December 31, 2006
Happy New Year!
From our home to yours ...
... may 2007 bring you happiness, continued health and prosperity.
May those who love us love us.
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we’ll know them by their limping.
December 29, 2006
Al Arabiya: Saddam has been executed. UPDATED
(via Fox News)
UPDATE: Meryl Yourish has an open thread dedicated to Saddam hangman haiku.
KozKiddies Krazed - wash thoroughly after reading the comments (any questions left about the moral bankruptcy of the Murtha/Dean/Kucinch Left?)
Indiana Jones at age 64
The fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series is set to start filming next year.
The fourth chapter of the "Indiana Jones" saga, which will hit theaters in May 2008, has been in development for over a decade with several screenwriters taking a crack at the script, but it only recently gained momentum.I confess I have mixed feelings on this.
At the inaugural Rome Film Festival in October, the 64-year-old Ford said he was excited to team up with Lucas and Spielberg again for the fourth "Indiana Jones" installment. Ford said he was "fit to continue" to play the title role despite his age.
I've wanted the series to continue for a long time. But I'm really beginning to wonder how they'll pull it off if they attempt to have Ford try to pick up where he left off almost 20 years ago. Such an attempt would be painfully mockable. Unless they give Indy something age appropriate ... teaching on campus during the 1960's and being yanked into an adventure via young colleague or off-spring, I don't think I'd be able to suspend disbelief.
Why, you may ask?
First, see this pic to the right? That's daughter #2, Erin, putting together racecar tracks for her four-year-old twins, Nik and Sean.
Now consider I first saw Raiders of the Lost Ark within the first few week's of its opening and I sat mesmerized in the theater, refusing to leave until the end of the film ...
... regardless of the fact I was in labor with Erin (she was born within a couple of hours after leaving the theater).
Indy's fictional world is tied too tightly to the passage of time in my real world and no "movie magic" (or surgeon's) is going to be able to hide Harrison's age, either.
Coverage of things that didn't happen
In Durham, NC.
Brava, Mary Katharine. Brava.
December 28, 2006
NC Bar files ethics charges against Nifong
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina bar filed ethics charges Thursday against the prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse case, accusing him of saying misleading or inflammatory things to the news media about the athletes under suspicion.Damn, and here I was hoping there'd be something about tarring and feathering.
The punishment for ethics violations can range from admonishment to disbarment.
Disbarment just doesn't seem enough for such a self-serving poltroon as Nifong.
December 27, 2006
One is the loneliest number ...
Ben of Mesopotamia writes:
On Saturday night, a colleague emailed me and told me to bring my camera, as Senator Kerry was scheduled to give a press conference here in the Palace. At 2100, he entered a conference room wearing his leather flight jacket. Unfortunately, there was no media there, except for the enlisted soldiers from AFTN (Armed Forces Television Network) who had to be there. His aide looked around, saw that this just wasn't happening, and quickly escorted Kerry out before I could take a picture.Blackfive
Finally, the next morning, Senator Kerry ate chow at the Dining Facility. Normally when a Senator/Representative visits, he is joined by a contingent of soldiers/Marines/airmen from his home state. Despite the fact that the MP unit responsible for Green Zone security is an Army Reserve unit from Massachusetts, not a single soldier went to sit with him.
One reason that I'm reasonably sure that there won't be too many pictures of Senator Kerry with the troops is the PAO is well aware of what troops will do. So here are the pictures that are available so far, officially, from the US Army. Since no commanders volunteered to host Senator Kerry, I think it's safe to say that Colonel Sutherland drew the short straw for the suicide mission.Excuse me for a moment, I gotta go dig out my old Three Dog Night album ...
December 26, 2006
Former President Gerald Ford dies
LOS ANGELES - Gerald R. Ford, who picked up the pieces of Richard Nixon's scandal-shattered White House as the 38th and only unelected president in America's history, has died, his wife, Betty, said Tuesday. He was 93.He was a kind and steady man and of unfailing good humor. He even took the ribbings he got for his fumbles (tripping down the steps off Airforce One, or getting hit by a golf ball) in stride.
"My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age," Mrs. Ford said in a brief statement issued from her husband's office in Rancho Mirage. "His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country."
Go with God, Mr. President.
Update Caltechgirl posts her condolescences, and includes a video of a SNL skit on Mr. Ford.
Technorati: Gerald Ford
This dad did not take my gift-giving advice
So why should he be surprised when the Bratz doll he gave his six-year-old daughter started mouthing obscenities?
Luce Arce bought his daughter Kristina, the Bratz doll “Baby Jade” for Christmas. He thought it would be a fun talking, Karaoke singing doll, but he was terribly surprised.Maybe, Luce, if you took more than a cursory look at the doll you purchased ...
Arce says the words that come out from Baby Jade’s mouth are out of line and not appropriate for his 6-year-old daughter.
When the doll sings, “You could actually hear the f-word. What is this to a child, a six year old? This is ludicrous, I can't believe this," said Arce.
... you might have given a thought or two to choosing age-appropriate rather than "hip."
December 23, 2006
US kills Taliban leader
A top Taliban military commander described as a close associate of Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar was killed in an airstrike this week close to the border with Pakistan, the U.S. military said Saturday. A Taliban spokesman denied the claim.While the US military seem confident that they actually Osmani, personally I'd like to declare the 24 hour rule for definitive proof.
Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani was killed Tuesday by a U.S. airstrike while traveling by vehicle in a deserted area in the southern province of Helmand, the U.S. military said. Two associates also were killed, it said.
There was no immediate confirmation from Afghan officials or visual proof offered to support the claim. A U.S. spokesman said "various sources" were used to confirm Osmani's identity.
However, let's say I'm also hopeful of the good news.
U.S. military spokesman Col. Tom Collins described Osmani's death as a "big loss" for the ultraconservative militia.More, please.
"There's no doubt that it will have an immediate impact on their ability to conduct attacks," Collins said. "But the Taliban is fairly adaptive. They'll put somebody else in that position and we'll go after that person, too."
He was regarded as highly ideological and was instrumental in some of the excesses of the Taliban rule such as the destruction of the ancient Buddha statues in Bamiyan and the trial of Christian aid workers in 2001, Rashid said.
December 22, 2006
I must admit I've never personally tasted truffles, but I'm intrigued anytime I watch the competing chefs on Iron Chef embelish exotic dishes with them. Traditionally pigs are used to locate these underground fungal masses, but they have to be very carefully watched and restrained least the pig is allowed to destroy the truffle.
(h/t Attila Girl)
December 19, 2006
Kofi Annan - kleptocrat,
enabler of rape, hypocritical public scold and now you can add rent-control cheat to his list of dubious accomplishments,
As Secretary-General Annan prepares to leave his post at the United Nations, a mystery is surfacing surrounding his apartment on Roosevelt Island, subsidized by New York taxpayers, which is still in use by the family of his brother, Kobina Annan.The UN is dominated by all manner of non-democratic entities ... is it really surprising that it has developed such a culture of unearned, almost monarchal, privileges?
The apartment was where Mr. Annan and his wife lived before 1997, when he became secretary-general. The Roosevelt Island home is part of an estate of low-rent state-regulated housing. For years, the Annans saved considerable sums by occupying an apartment meant to help financially strapped low- to moderate-income New York families.
One question Mr. Annan has never addressed is why he and his wife felt comfortable availing themselves of this generous arrangement. Another is how it is that, since Mr. Annan and his wife left that Roosevelt Island apartment 10 years ago to move into the rent-free residence on Sutton Place supplied to the secretary-general, their former low-rent apartment was handed over to be occupied by the family of Mr. Annan's brother.
Way, way past time to replace it.
(h/t Capt. Ed)
December 16, 2006
Ironic quote of the Day
... or moronic, you be the judge.
Charles Johnson points out this story about a fully tented moslem female in Michigan who was told she couldn't board a bus with her face covered and the utter humiliation that has been seared, seared into her consciousness since the incident happened last June
GRAND RAPIDS -- Five months after she was denied a ride on a public bus because her face was covered by a traditional Islamic veil, Tasha Douglas still is unable to talk about the incident without becoming upset.The bus system reacts, not to defend their reasonable safety policy, but by attempting to assuage an ostensibly hysterical moslem who has been Easily Offended™.
Douglas said she only now reluctantly is speaking out because her experience was made public last week when officials from The Rapid bus system cited it as the reason they rescinded a policy that barred people with face coverings from boarding.
"I cannot express enough how this has devastated me. I was hurt. I was humiliated. I wanted to cry," said Douglas, who broke down in tears while being interviewed.FIVE months later? This female needs serious psychiatric help.
Or maybe, just maybe, she's looking for some other kind of soothing therapy
Her attorney, Miriam Aukerman, said while the ACLU's focus is on changing the policy and ensuring The Rapid trains its employees to be sensitive to religious issues, they believe Douglas should receive a cash settlement.Amazing how humiliation can be cured with bundles of Franklins.
"It's not enough to say, 'We made a mistake,' it's important to know how you could have a policy approved like this at the top levels of The Rapid," Aukerman said. "It's not like anyone would dream of saying to a nun or an Amish woman or a black person, you're not allowed to board the bus."Let's leave aside for the moment that the "top levels" of The Rapid probably did not have burka chicks on the brain when they formed this policy -- I'll even go out on a limb here and posit they were more concerned with armed robbers in ski masks -- but I'm unaware of any nun or Amish woman who routinely boards public transit wearing full face masks as a religious accessory.
Or when was the last time a nun blew up a bus or hijacked a plane? Hmmm?
But this little bon mot has got to take the Bint al Sahn.
"I have a daughter and I don't want her to be ashamed to cover her face."Sister, your daughter will have to be as ashamed of herself as you are to even consider covering her face.
December 15, 2006
Jimmy Carter autobiography
Too bad Jhimmi is so busy on his book tour. It would have been fun to watch him hobnob with David Duke and Ahmadinejad at the Iran Holocaust Conference.
Jhimmi loves historical revisionism.
December 14, 2006
Another thing I don't miss about the 50's
Unlike Leeza, who now has free rein of the house, Condi won't leave her stiches alone and the vet has sentenced her to the wear a lampshade for at least a week.
I'm feeling sorry for her and giving her a lot of extra scritchies and lap time. Watching her try to find a comfortable position to nap brought back childhood memories ...
... back before home hair blowdryers and curling irons ...
... when mom would set my hair in those hard, pink plastic curlers, wrap them up with a pink net and then I tried to sleep on them.
Emphasis on try.
I'm sorry, Condi. I really am.
December 13, 2006
Things that chap my ass -- An open letter to CA Real Estate agents ...
Dear Sir or Madam,
I know you've had five heady years where actually working for commissions was practically unheard of. A house could be over forty years old, never improved, housed crowds of circus folk and their animals, have only one barely functioning bathroom ... and you could just list it on a Wednesday and have a bidding war by Saturday and seal the deal on Sunday for double or triple what the house was worth only one year before.
Let me be frank. Those days are over. Gone. Finito. Hasta la vista, baybee.
So stop trying to blow smoke up my ass. Stop fooling yourself that I don't read the news, or follow the market, or do my fucking homework.
And stop living by that river in Egypt.
We've been watching the market for over two years. We refused to be stampeded into bidding wars with speculators and flippers back then. Starting this past January, we refused to listen, month after friggin month to the same "Yes, the market has softened, but it's hit bottom now and only going to increase probably starting next month" line you have been pedaling all fucking year.
And it's that same line you are using to delude the sellers that have listed with you -- the sellers who are pricing their houses based on summer of 2005. Sellers who, after the house has been on the market for over four months, advertise NEWLY REDUCED PRICE! UNDER MARKET VALUE! and discount it a whopping $5,000-$10,000 (on a 500,000 house).. and it still sits for another four months.
In the mean time, since I subscribe to a service that lists defaults, foreclosures and bank-owned properties, I can zero in on the area we are looking at and see, within a two mile radius ... almost one hundred properties IN default/foreclosure/auction/reo.
Who the fuck do you think you are helping when you don't explain reality to your sellers?
Earth to agent -- flippers have left the market. Jackal speculators have either fled the market or are walking away from upside down mortgages. The CA Real Estate ponzi scheme is OVER and you now are going to have to actually work for your commission.
And the first place for you to start is to re-embrace the old real estate truism. If the home you're listing hasn't had any offers in the first two weeks or two open houses?
The price is not justified. Period.
I'm not going to make any offer on a house at the asking prices I'm seeing, because they are unrealistic. Do you wonder why buyers like me are sitting on their hands?
It's going to be a long, hungry winter until you wake up and smell the cut grass.
December 12, 2006
One word to anyone contemplating giving Bratz as a gift at Christmas.
December 11, 2006
It's beginning to look a lot ...
... like Christmas ....
December 10, 2006
'Don't play us for chumps'
(...though, unfortunately, too many American surrender monkeys are aspiring to chumpdom..)
December 08, 2006
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick - RIP
Reported via radio news this morning (Los Angeles local KRLA870), Jeane Kirkpatrick has passed away at age 80.
Kirpkpatrick was President Ronald Reagan's foreign policy advisor and was the first female ambassador from the US to the United Nations.
A fearless conservative (even as she was a lifelong Democrat) with a quick wit and a sharp mind, Kirkpatrick never backed away from any controversy. Her strength of character was unmistakable. Her Blame America First speech given at the GOP 1984 convention is still memorable -- and resonates even today ...
But then, they always blame America first.Technorati: Jeane Kirkpatrick
The American people know better. [...]
The American people know that it's dangerous to blame ourselves for terrible problems that we did not cause.
They understand just as the distinguished French writer, Jean Francois Revel, understands the dangers of endless self- criticism and self-denigration.
He wrote: "Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself."
With the election of Ronald Reagan, the American people declared to the world that we have the necessary energy and conviction to defend ourselves, and that we have as well a deep commitment to peace.
And now, the American people, proud of our country, proud of our freedom, proud of ourselves, will reject the San Francisco Democrats and send Ronald Reagan back to the White House.
December 07, 2006
The ISG report
I haven't read the whole thing yet. However, I suspect that any report that is predicated on the sincerity of Iran and Syria is fatally (for America and Israel) flawed.
::::cough:::: Peace in our time ::::cough::::
Best for your child, or best for you?
In other words, some parents had the painful and expensive fertility procedure for the express purpose of having children with a defective gene. It turns out that some mothers and fathers don’t view certain genetic conditions as disabilities but as a way to enter into a rich, shared culture. [...]That "some" consider a disease? What kind of weaselly sentence is that? Deafness is an unnatural condition that is overcome... either with surgery, mechanical aids or use of extraordinary steps like sign language.
Born five years ago on Thanksgiving Day, the couple’s son, Gauvin, was mostly deaf, and his parents chose to withhold any hearing aids.
Controlling a child’s genetic makeup, even to preserve what some would consider a disease, is the latest tactic of parents in an increasingly globalized society where identity seems besieged and in need of aggressive preservation.
Deafness is a physical anomaly not a "cultural identity", regardless of the social circles the "Deaf community" has developed. I could point to the "rich, shared culture" of the drug culture, it doesn't make drug addiction desirable.
It's a wonder that these people haven't organized to protest and destroy The March of Dimes.
December 05, 2006
2006 Weblog Awards
For the love of Chrysler! (ok... I suppose I watched Cars with Nik and Sean a tad too much this weekend). I'm very flattered to make it to the finals in the 501-1000 category.
Voting begins Thursday and the link is in the sidebar.
Hey, I'm not going to be shy... vote early, vote often, and vote for me!
Technorati: Weblog Awards,
December 04, 2006
CAIR working hard to dhimmitize American infidels
Now, they're going after Dennis Prager, who had the audacity to react to the announcement by Congressperson-elect Ellison to ceremonially use the Koran, instead of The Bible, for taking the oath of office.
An Islamic civil rights group said Monday that a columnist who criticized Rep.-elect Keith Ellison's decision to use the Quran during his ceremonial swearing-in should be removed from the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.Did Prager criticise Islam in his column?. No. Did he make the argument that Islam is a lesser religion in his column than Christianity or Judaism? No. Prager makes his argument, agree with it or not, that it is about the central, foundational place in American history, culture and values that the Bible has figured.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the comments by Dennis Prager, a columnist and conservative talk radio host, displayed an intolerance toward Islam that make him an inappropriate person to serve on the council.
When all elected officials take their oaths of office with their hands on the very same book, they all affirm that some unifying value system underlies American civilization.Prager's critics can't even tell the truth about Prager's argument. What does that say about the substance of their "thinking"?
People who disagree in good faith with Prager should be appalled by CAIR's continued intimidation of critics, especially against a person whose whole body of work -- of books, radio and television -- bespeak a person of great personal integrity and is so far from "intolerant", if CAIR is to succeed then it is to make a mockery of the word "tolerant." It then becomes "tolerance" as defined by the most offended. It becomes "tolerance" as defined as placation of the most easily moved to violence.
... whoever decides these matters, not to mention virtually every editorial page in America, is not going to offend a Muslim. ... This argument appeals to all those who believe that one of the greatest goals of America is to be loved by the world, and especially by Muslims because then fewer Muslims will hate us (and therefore fewer will bomb us).Disagree with Prager. Argue the advantages/disadvantages of allowing any text to be honored while the Bible is rejected in this ceremony. Consider that such an argument about unity of cultural underpinnings also is the legitimate argument of English as the official American language.
But to dismiss the argument, and the person positing the opinion, because even making statements about the foundational value of the Bible is, ipso facto, racist is to deal in bumpersticker dogma, not good faith argument.
Indeed, it doesn't even constitute thinking.
UPDATE -- This isn't about "religious tests". To understand the point Prager is making, consider this analogy: What message would be sent if an elected official announced that his/her swearing in would be conducted in a language other than English, exclusively?
December 01, 2006
Wanna buy a vowel?
Here is Ahmadinejad's full letter. Read the whole thing for yourself and realize this is the second time he is calling for us infidels to accept Islam and understand what our refusal to convert or submit will be.