Saturday, November 18, 2006
Fun With Word Search Puzzles
From a nutbar high school teacher
in North Carolina:A Spanish teacher at Smithfield-Selma Senior High School resigned this week after handing out an assignment that some students and parents said teaches hate.
Khalid Chahhou, who was in his first year of teaching in Johnston County, gave students a worksheet in which they were to translate words and find them within a word-search puzzle.
Some students started uncovering strange words in the process.
"There were words like 'kill,' then I saw it said 'destroy America,'" Eric Herrera said.
As they read on, students found the puzzle contained a paragraph that contained the following phrases:
"Sharon killed a lot of innocent people," a possible reference to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
"Palestine is not a terrorist group."
"Allah help destroy this body of evil making humanity miserable."
What's Spanish for America-hating kook?
Friday, November 17, 2006
The Nuts Never Give Up
I had thought that last Tuesday's big win by the Democrats would end the nonsense about Diebold stealing elections, but of course I underestimated the idiotarians. Their new claim is that the Democrats would have won even bigger
if Diebold and other companies hadn't prevented it.According to EDA, the Edison-Mitofsky National Exit Poll, conducted by a consortium of news organizations, showed at 7 p.m. on Election Night an 11.5% vote margin in favor of Dems nationwide. But by 1:00 p.m. on the following day, according to EDA, "[T]he Edison-Mitofsky poll had been adjusted, by a process known as 'forcing,' to match the reported vote totals for the election." The adjusted exit polls showed "a 7.6 percent margin exactly mirroring the reported vote totals."
Michelle Malkin has a good post
on Kos's nutty claims about Diebold stealing votes in Florida's 13th CD. One problem: Diebold's machines weren't used in that election. The claim is that 18,000 voters didn't vote
in the congressional election.But the fight is unlikely to end there. Jennings is challenging the results of the election because touch-screen voting machines in Sarasota County reported about 18,000 people - one in eight voters - did not vote in the congressional race, but made choices in other races. That rate was significantly higher than other counties in the district.
Those undervotes will be checked in a state-mandated manual recount Thursday. Elections officials must also send in counts of provisional, military and overseas ballots on Friday.
Significantly higher than other counties in the district doesn't tell me anything. Apparently about 12% of the voters didn't make a choice in that election. What is the percentage in the other counties? There is the usual claim that the ballot was confusing (those confusing touchscreens?) but apparently 88% of the people were able to locate that race.
Of course, a bunch of people are now calling for a "do-over".
Great Internet Oldies Station
Check out Live 365 Oldies
, run by a buddy of mine from the CPR chatroom. Terrific mix of the 1960s-1980s, well worth a listen!
McCain On Where the Republicans Went Wrong
From a speech to the Federalist Society
yesterday:“The election was not an affirmation of the other party’s program. Try as hard as I could, I couldn’t find much evidence that my Democratic friends were offering anything that resembled a coherent platform or principled leadership on the critical issues that confront us today.
“Nor do I believe Americans rejected our values and governing philosophy. On the contrary, I think they rejected us because they felt we had come to value our incumbency over our principles, and partisanship, from both parties, was no longer a contest of ideas, but an ever cruder and uncivil brawl over the spoils of power.
“I am convinced that a majority of Americans still consider themselves conservatives or right of center. They still prefer common sense conservatism to the alternative. Americans had elected us to change government, and they rejected us because they believed government had changed us. We must spend the next two years reacquainting the public and ourselves with the reason we came to office in the first place: to serve a cause greater than our self-interest.
“Common sense conservatives believe that the government that governs least governs best; that government should do only those things individuals cannot do for themselves, and do them efficiently. Much rides on that principle: the integrity of the government, our prosperity; and every American’s self-respect, which depends, as it always has, on one’s own decisions and actions, and cannot be provided as another government benefit."
Blogger reactions:Riehl World View
: McCain could say a lot of things to a great many people and have a point, telling the GOP it needs to get back to its conservative roots isn't one of them. What worries me most about him is that he'll split from the GOP, attract a marginal number of votes and open the door for Hillary in 08. And she'd probably make him Sec Def for the effort.
Not a chance. If he were even remotely tempted by a third party run, he would have done it in 2004, or taken John Kerry's offer of the VP slot.The Moderate Voice
is more positive: I strongly believe that if the Republican party wants to win the Presidential elections in 08 it has to come up with a new program, based on old values: a conservative agenda.
Reason comes down in between
: Although McCain obviously is brushing up his bona fides with economic conservatives in preparation for his presidential campaign, he does have a pretty good record of opposing pork and advocating fiscal restraint. He also shares George W. Bush's relatively tolerant approach to immigration—one of the few positive aspects of the president's platform. And he has stood up to Bush on executive power issues when most Republicans were eager to give the president everything he wanted. I'm not sure if that's enough to make up for McCain's assaults on the First Amendment and his hawkish foreign policy views, but he certainly is looking better than, say, Bill Frist.
The Media Are Shocked, Shocked I Tell You, To Discover That Murtha's a Crook
Of course, back when it might have mattered to the voters in his his district, like two weeks ago, they were doing the "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" routine with Murtha. But now that he's been reelected and was up for a leadership position, they suddenly realized that it matters. Consider:The LA Times
: NEWLY MINTED House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is off to a rocky start. On the same day she was formally elected to lead the new Democratic majority, party colleagues refused to endorse her bizarre choice of Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), who was investigated but not charged in the Abscam scandal more than two decades ago, as her second-in-command.The New York Times
:But Ms. Pelosi’s damage to herself was already done. The well-known shortcomings of Mr. Murtha were broadcast for all to see — from his quid-pro-quo addiction to moneyed lobbyists to the grainy government tape of his involvement in the Abscam scandal a generation ago. The resurrected tape — feasted upon by Pelosi enemies — shows how Mr. Murtha narrowly survived as an unindicted co-conspirator, admittedly tempted but finally rebuffing a bribe offer: “I’m not interested — at this point.”Howard Fineman
:It also didn't help Murtha that he was the star of FBI surveillance tapes in the ABSCAM influence-peddling case two decades ago. He wasn't charged with a crime, but the video inevitably became a YouTube hit in recent weeks. Here's another rule for the successful Boss: don't back someone for leadership who is a lead player in FBI tapes.
Boy, it's amazing what crack investigative work these liberals can produce when it's not going to result in a Republican beating a Democrat!
Update: Thanks to Pam
who dubbed this the quote of the day.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Pelousy Loses First Test As Speaker
Heheh, John Murtha fails to win vote
as House Majority Leader.House Democrats on Thursday chose Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer to be House majority leader over Rep. John Murtha, the choice of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, in line to become speaker.
Hoyer was elected on a vote of 149-86.
Airiheadda says that Pelousy won by losing
, somehow:And don't shed any tears for Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi. Even though her guy lost, this was still a big win for her.
Well, let's hope that Speaker Pelousy has many more big wins of the same variety.
The Return of Smoot-Hawley
That's what some of the more idiotic lefty bloggers seem to be hankering for. You may have thought this election was about Iraq and illegal immigration; they think it was about Free Trade. David Sirota, writing in the Nation
:Meanwhile, as a new report from nonpartisan Public Citizen shows, opposition to America's job-killing "free" trade policies was used by candidates in 115 campaigns nationwide, resulting in "fair" trade Democrats capturing an astounding seven new Senate seats and at least twenty-seven new House seats, many in traditionally Republican areas.
Fair trade, of course, means no trade unless you pay your workers prevailing US wages, which of course means no new jobs in Mexico, which of course means more and more illegal immigrants sneaking over the border.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The Conservative Voice Accepting Submissions from the Tinfoil Hat Crowd?
A 9-11 "Truther" slips past the gates
over there:When the government told me that the laws of physics had been temporarily suspended so that the three WTC buildings could collapse into their own footprint all on the same day, I noticed. When the spin doctors went into overdrive to explain how such a thing was possible, conveniently leaving out all the information that clearly showed it was not, I noticed. When all the steel from the crime scene was removed so it could not be inspected, I noticed. When dedicated scientists and truth seekers dared to veer from the "official version" of events on 9/11, only to be ridiculed by the administration and those who carry its water, I noticed. And when the report from the 9/11 commission was released and immediately proved itself laughably deficient, I noticed.
This is classic "Truther" nonsense. The three WTC buildings did not "collapse into their own footprint. Here's a graphic showing the buildings which were damaged by the collapse of the three buildings:
As you can see, buildings as far away as the Winter Garden suffered major damage from the collapse of the WTC buildings. Here's a look at that building:
Here's a look at two other buildings damaged by the collapse of WTC 7, the Verizon Building and 30 West Broadway:
As for the steel being shipped away before it could be inspected, it's just another lie
from the "Truth" movement.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Jack Williamson, RIP
One of the giants of science fiction
; according to this article, he was responsible for the terms "terraforming" and "android". Back when I was haunting used bookstores for sci-fi paperbacks in my 20s, Williamson, Brunner and Kuttner were the three authors I'd buy any book by that I hadn't read.
Stop Global Warming! Shut Down the Movie & TV Industries!Heheh
Although Hollywood seems environmentally conscious thanks to celebrities who lend their names to various causes, the industry created more pollution than individually produced by aerospace manufacturing, apparel, hotels and semiconductor manufacturing, the study found.
Only petroleum manufacturing belched more emissions.
"People talk of 'the industry,' but we don't think of them as an industry," said Mary Nichols, who heads the school's Institute of the Environment, which released what researchers called a "snapshot" of industry pollution. "We think of the creative side, the movie, the people, the actors -- we don't think of what it takes to produce the product."
I'm sure Laurie David and Leonardo DiCaprio will agree.
BlogWorld Expo Convention Announced!
I have been somewhat involved behind the scenes in this effort
.About 5 months ago I was blogging away and something struck me “there is no tradeshow for blogging!” At least not a tradeshow for all bloggers that I could find. (I produce very big tradeshows for a living). Sure there were lots of great events but they each addressed a particular niche BlogHer, the Blog Business Summit (a very cool event btw), or Yearly Kos for example. I wanted to go to something that had everything any blogger could ever want. From publishing platforms, to broad band providers, to lap tops to badges, widgets and plug ins, to a dozen other things I could think of off the top of my head. It seems everyday I across some new product or service that Bloggers use /want/need.
Well, you probably guessed it: BlogWorld Expo
is coming, next November 7-9! Vegas, baby!
Compare and Contrast: Glenda Fales and Cindy Sheehan
Both lost their sons in Iraq
.Marine MP Adam R. Fales died in Iraq, but not on its ruthless streets. He was killed in the barracks at Camp Fallujah, an M-16 slug in the back of his head.
At first, when it looked as if Fales had been murdered by an insurgent or perhaps even a comrade, Fales' mother wanted eye-for-an-eye justice. But since then, she has learned that it was a terrible accident involving two fellow Marines.
Now, she wants justice tempered by mercy.
Brainster on the Radio!
(This post will remain on top until Tuesday Morning; scroll down for newer content).
I will be on with my buddies Allman and Smash in the Morning
tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7:45 AM Central, 8:45 AM Eastern on 97.1 FM. For those not fortunate enough to live in the St. Louis area, you can listen in live here
Getting On the Bus
(Bump for discussion on Allman & Smash in the Morning
As of today, the policy of this blog is to support John McCain's candidacy for President in 2008.
I do not make this decision lightly. Many of my friends in the center-right blogosphere despise John McCain, and I myself have been quite acerbic about some of the things he's done in the last six years.
There are two ways to interpret the election results from Tuesday. One is that many conservatives, feeling betrayed by the Bush administration on their pet issues, stayed home to teach the Republicans a lesson. The other is that moderates abandoned the party. My feeling is it was a little bit of both.
But we really don't have the time to figure it out. The presidential election of 2008 is already imminent. I have very little doubt about whom the Democrats will nominate, and it ain't Tom Vilsack. The results on Tuesday virtually guarantee that if Hillary wins, she will have a Democratic congress as well.
This election is too important to blow. We cannot nominate someone that the right wing of the party will support whole-heartedly in the twin hopes that:
1. They will come out and vote.
2. They will more than offset any votes lost in the center.
And it's not like McCain's probable opponents have tremendous appeal to the social conservative wing of the party. I don't want to bash the other Republican candidates here; this isn't about knocking down the other guys. Rudy's pro-choice; so am I. But I don't kid myself that's going to be a popular position with the pro-life crowd. Maybe they vote for him anyway, because of his performance under incredible stress on 9-11 and his tough on crime policies.
Newt? Let's not kid ourselves that Newt's going to pick up any votes for us in the center; he's been successfully demonized by the liberals. And he's got enough problems in his past that the CC crowd is certain to feel a little ambivalent about his candidacy.
Mitt Romney? I doubt he's been prominent enough on the national stage to make the jump to the Oval Office. And while I have zero problems with him being a Mormon, others will.
McCain is not free of problems in his past either. His volcanic temper is legendary. He was one of the Keating Five senators, in fact, the only one still in office. His wife stole pain-killers from a charity she headed.
But the Keating five scandal was overblown (remember, his conviction has been oveturned), and McCain's involvement was innocent, according to even the Phoenix New Times, a left-wing newspaper that looked very carefully at the charges back in the early 1990s. By all accounts, McCain only supported Keating because he was a major employer in Arizona who claimed to be getting shafted by government bureaucrats. When McCain learned that was not the case and that Keating probably had broken laws, he withdrew his support, unlike the other senators in the room.
His wife's painkiller problem? Rush Limbaugh has taught us all that addiction to painkillers is extraordinarily pernicious. Granted, he didn't steal them, but if he'd had access to them would he have?
McCain's been solid on the war on terror, the major issue of our time, and because of his credibility with the media at least has countered some of the natural anti-war tendencies of that group. He also helped defuse the torture issue. The Gang of 14 seems to have worked out pretty well; would we have gotten Alito on the court without some real problems? And am I the only person breathing a little easier about Democratic control of the Senate without the nuclear option having been used?
I am aware that this is not a particular popular position
in the center-right blogosphere. I hope my friends who disagree will recognize that I am endorsing McCain because I feel he's a solid Republican who gives the party the best chance to win in 2008.
Monday, November 13, 2006
The Hawk Interviews Mark Steyn
Great stuff here
.John Hawkins: Mark, here's the $24,000 question: can you give us a quick rundown on thereasons why Europe's birth rates have plummeted?
Mark Steyn: Well, I think it's true as countries get wealthy, birth rates decline and that's true around the world even in Muslim cultures. For example, more advanced Muslim societies such as those little wealthy Gulf Emirates, they breed less than they do, say in Somalia or in Pakistan or Yemen. So declining birth rates are merely one sign, you know, an indication of increasing prosperity; however, they have gone way below that in Europe.
In other words, they've gone past the symbol -- you know, wealthy middle class moms deciding they'd like fewer children -- to an effect of huge numbers of people in those societies deciding that they don't want any children whatsoever -- huge numbers, and they basically pass the point of no return. Essentially I think a lot of it is to do really with the kind of re-organization of society in which the state has a primacy that was once reserved for individuals of the family.
That's to say if the state basically becomes your patriarch -- if the state becomes the one who looks after your elderly parents in old age, takes them off your hands, and so frees you up not to have to look after boring old granddad once he's getting into his 90's and he's incontinent and he doesn't remember anybody's name. If they just say, " Well, we'll house him, look after him, you can get on with your life," it's not such a big step then to decide that if you do without grandparents, you can also do without grandchildren.
The Senator Thing
Here's an interesting article
on how senators have a tough time making the jump to the presidency. The article starts out with a focus on the ridiculous talk about Barack Obama. This part drew a chortle:"The Senate historically has not been a great place from which to run for president," said former senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who personally learned the lesson in 2004. "Senator Obama might feel he would be better off to run while he has not been tainted by an excessive period in the Senate."
I don't think that less experience as a senator is likely to make one a stronger candidate. The article does note that the two frontrunners for 2008 are both in the Senate: Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Obviously if both of them manage to be nominated, the curse of the Senate will only affect one of them.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
The Amazing Race: Nice Guys Finnish Last?
Some memorable quotes this episode. The teams are instructed to go to Helsinki, Finland. They are given tickets to Paris, where they may find connections, but the plane doesn't leave until that evening. The teams realize that by flying to South Africa, they can make a connection to Frankfurt and thence to Finland, where people wear wooden shoes (according to the Beauty Queens). At first it appears that Team Gump will get left behind, but they manage to wheedle their way onto the plane.
In Helsinki, teams get their next clue at an internet cafe, delivered by family members in a video. They must then find a school where the next cluebox is. Next they are to take a train and then catch a cab to another school, where they must find the cluebox on the grounds.
Team Recovery and the Beauty Queens snag the available cabs. Rob & Kimberley jump the queue, as does Team Gump. The Chos, however, are too polite, and one of them muses "Being polite sucks sometimes."
However, Rob & Kimberley get lost and so the five teams are pretty tight when they come to the Detour: Swamp This or Swamp That. In Swamp This, teams must use cross-country skis to make it across a swamp. in Swamp That, they have to run through a swamp, completing a number of tasks along the way (like crawling and carrying each other.
Team Recovery finishes first, followed by the Beauty Queens. Rob & Kimberley almost get caught by the Chos but then the brothers slip back again, and are in last. Next stop the train station again. The Beauty Queens and Team Recovery manage to make the first train, while Rob & Kimberley just miss. Rob is angry and upset: "Just let me have my moment!" Now that Peter is gone, he's the designated jerk.
When they get off the train, cars are waiting. Teams must make their way to a limestone mine. Team Recovery gloats as the Beauty Queens completely miss the marker on a doorway. They hop into the mine car and find the clue: Roadblock.
One member of each team must ride a mountain bike down a shaft and get a piece of limestone, then bike back uphill to crack open the limestone for the next clue. Of course, as always my heart pumps a little faster at the biking opportunity. I know I would have beaten all of the contestants in that phase of the challenge; for one thing they all went fairly slow downhill, except for Rob, who was in last place at that point.
As it works out, Team Recovery and the Beauty Queens are in the lead, followed by Rob & Kimberley & the Cho Brothers. The next clue leads teams to the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, but what's this? No Pit Stop mention and warning that the last team may be eliminated? This is a pretty obvious sign that the teams will have to keep racing at the end of tonight's show.
At the Olympic Stadium, Team Recovery rushes inside expecting to see Phil, and miss a little marker in a doorway. Eventually they find it and go up to the top of the stadium, where they must rappel down; not so tough until you realize they want the contestants to do it face first. In a cool bit one of the guys does a reverse Batman routine, walking down the side of the tower.
The Beauty Queens arrive followed by the three other teams all racing madly. Unbelievably, Rob & Kimberley make a wrong turn yet again, while the Chos and Team Gump find the cluebox. About this time the second member of Team Recovery makes it down the face and receives the clue that has been obvious for awhile now: "You're still racing."
As usual, check out Viking Pundit's excellent recap
Still More McCain
Just for the heck of it, I checked out Tradesports' page
on the expected Republican nominee in 2008.
McCain's at about 52 cents asked (to win $1.00 if he becomes the nominee. Romney's at 13 cents, Giuliani about 13.5 cents, Huckabee's at 8 cents, Rice and Gingrich are at 5 cents, Hagel's way overvalued at 3 cents and everybody else is right around a penny.
I would encourage my friends who disagree on McCain to stop saying they won't vote for him under any circumstances, unless of course they are talking about in the primaries. Tradesports is not perfect by any means, but it distills the CW very well. The CW is that McCain is about as likely as all the other candidates combined to win the nomination.
On the Democrat's side
of the ledger, Tradesports sees Hillary as slightly more of a favorite than McCain, with her shares offered at 54.4 cents. Amusingly, Obama's shares are currently ahead of Gore's, at 16.6 cents compared to 11.9 cents. Edwards rounds out the real contenders at 7.6 cents; everybody after that is at 3 cents or lower. Jean Fraude Kerry is at 2 cents even, behind Vilsack, Bayh, Biden and Richardson.
McCain Part Deux
Addressing my friends who made some excellent arguments:Kitty
:Allow me to be the first to say NO WAY JOSE! to this backstabber. And IMHO, McCain IS a backstabber.
At this point I think we have to entertain the possibility that McCain has stabbed at backs when they deserved to be stabbed. I'm as big a Bush loyalist as anybody, but are we going to admit at some point that he appears to have made some mistakes along the way? Maybe, just maybe, McCain really disagreed with Bush.Aren't you jumping the gun a bit early? Why not wait at least a few months to see who is on the horizon?
Allen was the guy on the horizon several months ago; at this point the realistic field is Giuliani, McCain, Romney and Newt. Does anybody really think Tom Tancredo or Chuck Hagel has a chance? Please stop reading my blog in that case; we're talking serious politics here. Brownback's arguably a candidate, but he's not going to come on like gangbusters.If I had to choose right now, I'd choose Rudy. He has far better numbers than McCain, whose negatives are increasing as that straw poll continues. He did wonders with NYC, and the whole country knows how well he handled the 9/11 attack. Heck, even Dems praised him! PLUS, he's not a hot-tempered loose cannon with a permanent grudge.
So it's Guiliani or McCain. I could certainly support Rudy G; he has much of the same crossover appeal that McCain has. But while I was in awe of his performance on 9-11, somebody has to talk about his performance in his aborted 2000 Senate run against Hillary. He was going to lose that election and lose it badly. Granted it's New York and pre 9-11; things have changed.Aaron says
I've jumped the shark! I didn't know I was ever good enough to be considered to have jumped the shark to being awful. ;)Did you have a chance to read hewitts take on this? you seem to be a hh fan...
Hugh's a great guy but he doesn't like McCain for whatever reason. The notion that somehow the Gang of 14 is responsible for the loss of this election is silly, and to the extent it has any traction at all, it's because Hugh and others made it a big deal. The Gang worked out well in my opinion.Fatman
:You're panicking. We lost a mid-term election in the sixth year of a presidency (always a bad time to be both an incumbent and a member of the President's party) and you want to put into the White House a man who did nothing less than betray his oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
I don't buy the argument that this was just a typical sixth year vote. Most reelected presidents sweep into office a whole bunch of people in marginal seats with them, who inevitably lose without the prez on the ballot the next time around. The numbers are skewed by the likes of Reagan in 1984 and Nixon in 1972, who brought in big freshmen classes in the House that were swept back out to sea in 1986 and 1974. I'm sure there was a similar phenomenon in 1936 for Roosevelt. Clinton did not have a sixth-year swoon as you may remember; he also didn't carry his party to a big victory in his reelection year.
Fatman also decries pork barrel spending, apparently not realizing that McCain is one of the strongest senators combatting that particular issue. He also says that McCain is Democrat Lite.
McCain's career rating from the American Conservative Union is 83. Joe Lieberman is a 17. Liberal Republicans like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine check in at about 50. Sam Brownback is a 95, and George Allen was a 92. I don't believe that the difference between an 83 and a 92 is going quite to Democrat Lite.
However, Fatman does bring in one legitimate point:And the irony is that McCain-Feingold actually increased the out-of-control campaign spending by funneling it into 527s, where it's harder to track, at a cost of restricting our free speech during political campaigns. And are you forgetting McCain's attempts to include bloggers (that's you and me) in those restrictions?
I'm not a fan of McCain-Feingold. But one of John McCain's flaws is that he absorbs personal lessons almost too well. I believe that he hates fundraising personally and so he's amenable to legislation against it. See also torture...Marathon Man
:I had a shorter post on McCain on my blog. One of my fears of a McCain nomination is the "retread" factor--his getting the nomination as Dole did in 1996, because he "it's his turn." That won't excite the swing voters. Still, even though our side lost, McCain's stock is up because of his hard work for GOP candidates in the weeks leading up to election day.
I agree with John here about Dole, but it's important to remember that Clinton was probably not going to be beaten by anybody in 1996. That's the reason that Dole had such lackluster competition.
Anna's willing to take a wait and see attitude, but Wild Bill says no way he's voting for McCain. Even if it's a choice between him and Hillary, Bill?
Look, I'm not deluded about the power of my prose. I am not going to lead anybody anyplace they don't already want to go. I'm not announcing my endorsement in the hopes that it will change minds. I'm doing it so you know where I stand, and where to expect some bias on my part.