Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Right Did Not Kidnap

Religion, the left dumped it on the side of the road.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Sen. Barack Obama told a church convention Saturday that some right- wing evangelical leaders have exploited and politicized religious beliefs in an effort to sow division.

"Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked," the Democratic presidential candidate said in remarks prepared for delivery before the national meeting of the United Church of Christ.

"Part of it's because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who've been all too eager to exploit what divides us," the Illinois senator said.
Source: Breitbart – Obama Says Some Have `hijacked' Faith
Barak Obama is trying to claim the right uses religion to divide. Well, division by one results in unity, that is it takes more than one to divide. That is, it is plainly silly for a politician to whine about division. That is like the leopard whining about the lions killing wilderbeast. Barak is using silly pop-politics and comes across looking Shaun Cassidy.

"At every opportunity, they've told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent design," according to an advance copy of his speech.

"There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its number one legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich," Obama said. "I don't know what Bible they're reading, but it doesn't jibe with my version."
Source: Breitbart – Obama Says Some Have `hijacked' Faith
Uhhh, many (not all) Democrats (and prominent ones too) do disrespect Christian values. Does the name Amanda Marcotte ring a bell? True, Amanda is hardly a blazing star in Democratic circles but a top-tier Democratic candidate's organization hired her and only let her go after blistering criticism. That incident represents a gross disregard for religious values.

Also, about tax breaks? Really? What is un-Biblical about tax breaks? Remember, the Bible tells us it is every bit as wrong to screw the rich as it is to screw the little guy. Also, the Bible commands us to get off our @$$3$ to help our neighbors not to outsource it to our government.

No, the Right did not "kidnap" religion, the Right picked it up from the ditch after the Democrats kicked it off their bus.

That is okay Obama, you are not the only person in the world to misunderstand this.

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More Comman than CO2 Emissions

Harry Reid lectures us and the auto industry on fuel efficiency but the tool tools about in a Chevy Suburban. Michelle Malkin has photos and Henry Payne at the Detroit News blisters Mr. Reid for this:
Yet a call to the senator's office finds that he tools around DC in a Chevy Suburban, GM's biggest SUV weighing in at 5800 pounds and guzzling 15 mpg. A press spokesman is quick to point out that Reid is required by Capitol police to use the vehicle for security (he has another back home in Nevada).

Fair enough. But thousands of Americans also buy Chevy Suburbans for personal convenience (large families, cargo needs, a boat towing, etc.). Yet, under the senator's restrictive fuel mandate, consumers could well lose the choice of vehicles like the Suburban.
Source: Detroit News – Harry Reid's Chevy Suburban and mpg mandates (Henry Payne)
That is, Harry Reid needs the Suburban and us peons do not. Like AlGae's energy devouring mansion.

I see lots of dumb and stupid items every day. I almost go crazy when I see rotating hubcaps and had I the power I would be very tempted to decree them as banned, but I do not have the power nor would it be right. In fact, the thought always ends that way – that it would be wrong.

Yet another example of the arrogance of those in positions of political power. Harry Reid and the rest in Congress deserve their unpopularity.


Yes, I Have Made Unreal 911 Calls

By the title of yesterday's blog about my first real 911 call you may have thought I have made 911 calls before. I did and I did mean to.

I set my phone to lock after a given amount of time. To unlock the phone you must provide a password or passcode. However, there is a button on the screen to place a 911 call bypassing the unlock. Well, I had the phone in my pocket and was driving around town (in fact it was nearly the same location I made the 911 call yesterday) and the phone rings. I missed the call and picked up the voice mail. It was the 911 dispatcher calling me and stating I had placed a call and they were calling me back to inquire about my status.

Well, I got off the road and tried to reach them via non-emergency number but could not do so. I then called 911 (IIRC) and told them all was fine and I was disabling the lock mode on my phone.

All was well and I have not done anything similar since.

Friday, June 22, 2007

My First For Real 911 Call!

I want to say E911 but I do not know if Outagamie County is on old 911 or E911. Anyway.

The Empress and myself were driving back from the East side of town after visiting a buddy and a former patient the Empress took care of. We were heading West and as we were crossing the College Avenue bridge over the Fox River we noticed a young man mostly on the walkway partially on the road with his bike on the road. We could see he was convulsing. Well the cars around us pulled over and people rushed out to help the young man.

The Empress and I stayed in our car but I got out my untrusty cell phone and dialed 9-1-1 (remember, if you live overseas it is mostly likely 999). After a couple of rings a dispatcher answered and I detailed we were on the College Ave. bridge (over the Fox River) and a young man was on the side of the road having a seizure. The dispatcher than noted to me they were getting a number of calls on it and she cut me loose.

Well, we were nothing but a crowd at that point and proceeded on our way. Fortunately, the young man's seizure had subsided by the time we put our car back in forward and by the time we made it off of the bridge a squad car was on the way and shortly after the rescue squad was going by us (use a smalller vehicle!).

I had a cousin who experience a seizure out of the blue. He had a benign tumor in his brain and fortunately, it was operable and got it out. I refrain from a smart @$$ comment.

I hope the young man will be okay and they discover no life-threatening underlying conditions.


In the game of chess one player wins when they capture their opponent's king. However, this does not translate into the real world often or well. It does not follow the leader's die with their organizations nor does it follow organizations die with their leaders. In fact, this is one reason people form organizations – to provide the continuance of an effort or a vision after one's death.

Saddam Hussein's organization survives (hanging on), as does Abu Musab Zarqawi's. The death of Osama bin Laden if he were dead (applies to Zawahiri) would not bring about the demise of his organization, in fact, many argue his death would strengthen Al-Qaida (I am doubtful an organization that can not protect its leader is not worth joining).

So, I am seeing said some criticism is being leveled against Operation Phantom Thunder and its operationlets (Arrowhead Ripper in particular) that top level Al-Qaida leaders have escaped the trap. In fact, The Fourth Rail puts it about 80% of the high level Al-Qaida leadership has left Baqubah.

A couple of things. The force attacking AQ in Baquba is a corps directed force. That, sports fans, is a large number of people. You do not move around that number of men and equipment in an urban (or practically any) environment without notice. In fact, Bill Roggio passes on reports that
Al Qaeda prepared for the assault on Baqubah. "Days before the offensive, unmanned U.S. drones recorded video of insurgents digging trenches with back-hoes," the Associated Press reported. "About 30 improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, were planted on Route Coyote, the U.S. code name for a main Baqubah thoroughfare." About fifteen percent of the western portion of the city is said to have been cleared, and the operation could take up to 60 days.
Source: The Fourth Rail – One week of Operation Phantom Thunder (An update on the Battle of Iraq)
Clearly, AQ saw what was coming, what is hoped though is our guys managed to get a fair amount of low level surprise. That is to say, AQ thought we would be coming next month, they thought we would be coming down Oak St. instead of Elm St. etc.

So the bad guys had plenty of time to leave. If Tony Soprano knew the cops were going to be driving to a place he was going to meet someone the next day to bust him, think he would keep the appointment? Do not underestimate the elimination of middle and lower management. Who becomes upper management after the US Military retires upper level AQ management? There is a lot of institutional memory and skill being wiped out.

In any event, Team AQ just lost its Iraqi capital and is moving it, do you honestly believe that to be a good thing for Team AQ? Ask Jefferson Davis about the fall of Richmond.

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Spoiling the Unspoilt & Refusing to Share

HT: Drudge

George Clooney is not happy. Whatever is becoming of his beautiful Lake Como in Italy? You can go look at the article but it is a common story we have all witnessed and in fact, most of us probably have at one time or another starred in a similar story.

Drudge and The Times Online use the acronym NIMBY (not in my backyard) but to use that acronym in such a fashion is finger pointing and we all know at least a dozen clinches about finger pointing (so I spare you from all of them).

Our Joy

I would guess a rather small percentage of us own a vacation place in addition to our full-time homes (count me in the non-owning bunch). Still, most of us probably know someone with a place Up North or somewhere else rather nice & secluded. Of course it is beautiful and part of the allure is the feeling of getting away.

We all know those lakes where the shore is as every bit as crowded as the suburbs or the city, and it takes away from the allure, part of going to the lake or (as we say in Wisconsin) up north is the feeling you are going to a secluded place away from people and the hustle of daily life. What good does it do to go to a place every bit as crowded (if not more so) than home?

Of course, little, or at least the benefit of getting away is reduced.

Paradise Lost

I have fond memories of the place I grew up. In the middle of farm country enough neighbors we could get a game of kicker, baseball, or football going, but not too many we had to go to park we could just set up a playing field in our yards. The fields surrounding our house were used for grazing cows and after the Sauer farm burnt down for raising cash crops (wheat, corn, hay, etc). I would wander the woodlots in the summer looking to build a fort or in the fall looking for squirrels, grouse, or rabbits (with my trusty 870 20 gauge, I did not look too hard though).

Those fields & woodlots are now home lots many with homes on them. Is there a sense of loss? You bet, the view out of my old bedroom window is now filled with the lights of a house at night and the house itself during day.

Same too at my father's place Up North the lots we used to hunt on, the mansion we used to rove, the boathouse we used to fish off are now all owned by other and are strictly verbotten to our activities (or at least verbotten without invite). Even without the desire to replay those memories there is a sense of loss.

What is Mine is Mine!

Now, there are well understood ways of preserving the pristine state of your surroundings. The first is to buy up as much of it as possible. However, this comes with the cost of the surrounding land (up north that is a very dear proposition), the taxes on the land (see previous parenthetical comment), maintaining and defending the land, and so on.

Then there is a way that is at least cheaper to the individual. Pass a law (or a zoning ordinance) or get the government to buy and preserve the land.

However, is this tendency selfish? Is it not wanting to share? I remember seeing similar reactions in people we would talk to about the lake my father is on (when they were considering the purchase of the lot). They would emphasize the crummy weather, the worms in the lake (that would latch onto your legs), and all of the negatives. They were quite obviously trying to discourage others from spoiling their pristine area – that is – they were being selfish and unwilling to share.

How About A Quid?

This most often comes up in context of something ugly moving in next to people. That is to say, a power plant, a petroleum refinery, a powerline, a wind farm etc. Fact of the matter is it is quite reasonable to not one of those in your backyard. Come on, those items reduce property values and cost you quality of life. It is quite easy to say we need these items when they are being built in someone else's backyard.

Being, I have never been approached to have something like that next door I do not know how it all works. However my understanding is the government recognizes the need for such infrastructure and using the power of eminent domain acquires the land it needs compensating the owners of the acquired land, and provides little or no compensation to those whose loss is the reduction of property value & quality of life.

This is why such projects are resisted by people. I wonder if those whose who are indirectly affected by such projects (i.e. those who lose property value & have a reduced quality of life) are ever compensated? In some cases I know they are. Those living in the town of Two Creeks Wisconsin do not pay property taxes. Why not? Because of the quid the nuclear plant in the town gives to operate the plant there. That is, the nuclear plant pays the property taxes for the entire town.

Similarly, a large landfill operation grants free dumping to the town my father lives in, again part of the deal to be allowed to operate there.

Now, I wonder how many of these large ugly public infrastructure projects offer some sort of benefit to those who live nearby? I wonder if they would offer something to local residents to compensate for the loss the projects would be better received? Seems fair.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bigger and Bigger

Reports have the surge in Iraq to be very large indeed. At first reports indicated a multi-brigade action was kicing off, then the next reports indicated the action was a multi-division action. Well, the latest is the action kicked off is a multi-corps battle. That is to say this is more in lines with the original invasion of Iraq back in 2003. In fact, Bill Roggio and DJ Elliot at The Fourth Rail states:
Four days after the announcement of major offensive combat operations against al Qaeda in Iraq and its allies, the picture becomes clearer on the size and scope of the operation. In today's press briefing, Rear Admiral Mark noted that the ongoing operation is a corps directed and coordinated offensive operation. This is the largest offensive operation since the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom ended in the spring of 2003.
Source: The Fourth Rail – The Battle of Iraq – 2007 (Bill Roggio & DJ Elliot)
Many did not understand the surge, which is just starting to happen. Before, was just preparation in one way or another.

Before, it seemed the surge was just more of the same which seemd to be little more than policing on steroids. However, AQ and the rest were crime on steroids.

Many are fond of saying military force alone will not win. Usually, I dismiss them because what they want to say is military force will not work period. However, the military is only one leg of a stool, politics, and diplomacy are also required to pull off operations like this. Lets hope the politics & diplomacy fields have been as well prepared as the military field.

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The Warranty Strikes Again

Two days past warranty and my phone shows real serious problems. Apparently the circuit that triggers the wire earpiece (which I suppose I have somewhere but I have always used a bluetooth) is shoddily built and is now fooling my phone into believing a wired earpiece is plugged in. Result: my phone makes most of the sounds it is supposed to but the sound of people talking to me and a few miscellaneous beeps & pops.

The warranty? Well, the pimply dude at the kiosk told me most likely the phone would not have been taken in warranty anyway due to its condition (huh?). Well, I will head to a shop as opposed to a kiosk and worst comes to worst then I will get software to bypass the wired speaker and failing that perhaps I will send it for repair.

To be fair, I have notice the phone exhibit this behavior in the past but I did not need the phone like I do now and before it sorted itself out fairly quickly.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Vast Dairy State Conspiracy Going

I have two blogs left of center on my blogroll. One is Wisconsin based and the other I do not know where they are from.

I just clicked on the blogroll link to the Vast Dairy State Conspiracy (VDSC) link and my attempt to reach the VDSC failed, it seems the VDSC blog engine has tagged my link as an attempt to foist referral spam on the blog. Furthermore, the page informing me I was tagged as a referral spammer had a link to a form to get off of that list, but guess what? That link was broken!

Therefore, I am going to give the VDSC a period of one week to get that referral block situation fixed after which if the block is not fixed I am going to remove the link. It doesn't pay for it to be there.


Today's 419 Scam

What is often referred to as the Nigerian Scam is also known as The 419 Scam. I received an interesting attempt to 419 scam me today:


I am Mr.Matthew wright ,The Fund Manager of Fidelity Investment International.The World Largest Fund Management Company with over £1.2 Trillion Capital Investment Fund.

Neverthless,as The Fidelity Fund Manager, I handle all our Investor's Direct Capital Funds and secretly extracted 1.2% Excess Maximum Return Capital Profit (EMRCP) per annum on each of the Investor's Marginal Capital Fund.As an expert,I have made over £45, 745, 000, 00 from the Investor's EMRCP and hereby looking for someone to trust who will stand as an Investor to receive the fund as Annual Investment Proceeds from Fidelity Marginal Capital Fund.

All confirmable documents to back up the claims will be made available to you prior to your acceptance.Meanwhile,I have worked out the modalities and technincalities whereby the funds can be claimed in any of our 6 Clearing Houses without any hitches.Our sharing ratio will be 50-50.Reach me by return mail if you are interested in this proposal so that I will give you relevant details.

N:B; Do not contact my office number or email for any reason,mainly for security purposes,all correspondence must be through this private box.


Mr.Matthew wright.

Fidelity Investments International
Source: e-mail received by myself
Quite obviously, the note is not from Fidelity and it is fairly apparent. I am not going to note a note of techincal writing problems on display in this note. Also, I find it interesting the asks for all correspondence to be to his private yahoo, but loads a pile of company references into the note.

I would not recommend clicking or responding to the note, this one is destined for my virtual file 13.


Be Not Afraid - A Prayer

News reports have been saying lately only now is the surge fully operational. To see what that means read Michael Yon's latest dispatch from Iraq. Michael Yon is embedded with a unit going into Baquba (Northeast of Baghdad is how the press reports it).

We will go in on foot and fight from house to house if needed. We will shoot rockets into their hiding spaces, and our snipers will shoot them in their heads and chests. This is where all that talk of cancer and big ideas of what should be or could be done will smash head on against the searing reality of combat.

These words flow on the eve of a great battle, but are on hold until the attack is well underway. Nothing is certain. I am here and have been all year. We are in trouble, but we have a great General. The only one, I have long believed, who can lead the way out of this morass. Iraq is not hopeless. Iraq can stand again but first it must cast off these demons. And some of the demons must be killed.
Source: Michael Yon Online Magazine – Be Not Afraid


Europe's Appeasement Buys Little

Large teams of newly trained suicide bombers are being sent to the United States and Europe, according to evidence contained on a new videotape obtained by the Blotter on

Teams assigned to carry out attacks in the United States, Canada, [emphasis added] Great Britain and Germany [emphasis added] were introduced at an al Qaeda/Taliban training camp graduation ceremony held June 9.
Source: The Blotter – Exclusive: Suicide Bomb Teams Sent to U.S., Europe (Brian Ross)
When will Canada & Germany learn and get out of Iraq? Oh yeah, they are not in Iraq, but they are in Afghanistan.

Of course, the commentary discussion at The Blotter is focusing in on Iraq policy but my perusal of the discussion seems very few notice this has nothing to do with Iraq but Afghanistan and the closest many come is the diversion of resources argument. Of course, there is plenty of people claiming it is all our fault.

First, the very loud announcement of the graduation of suicide bombers tasked with missions in Europe, the USA, and Canada is very deliberately targeted at those who would would blame ourselves.

How about this:
Red State notices that one minister from Pakistan believes granting the knighthood to Salman Rushdie is justification for a suicide bombing. That remark indicates the width of the divide between people who believe they have the right to tell the West what to do and the small remnant that mistakenly believes that they still have liberty.
Source: The Belmont Club – Sir Saman Rusdie


Saturday, June 16, 2007

July 18, 1989

Can you recall where you were that day? I do, I was at Alpine Valley for the second of a three show Grateful Dead concert set. Unfortunately, circumstances prevented me from attending the third concert and someone scored a miracle ticket.

Shortly after the concert I obtained bootleg copies on tape of the concert and sure, they were fine enough, but rather plain. Well, not too long ago I discovered an Internet depository of bootleg music of all sorts, notably The Grateful Dead (link takes you to the 7/18/1989 Alpine Valley show). Anyway, I had downloaded the music a long time ago and in fact carry the concert around with me on my phone. I would play it when I had an earworm, was bored, or music was called for and no one else could provide.

I finally got fed up with the situation and burned the first set onto CD. OMG! I popped the CD into my car player on the way up to Green Bay and the musical detail that came out of the speakers was incredible, Phil's bass playing is extremely intricate and of course is not able to come out via my phone's MP3 player. I remember some of the highlights of the first set, particularly Jack Straw which is a great version of the song, if you are not screaming out the lyrics along with the band at the end I will summon the coroner! Also notable is the Touch of Grey which is pretty tight but is pretty standard. They also play Jack-a-Roe again nothing real special about it, they jam out New Minglewood Blues, Friend of the Devil played in the slower later style (which was the only style I knew for some years), Memphis Blues a Dylan cover which is interesting but it kinda drags on, Bird Song (standard), and Promised Land.

Promised Land I would often skip over as the intro is not promising however, they jam it out real good and rescue it from standardness and that is the end of the first set.

Due to a mess up on my part I accidentally included the lead two songs from set II Sugar Magnolias with an on the dime transition into Scarlet Begonias. Being the concert was many years ago (NOT because I was "altered", I wasn't – honest!) I had forgotten the order of tunes they played and figured Sugar Magnolia was out of place in the first set. In addition, I could not believe how quickly they turned from jamming out Sugar Magnolia and took up Scarlet Begonias so I doubted the order on that pairing.

However, the second set does open with Sugar Magnolia and they jam it out a bit afterwards and of course, one expects a jam and Sunshine Daydream but nope jam-jam-jam-Scarlet Begonias.

Quick comments on the Scarlet Begonias – very very tight and there is something subtly different in two spots, both spots are identical musically so it is intentional but something normally there was not and its absence piques my curiosity, I want to go back and listen to that to hear what it is, I will probably break out a different version and try to listen side by side.

If you follow the link to the bootleg collection you will find the people who reviewed the show praise it highly, perhaps that mean's their praise means little, but this is a quality show. In fact, you can purchase a DVD of excerpts from the three concerts. On the DVD Downhill from Here they play a recording from the first show and I can recall my exact thoughts during that song.

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Can I Claim Parallel Development?

No Star Trek bans here.

In all too many episodes of Star Trek the crew encounters (at least according to the geeky character's pronunciation of the odds of such a thing happening) the parallel development of one alien society to an Earth society of some sort or another. Whether it be Roman society, Chicago gangland or Nazi society (admittedly these two were caused by contamination), Chinese vs. USA society or whatever, it happened from time to time.

So too here at Blogger Beer do we witness a similar event. I came up with the phrase The People's Democratic Republic of Madistan tonight to refer to Madison WI USA. I thought I had something original as I had never read it before. However, when googling Madistan I see it is not an original phrase, or at least I am not the first one to use it. However, I claim I developed it in parallel to the other blogs!


Friday, June 15, 2007

She Likes 'em Big!

Little Miss Sunshine, that is. The latest addition to the Blogger Beer blogroll. Appears Little Miss Sunshine is a fellow Northeastern Wisconsiner!


Happy Birthday Edvard!

Edvard Grieg that is!

You all recognize his In the Hall of the Mountain King:

Yumping Yimminy Edvard! Happy Birthday, you would be 164 years old today!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Talk to Rosie First!

"The aircraft moved through the building as if it were a hot and fast lava flow," Sozen says. "Consequently, much of the fireproofing insulation was ripped off the structure. Even if all of the columns and girders had survived the impact - an unlikely event - the structure would fail as the result of a buckling of the columns. The heat from an ordinary office fire would suffice to soften and weaken the unprotected steel. [emphasis added] Evaluation of the effects of the fire on the core column structure, with the insulation removed by the impact, showed that collapse would follow whatever the number of columns cut at the time of the impact."
Source: Purdue University News – Purdue creates scientifically based animation of 9/11 attack
Come on! You do not expect me to believe that? Who ya going to believe Rosie O'Dumbell or scientists & physicists at Purdue University – the home of the Purdue Boilermakers? What kinda idjit you think my mother raised?

Anyway a hat tip to Little Green Footballs.

See the simulation for yourself:

Or A direct link to YouTube

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How Could I Not?

Post the below Cox & Forkum cartoon:
Source: Cox & Forkum Editorial Cartoons – War is Heck
You can substitute in nearly all of the current Democrats at or above the House of Representatives and it would make perfect sense.


Grim Naivete

Source: Cox & Forkum Editorial Cartoons – Colossal Evasion
The other day at the YMCA I was working out in the men's fitness center and one of the deacons from our church was there working out. Being we rarely attend our our church (another church in town has better timings) he did not recognize me, but I surely recognized him, all you need is to hear him as this fellow has a voice you will never forget.

Anyway, the TV was on and a story came on with the President in Eastern Europe and our deacon started having a BDS attack. A little bit later the TV had footage of Joe Liebermann on talking tough with respect to Iran and talking about the possibility of war with Iran. Our deacon again started talking about (in an extreme sarcastic tone) about how we need to make war with everyone it was irrationality at work in our deacon's head.

No wonder I have this notion the only problem with our parish is not just the timings.

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Congratulations & A Gripe

Charlie Sykes announces the Citizen Blogging Summit:

Sign up for Friday's Blogger Summit...(It's free.)

The summit features an all-star blogger lineup:

Citizen Blogging Summit Schedule

12:45 - Registration opens

12:45-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:15 Panel: The Electronic Soapbox. When Citizens are Actually Heard.

Jo Egelhoff, [emphasis added]
Daniel Suhr,
Michael Mathias, Pundit Nation,
Congratulations to Jo for getting on one of the panels! Jo's blog Fox Politics is a daily read of mine and Jo is well deserving.

Jo, tell the gathered masses Marcus Aurelius The Wise and Benevolent Emperor of the Blogosphere sends his greetings & felicitations!

However, I do have two gripes with this Blogger Summit: Its very short notice and it is in the middle of a weekday. I would like to go but can not.

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Fair and Balanced

During the Steven Avery & Brendan Dassey trials I noticed a blogger Convoluted Brian – Brian McKorkle who took a contrary view of the Avery/Dassey trial. In fact, I am of the opinion his take is over the edge.

However, his first work since the Dsssey verdict came out is downright reasonable. He examines police - civilian interactions particularly those involving deadly force:
On 21 April 2007, Green Bay Police shot and killed a fleeing suspect. The homicide of Ben Sonnenberg was found to be justified. An innocent bystander in a nearby bar was shot in the chest.

Green Bay Police Chief Jim Arts emphasized suicide by cop. Maybe that is true. There was the surreptitiously recorded statement by the homicide victim’s sister that could be made to fit the theory. Yet, it seems that it was not typical of those incidents labeled as such. This was a spur of the moment act by the inebriated victim that lead to his homicide. Brown County District Attorney John Zakowski downplayed the suicide by cop issue in his report.
Source: Convoluted Brian – Suicide by Cop?
The case as I understand it does not sound like a suicide by cop incident it sounds like drunken stupidness gone very very wrong. People must keep in mind the edge police officers live on and carry themselves in such a manner to assure police officers they are well away from the edge and do not intend to cross it. For example, when I get pulled over by a police officer I immediately get all the documentation I know they will ask for (registration & drivers license), place those materials on the dashboard, and keep my hands at the top of the steering wheel. Witnesses report Mr. Sonnenberg jumped up on a car and pointed something at the officers:
There are other issues here. First is whether deadly force is needed once a suspect turns and flees. A second is how is it that bullets depart from the scene and strikes or nearly strikes innocent persons? The claim of suicide by cop obscures these.

Many witness statements said that Sonnenberg jumped from the vehicle and pointed something at officers. Statements also indicated that a sound that could be construed as a gunshot was heard at the start of the incident.
Source: Convoluted Brian – Suicide by Cop?
It sounds as if Mr. Sonnenberg did not consider the fact his play was easily viewed as life threatening by the police officers (or perhaps he understood it very well). I went to college at UW-Platteville aka Dick Tracy U and I knew a few people going through the criminal justice programs; one person I will call Jeff was very anxious to become a law enforcement officer. Jeff told us each department has its own policies on the use of lethal force and the use of their guns. Furthermore, the typical guideline was to shoot at the torso and while it varied by department policies typically dictated an officer empty their guns, that is shoot all rounds available. It sounded like once deadly force is initiated the idea is to take no prisoners. When one thinks about it, this is reasonable.

Many police departments (PD) face drug saturated assailants who feel no or little pain, in addition the use of deadly force is to prevent the application of deadly force by an assailant against the officer. If someone is trying to kill me I would not shoot once and then ask "are you going to stop attacking me?".

Brian also wonders about the errant shots:
The suicide by cop theory is a convenient explanation. It might have some substance. But that does explain why so many shots hit the victim as he fled. Nor does it explain the shots that went wild.
Source: Convoluted Brian – Suicide by Cop?
I do not know if Brian is a shooter or not but this line of thought leads me to conclude he is not. I am a shooter (not avid or frequent) and have shot a variety of guns from muzzleloaders, to .30-06, to shotguns, and to handguns. One thing one learns quickly is the inerrant accuracy of the hero on TV and in the movies is fantasy. My father, said of his days in the national guard and training on the 45 ACP that you would be better off throwing the gun at the enemy than shooting it. My experience shooting the .45 ACP confirms that observation.

To be sure our police typically use a smaller easier to handle rounds (.38s and 9mm.s being typicaly police rounds) but handguns are inherently more inaccurate due to their construction alone, add in the fact you do not have the benefit of your shoulder to steady the gun, and finally add in an adrenaline pumped situation on the move. In fact, I would say under those circumstances the police did well.

Finally Brian states:
This is an opportunity for the Green Bay Police Chief to look for better and more controlled responses in the future. Certainly in high risk situations the best defense is prior training and lots of drills. This preparation can protect all of us in future incidents. Unfortunately, the behavior so far has been a continued undermining of the victim.
Source: Convoluted Brian – Suicide by Cop?
I would say the police responded well. However, he is right the GBPD would be correct in reviewing the situation with an eye to coming up with better policies and training. However, I am not convinced this was the result of police gone amok and in fact I would guess this was exactly to training.

Barracuda normally do not attack human swimmers but given the right stimulus (do not wear flashy jewelery while diving/swimming in the tropics) they will slash a swimmer. Please do not take this analogy as a strike against the police, but when you are swimming and police are in the water do not present a shooting stimulus

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Did You Know?

Two days ago was the anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy? Maybe you did maybe you did not. However, one could not be blamed for forgetting it.

Anyway, There is a YouTube video (link to the YouTube page with modern day news coverage of the event. I think public radio has found a new talent for their broadcasts. The video is spot on.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Them Buggers!

Fortunately, I am learning a lot because of it.

I put together a website for my mother's business. I whipped up a quick online order entry form that was run by a mail script. Unfortunately, a spammer has an IP near the domain of the website and some spam blocker has just put the whole range on their list. Unfortunately, my mother's ISP uses that blacklist and e-mail to her ISP, the spam block service, and my host provider have yielded very little that is helpful. My host service is wonderful when everything is working but when you need service forget it.

So this has motivated me to create a "real" order entry system. I am learning quite a bit and am pushing very hard the bounds of my knowledge in the language I am writing it in. Sometimes it all jams up and I can spend hours and not make any progress and other times the progress flows like oil.



Monday, June 04, 2007

Sitemeter Goofiness

Has anyone with sitemeter on their blog noticed Sitemeter acting up?

My sitemeter seems to be registering visits to Blogger Beer about eight hours late. That is, I go to Sitemeter and the latest visit arrived at about 8:16 am this morning. This seemed to kick in about 10:00pm last night or so and it did not register any visitors from 10:00 pm yesterday until about 12:30 pm today.

I checked a few of the settings and all seems to be set correctly. Any ideas?



Slick Phishing Attempt

Another day another phishing note.

Activate your card now

You may activate now by entering your card number over our secure server. If your card issuer is participating in Verified by Visa (most issuers are) you’ll complete a brief activation process. You’ll verify your identity, create your Verified by Visa password and you’re done Start using verified by Visa

Visa’s multiple layers of security provide cardholders with an extraordinary level of protection so they can feel confident no matter how they use their Visa card. Verified by Visa plays an important role in this strategy in the following ways:
a) Improving the security of online payment transactions
b) Increasing both cardholder and merchant confidence in Internet purchases
c) Reducing disputes and fraudulent activity related to Visa payment cards

Simply activate your existing card at First National Bank in Manitowoc 4727-86XX-XXXX-XXXX with the Verified by Visa service and create your personal password.

The service is free to Visa cardholders.
You’ll have the added assurance that your Visa card is safer when you shop at participating online stores
Source: Phishing Attempt E-Mail
The First National Bank of Manitowoc once again serves as a bait, however it is not the hook. The link provided (not included above) first off does not work as intended but when you type in the URL yourself it sends you to a very slick looking & convincing (at least by the superficial appearance) site to register your visa card.

Again, there are many hints in the note pointing out the true nature of the note. I did some searching on the address provided in the link and it shows up in some scam databases out there.

I do not know how Outlook handles web links embedded in e-mail but below is a screen shot of my client with the mouse over the link provided:

Notice, in the lower left corner? That site does not appear to have anything to do with banking or finances.

  • 8:44 pm June 4, 2007

  • One phishing site shut down:

    Thank you Marcus.
    Site has been shut down per Yahoo!

    Source: E-mail from First National Bank of Manitowoc


    Sunday, June 03, 2007

    Cigar Cutting!


    Do you smoke cigars? I know some of you do. What do you use for cutting the tips of your cigars? Do you use a cigar cutter such as shown above? Or perhaps you use a cigar cutter of similar but simpler design than the one shown above? Well, hate to break it to you, such cigar cutters are sooooo metrosexual you need to grow a pair (however, if you are a woman cigar smoker then feel free to use fancy cigar cutters) and learn how to cut cigars the manly way!

    Step 1

    Go to your table saw with the requirements. A box of cigars (I like Alhambra Cigars from the Philippines) Also, note the Old Style & Jagermeister, please note the peppermint schnapps are missing.

    Step 2

    While we enjoy woodworking we do not like to smoke sawdust, so clean off your work surface as is demonstrated. Shop vacuums & high pressure air also work in lieu of brooms.

    Eye & Ear Safety

    Be sure you have something covering your eyes while performing cigar cutting operations. Also not the hearing protection, and spare stogies at the ready. For this work I suggest classical or baroque period music as romantic and modern music will most likely at times be drowned out by the saw only to deafen you as the tables are turned.

    Preparing to Cut

    Make sure everything is square!

    Adjust Blade Height

    Adjust the height of the blade so the teeth barely clear the top of the cigar. This is also for safety!

    The Perils of Kickback

    Duh! If you want to go back to using the bejeweled cigar cutters stand in such a matter! Stand off to the side so if the blade kicks your cigar back it launches harmlessly!

    Let 'er Rip!

    Make sure all is clear of the blade and turn your table saw on. Then, slowly and carefully feed the end of the cigar through the blade. Do not push it through fast but feed it slowly.

    The Clean Result!

    Wow! Which side is factory cut and which is table saw cut?

    Now, Enjoy!

    Nothing like a cleanly cut cigar!


    Obviously, the above post is offered in jest. Working with power tools such as table saws & chop saws carries the very real risk of injury. My brother and myself have worked around such tools pretty much our entire lives and we know what we are doing. If you have never worked with such power tools I STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU DO NOT attempt the above procedures.

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    A Pinch of Tears for You

    From his second-floor apartment at the counterculture crossing of Haight and Ashbury streets, Arthur Evans watches a new generation of wayward youth invade his free-spirited neighborhood.

    The former flower child was among the legions of idealistic wanderers who migrated here during the Vietnam War to "tune in, turn on and drop out."

    But Evans, who has lived at the same address for 34 years, says he has never seen anything like this crowd, who use his flower bed as a bathroom and sell pot outside his window.

    They're known as gutter punks, these homeless kids with dirty dreadlocks and nose rings, lime-green mohawks and orange spray-painted faces, who panhandle with cardboard signs that riff on their lifestyles. "Please Help Us Get Un-Sober," one reads. Another: "Please Give Us Weed, Beer or Money."

    Sometimes aggressive, they block sidewalks as they strum guitars or bang on bongos. Gangs of them skateboard down the middle of Haight Street. Some throw used hypodermic needles into a nearby pond they call Hep-C Lake.

    Evans, 64, says they should get help, clean up or go home.

    "I used to be a hippie. I wore beads and grew my hair long," he said. "But my generation had something these kids do not: a standard of civilized behavior."

    Panhandler Jonah Lawrence, 25, insists it is residents who need civilizing. "They say, 'Get a job!' " he said. "And I say, 'You got clothes for me? Or a place I can take a shower so I can look for work?' It's so bogus to tell me to get a job if I have nothing."

    Source: Michelle Malkin – Hippie backlash in Haight-Ashbury
    Actually, a pinch of tears is probably too much. Wow, the flower children have finally grown up. Now, they recognize the need for responsibility that things like Weed, Beer or Money do not come for free. Too bad for them their ways have continued on and their neighborhood is now a magnet for the people they once were. Mr. Evans, I hear plenty of reports your generation had things to learn about civilized behavior, in fact, wasn't that the point? To ditch civilized behavior for a new groovy way?


    Pure Contrarynism is also Simple Thinking

    Over at Little Green Footballs Charles Johnson takes note of the (tardy) reaction of the Daily Kos denizens to the latest foiled terror plot.

    I don’t believe the latest terrorist plot bullsh*t. If this ever goes to trial, and if they show actual evidence that these guys they arrested weren’t just talking trash, I’ll admit I was wrong and apologize for what I’m about to say:

    People at Freerepublic and LGF are gullible f*cking morons, bloodthirsty sh*tbags, and weak-willed losers who NEED big brother to tell them what to think, how to act, and who to hate . Of course, most at DK realize that, so I don’t know if this diary is even necessary. Nevertheless, why is it so hard to have a little bit of skepticism when faced with constant lies produced out of D.C.

    Here is a list I cribbed from

    Lackawanna Six
    Virginia Paintball guys
    The tortured Abu Ali
    Jose Padilla
    Lodi, California
    Miami plot against the Sears Tower
    New York subway tunnels
    “Liquid explosives” plot on UK to US flights
    Ft. Dix Six

    Thanks to the blog by Scott Horton for the list. I knew there’d been plenty of stupid sh*t busts like this over the last few years, but dumb to you have to be to believe the U.S. government at this point? The U.S. government has ZERO credibility. FDA—failing to protect U.S. consumers, FEMA—catastrophic failure in New Orleans, Iraq War—lies upon lies to get Americans to launch an illegal war of agression, 9-11—failure to prevent what anyone with a lick of sense could see coming for years (ask me why I wasn’t surprised that day—shocked by the massive slaughter, but not the attack), Economy—govt economic figures distorted and made essentially useless, i.e. inflation figures, unemployment data, etc., etc., etc....
    Source: Little Green Footballs – Kos Kidz React to Terror Plot
    Pretty simple thinking and follows a very predictable formula it is called being contrary. All terror plots foiled by the government are BS and all not stopped were so blinkingly obvious. No more critical thinking found in the above waste of bytes than in what they accuse their political opponents of. I am a lion hear me roar.

    He needs his LGF and Free Republic every bit as much as the regulars of those websites do. After all, if they disappeared he would not know what to think either (or at least think against). I would find this amusing in times of minimal tumult but the thinking above is infectious and paralyzing.


    Saturday, June 02, 2007

    Near As I Can Tell

    I have a milblogger in Iraq hardlinking to Blogger Beer. So I return the favor.

    Please welcome the Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group to the Blogger Beer blogroll!



    Hilarry Rodham Clinton can not spell, and she expects to be able to run a government that does everything for us from wiping our bums to fighting our international enemies? Come on.

    Joke is over. Typically, I let the above snafus go because that is what they in truth are. An oversight of a minor detail and HRC can not be expected to go over every fine detail of everything her organization does in her name. However, HRC and her primary opponents are running on the premise the government is responsible for everything from making sure our bums are clean (an exaggeration to be sure) to fighting our international enemies (well, unfortunately, for the Democrats it is more like putting their hands over their ears, closing their eyes, and yelling la-la-la-la-la). So, if HRC's organization (which is minute in comparison to the government) can not get the spelling of tomorrow correct, why do we expect she can deliver on all of her nanny-state micro-governing proposals?

    As I said I typically let such snafus go, but my thoughts on payback and tit-for-tat have undergone some evolution of late. The left and Democrats pounced on Dan Quayle for his misspelling of potato so I return the favor and pounce on Hilarry. Remember, it was the Democrats & leftists who blame W for everything single solitary thing that goes wrong with any effort the US Government undertakes, Hilarry had better stand up and take responsibility for that misspelling and I even suggest she resign from the race.

    I give a tip of the hat to Michelle Malkin for the photograph.

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