August 30, 2004

Apparently, Bush-Bashing Can Be Funny

Or so I've read. Just looked through a reprint of an article by Katha Pollitt, originally for The Nation. It's titled "Bashing the Bush-Bashers," something she never seems to actually do. The main point seems to be that: yes, there are a bunch of people out there who fanatically hate George Bush, but lighten up people! The right takes it too seriously. At least the left has a sense of humor!

Near the end of the article I ran across this gem:
It's really a stretch to suggest that the newly awakened anti-Bush advocates are just the lefty equivalent of the hard-right disinformation machine. Al Franken is no Bill O'Reilly. The New York Times editorial page equates MoveOn PAC's ads with those of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and it's true both are funded through gaps in campaign-finance laws, and both attack the enemy candidate on his war record. But the Swift Boat vets' charges are a mess of smears and lies with Karl Rove's fingerprints all over them, while MoveOn's ads raise genuine questions about Bush's service record that have never been answered.

Whoooohooooohooooo! Aw, Jeez...Stop! I'm bustin' a gut here! I guess they DO have a sense of humor, after all. I...Huh? That part was supposed to be serious? You're kidding, right? Well, I wish they'd make up their damn minds...

Check me if I'm wrong, but didn't MoveOn start as a push for Congressional censure of President Clinton, so that the country could "move on to more important matters than a president lying under oath"? It seems to me, then, that MoveOn should be right in line with the Swift Boat Vets--pushing for John Kerry to release all his military records so that the truth can be discovered and the country can "move on" to more important issues.

But I guess they're a long way from that little "bipartisan, grassroots" organization, what with accepting illegal contributions from overseas, and those paltry contributions from people like George Soros and his wife, Progressive Corp's Peter Lewis, and Linda Pritzker, of the Hyatt family. They don't have an agenda, right? They don't smear, or lie, or obfuscate, right?

Riiiiiiight.... As my dad says, "If you believe that, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you."

I do have a sense of humor, but occasionally, I am Dead Serious.

Quote Of The Day: Joe Wells

I like football. I liked playing it; I like watching it. And I'm a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Always have been. It was watching Lynn Swann catch a football that did it, although these days, I have trouble watching those old clips without hearing the distinctive tones of the late, great John Facenda in my head, accompanied by an orchestra version of "What do you do with a Drunken Sailor?"
It starts with a whistle...and ends with a gun. 60 minutes of close-in action from kickoff to touchdown. A call. The ball is snapped and the play continues. A drama of man on man and a race against the clock. It's precision, persistence, power. The unleashed speed of the kickoff. The whistling feet of a great runner. The reckless fury of a goal-line stand. The crowning glory of a winning touchdown. The swelling roar of the crowd... This is pro football. The sport of our time.
Ed Sabol of NFL Films, Inc once said about Facenda: "He could make a laundry list sound like the Constituion." I don't think I can disagree.

Digressions aside, the Steelers have been up and down since those magical seasons of the '70s. But Joe Wells points out that second-year defensive back Troy Polamalu has finally found the secret formula of defense, which I hope will bring the Steelers back to the top again.
What's the magic formula? Apparently it's this: (1) Diagnose; (2) Run like hell; (3) Hit somebody.
It's beautiful in it's simplicity, like some kind of "Zen" football. In fact, I think it would make an excellent Haiku:

While reading the play,
I run like hell down the field
to hit somebody

I'm already getting antsy for opening day.

Another Sidebar Link

So I'm reading through some of the old posts, making sure I didn't miss any comments, when I found a rather nice post by Christi A. Foist. They say that curiosity killed the cat, but I'm really more of a dog person anyway. So, what the hell...I bopped on over to her site.

I always enjoy finding new sites to check out, but I have to say that I really enjoyed Notes from the Navel. Especially Christi's narrative voice. Among other things, I learned how to rid my house of fruit flies, using a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and dish soap. (Which also, if I'm not mistaken, comes right after 'curiosity' on the 'things that killed the cat' list.) I even learned that sometimes she gets free money from places where she used to work, which is really cool because usually all you get are letters that say things like "Stop coming here," and "Your high-pitched sobbing is scaring customers away." know...that's what I've heard.

But then I read her explanation for "outing" herself as a Republican: "...lately I've gotten so sick of putting up with it quietly. That or I'm growing balls big enough to own my politics like a man." And I knew that...quite possibly...I was in love. (Of course, that's assuming the growing big balls thing is figuratively speaking, because that's a surprise that no man wants to go through twice.)

So, I'm hoping that Christi has no problem with me adding a link to her blog on my sidebar. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

August 28, 2004

Hey...Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

Then just zip on over to RetroCrush, where you can find a list of the 100 scariest movie scenes of all time. There are some glaring errors (#51 should clearly be ranked much higher) and omissions (What? Nothing from the original Dawn of The Dead? Good Lord, what's wrong with these people? In my opinion, that's the zombie film that has yet to be topped.) but the commentary is informative and funny. I would, however, argue that it's a misnomer to call them the "scariest," since some of them are simply gruesome, and some are just disturbing. To me there's a big difference between, say the red eyes at the window in The Amityville Horror (scares), and Jason Vorhees hacking someone in two (gory).

Try to guess the film from just the thumbnail pic provided. I missed 12 out of the 100, which isn't bad considering: a) some of the pictures are very small, and b) some don't actually appear to be from the film(!)

I'll post the numbers that I missed in the comments section. I'll be impressed if someone gets #83 (I did). I'll be even more impressed if someone gets #81 (I didn't). But I'll be supremely impressed if you can get #6 (I did).

If you have some ones that you think should have been included, or problems with the ranking, sound off in the comments section.

If You Listened To A Radio In The '80s...

I have some sad news for you. Singer Laura Branigan (Gloria, Self Control) passed away in her sleep from a brain aneurysm last Thursday. Although I didn't listen to her music (except on the radio) I have to say that I still remember all the words to Gloria. ("If everybody wants you, why isn't anybody calling?")

To me, she'll always be mud-wrestling Monica, from the '80s camp film Mugsy's Girls.

link via drudge.

That Sound You Hear...

is the slow leak that will eventually result in the deflation of the Democratic party's choice for President. In an update to the story I posted a day or so ago, the Chicago Sun-Times is now reporting that Former Navy Secretary John Lehman "has no idea where a Silver Star citation displayed on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's campaign Web site came from," even though Lehman's signature is on it.
"It is a total mystery to me. I never saw it. I never signed it. I never approved it. And the additional language it contains was not written by me," he said.
Now this could easily be explained away by attributing the signature to an autopen, a device that officially "signs" documents in government/businesses, were it not for a couple of things.

1. We've seen this kind of "discrepancy" waaaay too often from Kerry's record. And even more damning...

2. This is the third citation, and each one has had a different signature, and different content.

This issue is so far beyond the qualifier "oh, what does it matter, it's not going to affect the undecided anyway," that Kerry absolutely needs to authorize the release of any and all records pertaining to his service. The fact that he is not tripping over himself to do so, if only to address the growing concerns of his own party, indicates to me that there's something in them that he doesn't want us to see. I can't imagine how anything can be worse that what we've seen already.

I'd almost feel sorry for the guy, if he hadn't put himself in this mess.

Thanks to instapundit.

Meetings With Remarkable People

A couple of you have asked: "Hey...DS...Why no pictures of you on the blog?"

After thinking about it, I realized that was unfair of me. So I've decided to post some pictures of me with some of my favorite people, my "brushes with greatness," if you will. Enjoy!

Here I am with Natalie Portman. (I'm the one on the left.) Look at that doofus in the background. Hey, buddy! Quit lookin' at Natalie's ass and get outta my picture!

And here's me and Misty, taking it to the Germans in a little mixed doubles side-bet game.

Here I am with fellow Irish Colin Farrell, playing our old game "What does my finger smell like?" (He's NEVER gonna get this one!)

"No...YOU da man! What? Oh, I were being literal. My bad."

August 27, 2004

Just Take A Minute

I'm not big on causes, but I did hear about this one, which I think is worthwhile. They don't ask for any money; just a moment of your time. The website,, was started by Stacy Hansen, who purchased a number of American military dog tags while in Vietnam. She's looking to return them to the owners or their families. She's already managed to return 300. If you served there, lost a family member there, or know someone who did, just take a minute and check the list of names.

If you have dog tags, you can also submit them to her to be included on the list.

Some New Additions

I added two new links on the sidebar.

Antimedia, because he does such a great job with research. Anyone who wants to see what the press isn't reporting regarding the Kerry/Swift Boat Veterans issue should check here.

I also added Ricky Prado's Timshel, because although we obviously don't see eye to eye politically--he's gonna hate the post directly below this one--he fights fair, and I respect that.


This one just blew me away. From the Chicago Sun-Times:

The DD214 form, an official Defense Department document summarizing Kerry's military career posted on, includes a "Silver Star with combat V."

But according to a U.S. Navy spokesman, "Kerry's record is incorrect. The Navy has never issued a 'combat V' to anyone for a Silver Star."

Naval regulations do not allow for the use of a "combat V" for the Silver Star, the third-highest decoration the Navy awards. None of the other services has ever granted a Silver Star "combat V," either.
This is pretty damning, no matter how you look at it. The article goes on to wonder why Kerry has three separate citations for the same medal, and criticizes the fact that, despite requests, about 100 pages of Kerry's military record remain unavailable.

What could that more than 100 pages contain? Questions have been raised about President Bush's drill attendance in the reserves, but Bush received his honorable discharge on schedule. Kerry, who should have been discharged from the Navy about the same time -- July 1, 1972 -- wasn't given the discharge he has on his campaign Web site until July 13, 1978. What delayed the discharge for six years?
This raises serious questions about Kerry's performance while in the reserves that are far more potentially damaging than those raised against Bush. (emphasis mine.)

Does all this mean Kerry lied about the silver star? (Which, by the way, is the one medal I haven't criticized him for.) Not necessarily.
Experts point out that even the official military records get screwed up. Milavic is trying to get mistakes in his own DD214 file corrected. In his opinion, "these entries are not prima facie evidence of lying or unethical behavior on the part of Kerry or anyone else with screwed-up DD214s."

However, the question then remains... If it is simply "a mistake," then why hasn't Kerry set the record straight himself? Frankly, at this point, I find it hard not to blame this on Kerry. It's yet another fabrication in a long list of fabrications about this man's military service. Are we supposed to write them all off as "mistakes"? Meanwhile, the SBVT are continuously called "liars" and worse, yet with every passing day, their version seems much stronger.

Much thanks to antimedia for the link.


From my current read, Richard Preston's The Demon in the Freezer:
There are two principal kinds of poxviruses: the poxes of vertebrates and the poxes of insects. Pox hunters have so far discovered mousepox, monkeypox, skunkpox, pigpox, goatpox, camelpox, cowpox, pseudo-cowpox, buffalopox, gerbilpox, several deerpoxes, chamoispox, a couple of sealpoxes, turkeypox, canarypox, pigeonpox, starlingpox, peacockpox, sparrowpox, juncopox, mynahpox, quailpox, parrotpox, and toadpox. There's mongolian horsepox, a pox called Yaba monkey tumor, and a pox called orf. There's dolphinpox, penguinpox, two kangaroopoxes, raccoonpox, and quokkapox. (The quokka is an Australian wallaby.) Snakes catch snakepox, spectacled caimans suffer from spectacled caimanpox, and crocodiles get crocpox.

What? No chickenpox?

UPDATE: Ken and I were discussing this mysterious pox named Orf. We're pretty sure it's named Orf because that's the only sound you get to make before it kills you.

OSRIC: "What ho, Theodoric! Thou doesn't looketh too good. What be ye ailment?"
THEODORIC: ".....Orf!!" (drops dead)

Somebody Owes Thurlow An Apology

If you'll remember, (and you probably will because for some reason this is the part of the story that the press decided to cover) Larry Thurlow was the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth member whose claims that there was no enemy fire the day that John Kerry got his bronze star were supposedly refuted by Thurlow's own medal citation. The cry went out from Kerry supporters everywhere--"Aha!" they said, "we've debunked him!" But unlike the Kerry camp, which backpedals like a unicyclist on a tightrope every time some blogger logs into Lexis-Nexis, Thurlow stood by his version of events. His answer? Of course the paperwork backed Kerry's version--Kerry wrote it. Yet the media made it look like he was ducking.

Was he?

Thanks to Talking Issues Forum (via antimedia), we can now enjoy the text of John Kerry's 1971 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

Kerry told the committee on April 22, 1971, "...I can recall often sending in the spot reports hich we made after each mission..."

So by his own testimony, we know that Kerry "often" submitted spot reports, like the one the citations would have been based on. Still, that doesn't necessarily mean they are unreliable, right?

When asked about the reliability of military sources, such as those spot reports, Kerry had this to say:
"I had direct experience with that. Senator, I had direct experience with that and I can recall often sending in the spot reports which we made after each mission; and including the GDA, gunfire damage assessments, in which we would say, maybe 15 sampans sunk or whatever it was. And I often read about my own missions in the Stars and Stripes and the very mission we had been on had been doubled in figures and tripled in figures.

Kerry later added, "I also think men in the military, sir, as do men in many other things, have a tendency to report what they want to report and see what they want to see."

And refresh my memory...just who were those men "often" reporting what they want to report?

Thurlow stood by his version, and now--at least in my mind--he looks all the better for it.

August 25, 2004

She Can't Have Her Cake And Edith Too

Okay, it's a terrible pun. But you should have seen the one I was going to use.

BOSTON (AP) - A woman who agreed to have a child with her lesbian partner, but split up with the mother before the baby's birth, cannot be forced to pay child support, the state's highest court ruled Wednesday.

I thought we were striving for equality here, people! Where's the term "deadbeat"? Where's the wage garnishment?

Hey, I'll be glad to say "Welcome to the wonderful world of legalized marriage." Just be careful what you wish for. You can't just cherry-pick the institution. That's why people talk about the "sanctity" of marriage and the "family values." Because there's a responsibility involved. You can't call the whole thing off just because you had a fight over who left the toilet seat up.

Okay, I'm being facetious. But this woman makes me angry. And she ought to make those of you out there who support legalizing same-sex marriages furious. Women like B.L. do nothing but prove the point for the other side.

And the wackiest thing about this whole case is when you look at it in relation to the post I made a while back. In this present case, the agreement between the two women to raise a child is not considered an "enforceable contract."

In the other case,
Despite an agreement that appeared to be a binding contract, the father is obligated to provide financial support, the court decided.

"It is the interest of the children we hold most dear,'" wrote Senior Judge Patrick Tamalia.

So, in the case of the lesbians, "B.L.", despite having made an agreement to raise the child, gets to skip town. But according to the logic of the other case, the guy who ponied up the man-juice for B.L and L.T. could find himself having to pay for the next 18 years.

It's sooo overused...But sometimes "What the Fuck?" is just right.

And Yet We Still Can't Cure Cancer

On the lighter side, though...It'll be fun to get really drunk and try to say the word "aluminum."

Pittsburgh BrewingCompany, makers of Iron City beer, unveiled a new aluminum beer bottle at a news conference in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004. The brewery has partnered with Alcoa Inc., the world's largest aluminum maker, to produce aluminum bottles that keep beer colder for longer, Alcoa officials said. (AP Photo/John Heller)

Random Thoughts On The Olympics

Television with attractive women is like crack to me. Seriously, I'd watch a show about slaughtering a pig if the slaughtering was done by attractive women in bikinis. Before the Olympics, all I heard was Jennie Finch, Jennie Finch, Jennie Finch. Well I watched every freakin' televised softball game and let me tell you--I didn't see no Jennie Finch! I did, however, get to see that Katherine Heigl lookalike, southpaw Cat Osterman. Beautiful girl, but "paw" is right. Did you see that girl's hands? Jeez-us. Not only can she throw a screaming change-up, she can swat salmon out of a running stream. That girl's gonna make someone a fine wife.

Is it really fair to let the Greeks compete in Greco-Roman Wrestling?

I saw that MSNBC was offering "Olympic highlights, past and future." Man, there's some bettin' money to be made there, I'm sure.

"Oh, sure...I may look tough, but inside, I'm just a little girl, like any other--made out of sugar and spice, testoterone, steroids, and something else I can't pronounce...."

I know some people find Svetlana Khorkina attractive, but to me she looks kinda like a bird-woman, like you'd find on the Island of Dr. Moreau. And that name...Khorkina. That's the sound my sister's cat makes when it's coughin' up something.

Speaking of names... Logan Tom. A woman who, the angrier she gets, the sexier she gets. Plus, she has the name most fun to say backwards.

Best Olympic athlete name: Aussie diver Loudy Tourky

Names most likely to end up on a Leno Segment about cutsie weddings:Mia Hamm, soccer, and Cameron Baerg, rowing. (The Hamm-Baerg wedding...get it? Oh yeah? You're so smart, YOU try doing something with these names. For the love of God...Some of them have no vowels!)

Name you don't want to see on your medical report--Stubby Clapp, baseball.

Without Uday, the plucky Iraqis just couldn't find the will to win. Sure, they tried hitting themselves with hammers, and attaching the electrodes to their genitals themselves....but it just wasn't the same.

Saw this new Olympic sport. Women jumping on a trampoline. Sweet...the Olympic committee finally got to my suggestions. That means we should be seeing Synchronized Pole Dancing, the Stand and Jiggle, and Office Chair Bowling by 2008!!

Caption This! Part Eight

"Left foot, right foot...don't pull a Ford. Left foot, right foot, don't pull a Ford..."

August 20, 2004

Has Rahajee Been Writing His Speeches??**

Someone should get John Kerry a dictionary. This is from his speech to the VFW in Cincinnati:

"For example, why are we withdrawing unilaterally 12,000 troops from the Korean peninsula at the very time that we are negotiating with North Korea, a country that really has nuclear weapons?"

Unilaterally? Is Kerry suggesting that we now need approval from another country to withdraw our own troops? Or maybe he just forgot we were talking about withdrawing troops, and just fell back on the ol' reliable inserting troops speech?

Regardless, it didn't go over too well with some of the audience:

While Kerry received applause from the audience, some in the crowd signaled their displeasure with the candidate. There was at least one heckler, and two men stood with their backs to Kerry during his speech.

"He turned his back on his comrades in Vietnam, so I turn my back on him," Jere Hill, one of the men told CNN.

** Note: Only about two people in the world will get the joke in the title...but I bet they're laughing at it right now.

August 18, 2004

You Heard It Here First, Folks

That is, if you're a regular reader. Seems like National Review Online's Donald Luskin just released an article backing my analysis of the CBO report.

Finally, the Journal eliminated a critical word from the Democrats’ press release — “2004.” The Democrats were clear that they were talking about a particular point in time, while the Journal made it sound as though the analysis applied to all time. The corporate provisions of the 2002 tax cut expire after 2004, so the extreme numbers focused on by the Democrats settle down considerably in 2005 and thereafter.

He also relays the content of a discussion he had with CBO staff:

This week I spoke with several senior staff members at the Congressional Budget Office. “Stunned” is how they feel about what the media has done with their report. “Frustrated" is how they feel about the media’s utter lack of willingness to let the report’s authors tell the story about what the report really says.

See? You don't need all that fancy book learnin'--just come on over and let ol' D.S. tell you what's what. Bring your friends. Stay awhile.

p.s.--I would also like to point out that my post predates Luskin's article by two days. Not bad, considering he's a chief investment officer for an investment research firm, who can get the CBO on the phone and I can barely make change. Am I gloating? Hell, yeah! I admire the hell out of some of these guys who write on the web and what they do. I just beat everybody (as far as I know) to the punch. This will almost certainly never happen again, so just shut up and give me my damn moment.

p.p.s.--Except for The Insurrectionist, who left a comment backing me up because he knows a sharp argument when he reads it. Well, an argument, anyway.

August 17, 2004

Just To Let You All Know...

There may be a post shortage for a little while. This last weekend, a colleague/friend of mine passed away after a long battle with cancer. I didn't get a chance to know him very well, but wish that I had. We shared a love of film and bragged to each other about our film collections. He was a very nice man and my sympathy goes out to his family.

Even more devastating was the news we got this morning--a member of our extended family passed away from a heart attack. He was only 48. It's one of those things that just numbs you because you just don't see it coming and when it happens, you can't believe it. And you begin thinking about your own life. You realize that even though you've planned your life out and have visions of retirement, and fatherhood, and grandfatherhood, and the years ahead...well, that's no guarantee that you're going to get any of those things. It's a sobering realization that you will not exist someday. That your life will be over and the lives of your family and friends will be irrevocably altered. It's even more sobering to imagine that "someday" might be a lot closer than you think.

So, for the next couple of days, we're going to try to support those most affected by the loss, and there may not be much here. But you never know--I really look forward to informing you all, or making you laugh with the things I write here. At a time like this, it might be just the thing I need.

Oprah Voir Dire

Sounds like some kind of yummy Cajun dish, no? Actually, it's just the news that Oprah has been selected as a juror in a murder case. You'd think they wouldn't pick her. Not because she's rich or anything, just because she'd be a) too distracting in the courtroom, and b) too intimidating in the deliberation room.

I picture something like this:

"Miss Foreperson, has the jury reached a verdict?"
"Oh yeah, girlfriend! But first...Everybody look under their seats! We've got gift baskets with some hair products, and a certificate for a free cruise! Except for you over there behind the table...You won't be needin' yours. But we threw in a couple of cartons of cigarettes, and a book by Martha Stewart on how to turn your old toothbrush into a handy shiv, and how to make raisin wine in your toilet."

Bob Costas, Eat Your Heart Out

So I've been watching the Olympics. No, not those Olympics, the ones on at three in the morning that nobody wants to watch. Oh sure, the prime time stuff is exciting, but I'll be seeing replays of the good stuff for months, I'm sure. Besides, when I'm watching, say, the NFL, and a player pats a teammate on the ass, I feel a sense of teamwork, of camaraderie. But when I see beach volleyballer Kerri Walsh pat her partner Misty May on the ass, I feel kinda sweaty...And a bit tingly.

So I watch the other Olympics, the ones that you didn't even know were Olympic sports. For example, badminton. Yeah, that's right...badminton. The game which you spent twenty bucks on, only to use it once and then let it sit in the garage until the dog chewed through the net that time you thought he had rabies, and you broke the strings on the racket trying to air guitar to Van Halen's "Everybody Wants Some" one drunken Fourth of July. That badminton. Did you know it was an Olympic sport? You liar!

It's more fast-paced than what I remember, but the participants still dress kinda like rich snobs, with the polo shirts and shorts. It's strange to watch. It's like you walked into a country club after they had mistakenly substituted cocaine for the sugar in the mint juleps. How does one even find one's self on the road to Olympic badminton? "Well, Percival...You've got the swing down, but unfortunately, you're not strong, rugged, or manly enough for tennis. However,..." And would you be able to show it off to your friends?

"Man...Cool gold medal! What'd ya get it for?"
"Yeah, right--and I got one just like it at home I won for 'Rock, Paper, Scissors'. Seriously, dude, where'd you get it? Oh, and dude? I think the 'N' is silent."

Even the audience found it boring. I had seen some of the major events, where the crowd was yelling, waving flags, dressing up in their respective native garb. They panned the crowd during the badminton match? One young girl was waving a couple of pom-poms, and the rest of the audience looked like they might have been cardboard cutouts. Or dead. Or possibly both, I'm not sure.

The ones I really felt sorry for, though, were the announcers. They were desperately trying to make the game sound interesting, but there wasn't a whole lot to say. Plus, I'm sure they had to keep from giggling whenever saying something like "Ooooh...and Tamara just flipped the bird to her partner." That's what they call the funny-looking thing that serves as the "ball"--the bird. Of course, it could be worse, I suppose. The other name for it is the shuttlecock. Actually, in that case it might be fun to get some drunken guys with really thick Boston or NYC accents to do the play by play. Where else could you hear something like:

"Holy shit, Tommy...Muffy's really bangin' the hell outta that shuttlecock!"
"Oh yeah...she's givin' it a wicked good pounding!"

Okay, where else besides Times Square?

I also watched this other game, called handball. They called it handball, but I really think someone just made it up for, like, guys who wanted to play water polo, but couldn't swim. Seriously, no way is this a real game. It's like something my high school gym teacher would make up when he was so hungover that he couldn't remember what we were actually supposed to be doing. He would set up some nets, give us one of those red kickballs, and make up the rules as he went along.

"Naw, naw, naw....You can only hit him in the face with it if you got both feet planted. So now he gets one free tackle, while you stand there like a bitch. Go!"

I'm telling you, it was like Lord of the Flies, but without the upbeat parts. I think the objective was to get the ball into the net, but that got quickly lost in the joy of throwing the ball full speed at your classmate's face (keeping both feet planted, of course). Score was kept by the number of welts you could raise, with double points for drawing blood from, say, a split lip. I remember once actually breaking all the blood vessels in my eye and calling time to make sure I could still see out of it...

"This here's whatcha call a 'fast-pace' game. Ain't no time out! Walk it off...or he gets a free tackle! Go!"

I spent the remainder of class all over my opponent like glue, close-covering what I thought was a blurry Davy Jenkins, but which was, as it turned out, a tackling dummy. To this day it remains one of my most memorable and confusing sexual experiences.

Anyway, the point is...uh...What was the point? Oh yeah--the Olympics rule.

Corporal!!!...Do You Need A Time Out?

Ken sent me an article that he thought would be right up my alley. Unfortunately, I don't have an alley. It's more like a grassy path, but still--this article is right up it.

It's a piece from the NY Daily News about one of the soldiers featured in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. Sgt. Peter Damon says he feels "violated in some way" at being used as fodder for Moore's political agenda.
Damon said he has no regrets about his service with the Army National Guard or doubts about the U.S. mission in Iraq and resents his unwanted link with a film offering a contrary view.
"I'd like to go to the Republican National Convention and speak out about it," Damon said. "I agree with the President 100%. A lot of the guys down at Walter Reed feel the same

Spokespeople for Moore said they had no intention of demeaning U.S. Soldiers in the film. (This, despite some of Moore's earlier comments that seem to imply differently.)

But there's lots of ways to demean. Listen to what Sgt. Damon has to say:
"The whole movie makes soldiers look like a bunch of idiots," Damon said. "I'm not a child. We sent ourselves over there" as volunteers for a cause, he said. "It was all our own doing. I don't appreciate him calling us children."

This is something that I haven't seen many people discuss. This treatment of the soldiers in the film. The idea that they are mindless, that they have no will of their own. That they are "children." That, my friends, is demeaning. Sgt. Damon is 31 years old. Sgt. Michael Pederson--the son of Lila Lipscomb, the mother Moore interviews--is 26. These are men, not children. Moore makes a point of asking congressmen: would you send your child over there? But these are men who make their own decisions. Post 9/11, would you ask the parent of a twenty-something why he let his child live in New York City, when there's a possibility he might be attacked by terrorists there? How about asking a fire chief whether or not he'd "let" his 31 year old son join the department, knowing that the job consists of running into burning buildings? "After all," Moore could say, "this isn't really your fight. Your house isn't the one on fire; there's no threat to you."

Men like Damon have every right to resent the way Moore presents them in the film. He presents them as victims, and uses them like pawns. Think about that for a second. Are there really that many soldiers out there who thought the idea of actual combat was inconceivable when they signed up? Remember what these men and women have to do to get where they are: the exhausting runs, the gruelling physical conditioning, the live fire exercises, the jumping from planes, the survival training, the combat training, over and over until it's instinctual. Hell, these "children" could chew Moore's head off like so much beef jerky.

Moore needs them to appear helpless victims. Reason one is that if they don't, then they must be there because they made up their own minds that it's the right thing to do, and Moore can't have that. The other reason is that he wants to further the Vietnam comparison--It's another quagmire, and young kids are dying. (of course, making no mention that many of those soldiers did not serve voluntarily.) That's it, Mike...take away any meaning their sacrifices had by making them look like sheep. And whatever you do, for God's sake don't tell them that we've overthrown two oppressive regimes in a remarkably short time with a remarkably low casualty rate, and are in the process of making that part of the world a better place--all the kids will want to do it.

August 15, 2004

This Stuff Always Pisses Me Off

Mainly because I hate doing math. But no matter. Just looked through the Washington Post article that describes the Congressional Budget Office report released on Friday. (I encourage you to follow the previous link to their site and read the report for yourselves. Print it out, even and have it handy. It's the report titled "Effective Federal Tax Rates Under Current Law, 2001 to 2014.")

As usually happens with these things, they skew the numbers, mainly by telling you only what they think you should know. They assume (and for the most part, rightly so) that you won't bother to look up the numbers for yourselves. That's where I come in. I don't sleep that much anyway.

NOTE: I should preface this all by saying that I am NOT a numbers kinda guy, and that it IS entirely possible that I'm the one that's reading these numbers wrong. But I don't think so. I'll show you what I got, and you can decide for yourselves. Fair enough?

WaPo statement #1:
The CBO study, due to be released today, found that the wealthiest 20 percent, whose incomes averaged $182,700 in 2001, saw their share of federal taxes drop from 64.4 percent of total tax payments in 2001 to 63.5 percent this year. The top 1 percent, earning $1.1 million, saw their share fall to 20.1 percent of the total, from 22.2 percent.

First of all, I'm not sure why, but their first set of numbers (including the ones from their cute little figure box) all come from table 3, which is based on the 2000 tax laws. The second set is from table 2, which is based on the new tax laws. I don't know why they are using the table 3 numbers, as the first of the Bush tax proposals (The Economic Growth and Taxpayer Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, or EGTRRA) was enacted in 2001, and I'm assuming that when the table says 2001, they mean the taxes you paid FOR 2001, in 2002. AND there certainly is a listing for 2001 under the new tax laws. Any of you accountants out there have any ideas on this one? It really doesn't matter in the long run, because what really matters is the difference between the figures on the two tables--i.e., how the Bush tax proposal changed things. That's where table 4 comes in.

Table 4 measures the difference between what they think would have happened without BushTax (that's what it is from now on) and what they anticipate will happen with BushTax. These are the important numbers. They're measured in percentage points. We're going to look at the ones trumpeted by WaPo--share of total federal tax, and share of income tax. (Well, they didn't exactly trumpet that one, but they did slip it in there.) If the number is negative, that means you have a smaller share under BushTax than you would have had without it--that's good for you. If it's positive, your share is larger--bad for you.
The analysis, requested in May by congressional Democrats, echoes similar studies by think tanks and Democratic activist groups. But the conclusions have heightened significance because of their source, a nonpartisan government agency headed by a former senior economist from the Bush White House, Douglas Holtz-Eakin.

Ahhhhh....See, this is the section where they are duty-bound to inform you that the Democrats requested this study. But, just in case you think it's a partisan thing, they make sure you know that the CBO is impartial. I have no problem with that--I'm sure they are impartial (it's the Post article I'm not so sure about). In fact, I'm going to use their numbers. I'm just going to use more of them.

I should point out though, that there are some problems with the CBO report. For instance, they use "households" rather than "taxpayers." Live with a room mate? Well, CBO is combining your income! This means that the CBO report is including about 14 million people that don't pay taxes! Of course they're not going to have a share of the federal tax! They also don't use the Adjusted Gross Income figure (what's on your tax return), which means their "income" could include things like food stamps or retirement savings. This has the effect of inflating the "income" numbers, and could make someone making $75,ooo a year seem like they're actually making $100,000 a year. So keep that in mind. If you need a better explanation, then check the Tax Foundation's "Cautionary Notes for Comparing CBO’s Household Data to Standard Tax Data." (You can also check out their take on the CBO report here. I think you'll find the message a little different than that of the Post.)

The rest of the WaPo article is just a "he said/she said" between the political parties. You can look up the numbers for yourselves. I'm not going to take any more issue with them than I have already. But I do think it's important that the public be made aware of one last--but extremely important--fact that WaPo doesn't tell you:

Under BushTax, 2004 is probably the worst year you could possibly examine.

At least if you're a Bush supporter. Why? Well, if I had to guess, I'd say it's because 2004 is the first year all measures will have been implemented, and knowing Republicans like I do, I would think that early on in the program, the breaks would go to the businesses--big and small--hoping to give a little jump to the economy. Jobs, increased wages and such. But it certainly doesn't stay that way. The Democrats are no dummies. They requested this particular report, at this particular time, knowing what it was going to say about THIS ELECTION YEAR. But the big picture isn't going to help them once the truth gets out.

It's true that in 2004, the share increased for the 3rd and 4th quintile. That's not surprising, considering that thanks to BushTax, an increased number of us (about 1/3, according to the Tax Foundation) don't pay taxes. That's the whole 1st quintile and more than half of the second. About 44 million people. Since the number of people who don't pay taxes increased, it's only common sense that others will have to pick up the burden. Will it stay that way? Nope. According to the CBO numbers, although the 3rd quintile's share is two-tenths of a percentage higher than it would be without BushTax, by 2005 their share will be one-tenth LOWER, reaching two-tenths lower by 2009. And although the 4th quintile will always pay a little more under BushTax, they go from a seven-tenths higher share in 2004 to a one-tenth higher share in 2005, which they more or less maintain until 2014.

What about that mean old 5th quintile? Those greedy money-makers that--as WaPo points out--had their burden lowered by BushTax in 2004? Well, if you've managed to get this far (and God bless you if you have), you already know what the answer is.

That six-tenths decrease in 2004 lasts year. In 2005, it becomes a three-tenths INCREASE which climbs to eight-tenths in 2010. (which is pretty strong evidence that these cuts do not benefit the least not for more than one year). Let's just take a second to look at that again...

Except for 2004, the richest 20% of households have a HIGHER tax burden under BushTax.

I didn't see that in the Post article. See, they wanted you to think that BushTax caused those middle quintile taxpayers to pay a larger share. What they didn't tell you is that those people would have paid an even larger share under the old tax laws. They want you to think that BushTax lowered the tax burden for that richest 20%; they didn't tell you that it would have been lowered even more under the old laws. The numbers are there--did the reporter just not think it was important enough to mention? And that's just the Federal Tax, which includes things like Social Security, etc. When you look at just the income tax, it's even worse for those mean old rich guys. I won't waste your time going through those numbers. You know where to find the charts...look them up if you want to.

Again, I'm no statistician. I'm just hoping I haven't made some grievous error in my analysis. If I'm wrong, by all means--straighten me out. Just make sure you do it with all the figures.

Worth A Read

Antimedia has put together some of the information about Kerry's war record into a nice neat package. Go check it out.

And here's a handy timeline, also from Antimedia.

And over at Captain's Quarters, you can find some evidence which seems to indicate that David Alston, who appeared on stage at the DNC with Kerry and talked about Kerry's service in Vietnam, didn't actually serve under him. It's not ironclad, but it is interesting.

"For the last time, Officer...It was hot out!!!"

Jeez...It's getting so a guy can't park his car outside someone's house and sit there all night naked without arousing suspicion. What kind of police state do we live in???!!!!

Frankly, I'm a little nervous. I don't know if any of you have ever been tasered in the groin, but it's been a week, and I still have a metallic taste in my mouth, and my garage door goes up every time I pee.

The last thing I remember seeing before the police beat me unconscious...

August 14, 2004

Things That Irritate Me At This Moment

If I have to see one more damn commercial for that new Medical Investigation show, starring Neal McDonough, I'm gonna go upside that freaky-eyed sumbitch's head.
"We're running out of time!"
"Don't tell me we're running out of time!"


I see the damn thing when I sleep.

If Profiling You Is Wrong...

...I don't wanna be right. Take this story, from, about two men who appeared to be of "Middle Eastern descent." The two contacted Arlene Thomas, who runs a helicopter charter service, and told her they wanted to see St. Louis landmarks by air. Thomas became suspicious, and called the police. The police searched the men's carry-on bags, and found:

a butane lighter, box cutter, two knives, duct tape, a powdery substance and a bottle filled with a clear liquid. The men also had maps of New York, Chicago, San Francisco and St. Louis with major landmarks highlighted in yellow.

Now, was it merely their appearance that made her suspicious? Nope. They also had out-of-state plates (on a rental car), out-of-state ID, wads of cash, and when they called that morning, they didn't seem to care about prices. Of course the men were terrorists, right?

Wrong. They were actually an NBC producer and cameraman, pursuing a story that was supposed to show how easy it was for a terrorist to slip into a small airport and charter a helicopter. Thanks to Arlene Thomas, "the incident at the airport was reduced to a brief mention at the end of the newscast. "


Do we really need the media digging up new ways to make us feel unsafe? I constantly hear accusations of the Bush administration manipulating our fear, but they're nothing compared to the networks. The networks rely on our fears to keep us from changing over to reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond. And then--as in this case--when things go as they should, and there's little scare to be had, the story becomes a minor footnote.

Airport director Bob McDaniel didn't think there was anything minor about it.

"I'm absolutely outraged that NBC News is out here trying to create news rather than report news," McDaniel said after meeting with members of the Transportation Security Administration. "This clearly scared the hell out of a lot of folks and wasted a lot of valuable resources, tying up emergency forces, and all of it was entirely unnecessary. "If they wanted to learn about security, we'd have been happy to take them on a ride and show how it works," McDaniel said. Thomas said an apology was in order from NBC to her and everyone who was

Rather than apologize, NBC felt the need to defend themselves:
"Nothing they did or carried was illegal," said NBC spokesman Allison Gollust.
Allison's got some big balls on her. That's like running up to the president, whipping out a toy gun and then later trying to explain it away by claiming a toy gun is not illegal (that's assuming you survived the incident). C'mon...they tried to enter a helicopter with knives, box cutters, and a lighter. While that may not technically be illegal (isn't it? Somebody out there help me out on this one.), it certainly isn't harmless either. NBC needs to take the same heat on this that they would have handed out had their little plan succeeded.

And Again...

They're really making this too easy. Here's spinsanity on yet another...well, this one probably only qualifies as an exaggeration. Seems Edwards and others have been trying to reinforce how brave Kerry is by saying that he signed up for the swift boats, even though it was "one of the most dangerous duties you could have." That's true, but it wasn't true until after Kerry signed up. Before then it was thought to be much safer. But hey, don't take my word for it; get it right from the horse's mouth (from a Boston Globe piece):

"I didn't really want to get involved in the war," Kerry said in a little-noticed contribution to a book of Vietnam reminiscences published in 1986. "When I signed up for the swift boats, they had very little to do with the war. They were engaged in coastal patrolling and that's what I thought I was going to be doing."

He Always Sums It Up So Well

Another take on Kerry's "mistakes," this time from Mark Steyn.
for the purposes of this campaign, his entire political career – 20 years as Senator, Lieutenant-Governor to Michael Dukakis – has been dropped from his CV. If Kerry had exhibited the slightest trace of any interestingly complex view of any policy matter, you can be sure we'd have heard about it. But he hasn't.

August 13, 2004

They Keep Piling Up

You've probably already heard about the Kerry/Cambodia story (although I don't know how...I had to search around just to find this non-blog link), but you might not have heard this one yet.

At the Democratic National Convention, Kerry said cancer patient Mary Ann Knowles was forced to work during her chemotherapy "because she was terrified of losing her family's health insurance." Not so, the newspaper found. Ms. Knowles actually had 26 weeks of paid disability but chose to work through her treatment.

"In short, (Kerry) lied. Repeatedly," The Union Leader editorialized Tuesday.

Good we have another Gore on our hands? This guy will say anything and do anything to make himself look better. I have trouble believing that level-headed Democrats out there aren't feeling a little twinge of regret, or embarrassment. "Maybe that crazy screaming guy wasn't so bad," they must be thinking.

These lies just keep coming and coming. (And let's not forget the ones from the past that--thanks to the selectivity of the press--never really came to the forefront. Ones like the Kansas City assassination meeting.) When is the mainstream media going to start reporting them?

For Those Of You Who Are Always Getting Them Confused

Are you constantly laughed at when you tell your friends how Sam the Butcher led the Mongols to bloody victory? Do you find yourself constantly looking in the TV Guide to find out if Hitler and Rachel end up together this week?

Finally there's hope! Try the "Guess the Dictator and/or Television Sit-Com Character" game.

If you can't tell Joey Stalin from Joey from Friends, or Alexander the Great from Jason Alexander, then this game is for you. Simply answer a few questions, such as "are you known for drinking the blood of your subjects?" and the game will tell you who you are!

"After playing this game, I knew that it was Kim Jong Il whom I despised, not Lil' Kim! Turns out I only really, really dislike Lil' Kim."
--Satisfied User

Hat Tip: Tracy

August 11, 2004

It May Take MORE Than A Village

That is, if you believe Simon & Schuster's claim that M. Night Shyamalan ripped off the book Running Out Of Time, by Margaret Peterson Haddix for his latest film, The Village.
Haddix told Reuters that she heard about the similarities last week when when fans — and then journalists — began calling and e-mailing her and her publisher to ask if she had sold the book to Shyamalan. She said she has never spoken to ”The Sixth Sense” director or to Disney.
I haven't read the book, but I looked up the plot several places online. (NOTE: don't do that unless you want to know the ending of The Village. The article I linked to doesn't spoil the ending, but others will.) I'll admit that there are more than a few similarities there, but without reading the text, I can't make too much of a claim either way. Many of the things which seem to be similar could also result from simply creating drama. For example, in both films, a female character has to leave the village to get medicine. Sounds similar, but I would argue that there are very few things that could happen that would force someone to leave the village. Getting medicine for the sick would be high on that list. And as for the female character? The journey is dangerous. What better way to create additional suspense that to use a character that (in a traditional sense, at least) may be less capable. A teenaged girl isn't much of a leap there.

But make your own decision. See the film (I did). Read the book (I will). Make up your own mind.

Hat Tip to Tracy for the article

No Brain, No Pain

Can't somebody find something to charge this idiot with?

Treason, perhaps?

August 10, 2004

Caption This! Part Seven

I don't like to do two in a row, but couldn't pass this one up.
Photo from Drudge

Just think...all sorts of planes once traveled these rails from coast to coast. VROOOOM!!!

Caption This! Part Six

Now that's what I call a "double play."

Guilty Pleasures

Saw 13 Going on 30 last night. If you've seen Big, well then you've seen 13 Going on 30. But I still really enjoyed it. It was cute, funny, syrupy (of course) and predictable. In addition:

It plays nearly all of my favorite Billy Joel song, "Vienna." (I guess it's a natural choice. The lyrics seem to work well with the plot.)

It has possibly the funniest striptease on film. (Sam Ball, wonderfully cheesy as the self-absorbed hockey player boyfriend who dances to "Ice, Ice, Baby.")

I generally like Mark Ruffalo, whom I also just saw in Collateral (which I'll save for another post).

And then there's Jennifer Garner. Man, I swear I could just watch her stand on stage and read from a phone book. Those eyes. Those lips. And the dimples....sweet leaping jeezus, the dimples. I previously had only seen her in dramatic roles from Alias and Daredevil. But not only can she do comedy, she can do it so well that it just about singlehandedly saves the film. Like Tom Hanks in the aforementioned Big, Garner is wonderfully goofy, and perfectly captures the 13 year old mind/30 year old appearance character. I just keep thinking of the smallest of movements, such as when her friend tells her that she (Garner) has had a nose job, and she crosses her eyes and cocks her head--almost imperceptibly--trying to get a glimpse. She's just fascinating to watch. And it's not just because she's beautiful (although she is). There's more to it than that. You've probably heard people talk about someone's smile or personality being "contagious." That's what I felt like during this film.

Yes, it's a chick flick, and a teen flick, and corny, and predictable, and full of cliches, and all those things. But I don't care, do you hear me? God help me, I enjoyed myself and I don't care who knows it. So there. Nyahh.

August 07, 2004

Polling Update

Looks like there was another survey, conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, which seems to back up my previous post. Needless to say, the "significant minority" harped on by Moore and the Harris article ends up being single digits when you apply the audience makeup from the U Penn poll to the Harris poll. (You can see the exact numbers in an update on the previous post.)

The article concludes that:
Moore's movie is mainly reaching - and reinforcing the views of - people who already dislike President Bush and his policies, much like talk radio host Rush Limbaugh primarily reaches listeners who already dislike Democrats and their policies.

Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, had predicted that the film would play an important role in helping to unseat Bush in the Nov. 2 election. Spike Lee, another politically liberal filmmaker, likewise predicted that Moore's movie would help ignite opposition against Bush. "If you're on the fence and you see this film, you're falling off," Lee said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle . "If you're on the Bush wagon and you see this film, you're coming off."

Those predictions aren't borne out by the Penn survey.

Essentially, it's what we knew all along...Moore is simply preaching to the choir and basking in their "Amens!"

Wonder if he'll address this survey on his website.

Caption This! Part Five

Nice boots...but I'm pretty sure that Wheaton fellow I've heard about must be around here somewhere...

No Longer "Searching"

Looks like former chess champion, critic of the U.S., and anti-Semite Bobby Fischer wants to renounce his U.S. citizenship. It's no noble gesture, of protest or otherwise. Fischer is wanted by the U.S. for violating international sanctions, and has had his U.S. passport revoked. Like so many of those other douchebags out there, he hates America; he just doesn't mind availing himself of her liberties, in this case, traveling around using an American passport.

He got busted trying to enter Japan with the defunct passport, and now he's applying for asylum there, citing "U.S. persecution." (And facing possible extradition.)

I wonder if Fischer realizes that most Americans probably don't know who he is, and those who do--and I say this as a lifelong lover and player of chess--don't give a fuck about him.

I know what would happen if I were in charge of the case:

Dork to Cell Block 5...
Sodomizer takes Dork...Bunkmate.

August 06, 2004

Poll Dancing

I hate to drag out my favorite whipping boy again, but I just saw Michael Moore on Leno, talking about a Harris Online poll. The gist of it was (as was printed in a lot of articles right after the poll came out) that those darned republicans better watch out, because the poll said...well, I'll let the Harris article tell you:

Also bad news for the president is that significant minorities of Republican viewers of the movie give it positive ratings (44%) and think it treats the president fairly (30%).

Well, you know me and polls. As the grizzled old man down the road from me always used to say "Polls is the devil's tools...but poles is the barge pilot's tools." He was always full of nuggets of wisdom like: "Tornado got Ol' Yeller, git to the cellar," and "git outta ma yard, or I'll brain you with a mallet." But I digress.

Those percentages didn't sound right to me, so I decided to take a little look at the numbers for myself.

The first thing I noticed is that everything is percentages; I couldn't find the actual numbers anywhere. That made me a little suspicious. Anybody out there with crazy math skills, feel free to see if you can figure them out for me. I'd also be interested if anyone can find them online somewhere. I checked the Harris site with no luck. But I'll work with the percentages, and some (semi) educated guesswork.

Total number of participants: 2,242 adults. A good number, I guess. Now let's suppose that a third of those people identified themselves as Republican--about 747 people. That percentage may seem a little low, but I'll go through it again in a second with what I feel is an upper limit, so we can get a range.

According to the poll, 7% of those Republicans actually saw the film (I won't even mention the +-2 percentage point MOE). That cuts it to 52 people. Of those 52 Republicans who saw the film, it is true that 44% gave it a positive review. That's 23% excellent--12 people, and 21% good--11 people. 30% of them thought the film was fair to President Bush. That's 16 people. So this significant minority they're talking about? 16 people out of 2242? That's about 7/10 of a percent. I don't consider that "significant."

But maybe assuming that a third of the people are Republicans is a little low. Okay, I'll run through it again, but this time I'll assume that fully half of respondents identified themselves as republicans--1,121. I'm sure you'll all agree that number is much higher than likely. Now...
Republicans who saw the film? 78.
who thought it was excellent? 18.
who thought it was good? 16
who thought it was fair to President Bush? 23. (about 1%)

Either way, we're looking at less than one percent of those who responded to the poll. I wonder if that's keeping Bush up nights...

p.s. All of this depends upon my math skills, which used to be somewhat sharp, but now are used only to figure out my odds of drawing to an inside straight. I think I've done okay here, but please feel free to check the numbers.

UPDATE: The post above cites another survey that seems to reinforce what I've written here. In that survey, the makeup of those who had seen the film were as follows:
55% - Democrats; 24% - Independents (although based on other questions, the study labeled them as "much more liberal than independents at large."); and 10% Republicans. I don't know about the other 11%.

I was interested to see how substituting a similar breakdown to the Harris Poll would affect the numbers:
13% of 2242 (those who had seen the film) - 291
10% of 291 (Republicans who had seen the film) - 29
23% of 29 (Republicans who thought it was excellent) - 7
21% of 29 (Republicans who thought it was good) - 6
30% of 29 (Republicans who thought it treated Bush fairly) - 9

Granted, those may not be the actual numbers, but I feel pretty comfortable going with the other study's breakdown. They also used a sample over twice as large as the Harris poll, but their percentage of respondents who had seen the film was a little lower at about 8.5%.

August 05, 2004

A Me Divided

All right...I can already tell that I'm going to have a big problem come football season. The horrible fantasy football monster has already sunk its tendrils into me ever so slightly. How am I going to run competitive teams and blog at the same time....?

Looks like I'm gonna have to quit my job.

August 03, 2004

Another Thing That Irritates Me At This Moment

I saw Morris Day and The Time singing "Jungle Love" on Leno. Supposedly it was from a "new" album.

Do they have any other songs? Seriously, do they? I have "Jungle Love" from when Purple Rain came out. On vinyl.

August 02, 2004


Wow. Drudge is reporting that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is pushing for getting rid of the IRS. I'm all on board for that one, unless any employees from the IRS happen to be reading this. The tax code is so convoluted that we ought to re-examine it. Although I admit that economics is not my strong point, I've always supported the flat tax. It's one of the reasons I liked Steve Forbes. I don't know if we have to eliminate the IRS entirely, but I think we could gut it without too much trouble (providing, of course, we simplify the tax code simultaneously).

A Man Of The (Rich) People

Now this is the first time that Kerry has really reminded me of Bill Clinton.

Kerry/Edwards have been traveling around the country, trying to drum up some votes. Trying to show how "working man" they are (I guess), they stopped at a Wendy's for lunch. But guess what was on the bus, waiting?
The gourmet meals to go included shrimp vindallo, grilled diver sea scallops, prosciutto, wrapped stuffed chicken, and steak salad. The meals came to about $200.

Like Muppets But Less Fuzzy

Ken posted a memo regarding the upcoming film Team America by the creators of South Park. I agree it's likely harder on the left than the right. After all, it was SP creator Matt Stone who said "I hate conservatives, but I really fucking hate liberals." However, I'm of two minds on the thing. It may be a bit insensitive to make a comedy about terrorism, but man--puppets are funny! I'm also a little wary about any overly political film that comes out right before an election, no matter who it pokes fun at. I do, however, feel better about this release than the similarly-timed release of the DVD version of Fahrenheit 9/11 because at least in Team America, you can see the director pulling all the strings.

For What It's Worth...

If you've been paying attention, you know how I feel about polls in general. But for those of you who find them more accurate than I, it looks like Kerry could be in trouble. As the article notes, this is the first time since 1972 that a candidate has lost ground after his convention.

UPDATE: See what Joel Mowbray has to say about it at frontpagemag.