Thursday, March 31, 2005

To the Least of These

I wanted to make a final post on Terri Schiavo, and I wanted to take my time in deciding everything I needed to say. There are a number things that need to be put down in writing for myself if no one else. This was personal.

Let me start with a confession. I first wrote about Terri Schiavo in 2003 when Michael Schiavo won a court battle to have his wife’s feeding tube removed. At the time, I applauded the ruling. I drew no distinction between a feeding tube and say, a ventilator. That distinction is that removing a ventilator is allowing a person to die. Removing a feeding tube is killing a person. Now, I am still in favor of living wills and DNRs. My DNR wishes are everything short of putting a pillow over my face is hunky dory. But I was wrong at the time, and have since written about Schiavo in an attempt to make amends for it.

I have friends at the ACLJ who have been researching and drafting amicus briefs frantically on her behalf for two weeks now. If life had not taken such a tragic turn in my health, I might be up in Virginia, too, fighting the good fight.. But I’m not. I’m just a lowly blogger with fewer weapons in my arsenal than ever before. It’s been futile, as I knew in my heart of hearts it would be, but I needed to speak on Terri’s behalf. Yes, I am going to start referring to her by her first name. I think the fa├žade of dispassionate legal and ethical discourse on my part has been lifted by now.

Remember Silence of the Lambs? Clarice Starling is trying to save a kidnapped girl from a serial killer, and she doesn’t have much time to find her. She works with Hannibal Lector, the serial killer’s psychiatrist, in forming a psychological profile of the serial killer. Lector plays with Starling’s mind throughout the process. He forces her to reveal a story, from which the movie’s title comes from, about hoe she wound up living on a distant relative’s ranch after her father is killed.

You see, one night she is awakened by lambs screaming. She doesn’t know what they are afraid of, but she decides to rescue one of them. She quickly realizes that she can’t. She has no food, no water, it’s very cold, and the lamb is too big for her to carry. So she goes back to the ranch with it. She tells lector that sometimes, even now, she wakes up in the middle of the night to the sound of those lambs screaming. To this Lector replies, “And you believe if you save this girl, you can make the lambs stop screaming?”

Yes, I suppose I did, too. Today the incapacitated and disabled are in more danger than they were a year ago.

I’ve been disabled all my life. I’ve clawed tooth and nail to get to where I want to go in life, and you know what I’ve been met with? A contradiction. Even those who liked me and thought they were doing me a favor would heap praise upon me for the smallest of day to day accomplishments, and dismiss me entirely for a routine screw up academically or personally. Like I was deluding myself, or didn’t deserve to be there. A silly little cripple jockeying for a seat at the grown up table. I’ve often thought that was just axe grinding on my part. It’s not.

A new poll indicates that 54% of Americans thought pulling Terri’s feeding tube was mericul. Merciful. If a disabled woman starves to death, so what? What value does she have. Better to get her out of the way and make room for people that matter. Well even forget that. We didn’t just let her die. We killed her. We killed her in one of the most painful ways to go--we dehydrated her on national TV and over half of us think it was merciful! I’ve had many people say they admire me for just getting out of bed in the morning. I smile, and say thanks, like the humble little cripple they want me to be, and rage on the inside. You don’t think my life is worth living, huh?

You know the phrase, “they don’t take your rights away all at once, they take them little by little?” The same goes for people’s attitudes. You may think that comment to me above is a compliment. No, it is a revelation of the embers of a benign prejudice that quickly can inflame the public. I visited Dachau in 2002 . You know what struck me the most about that concentration camp? It was across the street from a neighborhood. There were kid’s swing sets down the block from gas chambers and ovens. Dads herded people to their deaths, then went home to kiss their children and find out how their day at school were.

It only takes one little push.

You don’t notice that push until it’s too late. Fifteen years ago, assisted suicide was unthinkable. Dr. Kevorkian is in prison for aiding terminally ill patients kill themselves. His lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger could only manage less than 40% of the vote in the 1998 Michigan governor’s race in no small part because of his association with the case. Now look. Assisted suicide is state law in Oregon and 54& of people think starving a disabled woman is a great idea. Not all at once, a little at a time.

Geofrey Fieger ran for governor as a Democrat. He was embraced by the state party despite his association with assisted suicide. Heck, maybe because of it. . I guarantee that by 2012, 2016 at the latest, infanticide will be part of the Democratic ticket. Just like abortion, there will be some conservatives who will embrace it themselves. Mark my words. It happens in several European countries, Like the Netherlands. It’s called “progressive” and “enlightened” there. It won’t be long before Americans call it that, too.

One little push.

I am in poor health now. I’m half blind, diverticulitis is ravaging my colon, and I have one partially functioning kidney on top of my physical disabilities. I’ve been effectively taken out of the rat race I speny my entire young adult life trying to join. Maybe that is a confirmation that everyone else was right and I was wrong. Maybe the physically inferior are a waste. I don’t truly think so, but the lambs haven’t stopped screaming. It’s just that no one is listening out for them.

There is one other thing I know about all this, that virtually no one has publicly said. Perhaps it is just another facet of human ignorance. I don’t know. But what I do know, as someone who is in love with words, the Italian term for slave. Do you know what that word is?

Schiavo.
Momento Mori

Terri Schiavo is dead.
A House Divided

Robert Novak recounts in his latest colmun that a number of left leaning Republicans have forced Speaker hastert to hold a floor vote on stem cell research funding in exchange for their support on the budget bill. The vote will likely happen in July, and it will be a unique oppurtunity for politicos to view the small conservative coalition's factions in action.

Every party has factions. The Democrats are balkinized, in fact. one of the reasons it is fairing so porrly in elections is its competing factions labor unions, identity politics, feminists, and Great Society aficinadoes compete with one another for limited resources when each thinks its own cause is the holiest. It makes organizing a win a hair pulling experience just keeping every happy.

Republicans really only have two major factions; the pro business wing and the social, often Christian conservatives. Its an easy alliance. The business wing generally doesn't care what social policies the country has as long as it doesn't cost them anything. conversely, social conservatives realize a robust economy is the key to a strong, healthy nation and support pro business causes. rarely does this alliance conflict.

it will in july, however. The pro life conservatives will take a stand against stem cell embryonic research, because (and rightly so, I might add) research with adult stem cells have the same results as embryonic cell research while bypassing the moral concerns. the business wing wants the funding because it will mean a (perceived) boost in research and development windfalls. The bill is likely to pass both the house and senate, but will most certainly receive Bush's first veto of his persidency, which should have come much earlier on a few spending bills, but that's just my opinion. There will be a nasty flooe debate regardless between the GOp factions, and the country will have a front row seat.
Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

The eye opening and chilling Analysis of the Personality of Adolf Hitler by Cornell University in 1943 has been released online. The analysis was comissioned by the predecessor to the CIA and declassified several years ago. It's a long read in PDF format, but definitely worth your time, even if you aren't a World War II history buff like me.
Lost Tidbit

Boone did get a response last night on the radio. According to the close captioning, the radio voice stated: "There were no survivors of Flight 815." This may add fuel to the idea that the island is some sort of Purgatory for the castaways.

A tip of the hat goes out anonimously for the heads up. Thanks. :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Lost--"Deux Ex Machina"

Tonight's episode is a Locke-centric one, exploring more of his background. We get hints that he is nott the stoic, no nonsense guy we take him for. Instead, his emotional detachment stems from past betrayal. locke is on a quest for meaning and acceptance, and believes he will find it on the island. The island seems to be favoring Locke as well.

The episode begins with Locke and Boone attempting once again to open the mysrerious metal hatch using a device that would make Wile E. Coyote green with envy. The device fails and shatters to pieces. Locke doesn't notice one of the pieces lodges in his leg until Boone points it out. Locke realizes he is losing feeling in his legs. The miraculous healing of his paralysis, occuring when the castaways first crashed on the island, is wearing off.

Locke tries to keep it a secret from Boone as they work together to open the hatch. Locke has a vision. he sees a plane crashing, then sees Boone covered in blood from a serious injury. In the vision, Boone chants, "Theresa goes up the stairs, Theresa falls down the stairs." Locke mentions Theresa to Boone to proof the vision was true. Boone reveals Theresa was the name of his nanny, who fell down a flight of stairs while serving at his beck and call as a child.

This convinces Boone to help Locke search for the plane, even though locke can barely move. they find the plane, exactly as it was in the vision, crashed on a cliff. Boone enters and finds it was a smuggling heroin from Nigeria. He finds nothing of value, but tries the radio. He gets some response, just as the plane topples over the side. Locke seems to recover from his paralysis, and in a panic carries the severely wounded Boone to jack. At the end, locke rages at the island for what happened, just as the hatch starts to glow.

in the flashback sequennces, Locke is working in a toy store when a strange woman approaches, announcing she is his mother. Over coffee, she claims he had no father--he was a virgin birth. Locke doesn't buy it and hires a PI to find his real dad. The PI does, and the two hit it off when they meet. By "accident" Locke discovers his dad needs a kidney transplant and offers him one of his. His dad disappears after the transplant surgery, but Locke's mother returns to tell him it was all a scam. His dad paid locke's mom to lure him out so he could get the life saving transplant. Locke is devasteted.

This was one of the best episodes of the season, as Locke's character gets fleshed out. We also see the island has plans for him, as his paralysis prevented him from getting on the plane, but went away after the plane fell of the cliff. It is not vlear, but Boone may now be paralyzed. Executive producer J.J. Abrams has revealed a character will die in the season finale. Internet rumors abound that it is Boone, but that seeems too obvious at the moment. Smart money is on Kate.

One bone to pick. Locke's mother doesn't actually say he was a virgin birth. She means that, but she refers to him as an immaculate conception. I'm a good Protestant and don't buy this Catholic theologicakl point, but I do like accuracy. the "immaculate conception" is actually Mary's birth, as Catholics believe she was born without the taint of Original Sin. The writers were surely meant that Locke was a virgin birth instead.

Rating: ***** (out of 5)

Accurate Catholic theology from a Calvinist, political commentary, and the best the cathode ray tube has to offer.. Man, you get it all when you visit Eye of Polyphemus.
Drudge Headlines

Stewardess Comes to Michael Jackson's Rescue

Jacko: I was virgin till 32

Totally unrelated headlines, but funny nonetheless.
Johnnie Cochran (1937-2005)

Famed attorney Johnnie Cochran dies of a brain tumor. I admit I didn't particularly like Cocochran. I think he took an easy way out when formulating his defense for OJ and cynically played the race card. Recall, "If it does not fit, you must aquit." Simple, but effective, even though it could have easily been disputed by the prosecution. In my own cynicism, I have to be impressed that he concocted such a ridiculous conspiracy theory and sold it to the jury hook, line, and sinker. Why he didn't throw in the Brooklyn Bridge and the Eiffel Tower to sweeten the deal, I'll never know.

In all seriousness, he did what a good defense attorney should do. I don't fault him for it. Part of what he did was to manipulate the media in order to soften up potential jurors. again, that's part of being a good defense attorney. Cochran was also involved Geronimo Pratt's exhoneration. Say what you have to, but in my estimation freeing a wrongly accused political prisoner who has spent decades of his life in prison is an act of grace.

Cochran inflamed racial passions, probably for the worst, but I am confident that there is a sizable number of black kids sitting in law schools right now that would not be if they hadn't heard of Johnnie Cochran. If nothing else, Cochran deserves a tip of the hat for that.

He died of a tumor; that's no rumor.

(Sorry. Had to do it.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Mending Fences

Sen. Russ Feingold travels to Alabama in order to mend fences after statements he made in a Salon article. Feingold referred to the city of Greenville, Alabama as nothing but “check-cashing stores and abject trailer parks, and some of the hardest-used cars for sale on a very rundown lot."

On his inital trip to Alabama, Feingold was there to play golf. His return trip is to not only mend fences for his ungrateful remarks to the town that hosted him, but to determine why Democrats aren't doing better in Southern elections. He could save himself--who am I kidding--he could save the taxpayers travel expenses by reading his own article and figuring it out that way.

But Feingold is considering a run for president in 2008, and needs to discover what these "red staters" he hears so much about actually are. It will be to no avail. First, Southerners have long memories when it comes to insults. Second, in the race for the Democratic presidential nod, Feingold will never see anything but Hillary Clinton's backside. Which is a scary thought in and of itself.

All that said, I've been to Alabama. I rode through there in 2003 on my way to Dallas. It is indeed a place old roaches go to die. Maybe I'm bitter because a diner waitress yelled at me, when I ordered a small orange juice and she just brought me a little OJ in a tall glass. I am a fan of irony, so I pointed this out, and discovered Alabamans have no appreciation for irony. They are no nonsense folks, as Feingold has discovered.

That eliminated any chance I had of visiting Hank Williams' mansion in Montgomery, too. I shoot my mouth off way too much.
Cat Shoots Owner

Yeah right:

BATES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A man cooking in his kitchen was shot after one of his cats knocked his 9mm handgun onto the floor, discharging the weapon, Michigan State Police said.

Joseph Stanton, 29, of Bates Township in Iron County, was shot in his lower torso around 6 p.m. Tuesday, the state police post in Iron River reported. He was transported to Iron County Community Hospital.

Michelle Sand, a spokeswoman at the Iron River hospital, said Stanton was treated there before being transferred to Marquette General Hospital for further treatment. But Marcie Miller, a representative of the Marquette facility, said there was no record of the hospital receiving a patient by that name.

A telephone message seeking comment was left Wednesday at Stanton's home.

State police said he was cooking at his stove when the cat knocked the loaded gun off the kitchen counter behind him.

Place your bets, ladies n' gents. Was it a drug deal gone bad? Gambling debts? Jilted girlfriend? Dumb suicide attempt? Whatever it was, you'd think this fellow could have come up with a better story than to blame it on his cat. (Original link)
America's 2004 Human Rights Record

More accurately, America's 2004 Human Rights record as compiled by China. The United States has been critical of China's human rights practices (and rightly so) for decades. In retaliation, China examines the US, and finds it comes up short in many ways. The ChiComms even offer us some words of advice:

"Instead of indulging itself in publishing the "human rights country report" to censure other countries unreasonably, the United States should reflect on its erroneous behavior on human rights and take its own human rights problems seriously."

China has been doing this sort of thing for six years now, and it is nothing more than a cynical attempt to rationalize it's own terrible record of human rights abuse. The report's conclusion is that the US, being guilty of human rights abuses, should stop criticizing other countries. That conclusion seems to rest on the view that criticism of human rights abuses is nothing but a way of harrassing another country--so that China is really telling the US, "Hey, lay off, or I can do the same to you." That view implies human rights have no real importance and no one ought to stand up for them.

It is a no brainer, as the wise men say, to diateguish the US's value on exposing and eliminating human rights abuses than China's. it is possible to worry about equivalency on two levels. Individual equivalency is saying that every human rights abuse is bad, whether it happens in China or the US -- I don't think anyone disagrees. Abuses should be fought wherever they exist. On the other hand, to say the two countries are systemicly equivalent is to be blind.

China has neither an independent justice system nor basic guarantees of human freedom, let alone a democratic government. China's abuses are secret, while the US, for the most part, has mechanisms for exposing its abuses, whether governmental or the free press. The result is that China's list looks particularly like a parody when it quotes US agencies that are designed to combat human rights problems. For example, the report says: "The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the United States received 29,000 complaints in 2003 of racial bias in the workplace." This is an indication that a mechanism exists to correct bias, rather than an argument that the US is abusing human rights. Only a totalitarian country would believe that admitting problems is a bad thing.

The goal is not to be "better than China" but it is to set up mechanisms for social justice or democratic social change, rather than pretend that having social problems is somehow a blanket condemnation of the US. We are fortunate we can live in a country in which we can open the New York Times and read a luandry list of what's wrong with the US. In China, they are not so lucky.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Unknown Holocaust

Back in the sunny days before I went nearly blind and my colon began rotting out from under me, I was a Senior Editor of the Regent Journal of International Law. In that capacity, I had the oppurtunity to read many submitted articles regarding the massacres in Darfur. Some articles called for bringing Sudanese military and political leadership before the International Criminal Court. others advocateed war crimes tribunals, like in Rwanda or the former Yugoslavia.

(Both tribunals were held under the authority of the UN, even though it was UN inactiion that allowed both situations to get out of hand. But I digress, as I am apt to do.)

Because of my failing health, I have returned home and lack the law school's resources. But now I have resumed following the genocide (or "genocide," as the Clinton Administration referred to it) more fully. It deserves more attention than it is getting, and by reading Coalition for Darfur, you can help spread the word about this tragic event largely ignored by the international community.
Jeb For VP?

The insiders effort to slide Florida Gov. Jeb bush into the VP slot for 2008 is taking a few hits over the Schiavo affair. The Christian Right, which seems to have a sizeable influence in northern Florida, are protesting the Governor's--and the president's lack of intervention on Schiavo's behalf. That could spell trouble across the country, as the Christian Right has a long memory and jeb wouldn't be one of their top choices regardless. They'd much prefer Sen. Frist or Gov. Huckabee of Arkansas.

But the GOp likes its patrirachs. With the exception of 1996, a Bush has been on the GOP ticket in every presidential election since 1980. While it is difficult to predict the presidential candidate, much less the VP (who would have guessed in 1997 Cheney would be on the 2000 ticket? or even in 1999, for that matter.) but my guess is the GOp fears an upstart Like Guiliani or Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts may steamroll through the nomination process. Both are pro choice and soft on gay rights two positions that do not fly well with the conservative base.

Whenever someone comes from out of the establishment in DC, there is usually a push for an insider on the ticket. Gov. Carter took Sen. Mondale, Gov. Clinton took Sen. Gore, Gov. Reagan took the elder Bush. It seems likely another Bush may be pushed into sevice--if he can survive the audition.
Be Prepared

The next logical step in living wills.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Scrabble

I have dowloaded a version of Scrabble and have been playing all weekend. The computer opponent has whipped my hiney badly on several occasions with its outstanding vocabulary. Did you know "zeka" is the term for an inmate in a Soviet gulag? I did not. Unfortunately the computer *was* aware of this little tidbit. That's all right, though. "Ennui" and "quarrel" gave that overbuilt thesaurus a thrashing it won;t soon forget.
The Great Escape

One of my favorite actors, Steve McQueen, would have turned 75 this week. mt favorite of his films are The getaway, Papillon, and Bullitt,the movie that established the car chase as an action movie staple. His best movie is probably The Great Escape, if for no other reason than the memorable scene of jumping the fence with the motorcycle.

Speaking of great escapes, my sister's Yorkshire terrior has committed one of her own. We keep Lexi in a playpen in the living room so she doesn't have run of the house when we can't be--how to be delicate--on Poop Patrol. Now, i'm here all day because of my health, so i keep her in most of the time because, frankly, I despise dogs. They are pack animals and I dislike anyone without a sense of individuality. The dog spends most of her time trying to climb the side of the pen while the cat sits nearby and taunts her.

Well, the dog has finally figured out how to go over the side of the pen. it's actually more like falling over the edge with a plop, but she can do it with such consistentcy than I must call it a new skill. Lexi, the dog, has learned about the power of gravity, as she has taken a nosedive from my easy chair into the trashcan on several occasions. She is more Evel Knievel than Albert Einstein.

I have to assume the cat was watching Lexi the first time, as Boo immediately ran into my run, panicked.

"You didn't tell me she could do that!" Boo grumbled.

"I didn't know she could." I responded.

"Well this honks." she declered.

"Indeed."

Now I am on permanent Poop Patrol whether I want to be or not, and i have to deal with a pouting cat--when he doesn't have a yorkie hot on his tail, that is. I wonder if Steve McQueen had problems like this?
Happy Easter!

Remember this day isn't about a rabbit.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Proof America is Winning the War on Terror
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Al Quaeda recruiting efforts are getting desperate.
They Just Don't Get It

Let me deal more with my previous point. It may strike one as frivolous, but since television is the new opiate of the masses, it pays to keep an eye on the philosphy behind much of those good old phospher dots people suck in up to seven hours a day.

Now, I'm not being paranoid when I say the creative output of Hollywood is largely guided by liberals. Creative types tend to be free thinkers and free thinker like lofty social policies. it's only natural that socialization is going to emerge in creative projects, even if they studios they work for a capitalistic coporations. this is a world where George Soros blasts Dick Cheney's business interests while being financial partners with him in the Charlyle Group. 'Tis a world of contradiction and hypocrisy.

What i do blast is the cluelessness of those creators. To wit: The West Wing. I like this show, as I've said before, out of respect for the talents of Aaron Sorkin and John Wells. The current season is covering the primaries to choose a new president. The GOP candidate, Sen. Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda) has essentially swept the GOP primaries. What's the problem with that? Plenty. The writers want to make a republican palatable, so what do they do? They make him a pro choice atheist.

(Digression: Vinick never comes right out and says he's an atheist. Instead, he has read the Bible and rejects the laws set forth in Leviticus as barabaric and something a true, loving God would not aadvocate. This is a typical atheist argument, ignoring that the law applied only to Israel to keep them separate from the pagans, and has been fulfilled by Christ's coming. Or that it is in many ways more progressive than the Code of Hammarabi. I never get into thid discussion with atheists, though. If they don't belive in God in the first place, why should they question his morality? You don't hear Christians whine that unicorns are flaky and eat salad with the wrong fork, do you? End of digression.)

No Republican with that baggage is going to get the GOP nod, but liberals just can't comprehend that. Featuring conservative republicans on a TV show is akin to making Nazis into heroes as far as the creators are concerbed. It is ridiculous and sad that Hollotwood can't even wrap their minds around what a conservative actually is: as decent a human being as the kindest member of the Left. But they can only produce caractures of conservatives and call it representative.

Hollywood should be advised to watch Rudolph Guiliani roll through the Southern and Heartland primaries in two years and learn how a liberal Republican falls flat on his face in seeking the presidential nomination. Then they might actually begin to understand flyover country.
Moments of Transition

Upon reflection, I think this whole Terri Schiavo (I've finally spelled her first name right after all this time. Mea culpa for the past.) is a pivotal moment in the body politic. It is no cliche that this incident will be a defining historical moment for both the Left and Right.

I wondered in print here why the left is so eager to see Schiavo die. Yes, it is so the public at large will move on to other things, as people do even after the most tragic individual stories, (Matthew Sheppard, anyone?) but that is only a cover for the real reasons. There are two of them.

First, the Left does not want to put a face on the Right to Life Argument. It is not in the best interest of abortion rights activists to have people examine their views on the sanctity of life. Such a discussion risks calling attention to what a barbaric practice abortion is. Here we are watching a helpless woman starve to death. It would only take a few to draw the parallel to a baby's death in the womb before minds start changing. Second, saving Schiavo would be an affront to judicial supremacy. The courts are the last weapon in the liberal arsenal for forcing a progressive agenda on an "ignorant" public that won't accept the agenda through the ballot box.

I can't pull any punches here. The Left is willing to sacrifice this woman, giving her a horrible death, to preserve its agenda. While I admire the ones who have rejected the need for Schiavo's death, I am dismayed by the rest, the majority, who persist in the "Holy Cause" of progressivism. Where is the compassion in what the Left is doing? Is not their mantra, "Let me help?"

Listen, if someone says to you, "I'm from the government. I'm here to help," you need to pack up your family and head for the hills. They are about to tax you into the Stone Age and pull your feeding tube if you don't cooperate.

It isn't any easier for the Right. Chief Justice Rehnquist will not serve much longer, if he returns to the bench at all. The Right needs to keep the right to life debate in the public eye. While future Supreme Court cases are going to emphasize privacy rights, there has to be a pro life justice to replace any vacancies. No, I don't think Roe will ever be overturned, especially after Casey, but the priciple is there and you never know the opportunities that may arise. The Left knows this, and needs Schiavo to just go away. The right cannot let that happen.

Gov. Jeb Bush is the man on the front lines right now. if he does not save Schiavo, and i believe he will not, he can forget any presidential hopes, or even the more likely VP nod he'd get in 2008. He will be haunted by the question, "What about Terri?" the entire campaign. The entire GOP may be haunted by that question through the 2008 elections.

Appreciate the moment. A small, brain damaged women who cannot move or feed herself is shaping American history for the next 20 years. There is no such thing as "insignificant."

Friday, March 25, 2005

Sexual Moments in Video Game History

Oh, dear.
Masters of the Universe Mini Comics

I never cared much for He man. I was much more into G.I Joe and transformers, but i did like comic books.

(Digression: Relating to comics, I really liked the brief period of time when super hero action figures were being made in the early '80'. The Super Powers Collection was the best. the first round of figures were the big guns--Superman, Batman, Flash, et al. but the second round was a fanboy's dream of second tier characters that only comic fans would have liked--Martian manhunter, Red Tornado, Cyborg, et al. Because of their obscurity, the line tanked.

Marvel had the same problem with their Secret Wars line. The first tier, with the likes Spider Man, Captain America, and Dr. Doom sold well. The second tier of Daredevil and the Hobgoblin did not. So poor comics fans never got the massive assorted line of DC and Marvel action figures they always wanted because the public at large didn't care for characters popular with real comics fans. For this, I lament. End of digression.)

My cousin was into He Man, and hed every toy respresentative you could think of. By virtue of that, he had doubles and triples of those mini comics that came packaged with the figures. When we visited my cousins in Florida one year, he gave me his extras. I thanked him profusely. A gift is a gift, after all.

On the plane ride home, I thumbed through them and was impressed to recognize the artistic styles of creators I knew from regular comics. When I read the stories, I noticed the writing styles were familiar, too. It turned out to be a pleasant gift.

That memory came back to me as I just found a link to the Masters of the Universe Mini Comics Archive

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Other Side of the Coin

I offer as a counter point to my post last night Robert Novak's observations on the Congressional action last Sunday on behalf of Terri Schiavo. In short, he thinks Congress' actions were genuine and crossed party lines. Perhaps his insider's view is more fair than mine.

What stood out to me? Ralph Nader's bewilderrment that it is illegal to starve a dog, but not a human.
James Nachtwey, War Photographer

"I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated." --James Nachtwey
The Jurassic Perk of Foresight

Remember earlier when I predicted, almost jokingly, that armies of the future would be Terminators riding on genetically cloened dinosaurs? Well, here is the very beginnings of that.

Scientists have extracted organic compounds from a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex bone. Can Jurassic Park be in the near future? Would PETA flip out if it was? Could a T. Rex eat their executive board just for good measure anyway?

It wasn't difficult to predict the Supreme Court would not hear the Schiavo case. It was a surprise to predict this whole Dino affair. I may change my name from Jamie to Swami and start working on lotto numbers next.
Solar Death Ray

Eat your hearts out, Darth Vader, Dr. Doom, and Stewie Griffin--although I am a bit miffed at choosing a Hootie & the Blowfish tape as a target.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Mark the Occasion

Remember this, because it will likely never happen again: I agree with Alan Dershowitz.

The noted Harvard law professor is correct in view on the Schiavo case. He says that there is no pronderance of evidence that Terri Schiavo ever made her wishes clear about life sustaining measures should she become incapacitated. Because of this lack of evidence, the state of Florida should have erred on the side of life.

So why is Terri being starved to death? Because of a consensus among a growing number of judges that simply interpreting existing laws is not enough. They view the role of the judiciary is to 'help people," whether the law is on their side or not. Many judges have tossed aside the rule of law because of personal political viewpoints. The judges would want their own plugs pulled, so Schiavo must want hers as well. That's not the way these things are decided.

Something else that irks me about this whole csituation is that the tube has not been put back in while everyone is waiting for all proceedings to conclude. The execution of a condemned prisoner is stayed right on up until the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case. But not terri Schiavo. not only are people killing her, but are in a cotton picking hurry to do. It's baffling.

Speaking of the Supreme Courtt, i would be shocked if they hear Schiavo's case. they have already decided there a terminal patient has a right to refuse life sustaining treatment and next term will dedide on doctor assisted suicide. They will not rule on Schiavo before that decision comes down.

I guess it is safe to say this now: the Republicans in Congress were grandstanding this weekend in order to appeal to their pro life base, and it worked beautifully. Sen. Martinez earned his GOP stripes in Florida, Sen. Frist had a way to emphasize his medical background for his presidential bid, Bush appealed to the Christian base without being too overtly religious, and the Democrats look even more anti-life by arguing against the Bill. the beauty of the whole thing is that it was thrown into the hand of the judiciary, in which the GOP wouldn't take the heat it the tube were not put back in, and could be heroic for passing the bill if the tube were put back in.

The more I think about it, I can't decide what's saddest about this whole affair.
For True Science Fiction Buffs

Jules Verne died exactly one hundred years ago. Take a look at how much of his science fiction is now science fact.
Kids of the '90's Got Gypped

Continuing with a theme, kids of the '90's wuz gypped. We of the'80's generation got so much better stuff then you guys n' gals were subjected to in toys, TV, and movies.

Take TV. You guys get barney the Purple Dinosaur, Power Rangers, and Pokemon. We got thirty minute commercials posing as cartoons, like G. I. Joe and Transformers. That's right. Parammilitary terrorist organizations and giant robots trying to take over the world. Save the planet and fill out your Christmas list at the same time. The 90's just couldn't compete.

Boy, did we ever fill out our Christmas lists. We went from Star Wars to G.I. Joe to Transformers. What about the Clinton Era Kids? You went from Ninja Turtles to Treasure Trolls to Tickle me Elmos. You kids actually regressed! We get BMX Racing bikes. You get lousy skateboard to skin your knees with. Who faired best, I ask you?

Let's not forget movies. We had the Empire Strikes Back You had The Phantom Menace Meesa don't know nuthin' 'bout watchin' no good Star Wars movies. Remember ET, Indiana Jones flicks, Back to the Future, and Batman? In the '90's you got a talking pig. That's about it.

I could go on about music, but there is no need. Duran Duran, early Madonna, and Big hair Metal versus New Kids on the Block, MC Hammer, and Britney Spears doesn't even merit contemplation. Oh, the humanity!

There is one things that makes '80's kids rock that I hope '90's kids never have to compete with. It's my generation that has liberated Iraq, destroyed the Taliban, and is hunting Bin Laden. We were told we were a bunch of ingnorant, lazy, slackers who would never amount to anything. We proved them wrong, and answered the clarion call when it was sounded.

Yes, it's official: kids of the '80's rock.
More My Speed

Bugs Bunny battles Imperialist Japan and Donald duck learns the evils of Nazism. Yes, it's banned cartoons. Sure, some of these may go a little too far by today's standrads, but not by 1930's-40's standards. As a history buff, I can appreciate the reflection of the times ib which the cartoons were made. Give kids some credit. They can, too.

Nevertheless, networks are getting squeamish and taking things to extremes, such as banning that imfamous promoter of the "lazy Mexican" stereotype, Speedy Gonzales.

I've never been a big advocate of the "I'm Mad As Heck and I Want to Ban Something" school of thought. banning things you don't like is no substitute for good parenting. Teach your kids about World War II. Explain to them that racial stereotypes and slurs sre wrong to use. But for heaven's sake, let us have our cartoons back!

I promise, we won't drop an anvil on anyone.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Attention, Please

I do not like Fraggle Rock, and I never have. I am aware this makes me a child of the '80's only by virtue of birth timing, and I am okay with that.
Denied

Federal Judge Rules Againsy Reinserting Feeding Tube: Terri Shiavo only has days to live.

I have to wonder, considering the nationaal attention that was brought to the situation, whether Michael Schiavo thinks this was all worth it. let's face it: he wanted Terri to die so he could remarry and perhaps collect an insurance policy. (I recall rumors of that last year, but have heard no mention since then.) But now his attempt to get rid of his wife ended up with Congressional intervention and a national debate. So much for his quiet little "family affair."

While the public at large will eventually forget all that, there will always be a cloud surrounding Michael Shiavo everywhere he goes.But I have a plan for him that best suits his talents: hr should get the Democratic VP nod in 2008. His running mate should be another Michael: Newdow of remove "inder god" from the Pledge fame.

Think about this: both have terrible records with family values, have no respect for any spiritual beliefs or concerns, and both despise conservatives. I'm not sure if Newdow is pro-choice, but Shiavo's got that covered hands down. Come on--both have lesarned to bypass unwinnable positions in legislatures by heading to judicial made law just like a good Democrat does. Can you think of two people who represent the party better? I can't.

Newdow/Shiavo '08: "For a Progressive Future"

Move over, Hillary. Here's the real ticket for liberals.
The Lord Loveth a Cheerful Giver

Look closely at the Generosity Index for 2004. This index calculates the wealth of state's versus the amount those states donate to charity. Note that the top donor states (those with the most heart) are generally poor, Southern Bush states. The wealthiest states, like California and that bastion of liberalism, Massassachusetts, both of which went for Kerry, are some of the stingiest.

It's time to put the stereotype of the greedy, heartless Republican out to pasture, no?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Democrat Doublespeak

The most popular political guru among Democrats is George Lakoff, a professor of linguistics (He actually is a linguist. I checked, so anyone who tells me he is a bioethicist gets thirty lashes with a wet noodle.) at Berkeley. now just saying berkeley tells you all you need to know, butI will elaborate. Lakoff wrote a book entitled Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate that is making the rounds amongst the progressive intellegentsia.

One of the book's main devotees is Howard Dean, the new head of the Democratic party, who calls Lakoff “one of the most influential political thinkers of the progressive movement.” The book was distributed to hundreds of Democratic congressmen, in the hopes that the "intellectual" agenda can be packaged in a way to appeal to the "simple minded"--voters who are being deceived by Republicans.

The gist of Lakoff’s argument is this: Facts do not matter because people think in frames. If the facts do not fit a frame, the frame stays and the facts bounce off. Thus Democrats can succeed not by changing their views, but by changing their words. All Democrats have to do is successfully change the name for "tax hike" to "public spending increase" and "aborting a baby" to "the fetal material undergoes demise" and it is all instantly palatable to the commonweal.

Sort of.

My major gripe with this is, "What's the point?" Democrats, much more than Repiblicans, *already* nuance their language to hide their agenda. When a republican says he's pro-life, then he is. When a Democrat says he's pro-choice, he is not. he is in fact pro-abortion. Choice implies that one should be free to decide to kill or not kill the child. How many Democrats publically advocate letting the child live? Pretty much none, considering the lest pro-life speaker at a DNC convention was Gov. Bob Casey in 1992. If a choice advocate does not advocate options, then one is not for choice.

It is all too Orwellian for my tastes.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Peaceful Starvation

Does anyone else think these talking head "medical experts," who assure us that Ms. Shiavo's death by starvation will be quite peaceful and painless, would get cranky if they had to wait fifteen minutes for a table at the IHOP?

I'll bet so.
Speaking of Infinity and Jelly Donots

Science fiction is becoming science reality, and for the same reason it always has: the need for more effective ways to kill people in war. The army of the near future will be robots protected by force fields. In response, the nuclear arms race will be passe, as rogue nations frantically try to open black holes to absorb invading robot armies.

Forget Hannibal and his elephants. We are going to have Terminators riding genetically cloned dinosaurs. Beat that, Osama.

(Some links via Heliopolis and Hobbesian Conservative)
Have I Read This Right?

Ladies and gentleman, my retina is detached so I might have read this wrong. Tell me this doesn't say there is a film about Tupac Shakur written by Sylvester Stallone?

If so, it would appear someone has gone back in time, stomped on a bug or some sort, and forever altered the timeline. We need to find exactly who did it, and at one point, so we can go back and fix the problem. Anyone who goes with us must resist the urge to meddle in their own past lives. In fact, you cannot meet your past self at all, or there will be a rip in the space/time continuum that may very well destroy all reality.

Frankly, we should have noticed the timeline was skered when the Red Sox won the World Series. I'd kick myself if I weren't allergic to pain. Anyway, let's get things back to the way they are supposed to be: Stallone in Rambo IV or Rocky VI or Stop, or My Mom Will Shoot II...or...yikes.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Is America Going Broke?

According to the Canadians, the answer is an emphatic, "Yes." The Canucks fear the United States' "inevitable" economic collapse will take their country down, too. Who's to blame for all this? Why, president George W. Bush, of course. Who else?

You see what happens when the NHL has a work stoppage? Our neighbors to the north go all loopy on us. Perhsps they should try smoking some of their legalized pot and mellow out a bit or, better yet, read some John Keynes and learn a thing or two about economics.
Tip Toe Through the TULIPs

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am a Calvinist. More to the point--five of them, actually--I am a TULIP Calvinist. Those five points are:

1. Total depravity (Original Sin)
2. Unconditional election (God's Election)
3. Limited atonement (Particular Redemption)
4. Irresistible grace (Effectual Calling)
5. Perseverance of the Saints

The Five Points of Calvinism offers a fantastic analysis and defense of Calvinist theology.
Lost Rumor

Is anyone else out there following the mucho goodness that is Lost? If so, you will be interested to know executive producer J.J. Abrams has revealed a main character will die at the end of the season. Locke's returning paralysis makes him too obvious a choice, but I wonder....

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Quality of Mercy?
This afternoon, under court order, Terry Schiavo's feeding tube was removed. If she had drowned her five kids like Anrdea Yates, murdered a Philadelphia police officer in cold blood like Mumia, or plotted to kill innocent Americans like the terrorists at Camp X-Ray, then the ACLU would be at her side fighting to the (excuse the term) death as an advocate.

Not for Schiavo, of course. Having a heart attack at the tender age of 26 is an inexcusable crime, and she must be removed from this world. All because her husband has an insurance policy on her that would well pay for the honeymoon for him and his blushing bride to be. That is if he can get his inconvenient wife to just go ahead and die already.

One of the most compeeling arguments for Calvinism is the total depravity of man. I see it all around me, but never so clearly as in this. No, I wouldn't want to live like Terry Schiavo. I don't want to have arthrogryposis, be legally blind, have diverticulitis ravage my colon, and have a permanent colostomy. But those are our lots in life and we have to stick with them. there is no easy way out, and one certainly not kill a person out of greed or convenience and call it mercy.

I'm not letting our justice system off the hook here, either. According to the words of the court order removing the feeding tube, Schiavo cannot be given nutrients or water. that means if she miraculously got up tomorrow, walked to the local Burger King, and bought a Whopper combo, both she and the cashier who gave it to her would be held in contempt for violating a court order.

This is all happening for real. Can you believe it?
Tragic Wake Up Call

Repeat Sex Offender Confesses to Murder of Missing Florida Girl: I'm terribly sorry it had to involve the death of a little girl, but I hope this proves that sex offenders are not being punished and controlled by authorities enough.

This sicko didn't serve enough time, was only under the "watchful" eye of a relative, and had left the state of georgia for days before anyone even knew it. I'm ready to advocate sentences of twenty-five years, and after parole, each parollee gets a new Scarlet Letter (Nah. Spell it out: c-h-i-l-d m-o-l-e-s-t-e-r in bold letters) and chemical castration.

Harsh? Yes, but it is a nasty world, and those who are convicted of not following the rules need to see the errors of their ways. I understand there are underlying issues that can turn someone into a criminal, and there is a value in mercy. But I also understand that those who cannot operate as part of a society, for whatever reason, need to be reoved from it.
When I'm Wrong, I Admit It

A fww posts ago I referred to Dr. Peter Singer as a "crackpot linguist." I have been under the impression he was a linguist since reading an editorial years ago noting his...peculiar...views on infanticide and his new teaching position at Princeton University. I now stand corrected thanks to astute reader Different River. Dr. Peter Singer is not a "crackpot linguist,' but is in fact a "crackpot bioethicist."

I am sorry for the confusion, thank different for the clarification, and apologize to Dr. Singer for associating him with a true academic disclipline, while apologizing to the linguists amongst us for associating you with such a fellow.
Chutzpah

Former major leaguer Jose Canseco writes a best selling book. In this book, he reveals his steriod use. He rats out a number of his teamates' steriod use to makee the book more titillating. Then, when he is called before Coongress to testify on everthing he has *already* revealed, he says he willl only do so if he is given immunity from prosecution.

This isn't just a case of closing the barn door after the horse has gone out. In this case the horse has been out of the barn, won the Kentucky Derby, dated Paris Hilton, put out a rap album, declared bankruptcy, and then found Jesus. It's a little late to be concerned, Jose.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

New Toy

I am coming to you live from my brand new laptop. I was tempted to head over to the Dark Side and get an Apple I-book, but I resisted the urge with all might. I have once again resisted the macintosh plunge, and I am happy I did.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Topsy the Elephant

As the Supreme Court has recently decided in Roper v. Simmons that juveniles cannot recieve the death penalty, it pays to remind folks of a little known dispute over execution methods which was resolved by Thomas Edison publically electrocuting Topsy the Elephant. It worked out well, and New York decided using direct current for the electric chiar was a great idea.

Did you know elephants, like humans, bury their dead in graveyards? I always thought that was a myth. Evidently it is not. Elephants appear to respect each other's lives. Crazy animals.

Anyway, I have to wonder how popular the movie of the execution is at the Coney Island Museum. They'll show it to you, if you ask.
Will China Taiwan On?

This article says no. China has political, financial, and security reasons not to that cannot be ignored because of the 2008 Olympics slated to be held in Bejing.

If China were to invade, this would present a tough situation for the United States, and not just because of strained military resources. Moral issues rarely make a wave in foreign policy circles, so the question mut be confronted whether the US will jeopardize its relationship with the largest potentil market in the world over a small island of 23 million Taiwanese.

Let' hope it doesn't come to that. China will opefully fall prey to the trend of dictatorships falling within a few years of hosting the Olympics. That has happened to Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and, arguably, Yugoslavia. That would bode well for the entire planet. China is emerging as the world power. The 20th Cetury was known as the American Century, but the 21st will eventually belong to China.
West Wing Renewed for Seventh Season

TV Guide lists West Wing as being "on the bubble", but the Hollywood trade papers are reporting Wednesday morning that NBC is about to approve an early seventh-season renewal for the veteran political drama, albeit at a greatly reduced per-episode license fee.

That would carry us through Bartlet's (Martin Sheen)final year in office, probably ending tragically, considering his MS. Quite a few changes are in store, as the main characters will be reduced t recurring roles as the show's emphasis switches to the presidential campaign between Republican Sen. Vinick 9Alan Alda) and Democrat U.S. Rep. Santos (Jimmy Smits), with the winner being the focus of the show after January 2006.

It's no race, really. producers have clearly slated Santos to assume the presidency. For my money, it would be good to see Alan Alda back on TV, if only for half a season. it's also disappointing that AAron Sorkin is no longer around to guide the show as he had so masterfully in the past. It's his writing skill that kept me following the show even while i had to trudge through the naive lieralism that ran rampant through the first five seasons. It hasn't bad as good with ER's showrunner, John Wells, in charge, but I am loyal to a fault, and i want to see the show end strong.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

This Will Come as No Surprise

You're South Carolina!

As far as you're concerned, comparisons made between you and a chicken have been greatly exaggerated. You prefer to think of yourself as a wren, able to belt out a tune when the moment calls for it. You're also inexplicably obsessed with palm trees, though you have been known to cut them down. Part of that whole love/hate obsession business, most likely. Good times never seemed so good.

Take the State Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Sanford 2008?

In a follow up to a previous post, there is a Draft Mark Sanford for President web site.

This could be interesting. Although Sanford has no national name recognition, he has a lot going for him. He's young, a fiscal conservative, somewhat modearte socially while still being pro-life, served in Congress, and is a military veteran from a red state. He'd appeal to the Republican base, and it is not unusual for a Southern governor to come out of relative obscurity to become president.

Besides, the road to the GOP nomination always runs through South Carolina.
Par-tay!

After the distressing news of that last podt, I think we should have a party to keep our spirits up. may I suggest renting out the entire country of Lichtenstein? The nation is available for rent for parties, Bar Mitzvahs, and the like.

"The basic idea is that an entire, small country plays host to a conference with all the various possibilities at its disposal," said Roland Buechel, director of the state tourism agency in Liechtenstein, which covers an area of 60 square miles...
"It is not envisioned to include the prince or government officials," Buechel said.

Ah, there's the catch. I guess if you want to buy public officials, you'll have to stick with U.S. Congressmen. With that in mind, I've got the ice cream. Who's bringing the dip?
Those Devious Nincompoops

Excuse my language, but I have recently discovered that Al Quida, not content wih destroying the World Trade Center and killing mearly 3,000 Americans, have plotted to bring the united states to a screechng halt by kidnapping Russell Crowe. Yes, nothing would cripple this country more than the disappearance of our finest Australian actor since Yahoo Serious.

This wole affair sounds like Muslim terrorists by way of the Marx Brothers. The FBI believes there was no credible threat, and that Crowe is crazier than a barrel full of sqirrels jacked up on green Ny-Quil. Scratc that. that's what I think, not the FBI. but if you asked for a show of hands at Quantico, I don't know....

perhaps Al Quaida should take a cue. Think of the possiilities: detrot the music industry by kidnapping Britney Spears or making the wrong person win American Idol, keep us in the dark about news by taking Jon Stewart, or rendering us all helplessly dpressed by snatching Dr. pil? I shudder to think of the consequences.

Stay strong, America, and they'll never take us alive. Oh, see Gladiator while you're at it. Russell Crowe is good in it.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Presidential Prognostication

I've been doing periodic posts about the latst buzz i hear about candidate wannabes for 2008. I have since added Decision08 to the blogroll, which does the task better than I can. One oddity though: the blog has our Gov. Mark Sanford as a potential candidate at 11-1 odds. This is news to us in the Palmetto State. Take it for what is it worth.
Suffer the Little Children

Doctors for Death: An interesting, but disturbing article on the growing popularity of infanticide in medical circles. The most chilling statistic? Sixty percent of infant mortalities in the Netherlands are intentional! The killing of children is based on a medical decision regarding the value of a child's life? One should ask Dr. Stephen Hawking how he feels about the contributions of the handicapped.

We cannot kill children based on conveniece, people. Professor Peter Singer, a linguist of all things, disagrees:

I use the term “person” to refer to a being who is capable of anticipating the future, of having wants and desires for the future. As I have said in answer to the previous question, I think that it is generally a greater wrong to kill such a being than it is to kill a being that has no sense of existing over time. Newborn human babies have no sense of their own existence over time. So killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living. That doesn’t mean that it is not almost always a terrible thing to do. It is, but that is because most infants are loved and cherished by their parents, and to kill an infant is usually to do a great wrong to its parents.

Sometimes, perhaps because the baby has a serious disability, parents think it better that their newborn infant should die. Many doctors will accept their wishes, to the extent of not giving the baby life-supporting medical treatment. That will often ensure that the baby dies. My view is different from this, only to the extent that if a decision is taken, by the parents and doctors, that it is better that a baby should die, I believe it should be possible to carry out that decision, not only by withholding or withdrawing life-support – which can lead to the baby dying slowly from dehydration or from an infection - but also by taking active steps to end the baby’s life swiftly and humanely.


They don't wear swastikas and goosestep anymore, but the fascists who advocate the extermintion of the so called 'inferior' still walk among us.
Give a Hoot

Holy frijoles! That really is Darius rucker, formerly of hootie and the blowfish, playing a singing cowboy on the lastest burger king commercial. Oh, how the mighty hth fallen. Too bad, really. Hooties and the Blowfish were a bubblegum band, but they had some catchy and fun songs, even if it was difficult to differentiate one from another. i guess y attachment comes from the band hitting it big at the same time I started at the University of South Carolina. the band was formed at USc, and they wore gamecock clothing in concert and in their videos. Their MTV Uplugged concert ws filmed in the center of campus my Freshman year.

The big deal here is that circumstances are making me nostalgic for happier times. of course, seeing Brooke Burke in the commercial, too, makes for happy times. One must recognize bright spots when they present themselves.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Blessed Slence

I have the house all to myself. This is a rare and blessed event worth noting.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Housekeeping

I have selected a new template, since I had the previous one for nearly two years. I have, as a result of the change, lost my inks. If I previously linked to your blog, I'll have a link back on here with due haste. By the same token, if you'd rather be beaten with a sack of doorknobs than be associated with my blogroll, I need to know that, too.

With that said, what do you think of the whole kit and caboodle?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Dire Warning from the Dark Side of the Force

George Lucas insists the last Star Wars movie is not suitable for children. Frankly, George, if it's anything like the last two installments, it's not fit for human consumption period.

Yes, I'll see it anyway. I'm a lemming.
Yes, This is Just for the Obvious Joke

Orlando Mayor Indicted for Absentee Ballot Fraud Now what sort of Mickey Mouse operation is that?
And Now a Word From the 19th Century

Unbelievably, Sen. Robert Byrd gave an interviews last night without the benefit of having any of his handlers about. Now, Alan Colmes, his liberal interviewer certainly kept the kid's gloves on. in fact it was a lot like a conversion between a kid and his senile old coot of a grandfather. Still, considering Byrd's habit of shooting off his mouth publicly (i.e. his use of the term "white nigger" on Meet the Press several years ago) the Democratic Party had to be holding it's breath.

The interview was an attempt to clear up yrd's comparison of the Repeblican's attempt to appoint judges to the federal bench to the Nazi takeover of Germany. I can't even begin to get into the historical ignorance of that comparison, and, as it turned out, neither could Byrd. But the only important thing you should really know is that while the nazis were rounding up Jews, yrd was advocating white supremacy and violence towards blacks. Cnsider who is calling who a Nazi.

You did know the Republican Party was founded by abolitionists, and that its first major acts were the 13th, 14th, and 15th Ammendments to the Constitution? You know, the three Ammendments that have pread more freedom than any words in history? Guess which party opposed all that? Go on. Guess.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Jacko's Jammies

At the most privotal point in the trial thus far, when is accuser tells his side of the story, Jacko feels "ill," comes to court an hour late, and earing his pajamas. His attorney most likely calmly strolled into the courthouse bathroom, jumped up and down a few times, ripped out several clump of hair, ad wished he had taught political acience at UCLA like his mother wanted him to do.

Pediphilia is an abnormal crime, and the more abnormal Jacko acts, the more likely he is to be convicted.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

More Desperate Trekkies

They appear to be clinging on to any shred of hope they can find. It looks like cable network Spike TV could be interested in picking up Enterprise for a fith season. While both TNG and DS9 appear on the network, it seems an odd fit, as Spike bills itelf as a network for men. As in dumb men, who like explosions and wrasslin'. because it's real, ya know. Bt that moon landing thing was fake, and JFK was killed by LBJ.

Take this for what it's wort, but UPN has promoted ads bragging about the viewers that Veronica Mars, Kevin Hill and Star Trek Enterprise has. Interesting that Enterprise had 30,000 more viewers than Kevin Hill and 40,000 more than Mars. I can't imagine the purpose of that, unless it's a warning to Hill and mars fans that their shows may get the ax without more word of mouth promotion from fans.

Finally, I mocked the effort before, but I am somewat impressed now. Three anonymous donors have ponied up three million dollars to TrekUnited to help save Star Trek: Enterprise. They're urging Paramount to look beyond the show's ratings. Asked about their passion for saving the show, they respond that it needs to be saved "for the sake of fan loyalty, for being quality TV, for bringing imagination and hope for a better future to our homes."

Yikes.

Monday, March 07, 2005

By the Numbers

Read the the Arab-Israeli conflict by the numbers. Some of these statistics are frivolous, but interesting nonetheless. Bear in mind before clicking that i am both a Zionist and philosemitic. I do not hide my pr-Jewish bias.
Former Korn Guitarist Baptized in Jordan River

This news came as a pleasant surpise to me. An excerpt:

Former Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch was baptized Saturday in the Jordan River, just weeks after quitting his band, drug habits and rock-and-roll lifestyle for religion.

Welch, a founding member of the multi-platinum band, and about 20 other white-robed Christian pilgrims from a Bakersfield, Calif., church were immersed by their pastor, Ron Vietti.

Welch said the ritual baptism had washed away his anger. “You know when you get angry and it builds up? I felt like hurting someone before, now I feel like hugging people,” he said.

Vietti said Welch — who has “Jesus” tattooed across his knuckles and “Matthew 11:28,” tattooed prominently across his neck — is already attracting a new group of young people to the message of Christianity.

“In recent weeks people have committed their lives to God because they’re so inspired by his story,” Vietti said.

Korn announced Welch’s resignation last month after 13 years with the band. Welch said he had become increasingly depressed and drug-addicted in recent years, but that religion helped him quit.


All right. I'm going to can some of my cynicism and openly admit this country is experiencing a Christian revival. I thought we as a society had fallen way too far fr that to happen. I'm happy to see I was wrong.
All the News That's Fit to Print II

There's bad news for California's governor and any hopes he has of higher office. A new poll shows Arnold Schwarzenegger soundly trailing one of his potential opponents in a general presidential election match-up, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat. The Westhill Partners-Hotline poll, taken Feb. 24 to 27 of 800 registered voters, found Mr. Richardson leading Mr. Schwarzenegger 36 percent to 27 percent. The poll found that 65 percent of respondents opposed amending the Constitution to allow a foreign-born person to be elected president.

So the poll found a foreign born, inelligible candidate defeated an undeclared candidate who has expressed no serious interest in running in the first place. This poll has a margin of error total irrelevance, with apologies to Tina Fey.
All the News That's Fit to Print

Mother Jones magazine recently ran a feature on rising housing costs. An otherwise ordinary article took an extraorniarily peculiat twist. To whit:

"Since 1970, the size of the average new home has ballooned by 50 percent," the publication states, adding that the average new home requires 13,837 board feet of lumber -- 15 percent bigger than models last year.

For whatever reason, the left-leaning magazine then points out: "Rush Limbaugh's Palm Beach [Fla.] estate is worth 15 times the value of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton's Chappaqua, N.Y., home."

And your point is?
Symmetry

If the Mormons are right, then eventually Marie Osmond is going to run her own planet. If that planet has a North and South Pole, then both the planet and its deity will be bipolar.

Convenient.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Gonzo Sans Flock of Chickens

Was Hunter S. Thompson Muderdered in 9-11 Cover Up?; No, but you are wtnessing the birth of a conspirscy theory that will never go away, and it should be noted. i guess now is the time to confess hat I liked Thompson's treatse on the '80's,Generation of Swine and his expose on the first Clinton campaign, Better Than Sex. After reading both, it comes as no shock to me he eventually committed suicide. You can just get a vibe from people who are really going to go through with it.
DeLay That One

There is some buzz that Rep. Denny Hastert is considering retirement from public office, as the contentiousness is wearing on him. Congressional GOP leaders favor Rep. Tom DeLay to replace him as Speaker. Bad move, methinks. DeLay is a firewbrand and has had recent run ins with ethical inquiries, for which he has received favorable teament. He is not a goof choice for Speaker, a job requiring managerial and diplomatic skills.

This is the time where I should suggest a replacement Speaker. My top choice is no longer in the House--Rep. J.C. Watts would have been perfect. Something tells me Rep. Chris Cox isn't in house anymore, either. Why am i thinking that? he would ave been a good choice, too.

One thing is clear, Rep. Delay is not a good choice. He'll get his turn, though. the two things the GOP loves most in eciding its leadership is seniority and legacy. I hope they skip seniority this time, but they will not. i have criticized the Democrats for being out of tuch, now i feel I must criticizr Republicans for being brazen. just because th GOP is in charge, doesn't mean every Republican is going to be acceptable in leadership roles.
The Campbell Legacy

Mike Campbell, son of former Gov. Carroll Campbell, has decided to challenge out current frat boy Lt. Governor, Andra bauer, in the Republican primary. Bravo. bauer won his office at way too early an age, after his Daddy bought him both a State house seat and the Lexington County Senate seat. his inexperience and immaturity have been embarrassing even by Palmetto State standards.

Carroll Campbell is a legend in this state. He singlhandly ended Yellow Dog Democrat voting, established the SC GOP, served as Chairman of the National Governor's Association, was a contender for the VP spot under Dole and both Bushes. Up until being diagnosed with Altheizhmer's (if I could spell it right, I would) he was the kingmaker in South Carolina.

Here's hoping his son carries on the Campbell Legacy.
Banging My Head Against the 'Wall'

The United states Supreme Court heard arguments this week rearding the display of the Ten Commandments on state property. An actual ruling won't be handed down for months, but it will have implications for the entire country, which is the overall goal of the plaintiffs. These are the folks who have convinced us the prase "wall of separation" is in the Constitution and spread of a "Christan agenda," whatever the heck that is.

(I've spent a grand total of 15 years in Christian schools of one sort or another. You can't get them to decide which denomination is the most heretical, much less on one secret agenda to take over the whole country. But I digress.)

The Ten Commandments hve been on the texas courthouse lawn for sixty years without incident, or an affect on the justice meted. This begs the perlpexing question: if the Ten Commandments are removed, if "under God" is taken out of the pledge of Alliegence, and if "In God We Trust" is taken off our currency, what has changed? How is society better?

Does anyone believe atheists get railroaded by by the justice system while Christians get better treatment? When a Christian tosses his five bucks on the counter for a Big Mac and fries, is he indicating his religious botherood, while the atheist's nickles mean nothing?

So I've got to ask, why do secularists spend so much time, energy, and effort into such a meaningless enterprise? My best guess is insecurty, paranoia, and fear. Listening to secularists speaks from various venues hasn't changed my mind about that, either.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Common Sense Conservatism

I have added Advance the Republic to a new section of web links. Check it out.
I'm Syria-ous This Time, Really

It looks like Syria has promised to leave Lebanon in a matter of months. Good news for the Lebanese, who can then go back to doing what they do best--killing each other.

truthfully, this is a positive development and a direct result of the Bush olicy of spreading democracy in the Middle East. Afghanistan, iraq, the palestinian Authority, and now Lebanon are taking their first steps towards towards democracy. even cyics who say the Afghans and iraqis are nly goin through the motions until the Americans get bored and find some other nation to invade cannot dispute the Palestinian Authority and Lebanon.

That hasn't stopped the Democratic party, however, who have pointed out every bit of turbulence as a failure of democracy. To this I ask them, wasn't women's suffrage tubulent? Wasn't the Civil Rights movement turbulent? wasn't lowering the voting age to 18 under turbulent circumstnces? Yes and you cannot disute that those three things promoted democracy, can you?

Yet another example how the Left is not only out of touch with Americans, but with the rest of the world, as well.
Heads Up

A large numbrr of people are searching for "Thad Viers" and finding their way here. Because they are doing so one right after the other, I have to assume there's buzz a'building about the offhand comment I poted. A State Representative should not be so thin skinned, but suc thins occr in nature. so, if any reader strolls by and finds my head on a pike outside the gates of the Citadel, you'll know what happened.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Speaking of Curses

I have killed yet another laptop. Yea, it was slain on the Altar of the Faceless One, Guardian of the Blue Screen of Death. Verily and wellmet. Amen.

Anyhow, I have ordered a new model. I considered briefly getting an Apple, but I have stick with the tried and true. As all I was really looking for was a gloroified typewriter, filing cabinet, and wireless web access, I got it for a song.

I am still uptight that I lost everything. Nifty internet bookmarks that took years to collect, 30+ Simcity metros, 80 pages of a memior, two acts of a stage play I was writin, along with a spec script for Stargate SG-1, which really ticked me off, as I've piddled around with that one since September. Looks like a few more weeks before "War Zone" rears its nerdy head. I won't even mention the short stories, which I fortunately have hard copies.

A fresh start will give me something to do, but i woner how long my bad luck streak will last? I'm afraid to ask what I will lose next.
Looks Like I Spoke Too Soon

The deal to produce the Babylon 5 feature film has fallen through. I probably cursed The Memory of Shadows by mentioning it on my blog.