idnetity Theft Indeed

Let's see what we have: Driving a very expensive European car which is filthy in that unwashed-for-6-months kind of way; front rims are nearly black. Still sporting the Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker for your own affirmation, I guess, because you're so right and everyone else is so wrong. Two of your tires are so under inflated that they are visibly deformed. Is that bad for your mileage? Who knows; we all know it's the government's job to punish auto manufacturers for all that confusing stuff anyway.

I see you're smoking with the windows shut and a kid in the back seat. That's a nice touch. When you passed me going about 50 on a city street with a 35 MPH speed limit, I also noticed your whiskey plates. How'd you earn those - I wonder?

There's a chance I wouldn't have noticed any of this had you not passed me on the right then cut me off to get in to the left turn lane, only to change your mind again and cut off others to get to the right lane behind me. That extra touch of honking at me because you expected me to turn right on red even though there are three signs indicating no right turn on red at this intersection really made our time together extra special.

I'm going out on a limb here, but I'll bet you're the type who fears identity theft and expects your elected officials to take care of your every privacy need. You're paranoid about who has access to your social security number, your e-mail address and your library card, but I'm here to tell you none of that matters: I know all about you.

25 November 2006

A Feast For the Senses

This should shke the trypophan from your system.

21 November 2006

College - Where Ideas Go to Die

Brown University has un-invited Nonie Darwish. It's really a lot of cowardace on parade:
Forty years ago the leaders of a revolutionary movement which had already killed millions of people in its quest for utopia gave a talk at a university, and students and faculty listened with respect. Then they verbally demolished the speakers, not by shouting them down or insulting them, but with repeated knowledgeable soft-spoken questions which exposed the weaknesses in the speakers' arguments.

Last week at Brown University, the cutting edge of the Ivy League, a speaker was canceled. Muslim students were too afraid of her to attend her talk and try - if they disagreed - to expose any weakness in her arguments. Unfortunately, this kind of cowardice and repression is is all too prevalent in Muslim organizations, especially on campuses.
Read it all.

Self-Important Media Has Its Own Minor League

Background first:
Stackhouse pulled out his gun and started waving it around. Lambert, who is a strong gun rights activist and member of the National Rifle Association, reached into his pocket and pulled out his gun. "I did a more proper draw out and up, and of course at that point I said, 'Drop it,' Lambert said. "He said he didn't want any trouble. He just wanted to leave. I said, 'You're not leaving with that gun.' Of course, I was using some profanities. I have to confess in a tense situation I can have a potty mouth." Lambert says Stackhouse dropped his gun on the floor and fled. He left his driver's licence at the business. Knox county authorities arrested him several hours later.
Quick review - business owner uses legally-owned and carried gun to disarm a creep and prevent more crime; okay let's move on. Big time print news has it's problems - declining readership, ad revenue drying up, relevance and perspective in question . . . but that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of hitters in the minors waiting to be called to the big show. Check out the elitist swagger on these losers in Knoxville:
If his version of the event is to be believed, he warded off a robbery attempt by drawing his own pistol when a 19-year-old who had been feigning a car buy pulled a pistol and pointed it at him. In a standoff, he says he got the young man to drop his weapon and depart, leaving his drivers license behind.

Lambert called the sheriff’s department, whose officers proceeded to track down the alleged assailant and arrest him on a charge of attempted aggravated robbery. As Metro Pulse went to press, the accused is being held in lieu of $15,000 bond. Though the car lot is in the city of Knoxville, Lambert says he called for sheriff deputies because he wanted “my own people” to respond.
So what? The law is the law.

Just because he is a county commissioner does not mean that sheriff’s officers are Lambert’s “own people.” He does not own or control the sheriff’s office. Nor should he expect special favors from that office. Besides the arrogance of the position he took on who should perform the investigation, Lambert’s explanation shows unwarranted contempt for the Knoxville Police Department.
I'll bet it hurt them terribly to include this in their tantrum:

We should point out that under the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Lambert has the right to keep and bear arms, and under Tennessee law, Lambert has the right to carry his pistol concealed, having passed the required tests of his knowledge of gun safety and gun usage.
The weeping continues:
Steer clear of Lumpy Lambert unless you have armed security handy and have plenty of witnesses around. We said Lambert was a clown and shouldn’t be elected to the Commission, and what he’s been displaying since he was sworn in does nothing to change our opinion, which worsens with each of his show-off maneuvers. We didn’t think he was really dangerous. Now we’re not so sure.
How typical of this crowd; completely dismissive of felons running loose in the streets (and even painting them in a warm light), but ready to put the 'cuffs on a law-abiding businessman and public servant because he happened to save his own life with, of all things; a gun.

A Core of Quality

2006 Minnesota Twins:

Johan Santana - AL Cy Young

Torii Hunter - Gold Glove

Joe Mauer - AL Batting Champion

Justin Morneau - AL MVP

Justin joins Zoilo, Harmon and Rodney as Minnesota Twins MVPs

20 November 2006

Animals Backed into Corners

It's bad enough that the Star Tribune pads out their bankrupt editorials with outright plagiarism, but now they waste equal space with pathetic and unbelievable excuses from the editorial page editor (who get her job from the department of redundancy department) who tries to convince the readers that the dog ate their homework through the toilings of Kate Parry, the embarrassingly compliant lapdog ombuds-person who offers phony cover for the whole diseased operation.
"The writer ... took notes on the Hertzberg piece, intending either to directly quote him or otherwise include some of his views. ... Later, in consulting these notes, the writer inadvertently failed to distinguish which parts were direct quotes and which were paraphrased ideas, resulting in the writing of phrases that included an unattributed, improper mix of the two. ... "
Have you ever heard so much bullshit? This is a major-market newspaper, not some Britney Spears fanzine. Are we to believe that those writing editorials cannot distinguish their own words from the one's they're lifting? Further, when it comes to tyring to isolate the lazy moron who did the plagiarizing, the whole place hides behind the always-convenient privacy rouse:
That meant I couldn't get answers to what would be natural questions in the minds of readers: Was the employee disciplined? Were previous editorials by this writer checked for signs of plagiarism? Because the editorial page staff develops positions as a group and writes unsigned editorials, I can't check for that without knowing the writer's identity.
More bullshit.

Worst of all, the whole fake apology and petty explanation offered by Parry leaves out (in an attempt to exonerate the paper) the most important element in defending plagiarism: In her supposed acknowledgment that the balls were dropped in policy, procedure and professionalism she's left unable to defend the paper's failure to observe the most basic component of working from others' work - you include at least some mention of the name of the original author. Nowhere in the Strib's editorial did they mention Hendrik Hertzberg's name.

What sad amateurs they have over there.

Ever Wonder Where Blues Songs Come From?

Math Test Today

Charlie Weaver puts stake in the ground. We'll be able to look back at his warnings years from now and he'll be able to say "I told you so."
Annual health care expenses for someone over 65 are about three times those for someone under 65. With the number of retirees growing more than 50 percent by 2020, health care costs will explode, even if we get a handle on premium increases.

In contrast, Minnesota's workforce will grow just 6 percent between 2010 and 2020, and 3 percent the following decade. We boomers will still be around. But retirees tend to have less taxable income and buy fewer taxable goods and more nontaxed services. Tax revenues simply won't grow as fast over the next 20 years as they have over the past 20.

It's a big bill that, frankly, we won't be able to fill by doing more of the same. This isn't a partisan issue. It can't be a partisan issue, if Minnesota is going to face the twin challenges of demographics and globalization.
Minnesota is know for its very generous social and welfare programs, but not so much for politicians that have any strategic smarts or ability to make tough choices. If we stay the course, there won't be enough tax revenue to keep the lights on much less provide the bare minimum.

There is a test here for the new congressional leadership in Minnesota. To fail the test is to fail the citizenry.

17 November 2006

What He Said

I was going to skewer the missing-in-action John Edwards (remember him?) over his raving hypocrisy. Seems that he's made a second career out of bashing Wal-Mart, but when his brats need a PlayStation 3, it his senatorial staff to the rescue, armed with name dropping, hubris and no discernable sence of irony so common in your Al-e-Gore-ical limousine liberal.

Anyway, I was going swing at the first offering and call Edwards a power-blinded fathead clown, but Jeff Taylor waits for the right pitch and hits hit hard to the gap:

The slapstick of the Edwards misstep should not obscure the really big picture, the fatal flaw in his "Two Americas" spiel. Many thousands of Americans evidently have $600 to spend on a video game machine. What's more, this Christmas is expected to usher in the year of the flat-panel. With price points dropping below the $1000 mark, high-end TVs are moving down-market fast with Wal-Mart leading the way.

Contrary to the Edwards' pitch that labor-hostile companies are leaving American workers destitute, somebody is making some money out there in America. More importantly, they are making it in many, many cases without a union card. This reality will very hard for union-funded Democrats like Edwards to ignore as the 2008 presidential campaign unfolds. Hewing to the union rules, clear evidence of prosperity, like perhaps a shortage of $600 game machines, will have to be swept out of the campaign.

Because We Love Opinionated Writing

and have no real fondness for St. Cloud, MN:
"Just about the most joyless and depressing university town imaginable. If the endless below-zero weather doesn't kill you, its soul-killing culture of sheer hopelessness surely will."Basically, people just eat bad food at buffet-style restaurants and watch themselves get fat."

I spent an academic year there a while back and have no reason to contradict this.

16 November 2006

The Barnburner Redefined

Well, that was a bit of a tilt now wasn't it.

After trailing the Predators 3-1 and then 6-3, the Wild came back with two third period goals to tie the game at 6, survived a bullshit call that awarded a penalty shot to Paul Karyia during the 4-on-4 overtime, and then won in the shootout after 8 skaters went in 1-on-1 with the goalies. Niklas Backstrom came in to relieve a so-so Manny Fernandez and definitely saved the day.

In three Wild/Predators games this season, there have been 41 goals scored, and the Wild are now 7-0 in overtime.

It is now bedtime.

New Congress Coming

So the other party will have the congressional reigns come January. Does one stick by ones guns, or graciously encourage and cast his lot with the victors?

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two"wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:"Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Our Kind of Pageant Queen

This is why you have to have a runner-up.
The Minneapolis Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes is trading her tiara for a kevlar helmet and the sands of Iraq. Jessica Gaulke, chosen in July as Queen of the Lakes for a year, is giving up her title because her National Guard unit has been activated for duty in Iraq. Gaulke, 22, a sociology student at Augsburg College who visited Japan as part of her Aquatennial ambassador duties, will be going to the Mideast as a diesel generator mechanic.

"It really wasn't a decision that was mine to be made," said Gaulke, a former Miss Robbinsdale. "My unit's going. I've accepted it. It's part of the whole scope of why I joined; I'll be there for all of us over here."
More on Jessica here. Good luck, queen.

The Political Gift That Keeps on Giving

With apologies to Theodore Geisel, Harry Reid is here
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) backed funding for a bridge between Nevada and Arizona that could affect the value of property he owns nearby. Development is booming in the area and local officials in Laughlin and Bullhead City support a new crossing to ease traffic on the one existing bridge. They also expect it would add to property values.

Reid and other incoming Democratic leaders have promised to bring more openness to the practice of earmarking, where lawmakers insert funding for pet projects into legislation with little scrutiny.
Harry Reid is there

As convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff reported to federal prison today, a source close to the investigation surrounding his activities told ABC News that Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was one of the members of Congress Abramoff had allegedly implicated in his cooperation with federal prosecutors.

A source close to the investigation says Abramoff told prosecutors that more than $30,000 in campaign contributions to Reid from Abramoff's clients "were no accident and were in fact requested by Reid." Aramoff has reportedly claimed the Nevada senator agreed to help him on matters related to Indian gambling. he AP also reported that Abramoff's billing records showed extensive contact with Reid's
office over a three-year period in which Reid collected more than $68,000 from Abramoff's firm, partners and clients.
Harry Reid is everywhere

"He and I just like each other, and I think we set a good example here in the Senate," Majority Leader-elect Harry Reid said of colleague John Ensign. I wish other people had the same nonaggression pact we have," Reid told reporters. "It's not a 'Brokeback Mountain' situation," he added, referring to last year's film about two gay cowboy lovers.

14 November 2006

Tuesday Night Art

Battersea Power Station, London, 1920

Picture via Andy Bleck

Hero of the Day

Here's to you Eddie Brown (there's video):
But the situation took a drastic turn once Brown and one of the gunmen exited the house. Brown pushed his attacker against a tree, twisted the gun away, hit the gunman with his own weapon and threw him down to the sidewalk, where traces of blood could still be seen Tuesday afternoon.

Brown then returned, gun in hand, back into the house and confronted the other intruder, who immediately turned and fled the scene.

Brown said he wasn't thinking of his own safety when he decided to turn the tables on the gunmen."As long as they're safe, I'm OK. That's why I did what I did," said Brown.
Every day, Eddie has to face two kinds of gangs; the kind that would kick in your door and threaten your family and the kind that wants to deny Second Amendment rights to Americans and make all of us impotent victims to lawbreakers.

Our hat is off to you Mr. Brown; way to step up.

13 November 2006

Calling Charlie Out

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): "Who the hell wants to live in Mississippi?"

Is there anything more loathsome than northeast elitism?

Mr. Rangel's defense has been that, as a New Yorker, he couldn't imagine wanting to live anywhere else. Yet many of his fellow New Yorkers can. Between 2000 and 2005, the overall American population increased 5.3%. While neither Mississippi nor New York matched that figure, Mississippi topped the Empire State, experiencing population growth of 2.7%, compared to 1.5% for New York. Of course, that growth is due mainly to international immigration in each state, but the data on internal migration — people moving from one state to another — aren't any more encouraging.

Mississippi experienced an outflow of 0.7 people per 1,000 residents between April 2000 and July 2005 (pre-Hurricane Katrina). Yet New York lost 10 residents for every 1,000 living here during the same time. In other words, the rate at which we're losing population exceeds the Magnolia State by a factor of more than 10.

No doubt that has at least something to do with the business climate, a ranking of which was recently released by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council and found that New York ranked 45th in the nation, a one-position drop from its finish last year. Mississippi finished seventh in each year.

Charlie Rangel - dumbass.

Charity Starts at Home

I'm sure the new Democrat-controlled congress will put a stop to this as soon as possible:
A Wisconsin couple donated $1.3 million to the National Corvette Museum in south-central Kentucky, the largest gift in the museum's history. The money, from Ivan and Mary Shrodt of Sherwood, Wis., will go toward a planned $14 million expansion.

"We looked at what we valued and what was important to us," Ivan Shrodt, 60, said. The museum held a reception in the couple's honor Saturday night, while the Shrodts were in town to pick up their sixth Corvette, a 2007 black Z06 model.

12 November 2006

Double Crap Sunday

Wild lose, Reds lose . . . feh.

Looking Past the Characture

Douglas J. Feith:

Rumsfeld is a bundle of paradoxes, like a fascinating character in a work of epic literature. And as my high school teachers drummed into my head, the best literature reveals that humans are complex. They are not the all-good or all-bad, all-brilliant or all-dumb figures that inhabit trashy novels and news stories. Fine literature teaches us the difference between appearance and reality.

Because of his complexity, Rumsfeld is often misread. His politics are deeply conservative, but he was radical in his drive to force change in every area he oversaw. He is strong-willed and hard-driving, but he built his defense strategies and Quadrennial Defense Reviews on calls for intellectual humility.

If an ideologue is someone to whom the facts don't matter, then Rumsfeld is the opposite of an ideologue. He insists that briefings for him be full of facts, thoughtfully organized and rigorously sourced. He demands that facts at odds with his key policy assumptions be brought to his attention immediately. "Bad news never gets better with time," he says, and berates any subordinate who fails to rush forward to him with such news. He does not suppress bad news; he acts on it.

The public picture of him today is drawn from news accounts reflecting the views of people who disapproved of his policies or disliked him. Rumsfeld, after all, can be brutally demanding and tough. But I believe history will be more appreciative of him than the first draft has been. What will last is serious history, which, like serious literature, can distinguish appearance from reality.

11 November 2006

Asia Update

The project manager at a Thai zoo, which has hosted a couple of pandas for four years, says they will play "porn" videos for the male next month to encourage them to breed in captivity.

"We'll play the video at the most comfortable and intimate time for him, perhaps after dinner,"

A man in southern China has applied to register a line of women's sanitary products under the name of Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, state media said today.

Yao is one of China's best known and highest paid sportsmen. The 7-foot-5-inch center plays with the Houston Rockets in the NBA.

Dancing and singing eunuchs are knocking on doors in the Indian city of Patna in a bid to embarrass shopkeepers into paying their taxes.

"Some paid in cash, while others quickly wrote checks. The shock therapy, which we plan to use sparingly, was a grand success," Atul Prasad, a top official in impoverished Bihar state, of which Patna is the capital, told Reuters Friday.

New Steed in the Barn

Pop added a new noisemaker to the fleet.

This SS was originally screwed together in 1964, but it's been recently gutted and and reassembled with purpose: Solid-lifter 348, 3x2 Rochesters, Offy valve covers, 4-speed, PosiTriaction, all new interior, American Racing wheels, all painted '98 Corvette Medium Pearl Purple (95U), which is appropriate, since the first Impala Chevrolet showed the public (at the 1956 Mororama) was a Corvette-based show car.

It's only 2-wheel drive and it's carburated, but is has other virtues - like a back seat thoroughly tested and approved by some of Topeka society's most elite members.

Vroom . . .

RDF: Your Home for Weather News

This is how it looked on the southwest side of Des Moines in Firday the 10th about noon. The snowflakes were the size of Doritos.

08 November 2006

Hail to the Victors

Democrats have taken control of the Minnesota House and Senate, anf the US House (and maybe the US Senate); some kind of a track record they have going for them:
The list is based on a city’s rate for six basic crime categories: Murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft. All cities of 75,000+ populations that reported crime data to the FBI for the six crime categories were included in the rankings.”

10. Gary, IN
Mayor in 2005: Scott King, Democrat
U.S. Representative: Peter Visclosky, Democrat

9. Youngstown, OH
Mayor in 2005: George M. McKelvey, Democrat
U.S. Representative: Tim Ryan, Democrat

8. Oakland, CA
Mayor in 2005: Jerry Brown, Democrat
U.S. Representative: Barbara Lee, Democrat

7. Cleveland, OH
Mayor in 2005: Jane L. Campbell, Democrat
U.S. Representatives: Dennis Kucinich, Democrat, and Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Democrat

6. Birmingham, AL
Mayor in 2005: Bernard Kincaid, Democrat
U.S. Representative: Artur Davis, Democrat

5. Camden, NJ
Mayor in 2005: Gwendolyn A. Faison, Democrat
U.S. Representative: Robert Andrews, Democrat

4. Compton, CA
Mayor in 2005: Eric J. Perrodin, Democrat
U.S. Representative: Juanita Millender-McDonald, Democrat

3. Flint, MI
Mayor in 2005: Donald Williamson, EVIL REPUBLICAN
U.S. Representative: Dale Kildee, Democrat

2. Detroit, MI
Mayor in 2005: Kwame M. Kilpatrick, Democrat
U.S. Representatives: Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Democrat, and John Conyers, Democrat

1. St. Louis, MO
Mayor in 2005: Francis G. Slay, Democrat
U.S. Representatives: William Lacy Clay, Democrat, and Russ Carnahan, Democrat

Election Day Boogie

Well, if you include the Wild losing to the Sharks, I went 2 for 10 yesterday. Got to keep my governor and sheriff, but that's about it.

I vote in a church basement, like many do, I imagine. It was a nice walk after dinner; must've been 50 degress. My precinct was a paper 'n' pencil set up, and continues to work very well. Same retired folks running it as always. I went during prime time, and it all took maybe 10 minutes in and out. Neal Boortz didn't have such a good experience.

I said "Look, you have two women sitting at this table doing nothing. You have an empty computer screen at the 'A' table. Why not let one of these ladies work that screen to see if you can shorten that line?" (The poll manager) just looked at me with a blank stare. At this point one of the two ladies working the 'M' table said "We can check those people in here!" Again ... blank stare from the poll manager. "Can you let some of the people in that line come over here to be checked in?" I asked? Blank stare.

As the line was shifting I heard a woman say "This is what it's going to be like with government health care."

03 November 2006

This Day in History Revision

Bubba shows up in Amerca's fastest growing city and attracts 150 people(!), and among them; the very unstable:

Before Clinton's arrival, Clark County Commissioner Yvonne Atkinson Gates, the master of ceremonies, pined for the good old days of Clinton's presidency -- "when there were no scandals in the White House."

While Gates apparently forgot about Clinton's fairly well-publicized relationship with "that woman" Monica Lewinsky, she did not forget about how it would look on camera if Clinton spoke without an adoring audience in front of the podium. "If you don't stand over here (in front of the speaker's platform)," she warned the people sitting on bleachers, "you're not going to get to see the president."

02 November 2006

Take Care in Choosing You Idols

For they have a way of disappointing you eventually:
Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Bono, the rock star and campaigner against Third World debt, is asking the Irish government to contribute more to Africa. At the same time, he's reducing tax payments that could help fund that aid.

Bono and his U2 bandmates earlier this year moved their music publishing company to the Netherlands. The Dublin group, which Forbes estimates earned $110 million in 2005, will pay about 5 percent tax on their royalties, less than half the Irish rate.

At a concert last year in Croke Park, Dublin's biggest stadium, Bono appealed to Prime Minister Bertie Ahern to raise overseas aid to 0.7 percent of gross national product by 2007 from 0.5 percent now. The crowd responded by booing Ahern. "It seems odd, in a situation where they enjoy an already favorable tax regime, they would move operations to the Netherlands to get an even more favorable rate,'' said Joan Burton, finance spokeswoman for the opposition Labour Party.
I don't blame him; business is business. I do what I can to minimize my tax liability. But I don't flog governments to "do something" at every drop of the hat with other people's tax money.

Take That!

Five unanswered goals.

01 November 2006

In Hole and Still Digging

As John Kerry's Wednesday schedule began to, uh, lighten, as Democrats started to uninvite him to share a podium, he finally sort of apologized, but it was in the fashionalbe "sorry if YOU were offended" type:
I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended.
Jezz, sorry we listened to the words you spoke and believed them to be what you meant. Clearly we won't make the same mistake in the future when you tell us other nonsensical crap. I don't doubt he botched a joke (pretty funny subject matter that Iraq mess). So he blew the punchline. Who among us hasn't? The difference is that when I get it wrong, I don't tell everyone else in the room that they're too stupid/jaded/biased to get what I meant to say. That takes some real arrogance.

Lions and Tigers and The Times, Oh My

For the Record - An entry in the News Summary on Saturday misstated the name of the team that the St. Louis Cardinals defeated to win the World Series. It was the Detroit Tigers, not the Detroit Lions.
Big media, full of it's layers of editorial process and fact checking . . .