December 30, 2003
Resolved: This House (OK, this Blog) believes that the collective knowledge of the blogosphere is greater than the collective knowledge of professional journalists regardless of the subject.
Use the comments.
Here is an interesting article on blogs in USAToday. The author's familiarity with the blogosphere is not too extensive, though:
"Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor whose Instapundit.com is one of the more popular right-leaning Web sites...."One of the more popular right-leaning web sites? How about the the single biggest blog on the planet, right-leaning or not?
Now the most interesting theory that I have heard is that Glenn Reynolds, Charles Johnson, Andrew Sullivan, and Stephen den Beste were all inspired by reading this blog to create their own. I personally don't think that that is true but it is a theory that is out there.
Extra credit to anyone that has been reading blogs long enough to remember Daily Pundit's "Four Horsemen of the Ablogalypse" Poster Contest.
December 28, 2003
December 27, 2003
You read it at the Democratic Underground first.....Bush was perhaps responsible for the Iranian earthquake. Now this photo taken just after the Citadel at Bam collapsed.
UPDATE: Deanie-babies suspect Bush in Mad Cow disease occurance.
December 24, 2003
EZ Rider just passed its two-month anniversary (December 20). Numbers for the first full two month period should be available by now. For those that are interested, anyway.
If the article is not written yet (hint, hint), some things that would interesting to see other than just total ridership would include:
- Total Receipts From Fares
- Total Expenses
- Total State Subsidy
- Total Federal Subsidy
- Total Profit/Loss to Midland taxpayers (including subsidies)
- 12 Month (2004) Projections for the above based on current information
If you ever need to describe how long something will take or how far off something is, the tail end of this sentence from The Fat Guy should come in handy:
"...be there the same day the Loony Lefties come up with a plan for post-9/11 national security that doesn't involve lick-fests with Old Europe."That is a very loooonnnng time.
December 23, 2003
The Commissar gives his take on GW's (Gandalf the White) unilateralism and illegal war. He stops just short of saying that we are "losing the victory" in Mordor.
Jose Cuevas is beginning to look like Midland's own Mario Cuomo. Always deciding but never running for Mayor.
Meet Wesley Clark, newest member of the tin-foil hat brigade:
"Democratic presidential hopeful Gen. Wesley Clark said Sunday that his old boss Bill Clinton - not President Bush - deserved credit for forcing Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to abandon his weapons of mass destruction programs, even though Gadhafi's turnaround came nearly three years after Clinton left office."
December 22, 2003
Gee, who'd ever think anyone would think this way around here?
"It's not fair to use our taxpayer money to put us out of business," said Sammy Hajar, a local cab owner, in talking about the new form of public transportation administered by the Midland-Odessa Urban Transit District Board.
Complaints begin about trying to compete with a government-sanctioned and taxpayer-subsidized business.
Our friends and neighbors at Concho sell themselves again! How many times can one outfit do this? Congrats to Concho!
Liberal Joke of the Day comes from The Corner:
"Q: Why was Saddam checked for lice and tongue-depressed?
A: Because, unlike us, he gets free medical care."
Maher assaulted by Palestinians in Jerusalem!
Not Bill, though. Ahmed.
Bad news for Howard The Dean. Americans support the war by a margin of 2 to 1.
From Kathleen Parker and found at NashvilleCityPaper.com:
"In a Reuters story from Baghdad on Monday, an Iraqi official described Saddam as a broken man who sought the mercy of Americans.Indeed®.
“When we were asking him difficult questions and throwing accusations, reminding him of his crimes, he was looking at Ambassador (Paul) Bremer and General (Ricardo) Sanchez, as if he was asking the Americans to protect him,” Muwaffaq al-Rubaiye, a member of Iraq’s Governing Council, was quoted as saying.
And why would that be? Because we’re murdering, immoral, invading, occupying evildoers? Or because Americans are known to be decent, generous, fair-minded and trustworthy?
How ironic that Saddam sees what even some Americans can’t or won’t see: that we are the good guys and that in a contest of moral rectitude, we have few if any peers [emphasis mine]."
December 21, 2003
Get Venkmann on the phone! It looks like a free-floating, full-torsoed vaporous apparition!
December 19, 2003
Nigerian e-mail con-spam: It's America's Fault!
"The image of capitalism now being spread about the world is cowboy stuff: little gleaned from America extols the virtue of regulation, restraint and control. We reap from the third world what we sow: if some Nigerians learned lessons in capitalism from global oil companies that helped corrupt and despoil that land, it is hardly surpising they absorbed some of the Texan oil values that now rule the White House."How stupid does one have to be to write this?
"With embarrassment, feeling a fool, I [the author] admit I was a victim of a Nigerian fraud."
"On the run, Hussein enjoyed one final moment of myth: the ever-resourceful, undaunted resistance fighter. Perhaps, it was thought, he had it all calculated in advance, fading silently from Baghdad like the Russians withdrawing from Moscow before Napoleon, to suck in the Americans only to strike back later on his own terms in a brilliant guerrilla campaign masterminded by the great one himself.
And then they find him cowering in a hole, disheveled, disoriented and dishonored. After making those underground tapes exhorting others to give their blood for Iraq and for him, his instantaneous reaction to discovery was hands-up surrender.
End of the myth. It is not just that he did not resist the soldiers with the guns. He did not even resist the medic with the tongue depressor."
Nation's population nears 300 million. And they are all out on the road when I'm driving to Houston or Dallas.
JOSE PADILLA? No....Abdullah al-Muhajir!
I wonder...why the name change?
December 18, 2003
It looks as though Reporter-Telegram Editor Gary Ott has gotten away from his "Random Thoughts" based newspaper columns. Blackie Sherrod was one of the best at the genre, and I looked forward to his Sunday Scattershootings in the Dallas Morning News.
So I got to thinking, randomly....how much more random could a random thoughts column be than one that is made up of thoughts from random thinkers?
Here is the first entry:
"When watching the opening credits for the television show M*A*S*H, is everyone like me in that they change the channel if the second name shown isn't Wayne Rogers?"
Use the "Comments" to add your own random thoughts. Jessica's Well hereby releases the rights to all random thoughts in the comments section. This way Mr. Ott can use them in a possible "Random Thoughts from Random Thinkers" column in the future.
"President Bush does not have power to detain American citizen Jose Padilla seized on U.S. soil as an enemy combatant, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday."OK, Ralph....time for you to go to town on this item in the comments section. Be sure and bold all of your text to make sure we get it.
Early reports are that Michael Jackson has joined the Nation of Islam. One of the beliefs of the Nation of Islam is that the white man is the result of a science experiment gone wrong.
I say, ridiculous!
December 17, 2003
France surrenders. Again.
It's always sad when someone's house explodes. But when that person's house explodes because of
a 55-gallon drum multiple 55-gallon drums full of stolen gasoline that have been hidden in the garage, it's also rather poetic.
A tip: If you decide to pilfer gas from the fuel company you work for, don't keep it at your house in an ungrounded metal barrel. Kaboom!
December 16, 2003
"Fraction of children seeking flu vaccine get shots before supplies run out"Undeniably true.
Eric at the Fireant Gazette is sending us a coded signal to savage two candidates for office because he can't right now.
Or something like that. Am I misreading this?
From The Politburo:
"If you often wonder why more and more Americans are turning to web journalists for news and editorial comment, then I direct you to the latest hard-hitting piece from Tim Noah, pampered establishmentarian at Microsoft’s Slate."I, too, encourage you to go read Timothy (yes, a grown man going by the name Timothy) Noah's piece. This is the "serious media" that looks down upon the blogosphere....indeed everyone that has an online opinion and isn't paid for it. Read it twice. Picture this turtlenecked simp setting down his Decaf Caffe Verona and rubbing his hands together over the keyboard just before he initiates the "Send" sequence that will in good order provide us wogs with the insight of a professional social critic.
More on the modern Saladin from Mark Steyn:
"In the honour/shame culture of the Arab world, it will be much harder now to pass him off as the mighty warrior. He had a pistol, but chose not to use it on himself. The Palestinians may be jumping up and down in the street insisting he’s still a great man, but in the end the sugar daddy who put up 25,000 bucks for the family of each suicide bomber had no desire to experience the glory of martyrdom himself: he’s eager for you to strap your teenage daughter into the Semtex belt, but, like Osama and Yasser and the rest of the gang, he’s disinclined to lead by example."There is more.
It looks like General Wesley Clark is about to get a high-profile endorsement....this time from America's Strumpet Laureate, Madonna.
Powell OK after surgery:
"He's full of spit and vinegar this morning. He's already called me twice before 7 o'clock"
I guess the phrase "piss and vinegar" is inappropriate after prostate surgery.
Vatican to Iraqis: We wish you were back under Saddam's thumb.
Wallace at Big Gold Dog has an interesting story from the front about some American soldiers enabling some Iraqi insurgents to make this year's Darwin Awards.
December 15, 2003
Sure.....Bush lackey Tim Blair says that the whole plastic turkey story is a non-starter but pictures don't lie, do they?
Is Saddam a broken man? I have seen conflicting reports on this. Here it says he is giving information. But here it says that he is not.
I think we may have sent Lt. Colonel West home too soon.
From the Associated Press:
"'My name is Saddam Hussein,' the fallen Iraqi leader told U.S. troops in English as they pulled him out of a dank hole that had become his home. 'I am the president of Iraq and I want to negotiate.'
U.S. soldiers replied: 'Regards from President Bush.'"
UPDATE: Reading the above paragraph, this thought crossed my mind....also shared by Best of the Web:
"Try to imagine a soldier telling Saddam "President Gore sends his regards," or "President Dean sends his regards" and see if you can keep a straight face."
December 14, 2003
"During the buildup to the war, and since, many who opposed the war declared it an "illegal" action and a violation of international law.
Now that he has been found to be alive, I'd ask this to those who considered this an illegitimate war: will you now stand up and demand that Hussein be placed back in power? He was, after all, the "legal" ruler of Iraq.
And if not, why not?"
From Peggy Noonan:
"All the journalists and politicians, they are always embarrassed to feel joy when something like this happens. They fear it will show a lack of understanding that history is a heavy and ponderous thing, a big tragedy machine, and all progress is illusory. Celebrating a military triumph--and this was among other things a military triumph--seems to them tantamount to Kiplingism, quaintly ignorant and unhelpfully nationalistic. That's why everyone on TV today is furrowing his brow. They know joy is the wrong thing to be feeling. It's unsophisticated.
But normal people don't have to be sophisticated. They can be normal. And happy. And say what normal Americans say when something great in history happens. 'Thanks, God. Thanks a lot.'
Captured with pistol holstered. That tells you right there what the higher-ups actually think of all that "72 virgins" nonsense.
Celebrate all you want, sheeple....but the real issue here is how Halliburton overcharged for the gasoline that was used driving Saddam back to CENTCOM HQ.
UPDATE: And don't think for a minute that some medical supply company well connected to the administration didn't overcharge for that tongue-depressor we see in the photos.
Even Qusay's 14 year-old son went out fighting in a hail of gunfire, but the modern Saladin goes down without firing a shot.
December 13, 2003
If you have been following the case of Lt. Colonel Allen West, this should interest you. Lt. Col. West will have to pay a $5,000 fine and also had to hire an attorney. The good news is that you can help!
Allen West Defense Fund
c/o Angela West
6823 Coleman Dr.
Ft. Hood, TX 76544
Jeez, if this is the baseline for not-so-attractive, what must Hollywood types think of the rest of us?
From this article:
"Three ageing Hiroshima victims travelled from Japan to lodge written protests with US President George Bush and the National Air and Space Museum before the bomber named Enola Gay goes on public display tomorrow.
They accuse the museum of dishonouring the memory of the scores of thousands of civilians killed in the blast on August 6, 1945, and a second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki three days later, by not displaying casualty figures next to the plane."
I am all for this.....so long as they net out the number against lives saved by the action of dropping the bombs thereby shortening the war. But I would bet that a placard next to the Enola Gay that tells of the 1.5 million lives that the plane helped save is not what these people have in mind.
December 12, 2003
"Meanwhile, anyone who thinks it will be decades before Arabs are ready for a Western-style society should consider the case of ‘Salam Pax’, an Iraqi Internet blogger —or ‘blogger’, as we old-media types say — who made a name for himself with his on-the-spot Baghdad diary in the run-up to the war and subsequently got taken on by the Guardian and brought to London. When Bush came to town last month, Salam was one of those whom the Guardian asked to pen an open letter to the President:You should put some ice on that, Salam.‘I hate to wake you up from that dream you are having, the one in which you are a superhero bringing democracy and freedom to underdeveloped, oppressed countries. But you really need to check things out in one of the countries you have recently bombed to freedom ...Listen, habibi, it is not over yet. Let me explain this in simple terms. You have spilled a glass full of tomato juice on an already dirty carpet and now you have to clean up the whole room. Not all of the mess is your fault but you volunteered to clean it up. I bet if someone had explained it to you like that, you would have been less hasty going on our Rambo-in-Baghdad trip.’
Incredible. At the beginning of this year Salam Pax was just another typical oppressed Baghdadi, four of whose relatives had ‘gone missing’ (according to his Guardian biog.). But a couple of weeks in the company of Guardian editors and he’s been transformed into a note-perfect, sneering, metropolitan poseur, right down to the two-decade-old Rambo putdown. He sounds like a Channel 4 commissioning editor. Now you might think this is a tad ungrateful of Salam: some of that tomato juice on the rug is from his four missing relatives and, given that the Americans have seen to it that his own juice is no longer in danger of hitting the shagpile, it might be nice if he understood that, in the end, it’s in his interest to clean up the room more than Rambo’s. But personally I find it heartening: if the Americans can’t transform Iraq into New Hampshire, this snotty little twerp is living proof that you can at least turn it into Islington."
UPDATE: The good Doctor blogs on this also and adds a twist that needs some consideration.
"I wonder why Salam is still in London. Maybe his particular background puts his "juice" at more risk if he returns than it was when Saddam was in power?"
Sure....it is your computer you think to yourself...but computers sometimes get stolen.
Eric over Fireant Gazette does a righteous Fisking of a comment that appeared under this post on this here blog. Probably a fisking we should have done ourselves...even at the risk of it getting lost in the (let me re-read here) glop that often floats in the well that has a sheen of truth if glimpsed from just the right angle.
"2004 Will Be the U.S.'S Best Year Economically in Last 20 Years" More bad news for the Nine Dwarfs. Gee, 5.7% GDP growth for the whole year! It'd probably be over 6% were it not for the Dem candidates talking the economy down.
December 11, 2003
Google here and Google there.....is this the same Jeff Robnett that is suing St. Ann's for the wrongful death of Lucwolyn Hutchinson at the Family Fair?
"For more than two months, Mr. Robnett said he taped conversations with Judge Gibson under the supervision of the FBI.This article from TexasJudges.net is two years old but sure looks intriguing.
No criminal charges have been filed, but transcripts of the tapes were furnished to state judicial ethics investigators.
Mr. Robnett, facing his own disciplinary complaint filed by Judge Gibson, had no comment on the judge's resignation. In recent weeks, the Dallas Bar Association discipline committee has voted to censure Mr. Robnett for his covert taping of Judge Gibson, even though it was at the behest of the FBI."
An article about Our Fair City, its politics and its brand of Christianity by George Neumayr was posted on The American Spectator's website on Monday. It is published in their December/January winter issue.
With few trees (Notrees, Texas, is not far from Midland) and no mountains to obstruct a view of it, the sky dominates the desert—and the mindset of Midlanders. They call Midland the "land of the high sky" and the "tall city." The town's motto is, "The sky is the limit."
The setting is important to understanding Midland's culture, say locals. The expansive land contributes to its expansive outlook. Surviving and succeeding in desolation worthy of a biblical city, they say, produces a culture of can-do Christianity. And there's good reason to believe them: From this remote town of less than a 100,000 people has risen a number of leaders. Famous former Midlanders include George and Laura Bush, retired four-star general Tommy Franks, and secretary of commerce Don Evans.
Sadly, Neumayr left out George H.W. Bush and famous current Midlanders Clayton Williams, Wahoo McDaniel and Natalie Drest, among others.
Save a few bits of over-reaching (Santa Rita #1 is "the first successful oil well in Midland" and referring to "the vast oil deposits in Midland's Permian Basin"), the article is well done and pretty balanced. Watch the Dallas Morning News for a reprint on Sunday. Would that our little paper would see fit to do the same.
A Big Hat Tip to reader John from the comments in our Tuesday postings.
When are we going to see an MR-T "Webzone" feature on Midland-based blogs?
I guess we will stop seeing these stories when he finally just beats her to death.
From an article on the exclusion of the Axis of Weasels from bidding on reconstruction contracts in Iraq:
"Bush scoffed at a question seeking his reaction to Schroeder's statement on Thursday that international law must apply to the awarding of the contracts.
'International law? I better call my lawyer,' he said."
Will this set off the chattering classes, or what?
The Rio Nueva water mining deal makes the New Yawk Times (Registration required).
"Angry West Texans and some state officials are demanding a halt to a deal that allows a group of politically well-connected Midland oilmen to tap the desert and sell billions of gallons of water from the state's public reserves.The article also contains a rather clumsy attempt to tie Tom Craddick to the deal.
The venture was advancing without announcement or competitive bidding [emphasis mine] by the powerful Texas General Land Office, which controls 20 million acres of public lands and the liquids and minerals beneath them.
The agency has never licensed private sale of its water. The eight-man water partnership, Rio Nuevo Ltd., seeks to be the first, pumping out and selling some 16 billion gallons a year to municipalities and ranchers in drought-parched far west Texas, where many people fear that their own wells could go dry as a result."
Riders during first week of EZ Rider operation: 5,317
Riders during the three week long period from November 19 to December 9th: 5,839.
According to EZ Rider Director Ken Smithson, this decline of ridership to about 33% of the first weeks levels represents a drop of "about half".
The latest article goes on to state the "Anticipated cost to Midland per month: $20,833". Set aside for a moment the massive state and federal subsidies of this system (and every other such system in the country) which don't, for whatever reason, get tallied as a cost to Midland's taxpayers....will this $20,833 estimated cost be as far off as the described decline in ridership?
And a fable for our times, by Rod Dreher at the Dallas MoNews. It begins:
Once upon a time, four friends shared the forest. When an evil dictator threatened the peace and security of them all, one of the friends concluded that the bad man had to be driven out of the forest.
Good news for Bill Clinton! His recession wasn't as bad as we thought it was:
The 2001 recession, already among the mildest in modern U.S. economic history, was even slightly shallower than earlier estimated...
But it started earlier, during the end of his term:
However, the update also shows that the economy contracted slightly in the July-September period of 2000, as well as in the first three quarters of 2001.
December 10, 2003
UPDATE: Thursday morning. Tim Blair is covering this as well as Lucianne. Instapundit remains on top of the situation as well (no surprise there). Here's the article linked by Lucianne including another great photo of the pro-freedom and democracy protesters. The mainstream media are still ignoring this...amazing!
December 9, 2003
"The Permian Business Unit, located in Midland, Texas, and the MidContinent Business Unit, located in Houston, will be consolidated and headquartered in Houston. However, some functions directly linked to operational needs will continue in Midland."The above paragraph means that they are leaving three pumpers.
Read "The Bush Haters" by Michael Novak on NRO. We get a brief mention:
The "voice" of the Democratic party seems much more like the glitzy people "uptown" and in Hollywood than like the workers and middle class of Midland, Texas.
He gets it.
The Corner is flogging and blogging the Dean/Gore/Lieberman brouhaha pretty well right now, so I won't pile on. I'll just recommend taking the time to read a little of the discussion today.
Of note though: Lieberman did an admirable job of being statesman-like this morning on the Today show when he could have pounded Gore on ethics, morality and loyalty. He is also retaining his sense of humor:
Lauer: Just a week ago this is what you had to say about Al Gore, “As president I would turn to him not only for advice but see if he would be interested in holding some high office in my administration. He’s an immensely capable, principled, effective person.” Has that changed now?
Lieberman: I’d say that’s less likely this morning. [Laughter]
That may be the sign of the most serious candidate the Dems are fielding.
Entitlement mentality at its finest: The Midland County Sheriff's Department is fully prepared to raise your taxes (yet again), simply because they feel that their officers are entitled to be making the same pay as MPD's officers. Their intention, according to the story, is to take the issue to the voters.
I don't get it. Are they expecting to play off of the public's sense of sympathy here? Considering that a mid-grade sheriff's deputy makes more money annually than the average Midlander does, I don't think they should expect the taxpayers to coddle them too much.
If the private sector operated even half as inefficiently and bassackwards as civil service entities, the U.S. would've ceased to be long ago. You want pay raises? The solution is simple -- downsize.
So Al Gore has thrown over his one-time running mate Joe Lieberman for Howard Dean. There will be more theories about this than internet nodes to be sure. Has the Democratic Party finally figured out that it has been a lot better for the Clintons than the Clintons have been for the Democratic Party?
All minor stuff, though. There are much more serious issues at stake. Namely, with Joe Lieberman now diminished, what will happen to the all-important "War on Jelly Donuts".
Gore to Lieberman: "Don't get all snippy about it."
This my personal experience only...but in the last two weeks, not counting drivers, I have seen more
MTRider EZRider buses than passengers. I am not cracking wise here. I mean this literally.
December 8, 2003
500: The number of London police required when 750,000 rugby fans take to the streets to celebrate.
5,123: The number of London policemen required when 100,000 *cough* "peace activists" take to the streets....with those stupid-assed giant puppets.
0: Number of people really surprised by this.
Hat Tip to Tim Blair
Within the same news cycle, this quote from Howard Dean:
"I think -- here is what the president did. He has forfeited our moral leadership in the world [by going in to Iraq]."and then this article on a Gallup poll taken in Iraq. An excerpt:
"The survey, which the polling firm planned to release on Tuesday, asked 1,178 Baghdad residents in August and September whether a member of their household had been executed by Saddam's regime. According to Gallup, 6.6 percent said yes."Hey Howie, what was that again about moral leadership?
UPDATE: 6.6% of Iraqis have a family member.....no wait....it says member of their actual household...that has been executed by Saddam Hussein. The current U.S. Unemployment Rate is about 5.8%. Again, Howie....lost moral leadership?
Answer: Argentina, Antwerp, Buffy and Globalization. Question: What is the subject matter of the single best sentence recently posted on the 'net?
From Samizdata and Michael Jennings:
I am not sure that there is a point to this story, other than that a globalised world in which I, an Australian who lives in London, can spontaneously start singing a song from a musical episode of a television series of light gothic horror set in a Californian high school with a beautiful somewhat anglicised Argentine woman in an underground train station in Antwerp is something I like immensely.
No, this article isn't from The Onion. Nurse Bloomberg's anti-smoking apparatchiks actually raid offices looking for (gasp) smokers! We all knew about New York's ban on smoking but did you know about this?
"Ashtrays are also outlawed lest they encourage people to smoke. Of 2,300 summonses issued since the Bloomberg Law came into force in May, more than 200 have been for ashtray violations."
"'Not having ashtrays and putting up no-smoking signs are two of the strongest ways to discourage smoking and to let people know what the law is,' said Sandra Mullin, of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The health inspectors can enter any premises covered by the smoking laws without a warrant in the same way that food inspectors may make unheralded visits to restaurant kitchens."
You laugh....but it could happen here. And if the phrase "Mental Hygiene" used as part of the title of a governmental department doesn't sound to you like something straight out of Stalinist Russia, then you aren't paying attention.
December 6, 2003
And speaking of economic diversification.....I have often wondered what percentage of Midland's Gross Domestic Product five years from now will be represented by settlements made to Brian Carney and various aggreived Riggan family members.
Two interesting (sort of) Letters to the Editor. In this one former City Councilman Pat Schneider opines that employees of the Children's Museum should be separated from their families during the day after Thanksgiving so that she is not stuck at home with hers. Ashamed of Midland, she is. Ashamed!
In the other, a Mr. Sam Field....who has obviously drunk of the Economic Development Kool-Aid...puts forth the all too common opinion that any edifice that the locals throw up with your tax dollars "pays for itself in the long run".
Mr. Field uses the typical outsiders "staying in the motels, eating at the restaurants, etc." argument. Mr. Field may have something here. One look at the crowd at a typical Rockhounds game at the new stadium (cost: $20 million) and you will see that everyone is so busy eating and lodging somewhere that they never seem to make it to the games.
December 5, 2003
"The NFL’s Lonely Hero," a timely reminder about patriotism, sacrifice and selflessness.
Pat Tillman was the starting strong safety for the Arizona Cardinals when the 9/11 attacks occurred. He played out the 2001 season and then with his brother Kevin, a former minor league baseball player, enlisted in the Army Rangers. In doing so, Tillman walked away from a three-year, $3.6 million dollar contract with the Cardinals for an $18,000 salary and plentiful opportunities to get his head shot off.
Read the rest here.
UPDATE: More on Pat Tillman.
I loved this excerpt from Kel Seliger's announcement for office:
"Seliger oversaw Amarillo's mastery of the economic development process during his mayoral tenure."Translation: Seliger was a pioneer in the idea of soaking taxpayers everywhere with hundreds of millions of dollars of extra levies so various chambers of commerce and municipalities can steal companies away from each other.
Voting is now open for Wizbang's 2003 Weblog Awards. If you want to vote for someone in the "Best Group Blog" category you can go here.
Wink, wink. Nudge.
After reading how prominently Key Energy Services figures into Mr. Edward's campaign provided bio and qualifications for office you would be tempted to conclude that they parted under the most amicable of circumstances.....wouldn't you?
Meet Kirk Edwards, paragon of Odessa society. After serving on the Odessa city council and being rejected as Tony Garza’s replacement on the RRC, Kirk aspires to loftier goals, namely the Texas Senate. Kirk has been an oil operator in the basin for years and has had business dealings with many of our fellow citizens. However, there must also be many who have never met Kirk and perhaps he can build a political base from among them.
If you liked President Clinton’s integrity, honesty and forthrightness, I predict you will love Kirk Edwards. I’ll bet his aspirations don’t end at the Texas Senate, so if you get out and support him now you might someday be known in the media as a FOK (friend of Kirk).
From Charles Krauthammer, M.D.:
"Bush Derangement Syndrome: the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency -- nay -- the very existence of George W. Bush. "
December 4, 2003
Ask and you shall receive. An article on the drop (half!) in EZ Ridership. It says "about half" in the article. It is interesting to note that encouraging numbers get reported exactly. Discouraging numbers get kind of fuzzy.
Remember that poor, unfortunate woman that was trampled in the Wal-Mart by the mob trying to get to the cheap DVD players? Well, it seems she has a history of, uh......bad luck.
December 3, 2003
Here is an interesting article about reporters who went in to the field as regular citizens to request access to public information.
Anyone out there want to go get the books for the Midland Development Corporation for us?
EZ Ride this. Downtown Midland to Downtown Odessa in 200 seconds.
It's an all-too-familiar scenario: Drug-crazed black man won't comply with police and gets beaten, prompting gaggles of so-called "civil rights" activists to call for all manner of revolution.
And as usual, the devil for the activists is in the details. The suspect, 41 year-old Nathaniel Jones -- who weighed in excess of 400 pounds -- violently attacked an officer in such a way that could've easily caused death. The reaction on the part of assisting officers -- as you would well imagine -- was a barrage of baton attacks upon Jones, who was so visibly high on coc and angel dust, that he seemed not even to feel most of them.
Now for the twist. After finally getting the crazed Jones under control, he went into distress and eventually died. Jones was morbidly obese and had a heart condition, although it is not yet known if that was the clinical cause of his demise.
I'm sure most of you have seen the police video at this point. It's currently running 24/7 on the cable news channels. And I hate to break it to any nay-sayers out there, but based on what I saw, my opinion is that deadly force on the part of the police was justified in this situation. Considering his size, apparent strength, and mental state, Jones could have easily beaten to death the officer he initially attacked.
Still, the ignorant, predictable rhetoric persists:
Nathaniel Livingston, of the Coalition for a Just Cincinnati, said: "How many of our people have to die before the city decides to do something about it?"
Give me a break, Mr. Livingston. The question should be, "How many more cops have to die on the streets of America because of ass-hats like Nathaniel Jones?" Police officers, just like any other members of society, have the fundamental right to protect and defend themselves.
Nathaniel Jones used potentially deadly force against his prey, and his prey responded likewise.
This is purely anecdotal based on my experience...but ever since EZ Rider began charging, the busses seem to be much emptier. Has anyone seen the numbers for the weeks since the fares went into effect?
More bad news. If you're a Democratic candidate for the presidency that is.
Nonfarm business productivity, or worker output per hour, rose at an upwardly revised 9.4 percent annual rate, the strongest showing since the second quarter of 1983, the U.S. Labor Department said.
I know I've been working at least 9.4% harder this year...except for the time I spend doing this...hmmm...maybe it's 9.1% for me. I need to thank someone out there for picking up my slack.
U.S. workers operated more efficiently in the third quarter than at any time in the last 20 years, revised government data showed on Wednesday, giving more evidence of a U.S. economy gaining back its stride.
It should read "than at any time in history." I wonder what it must be like to be a Kerry or a Dean and watch all of your winning issues evaporate before your eyes, a year before the election.
Eric at Fireant Gazette does a great takedown of the Rio Nueva proposal to mine water from West Texas counties and sell it to other areas of the state....beginning with Rio Nueva's generous offer of a 10% royalty.
A ten-percent royalty? If you are in the oil business, when was the last time you even saw a 12.5% royalty? Most Oil & Gas Leases you see now days have at least a
3/8ths 3/16ths royalty and many times go as high as 1/4. Read the whole thing.
December 2, 2003
We all know that milk will sour after enough time; no one is surprised when butter goes off in the heat. Even hard cheese will spoil. And I have on good authority that time will make a Big Mac even worse than when it was egested from the clown. But did you know that concrete will go bad too? I've walked across Roman aqueducts which were in service after two millennia. I've touched thousand-year-old concrete and it seemed perfectly sound to me. But evidently here in Procto there is an evil spell which makes concrete go bad, suddenly, in the sun.
Some years ago, the Texas Department of Transportation moved an engineer here who bragged to me that he'd been brought in to spend budgeted money which hadn't been spent yet. Note this: to spend money which hadn't been spent, not which needed to be spent. To you this might seem a major distinction. To a man who has never worked privately it is a sin.
It never occurred to him that perhaps his predecessor hadn't spent the money if she saw no reason to spend it. No doubt she will not rise as high in TexDOT as Engineer X; she didn't spend all she had of other peoples' money and then grasp for more "resources." But that's another polemic worth a volume: Socialists' Disease: How Government Turned Me into a Bossy, Money-Sucking Vampire.
Engineer X rolled up his sleeves and got to work. Spending your money to no purpose. Engineer X threw huge lashings of public money at useless things which didn't need to be done.
He tore up the downtown curbs and replaced them. With curbs which are the same shape, size, color and position. They are functionally equivalent to the old curbs. They even look like the old curbs. And unless you were paying attention you might think that they were the old curbs. If it looks like a curb and it lies there like a curb, it's a curb.
But perhaps not. I wondered if there was some new curb technology; perhaps the new curbs were softer to car tires. Perhaps they leapt out of the way for wheelchair access. Maybe they were more comfortable for worthies lying in the gutter, say the odd commissioner. Perhaps at dusk they would emit a flash of green and at dawn the scent of fresh lilac. I kicked a few and hurt my foot. No new concrete technology there. I didn't taste one; I didn't know who had been lying in the gutter.
Newly added to our permanent blogroll is The CounterRevolutionary. Much good work and effort is being done over there in finding more and more articles on our difficulties with the post-WWII occupation of Germany. Is Iraq today and Germany then the exact same situation? Of course not. But a reading of the articles that The CounterRevolutionary has uncovered provides a much needed historical perspective on today's events.
For those that missed the original story, Barry Bozeman is the ass-hat that was gaming The Truth Laid Bear's Blog Ecosystem by placing multiple Sitemeter counters on multiple sites to drive up his rankings in said Ecosystem....that is until he was nailed by The Commissar.
In short, he was cheating. This embarassed his fellow alliance members in the "League of Liberals." But not as much as they are apparently embarassed by his refusal to see any wrong doing on his part.
One notable member, Kynn Bartlett, has resigned from the LoL.
Bozeman, on the other hand, has started a new website (that will go unlinked here) dedicated to smearing TTLB for suspending him for cheating the system.
December 1, 2003
General Wesley Clark takes a bold step and seeks to bolster his campaign by having a serious policy sit down with......Madonna.
"After a 90-minute policy discussion with Madonna in her Los Angeles home recently, a friend of the star was authorised to disclose that "Madonna was very impressed with Gen Clark's intelligence and his vision for America". Another associate added: 'Don't under-estimate this. Madonna is often ahead of the curve.'""Clinton's General", indeed.
Kevin at Wizbang is running a 2003 Weblog Awards that has various categories. Amazingly, this little blog has been Nominated in the category of "Best Group Blog". More amazing still, we didn't nominate ourselves.
Of course, it is an honor just to be nominated......what am I saying? We better win or we're gonna get every last one of the rat-bas***** that didn't vote for us. I know that will be a lot of people.....but we mean it!
P.S. And thanks to whomever it was that did nominate us.
The four headlines above the masthead at Drudge right now:
"HOLLYWOOD DEMS GATHER FOR 'HATE BUSH' MEETING AT HILTON..."Sweet.
"Stocks Jump; S&P 500 Hits 18-Month High "
"Factories Hum, Construction Booms"
"Manufacturers hit 20-year record pace"
Several things about this story were interesting to me. Namely, I was impressed at how many diverse groups are now recognizing our inalienable right to keep and bear arms.
"Many other groups wanted the court to take the politically charged case, including the National Rife Association; the Pink Pistols, a group of gay and lesbian gun owners; the Second Amendment Sisters; Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws; and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership."
Now, if only we could get the Supreme Court on board. C'mon justices, there's nothing to 'interpret' here: "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Seems pretty straight-forward to me.
What would we do without excerpts?
"A disputed European Union study on anti-Semitism blames mainly Muslim immigrants, pro-Palestinian leftists and the extreme right for a rising tide of hostility to Jews in Europe, according to published excerpts."Apologies to James Taranto.
Heard an ABC Radio news report this morning about how concerned we should be about how organized the terrorists were in the ambush that ended with five Americans wounded and 48 or so of the ambushing terrorists killed.
If this is the end result of greater organization on the part of the terrorists, I say let them organize.