Sunday, September 30, 2007
(Sorta) Late Nite EIP
You might want to watch this twice. It took me two times through to understand most of the lyrics. But then again, I'm kinda slow.
A PSA and Weekend Update
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Saturday's Moment of Zen...
I'd more than likely achieve serenity with this head, though. ND is down 23 - 0 at the half. They were 21-point underdogs going in. It's gonna be worse, much worse, by the time this is all over (today's "all over," I mean). I don't believe I've seen a Div I-A team this bad in my entire life. Ever.
O, the sheer ignominy.
Update, 1310 hrs: Wonder of wonders: ND has pulled within seven (26 - 19), with eight minutes left in the fourth. It looks like they'll beat the spread, if nothing else. Jeez...hope does spring eternal!
Update, 1332 hrs: It was only hope: Purdue 33, ND 19. But ND did look better today. Small, very small, consolation.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Disrupted, We Are
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Ladies and Gentlemen...
Naming the Baby
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The question (if you have to ask) would be "why?" The answer is: I got tired of dropping the existing 'Zuki (twice is two times too many), got tired of the expense of dropping the danged thing, and got tired of the sheer embarrassment of dropping it. The basic problem is the 32-inch seat height simply isn't a good match for a guy with a 30-inch inseam. Or: the bike is just too tall for me. Other than that, I loved the 'Zuki.
Which, of course, is why I'm buying another Suzuki. The new bike has the same motor (which is a veritable jewel of a power plant), but it's cradled in a frame that is much more appropriate for someone of my...um...stature. Or lack of same, you decide.
I can't say I'm enamored with the riding position, but it's not that bad. The best part is I can sit on the bike and my feet rest flat-footed on the ground. And the SV-S doesn't feel nearly as top heavy as the DL does...and therein is the lion's share of the reasons behind today's stupidity. Actually, the stupid piece happened last April. Today's stupidity was simply a long-overdue correction.
I pick her up Thursday or Friday.
Update 1405 hrs: Lou mentioned in the comments that the new bike looks just like the old one. Well, sorta. They're both blue. I posted a pic of the current 'Zuki just so you can compare the two, Gentle Reader. New bike on top, the 'Zuki on the bottom.
I Slept On It
Monday, September 24, 2007
Ahmadinejad: Brief Initial Reactions...
There’s a bit of a lag on the ‘net, and that’s to be expected. More will be revealed in due course, but for the moment, here’s Jonah Goldberg’s response to Dr. Bollinger’s introductory remarks, in it's entirety:
Bollinger So Far [Jonah Goldberg]
I was against the invitation, I still am. I am no great fan of Bollinger's. But, I must give credit where due. His opening statement is about as hard-hitting and tough as one could hope for. This may still be a debacle, but there's a possible benefit more plausible than I imagined just minutes before this began. If the video of Bollinger's statement is distributed throughout the
Fox News is running reactions, commentary, and clips of Ahmadinejad’s speech as I type.
Speaking of Fox News…I wonder if those on the Left will praise or pan FNC for carrying the introductions, the speech itself, and the question/answer period complete and uninterrupted. I cut to CNN, very briefly, during Ahmadinejad’s speech and saw a “talking” head” pontificating over Ahmadinejad. Not cool.
My initial reactions follow…
Most amazing revelation: “There are no homosexuals in
Ahmadinejad’s actual speech was a rambling, disorganized rant for the most part. He equivocated and dodged the hard questions during the Q&A period, as I expected. When asked if his government seeks the destruction of
I was against the very idea of Ahmadinejad being invited to
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
And sunlight, in this case, was letting this idiot reveal himself for what he IS: a lying, equivocating, tinpot, wanna-be “Head of State.” And Dr. Bollinger’s introduction, assuming his introductory remarks get wide dissemination, took the air out of Ahmadinejad and his “remarks,” at least as far as YrHmblScrb is concerned.
Interesting times, indeed.
Update: C-SPAN has a RealPlayer video of the Ahmadinejad speech and introductory remarks posted on its website. Look for "Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad Speech at Columbia Univ." Dr. Bollinger's remarks begin at three minutes 50 seconds and end at 19 minutes 15 seconds into the one hour 21 minute clip. I highly recommend you view Dr. Bollinger's remarks. They're very, very good. So good, in fact, that Ahmadinejad spent the first three minutes of his speech extemporaneously responding to the "insults" delivered by Dr. Bollinger. Interesting, indeed...one man's truth is another man's "insult."
Update II: Gerard has a roundup of initial reactions to the Bollinger/Ahmadinejad remarks by the Big Dogs. Samples:
Not Bolllinger's first rodeo, but it certainly was his best.
"Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator."
"Frankly and in all candor, Mr. President, I doubt that you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions. But your avoiding them will have meaning for us." Bollinger Explains It All for You.
Columbias President Confronts Iranian Leader - City Room - Metro - New York Times BlogMr. Bollinger asked Mr. Ahmadinejad: "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator, and so I ask you, and so I ask you, why have women members of the Bahai faith, homosexuals and so many of our academic colleagues become targets of persecution in your country?"Masterful.
He asked whether Mr. Ahmadinejad was using a nuclear confrontation with the West to distract from his incompetent leadership at home. He also asked to be allowed to lead a delegation of scholars to Iran to speak freely, as Mr. Ahmadinejad can do today.
He confronted Mr. Ahmadinejad over his description of the Holocaust as "a fabricated legend," calling him either "brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated." He called Columbia a world center of Jewish studies that since the 1930s has provided a home for Jewish refugees. He called the Holocaust "the most documented event in human history."
"Today I feel all the weight of the modern civilized world yearning to express the revulsion at what you stand for," Mr. Bollinger told Mr. Ahmadinejad. "I only wish I could do better."
I'll be looking for the wave of apologies to President Bollinger. Starting with mine for thinking ill of his motives.
UPDATE: Dean Barnett @ Townhall.com is straightforward: "Regardless of how stupid inviting Ahmadenijad to the Columbia was in the first place, let’s give Bollinger credit for standing face-to-face with evil and calling it out. Dean Bollinger, if you want to be fair about things, has either partly or fully rehabilitated his reputation with his speech today. Believe me, I didn’t expect to be typing those words."
Lisa Schiffren at The Corner on National Review Online with what seems to be the emerging line on Bollinger's admirable remarks: "I thought that he was being a tough guy — even though I liked the content of the rhetoric — to compensate for what he had done by inviting Ahmadinajad."
No retreat for BLACKFIVE: Ahm-a-nuttah-job speech "Bollinger represented his sorry peers in academia better than expected, but you can't fix stupid."
Charles Johnson at LGF holds his line: lgf: Ahmadinejad's Columbia Speech, Thread 2Lots of readers seem to think Columbia president Lee Bollinger deserves credit for his opening speech. I don't. I think it was an attempt to redeem his reputation and keep the money flowing in from alumni, and does not even begin to make up for the atrocity of giving this creature a podium at one of America's most prestigious schools.
Koz Kids (which Johnson links to in the same item) agree with him, but for slightly different reasons: Daily Kos: Bollinger's DiatribeAs an American, I was stunned and embarrassed by Bollinger's harangue of Ahmedinejad. It was a craven and cowardly capitulation to political pressures, and unworthy of the academic institution that Bollinger represents.
Do go... to Gerard's place, I mean. The KosKidz are being their usual clue-free selves.
Thanks for frickin' NOTHING, C-SPAN. I STILL don't get "-3."
Update: Fox is carrying the speech.
FWIW, Dr. Bollinger, in his introduction, is verbally kicking Ahmadinejad's ASS, big time. He's saying all the right things on this, the precisely WRONG occasion.
I hope Bollinger's address is captured somewhere and appears on YouTube, because it's incendiary and oh-so-appropriate stuff.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Daring-Do, On a Few Levels
Today the site near Dayr az-Zawr lies in ruins after it was pounded by Israeli F15Is on September 6. Before the Israelis issued the order to strike, the commandos had secretly seized samples of nuclear material and taken them back into
While The Times story is a gripping read…more like John Grisham than John Burns…it’s still speculation, and the story will likely remain speculative for the foreseeable future. The Times does provide some interesting details that, woven together, build a believable albeit circumstantial case about the Israeli raid and the motives driving it. I find the North Korean connection the most interesting aspect of this event, not to mention the
Related: Charles Krauthammer wrote a good column on the Israeli strike in Friday’s WaPo, just in case you missed it.
There were some pretty good football games yesterday. Fortunately for me, ABC and ESPN are on adjacent channels here in P-Ville. There was just enough disparity in the timing of the Michigan and Notre Dame games that I was able to successfully watch both, simply by clicking the “Channel Up” and “Channel Down” buttons on my remote…incessantly…which you may read as “after each play.” That’s the sort of behavior that drives women nuts, ya know. I should make it clear: no women were harmed (mentally) while watching football in El Casa Móvil De Pennington yesterday. Mainly coz there were none in attendance.
Notre Dame didn’t suck quite as bad as I expected yesterday, what with two offensive touchdowns (How sad is that? Excited over two TDs?), but they still sucked. It’s now confirmed: The. Worst. Season. Start. Ever.
In the “Save the Best for Last” category… the best game I saw yesterday was
Today’s Pic: Cigars! I decided to expand my horizons with my latest cigar order. I bought a sampler of 20 Camacho 1962s in various sizes (Churchill,
Pictured, from left to right (all Camachos except for the first cigar, which is a Partagas): the Partagas, Churchill, Torpedo, Robusto, and Perfecto. I don’t understand the Perfecto…specifically its size. It’s way too short for a relaxing smoke, and the shortness impacts the flavor of the smoke, making it somewhat harsher. To me, anyway. YMMV.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
A Long-Delayed Repair
Friday, September 21, 2007
Not Your Father's Air Force...But It IS His Plane.
- “Going Down” – Jeff Beck Group. An old, obscure, full-tilt boogie number wherein the singer tells us he’s “got my head out the window and my big feets on the ground…” Sample here. (OK, it’s a stretch, this one. I’m attracted to neither feet nor heads…generally. But it’s such a great song and it does reference body parts.)
- “Behind Blue Eyes” – The Who. No explanation needed.
- “So Alive” – Love and Rockets. “Your legs are long and oh so strong…” Sample here, in case you’ve forgotten.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
That Kind of Day
Mel, the proprietress of CC&C, is in a living nightmare, a nightmare all too familiar to military people and their families these days: her fiancé was killed in
Drop over by her place and give her a hug. She deserves it.
Google mystery… Just for grins and giggles, and before I began making the day’s rounds this morning, I chased up a Google query that resulted in a visit to EIP. I was amazed to see this (as usual, click for larger).
There are over 91,000 links for this particular query, and EIP is Number One. How does that happen, one wonders? What are the ins-and-outs of Google’s algorithms that determine how a web page gets ranked? I know I’m not the first person to ask such a (stupid) question, but it fascinates me, nonetheless.
Today’s Pic: Sort of a re-run from April of this year… “Interesting Skies, Take Three.”
Right out my back door here in P-Ville.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
EXCELLENT Plane Pr0n...
Note to SNs One and Two: I left the sound UP and kinda liked it, actually. I hope you were sitting down when you read this.
(h/t: Mrs. Greyhawk, posting at Mudville's Milblogs)
(War) Planes, (Steam) Trains and
Automobiles Big Yellow Taxis (Not Necessarily in That Order)
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sixty! And Counting...
Your United States Air Force celebrates its 60th anniversary today. Blog-Buddy Mike, an AFROTC cadet at
Heritage Flight photo (left to right: P-51, F-16, F-4, F-22) from Heritage Flight.org…where there’s more excellent plane pr0n in the same vein.
Lotsa railroad talk going on over at Lou’s place today. So, in honor of that railroad thing… which is waaay cool, doncha know… here’s a lil two minute vid I shot of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic railway back in June, 2004. And the video IS little, literally. My camera (like most digital cameras these days) has video capability, but it’s very basic and the output is quite small in size and lacking in quality. But…it works, and this will give you some idea of what the C&TRR is all about. (I’ve posted about the C&TRR before.)
Just a brief aside… Being “of a certain age,” I can lay claim to have ridden as a paying passenger on a steam train. The year was 1968 and the place was
My journey took place in the summer and it was spectacular. Hokkaido is a lot like
Monday, September 17, 2007
All Over the Map...
Out of a nation of now 300 million people, who really cares about the young men and women we send into harm's way?
Let's see. Those on active duty obviously care, their families care, veterans care, a small number in the media care, some states like
Many on the far left think those in uniform are fools, puppets or even war criminals. Witness the already controversial ad run in the New York Times last week by MoveOn.org that intimates Gen. David Petraeus — a nonpartisan professional soldier of impeccable reputation — may in fact be "General Betray Us." Is that their "support" for our troops?
Politicians who speak for the far left often say, "I support the troops but not the war." Proudly, liberal Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, often parrots that exact phrase. This is the same man who, while in the terrorist-sponsoring state of Syria, just denounced the Iraq war on Syrian television and praised Syrian President Bashar al-Assad— a dictator who, according to our intelligence agencies, allows and encourages Islamists to cross his border into Iraq to kill U.S. soldiers. Is that "support" as defined by Kucinich?
What about the far right? What about those who purport to speak for my party? Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and Steve Cambone were three high-level political appointees in the Rumsfeld Pentagon who were instrumental in planning the
As they move forward with their careers and makes hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, what support do they offer to the families of the almost 4,000 killed and 30,000 wounded?
The author, Douglas MacKinnon, used to work for Senator Bob Dole. Mr. MacKinnon makes some excellent points (especially about the media), but I’m not sure I agree with his conclusion. But then again, perhaps I’m just out of touch with mainstream
Out of sight is NOT out of mind.
You may have read about that mysterious Israeli air strike on
My bottom line? Thank GOD for the Israelis.
Here’s a follow-up to yesterday’s
post rant about that frickin’ Hamsher person…and I use the term “person” quite lightly… “witch,” or a term rhyming with same, just might be more appropriate. But I digress. Darleen Click, posting at Protein Wisdom, has more “greatest hits” from the comments to Hamsher’s post, and they’ll curl your hair. But be sure to go, if only to get a look at the cover of Hamsher’s new romance novel: “Disciplining Elizabeth.” Classic.
Performance Art I might could enjoy…maybe. And that’s a big maybe. I’ve always laughed at the concept of “performance art” in the past, but that was before (a) there were motorcycles involved in (b) a cause to save an historic building. Both those facts in combination just might change my mind about the concept. Well, that and
nekkid women topless cello players. (ed: Did you really say that? Ummm, yep, I did. But I was joking.)
But then again, it’s a “by invitation” performance, and I wasn’t invited. But if I had been invited, the chances are that I, and most everyone else, would enjoy this. Assuming one doesn’t mind a little smoke and more than a little noise. Well, “noise” is in the ear of the beholder, ain’t it? One man's noise is another's music...especially in this case.
(photo credit: New York Times.)
Finally, apropos of not much… I heard this tune… which is new to me… yesterday evening. The lyrics struck a chord, but the music is just so-so, what with being described by RP listeners as reminiscent of Cake and/or Leonard Cohen. LC I like, Cake…not so much. But, as I said: it’s the lyrics. Herewith, lyrics to “The Wonderful Wizard,” by The Guggenheim Grotto.
I have been told
not by one but two of my lovers
that I've got a heart of gold
but I'm unable to share it with others
They call me a poet who'll never have a poem
a tiger with no taste for bone
I'm the wonderful, wonderful wizard of waltzing alone
And I have been told
not by one but two of my brothers
that a solitary soul
is a thorn in the side of all others
Just like a homeless, that hangs around your home
or a mother who'd give away her own
I'm the wonderful, wonderful wizard of waltzing alone
Haven't you been told
one man’s meat is the ruin of another
your Edgar Allen crow
is the very bird that holds me together
They call me a poet who'll never have a poem
a tiger with no taste for bone
I'm the wonderful, wonderful wizard of waltzing alone
We’re all off to see the wizard. The wonderful, wonderful,
“A solitary soul is a thorn in the side of all others.” You think that’s true, Gentle Reader? I’m not quite sure why, but I do.
Today’s Pic: SN3 on the
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Good, Bad, and Just TOO Ugly for Words
I generally don’t have any use for Flaming Liberal Bill Maher or his brand of “humor.” But as the saying goes… “Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”
You know the Troofers are a just mite upset over this. (h/t: Ron Chusid @ Liberal Values)
Speaking of Flaming Libs… Jane Hamsher, who mourns the passing of minstrel shows every so often, fires a shot across Elizabeth Edwards’ bow:
Dear Mrs. Edwards,
You’re a smart woman. You of all people should know about the asymmetrical intimidation problem that Paul Krugman talks about — the one where the media is afraid to go after Rudy Guiliani for claiming he’s a rescue worker, but they’ll try to demolish your husband over a haircut because they know that they’ll get swarmed by the right wing noise machine for the former and pay no price for the latter. That’s how it works.
So I was really disappointed today to read at Taylor Marsh’s place that you had joined with Diaper Dave Vitter and John “McCarthy” McCain to attack MoveOn. We (and by that I mean the netroots) defend you when the MSM try to make your campaign a pinata over stupid, insignificant stuff. When they try to say your race should end because of your illness, but don’t say squat about Fred Thompson’s lymphoma. We’re your first line of defense, the only messaging machine that progressives have.
So here’s the rule. You never repeat right wing talking points to attack your own, ever. You never enter that echo chamber as a participant. Ever. You never give them a hammer to beat the left with. Just. Don’t. Do. It.
We love you. We want to love you.
Knock it off.
What incredible frickin’ chutzpah! As another blogger noted, this is what happens when the nutroots are feeling their oats. And it’s also the major reason none of the leading Democrat candidates, including Breck-Boy himself, have yet to disown the MoveOn.org ad. Put simply: Obama, Her Hillaryness, and the other Dems are afraid to alienate MoveOn and their fellow-travelers.
While Sweet Jane’s screed is both amazing and amusing, the red meat is in the comments to her post. A real “Gathering of Pigeons” it is, with no lack of dirty obnoxious little birds to shite all over everything…and most especially General Petraeus… in their rush to support both MoveOn and Sweet Jane’s defense of same. Yet there was one brave soul who dared contradict Ms. Hamsher in her own lair, and gets his a$$ handed to him by none other than Sweet Jane HerOwnSelf (schwifty's words in italics, Hamsher's not):
schwifty says (ed: comment #90):
Jane Hamsher @ 46 (ed: responding to comment #14)
So Jane, basically the gist of your post is that the merits and principles behind what “we” say are subordinate to the tactic turning up the dial on our own echo chamber? A bit of realpolitik for the campaign trail, then.. but as a tree hugging far left liberal myself, I was astonished at moveon for stooping to Ann Coulter’s level. Accusing a military officer of betrayal is tantamount to accusing him of treason, and regardless of whether he is a willing hostage of Bush’s tactic to hide behind his medals, you don’t shoot the hostage. Whatever happened to defeating the enemy without becoming like them?
Petraeus is willing to advance himself politically by enabling the deaths of a lot of people. He is not noble, he is being political, and they are not stooping to Ann Coulter’s level to point that out — unless you are you equating her with the fellow men and women in uniform who gave Petraeus the name in the first place.
Bush sent him up there because he knew the media would be okay with going after a hack like Rumsfeld, but they’d be afraid to attack a military man. A cluster of ribbons on your chest does not make you immune to criticism if you’re acting Rumsfeld’s part now.
Once again: what made it necessary to invoke Ann Coulter’s language of Treason in the first place? So Petraeus is the latest in a long line of hacks.
Did that just become a hanging offense?
If not, then the ad slogan was poorly chosen. Moveon also does not refer to Iraqi civilian casualties as “dead hajis” either; pointing to the etymological origins of what began as a play on words over in the sand is a weak strawman, at best.
I respect the pragmatic idea that as a rule, Democrats should not bite the hands that feed them, but I fully agree with EE’s view (it helps to go back and read exactly what she said) and do not believe that she said any of this for any other reason than that she actually believes it.
And it goes on, and on, and on for 260 comments…the last time I looked. But the real winner in the “we support the troops! Sorta. Well, not at all.” Category is this insane little blurb:
The first to call the Surgin General “General Betrayus” were soldiers in the field. I remember reading it first at a link provided by Juan Cole’s site back at the end of winter or beginning of spring. It was inevitable, and is the kind of thing enlisted men and NCOs often create when frustrated.
I’d look for the link, but what with NCOs who write to the NYT dying and USAF crewmen involved in the Minot-Barksdale hijack derailment being hit, I’d rather not expose anybody new to these gangsters.
I hate to have to agree with Jane about somebody I’ve come to respect as much as Elizabeth Edwards on this, but you’re right, Jane.
Please remember, folks - MoveOn.Org was merely expressing a term in common usage over in
Or maybe this one:
If that means we must use hardball tactics in attacking an unscrupulous, ambition-driven general who is acting like a politician and lying, then we must not be dissuaded from doing so just because he happened to put on his fucking uniform before showing up in front of the cameras on 9/11. If he can’t handle being called a betrayer when he is in fact acting like one, he can always stop acting like one. In any case, the uniform should offer no protection, it’s just a piece of cloth. And more and more troops apparently are starting to see it that way as well. You can only beat a dog so many times before he loses faith in you.
But here again you are clearly and explicitly focusing on the votes of the troops, rather than the citizenry. Let me tell you something, friend, and let me tell it clear. If the time ever comes when we are forced to follow the lead laid out in the Declaration of Independence and fight in the streets to throw off an oppressive government that rules for its own interests and not ours, I can guarantee you, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that those very same soldiers whose votes you are now wooing will be the ones shooting us down in the street to defend the government we are trying to replace. And they won’t give a FUCK about how YOU are going to vote in the following election. And they also won’t care whether you backed up Move-On or not.
Oh, Hell. I give up. They’re ALL
winners losers. And these are the very people our illustrious Democratic candidates refuse to disavow.