May 19, 2006

CT Senate Ad Just A Tad On The "Creepy" Side

Joe Lieberman, the Senator from my home State of CT, has a challenge from the Left for his seat this year - from the far Left. His opponent Ned Lamont has about as much hope of defeating him as Howard Stern does of being invited to Buckingham Palace. But the Kos Kids have made Lamont their number one poster boy for this interim election.

There are two new ads up at Lamont's webite. One is a thirty-second spot that has a dog barking at a "Lieberman For Senate" sign. The voice-over refers to Lieberman in terms that are familiar on the Left such as "George Bush's lapdog" (and you just know the moonbats would have preferred to use the phrase "George Bush's bitch"). Pretty amateurish, pretty lame.

But the creepy one is the sixty-second ad. Lamont starts off as a normal looking guy who believes that the President is wrong (on pretty much everything) and he comes across as a typical credible Senate candidate. He's sitting in his living room, talking to the audience with tempered enthusiasm about his campaign.

Then, all of a sudden you see this weird stalker-looking guy come up to the bay window behind him and peer inside. Your first impression is "WTF?". Turns out it's none other than the Grand Poobah Moonbat himself, Markos "Screw Them" Moulitsas Zuniga (aka Kos). He then bursts into Lamont's living room with a handful of people wearing "Ned Lamont For Senate" t-shirts and they're all cheering. Come to think of it, it's probably the first time that these people have smiled since before the 2004 Presidential election.

It's probably meant to be irreverent and funny but anyone familiar with Kos and his boisterous band of bitter Bush-haters gets the message: Lamont is Kos's lap-dog and his only base of support comes from this fringe MoveOn.org group of Left-wing kooks. Anyone not familiar with Kos will look at this ad and think "Who the freak are these people? They look like some kind of cult."

Actually, that would be a pretty apt observation.

Check out AllahPundit's "remix" version of the ad at HotAir.com. Hysterical!

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May 18, 2006

The Beginning Of The End Of Repeats?

As a fan of the TV show "Lost", I've heard fellow viewers vent their frustration all season about repeat episodes. Television has always followed a sweeps formula designed to get the biggest bang for the buck in the months of November, February and May. Lately, however, it's gotten ridiculous. Basically, with the exception of a season's first month or so, the only time it seems that there are new episodes is during or near the three sweeps months. In December, much of January, March and April, the networks seem to use these months as dumping grounds for repeat episodes - many of which are shown out of sequence.

What's made it worse is that the number of episodes per season for a given show has dropped from 26 to - at most - 22 (the show "24" is the obvious exception). So in the last five to ten years, networks have been stretching 22 new episodes over 35 weeks or more - from September through May - while airing the bulk of new episodes in the sweeps months. more...

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Happy Birthday To Me

39 years young today. Yikes!

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I GOTTA HAVE MORE COWBELL!!!!!

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May 17, 2006

If You Build It, They Won't Come

At least that's the theory.

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The Senate just voted overwhelmingly to build a 370-mile triple-layered fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. In addition, there will be 500 miles of vehicle barriers.
Construction of the barrier would send "a signal that open-border days are over. ... Good fences make good neighbors, fences don't make bad neighbors," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. He said border areas where barriers already exist have experienced economic improvement and reduced crime.

"What we have here has become a symbol for the right wing in American politics," countered Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. He said if the proposal passed, "our relationship with Mexico would come down to a barrier between our two countries."

Um, that's right Dick. Right now, our relationship is based on Mexico encouraging thousands of its citizens to cross the border illegally every day and the U.S. looking the other way. Finally saying "no" to Mexico is not "right-wing", it's just right (and smart).

Considering the tone of the House version of the immigration bill, I'd say this provision will be a keeper as it goes through committee. Any chance we can get this sucker electrified?

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Get "Lost" Tonight

Questions Need To Be Answered!

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What happened to Michael when he went to look for "the others"?

What is that facility called "the Pearl" that was marked by the big question mark?

What would happen if Locke didn't input the numbers into the computer at the hatch?

Do the show's creators have ANY idea where they are going with this?

Hopefully we'll get answers to at least the first three on tonight's episode titled "Three Minutes"!

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"Poseidon" Review

Well here's a movie that was well hyped and was not only slammed by critics but fell well short of expectations for its opening weekend gross.

So, of course, I had to see it.

Let me start off by saying that the original, "The Poseiden Adventure", is my all-time favorite 1970's-era disaster flick. And one of the biggest reasons is Gene Hackman. I even own a VHS copy. That being said, I had adjusted my expectations down in the hope that they would be exceeded.

Here's the bottom line: It's "Titanic" without the two and a half hour build-up. more...

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May 16, 2006

Blogroll Addition

For quite some time, I've included Polipundit.com in the main blogroll. One of the things I've appreciated about the site was that it is a group blog in that the primary proprietor, the Polipundit, has allowed four regular guest bloggers. Diversity of opinion has always been that blog's strength. Now it seems that the immigration issue has driven a wedge between the site owner and some of his contributors and one in particular. As such, Lorie Byrd is no longer going to be allowed to post on that site.

Lorie has her own site, Byrd Droppings, that for some strange reason I've never blogrolled. Perhaps it's because I've usually read her stuff on Polipundit. Now that Lorie's contributions will no longer be available at Poli, I not only wanted to alert readers of her site's addition to the 'roll but to encourage traffic her way - not that she needs my help in that respect.

Polipundit continues to be a regular stop for me, but I have to say I'm disappointed in how this issue has resulted in many Conservatives taking a "my way or the highway" attitude. There are two sides to every story and Polipundit has responded in kind. Hey, I agree that it's his sight and he has the right to set whatever editorial policy he sees fit. But, frankly, I find this whole thing a little disturbing. Is this the kind of division that some Conservatives and right-leaning folks are going to have to endure?

Look, I'm not one to talk. My comment policy makes it pretty clear that I have very little interest in disagreement on this site. It's one of the reasons I don't have guest bloggers unless I'm on extended vacation. But Polipundit.com owes its popularity in large part to it's group format and open debate. It's a shame that it has come to this.

Good luck, Lorie!

UPDATE: 2:20pm
Actually, it looks like all four "guests" at Polipundit have been cut off at the knees. I'm not aware if Jayson or Alexander McClure have other web "homes" or not, but DJ Drummond's site is Stolen Thunder. DJ's now on the blogroll as well.

I really hope that Polipundit will take some time to cool off over this one. It would be awful if he's become "Kos-ified".

UPDATE DEUX: 3:00pm 5/19/06:
All week I've been heading back to Polipundit to see how things are going. Bottom line is that without Alex, Lorie, DJ and Jayson, the site has become pretty static. Basically, Polipundit has become a one-issue blog and since I generally don't agree with him on that issue (not to mention his continuous deriding of the President as a liar and a sell-out) I don't really have a reason to read it anymore. He's starting to sound like a broken record and illegal immigration has become an all-consuming obsession with him. Too bad.

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The Danger Of Absolutism

Well, the President gave the speech. I didn't see it. We were trying to quickly and efficiently get my kids ready for bed so that the Mrs. would be able to sit down at 9pm watch her much-anticipated season finale of "Grey's Anatomy" without distraction or interuption.

I haven't even read the text so I can't comment on it yet, but from what I understand there wasn't anything said that we haven't heard before. Like most everything else, the President has been consistent about what he sees as a compromise solution to this hot-button issue.

Some of the heavy-hitters on the Right side of the blogosphere, however, are - at best - not pleased and - at worst - enraged. That's to be expected. This is an emotional issue. But it's also a complex one that will not be solved without some sort of compromise. Dafydd at Big Lizards warns bloggers like John Hinderaker of Powerline:

For the love of God, people... compromise means you must give a little. There is a middle ground. And if I'm wrong, if there is not, then we are all lost -- because John's side does not have the support of the American people and will never win.

Here are our choices:

1) We settle on a reasonable compromise bill that includes both border enforcement and also immigration reform, a guest-worker program, and some eventual normalization; and we try to make it the best bill we can, given those constraints; or...

2) We rend the party, the Democrats win, and then you'll find out what "amnesty" and "open borders" really mean. And minor things like the entire war on jihadi terrorism will trampled underfoot by the Democratic thugs who seize control of our country.

And all for the want of the simple art of giving a little to get a lot.

Think. Think. Think two times, three times... and don't throw away this magnificent opportunity -- just because you only get three-quarters of a loaf instead of the whole bloody thing on a golden plate. [emphasis his]

Hugh Hewitt points out that the White House has its work cut out for them:
Memo to Tony Snow: The blogosphere/talk radio callers/e-mailers are turning against this speech in a decisive fashion. They simply do not believe the Administration is really committed to border enforcement, and the spokespeople sent out to back up the president's message aren't doing that job. Period.
Let's take a breath here. At the risk of sounding like (a parody of) another President Bush - overreaction "would't be prudent...at this juncture".

UPDATE: 9:15am
AJ Strata has an extensive list of "thank you"s to the President in response to those in the base who are asking "what have you done for me, lately?".

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May 15, 2006

Conservatives Stay Home = Conservatives Defeated

Jim Geraghty at NRO's TKS Blog sounds the warning to those on the Right who are considering sitting this one out in November: you'll only hurt yourselves.

"WhatÂ’s really stunning is this absolute certainty of angry conservatives that A) Republicans will learn the right lessons from the defeat, and not, say, respond in a panic by embracing their inner RINO and flailing around for MSM approval and B) that the Republicans can easily win back Congress in 2008, just by stiffening their spines and pledging to return to their conservative roots.

I have my doubts on both counts. For starters, why would Republicans get the message that “we need to be more conservative” in a year that conservatives were knocked out?

Who are the Republican lawmakers most angering the conservative base? Well, let’s say Sens. Trent “I’m tired of hearing about Porkbusters” Lott, Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens, John McCain for cosponsoring Kennedy’s immigration bill and campaign finance reform, Arlen Specter for being a pain in the tushie over judges, Chuck Hagel for being the New York Times’ favorite Republican senator to criticize Bush, and other minimally-conservative Republicans like Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Well, they’re not going to lose in 2006. Most of ‘em aren’t even up for reelection this year."

A quick look at the races in contention this year have to make Conservatives think long and hard about who'll likely be turned out without their support.

An important read.

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Gas Prices And Adjusted Expectations

$3.09/gallon this afternoon at my local "bargain" gas station. Eh, what can you do? Drive less, sure. But how much less? I don't think I drive all that much to begin with.

Oddly enough, despite the pain of filling up SUVs are in higher demand than ever. These huge vehicles keep sucking down gas at alarming rates but it hasn't stifled America's desire to drive them. Doesn't this kind of fly in the face of logic? Not if you consider that fact that most drivers seem to be getting used to the new price level. According to a Newsweek article today, $3.00 or more per gallon doesn't send shudders down our spines the way it used to.

Detroit once thought $3 gas would be our ultimate pain threshold, forcing us to finally give up the keys to our big rigs. But it turns out our oil addiction is harder to kick than anyone expected. Although pump prices have nearly doubled in the last three years, we're driving more than ever. Today's cars average 12,190 miles on the road annually, up 24 percent from 1980, according to federal statistics. And the models we buy now have more horsepower and heft than those of a generation ago, which explains why gas mileage is headed in reverse. Today's new cars and SUVs average just 21mpg, down from 22.1mpg in 1987. When it comes to paying up at the pump, Americans have proved they can rationalize just about anything. "When prices are lower in June," says energy analyst Tom Kloza, "people will brag, 'I got my gas for only $2.75'." Now Detroit is recalibrating its threshold. The new CW: "Prices have to get to $4 and maybe even higher—and stay there for at least a year—before we'll see a substantial shift in what we drive," says J.D. Power's Tom Libby.
Before Katrina hit last fall, people payed on average just over $2.00 a gallon (let's say, $2.25 for argument's sake). A fill-up would go for about $30-35. Nowadays it's more like $45-50. So let's say, on average, we're paying $10-15 more a week (or $40-60 more a month) on gas. It looks like we, as Americans, have found out we can make up this amount by "sacrificing" other things that aren't all that important to us. Think about all the little things you routinely spend small amounts of cash on - a breakfast sandwich, a bottle of water or soda, candy or gum, a bag of chips with lunch, a video rental, impulse-purchases in the supermarket, a Dunkin' Donuts Smoothie or an Iced Coffee. There are lots of little "rewards" that we give ourselves all the time. These are nice-to-haves. Gas is something we need to have. It sucks to have to pay more for it and there'll still be plenty of bitching to go around.

But it seems that our overall expectations - not to mention our lifestyles - have changed to the point where rising gas prices don't seem to affect us as much as we thought they would. Or maybe I'm totally off the mark.

There's currently a poll in the sidebar about how gas prices are affecting your behavior (if at all). Take a scroll over and register your vote.

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RINO Sightings - The "39th Birthday Blues" Edition

It's time for the latest carnival of the Raging RINOs. Unfortunately for me, later this week I will be marking my 39th birthday (for the first time). If turning 40 is the alarm going off, then 39 is hitting the "snooze" button. I volunteered to host this edition of the carnival to take my mind off of this upcoming event and I was treated to a great round of submissions.

So hop into your safari jeep and let's get underway for this week's R.I.N.O. Sightings!

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Higher Learning

First up, we take a look at some whacky things going on in the Academy. Cardinal Martini has been following a story about Dr. Diana Blane, a USC Professor who says all men are rapists and posts topless photos of herself on her Flikr website.

The Recovering Democrat tells us about a Boston College professor who resigned his post in protest of Secretary of State Condi Rice's scheduled commencement address. One down, thousands more to go...

Cultural Debates

The Commissar takes exception to a post that argues against Evolution in favor of Intelligent Design. And the fisking ensues.

Many fans of the film "The Big Lebowski" think of it a "stoner" film, considering that "The Dude" is an aging ex-hippy. Not so, says Blogger Ale. Hey, didn't you notice all those white russians?

Freedom Of Speech

You can't be a blogger and not be concerned over first amendment protection. And we have two examples of the Bush Administration encroaching on them. Eric at Classical Values slams a proposal to filter out blogs from public library servers - not just certain blogs, all blogs. Because they're potential sexual predators.

Barry at Everanche found a simple six word reaction of one website proprietor who has been contacted by the FBI.

Election 2006

Barry also looks at the state of U.S. politics, with six months to go before November's election.

On that same topic, Dan at Searchlight Crusade observes that both parties have an opportunity this Fall. He offers a winning strategy to whichever one has the 'nads to do it.

The Old World

But even France has its own political intrique unfolding. Pigilito calls our attention to a smear campaign against a challenger to the current government.

And Tom Hanna highlights the double standard being used by old Europe to rebuke their socialist brethren in Latin America.

Media Matters

Are newspapers gasping their last dying breaths? Not so fast, says Don Surber, who describes how the internet is keeping newspapers alive rather than killing them off.

The NSA Today

The biggest meme of the week was Thursday's USAToday story about the database of phone numbers being used by the NSA to locate and catch terrorists. AJ Strata asks "Do we want to stop a terrorist attack or not?".

Mark at Decision '08 puts to rest any question of the program's legality.

Jeff at the SoCalLaw Blog explains how civil lawsuits against the NSA are being thwarted because they involve state secrets.

CNN's Jack Cafferty showed signs of "Bush Derangement Syndrome" on the air when he suggested that we are on the verge of "a dictatorship". Scott at Environmental Republican says give me a break.

And on a lighter note, Rachel from Tinkerty Tonk reveals the kind of transcripts you might find in her NSA file.

I doubt there is a single sensible person out there that doesn't smell a rat when you consider the timing of the USAToday story with the current Senate hearings on General Michael Hayden's nomination as new CIA Director. Cold Hearted Truth looks at how the MSM just had to try, and how polls show they failed...again

Well, that's it for this week. Until the next Carnival, this is Gary the Ex-Donkey saying "Keep Raging!"

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May 12, 2006

Gratuitous Melissa Theuriau Post Alert

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To make your weekend a sweet one.

Moratorium on French-bashing remains in effect here at Ex-Donkey Blog.

Sigh.

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New Poll

This weeks latest poll is up in the sidebar: "How Will Gas Prices Affect Your Driving Habits This Summer?"

The results of the "If AZ Senator John McCain Earned The GOP Nomination in 2008, Would You Vote For Him" Poll were as follows:

(10.5%) = "Absolutely, He's My First Choice"
(15.1%) = "He's Not My First Choice, But I'd Vote For Him In The General Election"
(36.0%) = "I Wouldn't Be Thrilled About It, But I'd Hold My Nose And Pull The Lever"
(23.3%) = "Only If Hillary Was The Democrat Candidate"
(5.8%) = "I Would Consider Not Voting On Election Day"
(4.7%) = "I Would Definitely Stay Home On Election Day"
(4.7%) = "I Would Vote Democrat Rather Than See McCain Become President"

So while McCain completely turns off 15% of the respondents, 85% would vote for McCain under the right circumstances. Of that amount, a full three quarters of respondents are resigned to voting for McCain if he gets the nomination.

But if John McCain wants the GOP nomination, he has a long way to go before he earns enough core support to have any hope. Certainly, the biggest factor is field of candidates. But at this point, despite his popularity with the media, I think his chances of becoming the nominee are pretty piss poor. Keep in mind that this is as unscientific a poll as you could get (with the possible exception of the CBS/NY Times poll, that is).

I will run this same poll agains every three months to see if any trends develop.

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Scarlett Names Her Boobs

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Yes, she has a pet name for them.

Scarlett Johansson has revealed her pet name for her boobs is "My Girls".

The Match Point actress said: "I like my body and face and I love my breasts - 'My Girls'."

The actress also revealed she is not looking forward to getting old uses anti-ageing cream.

According to The Sun she added: "I never want to look like an old bag".

I've got pet names for them, too: "just" and "right".

The 21-year-old actress has a while yet before she has to worry about getting old. But sooner or later, we'll be looking at two old bags. In the meantime, however, she probably ought to be spending her time working on her acting skills.

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More Aiding And Abetting - The NSA Hysteria

You know very often when a meme like this hits the 'net, I don't put to much effort into posting about it because it's so widespread there's not much I can add to it. But a couple of issues really gall me about this, which I'll get to in a minute.

You can always count on the MSM to blare a provocative headline and bury relevant details in the story. Most people are too busy to look at the details and draw their conclusions from the headline, which are reinforced by the Left-leaning talking heads on TV.

To look at the front page of yesterday's copy of USAToday (a paper they have to give away at hotels to get people to read it) you would never know what the true nature of this program is. It's external data. That is, it's just a bunch of phone numbers. There are no names and addresses assigned to them. Yes, it's easy enough to find that info. Hell, I can do it with a Google search. But it wasn't even requested from the phone companies. 99% of that information is extraneous for what it's used for.

The database is used to find patterns - calls going to the Middle East and calls coming in to the U.S. from the Middle East. If a pattern is identified, the numbers are checked against numbers associated with known and suspected terrorists. If it finds nothing, they move on to the next pattern. The NSA is trying to find Al Qaeda sleeper agents in this country. And I guaranty you it's worked in the past. Bull Moose observes:

"As of yet, there is no evidence that the government was eavesdropping on private conversations of innocent citizens. What we know is that it is a collection of phone numbers that were put into super computers to detect patterns of suspect activity. The Bushies were not using information to destroy their political opponents. The NSA is legitimately obtaining data to thwart terrorists.

Has it been a mere coincidence that the American homeland has not been attacked since 9/11? It is likely that the hard and innovative work of dedicated patriots at the NSA and other national security agencies has kept our nation safe." [emphasis mine]

This type of program has been used before and while it is wider is scope that those in the past, it is far less intrusive that policies of past Presidents - including Democrats like Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Clinton. The most recent example is the ECHELON program.

The emphasis here is national security, which has just been breached. Once again, another Clinton-toady intelligence official has leaked information about how we identify enemy activity. This should be an outrage. But no where outside of the Right blogosphere is that issue even discussed. Michelle Malkin weighes in:

"So what if spilling the beans about all of our highest-level efforts to monitor al Qaeda operatives undermines the War on Terror, eh, fellas? Anyway, all the cool kids in elite journalism are doing it. Why should The Washington Post and New York Times get all the glory, right?

And thus, USA Today tapped its anonymous, loose-lipped, illegally leaking sources and breathlessly disclosed a classified data-collection agreement between private phone companies AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth and the National Security Agency. According to the newspaper's piece (a naked attempt to derail former NSA head Gen. Michael Hayden's nomination as CIA chief):

"The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans - most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews."

Note, please: "This program does NOT involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations."

They're looking at massive amounts of numbers and phone-call patterns, not eavesdropping on teenage lovers' quarrels or your neighbor's pizza order or Susan Sarandon's heart-to-hearts with Cindy Sheehan.

And: "The spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity."

Translation: The counterterror experts at the NSA are - gasp - doing their job. And - to their credit - some American companies are stepping up to the plate to help them."

The most amusing aspect of this whole flap is that so many individual Americans - who do not make or receive calls from known or suspected terrorists - actually believe that the government gives a crap about their phone activity. Please.

When you consider the kind of personal information we regularly provide the Federal Government, it puts this silliness into perspective. As the Media Research Center's Rich Noyes explains:

"Given that another government agency — the IRS — maintains information on American citizens’ employment, banking, investments, mortgages, charitable contributions and even any declared medical expenses, this hardly seems like a major assault on personal liberty.” Ooh! Shocking new report! The IRS has a database with your personal information in it! That story is just waiting to be discovered."
UPDATE: 11:55am
Oh, and apparently even the WaPo has to admit that the majority of Americans support these NSA programs:
"The new survey found that 63 percent of Americans said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism, including 44 percent who strongly endorsed the effort. Another 35 percent said the program was unacceptable, which included 24 percent who strongly objected to it.

A slightly larger majority--66 percent--said they would not be bothered if NSA collected records of personal calls they had made, the poll found."

The same poll shows 51% of respondents approve of the President's handling of these matters. And, considering how skewed to the Left these WaPo polls are, the real number is probably much higher. ABC News has a similar poll with respondents approving of these measures by 2-1. To the MSM, I say "nice try".

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May 11, 2006

Walking On Eggshells

Now there's an organization to teach Americans how to act around the world. It's based in San Francisco, no surprise there, and provides companies with a "World Citizens Guide" to distribute to their employees who travel internationally. The goal is to counter the "Ugly American" stereotype in the face of a growing anti-Americanism in other countries. And what kind of advice does this "Guide" offer?

*** Think as big as you like but talk and act smaller. In many countries, any form of boasting is considered rude. Talking about wealth, power or status -- corporate or personal -- can create resentment.

*** Speak lower and slower. In conversation, match your voice level and tonality to the environment and other people. A loud voice is often perceived as bragging. A fast talker can be seen as aggressive and threatening

*** Dress up. You can always dress down. In some countries, casual dress is a sign of disrespect. Check out what is expected and when in doubt, err on the side of the more formal and less casual attire. You can remove a jacket and tie if you are overdressed. But you can't make up for being too casual.

***Listen at least as much as you talk. By all means, talk about America and your life in the country. But also ask people you're visiting about themselves and their way of life. Listen, and show your interest in how they compare their experiences to yours.

You've got to be kidding me.

The problem with Americans is not that we’re loud, rude or arrogant. The problem is that so many of us seem to suffer from some kind of ridiculous inferiority-complex. We’re a little too oversensitive to global peer pressure. What is this? High School? We have to change our behavior so we can be accepted by the “cool kids”?

No thanks. That flies in the face of what it means to be an American. In the United States, we value the uniqueness of the individual and we donÂ’t apologize for it.

This "Guide" is geared specifically for business travelers who act as representatives of their employers as well as their country. But there are a lot of Americans who travel for pleasure that would favor this approach.

Well, I have some better advice for Americans who travel outside of the U.S. (and it applies to foreign travelers who come here as well):

1) If you are a guest in someoneÂ’s country, be as respectful to the host as you would if you were a guest in someoneÂ’s home.

2) Be yourself. ItÂ’s idiotic to try and act like somebody that youÂ’re not to meet someone elseÂ’s standards. If someone doesnÂ’t like you as you are, thatÂ’s his problem. And some people won't like you no matter how you act. You just can't win with them.

3) DonÂ’t take any crap. If someone doesnÂ’t like your country it doesnÂ’t give him the right to insult you and you donÂ’t have to accept it. DonÂ’t fight about it. Simply express your disappointment that they feel that way and remove yourself from the situation. Just walk away.

4) DonÂ’t apologize for your country, even if you personally disagree with some of its policies. The fact that you have the right to openly disagree with your government is what makes the United States such a great nation.

5) Avoid visiting countries with cultures that are openly hostile to yours. WhatÂ’s the point?

Stick with these basic guidelines and you should be fine.

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Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!!!!

Tony Snow, that is.

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Before he even takes the podium for the first time as official White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow shot off a round of emails to his prey the WH Press Pool criticizing the major networks for the way they've distorted their coverage of the President.

“The New York Times continues to ignore America’s economic progress,” blared the headline of an e-mail sent to reporters Wednesday by the White House press office.

Minutes earlier, another e-mail blasted CBS News, which has had an unusually rocky relationship with the White House since 2004, when CBS aired what turned out to be forged documents in a failed effort to question the presidentÂ’s military service.

“CBS News misleadingly reports that only 8 million seniors have signed up for Medicare prescription drug coverage,” Wednesday’s missive said. “But 37 million seniors have coverage.” On Tuesday, the White House railed against “USA Today’s misleading Medicare story.”

“USA Today claims ‘poor, often minority’ Medicare beneficiaries are not enrolling in Medicare drug coverage,” the press office complained. “But by April, more than 70 percent of eligible African Americans, more than 70 percent of eligible Hispanics, and more than 75 percent of eligible Asian Americans are enrolled or have retiree drug coverage.”

Now that's more like it!

The Drive-By Media are on notice: Like the infamous Howard Beale in the movie, "Network", Snow (as the voice of the President) is mad as hell, and he's not going to take it anymore!

I absolutely cannot wait for Snow's first press conference. This is going to be soooooooo good. Heh.

Posted by: Gary at 10:45 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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When Radical Environmentalism Kills

What do you call someone who's actions cause the untimely deaths of tens of millions of innocent people? Well, usually we consider them a mass murderer. But some people's simple acts can cause a ripple effect with horrible results.

Take Rachel Carson, for example. You may or may not have heard of this woman. In 1963 she wrote a book called "Silent Spring" that theorized - and it was only a theory, mind you - that the pesticide DDT was having a catastrophic effect on the earth's ecosystem. The title suggested that in the near future, we would no longer be greeted in the springtime with the sound of chirping birds because they would all be dead. She thought DDT destroyed their eggshells.

The radical environmentalist movement, which was then in its early stages, siezed on this theory and politicized it with such ferocity that DDT was eventually banned from use. Here's the problem. Her theories were proven false less than twenty years later. But that wasn't enough to lift the ban. Because by then the Eco-nuts had so ingrained the world with the idea that it was hard to convince it otherwise. Even today, the whackos in the radical environmentalist movement worship her as a saint.

But who payed the price for her bogus claims? The people of the Third World:

"The ban on DDT robbed developing nations of a cheap, safe and effective means of combating malaria, which kills two million people each year.

That tots up to at least 50 million deaths since the bans took effect in the early 1970s. And for what? Even at the time, Carson's claims that DDT was responsible for everything from the thinning of eggshells to cancer in humans looked shaky. By the mid-1980s they had been utterly discredited. Yet by then Carson's claims had achieved the status of holy writ among environmentalists - and among right-on officials in government ministries. Third World nations were threatened with trade sanctions if they even suggested using DDT in fields or homes.

Now, finally, the giant US Agency for International Development is supporting the widespread use of DDT in Africa to combat malaria. The effect is likely to be quite simply breathtaking, for DDT is truly a miracle cure for this deadly mosquito-borne scourge."

Nice legacy, huh? Generating unnecessary hysteria and the deaths of millions.

Oh, but Rachel Carson's intentions were good, were they not? We can't blame her for the fact that 400 million people around the world get infected with malaria every year, can we?

You bet your ass, we can. But she's not alone. Millions of other people with "good intentions" put healthy skepticism aside and helped cause these needless deaths. Oh jeez, how could concern for the environment be bad? It's bad when people accept unproven claims because so many "experts" claim that they're likely to be true - even if they have no solid evidence. Their intentions are good, after all.

And God forbid you question these people. It makes you a greedy, evil, uncaring jerk. And before you know it, everyone who doesn't want to be thought of as a greedy, evil, uncaring jerk signs on to these crack-pot theories de jour. That's how you get unhinged demagogues like Al Gore screaming at the top of his lungs that the world will end in ten years if you don't listen to him.

Posted by: Gary at 09:10 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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May 10, 2006

Get "Lost" Tonight

Finally! Season two is starting to get interesting - just as its winding down. It's not like I was ready to give up this show, but man up until now it's been fairly underwhelming. While we've learned a little more about the "others" and the "hatch", the plot was getting - IMO - a little stagnant.

Well, last week's show put an end to that. And J.J. Abram's promise to make the last few episodes "killer" is coming to fruition.

SPOILERS BELOW!!!
more...

Posted by: Gary at 11:05 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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May 09, 2006

Painting The Map Red

Go over to The Real Ugly American for an extensive review of Hugh Hewitt's new book, "Painting The Map Red". Rick incorporates part of an interview he had with Hewitt to examine what the GOP needs to do to increase its majority and break the 50/50 Electoral deadlock we've seen in the last two Presidential elections.

I own the book and it's next in line for me to read. This post makes me want to get to it faster!

Posted by: Gary at 02:29 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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