July 31, 2006
Snag that Portable Music Player
Today's Woot is one sweet deal. It's a SanDisk digital audio player with 256 MB of memory. It's nice to pop in a few songs or podcasts to take with you on the go. But the real value is its built-in microphone. For webloggers you can take it with you to interview people, make on-the-go podcasts, or just to make audio notes for yourself. That it's $20 with shipping makes it a steal. I have a similar iRiver device that only has 125 MB of memory--more than enough for a recorder--and it cost me $60 six months ago.
Charlie's Show Prep #145
July 30, 2006
Blame Hezbollah for Civilan Deaths
It's Hezbollah's uncivilized tactics like fighting among civilians that caused the deaths of 34 children.
Will the world community hold Hezbollah to account?
"Photos that Damn Hezbollah"
Here are some stories on Floyd Landis' doping charges with commentary later tonight:
Wandering the Wisconsin Blogosphere
Brian Fraley is a youngin' when it comes to weblogging, but his "Weekly Takes" reminds me of old school weblogs back in 1999-2000 when it was more about linking than pontificating. He wanders the Wisconsin blogosphere and offers up some goodies.
July 29, 2006
Floyd Landis Defends Himself
Tour de France winner Floyd Landis says he will work with doctors to show he has an abnormal level of testosterone in his body. Anti-doping officials determined there was an unusual ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone in the urine sample Landis gave after winning stage 17 in the Alps.
Landis was a guest on Larry King Live Friday night. Not the most eloquent speaker he told the audience he has never used any banned performance-enhancing substances, but saved many medical questions for his doctor who was also a guest.
Seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong was a guest via telephone. He supported Landis and mentioned the same lab that tested Landis sample was the one that supposedly found an old sample of Armstrong's that showed he cheated. Neither Armstrong nor Landis would come out and claim an anti-American conspiracy among French anti-doping officials.
C.W. Nevius writes that Landis' and his doctors' work "will not be easy:"
"What he is going to have to do,'' says Testa, who is working with Heiden to start up the new Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Murray, Utah, "is get into an excellent hospital that has no connection to the Tour with a good department of endocrinology that has a name. Then they need to study him as a subject to prove that something physiologically changed under the stress.''
"Floyd Landis Proclaims His Innocence"
July 28, 2006
Tommy Thompson Endorses Van Hollen, Bucher's Chances Severely Hurt
J.B. Van Hollen has been slowly and steadily getting endorsements from Republicans all over the state. Today, he got the biggest endorsement of them all: ex-governor Tommy Thompson:
“I am impressed with J.B. Van Hollen's track record and I'm not alone. Based on a record of excellence as a local prosecutor, the President appointed him U.S. Attorney,” said Thompson, the longest serving Governor in Wisconsin history. “We're lucky to have him running for attorney general and I'm confident J.B. will help get Wisconsin back in the right direction. I'm happy to endorse and support him.”
Getting the public backing of the biggest name in Wisconsin GOP politics is great, but even better for Van Hollen is Thompson "will hold a fundraiser within weeks for Van Hollen." Many Republicans wanted Tommy to run against Sen. Herb Kohl because they knew he could raise enough money to be competitive. Tommy directing campaign bucks at Van Hollen will really help the former U.S. Attorney and increase the financial disparity between him and his opponent Paul Bucher.
Van Hollen has tremendous momentum. From my perspective it's starting to look like an avalanche is about to bury Bucher. Thompson on Van Hollen's side will discourage GOP donors from giving to Bucher out of loyalty, trust, and a little bit of a herd mentality. With Bucher at a serious money disadvantage that will get worse he'll have to strongly confront Van Hollen on all sorts of issues and hope Van Hollen says something goofy like terrorists are running around Wisconsin.
"Van Hollen Campaign: Thompson Endorses Van Hollen for AG"
Charlie's Show Prep #144
July 27, 2006
Floyd Landis' Positive Test Taints Tour de France Victory
Tour de France winner Floyd Landis is in sports purgatory. One of his tests found too much testosterone in his system. Landis denies cheating, but has been suspended by his Phonak team while a second sample is being tested. But with the poor reputation surrounding the sport--the Tour started with many big names bounced from doping charges it will be hard for Landis to shake cheating charges even if future tests don't prove he blood doped or used performance-enhancing drugs. Landis' legendary turn-round in the Alps that took him from wearing the yellow jersey to being eight minutes behind the leader to only 30 seconds will have cycling skeptics wondering what he injected.
Landis understands this:
"Unfortunately, I don't think it's ever going to go away no matter what happens next," Landis said during a teleconference Thursday, hours after his Tour de France victory was thrown into question by a positive test for high testosterone following his gritty performance in stage 17 of the race.
A member of the World Anti-Doping Agency Dr. Gary Wadler said if Landis was cheating with testosterone it would take weeks of use to have an effect. Earlier tests would show signs of such use.
We're at the early stage of the investigation. Tests will be done, and people will talk. What once was a special Tour de France could have a disasterous ending.
"Landis Denies Cheating After Positive Test"
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
Charlie's Show Prep #143
Conservative Weblogger Discloses a Little Late
Patrick Hynes of Ankle Biting Pundits when he isn't posting is a political consultant. One of his clients is Sen. John McCain, and he's been Hynes' client for a few months. All this time Hynes didn't tell his weblog readers who was paying him. Jim Geraghty exposed him, and got Hynes to come clean.
Hynes made a mistake in not being as open about his political consulting dealings. His blogospheric reputation took a big hit, especially after remembering how he bashed Markos Moulitsas for being paid to plug Howard Dean, M.D. on his weblog. His consulting career may be in good shape, but he'll need to put in some effort to fix his blogosphere standing.
"Straight Talk, Unmarked Bills"
Here's another musical interlude courtesy of Erik Mongrain.
July 26, 2006
Berlin's Spirit Questions Bush Doctrine
James Pinkerton gets a little too cute with his "talk" with Isaiah Berlin's ghost in an attempt to paint President Bush as a French-style revolutionary (don't tell the French) with little understanding of current world realities. To sum it up Pinkerton/Berlin criticize the President for promoting human freedom as the cure to Man's political problems. For Pinkerton/Berlin that's too single-minded.
However, the idea of liberty is a large, wide-ranging concept. It covers the ability to trade freely with one's fellow man, to speak and protest one's government, to create art free of government sanction, the ability to worship as one pleases, and so on and so on. Freedom is an all-encompassing concept. It's an abstraction of a host of related ideas. With Berlin's words Pinkerton reduces human liberty into "one totalistic thing" something Berlin warns against.
Maybe Pinkerton/Berlin would approve of Thomas Barnett's idea of the pursuit of connectedness, economically, culturally, and politically. Then, that might be playing word games like Pinkerton/Berlin did with freedom.
When President Bush talks about spreading freedom across the globe he doesn't mean there's the one American form or that nations with little history of freedom to instantly become as free as the U.S. No proponents of freedom's expansion believe Iraq, Lebanon, or the rest of the Middle East will become Switzerland anytime soon. Pinkerton/Berlin doesn't offer any words from President Bush to suggest otherwise.
"Grave Wisdom from a Grave Oxford Don"
Charlie's Show Prep #142
She Isn't Much of a Reader But I'm Sure She Likes the Pretty Pictures
Michelle Persaud maybe the the most beautiful person on Capitol Hill but the staff counsel to the House Judiciary Committee Democrats isn't much of a book reader unless you consider glossy mags like InStyle, Vogue, Italian Vogue, French Vogue, British Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Us Weekly as books. But I can understand her work must be exhausting trying to keep Ranking Democrat John Conyers from looking more like an ass than he all ready is. After a long, hard day I'm sure Michelle doesn't want to look at anything other than beautiful people in really expensive clothes.
UPDATE: No more fun with Michelle's MySpace page. She made it private, and I don't care enough to sign up and try to be her "friend."
Brewers' New Racing Sausage
You can't call it "pandering" unless trying to get more paying customers to come to the ballpark is pandering. The Brewers have a simple equation: more fans at the ballpark means bigger budgets to spend on better players who will hopefully bring more wins and championships. Brewers owner Mark Attanasio is a very rich man, but he won't bankroll a team unless it makes good business sense. Hispanic American money does just as good a job paying Ben Sheets' salary as German American money.
Adding another ethnic sausage accepts the reality of Milwaukee's growing Latin American community. With Brewers radio announcer Bob Uecker heavily pitching this weekend's Germanfest the team certainly isn't sacrificing one ethnic group for another. Once upon a time Italians and Poles were Milwaukee newcomers. Klements is smart to make chorizo, the Brewers are smart to tap an untapped market, and I'm hoping they sell chorizo at Miller Park so I can down one or two in between brats.
July 25, 2006
Jennings' Jeopardy! Joke
Last week trivia king Ken Jennings wrote a humorous weblog post offering suggestions on how to improve Jeopardy!. The show should have catagories like "PlayStation," The Arby’s 5-for-$5.95 Value Menu," and Skanks from Reality TV Who Got Naked in Men’s Magazines." "Electric blue" should be replaced with "bright fire-engine red behind all the clues." And Jennings suggests the Alex Trebek cyborg should promoted legaized pot at the end of every show.
New York Post reporter Michael Starr took Jennings' bait hook, line, and sinker.
"Gift Horse, Meet Ken Jennings"
"Sense of Humor, Meet Michael Starr"
Charlie's Show Prep #141
July 24, 2006
"We are all Hizbullah"
It's nice that terrorist sympathizers come out to protest. That way authorities can know who to keep an eye on.
"Anti-Israel Protest in London"
Kos' Israel Silence
On the latest war Israel is involved in (The Lebanon War? The Hezbollah War? The 2006 War? We need a name.) I'll give Kos a little slack for only writing one front-page post on it.
I too am flumoxed at Israel and the Arabs. Much of it has to do with the honor-shame calculations involved when dealing with the Arab tribe cultures and have been incorporated into Israeli security thinking. David Pryce-Jones' The Closed Circle helped, but I'm far from understanding this pre-rational thinking. The Arab-Israeli conflicts are far different than the cool calculations of the Cold War. If one doesn't have anything valuable to say it's sometimes best to keep silent.
What Dean Barnett's Weekly Standard article shows is those Kossites not as politically astute as Markos Moulitsas see Israel, the strongest democratic republic in the region, as a "spreading plague."
Kos can't control completely what webloggers and commenters write. That's just the nature of the weblog beast. Kossites can be seen as early adopter when it comes to technology and politics. What we're seeing is the slow, steady trend of the GOP gaining American Jewish support because of its strong support for Israel.
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
Charlie's Show Prep #140
A Face of Globalization
It's rare that Hilbert, Wisconsin, my hometown, gets a dateline in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. There's no way I can ignore the story of Todd Thiel's global investment firm McKinley Reserve managing $1 billion in assets from in such an out-of-the-way place. Cheap communications technology and inexpensive airfares allow Thiel to run his investment firm from little Hilbert.
McKinley Reserve is garnering plenty of attention for its $1 billion RiverWalk real estate investment in Dubai. McKinley is the first American company to actually own the land. That's something Donald Trump can't even lay claim to.
Technology like the internet and mobile phones means Thiel's company can communicate with clients and dealmakers all over the world. Airlines flying almost anywhere mean Thiel can go anywhere to get on-the-ground information and to seal deals personally. With a website like McKinley's you'd never know the company is run in a rural town of 1000.
With the ability to do business anywhere from anywhere something had to bring Thiel back to rural Wisconsin. He comes from a large family with relatives all over the Hilbert area. Hilbert is comfortable. "There's a lot of people who leave to go find things, but everything you need is right here. I don't fight traffic. I don't fight people. The cost of living is obnoxiously low," Thiel told John Schmid. It indeed is a comfortable place.
But access to global communications and travel is a double-edged sword. Thiel could just as easily move his company out of Wisconsin if state economic policies deteriorated. RedPrairie's CEO has trouble recruiting talent because of Wisconsin's high taxes and Milwaukee's high crime. Policy makers have to make sure the state is a pleasant place to live and make money or people like Thiel won't establish billion dollar companies here.
July 23, 2006
Page & Plant Go to the "Crossroads"
I give you this musical interlude courtesy of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.
Americans Conquer Europe
Tiger Woods wins the British Open, and Floyd Landis wins the Tour de France.
"Another Claret Jug for Woods"
"Landis Continues American Dominance at Tour"
Malcolm Gladwell notes a reason not to long for the "good old days:"
[I]n 1949, the highest paid CEO in America was Charlie Wilson of General Motors, who earned $586,100 in salary, bonus and stock. That's roughly equivalent to what some of the better-compensated CEO's are making today.
[via Club for Growth]
July 22, 2006
With Time Trial, Landis Claims Yellow Jersey
No one has asked Floyd Landis what beer he drinks. Someone should because we all want to know his secret from collapsing at one stage of the Tour de France only to destroy his competition the next day. And Landis being the presumptive Tour winner could have a fat endorsement check coming his way.
It would have been a shame for Landis to have had his now legendary stage 17 comeback wasted had he not won the Tour. Instead of becoming merely a bit of cycling trivia Landis' performance amounts to one of the most amazing moments in American sports history. That's regardless of the lack of public attention now that Lance Armstrong is racing no longer.
With Landis' upcoming victory--the final stage into Paris is ceremonial--he can go into hip replacement surgery with a huge grin knowing he answered Daniel Coyle's question, "Is is possible for someone with a ruined hip to win the Tour de France?"
"Landis Claims Yellow Jersey, all but Assuring Tour Victory"
July 21, 2006
Battlestar Galactica Trailer
Here's Battlestar Galactica trailer for season 3. Wow! It's going to be good.
[via Ace of Spades]
Media Used to Keep a Secret
Once upon a time the media could be trusted to keep a secret when lives were on the line. Former reporter Michael Berlin tells us the story of Americans hidden in the Canadian embassy in Tehran when Iranian militants stormed the U.S. embassy in 1979.
On Nov. 4 of that year, Islamic militants stormed and occupied the U.S. Embassy compound in Tehran and took hostage the more than 70 Americans there.
Media could keep a secret back then. Bravo for those journalists who cared more about the possible ill effects of their reporting than their careers. Back then it was still in the media's cultural DNA to be careful with certain secrets. Life and death were in the balance.
That's a far cry from today when Bill Keller and his NY Times decided it was in the public's interest to tell the world and America's enemies about the Swift financial surveillance program. I can imagine Keller's attitude in 1979. He would have wanted to report on the hidden Americans and their Canadian friends. He would have argued the public had a right to know that all the embassy workers were accounted for and where the missing were.
With his op-ed Berlin tries to demonstrate the media can keep a life-threatening secret. The MSM can be trusted while he worries "that some blogger or counterculture ideologue using journalism as a political tool rather than as a mechanism for dispensing straight information, would make the wrong call." All Berlin really proves is reporters had more prudence and a better sense of cause and effect than today's gaggle, or as Tom Maguire writes, "About all this incident proves is that the press could make the easy calls almost thirty years ago."
Landis' Legendary Leap
American cyclist Floyd Landis did something yesterday that is not suppose to happen. Wednesday, Landis cracked on the final climb of stage 16 giving up his yellow jersey and falling over eight minutes behind the leader. That looked to be the end of his Tour de France title chances. No one thought after his body gave out that Landis could overcome such a lead not even Landis. He told reporters, "I don't expect to win the Tour at this point. It's not easy to get back 8 minutes." All he was thinking about after Wednesday's ride was to "drink some beer."
I want to know what beer he drank because, on stage 17 "Lazarus" Landis conquered the final climbs in the Alps, destroyed the competition, and put himself into position to win the Tour de France. From the first climb Landis launched himself ahead of Tour contenders Oscar Pereiro and Carlos Sastre and never looked back. Riders in the peloton asked Landis to take things easy in the heat. He replied, "Go drink some Coke because we're leaving on the first climb if you want to come along."
Here's what William Fotheringham wrote for the Guardian:
On the Saisies his team-mates had set the early pace, one of them - Miguel Angel Martín Perdiguero - with such gusto that he was unable to complete the stage. Landis disappeared as if the finish was around the corner, sprinting up the gutter alongside the lead riders in the string. Ahead was a group of 10; by the ski lifts at the summit he had halved their six-minute lead. On the day's second major mountain, the Colombiere, he was alone, pouring vast amounts of water into his helmet every few minutes to counter the 30C heat, and on the descent his advantage reached nine minutes - enough to make him the race leader on the road.
Eurosport called it "one of the greatest [performances] in the history of the Tour de France." Injured American cyclist Bobby Julich called it "a miracle in cycling."
When stage 17 was through Landis beat Sastre by over five minutes putting him in third place only 30 seconds behind Pereiro. Saturday's time trial, Landis' specialty, will decide the winner of the Tour and if the yellow jersey stays on the body of an American cyclist.
"How Landis Delivered a Ride for the Ages"
Charlie's Show Prep #139
July 20, 2006
Minutemen Financial Questions
The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps has given members little in funds to support border monitoring operations and given reporters little information about its finances. A few minutemen aren't too pleased:
A growing number of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps leaders and volunteers are questioning the whereabouts of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars in donations collected in the past 15 months, challenging the organization's leadership over financial accountability.
I suppose questioning what the minutemen do with their donations means I'm a traitor to the nation and love illegal immigrants. Too bad since I've always thought they were kooky, vigilante types anyway.
"Minutemen Not Watching over Funds"
Allen-Edmonds Sold to Private Equity Firm
High-end shoe maker Allen-Edmonds was sold to a Minneapolis private equity firm for more than $100 million. No jobs are expected to be cut from the Port Washington, WI plant, nor will manufacturing move overseas. The firm, Goldner Hawn, wants to turn their purchase into a "$500 million brand."
"Allen-Edmonds Fits Private Equity"
Charlie's Show Prep #138
July 19, 2006
Calacanis Will Pay You to Post
It could be a sign of a new net bubble, but Jason Calacanis wants to hire top users from social networking sites like diggs and Flickr to post stories on Netscape. That's a job less intensive and time consuming than weblogging.
Charlie's Show Prep #137
July 18, 2006
Lorge Accused of Molestation
I have another reason to write in Casper for U.S. Senate.
A.N.S.W.E.R. Rally in August
Neo-Stallinists A.N.S.W.E.R. don't just hate America, they hate Israel too. They're rallying as many West haters has they can for an 08.12.06 protest in Washington, D.C. Jeff Harrell got the e-mail and replies:
I can’t help noticing that International ANSWER didn’t call for a “national emergency march” every time a Hezbollah rocket exploded in an Israeli neighborhood. They didn’t call for a “national emergency march” when Hezbollah militants kidnapped Israelis. It was only when Israel started to take steps to get their soldiers back and to force the newborn Lebanese govenment to disarm or expel the terrorists within her borders that International ANSWER thinks the time has come to act.
In A.N.S.W.E.R.'s North Korea-loving mind they think Israel asked to be attacked. Just like some rape victims "ask" to be attacked for wearing a short skirt to a bar.
A.N.S.W.E.R. may be planning ahead, but they're not very smart. In August D.C. empties like a bottle of gin in the hands of Ted Kennedy. The only ones covering the kooks will be cable newsers who want non-Middle East war stories and webloggers.
Charlie's Show Prep #136
July 17, 2006
Inklings of a Resolution
Israel sent some ground troops into Lebanon and sent the beginnings to a possible cease-fire:
On Sunday, Lebanese officials said Israel had sent the terms of a possible cease-fire through Italian mediators. The terms were the release of two captured Israeli soldiers, and a Hezbollah pullback to roughly 20 miles from the Israeli-Lebanese border.
This situation might not have escalated had Hezbollah released the soldiers sooner.
"Israel Hammers at Lebanese Infrastructure"
Charlie's Show Prep #135
July 16, 2006
Gingrich Declares World War III
Newt Gingrich told a Seattle reporter that President Bush should be bolder and tell the nation we're fighting World War III.
He lists wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, this week's bomb attacks in India, North Korean nuclear threats, terrorist arrests and investigations in Florida, Canada and Britain, and violence in Israel and Lebanon as evidence of World War III. He said Bush needs to deliver a speech to Congress and "connect all the dots" for Americans.
Marx as Literary Genius
Karl Marx biographer Francis Wheen sees Das Capital as more than a political economic treatise. It's a literary achievement of the first order. The number of literary references in the first volume--the only one completed before Marx's death--is astounding:
In 1976 SS Prawer wrote a 450-page book devoted to Marx's literary references. The first volume of Das Kapital yielded quotations from the Bible, Shakespeare, Goethe, Milton, Voltaire, Homer, Balzac, Dante, Schiller, Sophocles, Plato, Thucydides, Xenophon, Defoe, Cervantes, Dryden, Heine, Virgil, Juvenal, Horace, Thomas More, Samuel Butler - as well as allusions to horror tales, English romantic novels, popular ballads, songs and jingles, melodrama and farce, myths and proverbs.
The book can be read as a vast Gothic novel whose heroes are enslaved and consumed by the monster they created ("Capital which comes into the world soiled with gore from top to toe and oozing blood from every pore"); or as a Victorian melodrama; or as a black farce (in debunking the "phantom-like objectivity" of the commodity to expose the difference between heroic appearance and inglorious reality, Marx is using one of the classic methods of comedy, stripping off the gallant knight's armour to reveal a tubby little man in his underpants); or as a Greek tragedy ("Like Oedipus, the actors in Marx's recounting of human history are in the grip of an inexorable necessity which unfolds itself no matter what they do," C. Frankel writes in Marx and Contemporary Scientific Thought). Or perhaps it is a satirical utopia like the land of the Houyhnhnms in Gulliver's Travels, where every prospect pleases and only man is vile: in Marx's version of capitalist society, as in Jonathan Swift's equine pseudo-paradise, the false Eden is created by reducing ordinary humans to the status of impotent, alienated Yahoos.
To look at Marx's thought--as opposed to Marxism with all its strains--simply as a theory of exploitation and alienation is to look at Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nation without his Theory of Moral Sentiments. Doing such ignores the richness of thought contained in both men's works. It takes economics far from simply being about money.
July 15, 2006
Weblog History Lesson: Robot Wisdom
Ever heard of Robot Wisdom? Well it's back on the TAM blogroll. I'm guessing over 90% of webloggers and their readers have never read or heard of the weblog. It wasn't mentioned in Hugh Hewitt's book Blog so it's understandable if unfortunate. Robot Wisdom is published by Jorn Barger and according to Wikipedia will be nine years old in December making it two years older than TAM though with interruptions. Wikipedia also gives Barger credit for coining the word "weblog." That's a good and bad thing. What's good is "weblog" sounds better than "online journal." What's bad is from "weblog" came "blog," an ugly word that caught on and is forever attacted to this medium.
Barger can be described as eccentric with refusing employment that violates his "gigantic psychological block against Mammon-in-general." He's also been strongly critical of Judaism.
Robot Wisdom is one of the original weblogs. From this we've arrived at Instapundit, The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Wonkette, and millions of others. Know your history. Respect your (weblogging) elders.
July 14, 2006
Fasting the Cindy Sheehan Way
Jamba Juice and ice cream are allowed for certain wacko's hunger strikes.
White Powder Found in NY Times Letter
Someone who is no fan of the NY Times sent a letter to the New York office containing a unknown white powder and a recent editorial defending the newspaper's publishing of classified terrorist surveillance programs:
"At about 12:30 p.m. (1630 GMT) this afternoon ... an employee opened an envelope that contained a white powdery substance. The envelope was handwritten and addressed to the New York Times, not to any individual. The postmark was from Philadelphia with no return address," said Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis.
Thanks to Reuters the campaign to indict conservatives in general in the courtroom of public opinion:
Conservatives have criticized the Times in recent weeks for writing about the Bush administration's covert anti-terrorism programs. This week protesters rallied outside the newspaper to object to its decision to publish details about terrorism financing and secret government programs to monitor phone conversations of U.S. citizens.
It would actually be news had Reuters found an example of a prominent conservative who called for the assassination of NY Times staff. The harshest words I've seen call for Bill Keller et al. to be tried for treason. And that's a legal proceeding not vigilanteism.
To the unhinged (and probably Free Repubic-reading) criminal who sent the letter: you're disgusting and evil. If the white powder is anthrax you tried to kill someone for no good reason. If the victims inhaled the powder they would endure "severe breathing problems and shock." The CDC gravely writes on its website, "[I]nhalation anthrax is usually fatal." If the white powder isn't the virus you inflicted a tremendous amount of psychological trauma on someone for no good reason. I hope you're hunted down and brought to justice.
"Letter to NY Times had White Powder, Own Editorial"
UPDATE: The powder wasn't anthrax but corn starch.
Charter Crimps My Style
Charter is a mediocre ISP. It was down again last night, thus no Charlie's Show Prep. Since I'm out in the hinterlands with no DSL available my broadband options are limited.
July 13, 2006
Source of DeLay Image in Democrats Ad
Human Events thinks they found who made the Tom DeLay mug shot for a Democratic fundraising ad:
HUMAN EVENTS has discovered the ad came from Chickenhead Productions, a questionable website that also runs websites such as SexIsForFags.com, IronHymen.com, NRA-KKK.org, FratBeat.com and WHITEHOUSE.org.
"Doctored DeLay Mug Came From Chickenhead"
UK Banning Sex-Selection Abortions
Sex-selection abortions will soon be banned in Britain:
At least there's some limit to when an abortion can occur. Too bad James Joyner's tongue-in-cheek scenerio is all too realistic.
"Choosing Baby's Sex to be Outlawed"
Israel Blockading Lebanon
Israel has now implemented an air and sea blockade on Lebanon:
Israel is imposing an air and sea blockade on Lebanon as part of a major offensive over two soldiers captured by the militant group Hezbollah.
The military operation in Lebanon could be long:
A high-ranking IDF source said that the current operation, dubbed Operation Just Reward, would be "long" and could last up to several months, or "as long as it takes to destroy the Hizbullah's ability to launch attacks against Israel."
"Israel Imposes Lebanon Blockade"
"Israeli Warplanes Attack Beirut Airport"
Charlie's Show Prep #134
When asked about the campaign he said, “ like Hannibal in the second Punic war with the Roman Empire, he too was out numbered in resources, but set a standard in battle tactics and strategy at Cannae” Aude was out spent by his incumbent opponent in 2004 by a ratio of 3 to 1.
Aude will be wasting all his time telling his supporters how to pronounce "Cannae."
Next, we have Robert Gerald Lorge, the Republican the state party doesn't want to admit is running against Sen. Herb Kohl. Jessica McBride is the only one who's giving him any credence:
And he's at least in the ring. Conervatives have had a lot of Don Quijote pretenders, but he's the real thing. Tilting at windmills, yes, but he makes more sense on the issues than Herb Kohl does.
A candidate is strange when they put their entire resume on their campaign website. I mean the whole thing including:
Class President, St. Mary's Catholic Grade School 1973
I'm sure he has an edge on Kohl there.
Then there's the Lorge RV or the "Lorgemobile" in these parts.
I checked out the Libertarian Party candidate Dave Redick, and discovered he's almost as wacked out as Kevin Barrett. From his website I "learned:"
Bush’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was primarily to get access to build an oil pipeline from Uzbekistan to a warm water port near Karachi, Pakistan (the same reason the Russians invaded in the 1980’s). This project had been delayed for many years but was suddenly approved in Dec-01.
And to think I had been fooled into thinking it had something to do with the Taliban in kahoots with Osama bin Laden.
It looks like I'll be writing in Fred.
July 12, 2006
Democratic Ad Uses Dead Soldier Images
There's steam rising from the right blogosphere over a new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraising ad.
It's a dismal ad. The first half of depressing images of the real world didn't make up for the idyllic, hopeful images in the second half. When I see Rep. Nancy Pelosi I don't get a warm feeling in my heart.
As for the picture of flag-draped caskets that's reality. People are dying, and Democratic supporters want it to stop even if it means abandoning Iraq. The picture doesn't show anything graphic. I don't see that picture anymore exploitative than Republicans using pictures from the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sep. 11, 2001.
What's interesting is the Tom Delay "mug shot." That's fake since this is the actual picture:
At the bottom of the fake mug shot there's a prisoner number: "91108GOP." I'd like to know the "clever" story behind choosing that.
Allahpundit won't "throw stones when it comes to using images of fallen soldiers to make a political point." Still, he doesn't like either party using the images of soldiers in coffins:
But I wouldn’t support Republicans putting it in a campaign ad, for the same reason I think it’s cheap and crass of the DCCC to have added coffins to the mix here. I think it boils down to good ol’ fashioned suspicion of politicians: the priority for most of them is getting (re-)elected and I don’t want anyone’s remains being exploited for that sort of personal profit.
The ad is not great since it's devoid of any ideas, but I wouldn't give myself a heart attack over it.
Charlie's Show Prep #133
I missed the All-Star Game just so I could drink right with some fellow webloggers. Elliot, Casper, Cantakerous, Phelony, Josh, Nick, and Aaron (and others who I didn't yap with) were there. If you weren't too bad. Your loss. You missed out on synchonized phone cam picture taking and nail pounding (it's German so it's cool). You can make up for you shame by marking your calendar for the second Tuesday of August for the next episode of Drinking Right.
July 11, 2006
Robert Novak Talks
Robert Novak, the man who first mentioned Valarie Plame as working for the CIA finally speaks. Jay Tea at Wizbang sums it up well. Two interesting notes: Novak got Plame's name out of Who's Who in America. An unnamed source told him that Joe Wilson's wife sent him to Niger.
"Novak Finally Spills His Guts on Plame"
Grothman Not Running Against Kohl
Sen. Herb Kohl will be running virtually unopposed--Robert Gerald Lorge and the Green Party candidate don't count. State Senator Glenn Grothman had enough signatures but didn't have the heart to throw in his hat at the very last moment:
State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) gathered enough signatures to run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl but opted not to file them today, meaning Kohl will have no significant opposition in November.
Grothman gets little blame. Deciding to run was a last-minute decision. He probably got an initial rush of excitement from people asking him to run. Then when it all sank in he figured he could do better things instead of the up-hill effort of an underfunded, underdog race.
No, blame goes to the state GOP and Tommy Thompson. The state party failed to get anyone to run so they waited and hoped Tommy would want to stroke his ego one more time in a state-wide race. I give the party a great, big "F." I'm hoping party chairman Rich Graber gets his Bush administration job soon. He's not useful to Wisconsin Republicans.
To those who thought no one should run against Kohl, you better hope Rep. Mark Green beats Gov. Doyle--that's the big reason you didn't want Grothman to run. Because if Doyle wins I'll be rubbing your silly political strategy in your faces.
"Grothman Won't Run Against Kohl"
Google to Build Michigan Office
Google announced they will open an office in Ann Arbor, Michigan that will create 1000 jobs within five years. The internet giant is already looking to fill positions.
In its search for a headquarters for his revenue-producing AdWords service Google the company looked at university cities like Boston, Boulder CO, Phoenix, and the winner Ann Arbor. Missing from that list was a Wisconsin city, specifically Madison. That's a city with a reputable university and a highly-educated workforce. AdWords manager David Fischer told the Detroit Free Press, "We see Michigan as an ideal location to recruit the best and brightest workers." Could it be Wisconsin isn't an "ideal location" like Michigan? And could it be one of the reasons it would be difficult for a company to "recruit the best and brightest workers" is the Badger State's tax and business climate? RedPrairie CEO John Jazwiec is considering moving his software company out of Wisconsin because it has trouble recruiting talent. Wisconsin's economic environment might have kept her out of Google's sights which would mean another opportunity lost.
UPDATE: Peter Cohan at Blogging Stocks sees this project as another example of "Google's underlying cheapness gene."
Prisoners to Get Geneva Protections
The U.S. will extend Geneva Convention protections to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other locations:
The policy, described in a memo by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, appears to reverse the administration's earlier insistence that the detainees are not prisoners of war and thus not subject to the Geneva protections. But the administration has insisted that it has always treated the detainees humanely.
QandO's McQ writes,
It also paves the way for designation of detainees as POWs which allows the administration to keep them almost indefinitely (or until the "war" is over). In the big scheme of things, that seems the most important point.
In World War II I know of German prisoners of war camps in Wisconsin where prisoners helped harvest crops, can foods, and cut down trees. Don't expect the same treatment for our Islamist opponents.
Captured Islamist enemies will receive Geneva protections even though they don't fall under the Geneva convention because they dress as civilians and wear nothing to distinguish themselves as combatants, nor do they abide by the provisions themselves as the pictures and video [WARNING: Very graphic.] of killed U.S. soldiers attests.
With this decision the government has answered the question of what to do with Islamist War prisoners. Despite Ralph Peters' good point [via Riehl World View] that "an imprisoned terrorist is a strategic liability" we're going to play nicer. Captain Ed doesn't think so. Instead, he sees "more casualties for our enemies, as we will not put our soldiers at unnecessary risk for the minimal gain of capturing these terrorists if they give us no opportunity for giving us intel on ongoing operations." I hope being nicer doesn't get more innocents killed.
"U.S. Will Give Detainees Geneva Rights"
Bombings in Mumbai, India
CNN reports 70 dead and a railway spokesman said 100 people were killed in a string of bombings at Mumbai commuter trains and stations:
The blasts hit trains or platforms at the Khar, Mahim, Matunga, Jogeshwari, Borivili and Bhayander stations, in that order. Another hit a train between the Khar and Santa Cruz stations, a police official told CNN-IBN.
No one has yet claimed responsibility.
"70 Killed in Mumbai Train Blasts"
UPDATE: It's no surprise that emotions are strong:
I say they are cowards, those who do these kind of acts. I say they are mentally unstable personals who cannot think on their own. I say they are someone who gave up, because they couldn’t win something. I say they are just savage to do such a barbaric act. I say they are a hindrance to the development of mankind, whoever they are. I say, such people must not be forgiven for they prevent the civilization to advance. Blood doesn’t put an end to Blood. I strongly condemn this act.
UPDATE II: The death toll has risen to 163. Also, the bombing took place withing 10 minutes of each other.
Charlie's Show Prep #132
July 10, 2006
Grothman Now Undecided; Wait for the Signatures
State Senator Glenn Grothman is not looking like the most decisive person in Wisconsin. This weekend running against Sen. Herb Kohl was a "go." Now, he's not so sure. I'm going with Owen Robinson's theory about needing enough signatures. He writes,
After all, it would be pretty humiliating to announce a run for Senate on Saturday just to have to drop out on Tuesday for lack of nomination signatures.
If that's the case then Grothman's campaign manager shouldn't have blabbed about him running. Word should be spread when one's ducks are in order. with a tight deadline its better to make sure you have enough signatures to get on the ballot then get the media buzz going. Right now, Grothman is looking a little foolish. It's not a strong way to start a campaign.
Charlie's Show Prep #131
July 09, 2006
Grothman Needs Signatures
This evening I got an e-mail with a Glenn Grothman nomination paper attached. It seems Glenn doesn't have the 2000 signatures needed to get on the ballot, and he's got until 5:00 p.m. Tuesday 07.11 to get them. So there's still a possibility Sen. Kohl will run unopposed. When I hear word he's running I assume he's running and not still trying to get on the ballot. It would have been nice if Grothman would have decided to run before Independence Day when volunteers could have swarmed local parades and picnics. Here's keeping my fingers crossed he can get the signatures in time. If anyone wants the form to help collect signatures e-mail me or leave me a comment and I send it off to you.
Summerfest Day 11
All good things must come to an end, even Milwaukee's Summerfest. But it won't go out with a whimper.
Grothman to Challenge Kohl
My state senator Glenn Grothman will take on Sen. Herb Kohl for the U.S. Senate.
I'm glad Grothman is running. I just hope he's realistic in his chances of winning. I also hope he squeezed something out of the state GOP for being their sacrificial lamb.
Grothman in the race will do nothing to affect the GOP's chances of re-taking the governor's office or Attorney General's office. If having too many GOP candidates is a detriment we should be demanding Bucher or Van Hollen step aside and end the intra-party battle to focus completely on beating Peg Lautenschlager. A few lawn signs and bumper stickers and maybe even a television ad or two won't hurt Mark Green, J.B. Van Hollen, or Paul Bucher. It won't help either. It's a wash. No GOP candidate will win or lose because of Glenn Grothman.
This will be the fun campaign. With little chance of winning Grothman can say and do things that a more competitive candidate wouldn't for fear of losing. You can get pretty creative when you have nothing to lose. While Grothman will have to publically say he thinks he can win his real goal better be just to punch a few holes in Sen. Kohl's reputation and show his fellow Republicans they shouldn't be afraid of him.
[Cross-posted at the BBA.]
July 08, 2006
Summerfest Day 10
We're into the last weekend of Milwaukee's 11-day music festival. Two more days of food, drink, music, and fun.
Summerfest Babe of the Day #9
The Gufs on YouTube
Some Gufs fan recorded their performance of "Smile" at this year's Summerfest. It's like you're there--there being you've dropped some LSD and the San Andreas Fault moved underneath Milwaukee.
July 07, 2006
TAM is Sick
Posting on TAM has been frustrating lately. I've been running into server troubles when trying to publish. I'm not sure if it's due to spammers or the increased traffic load the weblog has been having. Behind the scenes at TAM HQ I've been planning some changes. I may have to make some drastic software changes soon if my problems continue.
Mainstream Totalitarian Chic
Michelle Malkin informs us that The North Face has taken totalitarian chic mainstream. For $65 your son, grandson, or nephew can have a CCCP (USSR in Cyrillic Russian) jacket complete with hammer and sickle. Just remember, communist fashion is chic (even progressive?) while Nazi gear makes you look as stupid as this man.
Summerfest Babe of the Day #8
Summerfest Day 9
Charlie's Show Prep #130
July 06, 2006
Summerfest Babe of the Day #7
Summerfest Day 8
Don't tell Eugene Kane but there's hip-hop and R&B at Summerfest: Digital Underground, Floetry, Mix Master Mike, and Anthony Hamilton all on one night.
Business Secrets Protected Better than National Security
Devulging business trade secrets such as "confidential Coca-Cola documents and a sample of a product the company was developing" are treated with more intensity than the methods the government used to hunt down and stop Islamist terrorists. Pepsi has more moral integrity than the NY Times and LA Times. Pepsi helped Coke and the FBI catch the leakers. In the newspapers' case they plastered secret information about terrorist tracking methods all over their front pages. This despite being told by government officials that the Swift program was currently being used for three investigations. It also doesn't say much for the Bush administration who hasn't prosecuted any government leakers nor taken any retaliatory actions against the newspapers such as rescinding their White House credentials.
[via Charlie Sykes]
Charlie's Show Prep #129
July 05, 2006
Flag Waving is "Epidemic"
If this story from AFP, France's wire service, is any indication we know just doesn't "get" the United States. Chantal Valery declares our flag-flying "a true epidemic." Patriotism and love of country is something some people don't understand. It's usually those, like NY Times editors who see themselves as post-nationalist and above red state things like that.
Ken Lay Dead at 64
Convicted felon and ex-Enron CEO Ken Lay died of a heart attack:
"Apparently, his heart simply gave out," said Pastor Steve Wende of Houston's First United Methodist Church. Lay, who lived in Houston, frequently vacationed in Colorado.
I think it was more of the stress of a prison sentence and the "$100 million in personal debt."
I found some Democratic Underground wacko looking for the Dick Cheney conspiracy angle:
I have to wonder if Cheney had him killed. Lay knew where a lot of bodies are buried.
Yes, I heard rumors Cheney went hunting with Lay earlier today.
"Enron Founder Kenneth Lay Dies at 64"
Summerfest Day 7
Viagra was Rush Limbaugh's
The mess surrounding Rush Limbaugh's Viagra has been sorted out. The pills were under his psychiatrist's name to protect the talk radio host's privacy--not that it matters now.
The state attorney's office said that Dr. Steve Strumwasser's name was on the Viagra bottle, not Limbaugh's. Strumwasser, who is Limbaugh's psychiatrist, told authorities he "agreed to have his name on the label in an effort to avoid potentially embarrassing publicity for the suspect," according to the state attorney's office filing. "Thus, the medication contained in the subject pill bottle was legitimately prescribed to the suspect by his physician."
"Limbaugh Will Not be Charged over Viagra"
Summerfest Babe of the Day #6
Charlie's Show Prep #128
July 04, 2006
"Shuttle Discovery Reaches Orbit"
America's Unilateral Gift
230 years ago our Founding Fathers declared the 13 colonies to be free and independent states. That was the greatest unilateral action in world history. The Founders didn't ask Great Britain to be independent. The colonists had grievances and tried to address them within the confines of the British Empire. She failed to heed their cries over taxation, representative government, and the rule of law. As Thomas Jefferson wrote,
Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
The Founders' answer to tyranny was the breaking of bonds:
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
There was no request to France, Spain, Russia, or any other nation mediation. The Founders knew what was right and just and acted. They declared independence then wondered if they could get international help--eventually from France. That unilateral act created the United States. In the 230 years that have passed she has become a shining beacon of liberty, opportunity, and prosperity.
When someone complains about American unilateralism tell them they'd still be British subjects without it. Unilateralism: America's gift that keeps on giving.
Summerfest Day 6
If you don't have a picnic or fireworks show to go to head to Milwaukee's lakefront for some great music. Here are some featured acts:
Summerfest Babe of the Day #5
July 03, 2006
Deep Fried Bacon Quarter Pounder
Kids (and most adults), don't try this at home. Save it for state fairs where every food is supposed to be deep fried.
UPDATE: The Headless Blogger offers up something better/worse: the Luther Burger.
Milwaukee Fireworks On...for Now
With possible thunderstorms tonight U.S. Bank will wait until the last possible moment to decide whether to cancel the fireworks display along Milwaukee's lakeshore. The National Weather Service forcast reads, "A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 4am." They've also issued a severe thunderstorm watch for much of Southeastern Wisconsin. I'm betting on a rain out.
Australian Prime Minister Wants Big Brother Canceled
Australian Prime Minister John Howard wants Big Brother off the air after two men held a woman down and gave her a "turkey slap."
YouTube doesn't let me down and has the video:
I wouldn't call it a sex attack. It looks like baudy horsing around. The fact that many derive entertainment from shows like this is discouraging enough.
Celebrating July 2
Owen Robinson mentions the Declaration of Independence's introduction to the Continental Congress on 07.02.1776. With it passing two days later. Probably due to some parlimentary procedure John Adams thought 07.02 should be the day of celebration:
The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.
Adams got the spirit right if the date wrong.
Stuff the Ballot for Capuano
Milwaukee Brewers' pitcher Chris Capuano is in the running for one of the final spots on the All-Star Game roster. Fans vote for the final spots so I'm telling all my readers who are Milwaukee Brewers fans to vote early and often.
Summerfest Day 5
Today, 07.03 is the one day I least recommend going to Summerfest. Tonight, is when U.S. Bank will be sponsoring Milwaukee's Independence Day fireworks display. (They let the suburbs shoot theirs off tomorrow night.) Upwards of 500,000 people will be along the lakeshore to catch the brilliant explosions; many of them will be at Summerfest. I don't mean to scare you off. If you can tolerate the crowds there are some good acts hitting the stages:
Summerfest Babe of the Day #4
Expert Charges Coulter with Plagiarism
Ann Coulter has more plagiarism problems. Questions about material in Godless has extended to her columns:
John Barrie, the creator of a leading plagiarism-recognition system, claimed he found at least three instances of what he calls "textbook plagiarism" in the leggy blond pundit's "Godless: the Church of Liberalism" after he ran the book's text through the company's digital iThenticate program.
Barrie also told the NY Post her footnotes are "very misleading." "They're used purely to try and give the book a higher level of credibility - as if it's an academic work. But her sloppiness in failing to properly attribute many other passages strips it of nearly all its academic merits."
"Copycatty Coulter Pilfers Prose: Pro"
July 02, 2006
How Fast Can You Type?
Find out how fast you can type. I can do 60-70 words per minute.
Summerfest Babe of the Day #3
Summerfest Day 4
MKE has found a great food deal. Go to The Venice Club and get yourself half of a 12-inch pizza for only $5. Pizza goes great with beer and with the cash you're saving you can drink more of it. Now, let's see who's playing the Big Gig tonight.
July 01, 2006
Ford Traded for Villanueva
The Milwaukee Bucks traded point guard T.J. Ford to the Toronto Raptors for all-rookie team power forward Charlie Villanueva.
Villanueva can score, as shown with his 48-point game against the Bucks in March. I saw it live. He was hot, hot, hot. But I don't know how well the power forward plays defense. A jump shooting team needs good defense for the times when they get cold.
The Bucks must feel Mo Williams is capable physically to go an entire season at point guard. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, "Villanueva is expected to move right into the starting lineup at power forward, which will allow Bogut to slide over to center." That means center Jamal Magloire will probably be traded. To whom and for what is to be determined. Maybe a back-up point guard.
Summerfest Babe of the Day #2
Believe me, this is tough work. But someone has to do it.
Wait! There's more!
Summerfest Day 3
A weekend with nice, hot weather should mean big crowds and lots of beer sales at the lakefront. Don't be surprised to hear 100,000+ get into Summerfest today. I don't want to scare off those of you who worry about crowds. Even with that many people there are still places to move around and hear some great music. Here are some highlighted performers: