Monday, April 30, 2007

Have You Ever Heard...

So and so was killed when his sedan ran off the road.


So and so was killed when his hybrid ran into a deer.


So and so was killed when his mid-sized compact hit an embankment.

So, why is it every time (or so it seems) accidents involving SUVs are identified?

All the reporting on Josh Hancock read: Josh Hancock, a relief pitcher who helped the team win the World Series last season, died early Sunday when his sport utility vehicle [emphasis added] slammed into the back of a tow truck...

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We Need To Go Back to the Stoneage!

Before our poison causes the Martian Polar Caps to melt. Its bad enough we are doing it to ourselves, but it is spreading. What is next? Plutonic Warming?


Dark Times

Wow, for the second time in the history of world and within a decade fire melts steel. Wow, think of it, the second instance of fire melting steel happening within ten years of the first instance of it happening. I bet that bridge in San Francisco was rigged with bombs!

Added verbage to accurately reflect my thoughts. Original blog left a few things out. Added text is italicized.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Barb Tadych's Explosion

Barb Tadych the mother of Brendan Dassey had a royal conniption fit outside of the Manitowoc County courthouse after the Dane County jury convicted Brendan.

We need to look at both sides here. Her son was just convicted of crimes that will take him away for the rest of her life and most (if not all) of his life as well. Do we need reporters asking her how she feels? It seems like some Saturday Night Live skit. After all, they do say the most dangerous animals are often mothers defending their offspring.

Of course, the members of the media all need their soundbites. They do not draw viewers, listeners, readers for just ............. After all, no news is good news so turn it around to say good news is no news.

However, a few things now. One she did not have to lash out at the Halbach family. Teresa is lost and gone forever at least you can visit and talk with your son. You need not have done that, you did your case no good and called with a pair of fours. It seems you and the rest of your family sacrificed Brendan for Steve and lost both. Bad, bad, – bad decision. You could have had Brendan for Steve but chose Steve.

The defense tied its case to the stupidity, gullibility, and lead-ability of Brendan Dassey. They say he said what they were trying to get him to say in order to save his skin or because he wanted to please others. So, why not BS all day about Steve? Reports have it Brendan was offered plea deals to testify against Steve but did not.

Again going back to the phone conversation there was one thing Brendan feared greatly and that was Steve. If Brendan & Steve get assigned to the same facility, I bet Steve will kill Brendan.

Bad, bad, – bad choice.

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State of Denial

Brendan Dassey is a convicted criminal. The confession, the conversation with dear old Mom, and the I don't knows buried Brendan good.

However, some think otherwise:
It didn’t take long. Brendan Dassey was guilty on all complaints. On 25 April, 2007 after only a couple hours deliberation, the jury announced a decision. Apparently, this jury bought into the confession mythology. It is ironic that the Steven Avery jury had real physical evidence and spent substantially more time deliberating.

Also, ironic is that charges against Avery that resulted from the Dassey confession were dropped.
Source: Convoluted Brian – Dassey Trial - The Verdict
Now, Mr. Convoluted is in a state of denial over all of this.

Brendan Dassey confessed and certain statements he made led to the discovery of evidence. That is a significant problem the defense had. How could they have overcome it? I don't know. The conversation Brendan and his mother had however sealed the deal (if it was not significantly closed prior to that). Brendan is not being led, Brendan and his Mom are not talking to a crowd they want to please. How is Brendan trying to please his mother by admitting to what happened?

The Steven Avery jury most likely spent the majority of time on one charge and that charge was the one he was acquitted on.

While I am skeptical of portions of the confession I am not skeptical of it all. IIRC they did not find certain bits of evidence it seems would be present. Either that, or the crime shows on TV featuring (I am not talking CSI I am talking Discovery Channel type shows with actual cases) the forensic experts tying the criminal to the crime by a stray hair are more luck than method.

The only possibility Brendan has of getting away with murder is by going after his representation which was atrocious. Why let him on the stand? Where were you Mr. Kachinsky when he was spilling his guts (for a minute never mind he spilled someone else's guts)? However, in this case I have a hard time believing inadequate representation is going to do it for him.

I am quite convinced of the fact that Dassey and Avery formed a diabolic duo.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Criminals and Feeling Sad

Charlie Sykes is taking calls on the Dassey trial. One caller stated he felt sad for Brendan Dassey and Charlie did not much care for that. He said we should feel sad for Teresa.

Count me in the group that feels bad for all involved in the case. However, do not give me keys to the jailhouse and expect I will set Dassey & Avery free. They deserve what they are getting. I feel sad they chose to murder an innocent woman. I feel sad they felt they could get away with it. I feel sad a kid (Dassey) who at least had a chance of bumbling through an inconsequential life is soon to be shipped to Dodge Correctional Institute.

No, to feel sad for someone is not to excuse them or to give them freedom from the consequences of their actions:
I left feeling sorry for the whole affair that started with the condemned kidnapping, robbing and murdering some number of people. Given a knife and permission to cut the condemned free from the deathly bonds, I would have dashed the knife into the brown desert sand.
Source: Blogger Beer – Marcus in Arabia: The Execution.

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I Don't Know

Is all Brandon Dassey could say when asked why he made that long & detailed "false confession".

Angenette Levy with WFRV has an excerpt of Brandon's cross examination. Anyway, about the only thing I can see as certain when it comes to Brandon Dassey is he will say anything.

This does not mean what he says is always false. For example, Mr. Dassey's famous confession led to concrete discoveries. Now, if he made the statements and found no evidence of the crime based on that confession then the case he made a false confession is much stronger.

The exchange Angenette puts on the WFRV Courtroom blog contains an exchange between Mr. Dassey and Mr. Fallon as Mr. Fallon cross examines Mr. Dassey:
Then, Fallon asked Brendan about why he told the investigators that he had been to Steven’s trailer, before 5 p.m. He said that he wasn’t over there.

Fallon: “you didn’t tell your mother that you went over there?”

Brendan: “I didn’t.”

Well let me play something for you, and I want to ask you a couple of questions, alright?”

Dassey replied, “ok.”

Fallon then played a jailhouse phone call between Dassey and his mother, from May 13, 2006. The same day he gave a second confession to investigators as he tried to enter into a plea deal, stating that he and Avery planned Halbach’s rape and murder.

Barb: Brendan, why did you even go over there?

Brendan: I don’t know.

Barb: Why didn’t you just call 911? Or, tell me at 5 o’clock when I got home. Were you afraid of him?

Brendan: Well, yeah.
Source: Courtroom Journal – Brendan Dassey Testifies (Angenette Levy)
I don't know is not going to cut it when you are trying to explain why your "false confession" matches physical evidence found based on your confession. I don't know is not a defense.

Angenette states a psychologist is testifying today on why Brendan is susceptible to making false confessions. What I want to know is not why Brendan may or may not make false confession obviously his concern is to keep himself out of prison, but why key pieces of physical evidence used to convict Avery were found based on Dassey's "false confession".

Investigators know, even when there is no reason to suspect false or deceitful confessions to back the confessions up with other evidence. It does not seem Mr. Dassey is aware he needs more than "I don't know"?

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All The Hallmarks

Of another drive by governments to further insert itself into our lives.

t is estimated that road traffic crashes cause 1.2 million deaths every year, including those of 1,000 young people every day.

Each week 70 children are killed or seriously injured in the UK.

Mr Blair made his remarks in a video statement for UN global road safety week in London.

He said: "Every minute of every day a child is killed or seriously injured on the world's roads. [emphasis added]

"Road crashes are the second leading cause of death for young men after HIV/Aids, and in some African countries more than 70% of those killed on the roads are young breadwinners.

"It is becoming clear that road injury has a serious impact on the wider development goals we are all trying to achieve."

Mr Schumacher said: "Road crashes kill on the scale of malaria or tuberculosis, yet the international community has not woken up to this horrific waste of life.

"That is why I strongly support the Make Roads Safe campaign and the proposal that the United Nations organise a first ever UN ministerial conference to tackle this preventable loss of life."

Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation and a co-ordinator of the Make Roads Safe campaign, said that half of all children killed or seriously injured on the roads in England come from deprived areas.

"The road safety community in the UK is united behind the call for a UN global ministerial conference to give urgently-needed direction to road injury prevention."
Source: BBC – Blair and Schumacher in road plea
Oh-oh, when politicians start saying it's for the children I shudder, because when many people hear that phrase they shut down their critical thinking. Then there is the political equivalent of the triple-dog-dare: ...half of all children killed or seriously injured on the roads in England come from deprived areas. [emphasis added]. So, not only are the children affected but more so poor children. Oh-oh, hold onto your wallets & freedoms tightly people the road is about to get real bumpy. What a torporific statement that is. I am sure it will only be months now we start hearing commercials alongside global warming and second hand smoke hysteria laden with just as much junk science and calls to immediate (before it's too late) action.

You know, I have driven in places where driving was more dangerous. I spent time in the Middle East and the driving climate there was not all together great. It improved my defensive driving skills markedly. The solution, is not a YAUNCOM (Yet Another UN Commission), but the nations enforcing their traffic laws.

In the nation I was in no one got pulled over for a traffic violation. If you were caught speeding you were not stopped by the officer at the side of the road and issued a ticket with a court date. No, when you registered your car for the next year you went and checked with the traffic police if you had any tickets you had to pay for. Of course, I usually went without tickets but I did have a couple years with tickets.

The problem is there is no immediate feedback. The problem is locals could often get tickets fixed for them and another problem was the person at fault in a traffic accident often had little to do with justice and more with a battle of whose wasta was stronger.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Oh Thank You Your Majesty For Touching Me!

Sheryl Crow & Laurie David:
In his attempt to dismiss us, Mr. Rove turned to head toward his table, but as soon as he did so, Sheryl reached out to touch his arm. Karl swung around and spat, 'Don't touch me.' How hardened and removed from reality must a person be to refuse to be touched by Sheryl Crow?
Source: The Corner – Karl Rove, Laurie David, and Sheryl Crow -- The Real Story (Byron York)
Byron York excerpts Crow & David's version as they report on the Huffington Post. Byron also gets reports from a third party:
In the eyewitness' version, again, David and Crow are a bit more aggressive than their own story suggests. The eyewitness says David told Rove, You need to bring in new people to tell you the truth. Rove mentioned Dr. John Marburger, the White House science advisor. At that point, according to the eyewitness, Crow began poking Rove's chest with her finger, demanding to know what corporations were underwriting Marburger's work. Rove said Marburger had been in academia most of his career.
Source: The Corner – Karl Rove, Laurie David, and Sheryl Crow -- The Real Story (Byron York)
What piques the blogger in me is this How hardened and removed from reality must a person be to refuse to be touched by Sheryl Crow? What stunning and monumental arrogance is contained in that statement? Karl should be flattered by being poked in the chest? Even if the Crow-David story is closer to reality why should we think Sheryl Crow's touch is soooo special?

In the end it is clear, Shreyl Crow & Laurie David want to restrict us peons from using the resources the aristocracy needs to jet around the world with their semi truckloads of gear so they can sing to us about soaking up the sun.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

On Plans & Planning

Too often we hear this group went into affair X without a plan.

Now, no doubt sometimes groups plan poorly or fail to implement according to plan but often times the above phrase is a substitute for the plan failed. Plans are bound to fail especially when dealing with situations where there is an opposition.

He had a plan and so too did Virginia Tech. However, his plan anticipated VT's plan and his plan worked. Doesn't mean no plan was in place.

It is a cliche to say no plan survives first contact with the enemy and it is cliche for a reason because it is so true. Sports competition should make this obvious. The plan was so perfect on the chalkboard or on the clipboard, but it did not work, why not? Did the players execute poorly? Perhaps, but even if they execute perfectly remember the opposition has a veto on the success of plans.

Now, many people will say well need to have a backup plan! Well, then it is possible to need plans A, B, C, D,....alpha, beta, gamma,...., aleph,.... Then you run into the idea he who plans for every possible contingent plans for nothing.

Best Information

When planning something that is going to be opposed you make plans based on best information available withing your time frame (obviously the information is going to be more accurate & abundant from 50 years from now but if you have to act by the end of next month you can not wait for fifty years to pass).

Backup Planning

Backup planning is necessary but becomes more problematic because then you are attempting to foresee the outcome of events with the initial plan. The information problem now becomes guesswork at least with respect to outcomes. So, you may have a number of backup plans but the initial plan fails because of a completely unforeseen set of circumstances and now instead of executing the backup plans you are either improvising or hurriedly making a new plan.

Improvised Action

Improvised action is not as bad as many would suppose. Our military depends on commanders being able to do this. A commander's aide walking the battlefield notes an unplanned for situation developing and then acts above his rank to make sure the situation is dealt with. A good example of improvised action is the defense of Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg. They did not follow protocols or established plans; if they did the Battle of Little Round Top, Gettysburg, and perhaps even the US Civil War would have been decided differently.

Professional Basketball & Jazz are examples of improvised action. As long as the people involved are motivated, and capable of understanding the situations they are in, they should be able to respond in the correct manner. Does not mean it is easy or is always successful, but it is not perilous as it seems.

Plans for Unopposed Action

Plans for unopposed action have the benefit of not having someone actively trying to derail the plan, but contain all of the other unknowns. The possibility of knowing the risks and eventual outcomes is higher.

Making good backup plans is also more likely and the outcome of unopposed plans is more reliant on the proper plan design and implementation.

However, never ever confuse plans for opposed action to those for unopposed action.


Random Bytes

Lamenting Lakeshore Laments

Recently I noted a Blogger blog written by an author who was unexpectedly found dead. Her blog is still up and running, but obviously the only updates are from people coming in to comment in Julia's memory. However, what happens when a blogger's terms of employment proscribe blogging? Well Kevin Binversie's Lakeshore Laments is about to show us. In Lakeshore Lament's case the site & content goes away. However, the original Lakeshore Laments is similar to Julia's blog and will be with us for a long time.

Kevin, I use a different hosting service for my other website and am able to make complete back ups of the site. Did you do so?

No Smelt

Last night some relatives and I went to the – lakeshore. We went to a place named Kiddsville on Lake Michigan's shoreline between Two Rivers & Two Creaks. Yes, this is not too far from the nuclear plant.

The weather was nice not too cold and the southeast wind was not raising too large of waves. However, the smelt were not in and three pulls resulted in nothing. Oh well what is that saying about fishing & work?

Thank God

Harry Reid was not an influential leader during the Revolution, the Civil War (wait a minute, perhaps we was a copperhead & has reincarnated), or WWII. Can you see it now? After the Battle of Midway Harry Reid would be whining about how badly the war is going and we need to let Japan alone and how incompetently FDR was running things. After all, men were killed and ships lost quite obviously the Navy & FDR's administration did not have a plan.

You Do Not Have To Use Wordpress Hosting To Use Wordpress

The Jawa Reports notes Wordpress is hosting a number of terrorist web sites. FYI, if you want to use the Wordpress engine you can go ahead and do so without purchasing your hosting via Wordpress. Just:

  1. take out a domain name

  2. Contract with a web hosting service that provide Wordpress as a blog system option

  3. Install & configure Wordpress

  4. Blog away.

Nothing Like a Freshly Waxed Car

Yesterday, I got ambitious and washed, vacuumed, leather conditioned, rain-exed, armor-alled, and waxed the car. When I was done I was very satisfied. I sprayed water on the car and watched the water bead up makes a very nice photo against the sheen of the hood & sunshine. I will post that picture sometime.

Anyway ttyl!


Friday, April 20, 2007

Alec Baldwins Casino Like Meltdown

I am talking about the Casino with Robert DeNiro, Joe Peschi, Sharon Stone, et al.

In it, Sharon's character is off somewhere with her deadbeat pimp gigolo and her daughter who appears to be about 10 years or so. In it the daughter recognizes the quality of her mother's boyfriend and lips off to him. The reaction of Mr. Gigolo is interesting. He tries to threaten her but never carries out the threats and in doing so elevates her to his level or probably closer to the truth is he reveals his level of character & maturity.

So too with the Alec Baldwin meltdown. Alec Baldwin has quite obviously handed the power to humiliate himself to his eleven year old daughter. He further confirmed to her, her attacks are working. Much more helpful would be to talk to his ex-wife Kim Bassinger but of course, the daughter may very well have picked up her dislike for Alec from her mother.

In a way, this is the sort of thing I hate the most about our media culture, but I confess I am experiencing some schadenfreude.


Up The River You Go!

I noticed a number of googlers landing here searching for Michael Ray Aquino. In order to catch up with the case see for a collection of my writings on this case (and a few other blogs). A quick summary is Michael Ray Aquino & a certain Leandro Aragoncillo were arrested and charged with espionage. Mr. Aragoncillo was handing off classified material he had access to, to Mr. Aquino. Mr. Aquinio then passed it on to his bosses in Manila who are concerned with toppling the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (PGMA).

Both of the accused in this case have plead guilty after initial resistance to the charges. Apparently, Mr. Aquino's & Mr. Aragoncillo's sentencing date is coming up and despite the pleas the prosecutors are seeking maximum jail terms.

In addition, their laywers are working every angle they can.
The lawyer for Michael Ray Aquino threatened to "rake [Leandro Aragoncillo] and the government over the coals" by calling Vice President Dick Cheney and former Vice President Al Gore and other government officials to testify regarding Aragoncillo "and his activities during the relevant time period."
Source: Asian Journal Online – Lawyer Threatens to Call US VP Cheney, Gore to Testify in 'Pinoy Spy' Case
Good luck. I have a hard time imagining either of the two VPs are in any position to testify anything about Aragoncillo.

It isn't just the two former VPs who face threats from Aquino's attorney, but Aragoncillo as well. The prosecution sees the request as a delaying tactic and I have to concur (see comments above).

Seems Aquino has a good attorney. Wonder where he is getting the money from? I suppose that is coming from his bosses. Where do his bosses get the money from? Hehehe, I have an idea, but would like to hear yours.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Blame is For God & Lawyers

A lot of that happening wrt to the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting. Even the family of the victim, how horrible must they be feeling?

Here are some thoughts.

Who To Blame?

There is only one easy answer but it does not satisfy. The shooter is to blame. However, beyond that blame is for God & Lawyers. Lots of finger pointing is going on, but from all accounts there is a long chain of events leading up to the massacre, each event a possible turning point from the wreck but the all-time loser continues on headlong to his death and the death of others.

Could these people not have connected the dots? Could they not have spotted the bear about to dump in the woods? No, they could not. What is so cliche then still applies and is about hindsight.

He Should Have Been Committed

Easy to say it now. Especially given the bubble of fear that he exuded. What strikes me is the fact that his stories were disturbing. Yeah, so? Steven King's stories are disturbing too. I saw the end of Carrie when I was young (in 1976 I was nine years old) and IIRC at the end Carrie causes kitchen knifes to fly through the air and bury themselves in the back of her mother. Now, as a nine year old I was in second, third grade, something like that. I wrote a story for an assignment that ended in a similar manner. I got a talking to about that story. Now, admittedly his stories may have always been nasty and no matter what the theme or genre he was supposed to write they all came to the same thing, but still, do you put people away for writing horror stories? Maybe you do, but I can not imagine it is an easy call.

The judge who presided over his mental competency hearing, I bet feels terrible. God have Mercy on the Judge and bring peace to his soul. He couldn't have known.

The stalking? When confronted with it he stopped. The gun purchases? His background checks came clean and from what I understand a suggestion to get psychiatric help does not go on the record.

The University

Many claim after the first two killings the University should have been put on lock down or at least an announcement made. As reported the police were at the first murder scene and he came ready. What he did was create a diversion he murdered two people and disappeared for a time and then came back ready for his real intention.

Should the University have done more? The easy answer now is yes. But a number of factors could have changed the events and none of them are easy. If a number of students were packing guns bang-bang he is dead. However, VaTech threatens expulsion for those students who legally carry concealed weapons. As much as I deplore the policy I can understand why someone thinks prohibiting concealed weapons makes people safe. It only made him safe.

Should the university have expelled him? For what? Did they know enough to look for an excuse? Apparently not.

I have heard reports on the Texas Sniper how students and professors were shooting back at the sniper. That is the sniper could not leisurely target & shoot people. He would have to hide and fire off quick shots.

No One Fought Back

These are students not warriors, perhaps one or two were ROTC (if ROTC isn't banned at VaTech). They had weapons, but like scissors cuts paper bullets beat chairs, books, & other objects. Quick thinking may have inspired some to hide at the edge of the door and jump him as he entered the room. However, quick & clear thinking in such situations is not natural and takes training. Heroes are heroic because their actions are not common and common is what most of us are.

Still heroism was on display, from a Holocaust survivor, God bless his soul and may your perpetual light shine upon him. Reports have it others barricaded the doors and he did not fart around kicking in doors.

Going Forward

The usual suggestions come up. Gun control, throw nutters into asylums, lockdown the campii, metals detectors at every door etc.

Gun control? Brits think gun-control is a blessing, but this Reason Article differs on that bit of conventional wisdom. Oh yeah, there is that pesky Second Amendment too. So, gun-controllers/grabbers go ahead try to amend the constitution and if you do I really fear for the streets.

Toss the nutters into the asylum? Tempting, it seems he should have been but again where is the line drawn? There is a cost to this one as well and that cost comes in dollars to house the nutters & legitimate civil-liberty concerns. Lockdown the campii? How? Again we run into a dollars constraint and once again it would not have stopped diddly squat.

It is hard to pick up on particular individuals when you are dealing with thousands of them. It also seems as he started to notice people noticing him for certain things he would quickly stop those behaviors. Al-Qaida operatives are advised to drive within the driving laws of the nation they are in lest they attract even the slightest bit of attention, the same would probably occur to one plotting something heinous.

A Completely Imperfect Storm

We just witnessed a completely Imperfect storm. It is bound to happen, pray for the victims, the victim's families, the murderer, his family, and that you do not find yourself mixed up in any way with another such imperfect storm.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tent Poles

Sure, go ahead and keep hating the moderates of the party. But if you want the Republican party to keep winning, you need moderates. The religious right is overstretched and not a viable option to carry the party - the GOP needs to appeal to moderates, and harping on "social values" bs just isn't a winning plan.

The religious right is a tremendously loud, whiny minority that is utterly incapable of giving any candidate a victory in a national election at this point.
Source: Comment by Steve S in response to Howard Dean or Rudy Giuliani
I am not certain, I do not believe Steve is responding to me but to Wayne, still there are a few things worth mentioning and there is a undercurrent to Steve's comment that needs addressing no matter who it is addressed to.

Steve says ...and harping on "social values" bs just isn't a winning plan. Well, in my opinion that is conceding the main battle. We can not disconnect economic, foreign, and other policy from "'social values' bs". A common misconception and one I see often. For example, many blame our electoral loss with respect to Mark Green and John Gard to the gay marriage amendment.

How? That amendment passed, in fact nearly every state similar amendments pass they do so by greater margins than Republicans win by. That is, quite a few people voting for Democrats also vote for what are often called "'social values' bs". The problem is, all too many candidates crave positive attention from the media and to do that they must eschew the hick rednecks.

I was reading somewhere recently the idea of a big tent. In a discussion on NRO JPod states:
...and Rich made the salient observation yesterday that pro-lifers themselves represent a tentpole [emphasis added] without whom the big tent could collapse on itself.
Source: National Review's The Corner – Abrotion and the Democrats (JPod)
If we look back onto the last time a national party collapsed and another one arose it was over moral – social issue.

Aside from the OCRP the only group I see on the streets in Outagamie County pushing Republican candidates are those motivated by "'social values' bs". I know of at least one person who will not vote for President if the choice is between a pro-abortion Republican and Democrat.

Now, all that said. I hear what Steve S. is saying and I try to keep a calm tone and try not to go incendiary with my writing and rhetoric. If you go around talking like Ann Coulter you change no ones minds. Ann Coulter does what she does and all firebrannds have a purpose (see Jonah Goldberg's latest column for commentary on this) but their purpose is to enrage not engage the other side.

Some may say, well what does being calm & reasonable get you? You try to be nice and extend a hand in friendship or reasonable debate and it gets spit on. Well, doing the right thing is always – the right thing.

Rudy Giuliani still does not do it for me, and McCain is indeed looking more attractive. I do not believe Fred Thompson will run, I will not support Condeleeza Rice (I was real keen on her years ago) as she lacks elective political experience and I am not impressed by her State Department. Tommy Thompson? Think DC is full of big spenders now?

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Chicago Gets The Bid to Bid on the Olympics

Chicago gets the bid to bid on the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Hmmm, me thinx Chicago and their neighbor up the lake had better do something about their tendency to use the local waterways as a toilet. I can see it now, the spotlight of the world is on the area and the MMSD ends up dumping into Lake Michigan. These are never minor stories when this happens.

A Very Big Bear Not The Biggest Bear

This last weekend my cousin let me read and e-mail about the picture of this bear and hunter.

The e-mail said the guy was out deer hunting when this bear charged him. He then unloaded his 7 mm into the charging bear to have it collapse right in front of him. He then reloaded and pumped more rounds into the bear's head. The bear is reported as being 14' tall & 1,600 or so pounds. In addition, the story has an autopsy of the bear as revealing the remains of two people inside its gut.

Well, Snopes has the truth and nothing but the truth on the bear. It is not completely out to lunch, but it is late.

First off, Dude was out hunting deer but also had a bear permit. Him and his buddy came upon scene they knew would likely attract bear and indeed found the bear in that location. They set up in what they thought would be a good location and the bear took a different path and popped into the clear close in front of them. Dude then let go with his .338 Winchester Magnum and dropped the bear. They shot it a number of times of course one would not want to take chances.

The bear while big was no world-record, it weighed in at an estimated 1,000-1,200 pounds and 10'6". In addition (or should I say "In subtraction") no human remains were found in the bear.



Manny Pacquiao the super feather-weight boxer from the Philippines is stepping into another ring the Filipino political ring!

Manny Pacquiao is becoming a national Filipino sensation after beating Eric Morales and then just the other day (last SA April 14) KOing Jorge Silas (Jorge's first defeat).

FWIW (Kano ako, kasi), here is my take on the situation. Politicians are exploiting Mr. Pacquiao to bolster their careers. While I respect Mr. Pacquiao's talents and the fact he has what it takes to rise to the top ranks of international boxing I am concerned about his ability to distinguish loyal & capable advisers as opposed to opportunistic & corrupt advisers. I am concerned about his ability to play the games that go on in politics at the level he has chosen to enter the game. Mr. Pacquiao brings a lot of star power to the voters much like Erap did. What is good is Mr. Pacquiao unlike Erap is starting at the bottom, but I feel he should start at an even lower level.

There was one boxer who had an adviser and promoter. That boxer was at the top of international boxing in just about every way one can be. He made millions of dollars and now that guy is in hoc to the IRS and essentially penniless. That boxer is Mike Tyson and the promoter is Don King. I will not say what I believe here but read this story involving Don King (skim the material and search for "Don King" in the web-page). I am afraid a well intentioned man may be used by clever and conniving politicians.

Of course, holding elected office is open to all citizens. However, I do not believe it is a thing to be entered in lightly. At least, Mr. Pacquaio is starting closer to the bottom than Erap. I would suggest he run for city or provincial office first and start going up from there. If he is capable of dealing with office and resisting its many siren songs the voters will see that. He will also learn much better the games that go on and how to play them best to win for his constituents and avoid the traps.

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Stem Cell Politics

Stem cell politics is funny is somewhat perverted.

Recently the Senate voted on two bill related to stem cell research. One bill as reported to me says The Senate voted to reverse President Bush's 2001 decision prohibiting government funds from being spent to create new lines of embryonic stem cells. In the same e-mail we see another stem cell bill described: The Senate passed this bill that would increase funding for adult stem cell research.

Both bills passed the Senate. However, only one bill received yes votes from the Wisconsin Senatorial delegation, and guess which one that is? The later bill passed by a larger margin than the first one.


Howard Dean or Rudy Giuliani?

Rudy Giuliani tells conservative voters to get over certain issues.
And then I think our party, our party has to get beyond issues like that [abortion & other such social issues] where we can have people who are very good people who have different views about this, they can all be Republican because our party is going to grow and we’re going to win in 2008 if we’re a party that is characterized for what we are for and not if we’re a party that’s known for what we are against. …
Source: The Corner – Full Rudy Context
I want to be for Rudy, but I can not bring myself to do so, especially when I like what I hear Senator McCain saying of late. Rudy Giuliani deserves a cabinet seat as the AG, or Sec of Homeland Security, or Secretary of Defense, but I can not bring myself to support him as President. With another quip like that I will bust out the GIMP and photoshop a photo of him with Howard Dean like I did with Howard Dean and Ann Coulter.

John McCain has his problems too. None of these candidates have me going.

Also, apparently Tommy Thompson was one of two candidates who earned a standing ovation at this event.

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Is There a Nurse on Call?

Nurse on Call is the latest add to the Blogger Beer blogroll. The Nurse on Call works in a hospital in Al-Ain and I am guessing the same hospital where the Empress worked at. My guess is she knows some of our friends still working at that hospital.

Anyway visit The Nurse On Call and read her blog. Gives a very interesting insight into what ex-pats (especially low-wasta ex-pats, but it seems The Nurse on Call is able to ably do her job despite her wasta level) have to put up with.

Anyway welcome to the Nurse on Call!

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Retrograde Motion

The sun we all know travels from East to West.

However, for a time my sun was in retrograde motion traveling from West to East. Now, my sun is in Chicago probably clearing immigration, or getting bags, or clearing customs. Yes, The Empress is stateside once again. We briefly talked at about 9:20 am (4/14/2007) when their plane hit the gate at ORD. Tired I am quite sure but fine otherwise.

Due to an event scheduled a long time ago I am unable to get her today but she is going to go the house of her niece & the niece's husband in Suburban Chicago and spend today there. Tomorrow I go to get my sunshine!

YEAH! Welcome home Honey!


Friday, April 13, 2007

I Do Not Miss Imus

Imus is an idiot and I listened to his talk show some years ago and from the very first I wondered what it was about him compelling people to listen to his drek.

Imus is no free-speech martyr. Don Imus is a naughty-naughty boy!

In all seriousness now. Don Imus is no free-speech martyr he is a victim of his own idiocy and it did not even take someone baiting him into it, unlike Michael Savage on Savage's former TV show. Don Imus was freely employed by CBS & MSNBC and he freely accepted employment as well. Don Imus had his attack of oral diarrhea and this cost CBS & MSNBC advertising dollars, what are they going to do?

Now, if Don Imus came under fire of some government czar and they all buckled to the pressure of the government I would hail him as a free-speech martyr. However, it was private action (no matter how orchestrated by Jackson, Sharpton, & Brock) that took Imus down.

Is it hypocritical music companies make money (CBS has a music division I do believe so this counts at least double for CBS) off the same language Imus gets fired for? Of course it is but guess what?

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Edwards on Forgiveness.

(CBS) MAMARONECK, N.Y. Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards' spoke exclusively to CBS 2 on Wednesday morning about the Don Imus and Rutgers University controversy, and though he feels Imus deserves a second chance, he wasn't so sure about his future on Imus' popular radio show.
Source: WCBSTV – Edwards On Imus Spat: 'I Believe In Forgiveness' (Presidential Candidate Stays Mum On Future Imus Appearances)

Then we have this:
The day they looked at their property, the couple and several Secret Service agents parked on his land and walked across the street into the woods.

Johnson approached the agents and asked what they were doing on his property. "The Secret Service let me know it wasn't my concern," he said.
Source: The News & Observer – This is one vote Edwards never had (Elizabeth gripes; neighbor is famous)

It seems like the Edwards knew exactly what kind of neighbor they were moving in next to. I think Mr. Johnson deserves an apology, but I am not holding my breath (nor I am quite sure he is not either).

Two Americas, huh? Well Mr. Edwards with the attitude exhibited by your wife it is quite apparent there will still be two Americas even after you are elected.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Afraid of the Fox? How About The Wolf?

More Democratic candidates are stepping away from debates broadcast on Fox News.

Both Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama said they would not participate in a presidential debate sponsored by Fox News Channel, throwing the event in jeopardy.

The two senators joined former Sen. John Edwards, who announced on Friday he would not participate in the debate, one of four being held by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute.
Source: Variety – Clinton, Obama just say no to Fox (Presidential debate thrown into jeopardy)

Add to this Elizabeth Edwards fear of Republicans just show how these people are not fit to lead our nation in times of chaos. They all claim to be uniters (to be fair, what pol does not do that) and do not even try.

If these three want to lead this nation they can not be afraid of their political opponents, what will happen when they have to face real enemies?

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Joshua Bell in the Subway

Joshua Bell a world renowned concert violinist was approached by writers for the Washington Post. They asked if would pose as a regular street performer in the Washington D.C. subway and they would spy on the reactions to the performance, gauge the audience, and count the coins.

I will not quote the article, you can visit it yourself. In the end the author is disappointed because only one person recognized (or gave visible sign of that recognition) Joshua Bell. Mr. Bell's performance earned him about $40.00 for one hour of work (not counting the $20 thrown in by the woman that recognized him).

You can tell the author is disappointed more did not recognize they were listening to greatness either in terms of the performer or the pieces. I have never heard the pieces they mention, but it does sound as if they were not sleepy pieces.

Not all in the article express disappointment. Some are understanding of what the daily commuter is up to. They are going to work & appointments. The majority of the commuters probably don't listen to classical music period, a fact the article does recognize.

As I have blogged here regularly, I listen to classical music. However, if I had been among the DC commuters I probably would have turned my head listened while I was in earshot, but otherwise would have kept going. While I recognize the name Joshua Bell I would not recognize his appearance. In any event it is still celebrity worship. Furthermore, the pieces he played did not register with me (don't get me wrong they are works I am now eager to hear).

Were I on vacation or otherwise at leisure than there is a fair chance I would have stopped to listen. Live music of that sort is a rare treat I appreciate.

After mass, if the organist goes off & plays an organ solo I will sit in the pew and listen until the organist quits (especially real pipe organs played by accomplished organists, my parish has both). So, I am not adverse to stopping and – listening to the roses.

However, if I have a deadline or an appointment to make, sorry, even great music gets turned down.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Empress

Is fine, the "family business" is taken care of, may God shine his perpetual light on the soul of our sister. Since the business completed (Filipino funeral are not trivial affairs often times family from the world over has to assemble, and when that happens then there is a nine-day or so vigil, and then the funeral mass with the interment following) it has been well deserved rest and relaxation. Her family went to Bohol and visited the famed Chocolate Hills

Well, I just called The Empress and talked with her instead of txting with her. It was excellent to hear her sweet voice again and to hear all I associate with being in the Philippines. Dogs barking, roosters crowing, and family & children in the background. What is even better is since I have been to her sister's house in Barili I know exactly where she is and can visualize the scene.

Anyway being Easter they have plans to attend Mass (or have attended) and their next foray is to either Negros Occidental or Negros Oriental. Negros is one island but, IIRC, there is a range of low mountains separating the eastern portion of the island from the western portion. In addition, this Wikipedia article reports the people are culturally different from each other, with the people in Negos Oriental being Cebuano speakers (i.e. Bisayan). So, my guess is they are bound for Negros Oriental.

No matter, check out the websites I link to and take in the beauty that is the Philippines.

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What A Play!

Iran just made. It captured some British sailors accused them of entering Iranian territory (despite not being able to offer a straight story on where they were really captured), stand off the UK, and then release them, get what they were really looking for (come on you think they wanted an apology from the UK?), and then prance around acting like they are so magnanimous, kind, and great.

This play, in a slightly different form has been played before. In 2000 the band of bandits known as Abu Sayyaf kidnapped some Europeans vacationing in Malaysia. Well, in comes Libya and negotiates with Abu Sayyaf and the Europeans are released. How convenient.

Qadaffy sends major amounts of money to terrorist Abu Sayyaf and comes off looking like a good guy. So, what does Abu Sayyaf do? A week or so later Abu Sayyaf kidnaps some more people. Of course, it is a profitable business. Profit for bribery and weapons.

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An IPod on Every Ear

A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage is the old saying. It did not happen on Herbert Hoover's term but it did happen eventually.

Now, the Michigan
...House Democrats Thursday offered a spending plan that would buy a MP3 player or iPod for every school child in Michigan.

No cost estimate was attached to their hare-brained idea to "invest" in education. Details, we are promised, will follow.

The Democrats, led by their increasingly erratic speaker Andy Dillon of Redford Township, also pledge $100 million to make better downtowns.
Source: The Detroit News – Editorial An iPod for every kid? Are they !#$!ing idiots?

No doubt, the editors looked for the craziest example of runaway spending the could and if it were not IPods it would be something else. That something else, would probably be slightly less crazy.

Vote buying is scandalous and that is what we have here. However, this vote buying scheme is dressed up as something else. At least with Herbert Hoover's promise he did not propose to give the chickens & cars but to set up a situation to make it possible for people to earn those items.

What's next buying music to fill the IPods?

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Needs Vodka

Tonight, I tried the Summer Shandy beer.

Very lemony which was appropriate because I was at my cousin's annual Good Friday fish fry.

Kidding aside, this is something I could have a few bottles of and enjoy especially if I poured in an ounce or two of vodka per bottle. Even without the vodka this drink will make a good substitute for lemonade.

Now, this is very different from Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat & Coors Blue Moon beers. I have had both and can have about one bottle and I do not enjoy them that much.

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Flash Back

Searching for photos of what was aptly named The Incense Burner souk in Al-Ain (in the UAE where I used to live for a time) I ran across this blog as I was searching for my photo I noticed the watermarks bearing a familiar name.

Visit the site, it has some great photos of the United Arab Emirates especially Dubai.


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Yesterday I put on my programmer's hat whilst blogging and blogged about my day programming.

I used the computer term: foobar and Dad29 comments the term is fubar, not foobar.

Well, the version that came the quickest was foobar. Now, most of us know fubar is an acronym for something I will not detail here. ;-) However, in computer classes, texts, writing etc it is foobar that is used.

Anyway the tribulations I went through the other day are not as critical as previously thought since processes are mired in the (way) earlier stages of processing.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Stupid Windoze Trick.


I am working on a process running in PERL on a Windows server. PERL has a wonderful & very powerful way of matching patterns and it is amazing what can be done with regular expressions. However, one script I was looking used something like this:


I looked at that and it drove me crazy! I went on the server the script runs on and looked for a script entitled foo~1. Couldn't find it.

Also a folder was referred to as: $ThisFolder = c:\p1\p2\foo~1

Again, no bar~1 in the expected place. Well on a hunch I put "c:\p1\p2\foo~1" into a address bar of an open explorer and what happens? It opens up: c:\p1\p2\foobar.

Okay, unfortunately the way the program does it all this made me perform some last minute scrambling.

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Something About Networking

Re-reading the blog Michelle Malkin's website its incredible about their dot connecting power. I wonder what dots they would have connected if they read the famous August 6th PDB? I hope I get inspiration, I'll write it up as a spoof piece.

Anyway, much of the nutter commentary shows a basic, if incomplete, understanding of the Internet and how it works. A phsical connection (whether via wireless channels, fiber, or twisted pair) has to be established with the mail server, those channels unless backed up by physical security and strong encryption are subject to intercept. It is not that hard to do and it is not that hard to monitor such traffic.

That is, Karl using his laptop to connect to his fantastic Coptix e-mail server must utilize the bandwidth of the Whitehouse to get at it. I am very certain via speculation the NSA (or similar executive office) monitors all bits, nybbles, bytes, halfwords, words, and doublewords going in and out of the Whitehouse.

Of course, he may leave the Whitehouse and pop into the local Charbucks and utilize their wireless network. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Admit it you were punked. I'll admit to a punking I fell for. I posted commentary on another blog about the Belgium barbecue tax. Coptix was clever, they knew they were part of a pond the left was dipping its toes into and that picture made the left jump right in. Just the same, I am never amazed by the ambtion of Eurocrats to want to control and regulate the life the people so when I saw the barbecue story I fell for it.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Clever Coptix

What is sure to be a marketing case study a web development & hosting firm from Chattanooga punked the left wing blogosphere.

Coptix employees found a photo of Karl Rove on a local blog and asked permission from the blog owner to alter the photo and placed the photo back on the original website. Then, they started planing comments on blogs here & there. Eventually, a lefty blogger with an extremely vivid imagination made a whole set of conspiratorial connections Corrente started the moonbat swarm with this fevered, tinfoil-hatted dot-connecting....

Michelle (whom I link to just above) Malkin then notes how the entire lefty blogosphere is going nuts with this. Of course, they were never fooled by it, they were playing along with the joke all along. HAH!

Coptix put a photo of a couple of sleestax (an malevolent creature from the TV Show Land of the Lost) into the TV in the picture to add to the joke and to give the observant a clue as to the nature of the photograph. I did some googling on sleestax on Google's web search and then again on Google's image search. and wouldn't you know it, the king of the lefty bloggers shows up a lot in the searches, it appears he likens the President to a sleestack (I don't know what the singular is, I assume you have many sleestax and one sleestack).

Hmmm, great lesson.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

If the British Empire Shall Last 100 Years!


WTF what you may ask? This story by the UK Independent The botched US raid that led to the hostage crisis.

A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines.
Source: The Independent – The botched US raid that led to the hostage crisis
Ten weeks later? Do you think this little event may play into it? The assumption at root of The independent's article is little Ole Iran was just sitting on its tuff eating its curds & whey whe their little Miss Muffet was nearly captured.

The Independent says a raid intended to capture two high ranking Iranian security officials failed and Iran retaliated by capturing the British sailors. Interesting. The Time Magazine story provides a very interesting prequel to all of this!

Now, lets deal with the Independent's claims.

Iran has had nothing to do with the violence in Iraq. I don't believe that for a second. Even if Iran does not like the Sunni & Ba'athist insurgents it's distaste for the West is even stronger.

There is no violence against US forces in Kurdistan. What is so unimaginable Iran will not set up channels to direct violence against US/Iraqi forces through their office in Kurdistan?

Oh yeah, there is the incident Time Magazine reports of an Iranian raid trying to capture American soldiers last September (more than 10 weeks ago). Why do we not place blame where blame belongs? On the Iranians?

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth lasts for a thousand one-hundred years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'
Source: Source: Sir Winston Churchill - restatement as forced by contemporaneous reality

In the movie Patton, George C. Scott noted the Germans still could win when it was late in 1944. He was correct and it is very easy now-a-days to see the inevitability of events back then. In the movie Apocalypse Now the general assigning Martin Sheen's character with the mission to kill Colonel Kurtz stated good does not always triumph, that just because you are fighting for right means you will win.

I fear, when the people of the West wake up to the need to fight to defend our way of life it will be way too late. We will fight eventually, but it will be with unimaginable bloodshed and destruction.

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

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