Thursday, June 30, 2005

Dump Your Rubles, Grab Your Vodka

Moscow is sinking.
The Golden Geese

NASCAR officials fear therir two biggest fan attracting stars--Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.-- may not make the "Race for the Nextel Cup", the racing equivalent of the playoffs. This is considered a big deal because NASCAR's current TV deal is up for renegotiation in 2006. I don't think they have too much to worry about, as last time, FOX and NBC forked over $2.5 billion for the right to air NASCAR races and viewership has grown by leaps and bounds since then.
The Adventures of Captain American Government

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More comic parodies at Apropos of Something.

This comic was ripe for parody. It's a panel from Captain America #338, an issue that was right in the middle of an extremely unpopulat storyline that CA fans still are burnt about almost twenty years later. A few issues before this one, the US government declared that since it created CA, the concept belonged to them. the government offered CA a job as a covert operater for the government. After some soul searching, CA decided his conscious wouldn't let him do any black ops work and let the government have the costume and shield.

This was all a plot by a secret operative of the Red Skull, who made sure the new CA would tarnish everything the old CA stood for. The CA featured above is the emotionally unstable replacement in the middle of what would eventually be a fatal beating for the villian.

The plot worked too well in both the comics and real life. Fans freaked at the Rambo-ish turn their beloved God, mother, and country hero had taken. Eventually, the real CA uncovered the plot, defeated the new CA, and exposed the Red Skull as being behind it all. The old CA returned to the costume and persona, but it took a while for the alienated fans to return as well.
California Scheming

It looks like Arnold might be more like Jesse Ventura than previously thought. A new poll suggests Californians are ready for a new governor. Just 39% of registered voters are inclined to give Arnold Schwarzenegger a second term, while 57% are not. (In February, those numbers were nearly reversed, 56-42 in favor of re-election.) In hypothetical match-ups against the leading Dem candidates, Schwarzenegger trails Treasurer Phil Angelides 46-42, and is behind Controller Steve Westly 44-40. The same Field Poll shows Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) among the most popular figures in the state, with a 54% approval rating (up four points since February), and 26% disapproval. In hypothetical match-ups against Schwarzenegger and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Feinstein cruises to re-election easily.

Arnold's blustery, "take it to the people" style only works for a while, particularly when results aren't forthcoming. Furthermore, people don't want to have to worry with referendums and the propaganda bambardment that goes along with them. Armold still has time to put himself back in the game. Going out amonst the public to campaign is his strong suit, anyway. But these poll results hint that California voters can't tolerate a Republican for very long, no matter how liberal he is.

Artist James Burns cteated an online comic book about his detached retina surgery.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Reid's SCOTUS Pick

Senate Democrat leader Harry Reid suggested our barely tolerated Sen. Lindsey Graham for a possible vacated SCOTUS seat, thereby ensuring not only will Graham never be appointed to the High Court, but also marking him as unfit to be a Senator from South Carolina--or it would, assuming my fellow South Carolinians realize Harry Reid isn't the guy who hung around The Bandit and sang "She Got the Gold Mine (I Got the Shaft)," which is not a sure bet.
Tasteless Pun

But unintentionally funny:
"Wal-Mart heir John T. Walton, who died in the crash of his experimental, ultralight aircraft, was remembered as a down-to-earth man who threw his considerable financial support behind efforts to educate low-income children."--Associated Press
Okay, I'll admit I have a sick sense of humor at times.
Tuckered Out

I notice his show isn't doing well, but I like Tucker Carlson regardless. Heck, I am Tucker Carlson, sans bowtie.
The Rodenator

If daisy cutters are good enough for Al Qaeda and the Taliban, they are good enough for gophers.

(Via: Hobbesian Conservative)
Bush Legacies

Bush 41: Successful war in Iraq, poor Supreme Court pick David Souter.

Bush 43: Sucessful war in Iraq, poor Supreme Court pick Alberto Gonzales.

It is said all men eventually become their fathers. I have mized emotions about this one, and for good reason, no?

I wrote recently about my getting the runaround from the fine folks at Regent University. The shipping of my personal belongings is still off somewhere in oblivion and there isn’t a thing I can do about that. My furniture has already been earmarked for whoever wants in without a nickel ever reaching my pocket. I can only imagine the resident at Regent Village fighting over that stuff like a donut at a Weight Watchers convention. Even after all this, including just letting my stuff sit there for over a month, someone has still asked me about taking the car, which has apparently been returned to the Village with no word on the $2,500 fine while I was in another state worrying about a gaping hole in my colon and, incidentally, going blind. I’ve made a decision about it, but first some rationale.

I didn’t dig up the link, but in April 2004 I was called into the Regent Village office. The manager wanted to know if I would be willing to move out of my apartment by May 1st to let another disabled person have the apartment. Now, my last exam wasn’t until May 6th and graduation wasn’t until the 10th. But never mind that, because my lease ran until the 31st. I wasn’t certain if I was supposed to pop up a tent in the law school parking lot or just sleep in my car, but as a compassionate Christian who had no further money owed to Regent, it was my duty to leave. I politely--well, as politely I can muster--delined, and the manager noticeably squirmed once I explained to her what she was asking me to do, how the real world looks upon such things, and what a ticked off young one the whole situation would make me. The matter was dropped and the other fellow moved into another apartment.

I’ve gone back and forth about whether to post a long entry I’ve made regarding my experience at Regent. There are two things holding me back. One, Regent is a Christian school. I can’t say that I saw a whole lot of Christlike behavior there, and I certainly didn’t get treated very Christlike by a number of folks. However, I have to acknowledge that I don’t think most ofv the behavior or treatment was intentionally sinister. (Yes, I did say most.) There were an awful lot of sheltered folks from closed fundamentalist families, and when you grow up like that, you are bound to be a little brainwashed. They think they are serving God well, and they very well may be. That isn’t for me to judge on a blog in which virtually no one there knows about, or has a chance to defend themselves.

Second, going to Regent was my own fault. I was weary of dealing with my alcoholic mother and ready to move on with my life. Any place different sounded like a refuge to me. Boy, was I wrong. In hindsight, I knew from experience what fundamentalist Christians were like and kew what to expect. I should hsve held off on accepting Regent’s enrollment for a few weeks and made arrangements to go to Mississippi instead. I didn’t, so I brought this junk on myself and can’t really blame anyone else.

Nevertheless, right or wrong, I have an axe to grind with my Regent experience that, for now, you are just going to have to take my word for, is justification for me being sour on doing anyone there any favors. Therefore, I’ve decided that nobody up there is getting my car.

Instead, I am going to donate it to the Kidney Foundation. They have a program in which they will pick up working used cars, fix it up, and sell it. The money goes to help people who are waiting for kidney transplants, but are so far down the list as to be practically sentenced to death. I want to see some good come out of all this mess, from my mother’s drunken violence, to the rotten treatment I experienced at Regent, to the collapse of my health. Something has to finally go right in all that, and I think this is it.

I think, considering how much my life has shrunk, this is the biggest blessing I will ever have the ability to make. I don’t know if that was part of The Grand Plan, but the door opened and I walked through. I only hope this amounts to something good, because I’d hate to think these last few years have been a complete and total waste.
Best. Music. Ever.

I recently heard the claim that you always think the music of your high school years was the best ever. That got me to thinking about putting the theory to the test in my own experience. I’m not entirely sure the theory holds up for me, although there were some really great songs. I was in high school (9th-12th) from 1991-1995. I distinctly remember these songs being populat during that time:

“Been Caught Stealing”--Jane’s Addiction
“Under the Bridge”--Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Everything I Do (I Do it For You)”--Bryan Adams
“I’m Too Sexy”--Right Said Fred
“I Will Always Love You”--Whitney Houston
“Right Now”--Van Halen
“Enter Sandman”--Metallica
“Jeremy”--Pearl Jam
“Mr. Jones”--Counting Crows
“Runaway Train”--Soul Asylum
“Lightning Crashes”--Live
“Tennessee”--Arrested Development
“Ironic”--Alanis Morisette
“Crash Into Me”--Dave Matthews Band
“I only Want To Be With You”--Hootie & the Blowfish
“Who Will Save Your Soul?”--Jewel

I’m a little fuzzy on the years that some of these were released, but I have hometown memories attached to all of them, so they had to have been released sometime before I left for college in the fall of 1995. I can’t really say that any of these songs really speak to me personally. My crowd of friends dumped rock music when grunge and rap took over the genre and started listening to country. For some reason country is considered too much of a niche genre to include on any list of greatest songs ever. I suppose that is because it still has a regional stigma attached. Regardless, for the most part, it is what we almost exclusively listened to when we hung out. When you were out with your girl, you dipped into your R & B stash, but otherwise rock was almost incidental.

A lot of that had to do with the fact that I went to a private school. We were yuppies, and at the time being a Southern yuppie meant you eschewed rock music unless you were among friends who went to public school, at which point you went native like Jane Goodall blending in with the gorillas. That was our exposure to the outside world. Stuff like Snoop Dogg and Nirvana never seeped in. In fact, Kurt Cobain killed himself while I was on spring break in 1994. Radio stations at the beach were playing Nirvana nonstop to salute that mangy drug addict they considered a poet. It ruined just about everybody’s good time--not because we were saddened by Cobain’s death, but that we couldn’t hear anything else being played.

But hold tight. When I start thinking about the music of my college years, the high school music does start looking better. I was in college from 1995-1999. Songs I remember being popular then:

“Let her Cry”--Hootie & the Blowfish
“Mr. Fantastic”--Shaggy
“Brian Wilson” Barenaked Ladies
“Walking on the Sun”--Smash Mouth
“Truly, Madly, Deeply”--Savage Garden
“If It Makes You Happy”--Sheryl Crow
“Sex and Candy”--Marcy Playground
“Ray of Light”--Madonna
“One Week”--Barenaked Ladies
“How Bizarre”--OMC
“I’ll Be Missing You”--Puff Daddy
"O Don't Want To Wait"--Paula Cole
“Kiss Me Baby One More Time”--Britney Spears
“I Don’t want To Miss a Thing”--Aerosmith
“Wannabe”--Spice Girls

Yes, there seemed to be a definite downturn in quality. Most are one hit wonders, with a few gems scattered about. The question this brings up is: what happened? Is it me, or did music take a nose dive in the late 1990’s? Admittedly, living on campus I was exposed to lots of music like this I didn’t care for. You could really say I was bombarded by it, so maybe it was overexposure that has me so down on it.

Regardless, I have to say that the theory holds. I do think the music of my high school years was marginally the best, but only because the college years lost rather than the high school years won. Truthfully, though, the music I remember most fondly is a lot of the songs attached to memories of my childhood. That’s not so much that the songs were great, but the memories are. Certainly better than nowadays.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Bank Loan

One day, a frog wearing a purple suit walked into a bank. He approached a loan officer named Patricia Wack. She looked him up and down in surprise.

"Can I help you, sir?," she asked.

"Yes. I'd like to apply for a loan."

"Well, this is highly unusual," she began. "Do you have any references?"

"Yes, I do. My father is Mick Jagger," the frog replied proudly.

"I see. Well, do you have any collateral?"

"I've got this." the frog reached into his inside pocket and pulled out a little pink colored plastic elephant. he put it on Patty's desk. she looked at it skeptically.

"Excuse me, but I'm going to have to talk to the bank president about this."

She left the frog standing at her desk and knocked on the bank president's door. She stuck her head into his office.

"You won't believe this, but a frog just walked in here looking for a loan. He claims he is the son of Mick Jagger, and all he has for collateral is a little plastic whatchamacallit."

The bank president looked up at her and relied:

"It's a knick knack, Patty Wack. Give the frog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone."
Shelby Foote (1916-2005)

The great Civil War historian has died.
Poetic Justice

The process of condemning Justice Souter's home in order to build a hotel has begun--thanks to the Keto decision he supported. O. Henry couldn't write a more fitting end.
The Ten Commandments Decision: The Day After

After scanning the decisions, I have a few more thoughts on the issue. I still feel like the SCOTUS was itching to remove all displays of the ten Commandments, but didn’t want to do so because there is a Ten Commandments display at the SCOTUS itself. Granted, it is part of a historical celebration of the development of American jurisprudence rather than a monument to Christian influence of the nation. Fear of hypocrisy gave the SCOTUS its wiggle room.

THE SCOTUS seemed to say that old monuments can stay, but new ones have to go. Fai enough. I was expecting them all to be removed, so even that conclusion came as surprise. It surprised me because the SCOTUS decided the Ten Commandments can be displayed as a part of the history of American jurisprudence because the religious aspects of it would be sufficiently diluted by the accompaniment of the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.

That’s all well and good. I can readily assume the natural law principles of “Thou shall not murder,” which is an American judicial principle, can be recognized by the Ten Commandments apart from any overtly Christian consideration. I think I am safe in asserting this, even though I believe nature it is ingrained in us to hold certain principles automatically through natural law, and though skeptics believe in neither God nor natural law, still accept that there is a general principle that it is wring to murder. How they come about this idea, I don’t know, since the belief in evolution (survival of the fittest) can essentially be boiled down to “kill or be killed,’ but they do and I’m not going to argue with it right now.

But back to my point; if that part is diluted enough of its Christian meaning, then what of the parts that can’t be? “Thou shall have no other gods before me,” would be an unconstitutional religious test making it illegal to be anything other than a Christian or Jew. That is directly un-American. There is no way to enforce a ban on coveting thy neighbor’s wife, either. Is the SCOTUS saying that these Commandments are diluted by the other Commandments which are a part of American jurisprudence as well as the entire Ten Commandments being diluted by the display of other historical legal documents? It’s all extremely confusing, and just screaming for further review.

Unfortunately, upon that review, the SCOTUS will ban all Ten Commandment displays, whether it identifies them as hypocrites for having a display on the Supreme Court building or not. The displays they did ban yesterday are being used as an overt symbol of the judicial sytem’s Christian character, which it does not inherently have in the first place. The next time the SCOTUS takes this issue up, it is going to be so muddled by ugly litigation with various opposing ruling, that they are going to decide even the principles of the Ten Commandments are better engendering in the other documents and maybe we need some new monuments sans religious documents.

As the last post indicates, I am interested in Judaism. I recognize--and am saddened by--the fact that Israel is the only place on earth where it is okay to be a Jew. Therefore, even though I am not Jewish (Jamie is a Hebrew name, derived from Jacob, meaning “the supplanter”) I am an avowed Zionist. It is my belief that the Jews are entitled to the Promised Land as ordained by God. This comes about as a part of my Christian beliefs.

I am not the stereotype Zionist Christian that I have heard described in recent years as one who is “friends” with the Jews because I want to bring about the apocalypse as soon as possible. I was watching an event on C-SPAN 2’s Book TV some time ago. There was an author whose name escapes me lecturing on his new book regarding international politics and religion. His premise was that every nation on Earth, for the good of mankind, must abandon religion in favor of paganistic capitalism. As he went along, h gave examples of how a person’s religion shaped his entire view of politics, social interactions--everything. He stated there were Buddhists being tortured for years in Chinese prisons praying that they will not hate their torturers, while Muslims who have been treated fairly well in Israeli prisons, become suicide bombers in retaliation for their incarceration. He claimed those reactions were all part of the individual’s religious ideas.

Well, he’s right, although his premise that an absence of religion will fix anything. He glosses over the fact that the Chinese torturer of the Buddhist is most likely an atheist. If one who holds no religion can be mde to torture a person simply because of his beliefs, then forgoing any religion isn’t going to help the world one iota--although I do think we could stand to have a few more capitalists.

Aside from his faulty logic and conclusion, he gave one other example just like the stereotype I mentioned above. He said there could never be any peace in the world as long as there were Christians in the United States who, if they woke up one morning and saw that a mushroom cloud had erupted where Jerusalem once stood, would cheer because that meant Jesus was coming back soon.

I have never, in my life, encountered a Christian who thought that. Now, I am from South carolina, the home of Bob Jones University. Any wacky, fundamentalist, apocalyptic idea there is to hold dear, these kooks do. I have been surrounded by them at various points in my life, and have never met a single one of them who felt that way It’s not that they don’t talk about the supposed End Times. I’ve heard more than one BJU attached person say something akin to, “I hope the Rapture comes before my grades do/I have to get a job/the pregnancy test comes back positive. I haven’t met a Christian yet, even in his private moments, who will own up to wanting Israel destroyed to fulfill prophecy.

I know Christianity has a lot to answer for when it comes to its treatment of the Jews. About 2000 years worth and counting.. But I have not seen a Christian excited about the destruction of Israel. Where are these critters, and how come atheists are the only ones who seem able to identify them?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Judaism on Trial in Russia

Antisemitism has been on the rise in Russia for some time, but this is a very scary leap for the Russian government. After thousands of prominent Russians, including 20 members of parliament, demanded that Russia ban Judaism and Jewish organizations, the state prosecutor is investigating the Shulhan Arukh, a 16th century book of Jewish law, for causing incitement and expressing anti-Russian views.

Anti-Semitism is rife and quite open in contemporary Russian society. There are hundreds of Russians still living who have pulled the trigger on Jews during the war period and after -- genuine perpetrators of the Holocaust and Stalinist pograms, who go unpunished, unpursued, and unremarked among their fellow citizens. In short, killing Jews is in the living memory of Russians -- and it is not countered by any social impulse to extreme political correctness as regards ethnicity.
Keto in Action

The Supreme Court broadly expanded eminent domain in Kelo V. New London last Thursday. The city of Freeport, TX wasted no time. City attorneys are preparing legal documents to seize three pieces of waterfront property from two seafood companies for construction of an $8 million private boat marina.

They should have waited a few months so they could see how Keto causes property values to plummet in New Lonson, Conn. After all, would you buy a property for six figures if you knew the City Council could take it away on a whim just because someone else has deeper pockets?
For Future Reference

Dr. Who fans are sensitive and defensive souls.
The Madness of Seth McFarlane

I am enjoying the return of new episodes of Family Guy immensely. Last night’s was a doozy. Peter’s buddy has separated from his wife, so Peter makes him audition for The Bachelorette. Brian the dog winds up on the show instead and promprlty falls in love with the star. During an interview session, he coos about her and explains that now he finally understands what all those songs on the radio are talking about. Suddenly, he belts out this heartfelt rendition of “At This Moment.” It was fortunate that I was sitting in a sturdy chair with armrests, because I would have fallen off the side if I hadn’t been.

I also like the nude fellow who walked on screen and asked if he could say hello to his friend: “Hi, Jesus!” It was just one of those strange, nihilistic moments that are hilarious because they catch you off guard.

I have not, however, warmed up to McFarlane’s other show, American Dad. The characters are all so one dimensional, and most of the jokes fall flat. This show strikes me as something mcFarlane drew up in the car on the way to the studio pitch session. The only joke that so far has made me laugh out loud was in the pilot episode, where the talking fish (complete with german accent) is going off on some rant when some fish food is poured into his bowl. He screams, “Happy hour!," and starts gobbling it up. Maybe I’m just easily entertained, but then again, everything else about the show has fallen flat for me.

Ah, but I have ,I> Family Guy to keep me laughing, thanks to DVD sales. I find it fascinating that a network would put a show that has been cancelled for three years back into production based on DVD sales of its old episodes. Fox has commissioned these new episodes, not just to sell commercial time, but with an eye towards making bigger money putting out season sets on DVD. Studios are putting DVDs of their series just a scant few months after a season ends, making it clear that the real money is there as opposed to syndication rights.

This leads me to wonder why don’t production companies just make television shows straight to DVD? I’m guessing it is the same rationale as making movies out of novels, plays comic books, etc--its already been tested in a market without risking too much money. Television shows are usually optioned for six to twelve episodes at a time, which is much cheaper than financing a 22 episode DVD that flops.

Still, I don’t see why the FG example can’t be followed for some shows with unfinished business. I especially would like to see J. Michael Straczynski wrap up the storyline he began with Crusade before it was abruptly cancelled. .

Until that happens, I’ll console myself with Family Guy. It’s good company, anyway.
Media Meme

Sarah passed the baton. I accept thy challenge, my dear lady.

Total number of films I own on DVD and video:

I am a relative newcomer to DVDs, having only had a player since 2002. Since then, i have purchased 23 movies.

As far as videos are concerned, I still have the remenants of my mother's old video store in storage and scattered about my sister's house. The inventory stopped with late 1998 movies and i can't remember the last time i used a VCR period, much less watched one of them. There are probably around 400 of them with quite a few being multiple copies.

Last film I bought:

Shoping hasn't been a priority or luxury for over a year. The last film I bought was Intolerable Curelty in March 2004.

Last film I watched:

Clay Pigeons

Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):

1. Star Wars--a childhood favorite, even though it hasn't aged well.
2. Kelly's Heroes--irreverant antiwar film. You've got to love a movie with both Donald Sutherland and Clint Eastwood.
3. Planet of the Apes--Cynical George taylor learns the world could be much worse and religion makes a bad bedfellow with politics.
4. Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb--hilariously nihilistic satire on the Cold War.
5. The Shawshank Redemption--I love films that slip another layer of clues right under your nose with you realizing it (like The Usual Suspects or Fight Club) and MORGAN Freeman is the finest actor of our time.

If you could be any character portrayed in a movie, who would it be?

I'd be han Solo from Star Wars, a cynical adventurer who has a princess fall in love with him.

Total volume of music on your computer:

None. I listen to music the old fashioned way.

Last CD you bought:

Guns N Roses' Greatest hits

Song currently playing::

"Start Me Up"--Rolling Stones

Five songs I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me:

1. "He Went to Paris" (Jimmy Buffett) --a sad story about how fate will kick you up and down the block.
2. "Amarillo By Morning" (George Strait)--bookwnded by violins solos that will make you feel like jumping out of the neasest window.
3. "Silver Springs"--(Fleetwood Mac)--Don't ask. Just listen to it and fill in the blanks.
4. "If You Asked me to" (Aretha Franklin)--because I wish someone had.
5. "Hotel California" (Eagles) Creepy, but cool.
The Ten Commandments Ruling

This was a perfect Court ruling: it didn't make anyone happy and clarified nothing.

In a 5-4 split, the SCOTUS ruled that the Ten Commandments can be allowed on government grounds, but not necessarily in a courthouse. In effect, the SCOTUS said each instance much be taken on a case by case basis to determine which is too intertwined with religion as to be promoting Christianity.

The decision banned a framed copy of the Ten Commandments in Kentucky, but thinks Commandment displays are fine if they are part of a hitorical display of American jurisprudence. in other words, the religious aspects of the display must not be the main emphasis of the display.

I think the SCOTUS has just enured you are going to see both sides of the debate emboldened. The Ten Commandment advocates are going to get bolder in seeing what they can get away with and secular interest groups are going to make all sorts of strange arguments against every instance of the Ten Commandment being displayed. it's going to be a bumpy ride until some future SCOTUS says the heck with it and bans the Ten Commandment displays altogether.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Ten Commandments

Tomorrow, the SCOTUS will end this year's session by handing down its decision on Ten Commandment displays on government property. I expect the Court to rule that those displays are a violation of the Establishment Clause. in fact, my jaw will drop as low to the ground as it did with the Keto decision if they do not. True ne told, it will be fine with me if the displays are banned. what I am looking for is a clear definition of what constitutes an establishment of religion.

(Well, I'm looking for that and lawyers for the ACLU and Americans for the Separation of Church and State to collide with each other rushing to the courthouse to litigate every iota of mean religion in sight.)

Either way the ruling goes, I'll have somethoughts on it in the afternoon.
The End is Near...Oops

A Brief History of the Apocalypse, with prerequisite gloom, doom, and false predictions from 2000 BC until today.

I note from the handful of Dr. Who fans I have encountered that the Cybermen are the most feared of hi mortal enemies. It would pay then for the uninitiated to get a look at these monstrous boogey men.
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I jabbed in the last post that these things wouldn’t pass muster in a 1930’s movie serial. I still think so. All Ming the merciless had to do was trot one of these babies out, then he could have defeated flash Gordon by kicking him in the ribs while Flash was rolling on the ground in fits of laughter. What we have here is a guy in a flame retardant suit who poked out three holes on a bowling trophy for a mouth and eyes, then stuck it on his head. I can’t recreate the, “Um,’ in its speech impediment, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

As far as I know, this design for Cyberman has never changed on the show. Now that Dr. Who has been renewed for at least two more seasons, one has to suspect the Cybermen will show up at some point with a more modern, edgy twist in their design. I’d like to see something like this:
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It is Ultron, from Marvel Comics. Ultron has tangled with various marvel characters over the years in his world conquering schemes, but is primarily a thorn in the side of the Avengers. Ultron has been around since 1964 in the same design seen above. I don’t recall when the Cybermen came about, but it had to be around that time as well. Apparently budgetary limitations kept the Cybermen from being made too elaborate or menacing looking as Ultron is in the relatively overhead free world of comics.

I have run across graphic artist Daryl Joyce's portfolio online here with a redesign that I really like.
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I’m not sure how the devout Dr. Who fans feel, about this look, but I for one hope the BBC is paying attention.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Intimidating As Kittens

There’s a debate brewing over at Heliopolis regarding which aliens in science fiction have the most intimidating weapons and the ability to use them. Interestingly, the debate began with a post why characters in sci fi covered their faces when being blasted by lasers. The clinal answer is that the lasers were added later in special effects, and the actors were told to imagine the laser coming at them and react accordingly. Without a visual image to go by, that’s the kind of reaction director’s got..

It was my fault, but we later got into a bit on how Stormtroopers from Star Wars couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat, so why are they so feared throughout the galaxy? Princess Leia was winged in Return of the JedI by one of those biker scouts and so was R2D2, but I think that’s it for onscreen rebel casualties from storm trooper fire. In the first film, our group of heroes were trapped on the moon sized Death Star full of Stomtroopers and didn’t get a scratch. There may have been a few lucky shots in the battle on hoth, but I barely remember seeing Imperial groun forces at all. Same with Bespin. The only shots I remember being fired were off screen and they hit C3PO. I mean, come on. Shooting C3Po is like King Kong working over a Smurf with brass knuckles. If I’d pulled that trigger, I’d be embarrassed to tell the tale.

What’s funny about all this occurred in the first Star Wars when Luke and Ben encounter the destroyed Sandcrawler from which Luke had bought the druids. Luke thinks it was Tusken raiders, but Ben comments that the markings are “too precise.” They have to be from Imperial Stormtroopers. Obviously Stormtroopers need slow moving targets and unarmed munchkin wannabes in order build up their fearsome reputations. While we are losely on the subject, how did C3PO bend down to pick up that Jawa corpse he was about the throw on the funeral pyre? That one has bugged me for years.

Moving on the something a little more fearsome--Klingins. Michael makes another keen observation in the comments: have we ever seen a Klingon fire a phaser? Worf has done so a few times, but the growth of the character has always been that he was accepting more human the Klingon ways, so I don’t think that counts. Besides, he was always one of the good guys. Klingons seem to prefer bladed weapons anyway. I assume it is because they are a traditional society. I recall a battle between a Klingon and major kira on DS9 once, but other than that, it would appear even the bladed weapons are reserved for Klingon on Klingon combat. Nowadays, the federation and the Klingons are staunch allies, so are they mortal enemies to anyone other than Tribbles? I don’t think so.

Look at the other Star Trek villains while we are at it. The Romulans are cunning manipulators more than an overpowering force. I believe their phaser firing incidents are as rare as the Klingons. The Ferengi used to have laser whips which were mediavel in tone, but not even as classy as the Klingon blades. The Cardassians are more famous for their brutal methods of torture than any weapons skill. The Jem’Hadar were quite good with their lasers, as were the Borg, although their most intimidating feature was their motif as a force of nature rather than acting in any sense of standard warfare.

I’m only a newbie when it comes to Stargate SG-1, but I can already say I’d have no fear with the Jaffa it’s a long phallic sympbol that shoots laser beams out one end. The less said about the sexual insecurities of the Jaffa, the better. The Wraith for Stargate: Atlantis seem much more adept with firearms.

I’m no Dr. Who expert, either, but I have a tough time seeing how the Daleks, who look like moving salt shakers with plungers attached, and Cyberman, whose design would be scoffed at in a 1930’s movie serial, can be all that intimidating. I can imagine hearing a robotic voice screeching, “Exterminate! Exterminate!,” might raise the hair on your arms, but ust run up a flight of stairs and you should be all right. Yes, the problem of stairs has been supposedly fixed, but it took the Daleks so long to overcome, one wonders why we fear their ingenuity. Cybermen are goofy robots who say, “Um,” in their speech. Maybe they never miss with their lasers because they’ve spent time working at it to compensate for their speech impediment.

I thought Cylons were intimidating in my younger days. At night now, when everyone else is asleep, I can hear the air conditioning system humming to life and it sounds just like the roving eye of a Cylon. They seem skilled at destroying entire planet, but not to good with a single Colonial warrior. Apollo won a gun slinging showdown with one, and I seem to recall one being stopped dead in it’s tracks by a microwave oven. How fierce can an army be when the home appliance center at Sears can prevent an invasion?

I’m of the opinion that the most fearsome villains in sci fi are still Marvin the Martian and his Insta-Martians.. I mean, the critter is going to blow up the Earth just to have a better view of Venus. If it weren’t for one brave rabbit, we’d all be star stuff right now.
A Retched Hive of Scum and Villiany

Leftist Loony Bartcop used to run a casualty count of soldiers killed in iraq. It was placed prominently on his site until recently, now it is just an obscure link. Why is that?
Since feedback tells me a clear majority of readers believe our soldiers are "no different" than the scumbag 9-11 hijackers, I felt uncomfortable counting the who sacrificed their lives for their country, as tho they got what was coming to them.
A "clear majority" of your readers think American soldiers who are killed by terrorists got what they deserve? That's some fine, fine readership old bart's attracting there, and they are all on the enlightened far left.

It warms the cockles of my heart to know my intellectual and moral superiors, who spend their lives bashing the evils of my conservatism, think this way. Keep swinging that hammer, Bart. Your lovely audience needs its fix.
A Nice Place To Visit, But...

Would you want to live on Hitler Road?
They Should Not Be Breeding

A couple's child suffocates while they are out of the house playing World of Warcraft. What do they have to say for themselves?
"We were thinking of playing for just an hour or two and returning home like usual, but the game took longer that day," the couple is reported as saying.
I see. Yes, well four hours makes all the difference, doesn't it? The mother-in-law lived upstairs and could have easily watched the child, but these bozo parents either didn't think about that or were too embarrassed to admit they wanted to play a game adored by glue sniffing thirteen year olds worldwide. A child had to die because of that.

I don't mean this as an indictment of computer games, RPGs or the people who play them. It's a sad commentary on a trend that is apparently spreading across the planet of too many people self absorbed people still pretending to be adults. If all you want to do as a thirty year old is hanf out at an arcade or internet cafe, have enough sense to not have a child who will suffer--and die--for your immaturity.
How Do We Get Rid of Kelo?

A poster at NRO's The Corner has the answer:
The quickest way to reverse Kelo is to find some conservative town in Utah somewhere to shut down an abortion clinic in order to make room for a Wal-Mart. Also, that would be the most fun way to get Kelo reversed.
Indeed it will, as Justice Scalia notes in his dissent in Hill v. Colorado:
"What is before us, after all, is a speech regulation directed against the opponents of abortion, and it therefore enjoys the benefit of the "ad hoc nullification machine" that the Court has set in motion to push aside whatever doctrines of constitutional law stand in the way of that highly favored practice."
Sad, but true. What can you say about the health of our judicial system when the Supreme court doesn't let a pesky little thing like the rule of law get in the way of an agenda?

(Via: Southern Appeal)
Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting
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Friday, June 24, 2005

You're Joking

The British tabloid magazine (yeah, I know) doesn't have a link to the article, but it is reporting that Christopher nolan is planning to use the Joker as the villian in his sequel to Batman Begins. The interesting bit is that he is seeking Sean Penn for the role. An initial kneejerk reaction is, "What a dumb idea," but the more I think about it, I believe it could work.

Personally, I'd like to see Jack Nicholson return as the Joker. His turn in 1989's <>Batman is the best comic book villian to ever appear onscreen. Jack probably won't do it again, as it is old territory for him. The only other two actors I could think of to portray the sheer sadistic lunacy of the Joker would be Robin Williams or Christopjer Walken. Until i read this rumor.

Baghdad Sean would fit in well with Nolan's dark noir view of the Caped Crusader. Heck, this might be casting just as inspired as choosing comedian Michael Keaton to play Batman seventeen years ago. I'm anxious to see if this pans out.
The Kelo Decision

There is an awful lot of handwringing over the SCOTUS' decision handed down yesterday. The ruling in Kelo ends eminent domnain, effectively allowing the government to snatch up private property at will. This is a dark day for private property owners, civil libertarians, and strict constructionists alike. But it should come as no surprise.

This "conservative activist" Court has in recent years ignored juriprudence principles that have existed for thousands of years. It has opened the door for homosexual marriage, which has never been accepted in any society. It has destroyed th3 rule of lenity, which says ambiuguity in criminal statutes are ruled in favor of the defendant. That's a general principle that has dated from Roman times--effectively gone. Now, it has gotten rid of eminent domain, another ancient concept that a wise mind cannot ignore. This Court has, however.

All I can tell you is wait until next week when the SCOTUS rules the Establishment Clause when the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed in public places. It will be open season on Christians as groups like the ACLU fall all over each other to litigate any and all hints of Christianity in the public square.

(I criticised O'Connor a few posts ago, but she joined in the Kelo dissent. I'll give her some credit for that, but not much.)
Venting My Spleen

I’m guessing that those of you who paid my blog a visit yesterday realized it was a Ranting Day. I apologize if any eye brows got singed off in the process, but that was extremely necessary. It was not, as has been suggested a desperate cry for help. It was a release of balled up frustration which can come out as very dark thoughts. We all have, I just write them down for the whole world to see. I figure at this point, what have I got to lose?

I’m sure most of you have been on the opposite side of the overall situation that I am in. You’ve probably had a grandparent whose health started to decline. You realize that grandparent has reached the point of no return as you start taking care of him. (I’m going to use male pronouns so the rest of this won’t sound so clinical.) You watch as he can’t drive anymore, can’t see anymore, can’t live the house anymore, and eventually can’t even eat anymore as his health declines. It’s something you deal with, but don’t want to think about. You wake up everyday thinking, “This is as good as it’s going to get for him.” It reminds you of your own mortality, therefore you really just want to ignore it.

I’ve been on that side, too. My great grandmother was home bound for the last years of her until cancer finally took her. An aunt spent her last years wasting away with Alzheimer’s in a nursing home the same as my maternal grandfather, whom I wrote about earlier. Within the last few years, my paternal grandfather died of renal failure that was caused, at least in part, by complications due to diverticulitis. I watched each one of these people go. I cared and I was sad, but I wanted to carry on with my life, not out of any sense of selfishness or emotional distance, but that I didn’t want to think about the end. Contrary to popular belief, the young do not believe they will live forever. They just don’t want to visualize the end of the road.

I don’t have that luxury. I’m not going to keel over dead next week, mind you, but the reality of things is constantly in the back of my head. When it was finally explained to me that further surgery on my colon was pointless, I asked the doctor point blank if I was aging prematurely--was I wearing out, were my exact words. Taking into account the sudden onrush of ailments--a detached retina, diverticulitis, kidney cysts, and an irregular heartbeat--that occur exclusively to the elderly, well I answered my own question. I know it, and everyone around me knows it, too.

I’m surrounded by what’s left of my family but they don’t want to think that a 28 year old can be struck with all that I have been. They don’t mean anything by it, really, but they ignore the situation and hope that it will all go away. I understand this. I sympathize. Heck, I empathize. Therefore I keep largely to myself as people I once knew go on with their lives as mine stagnates and fades away. I admit this is somewhat selfish of me. I am, whether it makes me a bad person or not, generally pained to hear about the good things that are happening in other people’s lives. It reminds me that you only get one life, and the best days of mine are behind me.

It’s not that I wish ill will to the people around me. Far from it. But I am burnt out on thinking about ways to salvage what little I have let. While I am feeling that way, life goes on around me to the point many folks act like I’m already gone. I’m not pointing fingers here. I’ve done the same thing to other family members who were declining in health. I recognize it as a natural part of life and our emotional reactions to it. That makes it no less frustrating, even though as a fatalist, I understand it was meant to be.

So, from time to time, I’ll probably toss out another tirade just like the one I did yesterday. Consider it a wildfire clearing out the underbrush so a new forest can grow, however skimpy those new trees are going to be. They will get bitter at times, yes, and maybe even mean spirited., but they are necessary to my well being and maybe they’ll be of use to someone else, too. Otherwise, should you want some ketchup to go along with your raw meat, just ask your humble host.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


I haven't mentioned what a major screw up and screw over I've been getting at regent University regarding my belongings which are still there. It's a lovely tale full of equal parts compentence and compassion. Get you hankies ready.

Now understand that even though everything I own in this world that my mother did not destroy is at Regent. Here i have a bed, a laptop, and a few changes of clothes. It has been this way since April 2004. Still, no one here really thinks it's important enough to actually make the five hour drive to get everything I own in the world. Wonderful. i have furniture and a car I have to get rid of in another state that I am never going to be able to set foot in again. No problem, though. As I have said before, whenever fundamentalists hear of a situation like this, they start begging like homeless people at Christmas.

With that in mind, I invited my roomate to visit in South carolina, as he had expressed interest in doing at the time, and just pack up my personal things and bring them with him. Months roll by and I hear nothing. Finally, I do hear from him. He's moving out and is going to pack up my stuff and have it shipped to me. Fine, go right ahead. I can't read anymore, so i suggest finding a good home for my books. He cherrypicks the one's he wants, which is fine with me, and who knows what happened to the rest.

Unfortunately, I do know what happened to everything else.

Months ago, my car was towed because of a warning it was too far over the curb. nevermind that i am in another state with a hole in my gut, could I please move my car? yeah, i'll get right on that. just let me pull all theses tubes out.... It was towed away from Regent and then promptly lost for months. it eventually turned up at a city lot--with a $2,500 fine on it that i will never, ever pay while I am alive or after I'm dead, for that matter.

Here's the best part (yes, it does get better) My roomate packed all my stuff up in the apartment--and left it there. Yes, while a lot of lucky people our salivating over their new, free furniture, no one gives a hoot about the rest of my stuff. You could walk the three hundred feet from my apartment to the office carrying the boxes, much less drive. My roomate could have dropped them off after he packed up his stuff on the way out. He did not. regent promised to ship it, so you think they might walk the 300 feet to get it. Nope. It's been sitting in an empty apartment for a month, and no one bothers to even say something to me.

When I left Regent to have eye surgery, I gave my roomate my PO box address. I said more than once that mail does not come to the street address at the ols house or this one. only send mail to the PO box. When he told me my things would be shipped to me two months ago, I reminded him again, it cannot be sent by the post office. After I discovered what was going on, I had...discussions...with Regent, and that promised to send out my thing immediately. By all accounts they have sent it off now. By the US mail.

You know what the only thing I hear from them about it is? "Someone is interested in your car. Are you planning to send the paperwork up here so a new owner can have them?"

I am at the end of my rope. I have spent the last year suffering the worst health of my life with no end in sight other than the graveyard. I have suffered indignities that would have caused most people to put a gun in their mouths long before now, and this is what I get. No compassion, no let me help you in your hour of need. It's either, "Aren't you dead yet?" or "Can't you handle this on your own?," or "Can you let me have this, this, and this?," or "I haven't moved your crap out of the appartment," (Yes he used the word "crap." I did say this was full of compassion, did I not?) or, "Your car is gone," or "Your car was found. You owe $2,500 on it," and finally, 'Be patient. We'll ship it exactly the way you told us not to. not how about hurry up with that paperwork so someone can have your car, too?"

I would never believe this if it weren't happening to me. The best of all of it? Nobody cares. Not one solitary person in the whole freaking affair cares. They've taken the time to pilfer my things for themselves, but not even a moment to follow through on promises made to me. Well, nobody else things it's a big deal, so why should I, right?

Well, they are all pretty astute, as I am beginning to care less and less about everything.
Supreme Shake Up

Bill Kristol writes in the Weekly Standard on US Supreme Court vacancies in the near future. The good news is we will likely get rid of lukewarm coservative Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. The bad news is she will likely be replaced by lukewarm conservative Atty. General Alberto Gonzales. The rationale for Gonzales is that he has already been confirmed once by the Senate and he is pro choice, which means he passes the Democrats' litmus test for being enlightened.

Conservatives who wring their hands over Gonzales' stance on abortion are chasing rainbows anyway. Roe has already been reviewed and confirmed by the SCOTUS in Casey v. Planned Parenthood and it is here to stay. What conservatives should fear is that the SCOTUS is shifting away from cases regarding rights (Segregation, abortion, religious freedom), as it has done for at least two generations, and is looking at cases regarding privacy (Patriot Act, sexual freedom). That's where attention to Gonzales' views need to be paid.

Rhenquiest will likely stay on the SCOTUS, assuming his health holds out, util Gonzales is confirmed. When Rhenquist retires, Bush will be able to appoiint a staunch conservative to the bench. Recall that his father did much the same thing with Souter and then Thomas. Also recall the damage Souter has done to conservatism while he has served. Conservatives can expect some big disappointments to be handed down from the SCOTUS over the next 12-15 years.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Bashing Hillary for Fun and Profit

I don’t like Hillary Clinton. It’s nothing really personal. Although I get the impression she can be a mean spirited ice queen, it has never been directed at me, so I don’t really care. I dislike her politics. She is as liberal as a Kennedy but has a knack for convincing folks that she isn’t. I wouldn’t vote for her to be county dog catcher. That said, some of the vitriol thrown in her direction by my fellow conservatives is going overboard, and it’s going to come back to huant you.

It won’t come back to haunt you because HRC will win the presidency in 2008. She will not. An HRC candidacy excites only the people who would already vote for her. These are the people who flipped over their “Dean for President” signs and wrote “Kerry for President” on them. She doesn’t bring anything new to the table. The fact that she is a woman might inspire some, but it will turn others off. I have more respect for women to think they would vote for a candidate based on gender alone. She has the same two majotr problems as Kerry: she can’t pick off a Southern state and she’s viewed as weak on national defense. Let’s not forget her poorly conceived plan for socialized medicine that turned Congress over to the GOP in the first place. The voters certainly haven’t forgotten that.

No, a HRC presidency is not what the Ed Kleins of the country need to be wary of. It’s the fact that in four or five years after the Bush presidency has ended, a succession of conspiracy theory books are going to flood the market, just like the ones that haved critiqued both Clintons in recent years. Let’s be real: a lot of them have valid arguments, a lot of them don’t. Can you tell the difference? I generally couldn’t, so I quit reading them about two years ago. (Heh. Maybe I went blind as punishment.) The left is going to return the favor with both barrels at some point in the future, mark my words.

Imagine: more on his National Guard service, that supposed abortion, his wife’s car accident in which someone was killed, DUIs, World Trade Center conspiracies, tales of condoned real torture, drug and alcohol abuse in the White House, darj alliances with the Religious Right, secret alliances with Bin laden or Saddam, and willfully ignoring Saudi Arabian terror. Those are just the cock and bull stories I could come up with off the top of my head to embellish. Heaven only knows what a professional journalist and writer would come up with.

It might pay for us to tone it down a bit. HRC’s voting record is enough ammunition against her without us delving into fantasy.
More Marxism

I made Groucho Marx look pretty bad in an earlier post regarding the later years of his life. To make up for it--and show you why I like the guy--here's a article about his performance at Carnegie Hall.
Religion and the Meaning of Life

Yesterday, I mentioned by beef with Jean-Paul Sarte and his fellow postmodernists was that they try to find meaning in life outside of religion, which I think is fruitless. I want to elaborate a bit more on that for posterity’s sake. Sometimes it appears I am critiquing any and all comers just for the sake of of a few pithy one liners. ‘Tis not so.

I’m speaking of religion here in very general terms for the sake of intelluctual discussion and an embrace of reality. I fully understand that a regulat attendee of a megachuch in Dallas who reads the Bible and prays everyday feels a closeness to God that can be described in identical terms by a Hindu living in Calcutta. There is an emotional satisfaction to holding a religious faith, whether it provides comfort in this life, the next, or both. Whether the religion is actually right or not is irrelevant in this regard. It only matters that one is satisfied he has found the “Truth.”

That leaves us we two viewpoints. One, you can believe there is a creator being out there who designed the entire universe for a purpose, and therefore life has meaning, or you believe the universe is some accident of chance--a random creation. In that sense, everything is random from the origin of the universe onto every insignificant event that occurs in your life. With no creator being to have a Grand Plan, everything is up in the air. Thus without a religion with a creator being, there can be no meaning.

I understand I’m leaving out some transcendental religions here. None of them will ever draw conclusions regarding the meaning of life, either, because if they did, they’d have to fold up shop. Besides, some, like Buddhism, are so loose you could technically be a Buddhist and Christian at the same time. I’m not sure how God feels about that, but as a finite man, I don’t even pretend to know how He feels about much of anything. It’s the biggest reason I’m glad I live under grace.

I say all that to say this: I have faith that I have found the answer in Christianity because Christianity offers an answer. I call it faith because I could be wrong, I just don’t think I am. In a search for meaning without religion, there is nothing but the search. Perhaps that is, in the mind of the existentialist, fruitful enough, but the fact that you can never be successful finding meaning from nothing tells me their philosophy is wrong.
Frankly, Scarlett, I Don't Give A...

...list of AFI's 100 best movie quotes. Some notable omissions:

"Hell, the fall will probably kill you!" --Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

"I'm having an old friend for dinner."--Silence of the Lambs

"Either get busy living or get busy dying."--Shawshank Redemption

"Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory." Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

I'm sure I could think of a ton more, but I have to draw the line somewhere, just like the AFI.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

"Turban" Dick Durbin

Sen. Dick Durbin apologizes about his earlier remarks comparing American soldiers to the Nazis and Soviets--in tears! I am curious as to how genuine they were, or more acccurately, what was he really crying about? Surely he can't be worried about losing his #2 leadership spot just like Trent Lott lost his for careless comments. That only happens to conservatives.
I Support Gitmo

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Move America Forward has established the "I Love Gitmo" campaign, which I am proud to support. You should, too.
For the Domestically Impaired

A comprehensive list of product expiration dates.
Hell Is Other People

In honor of what would be jean-Paul Sarte's 100th birthday, here is the complete text of his famous play, Mo Exit, which offers a unique viewpoint on Hell.

I'm not really a fan of sarte, or any postmodernist, for that matter. i think they are largely self important windbags who prattle on way too much about nothing. Hypocritical, i know, but they generally do so because they refuse to find any meaning in religion. that separates me from them. Well, there's a lot of things that separate me from them intelectually, but since I am an egomaniac, I'd never confess to any of it.

Nevertheless, No Exit is one of my alltime favorite plays. it appeals to my antisocial, reclusive nature. I feel compelled to reread it whenever people are getting on my nerves, and take some comfort that what I'm feeling is not unusual. It's interesting that i am going through a spell of that today, was hoping there was a copy of the play for free online, and find out that today is actually Sarte's birthday. Life is so odd, if it were a book, it would be panned as being too cliched.
Sounds Like Howard Hughes

The Butcher of Baghdad finally made it into GQ:
Saddam Hussein loves Doritos, hates Froot Loops, admires President Reagan, thinks Clinton was "OK" and considers both Presidents Bush "no good." He talks a lot, worries about germs and insists he is still president of Iraq.
You know why Saddam refuses to eat Froot Loops? Professional courtesy.
Primal Scream

Let's just say I let one loose, it shocked you at first, causing you to nearly jump out of your skin. Once you collected yourself, you realized I must have had good reason, and shook your head being thankful that you have no clue what that reason actually was.

Monday, June 20, 2005

No Lucky Numbers From Lost

From Pittsburgh Live:
NO WINNING TICKET FOUND WITH "LOST" NUMBERS. Looks like a curse wasn't enough to keep Pennsylvania lottery players from trying their luck with a set of numbers featured on the hit ABC television series "Lost."

In the series, before a plane crash stranded a group of survivors on a mysterious island, the character Hurley (Jorge Garcia) won $156 million in a lottery by using the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42.

Hurley then experienced bad luck -- his grandfather died of a heart attack at a press conference, a priest was struck by lightning at the funeral, his brother's marriage fell apart, his mother broke her ankle getting out of his SUV, the mansion he bought for his mother catches fire, and Hurley himself was falsely arrested and accused of being a drug dealer.

The numbers were featured in the March 2 "Lost" episode.

On that day, players chose those numbers 51 times for the Powerball game, and five times for Match 6, state lottery officials said. Three days later, on March 5, the "Lost" numbers were played 394 times in Powerball and 94 times in Match 6, lottery officials said.

The numbers, unfortunately, didn't win. We bet a number of people who played them would think twice about again wagering on numbers taken from a TV show.
Considering what happened to Hurley and company after using those numbers, you'd think folks would be wary. All this happened only in Pennsylvania, so you've got to wonder how many lottery players are choosing those numbers around the entire country.
Numismatics Blog

I have been linked by a blog detailing the owner's collection of anicient coins. As a history buff, I am intrigued and have looked through some of the archives. It's definitely worth a perusal. The rationale for getting the link is a mystery, but it was a great find nonetheless.
Bad Moon Rising

Over the next three nights, the moon will be at the lowest point it has been in 18 years. Expect much peculiar behavior from folks during that time.
Voids Will Be Filled

I went to the last session of my Civil Trial Procedure class in April 2004 even though I had scheduled an appointment to see an eye surgeon for the next day and was well aware that my retina was detached. What confirmed the detachment for me was the devotional the professor gave before class. (That’s the concession to Biblical principles in class, by the way. There is a ten minute period of devotion tacked on to every class.) This professor was a temp who came on halfway through the semester when our regular professor ran off to teach a Continuing Legal Education class. The temp had just gotten his dream job, and explained how this had God’s fingerprints all over it.

He had always wanted to serve as a Christian service lawyer, working for school prayer, against abortion, no gay marriage, etc. Like many fundamentalists, though, he expected his wife to pump out young ones like a gumball machine. He quickly wound up with eight of them, and had to take a job with a regular firm doing civil and criminal litigation. (Yep. “I’d like to serve you, God, but I can’t keep my zipper up long enough.” The motto is “Christian Leadership to Change the World,” they should add “…or at Least We Would If We Knew the Value of a Cold Shower.”) He finally decided that wasn’t for him, and was hired at Liberty University’s new law school as a professor. Working there, he would also get the opportunity to be involved with some legal cases of the sort he had originally wanted to work with. The lesson of his story was that, whatever you want to do, even if God doesn’t let you do it right away, He will eventually open the door for you, even though it may be years down the road.

I thought about that as he said it. In fact, I really thought he was saying it just to me. Odd for me to feel that way, since every time during the three years I was at Regent someone got up to give a devotion and prefaced it with, “God told me…,” I always tried to drive a pen into my forehead. Remember kids: when you talk to God, it’s payer. When God talks to you, it’s schizophrenia. But it confirmed to me that my retina was detached, and I was in for a long recovery. I was encouraged by the message that I was eventually going to get through it all and be back on track.

I don’t recall at what moment precisely I realized that was bunk. It was sometime in late spring or early summer of last year, as I sat in a change bedroom and squinted down with my remaining legally blind eye at the large scar running up my chest and the colostomy bag hanging beside it. That’s the time I really quit thinking about law and shifted my thoughts to not much other than reflection: what ifs, should haves, and wish I hadn’ts.

Although I can’t pinpoint the time precisely, it had to be about one year ago, so this is as good a day as any to mention it.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Can You Hear Me Now? Good.

A few days ago, during a security operation in the Ghazni province, the Afghan authorities have captured five Taliban fighters, one of whom was in possession of some sensitive documents, including the satellite phone number of Mullah Omar. Imagine how that might go down:


MULLAH OMAR: Hello? Hello? Abduhl is that you? I thought you would be in the hands of the americans by now! Have you escaped? Tell me where you are and we'll come get you!

AMERICAN SOLDIER: No, Omar. We're coming to get you.

(With apologies to James Cameron for usurping his Rambo II script--assuming he even claims the putrid thing.)
This Just In

"Saddam Hussein would like his trial moved to Santa Maria, California." --David Letterman
Insurgent Torture House Found

I paid very little attention to Sen. Durbin's idiotic statements the other day comparing American soldiers to Nazis. Durbin is a party hack and whenever he opens his mouth, a lot of stupid falls out. I liken it to Pandora's box. with that in mind, I never felt the need to defend our armed servicemen, as i'm sure most hold the same opinion of Durbin that I do. I know they are fighting the good fight with a much more careful hand than our enemies. Make no mistake: the terrorists are getting much better treatment than they deserve:
Iraq, Sunday, June 19 - Marines on an operation to eliminate insurgents that began Friday broke through the outside wall of a building in this small rural village to find a torture center equipped with electric wires, a noose, handcuffs, a 574-page jihad manual - and four beaten and shackled Iraqis.


The manual recovered - a fat, well-thumbed Arabic paperback - listed itself as the 2005 First Edition of "The Principles of Jihadist Philosophy," by Abdel Rahman al-Ali. Its chapters included "How to Select the Best Hostage," and "The Legitimacy of Cutting the Infidels' Heads."
The rest of the article is here.

That is what we are up against: barbarians willing to toture, maim, and kill their own people while celebrating the beheading of those who don't follow their religion. Those are Nazis. Sen. Durbim my not realize it, but our airmed servicemen do, the american people do, and I do. I feel proud as an American to know we have taken a stand against them.
Storytelling Glitch

The story below takes some odd twists in perspective several times--nanely it seen to go from third person, to first, and then back again. I was trying to make a fade to flashback several times, but am limited in my writing skills to get the right effect. Neverheless, you got what you paid for. Thanks for reading while I'm still well within the learning curve.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

"An Afternoon at the Roughrider Exploerer's Club" (A Short Fiction)

Many old men spend their golden years sitting in a barber shop around a checker board telling lies and crowning kings. Add wealth to the equation and the setting and game changes. the lies, of course, stay the same. Witness a typical Thursday afternoon at the Roughrider Explorer’s Club.

The club was named after Teddy Roosevelt and his band of brothers who charged San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War. Every member of the club fancied himself a sport just like Roosevelt, even though the most adventurous most had been was pouring his own tea once or twice while the maid was too busy folding his underwear or some such important task. A few had been to Africa on packaged safaris, safe in an enclosed truck with a professional--and well armed--guide. The most anyone there had ever bagged was a particularly vicious mallard who quacked way too much in the middle of the night and was always begging for bits of bread.

This was all common knowledge, though all pretended it was not. A bit of ego stroking was a small price to pay for such exclusive company and friends don’t come friends don’t come cheap at this level of the game.

All right, there is one gentleman, no one knows how old he is or where he came from, much less the source of his fortune, who’s claims to fame are so wild, even the most duplicitous of members rolls his eyes at the sound of his voice. Unfortunately, Ulysses J. Berryhill is always at the club.

Three gentlemen are sitting about in the ornate smoking room of the Explorer’s Club in brown wingback chairs. Bookshelves line every wall from floor to ceiling, although in the entire time all three had been a member, no one paid the slightest bit of attention to any of them. If you took a wager on whether they were real or cardboard fakes, half the membership would take you up on it. The expensive red carpet was littered sporadically with ashes from the smuggled Cubans that were always being smoked. No matter. There were “people” to clean them up and besides, the carpet was regularly replaced.

Usually, the smokers were too absorbed to think about any of that, choosing to dwell instead on meatier topics.

“I tell you, John, dump your euros now before the Italians get rid of them,” said Thaddeus. “Their small businessmen are losing money hand over fist because of the exchange rate. It’s only a matter of time before they switch back.”

John took a deep puff, held the cigar away from his lips, and blew the smoke out slowly.

“I disagree. Italy desperately needs to be part of the European Union and that means they’ll keep the euro. It’s still a solid investment, even if they do switch,” John replied.

“I once searched the Italian Alps for the Great Yeti,” Ulysses interrupted.

John and Thaddeus rolled their eyes. They had been ignoring Ulysses, hoping that he would just sit there and quietly smoke.

“Tell me you are not going to start that again,” John said. Ulysses didn’t pay him any attention. He was already lost somewhere in time. He shifted in his chair and stared off into some spot on the wall as if he were reading this story there instead of pulling it out of his mind.

“Like the Carthaginian general, Hannibal,” Ulysses continued.

“Must you do this?,” asked an increasingly irritated Thaddeus. “You squeeze this tall tale about your hunt for the Yeti in every conversation anyone has. Now, I’m impressed that you’ve been able to do that no matter how irrelevant it is to whatever anyone is talking about. Isn’t that enough for you?’

“Experience, son, is something you shouldn’t scoff at. I can teach you a thing or two, if you’d just listen,” Ulysses said.

Thaddeus rolled his eyes again and then looked at John. Both were exasperated, but what could they do? They both shifted in their chairs, slouched back, and stared at the ceiling. Ulysses hadn’t missed a beat anyway.

“Italy wasn’t the gold mine, though. No, sir. It was the tiny, mountainous country of Narshada in central Asia where I came face to face with the Holy Grail of international sportsmen.”

John gave Thaddeus a wry smile. He pretended his hand was a gun. Thaddeus stifled a laugh as John loaded it, spun the barrel, put it to his head, and fired. John slumped in his chair, cross eyed, with his tongue hanging off to the side. Thaddeus put his hand to his mouth to stifle a laugh. Ulysses paid none of this any mind--if he was even aware of it to begin with.

“I had been trudging through the deep snow for hours before I happened upon the temple of some local zealots. I was suffering at this point and hoped they were friendly and willing to lend a hand. They were.” Ulysses pictured himself knocking on the temple’s heavy wooden door.

A shaved headed, Oriental monk peeked through the peep hole.

“Oh, crap. Another one,” he said to his fellow monk, who sighed in response.

“Well, let him in--but stall him for a minute while I hide the TV.” The monk scurried off as his brother opened the door for Ulysses.

“Within a few minutes,” Ulysses told Thaddeus and John, “I was sitting on the floor at a loe table in their central living space listening to the most fascinating story.”

“Yes,” the monk began, “Plenty of idiots come looking for that furry varmint. They all stop here for some tea and brag about how they’re going to be the one to bag it. They all die horrible deaths. Sevres them right.” the monk lifted the tea cup to his lips and took a drank. He gulped the whole thing down and laid the cup back on the table. He let loose with the loudest burp Ulysses had ever heard before or since. The other monk grinned at Ulysses.

“Narshada mating call,” he said.

These were clearly like no other monks Ulysses had ever seen.

“I know what you’re thinking,” the burping monk said. “No search for God? No oneness with all creation? Not even a whirling dervish? What the heck are these people?”

“The thought crossed my mind,” Ulysses responded.

“Many years ago our Great Leader visited your United States and found a wizened culture thriving there. He made a pilgrimage to the center of it all--Alabama--to learn all its ways. He changed his name to Bubba, and founded our order here.”

“Bubba?,” Ulysses asked.

“Indeed. We all adopted new, appropriate names in keeping with our new beliefs. I am now called Cletus. This is Leroy.” The other monk dipped his head in response.

“So you guys don’t drop silverware on the kitchen floor anymore to coe up with your children’s names?”

“That is in the past,” Cletus answered.

Ulysses placed his teacup on the table.

“I’m curious from what I know of the…culture…you’ve adopted, hunting down some furry critter should be right up your alley. Why haven’t you gone after the yeti?”

It’s much more fun to mock the morons who think they can bag it. Besides, telling colorful stories impresses the other hunters that come here. Why get rid of that?”

“Plus,” Leroy interrupted, “We can change wayward hunters a fortune for a place to sleep.”

“I see you’ve learned the meaning of a tourist trap,” Ulysses laughed.

“It’s cheaper than the yeti. He’s going to charge an arm and a leg--literally,’ Leroy replied.

Ulysses paused for a minute in recounting his story. Thaddeus and John thought they might have caught a break, but Ulysses merely looked to another section of the wall as if he was reading this story from there instead.

“ I spent the night there, it cost a bundle and the breakfast was grits and bacon. I could feel my arteries clogging just smelling it,” Ulysses continued. “I set out towards the mountain Cletus and Leroy had told me was the yeti’s rumored home. They stood at the door to see me off, which ws nice of them.

“So long, and godspeed,” they said, before shutting the door. Inside the temple they looked at each other knowingly. “Sucker,” they said in unison.

“It took several hours, but I finally reached the mountain. Sure enough, there was a cave entrance there which I knew had to be the Yeti’s home. As I excitedly approached it, I fell into a booby trap. A spot of packed snow actually covered a deep hole near the entrance. I was stuck.” Ulysses paused the story and took a deep puff from his cigar. John leaned forward in mock anticipation.

“Well, whatever did you do?,” he asked.

“I lost consciousness in that hole, and when I awoke, I was hanging upside down in a kitchen. There, right before my eyes, was the Yeti,” Ulysses continued. “He was eight feet tall if he was an inch, and white as the driven snow. It was creepy in a sterile sort of way, but that was set off by the red “Kiss the Cook” apron it was wearing. The beast was too busy chopping carrots into a large pot to notice I was awake.”

“’Kiss the Cook?’,” John interrupted. Thaddeus looked his way and shook his head. Ulysses still paid them no mind.

“Unfortunately, he heard me testing the ropes that held my hands behind my back and turned his attention towards me.”

“Well, hello there, sleepy head. I see you discovered my special welcome mat,” the Yeti said.

“If I’m interrupting dinner, I’d be happy to leave, and hope you accept my apologies for ruining your meal,” Ulysses told him.

‘Oh, don’t worry about interfering. I couldn’t have dinner without you.” The yeti finished chopping up the carrot and put the knife on the edge of a table off to the side of the large pot. He picked up a box of matches that was also sitting on the table. He struck a match, and lit the stack of wood underneath the pot ablaze. This was the first time Ulysses noticed the large, cast iron pot was big enough for a man to sit in. That wasn’t an encouraging sign.

“I gather that I am more than a dinner guest,” Ulysses said.

“Indeed. You are the main course, in fact.”

Ulysses gulped.

“I don’t suppose you’d allow a condemned man a last request?”

The Yeti turned towards Ulysses and shook his left index finger at him.

“ You should not consider this a condemnation. You are about to become part of one of my culinary masterpieces,” the yeti scold.

“Nevertheless, I think a last resquest is in order.”

The Yeti put his paw to his chin and rubbed it. This had never happened before with all the other hunters he had captured and eaten.

“Well, this is a new experience, but I guess it is only sporting of me. After all, I am ultimately going to eat you. All right. Sure. What do you want?”

“I’d like to sing my favorite song one last time,”

“And are you a decent singer?,” the Yeti asked skeptically.

“Have you ever heard of Carnegie Hall?”

“Oh, goody!” The Yeti clapped his paws together in anticipation. “It’s been so long since there’s been any culture around here, what with Cletus and Leroy just up the road. Wait, Let me cut you down and we’ll go into the living room. I want to be comfy for this.”

“Hold on,” John interrupted again, “The Yeti said ‘oh goody’ and clapped his paws together?” Thaddeus shot him another look. Ulysses paid neither of them any attention.

“Ah, but the Yeti hadn’t searched me like he should have when he captured me. Obviously, I was much more clever than any other hunter he had encountered, for he never knew I had a knife hidden in my boot. As I bent down to rub the circulation back into my ankles, I grabbed it and tucked it into my sleeve.”

The Yeti grew impatient.

“Hurry up with that, now. The water is already boiling.”

“I wouldn’t have to do this if you hadn’t tied me up,’ Ulysses said to him.

“Whine, whine, whine. Are you going to sing or not?”

The two of them moved into the living room. The Yeti plopped down in what was as much of an easy chair as a block of ice could be. He sat back comfortably but tapped his foot on the floor in impatience as Ulysses stood in the middle of the room.

“All right. Belt out a tune, and make it good. You’ve caused enough delay as it is,’ he demanded.

Ulysses cleared his throat and began to sing.

“Memories. Water colored memories of the way we were…”

As he continued on, the yeti softened. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair as the words tickled at his cold heart. Eventually, he began to tear up. All at once, he began to violently sob.

“Oh, I feel so old,” he choked.

Suddenly, Ulysses flipped the knife out from his sleeve and charged him. The yeti could barely see through his veil of tears and reacted to slowly. Ulysses nailed him right in the shoulder.

He had meant to go for the throat, but the yeti hadn’t been as blinded by tears as he had hoped. The yeti grabbed his shoulder as blood trickled down his arm.

“I’ll…I’ll kill you!,” he screamed in a blind rage.

Unable to see an exit right off hand, Ulysses ran for the one place he was familiar with--the kitchen. The yeti stumbled right after him. Inside the kitchen, Ulysses spotted the other knife on the table and started to go for it. The yeti’s voice bellowing from the door gave him a statrt.

“Don’t you dare!,” the yeti screamed.

He charged towards Ulysses. Rather than risk reaching for the knife, Ulysses stepped out of the way at the last minute. The Yeti had too much momentum to stop and fell right over into the pot of boiling water. His legs shook violently in the air as gurgling bubbles of pain rose to the surface amid the thrashing about. Within a moment, everything stopped.

Ulysses put his cigar back into his mouth and looked at both Thaddeus and John.

“And that’s how I killed the legendary Yeti,” he finished.

Thaddeus and John looked at each other with incredulity.

“Redneck monks? An epicurean, apron wearing yeti who tears up at smaltzy adult contemporary songs? That story gets more ridiculous every time you tell it. You must think we’re idiots to believe we take some cockamamie story like that as true,” Thaddeus told him.

Ulysses tugged on the gold chain her wore around his neck until the front of it popped out from under his shirt collar. Connected to the chain was a large incisor. He rubbed the tooth between his thumb and index finger.

“Nah. But it’s a good story nonetheless,’ he declared.

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Royal iPod

The Queen dips into the Royal treasury for a 6G iPod. If it has the Sex Pistol's "Anarchy in thr UK" on it, I'll die a happy man. Oh, that British Royal Family. It's the only tourist attraction you have to feed for centuries on end.
Learn From Our Enemies

From Victor David Hanson:
In a single day last week, in various media — the liberal International Herald Tribune and the Washington Post — the following information appeared.

A Syrian smuggler of jihadists to Iraq, one Abu Ibrahim, was interviewed. He made the following revealing statements:

(1) that the goal of the jihadists is the restoration of the ancient caliphate ("The Koran is a constitution, a law to govern the world")

(2) that September 11 was "a great day"

(3) that two weeks after the attack, a celebration was held in his rural Syrian community celebrating the mass murder, and thereafter continued twice-weekly

(4) that Syrian officials attended such festivities, funded by Saudi money with public slogans that read, "The People ...Will Now Defeat the Jews and Kill Them All"

(5) that despite denials, Syrian police aided the jihadists in their efforts to hound out Western influence: They were allowed to enforce their strict vision of sharia, or Islamic law, entering houses in the middle of the night to confront people accused of bad behavior. Abu Ibrahim said their authority rivaled that of the Amn Dawla, or state security. "Everyone knew us," he said. "We all had big beards. We became thugs."

(6) that the Syrian government does not hesitate to work with Islamists ("beards and epaulets were in one trench together")

(7) that collateral damage was not always so collateral: "Once the Americans bombed a bus crossing to Syria. We made a big fuss and said it was full of merchants," Abu Ibrahim said. "But actually, they were fighters."

(8) That once Syria felt U.S. pressure, there was some temporary cosmetic change of heart: "The security agents said the smuggling of fighters had to stop. The jihadists' passports were taken. Some were jailed for a few days. Abu Ibrahim's jailers shaved his beard."

(9) that supporters in Saudi Arabia always played a key role: "Our brothers in Iraq are asking for Saudis. The Saudis go with enough money to support themselves and their Iraqi brothers. A week ago, we sent a Saudi to the jihad. He went with 100,000 Saudi riyals. There was celebration amongst his brothers there!"
Go read the rest of The Sorry Bunch.
A Dark Day for Science Fiction

For anyone who has witnessed the train wreck that was the 1978 Star Wars Christmas Special, the idea of a Very Dr. Who Christmas ought to send you screaming into the night. At least it would if you hadn't heard that George Lucas is turning Star Wars into Muppet Babies in Space first.
Tossing Big Bird Out the Nest

The houe is moving to reduce and maybe eventually eliminate funding for PBS. I do not think this is a bad thing. While I don't want to see the arts disappear, I don't want to see it being subsidized by tax dollars, either. I question the pure, unfettered expression of artists when they are creating on the government's--my--nickel. The government just doesn't need to be in the art business, no matter how small a percentage of the national budget actually goes towards it.

Will this end art as we know it? No. Artists can either find some modern day Medici family or finally reaalize there is no audience for their work. Either way is fine for a free marketer like me. if it's good, it will pay for itself. Considering the revenue Barney the Dinosaur generated, I don't see why the rest of public television's children's line up, like Seame Street, can't pay for itself.

If we elimnated the PBS budget, we could have self-sustaining, quality programs and avoid any further arguments regarding public financing of obscenity. it seems win-win to me.
For Future Reference

The Skipper's real name, never actually mentioned on Gilligan's island, was Jonas Grumby. I never visualized a situation in which I would need to know that, but strange things have happened--most of them in recent months. Anyway, now you won't get caught unaware, should the question incredibly arise in your life as well.
Downing Street Memo

I always enjoy watching the mainstream media wring its hands when it cannot manufacture a juicy story out of some event. You can always tell when they have failed, because the MSM will make the fact that it is a nonstory the story itself. The Downing Street memo is the most recent of this phenomena. For the record, the Memo was sent to British Ministers in 2002 by the Prime Minister’s office announcing that the United Kingdom would be joining in an invasion of Iraq and a pretense for war must be found. When this memo became public, the response from the MSM media was that this memo would be Prosecution’s Exihibit A in an impeachment trial if the President had been Clinton, not Bush.

Considering the inept use of the military during Clinton’s term, I have to tak the position that he would have been forgiven for such a memo. Look what he got away with during his eight years in office: firing a missile at an empty office building in the middle of the night in “retaliation” for an assassination attempt on Bush 41, handing over the US military to the United Nations in Somalia after sending troops in without proper equipment, ignoring the first World Trade Center bombing, (which was an act of war with no response,), ignoring the terrorist bombing of military housing in Saudi Arabia (which was an act of war with no response), firing missiles at empty tents in “retaliation” for terrorist bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, negotiating with Castro to take back Cuban prisoners from the US in exchange for Elian Gonzales, and ignoring the attacj on the USS Cole, which killed 17 men (which--stop me if you‘ve heard this--was an act of war with no response.). After all that, with nary an impeachment count in sight, I think Clinton would be in the clear.

I’m not trying to turn this into an indictment of Clinton. Lord knows, there’s been enough vitriol tossed in his direction as it is. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t like Clinton at any point. I recognized him for what he was: a fantastic campaigner but a lousy president. He abandoned any vision he had once it became unpopular just for the sake of having “President” in front of his name. It’s the electorate’s fault, really, for the wishy washy demeanor that pervaded the White House for eight years and lead ultimately why the MSM can’t figure out why the people aren’t up in arms about the “manufactured” Iraq war. They aren’t up in arms, because the MSM media has misjudged the fact that we have grown up since 9/11 and realize our national mistakes of the 1990’s.

I knew at 8:48 AM, September 11, 2001 that we were at war. Everyone knew that, because we had a new President in office who knew what America’s role as the world’s only super power should be. Clinton would have made Ground Zero a crime scene, held hands with Kofi Annan, and cried into the Hudson River over the dead. At that moment, we realized that Clinton had made the US look like a pushover in the eyes of the world, and that had to change. Al Qaeda had been attacking us with relative impunity for years, and American planes had been targeted by Iraqi nti-aircraft weapons for over a decade with no serious response. We knew, as the Twin Towers fell, that our enemies needed to know this wouldn’t stand, and we were coming for them.

I fully believe this is the understanding of the American people when polls show a majority think Iraq had something to do with 9/11. Yes, I do think there were Iraqi connections to Al Qaeda, perhaps not directly involved with 9/11, but solid ties nonetheless. I don’t see how it could have infiltrated the leadership of the insurgency so quickly and ably otherwise. But I truly think what the people mean is that they see no distinction between Al Qaeda and Iraq. They are menacing enemies of the United States and must be dealt with.

At some point, Iraq was going to be dealt with regardless. There had been a perpetual air war with Iraq since 1991,and a constant game of chicken with the West regarding weapons inspectors. All of these incidents were violations of the 1991 ceasefire agreement that ended the Gulf War. Any viilation of a ceasefire means hostilities can begin again. That would serve as a legal reason to resume conflict for both the UK and the US, but I fully understand that the 12 year gap can cool a population’s passions and resolve.

In a representative republic with civilian control of the military, a war has to be sold to the people. There is an initial positive response to any military action, even a failure, that is dubbed “rally around the flag.” It can fade quickly without a good reason to sustain military involvement. People respond to threats against them personally, thus it became necessary to make a potential war personal. There was doubt Saddam had WMDs. There was no doubt he would have acquired them again if given the chance. There was no doubt he was a tyrant who muderdered his own people. There was no doubt he has waged aggressive war in the past, and would do so again. There was no doubt he supported worldwide terrorism. There was no doubt the world would be better off without him.

Bush knew it, Tony Blair knew it, and contrary to what the MSM thinks about the intelligence of the American public, they knew it, too. There was no war for oil, no neocon dream of reshaping the world in its own image, and no Bush family vendetta. This was the sleeping giant of the United states getting rid of a threatening enemy. The British government recognizes that. Why doesn’t the US media?

Thursday, June 16, 2005


The Colossus is taking suggestions for which up and coming blogs ought to be added to his blogroll. Eye of Polyphemus is one of the choices. I am not certain why there is such fanfare over linkage, but if you'd like to go sing my praises or explain why my blog is not fit for public consumption, he is looking for your comments.