Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tales to Terrify Timid Teenagers!

Once out in the hills around your town (or maybe it was the woods, or down by the lake, or out in the badlands), there were a pair of teenagers named Jack and Koslowski. Diane Koslowski. So they were like making out and Jack was saying "Come on baby, let's like do stuff" in a vaguely threatening manner.

Koslowski wasn't so sure. "But Jack. Isn't this the area those other teens disappeared mysteriously?"

Jack grunted and said "Fiddlesticks. Nobody ever disappeared ever. Now let's get you out of that fender amplifier."

Koslowski looked around nervously. "Wait I think I hear something."

Jack looked around. "I didn't hear nothing," and ran his hands over her chrome detailing.

Koslowki pushed his tendril aside and said "Listen Jack I'm sure something's out there."

Jack looked around and said "You know something. I hear it too. Let's get out of here!" He reached up and started to engage the moving mechanism, but it was stuck.

Koslowki panted and said "Hurry Jack."

Jack looked around crazily and said "I'm trying. It won't start." From outside they could definately hear something creeping up and just as they heard a scraping sound on the door handle, the automocar roared to life and Jack drove away.

But the most terrifying part of this story was when they got home. As they got out of the car, still shaken by the experience, they heard a clunk as something fell off the door handle. Koslowski bent over and picked up an object, holding it to the light - she gasped and it fell a second time as she screame and ran into the house.

Jack lurched around the car and looked down to see what had caused such a hideous reaction. There, glinting in the moonlight, was the horrible sight Jack had ever seen.

A silver 23.

Let's go Beat up some Hippies

For those of you for whom that phrase quickened the pulse and got you excited, check out this article by Michelle Malkin. It's about an organization entitled "A Gathering of Eagles," which is a non-violent group that seems to glorify violence.
What the Eagles will not stand for, however, are "violence, vandalism, physical or verbal assaults on our veterans, and the destruction or desecration of our memorials. By defending and honoring these sacred places, we defend and honor those whose blood gave all of us the right to speak as freely as our minds think."
Of course, given that the Right Wing sees anti-war protesters as about nothing but "vandalism, violence, and verbal assaults," I'm not sure how this group is going to avoid a certain amount of hippie butt-kicking.

Hey children what's that sound.

Walter E. Williams

I wrote yesterday about D'Souzas decent into madness - well he's not the only one. But it's hard to get worked up about Walter E. Williams being essentially crazy because he seems so gosh darn happy about it. This weeks article he takes on Democracy and finds it lacking.
Does democracy really deserve the praise it receives? According to Webster's Dictionary, democracy is defined as "government by the people; especially: rule of the majority." What's so great about majority rule? Let's look at majority rule, as a decision-making tool, and ask how many of our choices we would like settled by what a majority likes.

Would you want the kind of car that you own to be decided through a democratic process, or would you prefer purchasing any car you please? Ask that same question about decisions such as where you live, what clothes you purchase, what food you eat, what entertainment you enjoy and what wines you drink. I'm sure that if anyone suggested that these choices be subject to a democratic process, you'd deem it tyranny.
How gleefully insane. Of course I wouldn't want to choose my car using a tape measure either. Or a banana. Democracy isn't a process that works for decisions on an individual basis. It only works on decisions a society or an organization makes.

It's funny how clearly Williams misses the point, considering his Libertarianist leanings. Democracy is a good system because it spreads power out among the people - that way everybody has a little power, rather than one person having a lot of power. But then again, I've never gotten the impression that Williams minded some people having a lot of power, so long as they were the right people. Freedom to Williams means that he is left alone to do what he wants. It's not about other people's freedom. Since he's a bought and paid for member of the Conservative Punditocracy, he's probably right that if Bush fulfilled the fevered nightmares of far leftistry and established a brutal fascist regime, well, he'd probably do just fine.

Incidentally I think Williams should write a book on being married given his comments on the Rush Limbaugh show (where he shows up as a guest host on occasion). Apparently he doesn't allow his wife to speak when he is speaking, and requires that she not look him in the eyes when he is chastising her. Apparently it's all good because he's such a fantastic catch that she's lucky to be with him, no matter how he treats her.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lessons my Dog Taught Me

It's more enjoyable to chew something if you think someone is about to snatch it away from you. She loves chewing stuff but she loves it even more if she can wave it in your face and have you take it away from her.

Try it the next time you go out to eat. Imagine the waiters are going to snatch that steak off your plate at any moment. Heck, why not bribe one of them to grab it and run around the restaurant with it, while you chase him or her. It adds immensly to the pleasure of eating.

Battlestar Galactaca

In the middle of a Battlestar Galactaca a week ago they asked the viewers the following question.
Should Baltar Receive a Fair Trial?

A. Yes, Everyone deserves due process.

B. No, His Crimes have stripped him of that right.

C. Maybe, old legal procedures should be reevaluated first.
My answer?
D. Because it will make good television.

Commenting on Comments

For those who don't know, Glenn Greenwald is now participating over at Salon in a blog that he updates pretty regularly with substantive long posts - it's really well worth reading. Today he takes on the attempted Cheney bombing and, more particularly, how the Conservatives will portray it.
The smoke had barely cleared from the suicide bombing in Afghanistan this morning, near a base where Dick Cheney was located, when right-wing pundits -- whose sole expertise seems to be in exploiting terrorism-related issues for political gain -- began their attempt to politically exploit the attack on or near Cheney. Seemingly in unison, they all went digging deep into the comment sections of various liberal blogs, found inappropriate and hateful comments, and then began insisting that these isolated comments proved something.

It is only a matter of time before Brit Hume and Matt Drudge begin hyping the scandal of how liberal bloggers were expressing dismay that Dick Cheney wasn't killed, and Howard Kurtz will write a drooling profile of the Blogging Warriors who exposed this scandal and join in with stern condemnation over how terrible it is that the Left is so filled with venom and rage.
He's not wrong.

Oh The Things You Can Learn

You might have heard of Wikipedia - an online encyclopedia, written and edited by anonymous online people (and very useful if you want to look up that comic book you heard of but aren't sure what it's about). Well know there is Conservapedia, written and edited by anonymous online people who happen to be conservative. And possibly a few liberal ringers, pitching in to help Conservatives look stupid. Consider this post on the Second Estate.
The Second Estate was a social level in pre-revolutionary France. It consisted of the nobility, about 2% of the population, yet it controlled 20% of the land and paid very little taxes, much like welfare mothers in modern America.
Did you know Welfare Mothers control 20% of the land in Modern America? Neither did I. Thank you Conservapedia!

Let's Twist Again (Like We Did Last Summer)

Longtime readers of the blog will note that I think Random Goblin is a sharp cookie - but occasionally even sharp cookies can be wrong. Take this comment he made on the last Dinesh D'Souza column I commented on.
He's really turning into a one-hit wonder, no? Seems like he only ever says the same thing, rephrased.

Dinesh "Broken Record" D'Souza.
I think that while it does look like D'Souza is repeating the same points over and over again - I do think there is a progression being made. It seems like a broken record, but in fact it's a downward spiral into, I'm afraid, madness and insanity. Or inanity. Haven't decided which yet.

Witness yesterday's salvo. It turns out that it was American Liberals fault that there was torture at Abu Ghraib. Not as you might think the people who sent the troops over there with little thought to the aftermath. Nor those troops involved. Nor, it goes without saying, the people back here who cheered and applauded torture ("fraternity prank"). Nope those poor soldiers were just caught up trying to imitate us liberals.
Lynndie England and Charles Graner were two wretched individuals from Red America who were trying to act out the fantasies of Blue America. Casting aside all traditional notions of decency, propriety and morality, they simply lived by the code of self-fulfillment. If it feels good, it must be right. This was bohemianism, West Virginia-style.

. . . To his credit, President Bush made no attempt to defend Abu Ghraib, firmly asserting that it didn't represent America. What he should have said is that it didn't represent the values of conservative America. In reality Abu Ghraib did reflect the values of a debauched liberalism run amok.
It's hard to know where to start with this, but at a certain point there's little point in trying. Trying to refute a statement like this is like trying to refute the guy down at the bus station who claims to be the King of England. I could, for example, point out the difference between consensual sexual acts and rape - but perhaps D'Souza doesn't see the difference. I could point out that there was plenty of non-sexual torture at Abu Ghraib. I could point out the cheers of the Conservative Punditocracy, particularly in the Conservative Blog-O-Sphere, to the idea of tormenting Iraqis. But what's the point - you go right ahead and believe what you want D'Souza. And I'll stand over here and thank God that he has made my enemies ridiculous.

The Rules are Different

Cal Thomas is upset that people play Former President Clinton a lot of money to speak to them.
No president before him has managed to cash in from his time in office with such shameless abandon.

A Washington Post story by John Solomon and Matthew Mosk is staggering in its revelations of Clinton's greed. In the six years since he left the presidency, Clinton has taken in nearly $40 million - between nine and 10 million of it last year. Clinton averaged "almost a speech a day" in 2006. Twenty percent of his fees reportedly "were for personal income." The rest of his speeches, says the Post, were for no fee or for donations to Clinton's foundation.
You know if I wrote a piece about how maybe Oil Companies or Energy Traders or Pharmaceutical companies, Thomas would be one of the first people complaining about my class envy. But this is of course different. Because this is Clinton. And no matter what Clinton (or any Liberal) is, it's bad!

George Soros is a bad man not because he's a capitalist but because he's a liberal. Mike S. Addams is a good man despite being an academic because he's a conservative.

Now in fairness Thomas does try to bring up this money in the context of Clinton's wife running for President, on the theory that if Saudi Arabia pays Bill $1,000,000 to give a speech, President Hillary Clinton will then show them favorable treatment.

Of course pointing out how many times the Saudis have bailed out President Bush and suggesting that this might influence how he runs things is kook conspiracy talk.

See the rules are really quite easy once you learn the underlining theory - Conservative Good! Liberal Bad!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Shake your Body

From Burnt Norton, by T.S. Eliot.
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving,
Erhebung without motion, concentration
Without elimination, both a new world
And the old made explicit, understood
In the completion of its partial ecstasy,
The resolution of its partial horror.
Yet the enchainment of past and future
Woven in the weakness of the changing body,
Protects mankind from heaven and damnation
Which flesh cannot endure.
Title of post taken from the Freestyler's track "Don't Stop" (and a million other songs I know. That's where it came from this time).

Reality is Depressing

While we consider that we have at least two more years of this war, and that any Democrat we put in the White House while likely continue the Iraq war for at least a year or two (lest they appear weak), while McCain or Guiliani not to mention Gingrich will keep it going indefinitely, let's also consider the cost of the war.

Random Goblin
forwarded an article on the human destruction caused by the Iraq war on the families of American soldiers and reservists being sent to fight it.

It's a pretty high cost we are asking them to absorb.

One passage stood out to me.
Even many active-duty military families, used to the difficulties of deployments, are reeling as soldiers are being sent again and again to war zones, with only the smallest pause in between. The unrelenting fear of death or injury, mental health problems, the lack of recuperative downtime between deployments and the changes that await when a soldier comes home hover over every household.

And unlike the Vietnam era, when the draft meant that many people were directly touched by the conflict, this period finds military families feeling a keen sense of isolation from the rest of society. Not many Americans have a direct connection to the war or the military. Only 1.4 million people, or less than 1 percent of the American population, serve in the active-duty military.
Since we don't have to pay the cost and we might not even know anybody who is paying that cost, I guess we (as a whole, I mean) don't feel any urgency in stopping this war. Depressing. And of course that's not including the cost being paid by the Iraqi people for our intervention.

The Number 1

If you notice any similarities between what you are about to read and your own life, please for the love of God stop reading.

I have 1 head. I have 1 body. I have two arms. Two divided by two equals 1. I have ten fingers. Ten Fingers divided by ten equals 1.

I was borne on October 17, 1970. There are three 1's in my birth date, and if you add all the numbers together and divide by 26 you get 1.

My drivers license and my social security number have no 1's in them.

My Credit Card Number has three 1s in it.

My Address has two 1s in it.

When I select a list of my favorite albums or songs or comic books, I always reserve the number 1 slot for my favorite.

I have 1 car.

I have 1 apartment.

I have 1 dog.

I have 3 websites. 3 divided by 3 equals 1.

1 is the loneliest number.

The Beatles entitled their greatest hits collection 1. I own that album and I like the Beatles.

I have now typed the number 1 in this post 18 times. The number 18 has a 1 in it. 18 divided by 18 equals 1. I have now typed the number 1 in this post 25 times. 25 divided by 25 equals 1.

Getting freaked out yet? If not, I'll be around with more 1's to scarify you.

Round the Horn. An Irwin J. McIckleson Production

Good morning all. I have not done this in a while, but I have returned. For those to whom I have not yet been introduced, my name is Irwin J. McIckleson, a Plutocrat from the early 1920s (it is February 28, 1920, for those curious about the date). I am recently married to Mrs. Pinksington who has decided to keep her name rather than take mine (although our children, should we have any will be McIcklesons). I run a string of factories.

I just had an extended strike at one of them, which is what took me away from here. It is always best to negotiate with strikers if you can, but in this case they were not reasonable, so more direct action was necessary.

On a weekly basis under good circumstances I provide a review of future Blogs (present Blogs from your perspective), and what they are talking about.

archy has a discussion of the various types of animal fats one might use for cooking purposes, apparently an important consideration in Transylvanian cooking. I have discussed the matter with my cook, Mrs. Pottlesdaughter, and she has explained to me that it is none of my business what kind of fats she uses in my food and I should mind my own business.

I would fire her for insubordination, but I fear my passion for Pan-Asian Cuisine has left me vulnerable to this situation.

Bark Bark Woof Woof discusses the likability factor in the upcoming elections, noting that likability does not mean competency. He makes a good point. Someone who inspires fear would be a better choice, in my opinion.

Bloggg has a discussion of a recent argle bargle in the campaign of one John Edwards. Apparently Mr. Edwards hired two people to work on providing information to people interested in his campaign, but they got in trouble with some of his political enemies and decided to step down. Bloggg points out that Mr. Edwards actions during this situation are not the sort that inspire, which seems to be the case. You either stand up for people who work for you or you get rid of them. You don't let them quit. It makes you look weak.

Science and Politics has an extensive review of this situation, indicating that perhaps Edwards stood by his people more than his enemies have stated.

Scrutiny Hooligans has a flowchart detailing the current President's plans to deal with 9/11 and Iraq. A flowchart is a apparently a way of breaking a problem down to yes and no questions and seems senseless to me. Most questions aren't yes and no. They are shades of better and worse. However perhaps that simplistic way of looking at the world appeals to the current occupant of the White House.

The Fulcrum has a discussion of the difficulty of defeating an insurgency - a task which I would think is going to require answering tough questions. The sorts of questions that don't require a yes or a no answer.

Rubber Hose has a review of the distribution of Iraq's petroleum reserves; he believes the Plutocrats may have seized too much, and their greed may cause them problems in the long run.

THE NEWS BLOG has a discussion of how the Brits are pulling out of Iraq having accomplished their mission apparently. The Americans, on the other hand, don't seem to be going anywhere.

BlogAmy might now be called Creative Outlet, and the site has been redesigned to focus on creative efforts, including photography and writing. The site is very pleasing to the eyes, at any rate.

Collective Sigh writes on a visit from a relatives canine and her decision to exercise more. When I was a young man I exercised quite a bit, usually by paying a worker a nickle to let me chase him.

Pen-Elayne on the Web has apparently started a new career writing about Comical Books while continuing her current career about which I know very little.

And that is it for another week. Now go out and crush your enemies and exploit the masses. If you like you can be friendly as well.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Rudy Guilliani

I get the sense that the Conservative Punditry has settled on Rudy Guilliani as their current candidate. He doesn't have the history McCain does of bucking the party, and he's got more name recognition than Mitt Romney. Of course if Gingrich comes in that will change the equation, and it's clear that a few of the big boys are waiting to see if that will happen. But I've heard Guilliani on Hannity a few times (where they didn't have the decency to talk about Soccer or something else gratifyingly insane). And today Maggie Gallagher writes about how she is considering voting for him, even though she never has in the past, as she explains.
I never voted for Rudy when I lived in New York City for one simple reason: abortion. I don't look for purity in politicians, just for some small pro-life reason to vote for a guy: Medicaid funding, parental notification, partial birth abortion. Throw me the slightest lifeline, otherwise I assume he just doesn't want the vote of people like me. Rudy never did. So I never gave him my vote.
Kind of whiny there, Gallagher. I mean I get that he didn't stand for what she believes in so she didn't vote for him. Fair enough. But then saying that he could have thrown her the slightest bone and she would have ponied up? If abortion is wrong, isn't it wrong? But maybe I don't entirely understand.

Anyway she gives the standard reasons to vote for Guilliani (or McCain if it comes to that) - National Security and the Court. National Security is there way of saying "Look selling out to these centrists we've always hated doesn't mean we're pansies. It means we are putting America first." Actually that ties right back into her comments on Abortion doesn't it?

I mean let's imagine Gallaghers dream candidate - presumably he would not only be strong on National Security, willing to appoint Conservative Ideologues to the bench, but he'd also be opposed to abortion, opposed to Gay Rights, opposed to welfare, opposed to public schools, opposed to Social Security and opposing anything else Gallagher wants her to oppose. So why not go out and find a guy who fits those criteria?

I guess cause politics doesn't work that way (I need only consider my past votes for Kerry and my future possible vote for Hillary Clinton to realize that I'm largely in the same vote (although I will at least pick the best candidate in the primary to support (The Monster, in case you are wondering))). Still I can't deny that it's gratifying to see Gallagher abandoning principals a year from the primaries and a year and a half from the general election.

Sabrine Al-Janabi

That is the name of an Iraqi woman who was raped by Iraqi security forces. The New York Times delicately leaves her name out of it's story on the incident, but Baghdad Burning (by Riverbend) includes it. The story is a little microcosm of how badly we have messed up Iraq.
She might just be the bravest Iraqi woman ever. Everyone knows American forces and Iraqi security forces are raping women (and men), but this is possibly the first woman who publicly comes out and tells about it using her actual name. Hearing her tell her story physically makes my heart ache. Some people will call her a liar. Others (including pro-war Iraqis) will call her a prostitute- shame on you in advance.
The New York Times frames this story as part of the ongoing feud between Sunnis and Shi'ites. And there might well be some truth to that. Certainly the President of Iraq has condemned her as a liar and criminal and rewarded the officers accused of raping her. Riverbend on the other hand notes that no woman should be raped, regardless of which side in this conflict they are on.

She ends her first piece on this story with these words which ring depressingly true.
Let me clear it up for any moron with lingering doubts: It’s worse. It’s over. You lost. You lost the day your tanks rolled into Baghdad to the cheers of your imported, American-trained monkeys. You lost every single family whose home your soldiers violated. You lost every sane, red-blooded Iraqi when the Abu Ghraib pictures came out and verified your atrocities behind prison walls as well as the ones we see in our streets. You lost when you brought murderers, looters, gangsters and militia heads to power and hailed them as Iraq’s first democratic government. You lost when a gruesome execution was dubbed your biggest accomplishment. You lost the respect and reputation you once had. You lost more than 3000 troops. That is what you lost America. I hope the oil, at least, made it worthwhile.
It's a depressing world we live in.

However, for those of you concerned that this sort of incident might hurt America's self esteem, the woman had the bad luck to appear on al-Jazeera, so most American's will naturally assume it's propaganda and put it out of their pretty little heads.

Mental Illness

There are many ways to be crazy. For example, one could believe that frogs are secretly the God of Thunder. Or you could believe that there's no such thing as Trixnar. One key sign of insanity is either a surety that everybody already agrees with you or a surety that you're not crazy, everybody else is. And I fear that is the sort that Mr. Tony Blankley is suffering from, as evidenced by his latest article.
It seems almost pointless to engage in a serious policy debate with a party whose leading contenders for the presidency are willing to simply make up any preposterous national security policy in a contest of one-upmanship targeted at winning the hearts and minds (if that is the word for it) of their party's ready-for-institutionalizing edge of their lunatic fringe voters.
It's almost tragic. Of course recent polls show that up to 70% of Americans disagree with how President Bush is handling Iraq, 58% believe that sending troops to Iraq was a mistake, and 59% oppose the Bush Surge in Iraq. It's somewhat troubling that Mr. Blankley apparently believes that as many as 58% of the American people are ready for institutionalizing fringe voters.

Still given the strain of the last few years, perhaps it's not surprising that Mr. Blankely has retreated to an imaginary America in which everything is just fine (at least for him).

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happiness is an Option

Dennis Prager's latest article is entitled "Happiness is a Moral Obligation," and that's more or less what it is about. You have a moral obligation to be happy. And the kicker is, Prager is reasonably convincing.
Happiness -- or at least acting happy, or at the very least not inflicting one's unhappiness on others -- is no less important in making the world better than any other human trait.

With some exceptions, happy people make the world better and unhappy people make it worse.
Sometimes you just get screwed coming and going, don't you?

So if you aren't in the best of moods, remember to add in some guilt to your souffle of sorrow. Fortunately I'm listening to Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass so I'm not that unhappy all things considered.

My Brother and Soccer

I caught a little bit of the Sean Hannity Show yesterday on my way home from work, and he had libertarian Neal Boortz on. Neal is apparently no longer a slave to political correctness, as per his latest book, and Hannity was praising him for his willingness to take on different cultures, races, genders, religions and so on and so forth. Boortz then did have something to say on the subject of religion, but Hannity immediately shushed him up. Cause there's nothing wrong with pissing on Blacks or Hispanics or gays, but Christians are a little more sensitive.

So rather than taking a shot at Christians, Hannity and Boortz started talking about kids who play Soccer. If you are from another part of the world, Soccer is the game you guys call football. We call it soccer over here cause we have another game we call football (It's like a wussy version of rugby).

Anyway Boortz's point was that Soccer makes men into wusses - and that's the whole point. Overprotective mothers jam their kids into soccer because they don't want their kids to get hit by baseballs or tackled. This has a feminizing effect on the boys who play soccer.

My brother played in a Soccer league when he was a kid. I did not. I played Junior High Football and Church Basketball and Softball. And if you stand me and my brother up against a wall you can really tell. While I was making my way through the rough and tumble world of college history departments, my brother joined the Marines - a soft path if ever there was one. I guess playing Soccer must have drained all the manliness out of him, poor dope. Still he could kick my ass pretty easily so maybe I'd better not carry this joke too far.

Actually it's his birthday today - so Happy Birthday Brother. Your present is at home sitting on my counter I realize, so it might be late.

As for Soccer if I was Superman, after making a bunch of diamonds out of coal, I'd burst into Hannity studio and take him and Boortz to Manchester or Scotland and force them to play on a Soccer team. Not one of the big ones - just a local one. And we'd get to see what kind of men they really are. I suspect they wouldn't last long, as manly as they are.

Monday, February 19, 2007

We need to Abandon Secularism to make Osama Bin Ladin happy

Dinesh D'Souza's latest column calls for an end to secularism. For those unfamiliar with the term, Secularism is "the view that religious considerations should be excluded from civil affairs or public education." I would distinguish it a bit more, by putting the word specifically right before religious, but this is enough for my purposes. Secularism means that the Government doesn't rest it's decisions on the edicts of any particular religion. The spirit of Secularism is contained in the first amendment and the generally accepted and regularly derided "separation of Church and State."

Secularism has apparently inspired Osama bin Ladin and his buddies to kill Americans. It's American Secularists they hate, not American Christians.
Thus the doctrine that the war against terrorism is a battle of two opposed forms of religious fundamentalism is false. This is not why the Islamic radicals are fighting against America. From the perspective of Bin Laden and his allies, the war is between the Muslim-led forces of monotheism and morality against the America-led forces of atheism and immorality. Secularism, not Christian fundamentalism, is responsible for producing a blowback of Muslim rage.
Bear in mind that D'Souza largely agrees with bin Ladin's assessment. America really should reject secularism and should turn the government over to decent Conservative Christians. Bin Ladin could get along with Conservative Christians - it's us liberals and secularists he can't stand.

My opinion on Secularism should be familiar to longterm readers of this site, but for those who would like to know more, check out this review I did of Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore's "The Godless Constitution."

It's humorous to remember the many times Conservatives have accused Democrats of wanting to surrender to Osama bin Ladin and then read D'Souza basically advocating that we, well, surrender to bin Ladin in principle if not in fact. But then again D'Souza basically feels that bin Ladin has the right idea (in this particular area).


Burt Prelutsky, alleged humorist, has written his latest article about Barack Obama. In in he treats Obama so disrespectfully I briefly considered that he might be racist. His article is entitled "B.O. for President," describes him as a cuckoo (one of many), and then says this, "Down deep, he’s just another megalomaniac who thinks he should be running the world." But I have since concluded that Prelutsky is suffering from a worse ailment - Democrataphobia. He suffers from an irrational fear of and hatred towards Democrats and this distorts his ability to write about them.

How else do you explain this sort of paragraph.
Obama is making a good deal of political hay out of the fact that he alone of all the candidates opposed our invasion of Iraq. That brings up two questions. Back when he made his anti-war speech, he was still a member of the Illinois state legislature. What business has a state senator got making pronouncements about America’s foreign policy? But, more importantly, back then such bona fide liberals as Clinton, Kerry, Lieberman, Feinstein and Schumer, voted in favor of the invasion. So the question that begs asking is whether Barack Hussein Obama would ever be in favor of taking any action, no matter the provocation to America, that would put Muslim lives at risk.
Any concerned America has the right to speak out about America's foreign policy. I note that many of your colleagues and you yourself have expressed opinion on what America's foreign policy should be, and you haven't been elected to anything. Secondly, the slander that Obama's opposition to invading Iraq comes from putting Iraqi lives over Americans is patently nonsense. All the Democrats have stated that invading Iraq was a mistake - Obama was right before they were, and that somehow proves he loves Muslims more than Americans?

But I think you have to show some sympathy for Prelutsky's condition. Particularly when it makes him write embarrassing articles like this one.

Friday, February 16, 2007

How Far Does the Ball Travel

I have a puzzle of the day Calender - and here is today's puzzler.
If an elastic ball is dropped from the Leaning Tower of Pisa at a height of 179 feet from the ground, and on each rebound the ball rises exactly one tenth of its previous height, what distance will it travel before it comes to rest?
I have an answer and the calender has an answer and the two answers are not the same. If you want to see the answers click on the comments box and then tell me which of us is right, me or the calender?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Good News from the Conservatives

Hugh Hewitt's latest article is an angry cry for Republican Congress Critters to stand firm against Democrats, and he clearly says that failure to do so will disappoint and anger the base. Says Hewitt closes his article by saying "In short, I expect –and apparently so do thousands of others—the Republicans on the Hill to act as though they are willing to sacrifice something –including perceived political advantage—to win the war."

This is great! Now is just the right moment for Conservatoids to get all pissy about not getting their way. The American People will be able to see just how thoughtless and bloodthirsty our buddies on the right are.

And incidentally how out of touch with reality, as this line from the article shows.
Mark Foley and the MSM helped the terrorists in the campaign to retire the Republican majority, but it was the sixth year of an eight year presidency, and a lot of the losses were extremely close run things. To fallback, regroup, and go on the offensive seemed to be the obvious steps to take.
Yeah - the terrorists now have the majority in the House thanks to Mark Foley . . . wait, what's D stand for again? Derrorists?

No, it's the Democrats - kind of a shame Hugh Hewitt can't tell the difference between the two. And I do feel sorry for his lack of perception. But, although I feel sorry for him, I still don't want him behind the wheel of the United States of America.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Your President Speaks

Unless you are not from the United States of America.

"One of the problems -- not specifically on this issue, just in general -- let's put it this way, money trumps peace, sometimes."

Thank you Mr. President for your succinct summation of why we had to invade Iraq. Oh wait, you meant it to apply to European companies who oppose your plan to invade the hell out of Iran.

I'm Trying to Think But Nothings Happening

Kind of out of it today - may post later.

I will note that President Bush may have said "Money Trumps Peace" in today's press conference - will try to get confirmation later.


For those wondering - ahistorical refers to something that is not historical. Consider, as an example, Michael Medved's latest defense of President Bush.

Medved comments approvingly on the Presidents who served between the end of the Civil War and the turn of the century. He is dismayed that these Presidents get so little credit for how great things went during those days. In making this argument, however, Medved skips over a few key points. First of all, after the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, the President was effectively gelded. Not entirely powerless, but possessing barely a fraction of the power President Bush wields. The reason those presidents don't get credit for the great things that happened in those days is that, in reality, they probably had little to do with them.

Of course the second part of his argument is that we don't respect President Bush even though things are going great (apparently). People have a sense that, in general, their personal lives are going great, but they don't give credit to the President for that. Kind of a funny argument coming from a conservative. Don't they usually believe that we have to improve our lives ourselves, without Government intervention?

At any rate, the flaw in his argument is that President Bush's invasion of Iraq, probably the defining act of his presidency, hasn't gone all that well. So that might be dragging public approval down a bit.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A correction

Here at Make Me a Commentator!!! we do try to be careful, but occasionally we make mistakes. Jeff Emanuel has written in (in the comments section of this post) to inform us that it was not his fault that he forgot to provide Matthews full name in his article (which is Dan Matthews, Jr.). Apparently it was his editors fault that he forgot to give the whole name.

He also disagrees with my interpretation of his article. Apparently he intended it simply as a contrast between how Mr. Matthews and how the Republican Party behaves. I don't buy it myself, but everybody is entitled to their opinion.

What the World Needs Now is God Inc.

This is a really funny web sitcom - it's got humor, it's got heart, and it makes you think. As your beloved Blog-O-Fascist (I'll bet you thought I had forgotten about that), I command you to go watch it! Now!

What the World Needs Now

. . . . is Love Sweet Love

. . . . is a Chicken in every Pot and a Car in every Driveway

. . . . is Money for Nothing and your Chicks for Free

. . . . is Robot Butlers who won't malfunction and start killing people

. . . . is a few more doers and a few less thinkers

. . . . is a Coke and a smile

. . . . is an enema

. . . . is an artichoke souffle

. . . . is the healing power of Fatboy Slim

Feel free to add your own.

Rotten to the Core

Company X's reactions to the passing of James Brown have been varied, admittedly. The most extreme reaction comes from Jones, former office manager of their Tulsa branch and hosted on a website which still has a Company X Logo on it. Posted Jones, "Screw James Brown. I always wanted to be the Godfather of Soul." Obviously this post by a former employee of Company X shows that Company X is rotten to the core, and we can only pray that some day they return to decency.

Seem a little bit of a stretch? Well than so will Jeff Emanuel's latest article, in which he criticizes a former Democratic Party County Chairman (he gives the guys last name Matthews, but not his full name, which strikes me as a bit childish even given the subject) has said some mean things about Congressmen Charlie Norwood. They are mean things, and kind of despicable given Norwood's situation (he is essentially returning home to die).

That said, of course it is a bit of a stretch to point to Norwood as proof that the Democratic Party and politics in general have become too dirty. He cites many of the leaders of the Republican Party who expressed sympathy and support for Democratic Senator Tim Johnson, during his recent troubles. Of course I'm sure you could find people who said some mean things about Tim Johnson, but that wouldn't fit into Emanuel's message which is "Democrats Mean, Republicans Nice."

Monday, February 12, 2007

If 6 were 9

Dinesh D'Souza's latest article takes aim at a fellow conservative who dares to suggest that maybe liberals aren't really responsible for 9/11. He reiterates the theme of his book, which is, of course that we are responsible. If it weren't for us liberals, the terrorists would never have attacked us on 9/11.

His argument rests on two points. First, Liberals are weak and so we don't scare the Terrorists. Secondly, Liberals are decadent and so we infuriate the Terrorists. If we were more God Fearing, the Terrorists would hate us less, and if we were more violent, the terrorists would not dear to strike at us.

He does make this amusing statement.
. . . how did we get Khomeini? When Jimmy Carter was elected in 1979 his liberal advisors told him that he could not consistently uphold human rights and support the Shah of Iran. Carter pulled the Persian rug out from under the Shah, and in trying to get rid of the bad guy, he got the worse guy.
For those playing along at home, Carter was elected in 1976, took office in 1977, and held power through January 1981 when Reagen took power.

D'Souza wants conservatives to fight a dual war - a war against Islamic Terrorists and a war against American Liberals. Rather than pretending that we are all one nation, he feels that Conservatives should reach out to Traditional Muslims as allies against the decadence and evil of Liberals.

These times have turned real ill.

Are we at War with Islam?

There are two answers to that if you are a Conservative. Answer #1 is "Of course we are, and it's only naivete and political correctness that forces us to pretend that we aren't." Answer #2 is "Of course we aren't - suggesting that conservatives think that we are is just another way of calling us racist hicks!"

Well there's an editorial over at Townhall by Frank Pastore in which he acknowledges that a lot of conservatives believe that we are at war with Islam, but argues that we really aren't. He points to many America loving Muslims, and asks a very salient question.
If "we are at war with Islam,” then what would victory look like? The "defeat" of Islam? Would this mean every Muslim would be given the option to "convert or die?" Now who’s the radical?
Good point. I heartily approve of this article, and am glad to see some Conservatives speaking out against the madness of some of them.

But let's see what the reader response has been like.
Thank you Mr. Pastore
Amen. Finally, one of the commentators on this site has got it right. Thank you Mr. Pastore. Maybe this can be the breakthrough to get people to realize we are not at war with all Muslims. This is long overdue, but welcome just the same.

Now, maybe, the real debate on how to move forward can commence and people will realize that JUST blowing things up is not the answer to the Iraq problem.

Killing the radicals is necessary, but declaring war with the entire population is a huge mistake.

Brovo Greg! Rare insight for this site!(JIHAD WATCH) I rarely say I agree, but, today, for you, I say, I AGREE. Everything you said was Religiously Incorrect, and just exactly true. Thank you for saying it - clear light at last! Bless you oxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxo Love, from jud

Most Rational Article I've read at TH
Don't let the anti-Muslim bigots get you can't hate an entire religion and wish to wipe it out. Those who desire to do that are in very bad historical company indeed.

Dangerous delusions.
Mr. Pastore,

Your opinion is without historical substance, present day observation or logical support and appears to be based on the intimidated and falsified history of the west taught by self loathing left and a Pollyannaish detachment from reality and otherworldly optimism.

Islam is Christendom’s perennial enemy which submerged the Christian Middle East, North Africa and Asia under a wave of unremitting, widespread ignorance and fraud in its perpetual offensive against its neighbors. It is the most elaborate criminal conspiracy ever conceived for the benefit of it rulers which has absorbed the most criminal and homicidal racial groups and nations of each epoch to be its vanguard and aggressor against the west. . . .

The fruit of a tree.
You know a tree by the fruit it bears. The fruit of Islam since its creation by the slave-owning rapist Muhammad has been one of mass murder and pillage. Islam spread mainly through extreme violence against Christians. I, for one, choose not to be a dhimmi.

Islam is not the enemy?
Don't be so sure
Considering that those tens of millions of "radical" Muslims take their direction from the Qur'an and hadith(Muslim Holy books),I would suggest that it IS Islam and its teachings that are the threat.
Largely a negative response I have to say and many of the positive responses are from Liberals pleased to see some sense at Townhall. Most Conservatives at Townhall would apparently rather believe themselves at war with Islam.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Can President Bush Invade Iran?

This is the subject of Pat Buchanan's latest article, and he comes to two conclusions. One, Bush almost certainly wants to be able to invade Iran. Two, he may not have the authority to do so but may believe he does.
Now, as there is no indication Iran is preparing any attack on U.S. forces or facilities, or the homeland, such a U.S. attack would be the first strike in a preventive war -- like the ones Japan executed at Port Arthur in 1904 and Pearl Harbor in 1941. Only Bush could claim Iran had been repeatedly warned of what he would do.

So, we return to the question: Does Bush have the authority to do this? If so, where did he get it, as Congress alone is empowered in the Constitution to declare war?
Buchanan's solution is for Congress to pass a resolution clarifying their position on Iran, specifically stating that Bush doesn't have the right to invade Iran without Congressional approval. It's an elegant solution, but unlikely to be implemented.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mike S. Adams

It's nice to read an article by Mike S. Adams in which he isn't whining like a little girl about all the indignities he has to suffer. Instead this weeks article is in praise of some College Libertarians and their celebration of Morals Week, which he compares to congenital herpes. Don't believe me?
Put simply, Morals Week is spreading across North Carolina with greater speed and permanence than an outbreak of genital herpes. And the liberals are getting nervous because they can’t seem to find a cure.
For the record I very rarely praise people by comparing them to congenital herpes. But I'm old fashioned.


There's an articlee up today at Townhall by William Rusher on John Edwards, who is apparently one of the more formidable candidates.
Watching Edwards on television, I am torn between admiration of his finesse and a deep wariness over whether somebody so glib can possibly be real. A good many other Americans may come to share that doubt. But this country cheerfully elected Bill Clinton twice, and he was surely the King of Glibness. So keep your eye on John Edwards.
He also describes Edwards as "fiendishly handsome." There's a joke there to be made, I suppose.

This isn't the first time I've seen Conservatives express this opinion, and I don't entirely know what to make of it. Perhaps they think Edwards is really the easiest to beat. Hillary Clinton will have a ton of money and is a woman. Barak Obama is black. The negative style of campaigning they've perfected in the last few elections might not be as effective in this campaign. Clinton will have enough money to fight back, and trashing Obama feeds into the idea that Republicans are racists. So maybe they want Edwards at the top of the deck.

I like Edwards, though, so I hope I'm wrong.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Comments at AMERICAblog

I'm not a big fan of Hillary Clinton, as I've explicated in the past. But some of the comments about her over at AMERICAblog are really quite a bit beyond the pale.
She is such a New Yorker. How long did Hillary live In New York prior to 9/11? So STFU Hillary. You are as much a New Yorker as you are a liberal!

Just another reason why I say f--k Hillary Clinton and the broom she flew in on.

Maybe Bill should be forgiven for his indiscretions. Maybe he knew something we didn't. After all, who can blame a dog in the desert when it tries to find water.
Frankly I could see those all showing up at Townhall or any Conservative blog.

There's also a nice undercurrent of anti-Semitism. It's one thing to say that Israel influences American policy a bit too much - nothing wrong with that in my opinion. But using them as a bogey man? Suggesting that Hillary is their candidate? That's a step too far - puts us in the international conspiracy area. That's not a good area to be in.

I have been thinking about my disagreement with the Daily Howler - I think it comes down to this - I think Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions should be stopped, and more to the point, can be stopped. I think his call is that she is the most likely candidate in 2008. So he doesn't want to do anything that would hurt her chances in 2008 now. Fair enough. As the election gets closer and more cards show up on the table, I may find myself switching to his position.


I am going to point to todays article over at the Daily Howler, with slight disagreement. His first article criticizes AMERICAblog and Atrios for misreading an AP report in order to make Hillary Clinton look bad. So far so good, he makes a convincing case. And there has always been the danger that in battling monsters we could become monsters.

But then he says this which I find a bit more difficult to swallow.
As we said a few days ago, we want to see Clinton, Edwards or Obama elected. (Or Gore, if he enters the race. Or Richardson, Biden, Kucinich or some other, if a miracle occurs.) Without intending any disrespect, none of the Big Three is the candidate we would design in a lab. But you go to election with the hopefuls you have, not the ones you can dream or imagine. Franklin D. Roosevelt won’t be running this year. We need to win with the hopefuls we’re given.

And frames will be built around these candidates—frames which can later be used to defeat them.
I agree with him on this point - it's self evident - but I disagree with the obvious conclusion. The obvious conclusion is that we should take it easy on Clinton (and Obama and Edwards) because any mud we sling at them will still be there for Republicans to use in the general election. That's true, for what it's worth. But that's what a primary season is all about. What kind of Democratic Party do we want to be? If Hillary Clinton represents your idea of what this party needs to be, than fight for her. But there are obviously plenty (particularly among the grassroots political active left) who don't see her as an ideal candidate. They are going to continue pointing out what they see as her deficiencies because they don't want her to be our standard bearer - you might disagree with them, but that's what a primary fight is all about.

And I don't think we should hold back because our labels might be used later in ways we don't like.

The Wealthiest Person is a Pauper at Times

One nice thing about the election season (all 22 months of it) being upon us is that our helpful conservative friends are going to start giving us advice. Tony Blankley has some advice for Hillary Clinton, which is nice. His advice? Be conservative. I guess that's not very surprising all things considered. Specifically he believes she should support the war and ignore her buddies on the left in this country.
If the news from Iraq turns around over the next year and a half, the Democrats, as the party of defeat, will likely themselves be defeated.

But even if the news from Iraq stays bad, or gets worse, the increasingly dangerous world that such events would reveal to the American electorate may well suggest to the voters that, whatever the mistakes of George Bush, in such a dangerous world they cannot rely on the hard-core anti-war mentality of Hillary Clinton, or any other cut-and-run Democrat (or Republican).
Of course you have to decide that thinking this particular war is stupid or that we should get out of it makes you hard-core anti-war. Since some 70% of America thinks this war is a mistake, I guess that suggests that America maybe isn't as Conservatoid as our buddies on the right like to believe.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What happens next?

Dennis Pragers latest article is entitled "Liberals Don't Ask "What Happens Next?"" Truthfully the title is enough to get me going.

We invaded Iraq, if memory serves, without seriously asking what happens next. In fact President Bush and Vice President Cheney systematically ignored anybody who was trying to tell them what would happen next after toppling Saddam, and pundits like Prager applauded this strategy. The President and his war-mongers knew that to admit that we'd be bogged down in Iraq for years, knew they couldn't sell that. So they carefully excluded from the debate any discussion what happened after toppling Saddam.

That's not of course what Pragers article is about. Rather he's asking other questions. Like would obeying the Kyoto Protocols be good for the American economy? Apparently we Liberals never ask that question (except that of course we do, and have come to the conclusion that we need to do it anyway, but that it can be an opportunity for some companies, even if some others have to adjust.

Would withdrawal from Iraq increase or decrease human suffering? Liberals are talking about this regularly, and they are coming up with different answers than Prager - which of course is the problem. If we really thought about the issues we'd agree with Prager.

Prager ends his article with this paean to asking what happens next.
In the view of many liberals, "What happens next?" is a pragmatic, but not idealistic, question by which to guide social policy. In fact, however, no question is as idealistic as "What happens next?" Asking it means that social policy is made by noble and compassionate minds, not hearts alone. In the rest of life, thinking through the consequences of actions is called "responsible" and "mature." Those remain worthy goals in public life as well.
Thank you for that Prager, but as noted above, there are plenty of people on your side of the fence that might benefit from this advice.


I failed to watch the Superbowl this time around (like the last 15 superbowls actually). But apparently Prince was the halftime entertainment, and Townhall has an article by Rich Galen bemoaning his participation.
* Prince? The artist formerly known as &*$%(!@?

* How many of the 75,000 ticket holders and 1.3 gazillion television viewers, do you think, can name even one song by &*$%(!@?
Purple Rain? Let's Go Crazy? Like Doves Cry? Rasberry Beret? I would say a few of those might pop up on the public radar. But what do I know. Thankfully Galen let's us know what sort of performers he'd like to see.
* For my money, I think it would be swell if the halftime show were split evenly between the Kingston Trio and Andy Williams.
Yes cause after a halftime of football nothing gets the blood pumping like Andy Williams.

I'm not entirely sure that Mr. Galen is the expert on music he pretends to be.

Apparently Prince does have a lot of fans at though.

Documentary Idea

I have an idea for a documentary based on the morning guy show here on Conservative Talk Radio. He was talking about an idea we have here in Florida to help poorer families with prenatal care and post natal care. Apparently this will help babies to live rather than die.

His argument is that this is a bad idea because it encourages women to have babies irresponsibly. Families should only be encouraged to only have babies when they have enough money to pay for their own prenatal and post natal care. Plus he brought up the problem of women having babies so they can get more money from welfare. Apparently having babies on welfare is the ticket to the sweet life.
Minority woman 1 : (Steps out of a Mercedes) Hey Minority Woman 2.

Minority Woman 2: Sweet ride, Minority Woman 1! How'd you afford that?

Minority Woman 1: Simple. I had another baby. It's just that easy.

Minority Woman 2: I wish I could have a lot of babies, but I'm concerned about prenatal care. I don't know if I can afford it.

Minority Woman 1: You silly goose. Just get prenatal care from the government and you'll be living on easy street.

Minority Woman 2: You're right! Why didn't I think of that? Thanks to government prenatal care I can have all the babies I want.

Minority Woman 1: That's right. Soon you'll be wealthy as I am, thanks to the miracle of childbirth.
OK I'm goofing around a little. But this is the way the morning guy thinks (exaggerated a little). So what I would like to see is a documentary examining the inner lives of woman who have a lot of babies in order to get bigger welfare checks. What are these women like? How do they think? Do they even exist? If they exist how numerous are they?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Who is to blame for 9/11

5 years on, Republicans still want to sell you on the idea that it was Clinton. I mean, yeah Bush was President (and had been four 8 months), but really, when you boil it down, it was Clintons fault we got attacked. Such is the subject of Dinesh D'Souza's latest article, and I suspect it won't be the last of its kind. His argument is that Clinton made us look weak, so al-Qaeda felt great about attacking us.
. . . in every case the Clinton administration reacted either by doing nothing, or with desultory counterattacks like a missile strike against largely unoccupied Afghan tents and the bombing of what was reported to be a pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan. Clearly these responses inflicted little harm to Al Qaeda and actually made America look ridiculous in the eyes of the Muslim world. Consequently, Bin Laden became convinced that his theory of American irresolution and weakness was substantially correct. By his own account he became emboldened to conceive of a grander and more devastating strike on American shores, the strike that occurred on 9/11.
Six years into the Bush Presidency and Republicans would still like us to turn our lonely eyes to Clinton rather than the mess their guy made of it. I guess I can see why they would want that.

Mitt Romney - Mormon

Michael Medved has a post on his blog about why Mitt Romney's Mormon-ness probably won't sink his campaign in the long run. The theory is that right now all they know is that he's Mormon.
When pollsters ask abstract questions like “would you vote for a Mormon for President” or “do you think America’s ready for a Mormon president,” the responses don’t reveal anything about the status of the Romney campaign. They only prove that the LDS Church remains a controversial religious organization, with many people distrusting or disliking its theology and leadership. When large percentages (over 20% in some polls) say they wouldn’t vote for a Mormon for President, that’s not a response to Romney’s candidacy (about which most people remain totally uninformed) but a reaction to Mormonism in general.
As time goes on they will see that Romney is more than just a Mormon, and seeing his sons and his accomplishments will apparently overcome any dislike they have for Mormons. Here's hoping.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The New New Thing

Hope you all like this format readjustment. We are no longer soft rock, we are now easy listening.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Commenting Problem

Having trouble with my comments - but will fix them eventually.

Molly Ivins

I really love Molly Ivin's writing and now she is gone and it's sad. I don't know what else to say beyond that. Except to point you to a really nice article by Kathleen Parker over at Townhall. Kathleen Parker is on the opposite side of the political fence but her tribute is very nice.
A great broad is everlasting, a presence, a force, a woman of substance -- solid, intelligent, humorous, sexy and full of "it." Reliable, strong, confident and competent, she walks into a room and causes a stir. The air shifts and heads turn. Who's that?

At six feet, Ivins was impossible to ignore. She commanded a room just as she commanded op-ed pages for millions of readers who found pleasure and inspiration in her words.
Parkers readers do not share Ms. Parkers charitable attitude. Consider this response by Reality (who is apparently not part of the Reality Based Community).
Liberals don't raise hell
They go there. Good riddance.
I should have known better than to read the comments given there are 79 of them. Reading the first ten or so I see three with Good Riddance in them. I'm tired of conservatives.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Changing the look

And the look is now changed - hope this works out. It's not perfect, but it looks ok I think.

22 Songs

Electronic, "Vivid"
The Dandy Warhols, "Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth"
Barenaked Ladies, "One Week"
TheClash, "Lost in the Supermarket"

Billy Bragg, "A13"
The Police, "Truth Hits Everybody"
The Beautiful South, "Meanwhile"
Hugo, "Car C'est Une Fille"

The Beatles, "Stand Inside Love / Los Paranoios"
The Byrds, "Just a Season"
Simple Minds, "All The Things She Said"
Psychedelic Furs, "Torch"

Bob Dylan, "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"
REM, "Crush with Eyeliner"
Donovan, "Hey Gyp (What's the Difference?)"
Big Brother and the Holding Co., "I Need a Man To Love"

Amos, Tori, "She's Your Cocaine"
The Squires, "Going All The Way"
The Cure, "2 Late"
The Smiths, "Stop Me If You Think That You've Heard This One Before"

Peter Murphy, "Strange Kind of Love"
Simon And Garfunkel, "Wednesday Morning, 3 AM"

I quite like this mix - has a nice energy to it. A lot more upbeat than my last mix (although there are still some sad tracks like Torch or Wednesday Morning, 3 AM. Anyway I'm on the road, but will be updating the look of the blog tonight. Assuming I get internet access.

There are Worse things than Paul Weyrich

I'm not a conservative and am unlikely to become one - but Paul Weyrich's latest article reminds me that not all conservatives are dunderheads. Just most of them. It's about the wonders of streetcars and light rail. He notes that streetcars encourage downtown shopping and investment. They make shopping downtown more convenient and more fun, and companies are noticing this, revitalizing down town areas that have invested in streetcars. Of course we don't know if these companies investments have paid off, but lets hope.
The next conservatism's theme of Retroculture wants to bring back good things from the past that we have lost. Pleasure in travel, in the journey itself, should be one of those good things. Life is too short to make travel into misery, when it can be fun.

Yes, riding streetcars is fun. Our grandparents used to enjoy riding the streetcars. They have a feel to them that is completely different from a bus. You can take my word for it.
While I disagree with Weyrich on a great many things, I'm bang up along side him on this one. Let's bring back the streetcar, but let's not name it desire because they tried that in the movies and it was depressing.