Just Another Blog
Sunday, March 24, 2002
Read about what it is like to be a near-miss in an attack by one of Mr. Arafat's minions.

Sgt. Stryker on the Future

Everyone seems to have some feeling or some nebulous half-realized notion that something's happening and that this "something" will have an enormous impact on the future. We can't conceptualize it, define it or point at it and say, "Aha! That's it!" But we know it's there, like some formless dark shape in the twilight wood, slowly stalking us and ready to pounce at any moment. ...

... I think we are in the beginning of one of those eras when America re-invents itself. It's a scary precipice to be standing on at this time. Events and history are taking a sudden turn from what we are used to, and that great plain we are overlooking looks dark and menacing, but that's only because we're looking over a new land that none of us has seen before. It's perfectly natural to fear the unknown, but we rise above our animal fears when we realize that the unknown plain represents opportunities undreamt of in our experience.

Sgt. Stryker has more to say in his latest post. I don't like to think that there is all of this nebulous stuff going on around us that is leading to some fundamental change in the nature of American society that nothing we can do as individuals can slow or speed up or halt or change or prevent. The sum of everything we do as individuals is pushing us toward this new order, but nothing any individual does can change it. Its an odd, apparent contradiction. I'm not sure I like it, but I think he may be on to something.

Andrew Sullivan points us to this opinion piece (NYT, so free registration is required) by Leonard Garment who was a lawyer for President Nixon. The recent release of more Nixon tapes has lead to quite a brouhaha about comments made my the Reverend Billy Graham. This piece discusses the problem of private speech that ends up not being private after all.

It's tough living or working in an environment where nothing that you say or do is beyond the public eye. Frank Bruni's new book on President Bush suggests that the President's generally light-hearted public demeanor is his own personal way of dealing with such demands. I work in an envirnoment where every word that I speak to a client is recorded by my employer in order to protect the firm. The FBI's Carnivore project may or may not be recording everything that I say over my home telephone line. And, for all I know, the creation of I Can Blog! has made me a subversive and now my every word within my home and car are being monitored.

I have not yet truly reached that level of paranoia, but thinking about it makes you realize that there are certain things that you say in certain places that you would never expect to be a matter of public record.

I'll be honest: most of the time I read InstaPundit not for the punditry but rather for the links. I think that is largely the point of blogging anyway. Today there is a piece of punditry on the Palestinians that is right on the mark. Mr. Reynolds says:
I was once somewhat sympathetic to the Palestinians, but it is now hard for me to imagine any circumstances in which I would object to anything the Israelis do. The Palestinians, and not just the leadership but the huge mass of them, have made clear that they want to see dead Jews -- or, in a pinch, dead Americans -- more than they want peace.

I think that a lot of people will say that Mr. Reynolds is right-on here. There are a lot of folks who don't necessarily support Israel just because the United States has long supported Israel. After all, Israel has spied on us in the past and many argue (or at least suspect) that they are spying on us still. There are a lot of reasons not to like Israel, but the Palestinians and their leadership and their terror squads and the tactics they employ are all far worse. I suspect it is only a matter of time before Mr. Arafat takes a bullet from a sniper. This will be carried out by Israel the instant the United States relents and acknowledges that Mr. Arafat is the single largest hurdle to the inititiation of a peace accord.

Friday, March 22, 2002
A Brief History of Spam

Check out the story in the right margin. It is really more interesting than the article itself. It begins:
Next month will be the eighth anniversary of the notorious spam attack on Usenet by Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, immigration lawyers who were among the first spammers on the Internet--and arguably the most reviled. The duo blanketed thousands of the Net's oldest discussion groups, known as newsgroups, with messages touting a "Green Card Lottery."

The postings incited outrage in the newsgroup community, at the time comprising more than 6,500 groups on topics ranging from C+ programming to medieval English literature. Distaste for the relatively new practice prompted tens of thousands of people globally to clog the in-box of Canter and Siegel's company with hate mail. The crush of e-mail caused the company's Internet service provider to buckle, and Canter and Siegel were forced to sign on with another ISP. Despite the backlash, they claimed no remorse and sought to advertise their services again.

Race in Cyberspace

I found this article on race in cyber-space on news dot com dot com, the part of CNET with the worst name. The author, Henry Jenkins, describes himself as a, "white liberal." Apparently a few years back he posted flyers with the thought provoking In Cyberspace, nobody knows your race unless you tell them. Do you tell? And by the end of the current article he has moved to In the end, we will need to give up any lingering fantasies of a color-blind Web and focus on building a space where we recognize, discuss and celebrate racial and cultural diversity.

Along the way he tries to explain why race is important even online when nobody knows what your race is. He mentions the following example from offline society.

When art museums lower economic barriers, offering free or reduced admission, they still attract mostly white upper-middle-class patrons; many lower-income and minority citizens don’t feel entitled to attend. Where museums have successfully diversified their communities, it has been through educational outreach and collaboration with minority communities. Efforts to bridge the digital divide must internalize these lessons.

I would argue that whether you have an online community or traditional neighborhood, it is those people who desire personal enrichment who will go go to places - real or cyber - where they can further expand their experiences. The internet in general, the world wide web more specifically, and now blogging in particular have made the propagation of new information and new ideas easier than ever. It is a choice to go to the musem. It is a choice to surf the net. And it is a choice that is made more often by white people than by minorities. Glenn Reynolds had an excellent point the other day on the irrelevance of of cost and access to the world of computers. I suspect that Mr. Jenkins would argue that this is an issue of class, not cost. But I will side with Mr. Reynolds on this one.

Happy Fun Pundit is Funny!
Happy Fun Pundit just got added to my links. It's in large part because of this article. Here is the one (almost) serious part.
Though they may want every gun in your country to be destroyed, they know they cannot win on that platform. Instead, they argue for locks on gun triggers. Then it will be guns without triggers. Finally, you will only be allowed to purchase pictures of guns with locks on their triggers.
Read the rest and prepare to laugh. I am beginning to see that Vodka Pundit, from whom I found this link, and I share a common sense of humor. Really now, go read this.

According to Sgt. Stryker we are now training our military personnel on how to deal with the media. I find his comparisons of the different media very interesting. I'm sure that these guidelines apply every bit as much to civilians.
... My experience has been to talk openly (but not too openly) with newspaper reporters. I've yet to meet one who wasn't on the up-and-up. They're also ferocious drinkers and don't like paying. Watch out, they're wiley bastards who'll resort to any means to keep from paying the tab. Also, keep them to beer. It's cheaper.

Magazine writers should be given the "I'm proud to be here, etc." line. These guys usually have an angle to whatever story they're writing -an angle you will not be aware of until the piece is published. You don't have to worry about seeing these guys too much. They usually hang out with the upper echelons, who are much more adept at handling them.

Avoid TV reporters at all costs unless you want to say hi to your mom. TV people are almost always out for themselves and their interest in your existence is entirely dependent on whether you'll make them look good. They're out to make a name for themselves, and will stab you in the back if it helps out their career. There's one addendum to this: If it's a local TV outfit, you should be okay.

Also, when it comes to TV, make sure you look cool. When people see you, they're forming a judgement on the entire military by your appearance, so at least look cool and confident on camera. Study Clint Eastwood films for a primer. Keep your words brief and to the point. Again, the "I'm here to do a job, blah, blah, blah" should apply. TV people don't hang around long enough to have a drink with you, so you don't have to worry about them.

My friend, Vince Mease, wants, among other things, to be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. He has some other good ideas too about the benefits of cyborg technology.

Andrew Sullivan is concerned that the Pope does not get it. He seems to think the reason is that the Pope is old, frail, and sickly. Certainly, I think that old is part of it, but not because of his age, per se, but rather because of the generation that he comes from. I suspect that the Pope would be very hard-pressed to understand the likes of Andrew Sullivan. In his day, homosexuals were rarely open about their orientation. Further, they almost certainly didn't have (or at least express) conservative values.

But on the other side of the argument, it is clear that Mr. Sullivan also doesn't fully understand the Pope - or at least his point of view. I think that the Pope, and thus the Catholic Church, are comfortable with the rules and doctrines they have in place. Homosexuality is a sin. Priests are male, and they are celibate. Easter celebrates the re-birth of Christ and always occurs on the first Sunday following the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. These are the rules that the Church has played by for hundreds of years. There is no denying that progress - and especially the progress of American culture - is currently forcing (or will soon force) the Church to examine these and many other of its tenets..

My parents are Catholic. I went to Catholic schools and to mass every Sunday of my life until I was 18. I am no Church scholar, but I do know the faith is based largely on believing things for which there is no truly rational explanation. To many people none of the beliefs make sense. It is not surprising that - to many members - some of the rules don't make sense either. But it comes down to the fact that Catholics believe that the Pope is infallible when he speaks as the mouthpiece for the Church. I don't disagree with Mr. Sullivan, but if there was a Catholic court for him to fight this battle in, he would lose..

As a bit of an additional (and lighter) aside, reading the Pope's letter to the priests, it strikes me how much it would benefit from the greater use of hypertext. At a number of points he notes his references parenthetically which could benefit from a direct link - for example - to the Council of Trent text, and a link to a Latin-to-English translator or dictionary would certainly be helpful. The biblical quotes could link to an online version of the bible (almost certainly available in any language) to help put the message in context. It is great that this letter is on the Vatican website, but it looks like their web-publishing staff could use a little help. Maybe when Andrew and his staff are done with Shakespeare in the Park, they could spend a little time in Italy helping the Holy Father. At the very least, it would confirm or deny my early hypothesis about how the Pope would take to Mr. Sullivan.

You probably all saw the report (via Drudge) about schools warning parents about their overweight kids. The folks over at Protein Wisdom appear to have snagged a copy of the letter. Here is one of the paragraphs. (Linked from Vodka Pundit - and read the whole letter)
So what's the problem? You guys are fat, too, is that it? Or ridiculously poor and unable to afford anything other than fish sticks, Mac-'n'-Cheese, and Ramen Noodles to feed the little heifer? Hey, it happens. And the Lehigh County School Board understands! Which is why we've included (along with this letter) the pamphlet, Sweat Like the Normal Kids Do. In it you'll find some tips on how to improve Junior's health (first and foremost, by making his fat ass far less repugnant to the better-looking and more socially successful children in school). We particularly draw your attention to page 2: If You Weren't So Fat, the Bullies Couldn't Catch You! -- in which is outlined a rigorous 5-step program aimed at convincing that dumpy offspring of yours to mix in a salad every now and then, y'know? T'wouldn't kill you either, come to think of it...

Laughing Hyena has this hillarious take:
This should be good for another Nobel Peace Prize nomination! Way to go, Mr. Arafat! I read on someone's blog last night that San Francisco just named a street after a human rights activist named Gerry Adams. Arafat could be next! I can hear the 911 call now: "Yeah, I'm at the corner of Adams and Arafat! There's blood everywhere! Please help! Hurry!"

I came home this evening and poured myself a large glass of Grey Goose to celebrate that Vodka Pundit stumbled over to I Can Blog! last night and had nice things to say. Thank you. Next stop: InstaPundit!

More pictures here that I should find more disturbing than I do. Notice the picture of Arafat in the background. I love how Best of the Web finishes every reference to Arafat with, "Arafat won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994." I think that if I were a hard core Palestinian with a thirst for blood, I would kill Arafat and blame it on the Israelis. That might be enough to rally the troops to further increase levels of violence. But really, with Yassar dead, I think everyone wins.

Thursday, March 21, 2002
The key to learning junk science judo is developing a healthy skepticism and a willingness to question conventional wisdom. Question everything, including the prestigious medical journals.
That is the main point of Steven Milloy's new book Junk Science Judo as discussed by James Glassman from Tech Central Station. Here's some more.

Thanks to the efforts of environmental groups, scheming politicians, and media enablers willing to pass along spoon-fed alarmism without subjecting it to scrutiny, many Americans are convinced that the world (and the marketplace) is a lot more dangerous than it is.

Most junk science claims use evidence that is (at best) weak, employing dubious statistical associations using suspect data. Which is why it would be smart to note Milloy's point that statistics is not science. Neither is epidemiology. That's just statistics. And it is important not to assume that something that is scientific sounding - like a parade of statistics - is scientific. After all, stats don't prove cause and effect.

Next time a television anchor peddles the latest "disturbing statistics" suggesting a new health concern, keep in mind the conversation between Homer Simpson and Smartline's pompous TV newsman Kent Brockman.

Brockman: Mr. Simpson, how do you respond to the charges that petty vandalism such as graffiti is down eighty percent, while heavy sack-beatings are up a shocking nine hundred percent?

Homer: Aw, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forty percent of all people know that.

There's a pretty good letter to the editor in the Los Angeles Times on immigration. Here's he bulk of it.
Currently 8.7 million illegal aliens directly compete with 10 million uneducated and unskilled Americans for the same jobs. All they do is reduce wages for the poorest Americans. There's no evidence that the U.S. has a shortage of unskilled workers that needs to be satisfied by illegal immigrants. The past couple of decades have taught us that high-tech countries like the U.S. place a premium on an educated and skilled work force. Such economies don't create vast arrays of well-paying menial jobs to be filled by the unskilled and uneducated, as exemplified by most illegal immigrants. Mexican illegal immigration acts as a subsidy to businesses that employ unskilled workers--holding down labor costs and preventing plant modernization--while taxpayers pick up the costs ($5 billion annually in California) to provide educational, birth and welfare services to 3.5 million illegal immigrants in this state.

There's a new Slapshot! Slapshot 2: Breaking the Ice hits stores on Tuesday. It was made to go straight to video, but I wonder why Universal didn't try playing it in theaters in at least a few markets. I gotta believe that folks in Detroit (and really Michigan in general), Minnesota, the Dakotas, Denver, Pittsburgh, Boston, and, of course, Canada among other places would be willing to shell out a few bucks to see this on the big screen. Oh well, I guess I'll just rent it.

This picture was (maybe still is) at the top of Drudge. One of the things that strikes me is how much it looks like a scene from some horror movie. It makes you realize just how good special effects have gotten. I guess the fact that it doesn't really bother me to see a human head - eyes open and all - separated from its body speaks to some degree about how desensitized to violence we have become. If I am this desensitived, I can't imagine what it takes to shake someone living in the heart of Jerusalem.

Update: Make sure to click on the picture to bring it to full size. Also, when I went back again, I realized I can't really tell if the eyes are still open or not. Either way, I still think it's kind of cool to see the head just sitting there sin corpus.

From the front page (Ephemera...) of Wired:
Hero, Schmero

When the first edition of We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young appeared in 1992, it bore the picture of Rick Rescorla on its cover. Rescorla was a soldier who fought heroically at Ia Drang Valley, the Vietnam War battle that was the book's subject. Rescorla played the hero once more on Sept. 11, when as chief of security for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, he helped hundreds of people escape from the burning World Trade Center before dying in the collapse of his building. But real-life heroism doesn't trump star power, because it's Mel Gibson -- lead actor in the movie made from the book -- who graces the cover of the third edition. It's all about branding, baby

It strikes me as amusing that the Washington Post can get away with the ebonical phrase Hizzexoner.

But somewhere along the way, all that changed, and somebody got hungry enough to eat a buffalo.

No doubt, it didn't take long for that industrious soul to realize that he could use a little help from his friends.

The story on ABC tells about how hunting led to organized, social societies. The most interesting part of this whole thing - to me - was the fact that there are still people studying this. For some reason I was under the impression that if it wasn't common sense it was at least well established that societies evolved becasue symbiosis between various families or loose groups provided economies of scale for both hunting and gathering.

Not only does the ABC site generally strike me as too animated, their stories seem to be too Disney-esque as well. I saw somewhere recently that they are reexamining their approach to news coverage. They need to. Regardless, I still won't watch. Peter Jennings was crass on 9/11/01.

It turns out the Canadians are some pretty bad-ass shots. I found this great story on the snipers on HappyFunPundit. They (HFP) also have an amusing little bit up on statistical sampling. Here's a little on the Canadian sharp-shooters.
They were 3,500 metres high. At such altitudes, the air was gaspingly thin even at a brisk walk. Although extremely fit, Ed was nearly passing out after the two-way sprint, with AK-47 rounds nipping at his heels.

But Ed, who's developed an uncanny Sean Connery imitation, didn't stop there..

Ed grabbed his M-203 grenade launcher and started firing at the al-Qaida fighters who were giving them trouble from a nearby creek bed. .

"We don't know what happened," said Alex. "All we know is, their firing stopped.".

The snipers also helped extract American troops in trouble. .

Under cover of darkness, they and their U.S. special forces comrades led soldiers of the Airborne out of the danger area, scouting ahead for enemy threats and bringing the Americans up a little ways at a time until they eventually linked up with friendly forces.

This is from Overlawyered. I always thought that the U.S. was the most progressive when it came to legislating ridiculous "safety" measures. Looks like we may have someting to learn from the Aussies.
March 20-21 -- No more restaurant doggie bags. In Australia, the restaurant doggie bag is in decline because of fears that patrons will store food at improper temperatures, allowing the growth of food-poisoning bacteria. "The Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group, which has 142 hotel restaurants across the country, has banned patrons from taking home leftovers. Victoria has already brought in anti-doggie-bag legislation, with other states tipped to follow before the end of the year, Mr Deakin said. 'If we are the cooker of the food we are liable,' he said." ("Restaurants ban doggie bags", The Advertiser (Adelaide), Mar. 18). Meanwhile, in the U.K.: "Some restaurants in Britain are forcing customers who like their meat rare to sign a disclaimer form before eating due to fears of the risk of E. coli and salmonella poisoning, the Sunday Times newspaper reported." ("British Eaters Who Like Rare Meat Sign Disclaimers", Reuters/Yahoo, Mar. 18).

Is it just me or does the idea of Andrew Sullivan and Matt Drudge sharing a cozy dinner at a beach side restaurant strike you as a little odd? But I'll bet the story swapping was interesting...

This should help ease any fantasies you may have had about Pamela Anderson.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002
I have been bad about blogging lately. So I missed Tuesdays with Rachel. My apologies.

It sounds like RipFlash is going to make all of this nonsense about copy-protecting music CDs immaterial.

President Bush yesterday called on the Senate to pass a bill that would grant amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens in time for his trip to Mexico tomorrow.

The Senate's top Democrat, however, said he was not planning for a vote on the border-security measure until next month.

(from the Washington Times) Let me get this straight... The republican wants to allow the illegals to stay, and the democrat wants to hold off??? Is this that whole Bearded Spock Alternative Universe that Mr. Reynolds was speaking of?

Speaking of Sergeant Stryker, if you are not familiar with him, you need to check him out. He's not a hyper-blogger like so many of the other pundits we tend to visit daily, so it is a bit easier to keep up. I haven't been reading long (or probably closely) enough to know his whole story, but if you want the view of a conservative, active-member of the armed forces then you can't go wrong with the sarge. He seems to have a constant stream of interesting stories, tales, and accounts fed to him by other military personnel around the country. The writing tends to be good too. Check out this piece on the myth of the American aversion to casualties - and check back often.

I found this link to Gunner20 from Sgt. Stryker. This is an interesting little tale of American military superiority. In part:
They didn't integrate their commands very well much above platoon level. They may be individually brave or devoted to their cause, but large-unit operations are difficult and take practice, practice, practice, which al Qaeda probably has never done and I guarantee has never done in a force-on-force training exercise remotely resembling what the US Army does all the time at the National Training Center in California. This lack of training and capability was fatal when fighting the US Army, Air Force and Navy/Marines, which are superbly equipped and have been practicing fully integrated, combined-arms, joint-service operations for decades. There is little evidence in the Anaconda battle that al Qaeda had anything like effective tactical staff operations. They did not learn from their mistakes; for example, they continued to congregate when experience should have showed them that American wide-area weapons would simply destroy them.

After reading this description on Andrew Sullivan, I am looking forward to reading the new book on President Bush. He seems like the kind of guy that would be fun to hang-out with. If I could convince him to engage in a little imbibery and to go easy on the god is great bit, I think we would get along fabuously.

The Laughing Hyena has a fine retort for the sexual complaining that often seeps in from the right.

This is probably a useless point to make as I suspect that aforementioned Hyena may be the only other person other than I who will see this.

Jonah Goldberg is propagating myths today.

We've seen bulldozers scooping corpses; we've seen soap made from human beings...

But I do agree with the basic rationale for reminding people of the horrors of the Holocaust; those things not actively remembered are easily forgotten. This is especially true of the moral lessons of history because there are people intensely interested in rewriting the moral history of America so that we are always the villains of the tale.

The problem, Mr. Goldberg, is that falsehoods - actively remembered - are not easily forgotten. Myths about the treatment of the Jews are propagated by the Jews to help ensure that Israel has free reign to treat her enemies as she pleases. Nothing that Israel could ever do to the Palestinians or any other enemy could ever possibly be as horrible as what they, as a people, went through when they were made into soap. BUT IT NEVER HAPPENED!

Sunday, March 17, 2002

The same picture should now magically appear on the blog. Remember, this is only a test.

Ok, so it was a test, but luckily it wasn't that difficult. This opens all sorts of possibilities...

I am playing around with blogger now. This will be my first attempt to see if I can post pictures. If it works, you should see me and my siblings on one of our time-travel adventures. This was Germany, 60 years ago. Of questionable taste? Perhaps. Amusing? I think so.

Ok, that seems easy enough. Now I just have to figure out how to get pictures on this page without links. Vince seems to have it figured out.

Ollie North reminds us that West Point celebrated its bicentennial yesterday.

Thomas Sowell has an interesting little piece in the Washington Times today on the history of surnames. I was familiar with the etymologies of many common last names, but didn't realize how recent a phenomenon the surname is.

"I still think this is cool. But I want a white woman mascot next."

And judging from the apparent success of the Fighting Whities mascot and the new promotional tie-ins (ok, they're just tee shirts so far), some intramural team somewhere would be foolish not to churn one out and make a buck.

The police can arrest you for nearly anything. It is becoming easier and easier for the average Joe to be arrested and detained. Still, politicians in general and democrats in particular want to put more and more laws on the books. I would be interested to know the average number of new laws the average American is subjected to on an average day. When counting neighborhood, city, county, state, and federal rules, I bet the number is considerable. Every time a new law is rolled out there is another reason for you to be arrested and then further investigated for other wrong doings. This article talks about a man arrested for riding a bicycle the wrong way on a one way street. He ends up sentenced to nearly three years in jail because he had a small quantity of drugs in his sock. There is room here to veer off into a discussion on the war on drugs and how the whole thing has been a terrible policy failure, but I am not interested enough to go through that argument.

The INS is a mess. Starting from scratch seems an unlikely solution, but something has to be done. 8 million illegals running around with free reign in this country is not acceptable. I understand that this country was built by immigrants. That's all well and good, but we are way beyond the point where we benefit from a never ending stream of human capital.

I had the opportunity to go to the observation platform before it was opened to the public. Actually, it was the night before Mayor Guilliani and President Bush gave speeches there. It was about two or three o'clock in the morning in early November. The scene then was a lot more chaotic then the pictures we see now, four months later. The article mentions that the site has become a pilgrimage of sorts for some folks. I recommend it. It is one of those things that you will be able to tell your grandchildren that you saw.

There's an amusing story in the Los Angeles Times about roaming gnomes. It's interesting that someone spent that much time researching the history of the prank.

If I think that this article on narcissists applies to me, does that make me a narcissist?

This story from my roommate.

In all, about 1,600 troops will be posted in 12 states to help keep out terrorists, drug smugglers and illegal crossers. While on duty in San Diego County and elsewhere, the troops will be unarmed. Nor can they enforce laws.

I think that it is interesting that the National Guard has a completely different set of legal duties depending upon who calls them into, "action." What happens if one of the guardsmen is asked or ordered my a member of the active military to assist with a search? Is it still illegal? Or does the immediacy of the request change things? These sound like fairly complex legal issues that I can almost assure you no one has addressed with those affected.

Tigers are not cute and cuddly as this felon found.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

There’s nothing more pathetic than some fat Polack swilling seven Buds mixed with carcinogenic green dye drunkenly arguing that “INXS is authentic Irish music” just before barfing into a plate of corned beef and cabbage.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002
This via Andrew Sullivan. Well said.

Eugenics, as advocated by kindly figures such as its pioneer, Sir Francis Galton, or its most eloquent exponent, Dean Inge, was simply the notion that the useful and intelligent classes should be allowed, indeed encouraged, to breed, and the murderous morons, who are never going to contribute anything except misery to themselves and others should be discouraged. No one need be killed.

The eugenic case is made simply by looking at the pedigrees of the criminals who appear in court, and contrasting them with those of the judges. The overwhelming number of judges (however idiotic we may pretend they are) come from intelligent, decent families, and the overwhelming number of criminals come from stock that is violent and stupid.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Holy cow, Glenn Reynolds posts alot. There is more from him in an afternoon while clear across the country than I can manage in a week.

Every thang's gonna be all white. That's the slogan for the Fighting Whities, an intramural basketball team at UNC (Northern Colorado). I am far from offended, and I love the slogan. I don't now why they use thang and gonna. It seems to me that if they want to make fun of white folks, they should use proper English. Oh, right, they - because of their socio-economically disadvantaged upbringing - have never had a chance to learn proper English. The mascot looks a little bit like Bob Dobbs to me - without the pipe, of course.

Monday, March 11, 2002
Blah-Blah Bingo! This is sure to be a hit around the country in no time. Who will be first to make a ton of money actually printing out cards? I could do one for finance and customer service jobs, but these would need to be somewhat industry specific. It appears that http://www.blahblahbingo.com/ is still available.

Operation Anaconda continues to penetrate into the secret cave hideouts and pound the mountains of the Afghan fighters.
(via Asparagirl via Instapundit)

Jonah Goldberg and Glenn Reynolds both re-posted (JG) or linked back to (GR) their original September 11th posts/columns today. Both were good, but Reynolds in retrospect was particularly prescient.

Sgt. Stryker is "recycling" as well. This is his column from three months ago.

I hope that you had a chance to watch 9/11 on CBS last night. If you didn't, you missed something spectacular. I am not sure that I can think of a better program that I have watched on TV - ever. The video that the two brothers were able to capture was simply incredible.

It was an eerie feeling watching Father Judge pacing through the lobby of tower one mumbling prayers to himself. You knew that you were watching the final moments of the man's life. Likewise, when the company first responded to the initial attack and they walked into the lobby of tower one, you felt a very strange feeling knowing that in a matter of an hour or so, it would all be decimated. When I found out what all of the intermittent crashing sounds were, I felt nauseous. It was truly a moving piece.

A big round of kudos too for CBS. They aired the two hour program with only three or four breaks - and they weren't really even commercials. I also appreciated the lack of censoring. In these days of high-tech audio-visual programming and editting tools, it would have been easy for the network to silence the numerous instances of swearing. But they didn't, and the piece was more realistic for it. I find it hard to believe though that the FCC let them get away with those words over and over during prime time. Honestly, I was surprised that there was not more swearing captured on film. I also suspect that the vomiting scene may have been a first for network television.

I feel certain that CBS will be encouraged enough by the public response to the documentary to replay it again in the near future. If they do, watch it.

"If the roles were reversed they'd call it a hate crime. You can count on that." That was the first comment listed when I checked out this site. Here you will find pictures and links for the story about Chante Mallard who ran over Greg Biggs. I think the caption under her first picture is most appropriate.

Justin Raimondo writes an interesting tale of Israel's involvement with the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Some of this sounds like paranoia or baiting, but when you start to add all of the (well-referenced) pieces together, it does look awfully suspicious. I am not yet ready to suggest that Israel was directly behind the attacks. However, there is no denying that our unilateral support for Israel is not winning us any friends in the rest of the world - Arab or otherwise.

"We have to forget liberal ideas about freedom of speech." That is one of the messages in this story from across the pond. Apparently, thinking bad thoughts without so much as discussing them with anyone is good enough reason to expel someone from the university. European socialism scares me. Well, it at least makes me very nervous.

Thursday, March 07, 2002
People keep asking me to explain blogs. Andrew Sullivan does a far better job than I could. The article is a long one but it covers the etymology, history, rise in popularity, power of, and everything else that is blog related.

It is time to close down the Indian casinos. Europeans took America back from the Indians. It seems that the more we dig - in Massachusetts, in Wisconsin, in Washington, anywhere - the more we keep coming up with the same conclusion. North America was originally settled by travelers from Europe. I guess the alternative way of looking at this information would be to consider those now grouped under the demographic heading of Native American to really be European. But it seems that the Indians themselves do not like this either. Nor do they seem particularly fond of the idea that they came from Asia.

I think I'll start washing my garlic and fish oil pills (<-- 2 different pills) down with soy milk.

Big Brother is closing in. A lot of the pending repeals of our civil liberties that are discussed here are blamed on the Clinton government. I'm not sure that is entirely fair. I don't see anyone in the current government - executive, legislative, or judicial - doing anything to stop these advances.

Man, this makes me mad! It is insane that a 16 year-old boy should be suspended for being the victim of a racial attack. I don't care what he said or what the attacker thinks he said. If the attacker is claiming that the attack was motivated by racial slurs, than the reaction is a racial attack too.

The only thing I find redeeming about this story is the reactions of other readers. Read them here.

Maybe one of those MECha flyers from UC Berkeley made its way up to Cashmere.

(via Drudge) Mandatory rent-a-cops - with guns:

The new regulations will make it mandatory for any store larger than 500 square meters - including hotels, swimming pools, amusement parks, movie houses, gas stations, and outdoor fairs - to employ an armed guard.

I like the idea that certain current and former military members get an automatic pass to conceal carry. There was some talk (though I can't recall where now) that the US should allow certain folks who already carry a gun as part of their job to be able to conceal carry on airplanes. This would effectively increase the size of the sky marshall force without costing anything. I like the idea as long as there is some sort of check on the ammo. I'd hate to see someone sucked out a depressurized plane because a round over-penetrated.

I don't know how he found it, but Andrew Sullivan links to this great piece on the French efforts in the war on terror. Read the whole thing.

Here's an excerpt on the tactics of the feared Black Berets:
There they will drink coffee and talk animatedly about the absurd nature of life and man's lonely isolation in the universe. They will be accompanied by a number of heartbreakingly beautiful girlfriends who will further spread dismay by sticking their tongues in the philosophers' ears every five minutes and looking remote and unattainable to everyone else.

Found this at The Corner. It makes war sound as fun as we thought it was when we were kids. How many kids run through nearly the same scenario in the sandbox with little green plastic soldiers and toy airplanes dropping bombs that level mountains of sand and leave massive sand craters behind? Is it any wonder then that we are kicking so much ass in Afghanistan? Our men have been preparing for this since they were little kids at play. Then, of course, as teens, they switched to Nintendo and other video games improving their reflexes and ability to use complex electronic machines. Perhaps only the Japanese would stand a real chance against us.

Found this story on the Shadow Government from Andrew Sullivan. I haven't been reading him much, but everyone else seems to like him, so I am trying to see what all of the fuss is about. The story is based on the premise that the citizens and criminals in DC have to live with the fact that the whole premise for the shadow government is the destruction of their city.

I'm going to see if I can get away with posting from work a little bit today. Things are starting out smoothly so I may have some luck.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002
Whoa! I just saw a commercial for the telezapper. If this thing is for real, it is awesome. It purports to delete your phone number from any telemarketing companies' computers if they use auto-dialers. I would think that the ultra-annoying telemarketers would have a way to beat this thing the day after it came out. If not, I'll probably be making the trek to Radio Shack. Does anyone out there know anything about it? I ask as if I believed that there were people other than me reading these ramblings.

I am sitting here wasting time instead of doing my taxes. By the way, the new IRS website is really a lot better than the old site. It has a much more professional look and feel, and it's easier to find what you're looking for. Speaking of government websites, is it irony that Vie President Cheney put together what appears to be a very robust one-stop government website when his predecessor, the founder of the internet, did nothing to bring the government to the people?

This is the cartoon that everyone is talking about. It's as disrespectful as they come, but there's no doubt that some of this is going on. It reminds me of an old George Carlin bit in which he talks about the rape of a nun. Anything can be funny.

From the Washington Times: Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger yesterday poked fun at European unease with President Bush's designation of three rogue states as an "axis of evil," calling the outcry "psychiatric."

I guess that's more diplomatic than calling them a bunch of Euro-wussies.

A nasty plot by Yassar?

Israel does not require health warnings on cigarettes. Israel does not hike cigarette taxes to discourage smoking. Children are permitted to buy cigarettes and to smoke. Cigarette companies are not forced to cut nicotine and tar levels in their products. And Israel has yet to sue tobacco importers and manufacturers to pay for smoking-related health problems.

I used to smoke. Now smoking seems more reasonable...

This story from Fox laments the lack of knowledge Americans, particularly young Americans, have about personal finance. I think my favorite part of the story is the fact that they reference The Onion. (Kids: this is one reference that should always find a way into your bibliography.)

I can certainly attest to the general lack of knowledge of personal finance. Having worked for both my company's 401(k) department and online trading arm, I have spoken with a hundreds of folks who have no idea what a mutual fund even is.

If you're young or new to the concept of taking responsibility for your own finances, I recommend Get A Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner. (I just found out that she has her own website too. (Of course that's no surprise nowadays.))

I always forget to get this on Tuesdays. It's the dirtiest sex column you'll find, and I'm pretty sure your company's filtering software won't catch it.

Weird story on identical twins being killed together.

Managers are ineffective in companies where they are asked to do too much. No surprise there. I'll be sending this link to my many bosses tomorrow. It will be couched as, "If we're not careful this could happen to us." What I really mean is, "Is it any wonder that we never move forward?" Oh well, I am being fired in 51 days anyway.

The NRO blog sort of makes my head spin. It is like trying to listen to 10 people talk all at once. By the way, is there anyone who works for NRO who is not an editor? I suspect that merely by linking to them here I may earn the title Guest Editor. Anyway, Stanley Kurtz makes a great comment about the need for conservative blogs at the university. I hope to return to school in the fall and would love to have the time to work on such a project. Only time will tell.

Friday, March 01, 2002
COG seems to be the big story on all sites today. The Washington Post story mentions a line of executive directives dating back to President Eisenhower. I think that a history of our preparation at the federal level for the ultimate disaster would be really interesting.

I read an article recently that suggested atheists should go to church to meet women. It does appear that there are a lot of women going to church.