Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The drip, drip, drip theory

Negative war coverage adds up.

[T]he overall MSM coverage of the war in Iraq has had a negative net impact on the opinions and perceptions of many Americans regarding the daily events taking place there. ... So in terms of general news practice and protocol, there is an imbalance coming out of Iraq in the coverage.

The aggregation of the drip-drip-drip is what killed the public support of the war. The negative effect was not as instantaneously felt or as potent this time as it was when TV nightly news was in its "Uncle Walter" infancy (and before 24-7 repetition of newspaper headlines news networks) during Vietnam era. It is also inevitably true that bureaucratic and political mismanagement from all sides of the aisles has prevented the war from being executed in a more precise and efficient manner, but you go to war with the "slam dunk" Intel agencies, "Peace Dividend" military and Marx-lite Political Parties you have, not the ones you want.

Who knew that we had actually won the Tet offensive? Who knew that a generation of North Vietnamese men had virtually been wiped out by American forces? Who knew that no Americans were fighting in Vietnam when we pulled the plug?

Can nothing be done?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Miserable handwriting

I can't even address an envelope. Not so you could read it, I mean.

[I]t seems strange that I have a good talent for drawing -- a strong line -- but miserable penmanship. You would think if I can draw a rose it should be easy to draw the letter "e" and not make it look a bit like "k" or maybe "i" or "o." But my handwriting is so bad it almost amounts to a secret code. The problem is even I am not always successful at decoding it.
It's always helpful to know who to blame, and I blame my bad handwriting on my father. When I was a schoolchild I had difficulty writing in cursive, so my father brought me a used typewriter from his law office. I loved that typewriter to death, but never learned to write cursive well.

My father had weird notions of child-rearing, and since I was his oldest child, I got the benefit of most of them. For instance, I had to sit at the table until I had finished my dinner. Since both of us were stubborn, I often sat there until bedtime. I also had a kind of fragile stomach, so if forced to eat something, I would--well, you figure it out.

One of the weirdest was of his notions was letting a child (me) make her own decision about surgery. The doctor recommended that my tonsils be taken out. I was not in favor, and he said that if I didn't want to I didn't have to. If the current climate of opinion had prevailed in those days, he would have probably been arrested for child abuse; all children had their tonsils out in those days. But not me.

I suppose if I had had some life-threatening disease my decision would have been overruled.

Wanted: a prayer for computer problems...

sought by network administrator.

Also by the rest of us.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I chose the wrong career

Top civil service earners in Boston are police.

Police in Boston were by far the city's top earners last year, with 25 Police Department employees earning more than $200,000, nearly four times the number who made that amount in 2005, according to city payroll figures released to the Globe.

Of the employees last year, all but one -- Superintendent of Schools Michael G. Contompasis, who made $221,574 -- were police officers, the records show.

Tip from Conservative UAW guy.







Sunday, February 25, 2007

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Traveling, with or without a donkey

The AAUW is having a used book sale in Concord Mall. I managed to spend $13.50, and would have spent more except I bought as many books as I could carry. I got a Time-Life history of ancient Rome for a dollar, not much text, but enough, and very nice illustrations, including maps. I love maps, particularly historic maps, where Marseille is Massilia and Naples is Neapolis. This is a bathroom book to my way of thinking.

You've heard of coffee table books? I like to keep a nice book in the bathroom for, well, extended reading. I've gotten halfway through ancient Rome in this fashion. I also practice reading French phrases aloud in the bathroom. Doesn't everyone?

But I digress. I bought a book I've always wanted to read, Robert Louis Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey. I should mention here that I love books about traveling to damned uncomfortable places, and Travels with a Donkey fits the bill exactly. I myself don't want to travel to damned uncomfortable places at all; European capitals are more my style, or what would be my style if I had a style. I like others to serve as surrogates for me and go to these frightful places. In R L Stevenson's day, anywhere off the beaten track was likely to be uncomfortable and primitive, and lodging was apt to involve sharing a bed with a stranger or two. This suited Stevenson just fine. He was a man who took life as it came, more or less.

One of my favorite of this genre is Motoring with Mohammed, by Eric Hansen, about his travels in Yemen. I defy anyone to read the first page of this book and not be captivated. Baghdad without a Map by Tony Hurwitz is another. It's about the Baghdad of Saddam Hussein, and other Arab countries where the author sojourned.

For some reason, Englishmen are more likely than most to go where no man has been before. Uncomfortable places are probably all in a day's work for those who endured the rigors of English public schools. Redmond O"Hanlon's adventures in Borneo are an example of a couple of Brits venturing into a land of ticks, fleas, cholera and other hazards and living to tell the tale.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Younger daughter as a teenager, looking teenage and pensive

Posted by Picasa

Discriminating against illegal voters

It's unfair to minorities.

Why shouldn't everybody vote early and often? In many American cities, most notably Chicago, people rise from their graves to vote. It makes a nice little outing for these poor dead people, who otherwise don't have much fun.

Spoilsports!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A one-man protest

It works for me.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Accentuating the positive

My mother only believed in one kind of news: good news. Bad news did not get delivered. People who divorced relatives of ours were never referred to again, as if they had never existed. Even if they left a couple of kids behind in their wake.

Even the dead were forgotten as soon as possible.

For instance, I was a teenager before I realized that my mother had had two siblings who died young. They were never discussed, their graves were never visited, no-one was even named after them. It was as if they deserved to be forgotten for having had the bad taste to die in childhood.

When my grandmother was very ill, my mother's weekly bulletins went like this:

Me: How is she?

My mother, judiciously: I think she's a little better.

Every week she got a little better, until she died. She had improved herself into another plane of existence, so to speak.

My favorite celebrity

is Britney Spears.

Her message seems to be: "Okay, I'm a low-rent, trashy, rich, famous celebrity with lots of money. Deal with it!"

Contrast this with the high-minded, hectoring attitude of stars like Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, etc. Britney is not telling anyone what to do. She's not telling us to protest the war, drop our babies, shave our heads, or get tattoos. Nor is she going around spewing hatred and then heading for the rehab. She goes in and out of rehabs as often as I go in and out of my bathroom.

I find her attitude refreshing.

Frightening, if true

and I am afraid it's all too true.

Courtesy of lead and gold.

If we can't count on getting the truth from the press, how can we make judgments? Answer: we can't.

Read the whole thing.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

This makes my blood boil

A callous disregard for human life, as long as it is American:

American transports flying badly wounded U.S. troops back to the United States, often ask European air controllers for a more direct flight path through European air space. This is in order to get the wounded soldier or marine to the American hospital more quickly. This is particularly useful when the aircraft have been turned into a flying ECU (Emergency Care Unit), and doctors are actually treating the seriously wounded in flight. The European air controllers rarely allow the direct flight. It would mean some more work for them, but saying "no" is another way to stick it to those bastards who removed Saddam Hussein from power, and continue to fight Iraqis who want to destroy democracy in Iraq.


No emotion has a shorter shelf life than gratitude.

Courtesy of seraphic secret.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Stella awards

for the year's most frivolous successful lawsuit.

This year's favorite could easily be Mr. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mr. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On his first trip home, having driven onto the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the drivers seat to go into the back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly, the R.V. left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mr. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising him in the owner's manual that he couldn't actually do this. The jury awarded him $1,750,000 plus a new motor home. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit, just in case there were any other complete morons buying their recreation vehicles.

Unholy alliance

The Islamists and the lefties get together:

This leftist-Muslim partnership exists not just on the streets, but in the protest movement's heart. Britain's Stop the War coalition, which has organised more than 15 nationwide protests and hundreds of smaller events, was largely forged by two small, intensely committed bodies—the far-left Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and the Muslim Association of Britain, which is close to the international Muslim Brotherhood. These tiny groups have co-ordinated street protests by up to 1m people.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Separated at birth?



Is Jackie whats her face running for president of France?

How to be safe

Hints from the Department of Homeland Security.

Depressing...

But not unexpected.

Glaciers change slowly

With glacial slowness, apparently.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Delaware license plate explained

Well, sort of.


The ads appear daily in the classified sections of local Delaware newspapers: "Delaware license plate, 4 digits, $3000 or best offer." A license plate costing thousands of dollars? Does that price include the car too? Are people just giving away the car and selling just the plates for the cost of the car to somehow beat the tax man?

Not in Delaware. The tiny state with a population still pushing towards one million still issues license plates containing all numerical characters. A Delaware license plate number can contain up to six digits and the low ones have achieved a cachet that is legendary among Delaware residents. Delawareans love their license plates so much that one of the state's hottest selling holiday gift items each year is a diminuitive solid-gold reproduction of a customer's Delaware license plate.

What is not explained is that weird little doohickey on some, but not all, Delaware license plates. It looks like two c's on top of each other. Or something. What's with that?

Learned disquisition on license plates from dustbury.



An old idea is new again

The phrase auto de fe refers to the ritual of public penance of condemned heretics and apostates that took place when the Spanish Inquisition or the Portuguese Inquisition had decided their punishment (that is, after the trial). Auto de fe in medieval Spanish means "act of faith". The phrase also commonly occurs in English in its Portuguese form auto da fe (or auto da fé) (Wikipedia)

I was reminded of this ritual once imposed by the Spanish Inquisition etc., by the contemptible groveling of Democratic presidential candidates to the anti-war left. I used to think Hillary had some starch in her, not to mention common sense, and would not give in to the netroots in the Dem party to repudiate her vote in favor of the Iraq war. She appeared to have used her better judgment to reject calls of her fellow Dems to pull out, set a timetable, etc--in other words, to insure defeat. For us.

I was wrong. She is hastening to perform public penance with the best of them, in her anxiety to position herself to the left of Obama. I expect to see her washing John Murtha's feet any day now on the steps of the capitol.

Viagra is good for everybody

It's a tonic.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Weathering the storm

Advice to those stuck in Philadelphia by severe winter weather:

.

Rush to the store and buy all of the milk, bread, and eggs that you can carry! Apparently, everyone wants to make French Toast when a snow storm hits.




Why get breast implants?

When you can grow your own.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why can't we elect John Howard president?

He doesn't believe in being mealy-mouthed. The Australians are so lucky.

Criticism just rolls off his back.


Seeking to clarify his earlier remarks, Mr Howard said he was not speaking "generically" about the Democrats but was focused on Senator Obama, who is seeking his party's presidential nomination. "I don't apologise for criticising Senator Obama's observation because I thought what he said was wrong," he said, accusing the Labor leader of "double standards".

"Apparently it is in order for any number of people in the Labor Party to regularly attack George Bush, to regularly attack the American administration," Mr Howard said. "That is OK, but dare anybody criticise somebody who might agree with them on Iraq and then somehow or other I am interfering in the domestic politics of the United States."


And the Aussies don't have to listen to rot about the Religion of Peace.

Monday, February 12, 2007

My uncle, the doctor

Every once in a while, my summer school vacation would coincide with my Uncle Doc needing a receptionist, and my mother would volunteer me for the job.

Uncle Doc was not an easy man to deal with. For one thing, he hated paperwork. This would not have been a problem except he was the doctor for the local Pepsi-Cola bottling plant, and had to fill out reams of workers' compensation paperwork. The piles of paper were a mile high and the patients were always on the phone asking what had happened to their applications. I used to follow Uncle Doc around with a pile of forms, trying to fill them out myself. We had conversations like this:

Me: Uncle Doc, what kind of injuries did Florence Smith have?

UD: Lacerations and abrasions.

Me: Henry Jones?

UD; Abrasions, contusions and lacerations.

Me: Art Robinson?

UD: Contusions and lacerations.

The lacerations, contusions, and abrasions were endless. Still, Smith, Jones and Robinson wanted their forms filled out so they could get their money and return to contusing, lacerating, and abrading themselves ASAP.

Then there were the dogs. Uncle Doc was a dog lover, and he usually had one or two dogs in his office and a few at home as well. They were company for me during the long hours Uncle Doc was at the hospital and I was at my desk, answering the phone, reading Bartlett's Quotations, writing angst-filled poetry, and filling out the daily ACL reports. Sometimes they scared the more jittery patients, though, when they poked their heads into an examining room unexpectedly.

Uncle Doc and I did not see eye to eye on my future, either. He dreamed of my going to a finishing school where I would learn to be a lady. He envisioned me pouring tea and being a gracious debutante. Riding to hounds, English saddle. I, on the other hand, couldn't wait to escape suburban boredom, go to Greenwich Village, and lead a life of chic, stylish debauchery while writing the aforementioned angst-filled poetry and smoking cigarettes, blowing smoke rings through my nose.

Fortunately, the summer would eventually end and I would go back to college, leaving him with his dreams, his dogs, and stacks of workers' comp papers to be filled out by my luckless replacement.

I'm sick and tired of Congress undermining the war

I wish they would sabotage the war in an honest way and get it over with. I'm sure Osama would be pleased, and I would be too, because I can stop watching them destroy our country's security inch by inch. The Dems are so enamoured of bringing Bush down that they don't mind the collateral damage--i e, us.

So the United States' prestige is destroyed, our allies can no longer depend on us, and the security situation in the world becomes far more perilous. It's worth it, isn't it, to bring down Chimpy Bushitler? Of course it is.

My only hope is that Rudi Guiliani might become president. The right will do its best to see that this won't happen, of course, because Rudi doesn't think correctly about abortion, gay marriage, and gun control.

I don't give a damn about any of that crap. Rudi could raise my taxes, ride roughshod over my civil liberties, etc. None of this will matter anyway, as we'll all be dead or slaves if the dems win.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A truly ghastly idea

Oy vey.

President Bush is a genuinely awful speaker. Wouldn't it be a shame if we lost a war for the survival of western civilization because we had a President who reads his speeches in a dispassionate drone?


If only we could borrow John Howard.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith--fit, slim, and dead

Vegetarianism kills.

According to her friends at PETA:

Anna Nicole was...

A long-time vegetarian who had slimmed down into a stunning beauty when she stopped eating meat

A handy-dandy history lesson

with pictures.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Horrible Harold

Harold used to go to the gym I attended, and though I avoided him like the plague, sometimes I would get stuck on a treadmill next to him. This meant it was necessary to talk to him, or at least listen to him, or--my favorite option--unwillingly hear while pretending not to notice him in the most polite, ladylike way, meaning not screaming or calling the police.

A conversation with Harold was like taking a nice, refreshing swim in the sewer of your choice. Harold made nasty remarks about: 1) his wife; 2) other women in the gym; or 3) women generally. Interspersed between these remarks were nasty jokes about women, sex, or women and sex. Just listening to him made you crave a long, hot shower.

Now I'm not one of these tender little flowers who get offended by every remark or glance from a man, but Harold would have offended a saint. A plaster statue of the Virgin Mary would have taken exception to his remarks. He was also very thick, and it was impossible to get Harold off his favorite subject. In fact, he enjoyed embarrassing me and other women. Avoidance was the best strategy, and one I employed most of the time.

When our gym closed and all our memberships were transferred to another gym, I hoped the Harold problem was solved, as Harold declared that he would not be attending the new gym. What a pleasant surprise!

So imagine my chagrin when he turned up at the new place one day a about six months later. One of the other women who had transferred told me he was now a member. I must have made a face, and I know I said, "Ugh! I hate Harold!" This blighted female then told me she would tell him I didn't like him.

I didn't discuss it with her, but she must have told him, because the next time I saw him he looked straight through me in a very offended manner. I had no intention of hurting his feelings; though I have to say I was a little relieved. However, my conscience smote me. Was I responsible for making another human being feel bad? What should I do?

In the end I did nothing. I didn't want to re-open my "relationship" with Harold. I didn't like him, and I didn't feel like explaining to him that I didn't want to offend him but didn't like him anyway. The fact was, I didn't feel like talking to Harold. Rightly or wrongly, I was now off the hook. He could share his filthy jokes and misogynist remarks with someone else.

And so he did.

A really, really bad idea

Germany wants the EU to adopt laws against holocaust denial.

Germany’s push for all European Union member states to adopt legislation criminalizing Holocaust denials is gaining traction as several key countries that expressed concerns over potential free-speech infringement have indicated a new willingness to join the effort.

Berlin announced early this year that during its six-month presidency of the E.U., it would press to make Holocaust denial punishable by law in each of the 27 member states. German officials have described their effort as a moral imperative, as well as a practical effort to unify European legal standards on the issue.


While all this sanctimonious twaddle is going on, physical attacks on Jews are increasing.

Why not just protect all citizens' bodies from harm, and forget about their hurt feelings?

Curse you, global warming

Global warming attempts a disguise.

But you can't fool us.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

X-rated toy trains

These are not your father's train sets.

But visitors to the trade fair in Nuremberg have been gaping at the antics around the railway lines. Merten, which makes train-set figures, is offering a nudist beach, a waitress wearing only an apron and stockings and a couple of lascivious pole-dancers. One scene shows a man urinating against a wall, watched by a woman. Another shows a couple performing oral sex. Look carefully at the scene depicting a brothel raid and, behind the naked prostitutes, you will see the figure of a priest trying to make a quick getaway.

Steamy, irreverent stuff for the train set veterans. Sometimes the Lilliputian world of Exhibition Hall 4A resembles a splatter movie rather than a children’s paradise. A horse is about to be battered to death with a hammer by a butcher. A worker at the blacksmith’s appears to have lost an arm. Blood is spread around liberally. Near a castle, a squad of soldiers have just executed a man. And that’s just the start-up kit.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Another tribute to a black aviator

n honor of Black History Month, I am re-posting my appreciation of Albert Forsythe:

Albert E. Forsythe, black aviation pioneer, 1897-1986
Dr. Albert Forsythe and his comrade in arms, C. Alfred Anderson*, did much to advance opportunities for African Americans in the new field of aviation during the nineteen thirties.
Forsythe, a doctor by profession, persuaded Anderson, one of the first African Americans to receive a pilot's license, to join him in a series of daring and historic flights, known as "good will " flights, to show the world that black pilots could do anything white pilots could do. At the time it was the received wisdom that African Americans were inferior to whites and incapable of being pilots.

Their first flight was from Atlantic City, NJ, where Forsythe was practicing *medicine, to Los Angeles. According to Forsythe, "The trip was purposely made to be hazardous and rough, because if it had been an ordinary flight, we wouldn't have attracted attention."

So they took off, equipped only with a compass and an altimeter--with no radio, lights, or parachutes. To guide them, they had a Rand-McNally road map, which flew out of Forsythe's hands on the return flight. Despite stormy weather, they successfully completed the flight.

Their second flight, from Atlantic City to Montreal, was also successful and made them the first black pilots to fly over an international border.

By this time, the pair had achieved a good deal of publicity, so they launched their next flight, a trip to the Caribbean and South America, with a ceremony at Tuskegee Institute, with hundreds of students and faculty, and with Booker T Washington's granddaughter in attendance.

They departed in November, 1934. This was to be their most difficult flight. In many of their destinations there were no runways or landing fields, and they were forced to land on a playing field or a city street.

In Nassau, Bahamas, Forsythe's hometown, his friends cut down brush and moved telephone poles to create a makeshift landing strip. It was a historic trip--nothing but seaplanes had ever landed there before. They were greeted ceremoniously by the governor, before a tumultous crowd.

They had equally enthusiastic receptions in Kingston, Havana and Santiago, Cuba, Kingston, Jamaica, and Trinidad. But as they left Trinidad, a strong tailwind forced them off course and they crashed, seriously damaging the plane. The rest of the trip was aborted.

Nevertheless, they were honored and feted when they returned home with a big parade in Newark, NJ, in September 1935.

Having proved his point, Forsythe returned to the practice of medicine. "My main business was medicine....I was not interested in becoming involved much in aviation. We just made a series of flights for the sole purpose of opening the road for blacks who wanted to fly."

After many years of medical practice, Forsythe died in 1986. At his funeral, a tribute from the Mayor of Atlantic City was read, mourning his death as a loss to Atlantic City, to New Jersey, and to "the people in the forefront of making history for black people throughout the world."

*Anderson is another interesting aviation pioneer. He deserves to be dealt separately.

Check out these archives

Now you can read the complete history of Little Frigging in the Wold.*

*Whatever a wold is.

Puzzled by UN Climate Change report?

Shut up. They are smarter than you.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its long awaited pronouncement last Friday in Paris and I am informed by the media that this most definitive of all documents closes the debate on anthropogenic climate change. Now is the time for action, no more discussion will be allowed. I have read the document, and most assuredly it does use uncompromising language ascribing recent global warming to human activity. The science in the document, which I am told was reviewed by 300 eminent scientists, at first sight appears to be impeccable, but I must admit that was a little perturbed to find on page 5 that 0.16 + 0.077 + 0.21 + 0.21 = 0.28 rather than 0.657. I must not fully understand that esoteric form of mathematics known as addition. This level of ignorance on my part clearly shows that I am incapable of judging the merits of the science on my own and I give thanks to the IPCC for taking this burden off my shoulders.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Hoorah, hooray!

The latest carnival of the insanities is up.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Make your own error message

Bessie Coleman, aviation pioneer




Every Memorial Day, black men and women aviators fly in formation over the grave of Bessie Coleman, dropping bouquests of flowers on the grave of the first black woman ever to earn a pilot's license.
Coleman was born in 1892, the twelfth of thirteen children. The family earned their living picking cotton. It was an impoverished existence, and as her siblings reached adulthood two of them left for Chicago, where opportunities were better.
Bessie Coleman followed when she grew up. She trained as a manicurist and got a job at the White Sox Barber Shop, situated on the Stroll,an 8-block section of State Street where black-owned businesses flourished. It was there that she encountered Robert S. Abbott, the editor of the Chicago Defender, a prominent newspaper read widely in the black community.
She developed a desire to become a pilot, inspired by stories of the derring-do of the Wolrd War I flying aces. This was an unthinkable ambition for a black woman at the time. Yet Abbott saw something of the potential in Bessie, and offered her financial help to attend a French flying school. He guessed that she would make great copy, and he was right. On her return from France with her pilot's license, she was greeted by representatives of both the black and white press.
Beautiful and flamboyant, she became an overnight sensation. Barnstorming and stunt flying were all the rage at the time, and no one's exploits were more daring than Coleman's. She became a hero to the black community, who dubbed her "Queen Bess." Her ambition was to start a flight school for black people, to encourage them to follow careers in the promising new field of aviation.

Her career was fraught with peril: many of the barnstorming stunts were daring and dangerous. Coleman also suffered from a lack of sufficient funds and therfore often relied on decrepit and unsafe planes. In California, on February 4, 1922, a plane she was piloting stalled at 300 feet, smashing into the ground. She suffered multiple injuries which landed her in the hospital for three months.

Undaunted, she relocated to Texas and resumed her barnstorming career. She had previously performed in the North, to appreciative white audiences. She now visited venues mainly in the South, where African Americans were her most enthusiastic fans. They opened their homes and hearts to her. Colemans' beauty, skill and daring inspired her African American fans.
According to her niece, "The airplanes she was flying, they were just old things....They weeren't worth a darn." The lack of adequate funds did not stop her, however, from planning a flight in Jacksonville, FL. in a ramshackle plane.

Coleman was planning a parachute stunt, so she went up to scout the territory with her mechanic, William Wills, at the controls. Wills lost control of the plane, and Coleman, with neither seat belt nor parachute, was hurled to her death. She was 34 years old.
Her influence, however, lived on. Within a few years William Powell founded the Bessie Coleman Aero Club, both to honor her and to inspire other African Americans to follow her example. Her dream lived on, and still lives on to this day.

In 1995, a stamp honoring her was issued by the United States Postal Service.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Extend the life of your printer cartridges...

with this new software utility.

Will this despicable practice be outlawed?

A law is being proposed in New Jersey to ban use of dead soldiers' names and pictures for commercial or political purposes.


Assemblyman Sean Kean is sponsoring legislation that would make it illegal for someone to use a dead soldiers name or picture for political or commercial purposes without the consent of a family member....
Bradley Beach resident Sue Sullivan supports the measure. Her son, Lance Corporal Vincent Sullivan died while fighting in Iraq. She later found out that anti-war t-shirts were being sold on the internet with her son's name on them. She was appalled and angry when she asked the person selling the t-shirts to take her son's name off and he refused. Sullivan then contacted Assemblyman Kean to see if he could help.


Expect to see the ACLU opposing the measure.

Suggestion:

I've tracked this through so many blogs that I've lost track:

"I think we should take Iraq and Iran and combine them into one country and call it Irate. All the pissed off people live in one place and get it over with."

- Denis Leary.


From Kesher talk. And Stephen Pollard. Did I leave anyone out?

I'm a librarian, you know. I need to cite sources.

Can the army do anything right?

Top-level secret investigation of the use of pack animals.

Don't you sleep better at night knowing a Democratic Congress is looking out for you?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Everyone should do his bit

when it comes to household chores. The ten-month-old phinlet is a big help:

Right now since he's not up to taking out the trash, mowing the law and operating the vacuum we're setting for smaller contributions.... On Saturdays we strap sponges to his hands, knees and forehead so he can mop the kitchen and dining room floors. Sure he misses a couple of spots, but he's learning quick that if he wants to eat the following week he'll do the job right.

I'd wrapped the phinlet in paper-towels, sprayed him down with lemon-pledge and stuffed him behind the entertainment center to dust a couple of weeks back. All was going good until he started flailing around and knocked a bunch of the wires loose. I guess I should have put those receptacle covers up, or at least not given him that fork to clean the crevasses.

Sure some people think its cruel and inhumane when they see the little guy working like a slave, but they normally quit fussing about that when I explain to them how I dust the ceiling fans with the cats.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Washing machine mishap

Oh. My. God.

Femmes fatales




These ladies are (or were) apparently heartbreakers. Particularly for Englishmen.

I'm not saying that any of them would actually give you fits if you encountered them in a dark alley, but glamour girls they're not. They were not even young when they did their stuff. Or pretty.

Obviously youth and beauty are not necessary to captivate men. Go figure.

Who's a mercenary?

From the WaPo:

[T]he recent NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary - oops sorry, volunteer - force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.


Get that little sneer at soldiers who volunteer? Arkin has discovered that they get--wait for it--paid. Obviously, this makes their motives suspect:

I don't believe America needs a draft though I imagine we'd be having a different discussion if we had one.


Yes, indeed. Some of the discussers would be contributing their opinions from Canada and Sweden. But leave that aside. Let's grapple with the problem of who is a mercenary--a mere money-grubbing cynic.

I don't know about Arkin, who obviously moves in more exalted circles than I do, but money is definitely a motivator for the people I know who work. My own career would not have been possible without a bi-weekly paycheck. Absent that check, I would have spent my days lying in bed, eating chocolates and reading the novels of Anthony Trollope.

And so it is with everybody: doctors, lawyers, business tycoons--none of them would like to work on a strictly volunteer basis. They may enjoy their work, may think they are making a contribution to society, may hold themselves to the highest professional standards. But they need financial remuneration to live in our society: to pay the rent and buy food and shoes for their children.

In addition, our military are sworn in upon induction. They are not some Hessian rent-an-army. They have an oath to uphold.

What's the use? The man is a poor writer and a muddled thinker. It's difficult to know just what he is getting at--I'm not sure he can figure it out himself.

Thanks to Lileks for the reference.