Three years after finishing the Boston Marathon in three hours and 19 minutes, Brian Fugere completed another 26-mile race Thursday, but this time, it took seven hours and 48 minutes.
That's because the 47-year-old Danville man was pushing an IV pole dripping chemotherapy drugs into his body . . .
Friday, July 29, 2005
"People who enjoy eating sausage and obey the law should not watch either being made" - Otto von BismarckThe making of CAFTA into law was particularly messy.
- Veering From Bush, Frist Backs Funding for Stem Cell Research
- U.S. Economy Grew at a Strong Rate Last Quarter
- Shuttle Docks; Shield Damage Is Called Minor
- I.R.A. Renounces Use of Violence; Vows to Disarm
I'm definitely going to buy a Powerball ticket today.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Technology advancement is so cool.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
I greatly enjoyed the Iran-Iraq War.Ah, yes, who doesn't look back fondly on the chemical weapons attacks, human wave offensives, attacks on oil tankers, and the 100s of thousands of deaths? We also got the added benefit of having two evil governments remain in place after it was over to foment more trouble and continue to oppress their own people. Great enjoyment, indeed.
- Step 1: Accept job and sign contract for $7 million a year for 5 years.
- Step 2: Do great job for two years.
- Step 3: Convince employer to fire me, to release me from my contractual obligations and to give me $7 million severance deal so that I can . . .
- Step 4: . . . take the job I really want and that pays me $10 million a year.
In June, Co-President Stephen S. Crawford of the financial giant Morgan Stanley (who was installed in the job in order to ensure management ''stability'' during the company's currently shaky status with investors) signed a two-year contract at $16 million a year which allowed him, if he changed his mind, to resign and promptly collect all $32 million. A few days later, he resigned.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
The grass roots should listen to the man. Locker room rah-rah sessions may feel good, but they don't win games.
I'm honestly trying to figure out what is in the mind of Democrat activists and the more I ponder the question the more baffled I become.
On this past Saturday, 350 meetings and rallies were held across the U.S. in which -- it seems-- Democrats closed themselves off in auditoriums, read from the now sacred Downing Street Memos, chanted "Impeach Bush!" and repeated to themselves, once again, that Bush is a liar and that he certainly lied us into Iraq. . .
I'm not being snide (for heaven knows I have often been quite persnickety on this subject), but I really want someone to enlighten me and tell me just what effect any of this supposed to have? My ongoing problem with this sort of "politics" is that it doesn't seem like politics at all. In my jaundiced view it seems like more therapeutics than anything else. . .I continue to think that those who most oppose Bush continue to burn up a lot of energy chanting with themselves and not nearly enough trying to forge a new majoritarian political strategy . . .
(For cross-post at Centerfield and comments posted there, click here.)
Fortunately Democrats overplayed their hand and showed Minnesotans the true nature of their extreme agenda and their lack of new ideas.
They want to raise taxes and force Minnesotans to live on less so that government can continue to grow even bigger. They want to kill education reforms that will help guarantee that every Minnesota child can receive a quality education. They are soft on crime. And they are willing to sacrifice the rights of individuals in order to expand the size and scope of government.
If he had more space, he might have noted that Democrats (1) hope to make abortion the rule, not the exception, for all otherwise viable pregnancies, (2) encourage homosexuality, and (3) promote flag burning.
This BS makes for good bumper stickers, but worthless op-ed pieces.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
I'm in awe of Lance Armstrong. For the last 7 years, he has truly been a man among boys at the Tour de France. I have a feeling that if someone asks me when I'm old to list the greatest athletes of my lifetime, Lance Armstrong will be very close to (if not at) the top.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Friday, July 22, 2005
You get more useful information and analysis from the back of a cereal box than you do from O'Reilly.
- It's not partisan to note that Bush is the first American leader to have seized power by coup d'�tat. Right there, that makes him the most evil man to have ever participated in our political system.
- Bush has built a network of concentration camps to house thousands of Muslims kidnapped off American streets, where they are routinely tortured and murdered under direct sanction by the White House.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro says he has "the privilege" of being a friend to Elian Gonzalez.In other news, Castro just learned that he won't see ever again 50 other "friends."
Ending an arduous yearlong journey, 50 Cuban performers were granted political asylum this week after what is believed to be the largest group defection of Cubans in American history. . .
"It's historic that 50 artists defected together and made the sacrifice to leave their families at home," said Ms. Durr in an interview before leading a rehearsal in a warehouse east of the Las Vegas airport. "Some of them have wives and children that they haven't seen in a year."
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Today, the terrorists (is the BBC calling them "terrorists" yet?) revealed a followup capacity (if not complete competence) that is sobering. Absent some problem with the bomb materials, they would have pulled off a stunning encore.
Today was a near miss, but its lesson is huge. We have to redouble our cooperative efforts among nations to defeat terrorism at its roots but, until then, to defeat it through super-duper cooperative intelligence gathering and military support as needed. These attacks aren't going to stop, and they aren't going to be limited to the geographic boundaries of Britain, Spain, Bali and the United States. And if al-Qaeda gets its way, they won't be limited to conventional weapons.
UPDATE: Read Australian Prime Minister Howard's extemporaneous remarks. They are perfect.
Billmon, left-wing blogger extraordinaire, has now adopted the title of "smearer" and "slimer" with pride, and in doing so suggests a line of attack on John Roberts.
Blasting Roberts as a corporate lawyer is an excellent smear tactic. People hate lawyers. They dislike and mistrust big corporations. It also conveniently happens to be true -- just as it was literally true that John Kerry is an upper crust Bostonian married to a woman with a fuckload of dough. Sliming Roberts as a corporate lawyer is probably more effective than attacking him for his views on abortion or other social issues, since a.) the paper trail is better and b.) it can be used as a wedge to separate him from some of his socially conservative but downwardly mobile supporters.Perhaps I should find it refreshing that someone is actually admitting that he is engaging in unfair personal attacks on the "enemy" in order to advance a political agenda. For some reason, I don't.
Thank goodness there appears to have been a problem with the bomb materials. However, it is deeply concerning that a second terrorist cell was able to avoid detection despite the intensity of the investigation over the last two weeks.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
A senior White House official stressed yesterday that the choice reflected a personal connection that Bush made with Roberts during the vetting process.I also wonder if one of the reasons that Rehnquist opted not to retire is because he thought that there was a decent chance that Roberts would be picked to replace O'Connor and Rehnquist didn't want to pass up the possibility of serving at least one term with Roberts. Which raises a question: Has a former Supreme Court clerk ever been elevated to the high court while his former boss is still on the bench? Sounds like history to me.
''He really hit it off with Roberts," the official said. ''As you know, the president is a person of intuition and he saw in [Roberts] not only a brilliant legal mind but a terrific judicial temperament. This guy is a thinker. He's not a polarizer."
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Anyway, Roberts should cruise through the nomination process the way that Ruth Bader Ginsburg cruised. For conservatives, he is a B+ candidate with little (my opinion as opposed to my client's position) baggage that can be attacked. As a centrist, I find him completely acceptable. Elections do have consequences, as Clinton proved by appointing Ginsburg and Reagan proved by appointing Scalia (both of whom received more than 95 votes for confirmation). I predict that this confirmation story will never get as interesting as everyone had expected.
I just get the feeling that this is a setup for a big-time bait-and-switch. Bush would get a kick out of that stunt, and it would make the pick an even bigger story. (Karl who?)
The last week has been a real rollercoaster ride with regard to our dog’s health. Last Tuesday, Thor started dragging a bit. By Wednesday, he would not come out of his crate for food or water or to relief himself. On Thursday, I took him to the vet. He had a fever of 105 degrees and laid on the floor without moving for most of the time as the vet performed a battery of tests and administered fluid subcutaneously. The fluids perked him up a bit, but the tests revealed no answers. We were advised that the most likely answer was an aggressive form of cancer and it was unlikely that he would live much longer.
By Saturday, he hit rock bottom. He could not keep down the little food that he would eat. Melinda took him back to the vet and they had to take him in on a stretcher. He started bleeding through the nose as they were taking him in. It literally looked like he would die any minute. Being “optimistic,” the vet gave Melinda a week’s worth of pain medication.
By Sunday afternoon, the unexpected happened. Thor started eating again, and stopped barfing after eating. He also started drinking more and more water and moving around the house. By Sunday evening, he looked like he was out of the woods. That night we had Melinda’s sister and brother-in-law -- both vets who are in town for a vet convention -- over to visit and they guessed that maybe he had a bowel obstruction that was starting to resolve itself.
Melinda’s sister and brother-in-law returned for dinner last night for dinner to find an even perkier dog, but they immediately pointed out that his skin was turning yellow. Thor had developed jaundice for which treatment needed to start immediately. At 9:00 last night, Melinda took Thor to the University of Minnesota vet hospital. She came home at 2:00 a.m. with plethora of medications and this prognosis – by Sunday, Thor will either be dead from the jaundice or he will have beaten the jaundice. It is 50-50. Until then, he needs constant attention.
So the deathwatch has started again. By Sunday, we should have our answer.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Then came Tiger Woods. By the age of 29, he has now won 10 professional major championships and 3 more amateur major championships. Truly, remarkable. I think that the other tour players might collectively agree to give him the next 9 (which would break Nicklaus' record) if Tiger would would agree to immediately retire thereafter.
By the way, this is the best commercial ever.
Friday, July 15, 2005
One of the London bombers was married, with a young child and another on the way. I can understand, but never accept, suicide bombing in Iraq or Israel as part of a nationalist struggle. But when a British Muslim citizen, nurtured by that society, just indiscriminately blows up his neighbors and leaves behind a baby and pregnant wife, to me he has to be in the grip of a dangerous cult or preacher - dangerous to his faith community and to the world.
How does that happen? Britain's Independent newspaper described one of the bombers, Hasib Hussain, as having recently undergone a sudden conversion "from a British Asian who dressed in Western clothes to a religious teenager who wore Islamic garb and only stopped to say salaam to fellow Muslims."
The secret of this story is in that conversion - and so is the crisis in Islam. The people and ideas that brought about that sudden conversion of Hasib Hussain and his pals - if not stopped by other Muslims - will end up converting every Muslim into a suspect and one of the world's great religions into a cult of death.
USA Today identifies the same problem, but sees hope in the reaction among Muslims around the world to the London bombings.
I am similarly hopeful that the Muslim world is finally starting to understand that the biggest danger to Islam is not Western values, but fanatics who commit mass murder and claim that Islam not only condones such violent actions but demands them.
• Muslim communities in Britain have helped police with tips and information. British Muslim leaders said they were drafting a fatwa that would strip any bombers of the right to call themselves Muslims. "Nothing in Islam can ever justify the evil actions of the bombers," the leader of the Muslim Council of Britain said. "We are determined to work to prevent such an atrocity ever happening again."
• A new poll Thursday showed support for Osama bin Laden and terrorist bombings against Americans and their allies in Iraq falling in several heavily Muslim countries, particularly those where terrorist attacks have occurred. One example: In Lebanon, those who think violence is justified in defense of Islam fell from 73% three years ago to 39% now. The support is still sizeable, but the trend is in the right direction. The poll, part of the Pew Global Attitudes Project, was conducted before the attacks in London last week. Chances are, the bombings prompted further erosion.
• The Middle East's best known radical groups — Hamas, Hezbollah and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood — denounced the bombings, signaling their opposition to spreading terrorist tactics to Europe. Meanwhile, in the Palestinian territories, cultural figures are speaking out against efforts to impose "Taliban-style" rule and deny cultural "beauty" in people's lives.
• A conference of 180 top Muslim religious leaders issued a statement last week forbidding that any Muslim be declared an apostate. Bin Laden has frequently done this to sanction the death of Muslims he believes are too lax in their faith.All provide at least some hope that terrorism is hurting the radicals' cause among Muslims.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
The reality is that his health does not permit him to continue now, at least in a capacity that the nation is entitled to expect from its top judicial officer. In fact, he recused himself in a substantial number of cases from the last term because of his health and a dramatic turnaround in that regard seems unlikely. It seems clear to me that Rehnquist is addicted to the power and prestige of the office, and he has decided to have his death certificate serve as his resignation notice.
(For cross-post at Centerfield and comments posted there, click here.)
A year after suggesting possible secession from the United States, a group of Christians fed up with American laws they believe are at odds with the Bible is beginning to move to its target state of South Carolina. . .I doubt the "constitutional right" part, but just in case perhaps we should be ready to fast-track statehood for Puerto Rico so that we don't have to change the flag.
Frank Janoski, who moved his wife, Tammy, and their four children from Mohrsville, Pa., to South Carolina in February . . . [said that] "secession may be a very real alternative – and is as I believe our constitutional right if things lead to that."
UPDATE: Historically, when Jack says goodbye to a major tournament, Tiger wins it.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Answer: Apparently not. I turned to the cable news channels tonight at 9:00 to get an update on the day's news from London. I started with MSNBC and found Joe Scarborough discussing the missing girl in Aruba. I flipped down one channel to Fox News and found Greta Van Sustren discussing the missing girl in Aruba. I flipped down one channel to CNN Headline News and found Nancy Grace discussing the missing girl in Aruba. With only one hope left, I flipped down one channel to CNN and found Aaron Brown talking about a major break in the investigation of the London attacks. (That sounded kind of important to me, particularly compared with the "we don't know anything more than we did 6 weeks ago" coverage of the Aruba story.)
Lesson: On the whole, the cable news channels suck.
The definition of "terrorism": "The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons."
Story (via Drudge).
The BBC has re-edited some of its coverage of the London Underground and bus bombings to avoid labelling the perpetrators as "terrorists", it was disclosed yesterday. . .
The BBC's guidelines state that its credibility is undermined by the "careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgments".
Consequently, "the word 'terrorist' itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding" and its use should be "avoided", the guidelines say.
We certainly wouldn't want to make a "value judgment" about people who blow up innocent civilians just because they can. Anyway, didn't you know that "Britain had this coming"?
I just found out this morning that Fred committed suicide about three weeks ago. For his mom (a widow of 20 years), a 30 year old scab has been ripped off and salt poured into the wound. The self-inflicted deaths of two children -- how awful. My thoughts are definitely with her today, and I'm going to give my kids an extra hug when I get home tonight.
UPDATE: Ramona notes in the comments two other tragedies that this poor woman has endured in her adult life. I hope that she gets special treatment in heaven.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Friday, July 08, 2005
Philip J. Purcell's golden parachute has a platinum lining.
The board of Morgan Stanley has awarded Mr. Purcell, who retired as chairman and chief executive after a bitter struggle for control of the firm, an exit package worth an estimated $113.7 million. . .
Mr. Purcell leaves with a long list of parting gifts, including a departure bonus worth $42.7 million based on the company's performance through the second quarter of this year. The one-time cash payment, which was not in his original employment contract, is based on a formula that adjusts the bonus up or down depending on the difference between Morgan Stanley's fiscal 2005 and 2004 pretax profit. So far, Morgan Stanley's pretax profit is down about 6 percent this year and the value of the bonus reflects that amount.
He will also receive $34.7 million of restricted stock and an estimated $20.1 million in stock options, based on yesterday's closing share price of $53.34, which he collected during his years at the firm. And he is to receive retirement benefits with a lump-sum value around $11 million.
Unbelieveable. He gets a bonus to which he is not contractually entitled that gives him $42.7 million for overseeing a reduction in pretax profit over the past 6 months. Oh, and he gets another $70 million on top of that for good measure. I give that a big Bronx cheer.
Across the globe, the enemies of democracy have shown themselves ready to commit any crime, to use any means, violating every human norm, every civilized code of warfare, one way and another killing people at random: the innocent, the old, the young, people of any class, any faith, any colour, with only the common feature of being in the wrong place when the appointed time comes, and of being human beings - with their lives, with their hopes, with the people they love and who will grieve for them. The murderers strike regardless. Count the ways...
1. They attack Red Cross personnel.
2. They murder people working for the UN.
3. They kidnap and kill care workers.
4. They bomb holiday-makers, in nightclubs.
5. They blow up people travelling on trains - civilians.
6. They target people on buses - civilians.
7. They take civilian hostages.
8. They decapitate them.
9. They murder trade unionists.
10. They kidnap diplomats.
11. They kill people for being... barbers.
12. They fly aircraft full of civilians into skyscrapers where people are at work.
13. They take schoolchildren hostage and murder them.
14. They bomb synagogues.
15. They kill people shopping in a market.
16. They kill people queuing at a medical clinic.
17. They murder children in Baghdad.
18. They murder people on their way to work in London.
(And what have I forgotten?)
They are the enemies of democracy and the enemies of all humankind. They must be fought till they have been defeated.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.For the third time in less than four years, a NATO member has seen a spectular terrorist attack on its soil by foreign Islamic fundamentalists. It is long past time for all NATO members to declare war on al-Qaeda.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Anyway, Happy Birthday America!
Friday, July 01, 2005
Supreme Court Justice O'Connor retiring
(For cross-post at Centerfield and comments posted there, click here.)
UPDATE: I had assumed that Rehnquist would be first, and Bush would elevate Scalia to Chief Justice and appoint the first Hispanic to the Court. However, I wonder whether Bush will feel an inclination to appoint a woman to take the place of the first woman on the Court, much like his father decided to appoint an African-American (Thomas) to take the place of the first African-American on the Court (Marshall).
One thing is guaranteed -- this ain't going to be dull.