December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

We appreciate the brave men and women in uniform who protect our country and advance freedom around the world. We are grateful to their families for their support and sacrifice, and we pray for all those who have lost loved ones in freedom's cause. Our nation will always remember the heroes who have given their lives to protect us all.

As we celebrate the New Year, we give thanks to God for his blessings and ask for his guidance. We look with hope to the year ahead and the many new opportunities the future will bring.

- President George W. Bush, 12/31/05

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Giants v. Raiders

UPDATE: 11:40pm
HAPPY BLUE YEAR!!!!!!

NY GIANTS NFC EAST CHAMPIONS!!!!!!

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Well, this is it. Win here and the Giants take the division and lock up home field advantage for next week's playoff game. Lose and the Redskins can steal the division away and next week's game is on the road. And we all know how the Giants have been playing on the road.

And they're on the road here today. But the Oakland Raiders are 2-5 at home. Had the Giants gotten it done last week this game would not only have been meaningless but probably NO one outside of a die-hard NY fan would have bothered tuning in at 8pm on New Year's Eve. The Raiders fans will be watching (the ones that do, that is) at 5pm PST. They've got plenty of time for New Year's revelry.

But Giants fans are screwed. Watch the game and piss off the wife/girlfriend or run around with a transistor radio trying to catch the latest score. It's a no win for Giants fans.

But the Giants MUST win. Honestly, I care more about the division than anything else. The Giants can win a playoff game at home, but they won't advance very far - especially with their linebacker corps depleted with injuries. And even if they did, the AFC will own the championship this year.

Nope, I said it last week but I really mean it this time. NY needs to Git 'Er Done tonight. No excuses.

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(Last) Diane Lane Photo of the Week

Yes, gentlemen. The time has come to move on. It's a new year and a new feature starting next Saturday.

Many thanks to Diane Lane for being so drop-dead gorgeous in a girl-next-store kind of way. It's been great. The full Diane Lane archive is here.

Diane Lane See Ya.jpg

Happy New Year!

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December 30, 2005

Getting To The Bottom Of Real Treason

Looks like the Justice Department going to probe for the leak sources on the NY Times' NSA story.

Blackfive nails it:

Now instead of watching a farce conducted about the non-outing of a non-covert operative, we can eyeball the consequences of disloyalty and possibly criminal behavior to those who have made themselves W's and our enemies. Many executive branch agencies have sizeable components opposed to current policies and they have shamelessly sabotaged many of them. Leaks from all of these hampered efforts to gain international support prior to the Iraq war, efforts to fight it and ultimately damaged us greatly worldwide.

If Karl Rove deserved being frog-marched off in chains for mentioning Hollywood Joe Wilson's wife, I can't wait to hear what the retribution will be for these actual compromises of programs.

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Tolkien Geek Update

Return of the King, Book Five, Chapter Four is posted.

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December 29, 2005

So Is Fitzgerald Going To Indict This Kid, Or What?

Famous Washington socialites "outed" by their own son:

The Washington couple at the heart of the CIA leak investigation had their cover blown by their small son as they tried to sneak away on vacation on Thursday.

"My daddy's famous, my mommy's a secret spy," declared the 5-year-old of his parents, former diplomat Joe Wilson and retired CIA operative Valerie Plame.

This story just underscores how absurd the whole situation is.

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Polling Confirms What I Already Know

A recent Rasmussen poll has 64% of respondents approving of wire-tapping people communicating with suspected terrorists. Again, the majority of Americans understand that it's not a coincidence that we haven't been attacked again. Surveillance operations like the one that the NY Times reported on not only make sense but are well within the President's Constitutional authorities.

The support is pretty broad even across party lines. Captain Ed observes:

While almost the entire Democratic Party leadership has accused Bush of high crimes and talked about impeachment, a majority of their own party approves of the NSA program (51%), even as it might be endangered thanks to the NYT's exposure of it. Fifty-seven percent of independents also approve of the program, and combined with the 81% of Republicans, Bush has a solid mandate to continue using all the tools at his disposal to protect the nation.
Of course, not everyone is interpreting these numbers the same way.

John in DC at AmericaBlog sees the glass as half-full for the anti-Bushites, calling the 64% "an abysmally low number for Bush":

"That number should have been in the 90 percentile and up, Americans who support the NSA eavesdropping on conversations with suspected terrorists. Yet it was only in the low 60s. Something's up.

And may I also add that the poll question has nothing to do with the current scandal. It says nothing about whether the administration should be able to break the law in doing such eavesdropping, nor whether the administration should be permitted to do such eavesdropping without having first obtained a court order. Again, each of those added facts would presumably lower the poll number considerably.

Again, that number should have been in the 90s. The fact that only 6 out of 10 Americans are willing to agree to such a broad question, to me, says that Bush is not on solid ground on this issue at all." [his emphasis]

Hookay. That's an interesting way to look at it. First of all, when you consider that about 25-30% of the population would disapprove of anything the President did or said, I don't see how you could get to 90%. The other factor, according to John's logic, is that the respondents weren't sufficiently led with such phrases as "breaking the law" and "without having first obtained a court order". He is assuming that the respondents aren't familiar enough with NSA story and the questions need to be phrased in that context. But one of the other findings of the poll was that 68% said they are following the NSA story somewhat or very closely.

Like the Fitz-mas present that wasn't, Liberals can frame these results however they like. However, it doesn't change the fact that more Americans are concerned with protecting the homeland and winning the Global War on Terror than trampling on the "civil liberties" of people that would very much like to kill as many of us as they can or those that would help them.

Unlike the teeming masses in the Left-wing fever swamp, the Democrat leadership is more likely to look at these numbers and rethink their current strategy. As Captain Ed says:

I think we can expect to see the end of this particular line of attack. Instead of weakening Bush, this demonstration of executive will to defend the nation has Bush's numbers rebounding faster than anyone could have guessed. By the time November 2006 rolls around, these Democratic attacks might make Bush the most popular president since FDR.
But then again, many high-profile Dems have already descended into the fever swamp themselves and they've demonstrated very little political wisdom in the last five years. Why should they start now?

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December 28, 2005

UN Says Iraqi Election OK

Oh boy, an official at the world's most glorified debating society bestowed his blessing on the recent parliamentary elections in Iraq.

Guess that makes it "legitimate", huh? And they didn't even have to bribe the guy with oil money. Imagine that!

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Some Dems Worried About Their Party's Current Tactics

And they should be. Donald Lambro spoke with several "centrist" Democrats who are concerned when their party's leaders make efforts to weaken the Patriot Act and challenge President Bush's Executive authority to spy on the U.S.'s enemies.

"I think when you suggest that civil liberties are just as much at risk today as the country is from terrorism, you've gone too far if you leave that impression. I don't believe that's true," said Michael O'Hanlon, a national-security analyst at the Brookings Institution who advises Democrats on defense issues.

"I get nervous when I see the Democrats playing this [civil liberties] issue out too far. They had better be careful about the politics of it," said Mr. O'Hanlon, who says the Patriot Act is "good legislation."

Oh boy, Kos is going to have a field day with that statement. But it highlights a fundamental difference between the people who are in charge of our security who understand the threat and the people who want to be in charge but refuse to acknowledge the threat.

White House deputy press secretary Trent Duffy puts a finer point on the matter of the current surveillance operations:

"This is not about monitoring phone calls designed to arrange Little League practice or what to bring to a potluck dinner. These are designed to monitor calls from very bad people to very bad people who have a history of blowing up commuter trains, weddings and churches."
The vast majority of Americans instinctively understand this. Blinded by Bush-hatred, the kook-fringe Left never will. Which is why this is a loser as a political strategy.

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December 27, 2005

Munich Mastermind Slams Spielberg

After a futile attempt at trying to be nice to terrorists so they won't hate Israel anymore, director Steven Spielberg's self-proclaimed "prayer for peace" film, "Munich", is being castigated by the man who was responsible for the murder of the Israeli athletes in Munich during the 1972 Olympic Games.

Mohammed Daoud planned the Munich attack on behalf of PLO splinter group Black September, but did not take part and does not feature in the film.

He voiced outrage at not being consulted for the thriller and accused Spielberg of pandering to the Jewish state.

"If he really wanted to make it a prayer for peace he should have listened to both sides of the story and reflected reality, rather than serving the Zionist side alone," Daoud told Reuters by telephone from the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Daoud said he had not seen the film, which will only reach most screens outside the United States next month.

Trying to establish a moral equivalence between the Palestinian terrorists and the Mossad agents who saw to it that those terrorists couldn't kill any more Israelis, Spielberg made the film as a "can't we all just get along" gesture to the Palestinians hoping it would help smooth over their hurt feelings.

Whether or not it sinks in, he's finding our how useless a gesture it is.

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Your Tax Dollars At Work

Jayson at Polipundit has a good summary of what this year's Congress actually accomplished. A lot more than I thought. And a quick look at what the future holds:

If the (non-voting) conservative “base” manages to avoid defeating its own causes in Nov. 2006 (always an open question), the GOP will be able to deliver another 10-15 reform measures next Congress, along with two additional sets of conservative appeals jurists. Regarding the latter point, keep in mind conservatives already own the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (which contains Texas), the 11th Circuit (Florida), and the D.C. Circuit (the second-most-important federal court in the nation). Conservatives also dominate five other appeals courts: the 4th Circuit (Virginia and North Carolina), the 6th Circuit (Ohio and Michigan), the 7th Circuit (Illinois), the 8th Circuit (the Mid-West), and the 10th Circuit (the Mountain States).
If the Democrats are intent on running a campaign founded on "Put us in charge and we'll impeach Bush" this year then we've got a lot to look forward to.

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December 26, 2005

Vincent Schiavelli (1948-2005)

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You've seen seen him countless times in many popular films. Most often he was referred to as "that creepy looking guy in the subway scene of 'Ghost'".

Today, Vincent Schiavelli died of lung cancer. Of all the characters he played, my personal favorite was the science teacher with the hot wife in "Fast Times At Ridgemont High", Mr. Vargas. Who can forget the immortal line:

"Listen, I just switched to Sanka this morning. So...have a heart?"

Later in the film he has a memorable scene actually holding a human heart.

He was 57 years old. R.I.P.

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Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam...

For Crissakes, even on Christmas I get comment spam.

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December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah!

** Sticky post through December 25th - Scroll for updates! **

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Christmas Memories

Well, it's been a looooong day. There are two things I am reminded of from all the festivities.

First, the most wonderful sound in this world is the sound of a child who is elated when they open those packages and see magic where I see a piece of mass-produced plastic crap.


Like so:


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And here:


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Even the little one:


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The other thing I've come to realize is that if I ever get my hands on the sumbitch that invented this new trend in packaging where they use wires to harness the toy in the package to the box and twist them into these ghastly knots that wear my fingers down I'm going to hit him upside the head with a Louisville Slugger. Just look at this mess:


Dec 10 001.jpg


It took me fifteen minutes to pry this Jessie doll free of the package (Justin's obsessed with all things "Toy Story"). And that wasn't the worst part. It took me almost a half an hour to get this dancing Robosapien unpacked:


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Well, hope everyone had a great day. Need some serious sleep. I'll be going to bed soo...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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December 24, 2005

Giants v. Redskins

UPDATE: Well, it looks like the Ex-Donkey gets a big old lump of coal in his stocking this Christmas as the 'Skins are a few minutes away from taking down the Giants on this balmy winter afternoon. I got back from taking the kids to see "Chicken Little" in time to watch the second half of this mess.

Now they HAVE to beat Oakland next week to win the division. And if they lose...

Well, if that means the Redskins could actually take the division title with a win at Philly. Yuck. I have "having" to win games especially in the last week of the season. It would have been nice not to be compelled to watch a football game at 8:00pm on New Year's Eve. The Mrs. ain't gonna be happy about that one.

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Sealing the deal. That's what this game is all about. The Redskins have been on a roll as of late and their bitch-slapping of the Cowboys last Sunday has got them pumped. They need two more wins to sneak into the playoffs.

Of course, Dallas seemed to do everything they could to give the game away to Washington, much the way the 'Skins played when they went to Giants Stadium back at the end of October. Washington isn't as good as they looked last week but they're not as bad as they looked the last time they played the Giants.

And they'll be tough at home. Despite the strong play of New York they're listed as three point underdogs. Three points make sense. The Giants have played a lot of close games this season. But underdogs? That's really an insult and it should give Big Blue even more motivation to win the division today. Forget about Oakland next week. The season IS today. Let's do it.

Note: Unfortunately I will NOT be able to watch this game live. This isn't the most convenient of times, mind you. So later on I'll have to "go to the videotape".

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Diane Lane Photo of the Week

Diane Lane Merry Xmas.jpg

"OK, so I'm not dressed in red and green. At least not anywhere you can see."

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December 23, 2005

For Those Who Go A Teeny Bit Overboard This Season

You can see the ghastly displays at Ugly Christmas Lights.com.

Enjoy!

h/t: NRO's The Corner

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December 22, 2005

How Safe Is Your URL?

This is an interesting story. Apparently, some guy started a blog through Blogspot and chose "jewsforjesus.blogspot.com" for the URL.

So the organization "Jews For Jesus" is suing Google for rights to the site and unspecified monetary damages.

The way this case plays out will be interesting, and possibly precedent setting. If the plaintiff wins the case how safe are other domains on Blogger? Or any other web host for that matter?

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Quote Of The Day

Kurt Anderson (a Bush-hating NY Liberal, BTW) writing in New York magazine about Hillary's political kabuki dance:

Lacking her husband’s uncanny knack for finessing left and right, however—the famous triangulation strategy—she plays the game awkwardly, like a very earnest Vulcan who has closely studied Earth politics.
I just thought that was perfect.

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