Thursday, December 20, 2007

Two California Families

Fred Dominguez had moved from LA to Northern California to be near his kids, who lived with their mother, Lisa Sams.
He took the three older ones, 12 thru 18, out to cut a christmas tree Sunday, after church, and they had not been heard from since. The worst was feared as a storm had moved in on Sunday and now another was coming and there was little window for an air search.

Lisa Sams said she had faith in Fred as he was a good dad and wouldn't let anything happen to his kids. Her mother said the same about Fred, but said he had no experience in the wild while the kids did. Nonetheless she was sure they would stick together as a family. A ground search, headed by the local authorities and Fred's best friend who is also Lisa's fiance, had found nothing and the situation was grim

They were found just 24 hours ago (Wednesday afternoon) on the last pass of a CHP chopper as the snow began to fall again; they had taken refuge in a culvert and laid out help messages in the snow.

They were checked out and treated for hypothermia and frostbite, at the local clinic and released a few hours later. Alexis, 15, was treated again for frostbite this morning.

- - - - -- - - - -

Earlier, Wednesday, it broke that Jamie Lynn Spears, 16 year old sister of Brittany, and a role model for sub-teens, as a star on Nick's Zoey 101, is pregnant by her HS boyfriend. She has stated that she is moving back to Louisiana to 'raise her baby in a 'normal environment'.

In related news, it's rumored that a parenting book being authored by the girls' mother has been shelved by the publisher.

UPDATE: The Spears girls' mom wont miss the revenue from that 'parenting guide' as she seems to have sold the story rights on her daughter's underage pregnancy for $1 Million.

Isnt that interesting.

On the OTHER hand, look at the Dominguez story again, the divorced mother's faith in, and support of, the childrens' father. The fact that the divorced mother's fiance is also the divorced father's best friend.

You tell me which family is mature and sophisticated.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Gold Standard? Why not something we HAVE already.. Oil!

In a post on Megan McArdle's blog, Why is the Gold Standard Crazythere's plenty of dicussion on the dollar's woes in the international market and how that might have been addressed if we were on the Gold Standard, as Ron Paul proposes.
An interesting throwaway in the comments section got me steaming.
Gold is God's money, he created it and all can access it freely. And he is not making any more.
That's silly. If that's so, let's outlaw trading in gold and let God set his own price for it.
The same can, for practical purposes, be said for diamonds. I mean natural diamonds ARE being made, but no one is waiting around for them.
Anyone want to go on a diamond standard? And of course all gold is not yet found.

It seems to me that using any traded commodity as a backstop presents the same problems. Let's face it, the current PRACTICAL currency backstop is another commodity: OIL.
Everyone who thinks a barrel of oil costs $90 to produce and deliver raise hands. The REAL value is around $25-$30, if I'm not mistaken.

I have a serious question.. when gold and silver were used as currency, what was their actual practical value?
Please name a product that, of necessity, included gold or silver. And no, jewelry and coinage DOESNT COUNT!
I can only think of medical instruments, or containers which needed anticorrosion/antibacterial properties.

The use of those precious metals as actual currency declined at one and the same time as they became necessary in industrial products... in essence, electronics.

Which brings us back to diamonds, considering that world goods production wouldnt suffer a damn bit if all natural diamonds suddenly disappeared in a puff of smoke, we could simply fill the void where they were used in production with different processes or replacements that we have manufactured.
Considering DeBeers, Russia and the difficulty in establishing value, no one in their right mind wants to use diamonds as currency.

Yet we are, in effect, using oil as the standard, and letting trading cartels set the price.

Oil is tied to every indicator of productivity and we shun management of it; while, like Russia with its diamonds, we sit on vast reserves.

Or do we shun management of oil?

I sincerely doubt that we would be talking about the currency's financial distress if oil was trading at its true cost: $35. Which is a propitious number. Because, for the longest time, at the end of the Gold Standard, the set value per oz was.... $35.

But it was a false value. In other countries gold was on the commodities market and the price fluctuated accordingly; which made it REALLY difficult to have a real monetary policy when your currency was based on something with only a virtual value on the one hand but was affected by industrial needs {electronics}on the other.

We have the same problem today. The price of oil is a virtual value.

We could produce and deliver enough oil, from our known reserves, to replace our current imported crude at a cost of $35.

Sure, we ARE managing oil.. only in the wrong direction. The inflated price of oil is being addressed by the proponents of 'manmade global warming' theory.
The remedy there is, of course, to make the backstop commodity obsolete, thus reduce price, in favor of increasing "Human Productivity per bbl Used". Sounds sort of similar to the argument for replacing gold as the standard, doesnt it?

This is a strategy, though, that depends on the demonization of the commodity, sort of like saying "Gold is the instrument of the devil" or gold promotes a deadly disease.
In oil's case, that relies on the literal temperature of the globe and tying carbon to it. If we enter another tangible ice age or cooling, all is lost, and oil is still going to be artificially overpriced.

If we simply opened up all our oil ranges and started producing and setting the price at 'cost plus' in the free market, the price of oil would plummet back down to true value.
And VOILA!!! Suddenly the dollar would regain its 'health' and no one is going to be quibbling much about how much of the currency is held in foreign hands.

Sure there would ALWAYS be a hedge built into the value based on perceived future scarcity, but it would be more wisely addressed at maybe ten percent. And, just as in falling sky predictions of 90 years ago, that 'peak point' just keeps getting pushed out.

It wouldnt kill TRUE development of alternatives, either. There are technologies which can address replacing $35 oil. Of course grain ethanol isnt one of them. And it just might not be profitable to slash/burn eco-forest to grow ethanol beets, either.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

And the KELO Keeps Rollin' Along...

via Instapundit:

Drew Carey, in Reason, on
Eminent Domain used against the poor

I guess you dont have to be all that old to recall being taught that Eminent Domain was for PUBLIC PROJECTS, for use by all the community, not to increase tax revenue.

While you're on Reason's Site, check the sidebar for their previous articles on KELO. Especially, read this one.
As suspected, the intellectual liberal elite see nothing wrong with it.

Comfy in My Neo-Con Skin

One good thing about the Ron Paul campaign is that I've faced up to my political niche.

I'm not just basing it on the fact his views are archaic and his remedies, like reverting to the 'Gold Standard', impossible to enact in the real world. Or that his support is drawn primarily from various fringe groups most of which seem to have anti-semitic ties. Or that Pat Buchanan, a 'classic, Big C' Conservative is less odious in his world and domestic views.

I guess it goes back decades to my reflections on how the US might have done better in Indo-China. I shocked a lot of people I know when I said, then, that I believed that emerging countries indeed would work better under socialist-style central planning, while encouraging private enterprise on the personal and local level. I would qualify that, of course, that this should be accomplished under the guidance and advice of some super-national body.

Like the UN.. Yeah, I know. The UN has devolved into the LAST international body you'd want supervising any nation. But it COULD have been an amalgam of the IMF and WTO, couldn't it? Unfortunately there's corruption problems within those groups as well.... but I digress.

At any rate, OTHER than how I feel about the above anomaly to anyone who considers himself basically conservative, I dont think it is me that has changed so much as the Republican Party and the libertarian and Conservative segments of the party.

I believe in social safety nets but not in entitlements.. like S-CHIP expansion.

I believe the US should avoid ANY international agreements that restrict its global influence, differing with SOME Neo-Cons on Law of the Sea Treaty.
But if we did what Ron Paul advocates, the result of that withdrawal to isolationism would only result in some other power, most likely China or Russia stepping in to fill the void. Does ANYONE want that?

And I believe in 'Nation-Building'. Which has been disparaged by the left as the US attempting to build hegemony by installing governments in its likeness. Of course they KNOW that's not the case from practical review of actual events.
Even the original vision of a 'new Iraq' built on their existing power bases.

REAL politics insists that we have to work closely with governments such as Saudi Arabia which has an absolutely odious human rights record.

REAL politics has us keeping former -and possibly future- enemies, like China, close with trade ties when possible.

And you know what? If our foreign interventions really resulted in hatred in those subject states, then the average guy in Viet Nam would hate us.

And, as many returning GI's and folks like Megan McArdle have found, that is simply not the case.

But the interesting conundrum on why it is the citizenry of our former and current allies seem to 'hate us' more than those of our former and current enemies is grist for a whole other post.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

To Never be Spit on Again!

Via Instapundit:

Gifts of Thanks for the Troops

... the military is much smaller now than during World War II, leading some analysts to posit that a rift exists between soldiers and citizens and that those making sacrifices on the battle front are disconnected from the society whose freedoms they defend. The American people are oblivious to the war, they claim, as well as to the men and women who are fighting it. Some have even suggested that the only way to close the gap is to return to conscription.

But these observers of the social scene have never served in Iraq.

Those of us overseas know that "support the troops" is more than a slogan. Here we are besieged by what my master sergeant calls "paper love," the cards, letters, posters and other gestures of support sent by people across America. The paper love is often accompanied by packages of snacks and comfort items. Some mail comes from family members, but even more is sent by private citizens and troop support organizations. The war has inspired a remarkable level of civic involvement that goes largely unnoticed -- except by those of us in the field or recovering stateside.

Read the comments, though. Evidently because Major Elizabeth Robbins, US Army, wrote this and it was printed in the Washington Post, some could not resist applying their views as to the war.

I swear to you Elizabeth, that if ever again, our soldiers and sailors in uniform are accosted and spit upon as they were after Viet Nam, there will likely be some witness that will take umbrage at it and beat that sniveling bastard into the ground, at pain of arrest and conviction for assault.

We are proud of our military and the job they have done as their duty, whether or not they personally agreed on the justification for the war.

And they can be proud of their sacrifices, as we are of them.. and the families of the fallen who have sacrificed in their own right.

Friday, November 02, 2007

'ex-Liberal in Hollywood' is Back..

And with a vengeance!

Moonbat Articulates DNC Plan

I missed him.

Climate Change and Terror - both 'spooks in the night'

Effete Intellectual Posturings on 'Politics of Fear'

Climate Change and the ‘Politics of Fear’

In The NY Times, by Sewell Chan:

Is the environmental movement, like the war on terror, premised on a “politics of fear”? In other words, does it try to unify people by scaring them with threats to their basic survival?

That was the provocative thesis advanced by Alex Gourevitch, a doctoral candidate in political theory at Columbia University, at a panel discussion on Tuesday evening at the New York Public Library. He was confronted by vigorous dissent from his fellow panelists and from some members of the audience.

The panel discussion was organized by n+1, a political and literary journal published twice a year, begun in 2004. A. O. Scott, a film critic for The Times, wrote in 2005 that the journal “is explicitly and without embarrassment devoted to the idea that thought can advance.”
Pretty much gives you the whole idea.

First, since the Terrorists we 'fear' have already demonstrated their intent and abilities, while we have yet to walk down Broadway with waves lapping at our ankles, they ARENT QUITE the same thing.

While the speaker on which the article is based is endeavoring to 'advance thought' those of us who ALREADY think without help from our better, more informed intellectuals have pretty much solved those problems.

I fear Islamo-terrorists about as much as I fear a mugger on the East Side of Columbus. In other words, I know he exists without someone explaining it but I will still go there if needed while remaining vigilant. If I warn someone else that they should be careful when in the same locale, am I then 'playing on their fears'?

If I am SEEN that way then am I advancing the politics of fear?


What I ALSO dont 'fear' is global warming, whether or not it's man enhanced. For one thing, I have less hubris for my species than that. Dinosaurs did not contribute to species extinction when they ruled the earth... and we have far less influence on flora and fauna. Taking nothing away from those who are ever-vigilant.. they certainly DO point out the possibilities for the rest of us.

What MOST of us venal pedestrian types do, however, is try to make lemonade out of the possible deluge of lemons. While the wonks sit and talk and warn of impending doom, the engineers and marketers are out there warding it off. Already the reaction of the market .. based on corporate greed, dontcha know.. has resulted in advancing adoption of high efficiency transportion, heating and lighting.

Maybe THAT'S the answer to the crisis in the State Department... fire those sissies who wont go Danger Close in Iraq and get some risk takers in there.

But I guess the REAL Question is: Can thought advance without a Doctoral Dissertation?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gen. Sanchez Apologizes to Media and Public

“I now regret that I devoted the first half of that speech to saying completely worthless things that didn’t merit a mention in the news reports. It’s a good thing that our wise media gatekeepers protected readers, listeners and viewers from my time-wasting remarks.”
- From Scrappleface


Monday, October 08, 2007

Lib Derangement Syndrome

Yeah, I've got it and I'm gonna admit it. Right here.
The realization came to me when I was commenting, on a messageboard, on the 'Phony Needy Kid' that the Dems put up on Saturday to berate Dubya for his veto of the SCHIP bill.

Well, that freeper put up a lot of time on his research unearthing the true facts but they didnt sway my lib debate friends one little bit.

This was the response:
"There's lies, damned lies, and then there's RNC spin doctoring" -- with apologies to Mark Twain.
Hmmm.. Would fit right on the average bumpersticker wouldnt it? And suitably devoid of rebuttal on the ACTUAL VERIFIABLE facts put up by the freeper.

And you KNOW the juices flowed right then. This is what I wrote:

You know what, I dont know why I have to put up with this. Yeah, 'Joe'... you and I are buds, outside this forum and I really like everything you write.... outside this forum ...but when I cant tell whether or not you are trolling me, I have to assume after a while you are.

If other people feel comfortable with lobbing meme grenades, without support, without backing it up... without ANYTHING to substantiate their views other than 'Everyone Knows...'
Yet NEVER feel outraged enough at their OWN party to even hazard the LEAST criticism of it. Then I have to wonder.

When a political discussion cant be held with any response other than what fits on a bumper sticker, then I wonder.

When I sense a feeling of relief that I DONT bring up issues on which the Dem talking points are unbelievably STUPID.. then I wonder.

When the Dem Lie machine does something as stupid as accuse Limbaugh of disparaging REAL soldiers who disagree with the Iraq war! then I wonder. No one who listens to Rush could believe that. The Dems know that. They dont care that they are going to make conservatives ever MORE outraged with them.

They WANT this split. They WANT this political war because they are sure their political terror machine will wear down the average guy to the point he just throws up his hands and quits. Quits Listening.. thinking.. voting.

It is the Soros/Kennedy/Clinton lie machine that wants to widen the schism they started when they LIED to Bush 41 about the tax increases and how they wouldnt use it in the next presidential campaign.

And which they exploited with the Kennedy-Bush administration 'No Child left behind' act. Once passed, the bleating about 'unfunded mandate' began. There's no NEED to fund it if schools simply teach the basics that are tested on and try to make kids understand the basics rather than teaching them liberal politics.

Dems dont give a F00k about the two party system, either. or bi-Partisanship!
Complaints on how Republicans 'hinder' the business of the Congress dont hold up on close scrutiny. The ONLY 'compromise' that counts with them is the compromise of conservative principle. They've been successful at that.

Naw... the more dummy grenades you hurl at me, the stronger I am in my convictions. The more I see of Dems and their corruption, which EASILY leaks over into everyone else on the Hill, btw, I'll not excuse GOP on their Cocktail Party feel-good politics, either.

But you all ALREADY know that. And others of you know I use caps for emphasis, not to release my primal scream. but you know that too.

But now you know I have Lib Derangement Syndrome.. or at least I will admit it. When's the last time, or the first, you saw a Lib admit they had BDS?

I think that's significant, somehow, I feel better already.

What's the next eleven steps?

Yep. That's what I wrote. But I didnt publish them on that site. I did it here. He'll likely read it anyway... but it's NOT exactly the same as calling him out.

Like I say, I like him plenty otherwise. He's a great guy, a good writer, and a talented musician. I think the brain damage is localized.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Everyone Should watch the Dog Whisperer

It's on National Geographic Channel and it's more about people than animals.
Sex and the Mujahadeen: The ATM courier Assassin

You guys think I post random associations! Here's another guy who sees 'connections'.

In an article in the Philly Inquirer on how the couriers were 'assassinated', the author immediately associated to the terrorist's primary recruiting and motivational tool:
Among other quotes, Wiki has this Heinlein gem (which makes me want to shut down all distractions and seriously read the guy):

Take sex away from people. Make it forbidden, evil. Limit it to ritualistic breeding. Force it to back up into suppressed sadism. Then hand the people a scapegoat to hate. Let them kill a scapegoat occasionally for cathartic release. The mechanism is ages old. Tyrants used it centuries before the word 'psychology' was ever invented. It works, too.

It works, but why? Can't these people figure out that they're simply being had?

So, you say, what makes them any different from the bulk of Fundamental Christians?

From my view, plenty. I was raised Protestant, but even we had a form of personal confession.
For you that weren't raised in any church, the exhortations against lust are real, but so is the forgiveness for it. Imagine that there was NO assuaging of the earthly guilt... that ONLY in the afterlife could those urges be relieved.

For the Christian, the afterlife is taught as relieved of all lusts... in Islamism of the oppressed those lusts are fulfilled. Those who read Dante's Inferno must, like myself, think of those '72 virgins' as demons with second sets of teeth.

As a 13 year old taking catechism, I wondered about the true nature of 'Original Sin'. I thought it must be more than just sexual in nature.... and I wondered if that apple of knowledge was not lust but guilt and the subsequent rage and blame over those who shove immorality in our faces.

I think that even more in these times.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Andrea Canales, I'm Calling You Out

In our world of soccer fandom, I'm nobody, she's somebody; but she has a blog like many of us.

In blogs, you write down stuff that you normally might not post or issue else where... for instance scroll down and see how I felt about the Wynalda interview.

In this post, however, she takes us to task for publishing 'off the record' comments. Saying it was not something a professional would do.
- I'm hoping she will allow me to use her view in my rants on political figures and the media. For there's many instances of 'Pro's' doing just that.

She makes good points on what should be 'journalism 101'.. and she makes good points on how this hurt Wynalda.

I'm not going to address any of the issues on how the interview happened, but here is what frosts me;

She assumes, without attempting the least bit to follow up, that just juicy parts of the interview were simply transcribed and posted with no thought of consequences and no attempt to verify the veracity of the facts.

Thus she has NO idea what went on behind the scenes.. the presumption is that we didnt care.

She doesnt see my email inbox on it. She doesnt think about whether or not I attempted to email Wynalda to get his views.

I suggest anyone reading this just TRY to find a way to email Eric or anyone else who's on the announcing staff of ESPN.. if it's not a program email link, it's hard as hell to find it, and when you do, you see that it will pass through some intern's mailbox.

She evidently didnt bother to read the interview within context of the setting that was carefully crafted in the Head and lede, let alone the intro of the interview itself.

And she certainly must not have looked at the tone of the site, and the best way to do that - other than reading OTHER articles- is to look at the site forum. There's no real ranting and raving on there, if you discount the 'politics threads', that is. We have many Brit Fulham Fans commenting on that messageboard who say the others are too 'pedestrian' for them to frequent.

So just WHO is making comments on a 'soccer-blog' without addressing all the elements?

But the MAIN thing that frosts me is she was still commenting on it. If it was 'un-pro' then ignore it and let it die.

Or is the 'uncoolness' of the interview posting just too juicy to pass up?

She's not alone; witness Rome making sure that his fans could find the site by pronouncing it phonetically, note SportCenter listing the site address for more than enough time to make sure the viewers could memorize or jot it down.

I smell fish.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Beers with Jim Rome

This week I had a role in a minor sport brouhaha. I was the editor of an interview by a soccer fan with Eric Wynalda, a Hall of Fame soccer player and current ESPN Soccer Analyst, which was posted on a website I admin.

And, despite some misgivings, I left in a graphic reference by Wynalda to Jim Rome. One which, in context of the interview, was fueled by passions felt by all of us each time Rome makes a disparaging reference to our favorite sport. To wit, Wynalda spoke for all of us little guys.... and I felt it displayed the passion he had for the sport and how he felt about promoting it.

The references and threats, of course, were not literal. I'm sure that Wynalda wouldn't do physical harm to Rome any more than anyone else disagreeing with his views. In fact, I'm pretty sure that Wynalda would extend himself to prevent Rome from coming to harm.

But inactions ALSO have consequences. If I had removed that part, then the interview would have stood well enough on its own. We would have gotten a fair number of hits, though nothing like the huge number we got once word spread around the net and Rome mentioned it on his show.

The author, not a writer but a regular fan, would have objected and he would likely have posted it elsewhere, but I would have been off the hook as would the site owners.

That of course is no excuse. And I accept my responsibility for the guarded nature in which Wynalda will treat any ordinary guy wanting to talk to him in the future.
And the fact that he had to issue the boilerplate apology, not only on Rome's show but on Sportscenter.

The upshot of this, of course, is that Rome wasn't harmed in the least, only Wynalda was. Rome might even get his ratings hiked a fraction of a point And I can safely say, from the vantage point of years, that Rome might have spoken on a passionate subject in much the same way.

And that is what really bothers me; Wynalda's passion and rantings are real... and what he really think, while most viewers believe Rome's are just show biz.

Somehow, within this incident, that just doesnt seem right.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Waging war against war {and stuff}

..and those who make war and those who dont care much one way or the other and those who just want to get to work and those ipod wearers and cellphone talkers and meat eaters and everyone else who consumes anything without praying to it first.

Daily Ablution, always good for poking sticks at the lunatic left has a good one here:

Towards a Deep Green Stone Age - By Any Means Necessary

About a gathering of 'concerned citizens'...

"We will broadly outline our options for confronting and dismantling civilization, the pros, cons, and considerations of each,and a sharing of resources for people interested in considering different avenues of action."
.."Is a serious meeting to address the destruction of our planet and potential effective resistance. It will include theoretical discussions of serious and confrontational strategies and tactics."

Summary: Civilization offends us we will pluck it out.

For all their moronic blather about "creating a world based on mutual aid, love, justice, and connection to the living world", inspired by "environmentalism, feminism, deep ecology, spirituality, anarchy, indigenous lifeways, anti-oppression politics, peak oil and collapse theories, and past struggles for justice", a look just under the surface reveals their real aim - to bomb us back to the stone age. Literally.

While most of us following the links in that might dismiss these nutjobs, I'd advise against it. We did the same about Islamo-terrorists {some still do}. and the danger of these lunatics aligning with Al Quaeda, with whom they fully sympathise and admire, makes a pretty effective fringe group.

I think the real problem is that it's possible for someone who is certifiably insane to actually put together a program that sounds somewhat reasonable to those who worry constantly about the earth being destroyed by us.
And these people are well on the way to certifiable lunacy.. especially considering their implausible outcomes by method used.

The desire for humanity to revert to stone age 'hunter gatherer' status totally ignores that doing so will result in only the strongest and most wily surviving their blitzkrieg against any form of industrial process.

If you looked at the backgrounds of these people, it's highly likely they fall into the urban academic. In the society they advocate, they would be the first to wither away and die.
Because the same stone age 'da Vinci' they admire for his cave paintings probably did them right after bashing in the head of the cave-painter from the next clan over in a dispute over a possum. Or, if he was vegan, a cluster of berries.

So even Ward Churchill, who preaches regularly from the pulpit of academic idiotry, though he claimed to be indian, probably never learned to live off the land. One assumes he would survive by eating fawning graduate assistants.

To wit: Only NRA members, and Pro Bass fishermen have a good chance of making through their desired holocaust. And Ted Nugent will be their prophet.

And if wishing for your own type to become extinct in the name of saving the earth for those you despise isnt insane, what is.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

An Old Fashioned Blog

One of the problems with being inspired to write by reading is once the habit is started, you cant get rid of it.

You change the choice of topics, but it's reading nonetheless. And it's worse when you're interested in EVERYTHING!

For example, I can give you detailed, flow sequenced, training in how auto fuel injection {almost all based on the Bosch Jetronic system, did'ja know!} works... and how to solve engine problems based on that. Of course that's one of the PRACTICAL things I have read.

But mainly I read on politics, which can drive you crazy when you pay too close attention.

So it's great and refreshingly distractive when I ran across a real old fashioned blog - two links away from Tim Worstall, of course.

Free Man in Preston is a GREAT read... the guy has everythingto appeal to a former corporate IT wonk like me. He doesnt go into the tech stuff, though... he just observes from that particular perch in what is essentially a witty diary.
Handle With Care Friday, Jan 19
“Tim, the reason you’re going nowhere,” said Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader, blazing into the conversation like she’d been shot from a cannon, “is that you don’t have clearly defined goals. You don’t know where you want to be.”

What I was actually intending to say, before she’d interrupted, was that I was going nowhere until I’d finished my lunch, in response to an order from Death to fetch some stuff from the data centre. I tried explaining this to Stella but once she starts, she’s not easily stopped.

She was wearing a black trouser suit, expensive looking, finished off with orange trim. It said “I’m a not to be fucked with executive, with a hint of Hare Krishna to show my spiritual side.”
I meanwhile was wearing my new jumper, in black of course, woven from a supernaturally soft fabric, probably wool or something like it, which I was casually splattering with tomato soup. It said “Boyishly cute. Sloppy eater.”
We appeared disconcertingly colour co-ordinated.

“You want to do this and you want to do that, but all your projects end up lost in the fog. You spend your time floundering, blah, blah…”

Oh for goodness’ sake. I looked outside. Today the world through my window - streaked with a thick layer of grime following yesterday’s gales - had a soft focussed, Vaseline on the lens quality about it.
Rex the security guard was clearing up fallen debris - broken slates, the former contents of dustbins, a milk float down by the generators - striding along with slow, deliberate purposefulness. He looked like a character in a bizarre litter themed porn film. Don’t dwell too long on that.

Tabs walked by with an armful of reports and Terry said, “January’s such a miserable bloody month. Some people seem to shutdown through sheer misery.”
“Do you actually have any ambition, Tim? At all?” asked Stella.
“Yes,” I said. “For you to stop bugging me.”
“It’s beyond me,” Terry continued, lost in the dimly lit cubicle of his mind, “how anybody is ever born in September.”

Rex was fishing milk crates out of branches with a long pole. It reminded me of those hooked poles they had at school for opening windows with. Terry said that sometimes he knows how those Jehovah’s Witnesses must feel. They keep knocking on the door but they’ve long since given up hope of ever being invited in. Milk bottles were scattered on the grass like rotting apples.

Later on, after the going home bell had sounded, Stella told me how her friend Becky has been offered the chance to work in China for three months. It would be a great opportunity for her, career-wise and as “an enhancing, you know, life experience”. She’s an ambitious girl, and the bank she works for would look on it favourably if she were to go. Less favourably if she didn’t. I guess this is what today was all about.
“Just three months?” I asked.
“That’s what she said.”
“And when does she have to give her answer?”
“Possibly longer if it goes well. And if she wants to.”

Ivan the Terribly Thorough swept into the room, a one man flash-mob with a vacuum cleaner. He switched off to dust around the window sills and said that ambitions are all well and good, but handle with care.
“They’re like wishes. Allow them a little privacy,” he said, as dust spiralled skywards above the radiator.
“It’s bad luck to say them out loud,” and then he was gone.

Oh, to write like that!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindle

From UK channel 4 - 75 minutes: The thread is unraveling from Enviro-Emporer Gore's New Clothes

"We've almost begun to take it for granted that climate change is a man-made phenomenon. But just as the environmental lobby think they've got our attention, a group of naysayers have emerged to slay the whole premise of global warming.
According to a group of scientists brought together by documentary-maker Martin Durkin, if the planet is heating up, it isn't your fault and there's nothing you can do about it."

So there!
18 Doughty Street & : A new 'Appreciate America' movement!

The love between America and our Motherland, despite all efforts of the left in both countries, is not dead. 18 Doughty Street is a web streaming 'alternative political views source attempting to provide encouragement for those who don't buy the "Evil America" or the "BusHitler" meme.

The associated blog, has already attracted the vultures.... who desperately attempt to keep the nonsensical Bush Bashing paradigm alive.


I am a Tory who loathes Bush.

I object to:
- misleading people over fsith-based welfare
- a scandalous fiscal record
- a remarkable disregard for the stature of the Supreme Court
- a terrible record on human rights

I would certainly have voted for Kerry.

Posted by: Mike A | March 06, 2007 at 03:09 PM

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Problem is most Americans have a super-individualistic mindset. Most decent Brits would regard the average American voter as selfish in the extreme. Most normal people over here would have happily voted Kerry.

Its time we decent Conservatives dissocitated ourselves from the loutish bible bashing Republicans accross the atlantic.

PS Theres a reason the Bush heartlands are referred to as the fly-over states!

Posted by: si | March 06, 2007 at 06:47 PM

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Scooter Libby - Don't drop the soap or you'll get what the American people have had since 2001.

Posted by: Volunteer | March 06, 2007 at 10:13 PM

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So if you don't love President Bush you have no 'recognizable Conservative values' according to JF. What a complete moron!

Posted by: malcolm | March 06, 2007 at 10:59 PM

Which comments of course encourage talking point circles, as we have to point out that Bush is only conservative on national security and tax-cut-fueled economic robustness. On spending initiatives, and illegal immigration, he is anything but conservative.

And of course, since I'm a fairly independent thinker, I'd like to point out a few 'simplistics' in this video ad, from 18 Doughty Street; A World without America.

In the height of the Cold War, it was common for the Soviets to claim that Russian Scientists had actually invented most everything credited to the west, including the Telephone and wireless communications {yes, I'm aware of Marconi}. As one who has read up on various technology historical claims, I'd have to say that it's indeed possible that they were correct.

Not 'probable' but possible. The difference in how those discoveries would have been handled, of course, makes the issue moot. In Czarist Russia, there would have been no appreciation of the value to the average person. In the Soviet, even more, the inventions would have been looked on with suspicion and distrust.

So what is really important is not that some technology was born or made practical in the US, but that there was a freedom to exploit it. And, unlike more restrictive societies, the products quickly trickled down to all of us.

And THAT is what makes the difference, in more ways than just market forces but political agendas as well.

Here's how the above video came about, what judges for the winning ad wanted to see:

To me, this video is more evocative than the result. Of course, we have no way of knowing that without the US, there wouldnt have been some other balancing force, perhaps Great Britain, as it is closest than any other country to our ideals... I cant even rule out Japan. But the point is that just like our humble hero in "It's a Wonderful Life" America HAS made a difference.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Death of a WebSite, which a few years ago was one of the influential soccer sites in the US is shutting down on March 31.

Not only was it the official host site for the Columbus Crew, before MLS consoplidated all club sites for marketing purposes, it continued to be host for the official Crew messageboard, as well as hosting numerous other 'unofficial' MLS and USL fan oriented forums and news sites. Most of those will find new hosting resources and continue on, but it wont be easy, anymore, for fans to just click a dropdown and see what fans of the 'other sides' were saying.

But it's the forums which were the 'canaries in the mine' on this. When you see partipation on a messageboard go from hundred of posts a day, and upwards of 20 or so members and lurkers, down to 1 or 2 at a time and maybe a couple posts a day, the writing is on the wall.
No matter there is a nice layout, and occasionally good articles, it's the daily conversation that makes a website, or a happy-hour bar, for that matter.

For such a sport site is a 'community' and when the residents drift away there is no more need for the structure where the community gathers. the reason for the vacancies are legion, perhaps, and never as easy as you might think. I used to argue my politics on there, against the typical 'lib-meme' advocates who never had an answer for any of the hard questions of history. there were one or two who saw things differently, they could post reasoned responses, but it was the 'role-playing' on there which caused me to throw up my hands and quit.
I left to argue my politics on Another soccer site. and found this time I was alone... this time I didnt have 'CrewArsenal' occasionally watching my back. But, while I had to argue against the dark side on my own, at least I dont have the tantrum-throwing infants responding with various cute 'smilies' dredged in from somewhere else.. where words and reason are discarded in favor of 'attitude'.

Sooner or later, though, 'attitude' wins out. All they need do is keep on throwing their tantrums and adults leave for more serene surroundings. Which is somewhat ironic, as the only choice left for the Crew fan seems to be 'BigSoccer' which is the archtype of the restrictive, market driven site. A case where there was a product before there was a site.

Such is life, though.. and something always comes up to replace that which you love. Just waiting.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl Entertainment Committee for '08... Get Weird Al!

Like most occasional music fans, who NOW watch halftime mainly to see how bad the entertainment is.. no, not to see if someone's boob flops out.. I have to say that Prince's effort was among the recent best And I never much liked him. Ummm,never mind the 'Purple Rain' rendition; what a 'walk-through'!

But the PRODUCTION still sucks! The whole concept of 'filling the field with kids and air-pressure props and marching bands and light shows and smoke machines' has become a parody of itself.

And since that isnt likely to change much as the Half-Time committee seems to think any performance has to be dumbed down for us older/hick plebes, I have an great idea.

Let's go whole hog and embrace the nuttiness.

And there is no one better at that than Weird Al Yankovic. It would be a snap for him, he can take on elements of ALL the past mediocrity of the show and make us like it so much he'll get a standing ovation.

And it fits in well with the drift of the Super Bowl Commercials over the past ten years... gone are the 'break-through ads' like Apple's famous '1984'; now all the best are keyed on either irony or whimsy, or parodies of themselves.

What's even better is that Al has a great voice and an excellent music and production staff and those who didnt get the humor {or listen to the lyrics} would think they saw a really good musical performance.

And I guarantee that the day-after water cooler talk would be great.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fulham faces West Ham; and Boa Morte, Who Has a New Shirt and Something to Prove

It's been just over a week since Fulham reached a deal with West Ham United transferring Luis Boa Morte, from his Craven Cottage home of five years, to Upton Park.

Saturday, West Ham host Fulham with Boa Morte and his team looking to get even for comments made by Fulham boss Coleman about his former skipper's play this season and predictions that West Ham is relegation fodder.

These two teams drew 0-0 at Craven Cottage just three weeks ago on December 23rd. In that match, West Ham left-back Paul Konchesky was shown a straight red card.

While newly appointed manager Alan Curbishley enjoyed a dream start to his managerial duties at ther East London club with a 1-0 win over Premiership leaders Manchester United on December 16th, things have gone south since then in league play. Over the busy holiday fixture period the Hammers lost to Portsmouth and Manchester City at home and also fell to Reading by a whopping score of 6-0 on New Years day.

Last weekend the Hammers did put things together in the 3rd round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 win over strugglers League One strugglers Brighton. And Boa Morte, playing in the new shirt for the first time, figured mightily in that crucial win with an assist for the first, and a set-up for the second goal.

Fulham on the other hand comes into Saturday's match on a bit of a roll. While it is not a winning roll, it is not a losing roll either. Fulham has gone six matches in all competitions unbeaten with the last five being draws. Their last loss came at Liverpool on Saturday, December 9th.

Since the defeat at Liverpool, the Cottagers defeated Middlesbrough and drew with West Ham, Charlton, Chelsea, Watford and most recently Leicester City in the 3rd round of the FA Cup.

One might look at the recent run of form by Fulham as the Cottagers missing opportunities to pick up six Premiership points against strugglers West Ham, Charlton and Watford, but a draw is always better than a loss.

Clint Dempsey, though signed wont be eligible to play for another week, while paerwork is processed. The other new acquisition, Montella, is expected to see action.

Prediction: West Ham 2-1 Fulham Reason, too much hot blood for Fulham to handle.

Blatantly cadged from Chicago Tom's match preview on FulhamUSA