April 30, 2006
Net Neutrality Video
If you haven't heard the term "net neutrality" you soon will. It's a complicated issue involving property rights, economic incentives, and good customer internet experiences. Public Knowledge created a video to help understand the issue. I haven't decided where I stand yet, but the video explains part of the issue.
Good Wisconsin Sports Weekend
The Packers didn't screw up the draft, the Bucks showed they still had some life by smacking the Detroit Pistons, and the Brewers decided it was baby seal hunting season by clubbing the Chicago Cubs today and yesterday.
I'm Just Happy to Be Here. Can't You Tell
"Hi, I'm Jason Spitz, third round draft pick for the Green Bay Packers. Ever since my parents put a few thousand dollars in orthodonture work I can't help but show it off to every camera that comes near me.
"I want to succeed and help my new team win lots of games, but if I get too good lots of people will want to take my picture. I don't think my jaw could take that."
United 93 Takes Second at Box Office
Robin Williams' comedy RV beat United 93 this weekend at the box office. Some of that I understand. Most of us usually go to the movies to be entertained, to get away from the stress of the week. I also think some are too afraid to remember those horrible images and feelings of Sep. 11, 2001. It sounds a little crass, but they need to be reminded. Now, I'm not one of those who wishes all the news networks would every night show the video of the second plane crashing into the south twin tower. However, every citizen needs to be reminded we are at war. Without the Sep. 11 attacks there would have been no invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq. We wouldn't be arguing about the Patriot Act or NSA spying. Iran getting nukes would still be important but the issue wouldn't be as vibrantly displayed on our television and computer screens. An occasional reminder becomes necessary or we start getting side-tracked by calls for intervention in places with little U.S. interest like Darfur.
"'RV' Passes 'United 93' to Win Box Office"
April 29, 2006
McCain Proud to Limit Free Speech
What will I do should Sen. John McCain get the 2008 GOP Presidential nomination? He told Don Imus:
I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government.
Think he was taken out of context? Watch the video.
The guy has it backwards. More money goes into campaigns and lobbying when the government intrudes too much. Limit government, pulling back its influence in too many parts of our lives, then you'll see a reduction in activities designed to steer Leviathan in particular directions.
Bin Laden Sightings
JB Van Hollen was right. There are terrorists running around Wisconsin.
Vlogs as The Future
Seriously, it's sort of interesting that people are playing around with video, but don't view the blogosphere as a place kick back and veg out like a couch potato. I can consume a lot more information via text and audio. On the production side writing text is easier than making a podcast. I can't imagine the complications producing a vlog entails. No, vlogs may be the "wave of the future" (great we'll have one million channels with nothing on), but I won't be surfing too much of it.
More Spice Boys Slapping
Folkbum delivered a solid smacking of the Spice Boys:
Maybe covering the blogs (so you don't have to!) just isn't as much fun as trafficking in political gossip. Maybe they just don't have any respect for people like me (and Althouse) who don't get (or want) a paycheck for writing every day. Either way, their scorn couldn't be more clear. Thanks, Boys, for all your efforts to marginalize us.
I really think the Spice Boys have no idea why webloggers spend vast amounts of time writing. They could be the good investigative reporters they are and ask us, but then their conclusion (before doing any research or serious thinking) that " These guys want to go mainstream" might not be true in all cases. We don't weblog for the chicks or the fame. We do it because we think we have something to say, and weblogs make it really easy for us to say it.
I don't deny I'd love a professional writing gig. Before I die I want to have a few books with my name on it. TAM might help me reach that goal. But understand I've been weblogging over six years. If TAM was all about me going mainstream then I should have shut this place down years ago and tried something different like *gasp* journalism school. There's something very satisfying about getting an idea, stringing some words together, hitting "publish" and knowing the end product is available to anyone on the internet.
Davis Might Be Green Bay's Man
In the final hours before the NFL Draft the Journal Sentinel reports the Green Bay Packers will probably draft Maryland tight end Vernon Davis.
"Draft is a Tight Fit"
Upcoming United 93 Review
I saw United 93 last night. It's too late for me to finish the full review I'm working on. I will tell you I lasted until the plane went down into that Pennsylvania field. Only then did the tears well up in my eyes. That was when I was reminded those freedom fighters were the first to knowingly sacrifice themselves in the Islamist War.
For RightGirl the movie brought up a powerful emotion: hate.
The understading of what we were up against did not suddenly come to me on September 11th. It took months - probably till around the time of Bali, before I truly realized the evil we faced, and the direction it came from. But once I did, the seed began to grow. Some days I wonder how I have the strength to stand, the will to smile, the ability to carry on - when the hatred inside me burns to hot and so strong. Hatred. Unlike any I have known before. Hating three people is nothing compared to loathing an entire culture, religion, way of life. I tried to stop it. I tried to center myself, bring myself back from the edge. But I can't. And now I no longer want to. If the hatred is what will keep me focused on the defeat of those who wish to destroy the life we know, then that hatred is more than necessary.
Hate makes one do crazy things like hijack a plane and crash it into a skyscraper. But then we have one of Christ's toughest commands: Love thy neighbor as thyself. I have no answers to that conundrum. Loving someone who is working to destroy you and your society is certain suicide. Yet hating someone simply for worshipping Allah can't be a way to win the Islamist War.
What is Paul Gigot Smoking?
Pamela Anderson has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. With the rise of the blogosphere there are thousands of capable writers to offer unique insights and perspectives. So the paper picks someone known for being a busty, blond boob who has her private, home made porn video floating all over the internet.
My hope of a future writing career has been (temporarily) torn asunder.
April 28, 2006
For once, I might actually be a trendsetter.
"Hewitt Show Prep"
All the "cool kids" use Hosting Matters to house their weblogs. And every few months the company gets hit by DoS attacks. Thus I'll never move TAM to their servers. Big-name weblogs are targets for crackers or politicaly-motivated script kiddies. I don't want to be collateral damage. I'm sticking to DreamHost. I've been with them since TAM got its own dot-com (the end of 2000), and I've only had two or three serious problems, none lasting longer than a day. The service has been good and the price is right.
[Hey, Spice boys, this is more weblogging navel gazing. Have a problem with it?]
"Blogs Down: Hack Attack"
The Spice boys are weblogging goofs. The Journal Sentinel should just shut them down for being such an embarassment. How long have then been zipping around the blogosphere? It must not have been long since they're surprised Ann Althouse would be posting on a weblogging conference she's attending at Harvard. Hello! Webloggers do navel gazing often. Part of it is webloggers are exploring how this new medium (which really isn't that new; it's just writing) intersects with society and institutions. Webloggers are curious folks. Another part is "Blogging: It's all about me." What, webloggers are the only ones who have egos? How about snarky newspaper investigative reporting duo?
Another thing, when has Ann Althouse written deeply about gas prices, the war, or what goes on in Madison? She doesn't. She's a law professor who writes a lot about legal issues, Amercian Idol, and pop culture. If the Spice boys actually read Althouse enough they'd know that and not toss in those straw men. All they are are punching bags for webloggers who know what's going on.
Update on Kos Book Sales
Glenn Greenwald in his obnoxious manner examines the sales numbers of Markos Moulitsas' and Jerome Armstrong's Crashing the Gate. I mentioned them previously. Even little old me who is in the bookselling business can't tell you how many sales qualifies as a "hit." (I do know fiction has to sell better than non-fiction.) Sources gave Greenwald sales numbers for Glenn Reynolds' An Army of Davids and Hugh Hewitt's Painting the Map Red. CTG is beating them both.
Glenn Reynolds' source tells us "the average nonfiction book sells around 5000 units in its lifetime." Then Kos and Armstrong are doing well. CTG could sell 15,000-18,000 or go as high as 30,000 in 2006. That's not Da Vinci Code numbers, but that would be great for a political book.
Greenwald is right if CTG is a book bomb then Reynolds' and Hewitt's books are "grotesque flops." Give Greenwald a point.
"Anatomy of the 'Thought' Process of Bush Defenders"
Charlie's Show Prep #85
Could the Packers Draft Bush?
The Houston Texans are in negotiations with both running back Reggie Bush and defensive end Mario Williams. Conventional wisdom has had Bush being the number one pick. Suppose the Texans get a better deal with Williams and draft him. Does New Orleans take Bush even though they have Deuce McAllister at running back? Maybe with Williams gone they get the next-best defensive player out there by taking A.J. Hawk. Tennessee needs a quarterback since they've locked out Steve McNair, but they could use a magical back like Bush. The New York Jets have the ageless Curtis Martin, but he'll be turning 32 in a few days. As much as I'd like to hope I can't see Reggie Bush available at the Green Bay Packers' spot even if Williams was picked number one. The only scenerios I can see of the Packers getting Bush is if New Orleans reaches for Hawk at number two of if they trade picks with Oakland who would draft Vince Young, and the Jets grab D'Brickashaw Ferguson. It's not likely to happen, but anything can happen in the NFL Draft. Heck, a few years ago the Minnesota Vikings ran out of time in the first round and had other teams quickly draft ahead of them.
April 27, 2006
Wii Are the World
Maybe I'm just getting too old for video games but Nintendo picked a stupid name by calling their next game console "Wii" (pronounced "we"). Huh? The just named their next great hope in the video game wars after a mispelled French word. Ok everyone, being thinking up some urine jokes. Or think of something about "this little pigging going wii wii wii all the way home." Can you beat Joystiq's offerings?
"Nintendo Dubs New Video Game Console Wii"
Battlestar Galactica Prequel
Ron Moore has done such a great job with Battlestar Galactica that I'm willing to give him a chance to win me over with a prequel series called Caprica:
Caprica would take place more than half a century before the events that play out in Battlestar Galactica. The people of the Twelve Colonies are at peace and living in a society not unlike our own, but where high technology has changed the lives of virtually everyone for the better.
If you can stand it listen to the State Assembly live audio of the Taxpayers Protection Amendment debate. Much of it is painful to endure. Great speakers are few and far between in that body. Owen Robinson is in wait and see mode.
UPDATE: After some vote failed (I think it was Rep. Lasee's amendment) both parties have gone to caucus. It's going to be a long night.
UPDATE II: Jenna at Right off the shore reports the TPA died 32-66. Speaker Gard has egg on his face.
UPDATE III: Because the Journal Sentinel's DayWatch weblog has no permalinks (dumb, dumb, dumb) I'll quote the entire story about the death of a TPA that limited state and local government:
The state Assembly tonight killed a constitutional amendment that would have clamped tight spending controls on state and local governments - the first vote by either house of the Legislature on constitutional spending limits.
Guys, quit while you're behind. Call it a night, let Mark Green run with the TPA as a campaign issue, and make an organized effort next legislative session.
Charlie's Show Prep #84
Carnival of the Badger
Belle at Leaning Blue put together a fine Carnival of the Badger. Check it out. She sacrificed valuable study time for our reading enjoyment.
"Carnival of the Badger: Q&A Edition"
April 26, 2006
Kos' Book Sales
Drudge reports the Daily Kos book Crashing the Gate has only sold 3630 in the month since it's been published. There may have been a promotion push today because Amazon has it ranked #25 today when it was #52 yesterday. Glenn Reynolds' An Army of Davids is only ranked #1237. Roger Simon, as of this moment, is wrong. Glenn Reynolds' book isn't selling better. (It all depends on how Amazon calculated its best seller list; something I don't know.) Either Nielsen's Bookscan is not very good at tracking total book sales or Amazon doesn't sell as many books as I thought.
I'm going to agree with John Hinderaker who writes, "I doubt that those data mean anything in particular."
Tire Slashers Receive Sentence
Four of the Milwaukee 5 tire slashers received their sentences today:
Michael Pratt was sentenced to six months in jail, and Sowande Omokunde, Moore's son, got four months in jail. Lavelle Mohammad was sentenced to five months in jail, and Lewis Caldwell received a six-month jail sentence.
The fifth thug, Justin Howell, was aquitted in January's trial.
Thus ends this story of voter interference and violence.
"4 Sentenced to Jail for Tire Slashings"
Charlie's Show Prep #83
April 25, 2006
For 24 Fans...
I have it on good authority Defense Secretary Heller didn't survive driving his car into the drink.
One More Year
ESPN learned Brett Favre told the Green Bay Packers he'll play in 2006. Ok, the future Hall of Famer is back, but besides Donald Driver who will he throw to?
That big sigh of relief you heard was from Aaron Rodgers who has one more season to learn before being thrown into the fire.
"Sources: Favre to Play '06 Season for Packers"
With the talk in Washington (by Republicans no less) of price gouging by oil companies it's obvious basic economics lessons are in order. That's where a resource like Wikipedia comes to the rescue with their entry on supply and demand. If someone knows of a site full of interactive or animated supply and demand graphs let me know. Seeing how the shifting curves affect prices helps me.
Some price manipulation may be occuring--the godfather of capitalism Adam Smith wasn't even that naive--but there's no need to leap to nefarious conclusions when non-evil explanations suffice.
Charlie Sykes read this Wall Street Journal editorial on his show today that applies the basic economic laws to gasoline prices.
Charlie's Show Prep #82
April 24, 2006
Military Combats Worker Abuse in Iraq
One problem with the Iraq War has been oversight of contractors. Auditors have found massive amounts of cost overruns and wasteful spending. Now, the Chicago Tribune reports contractors have mislead new hires by telling some they were going to work in Jordan but instead sending them to Iraq. Another abuse was confiscating workers' passports. In essence they made them slave labor. The newspaper documented the abuses last October. Only this month has the military bureauacracy responded.
"Iraq War Contractors Ordered to End Abuses"
TPA is a Test for Mark Green
Let me add a few thoughts to Owen Robinson's take on the TPA's status.
First, Owen's correct that GOP leadership failed to get a common-sense, uncomplicated amendment passed. We shouldn't be surprised with State Senate Majority Leader Dale Schultz because he could care less about limiting government (and his own importance). With Speaker John Gard it's a case of being too concerned about one's political future. Gard cares more about winning a seat in Congress than limiting government spending and power. It would have been better for the TPA if Gard would have stepped down as speaker; but that would have hurt his chance at getting Rep. Mark Green's seat. In Gard's political calculation he put his future ahead of the state's. That shouldn't be surprising if you view politicians like I do as fairly rational, self-interested participants in the political economy.
Second, the TPA can be saved. Even with the short amount of time left gubernatorial candidate Mark Green is the closest the Wisconsin GOP has to a leader. Schultz doesn't give a damn about conservatives, Gard is too busy running for Congress, and party leaders Rick Wiley and Rick Graber are too often the two that can't shoot straight. Only Green is in a position to build a unified front to get a tax limitation amendment passed. It's conceivable his campaign could write an amendment that either limits state and local government spending or taxation that isn't a Rube Goldberg document policy wonks, lawyers, and judges will argue over for years. As the flag bearer for the Republicans he could get Gard and Schultz to at least get a vote on the amendment.
If the TPA dies this year like I think it will I won't put the blame on Green. I'm sure he assumed a GOP-controlled legislature could get something passed. The political situation is such that Green could really enamor conservatives. He would solidify his limited government credentials and have something tangible to hold against Gov. Jim Doyle. If the TPA goes down Green can use the issue in the campaign. For Green it's a no-lose proposition.
Owen is right in the title of his post. "Leadership Does Actually Matter." Mark Green has an opportunity to show the state he has the ability to lead by getting his party's act together.
"Leadership Does Actually Matter"
Malkin Mania Goes Overboard
Internet "civility" has reached a new low:
After nationally syndicated columnist and blogger Michelle Malkin posted the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of three members of Students Against War, they received a flood of obscene and harassing messages from around the country, including death threats. When a liberal Web site, in retaliation, published Malkin's cell phone number and home address, a full-blown blog war ensued.
Let's realize the SAW press release was on the organization's website. The students did a lousy job keeping their contact information private if that was their intention. If I were Malkin I would have removed the phone numbers and e-mails upon knowing the students were leaving death threats. As being the target of such threats I would think Malkin would understand. She didn't remove the information which made her behavior ill-mannered to say the least. That doesn't excuse Lefties publishing Malkin's phone number and home address that she never publicized. Now, she feels the need to make big changes in her life. Will that shut her up? No, it will only embolden her.
A lot of people acted in a very uncivilized manner. Such behavior makes all the participants looks nasty and brutish. Like most tit-for-tats there is no winner, and no one comes out looking clean.
Was McCarthy Played the Fool?
The funny thing about Mary McCarthy getting fired for leaking classified information to the Washington Post's Dana Priest is the information about CIA secret prisons and kidnappings might not be true:
Investigations into reports that US agents shipped prisoners through European airports to secret detention centers have produced no evidence of illegal CIA activities, the European Union's antiterrorism coordinator said yesterday.
Do you think McCarthy felt a lump the size of the Titanic drop in her stomach when she read that story?
Was McCarthy set up? Was the secret prison story made up to find CIA leaks? Is this part of a plan to clean house in the CIA?
Bin Laden: Those Behind Mohammad Cartoons Should Be Killed
Borders and Comedy Central weren't kowtowing to Muslims by not selling a magazine containing cartoons of Mohammad or banning the animated representation of the prophet respectively. They were avoiding the wrath of Osama Bin Laden.
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has called for people who ridiculed the Prophet Mohammad to be killed, weighing into the furor that erupted after a Danish newspaper ran cartoons lampooning Islam's holy messenger.
"Prophet Cartoon Offenders Must Be Killed: Bin Laden"
Charlie's Show Prep #81
April 23, 2006
The Watermelon Holiday
Jib reminds us that Earth Day coincides with Vladimir Lenin's birthday. Coincidence? I think not. Think of 04.22 as a day for watermelons. You know, those who are green on the outside and red on the inside. Their chief spokesman is ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev now head of Green Cross International. Wow, another coincidence.
"April 22: Holiest of Days for Leftist Whack Jobs"
The Soviet Union as fashion statement is alive and well in Hollywood. This guy wouldn't be caught dead wearing a swastika,
"Soviet Communism as Fashion Statement"
The Funny and the Not Funny
Forget Tony Snow. Make Jim Geraghty the next White House press secretary.
The Not Funny:
Xoff failing at humor. Heck, Eugene Kane has been sounding better on the racial issues surrounding the Jude verdict.
April 22, 2006
Go see The Sentinel. Keifer Sutherland plays an action hero that sounds and acts like Jack Bauer (except in a suit and tie), Eva Longoria looks really hot and doesn't have too many lines to ruin her role, and Michael Douglas does well as the improvising veteran. The story moves and there's plenty of action even though there are some plot holes. The flick is fun, and it should tie us 24 fans over until Jack Bauer hits the big screen.
April 21, 2006
Two for One
WISN's Early Spin has some smart listeners. Dan Deibert posts an e-mail from one:
The mayor lamented the fact that it is difficult to get the poor and minorities on juries because jury pools are selected mostly from the drivers license database, and most of these people do not drive. As a result, juries skew white, and more affluent.
This might be a way to bridge the Left-Right gap on two issues. It won't happen because Democrats don't mind tampering with voting via fraud, bribery, or property damage.
"Great Email From Larry"
Super Bowl I Ring Found 20 Years Later
Twenty years later Packers great Jerry Kramer found his Super Bowl I ring.
It was stolen from an airplane restroom in the early 1980s. Kramer heard nothing about it until he got an annonymous call from Canada last week.
"Kramer’s Stolen Super Bowl Ring Shows Up on Internet"
The Pajamas Media gang goofs up again. The idea of a "Blog Week in Review" is sound, but there's no RSS feed available on the web page. Quick tip to PJ Media: There are podcast programs other than iTunes.
Will They Kill Kenny?
Air Arabia, a low-cost Middle East airline, uses some cartoon characters that bare a striking resemblence to the South Park kids.
Breaking News from the Future
Courtesy of Dennis York:
Thanks to a new program that provides free wireless internet service in the homes of all Milwaukee Public School students, MPS boys have become instant experts in female anatomy, tests show. "The new program has provided previously disadvantaged boys the opportunity to develop their minds, their research skills, and the muscles in their right wrists," said MPS Superintendent William Andrekopoulos.
"MPS Boys Score #1 in Nation on Female Anatomy Tests"
Two Years for Franken
Doug Payton of Stones Cry Out informs us Al Franken's radio show is two years old, longer than Doug thought it would last.
As a national force Franken and Air America Radio have so far failed. Liberal talk radio isn't infecting the airwaves. Air America's financial troubles may play a part; no personality has taken hold of listeners; or liberals don't really want to listen to talk radio outside NPR and college radio stations. They might prefer the alternatives of much of mainstream media and screaming websites like Daily Kos. The notion of liberal talk radio listeners as an untapped market hasn't born fruition.
Charlie's Show Prep #80
Feingold Libels President
Sen. Russ Feingold got plenty of attention for asking the Senate to censure President Bush. It helped to rake in $282,000 for his political action committee. Now, he dropped another "Look at Me!" bomb by libeling him in an ad put out by his Progressive Patriots Fund. In the ad a Karl Rove look-alike tells the President he's the "King of the United States." He then says, "For starters, we should be eavesdropping on anyone who disagrees with you." Fake Rove adds, "It's not 'domestic spying. It's 'terrorist surrveillance.'"
According to Feingold President Bush has considered spying on political opponents. Where's the evidence? There isn't any because that's not what is going on. From all reports the NSA is monitoring terrorist conversations including those with people inside the United States. In Feingold's Daily Kos-fueled world that means Bush is engaging in Nixonian abuses of power. That's libel.
I'm not talking about libel in the strict legal sense. The President is a public figure so people have far more latitude in what can be said about them. Also, to defend himself in court lots of details of the top secret NSA program would have to be released. Still, the ad is "a published false statement damaging to a person's reputation" (Oxford American Desk Dictionary). Since Feingold has offered no evidence showing President has ordered NSA spooks to spy on political enemies the ad meets the definition.
The Confidentials has a good idea. Hey, Russ! Put a sock in it!
"I Can Not Tell a Lie…but Russ Feingold’s Commercial Might Have"
"Someone Save Russ Feingold, From Himself!"
April 20, 2006
Steinbrenner's Billion-Dollar Baby
The New York Yankees is the only team in baseball worth over $1 billion according for Forbes magazine. The Boston Red Sox come in a distant second at $617 million. My Milwaukee Brewers are in 26th place with a value of $235 million. Second-year owner Mark Attanasio should be pleased with last year's 13% increase in the value of his team.
Even though the Yankees are baseball's most highly-valued team it also ran up the biggest loss of any team at $50 million. Curiously the three top-valued teams (Yankees, Red Sox, and New York Mets) all lost money. The only other teams to lose money were the
"The Business Of Baseball"
Say a Little Prayer
Kevin Binversie's father needs a heart transplant, plus he's been "poked, prodded, probed" over the past year. The family will endure even more stress. Please keep them in your prayers.
Going for the Trekkie Vote
George Takai, AKA Star Trek's Sulu, was in Madison Tuesday talking about gay rights as a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign.
George spoke before a large group at the Humanities building on u-w's campus. He talked about his own relationship that has lasted almost 20 years. The campaign stopped in Wisconsin because of this fall's vote on the marriage amendment. Since he came out and started appearing on TV shows and discussing equality, he's received a lot of positive feedback from all kinds of people.
"Mr. Sulu For Equality"
Sep. 11 Film Reviewed
Steve Silver saw United 93 and calls it "a breathtaking film."
Brit Hume Profiled
Howard Kurtz profiles Fox News' Brit Hume.
"Moving to the Right"
Charlie's Show Prep #79
UPDATE: Charlie should really like this one. Jason McElwain's basketball story will be made into a movie.
April 19, 2006
A Tale of Two Headquarters
From the looks of the company headquarters you'd never guess Wal-Mart was the biggest name in retail. You'd never guess suppliers and potential suppliers come from all over the world to meet with company executives in a structure that looks like a high school. There are no flashing lights, no marble statues of Sam Walton spouting water into the air, and no post-modern architecture.
Comparing the two headquarters is a brief tale of two companies. Wal-Mart strives for efficency and customer satisfaction. Their headquarters is there to achieve those goals with no focus on flash. It's aesthetically unpleasing, but it works; just like your typical Wal-Mart store.
The New York Times is a company in the midst of change. The newspaper business is slowly but surely losing to electronic and alternative media. It has turned from being the United States' "paper of record" to a source of derision, contempt, and ideological bias. Despite the threats to their long-term business they put energy into a new headquarters designed by a famed (and pricey) architect. They even had a reporter do a hit piece on how Wal-Mart was using webloggers to promote the company. That's an interesting way to grow the business. Maybe that thinking is why NY Times investors want changes in how the company's stock is structured. Here's the tale of the tape: New York Times stock vs. Wal-Mart stock. Where would you rather have your money?
Charlie's Show Prep #78
McBride on Media Pulitzers
Yesterday, I covered the Pulitzer book winners. Former reporter, now journalism instructor Jessica McBride looks at the newspaper winners. She isn't impressed.
"Pulitzer Prizes: Liberal Media Backslapping"
April 18, 2006
Weblogger Covers Wal-Mart Media Conference
The center of all that's evil, Lefties would call that Wal-Mart, looks awfully plain. Rob at Say Anything says the "headquarters looks like my high school." Judging by the picture he took he's right.
Rob is down there for the company's media conference. He got a tour of the headquarters and listened into MSM arrogance while getting hijacked by a labor union.
Tom Forbes is also in Bentonville at the conference.
"Wal-Mart Conference Day 1"
McGee to Get Sharpton to Milwaukee
The anger after the Frank Jude verdict didn't turn into rage. The last thing Milwaukee needed after the injustice (and what turned out to be a lousy prosecution combined with lying cops) was a further tearing of her social fabric. That disappoints a race-baiter like Michael McGee. He's bummed thousands haven't followed him to hit the streets crying, "No justice! No peace!" He's bringing in an A-list race-baiter, Al Sharpton for added oomph. McGee wants to learn about racial instigation and demagogery from one of the best.
In a press release [PDF] McGee also threatened the U.S. Justice Department to strictly regulate the Milwaukee Police Department possibly even taking it over. If it doesn't McGee says it would be responsible for the city exploding like a "powder keg." That will only happen if people give into the self-promoting exploits of McGee.
This is McGee making a power play. Do not underestimate him. He's learned plenty from his racist father. An empowered McGee will only worsen race relations in Milwaukee.
"McGee Calls in Sharpton"
A Generals' Conspiracy?
A collegue mentioned to me he thought there was something nefarious and organized about all these generals coming out at the same time and calling for Donald Rumsfeld to resign. I tossed the notion aside thinking it was too conspiratorial. Tony Blankley wonders himself:
More specifically, can a series of lawful resignations turn into a mutiny? And if they are agreed upon in advance, have the agreeing generals formed a felonious conspiracy to make a mutiny?
I wouldn't call it seditious since all the critics are out of the military with no evidence they are telling leaders still serving to ignore or undermine Rumsfeld. What I find most interesting is much of the ex-generals' concerns deal with pre-war planning. That's not news. There was a public decision on that in the 2004 election. More voters chose to retain President Bush than call for change with Senator Kerry.
"Seven Days in April -- Generals Prepare to 'Revolt' Against Rumsfeld"
"Behind the Military Revolt"
"Our Intimidated Generals"
"A Generals Revolt?"
Charlie's Show Prep #77
2006 Pulitzer Prizes Announced
Since I'm a book nut I'll mention those Pulitzer Prizes announced yesterday:
Even being in the book business I never heard of the fiction, history, or general non-fiction winners. (Modern poetry is on an entirely separate wavelength.) That demonstrates there are thousands of books coming out every year. There's more good reading material published in one year than any one can read in a lifetime. These are good times to love books.
I wonder how the drama nominees feel. No one took the award. Were they all so equal--either good or bad--that the committee didn't want one to stand out?
April 17, 2006
Duke Lacrosse Players Indicted
A Durham, NC grand jury indicted two members of the Duke lacrosse team for sexually assaulting a black woman. It will be very hard to convict since last week defense lawyers announced none of the players who had their DNA tested were linked to the crime. The local district attorney has an up-coming election and is under pressure to be tough with the Duke student athletes. The man has been holding public listening sessions about the case--something that looks very unprofessional.
"2 Duke Lacrosse Players Indicted in Rape Case"
Mark Green's "Tax Hell" Speech
Today, Rep. Mark Green forcefully came out for tax and spending controls. It's the first time I can recall a major statewide politician calling Wisconsin a "tax hell."
Many outstate Republicans will be grumbling silently while Southeast Wisconsin conservatives will be cheering. Green sounded like one of "Charlie Sykes Stormtroopers."
In recent weeks, a number of startling statistics have come out that all say the same thing – Wisconsin’s tax burden has us at a competitive disadvantage as we try to attract good-paying jobs and grow our economy.
Gateway Pundit has links galore in defense of Donald Rumsfeld. A few generals should read and click. Anti-warriors could also use the dose of perspective.
"Judge Rumsfeld by His Successes And Failures"
Charlie's Show Prep #76
April 16, 2006
On-the-Scene Vs. Phoning It In
Jeff Harrell's coverage of a Washington, D.C. immigration rally was good enough to be quoted by Molly Ivins. Jeff doesn't mind Ivins telling her mass of readers he's full of "provincialism." In fact, he notes the irony:
The irony here is so flagrant that calling attention to it almost makes me feel cheap. I went out, immersed myself in a large-scale event, witnessed it and in real time wrote what I thought about it. Meanwhile, a columnist sat in her comfortable house in her comfortable neighborhood and chastized me for my “provincialism.”
Jim Geraghty goes off.
April 15, 2006
Lousy Way to Get Into the Playoffs
There are few causes more hopeless than jumping on the Milwaukee Bucks playoff bandwagon. Tonight, they decided defense was overrated and gave up 120 points to the lowly Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks started well with the starters moving the ball, making good passes, and scoring early and often. When the second team came is all their energy went POOF! Their offensive movement lacked fluidity and their passes were clumsy. On defense they let the Hawks penetrate too easily giving them high-percentage shots close to the basket. After the second quarter the Bucks had to play catch up and didn't make the good decisions needed to keep the lead.
Even with the loss, the Bucks are in the playoffs with Philadelphia losing.
I almost wish they would have just tanked the last few games of the season and missed the playoffs, but in the Desmond Mason/Jamal Magloire trade the Bucks threw in their first round pick in this year's draft. Since another lottery pick is out of the question I'll take some playoff games even though they deserve a quick exit.
"Bucks Back in Playoffs"
Milwaukee in a Post-Jude World
Thankfully, anger at the Jude verdict hasn't resulted in violence. Wisconsin Avenue isn't ablaze. Maybe the sad news of the discovering of Quadrevion Henning's and Purvis Virginia Parker's bodies tempered people's passions. Or maybe Good Friday did it. Things could have gotten very ugly.
What is ugly is the relations between the Milwaukee Police Department and the community it's sworn to protect. The Code of Silence that allowed three ex-officers to get away with brutally beating a man tells the public the police is above the law. Any hope of near-term progress in countering the "Stop Snitchin'" culture vaporized with Jude verdict. I don't envy Police Chief Nan Hegerty or Mayor Tom Barrett.
There will be heightened tension between Milwaukee's whites and blacks since the Jude jury was all white, the defendants are white, and Frank Jude is mixed race. It's understandable, but I hope the focus is placed on the conflicting testimony of the police at the scene. Someone was obviously lying. A jury must believe the evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt to convict. Rich Esenberg writes, "Eyewitness identifications are not as certain as people believe them to be and the defense must have kicked up enough doubt about them given the fact that the prosecution witnesses were drinking, may have identified the defendants only after their picture was in the paper, etc." Our legal system places the benefit of the doubt on defendants. Because of that injustices can and will happen.
I'm more than willing to speak out against the injustice that occured. I just won't do it anywhere near that race-baiter Michael McGee. Owen Robinson writes,
This verdict will also serve to prop up the race warlords of Milwaukee – those who derive their power from racial hatred and anger. The McGees, Pratts, and Holloways of the world are going to be bolstered and strengthened. Every time these folks are strengthened, it weakens Milwaukee.
Lord help us.
The WTMJ radio yapping trio comment on a podcast.
April 14, 2006
Police Found Innocent in Jude Case
Badger Blogger is reporting all three former Milwaukee police officers were found innocent in the Jude beating case. The jury is deadlocked on one count. Here's hoping the anger at that injustice doesn't turn into violence.
"Jude Beating Trial (Not Guilty)"
One Can't Deter the Undeterrable
I don't buy that Iran has thousands of centrifuges ready to pump out enriched uranium. The chance of them having those is as good as the effectiveness of their "super weapons" like the stealth flying boat and underwater missile.
Still, Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an apocalyptic nutcase who said Israel is "headed toward annihilation." "The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm."
I'd have no problem with Iran having nukes if I thought she was deterrable. India and Pakistan both possess nuclear weapons, but their leaders realize Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) wouldn't be in the best interests of their nations. With Ahmadinejad he might think he is the person to bring about the end times with the return of the Twelfth Imam. Nuking Israel may be Ahmadinejad's manner of doing it. One can't deter someone from not using a nuclear weapon if he believes he will be better of by using it. A Cold War-style MAD strategy won't work.
Practically speaking a full-scale invasion of Iran is out of the question. There isn't enough manpower with operations going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, there isn't the political will anywhere, not in pacifist Europe nor in the U.S. (It will take Iran using a nuclear weapon on Israel or someone else before Europeans or U.S. anti-warriors take the threat seriously.) Economic sanctions will be Iran's punishment along with the specter of U.S. airstrikes that could include the haunting possiblity of the third-ever use of nuclear weapons in conflict.
"Iran President Again Lashes Out at Israel"
Charlie's Show Prep #75
April 13, 2006
Last week, Ann Althouse wrote,
Don't cave into nostalgia for a Golden Age, especially one that got its golden glow from the horror that was 9/11. Things were bound to change and shake around, and some bloggers that you liked then may put you off now. But there are always a million new bloggers, and blogging is a beautifully fruitful format. The great power of blogging is the way it releases the creativity of the individual mind. That sense of not being able to predict your own opinions and observations -- that feeling of writing to discover your own ideas and interests -- is the great intrinsic value of blogging.
Nostalgia is the last thing I want to do with weblogging. Reminiscing about the "old days," say 1999, when weblogging amounted to links to Wired News and News.com articles or some odd site on the net is worse than blogospheric navel gazing.
There are some things about weblogging I'm bummed about. I don't like the desire of many to seek a "gotcha" moment. Power Line and Little Green Footballs got a rush and minor fame from helping to take down Dan Rather. Ed Morrisey had a blast publishing coverage of a Canadian trial that was banned to our northern neighbor. Being always on the hunt makes one anxious to not miss any news. One is constantly reading RSS feeds, refreshing Memeorandum, and scouring oodles of news sites. There's pressure to get be the first so everyone else can link to you. Real scoops are moments of serendipity along with the skill to adequately convey or analyze that moment's importance.
Along with that is the need to get a trophy victim. After Trent Lott there was Dan Rather. After Rather there was Eason Jordan. When Jordan went down it felt like some wanted a Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Brett Stephens to go too. Destruction was the goal.
Then there are the annoyances:
Newt Speaks on Iraq Remarks
Ankle Biting Pundits has a video interview with Newt Gingrich allowing him to explain his views on Iraq. As with most things coming out of his mouth, Newt's thoughts are original and unique. There's no need for me to summarize since the clip isn't long.
"Vlog-clusive: Newt on Iraq"
Spazzing Out Over Tiger
Tiger Woods has apologized for saying he was a "spaz" during his Masters play. In Britain spaz is considered a slur rather than the mildly negative word that it is in the U.S. Paralympian Tanni Grey Thompson said Woods was "a bit stupid saying something off the cuff in that way."
If anyone's spazzing out it's some hyper-sensitive Brits. The Telegraph went so far as to think U.S. newspapers covered up for Tiger.
So Tiger Woods has to be aware of every possible connotation anywhere on the planet for any word or phrase he utters? Give me a break! Start making the list so us insensitive, barbarian Americans can be politically correct even if we mean no offense. Cross off idiot, moron, maybe even goofball off the list.
Maybe after the violence from the Muhammed cartoons some Brits fear riots from those afflicted with cerebral palsy or paralysis. And don't tell the French some people call them "frogs." They might start rioting. Oh, wait...
"Woods Apologizes for 'Spaz' Comment"
Political Correctness Hits Terrorism War
If words matter, and they usually do, the European Union seems incapable of fighting the Islamist War:
European governments should shun the phrase "Islamic terrorism" in favour of "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam", say guidelines from EU officials.
"'Islamic Terrorism' is Too Emotive a Phrase, Says EU"
The Battle of United Flight 93
We're not exactly sure how they did it but passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 did fight back, causing the plane to crash in Pennsylvania, and striking the first blow for freedom in the Islamist War. Audio played for the jury deciding Zacarias Moussaoui's fate demonstrated that.
D. Hamilton Peterson of Bethesda, president of Families of Flight 93, said the public airing of the recording should put to rest any lingering questions about what happened aboard the Boeing 757. "The paramount issue was, Did the passengers and crew thwart the plane from its intended target? And that question has clearly been answered," said Peterson, whose father, Donald A. Peterson, and stepmother, Jean H. Peterson, died on the plane. "Whether or not they were actually into the cockpit or tearing the door off the hinges at the time it was scuttled is something history will have to answer."
"At Trial, Flight 93 Myth Finally Becomes Reality"
Charlie's Show Prep #74
April 12, 2006
New Life Goal
I want to be connected to an urban legend like Charlie Sykes.
[via Jessica McBride]
Newt Doesn't Want "Pull Back" from Iraq
On Newt Gingrich's website his recent statements at the University of South Dakota are clarified. The Argus Leader quoted Gingrich as saying, "It was an enormous mistake for us to try to occupy that country after June of 2003. We have to pull back, and we have to recognize it." The newspaper reports that remark was given Monday afternoon before students and faculty before an evening lecture.
In a printed transcript along with an audio clip Gingrich didn't call for a "pull back." At the end of his evening lecture he said, "And I want us to reduce American casualties, I want us to be as smart as possible, but there are no circumstances where I want to see those kind of people win. Not on our watch." That doesn't sound like pulling out of Iraq.
Since there's no known recording of the afternoon talk we have Gingrich's memory compared to that of Monica Labelle's, The Argus Leader reporter on the scene. Newt has no track record of calling for an Iraqi pullout so I'm chalking this up as a misunderstanding (I'm not assuming liberal bias; that's a knee-jerk response for too many conservatives) on Labelle's part. A reader at this South Dakota weblog who was at the afternoon talk comments the paper got it wrong. Sibby Online was also at the afternoon talk and writes,
I did attend the afternoon session, and no way did Gingrich gave the impression that we should surrender Iraq and instead presented the three points that he now has at his web site. I also heard Gingrich on Sean Hannity’s talk radio show at 4PM today. After Hannity aired Gingrich’s actually position, Gingrich stated that the Argus Leader got it wrong. He then compared this to the Dan Rather fake document incident where the bloggers corrected the MSM mistake. And tonight I am reporting the terrible error made by the Argus Leader today. It will be interesting to see if the Argus Leader will run a correction and an apology.
Charlie's Show Prep #73
April 11, 2006
In Kathleen Falk's Wonderland
Only in the wacky world of Madison, WI would it make sense for Kathleen Falk to run to be the state's top cop while praising herself for helping illegal aliens avoid the law. I wonder what other laws Falk would not enforce?
"Eyes Wide Shut"
Coffee plus Coca-Cola sounds like the Frankenstein's monster of soft drinks. Filled with coffee extract and caffeine Coca-Cola Blak is an energy drink looking to stake a claim with the espresso crowd. The "fusion" (to steal from the bottle) of coffee and cola surprised my taste buds.
When the cap comes off you smell the familiar cola aroma. Along with it comes mocha and coffee scents. If you did a blind smell test you could momentarily mistake Blak for a bottled Starbucks Frappuccino.
The soda's mouth feel isn't different from any ordinary Coca-Cola. There's no Frapaccino-like creaminess. It feels like you're drinking a soda. The taste isn't bad. The coffee flavor isn't strong. Both the cola and coffee balance well. Nothing dominates.
Calorie-wise it's a winner with only 45 calories in an eight ounce bottle. The biggest downside is it's $6 for a four-pack. If it's $1.50 a bottle in a supermarket it will easily run over $2 in convienence stores. That's putting it into Red Bull country only it's not as mixible with alchohol (although adding Kahlua could make for something very yummy).
Coca-Cola Blak is a more adult taste. It's sweet but with an earthy, coffee flavor that's more sophisticated than any Coke product out there. The best part of Blak is its glass bottle in the old school style.
Gingrich: "Pull Back" from Iraq
Newt Gingrich joins a growing list of conservatives to have second thoughts about the Iraq War:
"It was an enormous mistake for us to try to occupy that country after June of 2003," Gingrich said during a question-and-answer session at the school. "We have to pull back, and we have to recognize it."
AJStrata isn't too happy and writes, "Gringrich just lost any chance of a political come back with this backtrack."
"Gingrich at USD: Pull out of Iraq"
Charlie's Show Prep #72
Don't Insult Me
I'm with Chris and would like the out-state Republican to have the guts to tell me I simply take marching order from a talk radio yapper. I want him to tell me my concerns for smaller government and lower taxes are less important because of where I live.
Mr. Nameless Republican needs to understand we are loud conservative voices who want conservative policies advanced. Since the GOP is the more conservative of the two major parties that's whose train we have to hook up to. I'm a conservative before a Republican. If I thought there was a chance to advance conservative ideas with the Democrats or a third party I'd jump at that. In other words, I'm not beholden to the GOP. The party will forget that at its political peril.
There are obviously political differences because of our geographic and economic perspectives. For the most part we're on the same side. The GOP is the best of choices. We need each other to elect Mark Green as governor and to have a Republican take the Attorney General office. The GOP will need Southeast Wisconsin conservatives to get the gay marriage amendment passed this fall and the TPA passed if it ever gets through the legislature.
To the Wisconsin Republican Party here's some helpful advice: you'd be better off with me to be for you than against you. I'm not being arrogant. My little corner of the internet isn't a 50,000 watt radio station. But I can still cause you a lot of pain and annoyance. Just push conservative ideas and you'll be just fine.
"The Great Divide"
April 10, 2006
Go to Rally, Get Credit
Some schools hand require their students to do some kind of community service. I'm not fond that political activity can be used to satisfy the requirement. I'm certainly not pleased simply attending an immigration rally will do it:
Montgomery County public school officials are awarding community-service credits to students who participate today in a pro-immigration rally on the Mall, angering some residents, who say the school system is supporting illegal activity.
Forced volunteering is repugnant to me; it immediately stops being a generous donation of one's time. That being said, teaching literacy, building homes for the homeless, and comforting sick kids all rise to a higher socially-important level than spending a few hours at a rally supporting people who broke the law.
If the Washington, D.C. rally is anything like the one in Dallas it will end up being a recruitment party for Democrats.
In Madison, WI State Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager won't be getting any school credit, but she will be pandering to illegal aliens and their supporters. Strange from a woman who was elected to enforce the law.
"Schools Draw Fire for Offering Credits for Protest"
Charlie's Show Prep #71
April 09, 2006
MJS Continues to Oppose Free Speech
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board is consistent...consistently against free speech. They want limits on hard money, soft money, and now donations to 527s:
Our take: Whomever the 527s favored, their role was in dire need of regulation. The House bill reasonably limits donors to $25,000 yearly for partisan voter mobilization and $5,000 yearly for direct expenditures on federal elections.
Slowly but surely their future desire for restrictions will amount to public financing of campaigns and advocacy. In other words socialized free speech.
Want to talk about hypocrisy? It's hypocritical for the editorial board to want to limit the political speech of you and me but won't accept similar limits to themselves. You don't ever read them call for the government to limit the speech of the press. They don't even do it voluntarily. But see, they're the vaunted press. You, me, and those that donate to candidates and political organizations we're the bad guys. We're the evil special interests.
"Hypocrisy Abounds in Debate Over 527 Groups"
Junior Backing Bush
Ken Griffey, Jr. has always been a favorite of mine. He can hit for power, for average, and can make jaw-dropping plays in the outfield. Injuries have plagued him recently, but he seems back on track. After his supportive quote for President Bush I like him even more:
Oh, yeah. Good wood. The poor guy needs all the help he can get during these troubled times.
I think I'll start hunting for his Upper Deck rookie card again.
Borders Underestimates Americans
Glenn Reynolds links to a newspaper editorial blasting Borders for giving into fear and not selling the issue of Free Inquiry that contains the Mohammed cartoons. The issue has been out for about a week. How many incidents have we seen? How many bookstores and news stands have burned to the ground by rampaging, angry Muslims? Zero. Zilch. Nada. At my bookstore there hasn't been an incident or even a concern by any customers. The issue sits on the stands just like any other magazine issue on any other month. Borders was beyond boneheaded. They failed to trust their customers and Americans (including Muslims) in general.
Favre's Fate Still in Limbo
After all the media hype about yesterday's press conference Brett Favre still hasn't decided if he'll play next season or retire. He wants the Packers to do something bold in free agency, but GM Ted Thompson hasn't found a deal he liked. It makes me wish Favre would have lost a few more games last season so the Packers would have won the Reggie Bush lottery. I'm sure Favre would come back to play alongside such an explosive talent.
"Favre Wants a Super Bowl Contender"
April 08, 2006
Al Jazeera Correction
Last month, I mentioned a Jew-bashing article demonstrating that Al Jazeera International, the soon-to-be new cable news channel would have a tough time gaining credibility. The article mentioned (forgot the link, me bad) was from Aljazeera.com. A reader pointed out that site is not connected to Al Jazeera the infamous news network. The Aljazeera.com website confirms that. The article only took up one paragraph and without it the essence of my post stands true. Still, I apologize for my error and will try harder to be more accurate.
The Wisconsin Badgers are national champions!!
Now is the time to dance.
Packers Fans Hold Their Collective Breath
Brett Favre will hold a press conference later this morning. He might announce his future with the Packers. No one with the team or even his agent knows what he will say.
"Close to the Vest"
NSA Vacuuming Data
From an Electronic Freedom Foundation lawsuit we might know a little more about how the NSA is wiretapping terrorists. It has been suspected the spy agency vacuums up monsterous quantites of data and has powerful computers dig through the mess looking for keywords or patterns. According to a former AT&T employee a special room in the company's office in San Francisco taps into the network.
The dates in the employee's statement are later than when President Bush ordered the NSA to begin warrantless monitoring of domestic-international terrorist communications. But the method mentioned is certainly a way to do it.
What has been missing in the debate over the legality of the NSA program is whether this amounts to an "unreasonable" search. Terrabytes of data on NSA computers will make many uncomfortable but might not about to anything illegal since it hasn't been "searched" because it lacks certain keywords or identifiers NSA spooks are looking for. Data is pretty harmless if no one is doing anything with it. With all the complaints about the Bush administration failing to "connect the dots" about the impending Sep. 11 attacks should we really be scared the intelligence community will start oppressing the citizenry?
As for the politics there will only be serious fallout if it's found the President used the NSA to spy on political enemies. Only then will the calls for his impeachment actually sound reasonable even justified. He's safe as long as he's using the long tentacles of government to fight America's enemies.
Don't expect these rooms or the databases created to vanish. Only a court order will do that. Democrats aren't calling for the end to terrorist surveillance, not even Sen. Russ "Censure Bush" Feingold. Start looking into encryption and anonymizing technologies. Just don't expect the spooks to sit on their heals. They'll work on some method to conquer the new tech. It's another cost brought upon us by Sep. 11.
"Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room"
"EFF Files Evidence in Motion to Stop AT&T's Dragnet Surveillance"
April 07, 2006
Wish I Were In D.C.
Being in nation's capital means you get to hang out with professional poker players who aren't fond of stupid bills that would ban online poker games.
"Poker with Jesus"
Karl Rove Told Me to Write This--Not!
There has been no mention of President Bush allowing Scooter Libby to "leak" until now because I don't think it's much of a story. If the President (or anyone he allows) can't declassify material then no one can. Voters had a chance to hold him accountable in 2004, and if the Congress is so upset with him they can try to impeach and remove him from office. That's how the system works. If you don't like it amend the constitution. If you don't want to do that waste your time putting anti-war measures on local ballots.
Holloway Squashes Investigation
Lee Holloway gets his investigation quashed. The chairman and vice chairman of the Milwaukee County Ethics Board both resigned in frustration. Brian Fraley has the timeline of how Holloway played "hardball."
It's like the county board doesn't remember the corrupt Tom Ament years. Except this time Citizens for Responsible Government is around to continue the fight [DOC].
"Milwaukee's Ethics Meltdown"
Charlie's Show Prep #70
April 06, 2006
For those in-the-know when it comes to online music Pandora and Last.fm are two pretty cool services. With Pandora you pick an artist and out comes a selection of songs that are similar you might like. You can play, pause, or skip to other ones. It's a nice way to get exposed to new (to you) music.
Last.fm is a music social network. After adding a plug-in to your music player of choice Last.fm keeps track of what songs you listen to. It builds charts and recommendations based on all the song data.
My biggest downside to Pandora was it didn't talk to Last.fm. The songs I listened to on Pandora weren't communicated to Last.fm. Real-ity Interactive fixed that.
"Web Service Integrates Last.fm with Pandora"
Italy Stops Terror Attack
A fresco in a church in Bologna displays Muhammad being thrown into hell. With the riots over mere cartoons I'm not surprised it might have been the target of a terrorist attack. Back in 2001 a group called The Union of Italian Muslims asked the Pope to remove the painting saying, "It constitutes an even graver offence to the religion than that caused by Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses."
Human-Hating Professor to Meet with FBI
Who's the bozo who sicced the FBI on Erik Pianka? The guy hates Man, but there's no evidence he's planning a bio-terrorist attack. He's just an enviro-nut who deserves public derision instead of threats and government pestering.
Charlie's Show Prep #69
April 05, 2006
Gin and Fast Food
The combo works. A gin gimlet makes downing an Arby's ham and cheese more pleasurable. I'm blaming Little Miss Attila for this.
Human-hating scientist Eric Pianka is getting death threats since it was reported he thought is would be pretty swell if Ebola wiped out 90% of Mankind. Death threats toward a man who has written is own obituary is pretty pointless along with being extremely uncivil.
When someone is caught saying things they don't want the whole world to see they pull out their out-of-context card:
However, Eric Pianka says his remarks about his beliefs were taken out of context, that he was just raising a warning that deadly disease epidemics are a threat if population growth isn't contained.
He should have kept the video camera filming when he was giving his speech.
The whole thing is making the poor professor discumbobulated:
"What we really need to do is start thinking about controlling our population before it's too late," he said Monday. "It's already too late, but we're not even thinking about it. We're just mindlessly rushing ahead breeding our brains out."
I'd feel sorry for him if I didn't know he would prefer me and 90% of the rest of Man dead.
Someone's dreaming at Ask Me Later.
"Wouldn't It Be Grand...."
Charlie's Show Prep #68
April 04, 2006
Republican for Socialized Medicine
A Republican who sponsors a bill for socialized medicine. If that doesn't make you a Republican In Name Only (RINO) I don't know what does. Jenna's has the details.
"A Republican Introduces Socialized Medicine"
A Sign of the Bubble Bursting?
Larry Kudlow is always the optimist:
The economy is in a boom.
"Firing on All Cylinders"
ANSWER is No Answer to the Immigration Question
Expect a big, strong fence to soon be under construction along the Mexican border. Plans are being made for massive immigration protests on 05.01, May Day. When you discover ANSWER is organizing them it makes sense. ANSWER is the anti-American, anti-war, anti-capitalism, pro-Saddam, pro-North Korea organization. No wonder they use a Communist holidy to make a statement. Christopher Hitchens describes ANSWER as "the group run by the "Worker's World" party and fronted by Ramsey Clark, which openly supports Kim Jong-il, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosevic, and the "resistance" in Afghanistan and Iraq, with Clark himself finding extra time to volunteer as attorney for the génocidaires in Rwanda." In 2002, David Corn wrote,
The October 26 protest--one of the more prominent antiwar actions so far--had been organized by International ANSWER, a group dominated by the Workers World Party, a small revolutionary-socialist outfit with a fancy for North Korea's Kim Jong-Il and the goal of abolishing private property. So it was no surprise that the antiwar message--which, according to polls, resonates with at least one-third of Americans--was accessorized with the demands of the fringe far-left. Nor was it a shocker that many speakers did not adopt a give-inspections-a-chance position. The WWP, which hails world leaders that stand against US hegemony (such as Slobodan Milosevic), opposes weapons inspections in Iraq and has assumed the task of trying to steer the antiwar movement away from endorsing them. ANSWER eschews criticism of Saddam Hussein.
It was bad enough many protesters proudly waved Mexican flags. With such love of their homeland you'd think they'd want to return. I now know the protests are organized by a group that hates freedom and calls you a racist if you oppose them. My sympathy is wearing thin, and I'm pretty liberal when it comes to immigration. Americans who think there are too many people coming into the country will reject the massive protests by anti-American, totalitarian sympathizers. That will only harden their stance pushing Congress to a more hardline position. A fence will go up, people will be deported, and businesses will be punished. ANSWER will blame racism when they should look in the mirror.
"Boycott Set to Support Illegals"
Charlie's Show Prep #67
This is so bad. So bad I listened to it twice.
April 03, 2006
Tonight, at the store I saw a teenager decked out in his CCCP hoodie (similar to this). It was sporting the Soviet Union's hammer and sickle along with the four letters. It's interesting how that's considered a fashion statement but wearing a Nazi swastika is considered offensive even though Communism killed more people and caused more suffering than National Socialism. One totalitarianism is chic while the other is abhorred. Me, I hate all of them.
One Wacky Scientist
The University of Texas pays a reptile and amphibian scientist who thinks it would be peachy-keen if Ebola were to wipe out 90% of all humans. See, Dr. Eric R. Pianka doesn't particuarly like what humans are doing to the planet. He doesn't think Man is special. Thinking that way is anthropocentrism. On one of his web pages he asks, "What good are lizards? Indeed, what good are you?" During a presentation to the Texas Academy of Science he declared, "We're no better than bacteria!" I'm waiting for that great novel written by some streptococcus.
Pianka hast stepped into David Hume's is-ought problem. It's what separates objectively examining the world from advocating what should be done. It's what allows economist Stephen Levitt to discover legal abortion had an effect on crime rates while not taking a stance on abortion. There's a difference between understanding how the world works and deciding what course or policy should be taken.
The Texas Academy of Science didn't have a problem with Pinka's views. They gave him a standing ovation and an award. How nice and anti-human of them.
Reason's Ronald Bailey writes,
Professor Pianka is apparently a brilliant herpetologist, but like brilliant Stanford University entomologist Paul Ehrlich who wrote The Population Bomb nearly 40 years ago, he is completely ignorant of economics and demography. Pianka might start alleviating his ignorance by reading some of the analyses by Jesse Ausubel, head of the Human Environment Program at Rockefeller University. Relying on human creativity and wealth creation, Ausubel foresees the 21st century as the beginning of the Great Restoration of the natural environment.
Then Andrew Sullivan decides to lump Pianka with anyone who believes in the end of the world. He's not very humble. He seems to think the end times aren't near and will discount anyone who thinks otherwise. Not very humble of him. I don't know when the world will end. It could be tomorrow or centuries from now.
"Meeting Doctor Doom"
John Dean's Own Words
Want Dean's own words? Then we have his thoughts three days after the Sep. 11 attacks. He thought positively of preemptive attack and retaliation for a attempt on a President's life. He went to far as to write, "In fact, the President does not need Congressional authority to respond." Congress' power is the power of the purse. Dean wrote, "While Congress cannot put strings on the money it authorizes, its power to fund is a significant power nonetheless."
I find it interesting the only time Dean gets any hearing is when he's bashing Republicans.
"Examining the President's Powers to Fight Terrorism"
Someone should do a duel review of Harvey Mansfield's Manliness and Maddox's The Alphabet of Manliness when it comes out in June. If Mansfield's publisher Yale University Press and Maddox's publisher Citadel Press send me review copies I'll do it myself.
Telegraph, Provide the Links
A lot of people were stupid for jumping on the "Jill Carroll went batty" bandwagon. Some are still stupid demanding an apology to themselves. The Telegraph blows it completely when they accuse right-wing webloggers of bashing her. It's not that it didn't happen, it's that they provided no links or quotes to support the accusation. I want to know who was dumb enough to want Carroll arrested for treason. The paper isn't opposed to hyperlinks; they linked to another Telegraph story, just not to any offending webloggers.
Charlie's Show Prep #66
"We Have the Youth We Deserve"
A new law in France would *gasp* let employers fire new hires under 26 for any reason during their first two years of employment. The fact French companies can't do that already explains France's lousy employment situation. For centuries it's been in the French cultural DNA to protest so for weeks that's what students have done. They've gone so far as to cause $1.2 million in damage to the Sorbonne University and have kept it closed for weeks. That school's president Jean-Robert Pitte is fed up with the protesters and their "illusions." His remarks offer the most impressive bit of sanity I've heard from any French man in some time:
"I'm very angry about the demagogy, the ignorance and the stupidity of the young and of the French," said Dr Pitte, 56, a geography professor who has taught at Oxford and Cambridge and holds the Légion d'honneur.
"Head of Sorbonne Attacks 'Ignorant' Student Protesters"
UPDATE: McQ at QandO comments:
While Pitte's words are true and a welcome bit of fresh air, my guess is the result will be Pitte doing the equivalent of the "Larry Summers Shuffle" as he's asked to find another position in the near future. I don't think France is quite yet in the postition to want to deal with the truth.
"France: Speaking Truth to Ignorance"
I'm So Ashamed
I only pump out 12.9 tons of CO2 a year. I'll have to start me a big family and get me one of those Hummers.
[via Shark and Shephard]
April 02, 2006
Google Made Me Giggle
A busy April 1st meant I couldn't check out any of the online April Fool's Day pranks. Google's is still up, and they didn't let me down. Count how many times they use word "contextual."
UPDATE: Casper's joke was good too. He almost got me.
April 01, 2006
Jill Carroll disavows the statements she made in a video before her release:
Protected by the U.S. military and far from the country where she had been held hostage, Jill Carroll strongly disavowed statements she had made during captivity in Iraq and shortly after her release, saying Saturday she had been repeatedly threatened.
No surprise. People will do lots of things when there are guns pointed at them. Jonah Goldberg is man enough to admit he was initially wrong.
"Carroll Rejects Statements Made in Iraq"
2006 Will Be Favre's Last Season...If He Plays
The soap opera that is Brett Favre's future takes another turn. Today's "deadline" where the quarterback was to get a $3 million roster bonus was pushed back indefinitely. To a local Mississippi paper Favre quipped, "If I don't tell them by Saturday, what will they do, cut me?"
What we do know is if Favre comes back it will be for one more year:
In his most recent comments about his murky football future, Favre made one thing clear: If he does return, he told a newspaper in his native Mississippi there is "no doubt" it will be his last season.
If I were Ted Thompson I would have liked to know that a few weeks ago so I could splurge and take a chance by signing Terrel Owens. Both parts of the combination would have loved to score touchdowns in Brett's final season. With this new piece of news I hope Thompson gets more serious in the free agent market. Here's a hint: sign Charles Woodson.
Since Favre is taking his sweet time decided whether to play this season or not I hope he's preparing to play. What the Packers don't need is a future hall of fame quarterback who didn't stay in shape in the off season.
"Favre Says '06 Will Be Finale if He Plays"
"Favre Waits, Watches Packers Before Deciding Future"
Mmmm New Leinies
My eyes will be on the look out for Leinenkugels Sunset Wheat.
McKinney's Horrendous Hair
Call me superficial but I would have arrested Rep. Cynthia McKinney for that awful hairdo. Homeless chic isn't hip even in Washington, D.C., a beggar's paradise.
And don't get me started about her wild eyes. A mugger confronting her in a dark alley would run away screaming.