Friday, June 30, 2006

American Literature X

So, the first college class I really got into was Multicultural American Literature. Now, I know that's a loaded name for the class, but the reason I was interested had to do with the fact that, before this one, I had taken the same English/Literature class for three years (11th Grade, 12th Grade, ENG 101 & 102). With some notable exceptions (like Twain & Hurston), I was getting awful bored of five paragraph essays about Shakespeare and overrated 'coming of age novels' by whiny people trying to figure out their place in the world. (I was just such a person, after all, and I didn't need to hear more about it.)

Multicultural American Literature was the first time I really felt like I was reading, for a consistent amount of time, books written by adults. I cannot tell you how refreshing this was.

But, I know how some of our more academic loyalist readers revere so much of the writing I consider wasted space, so my suggestion is not to 'do away with the canon.' I simply want to add to it. My suggestion is a new multicultural class: American Literature X, and I'm looking for suggestions as to what the reading list needs to be.

Parameters: I'm thinking US or North American writers from the last 50 years, whose books will have either lasting effects on American literature or thought, or that take a snapshot of a part of the tumultuous story that has been America since 1941.

My first three suggestions:

Without Remorse, by Tom Clancy
The Godfather, by Mario Puzo
The Essential Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Waterson

And if you don't think Calvin & Hobbes is American Literature, then...

This is the kind of story that you dream about...

There's nothing I can say here that isn't contained in the first paragraph. That said, I suggest you read the entire thing...

White Knuckled Anger

Thank the Lord I'm a Catholic. It has taught me that despite certain moral failings of select individuals whithin the hierarchy, one need not give up on everyone in or associated with an organization. And not to give up on the organization itself. Especially when the organization in question does, and can do, so much good.

For me, a few rotten apples don't spoil the bunch. Just get rid of the rotten apples. That's something I've come to learn. It is a good thing, too. Otherwise I wouldn't know how to respond to hearing about things like this.
"And I cannot believe that we've got folks, within the Democratic Party, who are so obsessed with winning and getting Democrats back in the majority that they openly say that they don't want Osama bin Laden, a man whose actions led to the deaths of over 3,000 innocent Americans, to be killed or captured because it might ruin the Democrats' electoral fortunes.

What kind of madness is that?"

Luckily, Andre has a blog where he can discuss such matters, and he does so quite eloquently, I thought. With folks like him as rising stars in the Democratic Party, we will eventually be able to get rid of this nonsense 'America-Hating Wing' that seems intent on crashing the Shindig uninvited.

For now, however, I am glad that I wasn't in that car.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Breakin' the Law (?)



So, some of y'all may have heard. The Supreme Court of the United States made the papers yesterday.
The ruling, a rebuke to the administration and its aggressive anti-terror policies, was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, who said the proposed trials were illegal under U.S. law and international Geneva conventions.
Wow.

Here's the Case Law (Warning, PDF + 185 pages!!) Thanks, Slate! You can read the whole thing, but the good stuff starts on page 9, then quickly disentigrates into very specific legality concerning this one very specific case.

[Hamdan's] objection is that the military commission the President has convened lacks such authority, for two principal reasons: First, neither congressional Act nor the common law of war supports trial by this commission for the crime of conspiracy—an offense that, Hamdan says, is not aviolation of the law of war. Second, Hamdan contends, the procedures that the President has adopted to try him violate the most basic tenets of military and internationallaw, including the principle that a defendant must bepermitted to see and hear the evidence against him.


Anyway, it was a 5-3 decision (Chief Roberts recused) which means it is an effective 5-4. Like so many things in America today, it is split right down the middle with one side winning the push. And like so many things in America today, the winners are taking their victory laps and the losers are losing their minds. A certain Congressman's blog suggests that this decision will destroy troop morale.

The Technorati Roundup

Thoughts?

Give Blood

The State of Georgia receives 30-40% of its blood donations from high schools and colleges, which are either closed completely or are significantly depopulated during the summer months. Because of this, and because Georgia runs a blood deficit in the good times (we import from other states what we can), there is currently a criticial shortage of blood. Where really we should have at least 2-3 days worth of blood on the shelf, Georgia currently is running on only 1/2 a day's blood for some blood types.

Go on. We know y'all can give up an hour of time and a day's ability to drink alcohol.

Must Read 2

Though Jmac got flooded out of the Sojourner's Convention up in DC, he uses the magic of the internet to bring us the full text of the keynote speech. Ladies and Gentlemen, one of the reasons I do vote Democratic, and proudly so, Senator Barack Obama on Religion & Politics.

It is a long read, but well worth it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Selling the Drama

The latest 'controversy' involving the New York Times is perhaps the silliest on record. This is one of the reasons I think people are cynical about politicians. Republicans plan to take this business to the House floor as of Thursday to create an issue out of a non-issue. I wrote about this once already, but if the Republicans want to keep bringing it up, I guess I'll just have to keep at it.

Luckily, a few folks in the big media also aren't buying into the stomp and stammer.
Not only has this been reported before without such complaints, but the administration itself has often bragged in public about its aggressive probes of terrorist financing.

This is one of the reasons I don't vote Republcian, and it doesn't look like I will any time soon. National Security is not a political plaything, we were fighting terrorism for a long time before ol' Dubya & the Gang showed up, and we have been tracking finances of suspected criminals and terrorists since Capone got sent to Alcatraz.

While the New York Times gets a yellow card for acting like this kind of thing is news (and ignoring other things that actually are), the Republicans get a big, fat red card for making a mountain out of this molehill (when there are really real mountains they should be turing their attention to). But I guess harping on this is just another in a long line of 'issues' designed to rile up the right side of the echo box.

What Happens...

...when an Athenian blogger goes to visit Washington City on the cheap in the midst of the most prolific 'rain event' so far this season? The answer can be found here. Enjoy!

You know how I'd'a gotten outta this scrape? I'd'a gone to the conference anyway and tried my best to crash with a fellow conference-goer, preferably of the hotness variety. However, this option was not open for our man Jmac, as he is somewhat spoken for, and crashing on the couches of hotness is frowned upon in such situations.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Gated Community Doctrine

And why it doesn't work with foreign policy.

While my criticisms of the last few Democratic Administrations' foregin policies run deep, I can't get over this Administration's loss of control. I was wary of neoconservative thought before the Bush Administration, and now that I've seen it in practice, I will never be a fan.

Primary Sources

Since we were talking about the Magazine Street Situation earlier (I posted an update if you haven't scrolled down yet), I thought I'd bring up something else about New Orleans, specifically related to the effect citizen journalism is having on the main stream.

I read over at Confederacy of Dunces, USA that Columbia is using the New Orleans blogs as primary documents in a journalism study. (Yes, that Columbia.) I clicked over, looked around, and read some of the posts that they were linking to as 'selected posts.' Lot of stuff there. but more on that later.

Dangerblond makes note of nationally read First-Draft giving props to the New Orleans blogger community. Good read there, too.

I think about this citizen journalism stuff, made possible by the internet and technology in general, and how it is truly making up for the hysteria and editorial mayhem that has pretty much defined the MainStream Media since the Clinton Impeachment. I wonder where journalism will go from here.

Enemies of Democracy

Who goes on this list? What evil forces conspire to rob us of the liberties, freedom and civil service to which we are so accustomed? What creeping insiduousness must we fear, in the dark of night, slowly dismantling the American Way Of Life?

I can think up a couple of dozen names. I could probably think up a coupla hundred names. But on that list I create, John Stewart's name appears exactly nowhere. I guess that just goes to show how badly the wool has been pulled over my eyes.

That's right, folks, The Daily Show is America's Enemy. Who knew we were so fragile, that our Democratic institutions could be pulled assunder by a fake news program?

Ah, New Orleans...

Yes, I know, it's tacky of me to pile on to New Orleans, but, This sort of thing could ONLY happen in the Crescent City.

Seriously. Where else in the world are you going to find roving gangs of Drag Queens and Transvestites going on mass-shoplifting binges for designer women's clothing and shoes?

Perhaps Ray-Ray can get the National Guard to break out the Aqua-Net cannon or something...

UPDATE: 06/27/06 8:47pm EDT by Patrick Armstrong

According to Dangerblond, and this is a quote:

"almost every New Orleans blogger has written about the Magazine Street Transvestite Raids. I hope everyone can now see the REAL threat that gay people pose for us - they don’t want your husband, they want your shoes, belts and bags."

Back in the Saddle Again

As Palestinians inch closer to recognition of Israel and step back from the brink of civil war, Israel gets ready to re-invade Gaza.

'Cause it worked out so well for them last time.

Let me get this straight: Israel leaves Gaza, Hamas wins democratic elections in Palestine, end of world is predicted. End of world doesn't happen, Hamas & Fatah begin fighting each other. Nominal ceasefire stays in place during most of this (it ain't all quiet, but it ain't too loud neither). Hamas & Fatah negotiate about the recognition of Israel, and the idea that working together, they would have a monopoly of power against the fringe groups that continue to scuttle any peace deals. While this happens, a fringe group kidnaps an Israeli soldier, issues demands they know will not be met, effectively scuttling current peace deal. Israel prepares to invade Gaza and attack Hamas & Fatah.

That's like the police kicking my ass because I live on the same Island as some coke-heads. It don't make no damn sense.

Citizenship Test

From MSNBC. Take it. See what you get without looking anything up. My score was a 95. (Extra credit: 2 points if you can tell me which question I missed.)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Much Ado

Am I going to end up in the unenviable position of having to defend the New York Times? Not a chance. Apparently, it has been reported in the temple of journalistic know-how, that the US government is 'secretly' tracking the money trails of suspected terrorists.

On the reverse, am I going to end up in the unenviable position of having to defend the Administration? Not a chance. Apparently, the President and the Vice President were very upset that the NYT reported this 'top secret' plan to catch criminals and terrorists by looking at their banking records. Coastal Companion calls it treason. Milipundit at Jack's Blog goes over top secret clearance, and Spokesblogger delivers some of the Vice President's words: that this hurts us in the war against terrorism.

I'm going to file all of this under the "water still wet, sky still blue" file. To everyone involved in this finger pointing: this ain't news. Not even a little bit.

Tracking financial records was investigative policy long before W & the Gang ever showed up on the scene, but the fact that we do it has never been anywhere close to 'top secret' information (so W & the Gang can stop acting like they invented this tactic). Capone, the Klan, Escobar, McVeigh, WTC 1993, Rudolph, the Unabomber, the Jackal - helpful or not, finances were examined in every one of these cases. Hell, read some Tom Clancy, watch some CSI, Law & Order or 24 and tell me that tracking financial records is 'top secret' information. Terrorists don't need to read the NYT to get this information, they need to subscribe to basic cable and get a library card.

More innocuous are the many financial records that fall under investigative scrutiny in the War on Drugs. (C'mon, Times, if y'all wanted to get all outraged, we would have been better served with some outrage back in the 80's.) And we're not even going to get into the invasive financial-records-privacy-rights-shredding-machine that is American divorce law.

You know what would have been a story, to me? (I wrote this over on the Congressman's blog, but I will make mention of it again...) It would have been news to me if we weren't tracking finances. And then, I would have been livid that someone was asleep at the wheel.

Where Ships Go to Die

I ran across this article today and came away wondering why we can't do this in a more safe way. I mean, if there are fleets of ships waiting around to be scrapped and recycled, there should be a way we could get into the action. I think about all the old 'rust belt' factories and steel mills shut down for lack of work, and how many of them are located in places with easy access to deepwater vessels. With steel prices rising, and booming markets across the globe looking for steel, we could put a lot of people to work. In shipyards scrapping instead of building, disposing of asbestos in much safer ways, and reopening some steel mills to turn the scrap into rolls ready for export.

I look at some of those pictures of ships sitting high above the tide lines, but none of them catch the full magnitude of the trade until you look at these sights from sattelite. That one is in India. This is in Bangladesh.

Cross-Pollenation

In an effort to up the readership/participation on the Sports Page, I've thrown out an open query to see what some of you think. Have at it.

Beavis?

Well, she does sort of look like Coach Buzzcut...

/Highland High is the reference here, for you luddites that didn't watch Beavis and Butthead...

Like A Bad Rash...

They're back. I guess the prescriptions worked, because the infamous dirt site for your favorite Island City is back up and has been for several days! Island Drama, otherwise known as the 'St Simons Tribune,' is present and trolling.

Remember, the Island Drama site is rated "R" for language, adult situations, name calling, language, suggestive pictures, drug refrences, crime refrences, language, crossing the lines, language, and various and sundry other things that only make sense if you've lived in small town where the golf can be bad and the behavior can be worse.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Streetlights Come On

The Metroblog shares some thoughts on the New Orleans juvenile curfew.

This gets me to thinking...do curfews work at all? I mean, I remember getting home well after 9pm on weeknights when I worked my last two years in high school. If I had worked in the back of an actual sit-down restaurant, I probably wouldn't have gotten home before midnight. Then there is the neat fact that I always enjoyed going to a 9:30pm movie or something.

I mention this because there are curfews all over the place these days. What does it say that kids commit crimes, and adults commit crimes, but we choose to create additional crimes to nail the kids with. Then we let the kids get away with anything while they're at school, long as their parents complain.

Think about it you go out this Saturday night...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Thanks, Fellas

Hillary points us to an article in the Red & Black. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has apparently locked tuition rates for your four years of school. That means, if you go to college at UGA, for your first four years of enrollemnent, tuition doesn't go up.

That reminds me of another problem we face in America today that always takes a back burner to the big, divisive issues: paying for college. Is tuition too expensive at public colleges and universities? Every time the college raises tuition on the student, they raise the cost almost three times as much on the taxpayer. Especially when certain University Presidents' wives make 30K a year just to host parties...

Must Read #1

Dang. Despite our obvious political differences, Right On Peachtree is on point with this post. Term limits? Public funding of elections? Prosecute corruption? Elect better candidates?

This part of the left flank reports in ready and willing.

Friday Funny Quotes

From the Blogs I Read.

restricts the rights of citizens who happen to be members of Congress
by Patsbrother, earlier today (for those of you who may not have read that far...).

As we saw in the USA/Italy game, the Italians go down with less coersion than a prom queen.
–SAWB RE: the World Cup, On the Sports Page.

Hey, it's better than burning embassies and beheading infidels.
DADvocate, concerning thugg life. He even provides a photo.

I told him he was my lightning bug because of how cute and cudley he is, and that I did not think guys like him existed anymore.
Overheard in Athens. I wonder what kind of man allows himself to be referred to as "lightining bug?"

Hillary: I know it was wrong, but it tasted so right.
From “real work conversations” over at Safe As Houses, who inadvertently gave me the hat tip to our finale:

Next time I'm bringing a can of paint. I mean, if we're going to own it we might as well maintain it.
Regarding University of Tennessee's Neyland Stadium. From The Georgia Sports blog.

Global Shame: reprise

A few weeks ago patrick posted this blog. So now the saga is over and a 16-year-old girl has been arrested but won't be charged with misdemeanor theft. The tale is of a girl who lost her Sidekick, a guy who wanted justice, and a 16-year-old who thought keeping a lost cell phone wouldn't come back to haunt her. You couldn't write a book sillier than this.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

America Burning

Regarding the Flag Burning amendment, I present Jonathan Alter from Newsweek:

The usual litmus tests—abortion, gun control, Iraq—shouldn’t be. Reasonable and sincere people can disagree, with at least one or two principled arguments on each side. The flag burning amendment is in a category by itself: the only argument for it is based on pure emotion. But ours is supposed to be a government of reason, not emotion, especially when it comes to the most precious repository of our rights. The American Constitution, the apogee of reason in the history of self-government, is real; the American flag, for all of its beauty and deep meaning, is symbolic. For more than 200 years, we’ve occasionally used the amendment process to expand rights. This would be the first time we would enshrine their restriction. Polluting the Constitution is far more dangerous than burning the flag.


I would never burn the flag. I don't think I know anyone who would seriously do so. As much as that act may disgust me, I'm not ready to codify its restriction into law, much less the United States Constitution. We already have arson laws on the books. We already have millions upon millions of veterans and patriots who respect the flag and what it stands for and no idiot with a lighter can change that.

I find it telling that, even if this law passes and is ratified, you can still burn a cross on your own land, but women wearing American Flag bikinis could be arrested.

Ladies and gentlemen, your government, hard at work.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Grazing...

So, Merideth Ford, one of the food critics from the AJC has decided to do a write up of several of the eateries in Athens in preparation for AthFest. While I don't disagree with her selections entirely, I do take some amount of umbrance with the fact that she just hit the most 'well-known' places, other than a blurb about Achim's.

Some of my personal favorites in town that she skipped entirely -

Siri Thai - In the Bottleworks on Prince. Brilliant Thai food, cheap. Go now.

Bischero - Also in the Bottleworks. Best Italian food for 70 miles or so. Authentic Northern Italian. Fantastic Paninis and Pizzas.

Speakeasy - Tapas bar where Gyland's used to be. Great place for a group to eat. Killer cocktails.

5 Star Day - Yeah, it's white-kids-soul-food, but it's good.

Anything else she, or I, missed? I'll say that while Hugh Acheson is a fine chef, $20-30 entrees aren't really the way to my heart...at least not in this town. And while I don't dislike the food at Last Resort, I'm really not a fan of either the service, or the management.

Mid-Week Mash-Up

Alrighty, kids. Here's a few that should spur some commentary til at least Friday...

First up, a Wall Street Journal editorial from Pete du Pont, Former Delaware Governor. Mr. du Pont has a few ideas on why we are 'addicted to foreign oil'. Here's a preview, it's the government's fault.

Next, John Stossel on the continued, and unending, hypocracy of the 'war on drugs'.

Lastly, Herman Cain weighs in on the Congressional Democrats 'New Direction' plan. I would explain, but there is too much, so, let me sum up. The Democrats 'New Direction' is like taking a westerly route to Florida. From Texas. It doesn't matter what your 'New Direction' is, if you don't have a decent map to get you there.

Discuss away...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

And another thing...

(before lunch break is over)

If this administration won't do something about illegal immigration, don't be surprised when locals start doing whatever they can, however they can.
Municipal officials around the nation, frustrated at what they perceive as the federal government’s inability to stem illegal immigration, have increasingly taken matters into their own hands.
I'll say right from jump that I'm a big fan of "Do It Yourselfism" (DIY), but I hesitate here. I'm not going to give a thumbs up or down on the particular Pennsylvania city, but what I do know is that having a million different cities with a million different ordinances and enforcement techniques is not going to solve any problems. As a matter of fact, it may leave us in worse shape.

What are y'all's thoughts?

Cutting & Running

But not from what you think...

Governor Katherine Blanco (D) has signed into law a ban on all pregnancy terminations in the state of Louisiana, exceptions being made when the life of the mother is at stake.
"The Louisiana ban would take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Medicaid, which provides health benefits for the poor and disabled, requires funding for abortions in cases of rape or incest. Louisiana would allow those exceptions so long as it was required for Medicaid funding."

Now, seeing this, I am further convinced that Louisiana generally, and New Orleans in particular, is the true current front line of the culture war as well as the competency-in-government war. I think it has been this way since Katrina.

So what, pray tell, is the left-left's response? Cut & Run. I'm usually a fan of Kos & Atrios, but fellas, giving up on Louisiana & New Orleans is what we have blasted the other side for. I was absolutely shocked at the comments sections. I ain't a big fan of this trigger law either, but (unlike the left-left, apparently) I actually have to deal with neighbors, friends and family who are. Write off Louisiana? A Southern state that voted for Bill Clinton twice?? To me, it would seem that this move is the clarion call to roll up the sleeves and get to work.

Needless to say, this stance by the boys has drawn some choice words from Crescent City Cyberspace: Suspect Device has a good place to start.
Oh, and Duncan? Markos? Don't think for a second that I will even consider donating time or money to any of the candidates for whom you solicit. My money needs to stay here, to make up for the dozens of dollars you no doubt would have spent, and I will continue to remind my circle of readers that however progressive or positive or needy any candidate in another state might be, we do indeed have more important things to attend to here at home.
Big, fat hat tip to Humid City for this one.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Screw you guys....



....I'm going home. - Eric Cartman

So, I'm sittin' at home watchin' the Daily Show tonight, and they have a bit about some softball league that's played in Washington City. I thought it was a joke piece, as the Daily Show is want to do. The story goes like this: Republican and Democrat staffers have their own softball league in DC. Because of a dispute over the way the playoffs of this league are played, many Republican teams have decided to 'secede' and form their own league. Ha ha funny, thought I.

Then Jerz Knows All (the roommate) pipes up with "that really happened."

Unbelieving, I turned to the computer for answers. The DCCC blog, the Stakeholder, had this to say. A Technorati search yeilded more.

Luckily, I found this gem from Better Traction, which pretty much says it all:
Playoffs were for the few, absudly serious teams. Absudly serious means teams that thought winning was more important than making sure someone showed up with beer. If there are enough teams today that care more about who goes to the playoffs, let alone wins, than who's bringing the beer, to cause a complete rift in the whole league, this partisan politics problem is even worse than I thought.

When terms like liberal and conservative can be used, with a straight face, to criticize softball rules, well then, its become obvious that neither of those concepts has any traction with the rest of us.

I guess someone never explained to the Cartmans in the Republican Party that there's a difference between buddy games and blood games.

And if you're into blood games, fellas, pick something other than softball.

Happy Juneteenth!

Today is a State Holiday for Texas, and it should be a national holiday. For anyone who is wondering what Juneteenth is, it is the day 140 years ago, that the Emancipation Proclamation took effect in Texas.

Fourth Battle of New Orleans

Or, at least, this is the 'second phase' of the Third Battle of New Orleans.

It looks like we're now fighting a two front war, one in Iraq and the other in New Orleans. In response to a ridiculous uptick in crime, specifically the quintuple homicide in Central City, Mayor Ray Nagin, the City Council and Governor Katherine Blanco are trying to call up 300 National Guard troops to assist in re-securing the city. 60 state police officers have already been authorized.

This is why I'm a pretty staunch 2nd Amendment Liberal. Praise the environment and pass the ammunition. I wonder how long it will take for people to realize that the government can try to protect you, but it all starts with you protecting yourself. Even if you don't want to own a gun (I don't, yet), at least be vigilant and aware of what is going on around you. I wonder how far we are from seeing New Orleans Civil Defense Militias springing up to work with police and the National Guard and keep their own neighborhoods secure.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day


I got the Pops a fifth of Knob Creek Straight Bourbon whiskey. It apparently arrived just in time, because his Gentleman Jack was just about finished. The giving of whiskey for such occasions has become sort of a tradition among my family (and friends). It came about because, what else can I get my Pops that he will derive such enjoyment from? He has all the tools he needs for his garden & yard, power tools would kill him, anything for the house would be (in reality) a present for my Mom, any electronic device would raise his blood pressure, and he's a better cook than me at this point.

And unlike some folks, my Father knows how to enjoy a good glass of bourbon. Sort of a nod to my father and my father's father. And that makes the decision easy.

Friday, June 16, 2006

In case you missed it...

...Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) was removed from his position on the House Ways & Means Committee today. And would you guess who went out and did it? The Democrats. That's right folks, the Democrats got together in their caucus and decided that sort of behavior won't be tolerated, because we intend to hold ourselves to a higher ethical standard than the other guys.

I don't agree with Ms. Pelosi on many things, but I'm givin' her props for getting this one right on the money.

Dare we call it progress? (from Your Right Hand Theif in New Orleans). Good says fellow Island City blogger, the conservative Coastal Companion. Quite a different reception than the one Tom DeLay got from his colleagues, hunh?

More here.

(Post has been edited for spelling errors. HR)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

This...

...is what we're arguing over today?
Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror, whether as first responders protecting the homeland, as servicemembers overseas, as diplomats and intelligence officers, or in other roles;

(2) honors the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the Coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or been wounded in the struggle, and honors as well the sacrifices of their families and of others who risk their lives to help defend freedom;

(3) declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;

(4) declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq;

(5) congratulates Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the Iraqi people on the courage they have shown by participating, in increasing millions, in the elections of 2005 and on the formation of the first government under Iraq’s new constitution;

(6) calls upon the nations of the world to promote global peace and security by standing with the United States and other Coalition partners to support the efforts of the Iraqi and Afghan people to live in freedom; and

(7) declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.

(full text from Jack Kingston's blog)

I can't speak for the rest of us, but this Democrat says:

1) Yea, 2) Yea, 3) Yea, 4) Yea*, 5) Yea, 6) Yea, 7) Yea.

Was that really difficult? This resolution reads like a mission statement. The devil is in the details (and which is where I think the Democrats could absolutely channell some Truman, flank the Republicans and OWN this issue) especially (*) # 4.

Of course I agree with 1) honoring our troops, 2) honoring the dead, 3) not leaving the scheduling to Washinton, 4) making sure the Administration doesn't install a puppet government, 5) gives mad props to the Iraqis for voting more than Americans, 6) russelin' up a posse (that we shoulda done in the first place), 7) sayin' that terrorism is bad, and we're gonna fight it (just as soon as we define terrorism) and all that.

Glad you guys have come aboard, now where's your freakin' plan???

Warning: Nerd Post

So we've been talking about Star Trek and the Guide and some other nerdy topics so I thought I would throw this one out there since it's on Drudge: Spiderman outs himself to the press. No, he's not gay (but that also ties in to other posts). Apparently in the comic book world, the US is requiring super powered folk to register themselves as weapons of mass destruction and as a supporter of this new act Peter Parker has revealed that he is Spiderman. I'm trying to relate this to the real world so here's my question to you: Who in real life do you think the government should register as weapons of mass destruction?

Personally, I think Chuck Norris and Ken Shamrock are both givens. If Bruce Lee were still alive, you know he'd also be on the list. Who am I missing?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Guess Who

Our Representatives Continue to Fail Us

When history is written about these current times in America, there will undoubtedly be heated arguments about how bad/good a President George W. Bush has been. I, personally, don't think he's done a very good job, but that's my opinion and I have my reasons.

What I hope isn't confined to the dustbin of history, when that particular debate takes place, is that good or ill, George W. Bush has been President while we have had some of the most awful Congresses in this nation's history. With a few notable exceptions, this group of folks, Democrat & Republican, have not done us proud.

This is especially true for Louisiana, specifically New Orleans. Third Battle of New Orleans puts two of their Congressional personailites on blast. One Republican and one Democrat. 20 points if you can name them before reading more.

On CNN he told the world that on the issue of gay marriage: "I don't believe that there's an issue more important than this one. I think this debate is very healthy, and it's winning a lot of hearts and minds. I think we're going to show real progress." Wow, Mr. Vitter is obviously a fool. Maybe he needs to take a slow drive through Lakeview, Gentilly, MidCity, the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish again and rethink his priorities for his constituents.
That's the Republican (if you couldn't tell). Have you guessed who? Senator David Vitter.

The next one is real easy:
Although he has not yet been charged with any crime, Mr. Jefferson's actions give him the appearance of someone who is quite guilty. He is in the middle of a corruption scheme that has found him with $90,000 of cash in his freezer of his Washington home, FBI raids of both his houses in New Orleans and Washington, the use of National Guard troops to help him get belongings from his New Orleans' home immediately after Katrina, and has been a part of an FBI probe, including recorded conversations of bribes. Most recently the Justice Department raided his congressional office creating more publicity as other congressmen question the separation of congressional and executive powers. None of this is good for New Orleans. As a poweful congressmen on the House Ways and Means Committee, Jefferson has a tremendous amount of influence in providing assistance to the rebuidling of New Orleans. Unfortunately, another corrupt Louisiana politician is exactly what everyone outside of Louisiana expects from us. Furthermore, the Federal government must be asking how they can trust Louisiana politicians with recovery money. Will it all end up in Mr. Jefferson's freezer?
Can you name this man? Rep. William Jefferson, Democrat.

Maybe, just maybe, the stink from Washington is so bad that normal, everyday conservatives and liberals will start getting involved, participating in local and state parties and maybe even running for office. Even if it is the local School Board, this kind of behavior from our government - regardless of Party - can only be stopped in one way: us not letting it get that far.

UPDATE: 06/15/06 2:08pm: Apples and oranges maybe, but Right On Peachtree is definitely hanging out in the same orchard. Oh yeah, speaking of ROP, be sure to read this, too.

This is loony, even for you guys...

Madame Justice?

In the words of Denis Leary in the underrated classic, 'Who's The Man?'...
"On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I want to be called 'King' Cooper, and on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I'll be 'President Cooper'. Is that ok with you? DOCTOR, Dre?"

The Final Frontier

You know what tells me that the US is above and beyond? The fact that we actually have Spaceport construction being held up by the bureaucracy. That is a testament to both how advanced we are and how all encompassing the red tape is.

I just have this vision of some bespectacled dude with a clipboard talking on the com-link to Captain Jean-Luc Picard; "Sorry, Captain, if you want to fly the Starship Enterprise through this star system, you're going to have to call the DMV..."

But, we can't have something cool without some controversey, right? The Rebel Flag debate goes orbital, and the Russians are to blame. Dadgum Russkies, rilin' up all our American sensitivity & s***.

And while we're busy red taping and hypersensitizing space, France can't even figure out how to fly a plane.

The English Cheesesteak

So apparently Geno's Steaks, a big Cheesesteak shop in Philly, has a signs in the restaurant reading: "This is AMERICA ... WHEN ORDERING SPEAK ENGLISH." For some reason I'm not aware of, this is considered discriminatory.

The city's Commission on Human Relations Rev. James S. Allen Sr. tells us that "We think it is discriminatory, and we are concerned about the image of Philadelphia." The commission is trying to get the signed removed. They are claiming that Geno's is violating two city ordinances: "denying service to someone because of his or her national origin, and having printed material making certain groups of people feel their patronage is unwelcome."

I think it's a bit silly to claim that requesting orders in English is the equivalent of denying service because of national origin. Plenty of folks from all nationalities use English in their everyday lives here in America. However, I also think it's silly to not take business from anyone who can communicate to you what they want, even if it's not proper English.

Personally, I just have one question for Geno's Steaks: Why is the sign written in English? Someone who doesn't speak English isn't going to understand the sign anyways. How are they going to know that they are expected to order in English? I guess that's two questions.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Hug your local liberal today...

They might be near-suicidal with this news.

Ok, so, The great and powerful Karl Rove will not be indicted. What's next in Patrick Fitzgerald's bag of tricks?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Global Shame

What happens "When Keepin' it Real Goes Wrong" instersects with "When The Internet Attacks?" A Case Study. (Rated PG-13 for language). In case you don't have the 30 minutes to read through this massive situation report (thought I highly recommend it), here's the summary.

Girl leaves her 'Sidekick' (a T-Mobile/AOL picture/phone thing that costs about $400) in a NYC cab. Her & associate, Evan, text & call said device asking for its return. They even offer a reward.

The folks who are in possession of device say yes, they have it but no, they won't be returning it. Finders, keepers et al. The folks who have it also begin using the device so that they can take pictures and access the internet. Evan says that if they don't return it, he will blog about it and send their pictures out online. They say, whatever!, probably thinking 'who reads the internet, anyways.'

The site should be approaching a million hits soon, and this Evan dude has had interviews with radio stations and other internet news have linked to the site. (I found it by reading hyper-liberal A La Gauche, so this hat tip goes to Lefty.) The folks who stole the device are saying this is harassment.

There's even a nifty sub-plot about NYC police bureaucracy (and its handling of petty crimes) as well as an inadvertent mention of the 'thorough' reporting tactics of the New York Times. But those appear towards the end of the page, round abouts the posts for June 10-12.

I hope this ain't a hoax, because 1) it is hilarious and 2) this is the proverbial 'little guy' getting back at both the bad guys and the system.

Tropical Storm



The leading edges of Alberto cross over Island City. Photo courtesy of the Moms. She'll be 'on assignment' for the next few days, I'm sure.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Open Season

( Graphic from NOAA)

Welcome to Hurricane Season, y'all. Our first real installment of the 2006 Season is currently warming up between the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba. For now, her name is Tropical Depression One, though if she strengthens a bit, as she is expected to do, she will undergo something of a sex change and become Tropical Storm Alberto.

As you can see from the three day graphic, Island City may be in for a little bit of rain in the next few days. Here's hoping rain is all she/he/it brings is rain...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Reverend Jim Nelson's Blog

That's right, folks! Our Candidate for US Congress, the Reverend Jim Nelson, has added a blog to his campaign website.

http://www.electjimnelson.com/blog/

Go there, make some comments. Let 'em know how powerful the Internet is!

I've already alerted Lawmakers and Georgia Politics Unfiltered.

More will come, and soon.

Good job, Nelson campaign. Thanks to LiberalandProud for letting us know.

Mirror post at Coastal Empire DFA.

Classic

I picked up a new local mag (rag?) today called The Common Census. It's contents are at least somewhat diverting (including an entertaining column called The Best Arrests). But I needed to quote it on this:

BARBARA STREISAND BASHES BUSH, FORGETS TO RUN SPELL CHECK

An excerpt: Attacking President Bush's education and intelligence in a memo, "Streisand, a highschool dropout, ridiculed President Bush, a Yale and Harvard graduate, as being an arrogant, "C" student whose actions have "warrented" (one of her 11 "typos") impeachment proceedings."

What makes this even more classic is that "highschool" is really two separate words and that the comma that follows "arrogant" has no business being there as "arrogant" modifies "'C' student" and not "student".

I see this as the gift that keeps on giving. Bush = idiot. Steisand = idiot. The column's author = idiot. And, no doubt, one of you will find a way to add patsbrother = idiot.

And the beat goes on...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Explanation

Another weird culture war phenomenon...how to explain homosexuality to small children? Thanks to the culturally correct, this is a big topic in the news, and precocious children may not ignore the issue. I wonder how I would handle this if I was a parent, especially with 'thats so gay' being vernacular among preteens in schools. I consider myself an open minded liberal, but not being a parent, I can't really imagine how I would feel if I had a munchkin on my own who came home from elementary school with such a question. I mean, the 'birds and the bees' talk must be hard enough for some parents, I can't imagine how difficult this topic must be for some.

I know DADvocate has discussed this before on his blog (thought my boy Jack Daniels is visiting the house right now, preventing me from a really good search), so I wonder what his thoughts on this are. I wonder what many parents, especially new ones, have thought about telling their children about this. I wonder what the more liberal like Dangerblond told her kids (or grandkids if they asked)?

I wonder about this, because of this article from Hip Mama in this week's Flagpole Magazine.

Elections

I always wonder what happens when people put too many eggs in a basket. Democrats put too much on the San Diego special election for the "Dukester's" seat. Though they lost by less than a touchdown, they still got excoriated in the news today for not capitalizing on the 'perfect storm' of government corruption.

I personally found interesting the Alabama Repubublican Primary, which got small mention in the media today.

The blurb:
Elsewhere, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley easily beat back a GOP primary challenge from Ten Commandments judge Roy Moore, while Democratic former Gov. Don Siegelman — who campaigned while on trial on corruption charges — lost his comeback fight against the state’s first female lieutenant governor. Also in Alabama, voters passed a ban on gay marriage by a 4-to-1 margin.
Riley said voters saw state government has changed while he has been in office. “People appreciated the difference in the level of corruption we had in the past and the corruption we don’t have today,” he said. His challenger, Moore, said: “God’s will has been done.”

If anyone was wondering what a real 'activist judge' looks like, you can do some research on " Judge Ten Moore Commandments," who was forced out of the Alabama Supreme Court for being too crazy. I'm glad the Alabama voters rejected him.

I wonder what that says for the right wing who only focus on stirring up culture war. Riley, while a principled man, is much like the filp side of the Jimmy Carter coin. I don't agree with a whole lot of Riley, but he's not just grandstanding. While I don't think Alabama is going to go Blue any time soon, I wonder how long the Libertarian - Republican coalition will last when their only choice in some states is between folks like Riley or Moore.

Where do they get those wonderful toys?

Look! Up in the sky. It's a hang-glider. It's Batman. No, it's new special forces stealth paratroopers?

I'm not kidding. Have a look for yourself:



In a telling move, Daily Mail even named this file "batman070606_546x600.jpg." We could use more stuntman-originated ideas in military ops.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Scrappy

Zakaria reminds us that history ain't quite over yet, and we have to keep from being lulled into the comfortable doze of complacency. We're the top dog now, but how much longer will it, or can it, last? He claims it could be indefinite, due mainly to our flexibility in assimilating technology to utility to comerce and our ability to attract the smartest people in the world to become Americans.

It is a Must read.

He critiques the following:
Our entitlement programs are set to bankrupt the country, the health-care system is an expensive time bomb, our savings rate is zero, we are borrowing 80 percent of the world's savings and our national bill for litigation is now larger than for research and development. None of these problems is a deep-seated cultural mark of decay. They are products of government policy. Different policies could easily correct them. But taking such steps means doing something that is hard and unpopular.

Sounds like a pretty holistic and bi-partisan view, but one that encourages change. I wonder what changes we can make while still keeping the flexibility that makes the American economy and culture so dominant. Where do you, gentle reader, think we should start?

Raining Blood

No, this isn't about Slayer, even though the timing is appropriate. I didn't even hear about the 'blood rains' in India in 2001 until I read this article from Popular Science today.

That's just wierd.

Though I'm wondering how widespread this news was back in 2001. I'm sure Pat Robertson would have had something to say about it...

(Hat tip to Clicked.)

Satan...

...boring?.

It takes some serious shenanigans to get rid of the Prince of Darkness, or -if you don't get rid of him- make him look like a tool. Especially on his day. I guess it really says something about American popular culture when the advertising machine can run Little Horn into the ground, hunh? Either that, or American culture is now soo desensitized, it takes something more that the Great Corruptor to make us look up from our morning coffee. Lies, corruption, entropy, eternal damnation? So last year.

That's right all you horn-throwing-metal-heads! This is what it feels like to have your big day overcommercialized, just like Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving. You know what they got now? Devil's Night Greeting Cards! (How prescient that line was...) The Antichrist is one step away from showing up on the cover of People Magazine, doing the soul-wrenching interview where he tries to redefine himself as the Anti-Dr. Phil.

Here's some good readin' about this. I laughed out loud. A teaser: Six reasons the Devil is lame:
1. The Omen
2. Slayer & Deicide (sorry, SAWB)
3. David Lee Roth
4. The Church of Satan
5. AFI
6. Ann Coulter ("In my rich fantasy life I envision her being kidnapped and taken on tour with Deicide, where they make her work the T-shirt and sticker table.")

I haven't even been able to stop laughing as I type this.

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." (-Kaiser Soze)

Yeah, and then American pop culture brought him back, scrubbed him behind the ears and made him a marketing icon on the same level as Ronald McDonald. Way to go, evil!

Back in the Saddle Again

This train is never late.

That's right, since the culturally correct have nothing else to offer the nation, they bring us Gay Marriage. Strange how this keeps popping up only in election years. Even the Decider himself is getting in on the act.

You know, I keep reminding folks that this debate is all about the special rights the legal (not to be confused with religious) ramifications a marriage grants people. If any other word - besides marriage - was used, people wouldn't care near as much. My Pops didn't seem to remember Vermont's Civil Unions at all. Or Hawaii's situation, either. But he By God knows about how wrong it is for gays to get married.

And that's why I can't stand this crap, because that's just what it is - crap. It is a non-issue that gets people all riled up over nothing. Nothing. If you don't want to be gay, then don't be gay, Sparky. Welcome to the sweet land of liberty.

'Cause if you think the culturally correct are going to stop there, think again. I've got Exhibit "A" all lined up for ya. Read that link. A city in the heartland is considering evicting a family from their home because the Mom and Dad ain't married. That's some Scarlet Letter, Inquisition meets Overzealous Nosy Neighbor steer poo right there. And that's where we're going to go if the culturally correct get their way.

A lot of folks see the play. Buzzzbee wonders if this will work again. AthPo was involved with the debate about the Georgia referendum some weeks ago, and Georgia Politics Unfiltered (also frustrated about the Georgia referendum) swore never to blog about this topic again. And that was before the latest round of national jackassery.

But I've got additional complaints that I will bring up here again: the attacks on the Judiciary. What kind of conservatives attack straight up rule of law? I guess their plan is just to discredit the Judicial Branch to eliminate that check against legislative mob rule. They even went so far as to advocate violence against judges, just last summer. What, you don't believe me? Maybe this is just my irrational liberal mindset, but I always thought the really real conservative way to get the support of the courts was to have convincing legal arguments.

Silly me.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Hello, I'm John Kerry...

And i'm doing almost anything I can to keep my name in the news.

As much as Sen. Kerry would like for us to forget, he did, in fact, vote to authorize the war in Iraq, with the same information that the rest of the Senate and House had in front of them.

Oh, and in case you can't read between the lines, Sen. Kerry's 'thinking real hard about running for President again in '08' translates into, 'gosh I hope Hillary Clinton will pick me as her running mate...'

A gentle reminder...

Of what you WILL be celebrating on Tuesday...

Compliance is mandatory.

Violators will be thrown to the beasts in the pit.

That is all.

An Open Letter...

...to Jessie Jackson. From the Metroblog. In New Orleans. It is a must read.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Communication

So I was reading this article that seems to be "City Boy on Safari into the American Heartland." I didn't like the patronizing attitude the author took;
Grunt and Grumble is the language of rural life, the patois of builders and contractors, farmers and volunteer firefighters. It has the rhythms of a David Mamet play. Sentences go unfinished, assumptions are made, key words are savored, in a kind of incantation. Everyone understands everything everyone else is saying, or pretends to.

the sort of emasculating condescention;
It's essential to rural life: part news, part education, even part (shhh) support group....Men in my upstate town rarely engage in deep emotional discussions about their anxieties.

or the final enlightenment and discovery of the hillbilly wisdom.
Once I grasped this, certain local behaviors made more sense. I'd puzzled, for example, about why Anthony drove to Stewart's for his morning juice and bagel when his wife, Holly, had the same breakfast menu at home. Then, joining him one morning, I understood.

But there was one thing I did get from the article that I didn't exactly realize while I was reading it the first time. While this sort of thing seems like cosmopolitanism making fun of rural vernacular, I had my own enlightenment and discovery in it that this is very similar to making fun of those 'coffee shop liberals.'

Can't you see it? The rural folk have 'grunt & grumble' and the cosmopolitans have 'half-caff soy-milk lattes.' Put 'em together, and you have some full blown American multiculturalism.