Friday, February 29, 2008

Time Article: "Geldof and Bush: Diary From the Road"

You may remember Bob Geldof as the guy who shaved his hair and nipples off in the Pink Floyd movie The Wall. Or you may remember him from Live Aid but that's not as fun. Even less fun than that is remembering him from his humanitarian work in Africa (though only his work that puts him collaborating with Bono seems to get any press). Geldof has been quite impressed with Bush's humanitarian work in Africa and has been quite displeased that nobody in the press has bothered to write much about it. So Geldof is apparently taking matters into his own hands and doing a few pieces on Bush's work in Africa for Time Magazine. I thought this article was pretty exceptional. Geldof is no friend of conservatives (or even Republicans... ZING!), but this article seems to be pretty fairly laid out and Geldof seems to have done his homework on both Bush and the United States' history of "humanitarian" work in other places (like Vietnam shortly before our conflict there). He doesn't particularly pull any punches but doesn't throw any unnecessary or unfair punches either. It's worth a read.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

RSDictionary

Teaching in the RSD is one hell of an experience. One of the many things we have to deal with is the new vocabulary we are exposed to. In light of that, I hope to present a list of new vernacular that I have picked up, with their translations into everyday American language.

The one I will start with is the one I use the most of.

sneak: verb 1. to conceal one's movements; 2. (RSD) to physically strike someone else, usually with a fist connecting to the face of one's opponent in a sudden or unexpected manner. Past tense: snuck.

You can see where this is going. Here is an example of the "proper" usage of the term "sneak" in an everyday sentence:

"I'm gonna sneak you!"

This sentence is usually said at high volume, with the emphasis on the verb itself. The translation to everyday American:

"You have displeased me, insulted me, or wronged me in some way. As a consequence of this, I now threaten you with unexpected physical violence at some future time. I do this at a high volume so those around us are made aware of both my righteous displeasure with your behavior, and to indicate with my level of volume the degree of my displeasure. I do this whether or not I actually intend to carry through on the stated threat. A response is neither necessary nor expected, as the verbal device I am using is generally rhetorical in nature."

Word.

So long, Buckley.

This is a sad, sad day for conservatives everywhere. William F Buckley, Jr. has passed away. That's all I have for now.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Clinton is touting foreign policy?!

Maybe you should stick to a 4-point attack, Hillary. One of the prongs of Ms. Clinton's 5-point attack on Obama includes his lack of experience with foreign policy. Obama's lack of experience does make his actions a bit on an unknown but compared to the experience Hillary is claiming (which is really her husband's experience), I think I'll stick to the unknown. Here's my faavorite quote on the subject:

“We’ve seen the tragic result of having a president who had neither the experience nor the wisdom to manage our foreign policy and safeguard our national security,” Mrs. Clinton said in a speech on foreign policy at George Washington University. “We can’t let that happen again.”


We did let that happen again. We had a President who did absolutely nothing to help our national security even after terrorists bombed the World Trade Center, bombed several of our US Embassies, and even bombed one of our military submarines. Oh no, he did do something. He sent a few criminal prosecutors after the people who carried out the actions, leaving the people in charge of planning free to plan again. He had our federal agencies erect walls between each other so that sharing information between agencies was almost impossible. Bill Clinton had his good moments as President, especially when he stole the thunder of the Contract with America and ran as a conservative in 96. But foreign policy was a complete and utter failure under his tenure. If I were Hillary, I would distance myself from "foreign policy experience" before someone gets the bright idea to run campaign ads showing the aftermath of the aforementioned bombings followed by a "Vote Clinton for National Security" sign.

Monday, February 25, 2008

NOBODY Cares

So in this strike-ridden blessing of a Hollywood season, nobody cared to watch the Oscars. Viewing figures were at an all-time low with 34 million viewers. Given that the population of California is 36 million, only the Californians bothered to tune in. The darling of the event was a movie that only grossed $61 million. Given the $10 million cost of a movie ticket these days, this movie was seen by only 6.1 people. I'm not saying that high gross makes a good movie but if you actually want people to watch your awards shows, then you need find a way to incorporate movies people have actually seen into your show. It's no coincidence that the Oscar viewing figures were highest when a Lord of the Rings movie won awards. That doesn't mean you should make Transformers the Best Picture but it does mean that you should probably mention good movies that out-earned the Best Picture tenfold.

But I guess that might upset the haughty-taughty Oscar-phile types who have their Oscar Parties and want to seem sophisticated by believing that they know something the rest of us don't. They think of the rest of the movie-watching world as uneducated rubes. They'd rather sit around drinking wine, bemoaning football, complaining about how George Clooney should've won more awards this year, and analyzing movies that have no business facing much scrutiny than they would just enjoying something for what it is.

The Oscars are simply catering too much to their hardcore fans and not enough to everyone else. Then they complain that nobody watched their show. Contrast that to the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is as inclusive an event as it possibly could be. Given the viewing figures, there are a lot of people who could care less about football who are watching that game. It's an event that has little to do with actual football. Usually, it's a boring blowout-of-a-game. Maybe if the Oscars could learn a little bit about inclusion they could get decent rating on years where the critics and the viewers don't see eye to eye on whatis good.

Friday, February 22, 2008

We're Inna Da Money...

Dear PB,
I'll be happy to collect on this here wager in April when paT is in town for the giant party. I can already taste the greasy, Five Guys goodness...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Island City Calling

I love reading other people's blogs about the homeland. In this case, specific restaurants of the homeland. I get to thinking about the next time I will be back on Island City - just after Easter for Spring Break and then again in just 76 short school days...I can almost taste those tequila shots now.

I will need more than my share of the latter, I promise.

But wait! As a bonus to the read, Ms. Christy also links over here (many thanks) and goes ahead and points out several other Island City blogs, including Coastal Companion's page and one I hadn't seen before - Island Profilin, whose photography really makes me homesick.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

War with Tennessee

The news that a UGA mathmatician screwed up the border of Georgia long ago will surely bring plenty of noise from our friends at the North Avenue Vocational School. But the talk is all very interesting.


Where does Georgia get these people to put in the legislature? For the uninitiated, the team of rocket-surgeons that meet under the Gold Dome are apparently considering a move to go and get 50+ square miles of land Previously Known as Tennessee. While stuff like this usually happens along the borders of states where the ever changing paths of rivers may alter the actual topography, this particular feud is brewing over an imaginary straight line that has been in place since roughly 1818.


The quotes are what really make this worthwhile:


"The Tennessee River was part of Georgia long before there was a state of Tennessee." (Though, perhaps someone ought to have told the mapmaker that salient fact, before he went to a place where he could see that particular river and placed it north of the border...)


"Congress established the State of Tennessee...and designated its southern boundary as the 35th parallel." (That it took nearly 200 years to actually pinpoint the exact location of this '35th parallel' speaks volumes on government efficiency...)


Two words "implied consent." "Georgia...has tried unsuccessfully at least four times since 1887" (That was 121 years ago, right? That's an average of one unsuccessful try every 30 odd years. I know folks who'd go to court 30 times in one year over the color of a neighbor's fence. You'd think 50+ square miles of water rich real estate may call for slightly more effort on the part of the plaintiff...)


All this so more people can live in metro Atlanta. But this does bring up one very important economic fact. New Orleans has a water abundance situation. Places like Georgia and California have a water shortage problem. Seems to me there might be some money to be made off this small geographic disparity. Hmmm.

How Bad Is It?

One star movie. Five star movie review.

Click and laugh.

(HT: MSNBC's Clicked)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Outrage or Convenience?

David Shuster uses the words pimping out in reference to Chelsea Clinton and all of a sudden Hillary is outraged. Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson even goes so far as to say "I, at this point, can't envision a scenario where we would continue to engage in debates on that network," he added. Hmmm.... Seems like Hillary really really wants to debate and answer question but those evil tv stations, health issues, and even those dirty sound systems just keep her from doing so. Anyone else reminded of that episode of Diff'rent Strokes where Kimberly faked a hamstring injury because she was afraid to compete in whatever it was she was supposed to be competing in?

Look Hillary, right now you stand a real good chance of getting my vote. Go back one year and SAWB might've bet his kid that I wouldn't vote Hillary but here we are. You'd only be the 2nd of 3rd Democrat I ever voted for. I've voted for more Libertarians than Democrats. I didn't even vote for Zell. You need to spend a little less time dodging questions and making threats that involve you dodging questions so you can keep those of us who like you (slightly) more than the other candidates convinced you're not the bat-guano crazy lady a lot of folks make you out to be.

Trueeee Loooooove

Trueeee Loooooove... Did you hear that? In Italy, a 34 year old butcher was recently charged and convicted for having sex with a 13 year old girl. His sentence was drastically reduced because the court decided there was "real love" between them. I think the article puts it best:
His lawyers argued, however, that there was a "deep tenderness" between him and the girl and that he had "fallen head over heels in love" after a sexual encounter in his car. (emphasis mine)


In his car?! How could that not be true love? I hear the butcher has an upcoming book deal with Velvet Jones. True love is the greatest thing in the world... except for a nice BLT but I imagine a butcher is well aware of that.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Dante Echo Effect

Looks like I'm not alone. I've got some serious buyer's remorse from voting for Romney last night over Ron Paul in the state of Georgia. I really like Ron Paul and I'm not afraid of anything we disagree on ever getting past the legislature. I don't like Romney but he's a lot better than a Republican candidate who passes bills restricting freedom of speech and opposes tax cuts in his spare time. And given how chummy McCain and Huckabee have been lately, I have no doubt that when it comes down to it Huckabee's delegates are McCain's delegates. And that's too bad because Huckabee kind of looks like Nixon (with more hair) so he at least has something going for him.

There are a lot of really real conservatives who are dissatisfied with McCain. And it looks like a growing contingent are even willing to vote Hillary over McCain. Sadly, I happen to be one of them. If they're not being hyperbolic, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh may also be in our ranks. The New York post piece refers to us a suicide voters but I think that's far from the truth. If the Republicans aren't going to have a real conservative in the White House then they're better off being the minority opposition. And with Hillary's drive to follow polls above all else and her newest Hillarycare proposals looking suspiciously like Romneycare in Massachusetts, I'm just not afraid of her as President. I'd rather have that than a Republican president who pushes the Republican Congress into a left wing agenda they wouldn't otherwise go for just so they can support their party's President. Here's how I see my own personal voting scenarios (Updated):

Romney vs. Hillary: Romney
Romney vs. Obama: Romney
Huckabee vs. Hillary: Hillary
Huckabee vs. Obama: Huckabee

McCain vs. Hillary: Hillary
McCain vs. Obama: None of the Above*

Too bad Gingrich sat out of this one. As long as Newt sticks to his ideals, there's no way I'd ever vote for anyone else. Unfortunately, his marital troubles would hurt him badly. (And I'm not even talking about the affair during the Clinton impeachment since Newt never lied under oath about an affair. I'm talking about the serving his wife divorce papers in the middle of her getting treated for cancer. Nothing illegal there but it sure won't help public perception.)

* An idea Pat and Jerz thought they had pioneered until I pointed out it was a major plot point in the Richard Pryor version of Brewster's Millions.

Friday, February 01, 2008

People of Mississippi: You'll Have to Eat Out of State

Smoking Gun has uncovered a proposed bill for the Mississippi state legislature that would prohibit people who are obese according to the state health department from eating at restaurants and fast food outlets and anywhere else that has seating for 5 or more. Do they really want to open that door? Have you been to Mississippi? They'd have to shut down all eateries in the state. I know restaurant workers would find glee in saying, "Sorry fat***, you'll have to eat elsewhere." That fat couple always leaves lousy tips anyways. You know they do. But what about all the Denny's and Ryan's in Mississippi? This would be their death knell. Truck stops would also go under as truckers would have to go on to the next state to grab a bite. Would Mr. Bullhorn have to man the salad to bars to remind people when they've had enough food?

I propose an alternative to this legislature: physical challenge. Serve the obese customers but only after they've gone through some sort of obstacle course or other state-approved feat of strength. You could even have a mercy rule allowing for the obese person to eat after actively attempting the course for a certain amount of time. It would provide them us with exercise and would provide fellow eaters with plenty of amusement. Sure it would cost a lot to implement but it would be cheaper than turning away all the fatties.

On Moonbats and Taxes...

Hi Kids,
Long time no rant. Allow me to fix that.

United States Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) is somewhat peeved at the city of Berkeley, California. Peeved enough in fact to prompt him to propose pulling ALL FEDERAL FUNDING from the city, immediately, if not sooner. What has Senator DeMint so hosed off anyway?

Apparrently, the Moonbat Council in the City of Berkeley decided that the United States Marine Corps recruiting station was no longer welcome within the City of Berekely. The council also voted to give one of the Marine recruitment office's parking spaces to the group 'Code Pink' once a week, along with giving the 'Code Pinkers' a permit for an amplified sound protest on the same day.

Now, I'm sure the loonies on the city council have a nice warm, fuzzy, feeling for telling the big, bad, Marines they can't promote their 'illegal unjust war' in their city. Good for them. UNFORTUNATELY for them, it's sort of illegal for them to try and tell a Federal office where they can and can't locate themselves, much less give away parking spaces which the Federal Government is leasing from the property owner. I'm sure this will end well for the city council, especially since they don't seem to be following the interests of their constituents all that closely:

Even though the council items passed, not everyone is happy with the work of Code Pink. Some employees and owners of businesses near the Marines office have had enough of the group and its protests.

"My husband's business is right upstairs, and this (protesting) is bordering on harassment," Dori Schmidt told the council. "I hope this stops."

An employee of a nearby business who asked not to be identified said Wednesday the elderly Code Pink protesters are aggressive, take up parking spaces, block the sidewalk with their yoga moves, smoke in the doorways, and are noisy.

"Most of the people around here think they're a joke," the woman said.

Fortunately for the Berkeley City Council, the Marines are taking a kinder, gentler stance on this issue than I would prefer.

The Marine official, speaking with FOX News on Friday, said Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway scoffed at the news, but there are no plans for to protest the City Council's decisions. There are definitely no plans to move the recruiting station either.

"To actually put something into law that encourages the disruption of a federal office is ridiculous. They are not going to kick a federal office out of its rightful place there, and this is not going to discourage those young patriots who want to be Marines," the official said.


Were it my decision, I'd have sent in a couple of Companies of Marines to test the iron will and steely resolve of the council members. I'm sure that the problems would be resolved quickly...