~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Stick a pin in that ego or I'll do it for you!

Two quick links ---

The New York Times' Mommy/writer/sex-pot feels guilty for enjoying her husband... maybe too much? Taken down a peg or twelve here. Ouch.

And don't miss "Sham of the Cave Bores" from earlier this month at Veiled Conceit.

(via: Sheila)

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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Rupert Murdoch = Satan

What is it about Fox News that pisses people off so? I mean seriously. What is it?

"Buck up Little Camper, there'll be brighter days!"

I mean, you've still got ABCCNNCBSNBCMSNBCPBS, Al-Reuters, AP, AFP, NPR, the NYT, WaPo, and the LAT to get yer news from, right? Cheer up, bro... You're seriously harshing my mellow...

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Miss Delaware sez "My hobbies include..."

"... painting and drawing, visiting art museums, fishing and hiking, watching NFL football, and driving drunk."

(H/t: Kevin)(who has the dirt on everybody.)

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Friday, March 25, 2005

32 bit symphonies and other time wasters...

(As you could probably tell, I'm not particularly inspired to write today. I am having fun, though. Thought I'd share.)

A masterpiece flash piece recorded entirely in SNDREC32.exe.

Related (with Mac sounds) audio.

Spell out words using images from Flickr.

Related program using Amazon.com search results (interactive.)

Finally, weather info that's useful... DoINeedaJacket.com.

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"Welcome to the home of extreme ironing - the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt."

A comedian once joked, "If a man breaks into your house and kills you, he's not crazy. If a man breaks into your house and irons all your clothes? Now that's crazy!"

This is a whole 'nother level of insanity.

Wikipedia entry: here.
NPR story: here.

(H/t: Eugene)

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"Super-dense ball of infinite coolness"

The... William Shatner Fame Audit is up... here.

(H/t: Jonah)

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I'm an Argentinian Mastif

What dog breed are you? (Click GAME on left sidebar menu)

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

My head, frankly, is killing me...

... after taking this test.

Bacardi 151

Congratulations! You're 137 proof, with specific scores in beer (100) , wine (83), and liquor (104).

All right. No more messing around. Your knowledge of alcohol is so high that you have drinking and getting plastered down to a science. Sure, you could get wasted drinking beer, but who needs all those trips to the bathroom? You head straight for the bar and pick up that which is most efficient.

You scored higher than 62% on proof

You scored higher than 93% on beer index

You scored higher than 91% on wine index

You scored higher than 95% on liquor index

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The politics of death

The Schiavo case has been all over the news, and I've yet to blog on it. The reason is because my own position is hopelessly lost in the noise of the debate.

Federalism aside, right-to-life aside, right-to-die aside, court appointments aside, even Hitler aside the REAL question is whether or not Michael is the best steward of his wife's needs and wishes. I'm willing to entertain the possibility that he's faithfully carrying out Terri's stated wish to die. In that case he should be considered a devoted and loving spouse beset on all sides and deserves our sympathy. However, in the absence of a living will, and with a live-in girlfriend, mutiple kids by another women, and more than a decade of denying Terri any shot at rehabilitation...?

The image of him as a devoted husband looks false. The honorable thing for Michael to do would be to divorce his wife, marry the mother of his children, and give responsability for Terri's care over to her family. He won't, of course. And that saddens me.

But all of the above is just background to highlight to my real fear: "When will the next terrorist attack occur?" an Instapundit reader wonders.

We're at war, people. The fact that this debate dominates the news is vaguely disturbing to me. Hell, slow news days in general worry me in these days of international terrorism. Perhaps I'm attributing to war the overwhelming importance that environmentalists give to global warming (which does not cause any loss of sleep for me.) Who knows? Perhaps Americans who have witnessed legal battles over feeding tubes were just as moved as I was by literal battles over neighborhoods in Iraq.

Bottom line: Get a living will, folks. It's not the end-all be-all of answers, but it's a good hedge against the problems now facing Terri Schiavo, God bless her soul.

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Monday, March 21, 2005

Two years later

Iraqi blogger Husayn Uthman spells it all out:
To may outsiders, like those who protested last year, who will protest today. This was a fools errand, it brought nothing but death and destruction. I am sheltered in Iraq, but I know how the world feels, how people have come to either love or hate Bush, as though heis the emobdiement of this war. As though this war is part of Bush, they forget the over twenty million Iraqis, they forget the Middle Easterners, they forget the average person on the street, the average man with the average dream.

Ask him if it was worth it. Ask him what is different. Ask him if he would go through it again, go ahead ask him, ask me, many of you have.

Now I answer you, I answer you on behalf of myself, and my countrymen. I dont care what your news tells you, what your television and newspapers say, this is how we feel. Despite all that has happened. Despite all the hurt, the pain, blood, sweat and tears. These two years have given us hope we never had.
There's absolutely nothing I can add to that.

(via Instapundit)

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Carnival of the Trackbacks III

Kevin has your weekend trackback linkfest up at WIZBANG.

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Friday, March 18, 2005

"North Korean women are sexually happy women"

This short art film is the best thing I've seen this week. I'm not yet prepared to take it at face value, but the creators assure us that it's genuine.
It seems the Dear Leader is preoccupied with his country's negative image abroad —you know, mass starvation, concentration camps, nuclear bombs, drug smuggling, general craziness. He felt that it was the moment to introduce the world to an unknown side of North Korean humanity, one that we can all relate to, one that would firmly reestablish his people within the world community. We don't normally consider promoting, alone or in collaboration, political agendas (we're just a multinational), but the Dear Leader is a very persuasive guy. We cleaned up his English a bit.

Clicky the pic for...

(via: boing-boing)

Oh, and never forget, capitalists...

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National Review roundup

NRO has the good stuff today:

Victor Davis Hanson on why it's apparently all "okey dokey" these days to elevate Adolf Hitler to the status of a modern US president.

Some choice quotes:

Like Prince Harry parading around in his ridiculous Nazi costume, quarter-educated celebrities who have some talent for song or verse know only that name-dropping “Hitler” or his associates gets them some shock value that their pedestrian rants otherwise would not warrant.


... so many of the mass demonstrators, who bore placards of Bush’s portrait defaced with Hitler’s moustache, are overtly leftist and so often excuse extremist violence — whether in present-day Cuba or Zimbabwe — if it is decorated with the rhetoric of radical enforced equality.


True, Bill Clinton brought the deductive haters out of the woodwork, but for all their cruel caricature, few compared him to a mass-murdering Mao or Stalin for his embrace of tax hikes and more government. “Slick Willie” was not quite “Adolf Hitler” or “Joseph Stalin.”

Read it all for it is good.

Next up is a rehash of Jonah Goldberg's 2001 piece about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reservation, the hottly disputed, "pristine paradise" that our senate finally agreed needs desecrating in order to lessen our dependance on terror-sponsoring nations in the Mid East. Good on ya, senators. (Warning: Jonah's first-hand descriptions of that frozen, unsanitary, utter hellhole will make your skin crawl. Warble flies? **shudder**)

Finally, Jim Geraghty checks in from his new digs in Turkey. With pictures!

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Seattle students host anti-war spectacle

The warning at the top of this post is "Don't read this if you have high blood presure."

Well, I ignored that sensible warning. And now I am too angry to even comment. Yet. Maybe later.

UPDATE: I am simply amazed that the three invited military guests ambushed at this high school had the self restraint to remain on property in an effort to educate these kids.

Me? I would have gone to the principle, taken out the picture of the Iraqi kids that I keep in wallet, explained the story of how before we Marines reached them they were the incarcerated children of Shi'ia dissidents, pointed out the blue sky above their heads, and expressed my hope that she explain to the spoiled brats of her high school what real dissent looks like. I'd leave the pic (not that it would do any good) before walking out the front door, shaking with frustration and, most likely, with tears in my eyes.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Go Baby Go!

Lebanon is on frickin' fire! (In the best possible sense.)

Athena at Terrorism Unveiled has a list of links to Lebanese bloggers worth checking out, several of which now appear on my blog roll. (Mostly the english language ones as my high school french is rusted all to hell and my arabic is going that way, too. Case in point: It took me a full ten minutes to look up the meaning of the above girl's shirt sloagan. "Independence '05" )

(Via ace)

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Saturday, March 12, 2005

Heart is normal

Green light from the radiologist. Heart is fine.

Coughing probably due to allergies. Paying ridiculous amounts of money for Allegra.

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Friday, March 11, 2005

Blog your way through college

A ways back I commented on GotDesign's essay on the Information Reformation:

I said -
Some things that have occured to me over the years: (1) hyperlinks are lightyears beyond footnotes. And (2) digital copy is better than print-out in detecting plagarism. A professor could simply google suspicious phrases by cut-and-paste. (3) What about a blogger account for every student in a college class? That way the professor could click each blog and review assignments in progress, give feedback, and finally grade each student lightening quick. All without the geographic limitations of office hours. (Face to face meetings remain valuable, of course, but class blogs could allow professors to assist a greater number of students.

GotDesign pointed out that the University of Louisville already has a service called the Blackboard "which allows for online collaboration within given classes."

Now Hugh Hewitt points me to the the phenomenom of wickis, essentially open class blogs. Aparently I am already horribly behind the times with my forward-thinking ideas!

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Heart trouble?

Not sure yet.

I went to the doctor yesterday about a chronic cough I've had for about a year. I'd been to two different docs before, both gave me antibiotics thinking it was a bacterial infection and neither treatment worked. So I was thinking it might be latent alergies (Mom, Dad, and Bro suffer from seasonal alergies which to this point have never hit me)... or (cue the ominous music) gulf war syndrome. Obviously my imagination was taking me to scary places, but I was not prepared for the x-ray results that showed clear lungs but a shadow over my heart!

The images are being reviewed by a radiologist and I should get a call tomorrow.

Keep your fingers crossed...

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Damn but I'm slow

I was going to write a hysterically funny satire about Dan Rather's farewell special last night but iowahawk has already got the scoop. Envious? I'm greener than a frog without sidepockets!

Then I was going to write a few skeptical thoughts about this (fake) Marine claiming Saddam's capture was faked but Frank J has it covered.

I feel like the kid who falls for the "gimme five... whoops!... too slow," joke. Damn.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

More housekeeping...

This site is currently certified 65% GOOD.

Current Rapture Index is 152 (Net Change -1, Updated Mar 7, 2005)

The next Kentucky Bourbon Festival is September 14-18, 2005. (I'm thinking 'road trip'... What about you?)

Your Medieval Interior Decoration resource is here.

Hard core Lord of the Rings fans might want to check out these flash paradies. (You know who you are...)

And, as always, my two favorite brands of beer remain 'cold' and 'yours.'

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Why I don't care for PETA...

... but do support many measures that provide for the punishment of those who mistreat animals.

The activist organization calling themselves the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was founded in 1980 with the absolutist-sounding premise that "PETA operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment."

In the 25 years since then PETA operatives have thrown blood onto celebrities wearing fur, raided medical laboratories working to produce new medicines, and waged a war-like advertising campaign (featuring such well respected intellectuals as Pam Anderson) against large scale, factory style, chicken farming. The've even advanced the notion that "fish are people, too." Their emotional response to the suffering of innocent creatures is touching, even admirable. But their contempt for the human animals who hold differing views is without bounds.

Philosophical differences about such matters as 'natural order' and the 'prescence of a soul' aside, there is only one issue that makes PETA unpalatable to me: PETA not only wants to abandon Earth to the animals and live on planet Vegan (how else could we avoid eating, wearing, experimenting on, and exploiting animals?), they want to round up and re-educate anyone who doesn't agree. That's their notion of morality. They're right, we're wrong with no provision for discussion.

Like many others, my favorite range of cable channels includes TLC, The Discovery Channel, Natioal Geographic, A&E, and Animal Planet. I'm addicted to documentary shows and some of the best produced are nature programs. I grew up with Wild Kingdom, so there it is. (Blame Mutual of Omaha.)

I absolutely adore Animal Cops and Animal Precinct. The officers featured on these two shows display a concern for abused animals that often goes beyond what they can find words for. They frequently shed tears, flail their arms in grief, shake their heads at the atrocities they investigate.

But what really impresses me is the way these men and women in uniform never, never complain about budget constraints, light penalties for offenders, or the maddeningly slow grind of the justice system. They are true servants of their comunities. They aren't activists, they simply act.

I belive PETA could learn a thing or two from these officers.

Lesson # one - PETA activists do not have a monopoly on caring.

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Monday, March 07, 2005

Cutting to the chase...

Ann Althouse (she writes in such intimate terms about such down to earth topics that I find it difficult to truncate her down to just "Althouse" the way I often do with Reynolds, Kaus, Drum, and the rest. Just a side note...) asks why no politician can explain the arguments for (or against) social security reform in just a few, simple, clear sentences. I share her frustration.

The answer is that politicians are adverse in general to (publicly) conceding a point to the other side of the idealogical divide. It gives the opponent political ammunition and why would any politician do that? Social security reform is a practical issue, like AIDS prevention, like tax reform. It is my opinion that no serious, non-partisan debate over these issues is even possible because of the political baggage they carry.

Specifically, she's upset that Sen. Mitch McConnell failed to utter aloud the punchline to Tim Russert's "gothcha" joke on Meet the Press. Russert asks: "What does private personal accounts do to fix the solvency problem?"

Obviously it doesn't fix the solvency problem. But why on earth would Mitch say that on television? It's a loaded question.

The facts of the matter are these (my attempt to sum up SSR in just five, simple, clear sentences):

- Social security is headed for insolvency. Clinton said so and Bush agees. Since a well-thought-out solution sooner is better than an emergency solution later, Bush has put out a call for bi-partisan suggestions that he hopes will include private accounts because of the benefits to today's young Americans.

- Private accounts aren't the whole of the solution. Later payout schedules or increased payroll taxes (most likely a combination) are necesary to retain solvency. (Personally, I favor reduced spending in order to avoid either of these, but I know for a fact that it simply will not happen. There is no such thing as a budget cut in Washington.)

- The social security program relies on two parties: The payers and the payees. Bush is bringing up private accounts as a way of engaging the payers in the debate over reform. (Probably a doomed gesture seeing as how young people don't vote. Noble of him, though.)

- There are umpteen plans already out there that examine the problems and suggest a fix. (The Social Security Agency is filled with actuaries and computer geeks, fergodsake! Tell me that the only federal agency to be completely prepared for the Y2K computer snafu didn't see this coming!)

- The trick will be to get one or two legislative figures, willing to endure career-ending opposition, to endorse one of the existing plans and sell it. Sell it accross the isle, sell it to the young, sell it to the old. We need salesmen.

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Slow news day...

Demonstrations continue in Lebanon (rock on!), Italian journalists narrowly escape assasination at the hands of US troops (need sight adjustments, I suppose), the FEC wants to further regulate your political speech (but say, "not really... don't worry about it."), blogger gets day pass to White House press conference (promises to wear pants), but the BIG news is here (I love country music. The stories! The conflict!).

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Friday, March 04, 2005

Heh. You don't want to know what we used to do...

Kevin notes garage door malfunctions around military bases.


Complete and total hegemony is within our grasp!

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Yglesias gets it half-right, Reynolds agrees with him.

I'll stipulate to the fact that a strong two party system is healthy for America, and that the current decline of the Democrats is decidedly unhealthy, and I'll agree with the Instapundit that any self reflection on the part of the democrats is a good thing. However, I still have a lot of quibbles with Matthew Yglesias:
The "what liberal media?" argument is not exactly being bolstered by The New York Times' decision to use the headline "New Poll Finds Bush Priorities Are Out of Step With Americans."
Nice of you to admit the painfully obvious.

The new poll, does, however, find precisely that.
Nice way to weasel out of an uncomfortable admission.

It also finds that Bush has about the same approval rating -- a slight net positive -- as he had right before the election. Generally speaking, the most noteworthy thing about the poll is the extent of the statis in public opinion. Some of these numbers look absolutely awful for the president. Fifty-two percent of the public thinks the country is on the "wrong track" compared to just 42 who say we're headed in the "right direction." But in late October, that number was an even worse 55-43 split.
Yglesias is stymied! How could this be?! The numbers don't lie, right?

Bush has net negative approval ratings on the economy, on foreign policy, and on Iraq. You would think that would be fatal, but it was the same in late October. Generally speaking, the picture is the same throughout. The numbers make the president look very, very, very weak. But he looked just as weak right before the election, and obviously it didn't work out.(Emphasis mine. - Ed.)
Better luck next time, Matthew. Of course, your obession with obviously flawed poll numbers doesn't suggest that you will expend much effort to win in 2008, so much as expend effort to appear superior.

The upshot, I think, is that the Democratic Party's political problems are really about the Democratic Party and not their opponents.
Shocker. You know what? I've voted Democrat more often than Republican. Why do you think that's changed?

Interestingly, the poll doesn't find much support for the notion that a dash to the right on cultural issues is the way out. They asked "which party comes closer to sharing your view on abortion" and 45 percent said the Democrats to just 35 percent for the Republicans. They asked "which party comes closer to sharing your view on the legal recognition of gay couples," and the Democrats got 42 percent to the GOP's 37 percent.
To that I say, "Let success be thy only proof." Eleven states passed laws against gay marriage last November. I say again: 100% of the states which advanced legislation concerning the definition of marriage as being "only between a man and a woman" passed those measures with flying colors. Those numbers are solid. No margin for error in those "polls."

Which is all by way of returning to my long-time hobbyhorse -- to wit: The Democratic Party's political trouble is explained almost entirely by the fact that the country does not trust it with national security.
Here is where Yglesias is half-right. It's true that most americans do not trust the Democratic party with national defense. The fact that he realizes this is extremely heartening. He's wrong, however, to assume that the poll numbers from the NYT justify his domestic agenda. POLLS ARE ESTIMATES. POLLS AREN'T DEFINITIVE. Elections are definitive. 11 new state laws are definitive. The fact that President Bush was re-elected is proof positive that the country is thinking in a direction different than Matthew and the rest of the democrats.

I think it's great that the dems are rethinking their stratagy. I think it's great that they genuinely want to recapture the essence of American thinking. But this article again demonstrates that they are going about in the wrong manner. It is not the duty of the voting populace to come closer to the democrats. "Mohammed must go to the mountain." (And I appologize for such a horrid metaphor. - Ed.)

It may be possible to weasel into office through some other contrivance, but Democratic positioning on both culture and economics is already reasonably successful. Bush is not wildly popular. (Emphasis mine. - Ed.)
Except for the annoying fact of his re-election. Popular? Nah. 60 million Jesus freaks is all it was. Why is Yglesias nullifying his earlier arguments that the Dems need change? He's right back to the old "We're smarter than the Bush voters" defense.

The obvious growth area is trying to convince people that Democrats can do national security properly. Subscribers can see my thoughts on this in the new print Prospect and non-subscribers should, of course, subscribe.
The obvious growth area is not to "convince" anyone (you still think we're stupid, don't you?) but rather to get onboard the fast moving train of supporting freedom around the world. Historically, democracies rarely wage war with each other. Isn't war bad? I thought the democrats opposed war, right? I thought these guys liked President Kennedy and his concepts of interventionalist liberalism. What happened?

I'll tell you what happened. They started relying on polls in order to win political power rather than democratic ideals to win the peace. And in doing so they ceded all credibility to the Republicans when it comes to making America safer.

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When old ladies ATTACK!

Pure schadenfreude. I'm not even going to check this one out for veracity. I want it to be true.

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

And I was confused.

The "Pocky" series of japanese commercials encompase a diverse range of emotions, situations, and encounters set to infectious electric guitar music, ALL of which are lost on THIS arabic linguist.

Nevertheless, it's a fascinating display. I suspect that if I spoke japanese and understood the context, all the charm would be drained out of it.

Check it out.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Housekeeping, Part II

(1) New graphic added to the left. Not sure what I'll do with it yet. I just wanted to do something to publicly support the demonstrators in Lebanon.

(2) I never noticed this admonition before. Words to post by:

Before you post, remember the LGF prayer:

Lord, grant me the serenity to ignore the trolls,
the courage to debate with honest opponents,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

(3) Again I am rethinking the HTML template here at KADNINE. I like the parchment looking template that comes as an option with Blogspot, and I've tried to add to the code in order to make it my own. But I look at all the wasted side bar space with a bit of regret, and the current arrangement makes some ideas I've been mulling over quite impossible. So, once again, I caution my readers (both of us, thank you Annie) that this site could get a little weird this week.

(4) I've got family coming down from Indiana in about two months to throw a housewarming party for the wiff and myself. Time to whip this 90 year-old house into shape. Already replaced the lightswitch cover in the library. One project down. 99 to go.

(5) More this evening. I'm headed to the grocery store...

UPDATE: I've discovered GeoUrl. (Button in the side bar.)

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005


More evil than Michele? How'd THAT happen?

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