Another cog in the wheel known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to combat the Extreme Left-Wing Media.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

How close was that election again?

Here is more evidence that the 2000 election was not as close as some people claim. She is not alone.
Election records show that one of Tulsa's mayoral candidates voted twice in a presidential election. Democratic candidate Kathy Taylor denies the accusation - but state records in Florida and Oklahoma show the votes, one by absentee, the other in person, for the 2000 election.
Don't put her in office - - put her in jail.

Disney workers gang rape co-worker?

This can't be good for tourism. The employees shown below have not been implicated.

Spring Training stuff

Spring training exhibition games haven't started yet but there is some news coming out of camp. From the Plain Dealer:
Multiyear deal for Sizemore?
I like that idea. The Indians have had success with signing young players to contracts which avoid the arbitration process.
Travis Hafner, bothered by an ailing right elbow the past two years, says he's ready to play 20 to 30 games at first base this season. "The elbow feels fine," he said. Hafner was limited to one game at first last season and 12 in 2004.
I'll believe it when I see it. Hafner's availability to play first will affect how much the team can rest catcher Victor Martinez at DH. Martinez caught 142 games last year. Relatedly, Terry Pluto has an article in the Akron Beacon Journal saying that resting Martinez was a primary reason the Indians insisted on catching prospect Kelly Shoppach be included in the Coco Crisp trade.

According to Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News, Austin Kearns has reported to camp considerably lighter than last year. Kearns' weight has been a source of contention between him and management in the past. Not much pitching to speak of, but the Reds should put some serious runs up on the scoreboard.

Time to invoke the "Blind Squirrel Rule"

There is an old saying, that even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut which is used to explain it when someone unexpectedly gets something right. I don't often agree with Richard Cohen, in fact he is almost always wrong. Today, however, I think Cohen stumbled across a correct point.
There are times when George Bush sorely disappoints. Just when you might expect him to issue a malapropian explanation, pander to his base or simply not have a clue about what he is talking about, he does something so right, so honest and, yes, so commendable, that -- as Arthur Miller put it in "Death of a Salesman" -- "attention must be paid." Pay attention to how he has refused to indulge anti-Arab sentiment over the Dubai ports deal.

Would that anyone could say the same about many of the deal's critics. Whatever their concerns may be, whatever their fears, they would not have had them, expressed them or seen them in print had the middle name of the United Arab Emirates been something else. After all, no one goes nuts over Germany, the country where some of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists lived and attended school.
Read the rest.

Monday, February 27, 2006

A case of making the punishment fit the crime

I guess this guy got what he deserved.
A Sudanese man has been forced to take a goat as his "wife", after he was caught having sex with the animal. The goat's owner, Mr Alifi, said he surprised the man with his goat and took him to a council of elders. They ordered the man, Mr Tombe, to pay a dowry of 15,000 Sudanese dinars ($50) to Mr Alifi. "We have given him the goat, and as far as we know they are still together," Mr Alifi said. Mr Alifi, Hai Malakal in Upper Nile State, told the Juba Post newspaper that he heard a loud noise around midnight and immediately rushed outside to find Mr Tombe with his goat. "When I asked him: 'What are you doing there?', he fell off the back of the goat, so I captured and tied him up". Mr Alifi then called elders to decide how to deal with the case. "They said I should not take him to the police, but rather let him pay a dowry for my goat because he used it as his wife," Mr Alifi told the newspaper.
Happily ever after, I suppose.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

State of Ivy League Universities

How far out of the mainstream must Harvard be if a lifelong Democrat and member of former President Clinton's cabinet like Larry Summers is considered not leftist enough to lead the university. Jeff Jacoby has an article looking at why Summers was forced out as Harvard's President.
HARVARD'S 27TH president announced his resignation last week, but Lawrence Summers's fall from grace actually began on Oct. 26, 2001, less than four months after his presidency began. That was the date on which he addressed the annual public service awards banquet at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and had the temerity to speak favorably of American patriotism -- and, even more audaciously, to express admiration for the men and women who serve in the US armed forces.

When a president visits

It is a big deal to a country when a foreign leader visits. Even more so when the leader is a United States president. Presidents have not done a lot of foreign travel for two reasons - the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Wednesday, President Bush will arrive in New Delhi, India for a visit. Here are a couple articles from Indian newspapers ahead of his visit. It's interesting to see how he is presented to foreign audiences.

President Bush sat down for an interview with a reporter from the India Times.
At the best of times, meeting the most powerful man on the planet can be intimidating. But when he walks into the Roosevelt Room of the White House quite unexpectedly a few minutes ahead of the scheduled interview time holding in his hands a book you have written, and quips, "I've been reading a good book lately!" the most composed journalist can be knocked galley west.

Will the real George W Bush stand up? is an Indian look at security measures ahead of the visit.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

RIP - Deputy Fife

Don Knotts who was best known for playing the bumbling Deputy Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show passed away yesterday. Knotts entertained at least two generations of kids with movies the whole family could enjoy. My favorite was The Incredible Mr. Limpet. Thanks for the laughs.

"In her best interest to die?"

This article admittedly is short on details, but it is disturbing nonetheless.
A High Court judge has ruled that the profoundly disabled girl Charlotte Wyatt should be allowed to die if doctors believe it to be in her best interests.
When doctors seek permission to end life we are heading somewhere we don't want to go. There is a slippery slope from this decision to wholesale euthanasia. How does that Hippocratic Oath go again?

Friday, February 24, 2006

The convenience store microwave should only be used to cook food bought in the store!

More evidence that there's some strange folks wandering among us.
McKeesport Police say a man walked into the store, and asked the clerk to use the microwave oven. After the clerk noticed a strange smell coming from the microwave, she told police she opened the door and discovered human male genitalia wrapped in a paper towel cooking inside. McKeesport police told KDKA the man fled with the severed body part after she made the discovery. She then called the police. According to police, blood was found on the bathroom floor.
Insert a Steelers joke if ya have one handy.

UPDATE: An anonymous commenter alerted me to breaking news in this story:
Investigators have since learned that it was not a real body part; but instead, it was part of a couple�s alleged plan to pass a drug test. According to McKeesport�s police chief, a man and a woman had inserted urine into a fake penis that the woman was planning to use to pass a drug test. One of them then went into the store and asked the clerk to microwave the object, which they had wrapped in a paper towel, so the urine could reach body temperature.
Not to worry the company took appropriate action:
Giant Eagle, the company that owns Get-Go, says the microwave involved in the incident was immediately removed from service and will be discarded.
Giant Eagle doesn't clean their urine heaters (I mean microwave ovens) they throw them out after one use.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Marriage*

Maggie Gallagher in National Review Online examines a Pop Quiz on Marriage conducted by Institute for Marriage and Public Policy. The answers to a couple questions surprised me because they dispelled conventional wisdom. Here is one:
3. True or False: Marriages are much more likely to end in divorce today than they were 20 years ago. False. The overall divorce rate peaked around 1980 and appears to have declined modestly since then. Divorce rates per 1,000 marriages were 22.6 in 1980, 20.9 in 1990, and 18.8 in 2000(latest data: 2004: 17.7). (National Marriage Project, State of Our Unions, 2005.) According to a recent study divorce rates among the college-educated have fallen the most dramatically since the 1970s, while rates among less-educated Americans may have risen slightly. Between the early '70s and the early '90s the proportion of women with college diplomas whose marriages dissolved in the first ten years plummeted from 24.3 percent to 16.7 percent. Divorce rates among those with less than a college degree, meanwhile, increased slightly from 33.7 percent to 35.7 percent.
The answer to that question surprised me in a couple ways. First, I assumed divorce rate were steadily getting worse an apparently that isn't the case. Secondly, I incorrectly assumed college grads would have a higher divorce rate than non-college grads. Read the article and see how many you'd get right.

Charlie Wilson - A Not Ready for Prime Time Player

State Sen. Wilson wanted to move up from the state level to national level by running for an open congressional seat. To get on the ballot you need a petition signed by people who could actually vote for you.
State Sen. Charlie Wilson failed to get the minimum number of petition signatures, election officials said on Wednesday. To qualify for the May 2 primary ballot, Wilson needed 50 signatures of registered Democratic voters, and although he submitted 96 signatures a few days before the filing deadline, only 46 were found to be valid, elections officials said. (Many of the signatures were from Democrats who live outside the 6th District, press reports said.)
He missed the deadline, so that's the end of that, right? Nope.
"I am exploring a number of options, and am confident that in November I will be on the ballot and I will win the privilege and responsibility of representing Ohio families in Congress." Wilson could run as a write-in candidate or as an Independent in the May 2 primary election. Two other Democrats will appear on the ballot, but Wilson was considered the front-runner.
Okay, he can avoid the primary process and run as an Independent and hurt whichever Democrat followed the rules and wins the primary. Wilson sounds like a real team player.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

More evidence that smoking is bad for you

Here is a story of a guy getting zapped by a taser and being set on fire because he had a butane lighter in his shirt pocket. Here's an idea, don't carry flammables if you're going to piss off the cops.

Never campaign for an honor

Jim Rice is obviously unaware that you should never campaign for an honor. Jim Rice has been on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for over a decade and is unhappy with being overlooked. Rice was a feared hitter who dominated the American League in the late 70's and I've long believed he should be inducted to the HoF. The election process is Byzantine and can be frustrating. Well, in expressing his frustration, Rice has probably hurt his case for selection. Beyond just complaining about not being elected, Rice has actually gone as far as to criticize the player selected this year and other players on next years ballot.
''Sutter went in. So, I was compared to Sutter. Would you want to start a game with Sutter or Jim Rice? Is he going to finish 29 games in a row? Is Jim Rice going to play 29 games in a row? Or 162 games? So, are you going to start with Sutter or are you going to start with me? Is Sutter going to drive in 100 runs, hit 30 homers, or get 400 total bases? So, why is Sutter in and I'm not?

''Why is Ripken going in?" he asked. When the consecutive-game streak (2,632) is offered, Rice said, ''Exactly. But would you start your team with Ripken? Can Ripken bat .345?

''OK, now give me Gwynn," he continued. ''Why is he going in?" Three thousand hits (3,141 to be precise) is a good start. ''How many years did he play? [20] Would you start your team with Gwynn? Case closed. Longevity. That's all it is. Longevity.

''Is it longevity, or dominating? Gwynn didn't dominate nothing. Cal Ripken didn't dominate nothing. If you look at Bruce Sutter, Bruce Sutter ain't dominated nothing . . . If you are talking about guys that are going to the Hall of Fame, what are the criteria? Were you a dominant player? Was it longevity? It all depends on good guy/bad guy, I guess. I have no idea."
I've long thought Rice's vote totals were affected by the perception that he is a jerk. Well, in this article he confirmed that perception. Jim, you don't need to knock Gwynn or Rice to make your case. Tony Gwynn led his league in batting average 8 times. Ripken played a more difficult defensive position and finished his career with nearly 50 more homers than Rice. If you really feel the need to make your case, compare yourself to borderline Hall of Famers - not to guys who are automatic choices.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The port management deal

People with short fuses on both sides of the political aisle have gotten angry and excited about a pending business deal. People who should know better are accusing the president of disregarding our nations safety. I have left this one alone because I sensed everyone was jumping on it without thinking things through. The usual complaint against President Bush is he is too aggressive in prosecuting the war on terror. That image is in stark contrast to how some are viewing this deal. The way I see this deal is we have terminals at six ports that were under British management and now are going to be under Dubai management. Why? Because they outbid the Hong Kong company that was also bidding on the contract. Okay. In my view nothing fundamental is changing. A different company will be pocketing the profits is the only change. The actions currently in place to run background checks on port authority employees will remain. We currently only inspect a fraction of the containers entering the country via cargo ships. The reason we don't inspect 100% of containers is because we couldn't without bringing shipping to a complete stand still.

UAE has been a relatively trusted alley in the war on terror. We won't have many friends in the Arab world if we act like we assume they are all as nutty as the extremists. Some of the nuts on the left said after 9/11 that we need to understand why they hate us. Well, exhibiting an irrational fear of any and all Arabs might be a contributing factor. I've been to Dubai, it isn't like Iran. Heck, it isn't even similar to Saudi Arabia. The UAE is comprised of seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain) some are fairly westernized, others (Sharjah) are more restrictive.

Separately, A Large Regular considers the opposition of this deal by some politicians who were against renewing the Patriot Act to be crass political opportunism. He says the way to really drive them nuts would be to turn around and give the contract to Halliburton.

Here is a Wall Street Journal article on this deal and the reaction to it. .

Early Spring Training stories

Nothing newsworthy really happens the first week of Spring Training, but that doesn't stop articles from being written. Despite the fact that all that is going on is unpacking, players taking physicals, and a bunch of meetings reporters have to justify being sent to Florida or Arizona while their neighbors are shivering. Here is what passes as news:

Barry Bonds won't play next season or then again he might. Hey, this season hasn't started yet!

You also get the annual story attempting to paint Milton Bradley as a decent guy. It isn't his fault that everyone who has tried to straighten him is a racist. The over/under on the date that he realizes the A's are racist is May 15th.

In Boston the big question is where is Manny Ramirez and when will he report to training camp.
It was David Ortiz who said that Ramirez had told him during their one-minute phone conversation (anything longer costs too much for Ramirez's tastes, according to Ortiz) that he was headed to Italy this week, despite the fact that he's due to report to camp within days. Yesterday, Ortiz joked that it was maybe Brazil. I think the crack Red Sox marketing gurus might have their first popular item of 2006 on their plates -- the "Where in the world is Manny Ramirez?" board game.

"He won't surprise me anymore," Ortiz said. ''I'm telling you right now."

Ortiz was asked by reporters whether he expected Ramirez to be in the lineup on Opening Day. ''He might," Ortiz said. ''I don't know. That's a good question."

Gotta love Ortiz playing into the intrigue as well. Instead of your standard, "Manny will be here, not to worry," Ortiz happily gives us, "What, you think I can figure this dude out?"

The will be an article each team to announce their opening day pitcher even though in most cases it's pretty obvious. Here's an article ending the "suspense" over Cleveland's opening day starter.

Sadly, there was some real news yesterday as longtime broadcaster Curt Gowdy passed away after a battle with cancer. Something I didn't know until today is that when Gowdy announced Ted Williams hitting a home run in his last at bat no one else knew it was Williams' last at bat. In fact, the other reporters in the booth looked at him like he was nuts since the Red Sox had a couple more games to play. Williams had confided in Gowdy prior to the game that it would be his last. Chris Lynch at A Large Regular has another Gowdy story.

Presidential Politics

As much as I dislike some elements of the primary system (mainly the fact that many states really have no choice in their parties nominee), there is something uniquely American about politicians visiting states like New Hampshire and Iowa that most of them would never bother with otherwise.

Here is an article about all the politicians visiting South Carolina, another early primary state. Some interesting polling data from that article:
In a hypothetical November matchup, McCain beats Clinton, 52-32 percent, in South Carolina.
The problem with that poll (besides being so early) is it means nothing if Sen. Clinton is not the Democrat nominee. There are many people who would hold their nose and vote for McCain due to their strong disdain for the junior senator from New York. However, if a less polarizing figure like Mark Warner received the Democratic nomination then McCain's support will drop precipitously. To most Republicans McCain is perceived as more of a Media-crat than Republican or Democrat. We don't like politicians who seem more concerned with staying in Tim Russert's good graces than doing the right thing. Also, not many Republicans have forgiven him for the anti-First Amendment McCain-Feingold legislation.

In related news, the Governor of Arkansas is visiting South Carolina for some reason.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who has been mentioned as a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, came to Spartanburg on Monday night to give the keynote address at the GOP's county convention.
Huckabee's main obstacle is that you could ask 100 people at random "Who is Mike Huckabee?" and less than 5 would correctly identify him.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Voting Fraud

Does being against a requirement for voter identification mean someone is for voting fraud? I think so. Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) disagrees. Rendell seems to think voting fraudulently is constitutionally protected.

Radio Shack - UPDATE

Last week, I posted an item about Radio Shack CEO David Edmondson padding his resume with false claims of college degrees he never earned. Today, he "resigned." However, there was no mention of a severance package. We'll see.

Does Peter King do research for his columns?

Peter King of Sports Illustrated also writes a column for Yahoo Sports. In this weeks column he talks about the upcoming football draft among other things. Among the other things was this comment:
3. I think these are my other non-football thoughts of the week:

a. Maybe the funniest thing the New York Post has done in recent times was Photoshopping Dick Cheney into the Elmer Fudd hunting costume after the accidental shooting. A close second: calling Wayne Gretzky "The Great Betsky.''

b. Jerry Maguire is a really underrated movie. Saw it the other night and kept thinking: They got this agent business pretty close.

c. What ever happened to Cuba Gooding Jr.? Could an actor do a better job in a movie than he did in Jerry Maguire? And he's fallen off the face of the earth. He should be a star, a big one.
What does he mean, "what happened to Cuba Gooding Jr.?" For a guy King thinks has fallen off the face of the earth, Gooding sure has been busy. Since filming Jerry Maguire, the one film King saw, Gooding has appeared in 19 movies including two to be released this year. The three of the movies he starred that I've seen were great and should be classics (Men of Honor, Radio and As Good as it Gets).

Law enforcement going too far

While I'm generally for law and order and favor stiff penalties to deter criminal activity, I'm not for unfettered policing techniques that result in a loss of privacy or entrapment. There are a couple examples from the past week which should worry all of us.
The first involves mandating an increased usage of security cameras in Chicago.
Mayor Richard Daley wants to require bars open until 4 a.m. to install security cameras that can identify people entering and leaving the building. Other businesses open longer than 12 hours a day, including convenience stores, eventually would have to do the same.
I strongly disagree with the red light cameras some cities are installing and don't like this either. If banks and other businesses want to use cameras to increase security that is their call but should not be mandated.

The second example is an outrageous case of police using entrapment to bust prostitutes in Spotsylvania, Pennsylvania.
SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. -- The sheriff said Friday he will no longer allow detectives to receive sexual services while investigating suspected prostitution after they spent $1,200 at massage parlors last month and sparked a public outcry. Court documents show that four times last month, county detectives allowed women at Moon Spa to perform sex acts on them _ once leaving a $350 tip. A total of $1,200 was spent during the visits, Smith said. He said multiple visits were necessary so detectives could build trust with the operators.
So the police use tax payer money to get a happy moment and they're nice enough to leave a $350 tip with other peoples money. Why are they stopping?
Spotsylvania County Sheriff Howard Smith defended the practice as necessary to obtain a conviction but told his department he was suspending it. "As sheriff, I understand the feelings and concerns the citizens of this county have expressed," Smith said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Friday. "And I empathize with those feelings. Because of the public's express response, I have suspended this practice."
So the sheriff is NOT saying he understands it was wrong just he is responding to pressure. He should be fired before he gets a chance to waste more money creating crimes. What a moroon.

(h/t Galley Slaves for the second item)

President's Day

President's Day is a catch all holiday to honor all former chief executives. It replaces the original holiday for Washington's Birthday.

Here is a falsely titled article about the presidents.
20 Things You Didn't Know About U.S. Presidents
There were only four items on their list which I didn't already know.

The History Channel is re-running their series on the presidents today and it is well worth watching. I got a better understanding of some of the forgotten presidents of the 1800's.

Friday, February 17, 2006

This would be a lawyer joke - if it wasn't true

This is just too stupid.
David Hidalgo, supervising deputy district attorney for San Bernardino County, told NBC4 that although it is illegal for his office to discuss specific cases, he notes that there is always the option of community service or a letter of apology to resolve a case. "When parents refuse to cooperate under those circumstances and they refuse to hold a minor accountable for their criminal conduct and insist they go to court to refute the allegations, then we have no choice," Hidalgo said.
What did this hardened criminal do? She played dodgeball.
Complaints by the parents of a student injured during a game at Hermosa Elementary School prompted authorities to charge Brittney Schneiders with battery. "I don't think I did (commit a crime)," Brittney told NBC4's Mary Parks. "I thought I was just playing a dodge ball game. I never thought it would come up to this level."

For seven years, Schneiders made the honor roll and received good citizenship awards, but the teen soccer star is in a legal mess over a game of "Wall Ball." "Wall Ball" is a game where a team throws or kicks a ball in an attempt to hit other players.

Schneiders kicked a ball that hit a boy who wore braces, giving him a fat lip.
Their snotty kid gets a fat lip and the parents run to the police about it? Block the ball or get out of the way or accept the consequences.

Resume padding and why I'm glad I don't own shares of Radio Shack

Did Mike Brown of FEMA infamy help write the resume of Radio Shack's CEO, David Edmondson?
Mr Edmondson, 46, took over last year as CEO of the third-largest US electronics retailer. He issued a statement on Wednesday night saying he had not received a Batchelor of Science degree from Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College, as stated when he joined the company in 1994.
If lying about his education wasn't sufficient to get him fired how about the fact that he is a slow learner?
Separately, Mr Edmondson is also facing a charge of drunk driving, his third in 17 years.
To sum up what is wrong with corporate governance, when he is pushed out the door he will likely be given millions of dollars in severance pay. He will be great rewarded for his performance which drove the company's stock value down more than 30% since he took over.

Political stuff & more for a Friday

Hugh Hewitt examines James Webb's candidacy for U.S. Senate from Virginia. Hewitt believes (and I agree) that this race will be seen as a referendum on the Iraq War. Webb is a decorated Marine and former Republican running as a Democrat opposed to the action in Iraq against Sen. George Allen who has supported taking action.

Uriah Kriegel of TCS Daily considers the effort to draft Secretary of State Rice to run for president in 2008 and the obstacles to her election. Interesting analysis even if I don't agree with all of it. It is one of those articles you have to read twice. I stick to my contention that she is not going to run, but you never know.

Did Ann Coulter commit election fraud

Bolton Launches Talks on Replacing Annan If you believe that the United Nations is still relevant (which I don't) then this could be important.

Lost in the media obsession with a hunting accident was the ludicrous speech that former VP Al Gore gave in Saudi Arabia last weekend. Jack Kelly of Jewish World Review has an article fact checking Gore's speech. And to think that buffoon was close to being elected president. Gore's despicable behavior since serving as VP only serves to enhance Dan Quayle's reputation.

House candidate admits former work as prostitute
A Dallas Democrat seeking election to the Texas House of Representatives has acknowledged that he once worked as a prostitute. Tom Malin, a salesman and actor, said he no longer works as a prostitute but conceded that his previous life could cost him the nomination in the March 7 Democratic primary. "I've made mistakes in my life, and I've stood before my creator and I've accepted responsibility for my behavior," Malin told The Dallas Morning News. "I've also accepted his grace and his redemption and his love and his forgiveness," and that's what is important, he said.
Let him run. The voters can decide if his positions on the issues they care about are good.

The American Thinker has an article which reviews the Washington Post's coverage of two high profile shootings, Dick Cheney's hunting accident and Vince Foster's suicide. Both had delays in reporting. However, the WAPO's reporting was drastically different in handling the two stories.
The early reporting record of the Foster death shows very little skepticism, lots of sympathy and a pronounced inclination to accept whatever whoppers the White House layed out for the press corps.

Contrast this with coverage on the Cheney matter: question everything, believe nothing, always infer the most nefarious and evil explanations. Conjecture and speculation are the rule of the day. All this being done with the irrefutable knowledge that no one got killed, and no one doubts it is anything other than a regrettable garden-variety accident
The most unbelievable aspect of the coverage of the two stories to me is no one in the media has noticed the irony of Hillary Clinton accusing Cheney of wrongdoing in the delay considering she was the one who ordered a delay in the Foster investigation. Amazing.

Missed the bus - What a lousy excuse for being late

I previously said I wouldn't be posting about the Winter Olympics. Well, Johnny Weir forced me to way in. He was favored in the Men's Figure Skating Championships and ended up arriving late and finishing in fifth place. His excuse?
"I missed the bus because they changed the schedule and I was late getting here," the angry and frustrated skater told reporters. "I never felt comfortable ... I wasn't feeling 100 percent ready." Weir, who was placed second going into the free skating program but missed many of his jumps and ended up fifth, said he would blame the mix-up on someone else but maybe he should have checked the bus times.
MAYBE!? No, not maybe. I missed the bus is the excuse you give when you're late to a job you hate. That is an unacceptable excuse when you're late to an event you've trained for years to compete in and for which your family and friends have undoubtedly support you.

Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports seems more concerned with whether he should come out of the closet or not. Hello, he's competing in figure skating and describes himself as the "prettiest flower at the pond." Does he need to make an announcement? Why is Wetzel so concerned?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Caveat Emptor

I believe the saying caveat emptor is something these guys are learning all about.
TOKYO - Eight people in southern Japan forked over 150 million yen ($1.27 million) to a man who promised huge returns involving fake American $1 million bills and then disappeared with their money, a news report said Thursday.

The United States Treasury does not make $1 million bills.

The unidentified investors first heard of the $1 million note from a 52-year-old construction material company president in early 2003. The president told them about a "rare" $1 million bill that was for sale in Chengdu, China, and invited them to pool money to buy several such notes promising a return 10 times of their investment, the report said.

The investors were told that the U.S. government printed the bills in 1928 when Chiang Kai-shek was still in power in China to allow Americans to bring their assets back home, Asahi said.

The president showed them a thousand of the $1 million notes featuring a portrait of George Washington at a Tokyo hotel, according to Asahi. The investors were told the notes could be exchanged for smaller denominations in Hong Kong, but no exchange ever took place, it reported.

"We continued to fork over money because we were promised, 'You'll get several hundreds of millions of yen in three days,' or 'You'll get that amount in a week,'" one investor was quoted as saying. By last March, the eight had paid a total of 150 million yen ($1.27 million), but the company president said the bills would be exchanged by the end of April and he disappeared, according to the report.

The largest U.S. denomination ever produced was $100,000 between 1934 and 1935, according to the Treasury.
What did P.T. Barnum say about a fool and his money?

Thursday's news & columns

Lots of interesting reading this morning.

Peggy Noonan speculates that talk of replacing Dick Cheney is going to heat up in the wake of the shooting incident. I wouldn't completely rule it out, but unless he has a major medical issue come up I don't expect any change before this years elections.

Inter-network jealousy rears it's ugly head as some are upset that Cheney gave an exclusive interview to FOX. Jack Cafferty of CNN was especially catty:
On CNN, commentator Jack Cafferty called the interview "a little bit like Bonnie interviewing Clyde. ... I mean, running over there to the Fox network -- talk about seeking a safe haven."
Hey, Jack maybe he just wanted an audience. If anyone still watched CNN maybe you could have done the interview.

Radio Blogger has the transcript of a funny interview of Helen Thomas by Hugh Hewitt.

Republicans Open Bids On 2008 Convention Site
31 cities were asked to apply to host the 2008 GOP Convention. With the last convention being in New York, I'd recommend heading west. I wouldn't go all the way to the coast but Denver or Minneapolis jumped off the list as decent choices. Columbus is on the list but I'm not sure that city could handle an event of that size and the traffic that goes with it.

This is a wierd story.
State Comptroller William Donald Schaefer reacted angrily Wednesday to questions about whether he may have offended an aide to Gov. Robert Ehrlich at a meeting of the Board of Public Works.

After the young woman brought him a beverage at Wednesday morning's meeting at the State House, Schaefer stared intently as she walked back to the governor's office. Then, just as she reached the door, he summoned her back as people waiting to testify before the board watched. When the aide, looking puzzled, returned to the table, Schaefer told her, "Walk again," and watched her as she made the second trip to the exit.

When reporters asked him after the meeting about the incident, he called their interest "dumb." He said "this little girl" ought to be "happy that I observed her going out the door."
Wow. I have to wonder how big a story this would have been made out to be if this was a Republican politician behaving like an idiot instead of a Democrat?

The Indians pitchers and catchers report to Winter Haven for Spring Training today! Rest of the team reports over the weekend. The only baseball news of the first week or so of Spring training involves injuries and players arriving late due to visa difficulties. So, I don't want any news for my team.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Local guy bowled a Perfect Series!

This is amazing. Lonnie Billiter Jr., bowled a perfect series Monday night. That is, he rolled three consecutive 300 games or 36 straight strikes! They have been keeping bowling records for over 100 years and this is just the 8th time anyone has accomplished this feat. Great job!

How do idiots like this guy become judges

Today's evidence of judicial stupidity comes from San Jose, California where U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel is worrying whether someone feels pain while being executed.
Agreeing that lethal injection may cause excessive pain, a federal judge told state corrections officials Tuesday to change the way they administer the fatal dose, or face a delay in death row inmate Michael Morales' Feb. 21 execution.
Hey, judge guess what? They are killing the guy and you're concerned about pain??? When the Constitution says no "cruel and unusual punishment" they weren't talking about a minute of pain on the way out the door. Demonstrating the fact that the judge is making things up as he goes, it took him 15 pages to explain his ruling. The more words it takes to explain something the more obvious it becomes that the decision was difficult to defend. We are not talking about stringing someone up by their neck and letting them hang there until they die.

This guy raped and murdered a teenage girl in 1981. The ridiculous mess our judicial system has become has allowed this guy's sentence to be delayed 25 years already.

Separately, if someone is strongly opposed to the death penalty, that is a fine and morally defensible position. However, you look foolish arguing that the killer shouldn't feel any pain when the penalty is administered. Result is the same with or without any pain. Argue against use of the punishment if that is your position but don't debate the method.

Krivsky's First Week

Wayne Krivsky has been the General Manager of the Cincinnati Reds for about a week. Obviously, it is too early to pass any kind of informed assessment. Doesn't matter. Just as baseball fans have no problem denouncing or praising a trade the day it is made, we similarly don't hesitate to form opinions of front office performance. A teams GM gets the credit and the blame for the moves the team makes even though in reality there are many people (Assistant GM, Farm Director, etc) involved. Well, Aaron Gleeman is a Twins fan who was concerned about how much of the teams brain trust was being lost to the Reds with Krivsky's departure. He praised Krivsky for signing Adam Dunn to a three deal and avoiding arbitration, but seriously questioned a couple of other player moves.
It's wonderful to know that we can be sure about Wayne Krivsky, and not Terry Ryan, being behind those nasty Timo Perez-to-the-Twins rumors that popped up last month. Krivsky's first real move as general manager of the Reds was to sign Perez to a minor-league deal. It's not quite showing up to a new job drunk on the first day, but considering Perez hit .235/.272/.322 over the past two years and Krivsky is being paid to put together a baseball team, it's reasonably close.
I think Gleeman overstates the case on Perez. Sure, he's not a great player, but teams frequently sign players like Perez as organizational filler. If it had been a major league contract I would feel differently, but he won't make the team unless they suffer several injuries.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Gas Prices

Usually when you have gas stations close to one another they will all have the same price, give or take a penny. Well, today I'm driving along Tylersville Rd. and notice that within a half mile Meijers had unleaded for $1.94. then Speedway was $2.25, followed by BP at $2.15 and finally Thorntons was $1.95. Weird.

Anyway here is a website where you can look up recent high and low gas prices in your city.

Hackett drops out of Senate race

Paul Hackett has announced that he is dropping his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate seat from Ohio and he isn't happy about being pushed out of the race.
Saying he felt betrayed by his own party, Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett said he has relunctantly dropped out of the Ohio race for U.S. Senate under pressure from Democratic leaders. Hackett told The New York Times that the same Democratic leaders who urged him to run for the Senate after his sensational political debut in last year's House race had turned on him.
While he is within his rights to be upset, this is a tactical victory for the Democrats. Avoiding a contested primary allows their nominee to concentrate on the general election. The decision on which candidate to support was actually a pretty easy call. While Hackett may have some very fervent followers, Rep. Sherrod Brown has raised a lot more money. Beyond the differences in funds raised by the two men is the fact that Hackett has demonstrated that he doesn't have the necessary maturity to play on the big stage. Hackett said he is now done with politics. I hope he means it, we have enough lawyers screwing things up in DC as it is.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Sammy Sosa just doesn't get it

Several sources are reporting that Sammy Sosa is unhappy that the Washington Nationals are offering him "only" $500,000 to play this season and he is threatening to retire. Apparently, he believes he should be offered at least twice that amount because of his past service to baseball. That's not how it works, Sammy. Teams decide whether to sign a free agent and for how much based on how they feel he will perform in the future. Sosa may have a good season left in him, but it sure didn't look like it last year. His bat speed looked very slow, he seemed slow both in the field and on the base paths which is why the Nationals were the only team that even considered signing him.


I have a confession to make. I don't watch the Winter Olympics. Most of the events are not things I ever did as a kid and I doubt most Americans have luged either. I've always looked at the winter games as the rich guy "sports." Even the one team sport in the Winter Olympics, hockey, is the most expensive of the teams sports to play. In fact until my sister's son started playing hockey I don't think I ever knew anyone who played the game. So, barring something extraordinary happening, this will be my last Olympics related post. You can go to Yahoo Sports for your Olympic news.

The war you didn't see

The war you didn't see is an article written by a returning member of the California Army National Guard's 1-184 Infantry, 1st Lt Robert C.J. Parry. He is obviously concerned about how the war in Iraq and specifically his unit's performance has been portrayed in the media.
We served with honor. We served with valor. We earned distinction.

Google us to find the litany of supposed woe. But if you want to know the real story of our battalion, go find Sgt. Thomas Kruger and ask him about April 5, 2005.

On that bright spring morning, with his legs shattered, Kruger dragged himself across 100 feet of debris and shrapnel to reach Cpl. Glenn Watkins, who had been mortally wounded moments earlier by the same ghastly roadside bomb.

You might also ask anyone from our ranks about Staff Sgt. Steve Nunez. Broken and bloodied by an IED, he was ordered home to recuperate after refusing to go voluntarily. He rejoined us to carry the fight forward, refusing the chance to stay home.

There were no front-page headlines for Kruger, Nunez or even Sgt. 1st Class Tom Stone, who covered a wounded subordinate's body with his own to protect that soldier from a secondary attack that could have come at any moment.
Go read the rest.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sunday stuff

It wouldn't be a Sunday without a couple articles speculating about potential candidates for the next presidential election. Seems no one can wait until after the mid-term elections anymore.
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, a fierce critic of the Bush administration, said Saturday that he's pulling for U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to win the White House. It is obvious why he is the former German Chancellor.

However nice it might be for Clinton to hear that a German (who can't vote here) supports her candidacy, this article has to be disconcerting.
HILLARY CLINTON would make an excellent president, according to Meg Hirschberg, whose husband runs a hugely successful organic yoghurt company in New Hampshire: “She’s amazing and brilliant and smart and lovely.” So that’s a vote for Clinton in 2008, then? Not at all. Hirschberg is thinking of backing Mark Warner, the former governor of Virginia, a likable, low-key, moderate Democrat
If the Meg Hirschberg types of the world realize Clinton can't win then she is toast before the game begins.

Washington Post examines how Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is courting Bush loyalists

George Will has an article on one senator working against the reckless spending of his collegues, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).
Coburn is the most dangerous creature that can come to the Senate, someone simply uninterested in being popular. When House Speaker Dennis Hastert defends earmarks -- spending dictated by individual legislators for specific projects -- by saying that a member of Congress knows best where a stoplight ought to be placed, Coburn, in an act of lese-majeste, responds: Members of Congress are the least qualified to make such judgments.

"If I don't get reelected? Great. The Republic will live on." Meanwhile, his mission is the soul of simplicity: "stopping bad things."
We need more senators with the mindset of Tom Coburn.

Lastly, Vice President Cheney accidentally shot someone while hunting yesterday. I wonder if this is the first time a VP has shot someone since this case.

An inspirational story plus more proof it's a small world

I stopped at a gas station this morning to fill up and ran in to get the newspaper. Well, as soon as I saw the front page article about Dustin Carter I knew I'd have to share it with those of you from outside this area. Dustin is a sophomore who wrestles at Hillsboro High School. His record is unspectacular, 11 wins and 10 losses. However, when you consider that at age 5 he became a quadruple amputee, his participating in competitive sports at all is absolutely astounding.

As I get to the front of the line the guy behind me points to the story and says "did you all see this story?" Well, the guy running the gas station says "That's my grandson." You could see the pride he had in the boy's resiliency. This is the part of the story that hit me hardest:
Dustin lost both arms and legs to amputation.

He had surgery at Shriners Hospital for Children, then underwent three months of rehabilitation. A week after he was discharged from the hospital, he attended a birthday party at his grandparents' house. He was sitting on his dad's knee and lost his balance. He went to catch himself with his hand, but, of course, no hand was there. His dad caught him before he hit the floor.

Dustin was embarrassed.

"Dad, I just wish it could be like it was," he said.

"It's the only time I've heard him complain," Russ says.

Russ dabs at his eyes.

"The only time."
Just think how much whining and complaining most of us would do if we had to deal with one tenth of the hardship that little boy faced.

Go hug your kids and pray they stay healthy.

And we think our courts are goofy???

I have to wonder if this story is a spoof.
Female convict wins right to nicer presents

A woman prisoner has won a court case forcing her boyfriend to bring her nicer presents. A court in Focsani, Romania, ordered Nicusor Constantin, 30, to put more effort into his choice of presents for girlfriend Sicuta Radulescu.

Radulescu, 36, is serving a four year sentence for theft, local newspaper 7 Plus reported. She brought a civil suit against her boyfriend claiming his behaviour was deliberate and was adversely affecting her psychological health. Radulescu told the court: "His presents are a disappointment and make my time in jail even more unbearable. "He brings useless things like photos of himself with our friends in pubs and clubs and cookery books that he knows I can't use. "I feel like he is mocking me when he brings me these presents. I want nicer presents which will make my life in prison feel more bearable." The judge ordered Constantin to agree on a list of presents with his girlfriend, which he would bring to her when he visited her in jail.
Ridiculous! For filing the frivilous suit I hope she goes the rest of her sentence without any visitors.

Friday, February 10, 2006

"And now the rest of the story"

For decades we've had "And now the rest of the story" brought to us by the distinctive voice of Paul Harvey. Well, Harvey is getting on in years and needs a replacement. Here is an article from the New York Post saying actor and former senator Fred Thompson may be in line to replace Harvey's voice. Sounds like a good choice.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Is the National League adopting the Designated Hitter rule?

I'm beginning to wonder if there is a rumor out there that the Designated Hitter (DH) rule is going to be used in both leagues.

First, the San Diego Padres signed Mike Piazza. Piazza is precisely the type of player baseball had in mind when they wrote the DH rule. He's never been considered a strong defensive player and now has the bad legs that come from years of crouching as a catcher, but he can hit and is a gate attraction.

Then I hear Washington Nationals offered a contract to Sammy Sosa. This morning I read that the Nationals signed C/1B Matt LeCroy to a one year contract. Best thing I can say about LeCroy is that as a catcher he makes for a good DH.

How can a math test be discriminatory?

I've been skeptical in the past of claims that some employment exams were culturally biased. However, I understood how some general interest questions could be from areas better known by one segment of the population than another and if the test writer is from that segment of the population it could affect the results. Math is one area which should be free of these issues. In fact, as a kid I preferred math because it was not subjective and answers to questions weren't a matter of opinion but were fact. No matter where you're from or what your ethnic background may be, 2 plus 2 always equals 4.

The Virginia Beach Police Department is being accused of having a discriminatory hiring policy based on the math portion of their entrance exam.
The city requires all recruits to score at least 70 percent on all parts of the written exam – the National Police Officer Selection Test. Between 2002 and mid-2005, about 59 percent of black applicants and 66 percent of Hispanic applicants passed the math test, compared with 85 percent of white applicants, according to the Justice Department letter.
Being unhappy with the results doesn't necessarily mean there is a problem with the test. There may be a problem with the educational background of the applicants.
First administered to Virginia Beach candidates in 1998, the test is designed to assess basic skills of a police officer. It is offered to prospective officers in 20 other states, according to the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. “This is not a test we developed,” Jacocks said. “We are not looking for rocket scientists. This is a basic math aptitude test.”

One sample question framed a problem in the context of police work: “On Tuesday, Officer Jones worked the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift. At 10:55 p.m. he was called to the scene of an accident where he remained until 1:30 a.m. How long past his regular shift did Officer Jones work?”
I just called my nine year old son in and asked him this question. He had no problem and he attended Virginia Beach public schools for 1st and 2nd grades prior to our moving to Ohio.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

What is a "Right?"

The always brilliant Walter Williams has a column today titled, Bogus Rights. In the column he addresses some ideas which have gained acceptance in recent years.
Do people have a right to medical treatment whether or not they can pay? What about a right to food or decent housing? Would a U.S. Supreme Court justice hold that these are rights just like those enumerated in our Bill of Rights? In order to have any hope of coherently answering these questions, we have to decide what is a right. The way our Constitution's framers used the term, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people and imposes no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech, or freedom to travel, is something we all simultaneously possess. My right to free speech or freedom to travel imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference.

Contrast that vision of a right to so-called rights to medical care, food or decent housing, independent of whether a person can pay. Those are not rights in the sense that free speech and freedom of travel are rights. If it is said that a person has rights to medical care, food and housing, and has no means of paying, how does he enjoy them? There's no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy who provides them. You say, "The Congress provides for those rights." Not quite. Congress does not have any resources of its very own. The only way Congress can give one American something is to first, through the use of intimidation, threats and coercion, take it from another American. So-called rights to medical care, food and decent housing impose an obligation on some other American who, through the tax code, must be denied his right to his earnings. In other words, when Congress gives one American a right to something he didn't earn, it takes away the right of another American to something he did earn.
Over the years I've had a similar conversation with people who start sentences "The Government ought to . . . ." I would tell them that in reality there is no government. What they are really saying is their neighbor ought to solve the issue at hand. It is a matter of intellectual honesty. Politicians (whether Democrat or Republican) like to buy your vote with your neighbors money but would never openly admit that fact.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

87 year old lady shoots intruder

Why do scumbag criminals attack the elderly? Because they assume older folks are defenseless. They need to consider this lady before they make that assumption again.
An 87-year-old East St. Louis woman fatally shot a man early this morning as he was trying to break into her house.

Police said they found the man, Larry D. Tillman, 49, of East St. Louis on the enclosed front porch of the woman’s house in the 2100 block of Gaty Avenue. He had pulled the telephone wires from the side of the house, then removed security bars from a porch window. As the man was breaking through a storm door that leads into the house itself, the woman fired several shots through her front door, striking Tillman once in the chest.

Police said the shots were fired from a pistol, most likely a gun that her daughter had given her after a man broke into the elderly woman’s house in December, battered her and stole some items.

The man may have been dead for as long as four hours before police arrived. Police said that the woman was not sure that she had hit Tillman when she fired the shots about 2 a.m. However, she was too afraid to go outside to check and could not call for help because the telephone lines were dead. When the woman’s daughter arrived about 6 a.m. to bring her mother breakfast, she found the dead man on the porch, police said.
Instead of more gun control laws maybe gun ownership should be required.

Go directly to jail do not collect $200

This article is supposedly about income taxes.
Barry faces prison for tax failure
The real story is that it is hard to remember to do your taxes when you're high all the time.
In the memo, prosecutors say Mr. Barry, 69, tested positive for cocaine and marijuana use Nov. 17 and warn of "sanctions, such as revocation of release," if Mr. Barry tests positive again.
Or maybe the real story is how sad it is that at age 69 Berry is still doing illegal drugs and still being elected to public office in Washington, DC.

Cuts to PBS funding

Couple things wrong with this article, Bush seeks to slash public broadcast funds.
In the president's 2007 budget request, funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will be cut by $53.5 million in 2007 and $50 million more in 2008. Those cuts don't reflect others made in funding at the Education and Commerce departments and the elimination of specific programs for digital TV conversion and satellite delivery system. Public broadcasting officials estimate that the entire budget cuts run $157 million over the two-year period.

First problem with the article is that the entire PBS budget wasn't eliminated. Regardless of whether you think PBS content is good or bad, there is no denying the fact that there is no need for the federal government to be in the TV business. There is no shortage of children's television choices today.

Second problem with this article is the statement of fact that congress won't have the cajones to support killing this unnecessary expenditure.
Last year, an overwhelming majority in Congress voted to restore cuts proposed by the administration. This year, those cuts go even deeper, and it could be more difficult to win the fight in Congress
Here is a comment from one congressman:
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass said, "In a world of fast-and-furious television with ratings-driven content, the public broadcasting system represents the last stronghold of quality child-oriented programming -- we owe this to America's children."
No, congressman. You don't owe children crappy television. What you do owe today's children is a good faith effort to curtail wasteful spending so they don't inherent the bill for your largesse.

Let the free market decide if Big Bird survives.

Monday, February 06, 2006

McCain leaves ugly mark on Obama's forehead

Okay, the headline is misleading at best. Senator McCain did not actually touch Senator Obama, but he might as well have. What McCain did was release a letter where he apologized to the senator from Illinois for assuming he was honest. Ouch!
Dear Senator Obama:

I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere. When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership’s preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable. Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter to me dated February 2, 2006, which explained your decision to withdraw from our bipartisan discussions. I’m embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble. Again, sorry for the confusion, but please be assured I won’t make the same mistake again.
If there was any doubt that John McCain plans to run in 2008 it's gone now. McCain knows he has a real challenge ahead of himself to get back in the good graces of the Republican base. Releasing this letter had to be done with the knowledge that it would play well with those who vote in primaries.

Say it ain't so,Joe!

Prior to last nights Super Bowl, the NFL held a classy ceremony to honor all the previous winners of the Super Bowl MVP award. I assumed the ones who weren't there were ill or had some reason they couldn't be there. Nope. In Joe Montana's case the NFL just didn't offer him enough money.
The former MVPs were guaranteed $1,000 for incidental expenses while in Detroit. The NFL also provided each former Super Bowl MVP with two first-class airplane tickets, a hotel room, a Cadillac for the weekend, two tickets to the game, two tickets to the Friday night commissioner's party, two tickets to a Saturday night party and two tickets to a Sunday tailgate party. There also were opportunities for paid appearances arranged by the NFL.
Apparently, Joe wanted $100,000. Montana made millions upon millions both during and after his career trading on his reputation largely made during Super Bowls, but wouldn't give back to the game without a few more bucks.

(H/T Ben Maller)

When are Hitler/Nazi comparisons appropriate?

In recent years, anyone who made a reference to Hitler or the Nazi party to criticize a political opponent has been roundly denounced and rightfully so. It is ridiculous to compare a budgetary decision or other policy matter to a systemic plan to exterminate a race of people. Unfortunately, as with a lot of things the knee jerk reaction is it is never right to make the historical comparison to the evil committed by Nazi Germany in the 1930's and 40's. In Suzanne Field's column this morning she discusses one reason why it is important to sometimes make that comparison. If people had read and understood Mein Kampf then they knew what Hitler intended. Similarly, there should be no doubt today as to the intentions of Hamas towards Israel.

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers

As a lifelong Browns fan, I grew up hating the Steelers it just came naturally. However, it has been harder to hate them in recent years for a few reasons. The main reason is because when the owner who shall not be named moved the Browns to Baltimore, Pittsburgh's Dan Rooney was one of only a couple owners to publicly denounce that amoral act. Added to that is the fact that their coach and quarterback have Ohio connections. Bill Cowher played for the Browns and cut his coaching teeth as a special teams coach under Marty Schottenheimer in Cleveland. Ben Roethlisberger grew up in Findlay, Ohio and played his college ball at Miami of Ohio. It was not a pretty game as both teams made more than a couple mistakes. In the end, Seattle's mistakes hurt them more.

Pitchers and catcher report in 11 days!!!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl XL Pick

Being a contrarian at heart, I'm picking the Seattle Seahawks to upset the Pittsburgh Steelers this evening in Super Bowl XL. The Steeler have deservedly been praised for beating three higher seeds on the road to reach this game. What I think will be different tonight is the Seattle offensive line will give their quarterback enough time to complete plays. Final score: Seahawks 30 - Steelers 24.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I guess the fast food business is more stressful than I thought

My guess is there is more to this story than angry people at the drive thru.
A man who owned three McDonald’s fast-food franchises crashed his truck on Interstate 90 early Wednesday, then got out, took his clothes off and stood in a traffic lane, where he was run over and killed.
Things are never that bad.

Insanity Pleas

I've never believed in the concept of insanity pleas. Everyone who commits a murder is crazy to some degree. Here is another story to show what a crock insanity pleas are.
State psychiatrists say a Troy man who bludgeoned and mutilated his mother to death in 2000 should be released from an institution, placed in a group home and eventually returned to the community because his mental illness is in remission.
In remission? This isn't athletes feet being in remission. This is a guy nutty enough to kill his mother and then eat her eye balls, but now a few doctors feel he is sane enough to wander around freely. Of course, if there is a legal problem there has to be an attorney making things worse.
"Yes, he couldn't have committed a worse crime," his attorney, Scott Neumann, said Wednesday. "But the question is: What do you do with him? Do you penalize him forever? The community would say, 'Yes, lock him up forever.' But he is not a danger, and under the law, he will eventually be released." The community would say, 'Yes, lock him up forever.' But he is not a danger, and under the law, he will eventually be released."
YES! Lock him up forever.

Oslo topples Tokyo as world's most expensive city

This article comes as no surprise. I went to Oslo in 1980 and couldn't believe how much more expensive beer was there compared to other European cities. That city would be a cure to alcoholism. Couldn't afford to be a drunk.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hey, my congressman is the new House Majority Leader!

Our local congressman, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) was elected this afternoon to serve as the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives replacing Rep. Tom Delay. Boehner has a good reputation as being against wasteful spending. Lets see if he can convince his fellow congressmen to get off the pork barrel spending wagon.

Here is someone who gets it

Some have criticized the excessive news coverage of the injury to and recovery of ABC anchorman Bob Woodruff. Well, turns out Woodruff's wife agrees and thinks he would as well.
Lee Woodruff released a statement thanking people for their thoughts and prayers, and saying her husband would not want all the attention that is being focused on him and his injuries. "He would be the first to insist that the attention should be focused on the members of the U.S. military, whose heroic actions he has reported on for years," she said.

I suppose some scandals are more interesting

David Holman of the American Spectator has an article titled Murky Jack Murtha which examines how the Washington Post has covered two different scandals involving lobbyists.
In the last year, ever since Tom DeLay became embroiled in the Jack Abramoff scandal, the Washington Post alone has published 168 articles mentioning Abramoff and DeLay. The Post's dogged Abramoff investigator, Susan Schmidt, has written 39 articles on Jack Abramoff in the last two years. Almost half of those made page A1 of the Post, and more than half were over 1,000 words in length. The Post has written enough about this scandal to fill a book -- literally -- and they probably will.

However, the Post seems strangely uninterested in another potential scandal involving lobbying.
Since Rep. John Murtha made his splash in November with his call for an American troop withdrawal from Iraq, there have been no stories about Robert C. "Kit" Murtha in the Post. Who is "Kit" Murtha?

He's John Murtha's brother -- a Washington lobbyist who reeled in more than $20 million for his defense contractor clients in the 2004 Defense appropriations bill. And the Pennsylvania congressman is the ranking Democrat on the Defense appropriations subcommittee, which he also chaired for six years before Democrats lost the House in 1994.
Why the interest in one case of lobbying quid pro quo and not another?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A call for civility - soundly rejected!

Last night during his State of the Union speech, President Bush made a plea for a return to civility.
"In a system of two parties, two chambers, and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate. But even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger. To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of good will and respect for one another - and I will do my part."

Before the night was out, the idea of civility was soundly rejected. Objecting to the lefts favorite moonbat being removed from congress for not following their rules, Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) had this to say:
Some other members were upset about Sheehan's arrest. "I'm still trying to find out why the president's Gestapo had to arrest Cindy Sheehan in the gallery. ... It shows he still has a thin skin,'' said Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont.
What a moroon. Now, Stark has only been a member of Congress for 33 years so maybe he is unaware of their rules yet or the fact that Capital Police don't work for the president and are normally not referred to as the president's Gestapo. Making him a bigger fool is the fact that those rules were enforced in a bi-partisan way. The wife of a Republican congressman was thrown out of the SOTU speech.
The wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, told a newspaper that she was ejected during the State of the Union address for wearing a T-shirt that says, "Support the Troops Defending Our Freedom."
When dealing with people like Stark, the president's call for civility was a waste of his breath. Stark has a long history of nuttiness which you can read about here, here, and here.