Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Memo

Earth to Democrats

Now that this foregone conclusion has run its course, can we try to win some elections now? Please?

Keep in mind that the best way to do this, (not always, as discussed earlier, but most of the time) is to get waay more votes than the other guys. Score more touchdowns so the officials can't give the game away. The best way to do that is to start communicating with the voters.

This shouldn't be difficult, because first and foremost, we are voters and citizens ourselves. I know we forget that sometimes, like when we get all nervous about "Red America" or "morals voters," but it's true! Most of us hold hard working, overtaxed 9-5, 10-8, graveyard shifts and doubles on weekends jobs. A lot of us hold down two of those bad boys. Plenty of us go to Church. I went last Sunday, and the Sunday before that. I'd even say that the majority of us take our coffee without any frothy milk or Chomsky. A lot of us do or plan to have a group of kids who work their way through the American Public Education System, and boy do we want it to operate a lot smoother when we get them there. Heckfire, so many of us work within the American Public Education System till our fingers bleed, we wonder why folks at the top can't seem to make it any easier on us here at the bottom. (So does the other side, by the way. They think we're the problem and we think they're the problem because the people who are the problem keep pointing fingers instead of doing their damn jobs.) Our people died on September 11th and fight on the sands of Iraq, too - and only one of us feels like rubbing it in everyone else's face. (A bunch of us are getting a little tired of her and her entourage, by the way.) I'd say millions of us are going to enjoy a Super Bowl party this Sunday with some folks from the other side, and we'll all realize that we aren't that different, and don't want very different things.

A good job, a safe place to live, some good food to eat, rockin' music to listen to, a nice school for our kids to go to, a cool place to drink a beer, a pleasant place to vacation, clean water to drink, fresh air to breathe and few days off a year to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July.

Does anyone in the house disagree with that assessment?

Thought not.

Now that we're all on the same page, the best way for Democrats, as citizens and voters, to communicate with fellow citizens and voters, is to figure out how we're going to get to do a good job on the 4th of July and everything in between. Because that's our mission statement, and we've lost sight of that.

Jackassery Vote

Well, folks, seeing as it is January 31st, it is time to go back and look at who will be Hurricane Radio's first "Jackass of the Month" award. For the first month of 2006, we have four nominations, all coming within the first week.

Bill O'Reilly was nominated by Matt Ortega over at 2CW for the "War on Christmas/Buy My Friend's Book Campaign" that had folks all over the nation at each others' throats (as if we needed more family tension during the holidays/Chrismastime).

Pat Robertson was nominated by yours truly for saying that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke and coma was punishment from God for the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. (I wonder who God voted for, Fatah or Hamas...I'm sure Pat has an answer to that one too.)

Matt Leinart was nominated by Dante for being classless and saying USC was the better team and that Texas just got the breaks in winning the College Football National Championship. Sore Losermatt.

Harry Belafonte was nominated by SAWB for being a rich American who hates America and went to hang with Veneauelan President* Hugo Chavez to say so. Gerorge Bush a terrorist? Ol' Dubya's a lot of things, Harry, and I don't like him either, but saying crap like that is just irresponsible.

So here's how the voting will go: make a comment on this post. Vote for the one Jackass you think is the biggest.

Or you can vote on all of them 1-4 (1 = biggest jackass, 4 being the smallest jackass) and I'll rank 'em like the AP Poll in College Football. Nominators can vote again, but if they don't their nomination will count as one vote.

Monday, January 30, 2006

More from the lunacy brigade...

Because I can't stop kicking this long dead horse, I bring you, once again, Cindy Sheehan and her World Wide Nutjob Extravaganza!!!

Yeah.

So, apparrently, we're an imperialist empire. Good to know...

And Moon-unit Sheehan is 'strongly considering' running against Diane Feinstein for the UNITED STATES SENATE. There's five words that should strike fear into the hearts and minds of everyone. Cindy Sheehan, United States Senator.

Another gem buried at the bottom of this story, is a blurb about the death of one Filiberto Ojeda Rios. Mr. Rios was apparrently shot and killed during an FBI raid. Apparrently, Mr. Rios had attracted the ire of the Federal Constabulary for perhaps being part of a robbery of a Wells Fargo armored truck to the tune of $7.2 Million. Yeah, I don't know why the feds wanted to see him.

This is important because when speaking on the topic of Mr. Rios, Hugo Chavez, that loveable 'president' of Venezuela, was quoted as saying "Viva Filiberto! Let's follow his example."

Yeah. Nice guy that Hugo Chavez. I wonder what might happen if he did come and pitch a tent in the ditch in Crawford, Texas with Cindy the next time she wants to have a sleepover.

In other news from the realm of the mentally detached, Hamas has decided that Israel needs to change their flag. Yep. Hamas is demanding that Israel change their national flag, because, and I quote,
"Israel must remove the two blue stripes from its national flag. The stripes on the flag are symbols of occupation. They signify Israel's borders stretching from the River Euphrates to the River Nile."


Maybe it's just me, but ifin I were a betting man, I'd be wagering that this little tiff between Israel and Palestine is going to explode here sooner rather than later.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Freegan? Now I've heard everything.

I actually read up on these guys back in November around Thanksgiving. Now it looks like a college paper in Arizona has picked up on their story. It's a story about these folks called "freegans". For your amusement, I thought I'd post about them here.

Basically, freegans want to bow out of "normal" life due to the environmental impact they cause there. So how do they accomplish this goal?

1. Waste reclamation: They eat trash. They might try to make this sound a little better than it is, but THEY EAT TRASH. They also try to get their clothing, office supplies, and I assume they get their profos from the trash. I just hope they make sure they haven't been used yet.

2. Recycle, reuse, reduce. You know the routine.

3. Eco-Firendly Transportation: They hitch rides, walk and stuff instead of owning and driving their own cars.

4. Rent-Free Housing: They squat housing.

5. Going Green: They forage for food, medical herbs, etc.

6. Working unsteady jobs or no jobs at all.

I remember when we used to call them bums. When somebody gets their food from the trash, hitches rides, squats housing, and doesn't work a steady job, they're a bum. I guess that's fine if you want to be a bum. I just find it odd that these folks are aspiring to be bums. At least the freegan movement is already pretty sizeable due to the large amount of bums already present who are automatically freegans now.

Who says Hollywood is out of new ideas...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I proudly present to you, Snakes on a Plane.

No, the title isn't metaphorical. It's a really real movie, that is supposed to be released this year, starring Samuel L. Jackson. The studio, after hearing the entireity of the internet laughing at them, wanted to change the title of the movie to something less...ridiculous. But, no. Sam Jackson put his foot down. He said he signed onto the movie BECAUSE of the title.

Have fun with this one kids. Just remember, if you want to work any of Sam's old movie quotes in, keep em clean...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

January 26, 2006

Save the date. The end of history was again postponed.

It was a ringing endoresement of Mother Democracy as a form of government. Unfortunately, the People Who Don't Like Us Very Much (to put it mildly) won nothing less than a huge victory. Hamas now runs the Palestinian Authority.

Although this is probably more a Palestinan vote against the corruption & thuggery of the status quo Fatah party than a vote for Hamas' 'drive Israel into the sea' rhetoric, you wouldn't know that by reading or watching, well, any news in the Western Hemisphere. World leaders were shocked, shocked - I tell you! - at this election's result. I guess the Palestinan people didn't buy that "It's just raining" line from Fatah anymore. And Israel flat up said they will not negotiate. Is that some big change in policy I haven't heard about? Last time I checked, negotiations hadn't been going on since 2000.

Is anyone really very surprised? If you are, Why? Gradualism only works when real change is actually being attempted and made. Eventually people get tired of the crap, and vote for change no matter who that change is. The Palestinians didn't think Fatah was doing a very good job by taking all that international aid and using it to vacation in the south of France. I get the feeling the Palestinans have been none to happy with the Israeli government either. While the Palestinians can't vote against the Israeli government, they can vote against Fatah. Hamas takes time out of their busy schedule killing people to build hospitals, schools and roads. Is this even a contest?

Seems like a no brainer to me, but there's still the explanations:

First off, it was the Israelis themselves who helped get Hamas off the ground as a potential alternative to Arafat. Second, they have shown themselves to be its most significant political supporter with their refusal to deal with the far more moderate and westernized Fatah, undercutting its ability to show anything for its public face of moderation and therefore pushing people into the arms of the relatively corruption-free, socially responsible Hamas. Third, while the reasons that the Palestinians support Hamas may have little to do with its professed desire to wipe Israel off the map—again—they genuinely provide real services and do not terrorize the population for their own material gain as does Fatah—the net result will be to give the Israeli hardliners the opportunity to further immiserate the Palestinian masses, putting off the day, even further into the future, when these almost infinitely abused people will ever be able to live their public lives with some dignity and, perhaps prosperity. It’s encouraging to see a genuinely democratic election in the Arab world, yes. But look what you get. This is one of the too-many-to-count fallacies in the insanely counterproductive neocon strategy in the Middle East, which I’m sure will only get worse. In the meantime, the short-term winner of this election is Bibi Netanyahu, which is bad news for all humankind.
-Eric Alterman


The same can be said for Netanyahu and Likud: Hamas helped them secure their places in government, ‘cause let’s face it, if Israel didn’t have a security problem, Israelis would not elect folks like Netanyahu and Likud. If history repeats itself, the Middle East is the historical version of a Puff Daddy song.

Case and point:

"If a government led by Hamas or in which Hamas is a coalition partner is established, the Palestinian Authority will be turned into an authority that supports terror...."

(The Palestinian Authority will be turned into an authority that supports terror?)

"...Israel and the world will ignore it and make it irrelevant," Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Wake up Ariel, wake up!

I really don't know where to begin with this statement. How many millions of riled up Palestinians is that you plan to ‘ignore’, Ol’ boy? And how is that any kind of change from the past that got you to this point in the first place?

But wait, there's more:

The really scary statement can be found later in the same article: "Today it is clear that when Israel flees, Hamas rises. Olmert and Kadima's continued unilateral withdrawals will harm the personal security of each and every one of us," MK Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) said.

Israel didn’t flee from Gaza. They wisely and rightly started to work their way back into accordance with International Law. They gave up land that wasn't theirs in the first place. What’s the alternative, unending Israeli expansion into Mesopotamia? I’m sure that’s a sustainable strategy.

I hope we don’t get too deep into this "the sky is falling" trap. Sometimes saying a thing too many times makes it come true. That would be a shame; this could (and I do mean: could) be the best shot for real peace in the Middle East. But it’ll take guts on both sides to make it happen, and willpower on both sides to keep the craziest of the crazies on a short leash. Only Nixon could go to China. Only Clinton could reform the Welfare State. Can Hamas make peace with Israel? Only time will tell, and only God knows. I 'm just hopin' this falls under the "mysterious ways" category.

Publius Pundit feeds us this bitter pill to swallow.

What can’t be argued is that, if we Americans truly do have faith in democracy being our gift to the world, these elections were a success. But I don’t know why we always expect that the winners will be the people we want to win. If democracy is our mission, we don’t get to choose the leaders of other nations, the people of those nations do, whether we like them or not.

Now we have a monumental task ahead of us: to figure out how to keep democracy working in the Middle East without losing Israel at the same time.

Dumb and Dumber...

First up today, kids, is the Grey Lady, The Upstanding Beacon of Fact-Checking Journalistic Standards, the one, the only, the New York Times. Today, the Times editorial page is taunting the Democrats in the Senate, trying to guilt them into filibustering the already confirmed nomination of Samuel Alito to the SCOTUS.

Now, we have longtime Senator, Once and Future Democratic Presidential Candidate, and Kept Man John Kerry stating that he supports a filibuster of the vote on Samuel Alito.

This, boys and girls, is what we like to call a really, really, bad idea. Judge Alito has survived the mostly insipid questioning put forth to him in the confirmation hearings, and has already been given the green light by the Senate Judiciary Committe. Filibustering the final vote on the senate floor will just deepen the hole the Democrats are already facing for this year's midterm elections, and may well have repercussions to 2008.

But, since common sense hasn't shown to be the Democrats long suit lately, the filibuster will likely come to pass, and will likely be quickly voted down, and John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, and the like, will end up with another fine coating of egg on their faces.

UPDATE!!!
It appears that the Democratic leadership has bought a ticket, and gotten on the reality train. Check here and here. for details.

More on Google in China

Super-duper bloggy style roundup of the whole Evil Google Middle Kingdom Bad Money Crisis.

(We're not listed there, either, BTW. Soon....)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Doing no evil in China (except for censorship)

Sorry for posting 2 stories about Google in my 2 posts I've done so far. I promise my 3rd will be about something else entirely.

I really wanted to flesh out the Google-may-be-evil-after-all angle of my last piece by linking a few stories about Google's collaboration with France's and Germany's governments to remove "Nazi paraphernalia" from the search results, but I couldn't find them in the time I had to write the post. They've made it easy for me to find a story by agreeing to do the same sort of filtering in China to comply with Chinese speech restrictions.

The article points out that "Google is cooperating with China's government at the same time it is battling the U.S. government over a subpoena seeking a breakdown of one week's worth of search requests _ a list that would cover millions of terms," but I really think that's an apples to oranges comparison. One is regarding limiting access to results while the other is regarding information they've already collected. Trying to twist this into Google likes China but doesn't like the US is pretty silly given the context.

Now it's important to note that if I were in Google's position, I'd do exactly the same thing. I'd have no problem being the bad guy to get the massive market share possible by having access to Chinese Internet users. However, I'd think that Google's stance of doing no evil would prevent them from being the bad guys here. I guess being evil doesn't matter when marketshare is at stake.

The Chinese Google site should be live today or tomorrow some time at www.google.cn. I'll check it out when I get a chance. I'd encourage you to do the same. I honsetly don't know if we'll get the same results searching outside of China as the Chinese get searching inside of China. They may not filter our results since they can pretty easily tell which country we're searching from.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Captain Obvious...

...we thank you.

Glad to know how those smart kids at Emory are spending their time and private school money. Methinks we'll file this overpriced study in the same places where we put the "Water Still Wet," "Cigarettes Still Dangerous" type overpriced studies.

This one? "Political Hacks Still Unreasonably Biased."

The Athens Blogosphere

(Or, Do I Know Any of These Folks?)

I shoulda seen this comin'.

I shoulda.

Funny that I had to go all the way to a Georgia politics page to run across one of these cats. Then you start following the links and thar she blows.

Personally, I lived in Athens for seven years, and there was never that much news.

I take that back. Yeah, there was. Creswell Hall could have had a blog for every wing of all 9 floors.

I think about what would have happened had I discovered Blogger back in 2003, before I skipped town for Island City, and I wonder where I'd be today.

Athens Politics started my linky business. They have a post dated today giving props to Molly Ivins for saying Hillary Clinton should not be President...'cause she ain't liberal enough. Good readin'. SAWB, you may want to make contact with this "Dawg Corleone" fella...

Then we have Athens 101, which you actually have to register for. But you can vote for your favorite coffee house on their frontpage.

The all encompassing page is Athensworld and they have Athensworld - Blogger.

The aptly named Bored Athenians. Any wagers as to the content of this one before clicking over? You may be surprised.

Then there are the people links that appear on more than one of the above pages. I can only wager as these folks are either well connected or blogosphere progenitors or both. Then again, they could just be linked based on their names.

Antidisingenuous.

Big Gray or Bigg Ray?

And you can't have an Athens Party without a Quadruple Keg Stand.

I'll have to read more on Safe As Houses to figure this one out.

And the Ph.D candidate shows up on Thought Struggle.

I'm sure there are many, many more. But the Athens family is going to have to get a lot more connected if we want to compete with groups like the Rocky Top Brigade...

Update 12:43 AM

Relating tangentially to this post, TAN searches for the elusive Negro Hipster.

Update 2 01/26/06 12:14 pm EDT

Hillary points me to The Day Jobs.

Friday, January 20, 2006

"Don't be evil" the Google Way

In the search for some really real new to put up on the site for discussion, I came across this story that has been circulating quite a bit in tech-savvy circles.

Apparently, the US Department of Justice has asked a federal court to force Google to comply with a request to turn over data regarding Internet searches over the past year. It's important to note that the DoJ is not requesting personal information. They are trying to determine general search patterns in order to assist them defending the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act: an act aimed at keeping pornography off of sites that are accessible to minors. It's also important to note that Yahoo has already complied with this request and MSN may or may not have but MSN has pledged to assist law enforcement whenever possible. Google is firmly opposed to complying with the request and has stood up to all legal action so far.

Google's is almost manic in the level of secrecy they have for their search engine. Parts of the engine like their custom file system are very publicly discussed. Google even presented a speech on it at a very prominent Computer Science conference (I think it was ASPLOS, but I could be wrong) about two years ago. Then there are things like actual search algorithms which Google is not only secretive about but Google also tends to contradict itself pretty regularly when giving a general idea of how it works. The information they collect as part other people's searches probably falls firmly under the secretive category even if we were to ignore the ethical issue at hand since that information is very likely used to assist Google in improving the quality of their searches.

The Google company motto is "Don't be evil." I wonder if it's more evil to help or hurt the cause of the DoJ here. What is the DoJ really going to gain with these search results? They're trying to prove the Constitutionality of a pornography law. For some reason the federal court is hung up on whether filters are more effective than statutory restrictions. Should that even matter when determining the Constitutionality of the statutory restrictions? On the other hand, what is Google going to gain by not complying with a request for anonymous information? Is Google merely using privacy as an excuse to block the efforts of the DoJ? Is Google putting their super secret search methods (which may well be the Coca-Cola recipe of the 21st Century) ahead of a law aimed at protecting minors from explicit content? You could make the case that such a move would be quite "evil."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Marriage

Marriage Is What Brings Us Together Today

"Married & bored or single & lonely" -Chris Rock

So I read conservative/libertarian bloggers DADvocate and Dr. Helen because (among other reasons) they keep up with many issues concerning male psychology & education that are kind of glossed over in the MSM. This week, a nerve was touched concerning the issue of Marriage.

DADvocate started it up by asking: To Date or Not To Date? While there may be those of you out there who read this and say "well that's just crazy talk," you may not want to brush concerns like these off too quickly. This wrenchingly candid article points to something all too important: who has the power in social relationships? Though the point is made most easily on economic terms, "After my last divorce I successfully made a concerted effort to be fully independent financially and otherwise. I've worked too hard to risk what I've earned," what strikes me is the necessary evil of making calculations such as those when choosing whom to spend time with socially.

Once you've taken into account looks and personality and compatability, you must now calculate how badly you could be injured should this thing turn the wrong way. I know I take those considerations into account, even when dating casually.

Don't get me wrong, I don't agree that the entire system of justice is turned against men when it comes to divorce & domestic violence. You're always going to get skewed results and interpretations of the law when either attorneys or the police have to play the role of the referree. But in a nation such as ours, the perception of justice is of pronounced importance, and it should shock you that reasonable folks believe - because of their or their friends' experiences with the system - that the scales of justice are tilted against them.

These same thoughts touched off a storm of commentary when Dr. Helen picked it up. She wonders if marriage is a good deal for men at all this day and age. She continues the thread by wondering why society views men in such a negative light.

Maybe I'm just lucky not to have lived through some awful experiences with marriage, as evidenced by my family values opinions, but for every marriage I know of that has ended in absolute disaster for the man, woman and kids, I know of at least three others that stuck it out and made it work. (Not to say the ones that 'made it work' were without an entirely different set of issues...) That ratio just keeps going up as I get older and more of my friends get married. Maybe I'm just lucky, or maybe folks my age saw the destructive power of awful relationships and actually learned from those mistakes (and either married well or haven't married) of the past.

Read some of this stuff with an open mind (and the comments on the blogs I have linked to) and think about it. Our cultural perceptions of the family are far, far more important than any silly things said by the Sheehans and the Robertsons of the world.

Goings On

Lot of folks busy this week. The Management is also paging our Memphis and Macon writers and readers. Where have y'all been? I know there are more interesting things going on out there than Sprout's experiences with the world outside the coffee shop...

For all of our Georgia readers, I ran across this on the internet today: Politics 1: Georgia. I didn't even know we had 4 Conservative Parties and 2 Liberal Parties down in these parts, but we do.

For all of our North Georgia readers, my clicking around that site called my attention to Athens Politics. There's an Athens Politics' site? Are you kidding? Y'all are really letting that City Council get out of control.

For all of our South Georgia readers, the Glynn County Democratic Party will be holding an Open Mic Session on Monday at St Williams' Catholic Church on St Simons Island. The thing goes down at 7:30pm, and the theme is "how can we do better." People should have a lot to say. I can't wait, and I might just bring the camera. Before the meeting, the Young Democrats Caucus will be meeting at Monkey Love Dessert Bar & Gallery in Redfern Village round about 6:30pm. After the big meeting wraps up, us folks with later bedtimes are gonna roll up to Gnat's Landing (I love that bar) and continue talking politics, but with cold, frosty beverages in our hands. If Gnat's ain't open, Marsh Point will be. See ya at the bar.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

O Leadership, Where Art Thou?

Seemed to pique some interest yesterday while discussing Hack Buchannan’s victory lap to celebrate the foregone conclusion of Judge Alito’s confirmation to the United States Supreme Court.

SAWB pointed out probably the most reasonable explanation of Hack’s buffoonery yesterday: "Buchanan's victory lap was run merely to spite the Ted Kennedy's and the Nancy Pelosi's that currently pass for the 'leadership' on your end of the pool. Had it not gone against every 'Christian' principle that Pat holds near and true, he'd have run the lap with his wang out."

But I think Hack is making mountains out of molehills; he’s celebrating an exhibition game win like his team just won the Super Bowl. I’d wager that Judge Alito’s confirmation is surprising to no one over here on my side of the pond. (Though I'm probably wrong about that...) We don’t like the confirmation, obviously and for various reasons, but surprise? Nope. With the exception of the 30 or so truemoonbats who chill with Cindy Sheehananigan in the shallow side of the pond, we knew this Alito thing was like lining the Glynn Academy Red Terrors against the Indianapolis Colts.

Not even close.

Most of the smarter folk on my end of the pond have realized we probably lost the Supreme Court as far back as 1994. Voices from my side are already starting to recognize the futility of the Judicial control strategy. I made my position clear back in October, with my "Give the Courts to them" commentary, and as the Sprout put it yesterday: "For those who fear a conservative bench will strip away your Constitutional rights: vote. Encourage others to do so. Don't hedge your bets on what the Founders purposefully made the weakest of the three branches of government."

Not to say I would have minded some better questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, who appeared, by their behavior, to actually be on the RNC Publicity Committee’s payroll. It helps me realize that the current leadership in the Legislature isn’t that good. I sure wish folks on my side would pay attention to the issue at hand, and keep on topic in front of the microphones.

Because, and I’ll say this right here and now, if the Democrats do not solve their message problem from top to bottom, we’re going to get killed in the mid terms, and again in 2008, and Rove will have done what he set out to do which is to create a lasting Republican majority in government.

The only thing we (on the left) have got going for us right now is the coming Republican leadership war. Hopefully the schism will be too deep between the Libertarian - Centrist - Republican Right Coalition for them to continue their common agenda.

But waiting for them to screw up first should not be confused with my side actually having a strategy, and you can bet – when that Coalition does break (and it will, eventually), I will not be taking victory laps to celebrate.

Even though my name is Pat.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

More Media

Now I know why they called it 'yellow' journalism.

This is really a follow up on the Rebuild New Orleans Masterplan, and the way it is covered in the media. There are even more examples today.

I'm going to pick on MSNBC because, frankly, I expect more of them than this. Now, some of you may wonder, "what's the big deal with this article?" It goes with something Dante said in the comments section of the earlier post: The New Orleans story is very important to a lot of Americans. Many of us have family and friends that were affected. In a more 'bottom line' way of looking at it, a lot of American treasure (tax dollars) has been and is going to be spent down there, and a lot of folks (rightly) want to make sure that this money 1) gets where it needs to go and 2) isn't wasted by building up parts of the city that will get flooded again. Flood me once, shame on you. Flood me twice...

Are any of those questions answered by the MSNBC article? No. As a matter of fact, the headlines only point out the problems people are having with the plans. Sounds like just enough spin to stir thing up and dissillusion Americans from really following what is going on there.

Luckily, the Times-Picaynue has a vested interest in this issue, and gives a comprehensive look at what went on. And, from clicking around on NOLA, I was also able to find the homepage of the committees writing the plan. But I'd have never found that from MSNBC alone. I'd bet a small cabbage that it ain't gonna make the New York Whines this Sunday either.

Again, just another way the lazy national media is asleep at the wheel.

But I'm not just one of those "everything is all bad" cats who isn't gonna show you the way things is supposed to be done. Here's some good stuff, and again, these next few links show off how blogs can do today what the National Media is supposed to be doing.

A lot of the left may hate me for it, and Lord knows I don't agree with him a whole lot, but it is little gems like these that make me an avid reader of Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit himself.

And a lot of the left may hate me for this, too, but I love that there are Democrats like Sid Cottingham, still out there fighting for the Southern Soul of the Party, and regulatin' on the national scene with articles like this.

And I do so adore MSNBC's blogwatcher Clicked, who actually points out things like this for those of us who would never run across it on our own.

And I love pure, unadulterated commentary, and my ability to access it with links. Especially when annoying fellas like Hack Buchannan start taking victory laps before election season. Earth to Hack: SAWB could get confirmed against that panel of geniuses. I guess RARRR must be feeling really big right now winning what was widely thought of as a foregone conclusion, no matter how hard of a pill it is for my side to swallow, we've got to choke it down and move on to more important things. Alito confirmed, sky still blue, water still wet. Have fun on that victory lap.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Insanity, you know no bounds...

The latest from the national chapter of the Magnificently Overwrought Rectally Aligned Newsmaker School (MORANS) -

Cindy Sheehan wants a Department of Peace created in the US cabinet. She also thinks it would be a super swell idea to create a Department of US History, and she's just the moran to be the first secretary of it...

Sean Penn says that the stress of 'living under this adminstration is making it tough for him to quit smoking.' Which administration, Sean? Last I checked, you were shacked up in the Peoples Democratic Republic of Frogtown...

Trust me when I say this, paT, I'd much rather be associated with RARRR and Pat Robertson, than to be aligned with the MORANS that have attached themselves to your end of the pond...

200th Post on Hurricane Radio

Wow. I never thought it would lead to this in the Spring when I was sending out blog-like emails to everyone in my address book.

Not coincidentally, I'd like to share another example of what I think is lazy reporting by the mainstream media in this country. What really grinds my gears is that the major news organizations have huge budgets and thousands of eager journalists-in-waiting just begging for a chance to investigate stuff, report the story, and get paid a smidgen for their efforts. The big companies could fill the 24 hour newscycle with in-depth reporting and fact finding that educates the viewer/reader far more effectively than with their fluff pieces of tabloid junk that fills the airwaves everyday. The big companies have armies of entry level folks powering the content of their websites, which are also huge. Why can't those websites be any kind of comprehensive? Is a 'read more' link really that hard to put into code?

And I'm willing to say they do sometimes hit on some good stuff. We just showed Radley Balko's piece for Fox News - Fox News for cryin' out loud. But I'd bet they didn't talk about that anywhere on the air today.

And there are those of you who would say, "We get what we ask for," but I don't think that's really very accurate. My proof? 25 million weblogs screaming for real news, and, in the abscence of it, going out an reporting real news on their own!!

But I'll get off the soapbox and get to my example. Today came the press releases concerning the Plan to Rebuild New Orleans. This is how it was covered:

Fair and Balanced/The Rigth Wing Stooge Network.

America's Most Trusted/The Liberal Atlanta Media

Wow. From looking at those two pages, I have to wonder if either news organization sent anyone there, at all, or if some desk jockey with access to the website just clicked "Cut" and "Paste."

At least MSNBC (the one SAWB says no one, not even liberals, pay attention to) had one of their guys actually write his own article. (Maybe I should say 'allegedly'.) It even looks like he called around for his own quotes. Way to go, dude.

Luckily, with the invention of the internet, we don't just have to get our news from the Monopolazy Media, we can actually search around for where these news stories are taken seriously. If its a news story about New Orleans, you can bet they're gonna be more in depth about it in New Orleans. (And I'm keeping an eye on GulfSails for the local reaction.)

I just can't wait to hear what Pops has to say about the same story once it gets run through the New York Whines...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

You Must Read This

I have what could be called a severe and documented distaste for Fox News, but sometimes, ya gotta give credit where credit is due. Somehow, they've contracted with the Agitator himself, Radley Balko to do some work for them, and the result is frighteningly good.

But I guess the same media monolith that brings us such fine shows as The Sheild (season 5 starts to-night!), Rescue Me and Nip/Tuck would have to hit on something good for their News network eventually.

Mad Props to the tip (I don't read Fox News, ever, if you couldn't have guessed) go to the ever relevant and insightful DADvocate.

Propelling International Jackassery to Dizzying Heights...

If nothing else, the Mexican government has got a gigantic pair of brass balls. I mean, it would take said testicular fortitude for them to demand a guest worker program in the US, along with the legalization of current border jumpers.

You've got to be kidding me. Seriously, people. This quote says it all -
"Migrants, regardless of their migratory status, should not be treated like criminals,".
In the words of the internet, "O RLY?" Then how should we treat them? As pampered guests? I can guaran-damn-tee you one thing. If I got caught in Mexico, having snuck across the border, to do anything, I can guarantee you that you'd never, ever hear from me again.

The most telling bit of information from the article, however, is this tidbit, which might enlighten us as to the true reason this 'request' was made -
Mexicans working in the United States are a huge source of revenue for Mexico, sending home more than $16 billion in remittances in 2004, Mexico's second largest source of foreign currency after oil exports according to the country's central bank.


You mean that money might have something to do with it? And if we cut off the revenue stream back to Mexico, that the Mexican economy, along with the economies of several Central American countries, might absolutely collapse? Perhaps we should speed this process up a bit...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Mugg Life

How does coffee come across my wire two times in one day?

Back when I was a latte sipping liberal coffee shop know it all, I thought about coffee all the time. Who made the best mochas?, who had the best espresso?, and who had the best location for inane debate?; these questions weighed heavily on my mind. Having moonlighted as a barista in two coffee serving establishments, I considered myself something of an expert on coffee. African coffees went best with honey, South American coffees went best with sugar, rum is the best lightener - though whiskey will do just fine.

Now that I am older and have less time to spend at coffee shops, my mornings consist of a desperate search for dark water into which I can pour half and half and sugar, so that my eyes might pry themselves open in time for work. With this change has come a sort of impatience for latte sippers (liberal and otherwise).

I applauded Bill Maher's new rule: "The more complicated the coffee order, the bigger the ass#$%#!"

What I'm sayin' is, I used to really worry about Starbucks Coffee, those evil corporate mavens of something I held so dear. Now I just kinda laugh. If I can't get my Community Coffee from New Orleans or my Altamaha Mud from St Simons, Folgers does just fine. Hell, Eight o'Clock Bean smells great at eight in the morning.

So imagine my surprise, as I'm sweeping the wires and I come across not just one, but two, stories of Starbucks goofiness in one day. We'll file one under New Orleans and one under General.

Again, I can't help but laugh. Starbucks: the McDonalds of the coffee world. Ha!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

SF Gate asks the questions...

Perhaps one of our enlightened lefties can provide the answers...

Where is the outcry over the impending execution of Clarence Ray Allen? Or do we only protest the execution of more charismatic death row inmates?

In the interest of saving time, and argument space, I am personally very much in favor of the death penalty, so we can perhaps skip that bit of rhetoric...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hurricane Radio Roundup

A few things:

In sports, the Playoffs start this weekend! We're pickin' the games over on the Sports side of the house. Mr. Danian breaks down the whole playoff picture over at OnceYouAreIn. It's pro-football, so I'm at a decided disadvantage....not to be confused with my mastery of the college game (yeah, right). And for those of you living under a rock, Vince Young is such a stud he broke a whole pack of Trojans last night. We SEC biased football fans have plenty to say about it here.

In politics, the South Georgia Center-Left Coalition has decided to endorse the Reverned Jim Nelson for the District 1 House seat against 12 year incumbent (and UGA alum) Rep. Jack Kingston. Both are pretty cool cats, so this race could actually end up being about the issues. (Jackie's even got his own blog for cryin' out loud.) We gear up for the Great Battles of Ought Six.

In jackassery, Rightwingers Against Really Real Reality! (RARRR!) Spokesman Pat Robertson actually went in front of cameras, opened his mouth and told the world he thought that God has a hand in Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke. He actually goes further and states that Israel is, indeed, above international law and should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want, no matter what the United States of America thinks. So Nyah! Luckily, upwards of 40,000 blogs are sharing this information, (including 2ndCW). What I find very interesting is that posts concerning Mr. Robertson also have to be broken down into categoreies based on stupid stuff that he said, and that "God needs cash, and he wants you to give it to me" isn't even in the top 4.

That earns Patty Boy a January Jackassery Nomination! He joins Bill O'Reilly (nominated and excoriated by Matt Ortega over at Second Civil War.

(You vote in the comments section of this blog. They all go to my email, so I'll keep tally.)

Art News

This guy brings new meaning to the phrase "suffering for your art."

I laughed about this, then remembered what Baker, California looked like.

This kid's got to have a great sense of direction. This is where he was. You can see Baker, California if you zoom in real, real close to the center of the page. You can look at the scale of '5 miles' down at the bottom, then search the north for the abandoned mines.

Wow. That's actually pretty impressive, despite the situation. Bet he later found the key in his pocket.