July 31, 2003
Just what the blog world needs, Daschle's daily diary: "Travels With Tom." Gag!
"At the end of the day, wherever I am, I can just type up some thoughts and tell stories about things that happened," Daschle said. "I'm always up for trying something new."
This will be so much fun to read!
More editorial confusion from the MR-T today. The editors are wrestling with information on declining crime rates and increasing population in prisons in the U.S. They are having a difficult time with the idea that the two trends might be related. The editorial concludes with:
"...but it makes sense to want both prison populations and the crime rate to go down at the same time."
If it is up to what we want, we would want everyone to be nice to one another and for there to be no crime at all.
In the real world, it is likely that the prison population will have to climb for a while and then stay high, before the crime rate drops enough to slow incarcerations. Criminals are beginning to get the message that their odds of doing time are going up. It will be a while before all criminals understand. Only then might the resulting decreasing crime rate result in a decreasing prison population.
And there is another sign that is a great puzzlement to me. On top of the old Quickie-Photo place just East of the new Blockbuster is a sign that reads (on both sides even) "Blog For Lease".
Wuzzup with that?
"Nobody does Summer like Luby's!" Really, that is what the sign says. Pools, sunshine, fresh cut grass, and the Lu-Ann Platter. Now that's Summer!
July 30, 2003
Boardings are down at the new(ish) airport. Perhaps we did not make it big enough. Maybe the MDC will get together with DMI and the MDDD and the MCofC and propose that we move the airport downtown to improve.......never mind.
This is just funny...regardless of your political bent.
July 29, 2003
How long does a representative get to be AWOL before his or her seat is declared open? (Sorry, no link to the MR-T article was available.)
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, welcomed the Texas lawmakers. "New Mexico has a long history of helping people on the run -- and should these legislators decide to stay awhile, I will be proud to have them," Richardson said.
Can you say "tourist dollars," boys and girls?
Fascinating mindsets: Richardson welcoming "people on the run" (from the law), and the Texas senators walking/flying away from an opportunity to improve the representation of all Texans in D.C.
UPDATE: Friday, August 1st. Clean clothes being delivered to AWOL senators! Complaints over cost of NM state troopers protecting TX senators!
July 28, 2003
And here is a piece of a speech delivered by Vice President Cheney on the War on Terror, delivered last Thursday as well:
This worldwide campaign began after the attacks of September 11th, 2001, a watershed event in the history of our nation. We lost more people that morning than were lost at Pearl Harbor. And this was the merest glimpse of the violence terrorists are willing to inflict on this country. They desire to kill as many Americans as possible, with the most destructive weapons they can obtain. They target the innocent as a means of spreading chaos and fear, and to shake our national resolve. This enemy holds no territory, defends no population, is unconstrained by rules of warfare, and respects no law of morality. Such an enemy cannot be deterred, contained, appeased, or negotiated with. It can only be destroyed, and that's the business at hand.
For decades, terrorists have attacked Americans - and we remember every act of murder, including 17 Americans killed in 1983 by a truck bomb at our embassy in Beirut; and 241 servicemen murdered in their sleep in Beirut; an elderly man in a wheelchair, shot and thrown into the Mediterranean; a sailor executed in a hijacking; two of our soldiers slain in Berlin; a Marine lieutenant colonel kidnapped and murdered in Lebanon; 189 Americans killed on a PanAm flight over Scotland; six people killed at the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; 19 military personnel killed at the Khobar Towers; 12 Americans killed at our embassies in East Africa; 17 sailors murdered on the USS Cole; and an American diplomat shot dead in Jordan last year.
A sobering reminder of what we as a nation are about right now. Read the whole thing here. These excerpts were suggested by reading this. I don't recall any coverage of either of these speeches in the national media. I wonder why.
Some very excellent words from our President on liberty and America's role:
Our greatest security comes from the advance of human liberty, because free nations do not support terror. Free nations do not attack their neighbors. Free nations do not threaten the world with weapons of mass terror. Americans believe that freedom is the deepest need and hope of every human heart. And we believe that freedom is the right of every person, and the future of every nation...We're a strong country, and we use that strength to defend the peace. We're an optimistic country, confident in ourselves and in ideals bigger than ourselves. Abroad, we seek to lift up whole nations by spreading freedom. At home, we seek to lift up lives by spreading opportunity to every corner of America. This is the work that history has set before us. We welcome it. And we know that for our country, and for our cause, the best days lie ahead.
This is from a speech in Michigan delivered last Thursday. Read the whole thing here.
July 27, 2003
Such a dilemma dealing with today's MRT. Where to start?
DO we begin by whaling away at Helen Thomas's column on how wonderful President Ford was? You have to wade through the whole thing to get to the punch line:
He told the National Press Club in September 1974: "I'm convinced that if the good Lord had made the world today, He would have spent six days creating the heavens and earth ... but on the seventh day, he would not have rested. He would have had to justify it to Helen Thomas."
Ha ha ha, ha ha. So the whole column on Ford being maybe her favorite Republican president is just a bunch of self-serving septic seepage. Unless you go check the link to the whole column. The MRT left out the critical last sentence:
You bet. And I hope I would have been asking my favorite question: "Why?"
So the column was even more self-serving before the MRT trimmed it. Wow. Insert your own joke about Helen Thomas arguing with God about why He created the universe here:____________.
OR do we start in on Jack Anderson's ghost-written screed about Ralph Nader's potential to throw the 2004 presidential election to the Republicans? Jack's writing buddy likens Ralphie to Ross Perot in 1992 (taking votes from Bush 41)and also gives Nader credit for the election of Bush 43 (by taking votes from Gore in Florida). So Ralph, if he runs, will take votes from whichever of the 9 candidates survives the Democrat selection process.
"Nader is Bush's secret weapon, and there's nothing the Democrats can do but hope Nader has an attack of conscience."
Double wow. Maybe they can have their alien buddies abduct him before the election...
OR do we Fisk the article on Cuba by Anita Snow, AP Havana Bureau Chief and major league communist apologist? "Cuba celebrates 50th anniversary of start of Fidel Castro's revolution." Hmmmm...no link, no Fisk, but:
Despite more than four decades of American trade sanctions, and especially acrimonious U.S.-Cuba relations in recent months, the socialist system that Castro created two years after taking power in 1959 also has survived. Today, Cuba is among only four communist systems in the world and only one in the Western Hemisphere.
So recent months have been more acrimonious than during that little Bay of Pigs thing? And no comment on why there are "only" four communist "systems" remaining. I wonder why not?
If Moncada (the initial battle in 1953 that Castro lost) had never occurred, we today would have been suffering from the same economic circumstances as our Latin American brothers," said the 75-year-old Trigo, one of 31 living survivors (of the Moncada battle).
What sad, pathetic circumstances would that be? Suffering from a semblance of free enterprise? The ability to speak out about your government without fear of prison? Freedom? The ability to emigrate without having to use 55 gallon drums, a '51 Chevy pickup and a propeller? Ms. Snow, please check back with your home office for a dose of reality. And perhaps a refill on those meds you are missing and can't get from Cuba's "universal" health care system.
And this is just the "A" section!! Now let's turn to section "B," shall we?
July 26, 2003
Now here's a surprise! And Newsday's even running a little poll with this article: "Are you surprised that Liza and David have split?" Maybe there'll be another auction of long, slinky formal wear to defray settlement costs...Liza can throw in some of her dresses, too! The line of the week: "The Minnelli-Gest wedding was a spectacle fit for …well, a Weimar Republic drag club." It is such a shame that we missed viewing their VH1 "marriage reality" show, too!
And speaking of the tinfoil hat brigade, www.truthmidlandtx.com has not been updated in over a year.
They must have abandoned the site altogether. Even alien abductors don't usually keep people that long.
This MR-T Editorial does a bit of hand wringing....not bad, but some...over the fact that the "Four Hundred Richest" Americans' gross incomes rose over the time period from 1992-2000. The only problem I have with this editorial is that one could be left with the impression that the "Four Hundred Richest" is a completely static and unchanging group of fat cats. As you can read here, it isn't. An excerpt:
"Those reading only the front page of the Times story missed the qualification that many more than 400 people occupied the top 400 list during the nine years. In fact, according to research by Congressís Joint Economic Committee, 2,218 taxpayers were on the list at some point during the period. Amazingly, three-fourths were among the top 400 for just one year and 87 percent were on the list for two years or less. Less than 1 percent made the cut every year.And the other half of the old cliche' isn't true either. The poor are getting richer, too. Not poorer.
In short, there is substantial mobility in and out of the ranks of the very wealthy, a fact documented by Forbes in its annual survey. According to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, between 1988 and 1998, 47 percent of those in the lowest income quintile rose to a higher quintile, and 47 percent of those in the top quintile fell to a lower one."
"Dennis Kucinich, a long-time member of Congress, now calls for legislation -- I love this -- to ban 'mind control' weapons in outer space," DeLay said. "It makes you wonder if at their next presidential debate, the Democrats are all going to show up wearing aluminum foil helmets to protect their brain waves from the mother ship."
July 25, 2003
"Charter school holds back ninth grade for at least one year"
"Wow!" you think, "The school really is struggling. None of the ninth grade students passed this year. That is bad news!" Then you read the article under the headline. And find that instead having none of their kids pass the ninth grade and holding them all back, what MACS is dealing with is a decision on whether or not to add a ninth grade class this year. Still a difficult decision, but not quite the same thing. Poor editing or pro-public school bias? Either way, with friends like the MRT, the Midland Academy doesn't need any more enemies (or any more bad news, concocted or otherwise).
James Lileks on the French computer game industry:
"The most interesting news of the day is rarely in the A-section; itís buried in the back pages of the Wall Street Journal, where you get a glimpse into some small aspect of the future that will die or flourish in months to come. My favorite article today concerned the French computer game industry, and yes there is such a thing. Turns out that itís in the pissoir for all the usual reasons - the companies canít fire anyone when business heads sud, the taxes are onerous, and, uh, the games suq. But the French PM believes that the industry deserves to be subsidized, because French computer games reflect European values.Read the rest here and learn a word of german derivation that we all knew just had to exist: scrudenhosed.
Well, yes, if theyíre subsidized, bought by no one. It got me to thinking about French versions of some popular games:
Half-Life. An interdimensional gateway opens up, and thousands of murderous creatures from another world spill through. Your mission: help them establish their own parallel society in your country.
Doom: An interdimensional gateway opens up, and the minions of Hell itself enter a Martian moonbase. Your mission: nothing! Lucky you, they invaded in August, and thatís your month at the beach.
Grand Theft Auto: You steal Deux Cheveaux and attempt to escape from the police at speeds up to 30 MPH
Medal of Honor: WW2. This was a massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on the Resistance. At its peak it had 400,000 members who logged on and did nothing. Then someone named ďYank44Ē signed on, and the system crashed when all 400,000 members attempted to remove the picture of Marshal Petain from the wall of their cottage."
July 24, 2003
This article is a wonderful summary of where we are now in the world of 2004 Presidential politics. Tyrrell makes the case that The Nine Dwarves* are underestimating the intelligence of the American people. This has possibly been hard to do in the past, but post-9/11, Americans all live in different world. The Dims don't get it yet.
And the press is aiding and abetting:
Look at the other stories on the front pages. Along with the stories of the Hussein tyranny's torture, rape, mass graves, and larceny come stories that Washington and London doctored intelligence to justify war. The stories show once again the media's lack of proportion or for that matter memory. They also show that so pathetic is the condition of many Democrats they will exploit American foreign policy for their own partisan gain.
As sad as this state of affairs is, it will be fun to watch the mounting idiocy as the Dems campaign on. BTW, the taking of the Hussein Boys at the same time that Gephardt was complaining of "momentary machismo" in the War on Terror: Priceless!
* thanks to James Taranto
But....but....but....don't they know about the 99% literacy rate and the universal health care in Cuba?????
July 23, 2003
Wow. This is shocking indeed. A recent poll conducted for the German magazine Die Zeit indicates that one in three Germans under the age of thirty are complete and total idiots.
UPDATE: OK. This is better. More believable results can be found here.
So John Kerry and his horse go into this bar and the bartender says, "John, why the long face?"
July 21, 2003
Good Lord is this refreshing. A major University is eliminating its Journalism department. True Brown, a senior agricultural journalism major who is editor of the student newspaper said:
"If this program is cut, we fear our degrees will be worthless."<Sam Kineson Voice> No. Your degree is worthless because it is in Journalism! </Sam Kineson Voice>
Clinton/Clark in 2004?
I swear, as much as I like Lucianne.com I have to alot ten extra minutes to the closing of all of the pop-up windows that you get there.
July 18, 2003
Inviolable Rule of the Universe #217: A cereal box that has been opened by a ten year old boy looks identical to one that has been opened by a Labrador Retreiver.
An iconic Texas institution is changing: improving the focus on why it exists while bucking current society trends. Baylor University is becoming an orthodox Christian university, trying to move beyond its Baptist heritage without abandoning it. This article by Rod Dreher in the DalMoNews describes some of the strides made by Baylor's president in his desire to broaden the appeal of the school to intellectual Christians: professors, students and parents of students.
"The tide of 20th-century secularism washed away entirely the religious identities of historically Protestant universities like Harvard, Yale, Duke and Vanderbilt and dramatically eroded the distinct vision of Catholic colleges. That was likely to be Baylor's future, too."
Improving and broadening its religious identity is a good thing for Baylor's future and Texas' future as well.
Inviolable Rule of the Universe #429: If you operate a school of any sort, somebody is unhappy with you.
July 17, 2003
This is interesting, amusing and, ultimately, annoying. The First Amendment comes under attack while it is ostensibly being defended!
U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval...ruled that the state of Louisiana could not issue specialty tags for license plates with the wording "Choose Life" and the picture of a pelican carrying a baby...Previously in 2000, he forbade the entire "Choose Life" specialty license plate.
Will somebody please tell me this guy is a Clinton appointnik?
Duval's reasoning? Thimk [sic] hard. That's it, free speech. According to Duval, a plate that says "Choose Life" is really saying "Choose Violation of First Amendment," because there are no plates available for the opposing view. Further, offering only one '"viewpoint" means the state is promoting an exclusive ideology.
Texas may have to offer an alternative viewpoint to each of its specialty license plates. What would be the alternative to the Big Bend plate I have on my Jeep (the proceeds help fund "Friends of the Big Bend" organization)? A Big Bend haters group? A pro-couch-potato organization? How about an air conditioning installers union? An alternate Boy Scout plate could utilize ACLU, Levi Strauss and Wells Fargo logos or, since the slogan on the plate is "Character Counts," the alternate plate would feature a picture of Bill and Hill and "Character don't matter no more." What about an alternative to the big Texas flag "Arts" plate? "Screw the arts! I watch the WWF!" And isn't there a pet lovers plate? The mind reels...
Mark Steyn is always a good read. But every now and again he will write just a few words that make you smile all day long. From this article comes these words:
"....the Democratic National Committee, headed by Clinton stain-mopper Terry McAuliffe."Can you even imagine an existence where both Mark Steyn and James Lileks are irritated with you?
July 16, 2003
Karl Malone signs with the Lakers.....seeks "his precious".
July 14, 2003
Seeing this banner ad started me wondering: Is bitch slap one or two words?
July 12, 2003
This just drips irony, does it not? A "More Ramblings Thoughts" column that begins:
"-- Carl Sandburg once said, 'There are people who want to be everywhere at once, and they get nowhere.'I couldn't agree more.
-- In other words, you need to be focused."
July 11, 2003
This is what they had in mind when they invented the internet, no doubt.
This is why I love the blogosphere. This would have never, never, never, never, never, ever have happened before blogs. CBS has altered their headline concerning Bush's knowledge concerning the possible uranium sales to terrorists in Africa. The headline originally said "Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False". "False" has now been replaced by "Dubious". I wish that I had screenshotted the original (Eugene Volokh did and I hope he posts it) but my screenshot software is on the office machine so I couldn't. It doesn't matter, though, as far as CBS' major climb down goes.
UPDATE: Eugene Volokh has posted his screenshot of the original.
Why didn't they go ahead and endorse Mike Conaway while they were at it?
Wow. Get ready for a reduction in services. This WaPo article describing how Dem presidential hopefuls are seeking to exploit what they see as a possible Bush credibility gap has this interesting paragraph:
"Campaigning in New Hampshire, Democrat Howard Dean demanded the resignation of any Bush administration official or federal government employee who failed to tell the president that claims about Iraq buying uranium from Africa were false."That will pretty much clear out the main post office and all of the branches I would guess. On the bright side, the IRS would have to close up shop.
The headline reads "Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False". In the body of the article is this:
"The statement was technically correct, since it accurately reflected the British paper. But the bottom line is the White House knowingly included in a presidential address information its own CIA had explicitly warned might not be true."Our CIA wasn't convinced it was true. British intellegence thought it probable. There is a big gap between "...Knew Info Was False" and "...warned it might not be true."
But not to CBS, apparently.
UPDATE: A more in-depth look over at Right Wing News. And now Lileks notices. Eugene Volokh saw it, too. CBS' mouth was just watering, wasn't it? The good news for CBS is that they now know that some people out there, at least, are still looking at their web site.
July 10, 2003
I ran across this lefty web site and it reminded me of the left's attempt to "balance" talk radio with something or someone to counter the right wing's domination of same. Rush Limbaugh read an article on the air the other day (sorry, no link....not a premium susbscriber to his site) that had the analysis right, I think. Distilled, it said that "liberal talk radio" won't ever be commercial because it, inherently, is all bad news, whinging, handwringing, and doom and gloom. With petulence and a somebody-owes-me-for-this attitude thrown in for good measure. Who wants to listen to that for three hours a day? Some people, for sure. But not enough to make it commercially viable.
Imagine a three hour show that is basically Dr. Laura....except it is the callers that are the host. That is "Liberal Talk Radio".
Still in Midland in 18 months?
From an article on the soon to be operating
mass transit system:
"'No routes have definitely been approved,' Munoz added."No routes? After years of study and finally the determination of
July 9, 2003
This is cool. Check out Midland in the Degree Confluence Project.
July 8, 2003
It looks as though both Ann Coulter and Michael Savage have "jumped the shark" in the same week. No loss with Savage....who brought nothing to the table but a loud mouth and a bigot for hire persona. Coulter will sell enough to never see another poor day but she may well be the Maureen Dowd of the Right.
Note to Craig Anderson and KWEL: Drop the idiotarian Savage and program the G-Man (G. Gordon Liddy).
The fact that Midland Academy Charter School is relocating did turn out to be a big story. The school is having major problems right now and its failure is a possibility.
Oddly enough, that is proper. When these schools don't perform, they should go out of business. If this were a public school the Trustees would be saying that all that was needed was a massive influx of tax dollars to correct any problems a la ScrappleFace.
July 6, 2003
Reading Gary Ott's column (no link yet) praising Gregory Peck and most notably Peck's portrayal of Atticus Finch...in a movie...makes me wonder: When the time comes, will that certain actor and notable conservative Charlton Heston receive similar praise for marching at Selma.....in real life?
July 5, 2003
The Professor is back and blogging so Project
See the collection here.
July 3, 2003
A great resource for those interested in blogs in general and for our new contributors (Shepherd and Thurman): The Blog Glossary of Terms.
This so incredibly useful that as soon as I get a chance I will place it in the left margin somewhere.
Something tells me that I already know the answer to this question...but what has happened to the Permian Basin Advocate? It just occurred to me that I haven't seen it on any news stands lately.
Listening to Craig Anderson's morning talk show I discover that, in the name of water conservation, he has taken it upon himself to unleash on the populace every busy-body in the city in the form of a "water patrol". See water in the street? Call the show and we will announce it!
I submit that the next such patrol scan the city for people who just really shouldn't be wearing Spandex.
I wonder what the Midland Reporter-Telegram will offer as a rationalization for having subscriber's payment go to an unnamed firm at PO Box 80092 in Prescott AZ? Is there no one here in Midland capable of handling this job? What is going on here?
Wonderful.....they actually showed a profit for that two hour period.
This is getting interesting. Redistricting is a good thing for the state. The state legislature is required to redraw the map to reflect that people move from state to state and, especially in a state the size of Texas, that they move around the state. Texas is still growing. We will end up with more Congressmen in Washington. This is how new citizens get the Representation in Congress that they came to this country for. This is, what, the first time that a Republican state house has redrawn the boundaries since Reconstruction? Dem whiners need to give us all a break!
Happily, our boy in Austin, Lance Lunsford, has found a sane voice trying to speak to the opposition:
"This redistricting plan should not be used as a tool by liberals who wish to foster the image of inequality and under-representation on Capitol Hill," said Jorge Uresti, director of the Center for Hispanic Advocacy. "If liberals wish to oppose a plan which provides three additional minority seats from Texas, then those legislators should also bear the responsibility of opposing the very thing they claim to strive for, they oppose equality and fair representation."
Hoorah for Mr. Uresti and kudos to Mr. Lunsford for finding him!
July 2, 2003
I ran by the Midland Barnes and Noble after work this evening and bought what turned out to be the next-to-the-last copy of Ann Coulter's book "Treason." It was on the same rack with Miss Hillary's book, "Living History." Only, just like the store brand stuff at HEB, it was on the bottom shelf. "LH" was, of course, right at eye level. And there were 15 or 20 copies of "LH" and only 2 of "Treason." So they were hard to see way down there by my shoes, pushed up against the back of the shelf. But I found them, as apparently a number of other good citizens had. (One not-so-good citizen had spilled a Frappachino or something on the other copy and then put it back...shame!) "Treason" will make good reading this weekend while visiting with my way-liberal sister from Upstate NewYawk.
Not to short-change our ex-Co-President here, there is a wonderful review of her book in The Weekly Standard's current issue. The author of the piece, Mr. O'Rourke, is one of the few people on the planet that has actually read the book, but he doesn't recommend this endeavor to others. (Kudos to K-Lo at NRO for the link in "The Corner.")
BTW: Coulter is #4 and Clinton is #10 tonight on Amazon.com...and reversed at #11 and #4 respectively at barnesandnoble.com, though the numbers seem to change often. Hmmm...could there be a Left/Right split on online book sellers?
All this unpaid blogging is finally paying off. We now rate as "Furry Little Rodents."
July 1, 2003
Does anybody know the story on why the charter school on Big Spring street is moving to the old Jacob's Electronics plant? This would seem to be an interesting story. Did they get so big they needed more space? Did they lose students and now need less space? Did someone buy them out of the current space? Can they not afford the new building?
Any direction this story goes will be interesting.
Sometime late this month, no doubt, we will all be treated to another big media driven angst-fest on the fourth anniversary of the death of America's Prince, JFK Jr.
For those who don't look forward to that, I offer this relief. It is not new, but it will remain timely as long as you can keep a picture of a sobbing Dan Rather in your head.