Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Stupid criminal of the day

STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- A woman didn't have to look far to figure out who likely broke into her home and took a camera from her purse. Police said the burglar left behind his probation and parole card.

Adoption ban

A politician with a sense of humor. How rare.

GAY ADOPTION. State Senator Robert Hagan (D-Ohio) says he will introduce legislation to ban Republican couples from adopting children. According to Hagan, "credible research'' shows that adopted children raised in GOP households are more at risk for developing "emotional problems, social stigmas, inflated egos, and alarming lack of tolerance for others they deem different than themselves and an air of overconfidence to mask their insecurities." Hagan agrees there is no scientific evidence backing his claims about Republican parents -- just, as Hagan notes, there is none backing State Representative Ron Hood's (R) bill banning gay parents from adopting. Hood claims children purportedly suffer from emotional "harm" when they are adopted by gay couples. Hagan admits he created his proposal to mock Hood's proposed ban on gay adoption in a way that people would see the "blatantly discriminatory and extremely divisive" nature of the bill. The GOP House leadership does not support Hood's proposal.
Hat tip: Mathew.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Blogger's block

I am currently afflicted with blogger's block, a mutation of writer's block. I am hoping for a speedy recovery, but you never know with these things.

Stupid criminal of the day

BUNGLING burglars used a blowtorch to cut open a cash machine — and set fire to £53,000 inside it.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Another plug

In November, I blogged about www.twincitiesfreemarket.org. In short, it is a great way to get rid of stuff that has some remaining useful life but the typical charity won't take. Two weeks ago, I got rid a gas fireplace that we are replacing through this website. Yesterday, in preparation for installation of hardwood floors, I pulled the nails out of the particle boards on our subfloor and removed the 8x4 panels.. Last night, I listed the particle boards on Free Market. This afternoon a guy is going to pick it all up. He gets a reuseable product, and I save the money and the hassle involved with getting a dumpster.

The Internet is so cool.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Two weeks

It is going to be a long two weeks. Our barky dog (Scarlett) was spayed today, and has to wear a cone and be separated from other dog (Fenton) the whole time. That means a lot of time in her kennel, which she hates and she is already constantly whining in a high pitch. My iPod is going to get a workout in the next 14 days.

Friday funny


ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) -- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich wasn't in on the joke.

Blagojevich says he didn't realize "The Daily Show" was a comedy spoof of the news when he sat down for an interview that ended up poking fun at the sometimes-puzzled governor.

"It was going to be an interview on contraceptives ... that's all I knew about it," Blagojevich laughingly told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in a story for Thursday's editions. "I had no idea I was going to be asked if I was 'the gay governor.' "

The interview focused on his executive order requiring pharmacies to fill prescriptions for emergency birth control.

Interviewer Jason Jones pretended to stumble over Blagojevich's name before calling him "Governor Smith." He urged Blagojevich to explain the contraception issue by playing the role of "a hot 17-year-old" and later asked if he was "the gay governor."

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Stop the presses

The StarTribune editorial board is talking sense.
On the suddenly hot issue of American ports being managed by a United Arab Emirates company, everyone needs to chill. It's fine if Congress wants more time to look at this deal (although Congress' record on the issue of port security is itself scandalous), but most of what has been raised in protest seems, as President Bush said, more than a little xenophobic toward anything Arab.

Dubai Ports World is one of the largest international ports managers. It operates ports in Australia, India, China, Germany, Indonesia and Romania, to name a few -- without problems. DP World is by all accounts a very professional and highly regarded company.

Read it all. It is the most objective editorial that I ever remember from this outfit. Color me stunned.

Port politics

Senate Democrats on Thursday raised concerns about a sale whereby a company owned by the United Arab Emirates would operate six major ports.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., said lawmakers should have been made aware of the proposed transaction long ago, given how many “red flags” existed around security concerns.

Clinton called the approval process “a failure of judgment” because officials “did not alert the president, the secretary of the treasury and the secretary of defense” that several of our critical ports would be turned over to foreign country.
When I first heard about this deal, I said "what the hell?!" But when I actually educated myself about the details (including but not limited to the fact that the ports are already run by a foreign country and this new company will be in charge of running the port operations, not port security), I became convinced that Bush is right on this one.

Democrats like Sen. Clinton have obviously calculated that most people won't get past "what the hell?!" and, therefore, this is a winning political issue for them. And many Republicans agree, causing them to jump ship (sorry). Pathetic.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Lately, I have been spending most of my waking hours that I am not at the office preparing half of our house for the installation of new wood floors. By the weekend, I should be done and more regular blogging is anticipated thereafter.

Headline of the day

Angry hare attacked dogsled

Saturday, February 18, 2006

No, thank you


Situated in an elegantly restored house beside Beijing's West Lake, it is China's first speciality penis restaurant.

Here, businessmen and government officials can sample the organs of yaks, donkeys, oxen and even seals. In fact, they have to, since they form part of every dish - except for those containing testicles.

"This is my third visit," said one customer, Liu Qiang. "Of course, there are other restaurants that serve the bian [penis] of individual animals. But this is the first that brings them all together." . . .

Canadian seal penis costs a hefty $517 and requires ordering in advance.

And, no, I'm not posting this only to see how many Google "penis" hits I get.

Alec Baldwin is a putz

Quote. "Cheney is a terrorist. " (Via Drudge).

Friday, February 17, 2006


I think that the people who are insisting that the shooting accident is news, but not big news, are wrong. However, the flap over the delay in notifying the national media is equally silly and, as Krauthammer notes, exposes the hypocrisy of some.
The media laying these charges are the same media that just last week unilaterally decided that the public's right to know did not extend to seeing cartoons that had aroused half the world, burned a small part of it and deeply affected the American national interest. Having arrogated to themselves the judgment of what a free people should be allowed to see regarding an issue that is literally burning, they then go ballistic over a few hours' delay in revealing an accident with only the most trivial connection to the nation's interest or purpose.
In that regard, the StarTribune wrote on February 6 the following about its decision not to publish the five month old cartoons:

Editor Anders Gyllenhaal called the cartoons "purposefully sacrilegious" and said the paper doesn't publish something offensive "just to prove that we can."

Plus, in this case, a description of the cartoons has seemed adequate . . .

So what did the StarTribune publish yesterday? (I can't find the link but I read the paper.)

I guess a description of this picture was deemed inadequate.


(BTW: What happened at Abu Ghraib was despicable and should have resulted in Rumsfeld's termination, and I said so here. I'm just saying that the decision to publish the pictures is completely inconsistent with the decision not to publish the cartoons.)

Weather jinx

We are in the midst of a complete remodel of our living room and bedrooms upstairs. My wife was supposed to leave this morning for Wisconsin to pick up the stone for our new fireplace. A huge snowstorm in Wisconsin (it missed us) forced her to postpone that trip. The new wood floors are being delivered today and I need to help unload them from the truck into our garage. Also, movers are coming today to move the furniture out of the bedrooms and living room and into the garage, but they need to go through either the front or back door. Unfortunately, it is the coldest day of the year. Currently: 15 below.

Why do we live here?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


I am stunned that Cheney decided to speak for the first time about the accident to Brit Hume of Fox News.

New riots

A Hamas Web site recently published the videotape wills of two suicide bombers, with two main messages: One is directed to the Jews whose blood Hamas pledges to drink until they flee from the land of the Muslims, and the other is devoted to a mother who helps her son plan a suicide attack, according to Palestinian Media Watch, which presents the video shown on the Hamas site after its victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections.
It is time for riots and violence in Tel Aviv until every country in the Middle East denounces Hamas and the Hamas leadership apologizes. Oh, wait, none of that is going to happen.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

More Cheney

Jeff Greenfield.

(CNN) -- What did you see when you saw the story about Vice-President Cheney's hunting accident?

If you were a comedy writer, you saw definitive proof of the existence of God.

If you hold the Bush Administration in minimum high regard, you saw enough metaphors to power a Ph.D. thesis: a reckless, inept use of force directed at the wrong target, compounded by a cover-up.

If you support the administration, you saw the press in full hysteria, "going nuts" (as a FOX News personality put it), by pounding White House spokesman Scott McClellan on the 20-plus hour delay in making the news public. . .

What's so striking, I think, is how a story like this becomes an instant Rorschach test, with political predispositions substituting for inkblots. We know the meaning of this incident because we know how we feel about the vice president, or the administration, or the war in Iraq, or the press -- and therefore, we know how to judge the event.

The exact same thing happened after Katrina. Among diehards on each side, conclusions come first and as the facts come out they are embraced or discarded based on whether or not they support those conclusions. What I find disheartening is that otherwise very smart people are not immune from this phenomenon.

(For cross-post at Centerfield and comments posted there, click here.)


Via Lucciane.

The Daily Show was make-you-cry funny last night in its Cheney jokes. Video is here. Also, it will be replayed again at 7:00 CT tonight. Neither Letterman nor Leno were nearly as funny.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Business development strategies

I am envisioning having this conversation with a potential client. See if it sounds at all familiar to you.
[Phone rings.]

Me: Todd speaking.

John Doe: Todd, you were recommended by a friend to help me with a lawsuit.

Me: Great. When would be a good time for us to meet to discuss your lawsuit?

John Doe: How about Friday?

Me: Actually, I only discuss new lawsuits with clients on Thursdays.

John Doe: Okay. That sounds pretty stupid, but I am available during a window of time on this Thursday afternoon. Would you be available at 2:00?

Me: Actually, I can call you on Thursday morning at 8:00 and give you a 2 hour window during which I could meet with you. Obviously, that means that you would need to take the whole day off work to be available at my last minute convenience. After I call you that morning, I would need you to come in and wait in the reception area until I called you in. Would you like to book the appointment?

John Doe: That is the crazyest thing I have ever heard of. I am calling Dial L-A-W-Y-E-R-S. Good luck with this business model that you have adopted.

Battle of the putzes is brewing

Rall vs. Coulter. They could sell tickets to the depositions in this one.

We're not greedy so give us more money

[Alaska] Gov. Frank H. Murkowski says it is time for an image makeover. He wants the state to hire a public relations firm to change the perception of Alaska and its people as greedy for federal money and too willing to plunder the environment for profit.
Why does he want to convince people of these things?

Ultimately, Mr. Murkowski, a Republican, wants to sway public opinion in favor of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

Most Alaska politicians favor drilling in the refuge, which would fill the state's treasury as the trans-Alaska oil pipeline has done for decades.
It is going to take an incredibly talented PR firm to pull off that sleight of hand.

News of the day

Silvio Belusconi is a putz

“I am the Jesus Christ of politics,” Italian media quoted him as saying at a dinner with supporters on Saturday night.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Picture of the day

Even liberal doves should acknowledge that the fundamental importance of winning the battle over Islamic extremists is a no-brainer. I will listen to arguments about means, but not about ends.

Attention cheaters

This article about cheaters getting caught because of Valentine's Day is not the typical fare for the Wall Street Journal, but it is interesting. Here is my favorite part of the article.

Christine Gallagher, a 43-year-old writer in Los Angeles, was so incensed after she caught her boyfriend cheating on Valentine's Day that she launched a Web site called RevengeLady.com, where she gives advice on how to get back at people. Ms. Gallagher was dating the man, whom she declines to name, for over a year when he told her he had to go away over Valentine's Day to visit a friend dying of cancer in Switzerland. Ms. Gallagher spent the holiday alone at home with her 180-pound mastiff, Thomas.

It wasn't until several weeks later that Ms. Gallagher learned the truth. As she was out walking Thomas she was approached by a woman who said she had just returned from a vacation in Italy -- with Ms. Gallagher's boyfriend. Before coming up with the idea for her Web site, Ms. Gallagher broke up with the man, then found an unusual way to get back at him: She unscrewed the driver's-side door panel of his beloved Audi coupe and stuck a marble inside, figuring that the rattle would drive him crazy. Sure enough, it did. He took the car to mechanic after mechanic until one finally found the marble -- and a little note Ms. Gallagher had included: "So you finally found it, sucker." Ms. Gallagher says her ex-boyfriend now lives in New Zealand; he couldn't be located for comment.

Picture of the day


Blogger has been FUBAR the last few days, at least on the few occasions when I have tried to post. Hopefully, things are now back to normal.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Outrage of the day

I bet that this guy is flooded with donations.

But last week, [1st Lt. William “Eddie”] Rebrook was forced to pay $700 for that body armor, blown up by a roadside bomb more than a year ago.

He was leaving the Army for good because of his injuries. He turned in his gear at his base in Fort Hood, Texas. He was informed there was no record that the body armor had been stripped from him in battle.

He was told to pay nearly $700 or face not being discharged for weeks, perhaps months.

Sherlock Holmes

Second Rash of Fires Strikes Churches in Rural Alabama
The authorities termed the fires "suspected arson."
I'm glad they aren't going with a spontaneous combustion theory.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


With so little time right now, I plagarize.

With his usual eloquent and incisive clarity, Tutakai knocks one out of the park.

When I argue that moderates' unique contribution is a pragmatist willingness to resist dogmatism and adopt good ideas from both left and right, I'm suggesting that such willingness is necessary to prevent a complete takeover of politics by dogma-driven iconoclasm. Critics from left and right are often wont to condemn moderate politics as unprincipled for the simple reason that they confuse dogma with principles. Critical skepticism is a principle. Pragmatism is a principle. Intellectual rigor is a principle. And, in the end, seeking a difficult sythesis between left and right is a princpled activity.

Headline of the day

Teen Using Restroom Falls Out Bus Window

I don't have much today, but I suspect that more often than usual people might click the link.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hah hah

Frank Caliendo is absolutely brilliant. His John Madden impression put him on the map, but his Bush impression may be even better. Click here for the latest installment.

(TIP: It may take some time and stutter as it loads the first time. Just be patient and, after the 1st run is complete, click REPLAY THIS VIDEO. It should go seemlessly then.)


Cost of new boiler: $5,000.

Cost of repairing broken pipes because old boiler went out in the midst of a cold snap while you were out of town: $4,000.

Reaction upon learning, 3 years later, that boiler was not installed up to code and you will have to invest another $1,000 to fix the problem: Priceless.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Daunte's pique

I'm not particularly timely with this post, but I feel compelled to comment on this example of a clueless professional athlete.

In 2003, Daunte Culpepper signed a 10 year contract with the Minnesota Vikings that made him one of the highest paid players in the NFL.

In 2004, Daunte had the second highest passer rating in the NFL and, but for an unbelievable season by Peyton Manning, he would have been MVP.

2005? Not so good. Daunte's quarterback rating plunged as he played terribly. Then, his season was ended by a devastating knee injury. Then, he was charged with criminal activity in connection the infamous sex boat party on Lake Minnetonka.

So what is the best way to get back on track in 2006? In the mind of a normal person - work hard, keep quiet, and hope to make amends. In the eyes of this spoiled professional athlete - skip a meeting with the new coach and demand a raise.



I received today a lengthy Order that can be summed up with the following excerpt:
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED . . .

Plaintiff's Complaint is hereby DISMISSED in its entirety and the trial date previously set shall be stricken.
Since I represent the defendant, this is good. This Order was extra sweet for two reasons. First, the trial was scheduled to start on February 15 and my client was going to have to come here from England for it. Second, opposing counsel is a complete jerk and I take pleasure in his complete defeat. That probably makes me a jerk too, but I don't care right now.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

113 points

A high school girl scored 113 points in a basketball game, breaking a girls' national prep record. She made 54 out of 60 shots, or 90 percent. That is amazing.

Picture of the day

Tone deaf

President Bush defended the huge profits of Exxon Mobil Corp. on Wednesday, saying they are simply the result of the marketplace and that consumers socked with soaring energy costs should not expect price breaks.
We were all paying $3.00+ per gallon of gas a few months ago in the wake of Katrina, and now find out that it all went to the bottom lines of the oil companies. I can't believe that Bush would be so dumb as to defend that outcome.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Headline of the day

Era Ends: Western Union Stops Sending Telegrams

Deja vu

I have gotten out of the habit of posting a "stupid criminal of the day," but I will take this opportunity to note that it seems that every couple of months there is a story about an idiot who calls the police to report that his illegal drugs have been stolen. Here is the latest.