Here in the boonies of Monterey, or local NBC affiliate actually sent a reporter to New York to report on the thrilling debut of "Air America", the liberal radio network. Just boggles the mind that they put resources into reporting on a radio show that's in all of five markets, and from the segments they aired on the news, is about as exciting as listening to paint dry.
Interesting Op/Ed from USA Today: Presidential hopefuls' ability to lead trumps combat skills
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry released a TV commercial last week that highlighted his impressive military service in Vietnam.
Film of a younger Kerry in fatigues and with a rifle might lead viewers to conclude that his combat experience somehow makes him better qualified to be president of the United States.
But since when has warfare been a prerequisite for the presidency? The answer is that it never has been.
So if military experience is not a requirement for strategic leadership, what is?
German war theorist Carl von Clausewitz said in his book On War that a battle leader must have two qualities: "First, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it might lead."
Put another way, we need a leader who can set political and strategic objectives for military leaders to follow and who has the determination to see these objectives through to completion.
Small-unit tactical leadership in battle, for all of its martial virtues and potential glories, does not qualify a leader for this strategic-level role. For at the end of the day, the military is a means to a political end, and that end must be set by the politician.
As a U.S. Army officer who has parachuted into combat with the Rangers and who later led a Special Forces company in Albania and Kosovo during Gen. Wesley Clark's war in the Balkans, I respect Kerry for his brave military service.
But as a strategist, I also respect Bush for having the attributes of a successful wartime leader: strong character, good judgment and the will to win.
Sometimes leading a war is different from fighting it.
What I thought was a good analogy on the radio this morning: that what happened, and has been happening, in Fallujah is comparable to the situation in Germany after WWII when hold out Nazis would attack our troops.
Fallujah was a Ba'ath party stronghold, and the holdouts there have the most to lose with freedom coming to Iraq since they were part of the apparatus that kept their country in a stranglehold of fear and death.
After nearly two weeks of being sick, I actually was hungry and wanted Japanese food. You know you go to a place too often when the server tells you your order before you open your mouth!
Watching American Idol now and looking forward to 24.
Did she have a straight face when she said it?
..... House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: "The Bush administration needs to understand that the independent 9/11 commission seeks truth, not blame."
Sing it to your choir, Nancy.
And for more travels in the unbiased media, check out this article. I founf the points made about Clinton's pardoning the FALN terrorist members particularly illuminating.
While the military's presence in space stretches back decades, now there appears to be a new emphasis. Officials in the Bush administration and the Department of Defense are actively pursuing an agenda calling for the unprecedented weaponization of space.
The first real step in that direction appears to be coming in the form of a little-noticed weapons program at the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. The agency has now earmarked $68 million in 2005 for something called the Near Field Infrared Experiment.
The NFIRE satellite is primarily designed to gather data on exhaust plumes from rockets launched from earth, and defense officials claim it is therefore designed as a defensive, rather than offensive weapons.
But the satellite will also contain a smaller "kill vehicle," a projectile that takes advantage of the kinetic energy of objects traveling through low-Earth orbit (which move at several times the speed of a bullet) to disable or destroy an oncoming missile or another orbiting satellite.
As one senior government official and defense expert described the program, which has seen cost-related delays and increased congressional scrutiny: "We're crossing the Rubicon into space weaponization."
Four page article, so follow the link to the whole thing.
Oh,here's a bit further in that needs no comment:
Summarizing the differences between the United States and European views on space was Jean-Jacques Dordain, head of the European Space Agency, who said in a recent interview: "For the U.S., space is an instrument of domination — information domination and leadership. Europe should be proposing a different model — space as a public good."
WARNING! GIRLY POST AHEAD!!
I really like the new scent I chose, I really do. At first, I wasn't sure but it's grown on me. I was wearing Allure by Chanel and ran out as the winter was coming on, but since I usually wear Dolce & Gabana in the winter, I didn't replace it. Well, a few months back, the new Sephora catalog came out (joy!) and it had a section on new perfumes, one of them being Les Nuits d' Hadrien. I think it was the bottle and colour that drew my eye first. Then I read the notes and description and had to give it a try. It had tangerine and sandalwood notes, two of my favourites, so it was worth a shot. Glad I did! So now, I have a new favourite scent -- like I needed another one!
Les Nuits d' Hadrien
In the spirit of the original d'Hadrien, this warmer, more seductive scent has the familiar fresh top notes of icy Sicilian lemons warmed with rich vanilla, amber, and musk, leaving an intriguing Oriental trail behind the woman who wears it.
Sicilian Lemon, Bergamot, Green Mandarin, Tangerine, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Indonesian Patchouli, Amber, White Musk.
Andrew Stuttaford notes this bit from this monring's terror arrests in the UK:
(From Bloomberg News):
Peter Clarke, head of the Anti-Terrorist Branch of London's Metropolitan Police, "said the police had consulted local and national Muslim leaders in connection with the arrests ``to address any concerns they may have.''
So do they consult with the Archbishop of Canterbury when they arrest Anglicans? How about that Pope guy? Is he ever consulted over his concerns at the arrest of Roman Catholics? Hey, I'm just asking!
I'm just taking a quick break and wanted to post a link to this article on a lawsuit against Llyod's Of London for slavery reparations.
This was one part that jumped out at me:
One plaintiff, Deadria Farmer-Paellman said the slave trade denied her identity.
"Today I suffer from the injury of not knowing who I am, having no nationality or ethnic group as a result of acts committed by these parties," she said.
There are any number of people who could make similar claims, but she feels a lawsuit and some cash will make her feel better. At least, that's how it reads to me. What about people who were adopted? What about other ethnic groups who've had their cultures pretty much wiped out? Should I be thinking about finding someone to sue becasue the Romans invaded Britain? Or the English, Scotland, or....? The past pretty much sucked, and there's enough damage done for all of us. It's time to deal with the present and not fixating on a past that can't be changed. And a step in that direction would be to put even a 1/4 the effort that goes into this reparations movement into trying to stop modern day slavery. After all, what could be a more noble memorial to those that were slaves than to honour their memory and suffering by stamping out the scourge of slavery that still exists in so many places in this world?
No comment from me till I know I'm allowed to unlock my lips -- errr, typing fingers in this case.
Update!! Clearance received! [starts humming lullabys] Hugs all around and sparkling apple cider for all.
(see Jay, I'm obsessively secret keepish!)
Real soon now, I hope to make this a three column affair, so I don't have to worry as much about a sidebar to China. In anticipation of that event, I added the BFL Feed -- it's not us eating, it's like instant headlines -- this weekend, and tonight I added the BFL auto blogroll thingie. So sidebar to China for a little while, then only to say, Chile after that :)
Update: Oh yeah! I added a link on the sidebar to the "Bittersweet Patisserie & Chat Room", so you can now find the chat link whenever you visit.
Huw has written another thought -- and prayer -- provoking post. This time, he reflects on St. Mary of Egypt and how her journey relates to his own struggles. As isn't unuusal with Huw's reflections, I was left on the verge of tears.
Thank you, Huw.
Back in February, I posted about a group called "Democrats Abroad" and their upcoming meeting in Scotland. Today, I found an article on the ongoing meeting. Kerry's sister was a speaker, and she's toeing the party line quite nicely:
.... And speaking on BBC Radio Scotland later, the former teacher warned of a "personalised attack" on her brother in the forthcoming fight for the White House.
She said: "We know it is going to be a very tough campaign, we expect that there will be an attempt on the part of the attack machine to smear my brother’s name and his record.
Because her brother's campaign is so warm & fuzzy, you know.
Ms Kerry has spoken strongly and emotionally over the past few days, saying that her brother would "work to heal the anti-US feeling that is rampant across the world since the Bush administration came to office".
She added: "The reason we are out with Democrats Abroad is that there are many Americans who consider themselves not necessarily Democrats, but who understand the world’s problems are going to make them Americans Overseas for Kerry supporters and we want to harness that group as well.
Because, of course, the Europeans are never at fault and us silly Americans living at home don't know any better. "French looking" indeed.
A spokeswoman for Democrats Abroad pointed out the importance of the vote outside the US.
She said: "Democrats Abroad contributes a lot. Congressional races have been won on an absentee ballot. We are registering vast numbers of people who have never voted before.
"There is a fire and passion about this year’s election because of the 2000 election, Iraq and environmental issues.
You're not the only ones with fire and passion. Here's hoping come November our fire consumes yours.
According to the article 5 million Americans live abroad. I wonder if the Republican party has a similar outreach to get voters registered?
There have been a lot of new readers & commenters here over the last ten days, and I wanted to thank all of you spending time from your day here.
And, as always, thanks to all our long time readers. You're the best!
And last, but not least, thank to Kathy Kinsley for all her hard work in getting us all set up with the new hosting company and repairing all the stuff we'd broken. If you have problems that need fixing on your website/blog, I can most wholeheartedly recommend Kathy as your solution.
Weblogs.com seems to refuse to allow a ping before the late afternoon. All last week it would never accept a ping from any morning posts, but the ones I made in the late afternoon, pinged merrily away.
Glad I posted a lot over the weekend, because not only am I still sick, but I had a major asthma attack about 330am this morning. My lungs are bad enough right now that I've broken out the prednisone. So no sleep, stomach bug, and breathing is an effort to go along with a very busy day at work.
Y'all are probably on your own today.
One of the new things with the new hosting company is the ability to have chat room. So, I've set one up here. Feel free to experiment with it and we'll see if it's an option anyone wants to use.
Australian authorities want to remodel Botany Bay, where Capt James Cook first landed in the country, to make it look less European and more Aboriginal.
Re-igniting the country's simmering racial divisions, the National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales, which manages the site, wants to remove flagpoles and an historic anchor.
It also proposes to cut down a number of mature Norfolk Island pine trees and replace them with original bushland.
Even though the area is regarded as the birthplace of modern Australia, it said the features were symbols of "European dominance" and ignored its Aboriginal history.
What do those two have in common? According to 36% of seniors surveyed in American universities, he was the commanding general of the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
I found two new (to me) blogs this weekend you may want to check out:
We did end up watching "Lost In Translation" on PPV on Friday night. Nice movie, I enjoyed it, but it didn't strike me as a Vest Picture worthy nominee. We watched "Under The Tuscan Sun" last weekend and I enjoyed that one a great deal. I've always wanted to go to Tuscany, so I love moives that put me in virtual travel mode. This one really did that for me!
And we did watch the Keith Urban concert last night and it was very cool. Great music and easy on the eyes. Then we watched more CMT videos and then Iron Chef. I'm really curious about the Iron Chef America show they keep advertising.
Speaking of TV, what did you all think about the season finale of SG1?
Blast! My tea tastes odd and icky. I put the filter in the cupboard and it got put on top of a bag of coffee. My tea has coffee notes! BLEAH!!
Heard -- and saw the video -- for the first time tonight on CMT: Gretchen Wilson's "Red Neck Woman". Awesome song!
CMT, tonight, one hour from now, Keith Urban in concert at Daytona Beach.
He is fine, he is! And if you've ever seen his video for "Raining On Sunday", you know what I'm talking about.
(saw him in person when he was just starting out and he autographed his CD for me)
I've now moved from the copious amounts of tea portion of the day, to the copious amounts of wine portion of the evening.
(a nice Aussie Shiraz)
(and lots of La Brea Bakery bread)
(and remember, the new URL here is: http://bittersweet.ondragonswing.com)
Am I the only person with no life this Saturday night? Pretty much my entire day has been computer bound. I should go read a book or something, but the glowing light of the monitor keeps drawing me in like a moth....
From Andrew Studdaford on The Corner today comes this latest bit of PC idiocy:
For over a century, a statue of a wild boar stood in the center of England’s oldest public park. It was damaged during the Second World War. Finally, it has been restored. The old boar was going to be put back where it belonged. Not any more. These plans have, apparently, now been "abandoned for fear of offending Muslims, whose religion considers pigs to be 'unclean'."
And if you want another tiny example of the West’s supine response to Islamic fanaticism that’s it.Posted by Ithildin at 5:19 PM
John Kerry says he'll renew American competitiveness. What I want to know is if he shouldn't okay such a move with the Euros and the UN first?
And 12 million new jobs? Is there some secret ACME job-o-matic factory out there?
TWO Scottish trekkers robbed at gunpoint while hiking in the Himalayas have described how a potentially fatal attack turned into farce when Maoist rebels handed them a receipt so they wouldn't have to pay up again if targeted by other rebels further up the trail.
John McNicoll and Ewen Ferguson, from Stirlingshire, were on a charity hike in Nepal when they were confronted by a gang of armed Maoists who demanded they hand over the equivalent of £10 each.
But the terrifying attack had a comic side when the rebels, wielding AK47s, insisted on issuing their victims with a receipt in case they were attacked by other Maoists along the way.
Mr McNicoll, from Kippen, said the pair were just sitting down to dinner when the tent flaps burst open and they were confronted by rebels with machine guns.
"The attackers were armed to the teeth and shouting at us, but we couldn't understand a word they were saying until our guide intervened. He talked with them and then told us that they were demanding 1,000 rupees from each of us, which is only about £10.
"The guide advised us to pay the money because he couldn't guarantee our safety if we argued. Apparently the receipt is so that, if you get set upon again during your trip you can show it so you won't have to pay twice."
Earlier in the week I said:
.... Of course, the same thing happens in RL social situations these days. You're having a perfectly nice time, then someone decides to share with the whole room. Again, it stuns them to discover someone may actually disagree with them.
We were engaged by occasional anti-war protesters. Many of whom told us we didn’t belong there and we should leave. Some looked at our signs and said “Are kidding?”, or “Are you for real? These are people who are so extreme they literally cannot believe that people could possibly think differently than them.
It's everywhere, folks. Does anyone think it will ever get better, or will our society keep sliding farther into rudeness and intolerance? A honestly, maybe this isn't the exception, but the rule, and we have to just deal with it. Is the world just a cold and cruel place where we can do nothing more than to stand together around our fires in the dark and ward off the barbarians? Hasn't it always been so?
Update: I have to link to this post of Michele's. It very much expresses a lot of what I've been feeling lately.
A snippet (but go read it all):
I'm at the point where I no longer care to spend my strength fighting the urge to despise these people. If you want to paint all Bush supporters with the same broad strokes, don't be surprised when you're lumped in with the Indymedia gang. In just a few months this country will no longer be divided into groups with prefixes like far or moderate. It will be left and right only because we will be forced to take a side. And yes, I am placing the blame for this solely on the left, because they are the ones on the constant attack, they are the ones who are walking around with signs and banners that put swastikas on the lapel of every Republican, they are the ones who bemoan the death of a terrorist, they are the ones out there cheering on strong-armed protesters as they beat on the right.
What are we supposed to do? Just sit here and not respond to the catcalls and lies? How do we fight back without becoming the thing we hate?
What happened in Boston didn't really surprise me to a certain extent. I think some of that is my expectation of people behaving in the worst possible way towards those that hold a different view. After all, I did grow up in downtown Berkeley during the 70s. Even after Vietnam, Berkeley could be expected to live up to expectations.
I was taking the bus home from school - Rockridge BART station to Durant Ave. -- and I was in 7th grade. Our social studies assignment was to write a report on the upcoming election of Gerald Ford v. Jimmy Carter. As part of my assignment, I'd gone to Ford election headquarters in Lafayette (where I went to school) and volunteered. So, on this bus trip, I wearing a Ford for President button. A man came over to me on the bus and started haranguing me about my button. He called me stupid, idiot, with a few curse words thrown in and extolled the virtues of jimmy Carter, the evil of Republicans, the usual spiel. He kept it up till the bus reached his stop. No one on that bus said or did a thing, not the driver, not the passengers. How much of it was racial and how much political, I don't know. Probably the majority of the bus, including the driver were black, like the guy shouting at me. That aspect didn't occur to me till many years later. Who knows how much that played a part in a whole busload of people doing nothing to stop and adult man from freaking at a girl who looked maybe 10.
That incident was one of the defining moments of my life, and pretty much guaranteed my increasingly dim view of the Democratic party. And people wonder why I'm a conservative!
The other day, I was out shopping for a friend's birthday gift when I had to stop at a Safeway to pick something up.
There was a woman outside registering voters to be Democrat.
I had such an urge to go up to her and ask if I could change my party from Independant to another. (Yes, I'm currently listed as no party.)
Of course, she'd ask, "Of course! You want to be listed as a Democrat?"
"No. A Republican."
Just for the look on her face.
But... [sigh] I didn't really think it through until it was too late.
Oh well... Maybe next time!
I'd heard in passing about the Brit cavers rescued in Mexico, but there's more to it it would seem:
It was an upbeat ending to an expedition that began as an adventure-training break, developed into a drama that enthralled Mexicans all week and sparked a diplomatic spat along the way amid questions as to exactly why the caving team, most of them military, were in the 8.5-mile cave system in the first place.
After news that they were trapped emerged last Monday, Mexican president Vicente Fox questioned why, as military personnel, they were in the country on tourist visas on what amounted to a military expedition that had not been declared to the Mexican government by the Ministry of Defence. To try to answer those questions, Mexican immigration authorities detained the entire 13-man team taking part in Exercise Cuetzalan Tiger, following the men's release after check-ups at a military hospital in the southern city of Puebla.
It's pretty rich to have the Mexican government whinging about having people in their country illegally.
The subject line of my latest piece of email spam:
belt sedimentary cheese bourgeois gullible
Via Michele comes this really odd test.
I am a subtle taste, like Pine.
I am a quiet, fresh taste, almost more of a scent than a flavour. You will be aware of me, but not quite remember me without being reminded. Not that I'm boring; on the contrary, I'm just a little outside the ordinary. What Flavour Are You?
So it's Friday night, I'm still at work, but have no plans for a rollicking Friday night. What better than to link to other posts about Friday night? Well? Can you think of anything more, ummm... never mind.
So go amuse yourselves with the cornucopia of entertainment I've provided out of the goodness of my heart.
The radio station that brings, via me, the "80s Lunchtime Music Moment" is having an all 80s weekend. They do this every few months, and this weekend is the latest.
What song from the era is the one that takes you back?
If I don't start feeling better and soon, I'm demanding my money back!
"Only In My Dreams" by Debbie Gibson dedicated to that lover of 80s music, most especially "WHAM", Paul!
I swear, according to my horoscopes lately, I'm a loose cannon:
This is one of those times, dear Cancer, in which you are walking along minding your own business when someone accidentally bumps into you. Your first reaction may be to push that person right back. Small instances of carelessness on the part of others may cause you to quickly get worked up into large fits of rage. There is an explosive quality about the day that may cause you to make war, not peace.
Paul's having one.
(and yet again this morning, all my pings to weblogs.com are timing out. I can't even ping them from blogrolling)
Yesterday, I demonstrated rules 1 and 2 of the patented and guaranteed "Michael Williams' Rocket Science Rules to Increasing Blog Traffic". Today, let us move on to rule 3: make stuff up.
I have it on good authority that Goldie does not actually live in Australia. The clues are all there, especially her obsession with astrology. Dear readers, her nickname isn't even really Goldie! (but that's another post). Where does she really live? Where the stars live of course: Hollywood, CA.
There you have it. Now take this lesson to heart, young locusts, and soon you too will be making up wonderful stories to post on your blog.
It's that time again and everyone can play. Check out this post for the details, then come back here and "lend me your links"!
And this week, just to add a twist, you can lend a link from your own blog, if you're into shameless self promotion (not that there's anything wrong with that!)
My offering -=- The Comment That Ate Tokyo
I was watching Neil Cavuto last night and he was interviewing Nancy Pelosi. You know what the top of my list is for stupid things politicians say? It goes something like this: "I'm supporting John Kerry because he will unite our country and heal our divisions." What a load of crap! Read my lips, Nancy, HE WILL NOT. It's impossible! If John Kerry is elected, nothing is going to change. Our disagreements and divisions will be all bright shiny new, ready to battle it out for the next four years.
Do politicians actually believe the platitudes they spew? Do they think we do? Does Nancy think that Sally in Iowa is watching her on the TV and telling her husband how that nice woman from CA thinks John Kerry will bring rainbows and unicorns to us all so we should vote for him?
Lord grant me patience!
So you should listen to him. I do. Religiously.
(see how well I follow instruction?)
(watching the hits roll in)
Whatever happened to good old fashioned disaster movies? They should be mindless, fun, without a "message" or a "hit you over the head" political agenda.
"The Day After Tomorrow" is none of the above, more's the pity.
Like, go "carbon-neutral", duuude.
I went through every single link on my blogroll and found a lot of folks had given up the ghost. So I went ahead and removed those links for now. Hopefully at least a few of them will come back to blogging at some point or another.
The Patriette points out this little gem from Canada:
Corrections Canada won't let guards at maximum-security prisons wear stab-proof vests because it sends a confrontational "signal" to prisoners, says a department spokesman. "If you have that kind of presence symbolized by (a stab-proof vest), you're sending a signal to the prisoner that you consider him to be a dangerous person," said Tim Krause.
"It interferes with what we call 'dynamic security.' We want staff to talk to prisoners, to see how they're doing."
Still coughing and not sleeping.
Glad tomorrow is Friday.
Just a reminder that the blog is now at a new URL (the autoredirect is so fast, some folks don't realize we moved) so change those bookmarks.
weblogs.com seems to hate me today. I keep getting "connection refused" when MT tries to ping them.
Heh, Rush making a comment on Bob Kerrey lamenting the evil FOX News channel releasing that background transcript yesterday, noting that not only did the White House release Kathleen Willie's private letters to the President, but those letters are still on the CNN website! No, the Dems have never tried to undermine a citizen.
Thinking of making this a three column blog.
50 years ago today, RCA started producing colour TVs.
This is nifty:
A NEW report has supported setting up a dedicated Gaelic television channel and making Gaelic medium education available where the language is spoken.
It has also backed efforts to protect and promote the use of Scots in everyday life.
I heard Gaelic spoken when I was on the Isle of Lewis, and listened to Gaelic radio several times on my last trip. I would love to leanr how to speak it.
You know, I may well blow a gasket before the election gets here. If I'm this riled up now, I shudder to think what I'm going to be like come November. Maybe I'm going to have to impose news free aka mental health days, you think?
Excellent post over at Baldilocks on the culture of male bashing.
Do people not have manners anymore? Whatever happened to "do unto others"? Let me tell you, I'm getting sick and tired of being on purely social email lists where someone brings up politics. It's not the subject itself -- I think people can have rational debates on the subject -- but the total disconnect these people seem to have. It's as if their "social conditioning" has been turned off. They really seem to think that there's no one who could possibly disagree with their POV so they may as well let the insults fly. If, out of the blue, I started making posts on a list about how I can't believe there are people out there who actually take CNN seriously, how people that do make me shudder, and anyone who does is just stupid, I'd be vilified as a an evvvvvvil conservative. But let a couple of liberals say the exact same thing about people who watch FOX, and then it's so funny! Tee hee! I'm amazed that this sort of thing isn't a random occurrence, but it happens with more and more frequency. Okay, maybe I shouldn't be amazed, I know. But it's just plain rude, and I have to wonder how these people were brought up.
Of course, the same thing happens in RL social situations these days. You're having a perfectly nice time, then someone decides to share with the whole room. Again, it stuns them to discover someone may actually disagree with them. If you're in someone else's home, you should have enough respect for them not to be offensive towards other guests. Or am I just old fashioned? Maybe I am. Of course, both online and in RL, it affects my comfort level. You realize what people really think of you now they know you're one of the stupid people who make them shudder.
In a letter to the 9/11 commission on Wednesday, a Republican congressman noted that before the Sept. 11 terror attacks, a House panel held twenty hearings and two formal briefings on terrorism -- and Richard Clarke "was of little help in our oversight."
"When he briefed the subcommittee, his answers were both evasive and derisive," wrote Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) in a March 24, 2004 letter to the national commission investigating the terrorist attacks.
Shays said the commission might find the information about Clarke relevant, given the fact that Clarke was testifying on Wednesday. Clarke made headlines this week after blasting the Bush administration in various media appearances and interviews.
Moving that is. (though I didn't move for some kewl reason like getting married) What am I saying? Deb and Jay have monogrammed their blogs and the result is "Accidental Verbosity"! (they're so cute, you could just hug them both to itty bitty pieces)
I was reading Travel + Leisure magazine last night, and there was a little piece that called Fargo, "The Seattle of the Plains". I instantly thought of Julie, who should be getting money from ND Tourism for her untiring promotion of the state.
The British courts have sentenced a man defending himself against armed attackers to prison.
Reverse Trackback aka Update: Dean is pointed to another article that says the man in this case was a drug dealer. All the details here.
Via Nick comes this interesting concept. Works for me! I could reunite the disparate sides of my ethnicity in one fell swoop! No, I have no idea what that means, I just thought it sounded kewl. If we invaded Canada, my residual Canadian accent would become chic, I'd be able to get Aero bars, we could set the Spanish language special interest groups against their French counterparts, the possibilities are endless!
We're in the preplanning stages of where to go for vacation aka holiday in the autumn. New Mexico is on the list (again), Victoria (to visit old friends and not visit relatives), and the Texas Gulf Coast. I'm leaning towards Texas. I remember how much I loved the Gulf Coast when we took 10 cross country a few years back, and think it would be dandy to plop ourselves in one place and just veg.
Anyone know why Carol isn't hosting "Changing Rooms" anymore? We were watching "Red Cap" last night on BBCA, and saw an advert for the newest season (for us here in the States) announcing Laurence as the new host. Don't get me wrong, I love LLB, but as the host? With no Carol?
So for those of you who've told me in the past you couldn't get here at work, now's your chance!
(hope it's not just temporary)
Going back to work today. Wish me luck that I make it to 5pm!
(dreading the pile that will be on my desk)
You know when something isn't funny, but just the way you hear it makes you choke on your beverage? A reporter talking about the death of that Hamas terror sheik today: "All that was left of the sheik was his head".
Maybe you had to be here.
Over in the new guest cabanas, we have Paul settling in on the beach, and Mickey setting up with a lovely view of the waterfall. And here at Wing central, Ninjababe has moved a little closer to the pool, and the Girls! have opted for better access to the bar. And where are my new digs? Take a look!
So update those bookmarks!
Whatever I came down with, it was a doozy. I'd planned on going to work today, but when the alarm went off, I realized I wasn't going anywhere. Keep your fingers crossed that tomorrow I feel better.
I think there's been an autoredirect set up, so if you came here via the old address, please note your are now at:
and change your bookmarks accordingly.
The move is complete.
Let's see what happens.
Next up, the 9/11 commission and how the Clinton officials testifying this week are going to try and blame 9/11 on the Bush administration. So much for not politicizing it, eh? I hope we'll get to hear what the Clinton people were doing for the 8 years they were in power. What did they do after the first WTC attack? Why didn't they take Bin Laden when he was offered? What about the USS Cole? What about the Kobar Towers bombing?
Eight years of a Clinton administration to fail fighting terror, and it's all President Bush's fault in just nine months.
(boy, I'm really ticked off tonight, aren't I?)
There's a "diplomat" on FNC right now saying that hatred of us in Europe is our fault, that we need to change our policies to make them happy. This is one of those times I'd like to post in all CAPS! Damn it! I'm sick and tired of this crap. Why should we change? Why don't they start appeasing us, asking themselves why we don't like them, and what policies of theirs they should change to make us happier?? I'm really beginning to understand why the U.S. was isolationist prior to WWII. Europe is so not worth it, and I'm past fed up with their whinging and complaining. They'd all be speaking German now if not for us.
They can take their unhappiness and stuff it for all I care. We've done our bit for Europe -- more than once -- and I say leave them to stew in their own juices.
This is something I've thought should have happened long ago. Now, it looks like there might be some movement in banning countries that don't allow women on their teams from the Olympics. South Africa was banned for all those years, and I see no reason that the same rules shouldn't apply to Muslim countries as well.
Ahhh... Europe, land of the free. Well, unless of course you're a reporter investigating EU corruption.
Police arrested a leading investigative journalist yesterday on the orders of the European Union, seizing his computers, address books and archive of files in a move that stunned Euro-MPs.
Hans-Martin Tillack, the Brussels correspondent for Germany's Stern magazine, said he was held for 10 hours without access to a lawyer by the Belgian police after his office and home were raided by six officers.
"They asked me to tell them who my sources were. I replied that was something I would never do. Now they have all my sensitive files, so I suppose they'll find out anyway," he said last night.
"The police said I was lucky I wasn't in Burma or central Africa, where journalists get the real treatment," he added.
Yes, yes, soon it wil be over.
Tomorrow, we switch hosting companies, which probably means the blog will be unavailable for a period of time. When al is said and done, the new address for A&C will be: http://bittersweet.ondragonswing.com . Hope to see you there!
Maddy's looking for some help in getting the sequel to "Eragon" out.
And they claim the media isn't biased. Check out how some falls are more newsworthy than others.
Via Miller's Time....
Still sick, though I'm getting better. I'm in that all worn out stage. Working on getting through a big pot of tea and thinking about trying to eat something.
The season ender for SG1 was pretty good, though it had as much to do with me being ecstatic over getting another ep that had Jack all the way through. I think SG1 comes back a month beofre Atlantis begins, so I think there must be more setup leading to the new series. I just hope Jack isn't an icecube for too long.
Anyone have anything exciting planned for the weekend?
More from local news. This time, the snobby prigs of the CAB. Local church wants a statue in its garden for their 100th aniv. -- seems simple, right? Not in the same village that banned ice cream cones once upon a time. You see, the statue has to be approved by the CAB, and said CAB denied permission unanimously:
“I don’t think it furthers what the church is about — it’s just a decorative little piece,” said Eleen Auvil.
I am so glad I live outside the village limits!
The Ca Coastal Commission strikes again. They'll do anything to stop development -- even lie. Check out the story they made up about the imminent demise of all Monterey Pines in the area. Heaven forbid there be more homes for residents, or more jobs.
Just a reminder that we're switching hosting companies on Sunday, so A&C may be unavailable while things happen. When we come back, the new URL will be:
Thanks for your support over the last two years and we look forward to seeing you on the new homestead!
If you can, check out the new series on USA, "Touching Evil". I watched it because Peter Wingfield had a part, and ended up liking it enough to watch again.
And don't forget the season ender for SG1 is on tonight, This is the second of two parts that will set up the spinoff, "Atlantis" that starts in July. Part one was great, mostly because it was an ep that Jack was actually in.
It's time again for "Lend Me your Links". For details, check out this post.
Time to share, y'all.
Nice way to talk about a guy whose job it is to throw their body between you and a would be assassin:
....His next trip down, a reporter and a camera crew were allowed to follow along on skis — just in time to see Mr. Kerry taken out by one of the Secret Service men, who had inadvertently moved into his path, sending him into the snow.
When asked about the mishap a moment later, he said sharply, "I don't fall down," then used an expletive to describe the agent who "knocked me over."
One more example of Kerry and his belief that he's privilaged and special. And another example that money doesn't equal class. If that's how he refers to one of his Secret Service detail, imagine the lack of regard he has for the rest of us peons.
This is what we heard a year ago today from our President:
THE PRESIDENT: My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.
On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war. These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign. More than 35 countries are giving crucial support -- from the use of naval and air bases, to help with intelligence and logistics, to the deployment of combat units. Every nation in this coalition has chosen to bear the duty and share the honor of serving in our common defense.
To all the men and women of the United States Armed Forces now in the Middle East, the peace of a troubled world and the hopes of an oppressed people now depend on you. That trust is well placed.
The enemies you confront will come to know your skill and bravery. The people you liberate will witness the honorable and decent spirit of the American military. In this conflict, America faces an enemy who has no regard for conventions of war or rules of morality. Saddam Hussein has placed Iraqi troops and equipment in civilian areas, attempting to use innocent men, women and children as shields for his own military -- a final atrocity against his people.
I want Americans and all the world to know that coalition forces will make every effort to spare innocent civilians from harm. A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict. And helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable and free country will require our sustained commitment.
We come to Iraq with respect for its citizens, for their great civilization and for the religious faiths they practice. We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people.
I know that the families of our military are praying that all those who serve will return safely and soon. Millions of Americans are praying with you for the safety of your loved ones and for the protection of the innocent. For your sacrifice, you have the gratitude and respect of the American people. And you can know that our forces will be coming home as soon as their work is done.
Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly -- yet, our purpose is sure. The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder. We will meet that threat now, with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of fire fighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities. [emhasis mine]
Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures, and we will accept no outcome but victory.
My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail.
May God bless our country and all who defend her.
I finally stayed home today. I'm feeling a little lightheaded, so I don't think there will be much blogging.
Nasty SoCal germs!
One example of why you should never let the UN get a foot in the door.
The UN regularly cozies up to dictators like Saddam, turns a blind eye to corruption and genocide, but they still find time for important things like having their inspectors rummage around Canada looking for signs of racism.
From The Scotsman comes this report about what happens when crime meets political correctness.
STRATHCLYDE Police abandoned a high-level investigation to clamp down on the emergence of an Asian gang culture in Glasgow after the operation was deemed to be politically incorrect.
The revelation came as Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party, prompted outrage by announcing a visit to Glasgow this weekend, days after a teenager was abducted and murdered, allegedly by a gang of Asian youths.
Police and community leaders in the Pollokshields area of Glasgow called for calm, following rising public concern over the kidnap and murder of Kriss Donald, 15.
As detectives continued the hunt for his killers, The Scotsman learned that Operation Gadher, a police investigation designed to tackle the growth of Asian gang culture in the city's southside, was stopped six months ago over fears that it wasn't politically correct.
Citizen Smash points out this heartening news about the latest actions taken by the citizens of Basra:
In Basra, a city in southern Iraq that is patrolled by British military forces, a man suspected of being involved in the bombing got out of the vehicle shortly before the blast but was caught by passers-by and stabbed to death, Lt. Col. Ali Kazem of the Iraqi police said. Two others also spotted getting out of the vehicle before the explosion were caught by members of the public and later arrested.
That's what we must seem like to John Kerry. Why, you ask? Well, check out this over at blogoSFERICS.
(I thought the 500-year-old English barn was a nice genteel touch)
Sunday will be moving day to the new hosting company, so expect travel delays. A&C -- should all go well - will be at a new URL once the move is complete. And that will be bittersweet.ondragonswing.com -- so you know where to bring the casserole :)
You all know how much I love Jonah Goldberg at NRO. I mean, what's not to love? He's even been kind enough to reply to my emails, so he gets props for that. (Oooh! I used the word "props" for the first time) (I feel so 'happening') As I was saying... It turns out Frank J. is after Jonah's job, and has written two letters to Jonah's boss, Rich Lowry, explaining why he is 'da man'. Jonah is being ably defended by these guys, and Frank has his katana, so it's going to be a battle of epic proportions, I'm sure. Since I'm also fond of Frank, I'm not sure who to throw my support to. I think I'll just be Switzerland -- unless someone would like to offer me monetary inducement, flattery, links. That works too.
I figured out who I'm supporting for President:
He stands for freedom.
In the last war, against overwhelming odds, he stood firm in his beliefs and led his men to victory.
He stands for progress.
Anythings better than the last regime!
He stands for what is good in the world.
He defeated one of the greatest evils to ever walk the lands.
Vote Aragorn in 2004!
(I'm very tempted to make this a website... Or, at least a button! I'll have to work on that when I get home.)
Update: I did it!
If you want it, grab it. Just link it to here. (My personal blog needs more traffic :-) ) and, I'll put a link to the 'official' Aragorn for president page if I ever make it there... (Oh, I am tempted!)
For instance, Leon Panetta gave $1000 to Dick Gephardt.
I also note that I have a lot of rich neighbors...
According to my horoscope: You are liable to feel a strange anger toward friends of yours at this time without really understanding where this sudden hostility is coming from.
Today, I changed the Go-Jo Soap (Go-Jo is a nasty thick goop that you use to get grease off your hands) cartridge at work. Why is this significant? Because that same cartridge has been there since I started working here 13 years ago. If I'm still here when the this one runs out, someone come rescue me!!
I saw Colin Powell for just a bit last night, and he said that three million Afghani refugees have returned home. That's just amazing, and it makes me wonder why we don't hear good news like that more often. And why does the media pretty much ignore Afghanistan? We have troops there, we're rebuilding the country people are going home. But we wouldn't know it from the media.
What would be a good theme song for the Kerry campaign? Puff the Magic Dragon? Imagine?
Put your suggestions in the comments!
Kerry says in a speech we're "still bogged down" in Iraq? How stupid does he think the American electorate is? (okay, maybe I should scratch that question) He's either a liar or stupid. Those are the only two choices. Anyone with half a brain cell had to know that Iraq was going to be a long term operation. and if we had just pulled out a few months after the invasion, he'd be screaming about that! And "bogged down"?? Maybe he only gets his news from the BBC or perhaps French TV. Seems to me like we're making great strides in Iraq, far in advance of what I initially thought we could in such a short time.
I think Kerry not only has imaginary friends, but an imaginary world as well.
Turns out a girl here at work has been using a work van to take herself to interviews, the office computer to email resumes, and the office copier to copy her resume. She handed in her notice yesterday.
Yes, it does take all kinds.
This is infuriating: Is Mexico Thwarting U.S. Immigration Enforcement?
Most people know that Usama bin Laden's terror group, Al Qaeda (Arabic for “the base”), derives its name from the Mujahideen database that bin Laden developed through the 1980s and 1990s. Using “the base,” bin Laden could call on a corps of operatives to carry out missions. There is growing evidence that the Mexican government, in similar fashion, is working with a group called the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (“Institute of Mexicans Abroad”) to use its matricula consular database to deploy illegals to state legislatures and city councils across America. There, the illegal aliens — Mexican nationals who have been provided a matricula consular card – pack the gallery and seek to apply pressure against legislators who sponsor or intend to vote for bills that enhance immigration law enforcement.
Where does the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior get its instructions? From Vicente Fox. The Instituto was created by presidential decree and reports to a group of Mexican government officials who are posted to Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is Mexico’s equivalent of our own State Department.
California Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy recalls the floor debate on a California measure, SB 60, that would have allowed illegal aliens in California to qualify for a state driver’s license. Referring to the former name of the territory ceded to the United States by Mexico as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848, Mountjoy took the floor and said “This bill paves the road to Aztlan."
"Then everyone in the gallery stood up and applauded,” Mountjoy said.
Last summer, a Mexican consulate in Michigan detected that the small city of Holland might adopt the matricula consular as a valid form of identification. Consul General Miguel Antonio Meza Estrada traveled to Holland’s city counsel meetings five times, many times with what can only be described as a mob in tow, all of whom Estrada held out to be beneficiaries of the matricula consular. Holland finally postponed a decision on the issue because the meetings had become so contentious.
I strongly suggest you read the whole thing. When are we going to get serious about this? Neither party seems to have the will, for their own reasons, to deal with the Mexico problem.
This is what happens when witches go pubbing in Australia.
Two blog posts I read today that I'm passing on. First up, this post by Donald Sensing on the aftermath of what happened in Spain that just happens to use one of my favourite Tolkien quotes. (in fact, it's one of my commonly used sig quotes). And Ocean Guy posts on Arab civilization, then and now.
I hate being sick. Even more, I hate being sick and at work. I feel like I have a gaping wound in my throat. [whine]
Would they take a gritty drama with undertones of humour like Magnum P.I. and turn it into a Starsky & Hutch like spoof. With a rapper as the costar no less.
A comic spoof out of a show that gave us an episode like, "Have You Seen The Sunrise"??
I'll stick to repeats on TV, thanks very much.
Howard Dean: Bush to blame for Spain
Tony Blair: ... world is facing 'war on our freedom'
What sort of drugs are the Dems on anyway?? I didn't think they could lower themselves anymore, but I was wrong. Disgusting.
The usual -- watching FNC just before work, and they had two former party heads (DNC & RNC) on commenting on a new article today on what we need to decide as a country before the election, should a terror attack happen. Now, I may have been too unawake to or something, but it sure seemed like the Dem guy was refusing to rule out using a terror attack before the election for political purposes. Every time the anchor pressed him on the point, he kept wriggling out of it. I guess I shouldn't be shocked, but I am. How hard would it have been to unequivocally state that they wouldn't use an attack to their political advantage right before the election?
Did anyone else see this segment? I'm hoping I got the nuances all wrong.
This whole article has me thinking France is a few flakes short of a croissant. Lordie!
“It is so important to have a president who knows Europe, whose spirit is open to its people and culture. Bush is so closed to the world.With Kerry there is a hope that we can start getting along with the United States again,” she said.
Don't expect to be getting along with this American anytime soon, chickie. It'll be a cold day in hell before I forget France's perfidy.
“He is the closest thing that you will have to a French politician, with a certain diplomacy, a certain elegance,” she said.“He is more like a leader would be in Europe,” Mr. Parmentier said. Asked in what way, he laughed and replied: “Well, he doesn't look Texan.”
If there was ever a reason to not vote for Kerry (and there's lots of them, I know), this would be a pretty good one. After all, do we really need "Chirac light" in the White House? He doesn't "look Texan"?? What the heck does that mean? What on earth do the French think a Texan looks like compared to say, a Californian, or an Alaskan? Who knew "Texan" was a new ethnic group. Not I!
It must be all those Blue Cheese fumes....
Glenn Reynolds has a post up about how Amazon sells a lot more than books these days. I had a similar discussion with Nin a few months back, and compared Amazon to what the Sears catalog was back in the last century, and the one before that. Heck, you could buy house kits back in the early 1900s. Not to mention just about anything else you could think of:
The Sears catalog in 1897 contained 786 carefully indexed pages of a seemingly endless variety of food, apparel, hardware, machinery, household, and other items. Farmers could order a hammer, harness, wagon, or plow, and their wives could buy a corset, hat, sewing machine, or cook stove. In 1900 Sears was selling about $10 million worth of merchandise by mail a year....
Maybe Jeff Bezos is the reincarnation of Richard Sears?
Miss Atilla is celebrating her Blogiversary. Congrats!
When I heard this speech, I wondered about the seeming double standard that Kerry was indulging in. John Weidner did more than wonder, he wrote a very good post on the subject. So go read it. Like, now already.
A rather comprehensive study/poll on attitudes towards America and the war on terror both from the U.S. POV, and the world's. The bit that jumped out at me was this one:
A growing number in Western Europe also think that the United States is overreacting to the threat of terrorism. Only in Great Britain and Russia do large majorities believe that the U.S. is right to be so concerned about terrorism. Many people in France (57%) and Germany (49%) have come to agree with the widespread view in the Muslim countries surveyed that the America is exaggerating the terrorist threat. [emphasis mine]
Christopher Hitchens on "Whom should the Democrats nominate?"
I'm a single-issue person at present, and the single issue in case you are wondering is the tenacious and unapologetic defense of civilized societies against the intensifying menace of clerical barbarism. If in the smallest doubt about this, I would suggest a vote for the re-election of George Bush, precisely because he himself isn't prey to any doubt on the point. There are worse things than simple mindedness—pseudo-intellectuality, for example. Civil unions for homosexuals, or prescription-drug programs, are not even going to be in second or third place if we get this wrong.
(by the standards of big media at least)
If you'd like to know what we're not supposed to be interested in, you can read all about it here. Though I must say that I'm devastated that Michele doesn't think Prince's views on spirituality merit a mention. I mean, geeez, that's important stuff.
(and no, the hypno toad did not influnece my link in any way whatsoever)
I present this without comment:
Organizers of the Irish-American Heritage Society's parade have refused to allow a youth group from the Alleulia Community to carry crosses in Wednesday's parade.
''Our position is we cannot be a platform for anyone's views, standpoints on politics, religion, race; it doesn't matter,'' parade Chairman Earl Lovering said. ''We're basically celebrating St. Patrick's in the way the holiday has become to be known.''
Bill Conkright, who runs the Alleulia youth ministry, said he couldn't believe his ears when he heard it, so he called the society's president, Sean Burke.
Mr. Conkright said Mr. Burke said the society had decided not to allow anything in their parade that would be controversial.
''He said they just decided they weren't going to put anything in their parade that would offend anybody,'' Mr. Conkright said. ''And I said, 'The guy was a saint. Not only that, he was a Catholic bishop.' "
Let's take a little breather and go on a lunch hour trip.
But in a place like Hana, you hardly need an activities desk. You'll find swimming nearby at a red-sand beach, a black-sand beach, and a salt-and-pepper one. Hana has more pools than you can count. One of them—Waioka or the "Venus Pool"—sits right next to the sea.
Then there are the waterfalls. My favorites were at Haleakala National Park at Oheo Gulch. Most people experience this park by driving through open fields to the eerily barren summit that Hawaiians call "the House of the Sun." But Oheo Gulch is the volcano's backside and its lush alter ego. Here, streams cascade along a natural staircase of two dozen waterfalls on their way from mountain to sea. I headed uphill on a two-mile trail that passed Makahiku Falls, then meandered along pastureland, under a tentacled banyan and through a tunnel of bamboo and ginger before ending up at the base of the 400-foot cliffs of Waimoku Falls. A fine mist made me forget my sweat.
Doesn't it look pretty?
This was a well timed post for me to read last night. I'd just finished watching Special Report on FNC, and that, and just the last few days had me nearly in tears from sheer frustration. There are times when I want to just explode all in CAPS. for all the good it would do, I know. But still, that feeling is there. Sometimes. it's like beating your head against a brick wall with no end in sight.
So rumour has it that the French are investigating terror threats against their country. Now how will "old Europe" square that with blaming Spain for being attacked because they helped the US in Iraq? God knows the French have been more like enemies than allies to us, but the terrorists want to attack them anyway. It's not like this comes as a surprise to any of us, but I'm sure the concept will make heads spin on the Continent. It's an object lesson in the moral bankruptcy inherent in the policy of appeasement. But will the French and their EuroCronies see it that way? Or will they manage to twist themselves into a state of total denial? And if they're attacked, who will they turn to for help? Their new buddies, the ChiComs?
What a fine mess they've gotten themselves into.
I was in bed, but there was an earthquake and I had to get up to find out where it was and how strong. So for blogging perpetuity, it was near San Juan Bautista, and it was 4.6. okay, just rechecked and it's down to 4.3.
I'm going back to bed.
Via the Jenly one, this Harry Potter personality test.
We saw, we ate, we talked. And talked, and talked, and talked! What am I talking about? Why the BFL Brunch on Saturday, of course. First off, thanks to Jeff for the ride over. It was much appreciated! There was quite a group of us, and despite any rumours to the contrary, our group did not start a bar fight! Oh, you hadn't heard that rumour? Never mind then.
We (Nin and I)had a great time, and it was great to see Justene again, and to meet my blogchild, Breaker, along with Jeff, Juliette, Patterico, Michael, Little Miss Attila, BoiFromTroy, and Justin. And let's not forget the effervescent Maddy! What a fine young woman she is. Follow the links and you'll find reports and some pictures at Michael's.
Oh, did I mention there was champagne? It was in orange juice, and I'm sure that means it doesn't count. Just ask anyone! And is it proper for me to note that the BFL has some mighty fetching menfolk? Well, I just noted it, so deal. The upshot of all this is that we need to do it again.
Thanks for all the fun!
Two items of interest from the Corner today.
"An international conference, to bridge the divide between Muslim and Christian communities, should be one first step. But there are many others. We need to take the fight against terror out of America's hands. We need to get beyond the them and us, the good guys and the bad guys, and seek a genuinely collective response. Europe should seize the moment that America failed to grasp. "
See? I've always said the left thinks that a big ol' group hug and some folk songs would solve everything. This only reinforces that belief.
This was an amusing tale of a woman who got a new cell phone and had a brush with greatness. A few of them actually.
And here all I got was Tawanja's cell number that came with calls from federal prison, many men who seemed to be wanting a little "together" time, and her creditors.
I have all the fun.
Melissa has been found in the mists of the ether that is cyberspace. Geez, girlfriend! I missed you and hoped you'd reappear at some point.
Trying to catch up after being news free most of the weekend. I was saddened by the results of the election in Spain, I really was. It was a win for the terrorists as far as I can see. So who's next? Italy? Britain? Australia (again) Us? Any or all of the above wouldn't surprise me. I wish I could believe that hunkering down and trying to make sure the terrorists won't notice us so they'll leave us alone was a notion with any sort of basis in reality, but it isn't. History has proved that again and again. If we back down, all that will happen is that the terrorists will use the respite to work on even more deadly weapons, and one day, they'll use them. And they'll do so happily, praising their god that the infidels were friggin morons.
The other aspect of all this is the left, right on cue, is spinning this fast enough to make your head whirl around uncontrollably. Let me get this right: first, none of the allies we had going into Iraq were "real" allies. In other words, they weren't France and Germany. But now, Spain was our staunchest of allies, and we brought this down on them. Two, Al-Qaeda had nothing to with Iraq, there's no proof of any connection between the two. It was all a "Bush Lied!!". But now we're told that -- assuming it was Al-Qaeda - that the attack happened because Spain was an ally in the Iraq war. That sound about right? Did I miss anything?
Dangerous times we're living in. Dangerous times.
For an explanation of the election in Spain with a breakdown and some much needed context, check out this post at Paul's. He's been all over this situation in Spain, and if you haven't been reading his posts on the subject, you really should.
I'm actually going to get out and meet new people this weekend. Go me! We'd planned one of our fly by trips to Anaheim this weekend for my brother's birthday, and it just happened to coincide with a SoCal Bear Flaggers brunch. Thanks to the ever kind Xrlq, I even have a ride to the venue so I don't have to figure out to actually get to Marina Del Rey.
I'm really looking forward to meeting so many fine folks. I'll have a full report when I return Monday.
Everyone have a great weekend!
Seems like Mr. Kerry has several imaginary friends that he's made on imaginary trips. Isn't that sweet? I wonder of one is a 7 ft tall white rabbit? There's nothing like a presidential candidate with an active fantasy life. What's scary is that the more Kerry runs off at the mouth, the more attractive, not to mention stable, Dean looks! The possibility of Kerry becoming president brings a whole new meaning to "shadow cabinet", doesn't it?
A tale of woe from one of the just released Brit prisoners that was at Gitmo.
Give me a freakin' break! Of course, the anti-American left in Britain -- and our own country -- will eat this fantasy up.
Update: Love what Steve has to say on the subject. A snippet: Al-Harith told these people a number of lies. You can pretty well guess what they were. Pointless beatings, "mystery injections," rotten food, water so filthy it looked like Coca-Cola, forced rides in the pork-promoting Oscar Mayer Wienermobile...okay, that last one is mine. I have a better imagination than Mr. Al-Harith. Snorfle! Wienermobile!
Now that everybody--audiences, critics--likes you, do you like everybody?
I've always liked everybody. [Laughs.] I'm not sure everybody likes me. Everybody thinks that I don't live in the United States anymore, that I live in France, which is not true. I just happen to have a home in France, as well, because my kids are half French. And that interview where suddenly I'm anti-American? It was untrue. It blew over quick, but it was an ugly moment. You don't want people believing that stuff. If I had said it, I'd take full responsibility. But it wasn't what I meant.
What's tastier, Mr. Wonka: Scrumdidilyumptious Bars or Everlasting Gobstoppers?
Scrumdidilyumptious Bars. But there's one even better, the Willy Wonka Scrunch Bar. They don't make it anymore. It was just unbelievable. If I have anything to do with it, the Scrunch Bar will be coming back--with my mug on it. Why not?
Okay, we're talking two days before the Oscars, but this interview won't run until after the ceremony. Um...anybody else you wanna thank?
[Laughs.] God. Being nominated was such a surprise, such a shock. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before. Being nominated is plenty, actually. I'd just thank the people out there who have been with my up-and-down, weird-road, strange career and supported me and stuck with me all these years. I mean, they're my boss. That's what keeps me working.
A million Europeans were enslaved between 1530 and 1780, according to a new book, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters : White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500-1800 by historian Robert Davis.
"One of the things that both the public and many scholars have tended to take as given is that slavery was always racial in nature — that only blacks have been slaves. But that is not true," said Mr. Davis, an Ohio State University professor.
"Enslavement was a very real possibility for anyone who traveled in the Mediterranean, or who lived along the shores in places like Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, and even as far north as England and Iceland."
And let's remember that slavery is alive and well still in many parts of the world.
According to this WaPo article, Pres. Bush is a "piker" compared to FDR when it comes to "wrapping himself in the mantle of commander in chief."
A few comparisons:
Item: Roosevelt delivered his acceptance speech to the convention by radio from where? From the San Diego Naval Station, because, he said, "The war waits for no elections. Decisions must be made, plans must be laid, strategy must be carried out."
Item: If FDR's politicizing of his wartime role seems blatant, what does one say of the main speakers at the convention? Keynoter Robert Kerr, then governor of Oklahoma, declared that "the Republican Party . . . had no program, in the dangerous years preceding Pearl Harbor, to prevent war or to meet it if it came. Most of the Republican members of the national Congress fought every constructive move designed to prepare our country in case of war."
tem: Kerr was restraint personified compared with the convention's permanent chairman, Sen. Samuel Jackson of Indiana. As he contemplated the possibility of a Republican victory, he was moved to ask: "How many battleships would a Democratic defeat be worth to Tojo? How many Nazi legions would it be worth to Hitler? . . . We must not allow the American ballot box to be made Hitler's secret weapon."
History is always such an eye opener, ain't it?
John Derbyshire, over at NRO, had mentioned yesterday that it was the 911 day since 9/11. No, I have no real point, just something that had stuck in my head, along with him also being told it was Bin Laden's birthday.
Just a note that we're still having some problems with people not being able to comment -- including me again. However, Kathy will be moving us blog, stock and barrel over to the new hosting company soon, and once that's done, she can work on our corrupted database, which is how all this started.
So please bear with us while we're renovating! Once it's done, all the blogs here on 'the wing' will have their own subdomains. I'll be switching A&C over to bittersweet.ondragonswing.com, so get ready to change those blogrolls :)
Thanks everyone for visiting and being patient.
Debbye is keeping up with the Madrid situation on her blog, so that can be another regular visit for you today.
My lunch is almost over, so this will probably be it for me.
For those wanting on the ground information of this morning's terror attack in Spain, Paul is translating articles from Spanish news services as he gets them and posting them on his blog.
Cam has a post you should go read about Fern Holland. Who was Fern Holland? An American -- and Iraqi -- hero.
Too bad we only hear about peopel like her after they're gone.
Seems like I always wake up to bad news. This time the terror attack in Spain. The last I heard as I was turning off the TV was 186 dead with that number expected to rise.
My prayers are with the vicitms and their families this day.
Update: this from The Corner Ana Palacio, Spain's foreign minister, was just on CNN by phone. She yelled at anchor Carol Costello for calling ETA, a Basque terror group, a separatist group. (ETA's believed to be behind the attack this morning.) Someone should sic Palacio on the U.S. wire services. I did note that the FNC reporter called ETA a "terrorist group".
Update: Also from the Corner AL QAEDA STATEMENT, CIRCA OCT 2003: "Let the unjust ones know that we maintain our right to reply, at the appropriate time and place, to all the states that are taking part in this unjust war, particularly Britain, Spain, Australia, Poland, Japan, and Italy."
Secret Identity: Ith
Special Power: Flight
Transportation: Psionic Scooter
Weapon: Electron Flare
Costume: Golden Cowl
Nemesis: Jasmine the Crafty
Tragic Flaw: Fear of snakes
Favorite Food: Raspberries
Strangely enough, I adore raspberries....
Are you the average clothing size? It might be bigger than you think -- or not.
According to this study, the average American woman is a size 14.
* 64 percent of women are pear-shaped, while 30 percent are "straight," which means they have little perceptible waist.
* Black women have larger measurements than other women, but they are most likely to have the classic hourglass shape.
* Women over 36 are the most likely to have bigger hips.
* Black women older than 55 have smaller hips than those ages 45 to 55.
The fashion industry assumes these standard measurements for a woman: 35-inch bust, a 27-inch waist, and 37.5-inch hip. In the real world, women ages 36 to 45 actually average:
* White: 41-34-43
* Black: 43-37-46
* Hispanic: 42.5-36-44
* Asian: 41-35-43
* Older men have trimmer thighs than younger men.
* 19 percent of men are considered portly.
* An additional 19 percent of men have "lower front waists." (That means they have to look under their belly to find their waist.)
* Men who are over 45 are the most likely to have bellies.
The fashion industry assumes the average man is a traditional 40 regular, which means 40-inch chest, 34-inch waist, and 40-inch hip, with a 15.5-inch collar. In the real world, men ages 36 to 45 actually average:
* White: 44-38-42
* Black: 43-37-42
* Hispanic: 44-38-42
* Asian: 42-37-41
How do you measure up? No, you aren't required to answer :)
As I mentioned yesterday, we're switching hosting companies, and one of the things I can have now is sub-domains. So, for a plethora of reasons, I'm going to be utilizing the feature. But what should I use? ith.ondragonswing.com, absinthe.ondragonswing.com, ithildin.ondragonswing.com, or something else entirely? If I don't use absinthe, I could always change the name of my blog if the fancy struck, but will I be changing the name anytime soon? Heck if I know.
Reader input welcomed!
Happiness is looking at your activity log and seeing all the spam that MT Blacklist has already nuked, and it's only been installed for a few hours!
We saw Hidalgo this weekend with four other people. The overall impression was that it was "adequate". Worth a matinee at least. I thought it could have been about 1/2 hour shorter -- it really dragged in places. Viggo wasn't bad, but this wasn't a "Will Turner" roll for him, IMHO.
Some of the horse cruelty scenes really upset me and took me out of the picture. Nothing in the portrayal of the average Arab in the movie did anything to leave the audience with a very high opinion about Muslims in general. Your mileage may vary on that point however. surprising to me at least, since Viggo had said in the movie that Arabs and American Indians got a much fairer portrayal in Hidalgo, and it was something he was happy about.
OTOH, our 6th viewing of RotK on IMAX was a winner all round. I know, big surprise. It loses some sharpness in the transfer. Wide scenes were kind of blurry. But the sound!! It was incredible! You can read Nin's to the point thoughts on it here.
There's a new state amendment being proposed in the state of California.
It's to give teenagers the right to vote. Yeah, 14-17 year olds can vote.
Oh, wait... It gets better!
They don't get a full vote...
14-15 year olds are counted as a fourth vote.
16-17 year olds are counted as a half vote.
As if people aren't confused by the election process already!
Why, you ask?
"We believe it's time to open up the franchise to young Californians at the age of 14, let them register and vote and be seriously included in the process," said Democratic State Senator John Vasconcellos.
Of course it would have nothing to do with the fact that the majority of teenagers lean toward the Democratic party.
Or the fact that if they do this, they'll be getting votes from all the children of Hispanic immigrants (legal or not) in the state.
Oh no, nothing to do with those points at all.
I actually heard about this on Friday, but I've been stewing about it off and on since...
Mickey is involved in a wonderful project that transports shelter puppies to no-kill shelters and new homes. You can see her newest cargo here, plus information on what you can do to help.
VDH has a new website!
A hearty "Avast!!" to Debbye for the link.
Kathy worked her mojo, and it looks like the comment posting problem has been solved. While she was at it, she installed MT Blacklist, so we should be ready to rock and roll!
And a further note.... the entire OnDragonsWing domain will be moving to a new hosting company this week or the next, so be advised.
And don't forget, if you'd like to be one of the "Girls!", drop me a line. No blogging background required even :)
Remember I was wondering why MT would ban comments from someone whose IP I hadn't banned? Well now it's banning my comments, and my IP is not on the list.
This is really odd.
Update: Fear not, fair commenters! MT Guru Kathy is on the case! I'll let you know when I know something, k? For now, I'm commenting via the posting template.
Updated Update: comments are up and running, thanks to Kathy. Hire this fine woman if your MT makes your eyes cross and your head hurt, seriously!
And one little test in reverse to see if the trackback error I've been getting is just Goldie or everything. (I realize no one has a klew as to what I'm babbling about)
Okay, MT is converting the trackback link into something funky on the way to posting and pinging. I have to manually add the link to the post I'm pinging down in the "URLs to Ping" box to get it to work.
The crushing of artistic freedom continues unabated here in America! Forget Howard Stern, this tragic event will have you voting for Ralph Nader, since only he can stop such corporate evil.
This shall not stand!
(do I need to add my [humour] tags?)
(I hope not...)
Anyone know why MT would ban a commenter from an IP that's not on my banned IP list?
Helen tells us all about our astrological drinking styles.
Is it "you"?
I've been spammed into next week the last few days, so I've been banning IPs like crazy. So, if you are a legit commenter, there's a chance you may get a message saying you're banned. If you do, email me at edithna AT yahoo DOT com with your IP and I'll unban that one.
I can't wait for MT 3.0 and comment registration!
I got an email with a link to a website called Free Republic claiming that the group of "offended" 9/11 relatives isn't quite as innocent as it would seem. Apparently they're part of a group called “Peaceful Tomorrows” and they're funded in part by Teresa Heinz Kerry.
If you want to see the post I was sent, it's here.
And Right Wing News has a post up related to this as well.
It will be interesting to see where this all goes.
I've been keeping abreast of the Angel axing, and one of the things I've seen crop up is that WB canceled Angel to make way for yet another remake of Dark Shadows, and that WB is under the impression that fans of the vampire genre will find shows with vampires interchangeable. In other words, we'll all happily watch Dark Shadows and not miss Angel, cus, duh, it has vampires! What more could we want?
I've never seen Dark Shadows (that I recall) and I'm not about to watch it becasue I'm expected to, anymore than I was going to watch that silly Aaron Spelling vampire show that was on when Forever Knight was (two episodes were enough). Lord, TV execs make me want to scream! I have to actually be interested in a show. Just throwing vampires at me isn't going to do it. Really.
(I still have my "Forever Knight, Embrace No Substitute" button on my
corkboard at work)
(now FK was a show!)
So I wonder how that war for oil thing is going anyway?
Mickey wants to know when it's okay to change your mind.
Maybe you can help her out.
This was moderatly popular last week, so let's do it again, shall we?
Quick recap: if there's a blog post you read this week that you'd like the rest of us to read, put a link to it in the comments. Later, I'll add the links to the body of this post. If you have a blog, I'll add your link along with your reccomended reading link, so you get something out of it too :)
Again with the idea that space will eternally be a place of peace, love, and planetary group hugs. Damn bloody naivete and shortsightedness!
A commissioner on the panel studying the President's proposal for manned flights to the moon and Mars actually asked why the military was involved! What planet do these people live on anyway?!!? Yes, let's go into space waving flowers and dancing around like Hare Krishnas at the airport. Maybe the ChiComs will take a pamphlet and throw a few coins in the hat on their way past.
Can you tell I'm more than a wee bit put out?
Didn't think so.
Here's a link to the transcript of J.K. Rowling's Q&A today.
We all got upgraded to the newest version of MT. Not sure what it means, but we did.
So here's a question for those of you that have been using this version for awhile: do you have a system for keeping up with closing comments on old posts? Until today, hearing about the closing comments option, I thought you could set MT to close them after a set time. I didn't realize you have to close each post's comments individually. It's not important -- I'm just curious.
Any other goodies in this version I should be aware of?
See how well you know your movie letter learning.
Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant!
"May barbarians invade your personal space!"
You are highly confrontational and possibly in a
bad mood. You would have sworn in this quiz,
if I had made it an option.
Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Coming to a theater near you: Serenity!
Almost makes up for the Angel cancellation!
The more stories on the party I read, the more I'm bummed I didn't get to go. [pout] (and it wasn't a fan club event)
Despite The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King's 11-for-11 win, the New Line party at the Pacific Design Center never really got going. By 1 a.m., only two hobbits (Sean Astin and Billy Boyd), one dwarf (John Rhys-Davies) and a Gollum (Andy Serkis) had put in brief appearances. Director Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood and the rest of the cast partied at a Lord of the Rings fan club event.
Just as all seemed lost, at 1:10 the New Line publicists began dancing like happy hobbits. Jackson had at last arrived, and with an Oscar in each hand. Swamped by media and fans, a severely drained Jackson appeared as though he had just reached the top of Mount Doom.
Though their multiyear collaboration had finally reached its crescendo, the cast was busy making plans to stay tight. Several Ring-ers hoped to attend Monday's Hollywood premiere of co-star Viggo Mortensen's Hidalgo. Then, for New Year's Eve, surfing buddies Astin, Boyd, Wood and Dominic Monaghan are planning to hang ten in Hawaii.
"We're all great friends," Boyd said. "We'd do anything for each other."
....As Jackson's minders rushed to his aid, a small silver-grey creature with bad teeth emerged from under the table and made off with the Oscar, shouting,"My precious! My precious!"
Leaping from table to table, the creature harangued the assembled stars with claims that "he steals it from me, the fat hobbit, yes he does, he steals my award and Gollum make this movie, yes, Gollum deserve award, not hairy lump".
In the ensuing pursuit, the creature paused only to tell Keisha Castle-Hughes how much "we loves you in the Whale Rider, yes we do, yes, we loves the whale too, can we gets whale's phone number?" before scaling a giant Oscar statue where it sat, stroking Jackson's award in an odd and unsettling way.
All the fun can be found here.
There's so many things to be angry over in this story: Michigan teacher must cover cost of substitute while on military duty. But you know what I could not believe? These maroons from the school district are acting like they're doing this teacher and patriot some sort of favour!!
XRLQ weighs in on pseudonymous bloggers, and it's something I've meant to comment on from time to time, but have never gotten around to it. But this time... I really don't get what the big deal is. So I blog under a nickname, but I could just as easily blog under something that seems like a real name, like, oh I don't know... How about "Ginny Tompkins"? So I blog under Ginny Tompkins and no one's the wiser that it's not my real name, because it sounds real. To me, "Ith" is as real as my "real" name (which is Denise, no big secret there). Most of my friends call me Ith now -- it wasn't on purpose, it just sort of happened. Or I could blog under "Dee" -- like two people call me that regularly, but it's still a nickname, even if it is derived from my full name.
I'm not sure my "taking me seriously quotient" would change much whether I blogged under my full legal name, "Dee", or "Ginny Tompkins". I mean, how seriously are you going to take a blog like this anyway?
I'm to the rambling portion of tonight's posting, so let's stop for now.
(splitting headache. making me feel queasy)
My choice for Kerry's eventual running mate: Senator Evan Bayh.
All the blogs on our domain will be down for maintenance starting in the early hours of Thursday (tomorrow) morning.
Nin and I went out to dinner last night to our favourite Japanese place. In amongst our chatter -- where we decided we're 3 degrees from Johnny Depp -- the subject of family, relationships, and politics came up. I'd just read a story where the parents of one of the characters had fits because their daughter had married someone of the opposite political persuasion. Now to me, this seems nuts. But I've heard it happens. I remember being amazed to discover that the parents of a few of my friends actually still grill their kids over who they vote for, and would have kittens if they ever voted Republican. Of all the things my mum has ever worried about, I can guarantee that who I vote for is not on the list!
But back to the point -- somewhere in here -- of our mealtime chatter. I said I'd rather have an SO who's a Democrat and involved and interested in current events, than someone who doesn't vote, doesn't care, and thinks Condi Rice is some new version of Uncle Ben's.
Jay's been my web hero this week in trying to help me understand my domain and traffic and bandwidth, and all those inscrutable reports. Well, all the news hasn't been good. Seems we're outgrowing our current plan big time (Paul's getting too popular!) So, I need to ether purchase more bandwidth from my current host, or move altogether. I'll admit, moving makes me nervous, but spending even more money on the domain isn't a much better alternative. Jay is recommending Hosting Matters, and I know a lot of bloggers use them. So I'm opening the floor to thoughts on switching hosting companies. Recommendations, advice, suggestions, all gratefully accepted.
And thanks again to Jay! He's been a prince :)
No, I'm not going to sing that song, so don't worry.
You know those nights when all you remember doing is dreaming? One after the other? And then you wake up feeling like you've been running around all night. That's what last night was like for me. I'm pooped! Several dreams involved bloggers. I remember one where Paul came to visit, but he just showed up on my doorstep with no warning and didn't have a place to stay. One of the others had Jay and Deb in it, but I don't recall the details of that one. Heck, maybe they were visiting too!
I need a nap!
I'm sure it's patently obvious I'm thrilled with the RotK sweep, huh? I will say that I wouldn't have been bummed had the lost best song -- I still think Annie Lennox was awful, and her live performance last night was painful to listen to. Especially after Alison Krause's exquisite renditions of her nominated songs. But it was nice that RotK went 11 for 11!
Billy Crystal's opening schtick was amusing in places -- especially Michael Moore getting squashed by an Oliphant!
Most everyone looked great -- with the notable exception of Uma Thurman. I called it Haute Couture Bag Lady. Johnny Depp was a sweetie when, just before the broadcast, the little girl nominated for Whale Rider got her wish to meet him courtesy of the ABC preshow guy.
Can't say anything else really caught my attention, just lots of people in movies I've never seen. But that's okay, it was all about LotR last night for me, and it was a good one!