August 31, 2004

Failure

I was going to write this really great post (to my mind at least) and then I got horribly sidetracked. But I'll leave you with a hint of its future content: After going around and around on the Swift Boat issue with Mickey on an email list, she inspired an epiphany in my leetle brain that roared into a full fledged potential blog post on why I'm taking John Kerry's actions so personally.

I know you just can't wait, but be patient!

Posted by Ithildin at 6:22 PM | Comments (1)

Bah!!

Hey, Helen's back! No, not the "Bah!". The "bah!" is that I can't seem to comment on her blog -- I get "Your comment could not be submitted due to questionable content: home.*\.com" [pout]

So here was my comment:

Welcome home!

Posted by Ithildin at 6:17 PM | Comments (1)

I Sit Beside The Fire...

I received an email this morning on the qoute over on the sidebar. Since I'm tickled somone liked it enough to email me (thanks, Patrick!) I thought I'd post the entire poem here today. I've always loved the sentiment in thse words of Tolkien's. There are dozens of quotes from the books that speak to me, but this one has always had a special place in my heart.

Enjoy!

I sit beside the fire and think Of all that I have seen, Of meadow-flowers and butterflies In summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were,
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen:
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago,
And people who will see a world
That I shall never know.

And while I think
Of times that have come before,
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Posted by Ithildin at 8:30 AM | Comments (3)

August 30, 2004

Wow!

So, I wanted to see what the official definition of 'governator' was (It's going to be in the American dictionary next year!), and I found the web site for the American Dialect Society. They have an annual Word (or Phrase) of the Year contest, and one of the words for 2003?

ass-hat: noun, a thoughtless or stupid person.

It's listed under the Most Useful category.

Rachel must be so proud!

BTW: definition of governator: noun, the current Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Posted by Ninjababe at 8:57 PM | Comments (1)

That Whole "Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction Thing"

From an article on the whackos... errr, "protesters" in NYC:

.... A diminutive woman, she has hair dyed jet black and harbors the hope that, one day, she might lead a "pacifist-anarchist-vegetarian revolution."
Posted by Ithildin at 5:59 PM | Comments (4)

Monday

Monday once more. I need a weekend from my weekend since all I seem to do is pack and worry and fret :) Need to start looking for an apartment next week, then I have to have yet another crown done, and then I have jury duty. So much to do and seemingly so little time to do it in.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:17 AM | Comments (3)

August 29, 2004

For Me, Not For Thee

You have to go check this one out!

What a pack of hypocrites!!

(I too have taken a screen grab)

Posted by Ithildin at 2:02 PM | Comments (2)

A Note From Miss Manners

TROY, Ohio ­ President Bush said opponent John Kerry's service was "more heroic" than his during Vietnam, in an interview shown Saturday on NBC News.

"I think him going to Vietnam was more heroic than my flying fighter jets," said Bush, who served in the Texas Air National Guard . "He was in harm's way and I wasn't. On the other hand, I served my country. Had my unit been called up, I would have gone."

This, Mr. Kerry, is called graciousness. You could learn a thing or two from the President. If you'd kept your attack dogs in check, and had even a modicum of class yourself, you too could be considered a gracious man. If you hadn't started out with the sole purpose of denigrating the President's service and making the whole thing into a spitting contest, maybe people like me wouldn't loathe you. Maybe you'd have my respect, even if you didn't have my vote. But I guess -- if you win -- not having the respect of many of your citizens doesn't matter to you. After all, you will have achieved your ultimate goal: getting to add the most important mansion in the world to your collection.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:57 AM | Comments (2)

August 27, 2004

Not Quite Gone

Ith says she's too tired to blog right now, so she has turned me loose (again).

On the way to the grocery store this afternoon, I followed a car with a bumper sticker that said "John Kerry - President." Not "John Kerry for President." Now that's bloody annoying. He's not president, and, Lord willing and the creek don't rise, will never be.

When I went into the grocery store, a sign stood outside offering--in Spanish, yet, in a white-bread neighborhood--to register Democrats to vote. Evidently its owner was on a break.

When I left the store, the registerer-of-Democrat-voters was back on the job. Should I even mention it was a long-haired, maggot-infested creature of indeterminate gender, with pants six sizes too big?

This is going to attract what kind of voters to the Democrat party?

It's Friday. I hereby quit thinking for the day. :)

Posted by CrankyBeach at 5:11 PM | Comments (2)

Checking In

I'm home and back at work, but haven't felt at all like blogging yet. We did make an offer on a house, which was accepted, so it was a fruitful, if stressful, trip.

I want to thank my guest bloggers for doing such a great job while I was away! Thank, guys! And I'll see you both at the Party for the President.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:55 AM | Comments (5)

August 26, 2004

I Have Arrived!

My last day on the blog before the return of our most excellent hostess Ith... and I have FINALLY attracted some trolls! That must mean I'm doing something right!

Check out their comments on two of my posts: The one about needing a new word, and the one about pots and kettles. And feel free to join the fray.

Notice that they're both just a little bit hysterical in tone, and do not offer to debate the issues. That's fine... just remember the old adage: When you throw a rock into a pack of trolls, the one that yelps is the one that got hit!

Ahh, life is good. I just wub it. :)

And a big THANK YOU to Ith for letting me play in her sandbox!

Posted by CrankyBeach at 4:14 PM | Comments (5)

August 25, 2004

We Need A New Word

"Hypocrisy" is nowhere near strong enough. Where's that thesaurus when we need it?

A caller on Rush pointed this out. I do not claim the credit for myself--but I wish I'd thought of it!

John Kerry admitted to war crimes, but assures us he is qualified to be president of the United States.

Now he's calling for Donald Rumsfeld to resign, on the grounds of the panties-on-the-head fraternity pranks at Abu Ghraib.

I submit that anyone who cannot see the [choose any word you like from the thesaurus] in this is suffering from cognitive dissonance.

In my not so humble opinion.

Posted by CrankyBeach at 10:22 AM | Comments (14)

How Does It Feel?

Seems the skate-boot is on the other foot these days.

Russian gymnastics officials are screaming about unfair judging. Perhaps they have a point.

And perhaps some Soviet/Russian figure skating officials complained in years past about the blatant bias in the judging of that sport that always seemed to favor their athletes, especially in the pairs and ice dancing competitions, but I don't remember hearing about it.

Just another observation from this cranky person on a sunny Wednesday morning. Anyone else have a take on this?

Posted by CrankyBeach at 8:07 AM | Comments (3)

Fatheads for Prez

What is with this pattern Democrats have of nominating men whose chief qualification would seem to be invincible ego that stretches east to west, north to south, heaven to hell?

Take Kerry: he seems to have no clue where the greatness of his personal majesty might end, indeed, to doubt there is such a place. Then Clinton: we're well acquainted with his indefatigable self esteem. Carter—you doubt Carter should be on this list? Read here.

Think about Bush 1 or 2 or Reagan or any of those guys--you may find them obnoxious, but not because they are vast egoists. Not that blowhards don't exist in the party--this is planet earth, after all. But egregious limelight-seekers like Alexander Haig are disliked, and, eventually, politely gotten rid of.

Is being undeflateable, to the point of obliviousness and fatuity--being a political StayPuft Marshmallow Man--prerequisite to rising in the Democratic ranks?

Just wondering what's going on.

Posted by at 7:39 AM | Comments (1)

August 24, 2004

Video Wargames

Are y'all familiar with the America's Army PC videogame? It's an award-winning free download (americasarmy.com) designed to interest players between 13 and 24 in an army career. I used to work with the guys who built it.

The army got some flack for attracting kids through a videogame, as way out of line ethically. But why not? If national defense is a legitimate pursuit, shouldn't we use the medium teens resonate to in encouraging them to consider a military career?

Posted by at 7:16 PM | Comments (8)

Pots And Kettles

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry accused the Republicans of "fear and smear" negative tactics Monday and said they would offer only empty slogans rather than real plans to help most Americans in their national convention here next week.

"They have obviously decided that some people will believe anything, no matter how fictional or how far-fetched, if they just repeat it often enough. That's how they have run their administration, that's how they're running their campaign, and that's how they will run their convention," Kerry said. [emphasis mine]

"You can't cover up reality with a few empty slogans."

I have just two words for John Kerry:

"Bush lied!"

Read the whole thing here (if you think you can stomach it).

Posted by CrankyBeach at 10:16 AM | Comments (4)

Judging, Shmudging

Is anybody besides me getting really sick of all the whining?

Kerri Strug has an insider's take on the latest gymnastics judging controversy. (You may remember her as the 1996 Olympic gymnast who performed her final vault on an injured foot, sticking her landing on one leg (!) and thus catapulting the women's team to their gold medal victory.) She points out that anyone who might have suffered from the judging system this time around has certainly benefitted from it in the past.

It's not only the athletes and their handlers; it's the fans too. A non-scientific poll at MSNBC has it almost 2 to 1 that Paul Hamm should give up his all-around gold medal.

Excuse me? Was no one paying attention when the commentators pointed out the mandatory-deduction errors in the Korean gymnast's parallel bar routine that would have knocked him out of the running for the gold, even without the initial scoring error?

The closest I ever got to gymnastics was the 7th grade after-school acrobatics program (and I was breathtakingly bad at it) so I will admit to not knowing all the ins and outs. This is why I rely on the commentators and writers who DO know.

But even without an insider's knowledge of the finer points of gymnastics technique, whining is way outside the realm of good sportsmanship, and should not be rewarded.

And that and 50 cents will get you tomorrow's newspaper.

Posted by CrankyBeach at 8:23 AM

August 23, 2004

Sears Predicts Need for A-Bomb

The 1908 catalog again--this time, copy for the stereoscopic views of the Seige of Port Arthur (Japanese vs. Russians, 1904):

"A marked characteristic of the little Jap is his intense patriotism. Their empire could never be invaded except by the extermination of every living man."

Posted by at 7:27 PM | Comments (2)

It's been a long jihad

Flipping through the 1908 Sears Roebuck catalog last night, I came across ad copy for stereoscopic picture views of the "Ancient Land of Palestine":

"These views were all made from actual photographs and taken at great expense...there is a view of Hasbeych where the darkest blot on the history of Damascus was enacted when 6,000 Christians were murdered by a Mohammedan mob in 1860..."

How sweet.

Posted by at 7:11 PM | Comments (2)

I Hate it When That Happens

Sorry Ithians, I've let down my end of it--been busy at work and could post nothing the whole day. Thank goodness Cranky's on the job.

You know, I don't mind showing up at the office and all that, I guess that's pretty okay. But I DO resent them interfering with my LIFE.

Posted by at 6:52 PM | Comments (1)

And Now For Some Fun

In the ongoing effort not to disappoint Ith's regular readers... some utter silliness for y'all. This one is courtesy of Strange Cosmos.

Ten Suggestions for a Sensitive War on Terror

10. Stop calling it a "war." Rename it to the "Protest Against Terror." Protests always get people's attention and let them know that what you're protesting against is wrong.

9. Use softer bullets. Metal bullets hurt the terrorists, and that makes them hate us more.

8. Perhaps President Kerry can invite Osama bin Laden to the White House for a "cuddling party" with Kerry/Edwards. Nothing makes friends faster than a good cuddle.

7. Only go to war if the French and the UN say it's okay. Everyone knows how skillful the French are at dealing with other nations, and the UN has proven time and again its efficacy in dealing with terrorists.

6. Pull the troops out of Iraq within six months, but stay the course and even send more troops. If you have to ask, it's too nuanced for you.

5. Gently but firmly remind the terrorists that he was in Vietnam for four months thirty-five years ago. They won't dare pull anything then.

4. Ensure government owned and operated health care for all Americans, paid for with higher taxes. Terrorists won't bother to attack if they know all Americans have health care; it won't do any good then.

3. Stop eating pork and cover the women. Don't let them read or vote. That will show the terrorists that we understand them and appreciate their culture.

2. Don't call them "terrorists." They feel bad enough about our bullying, abusive foreign policy as it is. Call them "armed peace demonstrators." They'll feel more... peaceful.

1. Don't send soldiers; send social workers. All they really need is love and understanding.
Posted by CrankyBeach at 3:16 PM | Comments (2)

She's Kidding, Right?

For the 3 or 4 of you on the planet who have not seen this yet....

According to the Drudge Report, Janet Jackson is claiming the White House used her, ahem, infamous wardrobe malfunction to distract the country from the war in Iraq.

I can only say, our absent hostess Ith needs a new category here, and that would be narcissistic blithering fools!

Un-freaking-believable. Just when you think you've heard everything, somebody comes along and re-defines "everything."

Posted by CrankyBeach at 8:03 AM | Comments (4)

August 22, 2004

Stumper Bicker

On my way down to the gym to work off those chocolate eclairs from Friday, I followed a car for a couple of blocks. Pasted to its rear bumper:

John Kerry.
Putting complete sentences back in the White House.

Anybody besides me notice what's wrong with this picture?

And no, I don't think it was meant to be funny... because on the other side of the bumper was a great big "Unidos Con Kerry" sticker.

Posted by CrankyBeach at 2:27 PM | Comments (4)

Beautiful Hearts

This brings tears to my eyes. Thanks to NRO.

Posted by at 9:17 AM

Ancient History With Teeth

Was just answering an e-mail from a good friend who is sick of all this Swift Boat controversy. I suggested that when someone chooses to run on ancient history, when that ancient history comes back to bite him in the arse, he has no business complaining about the teeth marks!

Just my $.01 (adjusted for taxes and inflation) on this foggy Sunday morning.

Posted by CrankyBeach at 8:55 AM

August 21, 2004

Elitists And Others

Since my brilliance-on-command abilities are malfunctioning this evening, and since I don't want Ith's regular readers to keep coming up dry when they click here, I decided to post an essay I wrote in college. Some of you may know I went back to college at the age of forty-umph and graduated 3 years ago.

The course was "Organizational Behavior" (in English, that's advanced management) and the topic had to do with multicultural team decision-making and problem-solving. The date of the essay was October 5, 2000.

When asked to write about multicultural team decision-making and problem-solving, I am hard-pressed to recall any situation at all in my life wherein I was part of a team where anyone’s ethnic or cultural background had the slightest relevance in the matter at hand. In fact, I had to think hard to remember the teams I have been on which have included people from other cultural backgrounds because I take people as I find them, and the ability to work as a team has never been impacted in any way by cultural differences. In fact, having worked on school projects in recent years with (a) a young man from Brazil, and (b) three young men of Mexican-American heritage, I can only say, if that’s how they grow them in Brazil and in Hispanic families, bring them on! Working with each of those students was very rewarding; and again, there is no story at all to tell about the team decision-making and problem-solving. I am pleased to report that in all cases the teams functioned smoothly from start to finish, and produced excellent results.

In an effort to find inspiration for this assignment, I read ahead in the textbook to chapter 12, “Group Dynamics,” and chapter 13, “Teams and Teamwork for the 21st Century.” A statement at the top of page 397 jumped out at me: “. . . a stronger positive relationship between group effectiveness and value diversity (as opposed to demographic diversity.)” This goes to a concept I have been wrestling with and trying to nail down for a few years now, which is that in my own experience at least, the gaps most difficult to bridge between individuals have not been those of ethnic or cultural differences, but those of attitudes and values, and the very insidious prejudices held by those who consider themselves part of the intellectual elite.

Some years ago I saw a story on a TV news magazine about a woman from a small Midwestern farming community. What brought her to national attention was her simple act of writing a letter to the editor of one of the national weekly news magazines (Time, Newsweek, or US News and World Report). Her letter displayed such profound insight and grasp of the subtleties of whatever issue she was commenting upon that the magazine’s editors refused to believe that it could have been written by someone from a small town who had never been to college. I cannot recall all of the details, but this is the first instance that I can recall where the reality of the depth of intellectual prejudice came to my attention.

I began to ponder this issue again about four years ago, when I read The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy by Dr. Thomas Sowell. Sowell discusses stratification of society not by race, ethnicity, culture or gender, but by self-appointed elitists who set themselves above everyone else and truly believe that “ordinary people” are not competent to make their own decisions but need those same elitists to do their thinking for them. Sowell’s commentary struck a chord with me in that although I have experienced very little racial or ethnic prejudice directed at me personally (the exceptions being people in some of the other countries I have visited who simply dislike all Americans), I have very often felt the subtle but definite prejudice from those social or intellectual elites who look down their noses at anyone who is not a member of their particular group. I have served on numerous committees and projects with such people, who almost always have a very similar cultural and ethnic background to my own, but their self-proclaimed intellectual and/or social superiority have divided us just as surely as racial, cultural or religious differences have more noticeably divided various peoples for all of recorded human history. (As an aside, I have often wondered whether some of these folks would look at me any differently were I to show them evidence that I am directly descended from members of several of the royal houses of Europe, those of England and Spain to name just two. I have never cared enough to test the theory, though.) One can find countless examples of the intellectual superiority complex simply by watching politicians and pundits on television. Some of them presume to lecture the rest of us on how to conduct our lives—and some of them do not. The contrast is quite marked, if one pays attention.

On the employment front, although we do have a certain amount of ethnic and cultural diversity in our medical practice, again the sharpest divisions are found in value systems and perhaps even more in the arena of attitudes. Interestingly enough, the nurses, who with the exception of the doctors have the most education among the staff, have never shown any signs of intellectual elitism. They are far too busy doing their jobs and caring for patients. Unfortunately, much of the rest of the staff (without a college degree among them) have not followed the example of the nursing staff, and have set themselves up in an “us versus them” competitive environment, which seems to break along the lines of certain values and attitudes. An example of this “values diversity” came into sharp focus the day last year when one staff member asked another how she had enjoyed the Rodeo. “I dunno, I never got out of the bar,” came the reply. That someone would take the trouble to attend a large event and then actually skip the event itself in favor of hanging out in a bar is simply beyond my comprehension. This same person is one of the most vociferous “pot-stirrers” in the “us versus them” clique. The sections of chapter 13 in the text that jumped out at me were in this vein; for example the section on page 421 about cooperation versus competition, and the section on page 424 about group cohesiveness. In our office, the only group cohesiveness happens within the aforementioned clique. They display excellent cooperation and cohesiveness within the group—they spy on the non-group members and report back to each other—but cooperation between groups? Forget it. There is even subtle sabotage wherein members of that group neglect to do even very simple things for non-members that are actually crucial to the smooth functioning of the medical practice. For example, when a clique member makes a photocopy of a document for use by a non-member, they often do not bother to make sure that the copy is actually readable. This of course creates extra work for the non-member, who is then chided for being “petty.” Team decision-making and problem-solving? Not in our wildest dreams. Culture or ethnicity has nothing to do with the lack of cooperation.

Why is this childish and detrimental behavior allowed to continue? At the beginning of the semester, when I told my boss I was taking Organizational Behavior, he said “I hope you don’t use this office as an example!” Needless to say, we have at best ineffectual management. I would even go so far as to say our management is virtually nonfunctional. A discussion of the reasons behind that situation is far beyond the scope of this paper. I should point out, however, that the nursing staff answer to a separate nursing manager who simply will not tolerate turf battles, gossip and one-upmanship. I believe that is a major reason for the differences in working relationships between the nurses and the other personnel.

In conclusion, lest I be misunderstood, let me state that I do not intend to imply that cultural differences do not impact team decision-making and problem-solving. I merely wished to show that they have not impacted my own experience, and as I understood the parameters, this assignment was intended to be a reflection from my own personal experience. Having a common cultural background with co-workers has taken a back seat to our differences in attitudes and values. Between me and my fellow students, however, the common values of hard work and pursuit of excellence have transcended any cultural differences that might have existed. My experience therefore has been that values, attitudes and intellectual prejudice have played far greater roles in the success or failure of teamwork than cultural matters.

Posted by CrankyBeach at 8:29 PM | Comments (4)

Are Republican Men Better Looking?

I have heard it said that Republican women are prettier than Dem females, and well do I believe it. I mean, right down the line, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Bella Abzug to Hillary, lib gals are frumpy as a matter of anti-lookist principle. Who's enchanting across a crowded room, a YAF ingenue or a WTO demonstrator with colored milk barfed down her front?

But ladies, let's give our menfolk their due praise as well. There's just something about the Party of Lincoln that firms the jaw, fires the eye, enlivens the complexion, and squares the shoulders. You can spot em a mile away. Alas, they're usually married.

Our men are funny without cruelty, chivalrous without irony, charming without pandering, and smart without morbid brain disease. They can say hoo-ah without sounding like an idiot. I'd like to hear Kerry's hoo-ah. Probably much like Dean's yeaargh.

Republican women are not impressed with pretty-boy visages like Edwards'. Where Mrs. Kerry and the media see Adonis, we see but an animated Ken.

The compelling qualities of the Republican Man transcend classical standards. Who's hunkier, I ask: homely Abe Lincoln or Stephen A. Douglas? "Handsome is as handsome does" is only too true, and works overwhelmingly in the Republicans' favor.

Posted by at 7:47 PM | Comments (7)

August 20, 2004

Hey

As I mentioned before, CB and Eclectra will be blogging while I'm gone. But I failed to mention that the inimitable Paul the Strongbow Man, will be keeping an eye on the blog in general while I'm gone.

Thanks, Paul!

And this is probably it for me till Thursday.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:23 PM | Comments (2)

Get Wind of Your Political Affiliation

Okay, here goes. Testing? Testing 1-2…

Hello Devotees of Ith, thanks for entertaining this stand-in effort.

A penetrating and brilliant precept has been revealed to me as a result of a certain incident last night, and with your permission, I want to try it by you. But first, you know those questionnaires you take to determine whether you’re liberal or conservative? Such as Dennis Prager has on his site? Well, I now have my own. I call it, “The Skunk Conundrum.”

Here’s the one, simple, cogent question: say you had a Have-a-Heart trap and baited it with kibble to catch a ground squirrel and the squirrel ignored it all day. You go to bed and at midnight are wakened by your teen who announces you have accidentally caught a skunk: what do you do?

(I mean, knowing that the skunk is going to spray, regardless. And the cage is wire on all sides and you can’t approach it without being seen.)

I’ll wait here while you think a couple o’ seconds…

Okay. Now. Did you begin cranking out some self-serve Rube Goldberg solution like “I’ll have my child hide behind a sheet of plywood and squirt the skunk with a hose so its aim will be off while I creep up with a large trash bag (the seams of which I’ve cut to form a plastic sheet) and throw the sheet over the cage while the skunk is distracted by the water in its face and fumble through the plastic to loose the mechanism so the skunk can get out, and then I’ll run like hell.”

----OR----

…did you think, “I’ll call Animal Control.”

If the former: you’re a conservative. If the latter, a liberal.

AM I RIGHT? Don’t ask me how this works. I just know it does.

Oh, as for me? I’m a conservative.

Posted by at 5:28 PM | Comments (11)

Lookee!

Look who has a blog now! Welcome to the fold, "Mrs. Pinwheels" :) Everyone go say, "hi" to Ian's lovely wife.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:05 PM | Comments (1)

Well, Duh...

Uh oh... Ith has let the guest bloviators out of the cage again... she knoweth not what she hath wrought!

My first salvo:

Saw a newspaper story the other day wherein a disabled jail inmate (a guy with only one arm) was whining about the overcrowding, and how he had to sleep on the floor. He complained that with his handicapped condition, he should have been allotted a bed.

Earth to inmate: If you don't want to sleep on the jailhouse floor, don't do the crime!

Posted by CrankyBeach at 2:27 PM | Comments (1)

Quote

I get the quote of the day on my cell phone. Here's today's rather timely one:

People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election. -- Otto von Bismarck
Posted by Ithildin at 1:02 PM

Yet Another Example

Carrying on with what seems to be my theme this week, comes this article from Allah on a sixteen year old girl who was executed in Iran for 'having a sharp tongue'.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:51 AM

Scrutiny

Check out this post over at ILJN: More Kerry Discrepancies?

Posted by Ithildin at 10:07 AM

I Know You Are, But What Am I?

My current events list is having a discussion on the headline currently up on Drudge:

KERRY CAMPAIGN CALLS FOR BOOK BAN

The Kerry campaign calls on a publisher to 'withdraw book' written by group of veterans, claiming veterans are lying about Kerry's service in Vietnam and operating as a front organization for Bush. Kerry campaign has told Salon.com that the publisher of UNFIT FOR COMMAND is 'retailing a hoax'... 'No publisher should want to be selling books with proven falsehoods in them,' Kerry campaign spokesman Chad Clanton tells the online mag... Developing...

My reaction earlier:

I am stunned! CRUSHING OF DISSENT!! BROWN SHIRTS!! NAZIS!! Oh, wait... that's us Republicans. I forgot.

I'm thrilled Kerry suddenly cares about the truth. Maybe he will call for the banning of F9/11, the Richard Clark book, the Joe Wilson book.... Oh, wait... that's right -- it's okay to publish books and release movies with lies about the President. I'm sorry, I get so confused. I need to put a sticker on my sweater to remind myself that I'm the Eeeeeevil Digital Brown Shirt, and Kerry is a po' misunderstood lil bunny. I apologize profusely. I'll try and do better at remembering my evilness and the Dems saintliness.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:41 AM | Comments (1)

August 19, 2004

Be My Guest

Cranky Beach will be guestblogging for me again while I'm in UT. Helping her out this time is our Meetup buddy, Eclectra. She's never blogged before, so she'll be dipping her toes in the water tomorrow while I'm still around to help out.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:12 PM | Comments (1)

Disturbing

This article at NRO, "Losing the Shia", says that, 'Iraqi Shia see a U.S. betrayal, and frankly, they should.'

Posted by Ithildin at 3:39 PM | Comments (1)

Disenfranchised Defenders

Good news here on Donald Rumsfeld's plan to make sure that the Dems can't disenfranchise military overseas votes like they've tried to in the past.

.... This problem is not unique to Florida, and it didn't just happen in 2000. According to the results of a survey by the Reserve Officers' Association, ROA estimates that the disenfranchisement rate among military personnel who try to vote in Florida, Missouri, and South Carolina is 40-45 percent.

It's not the hypocrisy of what the Florida Dems did that still rankles; what's most bothersome is who they tried to do it to. Every American has the right to vote, but were it not for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who put themselves in harm's way, none of us would have that right. The warriors and their families have long memories, and this time they're determined to vote.

For once, at the insistence of Don Rumsfeld, the folks in Fort Fumble are acting, not reacting, to solve this problem before it repeats itself.

On March 17, Rumsfeld sent a memo to the Joint Chiefs and Combatant Commanders telling them how the services will make sure all military members — and their family members — who are overseas, or stationed here but are away from home, get the chance to vote, and vote so that no Mark Herrons can disenfranchise them.

At the heart of Rumsfeld's plan is putting some teeth into the old Voting Assistance Officer idea. On top of it is a strategy — now underway — to use both the internet and the Postal Service effectively to help servicemen and their families request absentee ballots and get them returned in time to be counted.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:32 PM

John Kerry & The Order Of The Magic Hat

Katie is a hoot! John Kerry as Gilderoy Lockhart

Posted by Ithildin at 12:39 PM | Comments (2)

August 18, 2004

How Refreshing

Cruise Says He's Keeping Vote Private

.... "Politics is something that is very personal to me," Cruise said. "I am not going to comment publicly (about) who I'm going to vote for. ... I don't want what I say to become a political football."

But when asked how he feels about other performers lobbying for their favorite candidate, Cruise signaled his approval.

"It's their right to do that and I respect that," said Cruise, appearing next to posters of the gray and grizzled hit man he plays in "Collateral."

"But I do believe and I encourage people to go out and study the issues, get beyond the propaganda," he said.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:20 PM | Comments (2)

84

On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified.

19th_amendment_440.jpg

An excerpt from an email I received today from Feminists for Life:

....In a peaceful revolution led by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, women won the right to keep their own earnings, sign contracts, sit on a jury, testify on their own behalf, to secure a divorce if a husband drank the family’s income away or physically abused his wife and share custody of their children. When these two feminist foremothers were born, no women were admitted to college. By the time they died, colleges and universities opened their doors to women, and they started down the path to equal opportunities in the workplace.

[....]

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton passed the torch to two more generations before women’s suffrage—their most cherished goal—was realized. By the time the struggle ended, women had suffered greatly for what too many today take for granted—or sadly, don’t exercise at all.

In 1913, Alice Paul, author of the original Equal Rights Amendment, organized a magnificent pageant to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Women dressed all in white were led by New York attorney Inez Milholland Boissevain, who was dressed like Joan of Arc on a white horse. At the end of the parade women were pulled off their horses, grabbed by jeering men as police stood by smirking. By the time the cavalry had been brought in to restore order, 100 people were hospitalized—but not one man had been arrested.

Later, a perpetual delegation of dignified, silent, peaceful protesters were organized by Paul to hold vigil outside the White House—just a few blocks from FFL’s current office. Angry men tore their banners down. Alice Paul was knocked to the ground by a sailor and dragged down the street. Another man tore a woman’s blouse off in order to remove her purple and yellow suffrage sash as the police looked on. Later the women were arrested and forced to remove all their clothing—one by one—in front of a company of men, and incarcerated for days, weeks, or months at time. Their mail was cut off and they were made to perform hard labor. They were terrorized by the guards, some tossed like dolls headfirst into their prison cells and rendered unconscious. One political prisoner was left handcuffed above the cell door all night long.

Women became more resolved than ever to win the vote—and men in ever-increasing numbers began to support the fight for women’s suffrage.

By the time the 19th amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, Inez Milholland Boissevain had died of exhaustion from traveling the country with her message of “votes for women.” She is known as a martyr for women’s suffrage.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:13 PM | Comments (1)

MEMRI Reports

Iranian Talk Of an Attack On America

There are growing indications that Iran may be planning an attack on American soil. These indicators are not secret — they appear in speeches,newspaper articles, TV programs, and sermons in Iran by figures linked to the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and other government officials, all discussing potential Iranian attacks on America, which will subsequently lead to its destruction.

A report on May 28 in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported that an Iranian intelligence unit has established a center called “The Brigades of the Shahids of the Global Islamic Awakening.”The paper claimed that it had obtained a tape with a speech by Hassan Abbassi, a Revolutionary Guards intelligence theoretician who teaches at Al-Hussein University. In the tape, Mr. Abbassi spoke of Tehran’s secret plans, which include “a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization.” In order to accomplish this, he explained,“There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them.”

Posted by Ithildin at 11:17 AM

More On "Priorities"

After responding to the comments here, it occurred to me that it should be a post.

I can't remember exactly when I realized, that as a girl, I was very lucky to be living in the western world. By the time I was a teenager, the plight of women and girls in other parts of the world was something I was very passionate about. Like my commenter though, I found very little interest in discussing, or even acknowledging, the subject. Twenty odd years later, I'm still finding it frustrating.

Whether it's infanticide of girls in China and India, genital mutilation in Africa and using rape as a tool of terror (as referenced in the article linked here), the total lack of rights and abuse of women in some Islamic countries, the sex slave trade, or what was happening under the Taliban, there seems to be little will to try and do anything about it. As much as I loath organizations like NOW, they still have a powerful platform to shine light on the plight of women around the world. But it's something they seem to have no interest in doing.

We in the western world had no problem imposing sanctions on South Africa for apartheid. Why aren't we imposing sanctions on countries that practice gender apartheid? We aren't even willing to make a symbolic stand by banning those countries from competing in the Olympics. Yes, I'm aware that there are some aspects that are being addressed. I know the Bush administration is taking steps, and many Christian groups are working to stop the sex slave trade, but few people are aware they are, or even that such things exist.

Is there a solution? I don't know. I just know that I'm thankful every day for the life I'm blessed to lead here in this country. I can only hope that in the future, more and more women will be able to feel that sense of thankfulness in countries where they now are brutalized.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:52 AM | Comments (3)

August 17, 2004

Lacking

Sorry for the lack of bloggage. I'm just incredibly stressed over this moving thing. The owner told us after she looked the house over last weekend that she wanted us to stay in the house until she sold it. well, after the termite inspector came yesterday, she told us she wants us out by mid October!! So now, we have to really slam to try and get a house bought in Utah for my parents when we go up there this weekend. We were just going up to scout, now we need to try and find a house.

My first urge is to panic, but I'm trying to be caaaaalm. Part of the problem is the whole house buying mystery. See, my parents have never owned a home, so this is all new to all of us. Two, I'm afraid we won't have enought time. It's like a giant house of cards that i'm sure is going to collapse on top of us.

So if you would, keep some good thoughts for us this weekend and beginning of next week.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:28 PM | Comments (6)

August 16, 2004

Let's Play A Game!

The all new "Question the Timing" Drinking Game! With the Dems, one could get drunk very quickly. Why just today, another opportunity to imbibe:

Bush announces major troop realignment

Wait for it....

The announcement comes less than three months before the presidential election. Some Democrats questioned the timing of Bush's announcement.

Take a drink!

Posted by Ithildin at 3:39 PM | Comments (3)

August 14, 2004

This Is The Weekend

This is the time if you're a local, you stay home! The Monterey Peninsula is a giant parking lot for classic automobiles and so full of tourists you can't move. What started as the Concourse in Pebble Beach has spawned many more auctions and events over the years, till now I think every classic auto in the world is here!

The one perk of living over the highway is that when the Carmel Valley events let out, I can see the cars go by below. So perty! This will be the last year I get to see it since we won't be in this house next year.

Posted by Ithildin at 8:20 PM | Comments (1)

VJ Day

August 15, 1945

Posted by Ithildin at 7:36 PM | Comments (1)

GRRR!

So Comcast said we needed to switch digital boxes since our old one was out of date. Fine, I go in and switch the box, I get home, set it up like the last one. Piece of cake. Except now, I can't watch the TV unless the digital box is on. And I can't record on the VCR any channel other than the one I'm watching. What the frell? So I double check all the connections, still nothing. I call Comcast and the guy has me change some settings on the menu, still nothing. Then he puts me on hold, comes back and tells me the new boxes aren't set up to allow taping on another channel etc... I have to get a splitter and an A/B box!! Why on earth would you make something new that works less well than the old version? It makes no frigging sense! And this new box has the RF bypass just like the old one, and I mention that to him, and how that's what allows you to watch the TV independently of the box. He tells me I'm right, but he has no idea of why it works differently. He emailed me a diagram and a list of equipment, and while he was very nice, I'm really ticked off right now.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:46 PM

August 13, 2004

Priorities

Hey, I know it's not as important as getting into Augusta, but do you think our "feminist" organizations might like to pay some attention to issues like this?

Rape now taking the form of genocide

Posted by Ithildin at 6:06 PM | Comments (5)

She's From The Government

And she's here to help.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:39 AM

Fool Me Once

I haven't said much on Kerry and his ever changing Vietnam memories since so many people are doing a much better job than I could. But I did have a few random thoughts I wanted I'd share.

Back in the day, when the Monica thing broke, and Clinton got on TV and told us he'd never had sex with "that woman", I believed him. Yeah, I was stupid, I know. But even though I didn't vote for him, he was still the President, my President, and maybe I couldn't let myself believe he'd make such a bald faced lie on national TV. It didn't take long for me to discover how naive I'd been. And then we were told that his lies didn't really matter because it was all about sex. A "personal" matter between adults.

Turn the clock to today. John Kerry wants to be President, supposedly my President, though I'm not sure I believe that anymore. He's made Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign. He reminded us again and again about his time there, and how that qualified him to be President. Okay, me personally, I don't think military service automatically confers Presidential ability. And I remember the Dems making sure we didn't think so when war heros like George H. Bush and Bob Dole were the candidates in question. I want to know what the man wanting the highest office in our land has done lately. Especially when we're at war now. But John Kerry felt differently, so did his party. After all, they've tried to denigrate President Bush's service from day one. They've tried every trick in the book to compare his service unfavourably to Kerry's, they've trotted out men who served with Kerry, and their whole convention was a testament to Kerry's service in Vietnam. Now, of course, it turns out Kerry is still lying, as a man in his fifties. As much as I dislike him, naive old me never really expected it. I know he lied back when he was protesting the war, but the fact he's still doing it just floors me. I guess it shouldn't.

This time, it isn't "just about sex", so I wonder what excuse the Dems will come up with to justify these lies? And what contortions the media will go through to keep the spin going for "their" candidate.

Later: edited this a bit for clarity -- or tried to -- after reading Peter's comment. Sometimes writing at work doesn't always result in the clearest posts.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:41 AM | Comments (5)

Most Annoying Song

My current winner in the "most annoying and overplayed song on radio" contest is "Save a Horse, Ride a A Cowboy" by Big & Rich. It's like a country song that wants to be a rap song when it grows up. Any song that uses "bling blinging" is enough to make me want to toss the radio. I went from finding it annoying to actively disliking it after I saw the video -- tawdry and trashy through and through.

So I want to know what song(s) you can't stand! Share the misery.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:33 AM | Comments (8)

August 12, 2004

How To?

Could one of my ever so kind readers point me towards some sort of tutorial or resource that would give me a clue on how to do a template where the image stays put, instead of tiled, and then the text scrolls? Since that's a crappy explanation, like this.

I'm in the mood for a change, and that sort of look is one of my ideas.

Thanks!

Posted by Ithildin at 4:27 PM | Comments (7)

Cool Beans!

Director Mitch made me a blog stamp!

And another cool bean: the Raging Kraut has a Red Ensign Roundup

Posted by Ithildin at 2:58 PM | Comments (2)

Coastal Commission Shenanigans

Here in CA we have the Coastal Commission, a government organization dedicated to throwing it's substantial weight around to stop development. The Heart Corp. finally got tired of years of trying to develop part of Hearst Ranch and agreed to sell the property to an open spaces/conservation group. Now this is something the Coastal Commission should be all for, but they aren't.

.... A deal to pay the Hearst Corp. $80 million to give up most of its development rights was announced last month — a deal the coastal commission staff should be expected to celebrate.

Instead, in what the San Diego Union-Tribune called an example of “grudge-match meddling,” coastal commission executive director Peter Douglas is trying to sabotage the deal, going so far as calling it a “bait and switch” scam.

Douglas even belittled the deal’s opening of vast stretches of magnificent beaches to the public, claiming that “under the law, all beaches are public” — a bizarre statement which is laughably untrue.

And one of his underlings improperly telephoned state officials, trying to drive down the land’s $230 million valuation, according to an official with Caltrans, which paid for the appraisal.

One newspaper editorial called these efforts another example of the coastal commission staff’s “obstructionist activism.”

We think they’re yet another vivid illustration of the coastal staff’s never-never land concept of reality, where the truth is a lie, fact is fiction, and property rights do not exist.

The Hearst Ranch deal may be the last chance to save this treasured stretch of coast from being turned into ranchettes for Silicon Valley and Hollywood millionaires. The public, which would pay for the acquisition through voter-approved bond measures, has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to buy parkland and open space.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:43 AM | Comments (2)

Mulder's On It

Russian claim discovery of ET spaceship wreck

Russian scientists said they have discovered the wreck of an alien device at the site of an unexplained explosion in Siberia almost a hundred years ago, China Daily reported today, citing the Interfax news agency as the source.

The scientists, who belong to the Tunguska space phenomenon public state fund, said they found the remains of an extra-terrestrial device that allegedly crashed near the Tunguska river in Siberia in 1908.

Their findings also include a 50-kilogram (110-pound) rock which they have sent to the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk for analysis.

Later: Russian Alien Spaceship Claims Raise Eyebrows, Skepticism. Well, DUHHH!

Until I saw this, I thought the report was in the Chinese version of a tabloid. Didn't know it was serious.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:18 AM | Comments (1)

Did Orcs Man The Ships?

He led British sailors to a stunning victory over the powerful Spanish Armada in 1588. He is renowned for his naval cunning. He is a true British hero.

He is Gandalf.

Find out about it here.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:09 AM | Comments (1)

Public Enemy #1: Part II

I did a search and found the original article by Gretchen Ritter that was the subject of the article I blogged about yesterday. The site requires registration, but I'll excerpt some of it here.

.... It denies men the chance to be involved fathers. This is a loss for them and a loss for their children. What does it mean when fathers are denied the opportunity to nurture their kids in ways that are as important as their work? What do the children miss when they don't have fathers changing their diapers, picking them up from school, coaching soccer, making breakfast or dinner and doing homework with them? On both sides, the answer is too much.

Women who stay at home also lose out — they lose a chance to contribute as professionals and community activists. Parenting is an important social contribution. But we need women in medicine, law, education, politics and the arts. It is not selfish to want to give your talents to the broader community — it is an important part of citizenship to do so, and it is something we should expect of everyone.

Full-time mothering is also bad for children. It teaches them that the world is divided by gender. This sends the wrong message to our sons and daughters. I do not want our girls to grow up thinking they must marry and have children to be successful, or that you can only be a good mother if you give up your work.

Nor do I want boys to think that caring for families is women's work and making money is men's work. Our sons and daughters should grow up thinking that raising and providing for a family is a joint enterprise among all the adults in the family.

[....]

Finally, the stay-at-home mother movement is bad for society. It tells employers that women who marry and have children are at risk of withdrawing from their careers, and that men who marry and have children will remain fully focused on their careers, regardless of family demands. Both lessons reinforce sex discrimination.

This movement also privileges certain kinds of families, making it harder for others. The more stay-at-home mothers there are, the more schools and libraries will neglect the needs of working parents, and the more professional mothers, single mothers, working-class mothers and lesbian mothers will feel judged for their failure to be in a traditional family and stay home their children.

By creating an expectation that mothers could and should stay home, we lose sight of the fact that most parents do work — and that they need affordable, high quality child care, after-school enrichment programs and family leave policies that allow mothers and fathers to nurture their children without giving up work.

Later: Boudicca's take.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:08 AM | Comments (6)

August 11, 2004

Public Enemy #1 Is The Stay-At-Home Mom

At least according to a nutburger teacher at the University of Texas.

Later: I posted an update here.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:22 PM | Comments (6)

Hey Look!

I am actually going to post today.

Just wanted to pass on this link to MoveOnPlease.org that I saw over on the Corner.

Very interesting site. You can find out how everything is Rummy's fault and how to host a Kerry For President Tithe Party.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:08 PM

August 10, 2004

If You've Ever Wondered

Sake and hard cider... Whoa!

I'm going to bed now.

All my brother's fault....

Posted by Ithildin at 11:33 PM

Anti-Gooshers

Many years ago, several IRC/email buddies -- myself included -- started a group called "Anti-Gooshers". It was much fun, and we even had an email list. Well, the list was lost in the blackhole that Yahoo! Groups sometimes is, and I never got around to reinstating it -- till now.

It's a lot of fun, and a nice balance in talking about your fave actor or character without the "gooshing" aka "I want him to have my baby!!" sort of thing. Since we're sort of starting over here, new blood would be more than welcome!

Posted by Ithildin at 1:07 PM | Comments (1)

Oscar for Neverland?

The buzz for "Finding Neverland" is pretty good for all acocunts. Even hearing it might mean an Oscar for Johnny Depp.

Drinks all around! :)

Posted by Ithildin at 12:58 PM

Oh!

I've been meaning to ask this for ages.

Why does Amber Frey (Scott Peterson's former mistress) need a lawyer? And a celebrity one at that. One that seems to spend more time on TV than anything else she might do.

Do witnesses in a trial usually have to get a lawyer?

Posted by Ithildin at 10:44 AM | Comments (6)

Why Am I Not Surprised?

The timing of the announcment is suspicious.

No, no link, just heard it being discussed on the radio.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:40 AM

S.S.P. Time

aka Shameless Self-Promotion

Email lists: check out ALRR if you're a reader or writer or both. Celts In Space is my Celtic themed list.

If you'd like to be a part of a group blog, and you're female, I invite you to check out Girls! Girls! Girls!. No blogging background required to join us in the madness.

If you're buying from Amazon, you're always invited to click through one of the links on the sidebar. We get a few cents for every purchase made, and that in turn helps to keep the lights on here for the blogs that I host, in addition to my own. Thanks!

And remember that Mickey is hosting another Carnival of the Dogs, so if you have some puppy posting to share, head over to her blog for all the details.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:32 AM

Is That Bias Over There Behind The Potted Palm?

Get a load of this one:

According to a Kerry campaign source, senior campaign advisers tasked two Washington-based campaign staffers to vet the recently published Unfit for Command.

"The purpose was to compare what that book had with what we had on file from Senator Kerry," says the campaign source, who said that the research project developed more than 75 instances where Kerry's recollections, previous remarks, or writings conflicted with the book's reporting.

"We took some of the most glaring examples, like the Christmas in Cambodia story, and presented them to senior staff, and we assume that those things were put in front of Senator Kerry," says the source. "We haven't heard a word about it. All we were told is that it was being taken care of."

The campaign source said that the book was not considered a "serious" problem for the campaign, because, "the media wouldn't have the nerve to come at us with this kind of stuff," says the source. "The senior staff believes the media is committed to seeing us win this thing, and that the convention inoculated us from these kinds of stories. The senior guys really think we don't have a problem here."

(emphasis mine)

You have no idea how much I want these minions of Kerry's to eat crow. Or maybe you do. Every time I read something like this, the election gets more and more personal.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:53 AM

Makes You Wonder

I'd read something about this last year, but Mind of Mog has some new information on Saddam and West Nile.

I gotta tell you, I'm as suspicious as hell.

Posted by Ithildin at 8:42 AM | Comments (4)

August 9, 2004

Random Atlantis Thoughts

Very random indeed.

First off, is there a term for commenting verbally to what you're seeing on the TV? (other than 'nuts') I do that a lot, and that's what I was doing when these random bits occured to me. Anyway, on with the post! (and if there isn't a term, there should be)

When I saw the Wraith in action, my first comment was, "Vampires!". And my complete talking to the TV moment was that they were killing two myths with one stone: Atlantis and vampires, and what was next? Of course the Ancients have always seemed Elven to me, so, you know.... In fact, I was verbally composing LotR/Atlantis fanfic for Nin (much to her distress) (no, I'm not writing it, just telling the TV about it!)

Oh, wait! The rest of the thought... The Wraith don't seem all that menacing, at least not to the extent that they were so deadly to the Ancients menacing, if you know what I mean.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:24 PM | Comments (3)

Skeleton Discovered At Minehowe

There will be an article on it here later today or tomorrow, but the upshot is...

Archaeologists returned to Minehowe for a fourth season last week. Returning to the site of an Iron Age metalworking structure outside the ditch surrounding the underground chamber itself, they have begun to unearth the remains of a complete skeleton.

The burial took place well after the building was constructed and saw a
grave being dug in the floor of the "workshop" and the body interred. After
the grave was covered over the work continued in the structure as normal.

It's early days yet. Only the pelvis, lower backbone, legs and segments of
the arms were visible today, so the sex and age of the deceased is not yet
known. However, given the scarcity of Iron Age burials in Scotland, let
alone Orkney, the archeologists are very exciting.

Very kewl!

Posted by Ithildin at 5:16 PM

No, Not Bee Gees, Gee Gees.

Otherwise known as "Global Geophysical Events". And they are a danger scientists say we don't take seriously enough. Here's one example:

.... The potential threat that scientists currently have their eye on is an insecure rock - the size of the Isle of Man - in the Canary Island of La Palma.

The rock is in the process of slipping into the sea and Professor McGuire fears that when it finally collapses, the resulting tsunami will cause massive destruction along the coasts of countries like the USA, UK and many on the African continent, within a matter of hours.

"Eventually the whole rock will collapse into the water, and the collapse - when it happens - will devastate the Atlantic margin," said Professor McGuire.

The triggering factor could be the eruption of the volcano on La Palma, called Cumbre Vieja, which could feasibly blow "anytime", according to Professor McGuire.

Many researchers working in the field of Gee Gee's would like better monitoring of Cumbre Vieja, so that advance warning can be given for the possible collapse of the rock.

"We need to be out there now looking at when an eruption is likely to happen," said Professor McGuire. "Otherwise there will be no time to evacuate major cities."

Posted by Ithildin at 1:39 PM | Comments (1)

Time On Their Hands

See here for Ith's entry on the item that appeared in the "Professor Toro" column in the local newspaper this past Saturday.

And here's my just-sent letter to the editor in response:

Members of the Peace Coalition of Monterey County may discuss the TV channel selections at the Monterey Sports Center with the City Council. They cite concern that the Fox News Channel puts a conservative spin on the news, and thus is "inappropriate" for a city-owned facility.

Who is "the city" if not the taxpaying members of the public? Under that definition, the Sports Center belongs to all of us.

A strong counter-argument could be made about other-than-conservative spin on the news on other news channels, which are also seen at the Sports Center, but we won’t go there.

What is the Peace Coalition afraid of? Do they think the folks who use the gym do not have the mental discernment (i.e. they are too stupid) to recognize when they are being spun?

No one is forced to watch any channel, and the TV sound is only accessible via headphones. One must choose what, if anything, to watch or listen to.

Let the perspiring public, the center’s owners, vote with their headphones what they wish to listen to, or not. And perhaps the members of the Peace Coalition should find something else to do with their copious spare time.


Awaiting the firestorm in the "Letters" column that is sure to follow....

Posted by CrankyBeach at 12:54 PM | Comments (5)

Bingo!

Via ASV, I came upon this post at Faithiepoo!. You should go read it all, but the money quote for me....

The Democrats, rather than moderating their whackos, give them the keys to the store.

Exactly! Whatever "taking the words right out of my mouth" would be in blogging speak, it's that.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:22 AM | Comments (1)

But A Left Wing Slant Would Be Just Fine

One of the items discussed this week by the Peace Coalition of Monterey County was a proposal to switch the channels on the televisions at the Monterey Sports Center.

The rules at the city-owned gym are that the six televisions are supposed to be tuned to sports or news. Apparently one is almost always set to the Fox News Channel, which tends to put a conservative spin on the news.

Peggy Olson told the peace group that Fox's slant makes it inappropriate for a city-owned facility. The Peace Coalition opted not to pursue the issue, but some in the group are talking about taking it up with the City Council.

Note to Carolyn, Margaret, & Nin: This may be a good discussion topic at our next Town Hall Meetup.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:59 AM | Comments (1)

Local Swift Boat Vet Denounces Kerry

One of the vets in the news lives right here on the Monterey Peninsula:

Whatever the merits of John Kerry's heroics in Vietnam, his actions in leaving combat quickly and denouncing some of his shipmates afterward touch a sharply throbbing nerve with a Pacific Grove Navy veteran who served in the same small boat squadron as Kerry.

Richard O'Mara, who served for a year as a gunner's mate aboard a PCF patrol craft or "swift boat" in the Mekong Delta region in 1968-69, still steams over Kerry's testimony in 1971 before the Senate Armed Services Committee in which Kerry accused fellow sailors of war crimes.

O'Mara is a member of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of more than 200 vets familiar with Kerry's service who oppose his candidacy for president.

[....]

"I'm not part of a right-wing, Republican conspiracy," O'Mara said. "I've been involved in this a long time. I've known these things about this guy for a long time. I'm not getting a nickel."

O'Mara has lived and worked in Pacific Grove for more than 20 years. He once owned a beachfront snack stand at Lovers Point -- Fat Richie's -- and has been an antique dealer, artist and construction worker.

His objections to a Kerry candidacy center around loyalty, which O'Mara said the Democratic candidate betrayed in two ways.

"This is about John Kerry's actions in Vietnam," he said, "and most importantly his actions afterward, while the fight was still going on."

Kerry, he said, left his enlisted crew behind after four months in-country after receiving three minor wounds.

"He deserted his crew. He deserted the whole unit. He took all the training he had and wasted it."

Then, O'Mara said, Kerry appeared before a Senate panel to denounce the war and some of his shipmates as war criminals.

"People were fighting and dying while he lied through his teeth."

If Kerry witnessed war crimes, O'Mara said, he had a duty to report them.

"We constantly went out of our way not to injure civilians, damage their fish traps or fish nets," he said.

Kerry's statements before the Senate "did tremendous damage to the war effort," O'Mara said, and hurt veterans coming home.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:51 AM | Comments (2)

French Anti-Semitism At Auschwitz

Jewish students attacked at Auschwitz

While on a tour of the museum at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland on Sunday, a group of around 50 Jewish university students from Israel, the U.S. and Poland were verbally attacked by a three-member gang of French male tourists.

Evidently incited by the presence of an Israeli flag wrapped around the shoulders of Tamar Schuri, an Israeli student from Ben Gurion University, the first assailant ran at the group while its members were being guided through a model gas chamber and crematoria and began swearing and hurling anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli insults.

"He told us to go back to Israel and said that we were stupid and should be ashamed to walk around with an Israeli flag," testifies Maya Ober, a 21-year-old Polish student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan and member of the Polish Union of Jewish Students (PUSZ), which organized the 16-day summer learning program along with the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS).

After the initial altercation, a second assailant grabbed Ober by the arm. "One of the guys held me by the arm and wouldn't let go," says Ober, who lost several members of her family at Auschwitz. "I was afraid. I couldn't move and I didn't know what he was going to do.

"I was shocked. Although I have met anti-Semitism many times, I never expected to meet it at Auschwitz, where so many of my relatives were killed," she says she spoke to the assailants in French and that in addition to being "brutish and vulgar," their sentiments "made absolutely no sense."

Posted by Ithildin at 9:33 AM | Comments (3)

Many Thanks!

Thank you, Susan, for the lovely book! Now I have no excuse in not learning enough CSS to create my own template, huh?

Posted by Ithildin at 9:11 AM

August 7, 2004

So Much For That

I wasn't going to really do any heavy blogging today, but then I read this.

I'm torn between screaming and shutting the computer off.

We'll see how that choice goes.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

Two Days Later: And I beat Drudge by 48 hours!

Even Later: Cassandra is the coolest.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:51 AM | Comments (4)

August 6, 2004

Life Soundtrack

Patricks asks, "What's the soundtrack of your life?"

My answer(s): Either Fumbling Towards Ecstasy or Surfacing by Sarah McLachlan. Or maybe Wishing Well by Connie Dover.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:51 PM | Comments (2)

A Few New Finds

Pugsley's Journal (I love this one! I so want a pug, so until then, I'll just have to visit Pugsley!)

Boudicca's Voice. (I was pulled in by the name of one of my fave historical figures.)

Posted by Ithildin at 5:41 PM | Comments (2)

Off The List

I had an Amazon GC to use, so I just got myself dinnerware and a set of pots & pans with utensils for the move. Now there's just several dozen other things to buy. I think the kettle will be next, and maybe the Pyrex set, or should I get the knives first?

Posted by Ithildin at 5:00 PM | Comments (3)

Atlantis?

Now that its been on a few weeks, what are you thinking about it?

I'm enjoying it myself.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:11 PM | Comments (2)

The Back Of The Phonebook...

will never be the same.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:20 PM

I Still Don't Know....

about the hedgehogs and dragons, but Juliette adds monkeys and poker to the list. (And you should go read the whole thing.)

Posted by Ithildin at 8:58 AM

August 5, 2004

Always The Oddball

Seems I'm still a little different (no comments from the peanut gallery!):

If you're reading this, chances are you're a man. It's not just because Wired News covers technology, the traditional domain of men. Recent surveys found that a large majority of people who read news online are male.

While the gender ratio of people who read print newspapers is about 1-to-1, 60 percent to 70 percent of the people who read the websites of the same newspapers are male. For example, 61.8 percent of NYTimes.com readers are men, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, an agency that provides research and analysis on Internet users. However, the audience of the paper version of The New York Times is roughly 50-50, according to audience reports provided by the paper.1 (Wired News' male-female ratio is about 7-to-3, in line with other technology-oriented sites). In general, the number of men reading online news is 8 percent to 13 percent higher than women, according to studies by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:33 PM | Comments (3)

Why Am I Not Surprised?

...."Outer space is a province of all mankind," says Sylvia Ospina, a member of the board of directors at the International Institute of Space Law. "There is not, and should not be, any privatization of outer space. It is a common thing that should belong to all."

To try to ensure that space remains a "common thing," space lawyers have drafted five international treaties under UN direction. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 provides the basis of all space law with its clear decree that no nation can claim ownership to any part of it, and all nations must agree to its peaceful use. The treaty was signed by all major space powers and remains the guiding light of space initiatives.

The good news is:

Perhaps the single most important issue in space law - ownership - has already been the focal point of space lawyers for some decades. In 1979 they attempted to resolve the issue with the international Moon Treaty.

The treaty established a clear prohibition on private ownership of extraterrestrial real estate, and designated extraterrestrial resources as "the common heritage of mankind." But the Moon Treaty has received far less support than the Outer Space Treaty - only five countries (none of them a major space power) have signed it: France, Guatemala, India, Peru, and Romania.

"The United States, along with the other major powers has not signed the Moon Treaty," says Prof. Gabrynowicz. Without the treaty there is no law excluding space ownership - a loophole some have sought to exploit.

The whole article here.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:31 PM

U.K. Arrests Update

Turns out the sweeps and terror arrests in Britain stemmed from information gathered in Pakistan from the same source as the informtion that led to the alerts here in the U.S.

A SENIOR al-Qaeda agent was among 12 men arrested in anti-terror swoops across England two days ago, according to reports that emerged last night.

The man was arrested as a result of intelligence gathered after a raid in Pakistan last month, according to newspaper and television reports.

It was also reported that al-Qaeda operatives held in Pakistan had recently made contact with six possible conspirators in the United States, fuelling fears that the terror group is in the final stages of plans for a new attack.

The raid in Pakistan led to the discovery of computer files which suggested that British and US targets had been identified for attacks. The blueprints included a plot to bomb the QE2 passenger liner.

Pakistani officials reportedly said the arrests that took place across Britain on Tuesday were a result of the intelligence they had gathered.

Among those detained in the British raids was the senior al-Qaeda figure, they said. One report said he had planned an attack on Heathrow Airport.

You can read the whole article yourself, but I must share the kicker at the end.

Meanwhile, a House of Lords report yesterday criticised the government for discriminating against Britain's Muslim community.
Posted by Ithildin at 4:15 PM

Someone Give This Man A Job!

Rudy hits another bullseye (Via "The Kerry Spot").

Rudolph Giuliani responds to Kerry's criticism of President Bush on the morning of 9/11:

"John Kerry must be frustrated in his campaign if he is armchair quarterbacking based on cues from Michael Moore. John Kerry is an indecisive candidate who has demonstrated an inconsistent position on the War on Terror, who voted against funding for our troops at war and who cannot give a clear answer on his position concerning the decision to remove Saddam Hussein."
Posted by Ithildin at 1:21 PM | Comments (3)

Let's All Hold Hands Now

Via The Corner, John Kerry wants to provide a more "sensitive" war on terror:

“I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history.”
Posted by Ithildin at 11:51 AM | Comments (4)

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Apparently, rainbows are the exclusive domain of the left, and anyone else using them is a bigoted hatemonger. I have to say that this news truly distresses me. See, I have a ton of unicorn stuff from when I was younger, and most of it has rainbows on it. So you realize what that means, I'm sure. Yes, unicorns are racist. Just think about it for a moment. Unicorns are usually what colour? Uh huh! And they're usually what sex? Male! My God!! It's been staring me in the face every morning as I pick up my unicorn with a rainbow cup off the bathroom counter! How could I have been so naive? So blind to the hate? Damn unicorns! They look soooo innocent, but evil lies in their bitter hearts.

Of course now I have to wonder what evil lurks in my dragons and hedgehogs....

Posted by Ithildin at 9:13 AM | Comments (6)

August 4, 2004

Because Good Manners Are Always In Style

Via Mr. "I Love Adrian Paul" aka Nick, comes this link to "Gothic Miss Manners' Finishing School". This Miss Manners has excellent advice even if you don't happen to be Goth. As I always say, "There's no excuse for bad manners."

So go get a nice cuppa and settle in for some wise etiquette essays.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:20 PM | Comments (1)

Kerry Spot

Been meaning to mention the excellent "Kerry Spot" on NRO. I check it several times a day to keep an eye on what Kerry is up to. Very informative and up to the minute reporting.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:14 PM

Let The Wookie Win?

John Hawkins, writing on how to increase your blog traffic, includes this interesting tidbit:

..... Ok, Drew didn't actually say you should donate money to RWN, but he was probably thinking it. Even if he wasn't, he should have been, and besides, I must mention the Chewbacca Defense at this point...

Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk, but Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now, think about that. That does not make sense!

Why would a Wookiee — an eight foot tall Wookiee — want to live on Endor with a bunch of two foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense!

But more importantly, you have to ask yourself: what does that have to do with what we're talking about?

If it does not make sense, you should contribute money to RWN, and think about it later. I rest my case.

No, I have no idea what it means, but it sounds very wise and existential.

(And if you don't know what it means either, you should actually give money to me!)

Posted by Ithildin at 2:06 PM | Comments (1)

Something You Should Read

Cobbie is my favourite Danish teenager :) She's a frequent commenter here, and she keeps a great blog of her own. Her latest post really got to me, and I'd like you to go read it if you would. It's a powerful post, and I admire her greatly for having written and posted it.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:48 PM | Comments (1)

Worms

I was looking through the "Wriggly Worms" in the Ecosystem, and came across this blog: Harry Potter Prognostications.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:13 PM

Okay, Mr. Clarke, Which Is It???

Heard on the top-of-the-hour radio news that Richard Clarke is saying the newly-unearthed Al Qaeda threats are real, but "there's a credibility problem."

Let me get this straight. The threats are real, but the Bush Administration revealed them, so that means they cannot be believed...?

Is this not a perfect example of someone trying to have it both ways?

Just my $.02 worth on this fine Wednesday morning.

Posted by CrankyBeach at 11:19 AM

90 Years Later

uwar.jpeg

I read about this yesterday, and today . there's an article on the ceremony

Four of the 23 known surviving veterans of the First World War have led a service commemorating the 90th anniversary of the conflict's outbreak.

The veterans, who are all over 100 years old, met at the Cenotaph in London for the 11am service, which was also attended by Lord Kitchener, the great nephew of Field Marshall Kitchener, who commanded British forces during the war.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:09 AM

Daleks Back

Turns out we'll be seeing the Daleks after all!

EXTERMINATE!!

Posted by Ithildin at 11:03 AM | Comments (2)

August 3, 2004

Checking Account & Security

So, today, I went to get a checking account. After 9-11, you have to show two forms of ID to open an account.

Before 9-11, I was able to use my birth certificate. Now, I can't.

But, I can use my AAA card!

Which is very bizarre. (You can use a credit card as well, btw).

I jokingly tried to use my Disneyland Annual Pass... no go. I don't know why, since I'd have to show photo ID, etc in order to get an annual pass, while my AAA card just has my name and signature.

Posted by Ninjababe at 7:49 PM | Comments (1)

He Said It Better

I was shouting something similar to the TV last night, but Tom DeLay said it so much better than I did:

"As for Senator Kerry's opportunistic bluster about calling Congress in for a special session, that's pretty tough talk from a guy who has fewer days at work this year than he has houses. He's not been around here during our regular session; what makes anyone think he'll be here for a special session?"

Via Slings & Arrows.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:44 PM

Knightley News

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, star of Pirates of the Caribbean, Love Actually and King Arthur, has signed on to star in the based on the true-life story of model-turned-bounty hunter DOMINO HARVEY in Domino. TONY SCOTT, director of Top Gun and, most recently, Man On Fire, is on board to direct. Scheduled to begin filming on September 27, Domino was penned by RICHARD KELLY, screenwriter of the deliciously campy cult classic Donnie Darko.

Domino will recount the compelling true-life story of Domino Harvey, the fabulously gorgeous daughter of movie star Lawrence Harvey (star of the original The Manchurian Candidate) who traded in her runway passport to become a real-life bounty hunter. Raised in Beverly Hills, Domino started her professional career as a successful Ford model. A rebel with a penchant for confrontation, Domino’s aggressive manner didn’t resonate with the well-heeled fashionistas in the couture world. A serendipitous chain of events eventually led her to the exhilarating world of bounty hunting, which proved to be a natural fit with her outlaw outlook. By the time she was 23, Domino was an established rebel with a cause in the extremely specialized field of bounty hunting.

More here & here.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:20 PM | Comments (6)

Britain: 13 Arrested In Terror Raids

Tuesday, 3 August, 2004, 22:03 GMT 23:03 UK

Thirteen men have been arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 after raids in London and three English counties.

The arrests were made in north-west London, Hertfordshire, Luton in Bedfordshire and Blackburn, Lancashire.

Police said the men, aged in their 20s and 30s, were suspected of involvement in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

Officers from the Met's Anti-Terrorist branch were backed by local forces in the "intelligence-led, pre-planned" operation.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the suspects would be brought to a central London police station for questioning.

Officers are continuing to search "residential premises" in London, Luton, Blackburn and Bushey, Hertfordshire.

A statement said: "Today's operation is part of continuing and extensive inquiries by police and the security service into alleged international terrorism."

More at the BBC.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:13 PM

Smoke Me A Kipper, I'll Be Back For Breakfast

So Nin and I weren't the only ones thinking "Rimmer!" when Kerry was giving his speech.

Posted by Ithildin at 9:29 AM | Comments (2)

August 2, 2004

He's So Mean!

Nick had to go and ruin a perfectly okay day by promoting Adrian Paul as James Bond! ACK! I hereby swear that if such a horrible event ever were to take place, I will drown my sorrows in martinis -- shaken, not stirred -- and count the days till "the man with two first names" is replaced. Absolutely anyone would be a better choice, honest!

(but I still love you anyway, Nick)

(and if I were to go with an HL alum, I'd pick Peter Wingfield a thousand times over for the role)

Oh, BTW, here's a supposed list of those in the running:

.... Clive Owen, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman, Heath Ledger, Orlando Bloom and little-known Scottish actor Gerald Butler, who actually had a bit part in the 1997 Bond caper Tomorrow Never Dies.
Posted by Ithildin at 6:28 PM | Comments (13)

Shhhh! It's A Secret!

So John Kerry has a plan for Iraq. But don't hold your breath wondering what it is, because it's a secret.

.... Kerry accused President Bush of misleading the country before the war in Iraq, burning bridges with U.S. allies and having no plan to win peace. But when questioned about saying Thursday in his acceptance speech, "I know what we have to do in Iraq," he would not tip his hand.

"I've been involved in this for a long time, longer than George Bush," he said. "I've spent 20 years negotiating, working, fighting for different kinds of treaties and different relationships around the world. I know that as president there's huge leverage that will be available to me, enormous cards to play, and I'm not going to play them in public. I'm not going to play them before I'm president."

Reminded that he sounded like Richard M. Nixon, who campaigned in 1968 by saying he had a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam, Kerry responded: "I don't care what it sounds like. The fact is that I'm not going to negotiate in public today without the presidency, without the power."

Maybe if I joined the John Kerry Fan Club, I could get a secret decoder ring! I wonder what else would come with my membership kit? Rules for the "Purple Heart Toss" game perhaps, maybe a coupon good for a bowl of chili at Wendy's, a copy of "A Guide To Marrying Rich for The Modern Man", and I'm sure there would be a special for members only pamphlet on how to "Have It Both Ways Without Really Trying" too.

What else should be in the membership packet?

Posted by Ithildin at 11:51 AM | Comments (4)