MrSpkr's random thoughts . . .
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
More chilling news about looters in New Orleans
courtesy of WDSU's live broadcast.
Baptist Memorial Hospital in New Orleans has been taken over by armed looters.
They are apparently looting the hospital supplies.
The news is reporting several other instances of gang violence writ large.
Disgusting. Things like this are EXACTLY why I support the right of private citizens to bear arms. Relying upon the government to protect you from criminals in times of emergency is a fool's game.
UPDATE:WDSU is now waffling a bit, stating that it is based on a few emails from within New Orleans and has not been confirmed by officials. I'll keep an eye on this and update as necessary.
Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts -- give to Feed the Children
Glen Reynolds (yes, THAT Glenn Reynolds) is asking for blogging to help charities involved in the Katrina relief efforts.
Larry Jones' "Feed the Children" is an Oklahoma charity with which I am pretty familiar. Essentially, they deliver food, medicine, clothing and other basic necessities to people in disaster areas. They've been around for about a quarter-century and are a good, Christian ministry and support program.
Right now, they are trying to get their trailers full of supplies down to the areas they are needed most. With the increased price of fuel, they need our help.
I am pledging $100.00 towards this charity. I encourage all three of my readers to do the same.
Shoot looters on sight . . .
or you will only have more (and better armed) looters.
With law enforcement officials and National Guardsmen focused on saving lives, looters around the city openly ransacked stores for food, clothing, appliances -- and guns.I understand our desire to save lives, but ignoring the looters will cost more lives in the long run.
New Orleans' homeland security chief, Terry Ebbert, said looters were breaking into stores all over town and stealing guns. He said there are gangs of armed men moving around the city.See? Shoot the looters on sight (the city IS under martial law, after all) and you will suppress many of these scumbags. You'll also prevent a bad situation from getting much worse.
The Times-Picayune newspaper reported that the gun section at a new Wal-Mart in the Lower Garden District had been cleaned out by looters.
Gunshots were heard throughout the night in Carrollton.
How much worse can it get? Let me leave you with one more quote from that story:
Staff members at Children's Hospital huddled with sick youngsters and waited in vain for help to arrive as looters tried to break through the locked door, Blanco spokeswoman Denise Bottcher told the newspaper. Neither the police nor the National Guard arrived.I wonder what many gun control advocates would say if the hospital staff had been forced to defend the sick youngsters (and the drugs those kids need) with lethal force?
I've been watching the WDSU.com newsfeed. During a recent interview with reporter Ed Reams, they showed footage from inside a local department store (which apparently still had power).
Cops -- in uniform -- were looting right alongside everyone else.
Oh, and to anticipate some arguments about the need to survive: I don't think electronics, shoes, and designer clothing by the shopping cart load are "necessities for survival."
I might have a little compassion for the mom and infant grabbing some bottled water and formula, or the family man grabbing some cans of food for the family as they attempt to hike out.
I have no compassion for those who simply see this disaster as an "opportunity" to steal from their neighbors. To the contrary, I find it disgusting and intolerable.
I repeat: shoot the looters on sight.
Nothing else will stop the crime.
UPDATE: Some have questioned the legality of such measures. I think it would be unquestionably legal if the President exercised his authority under Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution and suspended habeas corpus in the impacted areas.
Sorry, but subsequent events are confirming my fears of the consequences of ignoring blatant lawlessness.
Just heard that 100% of New Orleans
will be underwater in about ten hours. The local news is now stating the flooding should level off at about 3 feet above sea level.
That would place most of NOLA under 9 feet of water.
On the way in to work this morning, I wondered whether they will simply rebuild on site, abandon the area, or make some changes.
My guess is that abandoning the area is unlikely except in the more remote areas. Some people will rebuild on site, and it is appropriate that they do so. My thoughts are that rebuilding is fine, but that, due to the extent of the devastation, New Orleans has a golden opportunity to completely rebuild it's geography. Instead of relying purely on levees, I would think it advisable for NOLA to backfill the lower areas with sand, rock, and debris. If NOLA could be raised even six feet (to sea level), that would significantly reduce future flood damage.
So what kind of job would that be? Well, New Orleans covers 4190 square miles (google cache of a NOLA web page). That comes out to 12,978,943,999 square yards of surface area (or 2,681,600 square acres).
To raise that area by six feet would require 25,957,887,998 cubic yards of fill. A dump truck can carry about ten cubic yards of soil/fill. So, it would take 2.6 million dump trucks of fill to raise the area.
The cost would probably run around $3 billion dollars, give or take (at about $1,000 per truck load presumed -- I am guessing there is not a large supply of fill nearby, so it would have to be hauled in from a distance).
And this doesn't even address the cost of replacing power lines, water lines, roads, and other infrastructure.
Or what would be done with surviving high rise buildings, or the French Quarter, or existing cemeteries.
Or housing for people, or . . . sigh. It looks like this solution won't quite work, will it?
So what can we do but (a) abandon or (b) rebuild?
I've seen recommendations of a thirty-five foot "wall" around the inner city. The idea is that people could go to the city center as a "haven" from hurricanes, and that the wall would protect them.
Isn't that what the levees were supposed to do? They failed -- so why would we think a wall would do any better?
Can you imagine the devastation if 250,000 people were trapped in a rapidly flooding area because a thirty foot retaining wall buckled -- and there were no land routes out of the area?
I've also heard some say this was a one in a million event (links omitted because, well, I'm at the office and need to get back to work). Well, I respectfully disagree. As more and more of the southern Louisiana coast is eroded, hurricanes will hit inland with more force than before (the outlying coastal islands used to reduce the power of hurricanes before they got as far north as New Orleans).
This hurricane has forced New Orleans to address sine very difficult questions about what to do in the future. None of the possibilities are attractive.
Still in and out
of the office doing a site review, so posting is light.
Why not post from home, you didn't ask? Well, I can't right now.
I've been having problems with the home network -- right now, my laptop can contact the access point, but cannot access the internet THROUGH the access point. This makes home blogging problematic as my wife is on our other fast computer every evening for work on her Master's degree.
So, until I get time to fix it (probably a week from this Saturday), posting will be light.
While I'm here, though, I want to thank Katey Kakes for adding me to her blogroll. She has interesting commentary and her site is worth a visit. I'll reciprocate and add her to my blogroll later this week.
Until then, say a prayer for those poor folks down in Louisiana and Mississippi.
Monday, August 29, 2005
All people are equal . . .
but some are more equal than others.
Reverend Al Sharpton visits my neck of the woods.
At 110 MPH.
And manages to hitch a ride after his driver is arrested for reckless driving and attempting to evade arrest (a felony).
Insert your joke here.
When mindless, faceless bureaucrats run things
you get policies like this one.
Children in public schools in this school district can curse up to five times per day . . . and if they go over that limit, why, they'll get a stern talking to!
Sigh. I guess asking a teacher to enforce discipline, respect, manners and civility is just too much to ask.
And, of course, it is unacceptable to hold a teacher accountable for his or her actions. This chart shows how difficult it is for New York City to fire an incompetent teacher even when parents, administration and other faculty agree the teacher's incompetence deserves termination.
For the record:
blowing yourself up or beheading infidels is more constructive than soccer.
Just in case you were wondering.
Back in the day, Bill Cosby had a comedy routine about a hospital corpsman during an invasion. He describes one guy who goes nuts when his friend is shot. Although the corpsman and some other guys try to hold the soldier down, he breaks free and runs screaming into the open.
The enemy soldiers quickly shoot him down.
Let's let Bill tell it:
"First thing this guys yells is 'Medic!'"
"I said 'What do you want?'"
"My life! My life!"
"I don't make house calls! Take two aspirin and mail in the results!"
I was reminded of that story when I read this in today's Washington post:
"I'm not doing too good right now," Chris Robinson said via cellphone from his home east of the city's downtown. "The water's rising pretty fast. I got a hammer and an ax and a crowbar, but I'm holding off on breaking through the roof until the last minute. Tell someone to come get me please. I want to live."
You want to live? Hmm. So, because you were too stupid, or stubborn, or just plain lacking in common sense to get out of the way of a force four hurricane, you want somebody else to risk their lives to come in and rescue you?
What, did you think a hurricane was nothing more than a bad thunderstorm? You live in New Orleans, and yet flooding has only recently become an issue?
Idiot. Take a deep breath and mail in the results.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
I wish I had the time . . .
to drive down and watch Reverend AL Sharpton walk a picket line with the racist goons from StormFront!
Just some good natured, sittin' back in your lawn chair, popcorn eatin' fun.
Checking in . . .
Things have gotten really hectic in the past week. Late office hours, plus two days off-site visiting a client have cut into my blogging time.
Today, it's "Help Around the House Day" with lots of Honey-Do's on my list. Tomorrow, I go pick up the two older kids from a visit to my dad's place in Oklahoma. Monday, several filing deadlines, and at least another half day to full day site visit with the client.
All that is to say, blogging may be light for a few days. Please bear with me.
While I'm here, I want to offer a congrats to Random Numbers for hitting 5,000 posts! Good job!
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
What I'm doing now
I'm attending Geek University, that's what! It fits -- I've always been the guy in the family that EVERYONE calls when they have a computer problem.
Geeks to Go! is a forum-style web site offering free assistance for people suffering from spyware/malware/virus infections. Assistance is offered by trained volunteers who can help users remove the malware and protect their computer from future infestations. I've used them as a "self-help" site before (they have some great program resources) and am trying to track down a particularly persistent trojan/spyware infestation right now.
I learned that they were accepting volunteers, so I checked it out. Geek University offers free training to those who want to assist others in the battle against unwanted computer infestations, all in a very family friendly environment (several of the volunteers are teenagers, which makes me feel OLD!).
Anyway, I have always hated bullies -- those who prey on the weak, the defenseless, or the ignorant. That's part of the reason I became a lawyer. I like fighting for the helpless when I can. I find it very satisfying.
In my mind, spamware/malware/virus generators are nothing more than bullies. They take advantage of people's trust and ignorance to interfere with, and sometimes damage, the victim's computer and software. I've dealt with this personally several times -- my nine year old son, in search of cheat codes for an XBox game, managed to get our old computer so infested and screwed up that I essentially had to reformat the hard drive and start from scratch.
All this so some spamware artist can get paid for generating "hits" to a sight for penis enlargement/weight reduction/meeting singles/refinancing mortgages/etc.?
That offends my sense of justice and fair play. So now, I'm going to help fight back.
If you need help, go to "Geeks to Go" through the link on the sidebar.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
65 Girls At Canton, Ohio High School School Pregnant
out of 490 female students (or about 13% of the girls in school).
Why? Well, this might have something to do with the problem:
School officials are not sure they what has caused so many pregnancies
Umm, okay . . . maybe the school officials need to brush up on the basics.
Does Pat Robertson believe . . .
in throwing gasoline upon burning embers of the Looney Left's anti-war anger?
I think he does:
"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."
Wow. Now the Left can cling to THREE well-worn canards in their paranoid anti-Bush conspiracies.
Sigh. Robertson may at one time have been an eloquent spokesperson for a certain segment of modern conservatives, but those times are past. Back in 2001, he and Jerry Falwell suggested that the 9/11 attacks were God's punishment of the United States for it's moral decline. Now, he suggests that assassinating Chavez is a good idea because it will ensure oil flow and, besides, Chavez already expects it, so we should oblige.
Someone should gently nudge Pat off to the side of the room and let him know that his time is up.
The Bush Administration has quickly distanced itself from Robertson's remarks:
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said "Our department doesn't do that kind of thing. It's against the law. He's a private citizen. Private citizens say all kinds of things all the time."
The Venezualan Vice President, Jose Vincente Rangel,
called Robertson "a man who seems to have quite a bit of influence in that country," adding sarcastically that his words were "very Christian."
The comments "reveal that religious fundamentalism is one of the great problems facing humanity in these times," Rangel said.
This is the problem with Robertson's idiocy. All he has done is (a) forced the administration to can any thoughts it might have ahd of actually killing Chavez and (b) given Chavez political cover and ammunition.
Chavez himself offered no comments. He was wrapping up a state visit to his great friend and model, Fidel Castro.
Monday, August 22, 2005
The Brainster does . . .
the liberal Fantastic Four.
If true, this is potentially a Very Bad Thing
A draft constitution for Iraq to be presented to parliament on Monday will make Islam "a main source" for legislation and ban laws that contradict religious teachings, members of the parliamentary drafting panel said.
That sounds suspiciously similar to the Iranian form of government, in which nominally elected officials must conform to the edicts of religious leaders. It is the basis for a theocracy, which will ultimately turn into an authoritarian government.
Which parts of Shariah will be enforced? How will women obtain equal rights? How can homosexuals be protected from persecution, or, as we have seen in Iran in recent months, execution for their lifestyle?
What of those people who wish to worship Jesus? Buddha? Nobody? According to Islamic laws, they are second class citizens who must pay an additional tax for the privilege of living in a Muslim society.
This is bad. We should have gone in like Douglas MacArthur did in Japan. In the aftermath of WWII, MacArthur and the United States dictated Japan's new constitution and government with little substantive input from the Japanese. Rather than worrying about Japanese "cultural sensibilities" or "cultural imperialism", America decided to force a democratic government upon the Japanese and on terms that would give Japan the best opportunity for developing into a peaceful, prosperous country.
MacArthur gave little consideration to the centuries-old Japanese tradition of treating the Emperor as "God on Earth." He disregarded and in fact so totally rejected the long-standing Japanese militaristic tradition and culture that Japan's new military was named the "self-defense force" and did not send any troops to serve abroad for over fifty years.
Guess what? It all worked. Today, Japan is one of our greatest allies.
Iraq could be -- if we forced them to make a democracy that protects all Iraqis and places the rule of law ahead of the dictates of religion. Sadly, initial reports are that we have utterly failed to do so.
Honor his memory . . .
Thank you, Sgt. Smith.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
This could lose the GOP control of the Senate . . .
if it is true.
Ed Gillespie has been telling the press (eg this morning's front-pager in the WSJ) that a revived amnesty plan will be the president's top domestic priority come September.
That is just, well, wrong. Granting amnesty sends the message that if one decides to enter the United States illegally, then he or she can stay and become a permanent resident after a period of time. It's an insult to the concept of "respect for the law" and a slap in the face of every immigrant who waited patiently to enter this country legally.
By "reforming" immigration in ways that make law-breaking more attractive, [the administration is] inviting an ever greater supply of the very problem they are claiming to wish to solve - and also ever greater cynicism among conservative and Republican voters.
Amen. This Republican will not vote for any Congress-critter who supports amnesty for lawbreakers.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Dallas really knows how to screw up a good thing, doesn't it?
The only decent arena in Dallas is the American Airlines center, home of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars.
Jerry Jones didn't get a good enough offer from Dallas to build the Cowboys' new stadium at Fair Park in Dallas -- heaven forbid the city spend some money to get some money.
Now, one of the strongest, oldest traditions in college football may disappear -- all because Dallas has been unwilling to spend the money to upgrade the Cotton Bowl stadium, expand seating, and create additional luxury suites (which generate serious cash for the teams).
The OU-Texas Red River Shootout may be leaving Dallas at the end of the current contract (2009).
This is not the first time this game has been threatened. I can still remember a rather extreme right-winger, E.Z. Million, who argued against renewing the Dallas contract back in 1996 (when I was in law school at OU).
Back then, however, such views were written off as fanciful. After all, OU/Texas was a tradition -- one of the grandest in college football -- and holding the game at the Great State Fair of Texas on a neutral field was a big part of the atmosphere.
Now, however, I shan't be surprised to see it disappear. The City of Dallas doesn't appear that interested in it.
I wonder if they will be interested when they lose a chunk of their annual tax revenue from hotel taxes, restaurant taxes, monies spent at the fair, etc., etc.?
I wonder if the citizens who individually profit from the game by working the fair, working restaurants, helping with parking, operating shuttle busses, etc., etc., will miss it?
I presume they all will miss it -- but only after it is gone. Sadly, it seems to be man's curse to take things for granted until they disappear.
Friday, August 12, 2005
If this procedure means people . . .
could pick and choose their babies, then I am opposed. Having that power is nothing more than window shopping for a baby -- except you get to kill the ones you don't want.
Sorry -- but after seeing my children's ultrasounds, placing my hand against my wife's abdomen and feeling my children turn, or send an elbow or a knee rippling across my wife's pregnant figure, and seeing an ultrasound of my eldest son sucking his thumb in utero, I cannot in good conscience believe that the living, growing creature within the adult female's womb is anything other than a human, a person, a life worth preserving.
That makes me a flaming radical in some places. So be it. I have been told that my position essentially supports the concept of keeping women economically suppressed, because women need NEED(?) to have the right to choose to keep or terminate fetus, and by forcing them to keep the fetus, I am condemning them to poverty.
My response is very simple: women who don't want to be "trapped" by the miracle of pregnancy need only do one thing -- stop having sexual intercourse. Use some self control, m'kay?
While we're at it -- I have no problems going after the putative father for child support. He can keep his pants zipped as well as the mother can, and should pay a price when he does it. Not because sex is evil or bad, but because refusing to accept consequences is. If that seems too high a price to pay for a little sexual fun, well, there's a sure-fire way to avoid the problem: abstain.
This makes me a Neanderthal in liberal circles -- I realize that.
But at least I don't carry the nagging guilt for tacitly or actively supporting a system designed to kill innocent, helpless children in utero.
I can defend (and have) unfortunate civilian casualties arising from U.S. military action. I cannot, however, defend the deliberate targeting that takes place in abortion clinics around the country.
Okay, off the soapbox. Where the heck did that mind dump come from, anyway? Oh yes -- from a story in the UK papers.
Read this story, and think about whether your parents might have killed you in utero because you had a genetic defect that raised the risk of cancer but did not always trigger it.
My youngest daughter, as regular readers know, has Down's syndrome. We didn't know about it until she was born -- we opted against amniocentesis because we decided to accept whatever child God gave us.
Would we have aborted her had we known? I doubt it -- and I thank God I never had to make that decision.
I held Katie especially close the other night while watching a show on the Discovery Health Network. The show, titled "The Girl Without A Face", tells the story of Juliana Wetmore. Juliana has the most sever case of Treacher-Collins syndrome ever recorded.
Juliana is missing 30-40% of the bones in her face. She has already undergone 14 surgeries, and doctors believe she could need at least 30 more. She lacks a jawbone, eyesocket, cheekbones, etc., etc.
Frankly, she looks pitifully freakish -- until you take the time to watch her play. She runs and plays and has fun like any other two year old child. And, as you watch her, your initial shock and reluctance slowly transform into affection, and awe. Juliana is a magnificent little girl who, much like my Katie, doesn't seem to know or care that she is "different" from everyone else.
Her attitude teaches those around her that "different" does not mean "bad." Knowing and playing with her would be, I suspect, a very rewarding experience.
Years ago, children with defects such as Juliana's were either abandoned, or quietly suffocated. Now, we are enlightened -- we can eradicate children like Juliana or Katie before we ever see them.
It soothes our modern sensibilities, I suppose. Out of sight, out of mind. But I wonder --- in the still of the night, when all is quiet, whether the nagging voice of conscience quietly condemns our acts?
I hope we never get to the point that we routinely try to eradicate new life on the basis of perceived or actual imperfection.
The wave of the future
Electronic reusable paper.
This stuff is a thin layer of transparent plastic in which millions of small beads, somewhat like toner particles, are randomly dispersed. The beads, each contained in an oil-filled cavity, are free to rotate within those cavities. The beads are "bichromal," with hemispheres of two contrasting colors (e.g. black and white, red and white), and charged so they exhibit an electrical dipole. When voltage is applied to the surface of the sheet, the beads rotate to present one colored side to the viewer. Voltages can be applied to the surface to create images such as text and pictures. The image will persist until new voltage patterns are applied.
This is tremendous -- and I suspect the range of colors and the size and weight will make it a powerful product.
But this type of product will not be limited to the uses IBM proposes (though those uses are very interesting). This type of technology will have a tremendous impact on other industries, too.
Automobiles, for instance. Or home siding. Or boats, RV's, tattoos, carpeting, wallpaper, paints, furniture covers, or cosmetics.
Want to redecorate your house? Go down to your local Radio Shack and pay $149.95 for the newest Ralph Lauren coordinating color scheme cartridge. Plug it in at home, enter the unique password, verified by online check, and presto -- your drab off-white walls are now a warm, cheery beige. Or melon. Or burgundy.
Want to put up a Christmas mural on your home siding? Just purchase one of our $49.95 holiday mural cartridges and plug it in.
Want to change the tile in your bathroom? No problem. Cover stains on your vanilla carpet? We can do that, too.
How about changing the color of the sail on your sailboard/boat/whatever? Easy-peasy.
There's a whole range of potential applications -- and problems, of course (such as the police chasing a red Honda that is able to turn white on command -- though I suspect there will be a counter for such uses, too. Would a car battery and alternator generate enough electricity to enable the change?)
The basic technology would not be that different (okay, maybe for paints and carpets, but maybe not even that). It is simply a matter of figuring out how to incorporate these magic little beads into a whole range of different products. For any product that is currently painted, the beads might simply be dispersed throughout the paint itself. For fabrics, dispersion might be much more difficult; for carpets, it might be well-nigh impossible (particularly due to the rough treatment the average carpet takes on a daily basis).
Hat tip, Southern Appeal.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Not all in professional sports is bad news . . .
Last Thursday in Cincinnati, 6 year old Anthony Perez' grandfather took him to the Reds-Braves game for "Tony Perez" bobblehead night.
It was the last thing Grandpa ever did for him. He died during the seventh inning of an apparent heart attack.
Security officers took little Anthony away from the scene -- and the Reds let him sit in the bullpen for the last two innings while he awaited relatives coming to pick him up.
"Jacob Cruz, Jason LaRue, Junior, they were all great with him," [Clubhouse manager Rick] Stowe said. "They gave him bats, balls, wrist bands. Felipe Lopez signed the helmet he wore in the All-Star Game and gave it to him."
"Ken Griffey Jr. was extraordinary," [Security Officer Bill] Summee said. "He went completely out of his way to do everything he could."
Said Griffey: "We just tried to make a bad situation a little better."
A very heartwarming story.
Hat tip, We Win They Lose.
Today needs to go better than yesterday, because
yesterday pretty much sucked.
First, I had headaches and neck pains all day (from a car accident over two years ago -- long story, and still in litigation, so no more details than that).
Then, I learned that we were going to have to withdraw from representation in a case that comprised 25% of my billing hours last month. The reasons are complex (and have a lot to do with a lawyer at another firm preferring to flog his client's insurance carrier for 100-150 billable hours instead of moving quickly towards mediation) but it still means I have to figure out how to replace those hours.
Finally, I arrived home and learned that my wife's aunt, who has been battling brain cancer for a few months, was informed yesterday that she had about six weeks left to live.
I can't imagine how I would react to such news. Imagine being told that the next six weeks would be your last. You have 42 days left. Thank you for playing.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Mauritania junta frees jailed Islamists, names PM
Interesting events in Mauritania. According to this news release, the military junta that seized power last week (see earlier posts) has appointed a civilian to serve as Prime Minister in what appears to be an effort to assuage popular concerns over the establishment of a military dictatorship.
In addition, the junta has ordered the release of several dozen people the Taya government had arrested for being "Islamic activists." Local sources indicate widespread belief that the old government, in an effort to stifle internal political opposition, had labelled the men as such in order to justify arresting them.
Some corners of the blogosphere are condemning the releases, seemingly jumping to the conclusion that Mauritania will turn into another Islamist-harboring source of international terrorism (much like Iran or Libya).
While this is indeed a possibility, I think it is much too soon to reach such conclusions. Those who claim this is an Islamist coup and that Mauritania has now joined the terrorists' cause are jumping the gun.
Mauritania has just overthrown a totalitarian dictatorship. The military leaders promise to transition the society to democracy. If spreading democracy is to mean anything, it must stand for the right of citizens of other countries to choose their own governments. So long as these folks (1) form a democracy (of sorts) and (b) don't engage in terrorism, I'll support their transition to a free, open government.
I simply find it unfathomable that we as Americans decry hostile dictatorships, but remain silent regarding those which choose to be our nominal allies.
Hat tip, Little Green Footballs.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Rhymes With Right has it spot on re: Peter Jennings:
Jennings was someone I could not dislike, even as I often found myself in disagreement with him. I'm sorry to see him go.
True. Very sad to see him go.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Peter Jennings close to death . . .
according to the Dead Pool.
Wow. I grew up watching Peter on the ABC News. He definitely has a left of center tilt, but Peter himself always seemed to be a stand-up sort of guy.
Hate to see anyone go like this.
ABCNews has now confirmed that long-time anchor Peter Jennings died Sunday evening at his New York home. He was 67.
Godspeed, Mr. Jennings. Godspeed.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
And now for something completely different . . .
Right-wing nut house just posted a Moonbat Blog Taxonomy.
Contrast this with Fables of the Reconstruction's "Conservative Blog Taxonomy".
Both are slanted, of course; FotR's is biting and largely ad hominem in nature. RWNH is actually amusing -- as well as largely accurate.
In my own unbiased opinion, of course.
FSU Gets it Right!
I don't say things like that very often -- but this time, Florida State University has it right.
President T.K. Wetherell, reacting to the idiotic NCAA mascot ban, stated:
I intend to pursue all legal avenues to ensure that this unacceptable decision is overturned, and that this university will forever be associated with the "unconquered" spirit of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Go get 'em. I should think $250 million in actual, foreseeable economic damages related to diminution of future business opportunities, breach of contract, dilution of trademark, etc., etc. arising solely from the decision to ban FSU's trademark mascot and logo from post-season television coverage and play would be a good start.
I would hope that Utah, Illinois, etc. would join in this effort.
Ray Ratto has it right
Truth is, the NCAA hid behind "institutional control," the same thing that allows it the convenience of not thoroughly policing its members when it comes to academic performance, illegal inducements, performance-enhancing drugs and all the hard choices that the individual schools too often don't make on their own. The NCAA can look like it is doing something while doing essentially nothing, a task at which it is particularly skilled.
Friday, August 05, 2005
The fact the NCAA has a VP for Diversity and Inclusion . . .
is reason enough to pull out of the NCAA.
Good word. The NCAA "banned the use of American Indian mascots by sports teams during its postseason tournaments." At least 18 schools have mascots the NCAA deem "hostile or abusive" and thus would be directly affected, including Utah, Illinois and Florida State.
Never mind the fact the FSU Seminoles are actively supported by the Florida Seminole tribe. The NCAA has Deemed the FSU Mascot and Nickname Hostile or Abusive. Who are those pesky Seminole tribe members to question the wisdom of the almighty NCAA?
When will some people recognize that there is no right not to be offended?
Apparently, NCAA VP For Diversity and Inclusion Charlotte Westerhaus was hired on May 18, 2005, and just started actually working at the NCAA on August 1.
So I guess that means she wants to establish her authority, so to speak, rather quickly.
One shudders to ask, "What next?"
A new addition to the blog roll . . .
Ernie the Attorney has got a good blog, full of all kinds of fun stuff. Basically, its practical advice and commentary from a lawyer/philosopher/photographer/guitar player/poet from New Orleans. Give it a look!
A few pictures would have been easier, but not nearly as cool. . .
The story of how a laptop and Google Maps saved on tech savvy guy from about $200 in tickets.
Hat tip, Ernie the Attorney.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
I bet more than a couple of the guys filmed here . . .
had a LOT of explaining to do when they got home.
Somehow, the claim "I was just at the golf course, honey" doesn't seem adequate.
Yet another reason why I keep close watch . . .
on the people who are with my children at school every day.
I hope this guy suffers in prison, truly, I do.
Another Islamic pro-democracy coup?
Hat tip, Glenn Reynolds.
President Taya, dictator of Mauritania (NW Atlantic coast of Africa, about three times the size of New Mexico, with more deserts and less of the artsy Santa Fe crowds and ski resorts) left the country a few days ago to attend Saudi Arabian King Faud's funeral.
So the Mauritanian military (or at least, about 15% of that group) staged a coup in his absence.
The men who seized power have promised to move the country towards an open and transparent democracy, with free elections within two years. Eyewitness reports indicate the coup is bloodless, and widely supported by the general population.
Of course, there are the usual condemnations, primarily from corrupt dictators who don't want their own oppressed peoples getting any big ideas, and from those who support and enable those types of totalitarian tinhorns -- like Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is deeply troubled by the reports of an attempt underway to overthrow the Government of President Ould Taya in Mauritania by force.
The Secretary-General condemns any attempt to change the government of any country unconstitutionally and stresses that political disagreements should be settled peacefully, through the democratic process.
Of course, this conveniently ignores the fact that (a) Ould Taya seized power by military coup in 1984 and has ruled as a totalitarian dictator since that time; and (b) Taya has ruthlessly suppressed any internal political opposition, much as Mubarak has done in Egypt.
But hey, why would anyone want to change the serene and majestic Islamic Republic of Mauritania, anyway? How about slavery, oppression, and torture of dissidents?
GatewayPundit has video and more.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Robert Bork is speaking this morning on C-SPAN
Hat tip, Southern Appeal. Good stuff.
It's funny listening to the callers. C-SPAN gives three numbers out, one for Democrats, one for Republicans, and one for independents.
The Republicans, of course, are very complimentary. They also offer a few "softball" questions for Bork.
The independents have some interesting questions, for the most part, not too critical, and mostly relevant (though some are based on incorrect premises).
The Democrat callers, however, seem far more interested in lecturing Judge Bork than in posing questions. The commentator has had to cut them off repeatedly.
One thought I found interesting -- when asked about his "legacy", Bork simply stated that he thought his legacy was the start of a bad trend.
I disagree. I think that the Bork nomination in 1987 was a major milestone in the conservative movement. Bork's failed nomination, particularly in light of subsequent nominations (and presidents), showed conservatives that getting the White House was not enough if conservatives were not willing to fight for individual issues or nominations. Bork's became not merely a descriptive term, but also a warning for conservatives who may have previously believed that electing a Republican president would cure all (or even most) ills.
Monday, August 01, 2005
The Brits get smart . . .
on anti-terrorism measures.
BTP Chief Constable Ian Johnston said that his officers would not "waste time searching old white ladies".
Now, if only the American authorities could exhibit that level of common sense.
Helen Thomas . . .
First, she made news last week when she said "The day Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I'll kill myself. All we need is one more liar."
Now, it appears Ms. Thomas is upset that her conversation with a reporter was, well, reported!
Thomas said yesterday at the White House that her comments to Eisele were for his ears only. "I'll never talk to a reporter again!" Thomas was overheard saying.
"We were just talking -- I was ranting -- and he wrote about it. That isn't right. We all say stuff we don't want printed," Thomas said.
Turnabout is fair play, Ms. Thomas. How many times have you and others of your, errr, profession done the same sort of thing to politicians with whom you have disagreed?
Why is that any different?
Sorry, but I have zero sympathy for the woman. The modern press has created the current media environment, as destructive and hostile as it is. Perhaps now they will realize the value of occasional restraint.
Hat tip, Drudge.