October 31, 2006
You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you dont, you get stuck in Iraq.Sen. John McCain:
If you offend somebody, whether you intend to or not, you should apologize.Sen. John Kerry:
I apologize to no one for my criticism of the President and his broken policy.Listen, I want to believe the argument that John Kerry didn't really mean to insult our all volunteer military servicemen and women. If it were any other guy, without John Kerry's history, I might be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.
But given that John Kerry began his political career by throwing his military ribbons over the White House fence in protest over a military service which he claimed led to widespread and systematic atrocities which he later admitted that he never witnessed, and which were later proven to have been completely made up I sincerely doubt that his "explanation" is genuine.
If John Kerry intended to insult the president with his "botched joke," why then are the words "president" or "Bush" nowhere to be found within the text of that joke?
If John Kerry really fucked up the script so badly, why then didn't he immediately clarify himself? We've all been in that situation. When I mis-speak, and inadvertently give offense, that's what I do. It's customary, even through embarrassment, to say, "I'm sorry, what I meant to say was..." But Kerry didn't do that until the firestorm began this morning. Now that he's busted, it's a little hard to believe his denials.
Here's an instructive thought experiment. What if, instead of touching the third rail of conservative politics by insulting the troops, John Kerry's "botched joke" had imputed stupidity to African Americans? Would he then have apologized quickly and repeatedly? You bet your ass he would have, and he'd have done it based on John McCain's maxim I quoted above: "If you offend somebody, whether you intend to or not, you should apologize." The fact that John Kerry, even now after "admitting" he made a mistake, still refuses to apologize to the American military he claims to respect so much, is tantamount to insulting them a second time. He doesn't think they're worth the courtesy.
What really happened is that John Kerry had a "Dixie Chicks" moment. Like Natalie Maines in England, Kerry thought he had a sympathetic audience of liberal college students to whom he could pander, by sharing a little inside humor. "Heh, heh, I know you guys despise the military and think they're dummies. I do too. Ain't I cool? Vote for Angelides."
Should any of this matter? Probably not, since Kerry can't be voted out of office this year. (Personally, I think Kerry should be forced to resign from his seat on the Committee on Foreign Relations. Nobody with his history of undisguised contempt for American military personnel should be allowed to sit on such a committee, with that body's concomitant influence over the deployment of those same soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen.) But that's a different question from whether any of this will matter. And I hope it does. Not only because it may forestall the Democratic takeover I predicted earlier, but because Kerry's latest blunder probably and irrevocably scuttled any hope he might have had of trying for his party's nomination in '08. Democratic power brokers will never ever forgive him for this gaffe, nor should any of us.
Update: Kerry apologizes.
b/f's mom: What a loser. I don't listen to that culícagao.
me: what's that?
b/f's mom: In the island, that's what we say when somebody is full of shit.
me: but what does culícagao mean?
b/f's mom: shit ass.
Ha Ha, I love it! I'm going to use it.
Here are my predictions. The Senate looks tight, but I think it will take a miracle for the Republicans to retain control. By my calculations, it will be a 50/50 split after next Tuesday. Republicans will lose in MT, OH, NJ, PA and RI. I think Corker will beat Ford, keeping TN Republican, but I could be wrong about that. In MD, Steele deserves to win, and though I mistrust polls generally, they can't be that far off. I don't think Steele will do it.
An evenly divided Senate is a de facto Democratic majority, since there are enough turncoat RINOs in the Senate to do Harry Reid's bidding. The Dems also know how to play rough and they will insist on some sort of accomodation on committee chairs. Republican Senate leaders, never known for stiff spines, will cave in to these demands.
As for the House, I have just two words for you: trust Gerrymandering. The Republicans will hold the House.
Divided government here we come. Now maybe in peacetime, a Democrat Senate was tolerable, but Kerry's despicable anti-military insults yesterday illustrate clearly why the Democrats cannot be trusted with any position of leadership.
If you like, you may go to this page to hear Basil Rathbone read "The Raven." Versions are available in mp3 and Real Audio formats.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
" 'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door;
Only this, and nothing more."
October 30, 2006
Don't like waiting in line? Here's an idea, idiots. Get to your polling place early.
Here's another idea. Vote absentee.
When I go to the Post Office and there's a long line, it doesn't mean I'm being discriminated against. It just means there's a lot of customers. And if I show up at the Post Office at 5:00 and they shut the door in my face, it just means that I should have got there earlier.
Another thing, idiots. If you can't figure out the ballot, fucking ask somebody to help you. Or study the sample ballot before you show up.
It ain't that hard. If voting is so important to you that you are ready to scream disenfranchisement at the drop of a hat, why not take the time to avoid problems by planning ahead.
Unless of course, crying fraud is part of your strategy for winning.
P.S. If you're one of the unfortunate voters who has to use one of these beasts, and you encounter problems, blame Florida and disregard the above. I've never trusted the idea of computer voting, its an example of knee-jerk overreaction to a nonexistent problem.
Project Valour-IT is fundraising again. Superblogger Beth of My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy is on the Marines team, though she's an Air Force veteran. And our very own A-List blogger Cassandra is leading the Marines team.
Every cent raised for Project Valour-IT goes directly to the purchase and shipment of voice-activated laptops for wounded servicemembers. As of October 2006, Valour-IT has distributed nearly 600 laptops to severely wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines across the country.Click on one of the links and donate whatever you can for this great project.
During its initial phase, Valour-IT created libraries of laptops equipped with voice-controlled software for the severely wounded staying at major military medical centers. In many cases a laptop was provided to a wounded hero for permanent use.
Result: Patriots crush the Vikings. I'm now 5 and 3!
October 29, 2006
As I've said before, I have an easy way to decide on any bond issues. I vote no as a rule on every bond measure, no matter how tempting it sounds (with one exception, I vote yes on all prison bonds*). It seems to me that bond measures are a way for this state's government to spend beyond its means, even though excessive spending is its biggest problem. My philosophy is that the legislature should do its job and prioritize the budget so we won't have to rely on bonds to get things done.
I'm also sick and tired of two or three school improvement bonds every time we have an election. They generally win, because nobody (except me) wants to vote to keep kids learning under leaky roofs and without enough crayons or construction paper. Yet every election, the schools hold out their hand for more. Whatever happened to the promise that the California Lottery was supposed to solve all our school problems? I'm told that "Our schools win too" was the motto back in '84 when the lottery initiative passed. Well, I for one won't play that game anymore. Whatever they're doing with all that money isn't working, so let's cut off the spigot and force them to try something else.
Here's the propositions on the statewide ballot:
Prop 1A: TRANSPORTATION FUNDING PROTECTION This initiative would force the government to use gasoline sales tax revenues for transportation improvements only, instead of dumping that money into the general fund so the legislature can squander it as they love to do. I vote YES.
Prop 1B: HIGHWAY SAFETY, TRAFFIC REDUCTION, AIR QUALITY, AND PORT SECURITY BOND Here's an example of a bond measure with worthy goals, which I will reject simply because of my hard and fast rule about bond measures. If the legislature would do its job, cut the frivolous spending, and cut regulation and taxes to keep businesses from fleeing the state, we'd have enough money to do this kind of shit without mortgaging our future with 39 billion more in bond debt. I vote NO.
Prop 1C: HOUSING AND EMERGENCY SHELTER TRUST FUND More bonds. Hey, I'm all for helping out battered women and their kids, low-income seniors, the disabled, military veterans, and working families. But again, if this is such a priority, the legislature should find a way to do it without adding to the bond debt. Otherwise, let's encourage private charities to continue their good work in this area. I know that there are many fine non-profits that help battered women and provide shelter for their families, because I did pro-bono work for one of them last year. I vote NO.
Prop 1D: KINDERGARTENUNIVERSITY PUBLIC EDUCATION FACILITIES BOND Another school bond. See above. I vote NO.
Prop 1E: DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND FLOOD PREVENTION BOND Another bond. I vote NO.
Prop 83: SEX OFFENDERS. SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS. PUNISHMENT, RESIDENCE RESTRICTIONS AND MONITORING This initiative tightens punishment and monitoring of violent sexual predators. Again, where was the legislature on this? Why is such an important public safety issue being left up to the initiative process? A definite YES vote.
Prop 84: WATER QUALITY, SAFETY AND SUPPLY, FLOOD CONTROL, NATURAL RESOURCE PROTECTION, PARK IMPROVEMENTS, BONDS All important and worthy goals, which I support Just not by increasing the bond debt. I sound like a broken record here. I vote NO.
Prop 85: WAITING PERIOD AND PARENTAL NOTIFICATION BEFORE TERMINATION OF MINORS PREGNANCY This proposition would require a doctor to notify parents when a minor comes in for an abortion, with certian exceptions. If I had a kid, I'd want to know if she was going to have an abortion. I don't care if some other kid doesn't have a good relationship with her parent. I'd want to know about my daughter. It's that simple. I vote YES.
Prop 86: TAX ON CIGARETTES This initiative would add $2.60 in taxes to each pack of cigarettes. Right now, they're about $5 a pack. If this initiative passes, a pack would cost more than it does in New York City. I was shocked at the cost of cigarettes during my last trip to New York. I suppose I should favor this proposition because it might motivate me to quit. But realistically, even though I grumbled, I still paid the seven bucks when I was in New York. I generally oppose sin taxes, because they encourage the black market. We already have enough problems with drugs and illegal aliens coming across the border without creating a whole new market for contraband. I vote NO.
Prop 87: ALTERNATIVE ENERGY. RESEARCH, PRODUCTION, INCENTIVES. TAX ON CALIFORNIA OIL PRODUCERS This is the most controversial measure on California's ballot. President Clinton is doing tv spots in favor of this plan, which would create a whole new alternative energy research bureaucracy funded by a tax on oil drilling in California. The opposition ads are disingenuous because they do not say that the law would prevent oil companies from passing on the tax to the consumer. It sounds tempting, especially to those who don't understand economics. But when you do the research, this proposition reveals itself as one of the worst ideas to come down the pike in a long time. Virtually every major newspaper to opine on the issue agrees that it's a horrible idea. And I'm talking the San Francisco Chronicle, the L.A. Times, the Sacramento Bee, the O.C. Register and the Wall Street Journal. That's a pretty wide sampling of the editorial spectrum there. I'd encourage anybody undecided on this measure to read those editorials, which can be found here. As much as we'd all like to stick it to the oil companies, It doesn't make much sense to punish them for developing domestic oilfields in order to achieve energy independence. If it's no longer profitable to drill in California, guess where our oil will come from? That's right, overseas. I also have a problem with the prohibition against passing the new tax on to the consumer. In my view, the way to encourage alternative energy sources is to let the free market work. High gas prices are the best way to create a demand for the new technology, not a poorly regulated and graft ridden new bureaucracy. I vote NO.
Prop 88: EDUCATION FUNDING. REAL PROPERTY PARCEL TAX The schools got their hand out again. They're like the cookie monster, except it's not Chips Ahoy they want, it's your money. This time they want to add $50 to everybody's property tax bill. If we let them, next year it will be another $50 or maybe $100. Just say NO.
Prop 89: POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS, PUBLIC FINANCING, CORPORATE TAX INCREASE, CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION AND EXPENDITURE LIMITS Another corporate tax increase at a time when California needs to stop business from fleeing out of state. How is that a good idea? And how is it a good idea to make it harder for ordinary Californians to run for office by requiring "a specified number of $5.00 contributions from voters?" This initiative also puts limits on political contributions to state candidates, which is a free speech issue. I vote NO.
Prop 90: GOVERNMENT ACQUISITION, REGULATION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY The last ballot initiative is the Protect Our Homes Act, which I first heard about from Tim Sandefur. This is the anti-Kelo initiative. It would basically prevent the state government from using its eminent domain power to grab your property and give it to some corporation, which is what happened in the Kelo case. If you hated Kelo, vote for this. I vote YES.
There you have it. Since I encourage all my blog's visitors to be in complete agreement with me, I suggest that you Californians print out this post and take it with you on November 7th.
* The reason I vote against school bonds and for prison bonds is not because I'm a heartless bitch. I understand the argument that better schools may lead to fewer criminals. But school bonds always win, and yet we still need prisons. Insofar as my one vote can be a message, I plan to send that message. Where school bonds are concerned, my message is that the state should use the gobs of money we send them for schools each year more wisely. As for prisons, they're an unpopular but necessary part of our infrastucture, and my message is that I want them built. As the late Ann Richards said of Texas' vast prison system, when asked what kind of a message it sent to the world: "If you commit a crime in Texas, it means we got a place to put you."
October 28, 2006
I call it "Pumpkin Nation." It's a poignant story of love triangulation, set to a pulsating beat.
October 27, 2006
Chris Matthews has been obsessing over the chick from the Ford ad all week. I think he's smitten. He keeps calling her "sexy, sexy, naked, naked, very alluring, sexy, naked," etc.
But she just isn't that hot. Seriously, I don't even think Casca would go after her. Well, maybe after a few Bacardi and Cokes, I don't know.
October 26, 2006
Just because the anti-semitic media in this country doesn't deem it news don't meant this shit ain't still happening almost every fucking day.
P.S. The comments under the article are crazy. Man, if a Kassam rocket landed in my yard, but I was only "lightly injured" do you think I would: a) say "no harm no foul," and go on with my day, or b) get pissed as hell and start screaming nonstop until I saw warplanes flying back from Gaza with empty hardpoints.
via Morning Coffee
...is just asking to get raped.
Sheik Hilali was quoted as saying: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside ... without cover, and the cats come to eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats' or the uncovered meat's? The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab [the headdress worn by some Muslim women], no problem would have occurred."Well, let's see, that means pretty much every female in the western world, I guess including you, me, your sister, your mom, etc. We're all pieces of meat waiting to get eaten by a gang of cats.
Nice religion, assholes.
"It cannot be ruled out that the drawings have offended some Muslims' honor, but there is no basis to assume that the drawings are, or were conceived as, insulting or that the purpose of the drawings was to present opinions that can belittle Muslims," the court said.What they need to do now is get rid of the stupid law that allows people to sue for "belittling Muslims."
The seven Muslim groups filed the defamation lawsuit against the paper in March, after Denmark's top prosecutor declined to press criminal charges, saying the drawings did not violate laws against racism or blasphemy.
The plaintiffs, who claimed to have the backing of 20 more Islamic organizations in the Scandinavian country, had sought $16,860 in damages from Jyllands-Posten Editor in Chief Carsten Juste and Culture Editor Flemming Rose, who supervised the cartoon project.
October 25, 2006
A boy got stuck inside a friggin' toy machine today! Can you believe it?
Crazy kids. Whattayagonnado?
After dropping $20 in quarters, Dad finally gave up 'cuz the stupid claw thing kept dropping the kid. "Those damn things are rigged," he was heard saying as he drove away in frustration.
Charles E. Cheese could not be reached for comment.
Here is the entire text of the e-mail:
Dear annika,That's it?
You know how high the stakes are -- so I'll get right to the point: there's never been a more critical time to highlight the priorities everyday Americans share.
Right now, working families suffer because corporate lobbyists write the laws. Our seniors can't get the drugs they need because the drug companies get everything they want. And President Bush continues to threaten one of our society's greatest accomplishments -- Social Security -- with his risky privatization schemes.
Congress needs to focus on an agenda that benefits the American people:
* Impose new rules and regulations to break the link between lobbyists and legislation
* Allow the government to negotiate with drug companies and fix Medicare Part D
* Stop Social Security and Medicare privatization plans in their tracks
* Raise the minimum wage to $7.25
* Cut the interest rates on student loans in half
* Roll back subsidies to Big Oil and gas companies
* Enact all the recommendations made by the independent 9/11 Commission
And that all needs to be done in the first 100 hours!
Working together, we will make that happen. Please help Americans United today:
There's a lot at stake in the coming weeks, but we must never lose focus on the task at hand: building a better country. Your work changes the national debate, raising awareness about the misplaced priorities of the current leadership.
Last year, Americans United led the national media campaign against Social Security privatization -- and won.
Now, with so much more at stake, will you help us win again?
Onward to victory.
Democratic Leader, U.S. House of Representatives
(It's nice that the Democrats want to cut student loan rates in half, but if you can't afford 8% over thirty years with the almost unlimited deferment schemes available, something is seriously wrong with your post college career path.)
I'm sorry but that was a weird e-mail. It's weird because she said absolutely nothing about the big issues that people are arguing about the issues that are going to get people off their ass and down to the voting booth less than two weeks from now.
She said nothing about Iraq.
Nothing about the War on Terror.
Nothing about impeachment.
Nothing about tax cuts.
Nothing about gay marriage.
Nothing about abortion.
Nothing about crime.
Nothing about North Korea.
Nothing about Iran.
Nothing about the border.
The Democrats are either a party with no agenda or a party with a hidden agenda. Either way, they absolutely cannot be trusted with a majority.
Crispin and Crispinian were once the Catholic patron saints of cobblers, tanners, and leather workers. Born to a noble Roman family in the 3rd century AD, Saints Crispin and Crispinian, twin brothers, fled persecution for their faith, winding up in Soissons, where they preached Christianity to the Gauls and made shoes by night. Their success attracted the ire of Rictus Varus, the governor of Belgic Gaul, who had them tortured and beheaded c. 286. In the 6th century, a church was built in their honor at Soissons.You may not know about the Catholic feast day, but I hope you know about the most famous speech from Shakespeare's Henry V, the St. Crispin's Day Speech. I posted that speech back during the Battle of Fallujah in 2004. Today I am reminded of the appeasers and the "cut-and-run" crowd by this famous line:
The feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian is October 25. However, these saints were removed from the liturgical calendar (but not declared to no longer be saints) during the Catholic Church's Vatican II reforms.
The reasoning used by Vatican II for this decision was that there was insufficient evidence that Saints Crispin and Crispinian actually existed. Indeed, their role as shoemakers, their relationship as twins, and the timing of their holiday are suggestive of the possibility that they could have represented a local Celtic deity (Lugus-Mercurius) which had been made into a saint as a result of syncretism. [links omitted]
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,Celebrate St. Crispin's by watching Kenneth Branagh recite the Bard's poetry:
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
And let's not forget too, that 62 years ago was day three of the biggest naval battle in history, the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
A few weeks ago, I had some fun at NASCAR's expense, asking, "Notice there's no real good NASCAR poetry out there?" Believe me, there's not (I looked. Lord, how I looked!) and I doubt there ever will be.
I state this because NASCAR isn't a sport that lends itself to poetry. I realize there is strategy and drama and winners and losers, but the sport in and of itself isn't poetic. In fact, NASCAR and poetry are so far apart, the thought of combining the two was turned into a joke at The Specious Report. Take a look at NASCAR haiku, as printed in that article:
Pit crew watches, waits;
Tire tread and ashpalt embrace
Sweet sigh of relief.
NASCAR will never produce a Casey at the Bat. Name a situation in NASCAR with the drama of being down by one or two in the bottom of the ninth, where one swing of the bat leaves you the hero or (in Casey's case) the goat. Not to say there's no drama in NASCAR, but sneaking up on someone on the last lap just isn't the same.
Kids can't really "play" NASCAR, while lots of kids play football, baseball, basketball...you get the idea. NASCAR will never inspire anything like How To Play Night Baseball.
But still, some try. I suspect T. is a very nice person--the kind of person who'll give you the shirt off her back, invite you to her house & feed you until you can't move, and make you feel like a friend you've known since the day you were born. I kind of feel bad about making fun of her poetry.
I mean, she has a poem to her pets on her page! Anyone with pets is OK in my book. But take a look at this:
A Prayer For The Drivers
This is a prayer to say before every race begins
To keep all the drivers safe and God bless whoever wins
So bow your heads with me, and together we will ask
That God protect every driver for each and every lap...
"Dear God in heaven we ask you to watch over this track
and keep these drivers safe and sound for every single lap
watch them and protect them with your caring watchful eye
and bless them each and every time a green flag lap goes by
we pray there are no cautions because of a crash
and let them continue to race this race until the very last
so which ever driver makes his way to Victory Lane
we, the fans, know you heard our prayer
and blessed us all the same...
Umm...OK. This is a nice sentiment (although every time I read God bless whoever wins I want to continue The rest of you LOSERS can go to hell! ) but the meter is generic (when it's not blown completely), the rhyming is forced at times, and it almost sounds as if it was produced by the head of the Prom comittee who's about to blow her own deadline or something...I dunno. Bad poetry leads to bad analogies.
October 24, 2006
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