Thursday, March 31, 2005

News Got Ya Down?..........Never Fear!! TMAN IS HERE!!!


Tired of all of the backbiting and political volleyball going on lately? Makes you wonder if the elections are actually over. Well, here at Tman In Tennessee, the staff wishes to cheer you up a bit and put things in a clearer and less partisan perspective.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad,
Other things just make you swear and curse,
When you're chewing life's gristle,
Don't grumble,
Give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best.

Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the light side of life.

(via the always uplifting FuturePundit)

Planet Earth Is Overdue For The 62 Million Year Extinction Cycle

Some European environmentalists like to worry about genetically modified foods. A larger group of people like to worry about global warming. FuturePundit, far more focused on risks to his own life, is worried we don't have the means to produce large numbers of vaccine shots in response to a dangerous flu strain (like the Avian influenza that might currently be spreading in North Korea). Well, these are bush league catastrophe worries. You want to have a heftier and more manly worry? Time to sink your teeth into a massive recurring pattern of extinction that has been happening once every 62 million years for over 500 million years and which is currently overdue!

BERKELEY, CA – A detailed and extensive new analysis of the fossil records of marine animals over the past 542 million years has yielded a stunning surprise. Biodiversity appears to rise and fall in mysterious cycles of 62 million years for which science has no satisfactory explanation. The analysis, performed by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California at Berkeley, has withstood thorough testing so that confidence in the results is above 99-percent.

Think about a massive die-off of most of the species on planet Earth that would make environmentalist fears of human-inflicted damage to the environment seem puny in comparison. We are talking about a die-off that would make a first class Hollywood disaster movie. Heck, it could even be made into a series of movies and civilization progressively collapses and our stars fight their way toward the few areas where humans are managing to hang on.

See? So cheer up there kids! We could all be dead tomorrow!! What's the worry?

Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the light side of life.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

It's Just Crazy Enough It Might Work!!!!.........


Ok so hear me out. I don't know if anyone read about this, but there was a near riot in Pyongyang, North Korea yesterday during a World Cup (soccer) qualifying match between Iran and North Korea, both currently upstanding members of the axis of evil. And not only that, but junior member of the axis of evil -Syria- had supplied the referees for the game. Apparently, the North Korean players and fans reacted quite violently to the results of many of the calls made by the officials as well as the play by the Iranians. So violently that the Iranians barely made it out alive, as well as the Syrian referees. Troops had to be called in to put down the rioting and even they couldn't stop the barrage of debris rained down on the Iranian players and Syrian refs.

So here's my idea- we set up an Axis of Evil Soccer League, and have each team play like a 75 game season. And each home team is required to play with a referee from the visiting teams country. After a full season of this league, all of the members of each country will be so tired from fighting each other that we can just waltz right in and remove their dictatorships and disarm them.

Genius I tells you!!! Pure GEEENIUS!!!!!

Who's got Condoleeza's number?

Finally, I can have a reason to enjoy the game of soccer. And Ron Artest could be the League President. Who's with me?


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

This just in.....Carlos Santana Is An Idiot.........


Does everyone remember that bizarre duet that Santana did at the Oscars a few weeks ago? I turned away because I am pretty tired of Santana at this point. My friend and I joke all the time about the overused guitar riff that he uses on every frickin' song for the last fifteen years. Don't get me wrong, I was a Santana fan, but now he has turned a little too commercial for my tastes.

Well, now that he has lost his previously entertaining musical abilities, he has also apparently lost his mind as well. Val Prieto over at Babalu blog has found a letter written by one prominent Cuban-American musician who sent Santana a letter concerning his choice of apparel at the Oscars. Val translates it in to english for us-

I learned through our mutual acquaintance Raúl Artiles that you will soon play a concert in Miami, something I would not recommend, as you showed the stupidity of appearing at the Oscar Awards proudly donning a large crucifix over a tshirt with the stereotypical image of the Butcher of La Cabaña, which is how Che Guevara is known to Cubans who had to lamentably suffer under him at said prison.
One of these Cubans was my brother Bebo, incarcerated there precisely for being a Christian. The same one who always bitterly tells me how he could hear from his cell the firing squads at dawn murdering those who without trials would die screaming "Long Live Jesus Christ."

The guerilla with the starred beret is much more than what's depicted in that ridiculous motorcycle movie, my famous colleague, and combining Che Guevara with Christ would be like entering a synagogue wearing a Swastika necklace. And it is also a slap in the face to those young Cubans who in the '60s had to hide to be able to listen to your records, Imperialist music, as Rock & Roll was defined in the slang of the Argentinian tramp and his partisans.

Please forgive the fact that I write you in Spanish, but I just don't think I have enough words or mastery of the English language to express my indignation at your irresponsible attitude. And believe me, as an artist I wish you good fortune, because you will need it, Carlos...especially in Miami.

I found the whole segment at the Oscars a bit unsettling as it seemed to glorify Che' as some Jack Kerouac style Central American hero, when actually he helped murder many innocent people. But coming from Hollywood, color me unsuprised.

Monday, March 28, 2005

JEEEBUS people.......GIVE IT A REST!!!!


Miss me? Sorry for the dearth of posts lately, I've been pretty busy with work and such. I have had time to read some of the latest evolution debates currently circulating the blogs, namely the one between Paul from Wizbang, and people with brains and common sense, like Pharyngula, Andy at World Wide Rant, or the Commissar at Politburo Diktat.

Basically, the argument goes like this.

Paul: "I don't believe in evolution. I can't prove it, and I won't be bothered to review the millions of pages of literature that have proved and falsified that organisms evolved from common ancestors. Therefore, science and mankind are arrogant and dumb. "

Me: "Paul, that's crazy. And dishonest. Your laziness is preventing you from learning why we even HAVE the facts about evolution, and you offer no alternative for the origins of mankind."

Paul: "You can't prove it to me, And even if I would look at the millions of pages of which you refer to, I still won't believe it because science is dumb and arrogant."

Me: "Enjoy your ignorance. And when they develop a new anti-virus for the inevitable Bird-Flu virus currently EVOLVING, I'm to assume that you won't want any of it, because, well, science is all dumb 'n stuff. And arrogant..."

Paul: "Wait, what??"

The following post by PZ Myers at Pharyngula takes the previous conversation and shows you how people should start actually answering these ridiculous arguments. Basically, enough coddling the slow and lazy, it's time to give the smackdown.

"I know what some people are thinking: just don't call them "stupid" or a "moron", it distracts from the scientific argument. Of course it does; but one thing I've learned over the years is that this is not a scientific debate. The scientific part was settled a century ago, and evolution won, hands down. There is absolutely no legitimate, intelligent argument against evolutionary theory right now.This is not to say that we know everything or that the theory is complete or that we expect no major revisions; it means that evolution in a broad sense is an inarguable fact, and what we need to know now are details and mechanisms. The earth is billions of years old, species are all related to one another, and there has been a complex and ongoing pattern of change over the course of all of that time. All of that has been supported by multiple interlocking lines of evidence uncovered by the work of thousands of people, rechecked and verified by thousands more. That's just not going to be seriously challenged by anyone sensible, let alone some ranting guy who took a general science course in high school.

The big picture is done. The ships have sailed, they've discovered the coastline of the New World, they've established a few thriving colonies—and there's a huge, exciting continent to explore. Meanwhile, we have a few lunatics in the Old World who have clamped their eyelids shut and are screaming that they can't see it.

So what's the argument about? Not science, that's for sure. The opponents of evolution don't know any. They are effective political agents who are attacking the enterprise of science without addressing the scientific issues seriously. They have been relying on their opponent's hesitation or aloofness to escape criticism of their competence or ignorance. They shout with authority when they possess none.

You know what? It's time to stop that.

When someone lies, and tells you that increasing numbers of scientists are opposing the evolutionary 'paradigm', shoot them down, but also be blunt: call 'em a liar. Don't let them get away with pretending this is an honest debate between sincere opponents. It's an argument with a shameless liar.

When they parade their ignorance and try to claim that scientists have never discovered any transitional fossils, hand them a list, and make it clear to everyone that they are stupid. They are ignorant. Don't let them skip over it and move on to yet another issue that they will misrepresent: stop everything cold at that point and hammer on the fact that this person is not competent, is not informed, is unaware of the basic facts that he is railing against."

It really is sad how ignorant people have become in this debate, but the people who will really suffer if we don't stand up to this level of ignorance are students across the country. It is no secret that America is slipping in terms of math and science education in regards to the rest of the industrialized world.

Jay Manifold over at A Voyage To Arcturus has taken this challenge head on and I highly suggest reading up on his Herculean efforts to help Kansas retain a science program in its schools that isn't infested with morons.

Probably his best points are summarized here-

"If you are an antievolutionist ...

You must believe -- like the postmodernists -- that the historical sciences are merely an artifact of the pre-existing worldview of investigators, fundamentally subjective and ultimately arbitrary.

You must suppress your awareness of the immense practical benefits of the historical sciences, even while taking advantage of those benefits.

Further, you must ignore the moral implications of a Universe created filled with (take your pick) deceptive appearances of age or a complete lack of cause-and-effect relationships (read Van Till for much more on this).

Not to overlook the obvious, you must believe in an immense conspiracy, going back a century and a half, among astronomers, biologists, geologists, and paleontologists, to prop up their contrived model and suppress alternative explanations."

So, all of you evolution-haters out there: You still want that Bird-Flu shot? Because you must be prepared to sacrifice your ignorance. Or you could remain a dishonest lying FOOL. It's up to you......

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Nashville Blogger Meetup/An Evening with Mr. News Channel 2......


Yes folks, last night was our blogger meet up at Jacksons bar and bistro in Hillsboro Village. I would go so far as to say it was a complete success. The folks at Jacksons were there usual cordial selves, and the patio was a great location for us to schmooze and mingle. Thankfully, everyone paid their tabs and took care of the servers so in the end everyone was happy. I had the pleasure of meeting a few different Nashville Bloggers I hadn't met before, and some I had already. I think everyone will agree that it was quite enjoyable to watch Mr Roboto do his best to try and show his independence from his new masters at News Channel 2. That's News Channel 2, WKRN. Hook, line and sinker they got that poor boy. Such a shame. He went from the true Nashville Nightlife crunkmaster to News Channel 2 mama's boy in just a few days. Dude, when you have a picture of "Brad About You" on your blog header, you are crunk no longer. Just the way it is Roboto, sorry man. One day I hope to see Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force back on the header, and more shots of you stumbling around in your Western wear. Still, thanks for getting everyone together, I had a good time chatting up a storm with everyone.

I did discuss an issue close to many bloggers hearts with Allen Forkum, of Cox and Forkum fame at the bar after the festivities on the patio died down, and that is one of Blog Sponsorship and Blogs generating revenue in general.

Here at Tman in Tennessee, I have some ads listed to your right for things you can buy. One for Cox and Forkums excellent political cartoons, Black and White World I and II, the other for Steven Grahams Eat What You Want and Die Like A Man cookbook. I list them both not because they pay me to, but because I think both of them are great reads and worth your time and money. I make absolutely nothing off of any link associated with my blog. I don't pay anything to publish it either. I also link to good causes I believe in such as Blog Iran or Support Our Troops, because again, I believe in these causes and anything I can do to help, even in a small way, is something I should do. Do I feel as though I should be commended for this? Of course not. It's not costing me anything. In fact, it's probably about the least I can do. Bottom line, I make zero dollars from any listing on my site whatsoever.

One reason I choose to skip the blogads is the fact that on occasion I post to my blog from work. My company could accuse me of using company internet connections to make money for a private business and could then fire me or reprimand me. Another is I just don't like being beholden to marketing interests. I'm not saying that those folks who do make money off of their blogs through advertising are dishonest or money grubbers, in fact I hope bloggers do become successful advertisers. It will only increase the level of influence and coverage that the blogosphere commands. It is entirely a personal decision, and I do not mean to judge any blog that does generate income through ads. That's the beauty of the web, "it's your thing- do whatya wanna dooooo.."

On the same note, this McCain-Fiengold crap has just about gone off the deep end. From yesterdays Wall Street Journal Editorial page-

When it comes to the law of unintended consequences, the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance "reform" is rapidly becoming a legal phenomenon. The latest example comes courtesy of the Federal Election Commission, where officials are being asked to extend the law to the very people it is supposed to empower: individual citizens.
We'd like to say we're surprised, but this was always going to be the end result of a law that naively believed it could ban money from politics. Since 2003, when the Supreme Court upheld it, McCain-Feingold has failed spectacularly in its stated goal of reining in fat-cat donors. Yet its uncompromising language has helped to gag practically every other politically active entity -- from advocacy groups to labor unions. Now the FEC is being asked to censor another segment of society, the millions of individuals who engage in political activity online.

Ridiculous. In fact as the journal notes-

An idea kicking around the FEC a few years ago would require government to calculate the percentage of individuals' electricity bills that went toward political advocacy (we aren't joking).

The WSJ backs up blogs. Until they don't. I still get the feeling the WSJ hasn't quite understood the whole point behind blogs, which they highlight with this next quote-

Another alternative would be to classify all bloggers as journalists, seeing as how the press is about the only entity exempt from McCain-Feingold. As much we enjoy our profession, we think a nation of journalists is overkill.

Translation: We don't want any competition. Coming from the WSJ, of which I am usually a big fan, this statement truly irks me. How can a Newspaper simultaneously pine for free markets and healthy competition yet shun away the first instance of anyone trying to compete with them for viewing audiences? It smacks of a very unhealthy double standard. Regardless, the only way the guvmint will ban me from supporting a candidate for election through my blog is OVER MY COLD DEAD BODY. I will not be beholden to either corporate nor political interests.

And, as usual, my synergy with the guys from Cox and Forkum never fails as they nail it one the head yet again...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Terry Who? Sorry never heard of her........


Something about Florida not allowing you to destroy a vegetable because it's protected wildlife, like a mangrove tree or something? I heard you can get arrested for removing mangrove trees from your property. Good thing humans aren't vegetables I guess, because then you would get arrested for removing the unwanted ones. Either way, I didn't get the whole story. Apparently I live under a rock. A big rock. But here are two recent stories which mean, well, NOTHING to me, that our guvmint deems more important than oh say, China getting Arms from Europe, or terrorists getting hunted like animals in Iraq.

The two stories I refer to are the steroids-in-baseball hearings in congress, and yes, the Terri Schiavo fiasco (I was joking, I don't live under a rock). These apparently are the most important things our guvmint must pay attention to right now.

Um, tell me again why we pay these guys so much damn money? Ryan Sager at Tech Central Station discusses why both the Republicans and Democrats in Congress are becoming harder and harder to distinguish between on a fundamental level. Republicans are for small guvmint? Not anymore. Democrats for social compassion? Not anymore. Both parties have become so suckled to the teat of politics and elections that whatever principles they had are slowly evaporating.


And again, I would be remiss not to remind you of An Evening with Mr Roboto, tonight at Jacksons- come for the booze, stay for the cake!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Nashville Blogger Meetup For the Adults.......


Yes, that's right folks- a friendly reminder that An Evening With Mr Roboto, -aka-the Nashville blogger bash- is less than 24 hours away!

Are you a nashville/tennessee blogger? Do you wonder what the people who post about all things blog look like? Do you wonder what they look like when they are drunk? Do you wonder what they act like in person? Do you think they are all a bunch of freaks? Do you want to know where to go to see what these folks do when not in front of a computer screen? Do they have even a shred of social skills? And more importantly, are any of them hotties (ed.-I can attest, yes, some are hotties)

Perhaps most importantly, since I was the one who helped set it up at Jacksons- do they tip well and can they hold their liquor?

Find out tomorrow night by coming to-


For directions or more information on one of Nashville's coolest bars -Jacksons-visit here..

Looking forward to it, and prepare for oodles of blog commentary the next few days afterwards...

Monday, March 21, 2005

A Brief Recap Of Our Adventure Through DC........


Sorry for the delay in posting the recap folks, but things have been insane since I got home. My Outlook inbox at work today was pretty much overflowing, and I have been busy as hell trying to get caught up. I'll try and give a brief recap today, and I'll be posting some pictures of our trip soon.

Thursday was already covered in the previous post- thanks again you bastards at Atlanta International! I would rather walk backwards then go through that poor excuse for an airport again.

Friday- After sleeping off the previous evenings hangover, we managed to stumble down to this cool coffee shop in Adams Morgan called the Tryst. Excellent place-great coffee, a FULL BAR, nice selection of coffee house style food, and a pleasant family/eclectic atmosphere. After loading up on some caffeine we jumped in a cab and headed down to The National Air and Space Museum. All I can say about that place is-wow. I mean, wow. I can remember (vaguely) being in DC when I was younger but I am sure there was no way I was able to appreciate the exhibits the way I'm able to now. To see the original Apollo modules, and get an appreciation for just how small these things were, and what these men had to go through to achieve success just boggles the mind. I can't say enough about how impressive the exhibits were, from the Spirit Of St Louis to the original space suits from the Apollo Moon missions -still speckled with moondust no less- the place was awe-inspiring. We also got to see a show at the museums IMAX theater- the theaters first 3D film, "Space Station 3D", which was amazing as well. Due to our late start that morning, we pretty much spent the whole day at the Air and Space museum, and then walked the length of the National Mall to check out the sites. Along the way there is this really cool Sculpture Garden, of which I'll post some pictures later. The WWII Memorial on the mall was every bit as impressive as I had heard. And I will never get tired of the Lincoln Memorial either. Reading the two speeches on either side of the Statue gives me chills up my spine. I don't know if we'll ever produce a president in this country of his character again. After walking the mall we decided to stumble around DC a bit and eventually find a restaurant. After heading up 23rd Street through George Washington University, we decided to cab it to Georgetown and find some good choices, as at that point my dogs were killin' me. After walking up and down M street in Georgetown and perusing each menu, we finally decided on The Guards, and we were not disappointed. Fin got Oysters Remick for an appetizer and Surf and Turf for dinner, I went with Lobster Bisque and Veal Oscar, yes I know-we were on a health kick. After dinner we went to meet another former Nashvillian friend, Jack, who was working at a place called Ella's Pizza. He had the bartender ice a bottle of Jager for us before we got there which we promptly emptied. We watched some of March Madness while we waited for Jack to get off of work, and then went out with him to another Irish bar which I cannot name at this time due to the hazy nature of my memory at that point of the evening. But I heard it was cool.

Saturday We woke up earlier than expected Saturday morning, and to our surprise the previous evenings buzz was still with us. Hoping to avoid that inevitably hateful mid afternoon hangover, we quickly made it to the Diner in Adams Morgan and ordered up some pancakes and Mimosa's. After breakfast we went to Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe and Grill, which is basically a bar and restaurant mixed with a bookstore. Nothing like booze and books to kill a few hours, that's for sure. After a few hours there, we wandered around some more of Du Pont Circle, and then went back to our friends place to drop off the various purchases made that day. We then decided to go back and wander around Georgetown some more, and yes, maybe have a few more drinks. The rest of that night was a non-stop bar hopping exercise, ending back at the diner in Adams Morgan at around three in the morning. Yes, pancakes twice in 24 hours. Hey, what can I say- I FRIGGING LOVE PANCAKES. Always have, always will.

Sunday Spent recovering, mostly at our friends apartment. We did make it back out to the Tryst for breakfast, but that was the extent of the day, as we had to make it back in time for our flight out that afternoon.

A spectacular trip -thanks to Chris and Jack for the excellent hospitality- and I cannot wait to get back out there so we can see some more museums and partake in more of the cities fine food and spirits. I'll post a little picture slideshow when I get the chance for those interested. If you get the chance to visit DC, just go. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, March 18, 2005



Finally arrived in one piece despite the best efforts of Atlanta International Airport to prevent us. We were delayed around five hours total thanks to what I'm not sure, but arrive we did and made it in time to get some Guiness at a few local pubs. Our friend here in DC lives at this swanky apt complex close to "Adams Morgan" which apparently is a pretty hip spot. We hit a few different pubs last night and at our last stop we wandered in to a place called T.S. Muttly's which seemed to have the St Paddy's thing goin' on. To our surprise, we found out the owner was from Boston and had a huge Red Sox World Series collage behind the bar. We chatted with him for a bit and stayed until last call. We felt completely at home which was unexpected, and we will be back again during our stay I.

Today we go and see the sites, drink, eat, drink, wave "hi" to George W, find Kerry so we can laugh at him, and see if we can find out where Teddy Kennedy gets cheap beer. More updates and pictures to come!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Off To DC For St. Paddy's Day..........


Yep, me and my best bud Fin are off to the nations capitol for one of my favorite holidays of the year, St. Patricks Day. A good friend of mine recently relocated to DC for a new job and has been missing Nashvegas pretty bad apparently, because he even missed US for chrissakes. I know, unbelievable. Anywhoo, we have alerted the local authorities of our forthcoming visit, and plan on arriving early evening Thursday to meet up with said bud and paint the town green.

We also have plans to go and see the various cool museums and memorials that the city has to offer. I would ask anyone reading this to check out the following list of places we plan on seeing and add or comment on what we should check out whilst in the Nations Capitol.

So far on the agenda is-
The National Air and Space Museum, The Smithsonian, The WWII Memorial, The National Mall, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and The National Geographic Museum at Explorers Hall. I could spend entire weeks at each of the aforementioned places, so it will be tough to squeeze it in in three days, but I'm excited for the opportunity.

Also on the main agenda will be lots of-

most likely matched with generous shots of

And considering my last vacation resulted in me getting chased by one of these-

I am thankful that we will be in a nice cold urban area with little chance of wandering in to a Steve Irwin set...

Have a great St Patricks Day folks, I'll try and post some from DC. There should also be plenty of incriminating photos when I return to post....

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Two Must Read Articles From Today............


First is the following piece from Julia Gorin, a contributing editor of, entitled -Party On- Do Libertarians have more fun?...(ed.-answer:well hell yeah we do!!)

It's an interesting piece and although there is the usual generalization of what makes a libertarian, the points made are fundamentally accurate. And the final point which I will post some of is the one that makes the most sense: Libertarians are a good thing for our political climate today.

From the article-

Unlike the Green Party, which can be taken as a more specific and radical offshoot of the Democratic Party ("Democrat squared," as alternative publisher Olga Gardner Galvin describes it), the Libertarian Party offers a little of both major parties. The Libertarians' atheism, together with the hedonism-as-a-virtue outlook they share with Democrats, allows them to laugh with the left at the "Puritanism" of the right. But their ability to view and digest the right's good-sense policies without knee-jerk antagonism enables Libertarians to roll their eyes along with Republicans at the political correctness and do-goodism of the left's compassionate classes.

Politically, the Libertarian world isn't a bad place to be. Libertarians have more credibility with the left than Republicans do, even though their conservative side is callous compared with the charitable Christian right. And they have more credibility with the right than Democrats do, despite being more godless than the left. If Republicans and Democrats are the thesis and antithesis, Libertarians are a synthesis.

Even if this party never puts a candidate into the Oval Office, its ultimate purpose may be to help the two opposing major parties view each other through more sober lenses, and thus help the country arrive at a happy, if gay, marriage.

Read the whole thing, for it is good. I call myself a libertarian, but it is just a label, and there are things that the libertarian "party" and I disagree strongly about. The party itself gets too squishy when it comes to protecting the US, and wouldn't have voted to go after al-qaeda in Afghanistan had they been in power. In fact, the libertarian party would more likely build a wall bordering Canada and Mexico before projecting democracy across the globe. I feel as though the libertarian party isn't realistic enough yet to make a serious dent in today's political climate, but this could change.

It may change sooner than later because one thing that most people of the "independent" strain agree with is that government needs to be less, not more intrusive in today's society. This is what I believe is the primary motivating factor for libertarians- WE DON'T TRUST THIS OR ANY GOVERNMENT. PERIOD. Mankind is inherently corrupt in the sense that the desire to succeed and maintain power will inevitably cause unfair misuse of political, economic and military advantages afforded by the government. Therefore, we should always strive to limit the reach and scope of the government at every opportunity. This is part of the genius of the American Republic. Our founding fathers strove to attain a system that they knew would be manipulated, yet would be self correcting; limiting the ability of any one branch of government from dominating the other. You can make arguments all day long about how this system is still manipulated, and the separation of powers was not deep enough, but in my opinion it's the best mankind has to offer at the present time.

Another reason I think that the libertarians have a shot at more political clout in the future is that many independents who are frustrated now with the democrats are going to be even more so unless they seriously start cleaning house. The following article from PJ O'Rourke in the Weekly Standard highlights the absurd level of condescending elitism that the democrats have reached.

Addressing the audience of tame Democrats, Kerry explained his defeat. "There has been," he said, "a profound and negative change in the relationship of America's media with the American people. . . . If 77 percent of the people who voted for George Bush on Election Day believed weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq--as they did--and 77 percent of the people who voted for him believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11--as they did--then something has happened in the way in which we are talking to each other and who is arbitrating the truth in American politics. . . . When fear is dominating the discussion and when there are false choices presented and there is no arbitrator, we have a problem."

America is not doctrinaire. It's hard for an American politician to come up with an ideological position that is permanently unforgivable. Henry Wallace never quite managed, or George Wallace either. But Kerry's done it. American free speech needs to be submitted to arbitration because Americans aren't smart enough to have a First Amendment, and you can tell this is so, because Americans weren't smart enough to vote for John Kerry.

Read the rest, as PJ uses little actual commentary in the article because, well, with the quotes Kerry supplies, it pretty much fisks itself. If the democrats wish to remain relevant, I suggest that they stop insulting people in this country and start practicing some humility. Somehow, I just don't see that happening.

Ideally the result will be a stronger independent/libertarian-slanted third party which will be able to house the many out there like myself who no longer fit within the traditional confines of the two major parties.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Will the UN Be Able to Handle John Bolton?...........


As regular readers of this site know, I am certainly no fan of the United Nations. I feel this way because I believe the United Nations has outlived it's usefulness, and has become primarily a place where dictators and fascist regimes can pat each other on the back and blame the Jews and the US for all of their problems. I posted back in January about their abysmal UN Human Rights Committee, and the sick hypocrisy of having a country like Cuba chairing the Committee. There are things that the UN does well, and these things should not be ignored. But lately, as more of the Iraq Oil-For-Kickbacks program becomes known, or the UN sex scandals get more attention one wonders just how bad it has to get before the whole thing is dissolved much like its predecessor, the League of Nations.

The recent appointment of Undersecretary of State John Bolton to be the next ambassador to the United Nations may give a much needed dose of reality to the entire UN body.Jon Henke over at the Q and O blog has some recent quotes from Bolton that give me hope.

Here's one-

On the United Nations: "Moreover, many Republicans in Congress - and perhaps a majority - not only do not care about losing the General Assembly vote but actually see it as a "make my day" outcome. Indeed, once the vote is lost, and the adverse consequences predicted by the U.N.'s supporters begin to occur, this will simply provide further evidence to many why nothing more should be paid to the U.N. system."

Bolton will no doubt rattle some cages once he sets up shop at his post. I personally hope he shakes it so hard that it falls apart, because I believe it is beyond reform. But either way, we should see some interesting developments out of the UN with this appointment.

It Ain't Much, But It's A Start............


Hey look at this! Now they are burning other flags in the mideast besides ours!!

Iraqis hold anti-Jordanian protests over bombing

By Michael Georgy

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Thousands of Iraqi Shi'ites protested on Monday after hearing reports that relatives of a Jordanian suicide bomber suspected of killing 125 people in the town of Hilla celebrated him as a martyr.

After breaking into the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad and tearing down the flag, protesters called on all foreign Arabs to leave the country and denounced Jordan's King Abdullah.

Anti-Jordanian sentiment has been spreading since Iraqis read newspaper reports that Jordan's Raid al-Banna blew himself up beside people lining up for jobs in the Shi'ite town of Hilla last month in the single bloodiest attack in postwar Iraq.

Al Qaeda's wing in Iraq, led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for the blast.

The Iraqi government said in a statement it strongly condemns "the expressions of joy" exhibited by the family of Banna, who it described as a terrorist.

"Prime Minister Iyad Allawi spoke to the prime minister of Jordan personally today and asked him for a clear answer regarding the family's activities as the reports are affecting relations between the Iraqi and Jordanian people," it said.

Most of the demonstrators were members of the Shi'ite Muslim majority newly empowered by Jan. 30 elections that stripped minority Sunnis of privileges enjoyed under Saddam Hussein.

Hundreds protested in Baghdad and thousands took to the streets of Najaf, spiritual home of the Shi'ites.

This should put to rest the idea that any sane Iraqi people actually support the murderous terrorist filth that are currently entrenched in their country. Iraqi's have been plagued by this influx of foreign born jihadists that want to fight the "great Satan". They are the ones who are causing the trouble in Iraq today, and there are many stories of Iraqi groups who are actively routing them out of their towns. If Zarqawi dared to show his face around a crowd like this, they would rip him limb from limb.

Since you probably won't read about it in the news, I suggest you go visit Arthur Chrenkoffs latest post of the other good news -yes, that's right- good news from Iraq. Is it all wine and roses? Of course not. But it isn't a vietnam level quagmire either, despite the efforts of the major media to portray it as such.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Blog Survey Is Back..............


And is the media paying attention? I hope so. I tell you why in a minute, first let's go to the results of the blogsurvey.

Here is the link for the blog readers survey, recently completed. Some quick stats to throw at you-from the survey-

This year, 30,079 blog readers responded.

Last year, 61% of responding blog readers were over 30 years old. This year, 75% are over 30 years old.

Last year, 40% had family incomes greater than $90,000. This year, 43% exceed that figure.

Year over year, some figures are remarkably stable. One reader in five is a blogger. As was the case last year, exactly 1.7% are CEOs. Almost the same number (44%) spend more than $500 for air tickets. 86% purchased music online, last year and this. Last year, 79% were men. This year, 75% are men.

The most interesting news comes in section 8. Aficionados of PR-speak will recognize these questions as benchmark tests to identify who is an opinion maker, a member of the ten percent of Americans who are believed to set the agenda and steer the opinions of the other 90%. To qualify as an official "influential," RoperASW, the leading firm consulting in the field, you have to answer 3 of those questions (excluding a petition) in the affirmative. Clearly the blogosphere is crawling with certified grade A opinion makers. (When we can get SurveyMonkey's filtering software to behave properly, we'll be able to tell you exactly how many.)

A few stats that were interesting to me-

-39.3% responded as democrats, 27.3% as Republican and 19% as independent. So much for the canard that it is dominantly "conservative blogosphere".

-only 20.7% of the 30,000 who responded to the survey actually have their own blog. A lot more people are reading blogs than are those that have them. I guess this is obvious? No? Whatever.

-75.3% of respondents said the read blogs for "News I can't find elsewhere". Nervous yet Major Media? You should be. This is a misleading stat in some ways however, because much of the news that blogs produce is usually obtained from a Major Media news source. Many if the links to stories I write about go to major media organizations. Some news doesn't get broken through the MSM, instead it does get reported first by bloggers, but a majority still comes from the MSM.

Despite all of this, the idiots in Congress still don't get the picture. Before reading the rest of this post, I suggest you go read the following article by Ryan H. Sager, Free Speech For Me But Not For Thee at Tech Central Station. He talks about the growing movement by the liberal elites in this country to stifle dissent against their agenda. Since they can't win at the voting booth, now they're going after the dissenters through the courts using the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance, which again, have managed to do nothing to control campaign finance.

Key passage-

As Congress takes up legislation to close the 527 "loophole" that allowed so much pesky speech into the 2004 campaign, and as the FEC is forced by court order to look at ways to cleanse the Internet of insufficiently regulated political speech, it's worth understanding just how the campaign-finance reform lobby operates.

First, let's return to that bought-and-paid-for issue of the Prospect. On Wednesday, the magazine's founder and co-editor, Robert Kuttner, explained that this was one of its first ever "foundation-sponsored" special issues. Since then, he said, the magazine has been careful to disclose any financial contributions to coverage of specific topics right up front. "You probably found the one," he said.

Fair enough. But it's not really the magazine's actions here that should draw the public's attention. It is the campaign of media manipulation that has been quietly undertaken by the reform lobby.

Payments to the media found by Political Money Line include: the $132,000 to the Prospect, $69,000 to Public Radio International, $935,000 to the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation and more than $1.2 million to National Public Radio for items such as, in the words of the official disclosure statements, "news coverage of financial influence in political decision making."

No wonder McCain-Feingold contained a "media exemption." The media -- on top of having their voices amplified when private citizens, labor unions and corporations are barred from speaking -- are relatively easy to write some checks to. (Millions of bloggers, on the other hand, might be a little harder to corral -- hence the calls for a crackdown.)

The bottom line here is that the First Amendment is about as clear as an amendment can possibly get. Perhaps this is why it was put at the top of the list. Let's review-

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

This means if I want to write on my blog that I think George Bush is absolutely screwing us over a barrel with this new Bankruptcy bill he's about to sign, I can say "George Bush is absolutely screwing us over a barrel with this new Bankruptcy bill he's about to sign", and no one can arrest me according to our constitution. Or, say I want to say Robert Byrd is a hypocritical lying dirtbag for comparing Republicans to Nazis, I can do that to.

If I wanted to write those things on a billboard and hang it up over my private place of business, I can do that too. Free speech is free speech. Period. We either have all of it, or we get none. No halfway measure. You'd think Washington gets this. You'd be wrong.

Glenn Reynolds -the Instapundit- writes about a speech he gave at the 2005 Politics Online Conference following the FEC Chairmans speech-

Scott Thomas, chairman of the FEC, spoke before me. He opened with some rather uncharitable remarks regarding fellow commissioner Brad Smith's comments on FEC regulation of blogs, but followed up with a discussion of FEC intent that, although it was supposed to be reassuring, actually left me thinking that the FEC was thinking more seriously about regulating blogs than I had previously believed. I wasn't reassured at all, and the complexity of the reasoning he outlined just illustrated how much discretion -- and how little real guidance -- the FEC has on these kinds of questions.

That led me to open by saying that Thomas's remarks were the most cogent argument I've heard for the abolition of the FEC. And they were. If you think that there can be objective, predictable, and unintrusive regulation of political speech, well -- read the transcript of his remarks and see if you still think so.

When a law professor like Professor Reynolds sounds as flabbergasted by the opinions of the FEC chairman as he does, that means it's time to get with the program and go sign the following - The Online Coalition-From Left to Right to PRESERVE our Rights

An excerpt from the petition-

As bipartisan members of the online journalism, blogging, and advertising community, we ask that you grant blogs and online publications the same consideration and protection as broadcast media, newspapers, or periodicals by clearly including them under the Federal Election Commission's "media exemption" rule.

In order to ensure that there are sufficient measures taken, we also request that the FEC promulgate a rule exempting unpaid political activity on the Internet from regulation, thereby guaranteeing every American's right to speak freely and participate in our democratic process.

Now I ask you, how many people have read about any of this in the Major News Media? Anyone? Bueller? Guys and girls at the MSM, get with the program. It's your funeral.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Nashville's Own Blogger Bash!!!!!! Posted by Hello

Yes that's right Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, On Wednesday March 23rd we Nashville bloggers have managed to scare the management of Jackson's Bar and Bistro in to letting us take over their patio for the evening. Starting at 5:00 you can be part of the fun and meet the entertaining, attractive and exciting members of Nashvilles blog community, and me. Among the attendees besides the aforementioned Mr Roboto and Captain T from Thursday Night Fever will be most if not all of the Nashville blog folks listed to the right.

I'll be the drunk one.

For those wondering, to sound extra cool when ordering a Jager shot at Jackson's, ask for an "icy-stone". The staff will immediately recognize your uber-hipness and proceed to get you a frosty Jager shot. Be careful when ordering them near or around myself or my friend Fin. Chances are you won't get away from the bar sober if we hear the words "icy-stone" close by.

It should be fun, and there most likely will be pictures and lots of free publicity for Jacksons to make up for the mess we're gonna make. Who knows, this may turn in to a regular dealio if it goes well. We in Nashville need to catch up to the other cities around the world and their hip blog meetups...This is a start.

Thanks to Tom, owner of Jackson's for hooking us up! We'll say nice stuff about your place and promise not to break too much stuff!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Crocodile: 83- Man: 1.............

Big Ass Croc Posted by Hello

BIg Ass Croc 2 Posted by Hello

The above pictured 60 Year old crocodile, a 1 ton beast measuring over 16 feet, had been terrorizing a local village in the Bugiri district of Kampala. According to locals the thing had eaten over 83 people in the small fishing village for over two decades. It took two experts from the Uganda Wildlife Authority to capture the man-eater, and they managed to capture this thing alive so it could be transported to the Buwama crocodile farm on the shores of Lake Victoria in Mpigi district. Needless to say, many of the residents didn't think it deserved to retire in peace, and many apparently wanted to kill the thing. I understand "it's just an animal who was trying to survive" and all, but if it had killed members of my friends and family -PETA be damned- I would've wanted to kill the bastard.

And I was worried about some five foot little bastard in Sarasota. Jeeebus....

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Bloggers Rights?.................


Recently, the New York Times had the following article about blogs, At a Suit's Core: Are Bloggers Reporters, Too?, where the author Jonathan Glater discusses whether or not blogs should be allowed "journalistic privileges"-mainly the right to keep ones sources confidential.

I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but as far as I know there isn't a "license" for journalists, nor judging by some of the drivel I read in various newspapers like the Tennessean, is there even a general standard. I'm aware that people spend years studying journalism in school, and pay countless dues hustling a beat for stories. I'm aware that journalism is a technical skill in the sense that you have to know how to write stories that make sense. But when one becomes a doctor or a lawyer, you must pass tests that grant you a license to practice these skills. There is no such equivalent for journalists. Not only this, but there are people who have gone on to successful careers in journalism without having a degree in journalism- they were just good writers. That's all that should matter.

So knowing this, how can anyone say that one person is a journalist because they write in a newspaper, and myself, who writes articles on my blog is not? I average around 40 regular readers a day-why should the guy who writes the tabloid section of the Tennessean get privileges that I don't? Because it's written on paper?

In the article from above, Susan Crawford, a law professor at Cardozo law school of Yeshiva University (and a blogger herself) agrees-(from the article)-

"Under what circumstances should an online forum be forced to disclose a source behind information that they're posting?" Ms. Crawford said. "There is no principled distinction between a New York Times reporter and a blogger for these purposes. Both operate as news sources for wide swaths of the general public."

All of this tells me that those in the media who believe that they live in some exclusive universe where they are the all-seeing purveyors of truth and information are in for an enormous wakeup call. And for some of them, like the former head of CNN Eason Jordan, or the shamed Dan Rather from CBS, this wake up call cost them their jobs.

Isn't free speech awesome?

I think so too. Get used to it Major Media, we aren't going anywhere. And that privilege crap has zero legal precedent. Sooner or later media sources will stop trying to desperately run away from this new source of information and learn to embrace it. The ones that don't will end up the way of the 8-track and Vinyl. The ones that do will remain on the cutting edge.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Giuliana Sgrena, And The Inevitable Finger Pointing..........


For those just emerging from under a rock, over the weekend Giuliana Sgrena, a journalist for the Italian Newspaper-Il Manifesto- was released by her captors in Iraq. As her undercover Italian agents attempted to race through a military checkpoint, the US Military warned the car to stop, shot in to the ground, then eventually hit the car to stop it from racing through the checkpoint. At this point, the car crashed and one of the agents was killed, and Sgrena was injured. Or so goes multiple versions of this story.

These "insurgents" held Ms Sgrena for ransom, and the Italian government, apparently wishing to avoid an ugly incident, paid the ransom and sent some special forces security men hoping to whisk the reporter back to safety. The money spent recovering this journalist will now go towards killing more innocent people. Nice job Giuliana. $10 million probably buys quite a few pounds of high grade explosives. Even worse, the Washington Times reports that "Italian agents likely withheld information from U.S. counterparts about a cash-for-freedom deal with gunmen holding an Italian hostage for fear that Americans might block the trade". So they snuck in to Iraq, gave millions to freaking murderous filth, and then attempted to race back out of the country.

Now let's imagine the scene before the accident which killed the agent, and injured the others. To do this let's set in perspective the road on which they were traveling, the infamously dangerous Baghdad Airport road. Via LGF, I give you some excerpts from this piece by Alissa J. Rubin at the LA Times-

Traveling on a Highway of Dread

“See, that’s where there was an IED,” my driver Ahmad said, using the military’s shorthand for improvised explosive device. “You can see the pit,” he said gesturing to a crater.

He pointed to the charred shell of a car sitting a few feet off the shoulder. “See that, that’s a bomb car,” he said.

“Last summer I was here, driving from the airport, and suddenly, ‘Boom!’ A Humvee ahead of us was hit. I said, ‘It’s OK, it’s OK’ and then everyone began shooting — the Americans, the Iraqis over there,” he said, gesturing to the nearby neighborhood.

On this route, it’s hard to know whether a car that speeds by a military convoy simply has a nervous driver, or carries a suicide bomber. Last fall, a bomber on the road targeted an armored bus carrying U.S. personnel. No one was killed, but the bus was damaged. Often passing civilians are injured or die in the attacks.

One of the mosques near the beginning of the route, Ibn Taymiyah, is well known as an insurgent center. When U.S. soldiers searched it, they found grenades, ammunition and guns. Farther on is a neighborhood named Jihad and another named Furat, where former intelligence officers under Saddam Hussein live.

“Very tough place,” declared Ahmad.

There has been the insinuation by the usual suspects that the US Soldiers deliberately attacked the car, and tried to kill Sgrena. To this I have to say, if the US Soldiers at that checkpoint wanted to kill the journalist, she would be dead right now. The .50 caliber machine guns would have done much more than simply cause the car to stop. And some of these checkpoints are also manned by tanks, which have even bigger artillery. You can read this article for a decent description of the typical Iraqi checkpoint. To say that there was anything at all to gain out of killing this useful idiot, or to even say that the soldiers could EVEN HAVE KNOWN WHO IT WAS, is pretty much a desperate attempt to find more fault with the US Military, and ultimately at everyone's favorite punching bag, George Bush.

Jeff Goldstein over at Protein Wisdom furthers the Occam Razor analysis, asking the question that needs to be asked-

The shooting was “without reason,’’ Sgrena said yesterday from a Rome military hospital, where she is being treated for her wounds, reported daily Corriere della Sera. “I cannot find any justification for it,’’ she was cited as saying.

Question 3: Care to venture a guess? Who is Giuliana Sgrena that the US would care enough to attempt to assassinate her? A foreign reporter with a well-know leftwing political agenda that would color any story she told anyway? Why is she important? Why would she be targeted? Why?

And to further the point, if they really were attempting to kill this journalist, which is a wacky enough theory to begin with, how do you explain the fact that they didn't? Poor shooting? With a TANK??

As usual, Cox and Forkum show you what happens when soldiers don't attempt to control checkpoints-


There are many related links on this subject, so far the Jawa Report has probably the most extensive...I predict that the full story of this incident will never satisfy those who are convinced that all US Soldiers are evil killing machines, and some of these people would rather have us lose more soldiers at checkpoints much like the above cartoon mentions. And now, thanks to Ms Sgrena, these terrorists will have the resources to bulk up their attacks on these types of checkpoints.

Mason Was Bad Enough, But et tu Rolle?..........


Ugh. I hatesses the Baltimore Ravens. Hatesses them I do. Hate Hate Hate them. Brian Billick could be the most annoying coach to ever have won a Super Bowl, and for all of his supposed "offensive genius" the man never puts together a decent offense. The only reason the Ravens ever win anything is because of their frighteningly vicious defense, powered by the most unlikeable and obnoxious Linebacker in the league, Ray Lewis. I will admit that there is no better talent at linebacker than Ray-ray, but I hatesses him too. From his shady non-murder/accident/stabbing acquittal to his ridiculous LOOK AT ME!! moments during pregame, he annoys me beyond belief.

However, the main reason I hatesses the Ravens, is that they defanged what may have been the best Titans team put together on their way to winning the Super Bowl in the playoffs. The Titans went 13-3 that year, losing their only home game to the Ravens- their first one EVER at Adelphia Coliseum. Then, in the divisional round of the playoffs they faced each other again, and I don't want to talk about the ending of that depressing moment in Titans history. Let's just say Al Del Greco became the least favorite Titan after that game.

So now we reach 2005, and the Ravens continue to piss me off. First, they sign Derrick Mason, who besides McNair was my favorite Titan. Now the news comes that they signed Samari Rolle, our pro-bowl cornerback. We couldn't afford to keep either of these players, and I expected them to be in new jerseys come next season, but the Ravens? THE FREAKING RAVENS???????

Hatesses them I do. Hatesses them......We'll see how the fans react when the Ravens visit the Coliseum next year, as the Titans play them at home during the regular season.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Slow News Day......


The usual crap still going on- politicians being idiots, Dictators that Don't get the message, the Major News Media still being idiots, Derrick Mason is a FREAKING RAVEN for chrissake....and I got nothin I fell like ranting about today.

Plus I'm outta here in about 15 minutes to go drink Guiness and Jager and meet this cute girl......So, I leave you for the weekend with sommmmmmmmmme........

Deep Thoughts, By Jack Handy

"It's true that every time you hear a bell, an angel gets its wings. But what they don't tell you is that every time you hear a mouse trap snap, and Angel gets set on fire."

Have good weekend folks, see you next week.....

Thursday, March 03, 2005

What, Did They Put Stupid Pills In The Water In D.C. Or Something?...


Currently making the blog rounds is the following story about a possible "crackdown" of political blogging.

The Coming Crackdown on Blogging
March 3, 2005, 4:00 AM PT
By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET

Bradley Smith says that the freewheeling days of political blogging and online punditry are over.
In just a few months, he warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.

Smith should know. He's one of the six commissioners at the Federal Election Commission, which is beginning the perilous process of extending a controversial 2002 campaign finance law to the Internet.

In 2002, the FEC exempted the Internet by a 4-2 vote, but U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly last fall overturned that decision. "The commission's exclusion of Internet communications from the coordinated communications regulation severely undermines" the campaign finance law's purposes, Kollar-Kotelly wrote.

First of all, the absolutely asinine McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance law, which has managed to achieve, well, NOTHING meaningful in terms of reforming campaign financing, is probably partly to blame for this latest round of stupidity emanating from Washington. You would think that with the Bill of Rights plastered all over the buildings in which all of the politicians work and do business in Washington that they might, you know, actually READ the damn thing. I'll spell this in bold for those from other countries just joining in-

First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech...."

That wasn't so hard, was it? Professor Bainbridge links some quotes from Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the 1st Amendment- this one is the keeper-

Without deviation, without exception, without any ifs, buts, or whereases, freedom of speech means that you shall not do something to people either for the views they express, or the words they speak or write.

Rex Hammock thinks that this is probably more smoke than fire-

"I fear this meme is going to turn into a cause that's based on a strange headline of an interview of hypothetical conjecture. (Right up there with Congress is going to tax e-mail, or something) The exploration of a theory -- that blogger's links have some monetary value and should be treated as in-kind contributions -- is merely that, an exercise in hypothesis. Produce a member of Congress who says, specifically, they believe the practice of linking to a campaign website should be banned or fined or regulated, then I'm right there with you, brother. Hand me my picket."

And I'll be right next to Rex if this is in fact the case. But what kills me is that this is even being discussed. What the hell is wrong with the folks down in DC lately? Have they all been smoking the chronic or something? From the push to outlaw cable boobie to trying to regulate BLOGS for chrissakes- BLOGS!! it appears that many in congress picked a fresh juicy apple off the stupid tree and took a nice big bite.

Isn't it time for you guys to take a vacation or something? You'd think with the you know, WAR going on 'n stuff that these folks would have something better to do than worry about blogs and boobies.

You'd be wrong. They should put up this poster from Despair in the McCain and Feingolds offices instead-

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Since I Beat Up On Stupid Democrats..........


This being an equal-oppurtunity beating blog it's time to point out some equally schtoopid Republican efforts to rid our country of personal responsibility, individual rights and common sense.

Senator: Decency Rules Should Apply to Pay TV, Radio

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens said on Tuesday he would push for applying broadcast decency standards to cable television and subscription satellite TV and radio.

"Cable is a much greater violator in the indecency area," the Alaska Republican told the National Association of Broadcasters, which represents most local television and radio affiliates. "I think we have the same power to deal with cable as over-the-air" broadcasters.

"There has to be some standard of decency," he said. But he also cautioned that "No one wants censorship."

Stevens told reporters afterward that he would push legislation to apply the standards to cable TV and satellite radio and television. It could become part of a pending bill to boost fines on broadcasters who violate indecency restrictions or of an effort to overhaul U.S. communications laws.


Listen Senator Ted, I'm with a great majority of Americans in saying that you are a freaking asshat. I agree that on PUBLIC (read:FREE) television stations, we don't need to see Shannon Tweed's latest faux-lesbian boobie showcase. Nor do the wee kiddies need to hear the fine use of the english language practiced by the Sopranos. But some of us GROWN UPS do like a little Tweedy boobie every now and then, or a few f-bombs dropped when Tony decides to rub out his latest victim, and we gladly PAY our hard earned money to see and hear said boobies and f-bombs. The government should stop ILLEGAL activity, but over the age of 18 boobie viewing and cursing, as far as I know, are legal. Government should not be in the business of dictating morality, and this push by Senator dumbass is an extremely feeble way of doing so.

You don't like the boobie? CHANGE THE CHANNEL. I mean, if this guy gets his way, we could be faced with the removal of such cinematic achievements as

(in my best Mcenroe voice) YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS?!!???!?

Nancy Soderberg Finds Bottom, Digs........


Former Clinton aide Nancy Soderberg, author of "The Superpower Myth: The Use and Misuse of American Might" was interviewed on the Daily Show with John Stewart and said some things that should make any person, democrat or republican squirm with distaste. Go here to see the video of the interview, and I'll post some of the transcript courtesy of Opinion Journal-

Stewart:(speaking of the Bush Administration) Do you think they're the guys to--do they understand what they've unleashed? Because at a certain point, I almost feel like, if they had just come out at the very beginning and said, "Here's my plan: I'm going to invade Iraq. We'll get rid of a bad guy because that will drain the swamp"--if they hadn't done the whole "nuclear cloud," you know, if they hadn't scared the pants off of everybody, and just said straight up, honestly, what was going on, I think I'd almost--I'd have no cognitive dissonance, no mixed feelings.

Soderberg: The truth always helps in these things, I have to say. But I think that there is also going on in the Middle East peace process--they may well have a chance to do a historic deal with the Palestinians and the Israelis. These guys could really pull off a whole--

Stewart: This could be unbelievable!

Soderberg:---series of Nobel Peace Prizes here, which--it may well work. I think that, um, it's--

Stewart: [buries head in hands] Oh my God! [audience laughter] He's got, you know, here's--

Soderberg: It's scary for Democrats, I have to say.

Stewart: He's gonna be a great--pretty soon, Republicans are gonna be like, "Reagan was nothing compared to this guy." Like, my kid's gonna go to a high school named after him, I just know it.

Soderberg: Well, there's still Iran and North Korea, don't forget. There's hope for the rest of us.

Stewart: [crossing fingers] Iran and North Korea, that's true, that is true [audience laughter].

If you watch the video, you could say that the Iran and North Korea bit was tongue in cheek, but watch the entire video and you can see that the point Soderberg is trying to make is that democrats can't let Bush take credit for the sea of democratic change currently washing over the Middle East. The thing that bothered me the most is when the audience CHEERS-yes-CHEERS the bit about there "still hope for the rest of us". What in the hell is she trying to say? That hopefully the theocrats in Iran will assassinate enough dissidents to slow reform long enough until the democrats are in power so they can take credit? Or maybe Kim Jong-Il will continue to starve enough people to prop his miserable dictatorship up long enough to let democrats get credit for that too? Does she not see how petty and vindictive, not to mention enormously unhelpful these comments are?

To John Stewarts credit, he seems to be coming to terms with the fact that maybe, just maybe, this Texas cowboy did a good thing by removing Saddam and helping Iraqis on the way to Democracy. And he's not alone. Jonathan Freedland writes in the Guardian UK-

Even so, it cannot be escaped: the US-led invasion of Iraq has changed the calculus in the region. The Lebanese protesters are surely emboldened by the knowledge that Syria is under heavy pressure, with US and France united in demanding its withdrawal..........This leaves opponents of the Iraq war in a tricky position, even if the PM is not about to rub our faces in the fact. Not only did we set our face against a military adventure which seems, even if indirectly, to have triggered a series of potentially welcome side effects; we also stood against the wider world-view that George Bush represented. What should we say now?

I may not have the answer as to what you should say, but I damn sure can tell you that hoping that Iran and North Korea DON'T remove their despotic regimes so that Bush can't take credit for it is certainly one thing you probably SHOULDN'T be saying. I want to see the democrats come back down to earth so that there is a more progressive debate over the direction our country should be going in, but garbage like this is not going to help. Thanks a lot Nancy.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005



I just realized that today is my one year anniversary of starting this here blog.
Hoo ray!...... As you can tell, I'm not big on anniversaries...

Well, That Would Suck Now, Wouldn't It.......


As all four regular readers of this blog may know, I do like to post about asteroids and our SERIOUS LACK OF ATTENTION paid to the potential of being hit by one of these spacerocks. I still stand by my concern for the bigger picture concerning this issue (and on that note once again I will direct you to the B612 Foundation). However, there was a time I emailed the ever studious Stephen Den Beste from the USS Clueless, and discussed the issues concerning impacts. He agreed that whilst this was troubling, there is another astronomical threat that dwarfs asteroids by a quite a bit-and there isn't a thing we could do about it. A recent cruise over to Jay Manifold at A Voyage to Arcturus reveals said threat-

Monster star burst was brighter than full Moon

Fri Feb 18, 2:23 PM ET Science - AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Stunned astronomers described the greatest cosmic explosion ever monitored -- a star burst from the other side of the galaxy that was briefly brighter than the full Moon and swamped satellites and telescopes.

The high-radiation flash, detected last December 27, caused no harm to Earth but would have literally fried the planet had it occurred within a few light years of home.

Normally reserved skywatchers struggled for superlatives.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime event," said Rob Fender of Britain's Southampton University.

"We have observed an object only 20 kilometers (12 miles) across, on the other side of our galaxy, releasing more energy in a 10th of a second than the Sun emits in 100,000 years."

"It was the mother of all magnetic flares -- a true monster," said Kevin Hurley, a research physicist at the University of California at Berkeley.

Bryan Gaensler of the United States' Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics(
also a contender for understatement of the year award-ed.), described the burst as "maybe a once per century or once per millennium event in our galaxy -astronomically speaking- this explosion happened in our backyard. If it were in our living room, we'd be in big trouble."

Here is an artist's impression of a shell of gamma-rays moving away from SGR 1806-20 following the outburst, and sweeping across the galaxy until they interact with the Earth.

So you know, there's that.

Also included in Jay Manifolds recent updates was this very impressive collection of some of Hubbles finest snapshots, set to a slide show with some orchestral space music arrangement. Pretty cool....

Iraqi Truth Project...........


I just heard about this film project from Kate over at Small Dead Animals.

Iraqi Truth Project

Visalia, CA - 2/4/2005 - Brad L. Maaske, a Licensed Real Estate Broker with no previous film experience, is the unlikely filmmaker of this powerful documentary expose of the horrors of the Saddam Unseeing regime and the failures of the United Nations. In the present political climate, many have criticized the decision to go to war in Iraq. Weighing the human and economic toll of going to war against a tyrant in Iraq, an inquiring mind wants to know, "Is it worth it?" That's the essential question asked in WMD. Maaske, along with Kurdish filmmaker and associate director/producer Jano Rosebiani, demonstrate that it was a humanitarian necessity to free the Iraqi people from the murderous rule of Hussein.

The Documentary footage in this film will be used as evidence of war crimes committed by Saddam's regime in the upcoming war trial of Ali Hasan al-Majid, "Chemical Ali' and in Saddam Hussein's war trials next year.

If you go to the site, click on the link for "VIEW THE MAKING OF WMD"- beware as it is a large file. In this half hour presentation you'll get a brief overview of the film, why it was made, and why it is so important for the world to see it. Whatever your feelings are about the war, no one can deny after watching this preview that the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power. I for one am upset that we can only kill him once, and I am normally against capital punishment. As things in the Arab world begin to lurch forward towards the 21st century, it is extremely important that the absolutely horrific nature of the Hussein regime is properly documented and preserved, much in the way that holocaust has been. Hussein's regime was a modern day equivalent of the Nazi Empire, minus the German efficiency.

Many people who were against the war would often say "well, what about Kim Jong-Il?" or "what about Syria?" And the correct answer to that question should be- "one at a time." We cannot simultaneously disarm and liberate mutliple nations around the world from their various dictators. It isn't physically possible. But one of the major benefits of removing the Taliban and Hussein has been to set off alarm bells within the worlds tyrannies, and reform in many of these places may not have to come through the barrel of a gun. The shakeups in Lebanon disengaging Syria to the political reformation of women voting in Saudi Arabia is a start in a direction that the world was not going in previously. One can say that these changes would be much less likely with Saddam still in power. Each case is unique, but there is no denying that Bush's push for liberty has shaken the foundations of the Dictatorships and Theocracies currently infesting our planet.