Sunday, May 29, 2005

Friday, May 27, 2005

Declarations of innocence . . .

. . . from a dying man. See the related story here.

"The gulag of our time"

The Washington Post leads off with a sensational headline, "Pentagon Confirms Koran Incidents," which appears to me to imply that Newsweek's blurb that started the riots in Afghanistan and Pakistan was true. Of course, that's not what the article actually says--"[Pentagon spokesman Lawrence T. Di Rita] said most of the 13 cases involved accidental or inadvertent touching of the Koran by guards and interrogators -- such as someone bumping into the holy book, or one case in which an interrogator stacked two Korans on a television set."

But, predictably, Amnesty International still can't get off its high horse about American military prisons, while, at the same time, diminishing the importance of real "human rights abuses." Does anyone really believe that the prisoner abuse at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib is actually equivalent to the gulags of the Soviets? The North Koreans? Saddam Hussein? Think about it: mistreatment of prisoners by individuals (even sadistic, perverted ones like Mr. Graner) cannot be the same as government-sponsored abuse and torture of dissidents. Perspective, please.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Montana's got a big ol' Butte, oh yeah

Antique toys stolen from a brothel. Excellent.

This guy was almost president. . .

. . . before he wasn't. Now, Senator Kerry has signed off on the form to release his military records (which he refused to sign during the campaign, for some reason or another--Cambodia, anyone?)

Just a taste of the Boston Globe's "The Caveat Emperor":
The devil is usually in the details. With Kerry, it's also in the dodges and digressions. After the interview, Kerry's communications director, David Wade, was asked to clarify when Kerry signed SF 180 and when public access would be granted. Kerry drifted over to join the conversation, immediately raising the confusion level. He did not answer the question of when he signed the form or when the entire record will be made public.

You have to love John Kerry--

News from Albania . . .

I'm not kidding--news from Albania. Seems a fisherman captured a huge turtle and an Italian traded him a Mercedes for it. Wow.

When you call 911, please make certain it is an emergency.

This lady called 911 because her pizzas weren't delivered quickly enough. Now, the daytimer sees many people who shouldn't be calling 911, but this one is particularly special.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Victor Davis Hanson is at it again . . .

. . . and you should, of course, read the whole thing.
Note also after the riots how few Americans announced their immediate scorn for silly rumors about our own POW center in a time of war — especially when it is housing Afghan terrorists who helped kill 3,000 of our own innocents. Can one imagine fundamentalists in the Bible Belt rioting and shooting should they hear an unfounded rumor that an American prisoner in Riyadh, charged with complicity in killing thousands of Arabs, found his Old Testament trashed by a Saudi guard — or a Saudi official promising to apologize to the Western world should a miscreant guard be culpable?

Was the Church of the Nativity carefully treated by its Islamic intruders — or did the desecration cause rioting and holy-war warnings across Christendom? It is just this imbalance that our elites do not talk openly about, but that outrages the populace who tires of it.

Go on, you can do it!!

WARNING!! This man knows a lot more than you about the ocean!

My brother in law is a "physical oceanographer." He knows a lot--check out the publications, and see if you can figure out what he does. Fortunately for him, he gets to choose where he does his research, and it is not anywhere near the north pole. Aegean Sea, indeed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

You want cute? I got your cute right here!

It turns out that the owner of the offending digit in the Wendy's "chili with finger" episode used his severed finger to settle a $50.00 debt.
"My son is a happy-go-lucky guy. He thought it was cute to show" the severed finger, Shouey said. "It's like a man thing."

This Newsweek kerfuffle. . .

Jonah Goldberg and Andrew McCarthy actually get to the heart of the uproar about the messed-up and apparently false Newsweek report that interrogators at Guantanamo desecrated the Koran while interrogating prisoners. The story lead to riots in Afghanistan and Pakistan that eventually killed 17 people. Those expressing righteous indignation that Newsweek would print such an article are, to a great extent, correct--the reporting was apparently faulty (by admission of Newsweek--I don't pretend to know anything about journalism), and the results were "foreseeable."

Mr. McCarthy:
"Minor indignities? How can you say something so callous about a desecration of the Holy Koran?" I say it as a member of the real world, not the world of prissy affectation. I don't know about you, but I inhabit a place where crucifixes immersed in urine and Madonna replicas composed of feces are occasions for government funding, not murderous uprisings. If someone was moved to kill on their account, we'd be targeting the killer, not the exhibiting museum, not the "artists," and surely not Newsweek.

Mr. Goldberg:
This stuff has a half-life of course. Every few months, some holder of a PhD in jackassery makes headlines for saying we need “a million Mogadishus” or by calling the murder victims of 9/11 “little Eichmanns.” And like things with a half-life, this thinking has given off a certain degree of background radiation which suffuses the way we look at the world and, more importantly, the way we look at ourselves. Few rational — and no respectable — people believe that we “deserved” 9/11. But the logic which says that we need to compromise with savages in some way, somehow lurks in how we discuss things. The notion that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” still sits in the corner demanding a smidgen of respect despite the fact “another man” is often an idiot.

Isn't the fact that the results were foreseeable the real problem here? Why should we be turning the light of inquiry onto Newsweek or the military when the real bad guys are the ones that kill people over their holy book allegedly getting doused in the crapper?

I have said it before: even if you can't stand the political viewpoint, you are depriving yourself of some good education if you aren't reading National Review Online.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

This is what happens . . .

When you venture into the unknown with your syndicated column. I looked at (didn't really read that piffle) Krugman's piece in the Daily Progress today, and it's good to see someone knowledgable tearing old PK a new one.

And in legal news . . .

You just have to read this. A taste:

The man, identified only as John Doe in court papers, filed suit against the woman in 1997, claiming she was negligent when she suddenly changed positions, landed awkwardly on him and fractured his penis.


Friday, May 13, 2005

Sweet, juicy justice

Turns out that our chili with finger dame has turned out to be putting up a scam. As the daytimer says, she had a cunning plan. And as I said before, this is sweet, sweet justice.

Once again with the VDH

Victor Davis Hanson gets all over World War II revisionism.
Instead, the beneficiaries of those who sacrificed now ankle-bite their dead betters. Even more strangely, they have somehow convinced us that in their politically-correct hindsight, they could have done much better in World War II.

Yet from every indication of their own behavior over the last 30 years, we suspect that the generation who came of age in the 1960s would have not just have done far worse but failed entirely.

Read the whole thing. Go on, do it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Kentucky food makes it to the Progress

Check it out.

Astonishing asshattery

These idiots sued a client of mine once--over a .22 calibre semi-automatic pistol, believe it or not!! Mr. Boyle, in particular, is going to get what he deserves.

P.S.--we won the case, and Mr. Boyle cussed me and my clients out as we left the courthouse. I love that.

UPDATE: "Alcohol appears to have played a role." Imagine that.

Kentucky in the news. . .

A horseman gets arrested for RUI (you figure it out.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Satanists are not to blame for the severed goat heads, thank you very much.

In Vancouver, goat heads turned up where they shouldn't have.

Christ is not speaking to the press at this time.

West Virginia, Wild and Wonderful!

Not going to get much done. . .

on Orgasm Day in Espertantina, Brazil. Ah, the fullness of life! Or something like that.

Reefer madness!!

Rich Lowry explores the the federal government's never-ending war on pot. It's useless, and everyone knows it except the one guy who can do something about it. And why do we Americans have "czars" of anything? Aren't czars bad guys in large fur hats, chugging vodka in the snow?
"Increased arrest rates are not associated with reduced marijuana use, reduced marijuana availability, a reduction in the number of new users, reduced treatment admissions, reduced emergency-room mentions, any reduction in marijuana potency, or any increases in the price of marijuana." Besides that, the war on marijuana is a smash success.

Read the whole thing.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Ignorant of their own constituencies

Victor Davis Hanson points out why the Democratic Party is losing lately, and makes many of the points I would like to think I came up with. Alas, he is a smarter man than I (and most everybody else).

Please, please read this blog

Micheal Yon, an author, is blogging from Iraq--complete with extremely dramatic photos. Please go to his site and read about the complete and utter disregard the "insurgency" has for human life.
Major Mark Bieger found this little girl after the car bomb that attacked our guys while kids were crowding around. The soldiers here have been angry and sad for two days. They are angry because the terrorists could just as easily have waited a block or two and attacked the patrol away from the kids. Instead, the suicide bomber drove his car and hit the Stryker when about twenty children were jumping up and down and waving at the soldiers.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Partners in blood, partners in decision-making

Hamas is doing well in local Palestinian elections. Fatah is making a stronger showing, as was to be expected. Read the whole article (both pages) and contemplate this: what do you think a debate between a Fatah candidate and a Hamas candidate would be like? "I would like to kill more Jews, but the civilized world says I shouldn't, so maybe I will not until such time as the civilized world no longer cares what I do" vs. "I shall kill all Jews and bathe in their blood, as is my solemn duty. That other guy is a sissy because he wants to stop killing Jews for a minute or two."

The Manolo loves the David Hasselblogging

David H., he's the winner of a major award!

Shades of Quixote

Mr. Kerry is a working hard for '08, but that doesn't mean that he no longer sucks.

Thanks to VikingPundit.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Holy crap

That's all I can say about this German proposal to ban smoking in your own car.

I've seen snakes on TV before . . .

But never in a box of cereal. Excellent.

And now for something completely. . . the same

This time, it's finger in your ice cream. Money quote: "I thought it was candy because they put candy in your ice cream or whatever to make it a treat," he told a Wilmington television station on Sunday. "So I proceeded to put the object in my mouth, got all the ice cream off of it and spit it in my hand."

He's hired a lawyer, of course.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

And now for the rant

We here at Tannerball have not spent much time dealing with the war in Iraq, mainly because others are keeping much better track of things than our schedules permit. However, something happened at the gym today that made me want to yell--and if I weren't such a genuinely nice person (i.e. big, fat sissy), I would have let these two have it.

I was lifting weights, and I overheard a conversation between two people that I know well enough to say hello. One of them had a child at my daughter's preschool last year. They were engaging in Charlottesville's favorite leisure activity--the loud conversation for everyone else's benefit. While I cannot vouch that I have accurately transcribed the words, I can vouch that the sentiment is pure Charlottesville:

"Well, that's terrible--I can't imagine having a child of mine join the military."
"Yes, well, that's what he wants to do."
"I mean, I really wish Bush and Cheney had to go do this stuff. I am tired of hearing the 'hurts me a lot more than it hurts you' crap from them."
"I know--it's the kids who are making all the sacrifices. Why don't they just thank the families for their sacrifices. I tried to tell him that there are better ways to serve the country--why not become a teacher? Or do something in the community? He's such a smart kid, but he wouldn't listen, though. THEY have him convinced that this is the best way to serve the country. Of course, it's not really even serving the country--it's doing the exact opposite. This will affect the world our grandchildren inherit. It's so short-sighted."
"I know--we've alienated a lot of people."

I about burst out "YOU MORONS!" then and there, but didn't. Frankly, I am ashamed of myself, and I am making a solemn vow never to let comments like these pass unpunished. Upon sober reflection, I wish I had said the following:

"You know, you're right. We have alienated a lot of people: terrorists, their supporters, western europeans, diplomats at the UN, you name it. I sure am sorry that we have alienated the French, since we now are forced to investigate all of their corrupt deals with the Hussein regime--remember, we invaded Iraq and interrupted their supplying Saddam with arms. And the Germans, well, I am sooo sorry that they took offense, since they are rapidly becoming completely irrelevant on the world scene. And the Russians? They, too, were illegally dealing arms, oil, and whatever else they could trade with Iraq, in flagrant violation of security council sanctions imposed after the first Gulf War. And let's not forget that we really alienated the Taliban--they can no longer harbor terrorists, destroy priceless works of art, stone gay people and young girls, or deny any sort of education, medical treatment, and basic human dignity to women under their control. Nor can they 'educate' their young to hate the West and seek its destruction by force.

How did we achieve such historic alienation? Because that cowboy idiot of a president of ours decided that the only way to deal with the terrorists that seek to do us harm is to destroy the regimes that support them, and attempt to foster democratic and representative governments around the middle east. This is, of course, imperialism of the worst sort--we go around, deposing crapulent, oppressive, and illegitimate regimes that harbor terrorists and seek to harm the citizens of the United States, and then we have the unmitigated temerity to insist that the succeeding governments govern by the consent of the governed. Good lord, how can we sleep at night!

And how did the idiot-chimp-draft-dodging president accomplish such alienation? By the use of the terrible swift sword of our military. Yep--democracy at the point of a gun. The results of our imperial adventures into Afghanistan and Iraq? Well, we have Syria fleeing Lebanon in the face of enormous and spontaneous protests by ordinary Lebanese, at great risk to themselves. We have Lybia admitting its WMD programs, and permitting inspections by both the UN and the US. We have a new leader of the Palestinians that appears to have his police forces actually trying to control the terrorists in their midst. Democratic developments in Saudi Arabia are occurring (although not fast enough or on a large enough scale). Pakistan can now be called an ally, and Pakistan and India are engaged in realistic and potentially productive talks to end their warring over Kashmir. Hosni Mubarak is apparently going to let opposition candidates for president of Egypt actually participate in the election. A new government is, under the circumstances, doing okay in Afghanistan. An investigation has revealed that the UN Oil-for-food program with Iraq was so hopelessly corrupt that it gave Saddam Hussein billions of dollars with which to build palaces and oppress the Kurds and the Shi'a. And, oh yeah, lest I forget, today a new and democratically-elected government was sworn in IN BAGHDAD!!

You're right, though--this all comes at a price. The price is the lives of our young and not-so-young soldiers who go off and fight when they should be at home teaching school or doing community projects. You know, they should 'Think globally and act locally' and 'visualize world peace.' Particularly the smart white kids from Charlottesville--their time could be spent so much more productively than in the military, fomenting democracy and bringing an end to regimes like Saddam's. It's much better to let the hispanics from the barrio and the blacks (excuse me, African-Americans) from the ghetto serve--I mean, what other opportunities do they have? And they really aren't worth as much as our precious white kids from Charlottesville, are they?

You're also right that the world our grandchildren inherit will be very different than the one we permitted to happen. They will inherit a world that, most likely, will be less violent and less dangerous for Americans. A world where representative governments are the rule, not the exception. A world where the UN has either lived up to its purpose, or been shut down. A world where Sudan does not have a seat at the table for the Commission on Human Rights. A world where the people of the Middle East, instead of blindly hating Americans because that's what they are told to do, will embrace their newfound freedom and join the 21st century. In short, a world where you folks don't have all that much to bitch about except the price of gas. How will all this be achieved? It has started already, because George Bush is president, and those volunteers in the military have the skills and the will to accomplish an admirable goal.

And, before I forget, f*!# you."

Now I am very angry at myself.

The debate over the Parkway gets, well, stupid.

A big thing here is whether the City and the County can agree to build the Meadowcreek Parkway. This road has been in the works for about 50 years or so, and would relieve a considerable amount of traffic on a street that serves both downtown and large residential areas. As you can imagine, there is opposition to this kind of transportation progress--from an "advocacy group" and its leader, a "human resident sporting a costume woodchuck head."

I really don't understand the thinking behind wearing woodchuck head to the City Council meeting. Also, do the groups really want to defend the turf of the mighty woodchuck? Along with the racoon, the woodchuck is one of the most adaptable creatures on the planet. Oh well--

UPDATE: My partner reminds me that we don't call them woodchucks around here anyway. They are GROUNDHOGS, dammit!!

Monday, May 02, 2005

And in other news from Pikeville . . .

Pikeville, Kentucky, was the homeplace of my grandfather's family. It is a truly interesting place, and full of intelligent and motivated people (and its share of hillbillies--check out the hillbilly festival in April). Apparently, according to A&E's "City Confidential," it is the Town from Hell.

Predictably, Pikeville has taken umbrage at the portrayal by A&E. Money quote: "Obviously, being labeled the town from hell can not be interpreted in any way as positive," City Manager Donovan Blackburn wrote in a letter to the network.