30 December 2007

The Squirms of the Doomed

Soon they will be dead but, for now, they writhe, flail and snap:
In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

The industry's lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are "unauthorized copies" of copyrighted recordings. Whether customers may copy their CDs onto their computers -- an act at the very heart of the digital revolution -- has a murky legal foundation, the RIAA argues.
Murky indeed - name another industry where the producers hunt down their consumers.

The RIAA's legal crusade against its customers is a classic example of an old media company clinging to a business model that has collapsed. Four years of a failed strategy has only "created a whole market of people who specifically look to buy independent goods so as not to deal with the big record companies," Beckerman says. "Every problem they're trying to solve is worse now than when they started."

The RIAA says moving the music you legally purchase to you computer is against the law. Don't tell that to the 38 bazillion people who just got iPods for Christmas.

And Your Mother Dresses You Funny

It's not just the photos, it's the captions:

Thoughtful Lance. Mirthful Lance. Two sides of a delightful coin.

The Green, Green Grass of Home

And the 'green' of the rest of the home.
In one month this residence consumes more energy than the average American household does in a year. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400. In natural gas alone, this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home.
I'm not sayin' . . . I'm just sayin' . . .

Guardian's Person of the Year

General David Petraeus:
(T)he reason for picking Petraeus is simple. Iraq, whatever the current crises in Afghanistan and Pakistan, remains the West's biggest foreign policy challenge of this decade, and if he can halt its slide into all-out anarchy, Gen Petraeus may save more than Iraqi lives. A failed Iraq would not just be a second Vietnam, nor would it just be America's problem.
So much for the, uh, angle taken by the tools at MoveOn.

The Temperture Drops in Edmonton


The Minnesota Wild staged a furious comeback to earn a 5-4 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday. Petteri Nummelin netted the winner on a wrist shot from the right circle while on the power play for Minnesota (22-14-2), which capped its first-ever comeback from a three-goal deficit at home.
Edmonton was leading 4-1 late in the second period and mopey me was on their backs from my perch in section 227. Turns out I was reminded of why we play the games and why we stay for the whole thing.
Kim Johnsson, Brent Burns, Brian Rolston and Marian Gaborik also tallied for the Wild, which allowed a franchise-high two short-handed goals but managed to rally for the victory.

29 December 2007

It Must Be Irony Day

A real real trifecta of unbelievableness on the radar screen.

First, Mrs. OctaneBoy's alumni magazine arrives from the old alma mater. It features an article about how students face the challenges of paying for college. This from a place that has nearly tripled it's tuition in last 15 years; now at an unjustifiable $41,000 per year.

Next we have the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) humping a new show starting in January. It's the weekly adventures of an elite security detail that hunts down terrorists. Yea, the Canadian government plying an active role in in defeating Islamic crazies; pretty believable premise there.

Finally, after a pathetic session of amateur lawmaking, a pair of seriously fossilized careerists decide they need to meddle in the business of a private, for-profit entertainment corporation. Where in the Constitution does it say we have the right to watch a football game on free TV?

21 December 2007

Yea, We Were There

A bit of history in Saint Paul the other night:

Racing up the ice with the puck and only New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in front of him, Marian Gaborik was not going to be denied. The third-period breakaway that gave Gaborik his fifth goal of Thursday's game was a vintage sequence by the 25-year-old Minnesota Wild star, whose smooth strides and speedy skates have energized the fledgling franchise since the young Slovakian became the first player it drafted in 2000.

Gaborik's was the first five-goal outing since Sergei Federov did it for Detroit on Dec. 26, 1996, in an overtime game against Washington. Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux was the last to net five in regulation, on March 26, 1996, versus St. Louis.

Whether it was on a power play, a breakaway, or just by batting an errant puck out of the air, Gaborik scored every which way to lead the Wild to their fourth straight win. Lemaire said he had flashbacks to the great Guy Lafleur's goal-scoring success when they were teammates with Montreal in the 1970s.

20 December 2007

The Heat You Feel is Likely the Hot Air

To borrow from the rhetoric of the Very Sure, I say that those who still use the term "unanimous consensus among all climate scientists" are the modern version of Flat-Earthers.
Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore. The new report issued by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s office of the GOP Ranking Member details the views of the scientists, the overwhelming majority of whom spoke out in 2007.

This blockbuster Senate report lists the scientists by name, country of residence, and academic/institutional affiliation. It also features their own words, biographies, and weblinks to their peer reviewed studies and original source materials as gathered from public statements, various news outlets, and websites in 2007. This new “consensus busters” report is poised to redefine the debate.
But all these are American retired scientists on the payroll of Big Oil, right?
This new report details how teams of international scientists are dissenting from the UN IPCC’s view of climate science. In such nations as Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, Russia, New Zealand and France, nations, scientists banded together in 2007 to oppose climate alarmism. In addition, over 100 prominent international scientists sent an open letter in December 2007 to the UN stating attempts to control climate were “futile.” (LINK)
But, but, but one of those talking children on CNN said the debate was over after he saw that crackpot film Gore financed:

Former Vice President Al Gore (November 5, 2007): “There are still people who believe that the Earth is flat.” (LINK) Gore also compared global warming skeptics to people who 'believe the moon landing was actually staged in a movie lot in Arizona' (June 20, 2006 - LINK)

CNN’s Miles O’Brien (July 23, 2007): The scientific debate is over.” “We're done." O’Brien also declared on CNN on February 9, 2006 that scientific skeptics of man-made catastrophic global warming “are bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry, usually.” (LINK)

On July 27, 2006, Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein described a scientist as “one of the few remaining scientists skeptical of the global warming harm caused by industries that burn fossil fuels.” (LINK)

19 December 2007

Beware Weasels with Publishing Tools

HonestReporting.Com gives out awards; here's the Middle East-based categories:

Stupidest Unstifled Debate: The Doha Debates

Oxford students hosting The Doha Debates in May shook off the dark powers of suppression and agreed, by an impressive two-thirds majority, on the following motion:

"This House believes the pro-Israeli lobby has successfully stifled Western debate about Israel's actions."

The sheer stupidity of the topic wasn't worth the effort of suppressing -- had the motion failed, it would've been better "proof" that the issue was true.

18 December 2007

There Goes the Neighborhood

Entire galaxies destroyed!
A bright spot in the VLA and MERLIN radio image shows where the jet has struck the side of the galaxy - about 20,000 light years from the main galaxy - dissipating some of its energy. An even larger "hotspot" of radio emission detected by VLA reveals that the jet terminates much farther away from the galaxy, at a distance of about 850,000 light years away.

This "death star galaxy" will produce large amounts of high-energy radiation, which may cause severe damage to the atmospheres of any planets in the companion galaxy that lie in the path of the jet.
Boy; blame Bush/Cheney for that one, I guess.

God Help That Sort-of Country

Right before you decry the United States as a lousy member of the world community and cast you lot with some other outfit, ask those folk if they have protection of speech as any part of their constitution. That is, if the have a constitution in the first place.
Celebrated author Mark Steyn has been summoned to appear before two Canadian judicial panels on charges linked to his book “America Alone." The book, a No. 1 bestseller in Canada, argues that Western nations are succumbing to an Islamist imperialist threat. The fact that charges based on it are proceeding apace proves his point.

After the Canadian general-interest magazine Maclean's reprinted a chapter from the book, five Muslim law-school students, acting through the auspices of the Canadian Islamic Congress, demanded that the magazine be punished for spreading "hatred and contempt" for Muslims.

Two separate panels, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission, have agreed to hear the case. These bodies are empowered to hear and rule on cases of purported “hate speech." Of course, a ban on opinions - even disagreeable ones - is the very antithesis of the Western tradition of free speech and freedom of the press.
Could some Canadian please explain that "God keep our land glorious and free" part to me?

17 December 2007

My Vacation Fiascos are Never This Good

When something goes wrong on my vacations, they don't ever end up with a cool ride in a Navy chopper:

The crew of Ronald Reagan and HS-4 helped MEDEVAC a 14-year old Illinois girl who had suffered from a ruptured appendix while vacationing aboard the Dawn Princess cruise ship off the coast of Baja, Mexico. Upon arrival to the ship, the ship's surgeon conducted an emergency appendectomy and the patient is resting comfortably aboard Ronald Reagan.

The 14 year-old girl from Albion Ill., experienced abdominal pains while aboard the Dawn Princess. The Bermuda-flagged vessel was located off the coast of southern Baja California, Mexico and was approximately 550 miles away from Ronald Reagan the distress call was issued late Saturday when evening."

It's a great example of the type of things we are called upon to do, and it's neat we were able to execute it as well as we did," said Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer.

Homage to a Great Device

As a fan of Glenn Reynolds, I'm especially amused by his "they told me" posts. Every so often he'll come across an item that will fly in the face of those who foretold of doom and gloom should W get reelected in 2004.

Here's a couple of samples:
MORE THOUGHTS ON THE REPORTED hate crimes at Princeton. I'll just note that they told me if George W. Bush were reelected, unpopular groups would be subject to beatings and intimidation. And they were right!

. . . the kid wrote some anti-gay slurs outside of his high school dorm room; he's readily copped to doing that as part of a hoax, but the Anscombe Society is asking that people not start shouting about the attack until it's confirmed that there actually was one. So there's that.
And:
THEY TOLD ME THAT IF GEORGE W. BUSH WERE REELECTED, freedom of speech would be on the way out. And they were right.

But the legislation may be amended on the floor to restrict grassroots groups that encourage citizens to contact members of Congress. The amendment, pushed by Rep. Marty Meehan of Massachusetts, would require groups that organize such grassroots campaigns to register as "lobbyists" and file detailed quarterly reports on their donors and activities.

10 December 2007

On Being Your Own Sheepdog

How many often do you enter a public place in Minnesota only to be greeted by a sign that says guns are banned on the premises? What's the point of that sign? To help make sure that all the law-abiding citizens inside are sitting ducks for whatever whackjob who decides he wants Larry King to talk about him at 9:00 PM CDT? The signs are big with churches who were the driver behind such a preposterous provision to the 2003 conceal & carry law:
Like employers, business owners may also restrict individuals from carrying guns on-site if the operator of the establishment makes a "reasonable request that firearms not be brought into the establishment." To satisfy the "reasonable request" requirement, the private establishment must: 1) have a conspicuous sign posted at every entrance to the establishment that states, "[name of the company] bans guns in these premises." The sign(s) must be in black Arial typeface at lease 11/2 inches in height against a bright contrasting background that is at least 187 square inches in area (which translates to an 11x17 sign). The sign(s) must be readily visible and within four feet laterally of each entrance with the bottom of each sign at a height of four to six feet above the floor.
Preventing law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves makes everyone equally sheep-like and ripe for predation. Every now and then, there are tangible examples of the other side of the coin; events that make the sheeple quiver:

The gunman was killed by a member of the church's armed security staff before police arrived, Myers said. The gunman's name was not released. Officers found several smoke-generating devices on the church campus; their intended purpose wasn't clear. Boyd said the security guard rushed the attacker, who didn't get more than 6 feet inside the building, and "took him down in the hallway."

"She probably saved 100 lives," Boyd said of the guard. The gunman, he added, "had a lot of ammunition to do a lot of damage."

08 December 2007

Unseen Overseas Links

That was then:
Nov 28 - Wild 3 -1 Phoenix
Nov 30 - Wild 2-1 St. Louis
Dec 2 - Wild 2-1 Vancouver

Nov 24 - Liverpool 3 -0 Newcastle
Nov 28 - Liverpool 4 -1 FC Porto
Dec 2 - Liverpool 4 -0 Bolton



This is now:
Dec 5 - Wild 1 - 3 Philadelphia
Dec 7 - Wild 0 - 5 Detroit
Dec 8 - Liverpool 1- 3 Reading

07 December 2007

Bird Art

"Bird on the Radio" by Tom Stack

You Will Think Like Us, or Else

About 15,000 folks are in Bali preaching to the their respective choirs, because when everyone repeats the same chant, no one has to do much thinking on their own. How do they keep the message so pure? Ban the dissenters:

The United Nations has rejected all attempts by a group of dissenting scientists seeking to present information at the climate change conference taking place in Bali, Indonesia.

The International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) has been denied the opportunity to present at panel discussions, side events, and exhibits; its members were denied press credentials. The group consists of distinguished scientists from Africa, Australia, India, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The scientists, citing pivotal evidence on climate change published in peer-reviewed journals, have expressed their opposition to the UN's alarmist theory of anthropogenic global warming. As the debate on man-made global warming has been heating up, the UN has tried to freeze out the scientists and new evidence, summarily dismissing them with the claim "the science is settled."

On That Nebraska Stain

Thomas Baker from Roger Kimball's blog:

The reason they choose "Gun Free Zones" is they want to be famous. They want to be somebody...even posthumusly. The way to acheive this goal? Kill a bunch of people and get yourself on the 24 hour news channels. Going to a "Gun Free Zone" increases the odds of a high body count as it decreases the odds of armed resistance.

If that troubled kid had walked into a police station he'd have been dead before he got that rifle out of his coat. If someone as mentally unstable as Mr. Hawkins understands this obvious fact, why don't liberals?

If businesses want to ban firearms on their property they should face the wrath of the plaintiff's bar when someone comes in and murders their defenseless patrons.

Indeed.

06 December 2007

Philosophy on the Pitch

"Beckenbauer a bit of a surprise there."

Today in Cherry-Picking

This morning I heard a Minnesota Public Radio show where the host and at least one guest breathlessly paraded the latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that, in part, claims Iran stopped their nuclear weapons program years ago as a means to . . . well, I'm not sure what the point was. I think their motivation lies in the product of a mix president-as-idiot, war/military bad and wanting to have a cookie exchange with Tehran, capitol of a safe, friendly, open happyland. Well, this morning, John Bolton was in the WaPo with some balance and perspective:

All this shows that we not only have a problem interpreting what the mullahs in Tehran are up to, but also a more fundamental problem: Too much of the intelligence community is engaging in policy formulation rather than "intelligence" analysis, and too many in Congress and the media are happy about it.

The current NIE freely admits to having only moderate confidence that the suspension continues and says that there are significant gaps in our intelligence and that our analysts dissent from their initial judgment on suspension. This alone should give us considerable pause.

That such a flawed product could emerge after a drawn-out bureaucratic struggle is extremely troubling. While the president and others argue that we need to maintain pressure on Iran, this "intelligence" torpedo has all but sunk those efforts, inadequate as they were. Ironically, the NIE opens the way for Iran to achieve its military nuclear ambitions in an essentially unmolested fashion, to the detriment of us all.

Now, just gotta get Big Media to catch its breath, and remember what journalism is all about, and OH LOOK OVER THERE; IT'S A CELEBRITY!

Doubled-Down

Since the US Congress seems to be more and more about feelings, this's gotta hurt especially bad:

Let us review. In November, Gallup pegged the Congressional job approval at 20% with 69% disapproval. In December, Gallup found that 40% of Americans think the Surge is working, 39% say not working.

And while 57% now say going into Iraq was a mistake, 41% say it was not a mistake. Apparently 69% say electing this Congress was a mistake. Only 20% apparently believe this Congress was not a mistake.

Meanwhile, the person elected to represent Minnesota Tundra folk like me has other priorities:
McCollum, a Minnesota Democrat, is in the Middle East to assess the plight of the refugees in Syria and Jordan. She traveled there as a one-member congressional delegation from the House Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee."By better understanding the scope and the size of the problem, I hope we can find ways in which America can work more efficiently and effectively with the international community," she said.
A one-woman State Department, too, I guess.
Syria has tightened visa rules for Iraqis to try to prod people to return home and keep new refugees from coming."They're very concerned about how much Damascus can absorb," McCollum said. "They're saying at some point, what more can they do?"McCollum said the refugees told her they were desperate for peace in their lives.
Peace in their lives . . . in Syria? Either way, wasn't aware that McCollum was elected by the Iraqi people.
One (Iraqi) woman bluntly told McCollum, "I wouldn't be here today if you hadn't attacked my country," according to the congresswoman."I said I'm only one of 435, and I was on the losing end of that vote, and I apologized," she said.
Yea, and I'm only one voter way back in the 4th congressional district in Minnesota (remember Minnesota?) and I apologise for you, Betty.

01 December 2007

Best Wishes to the Best

Wes Walz has hung up the blades.

Obviously I'm very lucky to play in the greatest state of hockey, and this state and the people in it have truly welcomed my family as one of their own. As a player on the Minnesota Wild hockey team, I wish that fans could experience just once what I felt as a professional hockey player when they would announce my name over the PA system. It's something I'm going to miss. I'm really going to miss that and I'll never forget those feelings."

30 November 2007

One Less American Hero

Robert Craig Knievel 1938-2007

New Moniker!

Meet Muhammad!

The official donkey of RDF (some call him an ass, not me, of course) has been renamed Muammad for at least 15 days.

(Gillian) Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, was jailed for 15 days on Thursday after allowing children in her class to name a teddy bear Muhammad . . . a BBC reporter at the scene said up to a thousand marchers turned out. According to some agencies, some of the protesters chanted: "Shame, shame on the UK", "No tolerance - execution" and "Kill her, kill her by firing squad."

In September, Mrs Gibbons allowed her class of primary school pupils to name the teddy bear Muhammad as part of a study of animals and their habitats. The court heard that she was arrested on Sunday after another member of staff at Unity High School complained to the Ministry of Education.

The amazing irony is that these kids were sent to this private, elite school, by their parents, to receive a Western education by teachers recruited from England. As one watches the sad immolation of Sudan, you can only imagine the effects this much protest might have if they would get off the 'insult to religion' jag and onto the 'eradication of cultural ignorance' jag.

Anyway, rest assured that Muhammad is getting all the oats, exercise and and love that we bestowed on him when he was simply known as Wilbur.

UPDATE: No mention, so far, of Gibbons' ordeal at Amnesty International, the National Organization for Women, the United Nations or even from the Oracle. Guess they'll all let her continue to twist in the wind, sort of the way the British Foreign Office is.

Then They Came For the Beer

Aplogies to Martin Niemöller - They first came for the cigarettes, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a smoker. And then they came for the sport utility vehicles, and I didn’t speak up because I drove a hatchback. And then they came for the trans fats, and I didn’t speak up because I ate healthy foods. And then . . . they came for my beer . . . and by that time there was no one left to speak up."
Beer fridges are additional fridges that are generally used to keep beer and other drinks cold on top of a household’s primary fridge for food. One in three Canadian households has a second fridge, many of which are ageing, energy-guzzling models, according to Denise Young, a researcher at the University of Alberta, Canada. Young suggests that getting rid of older models, in Canada at least, would have an impact on energy usage. Her study analyses industry data and the results of a national survey to look at the environmental effects of having beer fridges in Canada. "People need to understand the impact of their lifestyles," says Joanna Yarrow, director of Beyond Green, a sustainable development consultancy in the UK. "Clearly the environmental implications of having a frivolous luxury like a beer fridge are not hitting home. This research helps inform people – let's hope it has an effect".
You can have my Molson when you pry it out if my cold, dead fingers. And I'm not ever Canadian.

Journalism, cover thyself!

So sayeth Glenn Reynolds:
SO I LOOKED AT EDITOR AND PUBLISHER and there's nothing about the CNN planted-question scandal. There's one story on the debate, but it's a puff piece about a cartoonist getting his video in. Then I looked at Poynter and all I could find was this piece on covering the debates. But I'm not seeing anything about the planted-question scandal. I'm not seeing anything at the Columbia Journalism Review site, either. Journalism, cover thyself!

Well, actually I think they are covering . . . .
I certainly concur.

It's the Time o' the Season

Someone flipped the switch.

About 10 days ago it was in the mid-60's and this morning it was 5. The leaves are raked, the motorcycles are nestled all snug in their beds, and I put the winter shoes on the German hot rod, as they're predicting shovelable snow for tomorrow.

It's also the end of the hurricane season, the second now with barely a ripple. We are still being hit over the head with doom and gloom about storms like Katrina becoming the norm and how there will be more an more of them.

After the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, many worry what Atlantic hurricane seasons will look like in a warmer world. Evidence indicates that higher ocean temperatures add a lot of fuel to these devastating storms.
(The scientists) noticed that warmer water is just one part of a larger pattern indicating that the conditions are right for more frequent, stronger hurricanes in the Atlantic.
Nice story; to get the spooky satellite image, they had to dig up a storm from 1999. Katrina was going to be the new norm; regular devastation from Texas to New York City, Florida chronically underwater, etc. Except it hasn't happened. Again:
As some of you might have noticed, this year’s hurricane season wasn’t the rip-roaring, rock-em-sock-em, non-stop Thrill Ride of Disaster that some meteorologists were predicting last year. In fact, Colorado State University researchers William Gray and Phil Klotzbach concede today in their latest report, they have “over forecast” two seasons in a row — starting in 2006, the Year of Ernesto.
Oh well, if we didn't have hype and hyperbole, how would we ever have tee vee news? So no hurricanes are good (if not unreported) news; unless you are a property owner paying higher premiums.

25 November 2007

Moving the Goal Line on the Way the White House

Plan A has pretty much bombed out, so now the search for Plan B begins:
Lately, as the killing in Baghdad and other areas has declined, the Democratic candidates have been dwelling less on the results of the troop escalation than on the lack of new government accords in Iraq - a tonal shift from last summer. By saying the effects of the troop escalation have not led to a healthier political environment, the candidates are tacitly acknowledging that the additional troops have, in fact, made a difference on the ground - a viewpoint many Democratic voters might not embrace.
More here:

The debate over a complete withdrawal from Iraq is over, and the doves lost. It actually wasn't news that all of the top-tier Democratic candidates favor leaving some troops -- albeit a relatively small number of them -- in Iraq, but it was striking to see the candidates all acknowledge that, even at the end of a full term in office, they can't promise to pull out completely. Some people may still think that the best thing would be to get every last American soldier and marine out of Iraq, but the next president is not going to agree.
Ya know - an open dialogue between the fever swamp left and the leading Democratic candidates on this matter would look a lot like that wintertime boathouse scene between Fredo and Michael Corleone.

24 November 2007

(Highland) Green with Envy

I want it. I want it. I want it. I want it. I want it. I want it. I want it.

Live With Good Ol' Islam

I am in favor of the seperation of mosque and state.
Her case has been widely debated since the court sentenced her to 90 lashes a year ago for being in the same car as an unrelated man, even after it ruled that she had subsequently been raped. For a woman to be in seclusion with a man who is not her husband or a relative is a crime in Saudi Arabia.
Pretty sicko from to to bottom, but just another sunny day in the Wahhabi wackiness!

So Much For Law and Order

"I'm from the government, and I'm here to kill your dog."
The officer told Leo Barboza there had been a complaint (his dog) had bitten someone. "I said, 'Do you have any proof or anything?' He says, 'I don't need any proof.'"So Leo got the dog while the deputy pulled out a rifle from his car. They walked a few feet from the Barboza's home where Leo's wife and his three year old son were inside.Leo and the officer tied the dog to a pole when the deputy fired three shots.
The ONLY ray of hope in this end of the world-grade story is that the shit-fer-brains deputy couldn't kill the dog, who was tied to a post, with 3 shots.
'Hey, the dog's alive!' I was like, 'What are you serious?' I was happy my dog
was alive.
Legal procedure? We don't need no stinkin' legal procedure; we're the cops!

Ever wonder where the Second Amendment came from? Not that you had forgotten, but it's been a year since Atlanta Police murdered 92 year-old Kathryn Johnston in her own home.
Shortly after the shooting, the police alleged that they had paid an informant to buy drugs from Ms. Johnston's home. They said she fired at them first, and wounded two officers. And they alleged they found marijuana in her home. We now know that these were all lies. In fact, everything about the Kathryn Johnston murder was corrupt. The initial arrest of the ex-con came via trumped-up charges. The police then invented an informant for the search warrant, and lied about overseeing a drug buy from Johnston's home.

Hatred . . .

. . . means never having to say you're sorry.
Injured soldiers who lost their limbs fighting for their country have been driven from a swimming pool training session by jeering members of the public. The men, injured during tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, were taking part in a rehabilitation session at a leisure centre, when two women demanded they be removed from the pool. They claimed that the soldiers "hadn't paid" and might scare the children. The incident has sparked widespread condemnation. Adml Lord Boyce, a former head of the Armed Forces, said last night the women should be "named and shamed".
I'd say it's time for these two hags to be named and shamed at least.

20 November 2007

Insert Your Own Mammal Here

You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat the free corn, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

Pawn of the Union

For about 40 years, the Delta Queen has received nearly unanimous congressional exemptions from a sea-going passenger vessel safety act that really shouldn't be applied to her in the first place. The Queen is safe and sound and the exceptions recognize it's safety record, the crew's disaster preparedness and her overall uniqueness in the world of "overnighters." Further, the exceptions demonstrate how dubious it is that the DQ is under the umbrella of the act in the first place.

But all of a sudden, Mr. River Vessel himself, Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN) is now very concerned with sudden steamboat combustion syndrome.
The Queen must cease her long-distance voyages in November 2008 unless an exemption can be obtained from a federal law forbidding wooden superstructures on vessels that carry 50 or more passengers on overnight trips.

Since the law went into effect 40 years ago, Congress has repeatedly exempted the Queen. But this year, Oberstar, Minnesota's Eighth District congressman and powerful chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has blocked it. In previous years, and as recently as last year, Oberstar has voted at least twice to support the Queen's exemption.

What's changed?
What's changed is the Seafarers International Union is pulling the strings that are attached to Democrats Oberstar and Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. They have decided they don't like the company that owns the boat anymore so they are pushing the appropriate buttons in Washington to get their way.

Oberstar, ever the fink, will not allow the representatives of the people get to vote on the exemption as he won't let the exemption out of the petty grip of his committee and onto the floor of the House of Representatives.

You can always tell when Jim Oberstar is lying; it's whenever he gets his selective, pathetic parsing of reality printed in the lefty house organ.

The Delta Queen is a national treasure and for Oberstar to scuttle it because he and his ilk are beholden to Big Labor is disgusting. There's lots of background info on this matter in these two videos: Part 1 - Part 2

More here.

19 November 2007

Tee Vee Strikes Again

CNN is to news what McDonald's is to nutrition.

18 November 2007

Agony of Self-Defeat

Over at Uni Watch, they know how to call a spade a spade:

Clown or not, tears or not, win or not, the kid still gets some sort of medal. Now we can rest assured that this kid can march forward and enjoy a lifetime of unassailable self-esteem.

16 November 2007

The Great and Wise Yogi

And you thought he wasn't telling you a thing.

Yogi: “You can’t think and hit at the same time.”

Translation: Don’t create and evaluate ideas simultaneously. Idea generation is a right brain activity. Evaluation is a left brain activity. One short circuits the other. Write lots of headlines and copy ideas first. Later, evaluate and choose the best. Separating these two activities produces better results and often saves time.

Burning the Floor You Stand Upon

At some point, what it means to be British will be irrelevant.
Last year, 510,000 foreign migrants came to the UK to stay for at least 12 months, according to the Office for National Statistics. At the same time 400,000 people, more than half of whom were British, emigrated. An exodus on this scale - amounting to one British citizen leaving the country every three minutes - has not been seen in the UK for almost 50 years.

Since Labour came to power in 1997, nearly four million foreign nationals have come to Britain and 1.6 million have left. Over the same period, 1.8 million Britons have left, but only 979,000 have returned. More than 50 per cent of the British emigrants moved to just four countries in 2006 - Australia, New Zealand, France and Spain.

"No one has a real grasp of where or for how long migrants are settling so much-needed funding for local services isn't getting to the right places," he said. "The speed and scale of migration combined with the shortcomings of official population figures is placing pressure on funding for services like children's services and housing. This can even lead to unnecessary tension and conflict."
Like when they riot and burn things in Paris & Amsterdam.

15 November 2007

Update on Enemy Action

Here's the roundup:

"Freezer Cash" Jefferson is skating a thin line to cover his ass:
Jefferson has based a major portion of his defense on the vagueness of the current definition. He said that while he might have been paid to exert influence as a member of Congress -- including writing letters, visiting foreign dignitaries, appearing before a federal agency on behalf of a business client -- his actions didn't amount to "official acts" within the meaning of the bribery law.
Quid Pro Quo - Hillary is taking money from those Bill pardoned:
Three recipients of controversial 11th-hour pardons issued by former President Bill Clinton in January 2001 have donated thousands of dollars to the presidential campaign of his wife, Democratic front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., according to campaign finance records examined by ABC News.
Cambridge hates the troops more than even Berkeley!
Marsha Weinerman, executive director of the city’s Election Commission, said the (Boy Scout collection) boxes were removed after a resident complained to commission workers about their implied “pro-war” message. “We contacted the law department, and it was determined that the best course of action would be to remove the boxes,” Weinerman said.

In a column that appears in this week’s Chronicle, Troop leader Jamisean Patterson said the commission twice granted the scouts permission to set up the boxes at the polling stations. “We have never seen anything like this decision in Cambridge before,” Patterson wrote. The city is changing for the worse if decisions like this are allowed to be made.”
"It's my pork and I'll buy votes if I want to:"
It's stunning that Congressional leaders would propose a new law to block Congress and the public from simply reviewing the details of the federal budget. The Appropriations Committee rewrites the president's proposed budget as a matter of course, but now they are attempting to head off questions about their spending decision by ensuring that only appropriators know the details of the president's proposal. The arrogance of the move is mind-blowing.
So easy to harpoon; so easy.

Civic Angst

The primary characteristic of this region is it's overdeveloped inferiority complex. We still pine for Bob Dylan, Tom Lehman and F. Drunk Fitzgerald to come home. We forever apologize for our manic/depressive climate. Even central-lefties plead with the House Organ to get off the self-affirmation/feel-good bandwagon.

The latest incantation of this plague is that, after fleeing the cities for the 'burbs, the 'burb types crave cute synthetic downtowns in the very suburbs where they never existed before. They press their elected sheep hard to give it to them like some manner of birthday gift.

James Lileks has eloquently details the latest round of this folly:
You almost feel sorry for the city leaders: their desire to live in a place unlike the one in which they live is painfully obvious. Denser development would be fine, as we keep repeating in this space. Dense can be great. But in this example, Plymouth wanted the obligatory brick swank-node to have upscale retailers – which meant another interchangeable pseudo-historical building with a Banana Republic on one end and an Ann Taylor – well, maybe an Ann Taylor Loft – on the other. It’s as if they have a hip smart cousin from New York coming in for the weekend, and they’re just embarrassed how things look.

13 November 2007

Fine Dining You Betcha

Tying on the Left Coast feedbag

RDF is your one-stop for Bay Area restaurant reccommendations:

Sushi in Mill Valley - Brunch in Tiburon - Mexican in Mill Valley - Lunch in Berkeky - Dinner on the Presidio.

Sure, you could eat in San Francisco proper, but good luck getting a parking place.

They Got a Bridge There

(Click for big)

09 November 2007

Waiting for Nick's Other Shoe

Here on the edge of the Tundra, we have Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman intermittently providing his readers with the required outrage usually found in the perpetually unhappy. Even when the unwashed masses don't on their own find anything for which they should be cross, leave it to Coleman to assign an emotional state that all good comrades should adopt.

Not that long ago, he told us to get mad at Flatiron, Inc. Flatiron, the outfit that's going to rebuild the 35W bridge, had the audacity to purchase some new trucks in Colorado, where not only Flatiron is based (and where the trucks will return when the job's done), but also where they charge less sales tax on vehicle purchases, therefore, essentially saving money for Minnesota taxpayers. Nick started by played the emotional bed-wetting card:

Buying Colorado trucks for a high-profile project in Minnesota that still carries the emotional pangs of death and destruction? Dumb, Flatiron. This is a company that was judged to have better public "outreach" than the local firms that lost out on the project, despite submitting lower bids. Would a Minnesota company buy a shiny new fleet for the project from, say, Colorado?
Nonsense, of course, but that's to be expected from Nick. Flatiron's real crime was not doing the duty of all those vested in any way in the People's Republic of Minnesota, where there is no more noble act than feeding the appetite of the public coffers:

. . . the suggested retail price of the trucks as between $33,000 and $38,000 each. Taking an average of $35,500, those 21 gleaming new Flatiron trucks could have cost more than $700,000. Another 20 trucks, which Flatiron is considering, would bring the total to $1.4 million. Even with a generous fleet discount, we are talking a million dollars. While that may be a drop in the bucket on a $234 million project, a million bucks means $65,000 in lost sales taxes, which could have helped MnDOT add, who knows?
There it is; the lesson for all of us to take forward: If you don't piss away the people's money in this state by paying in to this state's tax trough, you are scum and should be drummed out of town. Okay, Nick; I got it. So now I await Nick's damnation for the funky new bike bridge:

Although the bridge is open, it is actually not quite done. Dean Michalko, an engineer for Hennepin County, said the bollard lights -- low lights under the railings to illuminate the pavement -- didn't arrive from Europe in time and so will be installed starting today. But the blue decorative lights, switched on as sunset approached, bathed the mast and cables in a glow of varied blues.
Over $5 million of public transportation funds and they can't get lights for it from Ole & Lena on Lake Street? Not one outlet under the thumb of the Minnesota Department of Revenue could possibly provide lighting for this folly? Come on Nick, break out the acid-tongued vitriol! There's no way the cost of those European lights fattened our municipal accounts. Let's see some hatred of the unnecessary bike bridge brought to us by the most glorious in-power progressive party of the people.

Who am I kidding. Look at these kooks. Nick's whole ideological constituency has things like bicycles, government pork and European lighting on their altars. There will be no printed hate from Nick on bike bridge matters.

Moving right along - there are two more very telling features in the bike bridge article. First, from the 'he who controls the language controls the world' department:

Hennepin County built the bridge with about $3 million in federal funds and $2.2 million of its own money.
Yea. Point of order - neither Hennipen County nor the federal government has any money. It's all your and my money. The paper should not obfuscate that. Also:

Minneapolis will own and maintain the bridge. (O)nce the bridge is in the city's possession, it will be named after Martin Sabo, the retired U.S. representative from Minneapolis who helped secure the money.
Classic Minnesota - grow, elect, deify and worship Democrats.

03 November 2007

Campaigning with RoboParty

Political Party: Please pick up you ballot. Fill our your ballot as the sign instructs you. You have 20 seconds to comply.
Poll Worker: I think you better do as he says, Mr. St. Paul Voter.
St. Paul Voter: Hmmm. I'm not sure I'm going to vote for all four listed here.
Political Party: Fill our your ballot as the sign instructs you. You now have 15 seconds to comply.
St. Paul Voter: Hey, this is my choice, not yours.
Political Party: Fill our your ballot as the sign instructs you. You have 10 seconds to comply.
St. Paul Voter: Hey, Party-in-power, you do not make the rules!
Political Party: You have 5 seconds to comply... four... three... two... one... I am now authorized to use physical force!
Where have I seen this approach before?

Autumn Doggie


01 November 2007

Booya!

Sorry, I'm blushing along with 18,000 others:

But back to the task at hand: Choosing a new destination we can call Hockeytown, USA. Taking into consideration attendance, fan loyalty, a cozy relationship between the team and its region, a city that's just right for the NHL, and our choice is pretty clear. Saint Paul, Minn., home of the Minnesota Wild, fits the bill.
Thank you, Mayor NORM Coleman.
Since opening the doors of the well-appointed Xcel Energy Center (more on that later) in downtown Saint Paul on Sept. 29, 2000, the Wild have attracted 282 consecutive sellouts – that's every exhibition (21), regular-season (251) and playoff (10) match. Every single game, through Tuesday night, has sold out for all of their six-plus seasons. Amazing.
Amazing and rare in the world of professional (which includes the NCAA) atheletics.

The aura inside is pure hockey, with appropriate references to the history of the game during pre-game festivities. One never gets tired of the game presentation, which often feels forced or over-the-top at many of the other newer U.S. venues.
In Saint Paul we do not have to suffer an FM-radio boomer-voiced arena announcer like Dallas and Denver, cheerleaders in the aisles like in Atlanta, or scoreboards that explain what 'icing' is like in Anaheim.
Many of the downtown shops, restaurants and bars in St. Paul recognize the Wild with strong support, and two newspapers travel with the team during a time in which print outlets are cutting costs.
Our downtown sushi place has menu items named for Wild players. How's that for multiculturalism?

31 October 2007

Oh Yea; Happy Haloween

If you're into that sort of thing.

The Tummy Troubles of the Angry Austrain

WHEW . . . who cut the Käse?

It may sound like a Woody Allen scenario, but medical historians are unanimous that Adolf was the victim of uncontrollable flatulence. Spasmodic stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhea, possibly the result of nervous tension, had been Hitler’s curse since childhood and only grew more severe as he aged. As a stressed-out dictator, the agonizing digestive attacks would occur after most meals: Albert Speer recalled that the Führer, ashen-faced, would leap up from the dinner table and disappear to his room.

This was an embarrassing problem for a ruthless leader of the Third Reich.
Ya think?

30 October 2007

Let Freedom Ring

And that extends to economic freedom, too.

Can an entrenched cartel of Minneapolis taxi drivers violate the civil rights of entrepreneurs and consumers? No, according to U.S. Magistrate Judge Franklin L. Noel.

In his opinion, Judge Noel determined: “The [established] taxi vehicle license holders do not have a constitutionally protected freedom from competition.”

Chip Mellor, president and general counsel of the Institute for Justice, concluded, “We will not rest until the fundamental right of economic liberty is vindicated for all Americans.”

Wow, good news from the legal horizon here on the Tundra.

29 October 2007

Nashville Gets Smaller Every Day

When life has ended and my time has run out,
My friends and my loved ones I'll leave them, no doubt.
But there's one thing for certain when it comes my time,
I'll leave this old world with a satisfied mind.
Porter Wagoner 1927-2007

When You Look Out the Window

You will see the lives that pass us by everyday.

He tells me he never gets used to this, that this is the fourth dog he's buried since his days growing up on the farm in Morrison County, and no death has taught him how to better handle the next one.

Then he says, and this will stick in my head for a while, "There's no wisdom I've come across, or read about, that helps me see the nobility in loss. Loss is just pain, and you tire of it."

He had lost four dogs, but what was in that mournful questioning was also the death of his wife two years earlier.

Perhaps he thought the years would make the questions go away, or make them less vexing. He wanted the beginnings of a serenity that he assumed old age would bring, and he was frustrated, because what came was little more than compounded loss and its accompanying fatigue.

28 October 2007

Macalester College Hit by Vandals

The very spendy boutique college up the street is building a monolith athletic facility and it's going up pretty fast. Right after one layer of the roof was up, hoodlums with spray paint struck.


(Click for a better view)

Oh, I know; you say it was just some union ironworker who's proud of a job (I presume) well done. Then tell me what the difference is from the picture above to the picture below:

Or this one:

I'm tempted to call Macalester College and ask if the plans for the building include the pink lettering or if they, institutionally, approve of the pro-union message. I also wonder what response I'd get if I called the city of Saint Paul's graffiti hotline.

All graffiti is unchecked hubris. Noting more. It is the human manifestation of territorial pissing, and has more more merit. If you want to call it art, then go paint it on your own stuff.

27 October 2007

New Tool in the Shed

The sheer volume of canine waste matter has warranted a new yard tool, shown above, being tested by the primary reason it was purchased. His willingness to haul it around should not be mistaken for his ablity to clean up after himself.

California Wildfires Explained

What a dummy I was. I thought that the fires in California were from a combination or naturally-occurring conditions and debatable development. Turns out Air America Radio has gotten to the real reason behind the burn. Don't miss the audio!
And you know, every time I look for it what comes up, believe it or not, is that Blackwater wants to move to San Diego and build this giant complex in San Diego right where most of the evacuations are taking place and you know. You just know wherever there is fire, this administration will be out there doing what it does best and that is fanning the flames, you know. It just spooks me, I can’t explain to you how creepy this whole thing is that you know, you’ve got these fires. Some of them are thought to be the work of arsonists and in the same breath you’ve got a community that’s on fire that just recently protested Blackwater West. Just recently said no to Blackwater and apparently you don’t do that.
I have been mocking Air America for so long. Looks like they've become the go-to authority in the world of blame-assignment.

Steve Jobs will iOwn You.

And it's likely he'll use a credit card.
Apple has decided that it will "no longer accept cash for iPhone purchases," and moreover, each individual will only be allowed to buy two (on plastic, of course) in an effort to "stop people from reselling them." More specifically, spokeswoman Natalie Kerris stated that the company is "requiring a credit or debit card for payment to discourage unauthorized resellers," so don't even bother bringing the greenbacks if you're lookin' to grab an iPhone from Apple.
Remember the good old days' when everyone thought that Bill Gates and Microsoft would become the dark overlords of technology? Ha! iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iEconomic bully . . . when will it end with the Cupertino Cult?

25 October 2007

Do Not Go Gentle

Into that unforgettable night(?)
It was a long night, Mr. Speaker, when we heard back the reports as the news reports said that a plane has gone down in Ely, Minnesota, and it was thought to be containing Paul Wellstone and his partner, Sheila Wellstone, and their daughter and several other campaigners. We hoped all night that what we thought might have happened didn't happen, but at the end of the evening, we learned that that tragedy, in fact, did occur. Our worst fears were confirmed when we learned that we lost him, but it was a long several hours before we realized that that tragedy had actually occurred, and we had hoped against hope. I will never forget that night.
Welstone's death must've really hit Keith hard, considering what it did to his memory.

Wellstone's plane took off at around 8 in the morning, it crashed about an hour later, and Jeff Blodgett announced his death a few hours after that. Night? A long night?

And the plane went down in Ely, Minnesota, which will come as a big surprise to the folks in Eveleth-Virginia.

If you're going to make a heartfelt tribute, you've got to get the basic facts right.

Not too surprising. "Progressive" government's hallmanrk is policy making that comes wholly from subjective feelings.

22 October 2007

Wow - Thanks, Giant Government!

Don't tell the people the informantion they paid $8.5 million for and, by all means, make sure you destroy the data.
Anxious to avoid upsetting air travelers, NASA is withholding results from an unprecedented national survey of pilots that found safety problems like near collisions and runway interference occur far more frequently than the government
previously recognized.

NASA gathered the information under an $8.5 million safety project, through telephone interviews with roughly 24,000 commercial and general aviation pilots over nearly four years. Since ending the interviews at the beginning of 2005 and shutting down the project completely more than one year ago, the space agency has refused to divulge the results publicly. Just last week, NASA ordered the contractor that conducted the survey to purge all related data from its computers.

A senior NASA official, associate administrator Thomas S. Luedtke, said revealing the findings could damage the public's confidence in airlines and affect airline profits.
I can't wain until this kind of government mass incompetence gets applied to universal mandatory HillaryCare.

21 October 2007

Welcome to Our Country

Could you please try to set less shit on fire?
She had helped several people that day when a 22-year old Moroccan Dutch, Bilal B., entered the office. He walked towards her, jumped over the counter, pulled a knife and stabbed her in her neck. When she fled, he stabbed her twice more in her back. A male colleague tried to help her, but to no avail: he too was stabbed by Bilal, in the neck and chest. The heavily wounded female police officer felt that there was only one way to stop Bilal B. from killing both her and her colleague, pulled out her gun, and shot the attacker. Bilal B. died.

Instead of mourning the loss of Bilal B. – by all accounts a tragic figure – and celebrating the survival of the two police officers, Moroccan youth took to the streets, burned down cars and attacked the police station in their neighborhood, destroying windows and, generally terrorizing Slotervaart. It even got so bad that the president of the neighborhood Slotervaart, Marcouch (who is of Moroccan descent himself), called on the police to adopt a zero tolerance policy. Strangely, however, the police in Amsterdam refused, for a long time, to do so.
Read it all, as your culture is nibbled away just a little bit more today than yesterday.

20 October 2007

Serious Clobberings in Order

Ford is trying to get me, a Ford owner, to come to their dealerships for basic services like oil changes and tire rotations. They are using this clod-head song in the radio commericals, as if that's supposed to seal the deal with me, the consumer. I hate this song with violent, white-hot hatred. I may never buy another Ford again.

I am also keeping a list of all food and beverage products that advertise in such a manner that I can hear people chewing and swallowing their products in the commercial. This makes me sick, and that's coming from someone who regularly cleans up the fecal output of an 200 pounds of domestic canines.

I also am getting mad at professional hockey organizations that employ such tactics as to allow a classy, veteran goaltender to twist in the wind without responsible sefensive support.

My Heart Swells with American Pirde

How can this be - wonderful news, that appeals to me, in the Mpls House Organ?
By 1870, Brooklyn was one of the great brewing capitals of the world, with 48 breweries. People bought meat from the butcher, bread from the baker, coffee from the roaster and beer from the local brewer. But by 1970, almost everyone shopped at the supermarket, frozen food and "TV dinners" were godsends, and we had about 40 breweries left in the entire country, all making the same bland beer.

Now Americans are moving away from spongy industrial bread, watery coffee, plasticized "cheese" and other wonders of modern food science. The top maker of white supermarket bread went bankrupt a few years ago.

If we truly want to restore the vibrant beer culture that flourished in this country before Prohibition, craft brewers need to retain the values and goals -- creating beers that are flavorful, interesting to drink and made from proper beer ingredients -- that put us on the map in the first place. Let's not undo American beer again.
One thing I love about Saturday, there's always time for an ESB.

Derby Day!

Take that ya thugs.
Everton never found the net at Goodison Park today. Their tally cam from a Sami Hyypia brain-fade own goal. Both Reds goals were scored by Dirk Kuyt from the spot; once after Tony Hibbard hauled down Steven Gerrard like an NFL cornerback, and again after Phil Neville played goalie and used both hands on a shot by Lucas.

Everton 1 - 2 Liverpool

19 October 2007

Comeuppance

Mona style:
Shaw, 75, and her husband, Don, say they had an appointment in August for a Comcast technician to come to their Bristow home to install the company's heavily advertised Triple Play phone, Internet and cable service.

The Shaws say no one came all day, and the technician who showed up two days later left without finishing the setup. Two days after that, Comcast cut off all their service.

At the Comcast office in Manassas later that day, they waited for a manager for two hours before being told the manager had left for the day, the Shaws say.

Shaw, a churchgoing secretary of the local AARP branch, returned the next Monday - with a hammer.

One-Woman Foreign Policy

I'm quite surprised that Pelosi is going to back off the Turkey/Armenian/genocide resolution nonsene because, so far, she's gotten a complete pass from the usual media suspects on this one. Listen in the to most of the biggies, you'd think it was dumb dumb W screwing up the world again. They are often loathe to mention that Bush opposes the genocide declaration and fail to address the origin of the resolution.

Should this unimportant resolution pass, Pelosi herself will be responsible for the further alienation of Turkey, a stable ally on the edge of the Middle East, the enlarging of the battlefield in Iraq with regard to the Turks going after the PKK innorthern Iraq, and possibly cutting off logistical staging grounds for the coalition troops already there. Pelosi would brew this trifecta of Legislative-branch policymaking so she and Lantos and other Democrats cans suck up to a bloc of Armenian voters back in California.

Because the outside & visible pressure has really never mounted, my money is on an inside & unseen pressure from colleagues (DISSENT!) that has worked to change her priorities.

More here:
Is the Armenian resolution her way of unconsciously sabotaging the U.S. war effort, after she had failed to stop it by more direct means? I leave that question to psychiatry. Instead, I fall back on Krauthammer's razor (with apologies to Occam): In explaining any puzzling Washington phenomenon, always choose stupidity over conspiracy, incompetence over cunning. Anything else gives them too much credit.

Blowin' in the Wind

How many hypocricies must a man put up, before you call him a hypocrite?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the Cape Cod wind, the answer is blowin' in the wind.
Congraulations to Ted and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., to author David McCullough, and all the other enviro-phonies who lose sleep over global warming yet fight tooth and nail to preserve their sacred Nantucket Sound views from the evils of wind power. Now they can go back to their private jets and powerboats and focus on telling the rest of us how to live.

16 October 2007

The Sun Always Shines on TV

and it will continue to shine, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?
Like any other Wild fan, I was deflated when the playoof run ended after only 5 games back in April. I waited with great anticipation of the Wild's first meeting with the Orange County Fowl, reigning tainters of Lord Stanley's Cup and the team that sent us to the lake six months ago.

That first game was this past Sunday night. The Wild prevailed 2-0 on the half-assed slush they provide at the Ponda Center, and it was quite a grind.

This was a true character win with the tone being set on the very first shift when Wes Walz dumped Travis Moen by the Wild box. Minutes later, Nick Schultz, who would later fight Ryan Getzlaf, creamed Corey Perry.

"Everyone battled for the guy next to him," Parrish said.

While watching road games on TV, I sometimes geek out and post on the Wild's message boards. It's fun to get others' take on what just happened. It's also fun to see what's being posted on the opposing team's message boards. Since Sunday's challengers are based in La La Land, it was quite interesting to witensss the, uh, "local knowledge of the game."

Since most of what was being posted on the Ducks' boards about the game in progress was on intellectual par with star-struck twelve-year olds, I thought some good natured text-based tussling was in order. I registered as a user of the boards, recieved my confirmation link via e-mail and logged on. Trouble was, I couldn't post anything on the game day thread. I e-mailed the site administratror:

I registerd for a message boards account today, got the confimation e-mail, clicked on the link, am able to log in, but when I try to reply to posts (in a game-day thread) I get this:

Sorry, an error occurred . . . you do not have permission to reply to that topic.

When I register and post to other teams' message boards, I never had trouble, so I figured I must have clicked something wrong this time. Not so; here's what I got from Ken, the site administrator:
(T)his the Anaheim Ducks Message Board . . . Since you did not fill in the blanks as to your location, and do not have any reference to the Ducks in your profile, or you are a fan of another team, I did not approve you for the entire message board. You are limited to the Visitors Bench and Playoffs Forums.

If you are a Ducks fan, or assure me that even though you are a fan of an opposing team and do not intend to start problems, let me know and I will remove the restrictions. If you are a fan of another team, and can keep your comments about our team to yourself, I will open the account up. If you cross that line, your account and ip address will be banned from our board.
Let me sup up Ken's warm welcome, as if it was delivered by Yosemite Sam: "You better get your head right, varmint. We don't cotton to no dissension 'round these parts. This here's where we love the Ducks, no matter what, and won't hear nothin' to the contrary!"

Maybe I'm too tough on ol' Ken. After all, he's working for a hockey franchise in citrus country, a one-time Disney property, and an outfit that only recently began to sell every seat in the building. It's possible that some abrasion via website is more that their precarious situation can handle.

I gotta tell ya, it's more fun to love to hate the Ducks all the time.

15 October 2007

Listen to Me; I Am Smart

If you are going to Ikea, go Monday through Thursday between 5:00 and 6:00. Hardly anyone there. Hardly anyone working then, but crowds of insane suburban women.

If you cannot get to Ikea between 5:00 & 6:00 Monday through Thursday, do no, under any circumstances got to Ikea.

Not even to save your life.

You Will Comply With Academia

George Will:

In 1943, the Supreme Court, affirming the right of Jehovah's Witnesses children to refuse to pledge allegiance to the U.S. flag in schools, declared: "No official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein." Today that principle is routinely traduced, coast to coast, by officials who are petty in several senses.

At Arizona State University, social work students must "demonstrate compliance with the NASW Code of Ethics." Berkeley requires compliance as proof of "suitability for the profession." Students at the University of Central Florida "must comply" with the NASW code. At the University of Houston, students must sign a pledge of adherence. At the University of Michigan, failure to comply with the code may be deemed "academic misconduct."

Schools' mission statements, student manuals and course descriptions are clotted with the vocabulary of "progressive" cant; "diversity," "inclusion," "classism," "ethnocentrism," "racism," "sexism," "heterosexism," "ageism," "white privilege," "ableism," "contextualizes subjects," "cultural imperialism," "social identities and positionalities," "biopsychosocial" problems, "a just share of society's resources," and on and on. What goes on under the cover of this miasma of jargon? Just what the American Association of University Professors warned against in its 1915 "Declaration of Principles" -- teachers "indoctrinating" students.

College - where ideas go to die.

14 October 2007

Fowl Vanquished!

And it was done on their mushy slushpond.

Minnesota's 5-0 start leaves the Wild as the NHL's only team without a loss, and puts them one victory away from matching last season's squad for the franchise's best winning streak from the start of a season. Three of the wins have been shutouts.
Wild 2, Fowl zippo.

Overcast Backyard


12 October 2007

Can you See the Capitol Building?

No, my face is on the sidewalk.

But a few years back, my best friend and his brother knew for sure that real guns were being trained on their heads as they were forced for several minutes to lie face-down, just blocks from the Capitol, on the red-brick sidewalk in front of their D.C. rowhouse. They both survived the robbery (two blocks from the local police precinct), but neither of them thought to ask the important questions: “Excuse me, were those guns legally registered before 1977? Are they grandfathered under the District of Columbia Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975?”

I hope that now you can understand where I am coming from when I read District of Columbia Attorney General Linda Singer’s hysterical court filing in the Heller case . . .

Read it all, it you can stomach the abuse of rights of Americans by their government.

11 October 2007

Rico Recovering, City Still Ails

After a trip through the animal hospital, Rico is recovering after a tough night on the town:

A suspected drug dealer fleeing the long jaws of the law repeatedly shot a St. Paul police dog as it bit and dragged him to the ground, ending a high-speed car and foot chase that stretched from St. Paul into Minneapolis this evening.

The dog, Rico - a multi-year veteran of the force - was taken to the University of Minnesota's veterinary hospital after being shot two times. The suspect was also taken to HCMC to be treated for gunshot wounds to his hand and buttocks, as well as various other injuries from the crash and Rico's assault.

"(Rico) kept on biting .... The dog simply didn't let go," (police spokesman Tom) Walsh said.
Good dog, Rico.

I heard some audio from the tee vee coverage of this event. It included a very predictable sound bite from a resident of the neighborhood where the scumbag suspect was nabbed. He was wailing about the dangers of police chases and how kids lived in the neighborhood, blah, blah, blah. Let's review - drug dealer with $100K worth of outstanding warrants flees from an arrest, races up and down streets, crashes into innocent motorists, shoots at uniformed police officers, and this bedwetter doesn't like police chases.

Watch soon for a new law in the city of Minneapolis: Once a felon exceeds the posted speed limit by 5 mph, police are forbidden from following. Can there be any wonder why Minneapoilis has such imept leadership, and therefore the crime problem, it has?

10 October 2007

Quick Hitters

Lefties know everything. We should be ever-grateful they care for us so much:

The unvieled threat of your government censoring the media - how could that be since Alberto Gonzales is out?
Others on the Democrat side are pushing ahead with other plans. Rep. Henry Waxman has asked his investigative staff to begin compiling reports on Limbaugh, and fellow radio hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin based on transcripts from their shows, and to call in Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin to discuss the so-called "Fairness Doctrine."
Those red light camera you're so in love with - governement money grab and nothing more.
According to an internal audit of the red light camera program from July of 2005 until July of 2007, the program generated more than $10 million, the city paid about $4.8 million in expenses leaving the city $5.8 million in excess funds.
Counting to nine with Al "long-haul flight" Gore.
A High Court judge who ruled on whether climate change film, An Inconvenient Truth, could be shown in schools said it contains "nine scientific errors".