November 30, 2003
Drudge is reporting on a "Hate Bush" rally to be held in Hollywood:
"Top Hollywood activists and intellectuals are planning to gather this week in Beverly Hills for an event billed as 'Hate Bush,' the DRUDGE REPORT has learned!As a service to all Bush-haters out there I am going to reprint the RSVP telephone number so you can let them know if you are coming....or not. Talk to Brooke at (310) XXX-XXXX.
Laurie David [wife of SEINFELD creator Larry David] has sent out invites to the planned Tuesday evening meeting at the Hilton with the bold heading: 'Hate Bush 12/2 - Event'
The message reads:
'This is the most important meeting you can attend to prevent the advancement of the current extremist right wing agenda. Do not miss this meeting. This will be a high-level briefing to discuss the strategies... to affect what happens next November.'"
UPDATE: Drudge had originally posted the phone number to RSVP to this event but has since pulled it down so I guess I will also. I only hope Milty wrote it down so that he can tell them he's coming.
Cruising through some postings over at the Democratic Underground...for anthropology's sake if for no other reason...I ran across this picture with this accompanying post from a Marianne somebody:
"I know some of you do not like to trash on this bimbo of a first lady, but, IMO this is really going full tilt.In all fairness, I will have to say that Laura just doesn't match up with the current Democratic Underground ideal.
I am embarrassed to have this frump representing American women and taking our tax money to go galavanting around Europe, shopping and tasting and toasting. This is a disgrace and an insult to all American women. Does she not even care?"
Well, this is some good news. About time, too:
"If you attempt to attack one of our convoys we're going to use our firepower to stop that attack."
Hopefully, this will make the convoy attackers think a little harder about the wisdom of attacking.
November 29, 2003
As much as I like George W. Bush, I will have to say that Bill Clinton would have made sure these jobs were saved.
For your next blog vacation, visit beautiful Jessikawellia.
Fantastic good work on the part of The Commissar. Seems he has found a series of web sites that are, well.....cheating to get better numbers in NZ Bear's Blog Ecosystem by placing multiple account scripts in multiple sites so that when one page loads more than one person gets credit for hits.
NZ Bear hizzoneself has responded.
A list (unlinked BTW) of the cheating sunsab******:
Rush Limbaughtomy (381 links) - 2311 visits/day V (NOT!)
Treason Online (76 links) - 2170 visits/day V (NOT!)
Savage Cruel Bigots (61 links) - 2170 visits/day V (NOT!)
The Mahablog (253 links) - 2170 visits/day (NOT!)
Hell on Halliburton (86 links) - 1645 visits/day V (NOT!)
League of Liberals (116 links) - 1486 visits/day V (NOT!)
It is important to note that there are many in the League of Liberals who are not gaming the system.....just these guys, apparently.
Got a spare half-mil laying around and want to buy something really creepy with it? You can get hooked up right here.
And the press still wonders why they are even less popular than congressmen and lawyers:
"Tom Rosenstiel, the highly respected director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism told Kurtz that the reporters on Air Force One violated a public trust because they didn't go public with news of the trip.So I guess we should be hearing who "Deep Throat" was any day now.
'That's just not kosher,' Rosenstiel said.
If Taubman had made the profession of journalism seem ridiculous by carping about the number of reporters on the plane, Rosenstiel has made a mockery of the very idea of media criticism by attacking those reporters who actually managed to keep a secret.
The secrecy was necessary to protect the lives of the president and everyone else aboard Air Force One as it traveled into a city where terrorists are firing missiles at airplanes.
White House communications director Dan Bartlett made it clear to the 13 reporters traveling with the president that if word leaked out, the trip would instantly be canceled.
Thus, in Rosenstiel's view, it would have been better had the soldiers in that tent at the Baghdad airport not been paid a visit by the president - because that's what "excellence in journalism" demands.
Read the rest here.
November 28, 2003
George W. Bush: Avenger of the Bones.
In a related item: FREE KITTENS!!! Call Terry McAuliffe at The Democratic National Committee. Between this item and the 8.2% growth rate last quarter, they are having litter after litter over there and need good homes for them.
From U.S.S. Clueless:
"A couple of days ago, a cargo jet belonging to DHL was struck by a SAM near Baghdad. It was able to land safely, but DHL has suspended flights into that area. (Actually, I was surprised that there were commercial flights at all.)
Now it turns out that two French reporters were with the Iraqi insurgents who fired that missile. One of them photographed it all."
November 27, 2003
"Most American warriors subscribe to the words of John Stuart Mill: "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."Go here to read more about these magnificent people defending us and rebuilding Iraq. And keep in mind that there are many in this country that hope for their failure. Yes, I am talking about you, Ted Rall, you slimy, wretched little traitor.
November 26, 2003
Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to Iraq and Afghanistan and according to some reports will even entertain troops by doing some routines in a USO show there.
"New York's junior Senator is scheduled to make a cameo appearance to sing a medley of patriotic favorites like 'This is My Country,' 'America the Beautiful' and 'God Bless America'.
A spokesman for the touring USO company said, "Mrs. Clinton's sole reason for making this trip is to encourage our men and women fighting for freedom from tyranny and terror. We were thrilled to honor her request to sing for the troops. Rumor has it that her voice is a dead ringer for Kate Smith."
The Democrats finally have an issue that they can use against George Bush. It was looking bleak there for a while.
Although, I really wish he would lose the non-word "nucular".
From this article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
"Thanksgiving may find Edrina, 32, giving birth to a new baby, a daughter, the doctors say, who is due on the holiday. The new baby will add to Edrina's already very busy household when she comes home to join nine brothers and sisters."Obviously a sex education problem here.
"Edrina wishes she could work, but she stays home with the younger children who are not yet in school. She worries about what the new year will bring for her finances."
I am sure that there is a reasonable explanation here as to why Midland is giving away your tax dollars to this company, but it was just funny that the paper used this graphic for the article.
According to my web stats package, someone out there has been "Googling" Stephanie Sparkman and Gary Ott today.
Hollywood and Big Music are trying to gain a permanent anti-trust exemption, aided and abetted in the back rooms of the capital by Orrin Hatch (R-Sony). I wonder if Midland's former Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Time/Warner) is also supporting this? Smith has been a champion water-carrier for Big Entertainment in the past.
As part of the new effort of Jessica's Well to provide reader and constituent services, we have looked into frequent visitor and commenter Uncle Milty's difficulties with the innacuracy of the current time as stated by the clock tower on the courthouse lawn. The picture to the right was taken at approximately 9:20am CST this morning. The clock shows a time of approximately 10:20. Unless through sheer coincidence the clock is stuck on 10:20 and I just happened by at 9:20, this tells me that the clock is still on daylight savings time, having not been moved back last month when the clocks changed.
Obviously, changing the clock requires a team of timepiece experts flown in from Switzerland and the county is short of funds. So until such money can be found this humble website suggests that we simply cut the power (and the probable backup) to the clock for exactly one hour. In the Spring we do the same but for 23 hours. Sure, the clock will be wrong for 24 hours every year...but it has been wrong for the last month.
Should anyone notice the clock at noon today and see that it still stands at 10:20, then forget everything I said.
UPDATE: Forget everything I wrote and call the boys from Switzerland. The damned clock is stuck at 10:20. Jeebus, what are the chances?
More tax dollars to private companies which will cause them to
relocate stay expand in Midland. But is that what these wealth transfers are actually doing?
"'We were going to do the project regardless but it was nice that the city wanted to take part on that level,' [TMP President Roe] Patterson said."No kidding.
If there are any other companies out there that have existing plans for expansion that you would like us taxpayers to partially fund, the door seems to be wide open.
November 25, 2003
Speaking of Meet-Ups.....I went to the main page there, entered my zip code to see about area events and found a meet-up schedule for (of all things) Witches in Odessa.
Silly me. I always thought that witches didn't show up on film...yet....yet...they have a photo page.
One more before bed. Gruntdoc has a new site design.....along with this observation:
"There are now 3 pills to help boomers get erections, but no malaria vaccine."I guess it is true. It sure sounds boomer-ish to me.
Also.....go visit the blog Occam's Toothbrush. No particular reason except that it is usually a good read and that Occam's Toothbrush is without question my favorite blog site name of all time.
And you just can't go wrong with an outfit that is run by a guy named Moe.
Speaking of Little Green Footballs, I received a "Meet-Up.com" notice for fans of LGF for some date in early December. Will keep you posted on if and when and where.
A very tragic story (and a socialism metaphor of some kind):
The fire quickly engulfed most of the dilapidated building housing students of the Patrice Lumumba Friendship of Peoples University, an institution that in the 1960s and 70s symbolized the Soviet Union's commitment to the Third World but deteriorated in the 1990s...
The university, named for a Congolese anti-colonial leader and prime minister who was assassinated, was founded in 1960 by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to offer a strict Marxist curriculum to students from developing nations.
Ellipsis mine. You can't help but feel for the families of the students that no doubt thought they were sending them off to bigger and better things. But to a Marxist university in Moscow?
"According to recently released figures from the United Nations annual update on the world AIDS epidemic, gay men in Western continue to suffer disproportionately high rates of HIV and AIDS given their numbers in the general population.Yet, unbelievably, Ronald Reagan still remains silent thereby condemning how many more to this fate?
According to the UNAIDS report, gay and bisexual men in several Western European countries and Australia still account for the majority of new infections. [emphasis mine]"
Vandals have struck a Monahans elementary school. Given the origin of the term vandal, how lucky must the Mongols feel that they got overlooked when we went looking for a term for bad people who go around tearing stuff up?
Community activist Stephanie Sparkman has announced for Mayor. The first hurdle that her fledgling campaign must now overcome is being labeled a community activist by the local paper.
Our Own Site Admin, on the receiving end of a Diktat from The Commissar. Oh the shame.
Rather than thwarting crime, MPD is using its resources to concentrate on traffic enforcement over the holidays. I suggest everyone outfit their home with a security system, because when the inevitable rise in holiday burglaries comes about, MPD will be far too busy harassing motorists to do anything about it. A note to all the On Patrollers out there: Be careful what you ask for -- you just might get it.
"During the first week of the programs, officers issued 325 citations, 202 of which were for seat belt violations, Jauz said."
What about all those supposed speeders out there running people over? MPD issues 325 tickets, and two thirds are for seat belt violations? Gosh, I'm sure glad that MPD is out there working hard to save me from myself.
"The overtime was paid for by grants from the Click It or Ticket and Wave STEP programs."
In other words, paid for with your tax dollars. Government nannyism at its finest, funded by you whose freedoms it infringes.
"Officers also targeted the 400 and 500 blocks of Andrews Highway, which led to many of the 28 speeding citations issued, Lewis said."
What the...? So, out of 325 tickets, only 28 were for speeding. But I thought the streets of Midland were wrought with out-of-control motorists, causing injury and mayhem to such a degree that the media had to be called-in to help monitor it! Oh praise thee KWES for shedding such an important light on this horrible social problem in our fair city!
Geeez. I rest my case.
OMIGOD! OMIGOD! That idiot Bush is going to overheat the economy!!
November 24, 2003
President Bush in a new campaign ad:
"My Democrat critics are great American patriots. Don't let anyone tell you different. Just look at how they support our military, even though they say our troops are risking their lives to defend a lie. Democrats are stalwart American patriots whose only concern is that we have full employment, so that every office and cubicle will be occupied the next time a hijacked plane slams into a building.
Did I say that, or just think it?"
The rest is here.
From this article on the City Council's agenda:
"The Council will discuss business prospects that seek to locate, stay or expand in or near the city of Midland. The possible awarding of incentives, not excluding Midland Development Corporation funds, also is expected to be discussed."There is that word again: Incentives. Tax monies dragged out of every level of taxpayer and, in some cases, given over to billion dollar corporations. We will pay them to come. We will pay them to stay. We will even transfer public monies to existing local businesses in the oil & gas industry all in the name of our new-found religion of economic development and *cough* diversification.
National Democrats tax and spend. Local Republicans invest in the future.
Ten years ago I would have argued bitterly with anyone who told me that, be they Democrats or Republicans, the spending is generally the same and the semantics employed are only then determined by which ones are doing the spending.
Today, I have no choice but to concede the point.
In yet another example of a reporter not being trained to ask a question or being trained not to ask one, we have another article on the deficit that the hospital is (still) running. There is much talk of increased expenses, etc.
It would be interesting to know how much of the deficit is the result of indigent care and also how much is the result of the ill-advised purchase of the Westwood facility (a world-class poor business decision)?
Advertised by NBC as a "presidential wannabe." Appears on Leno after Conan O'Brian's puppet dog, wearing jeans, leather and a Harley to improve his image. Behind Dean in his own home state. And now this:
SENATOR TO RIDE MORE MOTORCYCLES, CULTIVATE 'PROTESTER' CREDENTIALS; DEAN CASH 'COMING FROM REPUBLICANS'
I believes we be getting desperate.
November 23, 2003
Dr. Glenn Reynolds, Professor of Law, Columnist, Blogger, Musician, and Sex God.
UPDATE: Stevie-girl emailed me to say I have the wrong Bond movie (left image). Perhaps she is correct.
I fark. You decide.
UPDATE: This suggestion from reader Satchel was too good to leave buried in the Comments:
"I can't do Photoshop......but may I suggest this:This could turn into an offical contest if we are not careful.'Waaaayyy More Than Six, The Movie'?"
I have not read the article that goes with this Time Magazine cover. But I do have to say that I appreciate in this President that it is his cheek where the lipstick of female admirers gets deposited.
UPDATE: The owner of the lipstick has been identified!
November 22, 2003
Here's Lawrence Henry on the reaction of normal people to current hot topics in the media and political world:
But, as I say, I've been busy. I've been about as busy as most normal people, with the normal things that most concern most normal people. And I imagine, like most normal people, I have thought the most normal and immediate thing about all this, the thing that most normal people think most of the time about judges and politicians and the like:
I'm not going to spoil the punch line. Go read it.
I've been catching up on my reading. Here's Victor Davis Hanson, from Monday, on the new (and some very pertinent old) rules of war. One of the points he clearly makes is on our current war and politics:
Military operations are not merely an extension of politics, but themselves inseparable from politics — from the moment the bombs fall to the final withdrawal of peacekeeping troops. For the foreseeable future, the narrow parameters in which the American military can operate without Pavlovian condemnation are becoming pretty clear. The cause, the conditions of battle, the nature of the enemy — all these once-critical considerations are now not quite as critical as the particular party that conducts the war. Increasingly the Democrats seem to be self-proclaimed pacifists and neo-isolationists who profess an abhorrence of war — and thus in turn are granted the legitimacy to conduct military operations (with purported reluctance).
Emphasis mine. Go get another cup of coffee (or a beer or a Dr Pepper) & read the whole thing.
The Midland Development Corporation has big plans. All of the ridicule, scorn, and (we were led to believe) principled arguments that local Republicans throw at national Democrats for trying to tax our way to prosperity don't apply inside the Midland County line, you see. This is an interesting item:
"Since its creation last year, the MDC has generated nearly $5 million in revenue, spent $741,472 on administrative investment and disbursed $316,019 in total incentives.Wouldn't you love to know what comprises "administrative investment"? Alas, this is the MR-T that is doing the reporting on this issue and it is impossible therefore to tell if the reporter assigned to the story isn't trained to ask such questions...or has been trained not to.
The Rio Nuevo idea to lease, produce, and transport water from GLO land in several West Texas counties is going over like a, uh, lead water balloon.....as expected. From this article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
"Hundreds of residents and local officials in drought-stricken far West Texas turned out Thursday to oppose a plan to pump water for commercial sale from state land in four counties."Here is the troubling part:
"'Right now, all our strategic plans show there is no water to send anywhere else,' said Becky Brewster, a local water planning group member.Note to the area residents: Don't think for a minute that because you showed in mass to oppose this deal that this is now a dead issue. This deal, if it works, was never designed to be palatable to the residents of the area from which the water is drawn. It only needs to be palatable to those in the halls of power. In fairness, those in the halls of power may hate this idea every bit as much as the farmers and ranchers....but the main point for those that are fighting this deal is that it is the people in Austin you need to press, not just the people they send to these meetings. Starting with Jerry Patterson who "could ignore the group's opposition".
After the meeting, Finley said the deal could be killed by the local planning group.
'If it's rejected and it's done in a fair and objective manner, the project would be dead,' Finley said. But Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson could ignore the local group's opposition if he feels it is unfair to Rio Nuevo, Finley said."[emphasis mine]
Sleepless in Midland has more on this also.
UPDATE: The reader's poll (unscientific) on this issue over at MyWestTexas.com with 53 votes in is 3.8% FOR and 96.2% AGAINST this idea. But to reiterate: This wasn't designed to care about what you think.....just what those in Austin think.
November 21, 2003
Tom Daschle loses voice. Presses on with speech.
PC Magazine columnist John Dvorak is un-impressed with blogs. Can the man who told us that Lotus Improv would revolutionize the industry be wrong?
This from a scientific article that is a whole lot less interesting than you might think:
"For the initial study, Kees van Oers used artificial selection to breed great tits with extreme personalities."
They arrested LaToya? Oh my gosh!
(Yes, I know it's a cheap shot. But I just couldn't resist.)
And more, of course.....because it is Lileks.....including his telling Salam Pax, "F*** you!".
Chamber of Commerce: Changing of the Guard? Or Shake-up?
I found this in what I thought would be another Wiggam-esque (read way off topic) comment:
"Tommy Franks: Martial Law Will Replace Constitution After Next Terror Attack"Here is the rest of the article.
November 20, 2003
From The CounterRevolutionary:
"Inspired by the Life magazine from Jessica's Well and the Saturday Evening Post posted by Instapundit, I went off to the library. The New York Public Library has a database of New York Times articles dating from 1857.
In the span of an hour, I found many articles dating from late 1945 and 1946 about the occupation of Germany. They were uniformly pessimistic."
An interesting (and lovely) thought from a blog that looks experimental and is set up in a domain in such a way so that it looks like an employee may be messing with blogging there very unofficially....so that is why I am not going to link:
"Is it just me or does the Left seem, these days, more pathetic and vile than ever before? It's almost as though we're in a transition period. What I mean is that there must have been a time when, for example, the segregationists, just prior to having been rendered obsolete, were, by obligation, still invited to every debate and on every ballot. The current crop of Democrats, the increasingly less mainstream version of the Left, seems to fit this bill (no pun intended). That George Bush should have to stoop so low as to debate Al Sharpton (potentially) on national television really makes one wonder: What have the Democrats become? This is not your father's Democratic Party."
A huge, major league, world-class BUST. What, you say? Michael Jackson? No. Anna-Nicole Smith, then? Um, no.
"'You've got to write about the anti-Bush marchers,' he said. 'Get out into the streets and get some colour. There must be thousands of them! Go, paras, go!' Yessir, I said, and ran out into Whitehall. Helicopters whirred above.
Thousands of yellow-jacketed policemen dotted the deserted streets, like dandelions sprouting from concrete. Riot fencing ran in ribbons round Westminster. But where were the rioters?"
The Eurasian and his compensation fetish have shown up in the comments of this humble blog. Check these out:
"....which you yourselves are unwilling to compensate me when you use my work, and most of all which even President George W. Bush himself, even Sec of Commerce Don Evans himself are all unwilling to compensate me, the eurasian guy who originated the idea of giving you all $300.00 EACH. Yet, Pres. Bush himself, Mrs. Laura Bush herself, Mr. Don Evans himself, Mrs. Don Evans herself, even their mothers and fathers themselves have received each about $300.00 each, I think. In fact all of you together, about 110 million taxpayers, have gotten about 30 BILLION DOLLARS from that idea alone."
"I said, I'm tired of these officials who are supposed to solve these problems. Yet when we bring solutions such as these to them, they just want to get these free and not pay anything as just compensation."
Be advised, Mr. Site Admin, it won't be long before he demands his proper compensation for the long-winded comments he is splashing around this blog. And if he charges by the word, then you have big problems.
NOTE FROM SITE ADMIN: Maybe it is this blog that should get it's due compensation from the Eurasian. I mean, bandwidth isn't free, this isn't his blog, yet he continues to use this blog as a platform to claim that every idea in the world (good or bad) originated with him. And we let him do it for free. Maybe I should ban him until he can prove to me that he has hit the tip jar.
The more I ponder the concept of Channel 9’s On Patrol series, the more flat-out angry it makes me. These people have journalism degrees (if they have degrees at all), not law enforcement degrees. Other than their questionable ability to operate a radar gun, they have no formal training in use of discretion, the Texas Transportation Code, or in how to assess the dynamics of traffic. What they are apparently very well trained in, however, is how to be alarmists and create sensationalism:
"Are you afraid your child could be the next accidental tragedy, the next victim of a speeding driver?"
There you have it, folks. It’s all being done for the children, not for ratings. Whew! What a relief. They just want little Milo to be safe, that’s all. It has nothing to do with creating a world’s-scariest-police-video-type reality TV vibe, whereby Channel 9 can cash-in on a current fad. Channel 9 is doing it all because they care about you personally, folks -- just like your government.
As a former member of law enforcement, I can tell you that driving faster than the speed limit -- in and of itself -- rarely causes accidents. Europe is a good example of how excellent driver training and road culture results in fewer traffic fatalities per-capita, even with much higher speed limits (or no speed limit at all in some instances). Inattentiveness and poor driver skill are what cause crashes in the vast majority of cases.
“Safe” speed is also relative to the vehicle, since the transfer of kinetic energy at impact is what causes damage and injury. A transport truck moving at 30 miles per hour carries the same amount of kinetic energy as a motorcycle moving at 90 miles per hour. So if Channel 9 really wants the streets to be “safer,” they can do a series on how transport trucks shouldn’t be allowed to travel at any speed faster than 6.4 miles per hour. It would be no more idiotic than the series they’re doing now.
Note to Channel 9: The function of journalism is to gather and report facts. That's all. It is not the function of journalism to "make a difference" or to "keep people safe." So how's about sticking to your job description and stop insulting our intelligence.
So this is the mighty London protest? A city of 5 million people can only turn out this many to protest the world's number one terrorist, jailer of Jose Padilla, and all-around great hegemon of our time, George W. Bush? Hells Bells, more people showed up in person to watch A&M play Baylor this year.
UPDATE: Well, I certainly got my come-uppance! The BBC reports 100,000 protestors.....meaning that there were at least half again as many protestors as those who showed up in person to watch the A&M-Baylor game.
November 19, 2003
Our President in England on the links between our countries:
The fellowship of generations is the cause of common beliefs. We believe in open societies ordered by moral conviction. We believe in private markets, humanized by compassionate government. We believe in economies that reward effort, communities that protect the weak, and the duty of nations to respect the dignity and the rights of all. And whether one learns these ideals in County Durham or in West Texas, they instill mutual respect and they inspire common purpose.
And on the War on Terror:
Through world war and cold war, we learned that idealism, if it is to do any good in this world, requires common purpose and national strength, moral courage and patience in difficult tasks. And now our generation has need of these qualities.
On September the 11th, 2001, terrorists left their mark of murder on my country, and took the lives of 67 British citizens. With the passing of months and years, it is the natural human desire to resume a quiet life and to put that day behind us, as if waking from a dark dream. The hope that danger has passed is comforting, is understanding, and it is false. The attacks that followed -- on Bali, Jakarta, Casablanca, Bombay, Mombassa, Najaf, Jerusalem, Riyadh, Baghdad, and Istanbul -- were not dreams. They're part of the global campaign by terrorist networks to intimidate and demoralize all who oppose them.
These terrorists target the innocent, and they kill by the thousands. And they would, if they gain the weapons they seek, kill by the millions and not be finished. The greatest threat of our age is nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons in the hands of terrorists, and the dictators who aid them. The evil is in plain sight. The danger only increases with denial. Great responsibilities fall once again to the great democracies. We will face these threats with open eyes, and we will defeat them.
From Samizdata on Our President in England:
Bond on Dubya
A famous Texan is over here in town. So, given the rude noises coming out of the bottom-feeders of the 'peace' movement, with their oh-so original cracks about the 'cowboy Bush', here's a quotation to ponder taken from Ian Fleming's first, and arguably best, James Bond adventure, Casino Royale:
"Bond reflected that Americans were fine people, and that most of them seemed to come from Texas."
No rudeness implied, by the way, to citizens of any state outside the Lone Star State, just in case folk get upset!
November 18, 2003
Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs is a little more than just wary of the idea of leasing out the water rights of 650,000 acres of GLO land.....at less than market value. This from the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association newsletter:
"'The concept of using a state asset for long-term good for all Texans has merit,' Combs concurs.
But she is worried that it could cause irreparable harm to wildlife, the environment and rural economic development. The lease is being proposed for 20 cents an acre on 646,548 acres. Leases in the area normally range from 50 cents to $2 an acre across that part of the state.
'So why the low-cost deal? Who benefits?' queries Combs.
'There’s another hitch,' she continues. 'This proposal isn't subject to a competitive bid—although many gas leases by the GLO are. Is water less valuable? Nope. Is there any good reason for this not to be opened to the public for comment? Can’t think of any.'"
I am bringing this up from the comments section of the Rio Nueva post:
"If you want to grill some of the people involved, the Region F Water Planning Group is having a meeting at 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Van Horn Convention and Visitor's Center. Region F represents the border counties from El Paso to the Big Bend and is where most of the proposed public lands Rio Nuevo is seeking rights to are located (El Paso also has water rights in the area, after buying a ranch near Valentine about 15 years ago, so it will be interesting to see how Region F board members handle this issue)."Hat tip to reader John.
From Ralph Peters in todays New York Post:
"THIS week, TV screens will fill with protests against American policy. As President Bush visits Britain, European leftists will gather to denounce him as a threat to world peace. Mock courts will judge our president and find him guilty on every wild charge. But the most instructive demonstrations will be those that won't happen.Read the whole thing. What is happening in the micro in the comments section of this little blog is being writ large on the streets of London.
We won't hear a word about Saddam's tyranny, about his wars or the mass graves still being unearthed. No demonstrator will celebrate the liberation of 25 million people.
All we'll hear from the streets is that Bush is bad.
No protesters will chant about the Iraqi families sundered, the fathers tortured and shot, the daughters and wives raped, the use of poison gas against the Kurds or the million-and-a-half Iraqis, Iranians and Kuwaitis who died in Saddam's wars.
Bush is worse than Saddam, you see, because he refused to look the other way. His resolve is an embarrassment.
American wars of liberation humiliate the complainers on the left. We've seized their professed ideals and made them a reality. We fought for freedom, while they only chattered.
November 17, 2003
The idiotarians over at BushBacklash.com have this telling "roll of honor" called the Brass Balls Award Page which acts as
"....a monument to the personal character of those who are not lying down taking this from the New Republican Party and the Bush Lie Factory (the PR branch of the BFEE). These are the brave ones, the ones who ask the questions that need to be asked, point out the lies, and remind us all that this USED to be a pretty damn good place with a marvelous Constitution."Naturally it is populated by every leftist ass-hat from Baghdad Jim McDermott to the truly seditious Ted Rall......all held up as those being courageous enough to speak out.
Children, this is what the crushing of dissent would look like.....only it wouldn't even be tongue-in-cheek. It would be real.
Sleepless in Midland has a post on something that we will both be touching on over the next few weeks. It concerns the proposal by Midland-based Rio Nueva, Ltd. to lease water rights in West Texas and (probably) pipe it to cities that need it. Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs is critical of the plan, as are many from the area from which the water will be drawn....go figure.
"Tom Beard, an Alpine rancher and lawyer who chairs the state-created Far West Texas Regional Water Planning Group, said residents are frustrated by the lack of information about Rio Nuevo's plans and its negotiations with the land office.While these counties have the water, they are short on population (read voters) and therefore even shorter on political muscle. Could this deal get done in Austin in one of the many formerly-smoke-filled rooms? Absolutely it could.
The proposed deal, Beard said, is 'flying in the face of three major policies of the state:' Negotiations aren't being done in public, local water districts haven't been told anything about the proposal, and the Far West Texas planning group, which is supposed to set policy, hasn't been consulted.
'I think that's terrible public policy,' Beard said.
Beard said some West Texans are also wary of Rio Nuevo's political connections."
The post over at Sleepless has many links to pertinent articles.
For my money, this one ain't passing the smell test yet. More to come, I'm sure.
A different view of Iraq from a reporter on the ground. An excerpt from an interview with P.J. O'Rourke in The Atlantic:
Based on what you saw on this trip to Iraq, what do you think we can expect to see over the next five years?
I think Rumsfeld put his finger right on it: "Long slog." My feeling is twofold: I don't think we are going to straighten out this country any time soon; it's going to be a very long haul. On the other hand, vast areas of Iraq are very peaceful and have been rid of a disgusting and repressive government. The other thing is, everyone talks about Iraq not being stable, but when it was stable it attacked Israel in 1967 and in 1973, it attacked Iran, it attacked Kuwait, it fostered terrorism in the Middle East. Who wants a stable Iraq? It's better for us and, in a way, better for the world that this government has been weakened and destroyed. Does it leave a mess behind? Do we owe it to the people of Iraq to try our best to clean up that mess? Yes. But is that mess our fault? No. It's a very complicated situation.
Also includes a touching discussion of the death of his colleague, Michael Kelly. RTWT. via Instapundit (Link to your left. Yes, right there. The box that says "Instapundit.")
Boycott II: "The Reagans" now to air November 30th on Showtime. Should you cancel your subscription to the pay channel? No, we'd never suggest that!
November 15, 2003
SCAM ALERT: Let us see what the Blogosphere can do to the boys over at business directory scammer INFOTEL.
UPDATE: More from those fine gentlemen at Infotel and their attorneys.
UPDATE: This is somehow satisfying....check out the volume of returns when you do a Google search using the words "Infotel" and "Scam".
No Saddam/Al Qaeda link? Look again.
A strong recommendation for a movie: "Master and Commander." Go. See. It. This movie deserves to be successful. Great story. Great cast. Inspiring dialogue. Inspiring cinematography. Go. See. It. (Also you get to see the trailer for "The Return of the King.")
An aside: I went to the 1 pm matinee yesterday, opening day. Interesting demographics: theater was about 1/3 full, about 100 people, 80% male, average age probably 55. Not the folks normally at the movies, but an enthusiastic crowd. I think that as word gets out, more women will want to see it: a movie about Real Men...no metrosexuals in the cast, or in the audience for that matter.
November 14, 2003
From NewsWest 9:
"In the third installment of this weekly series running through the month of November, NewsWest 9 took a radar gun to a Midland location where residents are worried about speeding drivers, and frustrated with efforts to make their neighborhood safer.Guaranteed to be the new hit series this Fall!
We scoped out the 3700 block of Shell Avenue near Lee High School. Since we were just a few blocks away from a large, busy school zone, you'd think drivers would be more cautious of their speed. But that wasn't the case.
One after another, we found drivers ignoring the speed limit in the 3700 block of Shell. The speed limit there is 30 miles-per-hour, but apparently that just wasn't fast enough for these drivers. Several were clocked going over 40 miles-per-hour.
Kids tend to cut through here from Lee High School towards Midland Drive," one concerned resident, Leah Garcia, pointed out. "And they like making this their cut-through. And they get speeds up to 50, 60 miles-per-hour, and it's dangerous.
"The prevailing view has been that the Saudi oil fields are great big caverns of oil, and that recovery is so easy they will basically last forever," says Matthew Simmons, the chief executive of a Houston-based investment banking firm called Simmons & Co. International.Interesting.
Simmons believes that this traditional image of Saudi Arabia as a perpetual gusher of cheap oil is wrong. He is finishing a book documenting his argument that in the future Saudi oil will be scarcer and more expensive than many people expect."
From the latest article on the Midland Horseshoe we are informed of the sources of the funding for the $14 million dollar project:
"The Horseshoe, with a market value county officials estimate at $14 million, will be funded through a combination of [Federal and State] grants, county equity and borrowing."OK. It looks like it will paid for through a combination of taxes paid to the federal government, taxes paid to the state government, and taxes paid to the county government. Glad we cleared that up.
Gee. What's not to like here?
Sheriff Gary Painter is about to be on Craig Anderson's show this morning. No doubt he will talk about the possible referendum on rasing the salaries of the deputies.
Ten bucks says Mr. Anderson is "all for it".
The 15,000th tweed-clad chin-puller to write yet another article about "Rush Limbaugh's One Note Simplicity" (read "stoopid listeners") being the key to his success not even realizing the irony in his being the 15,000th guy to trot out this old re-tread of a theory.
This article says that Yasser Arafat is stalling the peace process in the hopes that Bush will lose the election in 2004. Arafat apparently knows more about the Democrats than they know about themselves and that a Democrat in the White House will greatly facilitate Arafat's goal of driving the Israelis into the sea.
November 13, 2003
After listening for weeks now, I have come to the conclusion that local radio talker Craig Anderson is indeed a Republican. The only problem is is that he has no idea why.
This week he had as his guest the poor soul that is the current Democratic county chairman (Gilberto Garcia) and Mr. Garcia was fairing about as well as you would expect on this particular show, i.e. not well. Tough audience. Polite but unconvinced host. The theme that they were beating Mr. Garcia up with was two pronged: 1) Taxes are too high already, and 2) Taxes are too high already.
Later, County Commissioner Mike Bradford comes on the show to talk about the Midland Horseshoe and Craig is all for it.
Just like he was all for the airport.
And the new stadium.
And the E.D. sales tax.
Basically, every chance at a tax increase that has been put before the voters (and all pushed hard by erstwhile Republicans) Mr. Anderson is all for.
So here is my suggestion to Mr. Garcia: The next time you are on the show just say that you are a Republican and Mr. Anderson, if he holds true to his established pattern, will turn a blind eye to any spending proposal you've got.
The Midland Horseshoe gets the green light from the County Commissioners.
After witnesssing the economic leviathan that is minor league baseball in Midland, why would we ever stop building these kinds of facilities?
The Dos Passos article (and, ahem, our post of same) from the January, 1946 issue of Life Magazine still has legs. Josh Chafetz (from Oxblog) used this article along with others in an Oxford Union debate. The resolution read, "This House believes that we are losing the Peace [in Iraq]." He reports:
"...(2) Speaking in proposition were an undergraduate and two Members of Parliament (Tam Dalyell and Jeremy Corbyn).
(3) Speaking in opposition were two undergraduates and me.
(4) Opposition won by a significant margin (150-something to 110-something).
(5) I am pleased."
So are we. Way to go, Josh.
Hat Tip to Pejman Yousefzadeh over at Tech Central Station.
A Very Cool Map showing county-by-county political party preference, measured by monetary donations. It is also interesting to page through the presidential candidates to see where the $ is coming from for each of them. Edwards and Clark are the only Democrats to receive donations from Midland or Ector counties to date. Either the Kucinich tin-foil hat brigade is not very prevalent in our area or they just haven't anted up yet. Via VodkaPundit (nifty link just to the left there), another site that is improving daily. It's must reading. Nice work, Stephen.
November 12, 2003
Sad news. Gore Vidal is apparently in the advanced stages of
Gee, maybe downtown Midland needs a sushi restaurant to perk things up.
November 11, 2003
...while the other 94% of the House think he's doing a good job.
Yo. Stevenson. This one's for you.
UPDATE: page down to initial entry for November 11.
November 10, 2003
The United Nations shelves what looks like one of the worst ideas. Ever.
The Politboro Diktat fisks the Nooyawk Times' coverage of very-ex-VP Al Gore's anti-Patriot Act speech this weekend. The Commissar suggests that if Bush really wanted to curtail civil liberties, he's done a poor job:
Bold? These half measures are not bold! These timid half-steps of Nepotically Favored Bush are mere window-dressing. Where are gulags? Where are thousands of political prisoners? Where are midnight knocks on door? The stupid free press still rants and raves. Where are executions? Bah to Bush and his half-measures! Like Comrade Gore says, "terrible mistake."
The Commissar is right on.
OK. I made up the part about the shirt.
"It is pure fiction that this pro-American sentiment was either squandered after Sept. 11 or lost under the Bush Administration. It never existed. Envy for America, resentment of our power, hatred of our success has been a staple for decades, but most particularly since victory in the cold war left us the only superpower.Read the whole thing.
Bill Clinton was the most accommodating, sensitive, multilateralist President one can imagine, and yet we know that al-Qaeda began the planning for Sept. 11 precisely during his presidency. Clinton made humility his vocation, apologizing variously for African slavery, for internment of Japanese Americans, for not saving Rwanda. He even decided that Britain should return the Elgin Marbles to Greece. A lot of good that did us. Bin Laden issued his Declaration of War on America in 1996--at the height of the Clinton Administration's hyperapologetic, good-citizen internationalism.
Moreover, it is unseemly, even pathetic, for the would-be leaders of a great power to pine for the pity gleaned on the day America lay bleeding and wounded. This is to carry into foreign policy a pathology of our domestic politics — the glorification of victimhood and the lust for its privileges, such as they are. It is not surprising that having set up at home a spoils system that encourages every ethnic group to claim even greater victimization than the next, the Democrats should lament the fact that we did not seize and institutionalize our collective victimhood of Sept. 11."
November 9, 2003
"Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe - because in the long run stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty."Well said, Mr. President.
From this article in the London Daily Telegraph:
"A bishop who angered homosexuals by suggesting they seek a psychiatric cure is to be investigated by police to see if his outspoken views amount to a criminal offence, it emerged yesterday."Tell me again how bad it is in "John Ashcroft's America®".
November 8, 2003
The weather has turned cold. Many are turning on their heaters for the first time this fall. Wallace over at Big Gold Dog has some sound advice that, thankfully, came much cheaper than it could have: Make sure you have working Carbon Monoxide Detectors.
On the fence on the partial birth abortion issue? Read this at The Brazos de Dios Cantina.
"For my part on this issue, emotions are only secondary. My basic view of life is tied up in seeing this particular procedure as BARBARIC and worthy only of Nazi wet-dreams.
There is something SO fundamentally wrong with the advocates of this procedure calling this a "right." A right to do what? Assert your maternal authority over appendages struggling to be born? Sanitize the matter before you actually have to look in the baby's face? Is that what advocates of this procedure think goes on in a woman's mind when this procedure is taking place?"
Read it even if you are not on the fence.
November 7, 2003
Apparently, the sirens over at Perry and Kellogg in San Antonio and Susman and Godfrey in Austin still have the Commissioner's Court dreaming of untold wealth......some of which may actually find its way to the county after the sirens get their cut. Just so everyone is clear who is getting sued by the county here, take a look at this list of companies and remember what they have done for and meant to this community.
ExxonMobil Corp., Exxon Corp.,
Oxy U.S.A. Inc., Arco Oil and Gas Co., Atlantic Richfield Co.
ChevronTexaco Corp., Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
Texaco Inc., Texaco E&P Inc.
Four Star Oil and Gas Company
Texaco Trading and Transportation Inc.
Pioneer Natural Resources Co.
James Lileks and I went to see the Matrix. Me in Midland. He in Minnesota. We came away with similar opinions about the movie although I think he went easy on this franchise that started out so well but has now become an over-rated self-important piece of crap.....not unlike my blogging. Mr. Lileks was willing to forgive more than I was. He correctly identified Agent Smith as the only one in the movie that appeared to be having any fun at all, indeed the only character with any soul at all. I, on the other hand, was actually cheering for Agent Smith to prevail by the end. An end that I was not sure would ever arrive regardless of all the tribute paid in the movie to the idea that "everything that has a beginning, has an end."
I do enjoy watching the state-of-the-art graphics and the battle in the dock scene was done very well. But coming away, apparently, Mr. Lileks and I had the exact same observation the state of the art in CG:
"We still see the limits of technology, though. Computer graphics can make a thousand flying squid flow through a hole in a vast concrete dome; they can bring to life tanks the size of mountains, animate robot oracles whose face is made up of a million pieces of metal swarming in frantic concert.
But they can’t take 27 pounds off Laurence Fishburne."
November 6, 2003
If there was ever any doubt that the prison system has become big business, that fact should be readily apparent now.
"For several months, more than 500 of the beds in the detention center have remained empty. That's because the federal government's Bureau of Prisons (BOP) hasn't given them the inmates they need. This has leading [led] to a financial catastrophe for the county."
Yet more evidence that government is too big and bloated. It now has a vested interest in keeping inmate population numbers high. And how might they accomplish that, you ask?
By making everything a felony, that's how.
In recent years, the number of misdemeanor crimes that have been reclassified as felonies is frightening. On top of that, a good portion of them carry mandatory minimum sentences, especially repeat possession offenses. Even some traffic offenses have been given felony status in Texas, including evading and -- get this -- drag racing.
Meanwhile, almost every small town in America either has its own prison or is vying for one to help boost its local economy. In the words of S.O.D., "They're trying to build a prison -- for you and me to live in."
O.K., the Babsfest is not generating quite the comment rate we had anticipated. Maybe it's because everyone has a job and no time to type. We'll try a tried-and-true theme: The Missing Plan.
Interviewing Vice President Dick Cheney on "Meet the Press" about a month ago, Tim Russert echoed the theme, asking: "What is our plan for Iraq? How long will the 140,000 American soldiers be there? How many international troops will join them? And how much is this going to cost?" When will we be there, Daddy? Can I go to the bathroom? Are we there yet?
The same questions were asked of FDR over and over again by the American people after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. "How much will this cost?" "My husband's a sailor – how long will he be gone?" "What's your exit strategy, you warmonger?" Wait – no. My mistake. That didn't happen.
Ah, yes, it's Ann Coulter again, making sense while making fun.
Historian Stephen Ambrose described Gen. Dwight Eisenhower's genius as a soldier, noting that "he often said that in preparing for battle, plans were essential, but that once the battle was joined, plans were useless." Transforming a blood-soaked police state dotted with mass graves and rape rooms into a self-governing republic might take slightly longer than this week's makeover on "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."
In a similar vein, Instapundit today opined that we are all making the comparison between present-day Iraq and World War II by looking at the 1946 post-war period. "But what if it's, in a sense, 1943?" The war on terror has really just begun, not been finished. I believe that Dr. Reynolds is on the right track, as usual. More on that later.
Regarding CBS’s decision not to air The Reagans: “I don't believe Democrats often, if ever, try to muscle the First Amendment like this.”
Huh? Muscle the First Amendment? Gee, the last time I checked, the movie is still going to be aired, the DVD will still be sold, and left-wing dimwits everywhere will still be free to marvel at the movie’s uncanny “accuracy.” CBS made a simple business decision based on what they thought would serve their best interests. Get over it.
Your own lack of basic intelligence is mocking you, Babs. Just because you don’t get your way doesn’t make it censorship. If you’d like some legitimate examples of attempts to block free speech in our society, see the left-wing-supported TV and radio Fairness Doctrine, or have a gander at how political correctness has stifled social discussion to such a degree that any meaningful dialog on race can no longer be had. The list goes on and on.
Do us all a favor, Babs. Weed your own garden before you try plowing through anyone else’s. In the process, I think you’ll find that yours has a much higher concentration of dirt.
And here is the also-incomparable Mark Steyn in a 10 day-old article on the Marriage of the Millennium. His view is quite sympathetic to the Minelli-Gests, though, in the end, I was still feeling their story was still a little more "pathetic" than "sym."
The incomparable George Will in the WaPo (and elsewhere) this morning on presidential politics:
Probably more than twice, but certainly twice, Howard Dean has said something sensible. He has been roundly roasted for both indelicacies, the roasters being his rivals for the Democratic nomination.
The conservative South, retiring senators, changing governorships, the economy, Iraq, racial politics and Confederate flags all in one tidy package. RTWT.
Barbra Streisand is auctioning from her site a replica of military headgear of the People's Liberation Army of China...."belonged to and worn by Barbra".
Do you even have to wonder if she has one that says "U.S. Marines"?
Hat Tip to reader Mike Zorn.
November 5, 2003
Gee, now we've ticked off Babs. Darn.
I am deeply disappointed that CBS, the network that in 1964 gave me complete artistic control in creating television specials, now caved in to right wing Republican pressure to cancel the network broadcast of the movie The Reagans. (And I say MOVIE - because this is NOT a documentary - it's a television drama.) The movie will now be aired on Showtime, where the difference in viewership is in the millions...
Blah. Blah. Blah.
...However, these important decisions should be based on artistic integrity rather than an attempt to appease a small group of vocal dissidents. Indeed, today marks a sad day for artistic freedom - one of the most important elements of an open and democratic society.
This deserves a proper Fisking, but I have a job to do. Maybe commenters can take it one paragraph at a time...
November 4, 2003
John Podhoretz in the NY Post today on "The Filter":
You might think that an attack that killed 15 Americans and wounded hundreds more might inspire even the merest hint of anger on the part of those Americans whose job it is to write about it. Their articles might offer some perspective on how those seeking to kill Americans in Iraq are working for the restoration of one of the most barbaric regimes in world history. They'd ask the key question raised by such an attack: What is to be done to smoke out these barbarians?
But that's not the central focus of the news coverage. Instead, the question that obsesses the media filters is: How much is this going to hurt George W. Bush?
Yep, that sounds right.
Jeebus, look at the posting today. Did everyone except Vaughn get fired or something?
Andy Rooney gets Fisked.
As unfunny as Rooney has become, he is still funnier than Art Buchwald.
Classic & priceless:
A charity fund-raiser for Seattle Hebrew Academy and two local arts groups, which brought former President Clinton to town, was a financial bust — though not for the 42nd president.
The September event at Marion McCaw Hall cost organizers $290,000 but brought in just $288,000, according to organizers — a shortfall of $2,000 sponsors blamed on sluggish ticket sales...
"There was a sense of history that night. But translating history into cold, hard cash is not always easy," said Marilyn Raichle, director of Foolproof, the event's main organizer.
Next time bring Monica.
What do you miss about the commies? Tell us.
Graphic from MyWestTexas.com web site.
Conflict Guide? Does it come with ratings? I would have to give the shoot-out which claimed Uday and Qusay the full five stars, no doubt about it.
From today's Bleat.
"Standing outside tonight (read: cigar) I watched the planes come through the fog; an amazing sight as lovely as it is commonplace. The clouds are moving fast, so the lights of the planes seem to be cutting through an army of wraiths. Excalibur! I wondered: how would this magnificent sight have struck, say, an educated Roman? You could sit down and talk law or fluid dynamics with a Roman. You could surely talk politics. You could talk art and architecture. But when the plane lanced through the fog, what would he say? Not sure, but: Just as DaVinci anticipated the helicopter, so there have always been people who could look at something beyond their technological ken and say: that is made by the hand of man. Clarke’s line about any sufficiently advanced technology being indistinquishable from magic is still good, but there are always those cold-eyed types who don’t believe in magic. Or rather don’t have time for those who ascribe everything to magic. There would be some Roman generals who’d look at a jet and think: you could use that to drop stones on Germans, you could."Read on for an interesting slam on Henry Ford for his anti-semitism.
In this article by Kat Giantis over at MSN, she recounts Hollywood's cheesiest moments.
"Coming in a close second is the mano-a-mano moment in "Top Gun" when Tom Cruise's Maverick melts Val Kilmer's Iceman's frozen heart by telling him, 'You can be my wingman any time.'"If I remember correctly, Val Kilmer's "Iceman" said that to Tom Cruise's "Maverick", to which the reply was "Bulls***, you can be mine."
Really....how hard was this to check, you major media people who frown on bloggers for having no editors?
November 3, 2003
We gets results! Drudge is saying tonight that CBS has decided to cancel showing "The Reagans." It apparently will be aired on Showtime instead. Drudge has led the way on information about the show. Jessica's Well has led the charge for the boycott that resonated throughout the blogosphere, beginning with Walsingham's October 20 post. (/hyperbole)
Midland's "solar storm" connection. The Midland National Weather Service office has posted photos of last week's Aurora Borealis display that was visible here. It is very unusual for the northern lights to be seen this far south. The NWS has also included a good explanation of the phenomenon. Kudos to our NWS office and to their Todd Lindley.
November 2, 2003
November 1, 2003
Macs Crashing? Say it ain't so Joe.....er, Steve. And it sounds pretty bad, too.
"Mac users are roaring in rage because of a nasty installment glitch that erases data on external hard drives.Hat Tip to John in the comments section here.
After upgrading to Mac OS X 10.3, better known as Panther, they are finding external FireWire drives are no longer recognized by the host machine. In many cases, all the data the drives stores are also gone.
'It's not a fluke or an isolated incident,' said Ben Wilson, senior editor of Macfixit, a respected Macintosh troubleshooting site. 'Based on reports we've seen, I'd say it was pretty serious.'
The glitch is particularly troubling because many Mac users backed up their files to an external FireWire drive before installing the Panther upgrade. In some cases, the glitch erased files on the main machine and the external backup."