April 27, 2004
Oh boy! Jose Padilla!
Kerry gets done by a Cristophe stylist. Reminds me of the incident at LAX with Billy Jeff. Both men fine examples of populist politicians. And Theresa's airplane being called the "Flying Squirrel" is too funny. I'm sure her pilots love her for that.
I would love to look at the "city records" that Mr. Doreen was referring to.
I am sure that this stuff is public information. If anyone has the actual numbers/report/financial statements for the sports complex and city revenues and expenditures related to same could you please e-mail them to the Site Admin at admin-at-jessicaswell.com (change the -at- to an @ to send the e-mail)?
A new Midland-based Blog has been made known to us.
Welcome to the blogosphere Rancid Poncho.
I am hoping that this is not the other Pancho's evil (and rancid) twin.
Here is an interesting new blog. It is called The Religious Policeman.
This guy blogs from Saudi Arabia and has to use an illegal satellite connection to access the internet lest he be sniffed out, arrested, and maimed or killed.
Tim Robbins should keep him in mind when he whinges about the so-called crushing of dissent in John Ashcroft's Amerika.
April 22, 2004
New to the blogosphere: Friends of Saddam, an aggregator of information and articles concerning the United Nation's growing Oil for Food scandal.
April 21, 2004
At least they are consistent. Stupid, but consistent. Can you guess which wire service published this headline this morning?
'Terrorist' Car Bomb Kills at Least 10 in Saudi
Read the whole thing here.
UPDATE: As of 3:30 CT, the headline of the story that the above link takes you to has changed twice and now the link takes you to a different story that has the Saudis blaming Al Qaeda for the bombing. Here is a link to the middle story, taking the scare quotes out of the headline but leaving them in the text.
Medical and security sources in Riyadh said more than 70 were wounded in what an official said was the sixth attempt at such a "terrorist attack" in a week. Five others were foiled.
We can see where Reuters' sympathies still lie. "Foiled," like a scheme in an old melodrama: "...curses, foiled again!" Not, "Five other attempts at mass murder of innocents were stopped by good intelligence and quick police work..."
April 20, 2004
"The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win." ---- Michael Moore, April 2004.We all know Michael Moore The Leftist. And Michael Moore The Liar.
We now meet Michael Moore Comforter of The Enemy and Michael Moore The Uneducated Dolt.
The above paragraph speaks for itself as to Mr. Moore's allegiance in the War on Terror. But it also reveals what little actual knowledge he possesses. Saddamite Dead-Enders are the same as colonial Minutemen? Was George Washington...the man who could have been King but who walked away from the office after two terms (leaving no mass graves)....was he the same as Saddam Hussein? Were their respective troops fighting for the same ideals?
Traitor or moron? It doesn't matter in the modern world. He won't be touched; the Left will reward him with great riches and adulation for saying this stuff in front of faculty gatherings and the like.
In a perfect world I would like to see him say this bull**** in the nearest watering hole to Fort Hood.
UPDATE: Right Thinking takes apart Michael Moore's line of BS piece by piece.
UPDATE: Tim Blair thinks Michael Moore The Prognosticator is going for a three-peat.
Today's Peanuts cartoon, with Snoopy and Woodstock charmingly commemorating National Secretaries Week, is a startling reminder of how far we've fallen. It was originally published on April 21, 1970. "A good secretary should have a basic knowledge of economics, business organization, accounting and business law." Wow! When I entered the working world in the late '70s, there were still some of these true "administrative professionals" about, but they were getting scarce. Good secretaries used to be considered to be professionals if not a member of a Profession. And they were invaluable to the daily function and profitability of most successful businesses.
Feminists began widely attacking secretarial work as demeaning about the time that Charles Schulz inked up today's strip. Being a secretary was not something that someone with any intelligence aspired to any longer. When was the last time you worked with an administrative professional (current age under 60) that knew anything about economics, accounting or business law? Or didn't think that the business organization was specifically designed to make his or her job as difficult as possible? I am hoping for comments that tell me I am way off base here...
UPDATE: Friday afternoon. Since I'd seen so little coverage of it, I thought it'd be amusing to google "administrative professionals week" at the end of the week and see what I came up with. First, this blog post was #63 in the returned hits. Most of the hits above this one were florists and gift basket vendors along with a few professional societies' websites. I thought I'd look for a blog that logged in above ours and found only one, at #55, that was posted 2 years ago!
"I'm a freelance writer making ends meet as a temp who accepted a permanent position when it was offered because I'm almost out of birth control pills and I need insurance."
Go ahead and read the whole thing. It is mildly amusing, but it shouldn't surprise you that it ends with:
"I guess I'll just steal some office supplies to compensate."
Two years later she's still doing her blog and is now in pre-law, aspiring to be an attorney...seems like a just conclusion.
April 15, 2004
If you are at all interested in cars, racing, competition or engineering, one of the best things to happen to/in Midland gets underway this weekend. The Petroleum Museum is opening the Chaparral Gallery. This is an exhibit of world-famous, winning, race cars from the '60s, '70s and '80s. The cars were imagined, engineered, built and developed here in Midland by Jim Hall and raced by him and others to championships in the U.S. and in Europe. This is really a world-class exhibition and the museum is having a pretty world-class grand opening this weekend. Go out and check it out on Saturday, or mark your calendar to go out soon when the crowds thin a bit, but go see it. Here is another link for more background.
UPDATE: The Grand Opening was outstanding. Two days of well-organized events celebrating the museum, the Gallery itself, the Chaparrals and especially, Jim Hall and his crew. The photo in the M-RT's Sunday edition credits Jim Hall, but the photo of the 2F also includes Jim Edwards (behind Jim Hall and Hall's current mechanic) and Troy Rogers (gentleman on left of photo w/ a cane) who was involved with much of the original construction in the '60s as well as being responsible for the late '80s restorations of the Chaparrals. This exhibition would not have happened without the hard work of Troy Rogers and Jim Edwards (and many, many others). Wallace Craig over at biggolddog.com has done an terrific job of capturing some of the Chaparral Gallery opening festivities. Check out his photos and commentary here. Very excellent, Wallace!
There may be something to the downtown office building sale. This came in the comments section of the original post last night:
"Scoop or B.S. or speculation. Who knows...but here is some scuttlebutt:It has been done before. This comment was quickly followed by another:
Century Plaza will be one of several buildings sold in a package. In turn, Century Plaza (or perhaps one of the others) will be donated to a non profit entity (Downtown Midland, Inc?....Midland Development Corp?).
Here is the weird part. The non-profit is going to empty the building of its current occupants and then the building is going to be used as some sort of development project. Of what nature I don't know. A home for wayward non profits? The new office space for the ever expanding chamber and its various fonctionaires? Store hay? Who knows?
Doesn't make sense."
"One of the rumors I haven't heard. But, hopefully, it could be used as virtually free office space in conjunction with the Development Board.None of this works without an entity that requires no return on it's investment....either a rich benefactor as the new owner or.........uh, oh.....I am starting to get that feeling.
Lest you all be naysayers...I did this in Quincy Illinois along with an investor from Australia a number of years ago. He bought an 800,000sf vacant building, gave the space away [minimal rent] for 3 years to all who would create jobs. Over time it worked very well, creating some 800 jobs [in a town of about 12,000]."
April 14, 2004
The headline in the Chicago Tribune screams "Liberal radio stations silenced!" as if John Ashcroft and his thugs kicked down the door and spent two full clips of ammo into both the control board and the on-air personalities in the long-feared and much expected Amerikan Kristallnacht that would sweep up all dissent once and for all.
Read the article and you find out that they bounced their check for airtime and got shut off.
Al Franken is starting to see the light on the NPR non-business model.
This headline appeared recently generating the world record shattering chorus of "Or what?"
From today's E-mail comes a note/query from "someone who offices downtown" who wants to know if we have heard the rumor or can confirm same that one of the office buildings downtown will be purhased and then donated to a non-profit organization of some sort (or purchased outright by a non-profit) and then emptied out to be used as some sort of downtown development project.
Any ears out there hearing some stuff along these lines?
April 13, 2004
Try out the Kerry Sloganator!
Real Moonbats can be seen here, though.
"It has become painfully obvious from some Commission members' grandstanding, especially during their questioning of national security advisor Condoleezza Rice, that they are more interested in scoring political points during an election year than in finding out what happened before the terrorist attacks in 2001.And should Bush have known in advance specifically what Al Qaeda intended that morning of September 11th?
Many of what was presented to Dr. Rice as questions were really political speeches -- and the fact that the questioners tried to keep her from replying to their insinuations showed how little interest they had in finding out facts."
"We already know from Osama bin Laden himself that not even all the terrorists on the hijacked planes that flew into the World Trade Center knew that this was what those in the cockpit were going to do. If hijackers on board the planes didn't know, how could anyone else know?"
April 12, 2004
There has been much made of the need to “fix” public school finance in Texas lately, namely getting tax relief for property owners. Since the taxpayers of Texas are the only substantial source of state funds, I have wondered who will be asked to pick up the slack when property taxes are lowered. Given that the talk is about increased funding for schools the new sources will have to more than make up the loss. Now Gov. Perry has announced a plan to accomplish this goal. He wants to place a tax on cigarettes and adult entertainment; so called “sin” taxes. He further proposes to legalize and tax video slots and video lottery machines.
The discussion about his plan so far has been about the amount of money that will be generated by the proposed new sources. If cigarette taxes are too high, some have argued that smokers will switch to buying on the internet to save the tax. The videos will be limited to casinos and race tracks and critics argue that there are not enough of those sites to generate the desired funds.
I agree with these criticisms, but first I would like to ask what should be the prior question: why should we force a portion of society to pay for something that is acknowledged to be a benefit to the entire society? Why should smokers, or other “sinners” who are taxed heavily already, be taxed even more when school finance is a general public good? Smokers are currently out of favor and are therefore an easy target, but I expected more of our Gov. than taking the easy way out of a difficult task. This leaves open the obvious question of what system will be able to raise the funds needed and fall fairly of the taxpayers. An increase in the sales tax would fall heavily on the poor and would cause more people to shop online, but may still be the only politically possible solution, since an income tax is anathema in Texas.
Remember that the lottery was supposed to be the solution when it was sold to us, but while lottery funds are dedicated to school finance, other funds that were used for schools prior to the lottery, are now used in the general fund. If lottery funds remain dedicated to schools and we legalize sports book and dedicate it also, there may be enough money to “fix” school finance. Sports betting is, by all accounts, a huge business and maybe Texas should recognize it and get the benefit of taxes on it.
OK. Help me out, Midlanders....or anyone in the know. Is this the real deal or a hoax? Hat Tip to Right Thinking on the Left Coast where I first saw it, but comments there think that it may be a hoax....as do comments here. Also, in the article they have the name as "Jessica McClain" which may be a typo or just part of the hoax.
And just who, exactly, is this?
UPDATE: This has officially made the Museum of Hoaxes. Oddly they don't make a ruling. Perhaps appearing on the site there is the ruling.
The post below concerning the moving of the marketing of the Scharbauer Sports Complex is interesting for a number of reasons. I can see some sense in moving these marketing duties to the Chamber because....let me try to dredge up some MBA stuff here:...the bringing together of the Chamber and the current marketing director for the sports complex will, through the maximization and optimization of their various core competencies, bring together a valuable and forward looking synergy to the successful and pro-active marketing of the facility. (I am obviously rusty on the language here for I failed to use the term "total quality management" anywhere in the sentence.)
According to the article the terms have yet to be decided. But is there any doubt the new arrangment be more expensive? Perhaps it needs to be. But rest assured, it will be.
Here is where this article falters. We are left with zero knowledge as to how much it has cost (total) to market the facility and what the returns have been on the marketing investment to date. We have a base salary and a car allowance and some incentives are listed but not quantified. How much imagination would it take to go ahead and ask the following questions:
- What was the total dollar amount paid out in incentives last year?
- What was the total revenue generated by the sports complex for rentals?
- What was the total net revenue of operations for all activities at the sports complex?
- What was the total attendance and rental revenue for all non-Midland County based events or outside rentals?
- Why does the marketing director get paid an incentive if MISD uses the facility in the third year of the contract? Is MISD going somewhere else?
This is just another one of those times where you are not sure if the reporter doesn't know to ask these questions or knows better than to ask these questions.
April 11, 2004
This is interesting:
"The community development department of the Midland Chamber of Commerce likely will become responsible for the marketing of the Scharbauer Sports Complex.This means one thing: Underperformance at one level or another. Most likely we have someone who is knocking themselves out trying to market a facility whose value to the marketplace was greatly overestimated/oversold to the voting public. Perhaps that is why they are keeping the person but are re-assigning her to the Chamber...which apparently finds it impossible to be helpful unless they are running the show.
While the final decision must be made by the City Council, the 4B board voted this past week to move the marketing of the $46 million complex under the arm of the Chamber, according to Ken Marks, a member of the board created to oversee the development and operations of the complex.
Nancy Swallow, the current marketing director of the complex, will work for the Chamber. The Council voted to designate Swallow as the marketing director in May of 2002."
"Mayor Mike Canon said such a change should create more effective marketing efforts for the two-stadium facility as Swallow will have the resources of the Chamber available to her."Interesting. The voters cough up for a
If the resources of the chamber aren't available to the lady that is trying to market the town-saving stadium complex then how must Gold Members feel?
April 9, 2004
Last night on the TV, I saw a promo for the upcoming "Network Premiere" of Mel Gibson's movie "The Patriot".
It occurred to me that it has been a long time since a "Network Premiere" was a big thing. Growing up, you saw movies at the theater; they finished their theatrical run...and the next time you saw them was the "Network Premiere". Now with Blockbuster, satellite, HBO, etc., you will see all or part of these movies five or six times before they hit the networks. I am surprised they even use the term anymore or try to make it a big deal.
Here is another one: Anyone out there remember the vacuum tube testers that were in every 7-11 store? I remember countless trips with my Dad down to the local convenience store with a paper sack containing every tube from the TV set because you weren't sure which one was bad. You had to test them all to find that out. What's more, 7-11 had a decent selection of new tubes. And just when was the last time you even had the back off of a TV set?
Just one of those things that suddenly goes away and you notice 35 years later.
The Commissar offers tips to help "...comrades to understand proper methods for handling economic reports." Da! Is good!
April 8, 2004
Well, this ought to free up some extra time to watch the Masters.
The Kerry Doctrine:
"Actions are legitimized solely by the quantity of allies. (In the case of Rwanda, Sudan et al, inaction is legitimized by the number of other Great Powers disinclined to act.) Other people don’t want to go to work for Paul Bremer, and in Kerry’s view that’s a problem.
Solution: make our Marines go to work for Kofi Annan."
Also, a new term is coined: Diplobabble.
April 7, 2004
The new protest tool: flip-flops!
Young Republicans wearing cheap sandals got in the front row and started clapping them together almost as soon as the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Sawyer Point on Tuesday.
John F'n Kerry's philosphy of the War on Terror not really being a War so much as an issue to be handled by the intelligence and law enforement communities is...well...dangerous. Yes, the same intelligence community that he voted time after time to slash funding for. And how is the other pincer in his philosphy, that being law enforcement, doing? Here is how:
"HAMBURG, Germany - The only person convicted in the Sept. 11 attacks was freed by a court Wednesday, pending the outcome of his retrial on charges of aiding the Hamburg al-Qaida cell that included three of the suicide pilots.He walked.
Mounir el Motassadeq, 30, smiled broadly as he left the Hamburg prison where he had been held since November 2001. He walked past reporters without comment before his friends and lawyer whisked him away in a car to an unknown location."
Mr. Kerry and his intentions aside, his philosophy will cause these battles to be fought not by the military...nor even the intelligence and law enforcement communities but rather they will be fought by the fire brigades, the paramedics, and the local neighborhood watch.
April 6, 2004
The Too Cool and Way Symbolic Award for the month of April: celebrating the Jewish Passover Seder in one of Saddam's palaces.
"Kennedy Defends Vietnam Analogy: Cites Family Expertise in Starting Unpopular Wars"
"Black turban, white knight: French hero Muqtada al-Sadr glares sullenly at a big bag of Cheetos that's just out of reach. Will his street gang stop the U.S. Marines? Stay tuned!"
"I love Mark Steyn, but let's see him try to explain why he looks so much like al-Sadr! After that he can explain why Kerry looks like Treebeard."
The New York Times edited by Allah.
A great question:
Has anyone noted the fact that expansion teams, be they NFL, NBA, or MLB are generally given a pass in their first three to five years to become "competitive" before they are determined to be hopeless and the object of just ridicule.
Why is the timeframe for formerly fascist regimes liberated by Republican
Presidents to become fully functioning democracies so much shorter?
This is already almost everywhere in the blogosphere (but not the major media)....but I am posting to help the saturation level because of all of the attention given to Richard Clarke of late.
"The final policy paper on national security that President Clinton submitted to Congress — 45,000 words long — makes no mention of al Qaeda and refers to Osama bin Laden by name just four times."
This even after the WTC bombings of 1993, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, .....need I go on?
UPDATE: Instapundit has a good round-up of current reactions....and comments on the mainstream media's lack of interest in this report which was publicly available yet went unexamined by 60 Minutes and others during their softball coverage of Mr. Clarke.
Speaking of credibility problems: Did O'Reilly's radio show tank when I wasn't paying attention? Mr. Bill's latest column, via Drudge and the NY Daily News today (and it was carried by the MR-T, too) on the state of talk radio.
If you think I'm exaggerating, you're wrong. These days, radio will put you in a daze. The bilge is unbelievable. ...snip... Anyway, there's little relief on the radio dial. It's worse than TV. The ghost of Joseph Goebbels haunts most radio talk stations, and the music people should all be in jail.
If this is the best O'Reilly can do, he needs to get another gig anyway.
UPDATE: Lileks today on O'Reilly's column:
Drudge linked to this story, which is a classic Pox On All Your Houses! Tale that manages to achieve the dreaded Columnist’s Triple-Play: clueless, lame, and unfunny.
Jeebus....if you are going to trot out an old leftist to shriek that Bush has no credibility, couldn't you at least find a better spokesman than this guy!?!.
April 4, 2004
Old Joke: "A baby seal walks in to this club...."
Howard Stern hand puppet Jeff Jarvis continues his defense of big media's right to push whatever crap they wish onto the public airwaves.
What say we get together an organized campaign to mail to Mr. Jarvis' home one Playboy, Penthouse, or Hustler every day? I mean, he doesn't have to open his mailbox, does he? If he does he can always not look at what is there. And if he can't be there 24 hours a day to keep his kids from getting at the stuff, well.....I guess a little more supervision is in order at the Jarvis household.
P.S. I am just kidding. Don't anybody do this.
In today's Letters to the Editor, a Mr. Hugh Franks noticed the same thing we did regarding the news value of not just Lee's new Head Football Coach but the in-depth front page treatment given every last candidate for the job. He writes:
"By putting the stories at the top of the front page, I was saved the time and effort it would have taken to turn to the sports page where one might have guessed the articles would have been found. "You can take the Sports Editor out of the Sports Department....well, you know the rest.
If I am not mistaken, it was Mr. Doreen who wrote an article a few years back decrying the lack of attendance at Rockhounds games (still a problem, by the way) and how if the town didn't turn out in greater numbers to support the franchise it would serve us all right if the team up and left.
It was never made clear in the body of the article exactly why a town that wasn't bothering to turn out to see the team in the first place would somehow feel punished by the team's departure.
A new Wal-Mart on the corner of Interstate 20 and the Rankin Highway? That would be the best news for the South side since....since....since....well, it would be good news!
Hat Tip to Sleepless in Midland.
April 2, 2004
A lesson in not screwing with nature, or at least giving it/her a little respect. And maybe learning a bit about what you are getting into before setting out. On the order of snowboarders dying in avalanches and mountain trail runners being killed by cougars in California, I give you 5 Wisconsin college students' near-death experience canoeing the Rio Grande - while it was raining:
“No one saw it coming until we heard this sound,” Lange said. “It sounded like a train. We looked over our shoulders, and we saw the river bank just disappearing in the water.”
Read the whole thing. Kudos to our friends to the south in Alpine with their newspaper blog. Very cool.
The Drudge Report has it's 9 year anniversary today.
"So, what about the "bad news" from Iraq? There was always going to be bad news from there. Credit belongs to those who accepted--can we really decently say pre-empted?--this long-term responsibility. Fallujah is a reminder, not just of what Saddamism looks like, or of what the future might look like if we fail, but of what the future held before the Coalition took a hand."
Read the rest of Christopher Hitchens' piece in the WSJ.
UPDATE: Names and faces to go with the story.
April 1, 2004
It's been a long week in Shepherd's world, Walser (isn't it Friday yet?) but I was wondering the same thing...
Try this out, but make sure you're not eating or drinking anything before clicking the link. Allah, god of Photoshop, was busy yesterday!
UPDATE: Warning! The above link puts you into a post that is at least PG-13, if not slightly sub-R rated. Click at your own discretion! You have been warned.
UPDATE Update: OK, OK. It really is R. Sorry! It still is one of the funniest things on the web in a long time. John F. Kerry redefined! And thanks to our lovely Site Admin for augmenting my feeble html skills with the inserted image. I nearly died of heart failure while reading yesterday, trying to restrain my loud, hysterical, continuous laughing (not in my normal secure blogging location). "That's the sound of a man who's not gonna lose by a close enough margin to justify a lawsuit." There is just too much material! Allah had obviously been saving up. April F. Fool indeed. We talk of bloggers hitting home runs with particularly good posts: Allah hit the ball so hard, so far out of the ballpark, that the thing is in low earth orbit! I bow toward Mecca again today! (That's, like, the other side of Odessa, right?)
A new Principal has been selected for Lee High School. Lee Freshman High Principal Lee Jones has passed the interview process with the screening committee and now only has to be vetted by the Lee Football Booster Club Ad Hoc Committee on What's What and given final approval by new Head Football Coach Randy Quisenberry.
So we get to be two blog years old and everybody retires? What is up with that?