Moving Day!

Alrighty, folks! After waiting almost a month for Blogger to allow upgrades, I've decided to move over to Movable Type. I even have my own domain, so be sure to change your bookmarks.

This is just disgusting. Military leaders and administration officials were all up in arms over photos al-Jazeera showed of dead U.S. soldiers, and then they released photos of the dead Hussein brothers. Don't get me wrong - the death of the Hussein boys is a good thing, but stooping to this kind of macabre display is not a good thing; it's the height of hypocrisy.


"Debating" online

2) Quote sources that agree with your stance. It's better if you only pick lines that agree with you, and hope that others are too lazy to read the whole thing so you gain more credibility. Bonus if you can type out so much that everyone gets tired or reading your half of the debate, and you win by default.

I haven't yet gotten into a blogwar, but it's good to know the rules in case I ever do. ;)
Dean heads to Mars

Have I mentioned that I love this guy?

Gov. Dean, already a vocal opponent of the liberation of Iraq and a proponent of homosexual unions, said he still feels too close to the American voter.

A fitting obituary

But we don't want their bodies to be defiled by Iraqis seeking retribution, so we'll just hold on to them until their Dad comes to pick them up---and allows us to express our sincere condolences. They'll be at the Saddam Baghdad International Airport until then.

Drop by anytime, Saddam. We'll be waiting for you.


Court papers allege priest paid to molest boys

This is just plain disgusting. Not only were they (allegedly) molesting kids in their own parishes, they were (allegedly) sending out for me, like Chinese food! What I want to know is why wasn't the "pimp" named in this indictment, too? And more importantly, after reading this:

After Shanley abused him, he said he told his parents, and then spoke to Rev. Raoul Chabot, a priest at Attleboro's Our Lady of La Salette, according to the report.

why didn't his parents go to the police?? They should be charged with criminal neglect and collusion. Look, folks, I understand being devout and all (I was a practicing Muslim for four years - now happily agnostic), but your duty to protect your kids comes first.
Tellin' it like it is

Great letter from an Army Special Op in Iraq:

A bunch of bad guys used a group of women and children as human shields.The GIs surrounded them and negotiated their surrender fifteen hours later and when they discovered a three year-old girl had been injured by the big tough guys throwing her down a flight of stairs, the GIs called in a MedVac helicopter to take her and her mother to the nearest field hospital. The Iraqis watched it all, and there hasn't been a problem inthat neighborhood since.


They see the same GIs who man the corner checkpoint, helping clear the playground, install new swingsets and create soccer fields. I watched a bunch of kids playing baseball in one playground, under the supervision of a couple of GIs from Oklahoma. They weren't very good but were having fun, probably more than most Little Leaguers


I heard one doofus on MSNBC the other night talk about how "nearly 60" GIs have been killed since 01 May. The truth is that 21 GIs have been killed in combat, mostly from ambush, from 01 May through 30 June, Another 29 have been killed by accidents or other causes (two drowned while swimming in the Tigris).


It's going to be a long haul (remember it took 10-15 years in Japan and West Germany) but if we don't stick with it, nobody else will, and we'll have some other looney running the place again.

I'm so proud. The GI who wrote this isn't the Army's most politically correct soldier, and he damn sure isn't going to win any popularity contests in the Middle East, but he's getting the job done, and that's what matters. Read the whole thing.

Via Right-Thinking from the Left Coast

When I heard this story on NPR, while driving home from preschool with my two kids, I actually started ululating. I'm willing to bet I wasn't the only one in the world who was.

Bwaaaaaaaaaahahahahahah! I seriously, truly, honestly LOVE this guy.

To determine whether the troops will defend the Liberian government or the anti-government rebels, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will "toss a coin."

The 10,000 troops are part of the new U.S. quagmire force, or Q-Force.

The New Guy

"There is a diplomatic solution," Melinda repeated in a mocking tone, "Doesn't the president know we pay tax money and want more dead foreigners as a result?"

"Now that's just being childish," Scott said, taken aback.

"Are you going to cry, tubby?" Melinda asked mockingly.


Crash course in military-media relations

It is your right to complain, bitch, grumble, moan and otherwise throw fits about conditions, especially when complaint is justified. However, dirty laundry brought out to be washed in public is almost always an unedifying sight. It makes you look like a whiner, even if you do have a point.

I was never in the military, but my brother (Panama) and grandfather (WWII) were. Both were volunteers, and both saw overseas active duty. Both hated it, both bitched to us, their family. Both had their tours extended, and both were kept in the dark most of the time about their missions. Neither felt compelled to make public statements vilifying their chain of command. You just can't do that. That way lies mutiny and anarchy.

Just found a great new blog (finally catching up on older RSS feeds), thanks to Paul of Heretical Ideas. It's great reading.
If only...

Recently-leaked documents indicate that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) prevented what could have been a devastating attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York City. The documents show that terrorists had planned to hit the towers, and perhaps the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol buildings on September 11, 2001 ... But thanks to the funding increases during the Clinton administration, the CIA had the resources to uncover the plot. It arrested several dozen men who currently await trial for conspiracy to attempt mass murder.


Misreading of statistics

Normally, Sparkey of Sgt. Stryker's Daily Briefing says just what I've been thinking, but this time I think he's way off base. The title of the entry was "Palestinian Wants Don't Really Matter," which stunned me. Their wants don't matter?? Who was there first? Palestinians were forcibly moved off of their land, their homes were either systematically seized and occupied by Israelis or destroyed outright, and they have since been denied the right to return. And now you're trying to say their "wants" don't "matter"? The justification for this claim is a report from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, asking Palestinian refugees what they wanted with respect to the right of return. The OpinionJournal (whom Sparkey quotes) twists the survey's findings, stating:

The choices offered by pollsters were based on the options considered by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in January 2001. Since 1948 Israel has consistently offered resolutions along these lines, which Yasser Arafat and Arab leaders have repeatedly rejected, saying their publics would never accept such an "injustice." The study suggests that the people on whose behalf they speak don't necessarily agree.

Presumably, they (OpinionJournal) make this assertion because less than 10% would actually exercise a right of return, if it was recognized. But the study also found that 95% of refugees questioned would demand their right of return be recognized. That certainly sounds to me like the Palestinian people agree with the claim of their leaders that they would "never accept such an 'injustice' (denial of right of return)."

Think of it like this: very few of us in the US will ever actually exercise our right to "peaceably assemble" and picket someone, but wouldn't we be damned if they tried to deny that we even had that right?

"Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where it often substitutes for both."

Sound like anyone you know?

Via Quotes of the Day
Was this the plan?

Alex Knapp makes a frightening analysis of evidence recently found that attacks on US troops in Iraq were planned well in advance of the invasion. He even theorizes that Saddam Hussein could be hiding somewhere, waiting for public sentiment to turn against the occupation to the point that troops would pull out, leaving him free to regain control of the country. If that happens, friends and neighbors, then I would be so ashamed of our country that I don't think I could ever recover. We simply can not shit all over the Iraqi people that way again.
Some people didn't get their naps

That elected officials can act this way - like three-year-old children - is simply disgraceful. Partisanship has reached an all-time high, and expecting the Democrats to vote on a bill they hadn't had time to read is just... well... stupid. Grow up, people!

Via Heretical Ideas
Progress in Iraq - A Mixed Report

As usual, the truth lies somewhere in the middle of the two extremes reported by the naysaying, critical media and the bragging, upbeat administration. As one Iraqi businessman puts it, "There is a lack of security, but psychologically, things are better, because freedom is nice." We still have a long way to go - the snipings have to stop, and we have to get a reliable Iraqi police force trained and in place, and for Christ's sake, get the electricity back on - but most Iraqis are glad we're there. "Let the Americans stay, they protect us. I don't see them hurting anyone."


Gimme Toys!

I desperately want an RSS feed. All the cool kids have one! But free Blogger doesn't come with this feature. Now, before you go thinking I'm a cheapskate who won't shell out a few ducks for a service I'm obviously making great use of, please note that Blogger isn't accepting upgrades. I don't know how long this has been going on, since I've been blogging all of about three weeks, but for all of that time the "check back next week" message has been up. I'm sure there are 3rd-party solutions I could use, but since I intend to upgrade to BloggerPro as soon as it's available anyway, I don't see the point in investing the time. Comments would be great, too. Anybody got the inside scoop on whether commenting will be included in the new BloggerPro, or when we can upgrade? If so, please let me know.


From the sandbox:

I correspond with several soldiers and Marines deployed around the world. One Army captain, who is currently stationed in Iraq, wrote me two emails recently. Snippets:

* "We are still doing our Army mission [weapons collection], but the best thing we are doing is establishing relationships with the Iraqis. I don't know how the media is reporting stuff back home, but the majority of the people I meet and see are glad that we are here. They just want a better way of life and were tired of living under Sadam. It is amazing how depressed the economy is over here and how many palaces Sadam built. I have been to two of them, one in Baghdad and the other in Babylon. They are very impressive but there are so many poor people."
* "It is amazing when you pass a group of children and they run toward the HUMVEE waving and shouting "Good Mister, Mister" giving us the thumbs up and the Peace sign. I miss my family, but I am very glad to be a part of what we are doing over here."
* "Since I wrote you last, we have had alot of Iraqis in our base camp doing several quaility of life improvement projects ... They are very hard working and often times over qualified for the jobs they do. For instance the guy who installed my circuit breaker is an electrical engineer not an electrician. He told me that he wants to go to America to live and work. I was a little surprised, but once again another example of an Iraqi that doesn't see us as the 'Great Satan.'"

Every time I receive a letter or email from one of our armed forces who are serving in harm's way, I tear up. I have two young children - ages 1 and 3 - and I realize that they live in the best possible place in the world. I say this because they have virtually unlimited freedom, opportunity, and security. This way of life is protected by those men and women who risk it all. This realization is both inspiring and humbling. I try not to think of them as heroes (was it LT Smash who said only those who knew the servicemember personally can do that?), but it's very difficult. Their sacrifice seems nothing short of heroic.

Asking for help

I don't pretend to be a military or political expert, but the notion of having to go begging the UN for troops, especially when so many countries have already said they won't send any, leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. All I can say for sure is that when the time comes, we ought to remember just exactly who is our friend, and who isn't. Liberia is looking like a worse idea all the time. Let's wrap up the conflicts we've got started first before we go rescuing anyone else. There are hundreds of other countries in the world who could help Liberia - let them go this time instead.

France might be able to spare troops, despite being heavily involved in Africa. But given bad blood, "it would be a very big political deal," Schmitt says. "There would have to be an extremely strong US gesture to France."

I'm in the running!

Because I lack pride, a substantial audience, and enough entertaining things to do, I've entered a contest for a permalink on IMAO. In the spirit of the game, I'm not telling you which answer is mine, but please take the time and go vote, anyhow!
Play-Doh Sculpture

I think my favorite was the Play-Doh call-in center.


Redistribution of Wealth

I'm becoming a big fan of Scrappleface. My favorite quote from this entry about redistributing Bush's campaign funds to the Democratic nominees:

"If Bush is really a compassionate conservative, he will divide his re-election funds among us. As one of the founders of our party once wrote: 'From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.'"



I am not excusing the inclusion of this disputed allegation in the president's speech, but I firmly believe there was no intent to deceive and that the administration did not materially rely on the allegation in its decision to attack Iraq.

Via OpinionAlert
Rumsfeld Meets "28 Days Later"

Frank, Frank, Frank...

"Bush is a pansy! I will beat him with Kim Jong Il's head! Rarr!"


Snug as a Bug in the Dark Underbelly

I'm not really all that familiar with Julian Bond, head of the NAACP, but his remarks at the NAACP annual convention makes me think I haven't missed much. Among other things, he said, "Republicans appeal 'to the dark underside of American culture, to that minority of Americans who reject democracy and equality,'" and "their idea of reparations is to give war criminal Jefferson Davis a pardon." I think my favorite quote is this, about the recent tax cut: "Bush signed a 'death warrant for social programs for decades and decades to come.'" Dare to dream!

Via Right-Thinking from the Left Coast
It's not all paint

O. M. G. Frank of IMAO is so bad he's great! This was hilarious, and I had to bury my head in a pillow so I wouldn't wake sleeping children. Seriously - go read, but don't drink anything til you're done. My favorite quote:

Bush said, "I'm mad at all those people out there who are saying I'm a liar for saying Iraq was trying to get uranium from Africa. I was just reading the teleprompter! Instead of getting credit for good reading, they call me a liar! It makes me so mad I want to grow big and green and smash them all!"

Clear, if not quite present danger

Maybe the American people intuitively understand some things that reflexive critics of American presidents don't. Like the need to confront a growing danger before it becomes an imminent threat.

Via OpinionAlert
Internet Dating, Vilified

It's always annoying for the computer-savvy to witness blatant overuse of computer metaphors, and this article is no different. Not only does it demonstrate a basic ignorance of dating online, it also trivializes a medium that has been very successful in uniting thousands of couples (including me and Mike. It barely even deserves critique, so I'll just pull out a few choice "mis-bits":

* "...post-modern women are looking for Mr. (Word) Perfect to pop up on the screen in front of them. The damsel in distress suffers from data overload."
* "If the e-mailers are hungry, they can enjoy a byte on the Internet..."
* "They don't even have to worry about being late for a date, since online lovers can log in any time they want."
* "Men like to be the aggressor in initiating the e-mail and a woman could find herself waiting at the computer like women of an earlier generation waited for the phone to ring."
* "In a culture where the medium is the message, these exchanges offer the depth of the new thin screens, high-speed modems and a long-life battery. They're light, but some have limited memory and none of them have that much staying power."

Via OpinionAlert, of whom I really expect better


Bush Analyzed

I don't pretend to agree with everything the Bush Administration is doing (my biggest complaint is probably the ongoing prop-up of Medicare and Social Security). I believe John Hawkins of Right Wing News probably closest matches my impressions of Bush, thus far.
Bubble Wrap

Unexpectedly stepping on bubble wrap is scary. In the spirit, have fun with the Perpetual Bubble Wrap linked to above.


No Whites Allowed

That's what they should rename those "multicultural centers." Or better yet, do away with them altogether. Not only do they effectively exclude Caucasians from even entering without fear of harassment and, as this article shows, school censure, but they imply that they are the only safe places for minority students. The whole school should be a multicultural center, and white students should be considered among the cultures.

Via InstaPundit


Constitution? We don't need no stinkin Constitution

A very thoughtful post over at The Volokh Conspiracy about the Nevada Supreme Court's ruling which cancels that state's constituational requirement of a 2/3 legislative majority to pass tax bills. Amazing.
Blogger's Comics

I don't have a tipjar (at this stage of the game, it would feel silly, since I have no out-of-pocket costs), but I found the comic funny, nonetheless.

Via Right-Thinking from the Left Coast
Fighting back

First it was telemarketers, now spammers. I love it!

Today I learned what fisking means.
You had me, until...

... you contradicted yourself. Yes, the Supreme Court was wrong, wrong, wrong on its recent ruling upholding affirmative action. Affirmative action is a violation of equal protection, and should be abolished, in all its forms. But also in line with the notion of equal protection for all is that laws proscripting sodomy should not single out homosexuals for punishment. Whether sodomy should be allowed or not is, I think, a matter for the citizens of the individual states to decide, on a state level. Whether those laws are unfairly or unevenly applied, however... now that's a matter for the Supreme Court. I agree with the outcome of the sodomy decision, but not the reasoning. Texas' sodomy law should have been struck down on the basis of equal protection, and not on the shakier (and not-Constitutionally-guaranteed) ground of "right to privacy".

In any case, the tone of the article gets decidedly spooky when it starts mentioning our "Judeo-Christian society." Nowhere does the Constitution mention this "Judeo-Christian society", and I truly get sick of its mention. Equal protection extends to those of all religions, and to those of no religion.

Further, permitting sodomy does not put us at risk that "incest, prostitution, adultery, or any other perversion the mind can conjure, cannot be regulated." Incest, presumably with children, falls under the broader category of statutory rape. Prostitution is a commercial transaction, and can be regulated that way. Adultery, if the majority of society decides it should be "regulated" at all (yay, democracy!) could fall under the heading of breach of contract. To equate consensual, adult sodomy with incest is abhorrent, and trivializes the rest of London's point.
Campaign Finance Outcome

President George W. Bush is ... raising funds in $2,000 bites at large events drawing on real people interested in supporting his campaign.

For this, Bush should be on the verge of winning the endorsement of The Center for Public Integrity, a high-profile Washington-based organization behind campaign-finance reform. McCain should be volunteering to be chairman of Bush's fund-raising effort, hailing its exemplary practices and its example of "clean" politics.

Instead, Bush's campaign is drawing criticism for raising money exactly the way campaign reformers have always said it should be raised. You'd think he was gobbling up donations in $100,000 soft-money chunks.

"It's the most coldblooded and efficient way of raising money in the history of politics," Charles Lewis, head of The Center for Public Integrity, has huffed. "These aren't your average Americans. They're the most well-heeled interests, with vested interests in government."

I'm sure that's not what the McCain-Feingold supporters expected to happen, but I had to chuckle. I do wish that Lowry had refrained from stooping to the use of the term "bray", however; it cheapens his point.

Via OpinionAlert
Evaluate, then act

Yes! This is the point I was trying to get across about Liberia:

Our global deployments are already vast ... The proposed U.S. force in Liberia would be comparatively small (2,000 to start), but as we saw in Somalia, small deployments can put our people at great risk while failing to achieve the desired humanitarian result ... It may be that our deployments to Japan and Western Europe have outlived their usefulness, and we'd be better served to move our troops to more dangerous parts of the globe. But absent such a re-evaluation of our commitments, piling on new ones is not sensible.

Via OpinionAlert
Well, well, well

Interesting, if true: a link between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. I'm not as sold on the conclusions that everyone seems to be drawing about this list, but it's still something that would be otherwise tough to explain away.

Via Silent Running, via LGF, via InstaPundit.


Mike, in about 15 years

(to be sung to Barney's "I Love You, You Love Me" saccharine-sweet song)

I love you,
Daddy love me.
But Daddy no like any guy who love me,
With a great big hug,
And Daddy shoots'em all
With his An-ti-Air-craft gun.


Getting the Job Done

If we gave in to the snivelers and peaceniks who cry, “Bring our troops home now!” Iraq would undoubtedly descend into a bloody civil war, and God only knows who would come out on top. Saddam might even emerge from hiding, claiming to have driven the “infidels” out of his country. The United States would have suffered another black eye, and our enemies would be further emboldened to attack us again. We would have lost the war, and all of the brave Americans and British who gave their lives in this operation would have died in vain.

I am not willing to accept that scenario. You shouldn’t be, either.

We are the mightiest military to ever walk the face of the Earth. We have the capability and the will to finish this job.

Let's see it through to the end.


Hysterically Bellowing

I have a friend who is a Dean supporter. A Dean enthusiastic. In fact, she has described herself as being "in love" with Howard Dean. I think that's just great. I think it's really wonderful when you can find a candidate who captures your imagination and wins you over to that degree. God knows it hasn't happened to me, but maybe someday. I don't really expect that person (for me) to come from either of the two major political parties, but I'm willing to be surprised.

The downside I see to this metaphor is that, as when you fall in love the conventional way, you tend to lose all sense of perspective. When your friend says something critical about your true love, you tend to get hyper-defensive. I think the same has happened to those in love with Dean. At one point I mentioned on my friend's site that I thought her blog had become a campaign site. She, and some of her readers, took this as a criticism. In honesty, it wasn't; I was just making an observation. Actually, having a campaign site might not be a bad thing, since at least the cost of upkeep could be a tax write-off. :)

The main criticism I do have of Dean supporters (those I've seen online, anyway) is their tendency to discount anyone who isn't an ardent supporter of Dean as being ignorant. This isn't restricted to Deanists, of course, but they're a lot noisier about it than most. I don't consider myself an ignorant person. I make a concerted effort to read a variety of news sources (amongst changing diapers, quilting, running a business, feeding babies, etc.) and I comment on what I read. I don't live "inside the Beltway" (and wouldn't on a dare) but I don't think that matters. Most of the voting populace doesn't, after all. The majority of the sources I've read have said that Howard Dean is a liberal (like that term or not). In fact, some have gone so far as to say he's the most liberal candidate in the field, including Al Sharpton. That's probably a bit of an exaggeration, but I decided to try to figure it out for myself, based on my own (admittedly biased) definition of what side of the line a typical liberal and a typical conservative would fall on. In the spirit of full-disclosure, I've indicated my own views on the subjects as well. Dean's stances are taken from his own website.

My analysis is that yes, Dean's a liberal, whether he wants to be called one or not.


Hacking Contest

People need to get a hobby. Or grow up. Or both.
Women's Suffrage in Kuwait

Man, I would love to see this happen! I hope they really do manage to vote in a non-fundamentalist Parliament, and that women there do get the right to vote. I have to wonder if the presence over the last 10 years of American troops has had any impact on this situation. Scary quote:

"Women are not qualified for politics," Islamic fundamentalist Mohammed al-Gharib said on leaving a polling station. "They need at least 10 years before they can vote and run."

Zee Lah-teen Luhv-ah

A new study reports that 77% of Spanish people plan when they're going to have sex. It's reported that this data "dent[s] the image of the spontaneous Latin lover." Spontaneity be damned; if a person can get it on under a deadline, I think their libido is probably even better than those with the luxury of being able to "get in the mood."
Iraqi Constitution

Buried near the end of this article is a report that Paul Bremer has announced a governing Iraqi council will be formed "in the next two weeks" with "real responsibilities and power", including writing a Constitution. Very promising steps, indeed. I'd love to see this happen. The Iraqi people deserve meaningful self-government. Plus, I'd just love to see all the naysayers eat crow.
U.S. to go to Liberia

Well, here we go. So far it's just a small fact-finding mission, and that's just fine. I'd even support a humanitarian mission, given what I know. But for more than that, the Administration needs to make a case. A few thoughts on the article:
Gun ownership a states issue?

This is probably the first source I've seen provide any justification for the claim that Howard Dean is a moderate. Part of the basis for that claim is his stance on gun control.

It's a states issue, he says, and his state, with its low crime rate, doesn't need it.
Now, too often, I think people federalize things that are not really federal business (welfare and public education are two of my biggies) but gun control is one of the very few issues that really are federal concerns. Or does Dean not recall the Second Amendment? "...shall not be abridged" certainly speaks to (the illegality of) gun control.

Hat-tip to Mike for the link


Holiday Television

Pickin's are pretty slim, so I'm watching this show called Single in the City, which bills itself as "the real Sex in the City." I just can't get past how shallow these girls are. With only a couple of exceptions, they seem to be vapid and silly, and the incessant giggling is totally annoying. But I can't stop watching. It's like a train wreck.
Happy birthday, America: land of the free because of the brave.


So that's what it takes

Let's see, two days of calls per telemarketer. At that rate, I might stop getting harassed in.... four months.
Troops to Liberia?

Hm. I have to wonder if we aren't starting to spread ourselves just a wee bit thin. I'm not a military analyst (well, duh!) but it sure would be nice if the White House made the case for this move, and helped make the American public more sure that we had the troops to spare. I mean, sure, they say 500-1000 now, but that seems too puny to be taken seriously. I'd like to see either a lot more (and the appropriate case made) or none at all. Would hate for the US to start getting a reputation for "half-assing it."
Left of left

Even Democratic Senator John Kerry's campaign manager is referring to Dean as appealing to the "ultra far left of the party." I would've liked to have seen some substantiation/explanation of this statement, though: "Dean is bringing new people into the system."

via C-Log
How will it shake out?

Speculation on how some of the Democratic candidates will be received by the American public. Some of it's not very nice to hear ("A capacity to marry power and glamour is essential to the modern politician, who must use image as well as words to solicit support.") but I think it's probably pretty astute, nonetheless.

Of course, it's early. But shouldn't we expect a little more than finger wagging from some of our country's leading men?
Shouldn't we, indeed?
Resentment in politics

What is his [Dean's] message? ... his rallying cry is that Bush is a crooked, power-mad, unilateralist, neoconservative imperialist bent on manipulating the country into supporting his globalist designs. This preposterous mantra is what ignites the party's liberal base -- and boy, is it liberal. So liberal that it can't see past its own passions to rein itself into contention.

So consumed is the base by its hatred for Bush that it is fabricating WMD conspiracy theories to discredit him and even believes its own lies.
We had a word for this when I was a teenager: player-haters.
Democratic Fundraising Efforts

For months, Dean has been the top buzz-generator in the Democratic field because of his antiwar stand and aggressive campaigning. He also appears to be the hottest fundraiser, at least for now.
Will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

via C-Log


Blouse on, blouse off

Boy, LT Smash makes me laugh. This time he grapples with a difficult and serious military issue facing our troops in the Middle East.


The Rise of the Stay-at-Home Mom

I'm not sure I buy all of the points (about the increase in the numbers of SAHM's) made here, but I do hope she's right about one thing:

that this new trend is part of a larger, modest but encouraging shift toward greater commitment to marriage and family generally

Examining Howard Dean's gubernatorial record

With lower-than-average incomes, a heavier-than-average tax burden, and some of the highest health insurance premiums in the country, Vermont is hardly paradise for working people. Howard Dean has some explaining to do -- if someone will just ask a few questions.

Spinning Dog Fur?

That this woman is even considering making a dog-fur sweater is evidence that she has far too much time on her hands. Get a hobby! Volunteer somewhere! Help the homeless!
Howard Dean, the Angry American

Toby Keith would probably be outraged that I was applying that moniker to a far-left presidential candidate-hopeful, but this article makes the case that anger is why Howard Dean has had such a showing up to now. I found it to be fairly balanced writing, and an accurate reflection of what I've observed from my armchair.

via C-Log
Sesame Street characters help kids deal with terrorism

I'm supportive - at least in theory - of videos that encourage kids to ask their parents for explanations about things that frighten or confuse them. Now I just wish they offered videos to parents about how to answer those questions!
Then... why invite a rapper?

"There was a contract signed in which it was made very clear long before the arrival of the artists that there are laws in St. Kitts that do not take kindly to the use of indecent language on stage," Information Minister Jacinth Henry Martin said Saturday.


Gay, but not THAT gay

Ellen Degeneres wants to be known as an entertainer who happens to be gay, not as a gay entertainer.

"I have to say something gay, otherwise people might leave here tonight and say, 'She didn't do anything gay. She's not our leader. What happened to our leader?' "

I've always thought Ellen Degeneres was funny, and I was somewhat put off by her coming-out. Not because she was gay (I didn't care, one way or the other), but because it was so overhyped and dramatic. Now it seems like she might regret the splashiness somewhat, but only because it didn't have the effect on her career she had hoped. She's still a very funny person, and her work in Finding Nemo was really extraordinary. She doesn't have to worry about losing me as a fan, but I'd just as soon she stopped using her sexuality for hype. Granted, that seems to be the point of the whole article, but it's one of those "Don't think about pink elephants!" things, isn't it?
Political Correctness Gone Badly Amiss

So it seems some states have a problem with some topics being covered in textbooks. John Leo's review of Diane Ravitch's book The Language Police covers many of these, including "peanuts as a good snack (some children are allergic), owls (taboo in Navajo culture), and the palaces of ancient Egypt (elitist)." I'm sorry; owls? Peanuts? This is just plain ludicrous. As if we didn't already have a thousand, here's yet another reason for us to homeschool our children.

What started out as a sensible suggestion -- don't always show women as homemakers or minorities in low-level jobs -- developed into hard reverse stereotypes (women must not be shown in the home, maids can't be black).

Patriot Act and freedom of the press

Lest anyone get the wrong idea, I do not think the Republicans are infallible. I know very little about the Patriot Act, having not had the time to sit down and read the monster. If Kathleen Parker's assessment is correct, it's a very scary thing.

Here's how things could go bump on deadline. Under the act, a reporter can't be wiretapped as long as he isn't an "agent of a foreign power." But if in covering a story, a reporter calls someone who fits the definition -a foreign student or a foreign political organization -then the reporter's e-mail addresses and phone numbers can be monitored, unbeknownst to him.

Rush Limbaugh's take on Howard Dean

I guess the entitlement mentality has reached into the Dean family, so much so that his kid feels he has the right to steal beer from the rich.

12 Partygoers Killed in Patio Collapse

I saw this report on CNN, including similar porches in the area that were still standing. How anyone could have reasonably expected "dozens" of people to safely fit on that patio is beyond me, but maybe those plastic cups were filled with more than punch. Hints have already been made at suing the apartment owners (isn't that always the first response?), but I think the survivors should face some kind of endangerment charges.