[star]The American Mind[star]

September 30, 2006

Easy to Scoop a Book as Woodard's Tome Proves

The NY Times and the NY Daily News embarrassed the Washington Post by scooping them about portions of Bob Woodward new book State of Denial. How did the Times get a hold of a book that won't be on sale until next week? Easy, they went to a bookstore and got someone to break the strict-on-sale date. At my bookstore copies of Woodard's book were in for days. I could have cut open a box, bought one, and scooped everyone. Of course I would have lost my job. It's even possible the stores didn't think they did anything wrong. Bookstores like most retail outlets is staffed by lots of part-timers. It's hard for managers to communicate all the fine points to all employees. Some bookseller might have just saw a pile of State of Denial in the backroom and thought it would be nice to stock them on the book floor. Stuff like that happens.

Other than plot points to the next Harry Potter novel it's not hard to get a scoop on a book that has been printed and shipped to stores.

"Post Rushes Woodward Story After Other Papers Scoop It"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Books at 05:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2006

WSJ Poll: Doyle's Lead Slims Tremendously

Zogby's poll for the Wall Street Journal, a combined online and phone poll, finds Gov. Jim Doyle with only a 1.3% lead over Rep. Mark Green.

And to really make the Wisconsin GOP ask themselves, "What if we actually found someone to challenge Sen. Herb Kohl?" the poll finds Kohl with only a 13.3% lead over Robert Gerald Lorge.

UPDATE: Even with this poll the overall average has Doyle with a 5% lead over Green. Doyle's numbers have started taking a nosedive.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Good Riddance to Sicko Congressman

The hot, steamy news out of D.C. is Congressman Mark Foley resigning from his seat when news got out about sexually explicit instant messages [PDF] between him and a teenager.

You have to be very twisted to converse like he did and think you'd never get caught. It's even more twisted knowing Foley worked to pass laws to protect children from online predators.

Here's what we learned: 1.) if you have sick, twisted sexual fantasies, keep them to yourself or get professional help, but don't get elected to Congress; 2.) make sure you know how to delete potentially problematic IM conversations to prevent future embarrassment; 3.) to parents, the online sicko stalking your child might be a Congressman.

"Mark Foley's "Outreach" To Youths At Risk Of Being Hot"

"US Rep. Mark Foley Resigns From Congress"

"Foley's Folly"

"The Sexually Explicit Internet Messages That Led to Fla. Rep. Foley's Resignation"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 08:33 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Odd Poll in Governor's Race

Until I see corroborating numbers I'm discounting the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute's poll that has Gov. Doyle with a 5% lead over Rep. Mark Green. The overall spread seems right, but the poll says Green is leading in Democratic stronghold Milwaukee, and Doyle leads Green by 11% in Green Bay Green's backyard. If the numbers are accurate this will be one wild race with more unpredictabilities.

"Governor's Race Poll Contains Surprises"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #170

  • Because the NY Times leaked the secret activities between U.S. intelligence agencies and Swift, the Belgian bank clearing house is taking heat from the Belgian government. Because of the Times' irresponsiblity it will be harder for U.S. intelligence agencies to track terrorists' money, endangering Americans.

  • The TSA fails to use common sense and detained a man for writing "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on a bag. Hawley runs the TSA.

  • Police called the Terrell Owens incident an "accidental overdose."

  • I approve the new Bucks uniforms.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Charlie's Show Prep at 04:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 28, 2006

More Mark Green Ads on YouTube

If you watch plenty of Wisconsin television you have probably already seen these two Mark Green ads. My tv watching amounts to sports and neither Green nor Doyle are buying ad time during Brewers games. So for those with similar viewing habits here's two good Green ads now on YouTube:

Mark Green really needs your help to make sure these ads get as much play as possible. Please donate to his campaign.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Screech Sex Tape

Is this Screech's latest way to "save his house?"

He may have played nerdy eighth-grader Samuel (Screech) Powers in the sitcom "Saved by the Bell." But former TV geek Dustin Diamond can now take his place with Colin Farrell, Tommy Lee and Kid Rock as the star of his very own sex tape.

Everyone who remembers Diamond as a lovable putz is in for a shock once they see a 40-minute video in which he engages in a kinky three-way with two women, sources tell us.


Screech's manager thinks the tape might help his career saying, "Dustin has been trying to escape the Screech typecast. So this may help me get more bookings."

We should have bought more t-shirts.

"Porn Star's Name May Ring a 'Bell'" [via Ace]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture at 09:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #169

  • Yes, the Journal Sentinel found the State Elections Board has changed its view of federal campaign fund transfers to state campaign accounts. But remember in Rep. Mark Green's case the board voted to make his transfer illegal after it took place. It also doesn't get Gov. Doyle off the hook for having his lawyer practically tell Democratic members of the board how to vote and why.

  • St. Paul gets the 2008 GOP convention.

  • Steve Irwin's wife says his death video will never see the light of day. Correct, until someone uploads it to YouTube.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Charlie's Show Prep at 01:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 27, 2006

Green Machine

I have a fondness for green. It feels different than reds and blues. It can be bright green or it can get more earthy. I like green, but I'm not a green freak who drives a green car, paints his bedroom three shades of green, or has an assortment of Green Bay Packers jerseys in his closet--uh nix that last part. What set me off was Sony's Vaio C series of notebook computers. I'm digging the "spring green" or "natural green" for those European readers.

green-vaio.jpg

The computer is slim and small with a 13.3 inch screen. I've been drooling over Dell's Inspirion 710m for a while. I could get a mighty mobile weblogging machine in a spiffy color... IF I had $1350 bucks lying around. Anyone want to make a donation to the TAM Spring Green Notebook fund? Someone? Anyone? Bueler? Someone leave at tip anyway. It's been so long I've forgotten to forget to say thank you to generous folk.

"Sony's Vaio C Series of 13.3-Inchers"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Tech at 11:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Insensitive Morons at the NY Post

We only have one planet. We're stuck with each other. Jews are stuck with Muslims who are both stuck with Christians, Hindus, athiests, and a host of other faiths. Blacks are stuck with whites who are stuck with Asian yadda, yadda, yadda. Respecting one's boundaries, both physical, economic, emotional, and spiritual are needed or society breaks down into chaos. It's bad enough for some sick bastard to send Lefty looney toon Keith Olberman an envelope filled with white powder. I hope that creature is soon arrested. To make things worse the NY Post's gossip section, Page Six, mocked Olberman for calling 911 for help. (Here's Olberman's account.) I wonder what employees of the Post would do if they were sent such a threatening piece of mail. Wait, we already know because it happened five years ago:

A letter mailed to the New York Post has tested positive for anthrax and is similar to anthrax-laced letters sent to NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, police said late yesterday.

The letter addressed to "Editor" was postmarked Sept. 18 - as was a contaminated letter sent to Brokaw - and bore a Trenton, N.J., postmark like the letters to Brokaw and Daschle. The letter to Daschle was postmarked Oct. 9.

The handwriting on the Post letter is similar to that found on the two other letters, according to statement released by New York police and the FBI.

Police found the unopened envelope late Friday night during an investigation launched after a Post employee tested positive for the bacteria. The letter, which contained a small amount of a powdery substance, has been sent to Maryland for testing.


You can be pretty sure the Post people weren't the most cool and calm as they called the police.

Page Six's Paula Froelich took gossip to a new low. She was cruel and heartless. For shame! She better be working on that apology.

"Why Doesn't Page Six Take A Big Whiff Itself?"

"Aren't Death Threats Just Hilarious"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Media at 09:21 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Report: Terrell Owen Tried Suicide

A Dallas television station reports Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens is in the hospital because of an attempted suicide:

Flamboyant Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens attempted suicide by overdosing on pain medication, even putting two more pills into his mouth after fire rescue personnel arrived, The Associated Press reported Wednesday citing a police report.

A Dallas police report released Wednesday morning said Owens told rescue workers "that he was depressed." The report was first released by WFAA-TV.

The rescue worker "noticed that [his] prescription pain medication was empty and observed [Owens] putting two pills in his mouth,'' the police report said.

The worker attempted to pry them out with her fingers, then was told by Owens that before this incident he'd taken only five of the 40 pain pills in the bottle he'd emptied. The worker then asked Owens "if he was attempting to harm himself, at which time [he] stated, 'Yes.'"


If true it shows that even superstars with money and fame can have a hole in their soul.

In the same ESPN story is an odd Bill Parcell's quote about injured wideout Terry Glenn:

On Tuesday, the Cowboys also practiced without tight end Jason Witten, whose wife was having a baby. Wide receiver Terry Glenn practiced, albeit with several stitches in his thumb.


"He was trying to cut some tape off his uniform," Parcells said. "He had his hand down in his pants and he missed. Fortunately he cut his hand."


Was this another example of Parcell's sarcasm? What a strange detail to reveal. Late night comedians will have a field day with this.

"Police Report: Owens Hospitalized after Suicide Attempt"

UPDATE: I guess T.O. wasn't feeling too down in the dumps. He says his painkilers combined with suplaments caused a bad reaction:

As if to prove he's doing fine, Owens went from the hospital to catching passes from quarterback Drew Bledsoe within two hours, then proclaimed himself "very capable of going out there and playing on Sunday" — despite whatever happened Tuesday night and a broken right hand.

Owens said the confusion likely stemmed from an empty bottle of pain medication found by his publicist, who was with him at the time and called 911. He said the rest of the pills were in a drawer.

"I was non-responsive when she made that call," Owens said. "She made the call out of her judgment for my well-being."


Owens said he was "kind of out of it" which would explain his behavior in the police report.

But then we have T.O.'s publicist who turns the incident into an attack on the football player:

Etheredge also appeared at Owens' news conference, saying she "did not take anything out of his mouth" and that it was unfair for anyone to think Owens would kill himself.

"Terrell has 25 million reasons why he should be alive," she said, referring to the $25 million, three-year contract he signed in March with the Cowboys.

"I'm just upset," Etheredge added. "I feel they take advantage of Terrell. Had this been someone else, this may not have happened."


Wrong, Ms. Etheredge. When the media gets a police report that says an NFL player attempted suicide that's news. If the report had been about the third-string Dallas wide receiver instead of Owens it would have been news. Since Owens is one of the most colorful characters in the NFL that makes it a story Drudge links to and ESPN puts on their front page. And really, T.O. doesn't shy away from attention. He would have felt insulted if he was taken to the emergency ward and no one reported on it.

"Owens Denies He Tried to Kill Himself"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Sports at 09:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dow Jones Index Near All-Time High

An economic story that's flown under the radar is the rise of the stock market to near-record heights. It's almost come back from the Internet stock-charged bubble that burst in 2000:

The Dow Jones industrial average is just 53.59 points away from its all-time high close, going into today's trading. In pre-market trading, Dow Jones futures are up 3 points, S&P 500 futures rose 0.5 of a point, and Nasdaq futures rose 2.8 points.

On Tuesday, the Dow industrials closed at its highest level of the year, as investors reacted to a consumer confidence survey that appeared to show an economy not floundering as some had feared, but not growing too much to spur inflationary pressure. The Dow climbed 93 points, the S&P 500 rose by nearly 10 points and the Nasdaq Composite rose 12.3 points.

The all-time high on the Dow is 11,722.98, reached in January 2000.


When Bill Clinton was President I remember his administration touting new stock market high after new stock market high as a sign of their success in managing the economy. I think President Bush and the gang should do a little crowing of their own.

"Dow Just 53.59 from All-Time High Close"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Economics at 08:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Joseph Sobran to Speak in Milwaukee Thursday

Last Saturday, James Widgerson posted on an up-coming speech by Joesph Sobran to the Wisconsin Forum. His speech will be about the "hijacking of conservatism." Sobran, once a paleo-conservative or paleo-libertarian now an anarchist, was forced to resign from National Review because of his unhealthy obsession with Israel and the role of Jews in American politics. In 1991, William F. Buckley wrote about how he attempted to keep Sobran from letting his obession harm his career and reputation.

From Sobran's own words about "Jewish power," the "wrath of Jewish advertisers," the "Jewish-Zionist powers that be in the United States," and his many uses of the pejorative "Zionist" (sounding like Palastinian propaganda) it's clear to me he has a dislike of Jews as a group. Ergo it's not a stretch to call Sobran an anti-Semite even though he was in awe of particular Jews like Murray Rothbard. What's also disturbing is his paranoia. Richard John Neuhaus quotes Sobran:

The older I get, the more I am impressed by this pervasive fear of the Jews-or rather, pervasive in some critical power centers, unfelt in other places. It is a huge factor, invisible and incalculable, in American culture and politics.

Sobran's obsession (one he denies) with Jews has no place in a conservatism where people are treated as individuals and not abstracted into ethnic groups with certain exceptions.

What should be done? What I can do is simply not attend the speech, and I encourage no one else to attend. Also, airing my opinion via this weblog is a constructive action. While the Wisconsin Forum has been around for decades and has an admirable committment "to speaking on behalf of the principles of liberty" I am very disappointed in their selection of Sobran. The organization's reputation has suffered in my eyes. Much work will be needed to be done to improve it.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 26, 2006

Newsweek Chooses to Sell Book Instead of News with Cover

When seeing this graphic at Outside the Beltway I started singing "One of these things is not like the other...."


newsweek-leibovitz.jpg

It just so happens famed photographer Annie Leibovitz is coming out with a new collection of her photos called A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005. Newsweek is obviously involved in promoting the book. Thus the Taliban get bumped for a celebrity photographer for U.S. readers. That's some amazing P.R. firm Leibovitz has to get actual news bumped off the cover of a national newsweekly.

"Taliban vs. Annie Leibovitz"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Media at 09:12 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Bush Signs Transparency Bill

Today, President Bush signed the Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 which, to use President Bush's words, will "create a website that will list the federal government's grants and contracts." Webloggers will love sifting through that looking for waste and possible corruption. Webloggers like Ace, N.Z. Bear, Mary Katherine Ham and others worked hard to get this legislation past. They weren't forgotten because some of them were invited to the signing ceremony. Even though I wasn't writing anything on it I was still rooting for them. Congratulations all.

"Bloggers Gather at White House for Pork Bill Signing"

"President Bush Signs Spending Transparency Bill"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 08:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Offering Facebook Invites

Facebook has opened itself up to the non-college student and select workplace world. I signed up but I know no one in the Milwaukee, WI group. It's because I'm older than your typical Facebook user. If you want an invite send me an e-mail (sean--at--theamericanmind--dot--com) or leave a comment with your e-mail address.

And if you want a Gmail account I can send you one of those too.

"Facebook Opens Registration to All"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Internet at 07:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Intel Shows off 80 Core Prototype

Moore's Law continues. Instead of the number of transistors doubling on microchips every one to two years Intel looks to double the number of microprocessors periodically:

But the ultimate goal, as envisioned by Intel's terascale research prototype, is to enable a trillion floating-point operations per second--a teraflop--on a single chip. Ten years ago, the ASCI Red supercomputer at Sandia National Laboratories became the first supercomputer to deliver 1 teraflop using 4,510 computing nodes.

Intel's prototype uses 80 floating-point cores, each running at 3.16GHz, Justin Rattner, Intel's chief technology officer, said in a speech following Otellini's address. In order to move data in between individual cores and into memory, the company plans to use an on-chip interconnect fabric and stacked SRAM (static RAM) chips attached directly to the bottom of the chip, he said.


At this rate a Matrix-style shunt into the back of one's brain isn't too far off. And to pick another movie metaphor, will these powerful computers become sentient and strike back at their human "oppressors?"

"Intel Pledges 80 Cores in Five Years"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Tech at 07:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Saddam Ejected from Trial Again

The judge in Saddam's genocide trial tossed out the chief defendent for the third straight hearing:

New chief judge Mohammed al-Ureybi, who had thrown Saddam out of the two previous hearings he has chaired in the past week, opened Tuesday's hearing with a lecture to Saddam to behave.

He let him read a 20-minute statement, with microphones off so those in the glass-enclosed press gallery could not hear.

But after listening to two Kurdish witnesses, Saddam again began to argue and the judge lost his patience.

"You are a defendant and I'm a judge," Ureybi said. "Shut up, no-one talk ... The court has decided to eject Saddam Hussein from court."

As Saddam left, smiling, his six co-defendants -- top commanders under Saddam -- stood and tried to follow him out, demanding they leave too. The judge shouted back: "Get Saddam out and put the others back in their seats."

Several co-defendants started shouting and pointing fingers at the judge. Unusually, the sound was left on for television broadcasts, allowing all Iraqis to watch and listen during several minutes of courtroom pandemonium.

Ureybi ejected one, former defense minister Sultan Hashim, ordered a recess and switched off the sound. A source close to the court said he then ejected the others.

When the hearing resumed, it was the first time the genocide trial proceeded with none of the defendants in court.

The defense lawyers have been boycotting the trial since the new chief judge took over last week, so the defendants were represented only by court-appointed back-up lawyers.


And I thought the O.J. Simpson trial was wild and wacky.

"Saddam, Aides Ejected from Genocide Trial"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in War at 08:17 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #168

  • Americans who don't understand basic economics like supply and demand think there's a conspiracy between the President and the oil companies.

  • The "Madden Curse" strikes again. The 2007 edition of the football video game features Seattle's Shawn Alexander. He broke his foot in Sunday's game against the Giants.

  • Washington Republicans are set to increase federal spending 9%.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Charlie's Show Prep at 04:04 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

September 25, 2006

British Wack al-Qaeda Bombmaker

Omar al-Farouq, who escaped from an Afghan prison in 2005, was killed by British troops in Basra, Iraq:

Burbridge said he could not comment on whether it was the same man who allegedly led al-Qaida's Southeast Asia operations, citing British policy not allowing him to link an individual to a specific organization.

But a Basra police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said it was the same man. The officer said al-Farouq entered Iraq three months ago, was known to be an expert in bomb making and went by the name Mahmoud Ahmed while in Basra.

Al-Farouq and three other al-Qaida suspects escaped from Bagram, in central Afghanistan, in July 2005, but the Pentagon waited until November to confirm his escape. The delay upset Indonesia, which had arrested al-Farouq in 2002 and turned him over to the United States.


Al-Farouq's wife should now accept he was indeed a terrorist:
In Indonesia last November, al-Farouq's wife said the U.S. government should have put her husband on trial.

"My husband was kidnapped by America but they never officially told us ... for more than three years," Mira Agustina said then. "I don't believe that my husband was a terrorist. He is only an ordinary man who cried when he watched movies about violence."

"I was shocked when news broke that my husband was a terrorist wanting to kill many people," she said, adding that she told her two daughters that their father had gone off to America "to work."


Instead he went around Southeast and Central Asia planning attacks on the U.S.

This gives more validity to the "flypaper" theory of the Iraq War. Security consultant Ken Conboy said, "He's Iraqi after all. If he's not hiding out (in Afghanistan or Pakistan), he's probably headed to Iraq to join the fight there." (Emphaisis mine.)

"British Forces Kill Leading Terrorist"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Terrorism at 09:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vice President Raises Big Bucks for Green and GOP

Vice President Dick Cheney came to Milwaukee to raise $150,000 for Mark Green and Wisconsin Republicans. That should help make up for losing in court to a Jim Doyle-appointed judge.

"Cheney Visits Milwaukee"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mark Green Hits Back at Doyle

Many of us Mark Green supporters have been waiting for him to strike back at Jim Doyle's constant barrage of attack ads. With today's ruling against him in liberal Dane County by a Doyle-appointed judge he has to know the rules of the game are being rigged by his opponents. Now, Green has struck back. I hope this is just the beginning. The next ad should feature one Georgia Thompson who's going to federal prison for rigging a state travel contract toward a big Doyle contributor.

The Green campaign will move the questioned $467,844 into a separate account leaving Jim Doyle with that much more of a financial advantage. Please donate to Mark Green. Wisconsin doesn't deserve four more years of Doyle's ethical treachery.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #167

  • There's lots of yapping over leaked portions of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that the Iraq War has inspired untold numbers of new terrorists. Here are two things to remember: 1. the NIE isn't God's word sent down from heaven, it doesn't have the greatest track record; 2. there's a reason someone wanted this story, based on a report written in April, leaked weeks before Election Day when the GOP was making headway with voters on the terrorism issue.

  • There's much still to learn about the deaths of an East St. Louis mother and her four children, one cut from her mother's womb.

  • The Washington Times looks at how affirmative action has twisted Indian society.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Charlie's Show Prep at 03:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 24, 2006

Washington Post on Chavez's Hot Air

Many, including me, paid more attention to what Hugo Chavez said last week (and what book he hawked) at the U.N. than how he's leading Venezuela especially its oil industry. Thankfully the Washington Post editorial board points out Chavez's ineptitude:

Since Mr. Chávez took power seven years ago, Venezuela has mismanaged its oil so disastrously that production may have fallen by almost half, according to the estimates of outsiders, reducing global oil supply by a bit more than 1 percent. Along with natural disasters and Nigerian rebels, Mr. Chávez's ineptitude has contributed to high energy prices.

It takes sustained determination to reduce output by that much, and Mr. Chávez has provided it. He inherited a competent national oil company that produced three times more per worker than its Mexican counterpart. He immediately starved it of investment capital and dispatched ignorant political cronies to oversee it. When this abuse provoked a strike, Mr. Chávez fired the staff en masse, getting rid of two-thirds of the skilled employees and managers.


"Hurricane Chávez" [via Betsy's Page]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Foreign Affairs at 05:25 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

September 23, 2006

Osama bin Laden: Dead and Alive

The brief hope that Osama bin Laden was dead (and by a "water-born" illness no less) cheered me up this rainy Saturday. But that's not the case according to Pakistani intelligence.

"Captured and Dead/Sick Savage Report"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Terrorism at 05:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Obsessing over Numbers

How many Bush-bashing, Leftist shibboleths can one reporter put into an "objective" news story? Count along with we go through the Associated Press' Calvin Woodward:

Now the death toll is 9/11 times two. U.S. military deaths from Iraq and Afghanistan now surpass those of the most devastating terrorist attack in America's history, the trigger for what came next.

The latest milestone for a country at war came Friday without commemoration. It came without the precision of knowing who was the 2,974th to die in conflict. The terrorist attacks killed 2,973 victims in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

An Associated Press count of the U.S. death toll in Iraq rose to 2,696. Combined with 278 U.S. deaths in and around Afghanistan, the 9/11 toll was reached, then topped, the same day. The Pentagon reported Friday the latest death from Iraq, an as-yet unidentified soldier killed a day earlier after his vehicle was hit by a roadside bombing in eastern Baghdad.

Not for the first time, war that was started to answer death has resulted in at least as much death for the country that was first attacked, quite apart from the higher numbers of enemy and civilians killed.


I was waiting for this number to come up. For some reason Woodward doesn't bother to explain what 2,974 battlefield dead has to do with anything. The only thing interesting about that number is it provided Woodward a reason to write his anti-war "news" story.

Historians note that this grim accounting is not how the success or failure of warfare is measured, and that the reasons for conflict are broader than what served as the spark.

The body count from World War II was far higher for Allied troops than for the crushed Axis. Americans lost more men in each of a succession of Pacific battles than the 2,390 people who died at Pearl Harbor in the attack that made the U.S. declare war on Japan. The U.S. lost 405,399 in the theaters of World War II.

Despite a death toll that pales next to that of the great wars, one casualty milestone after another has been observed and reflected upon this time, especially in Iraq.

There was the benchmark of seeing more U.S. troops die in the occupation than in the swift and successful invasion. And the benchmarks of 1,000 dead, 2,000, 2,500.

Now this.


The only ones obsessing over body count numbers has been a sensationalist MSM and Bush-bashing, war protesters who wish they lived in a world where we could sing "Kumbaya" with Osama bin Laden and ask him nicely not to attack us again.

While each American death in the Islamist War is awful all of us must stay focused on the goal: defeat the enemy and secure the nation from future attacks. Many have already died, and many more will perish in this mission. Afghanistan and Iraq have been two places, and expect other places where the U.S. military will extend its sword in defense of the homeland. War is hell, yet we shouldn't shudder from the fight because of a body count.

Woodward is so obsessed with numbers so I'll give him a more important one. The number of Islamist terrorist attacks since Sep. 11, 2001: zero*.

[UPDATE: I made a mistake. I meant the number of Islamist attack on U.S. soil since Sep. 11. My apologies.]

Do you think President Roosevelt cared when the number of Americans killed in World War II equaled the number dead at Pearl Harbor? I doubt it. He was too busy commanding conflicts on both sides of the world. Did it matter to the Founding Fathers that the deaths at Lexington and Concord were greater than that of the Boston Massacre? No, they were a little busy organizing a resistance to the British.

"There's never a good war but if the war's going well and the overall mission remains powerful, these numbers are not what people are focusing on," said Julian Zelizer, a political historian at Boston University. "If this becomes the subject, then something's gone wrong."

Beyond the tribulations of the moment and the now-rampant doubts about the justification and course of the Iraq war, Zelizer said Americans have lost firsthand knowledge of the costs of war that existed keenly up to the 1960s, when people remembered two world wars and Korea, and faced Vietnam.

"A kind of numbness comes from that," he said. "We're not that country anymore — more bothered, more nervous. This isn't a country that's used to ground wars anymore."

Almost 10 times more Americans have died in Iraq than in Afghanistan, where U.S. casualties have been remarkably light by any historical standard, although climbing in recent months in the face of a resurgent Taliban.

Hey Woodward, casualties have also been "remarkably light by any historical standard" in Iraq too. Before the war in 2003 I fully expected 10,000 troops to die. I thought Saddam's vaunted Republican Guard would put up a tougher fight, and chemical weapons--that the whole world thought Iraq had--would produce grotesque injuries and deaths. Despite my fears of so many deaths I firmly supported the invasion because I thought the cause was true. Thankfully, the invasion went well. The occupation and Iraq's rebuilding has been the real challenge.

The Pentagon reports 56 military deaths and one civilian Defense Department death in other parts of the world from Operation Enduring Freedom, the anti-terrorism war distinct from Iraq.

Altogether, 3,031 have died abroad since Sept. 11, 2001.

The toll among Iraqi civilians hit a record high in the summer, with 6,599 violent deaths reported in July and August alone, the United Nations said this week.


Wouldn't it be better to lump these tragic deaths to Iraq's liberation and ascension into civilization? No, because Woodward wants to pull at his readers heartstrings. If anyone should be blamed for those deaths it's the resistance who reject a democratic regime.

Among the latest U.S. deaths identified by the armed forces:

_Army 2nd Lt. Emily J.T. Perez, 23, Fort Washington, Md., who died Sept. 12 in Kifl, Iraq, from an explosive device detonated near her vehicle. A former high school sprinter who sang in her West Point gospel choir, she was assigned to the 204th Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

_Marine Sgt. Christopher M. Zimmerman, 28, Stephenville, Texas, killed Wednesday in Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.


These are all patriots who deserve nothing but gratitude.

A new study on the war dead and where they come from suggests that the notion of "rich man's war, poor man's fight" has become a little truer over time.

Among the Americans killed in the Iraq war, 34 percent have come from communities reporting the lowest levels of family income. Half come from middle income communities and only 17 percent from the highest income level.

That's a change from World War II, when all income groups were represented about equally. In Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, the poor have made up a progressively larger share of casualties, by this analysis.


Now, we get into Woodward's bit of class warfare. He mentions the income distributions of casualties in a number of wars but "forgets" to note that there's no longer a draft. We have a voluntary armed forces. Men and women are free to enlist and now renew their enlistment when their service time in done. But that important piece of information would unravel Woodward's "rich man's war, poor man's fight" canard.

Eye-for-an-eye vengeance was not the sole motivator for what happened after the 2001 attacks any more than Pearl Harbor alone was responsible for all that followed. But Pearl Harbor caught the U.S. in the middle of mobilization, debate, rising tensions with looming enemies and a European war already in progress. Historians doubt anyone paid much attention to sad milestones once America threw itself into the fight.
Yes, because we don't have an MSM and Bush-bashing Left obsessed with making President Bush look bad instead of seeking victory over our enemies.
In contrast, the United States had no imminent war intentions against anyone on Sept. 10, 2001. One bloody day later, it did.

To Calvin Woodward and those Bush-bashing, anti-war protesters I give you this from Victor Davis Hanson:

Today I finish the last class of a five-week course I taught this late summer at Hillsdale College on World War II. What is striking is the abrupt end of the war, whose last months nevertheless saw the worst American casualties in Europe of the entire struggle. 10,677 of our soldiers died in April 1945 alone, just a few days before the collapse of the Nazi regime— about the same number lost a year earlier during the month of June in the 1944 landings at Normandy and the slogging in the Hedgerows. Okinawa saw our worst casualties on the ground in the Pacific—and was declared secure only 6 weeks before the Japanese surrender. 1945 was far bloodier than 1939, a reminder that in the midst of a war daily losses are not necessarily a barometer of how close or far away is the end of the carnage. Ask the Red Army for whom the final siege of Berlin—361, 367 Russian and Polish soldiers lost—may have been their worst single battle of their entire war, itself characterized by killing on a scale unimaginable in the West.

I don’t know how close or far away we are in Iraq from securing a chance for Iraqi democracy to stabilize, but I do know—despite the recent spate of doom and gloom journalistic accounts—that, as in all wars, it is almost impossible to tell from the 24-hour pulse of the battlefield.

For more reaction there's Allahpundit, Tigerhawk, and Chad the Elder.

"War Price on U.S. Lives Equal to 9/11"

*Since we don't know who was responsible for the anthrax attacks soon after Sep. 11 I don't count that. Even if it is discovered to be al Qaeda's or some other terrorist group's doing I will include that with Sep. 11 since the nation was only in the beginnings of responding to the Islamist threat.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in War at 03:05 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 22, 2006

Wait a While for Final Harry Potter Book

Harry Potter fans, I have to give you some bad news. It will be a while before the final Harry Potter book. J.K. Rowling said, "I'm not close to finishing it."

"Rowling Says Seventh Harry Potter Book 'Not Close to Being Finished"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Books at 04:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #166

  • Hamas won't join a coalition Palestinian government if they have to recognize Israel despite what President Mahmoud Abbas told the U.N.

  • Wisconsin political junkies won't have to wait a month until the next Green-Doyle head-to-head battle. The two governor candidates will debate 10.06 in Milwaukee.

  • Wal-Mart will sell 30-day supplies of generic for $4. Wal-Mart haters are looking for some sort of underhandedness by the monster retailer.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Charlie's Show Prep at 04:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 21, 2006

More on Doyle's Rigging of the State Elections Board

There has been plenty of electrons spilled on the news that a Gov. Jim Doyle lawyer conspired with members of the State Elections Board to stick it to Rep. Mark Green. Patrick at Badger Blogger has an extensive round-up. So check him out for breadth. I'll highlight some thoughts I found interesting:


  • Campaign finance uber-scholar and former FEC member Bradley Smith calls Michael Maistelman's actions "as unethical behavior as I have seen from a lawyer appearing before an administrative agency, or members of the agency itself."

  • Jeff Wagner writes, "The attorney for the State Elections Board suggests that this contact was legal. Maybe, maybe not. The point though is that these e-mails provide pretty clear evidence that the process was fixed from the beginning. This wasn't a private citizen lobbying the Elections Board. It was the attorney for the patron of several appointees telling them how to vote."

  • Rick Esenberg writes, "Of course, apart from the legality, this looks awful. Here's Maistelman carefully circumventing the open meetings laws and telling these intrepid seekers of truth what the "powers that be" had deemed acceptable. Here he is again telling them that they can tie Green up in the courts and make him look bad."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Sen. Harkin Doesn't Bash Chavez

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) can "understand" Hugo Chavez's "frustration" with the U.S. That's far from Reps. Rangel's and Pelosi's denunciations of the Venezuelan autocrat. He then turned a question about Chavez into your standard criticism of President Bush's foreign policy.

"Harkin Defends Venezuelan President's U.N. Speech against Bush"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Foreign Affairs at 05:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Democrats Bash Chavez

I know they're doing it because elections are about six weeks away still I'm please Reps. Charles Rangel and Nancy Pelosi ripped Hugo Chavez:

"I just want to make it abundantly clear to Hugo Chavez or any other president - don't come to the United States and think because we have problems with our president that any foreigner can come to our country and not think that Americans do not feel offended when you offend our Chief of State," Rangel said.

"Any demeaning public attack against him is viewed by Republicans and Democrats, and all Americans, as an attack on all of us," Rangel said.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who spent most of the day criticizing the Bush administration's economic and environmental policies, told reporters that Chavez's performance at the U.N. "demeaned" himself and the his nation.

"He fancies himself as a modern day Simon Bolivar, but all he is an everyday thug," Pelosi said.


It's good to know political expediency still trumps Bush Derangement Syndrome in Democratic leaders.

Too bad the same can't be said for the wackos at Democratic Underground. Here are some good comments on Rangel's remarks:


  • OneBlueSky: "when that president represents an immediate threat to world peace . . .
    and, indeed, to the survival of humanity and of the planet itself, I'd say that criticism is quite appropriate -- anytime, any place, and by anyone . . . "
  • Rex: " Well then he can go and goosestep with his new best friend
    George Bush. I hear Lieberman was a great progressive at one time and pissed his whole career away due to a kiss by the Devil."
  • El Zopilote: "What is U.S. Congressman Charles Rangél doing? Is he betraying the Democratic Party? He's bashing Hugo Chavez and defending Bush. It is very disturbing and alarming to see a Democrat, especially a monority, to critize an international Hispanic leader and ally by expressing sympathy for Bush and his racist Republicans. Has Mr. Rangél gone loco? Has he turned into a rogue Democrat? Is he a traitor? Hopefully Mr. Rangél has an ulterior motive. But as Democrats we must be careful not to create the slightest impression that our strong united coalition has a crack in it. I consider all minorities (African-Americans, Hispanics of course, Muslims, American Indians and all to be my brothers in the cause of solidarity). We must remain united. Solidarity is the key to victory. We do not need dissent.

"Chavez Catches Hell For 'Devil' Slam"

"Rangel and Pelosi Denounce Chavez "Devil" Comments"

"Rangel to Chavez: Shut Up"

"Video: Rangel Warns Chavez Not to Attack “My President”; Update: Gratuitous DU Thread Added"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Foreign Affairs at 04:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Bad Timing of Doyle's "Ethics" Ad

Ask Me Later's Cantankerous noticed Gov. Doyle's great timing. Yesterday, his campaign released a new ad [PDF] bashing Rep. Mark Green for keeping $468,000 in PAC donations that were legal until Doyle got his cronies on the State Elections Board to retroactively declare them illegal.




In the ad Doyle says he won't stop cleaning up corruption. Will he be asking for Carl Holborn and Kerry Dwyer to step down from the board? Will Doyle campaign attorney Michael S. Maistelman be fired? Will Doyle's campaign pay for the Election Board's court costs since it's a being used as a political weapon against Green?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Doyle's Words vs. Facts

Badger Blogger's video sums up nicely the first Doyle-Green debate:


You could make two good commercials out of that. Nice work, Patrick.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #165

  • "Torture" worked on al-Qaeda leaders, and they provided valuable information.

  • Arizona's Sep. 11 memorial is a leftist paean. Instead of focusing on what happened it's full of unrelated moments like the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the sinking of the Lusitania, and Pearl Harbor as well as U.S. mistakes like the bombing of a wedding in Afghanistan, and Congress questioning CIA and FBI missteps. My favorite was the date the Patriot Act became law.

  • Because of new airline security rules you're not allowed to use ice or cold packs for carry on food (steaks and lobsters for example) but you can use frozen vegetables.

  • McDonald's is thinking about serving breakfast 24/7. A McGriddle anytime of the day? Yum.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Charlie's Show Prep at 04:51 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Doyle's Lawyer Had Board Stick It to Green

We might as well toss aside the latest poll numbers. A new piece of data has entered the governor's race, and it's a doozy. Gov. Jim Doyle's campaign lawyer told Democratic members of the State Elections Board to retroactively declare some of Rep. Mark Green's PAC contribution illegal to stymie the Republican's campaign.

Attorney Michael S. Maistelman bluntly told Democratic Party members of the board he contacted why they should publicly sanction or punish the Green campaign, according to documents obtained by the Journal Sentinel under the state's open records law.

"Even if this ends up in Court it is a PR victory for us since it makes Green spend money and have to defend the use of his Washington DC dirty money," Maistelman said in a 9:31 a.m. e-mail one day before the vote. He sent the message to Carl Holborn and Kerry Dwyer, board members appointed by Democratic leaders of the Legislature.

Holborn, Dwyer and another Democratic appointee, Robert Kasieta, were part of a five-vote majority that gave Green's campaign 10 days to divest itself of $467,844 in donations from political action committees not registered in Wisconsin - an order the Green campaign will fight in a Dane County courtroom today.


Now, those of us political junkies figured Doyle was behind the board's unfair ruling, but now the public knows how brazen Team Doyle was.

Wisconsinites strongly feel people should play fair. We've learned again that Gov. Doyle doesn't care about fairness. He simply cares about winning re-election and advancing his liberal agenda. He trades state contracts for campaign contributions, lies about the state government's finances, labels his opponents as "extreme," over does it when talking about embryonic stem cells' medical potential, and now turns a bipartisan election board into a political weapon.

Wisconsin is at a point where serious people need to work together to solve the assortment of problems facing the state. With Rep. Mark Green we have a man who's laying out plans on education, taxes, and health care. With Gov. Doyle it's smear commercials and stacking the deck through cronies. Wisconsin deserves better than that.

"Doyle Lawyer Urged Sanction" [via Fraley's Daily Takes]

UPDATE: To read Michael Maistelman e-mails you can download them here [PDF]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 20, 2006

The Meat of Chavez's U.N. Speech

AcademicElephant at Redstate read past Hugo Chavez's "el diablo" remarks and found something quite disturbing:

Mr. Chavez deliberately used the same term as the President, and he deliberately used the first person plural. "We are extremists," he said in what was the true meat of the speech. Do not be blinded by the theatrics: Mr. Chavez today used the bully pulpit of the United Nations General Assembly to publicly embrace the terrorist forces of the Middle East, to claim common cause with them, and to suggest that they have a legitimate grievance against an intolerable aggressor. In this context, Mr. Chavez' apparently nutty remarks about the 9/11 attacks make perfect sense. He is rallying the likes of al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas, and offering them justification, protection and support in the western hemisphere. More overtly and blatantly than any other world leader, he is hanging out his shingle as a state sponsor of terrorism. There have been rumors swirling recently of Islamic extremists finding haven in Venezuela. Mr. Chavez confirmed them today. Come to Venezuela, he might have well said. We can help you out. And look how much closer you'll be to Miami. Or to Washington and New York, for that matter.

It's time to find a few more large oil deposits to drive the price of crude down and (hopefully) take Chavez's regime down with it.

"About that Stench from Turtle Bay..."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Foreign Affairs at 07:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Kidnapping Parents Didn't Approve of Baby's Black Father

We now learn that the Maine parents who kidnapped their daughter to take her to New York for an abortion are racists. They flew off the handle when they learned that not only was their unborn grandchild's father in jail, but he's *gasp* black. Heavin forbid you have a mulatto grandchild.

"Race May Be a Motive in Abortion Kidnap Case"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture of Death at 04:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Big Payoff if Rightroots Goal is Met

If you haven't donated to the Rightroots campaign you only have a few hours left. Over $100,000 have already been raised. The goal is to get 100 people to donate to a slate of good conservative candidates. As an added incentive if the goal is reached the RNC will send out a fundraising email to its massive list. So pick a candidate with fewer than 100 donors and give. I'll be helping State Speaker keep Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District in GOP hands.

"The Rightroots 15 days Challenge -- 8 1/2 Hours To Go"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 02:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mark Green on Merit Pay for Teachers

Many teachers work very, very hard. They deserve their salaries and more. Rep. Mark Green agrees and wants merit pay for teachers.


Giving good teachers a pay raise makes sense to me. That's what happens in the private sector. WEAC will gripe because their mission isn't to promote teacher excellence; it's to protect union members no matter how poorly their doing their jobs.

Please make a donation to help Rep. Mark Green "make Wisconsin great again."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Raging Muslims' Selective Historic Memory

Gail Hapke looked into the context of the quote Pope Benedict used to suposedly insult Muslims. Her finding is facinating:

How interesting indeed, that in the old days of Muslim ascendency, no one offered to cut off the head of the questioning infidel, although they could easily have done so. Instead, his gracious hosts encouraged him to speak his mind and amused themselves by answering his objections and correcting his misconceptions, as they understood them.

The behavior of the Qadi and his Sultan, in my opinion, should be celebrated as one of the high points of Muslim civilization. Has that civilization declined so much in the intervening centuries, that the way debates are settled is now by vitriol and violence instead of by reasoned and dignified discourse?


As usual in the blogosphere, read the whole thing. Don't be like some violent, rampaging Muslims. What I've learned is although Islam is deeply in touch with its history it's selective. I'm guessing fundamentalist Muslims see the tolerance Muslim leaders practiced in Manuel II Palaiologos' day to skew from the "true Islam." But realize that tolerance was practiced during Islam's heyday when it was a world power and Europe feared its encroachment.

"Who Was the 'Educated Persian?'"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Foreign Affairs at 01:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Chavez Calls Bush "The Devil" at U.N.

Venezualan president Hugo Chavez is just so darn entertaining. Today at the U.N., he held up a copy of Noam Chomsky's Hegemony and Survival and called President Bush "the devil."

Something was lost in translation for Deutsche Presse-Agenteur because they lead with "Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez compared US President George W Bush to 'the devil.'" There was no comparison. Chavez called Bush "the devil." Chavez went on to say, "The devil came here and this place still smells today." Imagine the stench after Chavez left.

In his rant Chavez appealed to the "people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our head." He's hoping the Democrats take the House so Rep. John Conyers can start impeachment hearings. Remember, a vote for the Democrats is a vote for a Hugo Chavez-backed overthrow of the Bush Presidency.

I expect sales of Chomsky's book to jump while Bush bashers go out of their way to praise Chavez for "speaking truth to power."

" Calls Bush 'Devil' in Insult-Riddled Speech to U.N."

UPDATE: Greg Tinti has video from Chavez's speech. Chavez said the U.S. was "the greatest threat looming over our planet" and American actions are "placing at risk the very survivial of the human species."

Not only did his speech reek of anti-Americanism but the audience's reaction did too. They laughed at his "jokes" and give him warm applause when Chavez was finished. There's one thing I agree with the oil-powered maniac: move the U.N. to Venezuela. The U.S. doesn't deserve such petulant haters here.

[via Wizbang]

UPDATE II: Rob at Say Anything sighs then adds:

You know what the biggest problem with the UN is? It has become forum where the rantings of truly evil dictators like Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (and yes, my liberal friends, those men are dictators as there wasn't much democracy in the "elections" that put them into power) get equal footing along side statements from the American president and other leaders of western democracies. By elevating these tyrants to equal status with the leaders of the free world we, in effect, grant legitimacy to their causes and their evil regimes.

As an American, I'm tired of seeing my country be used as a whipping boy at the United Nations. From the bogus accusations of people like Chavez to the condescending prattle from representatives of European powers the United States cannot win at the world body. We are criticized no matter what we do.

What I think the UN needs is a wake call, and the best way to do that is for the United States to begin to seriously consider the amount of money it sends to the organization each year. Because right now it seems like all we're doing is funding a forum for the most insensible of our critics, not to mention an organization that has become so replete with corruption and bureaucracy that it has become a mockery of its original intents.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Foreign Affairs at 12:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Indiana Refinery to be Expanded

BP wants to expand its Indiana oil refinery to process Canadian oil. Those who complain about high gas prices and reliance on Middle East oil should get on board and make sure the regulators give their approval.

"BP Planning $3 Billion Whiting Refinery Investment"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Economics at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Comments Have Returned

The comments are up again. Here's hoping I don't get hit with another spam avalanche.

Play nice and turn the screaming down to 8 from 11.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 11:06 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #164

It's baaaack!!! Charlie, I'm sure your show hasn't been the same since I took my unannounced break. Sort of like your unannounced vacations. ;-)

  • Whole Foods opens their Milwaukee store today. The Journal Sentinel has 1, 2, 3, and 4 stories and/or sidebars. There's also a collection of videos. It's a full-blown Whole Foods commercial. It's no surprise the supermarket is advertising on the Journal Sentinel's webpage. Being the cynic that I am I'm sure such great coverage must come cheap. Macy's recently came into Milwaukee without the massive coverage. Could the difference be Macy's doesn't market with newspaper coupons?

  • A Milwaukee Muslim leader, Othman Atta, decided use the Pope Benedict kerfuffle to take a cheap shot at the "Christian right-wing."

  • Sep. 15 was a record-breaking day for the U.S. Treasury. $85.8 billion was collected in taxes, 20% more than the year before. While it's more evidence of economic strength only the green eyeshade, balanced budget crowd should be really happy. Us economic freedom lovers want to see tax receipts go down because that means people are paying fewer taxes.

  • Other than the cost ($50,000-60,000) a 100-mpg car is feasible. Yes, and I could fly into space too if I had $20 million lying around.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Charlie's Show Prep at 02:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 19, 2006

Saddam's Lawyer Caught Snoozing

Saddam's lawyer is either enjoying the Baghdad nightlife too much, or he doens't give a damn about his client:

THE chief judge in Saddam Hussein's genocide trial castigated a defence lawyer for falling asleep during the proceedings, as a witness was recounting a gas attack.

Banging his hammer, an angry Abdullah al-Amiri brusquely interrupted an ethnic Kurd recounting a gas attack in his village in northern Iraq in 1988 to berate one of the lawyers for Saddam and his six other co-accused.

"It appears you're falling asleep," the judge said.

"Who me? No, no. I'm just tired like everyone else here. I wasn't asleep. I was listening on behalf of my client," said lawyer Badea Arif, appearing somewhat embarrassed.

I almost feel sorry for Saddam, but then I remember the thousands he had killed. That sympathy quickly evaporates.

"Judge Castigates Sleeping Saddam Lawyer"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in War at 07:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gammons Returns to Work

Three months after suffering a brain aneurysm ESPN baseball know-it-all Peter Gammons will cover tomorrow night's Boston-Minnesota game at Fenway Park.

"Gammons to Return to Work"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Sports at 06:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 18, 2006

Daughter Snatched by Parents to Have Abortion

I know two people who won't win the Parent of the Year award:

Police charged a Maine couple on Monday of kidnapping their pregnant 19-year-old daughter, who was bound with rope and duct tape and bundled into her parents' car to force her to have an emergency abortion.

Nicholas Kampf, 54, and his wife, Lola, 53, were arrested on Friday in a New Hampshire parking lot after their daughter Katelyn escaped by persuading her parents to untie her so she could use a Kmart bathroom.

A court affidavit said her parents chased her out into the yard after an altercation, grabbed and tied her hands and feet together. Her father then gagged her and carried her to their Lexus and they drove toward New Hampshire.


The parents didn't approve of the unborn child's father who is in jail. These goons (not parents) freaked out that their daughter wasn't as perfect as they wanted her to be. So what better way to solve the problem then to kill the grandchild. I'm confident the daughter won't be asking them to babysit.

"Parents Kidnap Daughter to Have Abortion"

UPDATE: Parents Behaving Badly, a fitting weblog, caught wind of this story.

UPDATE II: What's with attacking pregnant women in Maine?

The man wanted in connection with the assault of a pregnant woman in Hancock turned himself in Wednesday morning.

According to Maine Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland, Robert A. Dow, 59, of Franklin, surrendered to authorities at 8:30 a.m. at the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth.

Dow was being sought on charges of assault and disorderly conduct in connection with an incident that occurred outside a convenience store last week in Hancock. McCausland said the African-American woman, who is seven months pregnant, was reportedly kicked in the stomach while sitting in a car next to a convenience store. She also was reportedly accosted with racial slurs. The hate crime aspect of this investigation, said McCausland, has been referred to the Maine Attorney General's Office.


Is there some bad lobster going around over there?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture of Death at 06:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ad War Intensifies

It's commercial time.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ford-GM Have Talked about Merging

GM and Ford merging would rock more than Detroit:

Senior executives at General Motors and Ford Motor Co. have discussed a merger or alliance, according to several sources familiar with the talks.

The talks began after Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn broached the possibility of an alliance among Renault, Nissan and GM in July.

The Chevy and Ford fanatics would puke. For me, I'd want to short the combined company's stock. Nothing good happens when you take one faltering company and mush it together with another faltering company. Either GM or Ford will have to go under before the labor unions and calcified management really shake things up, become more innovative, and make cars people want to buy.

Both Ford and GM have to get under their union contracts and start from scratch. That means some factories would be unionized while other wouldn't. It means building cars would be more like building computers. Cars would go from designs to sell-able product in months instead of years. It means designing factories and manufacturing processes to quickly shift production from slow-selling vehicles to more popular cars. That way the companies wouldn't have to shut down production or offer margin-crimping incentives. GM and Ford have learn much from Toyota, Honda, and the other Japanese car companies. Now, they should look to Silicon Valley as their model. If they did it right they'd leapfrog the Japanese and be kings of the next generation of car making.

"The Ultimate Alliance"

UPDATE: GM's and Ford's home state has an abundance of economic problems as Jay Reding notes.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Economics at 03:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bush: War Can't Be Islam Vs. Christianity

If you ever talk to radio yapper Mike Gallagher you shouldn't bother to say it's off the record. That won't stop him from blabbing as he did when he mentioned to the George Christian Coalition what President Bush told him recently:

He told the audience he was fresh back from an hour-and-45-minute session which President Bush held in the Oval Office Friday afternoon with him and four other conservative talk show hosts: Atlanta’s Neal Boortz, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Michael Medved. Rush Limbaugh couldn’t make it, he said.

Though he said this session was supposed to be off the record, Gallagher described it at some length, including Bush’s observation to the right-wing radio jocks that the War on Terror has to be about right versus wrong, “because if it’s about Christianity versus Islam, we’ll lose.”

“Remind me never to invite you to an off-the-record session,” [Ann] Coulter said after his introduction.


As James Joyner observes, "It’s no small irony that this was revealed while introducing, Ann 'invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity' Coulter."

"An Evening with Ann… and Lynn"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in War at 01:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mark Green on Health Savings Accounts

There are some (there always are) who will say, "There's no difference between the two candidates." Sometimes they're right, but on the issue of health savings accounts there is a big difference. Rep. Mark Green wants to make them deductible on Wisconsin taxes while Gov. Doyle has vetoed the legislation.


Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Response to Pope's Words Shows Little Progress in Muslim World

Responding to Pope Benedict's erudite speech on faith and reason with murder and firebombing doesn't produce sympathy. Yet that's what too many Muslims have done the past few days.

Daniel Johnson sees Pope Benedict's role as similar to Pope John Paul II's fight against athiest Communism. Dad29 wonders if bad MSM reporting blew up Benedict's brief mention of Islam into something more deadly.

I'm at a similar place at Australian Cardinal George Pell:

But Cardinal Pell today backed Pope Benedict, saying the violent reaction to his comments on Islam and violence illustrated his fears.

"The violent reactions in many parts of the Islamic world justified one of Pope Benedict's main fears," Cardinal Pell said in a statement.

"They showed the link for many Islamists between religion and violence, their refusal to respond to criticism with rational arguments, but only with demonstrations, threats and actual violence.

"Our major priority must be to maintain peace and harmony within the Australian community, but no lasting achievements can be grounded in fantasies and evasions."

It's been five years since the Sep. 11 attacks and I'm still waiting for moderate Muslims to begin fighting for their faith. If you want to talk about a battle that has made zero progress it's the one between moderate and extremist Muslims.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Foreign Affairs at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Green-Doyle Debate I

Friday night is the worst night to hold a political debate. It's the beginning of the weekend when people begin relaxing and doing things they want to do not the stuff they're told to do. People are going out, taking in one of Wisconsin's famous fish fries, or seeing a movie. News-wise it isn't good either. Saturday newspapers are the least read of the entire week. Why do you think Gov. Doyle vetoed so many bills on a Friday afternoon? A governor's debate on a Friday night makes little sense. So I saved my post-debate analysis until now when people are back into the swing of thinking about "serious" subjects like politics.

Rep. Mark Green understood the debate's timing and unleashed his assortment of sound bites as answers to questions from an audience put together by We the People/Wisconsin. (To spice it up they should have some webloggers take on the candidates.) Friday night's debate was on taxes and the economy. Green jumped on his anti-tax soapbox to tell the audience that "the problem in Wisconsin is we're over-taxed." When asked to rank his preference among various kinds of taxes he said, "I'm unable to say that any of them are too low. All of our taxes are too high." In every answer to a question Green mentioned taxes. He's banking on anti-tax sentiment and hoping enough people will vote on that issue.

For Gov. Doyle every other word out of his mouth was "education." He made the case that he worked very hard to write a budget that protected education and taxpayers. He attacked Green for Washington, D.C.'s fiscal irresponsibility saying, "They haven't made the hard choices in Washington. We have made the hard choices in Madison." He mentioned how previous governors led us to our current budget problems and how federal policies were harming Wisconsin job creation.

Green countered Doyle's budget acumen by pointing out how he borrowed from the transportation fund and other pools of state money to put the budget into balance. Yes, it's easy to claim you put together a balanced budget when: 1) it's required in the state constitution; and 2) you take money from other funds pushing spending cuts and/or tax increases into the future.

On the budget Doyle said that Green's plan to freeze taxes and spending would mean "deep cuts." But in politician-speak that means slowing the rate of growth, something Green stated he wanted to do.

One of Green's goals was to make himself the anti-tax candidate. He succeeded. Gov. Doyle was forced to talk about the taxes he did cut. Doyle's goal was to connect himself with education even if the second debate would focus on that topic. He talked about how we have "got to make sure we have decent schools." He said he has a "full commitment to education."

Throughout the debate Gov. Doyle appeared staid, fairly competent and, well, boring. But being boring doesn't necessarily hurt you when trying to get re-elected. However, near the end Gov. Doyle finally got irritated by Rep. Green constantly accusing him of not caring about high taxes. When talking about a tax freeze that he vetoed three times he said, "I've got to be the grown-up in this." Remember that. Gov. Doyle doesn't think you're serious and an adult if you think taxes should stop going up. Imagine what he thinks of people who want their taxes cut. We caught a glimpse of the real Jim Doyle.

Green hasn't gone after Gov. Doyle's ethical problems. That's the elephant in the room for the two debates. Because the debate organizers have the debates structured around topics--Friday's on taxes and the economy with the 10.22 debate on education and health care--it could be difficult for Green to ask Doyle tough questions about state contracts given to campaign contributors or to go back in time and remind voters the 2002 Doyle campaign kissed up mentally ill people with pastry and small cash prize bingo games or even about how his staff thought it would be a good idea to send a bad of used needles to State Assembly Speaker John Gard's office. He has to find a way to talk about improving the dignity of state government and its office holders. Gov. Doyle's record is an embarrassment to Wisconsin. Mark Green needs to make sure he's held accountable.

"Taxes and Economy Focus of First Guv Debate"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Lightsabers and Football Video Games

I found two people with too much time on their hands:


  • First, we have a New York geek who made his own lightsabers with LEDs and swordfights with his friends. It's like that Star Wars kid only with some coordination.

  • Next, we have a guy who's playing every game of the NFL season with his modified version of Tecmo Super Bowl. This week, the Packers lose to the Saints but rookies Abdul Hodge and Greg Jennings have good games.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 03:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 17, 2006

Eris' Name Fits

The astronomical object that caused astronomers to define what a planet is and demote Pluto has been given the "perfect name" according to its discoverer:

Eris is the new permanent name for the solar body formerly known as Xena, while Pluto’s new number reflects its loss of planetary status.

Dr. Michael E. Brown, a professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology who discovered the distant ball of ice and rock that he nicknamed Xena and that had been designated 2003 UB313, chose the name Eris, after the goddess of discord and strife in Greek mythology.

“It is absolutely the perfect name,” Dr. Brown said, given the continuing discord among astronomers and the public over whether Pluto should have retained its planetary status.

In mythology, Eris ignited discord that led to the Trojan War.

“She causes strife by causing arguments among men, by making them think their opinions are right and everyone else’s is wrong,” Dr. Brown said. “It really is just perfect.”

"Dwarf Planet, Cause of Strife, Gains ‘the Perfect Name’"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 01:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Similar Web Hosting Problems

John Hawkins uses Dreamhost to host his popular weblog. He hasn't been too keen on their service:

My hosting company, Dreamhost, used to give good service. However, for the last couple of months they've been absolutely horrible and up and down like a yo-yo. I've been raising hell with them about it and they've moved me to a different, supposedly more reliable server, but my confidence in them is shot.

On the upside, I do have a back end upgrade of my content management system coming up soon and by the time that is completed, if I don't see an immediate and significant improvement in their performance, I'm changing hosts.


Hawkins is harsher because his Right Wing News is his full-time job.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 12:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2006

Rude Protesters Interrupt Doyle

I've noticed a lack of passion by right-wing voters in Southeast Wisconsin. I think many are still bummed Scott Walker is no longer running for governor.

So while the rude protest at Gov. Doyle's news conference yesterday was "dumb and counterproductive" (to steal from Charlie Sykes) it gives me some hope that Rep. Mark Green will win the election by finding a way to constructively use all that anti-Doyle energy pent up in Southeast Wisconsin.

"Protesters Disrupt Doyle News Conference"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wisconsin Doesn't Ban Necrophilia

I bet you didn't know Wisconsin has no ban on necrophilia. That may change. The three Cassville kooks who thought digging up a body and having sex with it would be a fun way to pass the time had their sexual assault charge tossed out. It sort of makes sense in a sick, obscene way. It's hard to rape someone when they're dead. You're neither given nor denied consent. It sounds like a question on a law exam from the craziest law professor this side of [fill in the blank with a Leftist-dominated law school of your choice]. Me thinks whoever is sitting in the governor's office next year will be signing a necrophilia law. Just a hunch.

"Judge Nixes Attempted Sexual Assault Charges Against Accused Grave Robbers"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 15, 2006

Blame the Spammers

TAM has been getting hit so hard by comment and trackback spammers that comments had to be shut down. I'll get them up and running again in a day or so to see if this was a temporary situation. When I move TAM to WordPress I hope that really eases the problem. Sorry for the annoyance.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 11:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Reggie Bush: On the Take While at USC

We now have a non-football-related answer to why the Houston Texans chose Mario Williams over Reggie Bush. The Yahoo! Sports reporting doesn't change my mind that the Packers should have tried to draft him. I would have picked him #1 and watched him like a hawk to make sure he didn't treat NFL rules as cavalierly as he did NCAA rules.

"Cash and Carry"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Sports at 11:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 14, 2006

Dumb Mr. Ney

Rep. Bob Ney isn't the smartest political cookie. If he wanted to plead guilty he should have done it a few weeks ago when voters were still on vacations and not thinking of November elections. He now lets Democrats take a few shots at the GOP's "culture of corruption" when people are actually paying attention.

"Rep. Expected To Plead Guilty To Criminal Charge"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 11:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 13, 2006

Bill Bops with the Blogosphere

You can't say Bill Clinton is a dumb politician. He met with a group of Lefty webloggers at his Harlem office. I'm certain he would have pressed the flesh (figuratively and literally) with webloggers if they were running around when he was President. And better than most pols he fed them. With a little food we're easily bought.

"Bill Clinton Meets Bloggers" [via OTB]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 11:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jump Around!

The next time you're in your hotel room with too much energy take a flying leap. Just make sure you take a picture for BedJump.com.

Here's some inspiration:

[via digg]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 08:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Packers Trade Gado and Other Ted Thompson Moves

Ted Thompson continues to shake up the Green Bay Packers line up trading last year's surprise star Samkon Gado to the Houston Texans for running back Vernand Morency. The Packers get a speedier running back but give up a proven run producer. Starter Ahman Green had a major injury last season. Although he ran well against the Chicago Bears Sunday quality depth is important.

In a questionable move yesterday, the Packers cut fullback Vonte Leach. That leaves William Henderson as their sole fullback. The guy's not getting younger, and Leach had a good game. Coach Mike McCarthy must be planning to use more two tight end formations which would mean fewer plays for a fullback.

As for signing Koren Robinson I think part of it was a salary cap play as well as a realization that getting good field position on punt and kickoff returns might put the offense in better situations to make plays and reduce mistakes.

"Texans Trade Morency to for Gado"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Sports at 06:50 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Bucher Slams Van Hollen in Defeat

When people run for office they put their hearts and souls into it. Hours upon hours are taken up giving speeches, knocking on doors, contemplating strategy, and raising money. Achieving victory must amount to an amazing high. Defeat must be worse than 50 punches to the gut. I can understand Paul Bucher being upset in his loss to J. B. Van Hollen. What he didn't need to do was lash out the way he did. In his concession speech he said,

We were right on the issues - you know it and I know it. We just ran short of money. And you know, that's disappointing that elections can be bought. And I wish J.B. well, but, you know, dumping that kind of money in the race in the last two weeks tells me Wisconsin's for sale.

Van Hollen has funded a good portion of his campaign with a loan on his home. Using one's financial means isn't buying voters. Sen. Kohl has been funding his campaigns out of his fat wallet for years yet no one claims he's bought Wisconsin.

I'm a tad insulted that Bucher thinks my vote can be bought. I didn't endorse Van Hollen because of a television commerical I didn't see--the guy isn't buying much ad time during Milwaukee Brewers' games. I endorsed him because he is right on the issues, is electable, and would do well as Attorney General.

Bucher was understandably frustrated. Thus I'll give him some slack and forget about his bashing of all those good people who went out in some awful weather to vote.

P.S. Did anyone at Van Hollen's party see where Brian Fraley passed out? Did he have a big grin on his face?

"Falk Tops Lautenschlager, Will Face Van Hollen"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:24 AM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Murtha Wins GOP Primary

Here's an oddity I found among the elections results. John Murtha won the GOP primary.

Ok, this John Murtha has nothing to do with the John Murtha wanting the U.S. to bail out of Iraq. The war probably didn't have any role in that state assembly race. Here's how Wisconsin's John Murtha responded to questions from a local newspaper:

What would your goals be if elected? What would be the main focuses of your term?

Goals: Reduce property tax, affordable health care for working families and good paying jobs for western Wisconsin.

I would focus on maintaining the quality of life in the St. Croix Valley, protecting seniors against excessive costs on prescription drugs and making this a good place to live, work and retire.


No mention of Iraq, which didn't bother me. I don't really give much credence to what either John Murtha thinks about the war.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 12, 2006

TAM Endorses J.B. Van Hollen

In a few hours the polls will close and the Wiscosin primary election season will end. The big race for me is who will be the Republican nominee for Attorney General. For Waukesha District Attorney Paul Bucher to be from the region I've seen tons of signs for former U.S. Attorney J.B. Van Hollen. That's an indication of some grassroots party support. Along with that Van Hollen has financial resources to run a formidible general election campaign. A negative is Van Hollen's habit of shooting from the hip and not better explaining himself. That's why his "terrorists in Wisconsin" quip is still following him.

Paul Bucher has been on hell of a prosecutor. His sense of justice has made him take on cases that lesser men would run away from. Think prosecuting former Packers fave Mark Chmura. But the Attorney General's office isn't about directly prosecuting criminals--unless your Peg Lautenschlager desparate for some good media.

As Daniel Suhr writes,

I think JB has the temperment and experience to serve as the state’s law enforcement leader. His service as U.S. Attorney has prepared him well for dealing with a range of cases (criminal, civil) and co-workers (sheriffs, DAs, FBI, etc).

That's not to say Bucher couldn't work with other groups. He might.

On the issues both Bucher and Van Hollen both are solid conservatives who would change state Attorney General policy for the better. With both we would see an empahsis on traditional crime fighting. We would see the end to the philosophy of policy-making-by-lawsuit that began when Jim Doyle was in office.

To end the Democrats' reign of the Attorney General's office we need a capable, conservative candidate with the resources and temperment to win over voters across the state. I am voting for J.B. Van Hollen, and I hope you will too.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 11, 2006

More Sep. 11 Rememberences

Here are some more posts on the anniversary of the Sep. 11 attacks:

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Terrorism at 08:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Four Years Ago Today...

On 09.11.2002 I wrote about Bruce Springsteen's The Rising:

For today, I was set to pan Bruce Springsteen's The Rising. I've been listening to the album for weeks to see if the first pop culture artifact inspired by September 11 adequately conveyed virtuous feelings. For most of my listenings, I've been skeptical. The songs tell stories of the victims and friends and family left behind. What isn't there is the justified anger directed toward our enemies. Al-qaeda methodically planned and funded an attack that turned civilian airliners into human-guided cruise missiles. It was brilliant and horrific at the same time. The closest Springsteen gets is the line, "I want an eye for an eye." He has an entire song devoted to the view of a suicide bomber ("Paradise") but not even a line about a special ops soldier helping liberate Afghanistan. (I'm sure Springsteen has the talent to create some lyric around blazing a laser on a target for an on-coming B-52.)

But then there's "Into the Fire." Through that song, Springsteen honors all those heroes who ran into the fiery towers. One line reads, "Up the stairs, into the fire/I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher." Those people knew they had loved ones back home. They knew they were putting their lives on the line for others, but it was their duty to go in, so they did.

Then there's the title song. It's an anthem. Drums are beating loud. Guitars are strumming hard. Nils Lofgren is putting his all into the slide guitar. Background singers are singing to God as well as the listener. Energy crackles off that song. You want to pump your fist when everyone sings "Li, li, li, li, li, li, li, li, li."

"The Rising" is also a spiritual. Springsteen mentions laying hands; Mary's in the garden. The song is steeped in gospel music, and it uplifts.

Continuing on the theme of upliftment and hope is "My City of Ruins." While everything seems hopeless, Springsteen calls the listener to "Come on, rise up!" Even in the darkest of moments there's hope. Even though the towers fells, the Pentagon was scarred, and a field is all that remains of Flight 93, the American Idea survives.

I can't pan a work of art that honestly expressed hurt, sadness, sorrow, and hope. Do I want more artists to take on the myriad of emotions from September 11? Absolutely! We need someone to put America's anger and sense of justice to music, and it has to be more sophisticated than Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)." As well as proper physical memorials, we need musical pieces to live on long past all of us.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Terrorism at 06:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Five Years Ago Today...

I wrote on 09.11.2001:

Evil's shadow fell upon the United States today. Even now, a cloud of death covers the ruins of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The survivors from the WTC looked like ghosts. Their skin and clothes were covered with grey-white ash. Their mouths gaped open gasping for air. They were moaning spirits with very disturbed souls.

Colin Powell said, "A terrible, terrible tragedy has befallen my nation."

Newt Gingrich called these attacks a "21th Century Pearl Harbor." It's haunting that the spirit of that 1941 attack comes only a few months after a horrendous movie on it came out.

After watching the television clips over and over, all the events still don't feel real. Sure, I saw a real-life plane dive-bomb into a perfectly good building and then I watched two of the world's tallest buildings collapse, but it just doesn't completely register as real for me. Last night, I watched a James Bond movie filled with explosions and typical Hollywood over-the-top antics. Then this morning, my mother yells for me to wake up because airplanes crashed into the WTC and the Pentagon. At first, I didn't believe it. I just laughed it off and asked her if it was the end of the world. Evil people actually hijacking planes and using them as flying wrecking balls is what happens on the silver screen, not in real life.

But what happened is very, very real. Thousands of people are probably dead, and millions more fear of what will happen next (while causing gasoline runs as local stations).

I refuse to succumb to simple-mindedness and blame foreigners in general and Arab-Americans in particular for these awful acts. Neither a racial nor ethnic group is responsible for the acts of individuals. In the Milwaukee area, Arabian Fest was cancelled for this weekend. I hope people will realize that very, very few Arab-Americans condone suicide bombing.

Strong, decisive action is required to maintain the integrity and security of the United States. What happened today was an act of war and must be treated as such. Any action less than a declaration of war by the Congress will be a dissapointment. Of course, there needs to be a thorough investigation to determine who the bastards are who orchestrated these acts. If it does end up being Osama Bin Laden, he should be hunted down and destroyed along with every vestige of his organization. In war there is no place for trials. The United States is at war and must leave every possible military option available. Nations that have helped harbor the terrorists also must pay the price for their uncivilized deeds.

America's way of life is at stake. We are the leader of the free world. This threat must be dealt with.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Terrorism at 08:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More Proof that Webloggers are Geeks

There's been way too much talk in the blogosphere about ABC's lame Path to 9/11 miniseries. Uh, guys, yesterday was Week 1 of the NFL. I watched my Packers get trounced. Sunday night, the Manning brothers faced each other for the first time and too many of you were watching a melodrama about a story you already know the ending to.

Priorities, people. Priorities.

"Video: “Path to 9/11″ Update: Side-by-Side Comparison"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 01:16 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Remembering Eric Allen

2996.jpg

As part of the 2,996 project TAM is remembering Eric Allen, 44, who died in the World Trade Center on Sep. 11, 2001. As part of Rescue Squad 18 Eric was one of the brave firemen who ran into the twin towers to save as many people as possible. He sacrificed his life for theirs.

A wife and daughter will forever miss him. Me, a little weblogger half a continent away can only say, "thank you."

"Eric Allen: All the Right Things"

I will also link to other participants of the 2,996 Project as I wander the blogosphere today.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Terrorism at 01:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Sad Instance of Depravity

I know any publicity is good publicity but it's sad so many have come to TAM by way of Google keywords, "crocodile hunter death video."

Please move along. Nothing like that to see here.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture at 12:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 10, 2006

Better Luck Next Week

It's not a great start for me in the Webloggers League when my bench players score more than my starters. But that's why they play the whole season.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Sports at 11:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Path to 9/11 Clips

Even with all the yapping around the blogosphere and inside Washington, D.C. I had not intention of watching ABC's Path to 9/11. Mike Krempasky posted some controversial clips of the show on Redstate. After watching the over-acting, the melodramatic slow motions and music, and ex-New Kid on the Block Donnie Walberg I still won't be sacrificing Sunday Night Football for the miniseries.

"ABC's Path to 9/11: The Video Democrats DON'T WANT YOU TO SEE"

"ABC's Path to 9/11: Clip Synopsis"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Media at 01:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

TAM's Back

Did you miss me?

DreamHost finally got things fixed and TAM is up and running. This was the worst outage in the many years I've been with the host. They tell me they'll be doing some network upgrades Monday night. I hope that prevents future problems.

I survived the quiet time without enduring the shakes. I now know I'm fully capable of surviving weblogging withdrawal without need too much methadone.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 12:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 08, 2006

Fake Crocodile Hunter Death Video

Since the Steve Irwin's death video hasn't been leaked onto the internet yet some bozos made their own. You'll have to click on the link. It's too lame to deserve being put in this post.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 04:34 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 07, 2006

The Current State of GOP Presidential Candidates

Stephen Bainbridge thinks some GOP candidate will try "outflank Bush to the right." He uses Newt Gingrich's muscular talk about the war as an example. I hope someone does this--Guiliani would be a good bet for tough war talk--because there's no current candidate that inspires me. Sen. John McCain hates political free speech, Sen. George Allen shoots a little too much from the hip and isn't agile enough to clean up his mess, and the other people who potentially could jump in have little name recognition to even inspire a political junkie like me. Newt has his problems, temperment and management style, but he's a man who's not afraid to think big.

"Gingrich Flanking Bush to the Right"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 01:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Donate to Dean

While I'm on a donation kick think about sending a few bucks Dean Esmay's way. He's dealing with some unemployment insurance problems and hasn't "seen a paycheck in the Esmay household for over a month." Ouch!

"Pledge Drive"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 02:51 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 06, 2006

Doyle-Green Campaign Ad Wars

Rep. Mark Green is getting some good earned (free) media for his radio ad that plays off an old Budweiser commercial:


Jessica McBride talked about the ad for a while on her radio show tonight, and Owen Robinson thinks "it's fantastic." "Mr. Tax-Hiking Politician Man" might be the catch-phrase of the campaign even if Anheuser-Busch isn't thrilled.

Gov. Doyle already has an ad blasting Green for his "illegal" campaign money, illegal only because Doyle flacks on the Elections Board retroactively declared some of Green's money illegal. Well, he took some video from a Madison television station. The out-of-context manner the Doyle campaign used the video ticked off the station:

The clip involving NBC 15 is taken out of context, because attribution used in the story was removed.

We want to make it clear, NBC 15 objects to the use of its newscast in the Doyle ad.

However, after contacting our attorney, we have determined that, because of fair use laws, we have no legal recourse to prevent the clip from our newscast from being used in the ad.

Green is going down the Russ Feingold path of cute, funny, memorable commercials that get caught in your head and force you to talk about them at the water cooler. Doyle is airing traditional campaign commercials that bash the opponent with news media quotes and clips. For now this gives Green the advantage. He still has to introduce himself to voters outside Green Bay and the Fox River Valley. He needs a good hook. However, he can't just be known as the candidate with the funny commercials. Voters want to elect a man who will be serious when in office (and I don't mean seriously paying off his campaign contributors). With his first commercials Green is setting the hook. Eventually he'll have to reel the voters in with more substance.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Donate to John Gard and Rightroots Candidates

It's after Labor Day when political campaigns traditionally lurch into high gear. This year is no different. Through enough political mistakes the GOP is poised to lose one or both house of Congress. Right-wing webloggers don't want to see this happen. So Rightroots was created to help get more conservatives elected to Congress. With webloggers like John Hawkins, "Captain Ed" Morrisey, and Erick Erickson backing the effort you can be assured the Rightroots candidates are good conservatives.

Today begins the Rightroots 15-Day Challenge. The goal is to get 100 new donors for each of the selected Rightroots candidates by 09.20. Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker John Gard is one of them. Gard has a pack of Democrats fighting it out to challenge him in the general election. John will need all the help he can get to keep Rep. Mark Green's seat in GOP hands. I urge you to give a few dollars to Gard as well as to some of the other Rightroots candidates.

"Time Is Running Out"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 09:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Get Ready to Flip that Playstation 3

People looking for a way to make a quick (legal) buck should know Sony has lowered the expected number of Playstation 3 consoles that will make it to North America this fall:

Sony Computer Entertainment Chief Ken Kutaragi told reporters that far fewer units will be available for the U.S. and Japanese launches, with the U.S. to be allocated 400,000 units, and Japan getting 100,000. As a result, Sony has now lowered its estimate of 4 million PS3s shipped by the end of 2006 to a more realistic 2 million.

Like what happened last year with the Xbox 360, eBay will be buzzing with high-priced game console auctions. European gamers with large wallets will be wanting their PS3.

"North American, Japanese Launch Limited to 500,000 Units"

"Sony’s Delayed In Europe"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Economics at 08:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower

When books appear on bestseller lists a bright neon red sign reading "skeptical" pops into my mind. I admit I'm a bit of a snob, but when bestseller lists contain The Da Vinci Code for years on end, and when an Ann Coulter collection of bad-jokes-as-polemic appears at number one immediately after its release you can understand my hesitation at basing the quality of a book on current popularity. That was my initial impression of Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower. However, from the reviews I've read it's a formidable tome. Reviewer Erik Spanberg praises the book writing,

Simply put, this is the most thorough and accessible account of the people, politics, and roiling theology behind Islamic terrorism. It should be required reading for every American; yes, it is that good.

I used to think the Sep. 11 Commission's report was "required reading." That was until we learned they knew about the Able Danger project but decided to mention it in the report. What else did they neglect? Even though we're almost five years from that terrible Tuesday there's much we need to learn about the people, events, and ideas that let to it. We're at a place where an Islamic instructor at the prestigious University of Wisconsin-Madison claims (and will teach his students) the U.S. government destroyed the twin towers. Hopefully Wright's book will help lead us down the path of truth.

"The Who and Why of 9/11" [via Milt's File]


Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Books at 07:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ground Zero Workers Experience Lung Problems

With the five-year anniversary of the Sep. 11 attacks soon upon us remember there were victims besides the dead and wounded from the attacks. Rescue workers who toiled at Ground Zero also suffered from Osama bin Laden's evil attack:

Nearly 70% of recovery workers who responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center suffered lung problems during or after their work at ground zero, a new health study released Tuesday shows.
Less than a week before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Mount Sinai Medical Center issued the results of the largest study on related health effects.

It found, among other things, that illnesses tended to be worst among those who arrived first at the site, and that high rates of lung "abnormalities" continued years later.

The study focused mostly on what has been dubbed "World Trade Center cough," which was little understood immediately after the attacks but became a chief concern of health experts and advocates.


Instead of bickering amongst ourselves we should remember the source of this evil.

"Major Health Study Finds 70% of WTC Recovery Workers Suffered Lung Problems"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Terrorism at 02:31 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Fidel Castro Getting Better

Bad news for freedom lovers. Fidel Castro is feeling better and has lost some weight.

"Slimmer Castro Says 'The Worst is Over' Since His Op"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Foreign Affairs at 02:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Crikey! Steve Irwin was a Freak

Steve Irwin had a few screws loose. That's not surprising since he thought is was a perfectly good idea to roll around with creatures that could kill him in an instant. The U.K.'s Daily Star reports the Crocodile Hunter wanted the cameras to keep rolling even while he was being killed. Irwin once said, "My number one rule is to keep that camera rolling. Even if it’s shaky or slightly out of focus, I don’t give a rip!

"Even if a big big old alligator is chewing me up I want to go down and go, ‘Crikey!’ just before I die. That would be the ultimate for me."

Me, I'd prefer is someone would try to save me, but I didn't have a death wish.

I figured Irwin's death video would pop up on the internet. Instead, it might be broadcast on television so people can watch the death of a man from the confines of their living rooms.

But that won't happen if Irwin's manager John Stainton has his way. He told Larry King, "I would never want that tape shown. It should be destroyed. At the moment, it's in police custody. A coroner's inquest is taking place. When that is finally released, it will never see the light of day, ever."

If Stainton tries to destroy the tape it will eventually leak onto the internet. That's just the state of the world and technology today. It's easy to make copies and send them anywhere; and too many can't control their urges and want to see anything and everything.


"Show My Death on TV"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Media at 01:47 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 05, 2006

Mark Green's Money Machine

With the latest fundraising numbers available we know why Gov. Doyle had his flacks on the State Election Board pull a partisan, unfair, retroactive stunt on Rep. Mark Green. Green pulled in $1.39 million to Doyle's $494,000. According to Kevin Binversie Doyle's cash advantage is only $$327,380.

"Green Outraises Doyle Nearly 3 to 1"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Battlestar Galactica Season Three Preview

To come back to Battlestar Galactica TV Squad got DVDs of the first four hours of season three. Keith McDuffee is happy:

Let me start by saying that you won't be disappointed. I admit I was afraid things were going to be pretty sketchy this season, with the show's creators taking a leap of faith by transplanting the series a year into the future. I'm extremely pleased at how well it's working, and there are lots of hints of promise for what's to come.

"Battlestar Galactica Season Three -- an Early Look" [via Netscape]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture at 08:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Crocodile Hunter Pulled Out Barb Before Dying

Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, was a man's man in the last few moments of his life:

The dramatic details of Irwin's death Monday as he was shooting a program on the Great Barrier Reef were disclosed by John Stainton, his manager and close friend. He said he had viewed the videotape showing the TV star pulling the poisonous stingray barb from his chest.

"It shows that Steve came over the top of the ray and the tail came up, and spiked him here (in the chest), and he pulled it out, and the next minute he's gone," Stainton told reporters in Cairns, the nearest city to tiny Batt Reef off Australia's far northeast coast where the accident happened.

Stainton said the video was "shocking."

"It's a very hard thing to watch, because you are actually witnessing somebody die, and it's terrible," he said.


I'm surprised the video hasn't hit the internet yet. But it will. Eventually it will.

"'Crocodile Hunter' Took out Barb on Tape"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 05:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tech Problems and Distractions

I may have a day off (thanks boss), but the posting is light. Movable Type isn't liking me today, and I'm distracted by my fantasy football draft in a few hours.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 04:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

TiVo's Secret Origin

Who knew TiVo was alien technology? This "secret" government film tells us the truth. Too bad there's no word on if TiVo had anything to do with the JFK assassination, the sinking of the Maine, or Gary Coleman's fall from A-list celebrity status.

"Mysterious TiVo Origins Film" [via Engadet]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Tech at 04:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Battlestar Galactica "Webisodes"

Those cruel people at SciFi Channel are treating their Battlestar Galactica-addicted viewers like crack heads with ten "webisodes" leading to the 10.06 season premier.

[via PoliBlog]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture at 02:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Carnival of the Capitalists

The Business of America is Business hosts this week's Carnival of the Capitalists Q & A style.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Economics at 01:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Funny" 9/11 Videos

You are a very debased individual to take Sep. 11 video, add the Benny Hill theme, speed up the tape to make it look like it something from the British comedy, and think that's funny.

Or how about making an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos with people jumping from the twin towers, planes crashing, people caked in dust, London terrorist attacks, and an audience laughing? Sick!

I suggest buying to renting a copy of United 93 and/or going to the bookstore and page through Joel Meyerowitz's Aftermath. Joel was the only photographer with unlimited access to Ground Zero.



Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture at 12:47 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin's Death Filmed

Yes, I'll take a brief dive into celebrity death posting. The Crocodile Hunter died off the coast of Australia. He was wacked by a frightened stingray. The twisted part comes now that there's word a camera filmed the scene. It will make it onto YouTube in 3...2...1....

"And the Sick Searches Begin..."

", The Croc Hunter, RIP"

" Dead At 44"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 07:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 03, 2006

Embryos Killed in Possible Stem Cell Breakthrough

Recent news that scientists found a way to get stem cells from human embryos without killing them isn't quite so true:

Dr. Lanza noted in his article that the cell removed in this test, known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or P.G.D., could be used, after growing and dividing, both for testing and, with his new technique, to derive human embryonic stem cells. Since the original embryo would be unharmed, a principal objection to the research would be removed, he said.

Dr. Lanza’s article in Nature made clear that he had not saved the embryos in his own experiments, in which he used as many as eight cells from each of some 16 donated embryos. Had he taken only a single cell from each, many more embryos would have been needed. The press release issued by Nature, however, incorrectly implied that he had removed just a single cell.


Wesley J. Smith writes that the NY Times has been dishonest about ACT research:
It is, in fact, not known whether one cell taken from an 8-10 cell embryo could be used to derive an ES cell line. Other researchers have already tried to do it with two cells and failed, for example. At most, it would be accurate to state that scientists "hope" it could be done or "theorize" it could be done. To say assertively that "other researchers could use this technique" is bad science, and to let that assertion hang in the air as if it is a given, was negligent journalism.

*SIGH* More human deaths in the name of scientific progress. I pray we have the wisdom to find a way to reap tremendous medical advances while not making a deal with the devil. A way will be found if merely for the interests of scientists who want to feed off the federal government's tit.

"Clarification Issued on Stem Cell Work"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture of Death at 09:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 02, 2006

Quit While You're Ahead

Kevin Kouzmanoff, the baseball gods have spoken. On your first ever major league pitch you hit a grand slam. It won't get any better than that. Retire now.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Sports at 11:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 01, 2006

Art Lovers "Scream" in Joy over Recovered Painting

Millions are relieved that Edvard Munch's The Scream can again be seen somewhere other than on a postcard at your nearest art museum gift shop.

"Oslo recovers its 'Scream'"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture at 01:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack