Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It's a holiday miracle

Bill O'Reilly, the holy defender in the faux war against Christmas is featuring his own line of Christmas...whooops, HOLIDAY ornaments.

Update: 11:00 PM. Looks like the Fox Folks fixed their folly. The word 'Christmas' has now replaced the word 'Holiday'. Fun while it lasted!

ht: Keith Olberman

Ahhhhhhhhhh Choo, God bless Samurai Sushi

If you want to see an artisan at work, sit at the sushi bar at Samurai Sushi and watch Mr. Choo chop and roll. If you want the best sushi in Nashville, eat what you just watched Mr. Choo create. Don't leave the joint until you've tried the Choo Choo roll, one of the house specialites. Who the hell puts a strawberry on a sushi roll? I'm here to tell you, it works.

If you don't know already, Samurai Sushi is on Elliston Place across from Sherlock Holmes Pub. Don't tell too many people because the place is a small treasure.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

From Wodehouse to just House, from twit to wit - Hugh Laurie mashup

Netflix delivered to me a wonderfully juicy opportunity for juxtaposition tonight...Volume 2 of Season 1 of the Adventures of Bertie and Jeeves based on the writings of the great comic master P.G. Wodehouse. What's the juxta-twist? Hugh Laurie, star of 'House' also stars as Bertie of whom it could be easily said:

He had just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wanted to eat, but certainly no more

Bertie is the cheerful witless uber-twit who, when paired with the classically trained valet Jeeves serves up some of the funniest plots since that vixen Eve derailed Adam via his apple.

Contrast Bertie with Dr. House and what you get is total admiration for Hugh Laurie who handles both roles with complete aplomb and somehow makes each character fit like skin on a snake.

I watched Bertie and House back-to-back and nearly got whiplash - twit to wit in 60 seconds. Kudos to Mr. Laurie and continued thanksgiving for the master - P.G. Wodehouse.

Every author really wants to have letters printed in the papers. Unable to make the grade, he drops down a rung of the ladder and writes novels.

Is that little 50 Cent in your pocket or do you love me?

According to the Starpulse website:

50 Cent is planning to create a vibrator of his manhood - so his female fans can pretend to have sex with him. The sexy rapper is desperate to release a line of condoms and waterproof sex toys designed to excite his female fans and make them feel closer to his idols.

So, Fiddy..CD sales been a little flaccid lately? How many idols DO you have there 50? Isn't there some commandment about graven images??

HT: Sports Guys links

He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows everything on your hard drive, and all the moves you make...

More evidence of the world-domination plan from our big brothers at Google..

Anytime you land on a Google page, you get a Google cookie if you don't already have one. If you have one, they read and record your unique ID number. So far..nothing unique about that.

Google records everything they can:
For all searches they record the cookie ID, your Internet IP address, the time and date, your search terms, and your browser configuration. Increasingly, Google is customizing results based on your IP number. This is referred to in the industry as "IP delivery based on geolocation."

Google retains all data indefinitely:
Google has no data retention policies. There is evidence that they are able to easily access all the user information they collect and save.

Google won't say why they need this data:
Inquiries to Google about their privacy policies are ignored. When the New York Times (2002-11-28) asked Sergey Brin about whether Google ever gets subpoenaed for this information, he had no comment.

Google hires spooks:
Matt Cutts, a key Google engineer, used to work for the National Security Agency. Google wants to hire more people with security clearances, so that they can peddle their corporate assets to the spooks in Washington.

Google's toolbar updates to new versions quietly, and without asking. This means that if you have the toolbar installed, Google essentially has complete access to your hard disk every time you connect to Google (which is many times a day). Most software vendors, and even Microsoft, ask if you'd like an updated version. But not Google.

Stay away from that Google toolbar!

HT: Clicked

Some great visual puns

ht: Phil Arnold

Democrats could learn from THIS Republican

While local Demos are grubbing for a mere $500 bucks for gambling expenses and playing footsie with out-of-state collection agencies, Republican congressman (now ex-congressman), Randy 'Duke' Cunningham went way beyond footsie in his quest for the gold from defense contractors who he managed to 'help' along the way.

In court documents, prosecutors said Cunningham admitted receiving at least $2.4 million in bribes paid in a variety of forms, including checks totaling over $1 million, cash, antiques, rugs, furniture, yacht club fees and vacations.

Among other things, prosecutors said, Cunningham was given $1.025 million to pay down the mortgage on his Rancho Santa Fe mansion, $13,500 to buy a Rolls-Royce and $2,081 for his daughter’s graduation party at a Washington hotel.

Seems the local Dems have a lot to learn in the 'sin boldly' category.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The pontiff wants to wear my red shoes

Sharon Cobb got to this story before me, but I'm nothing if not redundant..nothing if not redundant.

According to a recent UPI story:
Pope Benedict XVI is developing a reputation as a clotheshorse with his taste for Prada shoes and designer sunglasses.

The Tablet, a Roman Catholic newspaper in England, points to the new pope's expensive sunglasses, which Vatican officials say were a present. He has also been spotted in baseball caps and red shoes from Prada.

What else is this guy hiding besides those red Pradas under that robe..and a pair of Oakleys on top of his head under the mitre?

I'm guessing that the pope doesnt' have to pop pesos for his Pradas, but I'd love to see him in a commercial touting sunglasses: "I'll SEE you better now that I've got my Oakleys!"

Salemtown's halfway house

He's a real half-way man, living in his half-way land...probably drinking half and half. This is an example of the kind of develpment we DON'T need in Salemtown. A skinny house crammed into a half lot. Much of the building material is low-cost and ugly, yet the asking price is over 300K.

The back of the house does resemble a minimim security jail given the odd placement of the windows (maybe they didn't want to look at my house which is directly behind this one!).

Seriously, there is a lot of good construction going on (and about to happen) in Salemtown (see HERE and HERE for two examples. The fact that Crye-Leike is involved with this house is no surprise given their poor stewardship here in S-town.

Quote of the day...

Sports Reporter commentator Roy Johnson, decrying a lawsuit against a football coach in New Jersey for leading his team in a group prayer before the game:

" a time in sports when we wonder where our role models have gone, is it really so bad to ask our young athletes to simply look up"

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Good dog vs evil dog

Sparky, our Australian Terrier for whom I expressed thanks in an earlier post, secretly channels messages from Scooter Libby. In the top picture, despite his docility and willingness to pretend he is enjoying the normal doggie-human interaction, you can see the sly look. In the bottom picture, taken a few minutes later, Sparky is attempting to pass on a special message from Libby attempting to out another covert agent. Luckily I was shielded!

Should I stay or should I go, or, On or Off track in Iraq

I've generally been one of the middling, 'we shouldn't have gone, but now we can't leave' people regarding US presence in Iraq. Here's a guy who knows a helluva lot more than I do about the situation who says we should go NOW - Gen. William E. Odom, the head of the National Security Agency during the Reagan administration.

"Everything that opponents of a pullout say would happen if the U.S. left Iraq is happening already"

According to Odom:
The US invasion of Iraq only serves the interest of:

1) Osama bin Laden (it made Iraq safe for al Qaeda, positioned US military personnel in places where al Qaeda operatives can kill them occasionally, helps radicalize youth throughout the Arab and Muslim world, alienates America's most important and strongest allies – the Europeans – and squanders US military resources that otherwise might be finishing off al Qaeda in Pakistan.);

2) The Iranians (who were invaded by Saddam and who suffered massive casualties in an eight year war with Iraq.);

3) And the extremists in both Palestinian and Israeli political circles (who don't really want a peace settlement without the utter destruction of the other side, and probably believe that bogging the United States down in a war in Iraq that will surely become a war between the United States and most of the rest of Arab world gives them the time and cover to wipe out the other side.)

Agree or disagree, definitely worth taking the time to read - HERE.

The Steve Gill prayer...

Actually there are two Steve Gill prayers. The first is Steve's own: 'Dear God, PLEASE let Bredesen propose a state income tax...please, please please.'

Gill, who is considering a run for the governor, may talk about ethics, but truth is, he's a one-trick pony. Buried in today's Tennessean story on the next governor's race is this gem from Gill:
'most second-term governors at least "flirt" with the idea of an income tax, which people might be wary of in a Bredesen second term'.

You can practically see the Gill-wheels spinning..even if he (bredesen) doesn't propose an income tax, I'll start talking about it and then talk about it some more and maybe some of my sheep, er, listeners will buy it. Gill has ridden the income-tax bete' noire' for several years and he's hoping that the ride will continue through the election.

The fact is that Bredesen is not coming any closer to proposing an income tax than Van Hilleary being asked to join Mensa, but the facts shouldn't get in the way for Steve-a-rino.

The serious candidate is Beth Harwell, but if she runs this time, it's only to get some name recognition for either the NEXT run or a Senatorial run.

The other Steve Gill prayer is mine: Please, Steve, run. I want him to run for the same reason I wanted Pat Buchanan to run for president and Pat Robertson to run for president. I want them to be totally repudiated. I want their vote totals to be an embarrassment for generations to come. I want them to see that even though the country may be skewing conservative, that their extremism has no traction.

I actually like Buchanan..don't agree with him much, but he is a thinker and his oppostion to the Iraqi war is second to no one. His extremism played well in New Hampshire once, but like a Steve Gill runs out of gas when examined closely.

So, run, Steve, run. Your lack of originality will be completely exposed and you'll be lucky to carry Williamson county. It still cracks me up that for a while, he called his radio show 'a no-spin zone'. My spin is that is that we already have a Republican of Bredesen, and he wins in a walk.

Friday, November 25, 2005

You can't possibly make this stuff up..

Ultimate Christian Wrestling Tour...check out the Talent. Looks like 'Dixie Dynamite' might be coming after his barber..and I'm guessing that Dustin found God in a state-sponsored institution of some sort. I'm looking forward to the battle between Josh's IQ and room temperature.

Soon to be pinning the devil in a town near where you live....

ht: Sports Guys Links

Other job news you might have missed..

Thanks go NIT guest-host Rachel I heard the news that ex-FEMA head, Michael 'heckuva job' Brown is opening his own emergency management consulting agency. She left out some salient job news from other fronts, so I thought I would fill the breech..

Michael Jackson is franchising his own chain of child care centers. He's calling his franchise 'Billy Jean may not be my son, but I'll treat him like one' or 'BJs' for short.

In other Michael Jackson news, K-Mart is offering their annual Michael Jackson post-Thanksgiving sale...young men's pants 1/2 off.

Former President Bill Clinton will be starting a new 'Abstinence First' foundation geared to teenage boys called 'Do not have sex with that woman'. Clinton was set to make a speech celebrating the creation of the foundation, but something came up.

President Bush is prepared to name televangelist Pat Robertson as the next ambassador to Venezuela. The President is also prepared to nominate Harriet Miers to the Supremes now that Diana Ross has left to start her own driving school.

more news as it happens...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hit me in the head once shame on me, hit me in the head twice....

Maybe he should take the bus....

Reasons to be cheerful...part 3

Despite Aunt B's cheerful contrarian advice to list things for which we are UNgrateful, I've gotta go with the grateful ABCs*.

unt B** - straight from Jagger's quote about putting the knife in your heart and spilling it all over the stage. B's love for her family is the thread that runs so damn true, especially in those pieces where she is excoriating her brother.

Baseball - 90 feet between the bases=closest thing to perfection mankind has devised. We recently and rightly celebrated the life of Rosa Parks. Back in the day when baseball was THE American sport, woven tightly into the zeitgeist, Jackie Robinson running out on that field and staying out there despite an extraordinary amount of abuse, rocked the established world and made liars out of millions.

Coffee - mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, Coffee. Between my own Black & Decker coffee maker and the latte's over at Portland Brew and the French Press coffee at Bongo, I'm a happy man. What would make me even happier is if some bright entrepreneur type would build or open up a coffee house in Germantown/Salemtown. It is a cliche, but if they build it, WE WILL COME.

DVDs - all those movies I missed right here in my own cacoon.

Enclave - the best neighborhood hyper-blog around. You may not agree with his politics, but S-TownMike IS the source of not only neighborhood news, but gives us the vision of what a neighborhood should be.

reedom - Encapsulate western civilization in one word.

od - I'm confused, pissed, angry and more confused a lot of the time, but suddenly, in the words of C.S. Lewis, I'm surprised by joy.

armony - In the musical sense (sometimes in the let's try to get along sense, but not too often - this ain't switzerland). Get to that point in the song 'Silver Springs' by Fleetwood Mac when everybody chimes in behind Stevie Nicks..the chorus in Southern Cross by CSNY or the chorus in Bleeding Heart Show by the New Pornographers...still get the chillbumps and i've heard em' 1000s of times

Ian Rankin - Scottish 'plaid noir' mystery writer. Dark (hell, he's Scottish) and grainy, Rankin never fails.

Just Another Pretty Farce - Katherine Coble is often curmudgeonly, curt, cranky and clear-headed. She's celebrates the nerd, the geek and the sci-fi freak, and she is hands-down the best writer in the Nashville blogworld (and from what I can tell - many points beyond Nashville). I'll accept debate on many points, but on this one I will brook no opposition.

eb Mo - a musical smile - the non-sappy kind. His version of Love Train has the deep-down soul.

La Luna - Berry Hill cafe celebrating Turkish cuisine. Not expensive but really really tasty.

orrison (as in Van the Man) - my words are superfluous. Rave on, John Donne, rave on..

eighbors - Stephanie and Ben rule. I'm twice their age, but it just doesn't matter.

tis Redding - That's How Strong My Love Is...still gets to me.

atti Griffin - red-headed angel who writes like one and sings even better

uandries - because life would be so boring and easy without them

Rolling Stones - You can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need.

Sparky - our Australian Terrier. He thinks he's king of the world and has peed on pretty much every telephone pole, light pole and fire hydrant in this part of the world...marking his kingdom

Thanksgiving - my favorite American holiday. Other than the stress about 'dressing', much less pressure than the more famous holiday right down the pike.

U2 - i ignore the political poses of most entertainers. Bono actually knows and cares, plus they still rock.

eronica Mars - I'm in crush with VM. One of the best TV shows around. These guys know how to arc.

odehouse - his world is THE escape, plus he's just such a damn good writer. Bertie is the funniest twit in literature.

X - tie between X-files and reX L. Camino. Before they jumped the kinkajou, X-Files inverted everything you thought you knew. Rex lives in his own world too, and it's funnier.

ams - not just for Thanksgiving. Go to Sweatts, go to Carolyns..mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..yams.

evon - send lawyers, guns and money, dad, get me out of THIS.

*Let's just stipulate that we're grateful for our family..blah, blah, blah..(c;
** There are plenty of other blogs and bloggers that I didn't put on this list that I am most thankful for: Brittney, Sharon Cobb, Sarcastro,Kleinheider, Krumm, Harry Monroe, Glen Dean and the TUIB crowd, and Big Orange Michael are a few more I particularly enjoy and for whom gratitude is hereby expressed.

Update: I knew I'd forget some people...I love TVontheFritz and the 'fierce' liberalism of Chris Wages' Quiet Life, along with Huck's world.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Type A babeee or, whooohooo, I'm 10,551st!

I'm proud to say that I can type the alphabet in 4.81 seconds which puts me at a spiffy 10,551st ranking worldwide. Test your 'qwerty' mettle HERE

Can you pay attention long enough to read this?

FCC says all broadcasting must be in ADHDTV by 2007.

ht: another layer from the Onion

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

November 22, 1963

People around my age have one thing in common - no matter our political or religious beliefs, no matter our social standing - we all know exactly where we were when we heard the news that the President had been shot.

I was a 6th grader at David Lipscomb. My teacher was Mrs. Deese. We were quietly working in the class (probably one of the few days of the year when I was actually quiet), when the intercom crackled on. Our principal asked everyone to listen...a radio reporter somberly intoned that our President had been shot. A few idiots in my class actually cheered. Students at David Lipscomb in the early 1960s were no fans of a Catholic president. Most of us kept quiet.

After the announcement we were dismissed for P.E. Everyone was milling in the halls. Any trace of jubilation disappeared - possibly based on threats from the P.E. teacher.

No one in my house was a Kennedy fan, but that night we ate completely without conversation (also a first). I got to go over to a friend's house to spend the night, but the visit was joyless.

I'd like to say that I had a great epiphany that day or night. My fear of a Catholic president didnt' recede until later years, but I do know that it felt really strange to be in a country that suddenly had a lot more in common with the 'banana' republic method of political opposition than I had read about in those books we were supposed to be studying when that intercom crackled...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Surprised Okie from Muskogee, or, Sometimes it's hard to be a woman

Jeffrey Bedford lives in a small Oklahoma town near Muskogee. Jeffrey and family signed up for the ABC show 'Wife Swap'. Imagine Jeffrey's surprise when, after his wife is packed away, his new 'wife' shows up with a 'Y' chromosome ('Y' meeeeeeeee?). Jeffrey wants a lotta do re mi from all about it HERE

ht: Bill Simmons Links (Sports Guy)

Giving to Magdalene

I know that most of you who give through United Way have probably already made your pledge to the agency of your choice, but as we approach the pledge deadline (at least here at the state), you should consider the Magdalene agency for next year's pledge (or for a worthwhile donation outside of United Way).

Becca Stevens, founder of Magdalen and priest of St. Augustine's chapel at Vandy, and the staff of Magdalen work with prostitutes to provide care and shelter to achieve:
"Recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, legal employment at a living wage, safe, permanent housing, improved physical, emotional, and spiritual health, reunification with the family and improved social functioning"

Magdalene has an amazing 87% success rate with the women who enter the program.

Becca is a hero, and her work cuts close to the marrow of pure Christianity.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The geometry of innocent flesh on the bone...

Re intelligient design and education, I'm in complete accord with Bill Hobbs and Donald Sensing, Charles Krauthammer RULES.

Giddy up

Hi, I'm John. I'm 53 and I didn't go to Vanderbilt to school. When I was in Lipscomb elementary school this amazing basketball player named Clyde Lee played b-ball at Lipscomb High School. He got a scholarship to Vandy. My goggle-eyed admiration of Lee transferred to full affection for Commodores of all sports.

I'm 53. I never played football. I was a skinny-manager-type who taped a few ankles and washed a LOT of uniforms. I was not a good athlete. This lack of athletic talent seemed like a rebuke from God because all I wanted at the time (well, until I discovered girls) was to be a jock with at least a modicum of talent. I did letter in tennis, but only because there were only eight people who tried out for a 8-man team.

I say all this because there is no rational reason in the world for me to still be devoted to Vanderbilt sports. Clyde Lee hasn't played for the 'Dores in many many years. I've had season tickets to football and basketball on and off since I moved back to Nashville in 1980. I've often been disgusted by a school that wants to be (in the words of one ex-coach) 'Harvard on Monday through Friday, and Alabama on Saturday'. I share nothing but a medium-sized city with Vanderbilt, but for some reason...for some reason...

I felt giddy yesterday, absolutely giddy when the final seconds of the Vandy-UT game elapsed. There were tears in my voice when I called my sons in turn....they were at work but they both managed to watch the game. I think I heard a catch in their voices as well.

How can something so ultimately inconsequential and so seemingly irrelevant to my life matter so much to me? I don't know, and you know what....I just don't care.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

YESsssssssssssssssssssss...Vandy 28 UT 24

I wasn't sure if my two college age kids were going to ever see this happen..


Let em' try to eat Cheesecake

We ventured into the bowels of the Green Hills mall area last night to see "I Walk the Line" (not a bad movie - Nashville's Reese Weatherspoon is amazing as June Carter Cash). The Green Hills Regal is still my favorite movie theater in Nashville because the place is kept clean and they don't shy away from the indie pics not usually seen in mainline mall cinemas.

We went to an early feature (ok, I'm cheap). After the movie we wanted some grub. We didn't even bother with The Cheesecake Factory because we saw the lines (the last two times we tried to eat at TCF, there was a 3 1/2 hour and 2 hour wait respectively). We ended up at David-Kidd 'Bistro')..not bad, if you don't mind supping amongst the shopping.

Because I really do believe in capitalism and appreciate what it takes to make a profit (hey, it must have taken a LOT of work to get ALL the gas prices in Nashville to be exactly the same the Friday after Katrina hit!), I'd like to offer some suggestions to Cheesecake Factory and Davis-Kidd.

1) In order to keep the lines long at Cheesecake Factory, offer any pregnant woman a free meal for her entire family if she delivers before she is seated in the restaurant. In addition, if any woman conceives AND delivers before she is seated her family eats free for a year.

2) To Davis-Kidd: PLEASE MOVE BACK to Graces Plaza. The relaxed atmosphere of the old place has been replaced by the frenzied pace of mall shopping. Parking is a nightmare..actually, it would be a dream if there WAS any parking. I'm begging here..I loved the old Davis-Kidd. I've made an effort to acclimate to the new just doesn't work.

Stuntin' with the oh-so-predictable Republicans

Last night the Republicans pulled what I'll have to say is a clever move on first blush: they forced a vote on an immediate pull-out from Iraq. The move was partially a response to Dem. Rep. John Murtha's pronouncement that the US needs to get out of Iraq.

In truth, the Republican vote was a straw-man stunt. There are people who think we should pull out immediately (Kleinheider comes to mind), but the vast majority of Americans aren't asking for anything like that. Most of us want to know HOW the US plans to pull our troops out of Iraq. I'm still wanting to know what a 'win' looks like.

Murtha, who happens to be a conservative decorated Vietnam veteran and ex-Marine (not that THAT has ever stopped the right-wing from sliming) did NOT say that the US needed to withdraw immediately:

“Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on our present course,” Murtha said. He said the GOP resolution was not the thoughtful approach he had suggested to bring the troops safely home in six months.

Based on the reaction to Murtha's statement, you'd have thought he was up on the cannons with Jane Fonda. The man has served his country well. He deserves respect and not the venom I've been seeing on the floor of congress and in blog-nation.

I knew the sliming of Murtha would begin, but I've really gotta wonder about the timing of an ethics investigation on the man. Like S-TownMike says, we don't know about Murtha's innocence or guilt on this, but the timing of this announcement smells to high heaven.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Every Playboy centerfold for ten years..

Surprisingly TAME

HT: Clicked

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Worst album covers ever..

I've posted a bunch of odd/strange/scary album covers over at Tangled Up in Blue. I saved this one for here, because it is probably too irresponsible to post on a shared site:

On top of the fact that I'm pretty sure there are laws covering this, I'm not sure I want these guys touching him, you, or ME

ht: Holly Anderton

Salem's Lots World of Entertainment

Prime eye-candy, ex-24 actress, Elisha 'i'm acting as hard as i can' Cuthbert has her own blog. Obviously, it's

Note to Brad Paisley: When you're singing 'Folsom Prison Blues', try to remember that the song is not a lilting romp. Sporting a big grin when singing, 'I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die' somewhat dampens the effect of the line. I hope this helps.

Intrepid blogger Rex L. Camino, pound for pound the funniest man in Blogville' monkeys around with the legend of Paris...such frippery.

Finally, Mr. 'T' will tell you where you can go. Navtones Navigation system is recording celebrity voices for their specialized car navigation systems. Also slated as a celebrity voice is Dennis Hopper. 'T's 15 minutes of fame has expanded by about 15 years..I still don't get it. On the other hand Hopper is certainly not untalented. I can only hope he doesn't use the accent he affected in the first season of '24' when he played a Russian emigrant. All I could think of when I heard him assay the accent was - MUST KILL MOOSE AND SQUIRREL.

Hutchmo, OUT.

Begging the Question with The Real Ugly American

A recently discovered fellow Democrat (courtesy of Bob Krumm's blog) seems nearly as disenchanted with 'our' party as I am. I suspect he's a bit closer than I am to going over to the 'dark side'.

Today the Californian Ugly American challenged Democrats to answer the following four questions:
1. Do you think succeeding in promoting a democracy in Iraq would be a good thing?
2. Isn't that something the Democratic Party stands for?
3. Do you think the 25 million people living in Iraq deserve similar freedoms to the ones we enjoy?
4. Do you prefer we leave now and condemn them to chaos wiping your hands of the whole thing since you never supported the war in the first place?

If you ever wondered what 'begging the question' meant, look no further than these four questions.

Why don't you ask THIS:
1) Do you think that every child in Africa should have access to clean disease-free drinking water?
2) Isn't that something Americans stand for?
3) Don't you think that these children deserve to drink water as clean as the water we drink here in the USA?
4) Do you prefer to ignore this problem and subjagate hundreds of thousands of African children to death by cholera?

Obviously..most of us would like Iraqis to be free and for the kids in Africa to have access to clean drinking water. Those really aren't the questions.

Is it possible in the geo-political reality in the Middle East for democracy to exist in Iraq without the type of civil war that has plagued other politically divided countries for decades?
Is there any way to provide African governments and aid associations the money and technology to provide clean drinking water without the money being filtered through corrupt bureaucracies and graft-friendly politicos?

If you're going to ask questions, let's ask questions that don't BEG the answers!

What exactly would a win in Iraq look like?

Bob Krumm, in a post heard round the blog world last week posited that Democrats could win the 2008 election if they would just let Bush 'win the war in Iraq'. My reaction, like many others, was something to the effect of a party so completely out of power could do very little to 'let Bush win 'his' war'.

I've been thinking about this a lot - just exactly what is a 'win' in Iraq? There is no traditional control over a certain land mass or any equivalent of the famous 49th parallel in Korea. The cynic might say that a win is what we declare before we get the hell out, but that's a bit glib.

Considering that only 1 out 80 Iraqi battalions is able to effectively fight without American support (according to the ranking army general in Iraq), do we have to wait until at least 41 of these battalions are 'ready to stand up' before we declare 'victory'? Seems like the next Presidential election might be over by then.

If the neo-con 'messiah' Chalubi has anything to do with taking over, I'm not sure if any of my fellow Democrats want anything to do with THAT kind of victory considering that he is also in bed with the Shiite Iranian gang.

So, what is a victory? Americans leaving the Iraqis to their own form of democracy which could lead to a theocracy and low-cost burqas for the 'little women'?

After we pull out is anything short of a civil war 'victory'?

In the meantime, would cutting the average American death total to around 'only' one a month be considered progress?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, will you be able to explain the new Medicare Pharmacy Benefit program to me?

In three days, enrollment begins for the new expanded Medicare Pharmacy benefit program. The program features over 40 different benefit packages and is considered by many to be incredibly complicated and hard to grasp.

According to a NY Times front page story:

In a survey issued this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, only 35 percent of people 65 and older said they understood the new drug benefit. Those who said they understood it were more likely to have a favorable impression of it.

Asked about beneficiaries' confusion, Michael O. Leavitt, the secretary of health and human services, said: "Health care is complicated. We acknowledge that. Lots of things in life are complicated: filling out a tax return, registering your car, getting cable television. It is going to take time for seniors to become comfortable with the drug benefit."

Acturally Mr. Leavitt, getting cable is not that complicated. You call the cable company and they promise to come to your house between noon and 4:00 PM. When they do show up, they wire you up. Not something I could do, but not all that complicated.

Further in the NY Times story, the reporter quotes frustrated Kansan:

"I have a Ph.D., and it's too complicated to suit me," said William Q. Beard, 73, a retired chemist in Wichita, Kan., who takes eight prescription drugs, including several heart medicines. "I wonder how the vast majority of beneficiaries will handle this. I fervently wish that members of Congress had to deal with the same health care program we do."

Now THERE'S an idea....

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Monroe Doctrine nails it or It's the WAHABI, stupid

I urge everyone to read The Monroe Doctrine's post on religious persecution in Saudia Arabia. Our moral relativism in giving the Saudis a 'get out of jail free' card because of national interest' is an issue that everyone, especially Christians, should understand.

A key problem many people have with the US response to 9/11 is the apparently willful misdirection of our military and economic resources. Afghanistan HAD to be problem there. Afghanistan was the 'ollie ollie ox in free' base of the Taliban. But who funds the Taliban?

The fatwa-far-out-freaky-fundamentalistic Wahabi gang HEADQUARTERED in Saudi Arabia, largely financed with oil revenue, is the Move-Over sponsor of the terrorist world. Where do you think the 9/11 gang came from? Did you know that the Wahabi sponsor telethons to raise money for the families of suicide bombers? Didn't we learn ANYTHING from 'Deep Throat*' (follow the MONEY!).

David Gordon, a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and a contributor to 'The Journal of Libertarian Studies gets it.

"...the major threat from Islam ... come(s) from a particular variety of that religion, Wahabism: "The Saudis have directly and indirectly funded the mosques and madrasas which preach hatred against the infidels—Jews, Christians, and above all Hindus—to young minds. . . . But for the Saudis to eschew or put a stop to this funding would undoubtedly create a Wahabi backlash in Saudi Arabia and end the dynasty. . . . For the rest of the world, the poison being spread by this Wahabi evangelism is becoming intolerable. . . . If there is to be an end to the ‘war on terror,’ this poisoning of the Muslim mind clearly has to stop"

Unlike Michael Moore, I don't think the Bush dynasty is in ' conspiracy-bed' with the Saudi dynasty, or clandestinely diddling with the Saudis. But, you gotta wonder why there isn't more pressure put on the Saudi's from this, the Christian administration?

*NOT Linda Lovelace, but the Felton dude who 'sang' to Woodward and Bernstein.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thank you.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

You might be a Nazi, if....

Blake Wylie in a provocative post receiving a lot of attention stated that gun control was a hallmark of Nazi-ism and that modern day gun control supporters would do well to remember that fact.

I'm not sure that Blake carried his comparison far enough. As a public service to all you fascist-watchers out there, here are more Nazi-esqe tendencies*:

- hatred of ethnic and linguistic diversity
- the belief that great nations grow from a powerful military
- opposition to multi-culturalism
- belief that gays should be discriminated against and persecuted
- belief that the treatment of American Indians in the 1800s was a shining example of how minorities should be handled

I hope this helps.

Btw, if Blake wants to post pictures of AK47 bearing german shepherds taking target practice on Bosnian orphans, hey IT'S HIS BLOG! If he took the pictures, they'd probably be excellent photographs.

* taken from Wikipedia

The sky really is falling for these kids...

Parents and children in a New York theater expecting to see 'Chicken Little' were more than a little shocked when a young man committed suicide in the opening scene of the movie. Seems the projectionist accidentally 'spooled' a 2001 movie from Spain entitled 'Andrea' which was most certainly not 'G-rated'.

Read all about it HERE.

'Andrea'....'Chicken Little'...I can see how the projectionist would get those two confused??? Would the projectionist had an easier time if the kids movie was entitled 'Pollo Poco'?

HT: Clicked

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

But doc, I've got this prescription or The Christian Scientist pharmacist dilemma.....

Following the 'pharmacist's moral prerogative' to its twisted conclusion...

Christian Scientist Pharmacist sues Albertsons pharmacies

Sat Jun 11th, 2005 at 11:19:50 AM EDT
Claims Religious Intolerance

Mark Malouse, a pharmacist employed by the Albertsons chain in Baton Rouge, LA has filed suit against his employer for religious discrimination.

Mr. Malouse, a recent convert to Christian Science, states that the firm is demanding that he fill prescriptions for medications that are in contradiction to his spiritual and moral beliefs.

The Church of Christ, Scientist, teaches that disease is only correctly treated thru prayer. As such Mr. Malouse has stocked his pharmacy with tracts on the efficacy of prayer and for a small fee will provide his customers with copies of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Pharmacists must be free to exercise their consciences, states Mr. Malouse. "Every day ", he states, " I see customers claiming that they have "diseases" like diabetes come to my counter with false hope in things like insulin, when God teaches us that what we really need is to humble ourselves in prayer".

Mr. Malouse notes that it is intolerable discrimination that Albertsons has adopted the policy of allowing pharmacists of some denominations to refuse to fill prescriptions to which their denomination objects, and yet will not do the same for him and his fellow Christian Scientist pharmacists.

The devout life-long Christian is hoping to start a group, Christian Scientist Pharmacists for Conscience to support others suffering oppression.

"The sad thing", noted Mr. Malouse, "is that our secular culture discriminates against so many people of faith - not just Christian Scientists such as myself"

As an example, he noted the case of a Hindu neighbor who was employed by McDonalds and was forced to serve customers hamburgers.

Yeah..this is satirical snark, but i thought it was funny...

So, if we don't torture why is it that you wanna veto a bill that contains anti-torture language?

"There's an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again. So you bet we will aggressively pursue them but we will do so under the law. We do not torture," - president Bush, today.

Are we in schizophrenia-land today or are we just in serious deep denial?

Cheney is asking that the CIA be given an exemption against anti-torture statutes.

Yet, we don't torture?

Where does the buck stop for those 21 detainnees who have died while in captivity?

How can anyone support the tortured 'we don't torture but let us torture' logic of the Bush/Cheney policy?

Why the Germans won't have to worry about the Avian Flu

U.S. Sauerkraut Sales Soar on Reports it Could Cure Avian Flu; Cure in a Can Sends Americans on a Sauerkraut Buying Spree, According to The Fremont Company 11/3/2005 12:05:00 PM EST

Sauerkraut sales are going through the roof, with some Midwest stores
reporting an 850% spike just last week on a recent report that scientists at Seoul National University successfully used Kimchi Sauerkraut to treat chickens infected with Avian Flu. Both Kimchi and traditional Sauerkraut are made by fermenting sliced cabbage, producing a high level of lactic acid, which may be the critical
element in preventing Avian Flu.

Oddly enough, the Fremont Company sells sauerkraut....

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

And your bird can sing..

A burglar in England was plying his trade, burgling antiques and jewelry from a house when he noticed a talking parrot watching him. Naturally, he stole the parrot as well.

After his arrest, the-non-mensa-qualifying burglar stated:"Parrots can talk and I didn't want it grassing me up."

Read all about it HERE.

HT: Holly Anderton

I got 105,000!

Addictive game that you shouldn't play during your lunch break....

HT: Clicked

Flying high with Tom Delay or Fox funds fat-free fat-cat trip

Tom 'we've cut all the fat we can' DeLay billed The Republican News Channel (aka Fox) nearly $14,000 for travel expenses for a two-day round trip between Sugarland Texas and Washington D.C. The purpose of the trip was DeLay's appearance on Fox News Sunday.

I'm guessing he wasn't flying coach. I'm also assuming that DeLay cut out all unnecessary expenses for the trip.

HT: The Fix

It's the economics, stupid OR Those darn neighborhood schools

The following was written by a writer currently living in Paris. I've read lots of speculation about the French riots by people NOT living in France. I've also read and believed that riots don't occur when people have no hope. Rioters 'see' the hope, but like a bad dream, the hope always eludes their grasp.

The writer makes what seems to be a conservative argument without buying into the religious war angle.

It's not an intefada. I'm an Australian SF author temporarily living in Paris;....

The problem in France is not the same as in the UK or the Netherlands. There, there's been an overdose of PC multi culturalism... but American critics are wrong to assign that to France. France HAS insisted on integration, as seen by the controversial ban on headscarves in French schools. And most French muslims do consider themselves French, to varying degrees, and Islamic extremism is pretty small thing here (there was far more protest against the headscarf ban outside of France than inside). So it's not an intefada.

There's just no damn jobs. White college grads can't get jobs, what hope do immigrants from regions with bad schools have? I think this is more like the LA Rodney King riots -- there's people there who want the French dream, just as in LA people wanted the American dream, but they just don't see it when they look around, and they resent the fact enormously. They can't change schools to get a better education because the government says you have to go to the school where you live, and they live where they do because of the zoning laws... which I'm no expert about, but I do know that the government owns 30 percent of all housing in France, and poor immigrants basically live where they're told. The government tries to give them everything and does it extremely badly, there's no upward mobility, and it doesn't breed a happy community. Religion exacerbates the feeling of exclusion, I'm sure, but the rioting seems mostly driven by economics and bad social policy.

So yeah, it's a stupid French government problem, but not the one some American critics are ascribing... however attractive it might be to do so.

HT: Instapundit

Monday, November 07, 2005

Vatican to Fundamentalists: Stop Monkeying around with this Creative Design stuff

According to News.Com.Au the Vatican has given Charles Darwin some major props...

THE Vatican has issued a stout defence of Charles Darwin, voicing strong criticism of Christian fundamentalists who reject his theory of evolution and interpret the biblical account of creation literally.

Cardinal Paul Poupard, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the Genesis description of how God created the universe and Darwin's theory of evolution were "perfectly compatible" if the Bible were read correctly.
His statement was a clear attack on creationist campaigners in the US, who see evolution and the Genesis account as mutually exclusive.

"The fundamentalists want to give a scientific meaning to words that had no scientific aim," he said at a Vatican press conference. He said the real message in Genesis was that "the universe didn't make itself and had a creator".

This idea was part of theology, Cardinal Poupard emphasised, while the precise details of how creation and the development of the species came about belonged to a different realm - science. Cardinal Poupard said that it was important for Catholic believers to know how science saw things so as to "understand things better".

His statements were interpreted in Italy as a rejection of the "intelligent design" view, which says the universe is so complex that some higher being must have designed every detail.

HT: Michael Silence

Hey, do those ethics classes include anything about torture?

Conservative and fundamentalist Christians scorn moral relativism when it comes to personal behavior. Tolerance for criminal behavior is not tempered by any namby-pamby thinking about racial prejudice or class differentiation. I think it is safe to say that the Bush inner circle professes this brand of Christianity.

The reason for the Iraqi war that finally 'stuck' was our moral imperative to bring freedom and democracy to the downtrodden, oppressed Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds. If you are selling the war on this basis and you truly believe that you are on the side of the angels, then why in God's name can you justify TORTURE to achieve the shining city on an Iraqi hill?

Unbelievably, Cheney and Bush stick to their tortorous guns on the torture issue, despite an overwhelming majority of Senators who voted to include an anti-torture amendment to the defense bill.

To put it bluntly, where in HELL is the Christianity in THAT?

From an article in MSNBC by Fareed Zakaria:
During the past few months, declassified documents and testimony from Army officers make abundantly clear that torture and abuse of prisoners is something that has become quite widespread since 9/11. The most recent evidence comes from autopsies of 44 prisoners who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan in U.S. custody. Most died under circumstances that suggest torture. The reports use words like "strangulation," "asphyxiation" and "blunt force injuries." Even the "natural" deaths were caused by "Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular disease"—in other words, sudden heart attacks.

Sen. John McCain has proposed making absolutely clear in law that the United States does not permit the torture of prisoners—returning America to the position it had taken for five decades. McCain's amendment, endorsed by Colin Powell, passed the Senate last month by 90 to 9 in a stunning rebuke of administration policy. But Republicans in the House are trying to kill it. Vice President Cheney is making great exertions to gut it with loopholes. The White House has threatened to veto the entire defense budget, to which McCain's proposal was originally attached, unless his ban is removed. White House spokesmen don't answer questions about the bill plainly, and Cheney simply refuses to explain his views at all. (As the writer Andrew Sullivan has noted, someone needs to remind the vice president that he is an elected and accountable public servant, not a monarch.)

I get frustrated when people attack Christianity because of all the evil that men have done in the name of Christianity. The essence of Christianity transcends the pettiness and the meanness of mankind. Attacking the Bush gang is no more attacking coservatism and morality than trying to belittle Christianity based on the Spanish Inquisition.

It's past time to quit equating morality and Christian virtue with the actions of this administration.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Stop me, please stop me from attending a game and rooting for a team you care about

Its pretty much decided. I'm the COOLER. My beloved Commodores were on a streak of historic proportions. They had five straight home games and their record before the MTSU game was 4-0. I had been afraid to attend a Vandy game for many reasons. One was my friend Rob's adage - 'They'll always break your heart'.

Of course I went. They lost. They broke my heart and they haven't won a game since. But, they did come close last night losing to Florida in double overtime...why did the Commodores make such a great comeback in the fourth quarter to tie the game in regulation?? I quit watching the game when they fell behind by two touchdowns, THAT'S why!!

I don't totally blame myself for the Titans this year. They're pretty raw and bad without me, but I did manage to go see them play the Colts. Peyton tore them apart. The Colts really didn't me in my cooler role, but I think I made it worse for the Titans.

Next it was the Preds. The Preds were flying high with only one loss in 9 games (and that loss was in overtime so they got a point). I go to see them play Edmonton - a weak team with a 3-6 record. My presence turned the Oilers into a team of gushing Gretzky-like turbo-nauts. Predators look AWFUL. They lost 5-1 and THEY HAVEN'T WON SINCE.

I thought briefly about going to see Hillsboro High School play last Friday night in their first play-off game. My kids all went to Hillsboro and I enjoyed many fun games (mostly wins) with the Burros. I thought better of my impulse to attend..

Hillsboro won the game and will probably advance to the state semi-finals at the very least if I don't attend any of their remaining games!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Suddenly I don't feel so macho anymore....

Scientists find fossil cells in sexual union 65-million-year-old slime-mold creatures caught in the act

LUCKNOW, India - This was no one-night stand. Scientists in India say they have discovered two fossils fused together in sexual union for 65 million years.


Ride em' Cowboy - Not your mother's political ad...

NYC Democratic mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer must be in trouble poll-wise. His latest TV ad is perhaps the first pseudo-gay porn political ad in history and probably the most tasteless and funniest ad I've seen in a long long time.

It's probably for the best that Bloomberg's right hand is pictured clutching money..yikes...

HT: Wonkette

To the Chevy Suburban Driver who cut me off today on I-65

Ok, I was already REALLY cranky today because I had to fast last night and this morning before a trip to my doctor for some bloodwork. My doc is in Brentwood, so I had to do the John Hyatt 'Drive South' thing this A.M. I was in the right lane on I-65 minding my own business, not talking on any cell phone, listening to the radio, checking my mirrors periodically. I drive a forest-green Isuzu Rodeo (small SUV). I did not purchase the shield of invisibility option when I bought the car. Despite my obvious presence on the freeway, a seemingly oblivious Suburban-driving rude-nic pulled into my lane right in front of me missing me by about 4 inches.

Like so many other expletive deleted drivers around here, he did NOT USE HIS TURN SIGNAL when changing lanes. As a public service to this driver and all the butt-heads who aren't aware of the turn signal and its utility (ironically I'm sure that no one who reads this would ever behave in such a way), I want to help.

The lever jutting from the center of the wheel column leftward is called a turn signal lever. If you push it down, it causes the left tail light to blink on and off denoting that you wish to either turn left or change lanes to the left. If you push the lever upward, the right tail light will blink on and off denoting a right turn or move to the right lane.

The front and rear lights on your car have something called turn signals.
turn signal - a blinking light on a motor vehicle that indicates the direction in which the vehicle is about to turn

I hope this helps. If this kind of thing continues I might just have to go 'Blake-Wylie' on someone.....

Addenda: I agree wholeheartedly with B. Krumm on the matter of 2004 Presidential election bumper stickers. The damn election is over. The car that cut me off had a 'W' sticker on it, but I've seen way too many butt-head drivers with left-leaning stickers, Jesus-fish, Darwin fish or Bush stickers to begin to attempt to affiliate butt-head driving with any political or religious persuasion.

You just can't make this stuff up....

Email to FEMA head Mike Brown from his press secretary during the Katrina crisis

''Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt -- all shirts. Even the president rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this (crisis) and on TV you just need to look more hard-working.''

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Rip Van Democrats finally wake up...

It took long enough, but after several years of being bullied by those mean Republicans (and yes, the Dems did it to the elephants when they were the majority), and being told 'trust us on the Iraqi war' and believing the 'if you are against the terrorism, you have to stop them in Iraq balogna' and just generally behaving like WIMPS, the Dems awoke from their 21st century slumber and started acting like an opposition party.

The Republicans have promised for 15 MONTHS to hold hearings on the use and misuse of spy data that led to the Iraqi War. It's obvious that the foot-dragging was going to continue until after the war was over (let's see..that should be around 2020). Minority Leader Reid used a little-known rule of the Senate and to make a long-overdue point.

Despite the overwrought reaction from the conservative pundits around here and elsewhere (Democrat's imploding...Democrats commiting suicide????), the truth is that maybe, just maybe, the hibernating Dems have decided to come out of their cave and act like adults.

Bush campaigned against nation building and is now engaged in nation building. Rice and Rumsfield warned us that if we didn't act soon, we'd be mushroomed into oblivion. There DEFINITELY WERE WMD, but then again, maybe not. Oh yeah, Saddam gassed the Kurds...the ramping up to the war was a twisted path and the Democrats pretty much followed the Republicans in lock step.

I'm grateful to see that the leaders of my party are acting like leaders. It's ABOUT TIME!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween in Salemtown

Last year we ran out of candy and had to 'go dark' before the end of the trick or treat processional. I love a neighborhood with lots of kids. This year we were READY.

We had 28 groups of Trick or Treaters including over 80 people. We had lots of Titans, several Titan cheerleaders, only one kid with a 'Scream' mask, 5 princesses, 1 Lucy Liu (whooohooo), 1 ladybug (S-TownMike's adorable daughter who tried to give ME candy), 10 bandits and one BEAUTIFUL Catwoman. No ghosts or cowboys (i guess that's my nostalgia...).

There was one 60ish woman with cat makeup who appeared with no kids in tow. We had two men who were driving by who saw our lights and pulled over and started laughing and asked for candy. They appeared to be in their 30s and thankfully not masked.

When I lived on Caldwell (close to Lipscomb) we had 1 or 2 trick or treaters each year. I know I beat this drum regularly, but having sidewalks makes a lot of difference...

Halloween in Salemtown....I love it.

About me

  • I'm John H
  • From Salemtown, Tennessee, United States
  • Cruising past 50, my wife and I have reared three kids and several dogs. I work for state government and daily conspire to deflate bureacracy.
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