~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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.


Friday, May 27, 2005

"Our Spoiled and Unhappy Global Elites"

I'm going away for the weekend. I leave you in the capable hands of VDH. It's today's must read.

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Huffington looks for an unequivocal answer on when we'll be withdrawing from Iraq

Unimpressed with Senator Clinton's answer of:
You know, I am not one who feels comfortable setting exit strategies
Arianna bemoans:
I’ve just decided that I do have a litmus test for the 2008 Democratic nominee: someone who can utter, in plain English, an unambiguous, unequivocal sentence about Iraq.
Hey, Arianna. How about this? When we've won, we'll come home. Definitive enough for you? If you'd been paying attention, Hillary's exit strategy sounds awfully close to that of the President. You know, it just looks bad when you can't get on the same page with Clinton OR Bush. What scenario are you hoping for? Some non-existant, dark horse martian candidate to appear in '08? One with your view that the war is bad (like Clinton) and yet wants us to lose? Think that'll fly with the public?

There are intelligent liberals in this country. Huffington is not one of them.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Saga of the broken tooth continues

I must have used up all my good luck in Iraq. Seven months in country and not a scratch on me. Since then I have thrown out my back, wrecked my car, gotten food poisoning, and broke off a tooth.

Second to last dental visit was today. I'm gonna take a Vicodin and just chill today.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Video links

I'm bored.

--- You may recall my grim predictions over the fate Western Europe. Well it seems Japan has already gone over the edge. Robot cats? (shudder) Someone would actually invite that scary beast into their home?

--- War is an ever repeating cycle of boredom/stress/boredom. Here's how the Brits cope. Here's how the Norwegians cope. You don't want to know how my team coped. (This is a family blog, after all.)

--- Um... Words fail me.

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FEC to run roughshod over bloggers

RedState tips us all to the danger facing political bloggers. Left Right or Center, whatever your political leaning, this should be on your radar. The FEC is considering whether or not to regulate your political speech online.
Time is running out. The public comment period for the FEC's proposed rulemaking regarding your freedom online ends on June 3rd. I can tell you that they have not yet received nearly as many comments as they expected.

There is a threat. You need to act.

More important - you as a blogger or just a reader have input the FEC needs. They need to know what sort of things you do (or will do) online.
Here's the letter I wrote:
To Mr. Brad C. Deutsch, Assistant General Counsel:

I am a small-time blogger who writes about political and cultural issues. The idea that my political voice, as expressed through my weblog, could be subjected to federal regulation during an election year, frankly fills me with dread. I am not financially affiliated with any one political party, nor do I intend to. I have candidates that I approve of, and candidates that I oppose, and I strenuously object to the notion of a federal agency governing my commentary. If, as an individual, I want to support or oppose a particular candidate by writing about him/her on my blog, that to me is the very definition of free speech.

As to the issue of incorporation, I don't plan to incorporate to divert liability. I'm an individual with opinions, and my weblog is my soapbox. I'm not an activist.

As to the issue of monetary contributions, my opinions are my own and I don't feel that "kind words" about a candidate that I happen to like constitute monetary consideration "in kind." Again, I'm not an activist. I'm just an American veteran, interested in politics, who appreciates the forum of the internet to express my opinions. The FEC should not take any action to restrict that forum.


Note: Your email will be considered only if you include your full name and mailing address. I know, I know. Anonymity on the net is an important issue. But to me, defeating this proposed legislation is even more important.

And if you haven't already, please consider joining the bipartisan Online Coalition dedicated to keeping the FEC from infringing free political speech.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Canada? Nice place to visit... wouldn't want to live there




I rest my case.

UPDATE: The coup de gras.

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Week # 99 - Bonfire of the Vanities

It's up, and it's dorky!

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

About done for the day...


I have lips more swollen than Angelina Jolie's and a root canal scheduled for in the morning. Oh, joy.

Signing off. Tune in tomorrow for "high-as-a-kite-I-just-got-out-of-dental-surgery" blogging. That oughtta be pretty entertaining.

(Preview: "A bab. A phista baba bab ab abab? Snweeeh." Ya see? Good times.)

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The Numa Numa juggernaut rolls ever onward

More abominations.

What could possibly be worse you ask? Behold the evil that is Schnappi, the latest craze to sweep Europe. I swear to you that the fate of Western Civilization is looking increasingly bleak.

It is just that you weep, for verily, we are doomed.

I give you ACDC Schnappi, Beat Box Schnappi, and Ringtone Schnappi.

Doomed. Doomed, I tell you.

(Backstory here and here.)

(Via: Boing Boing and Beautiful Atrocities)

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Breaking: Airline humor still funny

You can't say Ashkroft didn't change some things.

(Via: ConservaChick)

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Random thought from a Marine who's out of the service now

Tomorrow, when the dentist asks me if I want "gas" or not, I'm not going to be able get this picture out of my head:

Semi-related - smoking while missing a front tooth causes you to expel twin streams of smoke which is cool, in a dragon-fetish sort of way.

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"The Root Canal Cheer"

Break 'em out!
Smash 'em out!

...just kill me now.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Blogging through a straw for now

Earlier today, the phone rang. As I was getting up to answer it, I tripped over a chair and did a face-plant into the hardwood floor. When I woke up, some undetermined number of minutes later, I discovered that I had a splitting headache, a perfect incisor-shaped hole punched through my bottom lip, and a missing tooth.

I never made it to the phone. Whoever you are, I hope you won't take it personally.

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60 Minutes Wednesday canceled

Nothing to do with last year's Rathergate controversy of course, just a decision based on ratings.

Yeah right.

CBS has three of the top rated primetime network programs. If they really wanted to keep Dan Rather and 60 Minutes II, if they were truely comitted to the journalistic integrity 60 Minutes represents they could simply shift money from the enormously successful CSI, CSI:Miami, and Survivor over to the news department to make up the shortfall. It's done every week with Larry King and other such programs. The advertising revenue doesn't quite cover expenses, but the network executives believe in the value of the product so they underwrite the loss with profits from other programs.

Tell me Dan isn't dead weight. Go ahead. Convince me.

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Newsweek killings: The deeper story.

The deeper story behind last week's deadly Newsweek blunder really depends on why one believes the muslim extremists hate us here in the west. There are two schools of thought:

1) They hate us because of our foreign policies. They are simply reacting to myriad wrongs that we have done to brown peoples across the globe. They are upset over how America uses it's political, economic, and military might to keep the little man down.

2) They hate us because of a fundamental difference in ideological worldview. The western concept of a society ruled by individual concience flies in the face of their concept of a superior society ruled by a religious minority. Rather than change their worldview, which to them is holy writ, they invoke jihad.

If you're a member of the first school, than the deeper story behind Newsweek is whether there really are abuses at the hands of the military (and whether said abuse was authorized by the Bush administration) going on at Gitmo and around the world.

If you're a member of the second, than the deeper story is how there are muslim extremists out there willing to pounce on a false story in order to propagandize against the west. With deadly results.

I admit to subscribing to the second school. The things that keep me awake at night are not visions of Lyndie England stripping prisoners, but rather, another 9/11, or worse. To crib from Limbaugh, there are two wars going on right now. President Bush is leading us in the fight against a radical minority of the muslim world who want to subjugate first their fellow muslims and then all other societies, while Newsweek and others, subscribers to the first school, are warring against George W. Bush.

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Cat's out of the bag.

Alright... Who leaked Karl Rove's plan to draft stupid people? Huh? It wasn't me. Ireland is onto us.
Can anyone tell me, Are they going to bring back the draft? I have three sons -- all nearly teenagers -- and am terrified that they will. Why don't they make it that just Republican kids get called up?
Your feelings are indeed justified, my dear, and if I may say so, quite prescient. See, the evil Republicans will be drafting only those youngsters of genetically questionable intelligence. Hence, your kids are screwed. Operation Future Cannon Fodder of America we call it.


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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Suicide by shotgun

The L.A. Times has the story.

Tristan Egolf was an outstanding writer who's potential body of work will be sorely missed. As I've written before, "Lord of the Barnyard," Egolf's debut novel, is among the few that I habitually re-read. The L.A. times says:
The author was better known in Lancaster, however, as a member of the Smoketown Six, a group of antiwar protesters who caused a stir when they stripped to thong underwear during a July 2004 campaign stop in Smoketown, Pa., by President Bush. The six young men were re-enacting the infamous photo of a human pyramid of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
It's not the end of his political activism that I mourn, rather the future literary works we've been denied. Much like John Kennedy Toole, personal demons have lured yet another talented young author to take his own life. (Why is it that liberal artists, especially good ones, tend to be so unhappy? I remember reading William F. Buckley's novel "See You Later Alligator" when I was in middle school and he was then an old man. And WFB is still around.)

More from the Times:

From [age] 11 to 18, he spent long summer stretches visiting the family of his father, who died when Egolf was a youth, in a southern Indiana town near the Kentucky border. A fictionalized version of the community would show up as the unpleasant burg at the center of "Lord of the Barnyard" [...]
When I read "Lord of the Barnyard" I didn't have to be told that it was set in semi-rural, southern Indiana. It just came through in the writing. That's how good it was.

Mr. Tristan Egolf, a decidedly gifted author with intimate knowledge of Kentuckiana, dead at age 33.

[Cross posted at the Coalition]

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Who needs Bin Laden when the enemy has Newsweek?

On May 9th, the self serving, egotistical bastards in the editing office at Newsweek decided that unsubstantiated claims of Koran desecration were fine and dandy for publication. Sixteen dead bodies later, now Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker says they might have made a mistake.

Ya think?

There's a reason why Bin Laden hasn't released any propaganda messages lately to inflame the so-called Muslim Street. Our own Media seem to be doing his job just fine. I'm with Glenn on this one:
Really, I don't want to hear another word about the superior "responsibility" of Big Media. Not one more word.
Author of the article, Michael Isikoff, is, at best, an unthinking moron. At worst, he's rooting for the destruction of the Western World. The truth is probably somewhere in between, but in any case it's clear that he has seriously damaged our country and undermined our efforts abroad. Whatever happened to "Bring the troops home now"? Well, looks like we'll be staying in Afghanistan a little longer cleaning up Isikoff's mess. Thanks a lot, Mike. Do you really want us to lose the war? If so, you can be proud to have done your part.

UPDATE: Newsweek officially retracts the story. Doesn't make sixteen people in Afghanistan any less DEAD. Doesn't change the fact the enemy has been handed the biggest propaganda piece since Abu Ghraib on a silver freakin' platter. But it's a start, I guess. Now what, Newsweek? How are you going to reestablish anything resembling trust?

UPDATE: Listening to Dennis Prager on the late night repeat here in Louisville. LGF was right. He is on f'n' fire with his analysis of this scandal. "Newsweek raped America. Yes I did use the verb rape. That's the level of damage they have inflicted."

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

"James Wolcott is of no use."

Ouch. Saturday morning smackdown, Corner-style.

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

As moving as the Iwo Jima monument

I love this picture.

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Pablo Paredes blames his newfound, anti-american affliction on...

... Noam Chomsky.

I'm shocked, just shocked I tell you.
"I was ashamed to wear the uniform," he said in a recent interview.
You know what? I, too, am ashamed he wears the uniform.

There's nothing I could say about my anger over this "man's" actions that hasn't already been said by Smash.

(via: lgf)

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"Oh, MY GOD, I’m babbling."

Classic Bleat today. You guyz. Seriously. Check it out.

I especially like his wish for post-boomer generations to enjoy a less iconoclastic reputation.
It makes you wonder if parents in 2045 will hear their child pronounce those new hovercars the shinizzle. Probably not. Ever since the boomers, it’s been nothing but fragmented demographic slices. [...] They have no Rolling Stones, no Beatles – and good for them. Their generations will be defined – if they’re lucky – by brief widespread shared memes, not self-important products of lightweight pop culture. What counts, after all, is knowing something that all your peers know about. Once upon a time it was the delicious theory that Paul was dead – listen to the album backwards, you’ll hear the clues! Now the common bond is something like “All Your Base [Are] Belong to Us,” which serves the same purpose. Something everyone knew at a certain time for a certain reason.
Thanks, James. Mad props to you. It's nice to know at least one man understands the totally bogus way the sixties were shoved down our collective throat. I love the Stones, don't get me wrong, but M*A*S*H was just never that interesting to me. I mean, it's cool and all that the producers figured out a conniving scheme to comment on the Vietnam war by setting the show in Korea, but it still looks like southern California to me. And Mork and Mindy? Don't even go there. Oh you so went there. It's on now!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Random thoughts from a Marine who's out of the service now.

I just put on my shoes in the following order:

Right sock
Right shoe (tie laces)
Left sock
Left shoe (tie laces)

in direct contravention of boot camp doctrine! Everybody knows that you have to put on both shoes before tying! How ya gonna be combat effective if bombs start to fall when you've got your left shoe off? Huh?

Whew! They say that it takes the Air Force two years to recover their civilian mindset after leaving the service. Army four years. Navy eight. And that Marines never recover. Once a Marine, always a Marine.

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Apparently, I like food and violence a bit too much

Perhaps the vegans are onto something;)

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Seventh Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Moderate
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Very High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Very High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Test

(via: Inside Allan's Mind, who is the only person I've ever heard of who spells his name "Allan." Check him out.)

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

On the usefulness of labels

Some serious epiphanies are to be had in this 2002 National Review article by Rod Dreher, author of the forthcoming book, "Crunchy Cons." Crunchy Conservatives are what Rod calls those like himself who indulge in many things (like crunchy granola and organic veggies) typically a sign of lefty ideology. As a libertarian-leaning conservative, I enjoyed the article very much and look forward to the book, though I fear Brian Anderson's "South Park Conservatives" may have beaten Rod to the punch on this subject.

Still, there's some great observations in this piece. This one is probably my favorite:
... Steven Hayward [...] says that the GOP's bad rap on the environment is somewhat deserved. "It's the flip side of what defense policy is for the Democrats. Republicans don't like it, they don't study it very hard, and they tend to do a lousy job with it," he says. "Conservatives tend to belittle environmental concerns, or issue blanket condemnations of all environmentalists."
I'm fairly new to politics. My naivete is one of the chief reasons I started this blog; to chart my own learning process. The above statement is so succinct, so obviously true, that it just floored me.

As for the usefulness of labels, I was thrilled when the term "South Park Conservative" was coined. It allowed me to distance myself from the hard-line, quasi-anarchist "Libertarian" label I used to have for my political views, while retaining my aesthetic sensabilities.

Update: Thoughts on the "the uselessness of labels" at The Connection.

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Monday, May 09, 2005

I'm still recuperating

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Friday, May 06, 2005

More smokin' hot Lebanese babes

The babe theory of democratization is alive and kickin' in Lebanon.

I don't know how I missed this but yesterday Michael Totten posted a Babes of Lebanon photo gallery.

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Trilateral Commission

Hmmm.... First Howard, than Bush, now Blair. All three have won reelection after throwing their gloves down in opposition to the Ba'ath regime in Iraq. Coincidence? Or does a majority of the english speaking world actually support the war in Iraq?

Charlie Rose is on the television right now spinning like hell to make the coincidence argument.

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Iowahawk is back!

He reports back after an extended tour of America. Here's what he had to say after visiting our fair Commonwealth:
“Talk to the damn horse all you want, but he ain’t never gonna amount to nothin’,” growled the old trainer on the Kentucky thoroughbred farm, motioning to the stable containing a restless chestnut stallion. Still, there was something about that horse… a will, a heart… an indefinable desire. I don’t know why, but something told me he could be a champion if only that energy was focused. I cautiously approached the mighty beast, coaxing him near with a sugar cube. When he was close and calm enough to hear my whisper, I opened the weekly Kroger insert and showed him the 99 cent special on Alpo.
Welcome back, guy.

[Cross posted at Cardinal Coalition]

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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Oh, and by the way...

today is my six month blogging anniversary. So, there it is then.

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I find kids to be generally creepy.

However, sometimes they can be creepy in a sorta cool way.

4th Graders illustrate literal interpretations of the idioms they learn in class.

This is genius. Genius I tell you.

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I pine for the day when all news reporters state their political bias up front rather than hide behind a neutral facade. (That goes for CNNCBSNBCMSNBCNPRABC and FOX. Fair and Balanced, my ass.) But search engines? It's a search engine for God's sake! I ask you: What's so political about a data string? Google is shooting itself in the virtual foot. I hope they revise their policies towards true neutrality, or else I hope they lose revenue.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

You can't say that I didn't warn you.

I had a feeling this thing was going to spin out of control. *sigh* I hate being right.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Unintentionally funny, though maybe intentionally controversial

Move over Ward Churchill. I predict that in about six hours Conor "Bright Eyes" Oberst will be the new poster boy for the antiwar Left, complete with heated condemnation from all the conservative blogs.

He just finished up as the musical guest on Leno tonight. All I can say is that the sixties live on, in parody if nothing else. A kid from Omaha, younger than me, attempting to channel Dylan, Biaz, Fogerty and Johnny Cash (?) simultaneously to me came off as... well, amusing. The artist appeared deadly serious, though. Lyrics to his Tonight Show number, "When the President Talks to God," are here.

Rolling Stone yesterday mentioned his performance at the Coachella Valley Music Festival.(yeah, I had to google him):
Across the field on Sunday, Bright Eyes closed out the evening -- and the festival -- with a different kind of angst. [...] Oberst, whose music can sometimes sound precious, [I think they meant precocious - Ed.] was able to temper his emotional outbursts with a more subdued sonic palette, drawing on ambient electronica and straight-ahead rock.

A long description such as this, of course, means that Bright Eyes is so out there Rolling Stone has no way of pigeon holing him. But they still like him, so he gets a long awkward description anyway.

It seems Bright Eyes has chosen a side on the issue of the Iraqi War. Good for him. The thing is, I'd already heard of the Dixie Chicks before Natalie Maines made her controversial statements against the war. I'd heard of them because they were good at what they did and were extremely popular. Hope it works out as well for the Bright Eyed Kid. Or perhaps he's modeling his actions on Sinead O'Connor. Her late night antics sure put her on the map.

The 20 Hours Later Update: Still nothing on Google news about any kind of scandal. My usual right leaning blog reads mention nothing. Technorati search results are pretty pathetic, actually. Guess my prognosticating skills could use some honing ;=>

Here's video of the performance in question, if you're at all interested.

The Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon (again) Update: My greatest source of traffic tonight seems to be from Google searches for {"bright eyes" jay leno "when the president talks to god"}

File this under "Who knew?" and "I told ya so." Technorati searches are up, as well. The Left seems to have gabbed hold of this story first. Which, I guess, is to be expected.

Daily Kos noticed this anomaly too:
Jay Leno Leaning Left?

Mon May 2nd, 2005 at 21:57:25 PDT

It was always my belief that, as far as late night broadcast TV goes, Leno was pretty much in the right wing while Letterman undoubtedly held court in the left. My assumptions were based on general observations of blog commentary, the advertisers, the guests, and the mono/dialog in addition to corporate governance.

This evening, however, Leno had muscial guest Bright Eyes.

Ben's Drivel seems to have witnessed the same waste of talent that I did. Read his review and you be the judge:

While songs about politics are all well and good in their proper place and time, I personally couldn’t believe what I was seeing. For Connor Oburst, aka Bright Eyes, who’s former area’s of expertise include drinking, love, and heartbreak, I find this recent excursion into the realm of politics, to put it bluntly, insane.

Angel Dressed in Black notes how hard it is to nail down Jay's politics:

Leno is quite a cameleon. I wonder if he talks to God.
Many lefty blogs seem surprised that this performance made it past the government minders at NBC. I particularly like this one:
I expect to hear news that Bush is attacking Omaha any minute now.
Um, if Bush has such a stranglehold on all media, why would you "expect" news of the Omaha invasion to make it through to you? Will Bright Eyes put the news into verse and go on Letterman?

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