Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Horn of Africa

Horn of Africa (1980) by Philip Caputo

This is a novel about CIA spook (Colfax) who sends three misfits (Moody, Nordstrand, and Gage) into Africa on a rogue mission to arm and train a warrior tribe (the Beni-Hamid) fighting against the Ethiopian government.

There is a real emphasis on character development.

Betrayal is a prominent feature of the novel.

Riveting, gritty. Well worth reading, but not for weak stomachs.

Sceptics

"Environmentalism has largely superseded Christianity as the religion of the upper classes in Europe and to a lesser extent in the United States."

"It is a form of religious belief which fosters a sense of moral superiority in the believer, but which places no importance on telling the truth."

"The global warming scam has been, arguably, the most extraordinary example of scientific fraud in the postwar period."

- author Ray Evans

I agree with Evans on those points.

Drudge Report sinks stocks?

[Here's a headline sure to spook any investor or economist: "Greenspan warns of likely U.S. recession." That was the headline right near the top of the widely surfed Drudge Report yesterday afternoon and this morning, referring to a speech that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan made the other day via satellite to a business conference in Hong Kong. Many market watchers are blaming those comments– along with a weak durable goods report and the plunge in the Chinese stock market – for today's stock market sell-off.]

- U.S. News and World Report

I blame the Chinese.

Online gamer bites the big one

"An obese 26-year-old man in northeastern China died after a "marathon" online gaming session over the Lunar New Year holiday, state media said on Wednesday."

- Reuters

It would be interesting to know which games he was playing?

World of Warcraft? They call it World of Warcrack for a reason.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bomber misses Cheney

A suicide bomber attacked the entrance to the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan on Tuesday during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, killing up to 23 people and wounding 20. Cheney was unhurt in the attack, which was claimed by the Taliban and was the closest that militants have come to a top U.S. official visiting Afghanistan.

- AP story

Giuliani & Taxes

"I don't think anything separates us more right now between Republicans and Democrats than how we look at taxes. What we understand as Republicans is that, sure, the government is an important player in this, but we are essentially a private economy. What Democrats really believe ... is that it is essentially a government economy."

"It's one of the reasons that I used to be a Democrat and I'm now a Republican."

[now quoting Winston Churchill] "If you're not a liberal when you're 20, you have no heart, but if you're not a conservative by the time you're 40, you have no brain."

- Rudy Giuliani, quoted in AP story

The Party of Ideas

[Bush said Republicans belong to "the party of ideas" and predicted voters would come back if they see results. "That's how we got the majority, and that's what it's going to take to get the majority back - standing on principle," Bush said.]

- AP story

I am in favor of standing on principle.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Liberals are evil

"Apparently to Dionne and other like-minded liberals, the potential dire consequences of the Democrats' policies on Iraq are not appropriate for discussion and debate because they might make Democrats look bad, or even feel bad -- and those are far worse evils than throwing our national security in the toilet."

- David Limbaugh

Once again, David Limbaugh is landing some solid punches.

The Clinton Hypocrisy

"In the end, voters will decide what's off-limits, but I can't imagine that the public will reward the politics of personal destruction," senior Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson said Friday, when asked whether the impeachment is fair game for Clinton's opponents. Earlier in the week, Wolfson dismissed references to President Bill Clinton's conduct as "under the belt."

- Washington Post

For those of us who were and are paying attention, the Clintons were always and continue to be the chief practioners of the politics of personal destruction.

One of the many reasons conservatives despise the Clintons is because they are hypocrites.

Liberals admire the Clintons for the same reason.

Warner backs McCain

"Republican Sen. John W. Warner, the former chairman of the Armed Services Committee, on Monday endorsed Sen. John McCain for the Republican presidential nomination."

- AP story

I cannot see myself voting for McCain. Unless the choice is McCain vs. Clinton or something grim like that.

Why did jaguar kill zookeeper?

"One big-cat expert said jaguars are naturally mean and erratic."

- AP story

Strom Thurmond and Al Sharpton

"The Rev. Al Sharpton said he wants a DNA test to determine whether he is related to former segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond through his great-grandfather, a slave owned by an ancestor of the late senator."

- AP story

Seems like an odd connection. I never noticed any family resemblance.

B.O.

"Some people might ask, 'How can this guy been president? He's only been in Washington for two years.' Let me tell you, I've been in Washington long enough to see that things need to be changed."

- Barack Hussein Obama

Heh. So instead we get the same old liberal same old?

Oscars

"Alternately (and sometimes simultaneously) a bore and a horror...."

- Tom Shales, Washington Post

Yeah, but Al Gore's "An Implausible Truth" won for most liberal documentary. No surprise there.

Half Hour News Hour

I watched the Half Hour News Hour on Fox News Channel last night. It was hilarious.

The intro with Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter was very entertaining.

The ACLU commercials were excellent.

Much better than John Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Muslims in Thailand

"Some are already calling it war, a brutal Muslim separatist insurgency in southern Thailand that has taken as many as 2,000 lives in three years with almost daily bombings, drive-by shootings, arson and beheadings."

- NY Times

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Wrong Edwards

"Health care was the topic of the day Saturday, but Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards made sure New Hampshire voters gave him another chance to say he was wrong as a senator to authorize the use of force in Iraq."

- AP story

Odd that of all the thing Edwards was wrong about, he claims that the one thing he did right was wrong.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Blizzard warning

We are under a blizzard warning tonight.

Part of the warning reads:

"THIS WILL BE A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. IF YOU LEAVE THE SAFETY OF INDOORS...YOU ARE PUTTING YOUR LIFE AT RISK."

Global warming in Antarctica

"Four months ago, scientists discovered that the “hole” created by the world’s use of ozone-depleting gases — in aerosol spray cans, aging refrigerators and old air-conditioners — had expanded again, stretching once more to the record size of 2001.

An unusually cold Antarctic winter, rather than the rise in the use of refrigerants, may have caused the sudden expansion, which covered an area larger than North America."

- NY Times story

The unusually cold winter was caused by global warming?

They found Jesus! And his son!

"Brace yourself. James Cameron, the man who brought you 'The Titanic' is back with another blockbuster. This time, the ship he's sinking is Christianity.

In a new documentary, Producer Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, make the starting claim that Jesus wasn't resurrected --the cornerstone of Christian faith-- and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem. And, get this, Jesus sired a son with Mary Magdelene."

- Tim McGirk

700 years ago, Cameron and Jacobovici would have been burned at the stake as heretics.

Greenies, stay home

[thanks to Mark for calling my attention to this one]

"You flick a switch on the wall and the lights come on. You press a button on the toilet and your waste gets flushed away. You get a job, you save money, you get to travel places on planes and drive around in Kombi vans. It's not magic. It's progress. And it's bought to you by capitalism."

- Caroline Overington

Right, but liberals are into socialism. They see the global warming scam as a way to redistribute wealth.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Half Hour News Hour

[It’s called "The Half Hour News Hour" and is produced by Joel Surnow (creator and exec produce of "24") and Ned Rice. But the best part is that Ann Coulter -- yes, our Ann, HUMAN EVENTS legislative correspondent -- is in it.

"The Half Hour News Hour" premiers Sunday, February 18 at 10 p.m. EST.]

- Human Events article

Somehow, I missed it.

Vilsack's campaign bites the big one

[Democrat Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor who built a centrist image, abandoned his bid for the presidency after struggling against better-known, better-financed rivals.

"It is money and only money that is the reason we are leaving today," Vilsack told reporters at a news conference, later adding, "We have a debt we're going to have to work our way through."]

- AP story

With no name recognition and no money, he quits before the real campaign even starts.

In Fury Born

In Fury Born (2006) by David Weber

This sci-fi novel traces the life of Alicia DeVries through her career as Imperial Marine, then Imperial Cadre (answers directly to the emperor), then retired, then renegade.

After about 600 pages of backstory, DeVries teams up with the Greek Fury Tisiphone and an AI named Megaira to wreak revenge on pirates and traitors.

Calling this a slow-mover does not even begin to adequately describe it.

A lot of emphasis on dialog and character development.

Unorthodox Chess Openings

Unorthodox Chess Openings (1998) by Eric Schiller

The Complete and Definitive Guide to All the Major Unorthodox Chess Openings

1,200 Opening Strategies Presented!

Interesting book, not a book that you would read cover-to-cover, more of an encyclopedia.

Contains a lot of advice on how not to play chess.

And like most chess books, you have to play out the moves on a chess board while you read it if you are going to get anything out of it.

Winning Chess Openings

Winning Chess Openings (2002) by Bill Robertie

Learn 25 Essential Opening Strategies Today!

Interesting book for beginners, very readable.

Explains chess notation, principles of development, and pawn structure.

The insidious effects of global warming

"Half of young children are anxious about the effects of global warming, often losing sleep because of their concern, according to a new report today.

A survey of 1,150 youngsters aged between seven and 11 found that one in four blamed politicians for the problems of climate change."

- GMTV

The real villain here is fearmongering by liberals.

Blogger sentenced for insulting Islam

"An Egyptian blogger was convicted Thursday and sentenced to four years in prison for insulting Islam and Egypt's president, sending a chill through fellow Internet writers who fear a government crackdown."

- AP

This is what I have to look forward to after America goes Muslim.

Popularity vs. Security

"I don't know about you, but I'd just as soon our next president -- like the current one -- be a little less preoccupied with international popularity contests and more dedicated to keeping America secure."

- David Limbaugh

I prefer the security.

One thousand

Self-aggrandizement alert!

1,000 posts on this blog!

Speedtest

Free broadband speed test.

Why is my connection so slow?

I have 540 kb/s vs. a 3807 kb/s Wisconsin average.

FEC might approve Obama sneakiness

"Presidential candidates may solicit contributions for a general election campaign even if they later decide to take public money for the race, federal regulators said Thursday in a proposed opinion.

The draft document, which would have to be approved by the Federal Election Commission, was in response to a request for FEC advice from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, the Illinois senator."

- AP

Doubting Thomas

"Thomas' abilities on the field are well documented. He was a two-time all-American left tackle, and this season Thomas became UW's first-ever Outland Trophy winner, an award given to college football's top interior lineman.

That alone has most people believing Thomas will be a top five pick when the NFL Draft arrives April 28."

- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story

I predict the guy will be the next Tony Mandarich. If he ever plays at all due to his blown-up knee.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Templar Legacy

The Templar Legacy (2006) by Steve Berry

This novel features the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, also known as the Templars. The Knights Templar were destroyed by a corrupt king and pope in the 1300s.

The protagonist is Cotton Malone, former agent for the U.S. Justice Department, who is dragged into a modern conflict involving remnants of the Templars.

The narrative alternates back and forth between modern times and the 1300s.

The action centers around a search for the lost treasure of the Templars, which turns out to be the bones of Jesus Christ and the last testament of Simon Peter.

Anne Rice's Memnoch was probably the last book I read that was as blasphemous as this book.

Interesting book, but I cannot recommend it to devout Christians who are easily offended by heresy.

Inappropriate T-shirts

[special thanks to Mark for calling my attention to this one]

The following directive was issued by the commanding officer of a naval installation somewhere in the Middle East.

Middle East: U.S. Navy Directive 16134
To: All Commands
Subject: Inappropriate T-Shirts
Ref: ComMidEastFor Inst 16134/24 K

1. All commanders promulgate upon receipt.

2. The following T-shirts are no longer to be worn on or off base by any military or civilian personnel serving in the Middle East:

- "Eat Pork or Die". [both English and Arabic versions]

- "Shrine Busters". [various shirts show burning minaets or bomb/artillery shells impacting on Islamic shrines. Some signs with unit logos.]

- "Napalm, Sticks Like Crazy". [both English and Arabic versions]

- "Goat - it isn't just for breakfast any more". [both English and Arabic versions]

- "The road to Paradise begins with me." [mostly Arabic versions but some English. Some show sniper-scope cross-hairs]

- "Guns don't kill people. I kill people". [both English and Arabic versions]

- "Pork - The other white meat". [Arabic version]

3. The above tee shirts will be removed from base exchanges upon receipt of this directive

4. The following signs are to be removed upon receipt of this message:

- "Islamic Religious Services Will Be Held at the Firing Range at 0800 hours daily."

- "Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?"

5. All commands are instructed to implement sensitivity training upon receipt.

Soulless

Soulless: Ann Coulter and the Right-Wing Church of Hate (2006)

by Susan Estrich

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Ann Coulter. So why am I wasting my time on a book like this?

I like to keep track of what the enemies of America are saying.

I find it interesting that the Ann Coulter quotes the author finds most offensive are some of my favorite quotes.

The very first chapter starts with:

"My book makes a stark assertion: Liberalsim is a godless religion. Hello! Anyone there? I've leapt beyond calling you traitors and I am now calling you GODLESS. Apparently, everybody's cool with that. The fact that liberals are godless is not even a controversial point anymore."

- Ann Coulter

Estrich takes great offense at the above quote, and other Coulter quotes, without ever refuting the substance of what Coulter is saying.

The author also goes after Michelle Malkin, another one of my favorites.

If you want further documentation of how hypocritical and intellectually bankrupt the liberal positions are, then consult this book.

Note: This book was presented to the Milwaukee Public Library for the citizens of Milwaukee from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. That says a lot about the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. But I do appreciate it, because I was able to read the book without buying it.

Clantons buy more support

"Two more black South Carolina lawmakers endorsing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton have ties to a media consulting firm hired by the White House hopeful.

However, both the lawmakers and the campaign said Thursday their support has nothing to do with any business dealings."

- AP story

Same old, same old.

If the Earps had taken care of business, we would not be in this mess.

The Terror

The Terror (2007) by Dan Simmons

This book is a fictional account of the disastrous 1845 Franklin Expedition's search for the Northwest Passage.

The title refers both to one of the ships, the HMS Terror, and to a supernatural creature that stalks the doomed expedition.

The ships are caught in the ice, and men die from cold, scurvy, attacks by the creature, and men killing each other. By the end of the book, there are no survivors, everyone is dead, with the exception of one who is transmogrified into something else, and is thus dead to those who sent him out on the mission.

This novel is a depressing tragic tale mitigated by heroism in the face of impossible odds.

At first, I thought the creature might be Mary Shelley's Piss Eyes, but it turned out to be something completely different. The creature is to a polar bear as a polar bear is to a dog. It routinely kills and eats polar bears. It is an effectively immortal character from Inuit religion known as the tapilek Tuunbaq.

The novel features numerous well-developed interesting characters, including:

The tapilek Tuunbaq

An Inuit witch known as Silence because she never speaks (her tongue had been torn out)

A human villain named Hickey (an interesting choice by the author to make the most despicable character in the book a homosexual)

Franklin, leader of the expedition, as inept a leader as you will ever find

Crozier, second in command, who survives as a different person

Goodsir, a doctor trained as an anatomist, who desperately tries everything he can think of to keep the men alive

Irving, a good man who befriends Silence, but Irving is murdered by a shipmate

This is a very interesting novel, not for weak stomachs, definitely worth reading for those who can stand seeing good men die in tragic circumstances.

Obama versus the Clantons

"We aren't going to get in the middle of a disagreement between the Clintons and someone who was once one of their biggest supporters," Obama communications director Robert Gibbs said in a statement. "It is ironic that the Clintons had no problem with David Geffen when he was raising them $18 million and sleeping at their invitation in the Lincoln bedroom."

Then Gibbs added another criticism of Clinton.

"It is also ironic that Senator Clinton lavished praise on Monday and is fully willing to accept today the support of South Carolina state Sen. Robert Ford, who said if Barack Obama were to win the nomination, he would drag down the rest of the Democratic Party because 'he's black,'" Gibbs' statement said.

- AP story

We can only hope that it is going to get a lot uglier.

Venal John Murtha

"Venal hack John Murtha was willing to sell his country's interests to Arab sheiks. This is the man Democrats have put up to lead the anti-war charge today, demanding that the commander in chief stop deploying troops against his Arab friends."

- Ann Coulter

I continue to be amazed bordering on stupification that Pennsylvania has such low self-esteem that they are willing to have Murtha as a representative.

If I was going to make a list of "Worst Marines Ever" then Murtha would be on it. I know, every organization, even an outstanding organization like the Marines, is going to have a few failures, and Murtha is certainly one of the biggest.

Defeating Muslim Terrorism

"An effective counterterrorism strategy must focus on the fact that terrorism by Muslims in the name of Islam presents the strategic threat today to civilized peoples, whether Muslim or non-Muslim."

- Daniel Pipes

This is a very interesting article. I am somewhat pessimistic about the moderate Muslim solution to the problem.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The New Flat Earth Society

"Al Gore, Ellen Goodman and the rest of the Kool-Aid drinking GWC are truly the new Flat Earth Society. They are so brainwashed about the "conventional wisdom" of this issue, it never occurs to them that the real reason most Americans believe global warming is less of a threat than zealots flying airplanes into buildings could just be because common sense is more highly prized on Main Street than it is inside the Beltway or in the halls of the UN."

- Doug Patton

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Legends of America

Tons of interesting stuff: outlaws, gunfights, myths, legends, ghost towns, etc.

The Clantons

"Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday denied that her campaign traded money for an endorsement from one of South Carolina's most influential black politicians."

- AP Story

I still blame the Earps.

Clinton and the Confederate Flag

"Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that South Carolina should remove the Confederate flag from its Statehouse grounds, in part because the nation should unite under one banner while at war."

- AP story

We can expect many more intellectually dishonest comments like this from the Clantons in the months ahead.

Mammoth fossils in Florida

"Paleontology and archaeology experts have confirmed the find, and recent digging at the site has turned up teeth and bones from a second mammoth, giant sloths, camels, turtles with shells up to six feet long, saber-toothed cats and giant armadillos the size of Volkswagen Beetles."

- Miami Herald / AP story

The right to bear clubs

"I mean, for me, the worst part of playing golf, by far, has always been hitting the ball. "

- Dave Barry

The Monks of War

Thanks to Mark for calling my attention to this article on the lessons learned in Iraq.

Well worth reading.

Rumsfeld

"I think that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history."

- John McCain

I do not even know where to start on this one.

I am inclined to describe McCain's comment as uninformed.

If a Democrat is elected president in 2008, we can expect to see a lot worse than Rumsfeld.

An Implausible Truth

"A U.S. Congressional hearing on climate change was cancelled this week because of a massive snowstorm in DC. I'm just wondering, how many academic degrees are required for a person to find that funny?"

- Rachel Marsden

Racing for defeat

"Democrats deny they have a plan for America's defeat in Iraq. They're correct. They have many such plans, and they're in competition with each other to see who can get it done the quickest."

- David Limbaugh

Democratic candidates

"Today, all you have to do is suggest a date by which U.S. forces in Iraq should surrender, and you're officially a Democratic candidate for president."

- Ann Coulter

Fulgurites

"Worldwide, lightning flashes occur about 65 times per second. Each bolt releases as much energy as is stored in a quarter-ton of TNT. The flash heats the air to about 30,000°C, about five times the temperature of the surface of the sun. If that electrical discharge strikes sandy ground, it can melt and then fuse sand and other materials into masses of glass called fulgurites, says Rafael Navarro-Gonz├ílez, a geochemist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City. Those masses take their name from fulgur, the Latin word for lightning."

- Sid Perkins, Science News article

Chimpanzee stone age

"Working along a riverbank in a West African rain forest, researchers have uncovered remnants from a chimpanzee stone age that started at least 4,300 years ago. The finds constitute the only evidence yet detected of prehistoric ape behavior."

- Bruce Bower, Science News article

SomaFM

SomaFM is internet radio with some very weird channels.

Especially the Doomed channel, which features dark industrial music for tortured souls.

Is this blog dead?

Q: Is this blog dead?

A: Appears to be mostly dead.

Returned from Michigan, so far behind that I just cannot get caught up.

Wildlife sightings on trip: Bald eagle flew overhead just south of the Mackinac Bridge, and a small flock of wild turkeys along U.S. 2 in the UP.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A different view of climate change

"That levelling off is just what is expected by the chief rival hypothesis, which says that the sun drives climate changes more emphatically than greenhouse gases do. After becoming much more active during the 20th century, the sun now stands at a high but roughly level state of activity. Solar physicists warn of possible global cooling, should the sun revert to the lazier mood it was in during the Little Ice Age 300 years ago."

- timesonline.co.uk

Eddie Feigner

(from the Saturday 2-10-2007 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Eddie Feigner, the hard-throwing softball showman who barnstormed for five decades with the four-man team "The King and His Court," died Friday in Huntsville, Ala. He was 81.

In more than 10,000 games, Feigner threw 930 no-hitters and 238 perfect games. Playing with just a catcher, first baseman and shortstop, he pitched from second base, behind his back, on his knees, between his legs, from center field, and blindfolded.

Sigil and Vanguard

His new game, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, opened on Jan. 30. But in a surprising twist Mr. McQuaid isn’t pinning his hopes on appealing to World of Warcraft’s millions of casual players. Instead, Vanguard is a gamer’s game. While World of Warcraft uses a cartoony visual style that runs fine on slower computers, Vanguard can humble even the beefiest PC with its emphasis on fantasy realism and its huge, richly detailed virtual universe. Where the older game tries to impress with its accessibility, Vanguard is about more complexity, more choices. In short Mr. McQuaid is bucking the conventional wisdom of a $2 billion industry.

- NY Times story

This is a very gushy 3-page article on McQuaid's magnum opus.

I very much wanted to play the beta and at launch, but other factors derailed those plans.

Cosmic rays

[Henrik Svensmark, a weather scientist at the Danish National Space Centre who led the team behind the research, believes that the planet is experiencing a natural period of low cloud cover due to fewer cosmic rays entering the atmosphere.

This, he says, is responsible for much of the global warming we are experiencing.

He claims carbon dioxide emissions due to human activity are having a smaller impact on climate change than scientists think.

Mr Svensmark last week published the first experimental evidence from five years' research on the influence that cosmic rays have on cloud production in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Journal A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. This week he will also publish a fuller account of his work in a book entitled The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change.]

- Telegraph story

Principles

"It's time for Republican principles to come back to Michigan again."

- Mitt Romney

I would prefer conservative principles. Too often we have seen that Republican principles fall short of conservative principles.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cronkite

"It's not just the journalist's job at risk here. It's American democracy. It is freedom."

- Walter Cronkite

American democracy and freedom have been threatened by the leftmost media for decades, but that never bothered Cronkite.

Editorial writers and media analysts

The late Murray Kempton once described editorial writers as "the people who come down from the hill after the battle to shoot the wounded." Nowadays, media analysts are the guys who follow behind them, going through the pockets of the dead looking for loose change.

- LA Times story

Dead-center bullseye descriptions.

Ellen Goodman

"I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future."

- Ellen Goodman

She is out-of-control, as usual.

$2,000 per pound chocolate

Do the math and that comes to $693 a pound. Buy just four pieces in the Signature stainless steel box and you are paying more than $2,000 a pound, making the Noka chocolate more expensive than delicacies like caviar, saffron or black truffles.

- NY Times story

“If you or your gift recipient are rich, stupid and vain, Noka is probably the way to go."

- DallasFood.org

Global warming hits Chicago

The combination of sustained frigid temperatures and a lack of snow to insulate the ground has led to an unusually high number of frozen pipes, Department of Water Management spokesman Tom LaPorte said Friday.

- Chicago Tribune story

Global warming causes an unusually high number of frozen pipes?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Persians talk tough

"A top Iranian cleric said on Friday the United States was within Iran's "firing range", a day after supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to hit back at US interests worldwide if attacked."

- news24.com story

The Persians have been a problem for thousands of years. Literally, thousands of years.

Hillary vs. Hillary

"In classic Clinton fashion, Hillary's strategy for the White House will rely on triangulation and obfuscation."

- Amanda B. Carpenter

Carpenter's article features pairs of quotes from the two Hillary Clintons demonstrating the differences between the senator and the presidential candidate.

Very instructive.

He is what he is

"I'm not the most conservative candidate on every issue, but I am what I am and on many issues I have conservative views."

- Mitt Romney

Branson saves humanity

"Airline tycoon Richard Branson announced on Friday a $25 million prize for the first person to come up with a way of scrubbing greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere in the battle to beat global warming.

Flanked by climate campaigners former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and British ex-diplomat Crispin Tickell, Branson said he hoped the prize would spur innovative and creative thought to save mankind from self-destruction."

- Reuters

Modern equivalent of Noah's Ark

"An Arctic "doomsday vault" aimed at providing mankind with food in case of a global catastrophe will be designed to sustain the effects of climate change, the project's builders said as they unveiled the architectural plans."

- AFP story

Note the use of "climate change" instead of "global warming."

Man saves grandson from snake

"A 66-year-old Brazilian saved his grandson from the grip of a 16-foot-long anaconda by beating the snake with rocks and a knife for half an hour, police said Thursday."

- AJC/AP story

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Scar Night

Scar Night (2006) by Alan Campbell

A city hanging by chains over an abyss is a richly imagined setting.

The novel features some interesting characters:

Dill (the last archon, dumber than Forrest Gump)

Rachel (assassin)

Devon (poisoner)

Carnival (fallen angel / vampire)

Mr. Nettle (scrounger)

The story includes a large body count.

An abrupt ending sets up a sequel.

The author's blog is here.

Global warming threatens reindeer in Sweden

Sweden said Wednesday it would give its reindeer herders millions of euros (dollars) in emergency aid to help them feed their animals, which are starving because of thick ice that is preventing them from reaching the lichen they eat.

- Terra Daily story

Very odd how global warming causes thicker ice than normal.

Global warming hits northern Michigan

NORTHERN MICHIGAN IS EXPERIENCING AMONG THE TOP 10 COLDEST STARTS TO FEBRUARY IN THE LAST 100 YEARS.

- 7-4 news story

An Implausible Truth

"Never before has all of civilization been threatened."

- Al Gore, referring to global warming

All of civilization was threatened by liberals first.

Ted Turner

"... single greatest challenge that humanity has ever faced."

- Ted Turner, referring to global warming

A bigger threat than Jane Fonda?

Edwards defends bloggers

"I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word."

- John Edwards

Right. Another Democrat with no credibility.

Wiccan patriots

"If Wiccans are good enough to die for their country, they're good enough to be treated with respect afterward."

- Steve Chapman

I agree with the above statement 100%.

Michel Niaucel bit the big one

I provide no link for this story because I cannot find it online.

It was published in the hard copy Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

**********************************

French diplomat shot to death in Ivory Coast

Associated Press

Abidjan, Ivory Coast

A French diplomat with the European Union was shot to death in his home overnight, a spokesman for the French Embassy said Wednesday.

Michel Niaucel was in charge of West Africa security operations for the EU, embassy spokesman Jacques Cuzy said.

Niaucel had been shot with his own gun by unknown assailants and died in his home. The killing did not appear to have any political motivation, but the investigation was still ongoing, and suicide has been ruled out, Cuzy said.

"Since there was no break-in into the house, it could be someone close to him," Cuzy said.

EU spokesman Lucien Houedanou said Niaucel's wife was questioned by police, but did not provide further details.

*****************************

In other words, it is an X-files case?

Perseverance

The fight dragged on even after the man was shot in the face, Miami-Dade police said.

- Miami Herald story

Why let a minor thing like getting shot in the face stop you?

Global warming pounds England

Heavy snowfall shut five British airports Thursday and forced the cancellation of some train service in England and Wales.

- AP Story

Loser

"Scott Wiese, a die-hard Chicago Bears fan, will legally change his name to that of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning after signing a pledge in front of a crowd at a Decatur bar last Friday night. He vowed to adopt Manning's name if the Bears lost Sunday's Super Bowl."

- AP story

There was no mention of what he got if the Bears won.

The Dark Side

"All of us have a dark side."

- Jon Clark, former NASA flight surgeon, referring to the strange case of astronaut Lisa Nowak

I do not provide a link for this quote because it does not appear in the online version of the AP story, only the version printed in the hard copy Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Obama gets trickier

"Democratic Sen. Barack Obama is asking whether he can take money from donors who want him to be president, then give it back later.

The Federal Elections Commission said Wednesday that it will look into the novel question."

- AP Story

Never underestimate a guy named Hussein.

On the Nature of the Liberal Condition

"An astounding range of absurd ideas have been incorporated into the “mainstream” of modern America, based not on any inherent merit, but rather on the benefits to liberalism that can be derived from them. So much of today’s “conventional wisdom” represents neither convention nor wisdom, but instead results from a fundamentally leftist worldview, combined with a truly juvenile dosage of wishful thinking."

- Christopher G. Adamo

This is one of the best descriptions of the Liberal condition that I have ever read.

Man bites dog

"The other suspect, who was armed with a knife took on Edge [that would be Edge the Police Dog], and bit the dog in the struggle."

- AP story

Criminals are getting tougher or dumber?

Edwards & poverty

"Democrat John Edwards, who has made an anti-poverty message the theme of his 2008 presidential campaign, is taking heat for the lavish home he has constructed in Orange County, N.C."

- AP story

His lavish home does not bother me, but I am really tired of his being a sanctimonious hypocrite about it.

Credibility, or lack thereof

"To show jurors that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is believable, attorneys for the former White House aide are trying to undercut the credibility of reporters from some of the nation's largest media outlets."

- AP story

People like Tim Russert have credibility? Really? With whom?

Conservatives despise Russert because he is dishonest.

Liberals admire him for the same reason.

Goebbels and MSNBC

"To see how liberal history is created, you need to tune into the nut-cable stations and watch their coverage of the Scooter Libby trial. On MSNBC they're covering the trial like it's the Normandy Invasion, starring Elvis Presley, as told by Joseph Goebbels."

- Ann Coulter

Do most people even know who Goebbels was? Just for the record, he was a Nazi propagandist. Liberals have obviously learned a lot from Goebbels.

"If you wonder how it came to be generally acknowledged "fact," accepted by all men of good will, that Joe McCarthy was a monster, that Alger Hiss was innocent, that mankind is causing global warming and that we're losing the war in Iraq, try watching the rewriting of history nightly on MSNBC."

- Ann Coulter

I do not watch MSNBC, but maybe I should. It is hard to keep track of all the liberal lies.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Frankie Laine bit the big one

Dead at 93. Sold over 100 million records.

Sang the theme song for the TV series 'Rawhide."

My Laine favorite is the theme song for the movie "Gunfight at the OK Corral."

Global warming strikes Cambodia

"It has been cold here – the coldest in 27 years of recorded history, according to Seth Vannareth, the director of meteorology at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology."

- Christian Science Monitor story about Cambodia

More taxes?

"I think we have to start thinking about a war on terrorism tax."

- Joe Lieberman

Personally, I would prefer that he cut spending on other programs.

No American flags allowed

"Theresa Richard is proud of her son, who is a member of the Connecticut National Guard serving in Afghanistan.

To show her support she is displaying the American flag and the Blue Star flag on a flagpole in front of her condominium, but her condominium association says she must remove the patriotic display."

- Journal Inquirer story

Fox News has an update here.

Muslims complain about anti-stoning law

"Among other rules, it bans kirpans and head scarves except on Halloween, and says women can drive and write cheques but should not be stoned to death."

- CBC News story about law in rural Quebec town

Gays strike back

"An initiative filed by proponents of same-sex marriage would require heterosexual couples to have kids within three years or else have their marriage annulled."

- AP story

Macsmind covers the story here.

My own comment = Fiendishly clever attack on traditional marriage.

Global warming in Oregon

“Most of the climate changes we have seen up until now have been a result of natural variations.”

- George Taylor, State Climatologist in Oregon

And now Mr. Taylor is being attacked by liberals. Liberals always want to stifle any dissent. No surprise there.

Wildlife sighting

There was a deer in the backyard yesterday. Browsing the cut brush stacked along the south fence line.

Pervert halftime show?

"In the sensitive post-wardrobe malfunction world, some are questioning whether a guitar was just a guitar during Prince's Super Bowl halftime show."

- AP story in AJC

I thought it was just a guitar. Shows you how naive I am.

Soup is good food

"A Stockbridge father who poisoned his children with Campbell's soup he had spiked with lighter fluid, hot peppers and Prozac said Tuesday he didn't mean any harm."

- AJC story

600 years ago, we would have burned him at the stake. Those were the good old days.

More global warming

Gay Patriot documents the effects of global warming.

Global warming blasts Midwest

"Hundreds of schools in at least three states were closed because officials feared for the safety of children venturing outdoors to walk to class or to bus stops. One of the largest districts to close was Milwaukee’s, where for the second day in a row Tuesday more than 90,000 students and about 8,000 administrators were out of class. The temperature there was 11 degrees below zero Tuesday morning, with a wind chill that made it seem like minus 30."

- NY Times story

The story failed to mention that the bitter cold was caused by global warming.

Bloggers for Edwards

"John Edwards is a decent man who has had his campaign tarnished by two anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots."

- Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

They sound like typical left-wingers to me. I fail to see how anyone can be surprised.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Shape Shifter

The Shape Shifter (2006) by Tony Hillerman

Joe Leaphorn, the legendary retired Navajo policeman, solves a cold case.

Features a big dose of guilt about how poorly we treated the Hmong.

The skinwalker of the title turns out to be an ex-CIA spook.

Despite its flaws, I liked it, but the book got some poor reviews (see below, for example).

"Anyone who calls this one of Hillerman's best is insulting him. I have pages of reviews of his books and others like it at my site; this book is embarrassing. With the millions Hillerman has made in the Chee/Leaphorn franchise, he could hire an editor of his own to keep these books up to the standard Hillerman himself set and few have equalled. Instead, he is cranking out feeble imitations of his own work."

- Mick McAllister

Shark sinks boat

"The crew of a shrimping boat had to be rescued after a shark took out the ship's propeller and caused the boat to take on water."

- AP story

Stranger than fiction.

Off Armageddon Reef

Off Armageddon Reef (2007) by David Weber

The last remnants of humanity flee to a distant planet to hide from the aliens that destroyed Earth.

This is a very strange novel that goes from futuristic space battles to the age of musket and pike.

The story spans several centuries, but most of the action takes place in just a few short months.

Tends toward preachy and shamelessly manipulative.

The book ends with many plot elements unresolved, and thus the author sets the stage for many sequels.

Bears lost

"You could have been a time zone and four states away and still have known Sunday night what the reaction was going to be in Chicago. You could have been in a galaxy far, far away and known it: The Bears need a new quarterback."

- Rick Morrissey, Chicago Tribune

Yeah, I was wrong, the Bears lost.

Miami Herald lists the reasons the Bears lost here.

The news from Dearbornistan

Escalating tensions between Sunnis and Shiites across the Middle East are rippling through some American Muslim communities, and have been blamed for events including vandalism and student confrontations. Political splits between those for and against the American invasion of Iraq fuel some of the animosity, but it is also a fight among Muslims about who represents Islam.

- NY Times story

Same old same old from The Religion of Peace.

Edwards and taxes

[Presidential candidate John Edwards is embracing a position that has been political suicide in the past - admitting he would raise taxes.

His idea immediately opened him to criticism that he's a tax-and-spender in the mold of Walter Mondale, the 1984 Democratic presidential nominee who said he would raise taxes. In the election, Mondale suffered a 49-state defeat, losing everything except his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia to President Reagan.]

- AP story

Well of course Edwards would raise taxes. Raising taxes is always the Democratic answer to any problem. They never met a tax they didn't like.

Dearbornistan

Returned from Dearbornistan.

Survived the trip despite some very bad road conditions on I-94 with numerous cars and trucks in the ditches.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Global warming?

"The science brought in by the one side had given a more extremist view of climate change. What we're trying to say is, the science isn't necessarily that well settled, and in many cases it isn't that extreme. I'm not saying it isn't a problem."

- David R. Legates, University of Delaware geography professor and Delaware's state climatologist

"It is simply impossible to conclude that the net effect of greenhouse gases endangers human health and welfare."

- court brief filed by Legates and other scientists

Sharpton counterpunches

[But Sharpton told Biden: "A lot of people took it from you that because (Obama) is Harvard-trained, that people don't see someone as good and clean unless they are less connected to the struggle of the African-American community."

Sharpton also compared the gaffe to former Virginia Sen. George Allen's use of a racial slur against an Indian-American man last summer - a controversy that was widely believed to have cost Allen re-election.

"George Allen got 'macaca' - this might be a step past that," Sharpton warned.]

- AP story

Biden and Sharpton

Mr. Sharpton said that when Mr. Biden called him to apologize, Mr. Sharpton started off the conversation reassuring Mr. Biden about his hygienic practices. “I told him I take a bath every day,” Mr. Sharpton said.

- NY Times story

An Implausible Truth

Al Gore was nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Confirms my view about how political and irrelevant Nobel prizes are.

TrainRex

I am picking the Bears in the SuperBowl.

Forget the spread, I am picking the Bears to win.

Defense, special teams, and the running game.

Rex can play well enough to win.

A man walks into a bar

[thanks to Mark for calling my attention to this one]

A man walked into a very high-tech bar. As he sat down on a stool, he noticed that the bartender was a robot. The robot clicked to attention and asked, “Sir, what will you have?” The man thought a moment, then replied, “A martini, please”. The robot clicked a couple of times and mixed the best martini the man had ever had.

The robot then asked, “Sir, what is your IQ?” The man answered, “Oh, about 164.” The robot then proceeded to discuss the theory of relativity, inter-stellar space travel, the latest medical breakthroughs, etc. The man was most impressed. He left the bar, but thought he would try different tactic.

A while later he returned and took a seat. Again, the robot clicked and asked what he would have. “A martini, please.” Again it was superb.

The robot again asked, “What is your IQ, sir?” This time the man answered, “Oh, about 100″. So the robot started discussing NASCAR racing, bass fishing and what to expect the Steelers to do this weekend. The guy had to try it one more time. So he left, returned and took a stool…

Again a martini, and the question “What is your IQ?” This time the man drawled out “Uh… ’bout 50.” The robot clicked, then leaned close and very slowly asked, “A-r-e y-o-u-r p-e-o-p-l-e r-e-a-l-l-y g-o-i-n-g t-o n-o-m-i-n-a-t-e H-i-l-l-a-r-y?”