March 31, 2005

Confirmation that this winter sucked worse than last year...

Yes, it's finally Spring and come Saturday Night we'll turn the clocks ahead and get...ta-da...more daylight.

It's still a bit chilly but my state of mind has improved considerably since all that white sh*t was washed away this week by the cleansing rain showers (and luckily I didn't get any water in the basement).

I've wondered for some time - how bad was this winter? Well, I just got a little reminder today. Stuck in my door was a receipt for an oil delivery. Now back in September I pre-payed my oil through what should have been about the end of May (based on my usage last winter). And all along I've been getting statements - not bills - showing a credit balance gradually getting smaller.

Well, back in Sept. I wrote a check for just over $1,700. Here we are six months later and my latest delivery slip reads $362.

How much do I have left on my credit? $223. Which means the next piece of mail I get from the oil company will be a BILL FOR $139!! And the average daily temp is still hovering in the low fifties!!

So there you have it. My suspicions have been confirmed. This winter TOTALLY SUCKED WAY WORSE THAN LAST YEAR!!

Well, March came in like lion. Here's to hoping it goes out like a hamster. Sheesh!!

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Holy Smoke, Hanoi Jane 'fesses up...

Polipundit has the scoop. Jane Fonda speaks out in her up-coming autobiography, Jane Fonda: My Life So Far, about how her visit to Vietnam in 1972 was in fact a "betrayal" of our troops.

Now if we can only get John Kerry to come clean.

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Ted Koppel Leaving "Nightline", Show's Future in Doubt...

Good Riddance, I say. A show which started out as a temporary nightly deathwatch on the Iranian hostages never should have lingered this long. Koppel will exit stage left at the end of the year

I can remember staying up some nights and seeing that mannequin with a dead ferret on his head drone on that it was "Day 259...", "Day 327..." or "Day 403..." since the Iranian students took over our embassy and we sat impotently by taking that humiliation.

And Koppel had to be there, night after night after God-awful night, to remind us how much America was weak and a laughing stock. He probably enjoyed himself the whole time - thinking we got dose of what we deserved.

Well, in this competitive environment, I would be shocked if Disney continued with this MSM dinosaur of a show and didn't replace it with something to go up against Letterman and Leno. Hey, I hear Whoopi Goldberg is looking for something to do instead of her current one-woman Broadway rant against Bush. Of course, she's probably already worn out her welcome on television these days.

Hat Tip to: Drudge

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Terri Schiavo - Rest In Peace

Words do not come easily at this moment.

It is over and now she is with God. Pray for the Schindler family.

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A Mini-Milestone...

Just got my 1,000th hit according to SiteMeter (referred from The Roth Report).

I'm pretty psyched since I just signed up with SiteMeter 43 days ago. I never really expected much traffic this early. It's not a big number but there's something cool about seeing it go from three to four digits.

I need to send out some big thanks to:

Also, thanks to - Considerettes, From The Word Go, Libertarian Leanings, Solomonia, Amendment XIX, California Mafia, Jokers To The Right (love your template, dude), & White Lightning Axiom for additional referrals.

Sorry if I missed anyone. If I did, send me an e-mail and bitch me out.

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No Need for Ideas?

Eric at Viking Pundit has a good post today about the silly strategery Democrats seem to be using to create Presidential candidates, namely settle on the candidate first and worry about the details later. Go check it out.

And he gets the honor of "quote of the day":

"Democrats can continue to stand on the sidelines and throw tomatoes, filibuster judges, and generally gum up the works of government. But, in the end, you canÂ’t beat something with nothing."

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More Anti-Free Speech Liberals...

Now after their favorite target again, Ann Coulter. Drudge links the article from the Lawrence (KS) Journal-World about several 1st Amendment activists who tried to selectively impede those free speech rights from the Conservative Commentator Tuesday Night.

"Coulter received several standing ovations during her speech, but she also found herself interrupted several times by a small, scattered group of hecklers.

"I think there are some people in the audience who meant to be at the sexual reorientation class down the hall," Coulter said, in response to the heckling.

Actually I think Ann thrives on hearing from these Moonbats in the audience. And I love how she publicly neuters them:
"I've come to find I like liberals a lot more," Coulter said early in her speech. "They're kind of cute when they're cold, shivering and afraid."
Too funny. Isn't it interesting how you always hear these tools bitching about Conservative speakers and saying they don't have a right to speak. Conservatives are more than happy to let Liberals exercise their 1st Amendment rights because we know the average person recognizes how moronic they sound.

They do more to marginalize themselves as credible speakers than any heckler could do.

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March 30, 2005

Blogs For Fox...

New site started by the folks who bring you The Royal Flush.

Blogs in support and defense of FoxNews. Just added to the blogroll. Check it out.

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Sensitive Liberal Sally-Boy Throws Pie At Conservative Columnist...

Bill Kristol took a pie in the face as he gave a speech at a college in Indiana. Nice.

"Kristol appeared momentarily stunned, then wiped the brown and white goo from his eyes with a paper towel, stepped back to the podium and said, "Let me just finish this point."

Members of both sides of the political spectrum in the overflow audience rose to applaud."

Not only did this twerp immediately turn around and run away like a little titty-baby after his childish attempt at protest, he wasn't even original. Emulating a similar attack on Ann Coulter last year, the guy can at best be considered a "copy-cat" moonbat.

Hat Tip: The Roth Report

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Taking a crack at the "crack-up" theory...

It seems the folks in the MSM (i.e. LA Times) are really trying to push this whole "the right/conservative/Republican coalition is in full meltdown" idea.

Personally, I don't see it. And I've commented on it here and here.

Recent criticisms of the Republican Party from such diverse and popular voices as Glenn Reynolds, Ryan Sager of the NY Post, and Andrew Sullivan have Liberals and Democrats giddy with excitement, hoping that for the GOP majority the end is neigh. Most recently, they are trumpeting the idea that the party has been damaged by overreach in the Terri Shiavo case that will come back to haunt it. But Jonah Goldberg at NRO puts this into perspective:

“True, the conservative coalition has its share of contradictions, but that's to be expected of any growing ideological movement or political party. Franklin Roosevelt's coalition included racist southerners, progressive blacks and Jews, liberal reformers, grafters, and machine bosses. These people fought a lot. They fought over policy, and they debated who really had Roosevelt's support. From the 1920s to the 1950s, a debate raged around the question, 'Whither liberalism?" Was it over? When did it die? What does it mean now?'"
Goldberg describes how the growth of modern Conservatism began with in the 1950’s with William F. Buckley’s introduction of National Review, when he and Conservative theorist Frank Meyer created “fusionism” – based on the idea the freedom and virtue are inseparable (i.e. “virtue not freely chosen is not virtuous”).

"As conservatism blossomed in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan, some conservatives jumped ship, unwilling to accept the compromises and responsibilities of power. The late "paleocon" Samuel Francis bemoaned the Reaganites as "hapless" sellouts. Others among his confreres banged their spoons on their highchairs because "neocons" got jobs in the administration they felt were rightly theirs. On foreign policy, realists, neoconservatives and traditional anti-Communists tussled in an endless mosh pit."

Despite the rantings of Pat Buchanan at the GOP convention in 1992 and dire warnings from within, conservative ideas prospered in the years that followed with the Republicans taking control of Congress and despite having a Democrat in the White House. And lately it seems that the same kind of predictions are now flying around despite the GOPÂ’s continuing victories in each election cycle.

But contrast this debating of ideas and diversity of opinion within the party against the single-minded, lock-step doctrine (and decreasing voter registration) exhibited by the Democrats. As Goldberg explains:

"Personally, I dislike much of Bush's "compassionate conservatism." Indeed, I find it astounding that even as Bush has moved the Republican agenda leftward in many key respects, the left has screamed all the louder about how "right wing" he is. But simply because I think Bush is wrong about, say, Medicare, it doesn't mean I think it's a sign the conservative movement is falling apart. Lots of folks thought FDR's New Deal was a disaster at the time, and look how that turned out."

At least with the Republicans, when you disagree they donÂ’t try to kick you out of the party, as the Democrats are currently trying to do to Sen. Joe Lieberman.

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New: "The Immigration Blog"...

Started by Michelle Malkin, this site focuses on all the issues having to do with Immigration that you need to keep up to date on, considering the implications for homeland security.

Admittedly, I'm not as familiar as I'd like to be about this topic so I plan on reading (and learning) as much as I can these days. As such, I've included it under the "Right-Thinking Blogs".

Also new to the "News/Info Sites" section I've added TechCentralStation and can't understand why I never did before.

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Two Quotes of the Day:

Deroy Murdock in NRO today:
"Perhaps grasping the disposability with which Terri is being treated, Eleanor Smith — a self-professed agnostic, liberal, lesbian — held a "Feed Terri" sign while she told Reuters from her wheelchair: "At this point I would rather have a right-wing Christian decide my fate than an ACLU member."

Mary Johnson of the "Common Dreams Newsletter":

"No; it's not about Terri Schiavo. And it hasn't been for quite awhile. It's about us.

It's about each of us who thinks "I wouldn't want to live if I were a vegetable." It's about each one of us who thinks, as one blogger wrote, that Michael Schiavo has been "chained to a drooling sh--bag for 15 years."

But it's also about those of us who are those vegetables, those drooling sh--bags. Those of us who want to live but know we're a burden to our families. Those of us who fear "do not resuscitate" orders. Those of us who use ventilators, and who use feeding tubes. And those of us who can communicate with clarity only through artificial means. . . .

There isn't a single disability rights activist I've heard from who is happy that things ended up at such a sorry pass, and who isn't afraid that this will make liberals hate them even more than they now do."

Hat Tip on the latter: WSJ Best of The Web.

Interesting to note that both quotes are from those who consider themselves on the "Left".

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What if Kofi where a corporate CEO?

Here's a twist the latest Oil-For-Food U.N. scandal that's put Kofi Annan's integrity into question: If Kofi Annan were Ken Lay, he'd be gone already.

The report, released yesterday, does not explicitly implicate Annan in the allegations about his son, Kojo but what is does reveal about Kofi Annan is a pattern of "willful neglect, conflict of interest and incompetence". The editorial makes the point that had this report been about the head of a large corporation there would be no question about the future of that business leader - "you're outta here!"

The NYT and WaPo would be screaming for him to step down and demand formal charges be brought up against him. But then, I'm forgetting that they're using different standards for an evil American corporation than for their precious United Nations.

They do a nice summary of the case in question that concerns Annan with a link to the full report, noting:

"Anyone who still thinks Mr. Annan has been acquitted of "wrongdoing" would do well to read it, as would anyone who still believes Mr. Annan is fit to lead the United Nations."

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March 29, 2005

I've just been polled...

Not really big news but it was from the leading polling institution in CT - the Quinnipiac University poll. The name should be familiar outside of Connecticut as they regularly feature the national polls in the larger MSM newspapers (NYT, WaPo, USA Today).

Something interesting that I never knew, they ask for the person in the house over 18 who has the closest birthday. Luckily that was me. If my wife took the call, the guy on the other end would have been wanting to kill himself by the end because she takes so damn long to decide on any answer.

I just might have saved his life.

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I Know I Promised, but...

Yes, two posts ago I said that they would be my last words on Terri Shiavo. But technically these are other people's words, so...

Anyway, more on the political ramifications of the situation on the GOP from the NY Post's John Podhoretz.

"[T]he problem here may not really be a substantive disagreement with the major-domos of the GOP. Rather, it may be that people are upset at being forced to pay attention to a uniquely disturbing and tragic story that just hits too close to home.

After all, if you haven't been confronted with a difficult choice in a hospital with a dying relative, you almost certainly will be at some point in the future.

And the image of Terri Schiavo looking at that floating balloon is a vivid portrait of a powerful human fear — the fear of incapacitation, either your own or a loved one's."

In other words, some people are currently angry with Republicans not because they feel so strongly against their position on this matter, but rather because the GOP's actions have forced them to confront an extremely uncomfortable issue - one that they've probably ended up arguing over with family and friends recently (as I politely did this weekend). Podhoretz warns the Left about overplaying its hand on this issue:
"If I'm right, there's a risk for Democrats and liberals who want to use this as a wedge issue against Republicans. The public will resent them just as much as it resents the Republicans and conservatives for keeping the subject alive long after Terri Schiavo is dead."
Fear of the Dems making political hay over all of this may very well be misplaced.

And The Village Voice (no right-wing rag) begs the question: In the long run, does this help Republicans? A piece that ran today warns gloating Democrats that the end result could do just that. How?

"[The] Schiavo [case] has given conservative Republicans a way to raise other, wider issues: For example, what happens when the graying baby boomers hit 85? When these people get very ill, do they, as some have put it, "have a duty to die"? And, despite the advances in costly medical technology that extends longevity, will their duty to die become an even more harsh reality because Congress has refused to fix the Social Security and Medicare mess?

These end-of-life issues feed directly into the most heated partisan politics. Daniel Henninger wrote in Friday's Wall Street Journal: "Democrats and others have accused Republicans and President Bush of playing politics with the Schiavo case. Let's hope so. Unlike most, this is a necessary politics that ought to draw the whole country into the argument. . . . Republicans are said to have a pro-life litmus test for judicial nominations. Does this mean that President Hillary Clinton's litmus test would require her judicial nominees to be: pro-abortion, pro partial birth abortion, pro right-to-suicide, and pro pull the plug on medical cases deemed hopeless?"

And something else to ponder - a question was brought up today by Rush Limbaugh during the third hour of his broadcast. If the Left is, in fact, on the right (meaning correct) side of the Shiavo debate, why has Hillary offered nary a single word on TerriÂ’s "right to die"? The silence speaks volumes.

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Another Plug For "Battlestar Galactica"...

Here's one from Vodkapundit:
"For those of you who haven't been watching, you're missing out on the most intelligent dramatic series that's running today. If you want a comparison, "Battlestar Galactica" is for televised science fiction what "Hill Street Blues" was for cop shows. It redefines the entire genre for a grown-up audience."
If you haven't watched it to this point, never fear. You can get your chance starting April 8th, when the Sci-Fi channel re-runs the entire 13-episode season.

If you don't believe me, then listen to Steve:

"If you're sick of bad TV, but haven't tuned in to "BSG" because you remember the ultra-cheesy 1979 series, do yourself a favor and warm up your TiVo/ReplayTV/VCR to catch the repeats."

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My Last Words on Terri (Really)...

Neal Boortz made a post yesterday on the potential political implications of this situation that I reproduce here in full. Keep in mind Boortz is a devout Libertarian. (Not that there's anything wrong with that):

"I can't tell you how much I wish this story would just go away ... and that it had never come along in the first place. Believe me, this is territory I would just as soon leave alone on my talk show. Why? Because it involves religion, that's why. Many people who profess strong Christian beliefs seem to feel that any negative statement about any action undertaken by anyone in the name of Christianity constitutes "Christian bashing." It doesn't matter what the Christian activist does or what they say, you simply are not permitted to criticize their actions in any way. To do so is to provide conclusive proof that you are anti-Christian at best, and a Godless atheist at worse.

Let's just take a look at the actions of some of the people protesting outside of Terri Schiavo's hospice. At the end of the street is Triple O Auto. It's an auto repair shop operated by a single father trying to raise two sons. The triple O stands for "On Our Own." Protestors have been parking in the Triple O driveway. When Scotty Jackson, the owner, asked one of the protestors to move his car the man waved his Bible at Scotty, shouted some obscenities and walked off. Criticize this protestor and you're Christian bashing.

Protestors have been demanding that Florida Governor Jeb Bush ignore the rulings of the various courts in this matter and seize Terri Schiavo from the hospice. If you point out that we are a government of law and that it is wrong for someone to ask a government official to ignore the law, you're Christian bashing.

Over the weekend Governor Bush did dispatch a team of State agents in vans to travel to Pinellas Park and take Terri Schiavo into custody. The Pinellas Park police told them that they had better bring a Judge with them or they were going to go away empty handed. If you criticize Governor Bush for his actions, you're Christian Bashing.

If you question the wisdom of a father sending his 10-year-old son to be arrested trying to take water into Terri, you're Christian bashing and you hate God. There are 70 other patients in that hospice. They're all dying. Because of the protestors they can't come outside the hospice to sit in their gardens and enjoy their last Spring. If you say that the protestors are hurting the other dying patients at the hospice, you're Christian bashing.

If you mention that Randall Terry, the Schindler's chief spokesman, has repeatedly called for Christians to conquer America for God and to turn it into a Christian theocracy, you're Christian bashing.

If you tell a woman standing outside of the hospice with a sign that says "rehabilitate Terri," that Terri can't be rehabilitated, you're Christian bashing. If you suggest that the Republican Party is being held hostage by religious extremists ... you guessed it. You're Christian bashing.

This story will not die after Terri Schiavo passes away. Republicans will be feeling the repercussions for some time to come. Randall Terry will be sad to discover that the majority of Americans don't want a Christian Theocracy. They want to live in a society where people are free to practice their religion as they see fit, but where they are not free to use the police power of government to impose their religious beliefs on other people. Most Americans now realize that Terri Schiavo has already been kidnapped. Jeb Bush would have been too late. She's been kidnapped by religious extremists and the anti-abortion movement. To point this out is, of course, to engage in Christian bashing.

Most Americans don't want complete strangers to be able to use the police power of government to interfere with their wishes as to how their final days should play out. They are overwhelmingly disgusted with the eagerness of the Republican Party to pass one specific law relating to one specific issue with one specific individual ... all to pander to the anti-abortion movement. This is not something they will soon forget.

Have you stopped for a moment to consider the long-term consequences of the Republican Party's fawning over these religious extremists? Watch President Bush's judicial nominees. Watch the Democrats use the Schiavo matter to illustrate what might happen to other Americans if Bush's nominees are confirmed. And watch the congressional elections next year. If it's close, and if the Republicans lose their majority, look back to the crowd gathered since last week in Pinellas Park for an explanation. That, too, is Christian bashing."

Let me be upfront in agreeing with Boortz that - at this point - the collective group of "pro-Terri" protesters have dwindled down to the ones who will not be satisfied unless Jeb Bush defies the courts and has the Florida National Guard whisk her away to an undisclosed location (a la Elian Gonzalez). The folks who have pushed for what's in the best interest of Terri have accepted the reality of the situation and have since gone home.

The ones that remain do believe, as Boortz says, that "you simply are not permitted to criticize their actions in any way." They are as guilty as the Left-wing extremists are of being unjustifiably indignant when they encounter anyone who doesn't agree with them. Like the Liberals I talk about in this post, the people that hold up signs that say "Barbara Bush: Are you proud of your sons now?" hold to their position on the premise that they hold the moral high ground and that's good enough to prove that their right. And while I don't doubt that they care about Terri Shiavo's life, their motivation at this point is primarily politically-driven.

Now, I have no doubt that there are some folks out there who may have soured on the Republicans as a result of this matter, but I don't agree with Boortz that it will have a significant impact.

  • First of all, while the act of Congress may seem "extreme" to some (especially those who are hyper-sensitive to anything the Federal government does), I don't think that it appears that way to most people, even the ones that disagree with the act itself.
  • Second, while it can be argued that it was politically motivated and merely "pandering" to Fundamentalist groups, the fact that these groups have now publicly turned on the President, Governor Bush and the Congress for not "doing enough" shows that they do not wield the control that the Left would like to claim.
  • And third, like the Elian Gonzalez fiasco, the intensity of this situation that has people on both sides of the issue worked up into a frenzy will subside by 2006. Most voters regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum will not be focused on March 2005 when they go to the voting booth.
I do however agree with Boortz that this will become fodder for the Democrats in their opposition to President Bush's nominees. But considering how measured Bush's actual involvement has been, such attempts to taint his nominees as "extremist" judges who will subvert the will of the States toward a fundamentalist agenda will not likely be very effective.

Boortz's comments speak to a broader concern of his, which is what he sees as "the Republican Party's fawning over these religious extremists". It is part of the natural volatility that comes with holding together a large and diverse political coalition. The Libertarians don't trust the "Christers", the Fundamentalist Christians don't trust the "pro-choice" moderates, the supply-siders don't trust the big spenders, paleo-cons don't trust the neocons, etc, etc., etc.

However, I think once the excitement dies down over time that cooler heads will prevail and the big picture will come slowly back into view for the GOP. This is what you have to deal with when you're in the majority.

Believe me, the Democrats would love to have our problems.

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March 28, 2005 has some serious fixing to do...

Trying like hell to do some maintenance on the site, and the "edit posts" function has completely sh*t the bed.

Not happy. Will have to wait 'til the morning.

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Monday Humor Round-up


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8.2 Earthquake of the coast of Northern Sumatra...

Drudge reporting that Tsunami warning has been posted.

Will update when new information hits or when the first A/P or Reuters story comes in assigning blame for the disaster to George W. Bush.

UPDATE: Confederate Yankee links the Moonbats at DU, who are already doing the latter.

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