Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor,* Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (New Living Translation)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Making Blades, Toledo Style

Toledo, España, that is. Mark in Mexico shows how it was done back in the 16th century.

It is also somewhat of a buying guide to blades in Mexican markets.

Mark promises a future article on the Damascus steel method; I had thought that method was lost. Stay tuned... I know I will.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bill Roggio in Anbar, IQ

Bill Roggio is reporting from Anbar province. Here are his latest dispatches:
Fallujah Today, and on Route Mobile
A Day Inside Fallujah
Hearts & Minds

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Daschle Decides Not to Run

With a tip of the Internet hat to Carol Platt Liebau, here is the announcement a good dozen or so people were waiting for: Tom Daschle is not going to run for President.

I, too, am not going to run.

There. I said it, and I now yield the microphone to the next of the 299,999,900 (give or take) of us with the good sense not to bother running for President to announce his non-plan to a non-caring public.

What's Up In Iraq?

Dunno. But Bill Roggio is there now to help us find out "the rest of the story".

Thursday, November 30, 2006

"Can Republicans embrace Hagel?"

Is the question asked by the WashingPost's David Ignatius. The PowerLine guys mention it here.

Now I'm no expert in philosophy, so I'm not exactly sure about him. Given that there were both Right and Left Hegelians make it a tougher call. The Left (or Young) Hegelians' more revolutionary view of the man's work, and their advocacy of atheism, would lead me to conclude that Hegel would be a tough sell for Republicans.

Hm? Hagel?! The Senator from Nebraska? Embrace him for what?

Let's see... from Ignatius's article: "WASHINGTON -- A month ago, the idea that Sen. Chuck Hagel would make a serious run for the Republican presidential nomination would have been a nonstarter."

And it still is. No need to read further.

(See here for Carol Liebau's take)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

"Botched Joke" Redux

John Kerry stuck to his lame "it was a botched joke" excuse when he got called to the carpet to explain why he was slagging the armed forces right before the election.

(UPDATE: Kerry is now dead last in "likeability" survey... gee, I wonder why.)

Well, now here comes Charlie Rangel:
I want to make it abundantly clear: if there’s anyone who believes that these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some generals have said, you can just forget about it. No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.
A few weeks AFTER the election we can see that the Left End of the Democrat Party really DOES think the military is made up of nothing but the poor and desperate.

What kind of dimwits continue to support Charlie Rangel?
(HT: Rantburg, via Little Green Footballs and Hot Air)

Protein Wisdom has this article. Among the comments, a charge of "swiftboating" Charles Rangel. To review: "To Swiftboat" is "to tell the truth about your opponent's record or history." This isn't "swiftboating" this is plinking a congressjerk who richly deserves it.

Powerline has the video.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Scientists say it is now okay to pull my finger

Here's the headline from our neighbors to the north:
Methane levels no longer rising, say scientists

There you go: SCIENTISTS say so.

From the story: "Methane levels have stayed nearly flat for the past seven years." Seven whole years? That's not a very impressive interval given a geologic timescale. Indeed it is only a little longer than the Bush administration. Someone must have slipped up in allowing this to be reported.

(h/t: Rantburg)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Big Brave Rosie?

Rosie O'Donnell declared that we should not fear the terrorists since they are just mothers and fathers.

The terrorists we are concerned with are young, Muslim men of Middle Eastern background. Just to keep the record straight.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Diane Sawyer in the DPRK

Diane Sawyer, the former weather girl from Louisville, is in North Korea making a show of interviewing people on the street. (I'm assuming that she isn't naive enough to believe anyone she meets can speak freely in a Stalinist dictatorship.)

Here are some photos that Li'l Kim would rather you not see. They were taken by a Russian web designer. A translation to English is here. Check out the 'computer' on the first page.

I doubt Diane will ever try to slip her handlers and get into the countryside. I wonder if she would even consider it. We'll see, but I'm not holding my breath for anything earthshaking from Big Media.

UPDATE: The link to the Russian website. The Military Photos link I provided above sources the photos from the Russian site... and occasionally they fail to show up next to the English translations.

New(ish) Iraqi Government Getting in the Swing of Things

Headline at Rantburg that made me chuckle: "Iraqis Form Special Committee to Deal with Illegal Militias".

We'll see how much they've learned from the American Model if they name George Mitchell to chair it.

(The story's real headline is "Iraqi Government Fights Back Against Insurgent Violence". You can view the story here.)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Could this Be Why...

...young Mohammedan youth decided to go on phone-buying binges, separating batteries and phones and such? (Article here.)

"How Qaeda Warned Its Operatives on Using Cell Phones":
When an aspiring Al Qaeda terrorist is buying a cell phone, it's best that he purchase the chip inside the device under a phony name or from a black market vendor that does not sell the accompanying documentation. If he has any reason to believe his phone has been tapped, he should sell it immediately to a stranger.
Might be interesting to know the browsing habits of the young men involved. I'm not saying... I'm just saying.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Travels Around DC

Takoma Park, MD
Located right next to the District's Northeast edge, its motto is (or rather should be)

You're Always Welcome to Takoma Park
Just be sure to bring it back when you're done with it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Angel's Lady Wendella 'Wendy'

April 27, 1996—September 12, 2006



eLarson writes: She was a pretty good dog, albeit a little food-aggressive. I learned the hard way that her concept of food extends even to butter wrappers. Still, though, I'll remember the way she could devour a bowlful of kibble in under a minute. Or how she could catch fragments of Iams dog treats in midair. Or the way Dad would hide them around their house, letting her sniff her way to them.

She was bred from a line of agility trial dogs. And though she had no formal training, I'll remember the way she could jump all the way over the sectional sofa at my parents' house. Or walk along the back of it, tightrope style. I'll remember the time we discovered her standing on the dining room table after a holiday meal. No one saw her get up there, but some surmised that she may have jumped off the back of that sofa.

I'll remember the way she would tug on the sleeve of my sweatshirt to get me to play on days when I was staring at a computer screen. I recall that she was a little afraid of my Cannondale, but she did like going for rides in a trailer behind it. ("Daddy, look! There's a doggy in there!")

I'll remember the way she would sing along with certain songs. She liked Patricia Barber, in particular. Something about the tone of the guitar in the mix.

It was a relief that she went quietly and before there was any obviously debilitating pain.

I'll miss her.

She was a good dog.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Okay then... a round up of the news

Via Rantburg: Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) Prefers Saddam. Mass grave victims unavailable for comment.

With respect to intelligence prior to the latest Battle of Iraq--and really that is the focus of the CBS article--imagine the following alternative:
Tenant says "It's a slamdunk" inre: Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction. Instead of toppling the Hussein regime, however, Bush does nothing. Then, say, in late 2005 Sarin gas found it's way to the Washington, DC, Metro, killing thousands. What would Jay Rockefeller say in such a case? I doubt it would stop with "Bush Knew", as the the famous NY Post headline had it.

In what way did scurrilous accusations such as "Bush Knew!" shape the policy of pre-emptive warfare that has Democrats bent wildly out of shape?

Via Carol Platt Liebau: Former Clintonistas, Congressional Democrats Throw Tantrum Over Upcoming ABC Docudrama.
There has been so much whining and gnashing of teeth over this coming ABC miniseries that it is almost enough to make me open the 9/11 Commission Report PDF again. But only "almost". Sandy Berger's pilfering from the National Archive during the time of the Committee hearings alone should make him want to hide in a closet more than shout from the rooftops about the events of 1993 - 2000.

What do you reckon he may have walked out with? And what, if anything, took its place in the Archive? Perhaps all the crowing suggests that they are confident anything that may have corroborated events portrayed in the film would not be found? Just asking.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

"What I Did On My Summer Vacation"

UPDATE 3: (via Little Green Footballs)
The Pittsburgh area.


UPDATE 2: (once again from Rantburg)
This time Middle Eastern youths in Tuscon buying up the prepaid phones from Sam's Club and Wal-Mart. As an anonymous commenter wrote: "Thanks for the publishing the surveillance tip, New York Times."

Another Rantburg commenter from Australia mentions that the phone he believes TracFone is using costs $160 there. A possibility for profit, true enough.

Let's just find out where these phones are going before letting the whole thing go, eh?

UPDATE: (via Rantburg)
Apparently it is a very popular passtime this year.
Last week, the Grafton police pulled over 24-year-old Hashem Sayed for a routine traffic stop. But what they found in his car was far from routine. Patrolman Daniel Laymon recalls the scene, "There were multiple cell phones, roughly 150 to 200 cell phones from multiple retailers," he said. Buying that many pre-paid phones is not a crime, but the police say it is unusual.
Or not so unusual in the peace-loving Muslim community....

From the Appleton (WI) Post-Crescent story about Dallas-area men apparently hoarding TracFone pre-paid wireless phones:
The Dearborn men, Ali Houssaiky and Osama Abulhassan, both 20, have been charged with two felonies - money laundering in support of terrorism and soliciting or providing support for acts of terrorism - and misdemeanor falsification. A preliminary hearing on the felony counts was set for Tuesday.


According to this story in The Arab American News, they were merely out buying the phones low and selling higher to a retailer. (Maybe WalMart really is the Lowest Prices. Always.) Interesting way to work your way through school.

Then there was this detail, as reported by AP: "The two had in their possession a dozen prepaid cell phones and more than $10,000. AP reported Thursday that officers also found airplane passenger lists and airport security information in the car."

Passenger lists? Where does someone go to obtain that? According to the Arab American News story: "Houssaiky's mother is an employee of Jordanian Airlines at Metro Detroit Airport," said Subhi. "It was her car that the two were riding in and the papers were related to her work."

I'm not sure that's a good answer. Isn't that sort of thing confidential? Why bring that home?

Given the ability of a mobile phone to detonate a bomb, I can see the concern that a huge number of phones being purchased with cash can raise.

The Arab American News story wanted to make sure everyone knew this:
Osama Abulhassan's father Subhi said he wanted the public to know the injustice that he believed his son is being put through..."I would say that every nationality and religion on the face of the earth has its good and bad people."
Yeah, we all do. It just happens the most notorious lot of lunatics belongs to your religion these days. Sorry about that.

I'm sure these two kids will skate once it can be shown that the phones aren't all heading to the Middle East and the cash they're using to buy them didn't come from some shadowy Al Qaeda financier. UPDATE 4: The terrorism case is not being pursued by Ohio prosecutors for lack of evidence. (Detroit Free Press)

Commonality:
The activity seems to be more than just a coincidence. All three men are from Dearborn, Michigan and all three gave similar reasons for buying the phones. Sayed said he was buying them to ship to California to sell for a profit.
Am I to understand from this statement that there are no Walmarts in California? Uhh... no. There are quite a few, actually.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Perhaps Feeling Ignored, the Car Lobbies for Attention

I got in the car this morning, ready to take on the Outer Loop of the Beltway as I do each weekday morning.

I turned the key, and rather than starting in that normal, reliable Honda kind of way, the car rewarded me with a frantic, flickery dashboard light show accompanied by some pathetic clicking.

15 months old and a new battery already? We'll see.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Saga of Our New House Continues

Today, moments from completing some paintwork, the builder's warranty department's contractor's men managed to spill a couple gallons of Antique White down the stairs. The paint soaked the carpet, spattered the walls, the woodwork... and some framed artwork. They managed to clean that up, but the carpet looks to be a total loss.

More light blogging ahead.

UPDATE: Looks like they've agreed that the carpet will need to be replaced. There will be some serious clean-up on the woodwork, too. The builder's warranty department sent over their usual house-cleaning crew, and reports from My Lovely Bride are that they've done a fine job. She hadn't been downstairs yet to see what they've been able to accomplish in the midst of yesterday's mess.

Friday, July 28, 2006

My Life as a Beagle, Part III

Ah, what a fine day this has been.
Oh, excuse me. I must be a little sleepy.
Tag:

...and He's Not Going to Take it Anymore

Jeff Goldstein has had more than enough of Deb Frisch and is now seeking legal recourse against her.

(See this post here, and this one at Jeff's for background.)

Jeff has put out an appeal for screenshots of her bizarre comments and ip information for the poster of those comments. None here, thankfully, but I post it as a "get out the word" kind of assist.

The person in question has used a lot of pseudonyms, but she has a certain strange writing style featuring words like "phuque" and "ephu". If you need more, I can find more. UPDATE: She also seems fond of "pissant" and "anklebiter". On more than one occasion she's used the term "hump" and "humping". You can find more of her lexicon in the comments section over at Patterico's post on the subject.

So if you seen this woman's bizarre ramblings--particularly those about Jeff Goldstein's family--on your site, pass the ip information for the poster and a screen shot of the comments to Jeff.

Best of luck, Jeff. No one should have to put up with those kinds of comments about one's children.

UPDATE 2: Oh, and Ace's place at MuNu seems to be down right now, too.

UPDATE 3: There was some kind of weirdness with "guest bloggers" this past weekend at Ace's. Not sure what was up with all of it, but well, you can see it for yourself. Jeff's posting occasionally, too, which is nice. Illegitimi Non Carborundum!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My life as a beagle, Part II

Today was a pretty good day. After everyone left, I had my choice of sleeping places. I was still asleep on the living room couch when Grandpa came in. I am so embarrassed. But, all is well. After going out, I had my favorite snack: ground beef with rice.

All for now. I'm really sleepy again. I think I shall nap in the chair in the loft.

Tag:

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My life as a beagle, part I

My are my nails growing. I think I need a trim.

Well, here I am. Glaucoma has taken the sight of one eye but I can sort of see out of the other. Enough to find my water bowl.

I had a nice walk in the yard when Grandpa came home. He gave me a cookie when we came in but I spit it up. No problem. Grandma made me rice and beef for supper. Man, was that good.

All for now. I have to go out.

Tag:

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Social Security Numbers and Those Illegally in the USA

From BizzyBlog comes this piece from the Washington Times:
Since 2003, the SSA has issued Social Security numbers, dubbed “non-working,” to foreign nationals who need them to collect state or federal benefits, such as public assistance.
The problem is that the SSA isn't allowed to tell an employer that the person they just hired using that SSN is not authorized to work in the country. From the article:
Privacy concerns prevent the Social Security Administration from notifying an employer that a hired foreign national is not authorized to work in this country, including someone who may be a potential national security risk, says a government audit.

The audit, by the SSA’s Office of the Inspector General, also found the agency fears employers will improperly terminate the illegal workers who have been issued Social Security numbers, leading to “adverse publicity.
Hell's Bells! The SSA fears adverse publicity!

This also puts a crimp in my proposed "match/no-match" system for determining whether a proferred SSN matches the name and birthdate of the applicant. In the interest of doling out more Government welfare, people who aren't authorized to work now HAVE Social Security Numbers.

Well, digging a little further, I found the "How do I get a Social Security Card" page. It details three different kinds:
# The first type of card shows your name and Social Security number and lets you work without restriction. We issue it to:

* U.S. citizens; and
* People lawfully admitted to the United States on a permanent basis.

# The second type of card shows your name and number and notes, “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION.” We issue this type of card to people lawfully admitted to the United States on a temporary basis who have DHS authorization to work.

# The third type of card shows your name and number and notes, “NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT.” We issue it to people from other countries:
I'm thinking the businesses that routinely hire illegal aliens aren't going to actually ask the guy standing in the 7-11 parking lot to fork over his card. (Hell, Mr. Contractor isn't likely to ask him to fill out an app.)

So if the SSA won't inform the employer that the number that was given--provided the employer even bothered to collect that number--what is the purpose of having three different cards? A search of their FAQ didn't turn up any references to "Undocumented Worker" or "Illegal Alien", so it could be fair game for their questions page. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for an answer.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Protein Wisdom Off the Air

After some seriously derranged blather--including what can be inferred to be a threat against Jeff Goldstein's child--from a poster who claims to be an instructor at the University of Arizona, Protein Wisdom seems to be down. The outage seems to have started yesterday afternoon and persists this morning.

It could be a DDOS against Jeff's host or something, but I hope Thursday night's weirdness hasn't escalated to something else.

UPDATE: PW is back as of 1658 EDT.

UPDATE 2: It's gotten scary in a Cape Fear kind of way. "Google satchel" might mean one of two things. One thing might have been some kind of urging to Mrs. Goldstein to examine their son for signs of abuse... a disturbing allegation with no evidence.

The other might be this. The murdered cheese shop owner's name is... Goldstein. The story mentions a satchel.

This is some bizarre kind of threat.

Jeff has contacted the authorities, and rightly so. Hopefully they will reach this lady before she hurts herself or someone else.

I love my Grandma

Wendy greeting GrandmaI can hear you and smell you. But I can scarce see you these days.

Tag:

Friday, June 30, 2006

I am so sleepy…

Wendy
Tag:

Must Read: Ledeen on Iranian Influence in Iraq Theater

(Via Rantburg)

It isn't (just) Ba-athists killing our troops in Iraq. There are a substantial number working for Tehran. This piece by Michael Ledeen details the nature of Iraqis, Iranians, Shi'ite Iraqis who fled to Iran during the Iran/Iraq War, and a schism within Shi'a Islam.

(Cross Posted at Potbelly Stove)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I Don't Miss Him Already

This one floated right under my radar: Norman Mineta has resigned as Secretary of Transportation.

Mineta, who served in the Clinton cabinet, was sort of a poster boy for George W. Bush's "New Tone" in Washington. (And a fat lot of good THAT's done for him. I would have been for waving buh-bye to every last holdover from the Clinton Administration. But that's just me.)

Perhaps now we can stop with the politically correct airport searches of Cub scouts and grandmothers.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Beagle Saves Man

This post at On Tap blog shows why it is that beagles really aren't "dumb". Willful? Yes. Selectively deaf? You betcha. But dumb? Not necessarily.

Excerpt:
Not only are beagles darn cute, make great cartoon characters, and prevent nasty diseases from ruining our farms and killing our livestock, they can also save your life...
Read it all here.

Another One Bites the Dust

Zarqawi's assistant and a liason between Al Qaeda in Iraq and the tribes south of Baghdad is now toast, too.

The Rantburg story points to a story in the Khaleej Times. The comments section at The Burg has a link to some before and after pix of one Mansur Suleiman al-Mashhadani.

A story yesterday had armed gangs of foreigners high-tailing it out of Iraq toward Syria. I wasn't familiar with the source of the story, but it is linked here. It really is a strange time for Democrats to redouble their "run-away!" efforts, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Midsummer's Eve

Sundown, Illinois, Midsummer's Eve, 2006Another fine evening. Tag:

Where's Trodwell & Co. Gone?

Once there was a very cool blog up in Canada. I'm not going to link to where it was, since someone is squatting on it now.

But it was the home to Trodwell, Pianoman, a Disaffected Minion and a Carniverous Beaver. I miss those guys. Anyone know where they've gone?

UPDATE: Rather than delete the post, I'll just update it with this link to North American Patriot--who also has hung up the keyboard. They're out for good. Or at least for the foreseeable future. I'm sure the next time Canada decides to veer back to the Libranos, Trodwell & Co. will be heard from in some forum.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Zark's Dead

The headline is over at Rantburg. We got Zarqawi.

I fully expect videos to be delivered to the Arab satellite news networks showing him alive and well, but with no particular way to date them. Then perhaps some audio tapes that could well have been pieced together from older statements which attempt to make him look alive since he's "talking" about current events.

UPDATE: FoxNews.com has it here with a big photo and the word "Dead".

BBC has the story here.

Drudge makes with the big headline, but no flashy-thing as of 0639.

Here's Christopher Hitchens's piece (via The Hugh Hewitt Show, linked from RadioBlogger.com). From the piece comes this interesting tidbit:
Nick Berg's father, a MoveOn type now running for Congress on the Green Party ticket, has already said that he blames President George Bush for the video-beheading of his own son (but of course) and mourned the passing of Zarqawi as he would the death of any man (but of course, again).
I'm guessing that would make for an interesting campaign ad if anyone needed to bother to advertise against a Green Party candidate. If it were me, I'd be blaming the guy with the knife on the video, but then I'm not suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Monday, June 05, 2006

It's Almost the 6th of June and You Know What THAT Means...

No, not the Mark of the Beast. That's not 6-6-6 anyway, it's 600+60+6 and it refers to Nero Caesar.

No. It means...
It was the dark of the moon on the sixth of June
And a Kenworth pullin' logs
Cab-over Pete with a reefer on
And a Jimmy haulin' hogs
We's headin' for bear on Eye-one-oh
'Bout a mile outa Shakeytown
I says, "Pigpen, this here's Rubber Duck
And I'm about to put the hammer down"
Yup. Convoy Day!

Facts about Convoy...
...There was no C.W. McCall. It was a pseudonym for Bill Fries, who cowrote the song with Chip Davis. (Yes, THAT Chip Davis!) And then there was the film that starred Kris Kristofferson and Ally McGraw and directed by Sam Peckinpah (yes, that Sam Peckinpah.) I haven't seen it in more than 20 years, and I don't think I want to see it now for fear that my general good feeling about it will dissipate in a cringe.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Places I Never Thought I'd Find Myself: Lynchburg, VA

As we headed down US-29 en route to High Point, NC for some serious furniture buying (see also: here), my lovely bride and I stopped off in Lynchburg, Virginia to eat. As we pulled into town, I remembered why it was I had heard of Lynchburg. It is Jerry Falwell's hometown, and Liberty University figures prominently, and I noticed a sign for Jerry Falwell Airport, as well, though we apparently didn't pass it.

As we pulled into the area close to Liberty for reasonably-priced eats, the kids walking around looked pretty much like any other college crowd. I'm not sure if I expected everyone to wear choir robes or what. Maybe it isn't all that different...but then, there it was, parked next to us outside a Mexican restaurant next to a big movie theater: a minivan covered with Bible verses and small, pictorial vignettes. I tried to get my camera phone ready, but sadly it was too dark, and the minivan was pulling away.

Now, I'm all for encouraging bold evangelism, but I've got to say, an over-the-top decoration of one's vehicle doesn't strike me as a good way to go. To paraphrase Hank Hill: You aren't making Christianity better, your just making your van look ridiculous. Too harsh?

As of Today...

...I am no longer on the payroll of the Lazy M. It's been a little strange getting paid to NOT work for a company, but if that's the way they want it, I'll take it. Thankfully, it hasn't precluded me from doing productive work elsewhere. Two pay checks at the same time: it's a good gig, if you can get it.

Some time in the next few weeks I'll get a massive severance check. And for that I wrote on my whiteboard at the old office: "So Long and Thanks for the Fabulous Cash and Prizes." Some of those are here and here.

Since there's still going to be some left over, I'm debating between the DeWalt DW735 and Ridgid TP1300 13" thickness planers. The Ridgid has been hailed in years psat as a good unit, and it costs $100 or so less than the DeWalt. However the Ridgid brand has been sold to the same parent company that owns Ryobi. Not sure if the unit still compares. Anyone know?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Congressional Earmarks: A Primer

Congressman Flake (R-AZ) has a great release on his website that talks about Congressional "ear marks" and what can be done to shine the light of day on them.

Read it here.

(H/T: Hugh Hewitt)

Monday, May 22, 2006

On Immigration After a Fence

Suppose that a fence is built that is able to greatly stem the tide of people illegally entering the country. By greatly, I mean at least by half and preferably by an order of magnitude (90% or so). Now what?

Well, here's a few points I'd like to see addressed:
1) untangle the path to a visa
Stories like that of jockey Edgar Prado's mother who had applied for a visa in order to obtain cancer treatment in the US, only to finally receive it the day before she died imply that the system is hopelessly inefficient. (Attacking inefficiency in government is to tilt at a windmill. Heigh-ho, Rocinante!) If it were possible to screen faster and still weed out the criminal element, so much the better. If the frustration at having to wait for years for a visa is eliminated, it should also reduce the need to run pell-mell for the border.

2) If we really need a horde of underpaid laborers from foreign countries, let us create a visa class especially for that. We have visas for skilled workers, such as engineers. Now we'll have one for ditch diggers, too. Who get's to stay longer? I'd say the engineer, since it is far less likely that he'll hurt his back and no longer be able to work.

3) Make sure the line to obtain such a visa begins in the home country only. Granted, embassies effectively are the home country so not everyone is going to high-tail it back to their literal home soil to stand in the line. (A line which should move somewhat faster, provided that (1) can be worked out.)

4) Abolish the minimum wage.
By having a horde of migrant laborers making very little--albeit more than they would have in their home countries--you effectively say "Minimum wage for Our Kind, Dear, but not for you." It would be better to not have a minimum wage at all.

5) Under no circumstances should voting be an option for someone who is here without a visa. Sorry, Democrats: your pool of "victims" to exploit for electoral gain is not going to be replenished by illegal aliens.

6) Take away the employer's "it's too hard" excuse for SSN verification.
The system should take a Social Security Number, a name and a birthdate. The system should return "match" or "no match". An SSN for an "anchor baby" born two years prior won't match the info for the applicant.

7) Come down on employers who still insist on hiring "no match" workers like a ton of bricks.

This still raises further questions:
How do you know if someone has overstaid their visa?
How could it be renewed? Would a trip to the home country be required, or just a hop over to, say, Canada do the trick?
Will we still care about language issues for migrant workers here legally?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Another Open Question

Whatever happened to SARS?

Friday, May 12, 2006

On Voter Fraud

Do you ever hear about voter fraud or "stolen elections" when it comes to something like the Mosquito Abatement District race?

Why do you suppose that is?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Last Days at the Lazy M: Wednesday

I returned to my Chicago-area office for the first time in 4 months yesterday.

My initial reaction was surprise at the paucity of cars in the parking lot. Normally by that time in the morning, I'd have to park in a far distant corner of the lot. Not so yesterday.

Upon entering the building, cubicles that had been occupied in January were vacant now. The tone was muted among the people having conversations in the hallway. Well, except for one.

"What are you doing here? You're not supposed to be here," called out someone that I never really liked.

"Good to see you, too," I muttered.

A loose leaf piece of paper was taped to a cube at the top of the row. My name had been removed as occupying the last cube, near the window, though my nameplate still hung there. The monitor was gone, but then again I had told them they could take the PC that had been parked there since I had a laptop. The phones were gone, but they had deactivated my office number months ago.

I kicked around that morning talking to the people who were still going to be working there. The rumor mill had it that another layoff was coming in July. "And it's gonna be bigger."

They are the Left Behind. They're holding on to what they have despite a far-from-certain future. I'd imagine they are looking for work elsewhere as a hedge against the day they get the cryptic looking meeting notice on their calendar. ("Work Discussion" was the title of mine back on April 4.)

I had my exit interview with HR yesterday. It was a briefing, mainly, on what was going to happen to my benefits come the end of this month, the end of next month. How the regular paychecks would continue to come up through the first week in June even though my services were no longer required after Friday, May 12. How I'd get a lump sum represented a large chunk of weeks if I signed the release stating that I wouldn't sue them for wrongful termination.

After speaking with the HR rep, they brought in a gentleman from "Right Services" which is an outplacement firm. I told him that I was living in Maryland now and that starting a discussion about the area. He had attended school first near Baltimore and then at a seminary in the District. I suppose I'll hear from them on Monday, but they weren't able to take any of my contact information yesterday.

After our chat, I went to lunch and then to my parents' home where I'm staying for these couple of days, skipping the mostly empty cubicle farm for the rest of the afternoon. I'm staying away today, too, since there's really nothing I need to do there, and my telecommuter agreement is still in force anyway. If they need me, I can go in, but I doubt it.

Tomorrow, I'll turn in my laptop, secure card and badge. I'll go to lunch and not go back ever again. It's a very liberating feeling, and one that I hope the Left Behind get to feel soon for the sake of their own sanity.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New State Motto for Pennsylvania

"Road Construction Next 162 Miles"

Actually it wasn't that bad of a drive yesterday, since I never had to actually stop for any of the work zones and there were gaps in between them. Maybe this will work better:

"Active When Flashing"

It would fit better on the license plates, no?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Busy Weekend and Travel

This weekend I've had the opportunity to get to know a lot of the people involved with new membership at a big church in the District. Even though there are more than 2500 members on the rolls and over a thousand in attendance on any given Sunday, they still manage to maintain the feeling of a smaller "neighborhood" church.

For that, I'm going to be joining up in a few weeks.

(Thanks to Hugh Hewitt for encouraging me to look into it last year.)

I'll be posting a little tomorrow if the mood strikes and then I'll be on the road Tuesday. Next week I finish out my time with my employer of the last 11 and a half years. I'll be driving back on Saturday, resting on Sunday and starting my new gig on Monday.

Posting will continue to be sporadic for the next week or so, but if I manage to get a good rant on, I'll be sure to post it after suitable editing for grammar and punctuation. (Hah! -- Ed.)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

May 5th

So it is the "Cinco de Mayo" on Friday. After all the scorn for El Gringo on May 1, I can't help but wonder how many of us will be bypassing the local Mexican restaurant in favor of something else.

Maybe the PGA Tour Grill?

Tag: Illegal, Immigration, backlash, Cinco de Mayo

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Day's End

Perfect end to a perfect day.

Tag:

Monday, May 01, 2006

It's May 1...

...the big Communist holiday. Not surprisingly, this is the day that the Stalinist organization "Workers World"--umbrella for "International ANSWER"--has chosen for the illegal immigrant amnesty rallies and general strike.

President Bush likes to remind us "They come to do the jobs that Americans won't do." Except of course when they don't show up. No whining if you're fired on Tuesday, okay?

UPDATE: 1400 EDT: lonewacko.com is compiling a list of supporters of this action here.

UPDATE 2: Beth no estรก cansada.

UPDATE 3: Atlas has her take here.

UPDATE 4: Dennis Dale at Untethered gets the final word on the Day Without an [Illegal] Immigrant. I believe the message is: "What you do? It ain't that hard."

Thursday, April 27, 2006

New Job?

Might have a new job on the way, too.

That's nice, especially considering that I wasn't keen on finding out where the unemployment office is around here.

And It's Comcast By A Length!

Comcast has finally come through with our digital cable and broadband package. Not a peep from Verizon, so we may end up going with Comcast's VOIP, too. Not sure yet. (The next cell bill could help crystallize our thoughts...)

Monday, April 24, 2006

High Level Bill Clinton Staffer Fired for Leaking

Mary McCarthy, fired from the CIA for leaking sensitive information to the WashingPost, was part of Bill Clinton's National Security Council. (She succeeded Rand Beers, who went on to become John Kerry's advisor on foreign policy. Is that how John was able to skip out on the official intel briefings?) Ironically, McCarthy was part of the CIA's Inspector General's office. That's the office that investigates leaks. Who got her that gig? I'm sure we'll never find out.

As I posed earlier at Rantburg, every one of Clinton's former staffers who are presently in State, DOD, CIA or any other position that even sniffs foreign policy should be hauled in for questioning.

Harsh?

You've got former Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger caught filching papers from the National Archives (slapped on the wrist with a $10k fine). Former Clinton Justice Department official Jamie Gorelick sat on the 9/11 Commission when she should absolutely been testifying BEFORE that Commission regarding "the wall" that stood in the way of any kind of "dot connecting". (You do remember the "failure to connect the dots" talking point, don't you?) The star of the Plame Name Blame Game, Joe Wilson, was also a member of Clinton's NSC. He got to go off to Niger for a few days, made an oral report only (WTF?) and then loudly claimed that Saddam absolutely didn't try to buy "yellow cake" uranium there. You've got Al Gore, Madeline Albright and even Bill Clinton himself spouting off before foreign audiences about the current administration.

It sure seems like there's more going on than the usual bureaucratic bailiwick protection racket. Rush calls it the Democrats' Culture of Treason. Hard not to think in those terms, I must admit.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Quick Post: This Day in History

On this day in 1979, President James Earl Carter was confronted by... a bunny. He fought bravely, unlike in Tehran.

(ht: Jeff Goldstein who takes a poetic turn on this occasion)

Ace tells the story here and invents a new word: "lepine", which makes sense in a Night of the Lepus kind of way. So maybe he didn't actually make it up.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What's been going on?

Well, around this blog, I'm sorry to say "not much."

I had been informed by my employer that I've been downsized as of the first week in June. Since I've become rather accustomed to gainful employment, I've put my energy toward finding a new gig here in Washington.

There is an almost bewildering array of jobs to be had around here. The limiting factors are "fit" and "commute". The job I interviewed for this morning would be about 30 miles away. An interesting job, to be sure, but the pay better be really good for it to be worth that kind of daily commute! Time will tell.

Also, we still don't have internet service at the house, and we have a couple of gaping holes in the drywall (heh) to allow the water from our leaky pipe to dry out.

Did I mention that this isn't some antebellum farm house we're talking about, but brand new construction? (Actually, I guess I did.)

Until I've got full time internet--I'm sponging off the WiFi at present--posting will continue to be light.

If you are in the Washington, DC Metro area and have need for a software engineer with experience in embedded systems using vxWorks and C, hit the comments. I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Another Brief Intermission

I'm taking the Verizon Wireless access card back tomorrow.

In the interim, if you are wondering about Good Friday, have a look at Tom Blumer's post at BizzyBlog today.

Have a Blessed Easter. I'll see you on Tuesday (or so).

"Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation."

So said Iranian mullahs' sock-puppet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

On his blog, Hugh Hewitt asks a question (which is probably rhetorical):
At what point will opponents of military action against Iran begin to deal with the regime's statements?
I'll answer anyway, in a manner that I hope is not too flippant: why would they? Most of the no-war-at-any-costs crowd has a certain disdain for Israel. "No war for Israel" is, in fact, one of their favorite slogans, right up there with "No war for oil."

Monday, April 10, 2006

White Sox Spoil Tiger Home Opener

The White Sox won their second in a row, beating the front-running Detroit Tigers in their home opener, 5-3.

They beat the Royals on Sunday to snap a 4-game losing streak.

EDIT: 4/12 - Make it 3 in a row. Should they win tomorrow they'll get back on the good side of .500.

EDIT: 4/13 - You can put it on the board... YES! Thome homers in his 4th straight game, and the White Sox win their 4th straight, sweeping Detroit in their opening homestand of the season. John Garland evened his record at 1-1.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Must Read Post of the Weekend

Fjordman writing at Gates of Vienna:
I have heard some people say that Western popular culture will destroy Islam. That is possible, but we need to remember that this is not a one-way street. What if the opposite happens? Sometimes the barbarians also influence the civilized people, and there is a disturbing amount of “understanding” for terrorists in Western movies and media these days.
Syriana, anyone? Spielberg's moral equivalence in Munich? Fjordman cites V for Vendetta as well.

There's more--much more--at the link.

(via Rantburg)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Now You See How Harry Reid Got the Job

This bit from Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) via Michelle:
The Democrats have once again used parliamentary tactics to obstruct the Senate from pursuing its priorities. The only difference this time is that Senator Frist let them.
Reid may have the camera presence of a 3-days-dead fish, but he is pure parliamentary genius compared with Bill Frist.

Another post later regarding what's needed. (Yeah, I'm solving this "immigration" thing right here.) (*snicker* -- Ed.)

UPDATE 04072006: Too late. Charles Krauthammer appears to have said everything I planned to say. I'm not so sure I'd be too hasty in ditching employer sanctions, but Dr. Krauthammer's proposal has the heart of what I was planning to post: a fence. Or more particularly, a double fence with a road between for patrols, surveillance cameras and seismic sensors. (Like this 14-mile stretch between Tijuana and California.) (HT: Hugh)

Alternatives? How about using the National Guard to reinforce the border patrol? That was proposed by Barbara Boxer and Jane Harman back in 1993. Feel free to ask them what changed. While you're at it, ask Harry Reid what changed his mind about the borders having been "overflowed with illegal immigrants placing tremendous burdens on our criminal justice system, schools and social programs," which concerned him terribly in 1993. It hasn't gotten any better since then.

Among all the undoubtedly hardworking Mexicans skipping the immigration line and walking right in, you have others, what ICE calls "OTM"--Other Than Mexican. Here's word from Robert Mueller of a Hezbollah smuggling ring at the border:
"This was an occasion in which Hezbollah operatives were assisting others with some association with Hezbollah in coming to the United States,” Mueller told a House Appropriations subcommittee during a Tuesday hearing on the FBI's budget.
(source: NewsMax)
But don't worry. They're only doing the work that Americans won't do.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Fear the Turtle!


Congratulations to the University of Maryland Lady Terps on topping Duke in OT for the Ladies' NCAA basketball title.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sox Win!

World Series Championship banners raised?
Check.
Beat the Indians?
Check. (After a 3 hour rain delay the Sox got it done, 10-4.)

Jim Thome hit a homer and drew a couple of walks. Welcome to town, Jim.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

To put a face to the name


One sometimes wonders who is behind the nom de plume. Well, for those enquiring minds, here is eLarson at the wheel of a 1970 Buick Skylark...

Tag

Welcome, hbl

On the heels of a RCP-lanche at Potbelly Stove, Howard Larson has joined the Board of Regents here at the Larsonian Institution. He'll continue blogging over at Potbelly Stove, of course, and I'll contribute there, as well.

Be on the look out for hbl's photography in the near future.

Centex, Verizon and Comcast

Here I am in a new house that has no cable service--and thereby no cable modem service--and no landline.

Thanks Verizon. Thanks Comcast. Thanks to Verizon-landline for lying to me the other day just to get me off the phone. That was REAL nice. And to Comcast for not calling back as promised.

And thanks to Centex for selling us this joint without mentioning at the time of contract that "oh by the way... you won't be able to get a landline until July and no cable until who knows when."

Centex complains that the utilities (Verizon and Comcast, in this case) aren't living up to their original schedule. Verizon has no excuse, but they say they won't be here until AT LEAST June 30 (I assume that's June 30, 2006, but I didn't ask. I Want To Believe.) Comcast has been evasive. The guy whose number I was given by Centex has been largely useless to date. I spoke with his manager who at least gave the illusion of action. But after failing to call back that day and the day after, I'm leaning toward filing him under Useless, too.

So how is it that I'm back? No, I'm not sponging off of Starbuck's WiFi. I'm using Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess. It's not blindingly fast, but now I can haul my laptop down to the kitchen to browse the web. Or down to any place that has decent signal. Call that a silver-plated lining.

There will be a short intermission...

eLarson is currently setting up a new Intenet service provider. In the mean time, I shall attempt to keep things moving here.

I am Howard Larson, proprietor of Potbelly Stove. See you soon.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Well That Didn't Last Long

In the latest installment of Mr. Harrell Goes to Washington, Jeff discovers that driving 18th St. is no fun.

(See also "Jeff Harrell and Starting the Day With Awe")

Jeff, in case you're reading, here's a few other places around the District that really blow for driving:
I-66 within the confines of the beltway (the GOP nominee for governor of VA seemed to have widening 66 as the sole plank of his platform. If there was anything else, I never heard about it. But then again, I'm in Maryland.)
I-50 a lot of the time
the Wilson Bridge

Moving

Not from Blogspot (at least not yet), but in the actual world.

This is day 5 and I'm back in our apartment which has Internet access, and that will be ours through the end of the week.

So, er, what's been going on?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Jeff Harrell and Starting the Day With Awe

Jeff Harrell has a post about driving in and around DC. Sorta a love-hate thing, and one I totally understand now. I still have my car, but I rarely take it much beyond the edges of Northwest where the church is. For everything else, there's Metro.

Sports Roundup

Westby lost the Wisconsin state championship game.
Illinois lost to Washington after shooting maybe 2 free throws in the entire second half. I declared my interest in the NCAA Tournament over.

But then on Sunday, George Mason beat North Carolina. The school from Fairfax, VA, is coming to DC to play in the Sweet 16. I care again!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Norse Advance to Wisconsin Title Game

The Westby Norse withstood a ferocious 4th quarter comeback from the Glenwood City Hilltoppers at the Kohl Center in Madison this morning, winning 62-60 behind 32 points from Tyler Aspenson and 14 from Tim Larson (no relation).

On Saturday, Westby will play the winner of the Roncalli and Racine St. Catherine's game for the Wisconsin State Championship.

GO NORSE!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Strange Tale of Claude Allen

It isn't all that strange, the thing of which Mr. Allen is accused. What is strange is that the Washington press is going to attach his alleged shoplifting-by-other-means to the President. If that's not advanced Bush Derangement Syndrome, I don't know what is.

I also learned that Michelle Malkin and I apparently shop in the same Target.

UPDATE: 3/15/2006 1500: Michelle Malkin is continuing to follow this case. It seems that Claude Allen has a twin brother named Floyd.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Most Livable States...

The 2006 rankings are out. (Thanks to Tom Blumer for the pointer.) I see my old state of Illinois has jumped 3 places from 31st to 28th. My new state has dropped 4 places since last year, 12th to 16th.

I moved here in December.

Oh man...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Wot? No chicken soup?!

Against the eventuality of a deadly strain of bird flu reaching the United States, HHS Secretary Leavitt has urged Americans to stock up on canned tuna and powdered milk. And we are to store them under the bed.

This brought to mind two thoughts in rapid succession:
1) Apparently our nation's pantries are already chock-full of plastic wrap and duct tape
2) That's just the way our two cats would LOVE the tuna to be stored, if only they could work the can opener.

Tammy Bruce's take here (fixed). I think if it were her scenario, the suggestion would have been for lasagna, though.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Chicago Ed

The legendary late night radio legend, Ed Schwartz is not in the best of health. The Score (AM 670 Chicago) will be doing a radiothon on March 13th, fittingly from 7pm to Midnight.

Details here.

Hotels.com Might Not Have This Place for Awhile

Already stayed at the world's ice hotels? Disappointed that we're at least 5 years late for a stay at an orbiting wheel to stay at on your way to Luna?

Over at the Jet Set Lounge, Kory's got something just for you: the world's first underwater luxury hotel.

(The Jules apparently doesn't qualify as luxury in the eyes of the Slate writer.)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Dubai Ports World Backs Off

DPW will transfer operations of the terminals it bought from British P&O to an "American entity".

Go Halliburton! (if for no reason than to really, REALLY set off the lefty conspiracy theorists)

Link to more links

A Very Brief Homage to Jeff Goldstein

Jeff: What the hell are you?
Big Ugly Mole: I can't tell you. But I could just be a malted milk ball that melted in place and stuck. Or cancer.
Jeff:
Mole:

Jeff's going to get it checked out, as well he should. All of us here at the Institution wish him well.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Academy Awards

I vaguely remember Rachel Weisz from The Mummy, so it was interesting to see her win the award for Best Supporting Actress this year. The question on my mind last night was who was supporting her supporting actresses?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Go Norsemen!

The Westby HS (WI) Norsemen defeated Onalaska Acquinas 63-60 behind 20 points from Tim Larson (no relation). The Norsemen advance to play Markesan HS in Neillsville this Thursday.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sammenhold in NYC

Pamela (Atlas Shrugs) has pics from Friday's NYC rally in support of Denmark. It looked like a pretty good turnout, though no one from the old media was there; strange for the media capital of the US. On the plus side, havarti was served.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

High Point University

I see the name scroll by from time to time on ESPN. Are they the Fighting Furniture or something?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

AubreyJ's Tribute to Freedom in Iraq

AubreyJ reminds us of what the Iraqi people themselves have done since the fall of Saddam.

The post links to a video which is best viewed over a high-speed connection. Well worth checking out.

UAE Ports to Take Over From British Company

in the management of 6 US ports.

At least that is what the President is saying should happen. Congress is saying "WHOA!"

Hugh Hewitt says that the unease we are feeling could be based on the increased likelihood of an 'inside job'. But won't all the same Union guys be working there the day after as the day before? Who else is suddenly allowed to be there to 'case the joint'?

On the radio Rush postulated that perhaps it was all just a means of drawing out simple recognition on the part of the Democrats that there is a REAL enemy out there, and that they are at war with us whether or not we want to be at war with them.

Me? I'm not sure what to think just now. I know that Bush isn't stupid, and that he tends to do things for a reason--albeit sometimes for reasons that aren't discussed. (See also: Harriet Miers). When Jimmy Carter comes out in favor of the move, I'm inclined to get on the other side. From weakness in the face of Islamic agression in Iran to giving away the Panama Canal to championing the electoral, er, successes of dictators, Jimmy has done little to strengthen the position of the US in the world and plenty to undermine it.

So, let's let Congress have a hearing about something interesting and useful for once. With the current bipartisan furor, they should be able to override a Presidential veto. (Note to myself: the President hasn't vetoed anything to date. Why is he going to the mat on THIS thing?)

I hope they answer these questions, especially:
1) Doesn't Denmark do this kind of thing, too?
2) Were they not interested in buying out the British company?

UPDATE: (Found at In From the Cold, via Vodkapundit) Perhaps basing rights in the UAE is playing a role here? That's certainly one reason why GWB would want to keep the deal alive.

UPDATE II: Kevin Drum is scratching his head, too.

UPDATE III: Heard on Laura Ingraham, a listener wrote words to the effect of "Sure Bush is digging in his heels on this, just like he did for Harriet Miers. Look what that got him..."

It got him Sam Alito, and at the same time it muted criticism over not replacing Sandra Day O'Connor with another woman. In the current case it has gotten him Chuck Schumer rooting for Halliburton to do the job (video at link).

UPDATE IV: Varifrank noticed something interesting about Emirates Air Cargo and JFK airport in New York. It has to do with ownership...

Bird Flu

...has reached Sweden.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Christopher Hitchens Wonders Why We Are Not Supporting Our Ally

Christopher Hitchens writes a piece asking for support of Denmark. At the bottom there is this:
Update, Feb. 22: Thank you all who've written. Please be outside the Embassy of Denmark, 3200 Whitehaven Street (off Massachusetts Avenue) between noon and 1 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 24. Quietness and calm are the necessities, plus cheerful conversation. Danish flags are good, or posters reading "Stand By Denmark" and any variation on this theme (such as "Buy Carlsberg/ Havarti/ Lego") The response has been astonishing and I know that the Danes are appreciative. But they are an embassy and thus do not of course endorse or comment on any demonstration. Let us hope, however, to set a precedent for other cities and countries. Please pass on this message to friends and colleagues.
Consider it passed.

(Cross-posted: Rantburg, Potbelly Stove)

(Hat tip: Michelle Malkin)


UPDATE 1607 EST: Back at home now. Christopher Hitchens was there, was was William Kristol. The only TV reporter I saw was Fox News Channel's Molly Henneberg. There were print reporters working the throng, too. The badges I noticed stated "Washington Times".

Altogether I'd say about 100 people were present, which isn't too bad for the middle of a work day. The mood was calm and good-natured which is fitting for a demonstration in support of the Danes. There was an interesting mix of people there. I saw the classical Stringy-Haired Protest Girl there, as well as a number of instances of Skinny, Bearded Protest Guy. There were men in suits, mothers with small kids, military men. Not everyone had a sign (I didn't), but there were several good ones.

Mr. Hitchens addressed the throng about 1240, saying that it was good we could make it out to express our disgust with the "invertebrateness of our State Department" a reference to the State Department's tutting about the cartoons and relative silence while the embassies of our allies were being burned in the capitals of dictatorships.


UPDATE II 1646: The Political Pitbull has photos here. I saw the pitbull, asked if today he was a Great Dane (lame? yeah, I guess) but I didn't put 2+2 together.

UPDATE III 1730: Sissy Willis is in the Buy Danish swing of things.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Best Wishes to Kory and the Tsar

On their announcement that they are expecting a child.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Was Jimmy Carter Nearby?

From Norway's Aftenposten:
A large and unusually bold hare was apparently so irritated when a dogsled team entered its territory that it went on the attack, in an otherwise peaceful forested area of northern Norway.
So the seemingly timid Lagomorph is now known to attack canoes AND dogsleds. Good thing they don't use beagles to pull sleds; who knows where they'd be by now.

I Want to Thank the Wizbang Academy...

...for lifting my Bon Jovi cover to third place in the weekend caption contest.

There seems to be some controversy over how the line actually goes. Not having listened to it in the years since buying a "real" stereo, I plead guilty to not remembering. I certainly wasn't going to look it up.

But in the interest of accuracy:
Shot through the heart
and you're to blame
Of course as I mentioned in the comments, "Shot through the pericardium" would have been more accurate still, but it really would have killed the meter.

Monday, February 20, 2006

David Gregory on the White House Press Corps

(via Hugh Hewitt)
[T]he debate playing out in the blogosphere, cable airwaves and on talk radio pits the Vice President against an allegedly left-wing, overly cynical, prissy White House press corps in a tizzy because it wasn't the first to know and angry because it hates the President and Vice President anyway.
To which Hugh adds regarding Gregory:
"Gregory goes on to announce that this description is "nonsense," but of course Gregory has not allowed himself to be questioned outside of his network. He doesn't return calls and he won't make himself available for questions about what appears to be his deep seated hostility for the vice president and the Administration."
From which I infer that Gregory is too cynical to see an apt description and too prissy to answer questions.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Throw Mohammed From the Train

Beth is hosting a gigantonormous movie thread where each title has had one word replaced with the name of Islam's founder.

Check it

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Blanco Threatens Energy Embargo?

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco seems to be threatening an energy embargo... against her own country:
Ms. Blanco, a Democrat, said Monday that she sought to split the leasing fees 50-50. "If no effort is made to guarantee our fair share of royalties," she said, "I have warned the federal government that we will be forced to block the August sale of offshore oil and gas leases."
(source: NYT)
From elsewhere in the article comes this from Andy Kopplin, executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority: "There's a very clear connection between our role providing one-quarter of the oil and gas produced in this country and our vulnerability to hurricanes."

Not to mention Louisiana's penchant for electing the corrupt and apparently, now, the crazy.

Meanwhile, another story at the Potbelly Stove suggests that the Governor of West Virginia is threatening an energy embargo of his own, this time coal. The AP's headline: "W.Va. Gov. Seeks Halt in Coal Production". Actually the article says that they are going to do safety inspections on the mines.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Frog-march Anyone?

From Hugh Hewitt (via Lorie Byrd at Polipundit):
The American Spectator's Jed Babbin was on John Batchelor's radio show yesterday, and stated that the intelligence community believes West Virignia Senator Jay Rockefeller is the leaker who illegally supplied the New York Times with the details of the NSA program.

Given that the CIA's Porter J. Goss stated emphatically that the leak had done very serious damage to the Uniterd States, if Rockefeller is a suspect, he should be hauled before a Grand Jury asap.
See the Polipundit post for Lorie Byrd's late-2005 prognostication in light of Rockefeller's infamous memo. Seems like the junior senator from West Virginia was just trying to spark some of the media interest he hoped for back in 2003.

Given the seriousness of the charge, shouldn't Rockefeller be asked to step down from the Intelligence Committee? I mean: passing classified information to someone not authorized to receive it (such as a NYT reporter) is pretty bad form, no?

They're also keeping an eye on this around the Potbelly Stove.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Just Another Day in the Kentlands...

...the sun is shining, the temperature is around 60F. Oh, and someone found a bomb under a park bench.

UPDATE: 1645 - They've been goofing around with it since 1230. I can hear helicopters hanging around now. Probably newsies.

UPDATE: 1745 - Now they're saying nevermind. It was nothing. Go about your business.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Vanilla Coke

I see I'm not the only lunatic that liked Vanilla Coke. Mary Katherine Ham has scored some, thanks to eBay.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Buy Danish


The Muslim world (or at least the loonier portion) is demanding a boycott of things Danish over some cartoons published in a Danish paper.

I know where I'm looking next time we need vodka.

(h/t Michelle Malkin. Thanks to Gaijin Biker at Riding Sun for the icon.)
Technorati Tags: Buy Danish

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Alito Confirmed

Congratulations to Samuel Alito. His confirmation is not surprising.

Also not surprising, I think, is that the lone "Republican" voting against Alito was Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee. Not amused? Here's a link to the man launching a primary challenge against him, Steve Laffey. Send him a few bucks, eh?

The Leftoids are up in arms. Witness this selection from DUh, as excerpted by Emperor Darth Misha I at the Anti Idiotarian Rottweiler.

Tom Blumer has a nice post involving... Chapstick.

That's Okay, They Were Old Anyway

is, I believe, the "classical" sitcom/variety show response to an event such as this:
A museum visitor shattered three Qing dynasty Chinese vases when he tripped on his shoelace, stumbled down a stairway and brought the vases crashing to the floor, officials said Monday.

The three vases, dating from the late 17th or early 18th century, had been donated to the Fitzwilliam Museum in the university city of Cambridge in 1948, and were among its best-known artifacts. They had been sitting proudly on the window sill beside the staircase for 40 years.
Oopsie!

(Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt)
(The story)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Show Me the Money: Google in China

So Google gets to have the Chinese market so long as they block out any of those pesky links that the ChiComs consider "no-go" for its citizenry.

Here's a link to a protest logo page. This image came from there:


Michelle is collecting more here.

UPDATE: 1/30/2006 - How well is it working? The first article that I found for "Falun Gong" is this one. There's this one, too. Of course I'm looking from outside of China. I wonder if the search results are still there if tried from within China. If they are, can they be reached by the Chinese searcher?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Eastbound and Down


See you on Monday.

"This Corner Under New Management"

...read a sign on the corner outside of Walter Reed Army Medical Center that has been occupied by Code Pink protesters on Friday nights.

Up until last Friday, that is. It seems someone forgot to renew their permit...

The Gunn Nutt Has the story here
, with pics.

Freepers Rock! (The things I miss when I go out of town...)

See also: Free Republic, elsewhere at the Larsonian

Maureen Down

See the pic over at Michelle Malkin's? Maureen Dowd really looks like she could use a hug.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hugh Hewitt and Joel Stein Have a Tete a Tete

Joel Stein is a columnist for the LA Times. He wrote a column wherein he declared that he does not support the troops. That's a bold move, considering a lot anti-war types manage to claim that they 'support the troops, but not their mission.'

Stein supports neither one.

So last night I listened to Hugh Hewitt's taped interview with Mr. Stein, wherein Hugh tried to get a bit of background.

Ya know those scenes from the swashbuckling films where a couple of guys are going to duel with swords, and one of them takes his epee and makes about a dozen strokes with it, seemingly near his opponent... and the opponent just smirks as if to say "Ha! You didn't even touch me"... and then the guy's clothes all fall to the ground?

That's what Hugh did to Joel Stein. Straight up Errol Flynn'ed him.

See the transcript over at RadioBlogger.

Technorati Tags: Hugh Hewitt, Joel Stein, Radio Blogger

Kelo: If You Had Any Doubt...

...that Kelo was solely about the ability of a municipality to grab land for the purpose of increasing revenue, take a look at this story over at NRO: Unholy Land Grab:
Since the Supreme Court's controversial Kelo decision last summer, eminent domain has entered a new frontier. It’s not just grandma’s house we have to worry about. Now it’s God’s house, too. “I guess saving souls isn’t as important,” says Reverend Gildon, his voice wry, “as raking in money for politicians to spend.” The town of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, has plans to take Centennial Baptist — along with two other churches, several businesses, dozens of small homes, and a school — and replace them with a new “super center,” rumored to include a Home Depot. It’s the kind of stuff that makes tax collectors salivate.
When a church isn't safe in Oklahoma, it isn't safe anywhere.

Here's another graph from the story about which I will comment:
It makes sense on one level. Churches don’t generate any tax revenue for the government to spend. They don’t “stimulate” the economy. They often, much to their peril, occupy prime, envied real estate. With the supercharged powers granted by Kelo, be very, very afraid.
Once a church occupied a place on the city square, true enough. Churches were--and in some places I've been they still are--social centers of communities. As for their tax exempt status, the charitible works of a church were once considered a good in themselves. Not so much anymore, it would appear. (Note to self: How visible are the works of local congregations these days? Are inward-facing congregations going to be most at-risk?)

Thanks to Kelo, a municipality can take land from a private owner and give it to ANOTHER private owner solely for the purpose of increasing its own tax revenue stream. How sick is that?

If I take money from you, that's theft.
If the government takes money from you, then gives it to me, that's considered "general welfare".

If I take a hammer from Home Depot without paying them for it, that's shoplifting.
If Home Depot comes to my town, and the local government takes my home and those of my neighbors to give to Home Depot, that's... what, exactly?

(ht: BizzyBlog and the update at BizzyBlog)
(see also: The Anchoress who picked up on the note to myself, Volokh Conspiracy, Batesline, Molten Thought)
Technorati Tags: Vision+2025, eminent+domain

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Congratulations, Stephen Harper

The Conservatives beat out the Liberal Party and won a plurality of the votes but not an outright majority. As I understand it, they get to form the next government coalition, though with whom, I am not knowlegable enough about things Canadian to say. These guys will know.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Michael Yon Has Moved

He's packed up from Blogger and moved over to a shiny new URL: Michael Yon Online.

900

The number of wins racked up by Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee. That's the most by any NCAA Division I basketball coach.

Congratulations to Pat Summitt and her Lady Vols.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Things Heard on Rush

While I was out over lunch, I heard Lorie Byrd ask a pretty inciteful question of guest Kenneth Timmerman: How is our present intelligence on Iran different from [better than?--Ed.] our intelligence on Iraq prior to the invasion?

I also caught a pretty funny commercial lampooning all of the "latest studies" that "They" put out. (In this case I don't think it is the same "They" that my lovely bride works for.) The commercial was put out by these guys, specifically their take on the "fish scam" over mercury in fish. (Their expert study says there is no particular health risk from the levels of mercury in fish, as it happens. Their "They" is better than the naysaying "They", apparently.)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Meanwhile, in Annapolis

Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is quietly doing pretty well in initial polling for the Senate. He leads Rep. Benjamin Cardin by a margin of 45-40 and former Rep and NAACP head Kweisi Mfume, 45-38 in this Rasmussen poll.

(Tip of the hat to Power Line)

Power Line's Paul Mirengoff wrote about the race the other day, too. See "Divided They May Fall".

Sweep the House

I had mentioned (and it's hardly an Earth-shakingly original thought) that the Jack Abramoff affair could end up being better than "term limits"--provided that a simple to understand quid pro quo can be identified.

Now the GOP is setting up elections for caucus leadership. They have a golden opportunity for demonstrating good governance. I hope they will find people serious about reform. NZ Bear has an appeal up at The Truth Laid Bear asking for just this. I add my voice to that chorus.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Kory was going to be a police officer?

The Jet Set Chick has a few fun anecdotes from her time in Phoenix parking enforcement up. It sets up the context for her take on the "I'm in the HOV lane because I'm pregnant" woman.

Biden Admits J-Committee Defeat?

"Sen. Biden Suggests Scrapping Hearings" is the headline of this ABC piece. In it Joe Biden says that the Judiciary Committee testimony phase is "broken" and the nominees might as well go straight to the floor.

If this hadn't been the second straight Supreme Court nominee that committee Dems had failed to so much as scratch during the hearings, I doubt he'd be saying this. Effectively Joe Biden is admitting that the Dems actions the past couple of days have served to do nothing but make them the object of ridicule. (And in the New York Times no less.)

If anything is "broken" it is the Democrats' playbook. They "just know" that every political Conservative is some kind of racist/bigot/homophobe at heart. Their assumption has once again made an ass of them.

(Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt)

See also Irish Pennants for Jack Kelly's review.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Seriously. No... really...

...I am not making this up.

Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA)--bad driver but apparent excellent swimmer--has a Portuguese Water Dog named... Splash.

(ht: Michelle Malkin)

UPDATE: I wonder if Ted the Swimmer will be annoyed. Gosh, I'll get to go to Federal prison thanks to this chunk of crap ostensibly authored by Arlen Specter. Thanks to "Gill Sawyer" for posting this at Vodkapundit.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Report: Osama bin Laden Died in Iran in mid-December

Michael Ledeen's sources within Iran told him that Osama bin Laden died of kidney failure while in Iran this past December. He is said to have spent most of his time there since the fall of the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Cited as proof: for the first time, al-Q's happy hajj message was given not by Osama bin Laden, but by Ayman Zawahiri.

Source: Michael Ledeen writing at the National Review Online.
Hat tip: Rantburg

Saddam Hussein and Islamic Terrorism

Looking through unclassified documents, Weekly Standard writer Stephen Hayes has found evidence for Saddam's training of Islamic terrorists from across the Middle East:
The secret training took place primarily at three camps—in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak—and was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria’s GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis.
There's much more at Rick Moran's Right Wing Nut House.

Salman Pak was the location of the airliner fuselage. And some other gear, per GlobalSecurity.org.

Further comment on this story is available from Austin Bay. Further comment on Austin Bay's commentary at No End But Victory.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Dems Knew Jack Abramoff's Money Plenty Well Enough

Pamela from Atlas Shrugs shows 40 Dems who got $1000 or more of Jack's money. And those are just the ones in the Senate.

Senator Vegas got all huffy last Sunday, saying this was a Republican scandal? *heh* Sure, Harry: you got $68,941.

Both of my Senate-Dwelling Critters from Maryland got some of that lovin', too:
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Received At Least – $10,550
Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) Received At Least – $4,300

I think this has potential sink quite a few careers in both houses of Congress and on both sides of the aisle. Provided, that is, there is an easy to understand quid pro quo. Built-in term limits!

Muslim Only Banking?

Via Michelle Malkin:
A bank that has been offering special services for Muslims for two years has now formed a subsidiary to focus solely on the religious group.

The Ann Arbor-based University Bank has created University Islamic Financial Corp. to offer Muslims home financing, deposit accounts and Islamic mutual fund shares.

"The formation of the subsidiary allows us to have a financial institution which is 100 percent in compliance with the Muslim Shariah, the legal code of the Islamic religion," bank President and Chairman Stephen Lange Ranzini told The Ann Arbor News for a Saturday story.
You know what? Univerity Bank has been rated Outstanding by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for Community Service and Community Reinvestment. If FDIC insures a bank that has a program exclusively for Muslims, is there a Church-State issue? (Or a Mosque-State issue, as the case may be?) FannieMae buys the MALT product according to this from the bank itself. Is that going to get the ACLU's shorts in a knot?

UPDATE: There's further conversation at Right Voices (grazie for the link); Clarity & Resolve had this a couple days ago (sorry for the munged up trackback to the wrong article).

Washington Post to Take to the Airwaves

There was a bit of a switcheroo done on DC radio the other day. Aside from causing a slight re-arrangement of my presets here's what happened:

Z-104 is gone: No more Matchbox 20 on 103.9/104.1 FM. Now those frequencies get the classical warhorses that had been on 103.5 FM. WTOP now gets 103.5 FM (and they hope, Skins games starting next season).

So what goes where WTOP had been (107.7 FM/1500 AM)? Thanks to Bonneville Media, it will be the Washington Post. Now we can ignore them in print AND on the air!
Robin Givhan in full sartorial splendor.  For her.  Looks Necco pink.
By the way, the Washington Post had this on the front page of their Maryland edition, albeit below the fold. Toward the bottom of the story they managed to gratuitously mention
Bonneville, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...
I wonder, will we get to hear someone like Robin Givhan (right) chat about Secretary Rice's wardrobe during middays?

Brian Maloney seems equally baffled here.

UPDATE: Brian found the Help Wanted ad. Here's a thought: Make a splash and hire Michael Graham.

A Couple of Stories at The Potbelly Stove

I wrote up a couple of pieces at the Potbelly Stove. See here for a pointer to Michael Barone's blog and here for the NYT's shameless exploitation of the WV mining tragedy with a link to Tom Blumer's BizzyBlog.

Firefox 1.5...

...now has drag-n-drop reorderable tabbed browsing.

It reminds me of the good ol' yellow tabs of BeOS. Just without the actual yellow tabs.