Monday, June 25, 2007

Off to Colorado

Leaving for Colorado early in the morning.

Probably no blogging until Wednesday the 4th.


Republican Fred Thompson, who likes to cast himself in the role of Washington outsider, has a long history as a political insider who earned more than $1 million lobbying the federal government.

"This is no political outsider," said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for government ethics and campaign finance reform with Public Citizen. "He clearly gained a network of contacts in Congress though Howard Baker that he cashed in on and would represent anyone who would pay him."

- AP/Forbes (read the full story here)


A Florida televangelist, Bill Keller, told followers recently that a vote for Romney is a vote for Satan.

- John Fund, Opinion Journal (read his full comments here)

Ouch. Nasty attack.

The Breck Girl

I think Democrats are well advised to abandon Edwards. The Republicans would decimate an amateur such as he. It would be brutal.

- Jay Cost, Real Clear Politics (read his full comments here)

I would like to see Edwards decimated.

Penguins in Peru

Giant penguins roamed what is now Peru more than 40 million years ago, much earlier than scientists thought the flightless birds had spread to warmer climes.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

Winged Dragons

A quarry on the Virginia-North Carolina border has yielded fossils of an unusual gliding reptile that lived in the region about 220 million years ago.

- Science News (story available to subscribers only)

I finally broke down and renewed my subscription to Science News after a hiatus of several years.

I got tired of missing out on fascinating articles like this one.

The source rock was so hard that the bones could not be removed without damaging them.

This cute little dragon had the wingspan of a modern-day cardinal.

Creation or evolution?

Raising taxes

The bills in Congress take aim at a provision of the tax law that has allowed private equity and hedge fund operators to pay a lower capital-gains tax rate of 15 percent, instead of the ordinary top income-tax rate of 35 percent, on the performance fees that make up the bulk of their huge paychecks.

Congress will achieve a significant victory, for fairness and for fiscal responsibility, if it ends the breaks that are skewing the tax code in favor of the most advantaged Americans.

- NY Times editorial (read the full editorial here)

Translation = By raising taxes and exerting more governmental control over peoples' lives, the cause of liberalism can be advanced.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Recent plantings

(19) Datura inoxia (Moonflower)

(2) Dianthus (random Farmers Market plants, species unknown)

(4) Begonia ('Sweetheart White')

(1) Lysimachia congestiflora ('Walkabout Sunset')

(1) Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium nipponicum 'Metallicum')

(1) Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)

(2) Pachysandra ('Green Carpet')

(1) Pachysandra ('Silver Edge')

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Creationist Threat

Europe's primary human rights body will vote on a proposal this week to defend the teaching of Darwinian evolution and keep creationist and intelligent design views out of science classes in state schools in its 47 member countries.

A report for the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly said the campaign against evolution has its roots "in forms of religious extremism" and is a dangerous attack on scientific knowledge.

"Today, creationists of all faiths are trying to get their ideas accepted in Europe," it said. "If we are not careful, creationism could become a threat to human rights."

- Reuters/Washington Times (read full story here)

If I made a list of all the things threatening Europe, Creationism would not even be on the list.

Bolt from the blue

With no rain or even clouds to warn him of the danger, death came literally out of the blue Thursday to a self-employed landscaper. The killer was a powerful bolt of lightning that cracked through perfectly clear skies.

- Miami Herald (read full story here)

Cedarburg Strawberry Festival

Block party times twenty.

Several live music stages, tons of food & drink.

Everything that can be made out of strawberries.

Schedule conflicts have prevented us from attending for a couple of years, so it was good to enjoy it once again.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Recent poll data and political history suggest that not only is it highly unlikely Bloomberg will win, but that he is highly unlikely to get even ten percent of the vote.

Bloomberg's six percent may end up being a crucial six percent, depending on what groups or in which states he runs strongest.

- Thurlow Weed, Real Clear Politics (read the full article here)

The worst case is that Bloomberg hurts the Republican, thus allowing the Democrat to win.

2nd Chess Book

Everyone's 2nd Chess Book (2000) by NM Dan Heisman

The author is a full-time chess instructor who feels that chess vision and tactics are the keys to improvement for low-level chess players.

The book lists the 11 most common mistakes made by players rated 800-1400:

1. Missing a simple tactic
2. Not looking at what your opponent is threatening
3. Not getting all pieces into play
4. Not knowing basic opening traps
5. Phantom fears
6. Overly worried about the value of the pieces
7. Overly worried about positional liabilities
8. Playing too fast
9. Not looking for a better move
10. Being afraid of the opponent
11. Worrying about your rating

The author provides many examples of how not to play chess.

The book has many interesting nuggets of wisdom like:

"You learn more when you lose, and getting better involves knowing more."

"Try to move every piece (not pawn) once before you move any piece twice."

"The more you are winning, the more you should think defense."

Interesting book.

Dell & Ubuntu

From PC Mechanic Newsletter #195:

On a separate issue, a non-profit business had attempted to purchase Dell computers with Ubuntu. Dell refused to sell them because, as the Dell representative said, "These Dell computers are designed for personal use only, as long as you use it for personal use, you can purchase one."

More bear trouble

It's a feat of bravery worth boasting of on a T-shirt: Chris Everhart clobbered a black bear to save his three sons.

"He killed a bear with his bare hands," bragged Everhart's oldest boy, Jake.

- Atlanta Journal Constitution (read full story here)

I am somewhat skeptical of the story, in part because the picture caption says it was a 300 pound male and the story text says it was a 275 pound female.

Or were there two bears?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fredheads & Bloomberg

Is Fred Thompson the second coming of Ronald Reagan? Not exactly. Is he, like Reagan, the right man for this desperate hour? That depends upon God’s Providence. If we pray hard God will answer that last question. Right now without announcing formally, Thompson is doing well in the polls. Will his standing go up or down when he becomes a real candidate? I can only guess. I think his standing will go up. In that case we could have a very lively two-man race in November of ‘08. On the other hand if New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg runs and spends $ one billion of his own money, what then? All I can suggest is to pray hard.

- Paul M. Weyrich (read his full comments here)

Maybe I better start praying now. Pray early and pray often.

Liberal hypocrisy

Imus’ comments were stupid and offensive and whether he is on radio or not is not very important. But it is important to understand the thinking of the cultural elite. They sail under the banner of diversity and freedom of expression but when the egalitarian taboos are broken by the unfavored they will forget the all-ideas-are-equal shibboleth and act fiercely to silence the deviationism. Even Silverman is uneasy about this double standard--“I can say nigger because I’m liberal”--but she knows she can say it and even get Time’s approval for saying it. Cowboys and other non-politically correct groups cannot. That is what liberals call free speech.

- Donald Devine (read his full comments here)

Of course. According to liberals, the only free speech allowed is left-wing free speech.

Virtual addiction

...if the prestigious American Medical Association has its way, video-game addiction could become a legitimate medical condition.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

World of Warcraft wreaks havoc on the psychology of the world.


Nifong has tried to portray himself as simply making "mistakes." This is absurd. Not even a half-wit like Nifong could have believed "something happened in that bathroom," as he said during his disbarment hearing last weekend. He was willing to send three innocent men to prison to improve his electoral viability in a heavily black district and to become a liberal hero in Manhattan salons.

- Ann Coulter (read her full comments here)

As usual, Ann hits the bullseye dead center.


In 2001, Bloomberg switched from being a lifelong Democrat to a Republican to avoid a crowded mayoral primary in the heavily Democratic city. His political heritage suggests his candidacy could hurt Democrats more than Republicans - just as independent Ralph Nader's 2000 race appeared to take votes from Democrat Al Gore.

- Tom Raum, AP/Forbes (read the full article here)

This could get very interesting.

The Islam Problem

In that spirit, it's high time to ban hypocrisy under the banner of Islam. Rushdie is not the problem. Muslims are.

- Irshad Manji in The Australian (read the full article here)

The author hits a number of bullseyes dead center.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Return of Bill Cowher?

Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher is reportedly already scouting possible teams for head coaching vacancies following the 2007 season.

- The Sports Network/Miami Herald (read full story here)

Bill Cowher would be way better than what the Packers have.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Harrington & Richardson

The Harrington & Richardson web site is

"A breakthrough so important that it alters the course of an industry is rare indeed. But it happened in 1871, when Gilbert H. Harrington invented the top-breaking, shell-ejecting revolver. For the first time, handgunners had a firearm that was not only durable and accurate, but easy to load and unload as well.

To produce his invention, Harrington teamed up with William A. Richardson. The two men gave their names to a firm that would soon become synonymous with high-quality, technically superior revolvers and shotguns.

Harrington & Richardson’s reputation for excellence became established so firmly, so quickly, that in 1880 the firm was named sole North American licensee for England’s Anson & Deely double-barrel hammerless shotgun. In its day, the Anson & Deely was considered to be the finest shotgun available anywhere, at any price—and only the most quality-conscious manufacturer could be entrusted with its creation.

H&R’s success led it to break ground for a state-of-the-art factory in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1893. Just a few years passed before the factory had to be expanded. It was here that H&R developed a broad line of firearms, including their innovative—and hugely successful—single-barrel shotgun, which featured automatic shell ejection.

In 1932, an H&R pistol was used to set a new U.S. pistol record, and would go on to become the most famous firearm of its kind—the U.S.R.A. single-shot target pistol. This pistol was so accurate that it was adopted by the U.S. Army Pistol Team.

In wartime, H&R answered the call to duty. During World War I, H&R was an important producer of shoulder-type flare guns. In World War II, the company was a major producer of military firearms, earning many commendations from the U.S. armed forces. It produced the U.S. M1 Garand rifle, was the largest single manufacturer of the M-14, and one of the major producers of the M-16.

In November of 2000, the Marlin Firearms Company purchased the assets of H&R 1871, Inc. Marketing its products under the brand names of Harrington & Richardson® and New England Firearms®, H&R 1871, LLC is currently the largest manufacturer of single shot shotguns and rifles in the world."

- quoted from the Harrington & Richardson web site.

Of particular interest to me is an H&R Model 622 .22-caliber six-shot revolver.

Cutting taxes

"Government is simply too big; state government is too big, the federal government is too big. It's spending too much. I'm going to cut spending, I'm going to cut taxes.

- Mitt Romney, quoted by AP/Forbes (read full story here)

I am in favor of lower taxes and less government spending.

Bear kills boy

An 11-year-old boy was dragged screaming from his family's tent and killed by a black bear during a Father's Day outing in the Utah wilderness.

- AP/FoxNews (read full story here)

Not a good idea to go into bear country unarmed. The chances are small, but the consequences are large.


Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama on Monday said his campaign made a "dumb mistake" when it circulated a memo criticizing rival Hillary Rodham Clinton's financial ties to India.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

My prediction = The Obama campaign will make many more dumb mistakes in the months ahead.


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg left the Republican Party on Tuesday and switched to unaffiliated, a move certain to be seen as a prelude to an independent presidential bid that would upend the 2008 race.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

All part of the plan to split the anti-Clinton vote, just as Ross Perot did.


I believe the culpability of "rogue" prosecutor and bully-extraordinaire Mike Nifong in the Duke LaCross "fiasco" has been grossly understated. His premeditated actions and apparently unrepentant heart merit a special ranking on the outrage meter and it should be a very long time before we apply to this case the adage that time heals all wounds.

- David Limbaugh (read his full comments here)

Nifong should be facing criminal charges such as malfeasance.

Traditional vodka

Traditional vodka can only be made from grain or potatoes, the European Parliament decided Tuesday.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

I like traditional vodka.


Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Rethinking the History, Science, and Meaning of Auditory Hallucination (2007) by Daniel B. Smith

The author was motivated to write the book, in part, because both his father and grandfather heard voices.

The book draws on diverse sources such as literature, history, psychology, psychiatry, religion, neurology, etc. to explore the phenomenon of voice-hearing.

One of the interesting sources cited is The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (1976) by Princeton professor of psychology Julian Jaymes. According to Jaymes, before about 3,000 years ago, everyone was a voice-hearer.

The author devotes a lot of effort to three case studies: Socrates, Joan of Arc, and German psychiatric patient Daniel Paul Schreber. Socrates and Joan were executed for their voice-hearing. Schreber's life was ruined.

It is apparent that a lot of people hear voices, and some deal with it a lot better than others. Many of the cases are tragic in the extreme, but others are more positive (e.g., voices as an inspiration of poetry).


Microsoft password checker

This is an interesting little online utility that rates the strength of passwords.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Oldest man

At 111, the world's oldest man keeps a daily diary, drinks milk and stays away from alcohol and smoking.

"I don't want to die," Tomoji Tanabe told reporters Monday, while receiving a certificate from the Guinness World Records at a ceremony in southern Japan verifying him as the world's oldest male.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)


I prefer "sipping tequila" to milk, and I do not aspire to ever be the oldest man.

Fudging the numbers

"I believe we will be able to demonstrate that some of the global warming increase is not from CO2 but from localized changes in the temperature-measurement environment."

- Anthony Watts, quoted by Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (read full story here)

Very interesting article addresses subjectivity in temperature measurements.

Anthony Watts' web site is

Global warming causes killing

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the slaughter in Darfur was triggered by global climate change and that more such conflicts may be on the horizon, in an article published Saturday.

"The Darfur conflict began as an ecological crisis, arising at least in part from climate change," Ban said in a Washington Post opinion column.

UN statistics showed that rainfall declined some 40 percent over the past two decades, he said, as a rise in Indian Ocean temperatures disrupted monsoons.

"This suggests that the drying of sub-Saharan Africa derives, to some degree, from man-made global warming," the South Korean diplomat wrote. (read full story here)

Father of climatology

Reid Bryson, known as the father of scientific climatology, considers global warming a bunch of hooey.

The UW-Madison professor emeritus, who stands against the scientific consensus on this issue, is referred to as a global warming skeptic. But he is not skeptical that global warming exists, he is just doubtful that humans are the cause of it.

There is no question the earth has been warming. It is coming out of the "Little Ice Age," he said in an interview this week.

"However, there is no credible evidence that it is due to mankind and carbon dioxide. We've been coming out of a Little Ice Age for 300 years. We have not been making very much carbon dioxide for 300 years. It's been warming up for a long time," Bryson said.

- The Capital Times (read full story here)

Chimps with culture

Scientists at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center say they've shown for the first time that the local customs that define human cultures also exist in the world of chimpanzees.

- Atlanta Journal Constitution (read full story here)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Brownback vs. Romney

An aide to GOP presidential candidate Sam Brownback has been reprimanded for sending e-mail to Iowa Republican leaders in an apparent attempt to draw unfavorable scrutiny to rival Mitt Romney's Mormonism.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

In some ways, politics is similar to boxing. A certain number of punches that hit below the belt occur.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Squirrel attack

An aggressive squirrel attacked and injured three people in a German town before a 72-year-old pensioner dispatched the rampaging animal with his crutch.

- Reuters (read full story here)

Big Stick

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Saturday that if he's elected, he wants "to carry the big stick" by increasing the size of the nation's military.

Romney recalled the words of President Theodore Roosevelt, who said the United States should "Speak softly and carry a big stick," in its foreign relations.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

I am in favor of a bigger military.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Huge oviraptor

Paleontologists have unearthed the remains of an immense, fast-growing dinosaur whose body proportions don't match those predicted by the evolutionary trends that characterize its more diminutive kin.

- Sid Perkins, Science News (read full article here)

Peripatetic chickens

Thor Heyerdahl got it backwards. More than 40 years ago, the late explorer proposed that the Inca or their predecessors voyaged from South America to Polynesia by raft. On the contrary, a new study indicates that Polynesian seafarers reached what's now Chile by about 620 years ago. That conclusion hinges on the first evidence of when chickens arrived in the Americas.

- Bruce Bower, Science News (read full article here)

Strong leadership, or lack thereof

"What we're lacking is strong, aggressive, bold leadership like we had with Ronald Reagan."

- Rudy Giuliani, quoted by AP/Forbes (read full story here)

I agree with the quote, but I have real doubts that Giuliani is the next Reagan.

Libby should be pardoned

Republican president candidate Mitt Romney, who denied every pardon or commutation during his term as Massachusetts governor, said Thursday a pardon for former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby deserves a close examination.

"I think the prosecutor may well have abused prosecutorial discretion by pursuing the investigation after he had learned that the source of the leak was Richard Armitage," Romney said. "He knew that there was, therefore, not a crime committed and yet, he proceeded with the investigation knowing that there was no crime to pursue.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Fine. Give it a close examination. Then issue a parson.

The Breck Girl

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Thursday proposed cutting health care costs by removing patents for breakthrough drugs and requiring health insurance companies to spend at least 85 percent of their premiums on patient care.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

Translation = The Breck Girl advocates Soviet-style health care.

No surprise here.

The liberal threat

In other words, if the president can have Mr. al Marri locked up without having to prove criminal charges, then any U.S. civilian -- like you -- also could be held indefinitely.

- Miami Herald editorial (read the full editorial here)

I characterize this editorial as asinine.

Once again, we see the real threat. America could defend herself against terrorists if liberals were not always sabotaging the defense.

"You could be next" = liberal fearmongering.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Interesting t-shirt

I saw an interesting t-shirt last weekend at the Charles St. block party in the Federal Hill neighborhood in Baltimore:

"People who drink light beer do not like the taste of beer, they just like to pee a lot"

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bush administration supports drug smugglers

In addition to giving the illegal alien drug smuggler full immunity to testify against U.S. Border Patrol agents, the government gave him taxpayer-funded medical care for his buttocks wound, an unconditional border-crossing card, the right to sue the U.S. for "civil rights" violations, and a GAP gift card. The drug runner is also on the short-list to replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

He's now suing the U.S. for $5 million, but the Bush administration is hoping to bargain him down to $10 million.

- Ann Coulter (read her full comments here)

This is yet another case where W is a major disappointment. It is almost like he has been drinking the water in Minnesota.

Today's plantings

(54) Moonflower (Datura inoxia, also known as sacred datura, devil's weed, angel's trumpet, jimsonweed)

Datura inoxia is a source of hallucinogenic alkaloids, and must be handled with care.

There is an interesting article on the shamanic uses of Datura inoxia here.

White siberian

Many years ago, Jim Reicherts (professional landscaper and son of our neighbor) gave us a nice clump of siberian iris. We continue to enjoy the blue flowers every year.

But this year, in addition to the old reliable blue flowers, we have a single stem of white flowered siberian iris.

This is one of the joys of gardening. The garden is always changing and always manages to serve up some delightful surprise.

Clinton, thinking small

That's the question raised by Ms. Clinton's announcement over the weekend that she will oppose the free-trade agreement with South Korea -- and for the narrowest of special-interest reasons. It's hard to imagine an issue where the national and international benefits weigh so clearly and heavily on one side. Yet Ms. Clinton, sounding more auto salesman than statesman, has joined many of her Democratic colleagues in Congress in opting to jettison those benefits.

- Washington Post editorial (read the full editorial here)

Small mindedness has long been a Clinton trademark.

Selective Tolerance

People who don't think the radical homosexual lobby is trying to force its views on society probably aren't paying close attention. Increasingly, in various parts of this nation, if you express traditional views on traditional marriage, you risk being branded a bigot and your speech being muzzled.

- David Limbaugh (read his full comments here)

Typical leftwing hypocrisy. According to the left, the only free speech allowed is liberal speech.

Norton bit the big one

Norton, one of the original whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium, died early Wednesday, the aquarium's second whale shark death this year.

- AP/ajc (read full story here)

Not a good year for whale sharks.

Counter revolution in dining

A culinary counterrevolution may be in progress, as more restaurants in New York abandon small plates of light fare in favor of heaping platters of sinfully fatty meats.

- NY Times (read full story here)

I am personally very much in favor of heaping platters of sinfully fatty meats.

Smallmouth bass

Jack Naylor of Apple Valley pulled a smallmouth bass measuring 21¼ inches and weighing 6 pounds from Lake Superior.

- Star Tribune (read full story here)

Yesterday's projects

Bought a five-foot rockbar. Moved the largest rock on the property. Never a trivial undertaking, although the new rockbar does make it easier.

Took down a widowmaker on the back line. It was an ash tree less than 12 inches in diameter. It could have been worse, but extreme caution is still required, especially when working alone.

Butts & toilet paper

Police blame a woman named Butts for stealing toilet paper from a central Iowa courthouse, and while they're chuckling, the theft charge could put her in prison.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

Old whale

A 50-ton bowhead whale caught off the Alaskan coast last month had a weapon fragment embedded in its neck that showed it survived a similar hunt - more than a century ago.

- AP/azcentral (read full story here)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sturgeons are dangerous

A woman was injured over the weekend by a leaping sturgeon, the latest incident involving the flying fish on the Suwannee River, officials said.

In April, a leaping sturgeon severely injured a 50-year-old woman from St. Petersburg who was riding a personal watercraft on the Suwannee River. She suffered a ruptured spleen and had three fingers reattached by surgeons, but she lost her left pinkie finger and a tooth.

- AP/Miami Herald (read full story here)


Monday, June 11, 2007

MSU professor

Thanks to Mark for this one. I am amazed bordering on stupification that an MSU professor could hit a bullseye so completely dead center.


A professor at Michigan State University sent an e-mail to the Muslim Student's Association. The e-mail was in response to the students' protest of the Danish cartoons that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist. The group had complained the cartoons were "hate speech."

Dear Moslem Association:

As a professor here at MSU I intend to protest your protest. I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders, murders of Catholic priests (the latest in Turkey), burnings of Christian churches, the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims, the rapes of Scandinavian girls and women (called "whores" in your culture), the murder of film directors in Holland, and the rioting and looting in Paris France.

This is what offends me, a soft-spoken person and academic, and many, many of my colleagues. I counsel your dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile "protests." If you do not like the values of the West , see the 1st Amendment. You are free to leave. I hope for God's sake that most of you choose that option. Please return to your! ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans.


Thanks to Mark for this one. I trust people in the Armed Services to represent my interests a lot more than I trust liberal politicians.


From a Chaplain in Iraq.

"I recently attended a showing of "Superman 3" here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies as well as memorial services and other large gatherings. As is the custom back in the States, we stood and snapped to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was going as planned until about three-quarters of the way through the National Anthem the music stopped. Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments, and everyone would sit down and call for a movie. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place. Here, the 1,000 soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again. The soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. And again, at the same point, the music stopped. What would you expect to happen? Even here I would imagine laughter as everyone sat down and expected the movie to start. Here, you could have heard a pin drop. Every soldier stood at attention. Suddenly there was a lone voice, then a dozen, and quickly the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers 'And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?' It was the most inspiring moment I have had here in Iraq. I wanted you to know what kind of Soldiers are serving you here.


Written by Chaplain Jim Higgins on 5/14/07. LSA Anaconda is at the Balad Airport in Iraq, north of Baghdad"

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Returned from the swamps of Baltimore.

Had lots of fun.

One of the highlights was a great block party on Charles St. in the Federal Hill neighborhood. Live music, good food, an interesting selection of beverages, lots of people partying in a well-behaved but exuberant manner.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Off to the swamps

Off to the swamps of Baltimore.

The Inner Harbor apparently reeks of dead fish.

Probably no blogging until Monday.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Kayak vs. pine tree


- Special Weather Statement,


Jerusalem has been united for 40 years. Let there be many, many more.

Whose Jerusalem? History makes it quite clear it's not a Muslim city.

And it never should be.

- Debbie Schlussel (read her full comments here)



(thanks to Mark for this one)

Donald Rumsfeld briefed the President.

Rumsfeld told Bush that three Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq.

To everyone's amazement, all color ran from Bush's face, then he collapsed onto his desk, head in hands, visibly shaken, almost whimpering.

Finally, he composed himself and asked, "Just exactly how many is a brazillion?"

Leftwing intolerance

"But the smart stuff is being drowned out by a fierce, bullying, often witless tone of intolerance that has overtaken the left-wing sector of the blogosphere."

- Joe Klein (read his full comments here)

Witless intolerance has always been a trademark of liberals.


"We can't weaken the essence of what America is by turning our backs on immigrants who want to reunite with their family members."

- B. Hussein Obama (read full story here)

They could reunite with their families by returning to their countries of origin.

Neglected Truths

"It is no exaggeration to say that the affluent urbanites among us, a mostly liberal group, have their lifestyles underwritten by taxpayers and the rest of society."

- Thomas Lifson at Real Clear Politics (read his full comments here)

He makes several good points on the larger immigrations issues.

Illegals lose in home invasion

Illegals lose in home invasion ...

Shotgun pre-teen vs. illegal alien Home Invaders
NRA files Butte Montana
November 5, 2006

Home invasion gone wrong for criminals.

Two illegal aliens, Ralphel Resindez 23 and Enrico Garza 26, probably believed they would easily overpower a home alone 11 year old Patricia Harrington after her father had left their two story home.

It seems the two crooks never learned two things, they were in Montana and Patricia had been a clay shooting champion since she was nine. Patricia was in her upstairs room when the two men broke through the front door of the house. She quickly ran to her father's room and grabbed his 12 gauge Mossberg 500 shotgun.

Resindez was the first to get up to the second floor only to be the First to catch a near point blank blast of buck shot from the 11 year olds knee crouch aim. He suffered fatal wounds to his abdomen and genitals.

When Garza ran to the foot of the stairs, he took a blast to the left shoulder and staggered out into the street where he bled to death before medical help could arrive.

It was found out later that Resindez was armed with a stolen 45 Caliber handgun he took from another home invasion robbery.

Remember - When seconds count, the police are only minutes away........

Had this happened in CA, the ACLU would be out in force suing the 11 Year old girl. (Not to mention the LaRaza groups claiming she was discriminating.)

Nice Shootin', Patricia!


Thanks to Dad for the heads up on this one. Old news, but good news.

Virtual life

“Perception is reality, and if a substantial part of our community feels like we are biased, whether it is true or not, it is true to them,” Hilmar Petursson, CCP’s chief executive, said in a telephone interview. “Eve Online is not a computer game. It is an emerging nation, and we have to address it like a nation being accused of corruption.

- NY Times (read full story here)

I played Eve Online for a free month several years ago.

It is interesting to note that EVE Online and Earth & Beyond were originally announced around the same time.

Earth & Beyond, backed by mega-corporation Electronic Arts, folded up years ago.

Eve Online, run by small independent CCP, is still going strong, although obviously not without its problems.

Some in Greenland want global warming

"With the warmer weather, we don't have to fight the cold so much. Our health is better. Our equipment doesn't break down so much, and we don't use so much fuel. The time for industry is longer, and there are more places we can go by boat," Fleischer, 59, said before a lunch of reindeer meat in his house overlooking Ilulissat. "I can't think of any negative consequences."

- Washington Post (read full story here)

It is an ill wind that blows no good at all.


The Washington Post has an odd little story about a haunted forest.

It illustrates the power of myth.

(read the story here)

Maybe there will be a movie someday.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

European Security Levels

(thanks to Mark for this one)

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

Also, the French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Surrender" and "Collaborate." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

It's not only the English and French that are on a heightened level of alert. Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans also increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual, and the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish Navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish Navy.

Roach motel

Republicans' defense of President Bush's immigration bill is more enraging than their defense of Harriet Miers. Back then, Bush's conservative base was accused of being sexist for opposing an unqualified woman's nomination to the highest court in the land. Now we're racists for not wanting to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.

- Ann Coulter at Human Events (read her full comments here)


We should scrap this “comprehensive” immigration bill and the whole debate until the government can show the American people that we have secured the borders -- or at least made great headway. That would give proponents of the bill a chance to explain why putting illegals in a more favorable position than those who play by the rules is not really amnesty.

- Fred Thompson at ACUF (read his full comments here)

I agree with Fred on this one.

The Religious Left

This was no garden-variety political presentation by the top three Democratic presidential candidates Monday night on the campus of George Washington University, in the shadow of the White House. The forum, sponsored by the progressive Christian group Sojourners, represented the boldest indication yet that the "religious left" is building as a political force, no longer willing to cede "values voters" to the religious conservative movement that has long formed the activist base of the Republican Party.

- Christian Science Monitor (read full story here)

It is easy to be cynical about this.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Obama makes threats

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Tuesday that the Bush administration has done nothing to defuse a "quiet riot" among blacks that threatens to erupt just as riots in Los Angeles did 15 years ago.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

If we do not do what they want, they will burn down their own houses and kill each other?

Let me think about it.

Gross injustice

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000 for lying to investigators about his role in leaking the identity of an undercover CIA officer.

- Washington Post (read full story here)

Chess Sins

The Seven Deadly Chess Sins (2000, 2001) by Jonathan Rowson

"Scotland's youngest grandmaster discusses the most common causes of disaster in chess."

The author achieved grandmaster within months of graduating from Oxford.

According to the author, the seven sins are:

Erroneous thinking (the author admits that this one covers a lot of ground)
Missing opportunities
Too much concern with the result of the game
Lack of attention to non-material factors
Insufficient awareness of the opponent's ideas
Trying too hard and time-wasting thoughts
Poor concentration

The author uses numerous annotated games to illustrate his points.

The author includes a lot of quotes from chess, philosophy, and theology.

Excellent book, well worth reading, more than once.

Comet strike

Evidence unearthed at more than two dozen sites across North America suggests that an extraterrestrial object exploded in Earth's atmosphere above Canada about 12,900 years ago, just as the climate was warming at the end of the last ice age. The explosion sparked immense wildfires, devastated North America's ecosystems and prehistoric cultures, and triggered a millennium-long cold spell, scientists say.

- Sid Perkins, Science News (read full article here)

Difficult to imagine devastation on this scale.


Frankly, I've had my fill of these people trashing America and everything good and decent for which it stands, asserting moral equivalence between us and the terrorist barbarians, denying there's a real war going on and contending we are not performing humanitarian deeds and engaged in a noble cause in Iraq -- in short, telling the world we're evil, then lamenting that we have acquired that reputation.

- David Limbaugh, referring to John Edwards and those of his ilk (read his full comments here)

One of the best descriptions of liberals that I have ever read.

IT matters

The company that provides standardized tests to Virginia's schoolchildren will add staff and upgrade technology to help prevent technical glitches such as those that recently forced thousands of students to retake online exams, officials said yesterday.

- Maria Glod,Washington Post (read full story here)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Fishing Mullett Lake

This map shows where the fish are in Mullett Lake.

Or you can buy a marked fishing map here. "known for excellent numbers of walleye and smallmouth. Trout and muskie are a bonus."

If Mullett Lake was named after the fish mullet, then why are they spelled differently?

Record lake sturgeon Michigan:

193 lbs 0 oz 87" Mullett Lake Joe Maka Jr. 1974

Michigan Sportsman magazine:

Mullet Lake is the third-largest lake in the state. Located in Cheboygan County, Mullet covers 17,360 acres. Though muskies aren't numerous here, 50-inch fish are available.

"We take a hands-off approach to muskie management in Mullet Lake," said Cwalinski. "We have naturally reproducing populations in this maze of a waterway. The peripheral wetlands are their spawning grounds."

Anglers will find shallower water at the north end of the lake and wetlands at the south end. There's not much cover anywhere else in this deep, cold lake. Mullet Lake plummets to 120 feet and offers a variety of warmwater and coldwater fish species as forage for muskies, including perch, splake, ciscoes, rainbow trout, brown trout and lake trout.

Good bets for connecting with one of the wallhangers in Mullet Lake are between Dodge and Needle points, and where the Pigeon and Indian rivers flow into the lake. Access ramps are off Bowerstock Road, on the west shore just north of Topinabee off U.S. 27, off Jewel Road north of Boy Scout Road and at the Mullet Lake Village access site off Lake Road.

Michigan DNR map of Mullett Lake available at this site.

Michigan DNR fish stocking database is here. It appears that they have only been stocking sturgeon in Mullett Lake recently. But 100,000 walleye each year in 2000 and 2001.


**** EXCLUSIVE: Must cite Debbie Schlussel and/or (that means you, Sean Hannity and World Net Daily) ****

Forget about the Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state . . . at least when it comes to mosque and state.

When students return in the fall, the University of Michigan-Dearbornistan is set to have Muslim footbaths in at least two locations.

And your tax funds are paying for it.

- Debbie Schlussel (read her full comments here)

Permanent Democrats

To the contrary, Democrats are trying to turn new immigrants into wards of the state -- and with some success! -- so they will be permanent Democratic voters.

- Ann Coulter (read her full comments here)

Muskie attacks boy in Minnesota

Paris Copeland loves to swim. Well, the 9-year-old did love to swim -- until a big fish mistook his ankle for a meal as the boy splashed in Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis this week.

The family later was told that the likely culprit was a muskellunge or a tiger muskie -- a muskie-northern hybrid.

Fish bites are very rare, but not unheard of. In 1995, a 13-pound, 38-inch-long muskie bit a youth swimming in Lake Rebecca in western Hennepin County.

- StarTribune (read full story here)

Torn Coalition

What political conservatives and on-the-ground Republicans must understand at this point is that they are not breaking with the White House on immigration. They are not resisting, fighting and thereby setting down a historical marker--"At this point the break became final." That's not what's happening. What conservatives and Republicans must recognize is that the White House has broken with them. What President Bush is doing, and has been doing for some time, is sundering a great political coalition. This is sad, and it holds implications not only for one political party but for the American future.

- Peggy Noonan (read her full Opinion Journal comments here)

Here he comes to save the day!

Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said Monday the buzz about Fred Thompson's expected entry into the race reminds him of a cartoon superhero - Mighty Mouse.

- AP/Forbes (read full story here)

200 years

Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., was indicted Monday on federal charges of racketeering, money-laundering and soliciting more than $400,000 in bribes in a long-running investigation into business deals he tried to broker in Africa.

The indictment in federal court in Alexandria, Va., lists 16 alleged violations of federal law with prison terms totaling as much as 235 years. Jefferson is charged with racketeering, soliciting bribes, wire fraud, money-laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

- AP/Washington Post (read full story here)

I hope he gets at least 200 years.


Returned from the beautiful lake country of Michigan.

Saw a small flock of wild turkeys and a few cranes on the way to Michigan.

Saw a bald eagle in Michigan.

Saw a wolf cross the freeway in front of me between Indian River and the Mackinac Bridge.

Hauled rocks and cement blocks.

Grilled steak, chicken, fish, and sausages.

Tons of fun, but also good to be home again.

I sure hope the guy in the picture is drinking a Black Dog.