30 January 2008

Playing the Fools Right to the End

My Pretty Pony was in my fair city last night, playing union carpenters for fools (and still taking their money?) while he was already dimming the lights:

At one point in a brief interview, he dismissed the buzz about him dropping out as “nonsense” and in a full-throated speech to hundreds of fired-up union members, he left them with the clear impression he was in the race for the long haul.
What a fraud - the long haul would last about 8-10 hours. Now he'll have some time to badger his former running mate, John Kerry, as to why Kerry endorsed Obama.

29 January 2008

And Now the non-Obama News

While CNN swallows its own tongue with Billary items, there are other important things happening:
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has announced the start of a major offensive against al-Qaeda militants in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. "Today, the troops have moved to Mosul... and the fight there will be decisive," he said in Karbala city.

The ethnically mixed city of Mosul has seen an upsurge in violence in the past year. Correspondents say the increased violence appears to be a consequence of the offensive by US-led forces in and around Baghdad, with Sunni Arab insurgents believed to have transferred their operations further north.

A decisive victory in Mosul would be a big nail in the coffin of established al-Queda in Iraq. They can and will snipe from the fringes, but they are running out of places to hang their hats.

Thou Shalt Not be a Chump

Unreported news finally gets reported.
University leaders are projecting a 7.5 percent increase for 2008-09 in tuition plus the university fee, with a 5.5 percent hike expected for low- and middle-income Minnesotans. In the best-case scenario, undergraduate tuition together with the university fee and other required fees would rise to more than $10,200 this fall for most Minnesotans.

Adjusted for inflation, undergraduate tuition and fees at the U rose 10 percent during the 1970s, 42 percent in the 1980s, 37 percent in the 1990s - and 66 percent in the first seven years of this decade, making the U one of the most expensive flagship state universities in the country, according to data published by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the Higher Education Coordinating Board of Washington state.
When the price of prescription drugs goes up, it's those greedy pharmaceutical companies at it again. When the price of regular unleaded goes up a dime it's those greedy oil companies at it again. When the fee you pay to use an ATM machine seems disagreeable, people fly off the handle and want to nationalize the banking industry.

But when the price of tuition at public, land-grant colleges goes up, at several times the rate of inflation, do we demonize the Educational Industrial Complex? Do we demand that college presidents be put in shackles and hauled to legislative hearings? Nope. All we do is turn to the teat of government and beg for more grants, scholarships, loans and other sleights of finacial hand that mask the source of the illness and only feed the insatiable appetite for public funds of modern colleges.

Next time My Pretty Pony is weeping to college affordability, listen to his idea of a soluiton and try applying it to any other industry, product or service.

Who Killed the Electric Car?

Apologies to all the anti-American, GM-hating, Albert Gore worshipers out there hoping this would lead you to a savaging of Detroit. It seems that the truth is not what you might be predisposed to to believe.

27 January 2008

A Close Look into a Sad World

One day you wake up and realize you life is over:

"For me, the sense of being special to Hal faded away just as it did with previous boyfriends. I became obsessed with agony columns, poring over letters talking of boring marriages and the temptation of affairs and willing just one agony aunt to advise someone to run off with a lover. "Of course, they never did. It was always: 'Go and work at your marriage.' But I didn't want to work on mine. I wanted someone to say: 'Actually, perhaps nothing will make you want to sleep with your husband again,' which is how I feel.

"I've made my choice. For now I'm caught up in marriage's net, bound up with responsibilities to my children. My interest in sex with the person I was supposed to be closest to has died. I could leave but for now I'll wait because of the desolation it would wreak on my family. "I want to maintain the family unit because it makes other things possible, like doing things together with the children. But one day, when they are older and I can think about my own needs again, I may leave and start all over again.

This would be a very different story is this outlook and a subsequent publishing deal was coming from poor Hal, don't you think?

Hiding Behind the Adult Children

Down the street from me is a precious boutique college erecting a 2-block long, $40 million athletic facility. This is the same place that's doubled its tuition since my not-yet-40-year old wife graduated from the place. I keep harping that the lack of administrative accountability around tuition costs is the greatest unreported story of our time and every now and then, someone else does, too:

That means suspicion of higher education is not a partisan issue and that the era of accountability and cost sensitivity will not end when the Bush administration leaves town. Key public officials like Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy and California Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon will probably continue to rail about rising college costs. And the higher education sector will probably continue to be hampered by its inability to tell a believable story about why tuitions keep increasing at rates higher than inflation.

The dominant meme describes American colleges and universities as institutions driven by their own self-interest rather than by the interests of students or of society. Lost in the debate is any sense of the public’s interest in anything other than the politics of resentment, which builds its persuasive case through portrayals of colleges and universities as bloated, elitist, inefficient, unworthy of tax payer support, and lacking the ethical high ground.
Read it all.

This week, the legislative and executive branches will try to hammer out a plan to bribe voters who have been convinced by CNN that the sky is falling. Joust like health care, Americans are too busy or lazy to dig into this one, so they'll just line up a the government window expecting someone else to pay for what they want.

Hamas Now Summoning Charlie Rich

"Oh, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors." And drawn curtains as well:

On at least two occasions this week, Hamas staged scenes of darkness as part of its campaign to end the political and economic sanctions against the Gaza Strip, Palestinian journalists said Wednesday.

In the first case, journalists who were invited to cover the Hamas government meeting were surprised to see Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and his ministers sitting around a table with burning candles. In the second case on Tuesday, journalists noticed that Hamas legislators who were meeting in Gaza City also sat in front of burning candles. But some of the journalists noticed that there was actually no need for the candles because both meetings were being held in daylight.

Check out the pictures from AP and Rueters. Western mainstream media: Palestinian activists' best friend.

"You Must Fight the Bear"

One of my favorite sketches from SNL was one that aired not long after Columbia Pictures (and therefore CBS?) was purchased by a Japanese company. The new head of the compnay was pitching ideas that might have been just the thing for Japan, but pretty odd for the United States.
[The two children come down the stairs] Hey! Here are the children of the wacky family! "Thank you for so many hamburgers," they say! "Ohhhh," says the father, "you cannot have hamburgers or candy canes until you do your homework!" "But we have no homework," say the children. "No homework?" Says the wacky father, "Then you will have to fight the bear!" [Father opens the door for the Bear, who now fights with all four family members.]
I laughed at the bit, not knowing that bears were such good fighters:

(Voytek) was found wandering in the hills of Iran by Polish soldiers in 1943. They adopted him and as he grew he was trained to carry heavy mortar rounds. When Polish forces were deployed to Europe the only way to take the bear with them was to "enlist" him. So he was given a name, rank and number and took part in the Italian campaign.

Full, but Full of What?

If people are poor and starving in the United States, why are they so fat?

There is little to no systematic evidence that poverty-linked undernutrition--malnutrition caused by too little food intake--is an actual problem in America. "Food insecurity" numbers batted around by the FDA do not mean that people actually went hungry; they mean that people worried about going hungry, or changed their diet--usually by altering the composition of the diet, not by forgoing food--to avoid going hungry. But of actual sustained hunger, there is no evidence.

There is, on the other hand, a lot of evidence of obesity among the poor; their obesity rate is estimated at 36%, and the obesity rate among poor children seems to be about twice the rate among non-poor children. The poor people are eating more calories than they need. Yet we propose to stimulate the economy by giving the poor money that can only be spent on more food.

What would politicians do all day if they could not politicize the victim cultures that they themselves have had a role in cultivating?

Holy Smoke

You, too, can have fine Boston Butt by investing only 6 hours and some hickory. Choose your buns carefully, however. I screwed it up plenty good by buying Vienna rolls.

23 January 2008

StarTrib Mocks Mental Illness

How else can you interpret their intentions after seeing them publish this letter to the editor?

If you want to start up a good discussion about how "green" the Green Bay Packers are, the Star Tribune should do an article about the energy required to heat a football field in open air to 50 degrees in 1- below conditions with a 23-below wind chill. I think that the fans and the public would be amazed at the amount of energy consumed to accomplish this feat! They will also find out that the Packers really aren't that green.

BILL HOWE, NEW RICHLAND, MINN.


Mr. Howe, I'm terribly sorry for your obvious intellectual ailments. The Strib showed no compassion for your sad condition when they published your silly wailings.

Our Nation's First Black President Needs More Rest

21 January 2008

Never Hot, Never Cold, Never Free

I love the old standards: "In Soviet Russia, thermostat controls YOU!"

California is proposing revisions to its housing code that would require all new or remodeled homes to have a "programable communicating thermostat." Equipped with special "nonremoveable" FM radio recievers, theses devices would allow state power authoritiesto set the temperature in your home as they see fit. Ostensibly to manage demand during "price events" and other "emergencies," you would basically cede control of your home's heating and air conditioning to the state (when and if state officials wanted to exercise it).

Is this part off the grandiose erosion of our rights that the Bush haters keep screaming about?

20 January 2008

Your MLK-Day Diversion

The social success of any group is largely dependent on the attitudes taken by the members of that group, especially through their leadership. Among the more preeminent attitudes are those around the confidence and security with regard to self-image.

19 January 2008

Erotic Reading

Something in red crossed the block in Scottsdale today.
KK #1327 is 1 of the early built by hand BOSS 429's. It has rare 820-S NASCAR engine stock with special Ford C9AE-A heavy-duty 1/2" bolt rods, forged pistons and steel crank, high nickel HP-429 standard four bolt block with screw in freeze plugs, undamaged C9AE-A original aluminum O-ringed HEMI heads, forged rockers, staggered valvetrain, aluminum high rise Ram Air Holly carburetor intake, unique magnesium valve covers, dual points, power steering and engine oil coolers, KKX unique beefed up lowered and widened competition suspension, staggered rear shocks, front and rear under axle unique sway bar, close ratio 4-speed, 3:91 Trac-Lok nodular rear. All BOSS 429's were built the same except for the very early cars because they are more collectible with more history, as they were unique in having two different drivetrains in them. They were invoiced through Shelby Automotive D.S.O. 89-2000 and went to Kar Kraft with 428 SCJ Drag Pack drivetrains and suspension. Then they were changed to Blue Crescent forward mounted 429 CJ HO drivetrains and suspension. These early 820-S engine cars had 20 things done differently with some KKX and XE only parts. This has its original Special Performance Vehicle ID tag, K.K. sticker, Buck Tag, all body stamped VIN numbers, glovebox warranty papers, Build Sheet, both invoices, Marti Report and all letters from Ford. The body has no damage with Ford correct original sheet metal, chrome, trim, deluxe interior, suspension, exhaust, Carlite glass, TS lights, and correct Autolite, Goodyear and Magnum 500 components. It has rolled fenders, quarters and front valence from the factory. Along with factory tachometer, unique vented trunk-mounted battery, front spoiler, power steering and brakes. There are over 300 unique individual parts and hardware totaling over 800 pieces to complete a '69 Boss 429. This concours restoration was done with its factory seam sealer and sound deadner with correct date codes, color codes, chalk and grease pencil marks, decals, tags and stickers just as if it came off the assembly line. It has 19,980 original miles, original matching numbers drivetrain and was featured on the cover of "Muscle Car Review" magazine. The original owner will be driving this Boss 429 onto the Auction Block. It is an older concours restoration upgraded to today's standards and professionally detailed by Meyers Cars under the supervision of Ed Meyer, SAAC Head Judge.
Hubba hubba.

Live Blogging Barrett-Jackson

I'm not in Scottsdale but in Saint Paul, where I have a dish on the roof and wi-fi coursing through me. Let's try doing this live:

2:55 1948 Chrysler Town & Country 2 door Convertible lot #1251.1
What a monster. This is the droptop version of what my grandfather had at one time. It's definitely a ride for when you're in no hurry to get anywhere. Gaveled at $125,000.

3:01 1957 Chrysler New Yorker lot #1253
Another lovely Mopar from the day when driving a Chrysler product was not the punchline to a bad joke. Gaveled at $115,000

3:10 1968 Shelby GT500 lot# 1255
Acapulco Blue and unblemished by savages. 450hp Cobra Jet 428 and a 4 speed. Carroll's name on the dash. All good news. How can this go for less than a 'Cuda? Gaveled at $135,000

3:22 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle COPO lot# 1257
A fine sleeper here. Numbers match. All the paper. Sneaky under the hood. Column shift and bench seat help hustle others on the street. Gaveled at $140,000

3:45 1953 Buick Skylark lot #1260
A relative unicorn for production cars of any era. This one's got all the candy and it's so white and clean it's hard to properly photograph for television. Looks like some one will steal this queen. Gaveled at $195,000

4:06 1979 Oshkosh M1000 lot #1263
Oshkosh makes those giant trucks that stand at the ready to put out an Airbus, and someone thought to make it into a motor home, or rolling fortress, or mobile armory. Perfect for when you wheel into the Fallujah KOA. Stolen at $44,000. Unreal.

4:42 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 lot #1269
Hand restored by a Ford guy. Everything perfect. Way rare NASCAR motor option. Gaveled at $325,000. Wowzer.

5:50 1967 Shelby Cobra lot 1281.1
The real shit. 11,000 miles on the 427 side oiler. Sunburst knock-offs. Green on black. Except for the color it really can't get better. Stolen for $625,000.

6:15 1967 Shelby GT500 Convertible lot 1287
A one-owner car, that owner was Carroll Shelby. Just off a 5-year restoration. Big bucks for this one right out of the chute, but not enough for the guys running the show. It's a bit creepy to have the Barrett-Jackson folks berating the crowd and prospective buyers for what they feel is a soft price. They, of all people, should know that auction process is all about the market determining the price, not the guy with his name all over the place. Hammered down at $675,000

7:42 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Rondine lot 1304
Yea, it's a one of a kind 'Vette, but it wears Italian coachwork. Barrett-Jackson is such a homer (American) enclave, I think the demand will be soft for this one, unicorn or not. Once it rolls off the stage, I think we may never see it again. Gaveled at $1,600,000

8:00 1963 Ford Thunderbird Italien lot 1306
Another one-off concept. Not as exotic as the Rondine, but as well done. Neither was exciting, just unique. The folks in the good seats who manage collections and often snap up this stuff are not too jazzed. Gaveled at $600,000.

8:56 1959 Pontiac Catalina Convertible lot 1314
Harley Earl had this one made for Mrs. Earl. A Catlina chassis with mostly Bonneville metal. Not as over the top as an Eldorado, but pink, pink pink; it's a chick car. Too bad about he color because the "hybriding" of the GM parts is really nice. Someone's second wife will have her hands full parking it. Out the door at $225,000.

9:14 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 lot 1316
VIN #1 of the greatest American car ever screwed together. 620bhp supercharged LS series small block, 6 speed and race-spec goodies all day long. This is the chance to get the king of the road in Le Mans Blue. Gaveled at $1,000,000.

Good night.

Of Course it's True, I Saw it on Tee Vee

Like that gasbag Al Gore, Arafat also got a Nobel Peace Prize for appearing to do the right thing, and getting the gullible to go along with him:
(T)he famous scenes of Yasser Arafat donating blood after the 9/11 attacks were, like the footage of the IDF killing al-Dura, staged.

The blood donation story made headlines around the world. It was reported by esteemed news agencies like the BBC, and photographs of Arafat lying with an outstretched arm ran on many front pages. But the whole scene was staged, Enderlin said. Arafat didn’t like needles, and so the doctor put a needle near his arm and agitated a bag of blood. The reporters took the requisite photographs.

And now a word from our sponsor . . .

Trying to Get Walter Straight

Photo swiped from Duluth Shipping News, which is a kickass site.

It's January 19th, 10 below zero, with a wind chill of minus 32 and you've got a thousand-foot ship to get righted.

The water fills the engine room to a depth of 20 feet, covering the ship’s four 3,500-horsepower General Motors Electro Motive Division diesel engines. Response personnel estimate that approximately 450 gallons of miscellaneous oils have been removed from the flooded engine room, the Coast Guard said. There are an additional 2,500 to 3,000 gallons of oil and fuel in adjacent tanks, engines and generators, but there is no threat of those liquids escaping, the Coast Guard said.

Once the engine room is pumped dry, officials will be able to determine if the ship can be repaired where it is or whether it will have to enter dry dock.

And I make a big deal of my annual task of fluid handling around the winterizing two motorcycles.

The Importance of a Two-Paper Town

No one benefits from only one voice.
The Times said in a front-page story on Sunday that it had found 121 cases of Iraq and Afghan war vets committing a homicide in the United States. But veterans and right-wing critics crunched the numbers and discovered that the murder rate for returning vets is only one-fifth of that of young Americans who did not serve in the war zones.
Yea, but if the NYT had bothered doing event he most basic number crunching (that would have blown their bias and premise sky high), how could they have justified nine pages and half-a-dozen reporters working on it.

Efforts to obtain a response from the Times yesterday were unsuccessful.
But of course.
Justice Department statistics show that Americans in the veterans' age group, 18 to 34 years old, commit about 150 murders a year - an identical number of their civilian peers would've committed 700 to 750 murders in the same time-frame.
More here on the, uh, "unusually high rate" of murder connected to failed, flunky journalists:

Unrelated incidents, or mounting evidence of that America's newsrooms have become a breeding ground for murderous, drunk, gun-wielding child molesters? Answers are elusive, but the ever-increasing toll of violent crimes committed by journalists has led some experts to warn that without programs for intensive mental health care, the nation faces a potential bloodbath at the hands of psychopathic media vets.

"These people could snap at any minute," says James Treacher of the Treacher Institute for Journalist Studies. "We need to get them the help and medication they need before it's too late."

Nyuk, nyuk. I like the chart best.

O dhimmi Canada

Pat casts his wisdom across the pond.

18 January 2008

Wintertime Pests

We've got the vermin situation pretty well policed up here at Ravenscroft Dog Farm, but there is one more pest in all out midsts:
One day, life seems completely normal. The next, you’ve got an anorexic in a train-conductor hat scurrying across your kitchen in the middle of dinner. This, understandably, can be a pretty disconcerting sight.Not to worry, though. While hipsters can really slaughter a nice mood, they are otherwise harmless and probably just as frightened of you as you are of them. Still, they are a nuisance, of course, and need to be treated as such. Following are suggested measures to pinpoint the location of hipsters in your home, coax them out from their hiding places, and capture and return them to their natural habitats.

While we are waiting for the right warmish day to let our mice go at the off leash park, returniing hipsters to their natural environments is a bit trickier:
The best thing for them, and for you, is to simply return hipsters to the habitat from which they came. And don’t think you can just pile into the SUV and drive them there—they will spurn you for your wanton consumerism. Get that archaic road bike out from the garage—they’ll probably buy it from you when all is said and done—and cruise them around the local arts district to coffee shops and record stores until they are all given low-paying jobs based solely on their stylish appearances and morose demeanors.

When you Vote Stupid, you Get Stupid Elected

"The axe I have to grind has blinded me to the facts." Representative Marcy Kaptur, Ohio Democrat and dumbass of the week:
As you see, she's winding up to use the "You were the CEO of [the eeeeeeeeeevil] Goldman-Sachs" avenue of attack....and it stopped dead in her tracks by the fact that she was too unprepared to know that that is an entirely different person. It's a little tougher to attack someone for their steal-from-the-poor history and supposed economic ignorance when that person turns out to be not the former CEO of an [eeeeeeeeeeeeeevil] corporation, but the former head of an Ivy League Economics Department.
I wonder what she'll do next week; accuse Seattle Seahawks quarterback David Hasselhoff of blowing it against the Packers?

12 January 2008

Oh, Canada . . .

. . . get you act together and start acting like a legitimate nation. Watch all three clips, especially the second one.

09 January 2008

Recycled Spam

Aside from the Homel product, which can be quite tasty fried in honey, I'm not a spam guy but, sometimes it's worth the cut & paste:

"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed." -Mark Twain

"I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." -Winston Churchill

"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." -George Bernard Shaw

"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." -Frederic Bastiat

"If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free!" -P.J. O'Rourke

"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools." -Herbert Spencer

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." -Thomas Jefferson

E-Commerce

Got this coming. Orderd this today. Can this be far behind?

Off Another Deep End They Go

How Did Hillary win in New Hampshire? Simple: Bush/Cheney/Haliburton/Diebold rigged the whole thing!
Obama internal polls had him winning by 14 points. Hillary's camp had him winning by 11 points. Even the Hillary camp conceded virtual defeat early on. Even Hillary believed she had lost before the polls closed. I can't recall a primary where a candidate had a double-digit lead the day of the election, but finished several points behind. Even the exit polling showed no sign of a Hillary win. The exit polls showed about even. Exit polls have a history of accurate projections. Despite this, Hillary maintained about a three point difference the entire evening. AP called it for Hillary with only 61% reporting. CNN still refused to call if for Hillary, as they explained and demonstrated on an electronic map how several key precincts had not come in yet. But that didn't stop NBC calling it for Hillary. With 94% reporting, those key precincts STILL showed zero per cent reporting. NONE of the TV pundits could explain the differences. Here's one pundit's excuse: "Maybe it has to do with the voting curtain in New Hampshire (private voting) whereas Iowa was public voting."
This doesn't explain New Hampshire, this explains the far-left's interpretations of everything. Whether its the cost of college, the private tax burden or global mean temperatures, it's all about "I don't remember this happening before . . ." and other lame rationalities.

Life can be quite an adventurous ride when you allow your damaged imagination to color everything you see.

Stitting on an Unstylish Fence


Oh, then one day,
I saw you walkin' down that little one-way
Where, the place I'd catch my ride most everyday
There wasn't a damn thing I could do or say
Up in the skyway
-Paul Westerburg

Jay Wallljasper writes on perhaps the most definitive urban trait of Minneapolis/Saint Paul; the human habittrails we call skyways, and he's of a mind that they are crushing a large part of the livability of our two cities, especially in Winter:

People around the world from Copenhagen to New York are figuring out how to keep things lively throughout the colder months. City streets bustle with festivals and outdoor attractions showing that winter is something to enjoy rather than endure.

In an increasingly globalized economy where businesses and skilled workers now have a choice in where they locate, Frost Belt cities can't afford to appear lifeless for a quarter of the year. Places like Minneapolis can no longer pretend that winter doesn't exist. It is essential to make the city inviting all year, not just when it's warm.

The word skyway more accurately describes a bridge or overhead tram, but never letting proper English get in our way, we do call them skyways 'round here. Anyway, there is a lot to comment on with this topic:

First, I like winter and I like being able to hack it. I can cope, unlike folks who call the Red Cross when the temperature drops to 40 Fahrenheit. I also lament how so many locals become weather wimps, and spend 4 months every year hunched and gloomy. Skyways enable the climatic sissies among us, so for that reason alone, they are evil. On the other hand, average daily high temperature here is significantly colder that in other "winter happy" towns listed by the author, so we should be cut some break for seeking shelter.

Second, the skyways are architecturally vile. They are sterile, square steel tubes that clumsily tie together two different buildings that are less than 100 feet apart in the first place. On the flips side of that - it's hard to wholly describe either downtown as pure. Both cities went on 30-year, postwar, Inqusitionesque "renewals" that resulted in the toppling of many classic and signature buildings. Once wrecking ball had left, the replacments were droll, lifeless monoliths that ignored both the sidewalk stroller and the river that runs through both towns.

As much as I have enjoyed other cites that have a very distinct character (San Francicso, New York, Chicago, Rome . . . Lanesboro), you cannot make somehting what it is not, and you cannot make Minneapolis in to Copenhagen. As much as I think urban planning and municipal politics have been dominated by decades by dullards, I don't exactly cotton to some outa-towner show up and tell us we're doing it all wrong.

That's why (Jan) Gehl is no fan of Minneapolis' skyways. "When you glass in the city, you eliminate the 'bad' days but also all the 'good' days. That is too much of a price to pay. You miss the fresh air, the street life. You may have 20 bad days a year when you want to stay indoors, but 200 good ones you miss. I say you make the city as good as possible for the good days, and that will carry it through on the bad days."
It's a good read, interesting to ponder and makes all good points in principle, but I'm afraid Wallljasper's pleas for us tundra dwellers to drop skyways are akin to telling folks in Edmonton to take up surfing, or folks in Venice to mop up.

Hunt for Blue January

Recall the opening of the film "Hunt for Red October:"
''Nothing of what you are about to see ever happened."
That blip seems to be the marching orders at always-reliable Iranian Tee Vee news with regard to the incident earlier this week their plastic speedies joy riding in the wake of a US Navy combat group.
Iran on Wednesday called video and audio released by the Pentagon showing Iranian Revolutionary Guards boats confronting U.S. warships in the Strait of Hormuz "fabricated," a state-run television station reported. "The footage released by the U.S. Navy was compiled using file pictures and the audio has been fabricated," the English-language channel Press TV quoted an official in the Revolutionary Guards as saying.

(Vice Adm. Kevin) Cosgriff also has disputed Iran's claims that the incident was a routine encounter, saying Iran's "provocative" actions were "deadly serious" to the U.S. military.
Here's some video of what didn't happen. Hey; who says life doesn't imitate art?

06 January 2008

Yea, I Watched Some Debates

Stop Being Stupid

Why is the world going to hell? Because there are no consequences for people when they are shitheads. What's worse, is when the sanction falls down the person who was doing the right thing:
Schultz said he told the shoplifter he was making a citizens arrest and to wait for the police to arrive, but the shoplifter broke away from the group and ran across Washtenaw Avenue and toward a gas station at the corner of Huron Parkway. Before the man could cross Huron Parkway, Schultz caught up and grabbed the man's jacket and put his leg behind the man's legs. When the manager arrived at the intersection, Schultz said, the manager told him to release the shoplifter, and he complied, and the shoplifter got away.
Last time I was in Whole Foods, I paid for my groceries. What a chump I was. It's evident that if I walk out with an arm load of food, I won't be restrained.
Schultz . . .was fired because he violated a company policy prohibiting employees from having any physical contact with a customer. Kate Klotz, a company spokesperson, said the policy is clear and listed in a booklet that all employees have to acknowledge that they received before they can start work.
All you sheep just stand by while we let thieves dictate the rules for the rest of us.
"The fact that I worked at the store at (the time of the robbery) is coincidental," he said. "If I had went over to the book store on my break and they were being ripped off, I would have helped them."
Schultz has exactly the right attitude and gets canned for it. Just more erosion of quality of life brought to you by trial lawyers.

04 January 2008

Another Reason to Smash Al-Qaeda

Like we need any more reasons, but this is another good reason to kill all of them:
The ASO said there had been "direct threats against the race issued by terrorist groups." "ASO's prime responsibility is to ensure the security of everyone involved, the statement said, adding that organisers would never take any risks with safety matters. "The terrorist menace has wiped out a year's hard work carried out with conviction and passion by the participants and all those involved," it said. It was the first time in its turbulent 30-year history that the controversial race has failed to go ahead and will cast doubts over future editions.
A local radio guy had a good idea: Operate the race as usual, but arm the vehicles, especially the heavy trucks. At the first sign of a threat by these petty havoc merchants, open up on them with M2 .50 calibers. Perhaps some strafing air cover, too, just to be thorough.

Rearview on Iowa

Stephen Green is harsh on the rurals and its' hard to find fault with his take:
The news coming out of Des Moines (literally, French for “tell me about the rabbits, George”) tonight is distressing in the extreme. 32 years ago, your Democratic brethren took one look at Jimmy Carter -- the worst 20th Century President bar Nixon, and the worst ex-President ever -- and declared, “That’s our man!”

Three decades later, and along comes Mike Huckabee. Same moral pretentiousness, same gullibility on foreign affairs, only-slightly-less toothy idiot’s grin. Then you so-called Republicans took a look at Carter’s clone and said, “That’s our man, too!”

03 January 2008

Thumpa Thumpa

Wild 6, Stars 3

The Wild hang three goals on Turks and three more on Backup Boy. It was a good night to catch a good team with its breezers down.

A Rat, Fink, Weasel and Coward

There's a lawyer in Chicago in need of a severe beatdown:
(S)omeone didn't like the Marine sticker, or the pro-military plates, and decided to stage an anti-war protest, with a key or hard piece of metal, on the shiny black finish of Sgt. McNulty's car that caused $2,400 in damage.
There's nothing lower than taking out your emotional problems on another man's wheels.
(I)t wasn't an accident, but a deliberate key job, not done by some kid or street thug, but by a Chicago lawyer who apparently can't stand the military. Private attorney Jay R. Grodner, 55, of Chicago has been charged with a class A misdemeanor -- criminal damage to property -- punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine, said Andy Conklin, spokesman for the state's attorney's office.

"My brother should be commended for not just smashing that guy's windpipe right there for all the stuff he said about our military, and the insults," William McNulty said. "Instead, my brother called the police, as he should have." According to the police report I read, other investigative accounts and interviews, Grodner was upset to have been accused of purposely scratching the car. So upset, that he accused his accusers of being anti-Semitic.
Grodner should get his beatdown from someone who is Jewish for that.

02 January 2008

Simply Unacceptable

Goalless draw at the Midlands Sunday and a draw at Anfield today. Ug. This is no way to chase the top of the table.
Maybe there's room on the Tractor Boys' bandwagon.