"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Friday, March 31, 2006


Peggy Noonan argues that we are successfully assimilating our immigrants culturally and economically, but not politically:
But we are not communicating love of country. We are not giving them the great legend of our country. We are losing that great legend.

What is the legend, the myth? That God made this a special place. That they're joining something special. That the streets are paved with more than gold--they're paved with the greatest thoughts man ever had, the greatest decisions he ever made, about how to live. We have free thought, free speech, freedom of worship. Look at the literature of the Republic: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist papers. Look at the great rich history, the courage and sacrifice, the house-raisings, the stubbornness. The Puritans, the Indians, the City on a Hill.

The genius cluster--Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, Madison, Franklin, all the rest--that came along at the exact same moment to lead us. And then Washington, a great man in the greatest way, not in unearned gifts well used (i.e., a high IQ followed by high attainment) but in character, in moral nature effortfully developed. How did that happen? How did we get so lucky? (I once asked a great historian if he had thoughts on this, and he nodded. He said he had come to believe it was "providential.")

We fought a war to free slaves. We sent millions of white men to battle and destroyed a portion of our nation to free millions of black men. What kind of nation does this? We went to Europe, fought, died and won, and then taxed ourselves to save our enemies with the Marshall Plan. What kind of nation does this? Soviet communism stalked the world and we were the ones who steeled ourselves and taxed ourselves to stop it. Again: What kind of nation does this?

Only a very great one. Maybe the greatest of all.

Do we teach our immigrants that this is what they're joining? That this is the tradition they will now continue, and uphold?

Do we, today, act as if this is such a special place? No, not always, not even often. American exceptionalism is so yesterday. We don't want to be impolite. We don't want to offend. We don't want to seem narrow. In the age of globalism, honest patriotism seems like a faux pas.

And yet what is true of people is probably true of nations: if you don't have a well-grounded respect for yourself, you won't long sustain a well-grounded respect for others.

Because we do not communicate to our immigrants, legal and illegal, that they have joined something special, some of them, understandably, get the impression they've joined not a great enterprise but a big box store. A big box store on the highway where you can get anything cheap. It's a good place. But it has no legends, no meaning, and it imparts no spirit.

Who is at fault? Those of us who let the myth die, or let it change, or refused to let it be told. The politically correct nitwit teaching the seventh-grade history class who decides the impressionable young minds before him need to be informed, as their first serious history lesson, that the Founders were hypocrites, the Bill of Rights nothing new and imperfect in any case, that the Indians were victims of genocide, that Lincoln was a clinically depressed homosexual who compensated for the storms within by creating storms without . . .

You can turn any history into mud. You can turn great men and women into mud too, if you want to.
Read Patriots, Then and Now

Springtime in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


In Spring, a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of gooey, sticky, high-calorie munchies with exactly zero food value.

The world is divided into two groups: Those who prefer the interior peeps, and those who prefer their marshmallow chicks from the end. Researchers at G&S have discovered no basis to prefer those from the left end rather than the right end. Our data gathering had to be suspended when Panther Girl began to show signs of bloating.

But Peeps are a serious business. At the Peep Research Center, they have explored the reaction of our tasty friends to cold, to heat, and to low air pressure. They have researched the effects of alcohol and tobacco, and have reported on the successful separation of Peep quintuplets, conjoined at birth.

Consider making a contribution to continue this valuable research.

Women Are Smarter Than Men

The Associated Press has picked up this story from the Press Trust of India:
NEW DELHI --Village elders ordered a Muslim man in eastern India to leave his wife after he accidentally divorced her in his sleep, a news report said Tuesday.

Aftab Ansari uttered the Urdu word for divorce, "talaq," three times in his sleep, prompting his worried wife to discuss the matter with her friends, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

Under Islamic law, a husband need only say "I divorce you" three times to secure a permanent end to his marriage.

Muslim leaders in the couple's village in West Bengal state found out and decreed that Ansari's unconscious utterances constituted a divorce, PTI reported.

But 30-year-old Ansari said he had no intention of leaving his wife of 11 years.

"I have not given talaq. When I uttered talaq three times I had taken medicines to help me sleep," he was quoted as saying in the report.

The religious leaders said that before remarrying, the couple would have to be apart for at least 100 days and that the wife, Sohela, would also have to spend a night with another man and then be divorced by him.

PTI reported that the couple has been ostracized because of their refusal to abide by the decision of the village leaders.
Having had a good laugh at a funny story, and chuckled about a land with culture and customs so far removed from your own, we commend to your attention this observation: When a tree falls in the forest, but no one hears it, did it make a sound? When a man in his bed at night talks in his sleep, who but his wife hears what he says?

You didn't think of that, did you?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

R.I.P. Caspar Weinberger (1917-2006)

He probably won the Cold War, but he definitely grew up here.

Captain Cousteau Got Nothing On Me

The San Francisco Chronicle's crack team of cartographers takes on global warming, and what it might do to our quaint little port town. Your faithful correspondent notes that he might be blogging underwater, should he keep his job for another 94 years. (Hey, who knows? I definitely won't be getting Social Security payouts in 2100.)

Could Be A Crackhead

Monday, March 27, 2006

Execute Abdul Rahman

Abdul Rahman is a citizen of Afghanistan who, though once a Muslim, has converted to Christianity. By all accounts, it is the law of Afghanistan that such a person is guilty of a serious crime, for which the prescribed punishment is death. I have seen no suggestion that his trial has been marred by irregularities, and it has been reported that Rahman himself admits to the facts which constitute his crime. Moreover, unlike the allocation of power within the Government of the United States, Afghan President Hamid Karzai does not possess the power to pardon Rahman. The Associated Press report published in Saturday's Washington Post is a reasonable summary of the situation.

This case has provoked considerable international outrage. And it can hardly be argued that to be put to death for apostasy is a trivial matter. In the West, it has been some time since similar legal proceedings have been undertaken. Edward Wightman is thought to have been the last person burned at the stake for heresy in England, in April of 1612.

But we have recently heard some rather odd arguments in favor of releasing Mr. Rahman, despite his apparent guilt under Afghan law. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice argued on the Sunday talk shows that "Freedom of religion is at the core of democratic development . . . ." And Mark Steyn, by far a better craftsman of rhetoric (more's the pity) than our Department of State, put it this way:
In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of "suttee" -- the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:

''You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows.You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
But neither argument seems particularly persuasive. Are we to understand that it is the view of the United States that it -- rather than the people of Afghanistan and their elected government -- is the source of sovereignty and legitimacy? That most certainly was the position of Her Majesty's Imperial government with respect to India. Does the United States claim to occupy the same position as the British Raj?

Similarly, while Dr. Rice is certainly correct that "religious freedom" has become a fundamental feature of modern, Western, liberal, nations, it is certainly incorrect to suggest that it is somehow inherent in "democracy." Dr. Rice confuses a consensus with respect to culture and morality with a system for exercising power. And that consensus is by no means universal: Many European nations would insist that capital punishment in any circumstance is barbaric, and might well argue that its banishment is a fundamental feature of liberal democracy. But not so in Texas.

The question is not how we might vote were we citizens of Afghanistan. Nor is the question what bills we might introduce in the legislature of that country had we been elected to it. The question is whether we really believe in the will of the people, or only in our own will.

In Afghanistan a government regularly elected by the people of that nation has adopted laws with which many of us in the West disagree. To interfere with that nation's legal system, because outsiders would prefer things to have been done differently, is to return to the arbitrary government of the strong. One might think Afghanistan has had rather enough of that in the last 20 years.

We must decide whether we will treat the people and the government of that country seriously, as grownups responsible for themselves, or if instead we will demand that they adhere not to our Western political principles regarding the source of sovereignty and legitimacy, but instead to our social and moral views. If we do that, then we might just as well do away with the expensive game of elected government, and substitute a proper imperial occupation, with a proper Viceroy.

Please Stand By

Gentleman Farmer has jury duty, and thus his blogging will be erratic.

The Hired Hand is recovering from jet lag, having flown home last night to San Francisco from West Palm Beach. By way of Tampa. And Atlanta.

And I am trying to make believe I understand what happened this weekend in college basketball.

We'll sort it all out sooner or later.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

R.I.P. Buck Owens

The only country music star who had a hit that was later recorded by the Beatles (actually twice, if you count Ringo's duet with him), Buck Owens died today at his home in Bakersfield, California.

Associated Press obituary HERE.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Just a Typical Day for Roy

A (quite clearly intrepid) reporter at KUTV in Salt Lake City files this report:

"A naked woman driving through the streets of Roy wandered into a stranger's home and took a shower Thursday, according to police."

It seems that "Roy" is a town somewhere in Utah. But the sentence is much funnier if you don't know that. Roy is actually just down the road from Odgen. We have been to Odgen. No, really, it's true.

But that's quite a sentence, yes? Although it does sort of leave you on your own with the whole "Did she leave the car at the curb, or what?" thing, doesn't it? And whence came the information regarding this person's gait between automobile and showerbath?

"Police say the string of strange behavior began at a relative of the suspect’s home just before 4 p.m. when Natalie Peterson reportedly got into an argument with people in the home. She then allegedly ripped her clothes off and jumped in her car, according to police."

We don't know about you, but we've been around angry women on occasion. In fact, we've been known to get into arguments with women from time to time ourselves. And, while a fair number of them have, as a consequence, jumped into (or, on one memorable occasion, out of) their cars, this may be the first documented instance of an angry woman, in the middle of an argument, ripping her clothes off. Our own experience is that there is an inverse relationship between those two actions: More argument, less clothes ripping off. But maybe that's just us.

But the singularity of this incident may lie in the fact that it took place in a location where buildings (in this instance, "the suspect's home") reproduce sexually, and accordingly have relatives. But, again, we may just be misreading a perfectly good sentence.

"A short time later, a homeowner in the area called police saying a strange woman was in his home taking a shower."

Now here, of course, one must be careful. Many's the time we have found a strange woman in our home taking a shower. But in this instance, it seems clear that the fellow meant to report that there was, in his shower, a woman previously unknown to him.

Aside from that, grammatically speaking, this sentence makes us tired.

We leave to the active imaginations of our readers embellishment of two matters raised by inference in this sentence: First, the thought process upon discovering his uninvited guest, as our witness sought to determine exactly what it was appropriate, possible, or desirable to do; and, Second, the conversation that then transpired between said homeowner and the police dispatcher. Run those through your mind a few times. You see what we mean?

"Police found Peterson in the shower but as they tried to arrest her she became combative, spitting, kicking, hitting and scratching officers. She even threw urine at them.

Police believe Peterson was under the influence of methamphetamines."

That last would seem to explain quite a lot. Of course, we can imagine that any attempt by armed police to remove us from our shower might provoke an energetic reaction, drugs or no.

But our reporter, while showing an alarming fondness for lists, again leaves out vital matters of fact. Not to put too fine a point on it but, well . . . . Think about it this way: We've personally been honored to have had coffee, Coke, champagne, water, beer, wine and a liquid antibiotic suspension thrown at us. But in every single instance we recall a container of some sort was involved. Apparently not so in Roy. It is always possible that no throwing, per se, was involved.

"She has been booked into the Weber County Jail on counts of lewdness, criminal trespassing, criminal mischief, assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, driving on suspended license and no insurance and propelling bodily fluids at officers."

We can but admire a state so well-ordered as to have, on its statute books, the crime of "propelling bodily fluids at officers." It may be, of course, that the prosecutor need not prove all of the five elements of the crime here set out, but without further research that is pure speculation. (You're forgetting "at".) And kudos too must go to the local police who, in the midst of what must have been a busy day, had the presence of mind to detect the absence of insurance documentation. Good work all around.

The television station's web site has video but, alas, none of the sort we might wish.

Also on the web site, at least when we visited, was a service we've seen before permitting readers to have news stories of particular interest sent to them via email. Typically, these are keyed to the story being displayed. In this instance the web site offered as subjects one might select for tracking both "lewdness" and "naked women."

It's an honor to live in a country where we don't have to make this stuff up.

Send 'em back

Kathy Shaidle, wise eminence at relapsed catholic, is guestblogging over at Beliefnet, where she comments on the rescue, earlier this week, of several hostages held in Iraq by terrorists:
The three remaining Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) hostages being held by terrorists in Iraq were released yesterday. Did I say "released"? I meant "rescued," of course. Not by legions of elves atop magical flying unicorns, soaring across a rainbow sky, but by U.S., Canadian, and British special forces.

But you'd never know that, reading the official CPT statement. It contained a shout-out to "our Muslim brothers and sisters," and laudable words of forgiveness for the kidnappers. Naturally, the CPT couldn't resist adding that "the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping..."
Read all of "Next Time, Save Your Ammo."

I am reminded of the quotation attributed to General Patton. It is said that he received orders from General Bradley not to attempt to take the German city of Trier on the Moselle, as such an operation would require three divisions. Patton is reputed to have replied, "Have taken city with two divisions, shall I give it back?"

Perhaps we ought to give the hostages back, eh?

What happened to DUKE?

Garrett Temple is what happened to Duke.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

How Sweet It Is!

I am Orso'Grande.

Forty-nine of the 65 teams are gone. And the Sweet Sixteen is full of surprises. Bradley? George Mason? And some college in Kansas that isn’t even Kansas? To some, the presence of the Georgetown Hoyas is shocking, but we’re not among the shocked. (There will be no commentary on what a “Hoya” might be, just as there will be no inquiry into what a “Shocker” is.)

(And we certainly will not discuss the fact that the Gentleman Farmer actually did “bet the farm” on the Pitt game against Bradley, and so has been reduced to the “Gentleman Renter.”)

So here's how it goes, sports fans:

(1)Duke vs. (4)LSU – Duke wins. They’re Duke, after all. I know, I said last week that George Washington would upset them. But LSU is an inside team, and the Blue Devils have The Landlord and McRoberts to handle those Big Tigers. Duke is now focused as only a Coach K team can be. We’ll see them in the Regional Final.

(6)West Virginia vs. (2)Texas – While the kids are all in bed, let’s be frank. The college basketball stereotype is that the white boys are only mediocre athletes, and stand around out at the 3-point line and lob shots. Meanwhile, the black players are very athletic, have lots of up, and can fly to the hoop from at least the foul line. Well, boys and girls, that’s this game. The Mountaineers run a slow-moving offense but shoot the lights out, while the Longhorns have the most athletic team in the nation with Aldridge, Tucker, and Gibson. West Virginia can’t keep up.

(1) Memphis vs. (13) Bradley – Where were Pitt and the real Kansas when we needed them? I’ve heard that lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place, and I’m dead sure it doesn’t strike three times. Carney and Washington, Jr. run the Braves back to Peoria.

(3) Gonzaga vs. (2) UCLA – The best from the west square off. In the West. This is the second-best of the eight games to be played in this round. UCLA breezed through the regular season and Pac-10 tournament. They had an easy first-round game against unknown Belmont. But when they faced a respectable Alabama squad in the second round, they struggled, winning by 3. Gonzaga, on the other hand, spent their conference tournament winning close game after close game, being rescued again and again by Adam Morrison. And their first game at the big dance was no different: They struggled and Morrison carried them to a win over a tough Xavier team. But in the second round I was impressed: Morrison played his worst game of the season (5-17 shooting including 4-7 at the line) but the ‘Zags still managed to win by double digits. Look for the Bulldogs to upset the Bruins.

(1) UConn vs. (5) Washington – The Huskies (Washington) have one of the least known potential high draft picks in the country in Brandon Roy: He’s big for a shooting guard, can drive, rebound and seldom misses the bottom of the basket. Unfortunately, if you were to clone Roy and double his skill, you’d have the projected #1 overall pick in the NBA draft, The Huskies’ (Connecticut) Rudy Gay. The best Washington can hope for is that they fight each other to a standstill, and turn this game into a battle amongst the supporting casts: But Anderson, Marcus Williams and Brown are too dynamic for Washington. The Huskies win.

(11) George Mason vs. (7) Wichita State – If this were Sports Illustrated (or PTI) I’d pretend to have all sorts of knowledge about both teams, and also explain that I used to date Jai Lewis’ girlfriend. But that wouldn’t be true. (Except the last part.) So here’s where I’m at: Mason plays 30 miles from home, and Wichita ain’t in Kansas anymore.

(3) Flordia vs. (7) Georgetown – Georgetown is the best #7 seed EVER. I know, Florida is underrated, but the Hoyas have proved they can compete on this big stage, and they embarrassed the Buckeyes by 18! During the regular season they beat Duke, and went to the wire with Uconn in Stoors. So here’s another upset, Georgetown advances to the Elite Eight.

(1) Villanova vs. (4) Boston College – This is the best game of the Sweet Sixteen. Talk about story lines! The Eagles from Chestnut Hill were denied the ACC tournament title by Coach K’s refs. Meanwhile, Villanova tied UConn for the regular season title, but settle for second place because Connecticut had beaten West Virginia, while the Big East’s absurd schedule didn’t let ‘Nova play against them. (No, really! You could look it up!) No team in America dominates inside like Boston College. Dudley and Smith are unstoppable and just plain fun to watch. Both have pulled out gutsy performances to win games that seemed out of reach, and bring within reach games that should have already been lost (ACC title game anyone?). On the other side, we have the best Outside team in America. The tag-team of Foye and Allan Ray is uncanny. I watched Foye and Ray hit 3 after 3 after 3 from NBA range against the Huskies during the season. And they don’t take second place for guts: All season Foye played the 4 position at 6'4". Want more? Your eye gets poked out (and I mean OUT) and you lose your sight for at least 6 hours. Less than a week later, you score 19 in the first round, and then 25 against Arizona. These are two blue-collar teams that exemplify Big East basketball, which the ACC found out this year when BC strayed. So who wins when David goes up, not against Goliath, but against David? Villanova’s four-guard lineup will wear down Smith and Dudley. BC will lead at halftime, but when the smoke clears the ‘Nova guards will be left standing, in what will be the best game of the tournament so far.

Jesus is Coming

An English-language news web site in Sweden carries this story:
Bosses at a Stockholm hospital have asked a nurse called Jesus to change his name, after concerns that it might cause confusion among patients.

According to Jesus, an auxiliary nurse at Huddinge hospital, his superiors were worried that patients told "Jesus will be coming soon ," might get the wrong idea.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Promoting Women's Health

Here at G&S we are nothing if not public-minded.

[Pause for formulation of lame, formulaic jokes.]

Below is a video reminding women of the importance of periodic examinations, including self-examinations, to the early detection of breast cancer. It is said to have been "banned," but we suspect it is simply a (quite clever) viral advertisement.

It's a Point of View

This morning at 10:00 a.m., the President of the United States will hold a press conference.

AMERICAblog.com, according to Sitemeter, averages more than 83,000 hits every day. Eschaton gets more than 122,000. Next to Daily Kos, the recognized leader of the blog pack, these are important voices of what they would describe as the progressive left of the Democratic party.

Eschaton's lead post this morning (after putting up three consecutive "open threads," which unaccountably provoked several hundred comments) is, in its entirety, this:
Another presser?

Oy. I remember when Chris Matthews told me how great it would be when Bush was president because he wouldn't be on TV all the time like that awful Bill Clinton.

Wonder which journalist will ask "Just how much do you love freedom, Mr. President?"
And that post links to AMERICAblog's lead post which, also in its entirety, is this:
CNN just reported that Chimpy is doing a press conference from the White House at 10 a.m.

The White House can spin all they want, but Bush is an incompetent liar and no one trusts him. He's dangerous.
It's important to have well-informed views regarding the important political, economic and social issues confronting America. I guess this is supposed to represent one.

And it's certainly difficult to know exactly how one might respond.

Monday, March 20, 2006

DO NOT try this at home

What happens if you put a light bulb in a glass of milk, and put the whole thing in your microwave oven? Wait for "the final thing you should never put in your microwave . . . ." At Metacafe.

Insensitive Software

Search technology is big business. And the ins and outs, the hows and whys, the subtleties of each search engine are the margin at which it competes with its rivals. Such software has grown complex, powerful, and very, very good at what it does.

It's hardly a secret that all such programs "learn" by keeping track of what searchers do, so that when other customers input a similar search, results found useful by prior users get priority. And the algorithms use built-in "knowledge," such as proper English spelling, to help steer users toward what they really want, and away from meaningless nonsense.

Thus, at Amazon.com, whose business model obviously depends heavily on their search engine, the software has noted that the words "abortion" and "adoption" have similar spellings, sharing many letters. Not only that, but Big Brother has tallied many searches for "adoption" by users who have also searched the word "abortion." (No so much the other way around. Think about it.)

As a consequence, if one searched Amazon's bottomless library with the term "abortion," the software kicked out its best try at matches, but also prompted the user, "Did you mean adoption?"

Not content with lamenting the insufficiency of abortions in the United States (as we noted HERE), the ever-vigilant and never bashful pro-abortion lobby is "worried" about this. Apparently unaware that machines don't have political or moral views, the Rev. James Lewis, a retired Episcopalian minister (I know, I know) in Charleston, W.Va., has gone so far as to conclude: "I thought it was offensive."

The Church Bulletin of the Pro-Abortion Lobby, The New York Times, is (SURPRISE!) all over this story. Having noted Amazon's statement that this has an entirely neutral, apolitical, technical explanation, their article goes on:
Still, the Rev. Jeff Briere, a minister with the Unitarian Universalist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., and a member of the abortion rights coalition, said he was worried about an anti-abortion slant in the books Amazon recommended and in the "pro-life" and "adoption" related topic links.

"The search engine results I am presented with, their suggestions, seem to be pro-life in orientation," Mr. Briere said. He also said he objected to a Yellow Pages advertisement for an anti-abortion organization in his city that appeared next to the search results, apparently linked by his address.
That is, the good "reverend" not only is scared by the facts, but he also finds advertisements for a view in competition with his to be objectionable, as well. Such internet ads, of course, appear on your screen when their controlling software "sees" the juxtaposition of those words or phrases the advertiser has paid to find, and pitch to.

Let's be very clear with exactly what is being found offensive and objectionable: A connection between the words -- let alone the concepts -- of "abortion" and "adoption," coupled with worry and heightened vigilance, lest someone seeking information about abortion is exposed to information regarding adoption. Abortion propaganda must be protected from competing ideas, lest some women take it into their pretty little heads not to slaughter their own children.

This sort of thing should lay to rest the notion that the "pro-choice" crowd adheres to some moral or philosophical principle of privacy or personal decision. These folks think abortion is a good idea, and they think that alternatives are a bad idea. The National Rifle Association seems all cooperative and squishy by comparison.

Amazon.com, fearful of the wrath of the all-powerful Orthodox Church of Secular Humanism, has hacked its own software so as to eliminate the politically incorrect result.

But you already knew that was where we were going, didn't you?

Monday Morning

By Scott Adams, of course.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Wisdom: Round 2

I am Orso'Grande.

Last Monday, in THIS post, we offerred to share our knowledge. We explained that our wonderfulness was not to be wasted on filling out brackets, so that idiots could crib them and wave them about in between rounds of beer-pong. No, indeed.

Instead, we identified eight games that presented serious possibility of upset. We did not guarantee that all eight games would produce upsets -- that would be ridiculous. But we gave you much to work with. What you did with it is your business. (And, as a bonus, we handed our readers the tie-breaker, by predicting a Monmouth victory in the play-in game. You're welcome.)

Herewith those eight games, and their outcomes:

  • Texas A&M over Syracuse -- The Orangemen lose, Gerry McNamara scores 2 points.

  • Southern Illinois over West Virginia -- The real Mountaineers show up, no upset.

  • NC State over Cal -- The Wolfpack reminds us about the ACC, Cal reminds us about the Pac 10. Like I told you. Particularly sweet, as the Gentleman Farmer has an unaccountable soft spot for State.

  • San Diego St. over Indiana -- Indiana shows it's not dead yet. We're wrong, but the important word is "yet."

  • Utah State over Washington -- The Huskies win it, we're wrong, the Oldtimer is happy.

  • George Mason over Michigan State -- Like we thought, State is "streaky." Not any more this year.

  • Winthrop over Tennessee -- The vastly overrated Vols manage to pull out a two-point victory on a shot at the buzzer.

  • Montana over Nevada -- Nevada keeps alive its streak of failing to beat anyone good, losing to Montana.
In the second round, the remaining 32 teams will play 16 games. We identified 8 potential upsets in the first round.

For the second round, with so many teams struggling, it's easier to pick an upset than it is to be confident about mortal locks.

One quarter of the second round games are locks. Bet the farm:

  • West Virginia over Northwest State -- No more magic.

  • Pitt over Bradley -- Cinderella loses her slipper. Pitt will underestimate NOBODY with the Sweet 16 on the line.

  • UCONN over Kentucky -- The Huskies are embarrassed about Albany, and they should be. You can bet that no one missed bed check, no one was late for practice. UCONN in a walk.

  • BC over Montana -- Like UCONN, BC got a wake-up call in the first round. They're thankful that they're around to answer the horn for the second round.
And one quarter of the second round games have high upset potential. Don't bet your lunch money, but think carefully about:
  • Georgetown over Ohio State -- This was my favorite second-round upset BEFORE OSU was losing at half time to Davidson.

  • Wichita State over Tennessee -- My second favorite. And not even because of WSU, but because Tennessee is playing so poorly they deserve to lose. And the second round (not the first) is where teams (good and bad) get what they deserve.

  • George Washington beats Duke -- I said it. GW can play at the same level as Duke, while Duke has shown that they're more than capable of not playing at the same level as Duke. But I think GW has such a chip on their shoulder from being seeded 8, while losing only 2 games, that they'll pull it off.

  • 'Zona over 'Nova -- I'm rooting for Villanova every game, but I think Arizona may be too much for them. Arguably the toughest 8-seed in town, Arizona has the players and the coach. They did it in the Pac-10, they were a top 10 team during the regular season, and they could do it to the guys from the Main Line. The game will rest on the shoulders of the injured Allan Ray who led Villanova to victory yesterday. Can he do it again?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Taking Time Off, From Taking Time Off

Not that I've really contributed much of anything over the past few weeks, but I felt obliged to tell you (read: flaunt) that I'll be going on vacation for a bit. Maybe a dispatch or two from Florida - no guarantees, as I hope to make this a low-tech holiday (titanium driver and NCAA tournament TV-watching notwithstanding).

Vacations are the freakin' best.

Oh, and let's go UCLA. Screw you, Hawkeyes.

Today is what?

From Savage Chickens.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It's Like Watching a Train Wreck

What do you get if you combine:

  • 10.5 Pounds of Ground Beef
  • 25 Slices of Cheese
  • 1 Head of Lettuce
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 2 Onions
  • 1.5 Cups (each) mayo, relish, ketchup, mustard & banana peppers
  • 1 Giant Bun
You get the new 15-pound Monstrous Belly Buster at Dennys Beer Barrel Pub, in Clearfield, Pennsylvania (east of Pittsburgh, west of State College, up the road from Punxsutawney):

The T-word

Remember, about two weeks ago, North Carolina student Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar drove his SUV into a crowd of fellow students at Chapel Hill, injuring several of them? We all know that this fellow shouldn't be branded a "terrorist," since to do so is prejudiced and hateful. See, for example, the L.A. Times.

Well, it seems that Mr. Taheri has written a letter to the news anchor of the local television station in Durham, North Carolina. The letter reads:
Allah gives permission in the Koran for the followers of Allah to attack those who have raged war against them, with the expectation of eternal paradise in case of martyrdom and/or living one's life in obedience of all of Allah's commandments found throughout the Koran's 114 chapters...

The U.S. government is responsible for the deaths of and the torture of countless followers of Allah, my brothers and sisters. My attack on Americans at UNC-CH on March 3rd was in retaliation for similar attacks orchestrated by the U.S. government on my fellow followers of Allah in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and other Islamic territories. I did not act out of hatred for Americans, but out of love for Allah instead.
Wow. We are left to wonder what a real terrorist would sound like.

More from the indispensable Daniel Pipes, titled "Sudden Jihad Syndrome."

Meanwhile, in the Real World

Today's Washington Post reports the strange story of Maryam Williams, who lives with her mother and her daughter in Northeast Washington (D.C., that is). On her way to school Tuesday, it seems that said daughter, age 7, retrieved what she thought was her own designer purse (DKNY) from the trunk of mom's car. As it turned out, she had mistaken mom's purse for her own and, later that day while at school, while rummaging around in the purse, came upon mom's .38 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

The second-grader wisely turned the gun over to her teacher. This being the District of Columbia (a city where it is illegal to have any sort of gun whatever, but where street shoot-outs are alarmingly common -- go figure) there followed much hand-wringing, counseling of presumptively-traumatized tykes, and court appearances. I pass on the comments by Magistrate Michael J. McCarthy who, after observing that Williams "should have been more careful," (wow -- you think maybe?) could not control himself, and added, "It's reprehensible behavior."

Since it seems clear that the Mom didn't hand the gun to her daughter, nor leave it laying around the house (it was locked in her car trunk), the only aspect of this tale that is left to be "reprehensible" would appear to be mere ownership of a gun.

Aside from that, her actions might be stupid, or careless, or thoughtless, but I can't quite get to "reprehensible." Child abuse is "reprehensible." Murder and rape are "reprehensible." If a fellow leaves the gas can used to fuel his lawnmower in an unlocked garage, where his 7-year-old might get at it, would Magistrate McCarthy describe that behavior as "reprehensible?" I think not.

You see: It's the gun, stupid.

Meanwhile, out in the real world, "Miss Kelly" is soliciting home security shopping advice:
National Buy a Gun Day is only 30 days away! I have a great little .22 Browning rifle for plinking, but my husband and I are looking to purchase a shotgun for home security. Not sure what's the best shotgun to get for this, although I'm leaning towards a pump action for the sound effects, which I'm told can be a good deterrent. Would love to hear recommendations from folks. Also wondering if we can get a shotgun that can also be used for trap or skeet, or are guns just too specialized these days? Looking for cost info too, for new and used. Thanks for your advice!
Showing that she has an audience of well-informed readers, their advice has mostly gravitated toward the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500, both good choices. Personally, I'd like to own a Browning Citori, but who can afford that, at a minimum of three times the cost of the basic Remington or Mossberg?

Although, as you can see, it's a real nice gun. A real nice gun. (Come to think of it, the Gentleman Farmer has a milestone birthday coming up. Hmmm . . . .)

p.s. I think I'd take a pass on that "sound effects" thing, Miss Kelly, and go for surprise.

[UPDATE] One of Miss Kelly's commenters, responding to a previous observation, calmly points out:
As regards someone taking a shotgun away from you - simple drill is - if someone grabs the barrel, pull the trigger. It takes a very great presence of mind to hang onto the barrel of a 12-gauge shotgun from the muzzle end as it is being fired.
Good point.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Renderings of the new ballpark for the Washington Nationals were released yesterday, and the Washington Post has an extensive story and pictures. Tom Boswell may think that it is, at worst, "unobjectionable," but he is in serious error. It is an atrocity.

The bizarre glass facades seem aimed at concealing the fact that there's a ball field behind them, and to lend that unmistakable air of drab K Street faux modernity to what is destined to be an iconic public space. And whose idea was it to flank the main entrance with two enormous parking garages?

It's not as if this is a unique task. It can be done well:

I guess that was the best they could to for $300,000,000, huh?

Eat A Tasty Animal

Today is the Fourth Annual International "Eat a Tasty Animal for PETA Day."

PETA, of course, is the organization of wackos who think there's little difference between your child and the average cow, except that they probably wouldn't mind if you did eat your kid.

The celebration of the carnivore was originally begun by folks offended by PETA's astonishing suggestion that eating meat, on the one hand, and the Holocaust, on the other, were pretty much the same thing.

So: Go have a burger, or a steak, or get some tasty barbeque but, whatever you do, be sure to eat at least a part of a tasty animal today.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Is it live?

Or do we make this stuff up? No, for there is no need. Below is United States Senator "Debbie" Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan. We have it on good authority that this picture has not been photoshopped:

Senator Stabenow's website, by the way, recently featured a podcast (how breathtakingly 21st Century!) entitled "Fighting to Stop Canadian Trash." Now, I don't care what sort of differences of opinion we have had from time to time with our Northern Cousins, it seems to me excessive to label an entire nation as "trash."

But that's just me.

Monday, March 13, 2006

I Return: Draw Close and Learn

I am Orso'Grande.

Now that Spring is here, I have emerged from my den to provide guidance to the ignorant, the unwary, and the fan. But I repeat myself.

First, a few comments on events leading up to the first round.

Some observers were foolish enough to believe that the Tobacco Road Refs would permit Boston College to win a close game against one of The Three. Excuse me? Do I hear a question? Oh yes: The Three. The Atlantic Coast Conference was founded in May of 1953. That means that, counting the trophy awarded to Duke yesterday, there have been 52 basketball championships. For homework, research the number that have NOT gone to Duke, North Carolina, or NC State. And please review the number of times the tournament has been played outside of North Carolina. Tsk. Tsk. No wonder Maryland does. (Wonder, that is.)

And, speaking of Maryland, let us hear no whining or complaining. This weekend, Syracuse demonstrated what needs to be done by a good team, on the bubble, with an historic program: Win some games, and you'll get an invitation. Now, 'Cuse rather overdid the thing, but they were on a roll, why not go with it?

All right, hoops fans. We won't be printing out brackets. We won't be predicting any fourth-seed tournament champions (Kansas) or any sixth-seed Final Four appearances (Michigan State). We will, instead, provide advice and comments on a round-by-round basis.

The first round is 32 games. At least one-quarter of those games have the potential to produce an upset. I'm not predicting that in these eight games the underdog will prevail, but I'm suggesting you do some work of your own, and take a closer look. None of these upset outcomes would surprise me in the least:

  • Texas A&M over Syracuse -- Syracuse is on a hot streak, but sooner or later Gerry McNamara will miss a game-winning shot. Won't he?

  • Southern Illinois over West Virginia -- Southern Illinois plays some of the best defense in the country, and will have no problem defending against the three.

  • NC State over Cal -- State has been is tested. They always play hard when they're underdogs. And they've had a lot of practice.

  • San Diego St. over Indiana -- Indiana has been losing games and coaches. What's to play for? And the Aztecs are hungry.

  • Utah State over Washington -- In 16 of the last 17 tournaments, a 12 seed has knocked off a 5. This is as good a pick as any. (Sorry, Oldtimer!)

  • George Mason over Michigan State -- I wouldn't bet the farm on it, but the Patriots are a solid, capable team, and State is streaky.

  • Winthrop over Tennessee -- It's been forever since a #2 seed has been upset. And when has there been a weaker #2 than the Vols?

  • Montana over Nevada -- another 12/5 matchup, and it's simple: Who has Nevada beaten? San Jose State? Idaho? Fresno State (oops, they split)? Get the point?
Oh, and for extra credit: Monmouth College will beat Hampton in the play-in game. [I'll bet you don't even know where West Long Branch is, do you? Well, it's right down the road from Asbury.]

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Coolest Picture You'll See Today

Except for the other ones that you'll find HERE.


A Timely Academic Conference

Those fun-loving mullahs in Tehran have decided on a final solution calm and academic inquiry into one of the important issues of our time: The Holocaust -- Myth or Reality? No. Really.

The official "Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting" website reports:
Isfahan, March 7 - A conference on the myth of Holocaust, entitled 'Holocause, myth or reality,' was held in Isfahan Monday attended by students and professors of the Isfahan university.

The conference was initiated by the Isfahan office of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

Head of the Presidential office on studying the Palestinian issue, Alireza Soltanshahi told the conference that the Holocaust myth has turned into an industry for the Zionists to gain money.

He explained that Germany had to pay compensation to Israel for the Holocaust untill 2020 while there is no documents to substantiate the claim.

Soltanshahi said the Zionist regime has tried to show that the Holocaust is real through new methods such as establishing international institutions to propaganda on it as well as giving literary prizes to people who had written about it positively.
It's good this question will finally receive serious consideration, and an authoritative resolution.

I'll bet they wouldn't really need to have this conference if they had an atomic bomb or two.

The staff here at G&S has been inspired by this news to consider sponsoring similar academic inquiries, all in the interest of international peace and brotherhood, and in order to lay to rest prejudiced or ignorant notions. Our first idea was this:

"Islam, The Religion of Peace: Myth or Reality?"

Then we thought, why not go right to the root of the matter:

"Mohammed: Prophet of God, or Sun-Addled Nut-Ball?"

But management agreed that either conference would be provocative and lead to all sorts of Jews, Baptists and Republicans rioting, burning, and blowing themselves up. And that would be counterproductive, wouldn't it?

Too Few Abortions

Lest there be any misunderstanding, I am "pro-life." "Anti-abortion" also works for me, but it sounds so negative, don't you think?

There's not much difference between a week-old baby, and a 3-day-old baby. Nor between a 3-day-old baby and an hour-old baby. Nor between that hour-old child and the same person 90 minutes before. Same person. So any argument or philosophy that suggests that this last person -- 30 minutes before birth -- may be killed on a whim, while the same person 30 minutes after birth can't, is pretty apparently on the wrong track.

And, of course, I keep moving back from the time of birth week by week, and I don't find anything truly dramatic and different in kind that happens until conception. So there I am.

The orthodox argument about "viability" has always seemed silly to me. The baby isn't particularly "viable" even after she's born. The poor thing can't even feed herself, and if the temperature is outside of a rather narrow range, she's toast. Nor is my grandfather, with the bad heart valve, particularly "viable." He requires millions of dollars worth of medical technology, along with a dozen highly skilled doctors, nurses, technicians and such, just to stay alive, and fix the problem. Without all that unnatural intervention, he's a goner.

So, as you see, I don't even get to Jeremiah 1:5 before I know what I think. And Jeremiah's my favorite book of the Bible.

Anyhow, that all being said, I am often corrected and admonished as being willfully obnoxious and provocative when I describe those who disagree with me as "pro-abortion." "They're not in favor of abortion," I'm scolded, "They're in favor of personal freedom and choice. A person's right to choose!"

But, of course, the bartender who "Don't serve your kind around here," is also just trying to "choose," and we don't find much respect or admiration for his choice. Similarly, when I choose to shoot dead the unarmed burglar who's broken into my house in the middle of the night, there will be much weighing, and considering, and judging, and not much "respect for my right to choose." And that guy's even a felon, which is less than can be said of the soon-to-be-born.

So I was taken up short by THIS ARTICLE that appeared yesterday in Slate. It is written by William Saletan who is, in my terms, pro-abortion. So it was somewhat surprising to me that he opened his article thus:
Friday morning, leaders of pro-choice and feminist groups gathered at the Center for American Progress to debate the movement's future. One of the panelists reported that the latest annual tally of abortions in this country was 1.295 million. The most recent comparative numbers, detailed in an article I brought to the meeting, indicated that our abortion rate exceeds that of every Western European nation. "Raise your hand if you think that number is too high," the conference moderator told the 50 people in the room.

I saw one hand go up. The woman next to me said she saw another. The two hand-raisers used to work for pro-choice groups but no longer do.
Saletan's view is that there's something not quite right with that reaction.

You think?

If these folks don't think that 1,295,000 abortions every year in America are too many, what is it that they do think? What number would they be more comfortable with? Would 2,000,000 be enough? Would 3,000,000 be about right? Is there any number that the true believers would recognize as too many?

Read the article. And think about it. How many do you think would be just right?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Arizona 73
Stanford 68

Guess we'll see you Scarlet Knights in the NIT.


Twilight Zone:
Presented For Your Consideration

We do have to wonder sometimes in what universe some of our fellow men reside.

There's that guy down at the end of the bar who's always explaining that "they" had invented a carburetor (those of you under the age of 40, please consult with your parents regarding this device) that permitted a car to get 200 miles per gallon, running on water! Of course "they" (presumably some other "they") couldn't let that happen, so "they" [killed][bribed][bought out][had confined to a mental hospital][drugged] "them."

Today's story comes from that parallel universe where anyone believes this guy's story for more than 20 seconds. A television station in central Florida reports:
Sheriff's deputies in Lake County, Fla., were searching late Wednesday for a woman who fell overboard from a boat, police told Local 6 News.

The woman and her husband were boating on Lake Eustis when, the man said, she fell into the water at about 8:30 p.m.

The man said he thinks he hit his wife with the boat after she fell overboard, according to the report.
You have to admire the fellow for anticipating that, when the body is recovered, police might ask him how it is that his wife looks like someone had beat the Hell out of her, when he says she just fell overboard.

Good move, moron.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

THAT Bruce Bartlett?

The fellow on the left in the picture on the right is the conservative economist, activist and commentator, Bruce Bartlett. He's apparently written a book entitled Impostor : How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.

Byron York reports that Salon was today promoting Bruce & his book (and showing heretofore unrevealed solicitude for Mr. Reagan):
Join Salon Premium today and receive a free copy of Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.

In this new expose, conservative economist Bruce Bartlett depicts a White House obsessed with secrecy and terrified of upsetting the boss with bad news.

Fired from a think tank for diverging from the party line, Bartlett writes that "Bush is more like Richard Nixon -- a man who used the right to pursue his agenda, but was never really part of it. In short, he is an impostor..."
I've emphasized the "Fired from a think tank" line above because . . .
. . . well . . .
. . . I don't know quite how to say this . . .
. . . so I'll just come right out with it:

I fired Bruce Bartlett myself, once upon a time.

I don't think we need to go into it too deeply. It was about 1971. Bruce was a Freshman or Sophomore at Rutgers College, and held an important position with a large student organization. I was the head of the organization. I fired him.

I suppose it's possible that this time he didn't deserve it.

It really is a small world, no?

Rutgers 61
Seton Hall 48

Quincy Douby scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half to help Rutgers beat Seton Hall 61-48 on Wednesday night in the opening round of the Big East tournament. Rutgers (18-12), which won for the second time since coach Gary Waters announced March 1 he would resign at the end of the season, will play second-ranked Villanova on Thursday.

Story & stats HERE.

Don't worry if it's not good enough for anyone else to hear!
Just Sing! Sing a Song!

In the great worker's paradise of North Korea, pretty much everyone is starving. Unless, of course, you're a buddy of Dear Leader Kim Jong Il.

But, hey, what's a little mass death among friends, when there's so much to sing about! Let's put on a show out in the barn to raise money!

According to THIS Reuters story, currently popular songs in North Korea include:

"A Girl Innovator Dashing Like a Steed," "Song of Coast Artillerywomen," "Girl Silk-weavers of Nyongbyon," and "I Am a Front-line Soldier's Wife."

Our personal favorite is "My Mom Who Worries Herself About Her Child."


Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Today's New York Times ventures into the blogosphere and, SURPRISE! stumbles badly. While the headline, "Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in P.R. Campaign," might lead the sympathetic reader to the conclusion that the retailing giant has secretly put a bunch of bloggers on the payroll, the truth is rather different.

It seems that Wal-Mart sends out press releases (no novelty there), seeks to distribute them to recipients who might lend a sympathetic ear (the shame!), and thereafter hopes for a favorable story.

All of which leads NRO's Media Blog to wonder what the Times counts as "enlistment," and suggests that it's something like "gets story ideas from press releases, generally sympathetic to organization's goals."

So when might we expect the big investigative piece headlined:


"Order Denying Motion for Incomprehensibility"

While this may be of little interest to our non-lawyer readers, I assure you that those of us who practice law for a living find it hilarious.

A few weeks ago a bankruptcy judge in Florida entered a two-page order which included the following language:
On February 3, 2006, Defendant filed the above entitled motion. The court cannot determine the substance, if any, of the Defendant's legal argument, nor can the court even ascertain the relief that the Defendant is requesting. The Defendant's motion is accordingly denied for being incomprehensible.
And then, lest he be misunderstood, the judge quoted from Adam Sandler's movie, Billy Madison:
Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
Smoking Gun was there.

Shocked and Appalled

Barry Bonds did steroids. Steroids, people. The link is from the SF Chronicle story; the excerpt below is from THIS story in SI.
The authors, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, describe in sometimes day-to-day, drug-by-drug detail how often and how deeply Bonds engaged in the persistent doping. For instance, the authors write that by 2001, when Bonds broke Mark McGwire's single-season home-run record (70) by belting 73, Bonds was using two designer steroids referred to as the Cream and the Clear, as well as insulin, human growth hormone, testosterone decanoate (a fast-acting steroid known as Mexican beans) and trenbolone, a steroid created to improve the muscle quality of cattle.
I think the most shocking aspect of this story is that San Francisco Chronicle writers were able to come up with enough words to fill a book, even if it did take two of them.

¿Qué esperó usted?

Like any other police state, Cuba’s totalitarian regime must maintain a network of gulags for political prisoners. And, like much else in the proletarian paradise, life therein is unnecessarily unpleasant.

"Food and hygiene are substandard and medical care either unavailable or inappropriate," according to a special United Nations representative, French magistrate Christine Chanet. She also found that, as compared to previous years, in 2005 "more people were arrested and given disproportionate sentences for expressing dissident opinions." You think?

And the blame for this abysmal record of slavery and oppression? Why, the United States, of course:
The extreme tension between Cuba and the United States has created a climate which is far from conducive to the development of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
Are we making this up? We are not. Reuters story HERE.

G&S Normally Does Not Report on Celebrity News

Note we said, "normally." But this is too good. Britney Spears is pregnant again, presumably by her husband Kevin Federline:
Federline, 27, also delivered the bombshell baby news to a friend, who told Star: "Kevin said, 'Britney's pregnant again,' and when I expressed surprise he said, 'Yeah, it shocked the sh-- out of me too.'"
Is it too late to start a bicoastal chapter of the Kevin Federline fan club?

H/T The Superficial. For more on our favorite dancer-turned-gold digger-turned fiance-turned-celebrity spouse-turned-pothead-turned-rapper, check out here and here; for James Lipton reciting K-Fed's first single, "Popozao," click here.

What are we missing?

THIS STORY means something other than what it seems to mean, right? Because it can't mean what it says:
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid IT Education Project (ITEP) has joined forces with Tamkeen, the training centre for the visually impaired, to introduce the world's first Arabic International Computer Driving License (ICDL) courseware.

ITEP and Tamkeen will display a sample of the courseware at their stand at REHAB 2006, the region's premier rehabilitation show to be held at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre today and tomorrow.

Officials will demonstrate the use of the new Braille ICDL courseware.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Kirby Puckett, Rest in Peace

(CNN) -- Baseball Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, who helped lead the Minnesota Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991, died Monday after suffering a stroke over the weekend, the team announced. He was 45.

And in other headlines . . . .

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:


Provide your own caption

Eddie Van Halen arrives at an Oscar party last night.


Live action recreation of Simpson's opening credits, HERE.

Via relapsed catholic and Sandmonkey.

Same Old Same Old

Jonah Goldberg observes:
I don't mind him talking about sticking to his principles, blah, blah, blah. But there's something a bit odd about striking a proudly rebellious pose when you admit to holding views and taking positions which confirm the biases of everyone you know, work with and admire, and earn praise from every elite establishment organ in America. Standing proudly by the fact that you agree with Hollywood to the applause of Katie Couric and the New York Times isn't exactly the stuff of a Profiles in Courage Award. Oh, wait, it actually is.
This is a special case of a widespread phenomenon of the Left. If you cruise the lefty blogs like Kos and MyDD, you will find an enormous undercurrent of self congratulation for expressing dangerous and novel opinions, all the while repeating the same old tired whining of DNC press releases and New York Times editorials.

It's the bold rebellion of the adolescent who dresses like everyone else to express his free-thinking rejection of conformity.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Well, not exactly

Once upon a time, when typewriters ruled the earth, there were certain kinds of "typographical errors" that were rather common. Reversing the order of certain letters ("ot" instead of "to"), spacing errors and the like.

Now that word processing chews up and spits out every word written, those sorts of errors have gone away, but new ones have been introduced. Spell checking makes your humble and obedient servant look like he's not brain-damaged, since I cannot spell any word of more than two letters. But, as a Government attorney, I have frequent occasion to refer to the "United States." And the spell-checker doesn't help if I accidently switch the "i" and the "t", since the consequence is a real word. (And, come to think of it, might sometimes more accurately describe the Government. But I digress.)

In legal writing we will sometimes use the Latin phrase "sua sponte." As we lawyers use it, it means that someone (usually a court) has done something on its own motion, without being asked by a party to litigation, for example. As in, "The Court, sua sponte, excluded the evidence offered by plaintiff."

If you spell-check a document with the phrase "sua sponte" in it, WordPerfect wants to change it to "sea sponge," and that's Word's second choice, as well. (Word want's it to be "Sue sponge.")

Since anything that can go wrong will go wrong, this actually happened to an attorney in Santa Cruz. A brief he filed made the change at least five times, producing sentences like this:
It is well settled that a trial court must instruct sea sponge on any defense, including a mistake of fact defense.
Story HERE.

Dude, Where's My Civil War?

Ralph Peters reports:
I'M trying. I've been trying all week. The other day, I drove another 30 miles or so on the streets and alleys of Baghdad. I'm looking for the civil war that The New York Times declared. And I just can't find it.

Maybe actually being on the ground in Iraq prevents me from seeing it. Perhaps the view's clearer from Manhattan. It could be that my background as an intelligence officer didn't give me the right skills.

And riding around with the U.S. Army, looking at things first-hand, is certainly a technique to which The New York Times wouldn't stoop in such an hour of crisis.

Let me tell you what I saw anyway. Rolling with the "instant Infantry" gunners of the 1st Platoon of Bravo Battery, 4-320 Field Artillery, I saw children and teenagers in a Shia slum jumping up and down and cheering our troops as they drove by. Cheering our troops.

All day - and it was a long day - we drove through Shia and Sunni neighborhoods. Everywhere, the reception was warm. No violence. None.

And no hostility toward our troops. Iraqis went out of their way to tell us we were welcome.

Instead of a civil war, something very different happened because of the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra. The fanatic attempt to stir up Sunni-vs.-Shia strife, and the subsequent spate of violent attacks, caused popular support for the U.S. presence to spike upward.
Read the whole thing.

For Extra Credit: Assume that you're a reporter for the New York Times. Rewrite THIS STORY so that it demonstrates that the President is responsible for causing civil war in San Bernardino.

The Children of Abraham

From David Warren:
And after the usual banter about Zionism, [Dr. Wafa Sultan] notes that since the Holocaust, the Jews have made the world respect them by their work and knowledge, not their crying and yelling. “We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church.” Likewise, though professing Muslims turned ancient Buddha statues into rubble, “We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a mosque, kill a Muslim, or torch an embassy.”
Via relapsed catholic.

Friday, March 03, 2006

And please refrain. . .

Come on.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

So you want to be a lawyer?

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama yesterday issued a decision in the case of Sherri Williams, et al. v. Troy King, Attorney General of Alabama. The 56-page opinion begins:
This opinion marks the third occasion on which this court has been required to address substantive due process challenges to an Alabama statute that criminalizes the commercial distribution of "any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs."
The opinion, available HERE, upholds the validity of the statute in question.

The Republic, for the time being, is safe.

Accio! Corona!

Fame's a bitch, Hermione.

Hey, at least she wasn't caught casting an unforgivable curse, right? Am I right?

H/T The Superficial.

ps. We recall that in England (Muggle England, at least), if you're over age 14 and an adult buys it for you, it's legal to drink in a restaurant. No word on what the Hogwarts handbook has to say on the matter.

Two words.

Panda Kindergarten. At the Wolong Giant Panda Breeding and Research Centre.

Let that sink in. Panda Kindergarten. Awesome.

Reuters video here.

Do two words combine to make anything more awesome than "Panda Kindergarten"?

The answer is "No." The hat-tip goes to Brooklyn.

A Little Piece of Hell

BAD: Your flight encounters serious, extended air turbulence.

WORSE: Trays, luggage and idiots are flying around the cabin.


True story, HERE.

Why We Fight

Hat tip to Uncle Michael (particularly welcome, since most of his stuff cannot be posted on a family blog).