"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

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"Egokast" Belt-Mounted Video Player

'Nuff said.

H/T Geekologie.

Informal poll: what video would you play on your belt buckle?

The Beautiful Game

No, you Eurotrash, I'm talking about kickball.

kickball, you ask?
Actually, yes. That kickball. (artwork courtesy of Caleb, from Belle Sherman Elementary in Ithaca, NY.)

I play kickball. It's fantastic. In fact, I'm a kickball champion, as of 4 days ago. However, I'm somewhat ashamed of the way we won, and it's kind of an interesting story. I mean, come on, it's about kickball! (Cynics, and those not interested in long kickball stories, may escape by clicking HERE.)

On Saturday, June 24, 2006, the 10 teams of our San Francisco WAKA division (the city has four) took to the open fields of Golden Gate Park to determine its postseason champion in one day (something that took the NBA over two months to do). My team of incredibly awesome kickball champions was seeded 3rd overall going into "pool play," where each team played 3 games within its pool of 5 teams. The top two teams from each pool then advance. (You know, like the World Cup. But more arbitrary and complex. Don't ask.)

With the morning sun shining down on a perfect, so-hot-it-was-almost-75-degrees San Francisco summer day, we took to the field for our 11 a.m. game. To be discreet, my team's name below will appear as "We're So Awesome."

Game 1:
We're So Awesome 11, Juicy Victim the First 4.
Yours Truly: 2-2, double, 2 R, 2 RBI.

A win squared away in our opening match, and each of us a couple of beers deep, we reeked of confidence. Bag Lady Betty (he's 50) of Golden Gate Park reeked of worse.

Game 2:
We're So Awesome 6, Team We Actually Beat 6. (Umpire who can't add, -1,000,000.)
Yours Truly: 2-2, RBI, ridiculously awesome catch at shortstop.

We wailed with delight, until the umpire definitively ruled that the opposing team had scored one more run than the actual number of runners physically crossing home plate during their at-bats. But whatever. We were losing going into the last, and we'll take a tie.

Yes, there are ties in playoff kickball. At least the opening rounds. It's retarded, I know.

Game 3: We're So Awesome 1, Where'd Those Guys Go 0 (forfeit win).
Yours Truly: 4 beers.

The bottom-seeded team didn't even show up, so we got to hang out and get sunburned.

With 7 points in hand, we sheepishly found ourselves in the Semifinals, eventually winning our group after having spent the following two hours watching everyone else beat up on each other.

Semifinal Round:
We're So Awesome 9, Nice Guys Who Just Got In The Way 5
Yours Truly: 2-3, 3 RBI, one massive headache

Three games of kickball takes its toll on you physically. No, it really, really does. Cigarettes probably don't help.

In the finals, we were slotted to face a team I'll call "The Douchebaggy Assholes," who everyone, EVERYONE, in the league hated. They're just fratty douchebags who managed to go 8-1 in the regular season by bunting. Bunting?

The bunt, because of how small the field is (Little League-sized) and the fact that you can't play closer than about 30 feet at 3rd (rules), make the bunt extremely hard to defend, and generally considered "for girls." (Many are excellent kickballers, many are not.) Which is great, because it means most girls can get on base more easily. Girls on base are awesome. However, The Douchebaggy Assholes, male or female, bunted all the time. Don't you hate them too now? Man, what a bunch of Douchebaggy Assholes!

Cajoled by other managers, and familiar with the exacting bylaws of adult kickball (as league president), our manager put to us a proposition - The D.A.'s were ineligible, because they were playing with 4 girls (the minimum), none of whom were actually signed up on their team. This was something they had done all year long. Why not force them to forfeit?

Exhausted, giddy with the thought of sticking it to The D.A.'s, and freezing our asses off (it was 7 pm and about 50 degrees at this point), the team gave in to groupthink and elected to, well, stick it to them. Our captain, alone, walked over to inform our opponents of the ruling, which had now been at least tacitly supported by the remaining members of all other teams still in attendance.

What ensued could only be described as...awkward.

They yelled. We milled around. They yelled some more. We asked them to "play us anyway," in a game that deteriorated pretty quickly into sarcastic jawing and definitely almost came to blows, despite the best efforts of the 3 nonpartisan umpires in attendance.

Did I mention this is kickball?

The score when the game broke up early was something like 8-6, D.A.'s. So, while we won, and we're, like, champions and stuff, it was ugly. As a kid, I was on the receiving end of that kind of "you're-not-registered-you-forfeit" kind of crap, and I hated it. Even though the D.A.'s were in fact cheating all year, and weren't playing "in the spirit of kickball" -- the 8 registered girls on OUR team all played in the playoffs -- in retrospect, what our team did was probably ultimately wrong.

But hey! They're Douchebaggy Assholes, we won, and I'm still proud of my first ever kickball championship.

So there.

Oh, and hey, for those who actually read this whole thing, here's that Cats in Sinks link again. Man, Cats in Sinks.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I Think I Read About This In The Book of Revelation

I'm not entirely sure, but I'm pretty positive this is one of the signs of the apocalypse:

The A's are fueling you up this summer!

The first 500 fans to purchase select seats in the field level outfield for Friday home games will not only have a chance to win a new GM vehicle with the GM Drive It Outta the Park Sweepstakes, but will receive a free $10 Chevron Gift Card!


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Far-Out Tales of Horrifying Parental Negligence

The American-Statesman reports from Austin:
Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Cedar Park woman has been arrested on charges of child endangerment after her 3-year-old son ate nine candies that were laced with LSD during a weekend party.

Ashli Rene Freas, 22, was released from the Williamson County Jail on Tuesday after posting $10,000 bail. She was arrested Monday after her son was taken to Children's Hospital, hallucinating.

Cedar Park police, in a written affidavit that lists reasons for an arrest, said Freas had taken her son with her to a party at an apartment in the Parmer Lane and Duval Road area in Northwest Austin on Sunday, along with her boyfriend. As Freas and the boyfriend were outside with friends, the boy was inside with another adult. At one point, the man who leased the apartment noticed that his roll of SweeTarts, which were laced with the drug, was open and nine pieces were missing, the affidavit says.

Freas took the boy to her Cypress Creek home and called friends to come to the home. The affidavit says a friend, not Freas, eventually called 911 after the boy had been hallucinating for more than an hour, and police noted this as one reason to arrest Freas.

Police are still investigating the incident.
Putting aside the obvious "this woman should be locked up and not allowed to produce more offspring" commentary, we'd like to know if the owner of the SweeTarts is gonna ask the kid to fork over some cash for his dope.

Friday, June 23, 2006

You Decide

The story from Channel 3 in Texarkana ends like this:
The mother had ridden with her son for about seven years, authorities said. The man's girlfriend, who also rode with him, was in the truck when the mother died.
It's up to you to decide whether you want to know the whole story, which is a a good deal more strange than the ending might lead you to believe.

Good luck.

Any Dumb-Ass Thing That Can be Done

. . . will be done. Today's special case of that universal truth: Parkour.

It's what they're discussing over at NRO, here and here (follow Jonah Goldberg's link to videos).

Today's Quiz

For today's quiz, your assignment is to write a short essay explaining what's going on in this picture:

"It's a protest," you say. "But I need to know more."

Fair enough. The picture was taken yesterday (Thursday) in Budapest.

"Aha!" you say, "The President was there. This is a street protest, organized by Amnesty International, against Gitmo or "torture" or something like that, right?"

Oddly, you're getting both warmer and colder, so let's provide some more help. It's an Associated Press photo, and that independent, unbiased seeker of truth provided the following context:
Activists of human rights organization Amnesty International dressed up as Guantanamo detainees protest against the United States' foreign policy in downtown Budapest, Hungary, on Thursday, June 22, 2006 during the visit of U.S. President George W. Bush. Bush, on a visit to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hungary's bloody revolt against communist rule in this central Europe nation, was urged on Thursday to make sure the U.S. fight against terrorism doesn't stomp on human rights.
"So," you say, "I was right. It's a public demonstration. A street protest. The People making their voices heard, and doing so in powerful contrast to the brutal Soviet crushing of the 1956 Hungarian revolt against the murderers in the Kremlin."

Sort of (although the run-on rhetoric is not necessary). Here's what the Associated Press isn't telling you:


Yes, that's what we said: Seven stooges from Amnesty International (you know, the folks who can never quite decide whether Bob Mugabe or George Bush has a better human rights record?) tried to stage a protest, but not one single additional person joined in. You might have noticed that the AP photo was rather a narrow angle, producing a frame into which only three people have been fit.

More HERE (scroll down a bit) and HERE and HERE.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

"Reassessing Radiohead"

The New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones offers a cynic's view of Radiohead and their recent live performances in the June 26 issue. I'm going to assume the G&S audience is probably well on the "skeptic" side of the ledger here (my uncle's thoughts on Amnesiac's "Pyramid Song" come to mind: "This sounds like something we used to listen to when we tripped in college.").

However, like Mr. Frere-Jones' friends, I implore you to "give the band a chance." At any rate, enjoy the article. Incidentally, I'm almost certain to enjoy their Berkeley show tomorrow night much, much more.

UPDATE 8:57 PM PDT: The staff at G&S have been informed that Mr. Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker and numerous other snooty publications, including Slate, the New York Times, and The Village Voice, is alive and very much male. The relevant gender-specific titles have been amended.

Get A Rope

The United States National Soccer Team is officially terrible. They're just awful. Going into this World Cup, we were ranked #5 in the world by FIFA, and if the last two weeks were any indication, we didn't deserve even to be there. Given the performances we saw, we deserved to lose all three games - and were it not for that fortunate Italian own-goal, we would have.

We managed to score ONE goal by ourselves. ONE. This is the BEST team of soccer players we can field?

So, rants aside, what do we do from here, besides take the long flight back from Ramstein AFB and cry?

1. Fire Bruce Arena.
Soccer's one of those sports where, in elite programs, managers are fired for the slightest of
offenses. Fail to give enough playing time to your rising star? You're gone. Tie a couple of games in World Cup qualifying? Prepare to deposit your severance. Bruce Arena, I believe, was the longest-serving manager among all the teams in Germany. He - he just flat out sucks. I am tired of watching Brucie Boy stomp his fat ass all over the sideline while doing his best "I can't believe what's happening" pout. Shut up, Bruce, and coach your frickin team.

2. Force Claudio Reyna to retire.
The U.S. captain is too old. Plain and simple. He's lazy on the ball, lazier off it, and should not wear the armband in another U.S. game. In fact, he should not wear a uniform in another U.S. game. "But he's meant so much to this team!" Bull. He's 33 years old, has played for the national team for 12 years, and has 8 goals. His crosses were terrible, his defense even worse, and his leadership nearly nonexistent, as he spent more time sucking wind than organizing his team.

Arena also has a soft spot for him (among all the soft spots in Fatty McCoacherton's midsection), having coached him to 3 NCAA titles at UVA. Go hug it out somewhere else. Reyna's responsible for Ghana's first-half goal, and his histrionic dive after turning the ball over 60 feet from the net really revealed a lot. Get. Him. Out of here.

3. Stop expecting Landon Donovan to be Superman.
Landon Donovan is an excellent soccer player. He has great speed, a strong foot, and actually plays with some enthusiasm. But he's not going to save the day. This isn't baseball, and Donovan would never, ever, be confused with David Ortiz. Need I remind you that our Golden Boy didn't score in this Cup, and had 1 shot on goal in 270 minutes of play? He needs help - he needs better service, stronger wing players, and a more organized midfield. Which brings me to...

4. Get your act together in the midfield.
Bobby Convey entered in the 52nd and 74th minutes against Italy and Ghana, respectively. He's one of the best midfielders the U.S. has, and should have been out there for far more than 160 minutes over 3 games. Convey plays for Reading in the English leagues, after spending 4 years with D.C. United. He's fast, creative, and young (22). He created several great chances for the U.S. It's that kind of speed and concerted effort that were lacking from the U.S. team in each of their 3 games, and each time Convey came on, the shape of the match changed noticeably. We said our piece about Reyna. DaMarcus Beasley needs a chaperone in the midfield, but put some good touches on the ball anyway. No solutions here - just, get your freaking act together, alright? The midfield is KIND of important. OK, really important.

Long story short, the American squad had an outstanding opportunity this Cup to bring soccer into the mainstream among U.S. sports fans. It really felt different this time - people woke up early, skipped out on work, and chewed their nails down to a nub over this World Cup. People in America. Over soccer. Think about that. Advancing from the first stage would have been enough to set the hook and provide SOME kind of incentive for our country's best young athletes to turn to the sport. Instead, we shrug as an amazing talent like Virginia Tech QB Marcus Vick (also 22 years old) is kicked off his team after a DUI and gun charge, then declares, "I'll just move on to the next level, baby."

It will, and ought to, be a long time before anyone takes the Americans seriously in international soccer. We need a new coach, a new perspective, and a new attitude. We must accept that we are not there yet - and won't be anytime soon. Back to work, you disappointing bastards.

Speaking Truth to Power

The Union of Concerned Scientists believes that global warming is a fact. Their view is that human activity has led to climatological changes, which will increase and accelerate.

Not being climatologists, we're not entitled to an opinion.

Claimed effects include "Increase in global average surface temperature of about 1 degree F in the 20th century."

This is a proposition of fact (that is, capable of proof, one way or the other) with which we have no quarrel.

But it provides us with context for this, from ABC News:
Witnessing the impact of global warming in your life?

ABC News wants to hear from you. We're currently producing a report on the increasing changes in our physical environment, and are looking for interesting examples of people coping with the differences in their daily lives. Has your life been directly affected by global warming?

We want to hear and see your stories. Have you noticed changes in your own backyard or hometown? The differences can be large or small — altered blooming schedules, unusual animals that have arrived in your community, higher water levels encroaching on your property.

Show us what you've seen. You can include video material of the environmental change, or simply tell your story via webcam. Please fill out the form below, and be sure to include captions or other descriptive information if you're sending video. We hope to hear from you. Thank you.
It will be interesting to see what sort of personal anecdotes, let alone video, will be received chronicling the personal horror stories of individuals beset by the effects of a one-degree temperature increase.

We'd like to think we're capable of making this stuff up. But we're not sure of it.

[Updated to correct spelling error caused by global warming.]

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

First Day of Summer -- 1965

Your host spent virtually every day that summer at the beach either in Asbury Park (above) or nearby Manasquan:

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Will Work For Oil for Food

Tim Graham from The Corner at NRO on the occasion of Dan's "retirement":
Rather basically compiled four decades of partisanship disguised as journalism, whacking at Republicans (Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Bush) and fawning over people he felt more comfortable with (the Clintons, Saddam Hussein.)

Yes, Dear

"BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese woman has been charged with accidentally killing her husband with a sword after he refused to make her dinner, the Shanghai Daily said on Tuesday."

"Police said Tang Xiaowan, 25, who has been practising swordsmanship since she was young, had often forced her husband of three years at swordpoint to carry out her demands."

"On March 3, her husband, Li Weidong, refused to cook dinner because he was late for work."

"Police said Tang picked up her sword and put it on Li's chest and promptly slipped, stabbing Li by mistake."

"Li died in hospital from loss of blood."

"Tang was arrested on Monday and charged with manslaughter."

Monday, June 19, 2006

Speaking of Hair & Psychos

"Despite the fact that we have the strongest military in the world, we have somehow made ourselves defenseless against whackjob countries like Iran and North Korea."

"Both countries are operating under the same guiding logic: "You better not tell us what to do, or we will blow you up." And although the threat might be spoken in a different language, these powers share a striking similarity: Both leaders suffer from two horrendous hair styles. This could be at the heart of the issue - bad hair. It is really no more complicated than that. And the more the media attempts to complicate the issue, the more likely you will have other shitbag countries with leaders who have shitbag hair doing the same thing."

"But instead of thinking globally, I think we should start thinking locally."

"What do you do if you've got a madman outside a schoolyard with a rifle who is threatening to shoot?"

"You look at his hair. And if it's bad, you shoot him."

Why is it that Fascist Nutbags have Bad Hair? from The Daily Gut.

Ein Volk, ein Reich, eine Katze

H/T Rantings of a Sandmonkey, via relapsed catholic (except Kathy balked at actually putting up the pic).

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Fathers Day -- 2006

Saturday, June 17, 2006

An Excellent Question

"What have burnt toast, Gerry Adams and a burger to do with September 11?"

Answer HERE.

Via Natalie Solent by way of NRO.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I'm Convinced

Here's a video clip of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D. Texas), explaining the position of the world's oldest political party in the course of yesterday's debate of House Resolution 861. While viewing the clip, keep in mind that members of Congress don't just stand up and talk, they're allotted time to do so by the leadership of their party. Thus, what Ms. Lee has to say represents the position of her party, and its leadership. Please also note that this particular video clip was posted online by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

So. Here's what the Democrats will do with respect to the War on Terror, and the War in Iraq, should they come to power:

Second Annual WWKIP Day

How did we miss this?

If Jim Carrey Gave Investment Advice . . .

. . . . he'd be Jim Cramer:

Freedom of Speech (Depending on What You Say, of Course)

Beware the Central Committee for the Enforcement of Orthodox Speech. Exhibit 1. Exhibit 2.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Flag Day, 2006

Fast Kicking, Low Scoring, and Ties? YOU BET!

An Inconvenient Question

Jonah Goldberg asks:
If global warming is the moral equivalent of the Holocaust, aren’t NASCAR races the moral equivalent of corporate-sponsored, televised neo-Nazi rallies? NASCAR creates greenhouse gasses for pure entertainment. Millions of people drive to these races, poisoning the atmosphere, to watch grown men poison the atmosphere even more. Where is the condemnation?

Canadians Like Little Boys & Girls

Leger Marketing, which describes itself as "the largest independent research firm in Canada," has conducted a poll which straightforwardly asked Canadians "Do you consider the following behaviour as IMMORAL?" The question was asked respecting contraception, pornographic films, alcohol abuse, teen sex, and pedophilia.

While the report itself is headlined "pedophilia tops the list of immoral behaviours," actual reference to the statistics is astonishing, alarming, and I told you so.

The poll shows that 22% of men, and 26% of 18 to 24 year olds, do not find pedophilia immoral. That's one-quarter of the Canadian population that apparently believes that sex between adults and children is quite all right. More men than women (22% vs. 16%) do not find it immoral. There do not appear to be figures broken out as to the preferences for younger, more predatory, "men."

A matter of "choice," no doubt. A lifestyle decision.

Tipped by relapsed catholic. Report available HERE.

"A Man Who Succeeds, Despite Being Pretty Cheesy"

From The Toledo Blade.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ann Coulter

We have received several requests to set out our editorial opinion respecting Ann Coulter. First, several quotes:

"We've finally given liberals a war against fundamentalism, and they don't want to fight it. They would, except it would put them on the same side as the United States."

"While the form of treachery varies slightly from case to case, liberals always manage to take the position that most undermines American security."

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building." Asked later if she regretted the quote, she said, "Of course I regret it. I should have added, 'after everyone had left the building except the editors and reporters.'"

"If we're so cruel to minorities, why do they keep coming here? Why aren't they sneaking across the Mexican border to make their way to the Taliban?"

After Hillary Clinton called Coulter's "Jersey girls" remarks "vicious [and] mean-spirited," Coulter fired back, "I think if she's worried about people being mean to women she should have a talk with her husband."

We love Ann Coulter.

If Howard Dean, James Carville, Paul Begala, Al Franken or Randi Rhodes were smart and clever, they'd be Ann Coulter.

If they were cute.

More Evidence of Intelligent Design

Headline: Coffee May Cut Alcohol Liver Damage.

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Uncle Screwtape Loses Another Client

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health. These are the very smart people who mapped and sequenced human DNA.

Dr. Collins is also a Christian, and has written a book called The Language of God : A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.

As a young man he was "a pretty obnoxious atheist." And then?
Somebody pointed me towards C.S. Lewis's little book called Mere Christianity, which took all of my arguments that I thought were so airtight about the fact that faith is just irrational, and proved them totally full of holes. And in fact, turned them around the other way, and convinced me that the choice to believe is actually the most rational conclusion when you look at the evidence around you.
If this keeps up, Screwtape may find himself on the dinner menu of a more senior demon.

From LifeSiteNews, via relapsed catholic.

Thanks again, Jack.

Nothing To Worry About Here
Please Move Along

We have only now come upon this story in The Sunday Times (of London) on May 28:
MORE than 20 babies have been aborted in advanced pregnancy because scans showed that they had club feet, a deformity readily corrected by surgery or physiotherapy.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics covering the years from 1996 to 2004, a further four babies were aborted because they had webbed fingers or extra digits, which are also corrected by simple surgery. All the terminations took place late in pregnancy, after 20 weeks.

Last year, according to campaigners, a healthy baby was aborted in the sixth month at a hospital in southeast England after ultrasound images indicated part of its foot was missing.

News of the terminations has reignited the debate over how scanning and gene technology may enable the creation of “designer babies”. In 2002 it emerged that a baby had been aborted late — at 28 weeks — after scans found that it had a cleft palate, another readily corrected condition.
These actions may require difficult decisions, but it cannot be denied that they lead to greater racial purity, and eliminate genetic defects from our race's gene pool.

While you try to recover your composure, we found even more disturbing the fact that the suggestion for an abortion appears frequently to have come from medical personnel, who are in the best position to know that these are trifling defects. These are the folk whose professional judgment, experience and rigid ethics are oft-cited by the "death with dignity" crowd.
"It was strongly suggested that we consider abortion after they found our baby had a club foot," said David Wildgrove, 41, a computer programmer from Sheffield, whose son Alexander was born in 1996. "I was appalled. We resisted, the problem was treated and he now runs around and plays football with everyone else."

Pippa Spriggs from Cambridge, whose son Isaac will celebrate his second birthday in July, was also dismayed when a scan halfway through the pregnancy revealed that her baby had the defect.

“Abortion certainly was not openly advised, but it was made clear to me it was available,” she said. “In fact he has been treated and the condition has not slowed him down at all.”
Don't worry, Dad! We need a doctor's signature before Little Chucky can pull the plug on your dialysis machine, and stop paying for your feeding tube.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Nothing Short of Providential

As I am hoping not one single reader knows, the "YearlyKos" convention in Las Vegas has just closed. The New York Times treated them seriously.

This was a first-ever meeting of the Kos Kids, the great and the near-great, all sorts of Bobs and Nabobs. Something like 1,000 were in attendance, a number which, to the innumerate, compares favorably to the 5,000 expected at the "Casino Chips & Gaming Token Collectors" convention. You can read more HERE.

Apparently the event was not only life changing, but literally life saving. One attendee explains:
I got to meet a bunch of you during the convention and had a fabulous time. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that it might save my life.

I just got a call that someone "crashed my gate" and drove through my house, driving through my office and my daughter's room (her crib turned up in the backyard). Had we been home, there would have been a good chance that I would have been working at my desk, and she would have certainly been sleeping in bed. Instead, though, I was here and she was staying with my folks, so the family's fine.

We're catching an early flight to go home and survey the damage, but my family's OK. I love you all, I'll keep you posted, and I can now honestly say "Thank you for everything, YearlyKos."
While another chimes in:
Kos once saved my life too. I was reading a post about Senator Joseph Lieberman, and it was so dull that I got up to run my head under a cold tap. Just then this assagai comes flying through the window. Zulus! Fuck! If it hadn’t been for Kos, I could have wound up in a cooking pot. I’ll always be grateful to him for that.

Anyway, so we formed a laager, called for reinforcements and went all Rorke’s Drift on their arses, and it all ended happily with a glorious slaughter of tribesmen.
Actually, only one of those stories is true. Well, only one of them was written by someone with the slightest expectation that anyone would think they were not making the whole thing up.

But we can't remember which is which.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Stop Me if You've Heard This One

So What Else is New?

Via PowerLine:
Sweetness & Light, which has been all over the Haditha story, notes that Time Magazine has been discreetly backing off its Haditha coverage with a series of corrections. Time has an enormous amount of prestige invested in its Haditha "scoop." It turns out, though, that the magazine apparently misrepresented the source of the videotape that got the whole story rolling. And it has also developed that a photograph that Time described as "one of the most damning pieces of evidence investigators have in their possession" is only the subject of rumor, and may not even exist.

As a story about the Marines, the jury is out on Haditha. As a story about journalism, it's starting to look bad for Time. Based on recent history, I suppose that means the magazine is likely to get a Pulitzer.
The problem is that the corrections, adjustments and retractions never catch up to the original story. If the Marines involved are (ultimately) cleared, the charge of "coverup" (which will be made irrespective of the facts) will be heard by a ready-made audience, whose ignorance can be taken advantage of.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Too late.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Intersection of the Despicable and the Silly

I am confident that it has only been in my own lifetime that we have adopted the despicable practice of the publicization of private grief. By this I mean the routine insistence that the mother of the boy who has been shot down in the street be asked, “How do you feel?” and the video tape of her response broadcast as a matter of course on the evening news.

I imagine – or insist that there must have been – a time when everyone involved understood that to the extent the underlying events (the crime, the accident) merited public attention, the grief of friends and relatives could not possibly add anything relevant to the public. Moreover, basic decency would dictate that intrusion at such a time would be a scandal. I insist that there was a time when no such individual would permit it, when no policeman or neighbor would stand by while it happened, when no legitimate journalist would demand it. Indeed, I insist that this would be one of the basic ways one might distinguish between The Washington Post, on the one hand, and the National Enquirer, on the other.

But times have changed. Now, not only is the microphone shoved routinely into the face of the grief-stricken mother but, as often as not, that mother agrees to sit down and be interviewed on camera within hours of the event. And then seems eager for the attention, and indifferent to the spectacle. Perhaps this is the consequence of living in the world created by Oprah, and Jerry Springer, and Montel Williams, where reality is somehow not really real unless we see it on television.

The only proper thing to do is to avert your eyes from this public display, with love and pity for the victims, including those on camera.

I am similarly confident that it has only been in my own lifetime that we have seen the rise of the celebrity expert. By this I do not mean the true expert who, as a consequence of that special expertise, becomes famous. The Chief Medical Examiner of New York or Los Angeles might become famous, or some particularly wacky scientific genius (Richard Feynman comes to mind). Instead I mean the celebrity – the movie star or sports figure – who presumes to deliver himself of his opinions on subjects having nothing whatever to do with their special talent.

On what basis ought one to listen particularly to the political views of Barbra Streisand, or Susan Sarandon? Why should I care? While certainly entitled to form and hold their own opinions – however bizarre – those opinions have behind them no special experience, no special study or expertise so as to legitimately command attention. If it is my opinion that the war in Iraq must be prosecuted with great energy, and it is the opinion of Ms. Sarandon that the troops ought to come home today, the Universe ought really to be at quits, since her opinion cannot possibly outweigh mine, or vice versa. It is plainly absurd for anyone to care what Robert Redford or Meryl Streep think about agricultural pesticides.

The only proper thing to do is to ignore such nonsense.

But today we have the intersection of the despicable and the silly: the publicly grieving celebrity expert. We have this:
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Michael Berg, whose son Nick was beheaded in Iraq in 2004, said on Thursday he felt no sense of relief at the killing of the al Qaeda leader in Iraq and blamed President Bush for his son's death.

Asked what would give him satisfaction, Berg, an anti-war activist and candidate for U.S. Congress, said, "The end of the war and getting rid of George Bush."


"I don't think that Zarqawi is himself responsible for the killings of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq," Berg said in a combative television interview with the U.S. Fox News network. "I think George Bush is.

"George Bush is the one that invaded this country, George Bush is the one that destabilized it so that Zarqawi could get in, so that Zarqawi had a need to get in, to defend his region of the country from American invaders."
His son having been murdered by thugs, Mr. Berg runs to the microphone thrust eagerly into his face, and uses the celebrity unaccountably awarded to him to expound opinions for which he has no particular basis. Cindy Sheehan and “the Jersey Girls” are other examples.

Let me put it plainly, if perhaps not so harshly as has been done by others: If my son is killed by a falling meteor, I do not become thereby an expert in astrophysics, entitled to be heard on questions involving orbital mechanics, or the budget for NASA. And if my son, or my spouse, is murdered by terrorist thugs, I gain no special knowledge regarding military, political or diplomatic matters.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


But be prepared for more of THIS and THIS.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

We Saw This Movie

NewScientistTech.com reports:

Life-saving breast examinations could soon be performed by a robotic hand that combines ultrasound with an artificial sense of touch.

The robotic breast examiner was devised by researchers at Michigan State University in the US. They say it will enable a medical specialist to examine women from a remote location, perhaps even from the other side of the world.


The robot hand is remotely controlled by means of a haptic "glove", in which each finger is connected to a motion-sensing device. The operator's hand movements are then measured and sent via a computer to the artificial hand, which almost instantly mimics the operator's moves.

The robotic grasper also measures the consistency of objects in its grasp by means of feedback to its motors. And this tactile information is fee back to the mechanical glove giving the wearer an artificial sensation of touch.
Unless memory fails me, Julie Christie already starred in this movie.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Quality Counts

Muley, who doesn't get out much these days, makes up for lost time.

1. Chinese fortune cookies should can the cream-of-wheat maxims ("When opportunity knocks, make sure you're listening") and instead go for some true attention getters. The kind of thing that will make Uncle Ralph gasp, like: "You will soon lose bladder control." And others.

2. The twinkle lights will be out at Wal-Mart any day now (the 2007 calendars already are).

3. Every movie looks good when you watch the trailer. Why doesn't every person on earth get their own trailer? Your entire life in 90 exciting seconds, with a voice-over by James Earl Jones. (But I want Christopher Walken to play me.)

From Muley's World.

Special to the New York Times

Lego Waffles

We have previously noted that Eggo waffles are now available in the handy, useful, tasty shape of Lego blocks.

We now learn that Lego blocks are available in the handy, useful, tasty shape of an Eggo waffle:

Lego blocks that form Eggo waffles. Eggo waffles that form Lego blocks.

Each -- viewed in isolation -- is interesting and amusing.

But when contemplated together, we believe that they challenge our concept of reality. Can Eggo Lego blocks be used to create a Lego Eggo Waffle? We are concerned about black holes, space warps, alternate string-theory-based universes and the like. We wonder if we can possibly hold on to the grass firmly enough to prevent ourselves from falling off the earth.

But maybe that's just us.


We were shocked -- if not entirely surprised -- to learn that Professor Reynolds, of Instapundit infamy, has been proved to be the Antichrist.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I Said Light Mayo!

There are two kinds of people in America, and they may be identified by their reaction to disaster. By “disaster” is here meant some event (man-made or otherwise) which causes danger by interruption of basic services. Such modern necessities include electricity, telephone, water, sewer, 225 channels of cable television, high-speed internet access, and free immediate transportation to the emergency room of your choice, should you decide that the cough you’ve had for 10 days really does sound worse, and it’s time to get it checked, now that it’s midnight, the power is out, and the Governor is calling for everyone to say indoors.

But I digress.

There are, as I said, two reactions.

First, there are those folks who become hysterical, and set their house on fire trying to boil water over the fire they’ve made from the dining-room table. OK, so they don’t all run naked in the street, unable to find their pants in the dark. But they do begin – within minutes of the lights going out – to demand that the Government DO SOMETHING. And they mean NOW! And they’re getting hungry, and a tuna sandwich with a diet Coke is an absolute minimum delivery from FEMA and the Red Cross. RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!!

Some of us, however have a different reaction. We reach for the flashlight that we’ve stashed in the bedside table (or under the bed)(well, OK, and under the bed), and go to marshal the emergency supplies. Far from hoping for immediate arrival of Government aid, or other termination of the emergency, we long for its extension. Finally, I’ll be able to use that gas-guzzling 325 horsepower four-wheel-drive Jeep to tool around the neighborhood through the snow. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get the chance to manually pump water out of those blue plastic 55-gallon drums in the basement, and crank the handle on the emergency radio. (And, to be completely honest, I rather like canned Vienna sausages, so dinner on Day 4 is not a problem.)

As you may have noticed, Florida gets more than its share of such interruptions of services. While some believe that the frequency and severity of hurricanes has increased as a result of the excessive release of carbon dioxide by Al Gore, that’s a question the resolution of which is beyond my expertise.

So it was with some interest that I saw that officials in Florida are adopting what they term a “get tough” policy. As reported by the Tampa Bay Times:
"No more coddling,'' said Larry Gispert, Hillsborough County's emergency management director. "We're telling them the first 72 (hours) are on you. The laggards need to wake up and be ready to take care of themselves."

That means having enough food, water, emergency supplies and medicine to last at least three days.

Don't expect the government to provide for your every need within hours of a hurricane hitting.
What a concept: The ability to feed oneself and one’s family for a whole 3 days, without the Marines making an air drop of MREs.

And, while I’m not naming any names, or providing any license-plate numbers, I’m confident that I know personally some of the people Governor Jeb Bush was referring to here:
Bush emphasized at his hurricane conference that aid and workers will still pour quickly into disaster areas. But it's a "lot harder when people line up in their Lexuses and Mercedes to get ice and water at a public distribution site when the Publix is open a block away," Bush said.
Just so.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

It's Good to be a God

It is the opinion of the Yaohahnen tribe of Tanna that His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT, OM, GBE, AC, QSO, PC, is a god.
"We want him to spend the last years of his life here, because we believe that when he returns as our god, his powers will make our wrinkles disappear and we will have many wives to attend to our every need." [snip]

"He won't have to hunt for pigs or anything. He can just sit in the sun and have a nice time."
Story HERE.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Provide Your Own Caption

"Ann wondered about the nova, eggs and onions she'd had for breakfast. Would Katie find it a big turn-off? The Hell with it, she thought, she might never get another chance like this."

I Want Some

It was there -- right in front of our eyes -- and we never thought of it. Now available at a grocery near you. More HERE. Via Hired Hand.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Many pundits had predicted that the price of Barry Bonds' 715th home run ball would be significantly less than the ~$3.5m paid for McGwire's 70th, or the ~$1m paid for Bonds' 73rd. Indeed - #715 is going for $40k right now on Craigslist!
Hi! I am selling the ball I played with the day Barry Bonds hit his 715th Home Run! The ball was in my hands when I was watching the game on T.V.
You gotta give this guy some credit.

His Name Was Farmer, He Was A Showgirl

With only remnants of his hair /
And all his hole-filled underwear. . .

The Imperial Legislature

Sometimes the shoe rather pinches when placed upon the other foot.

HERE, for example.

Ooga Chakka, Hooga Hooga Ooga Chakka

Sighted by The Mouse.

Presented Without Comment,
For Your Consideration

"A company called The Magic Wardrobe in California made me this very authentic version of the Gainsborough Blue Boy painting for me, and this is probably the first time I've departed from making things myself. There is so much detail in this outfit that I decided to put up many more pictures than I usually do."

From "Peter Pan's Fashion Pages!"

Tipped by Caption This!