Monday, December 29, 2008

Vote ShopSavvy!

I reviewed ShopSavvy in an earlier post.

ShopSavvy has been nominated for a 2008 Crunchie award from the good folks at techcrunch.com. So head over and give them your vote. Alas, you can only vote once in a 24 hour period... Maybe we can ACORN in on a consultation basis

And while you're at it, there are several other categories in which you can vote... after you vote for ShopSavvy.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

While England Slept

Channel 4's sickening grant of air time to Iran's Imadinnerjacket is limned for the silly, self-important jack-assery it was... for on the 24th of December his government hanged 10 prisoners. Who knows if any of these convicts were political prisoners, or rape victims - they may have all been run of the mill criminals. However it seems that executing 10 less than 24 hours before Ahmadinejad spoke to a British audience smacks of intentional timing to me.

According to the website Iran Human Rights one man was hanged in one prison in northern Iran, while 9 were hanged in Teheran's Evin prison.

Amazing Spa Treatment

Hmmm.... I wonder if the spa is located near me:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day

Lileks posted a link to this video on Twitter.

It's just under 10 minutes, but well worth a look. Christmas in England. But not Charles Dickens - it's 1941:



From the YouTube info-bit on the film:

Despite the Blitz, it's 'business as usual' as England prepares for Christmas in this propaganda film intended for US audiences. It's a Christmas of holly and barbed wire, guns and tinsel, yet the British, we are told, are determined to make it as cheerful as possible.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt, RIP

Eartha Kitt has lost her fight against colon cancer today.

Here she is in 2006 performing Santa Baby... not bad for a 79 year old (or a 49 year old, for that matter)... and is W blushing?



And a quick tribute vid:



I first saw her as Catwoman. Kitt is the gold standard for Catwoman. Lee Merriwether is a distant second, and all others who have played the role are just also-rans:



She described herself as "rejected, ejected, dejected, used, accused, abused"; and "too black to be white, too white to be black" so she didn't fit in anywhere. She was black listed for speaking out against the Vietnam war. She deserved better than she received in this life. Say a prayer that she receives better in the hereafter.

12 Days of Christmas - USMC Style

Via Mudville Gazette comes this best ever rendition of the familiar 12 Days of Christmas from Falujah, Iraq. This was put together and posted to YouTube by a Marine named Nick Hesselgrave. Here are his notes from YouTube. Check out the rest of his stuff.

1st Battallion 4th Marines, Bravo Company 3rd Platoon. Out of ECP1 in Fallujah, Iraq. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us through the first half of our deployment. This project was a challenge for me but in the end quite worth it. Merry Christmas everyone! -Nick Hesselgrave

1- full resupply of TP
2- megafones
3- crappy humvees
4- portajohns
5- hours of sleep
6- rusty dumbells
7- months deployment
8- IPs(iraqi police) dancing
9- sentries standing
10- hours posting
11- bags of trash
12- freakin' flies!



Merry Christmas, Part II

Goodwill towards men, and all of that...

Then I saw this picture of a banner haning opposite the Basilica of the Annunciation in Bethlehem:



Fine. I wonder what made them pick this time of year to put up a banner that argues that argues that Jesus was not the son of God? When can I hoist my banner decrying Mohammad as an illiterate pedophile war-lord? And can I do it opposite the Dome of the Rock?

It makes me think of this picture, courtesy of Theo Spark:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Resistance in the EU Parliament

I think I like this guy. The EUrocrats are hell bent on establishing some kind of uber-state. And their willing handmaidens in several European capitals have been hard at work on their behalf.

In the interest of full disclosure...

Caroline Kennedy is campaigning for the US Senate. Sort of. She only has to convince one voter. Apparently she believes she need not concern the little people with any form of disclosure, at least until after she becomes a Senator for Life.

Ugh... Rarefied Ethics for a Star Chamber Election... (Fair Warning - Link is to the New York Times.... sorry.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sweden is Burning




At least one city is... Powerline reports that Malmo is beset by riots. What triggered the "youths" displeasure? Why the closing of a synagogue, silly.

Except it wasn't a synagogue... Surprise! From The Local: ...

Westford said the troubles were linked to the recent closure of an Islamic cultural centre in Malmö's heavily-immigrant populated neighbourhood Rosengård.

The owner of the building wanted to use the space for other purposes, and the Islamic centre, which housed a mosque among other things, moved out and handed over the keys.

But a group of young people squatted the office space on November 24th, and police intervened early this week to remove the occupants and empty the offices.


So it took almost a month to evict these "youths"? WTF? I'm sure there was "outreach" or maybe "reaching out" going on during those 3 weeks, but what were the police thinking?


Police guarded the location until Wednesday, and once they left youths tried to occupy the building again.


Ahh, apparently they were thinking there would be trouble... and guess what, they were right.

Riots broke out on Wednesday night, when youths set fires in the area and threw stones and bottles at police. Seventeen youths were detained during those clashes.

"The origin of the riots is the occupation of the building. But that's not really the reason now, now other troublemakers have just joined in, taking advantage of the situation," Westford said.


I wonder if the other troublemakers are Presbyterians... or maybe those radicalized Unitarian Universalists.

Ponzi Scheme

I knew that it was named for a man named Ponzi, but I had forgotten the particulars...

Marina of Hot for Words fame explains... in a far more pleasing way than I ever could:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Culture of Terror

3 'reformed' terrorists talk about how they came to terrorism, and how they left it. It's 16+ minutes, but this video is important. Try to watch the whole thing. Then watch it again. This is more than just troubling, even though it's almost 3 years old.



Money quote - "Bush should have been more aggressive."

This is from Comcast's CN8 "network". I may have to watch it a little more...

Thanks to Not a Sheep.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Newsbusted, 12/19 Edition

The last Newsbusted for 2008:

Those Wild and Crazy Guys

No, not the Czechoslovakian brothers... our brothers in arms from Lithuania (?!?)

Via Kevin at Exurban League comes a Michael Yon report:

Hell’s Angels — Lithuanian Style:

U.S. and Afghan soldiers in Zabul Province give high marks to the Lithuanian Special Forces, who like to ride these captured Taliban motorbikes to sneak up on, and chase Taliban fighters. The “LithSof” are on their way to becoming living legends: Both Afghans and Americans report that the Taliban are afraid of the Lithuanians. Stories about them are filled with dangerous escapades and humor.

Americans say that the Lithuanians are sort of a weaponized version of Borat, who think nothing of sauntering around a base in nothing but flip-flops and underwear. “They look like mountain men. They never shave, sometimes don’t bathe, and often roll out the gate wearing nothing but body armor and weapons. Not even a t-shirt,” an American soldier told me. The Lithuanians may be a little bit nuts, but the Americans love to have them around because Lithuanians love to fight, and when you need backup, you can count on them. That contrasts starkly with many of the NATO “partners.” Maybe when your country spends almost a half-century with the Soviet boot on its neck, its first generation of free soldiers know what freedom is worth — and that you sometimes have to fight for it.

Santa Went Down To Georgia...



I thought Rudolph's Nose was a nice touch....

Sadly, Kris Kringle was pulled over by the Highway Patrol... He blew a .30-06...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Drive for a special election

I don't think they will be successful, but the Illinois Republicans are pushing to have BO's seat filled via an election, not an appointment.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Louis CK Calls it

My sister in law sent me a link to this video. Louis CK says "Everything's amazing, and no one is happy"... How true.

Get (back) on the bus

Heh... apparently Obama's bus has some kind of hatch in the floor. Once thrown under the bus some folks find their way back in.

Rightwingsparkle points to a post at Publius Forum describing 'rehabilitated' Obama supporters.

I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you...

Christmas Stoopid

What do A Christmas Story, Home Alone, and Die Hard all have in common?

Yes - They are heartwarming, best ever Christmas Movies!.

Oh, and they are part of a silly Liquid Generation flash game...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Che

An interesting video on the popular appeal of Che and other commies... at least among Norte Americanos....

Sarah Palin Calendar



So, don't know what to get that Obama loving socialist in your family? How about a 2009 Sarah Palin calendar, guaranteed to drive them nuts? Head over to sarahcalendar.com and order yours today.

Newsbusted, 12/12

Friday's Newsbusted:


Perfume for Christmas


Perfume vials from Christ's era unearthed in Israel is the headline in Yahoo news.

A team of Franciscan archaeologists digging in the biblical town of Magdala in what is now Israel say they have unearthed vials of perfume similar to those that may have been used by the woman said to have washed Jesus' feet.

The perfumed ointments were found intact at the bottom of a mud-filled swimming pool, alongside hair and make-up objects, the director of the dig conducted by the group Studium Biblicum Franciscanum told the Terrasanta.net religious website.

"If chemical analyses confirm it, these could be perfumes and creams similar to those that Mary Magdalene or the sinner cited in the Gospel used to anoint Christ's feet," Father Stefano de Luca, the lead archaeologist, told the website.

Mary Magdalene is cited in the New Testament as a steadfast disciple of Christ from whom seven demons were cast out. She is often considered the sinner who anointed Jesus' feet.

"The discovery of the ointments in Magdala at any rate is of great importance. Even if Mary Magdalene was not the woman who washed Christ's feet, we have in our hands 'cosmetic products' from Christ's time," De Luca said.
So what does this really mean? Honestly, not too much. We will never know what was actually used to anoint Christ's feet. But we will have more understanding of what was in use during His time. It will be interesting to see what properties these cosmetics had, scientists - or the blue haired perfume lady at the mall - will be able to make educated guesses as to the actual uses of these products.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kentucky Fried Chicks


First there was the Burger King bubble bather, now this. A girl gets caught posting pics of herself and two friends… bathing in the sink at a KFC. In a word, what the hell were they thinking? And just how big are these sinks?

Ugh…. And is there anything kids won’t facebook or put on myspace?

Update: Wow... Mailing in posts doesn't seem to format too well...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

ShopSavvy Review

Take away: If you have an android phone, you should have this app.


One of my favorite apps on my Android G1 is called ShopSavvy. It uses the camera on the G1 to scan the UPC bar code, then it does a server trip to check prices and availability. It's not infallible, but damn...

I was in a big box electronics retailer a couple of weeks ago. The first item I scanned was a GPS/Cell phone holder with weighted friction pad for 'mounting' on a dashboard. One of these thingies:



This particular retailer had it for $39.99. ShopSavvy returned two retailers in the area selling it for less. ShopSavvy then offered the me the opportunity to call the store or draw a map to the store. ShopSavvy also returned hits from the web and then gave me the choice of going to the website or e-mailing the link. Bottom line: I didn't pay $39.99.

In addition to searching for products, users can maintain wishlists organized by groups, set price alerts for items and keep a history of scanned items. Once an item is scanned ShopSavvy also presents the user with user reviews of the item.

The history function is more handy than I had first thought. You see I still haven't bought or ordered the friction mat thingy. But just the other day I retrieved my scan from history, and ShopSavvy re-executed the server trip and returned updated information... more stores locally and even cheaper.

I scanned an item that returned an incorrect graphic and description, but had the right prices. I fired off an e-mail to the developer, Big in Japan. I received a prompt and courteous reply that told me how the error happened, which was more than I needed to know but very much appreciated.

ShopSavvy has also saved me money the old fashioned way... by not giving in to an impulse to buy. Scanning and comparing is almost as good as buying. Like that 46" Sharp Aquous 1080p LCD TV with 4 HDMI inputs I saw at BJ's for $1,200... a price that ShopSavvy couldn't beat.

I wonder if I can scan some diamonds for my wife...

Similar apps: Compare Everywhere, Barcode Reader.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Newsbusted, 12/05

It will be a long four years... but the Clintonites Obamians may give newsbusters.org enough material to make this a daily show:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Dreidel Song... Like you've never seen it before

My sister in law sent me the link to this video... The singers belong to a Seattle men's chorus ensemble called Captain Smartypants.

This is quite likely to be the gayest, cowboy-iest presentation of the Dreidel song you will ever see. Well, at least at this blog.



According to their website (link above):

Captain Smartypants was discovered by Madame Curie in 1913 as she was emptying a test tube. The radioactive slime mold developed in the Paris sewers until it gained consciousness and crossed the Atlantic. Upon landing in America, this new life form sprouted legs and strode across the continent, singing Partridge Family songs all the while. They settled in Seattle where they became quickly known as ‘Those Nine Homosexuals Who Won’t Stop Singing.’


Gays singing a Jewish song. I can hear Islamonut's heads exploding around the world.

Day of Infamy



Take a few moments today to remember that other Sunday, 7 December. The above picture is from the National Park Service.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

iPhone commercial spoof

An Android version of an iPhone commercial...



And another variation on an iPhone commercial:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Schilling on signing with the Sox

I dare not cherry pick quotes from number 38. Read both parts of his article/posting.

I can't figure out if this is a 'retirement goodbye' or a "I'll come back in August - for another team" goodbye.

I hope that if he does want to come back for a 1/2 or a third of a season, that Boston finds a way to do it.

More toon time



Stolen from the fine folk's at Theo Spark's place, who stole it from somewhere else...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A note on a door - Bravo Zulu

I caught wind of this based on a tweet from Hugh Hewitt who posted a link to the original at Black Five.

Click the image to see the note:

Friday, November 28, 2008

Post Thanksgiving Stupid

Between the terror attacks in Mumbai and the Turkey hangover, I just don't have any motivation.

So I give you the worst speeding ticket video ever, courtesy of failblog:

Mumbai

The death toll in the Mumbai attacks may be 143. A NYT correspondent is 'live blogging' the retaking of Nariman House:

Keith Bradsher, a Times correspondent, is sending The Lede updates from his BlackBerry as he watches a commando operation taking place at the Nariman House, home to the Orthodox Jewish group Chabad Lubavitch, and around Mumbai.

Sample update:

Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 10:45
A flurry of shots has just sounded from inside Nariman House, to which I have just returned. A team of Israelis who specialize in searching and securing sites after terrorist attacks just arrived here from Israel and said that they had been told that they might be allowed to go into the building soon. There has still been no official word on the fate of the rabbi and his wife who were living at Nariman House at the time of the assault.



And the most recent posting, only about 15 minutes old as I post:

Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 12:00
The Indians are sending a fresh set of commandos in black uniforms and heavy body armor into the buildings around Nariman House and withdrawing commandos in blue or black uniforms who have been in action all day.

For the first time today, a van with six medics in surgical gowns and masks has just driven up close to Nariman House in a possible sign of casualties.

Three heavy blasts have just been heard in as many minutes.


This is excellent work by the Times reporter. I guess this is how an MSM outlet like the Times can stay relevant: combine new media and technology with old school field reporting. I hope this guy stays safe.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Another GWOT win

This is what true victories in the Global War on Terror look like. Nothing spectacular, not a strike mission by a B-2 or other head line grabbing event.

Just some female suicide bombers. Who turn themselves in after a Muslim cleric convinces them that conducting a bombing is un-Islamic. 18 of them.

I'm a little surprised that they surrendered to Americans rather than Iraqis. Perhaps they thought they would be treated better. But my take away on this is that this was an Iraqi win as much as anything. The cleric/imam/preacher and the families of the prospective bombers prevented hundreds of deaths.

And for that I am thankful this turkey-day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

CAIR - Sued under RICO

Who knows if this suit actually has any legs, but if it gets to the discovery stage, things could get very interesting.

November 24, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - A lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court DC, against the Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR] alleging, "violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO")1; the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act ("DCCPPA"); the Virginia Consumer Protection Act ("VCPA"); breach of fiduciary duty; conversion; unjust enrichment; and intentional infliction of emotional distress on behalf of plaintiffs who sought legal representation from defendant."


Here's the best part - Nihad Awad was served his summons while on stage at a CAIR dinner of some kind 14th Annual Banquet... "Alex, I'll have Process Servers FTW":

Terror in Mumbai



Crap. Terrorists have used small arms and grenades to attack a train station, hotels frequented by westerners. Hostages are being held at the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels. At least 80 dead, 200 injured.

And Not a Sheep reports that the BBC are calling the murders radicals. Breath deep the nuance. CNN, MSNBC, CBS, etc. are at least calling them gunmen. Fox News is the only one I have found so far willing to state the obvious. These guys are terrorists.

Good lord on high, even Obama can say the "T" word. From The One's change.gov outpost:

"President-elect Obama strongly condemns today's terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and his thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the people of India. These coordinated attacks on innocent civilians demonstrate the grave and urgent threat of terrorism. The United States must continue to strengthen our partnerships with India and nations around the world to root out and destroy terrorist networks. We stand with the people of India, whose democracy will prove far more resilient than the hateful ideology that led to these attacks," said Brooke Anderson, Chief National Security Spokesperson.


Why are the sandal lickers in the media so loathe to call a terrorist a terrorist? I guess I may have answered my own question.

Update: Either I missed it, or CBS has updated their website. They still call them "gunmen", but call the events "Terror attacks". At least CBS has it half right.

Georgia, again

A couple of days ago shots were fired near, if not at, Georgia's president while driving near South Ossetia.

Now comes word that. the Russian mayor of a North Ossetian town has been murdered.

It may be a much warmer winter than the weatherman said.

Obama toons

Both stolen from Theo Spark:




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Civics Quiz

Here's an on-line civics quiz at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute... They show some sad statistics. So I took the quiz while I waited for the coffee to brew. And I blew one question. Not bad for an over the hill pseudo blogger:



I should have waited until after I had coffee...

Monday, November 24, 2008

I won't tell your cardiologist


Who knew that there was a site on the web called ...Bacon Today?

And who knew that humanity was capable of taking several of God's creatures, wrapping them each in bacon, then eating it/them? Are you ready for Turbaconducken?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A-10 versus Taliban dirt bikes

Spotted over at Theo Spark's place:

Android...




I ordered my G1 Android powered phone from T-Mobile on Monday morning, and it arrived Tuesday evening. First impression:WOW.

It's not the sea change that the iPhone was when it first came out. It is, however, a game changer. The iPhone represented a spectacular user interface change. Beautiful design and great engineering. But it didn't change the business. In fact, it reinforced Apple's control freak reputation. But the smart phone business was the same. You got your handset and all of the apps from one source. Android changes the landscape just a bit. Anyone can publish apps for the Android framework. This does mean there will be a lot of crap out there. But it also means there are a lot of choices. In less than 24 hours I've larded my phone with not one, but two bar-code reading shopping/price comparison apps (ShopSavvy and CompareEverywhere), a gas shopping/location app called GasBot (very good), a handful of games, a second media player (tunewiki), a settings manger that uses the phone's current location as a basis for changing settings (Locale), a picture editing/markup thingy called PicSay, and a unique, sort of weird but very cool navigation thingy called Breadcrumz. Breadcrumz allows you to use or create point of view 'directions'... One of the stock files shows the user how to get a great view of Jerusalem... by taking a few back alleys in the Old City.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Good Lord No...

Drudge is trumpeting that Hillary will be named Secretary of State. But the report originates at the Guardian...

Foggy Flabby Bottom...

I wonder if BO has something on the Senator that will get leaked during the confirmation hearings... Hillary gets a second humiliation and BO gets rid of a rival...


Nahh... Or...

Deadman Walking

Future dead guy

So you're a German professor of Theology. And after years of study, you come up with a theory that Jesus never existed. What happens? Do you get shunned by your employer? Do the police give you warnings about your safety?

Actually they do, if you're a German convert to Islam who has questioned the existence of Mohammad. EUroweenie irony alert:

When Prof. Kalisch took up his theology chair four years ago, he was seen as proof that modern Western scholarship and Islamic ways can mingle -- and counter the influence of radical preachers in Germany. He was put in charge of a new program at Münster, one of Germany's oldest and most respected universities, to train teachers in state schools to teach Muslim pupils about their faith.

Muslim leaders cheered and joined an advisory board at his Center for Religious Studies. Politicians hailed the appointment as a sign of Germany's readiness to absorb some three million Muslims into mainstream society. But, says Andreas Pinkwart, a minister responsible for higher education in this north German region, "the results are disappointing."


The results are disappointing? That a German professor engaged in academic pursuits? And earlier in the piece:

"We had no idea he would have ideas like this," says Thomas Bauer, a fellow academic at Münster University who sat on a committee that appointed Prof. Kalisch. "I'm a more orthodox Muslim than he is, and I'm not a Muslim."


I guess they would have been OK if he had ideas like stoning 13 year old rape victims to death while they plead for mercy. If only he had postulated that George Bush was responsible for 9-11, that Jesus was a Vegan or that Queen Victoria was a lesbian.

The stalwart Europeans rally to the man's defense. Well, one of them actually did. However apparently the professor enjoys the same protections as the Danish cartoonists. The craven sandal licking is in full-swing.

German academics split. Michael Marx, a Quran scholar at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, warned that Prof. Kalisch's views would discredit German scholarship and make it difficult for German scholars to work in Muslim lands. But Ursula Spuler-Stegemann, an Islamic studies scholar at the University of Marburg, set up a Web site called solidaritymuhammadkalisch.com and started an online petition of support.

Alarmed that a pioneering effort at Muslim outreach was only stoking antagonism, Münster University decided to douse the flames. Prof. Kalisch was told he could keep his professorship but must stop teaching Islam to future school teachers.


It's not important if the Quran really says he's an apostate. What is important is that a significant minority of Muslims believe this position makes him an apostate - a crime for which there can only be one punishment. This man can live the rest of his life as a Salman Rushdie-like exhile, or he can live freely, like Theo Van Gogh did. Until he was murdered by a Mohammad who really did exist.

This man is a year younger than me. I'll bet he's in far better shape than I am. But I'll bet there isn't an actuary on the planet who thinks he'll live longer than me.

Sign the petition... not that it matters to the jihadis... But maybe they will read it at his funeral and his university and government can be reminded how badly they handled this.

I hope I'm wrong, but experience indicates otherwise.

Toon time

Another fine post, stolen from Theo Spark's place.



Of course the real joke is that Bailout Mania has come with an erstwhile Republican in the White House.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

No more wirehaired dogs, ever!

Apparently owners of dogs with wiry coats must "strip" their dogs' coats. It's a little scary to me that the best time to do this is when the coat is "blowing"... shedding to other dogs.

So here's a wirehaired wiener dog getting stripped... note the 'helpful' smooth haired wiener dog.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Android v. Apple

I'm nearing the end of my contract with my cell provider. I have been fighting the itch for a smart phone for quite some time... But now that itch must be scratched.

The three contenders:

Stay with Big Red and go with the BlackBerry Storm

AT&T and the iPhone.

T-Mobile and the first Android phone, the G1.

I don't have all of the info for pricing on the BB Storm yet, but it appears that VZW's data plan will be very expensive. Verizon has a separate tier for BlackBerry devices... But the deal breaker for the Storm - no Wi-Fi. Stupid decision by Verizon. I can't imagine a smart phone without it. I'll go look at one on launch day, but unless it is orgasmic, it's out of the running.

I don't think there is anything more I can add about the iPhone that hasn't already been blogged by others. But... the system is closed tighter than North Korea. Sure some defectors make it out of the hermit kingdom, but most of the peasants are doomed. Why, oh why, is the battery locked down?

That leaves the Android powered G1. Right now T-Mo's network in my area lacks 3G... but on the other hand Android is open and the data plans appear less expensive than Verizon or AT&T.

I'm spending waaaay tooooo much time thinking/obsessing about this.

UPDATE: I just downloaded the Android SDK... I actually started this update using the SDK phone emulator.

One word: hooked.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Michael Crichton, RIP

At 6 feet, 9 inches tall, Michael Crichton may have been a giant to some people. Even if future AmLit profs don't consider him a literary giant, they will be forced to admit that he was a commercial one. He died on November 4th, from cancer.

Most people know and remember that he was a physician as well as a writer. The long running ER on NBC was his creation. The list of his books and movies is long, may favorites being The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, Disclosure and The Lost World.

Techdirt reminds us that he wrote for Wired magazine. In 1993 he wrote a column based on a speech he had given called Mediasaurus. As you might infer from the title, long before the blogosphere derided the MSM, Chrichton forecasted their demise.

Instead of me regurgitating Techdirt's precis of Chrichton's column, read the bit a Techdirt, than read the man's words from 1993.

But I will rip-off Techdirt's last two paragraphs:

He goes on to decry the way news becomes polarized -- he refers to it as the Crossfire Syndrome -- noting that it uses soundbites and extreme positions to ignore the real issues, and basically does the viewer or reader a disservice. And his premise is that the consumer of media recognizes this and would jump to alternatives. Ten years after he wrote this piece, Jack Shafer checked in with him to get his reaction to the fact that his prediction of the death of such media organizations appeared wrong. Crichton replied that: "I doubt I'm wrong, it's just too early."

And, indeed, earlier this year, Shafer checked back in with Crichton, admitting that many of his predictions did seem to now be on target. One of the statements Crichton made towards the end of that interview should be the mantra for the modern newsroom if it wants to be successful: "I want a news service that tells me what no one knows, but is true nonetheless. That's what I would value." He's not the only one.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Change at change.gov

Vinnie at Ace of Spades points to another cleansing at change.gov... The Agenda.

Here's what it looks like now:



Here's a partial screenshot of what it looked like on Saturday:



And the google cache of the whole thing...

Astute readers will note that the first screen shot is for a generic "Agenda" section, while the second screenshot reflect the 'urbanpolicy' agenda. The generic agenda is all that's left. I tried to navigate directly to http://change.gov/agenda/urbanpolicy, however all I got was a page not available

Why would they put something up, then take it down? Could it be that The One doesn't want the mask to slip before the Inauguration?

The Memory Hole. Not just internet slang anymore... now it's a component of Executive Privilege.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Kristallnact


70 years later, and the night of broken glass has not lost it's power to horrify.

Nearly a hundred people killed, and nearly 30,000 arrested and sent to concentration camps. In one night.

70 years, and the horror of the first Nazi pogrom against the Jews still makes news. Less than two weeks ago, loot was found. In a German dump:



KLANDORF, Germany – Yaron Svoray scrapes caked layers of dirt from a shard of glass, revealing a sunflower at the heart of a Star of David.
He carefully turns it, speculating it may have been a bowl used for Passover ceremonies in pre-World War II German Jewish homes.
The fragment is one of a handful of artifacts Svoray has pulled from mounds of debris in this former dump about an hour north of Berlin that locals say was used by the Nazis to deposit rejected loot from the 1938 pogrom known as Kristallnacht, or "The Night of Broken Glass."


The responsibility for Kristallnacht went all the way to the top:

It had never been in doubt that the Nazi propaganda machine fuelled the Night of Broken Glass but now a German scholar has uncovered strong evidence that on the night of Nov 9 the Fuhrer led Nazis to destroy an important synagogue, deliberately throwing a match into a tinderbox.
On November 7, 1938, Jewish teenager Herschel Grynszpan walked into Germany's embassy in Paris and shot dead diplomat Ernst vom Rath, sparking the Night of Broken Glass, the most ferocious single pogrom of the Nazi era.

....

Angela Hermann, an historian at Munich's Institute for Contemporary History, has decoded a mysterious passage in the diary of Hitler's propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels that had stumped scholars ever since this section of Goebbels' diaries was retrieved from Moscow in 1992.
"We have real evidence now that Hitler pulled the strings, that he personally directed the Kristallnacht," Dr Herman said, using the German name for the notorious night.

....

Goebbels then wrote: "Hitler's Stosstrupp goes out immediately to clean up Munich ... and a synagogue is smashed."

This had historians puzzled, as there was no force known as ''Hitler's Stosstrupp'' in 1938. By digging through Munich archives, Dr Hermann found letters and documents to show that the term referred to the veterans of Hitler's failed attempt to seize power in 1923, known as the Beer Hall Putsch.

These old street fighters remained loyal to Hitler, taking orders from no one else. Dr Hermann found invitations and seating plans for the November 9 Town Hall rally that showed 39 of these old comrades sat at adjacent tables to Hitler. They included Hitler's chief adjutant Julius Schaub and chauffeur Emil Maurice. These were the same 39 men who later hit the streets and destroyed the Ohel Jacob synagogue that night, fanning the flames of an incendiary situation – on direct orders, Dr Hermann concludes, of Hitler himself.


There is a temptation to draw parallels to present times. And there are lessons to be learned as well. For now I'll just say this: never discount the efforts of domestic terrorists. Ever. And never believe them to be rehabilitated.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Change... at change.gov

So The One's pretentious, campaign-ish website change.gov has a section for "America Serves". His plan was originally listed as:

Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.


It now reads:

Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free.


Emphasis mine, for the slow witted.

How's that for change? The college kids go from a hundred hours of no cost to the government indentured servitude to a $4,000 "refundable tax" credit? And when they use the phrase "refundable" in Washington, it means the "tax payer" gets it, even if they paid ZERO taxes. Yes, THAT kind of "refund".

A Brit explains himself

I saw this over at Not a sheep, and had to post it as well... It's not plagiarism if I say where I got it, is it?

So you're a young English reporter... from Birmingham...and you've come to the US to cover campaign for Obama. Where do you go? Well, a swing state like Florida... Miami, to be precise. And when The One wins, you go back to your room and write about it, right? No... you celebrate on the street, then plop down with your drink and start plagiarizing other people's work. Here's a compendium of some of his "work" at the Birmingham Mail. Something tells me we'll need to Wayback machine to read this pretty soon... Telling moments - he refers to the European volunteers as The International Brigade... And if only BO can do what JFK should have done (?) America will be the greatest country on earth...

Part 1:


Part 2:


Hmmm... no wonder why the media all sound the same. Apparently there is only one original writer, all others copy and paste...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Disillusionment... the beginning

So you were a temp. hired by the BO campaign to help GOTV... They said they'd pay you, but now the 'check's in the mail?'

The One thanks you for your service. You may return to your hovels while you await His beneficence...



Actually, I think the campaign, as sort of corporate entity, still legally exists in order to do things, like pay bills...

Heck, they can always apply for a job with BO's new posse... Funny how that change.gov website looks like official website of the Committee to Reelect The One, 2012...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

E Unum Pluribus



That pretty much says it all...

President Obama

The One has been elected. Ironically, it appears Karl Rove has not lost his touch - he called the electoral vote total for BO on the button.

Get used to stuff like this:




Connecticut voters had two questions on the ballot. Question one on holding a constitutional convention appears to have been defeated. The 'no' camp outspent the 'yes' campaign by an 80 to 1 ratio. Question 2 asked if the state constitution should be amended to allow people who are 17 but will be 18 on election day to vote in primaries. Question 2 passed. What does this mean? Are primaries less important than elections, or that 17 year olds should be allowed to vote in the general election?

Finally, the last "Republican" in the House from New England, Christopher Shays, has been defeated. Sic Semper Rinos.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Now I have seen it all

Check out this rinoBamian... the picture is from Havana's International Trade Fair. Thanks to the good folks at Babalu Blog.

Good lord, I hope it's a photo-shopped pic... the angle of his right arm makes me think it MIGHT be a photoshop job.


Their man in Havana?

Traitorous creep. And just what 'good' could come from campaigning for BO in Havana? Ahh, yes, unverified credit card donations...

Rangel on BO

Perhaps one of the creepiest stump speeches this season... Guess who they love? And you'll never, ever, guess who is going to save the entire world...

Hint... they don't think it's John McCain... or Sarah`cuda.

Or Jesus.

Quote from ExurbanLeague

John at ExurbanLeague posted this as his thought of the day:

If someone would have told me on September 11, 2001, that our next president would be named Barack Hussein Obama, I would have assumed we had lost a war or something.


As a congenital Red Sox fan, I think I may actually retroactively remember this quote:

"The sun will rise, the sun will set, and I'll have lunch."
-Former BoSox GM Lou Gorman, on what to do if things don't work out the way you planned.

The truth, from across the sea

Obama in a Nutshell, from Theo Spark


You have to pinch yourself. A Marxist radical, who all his life has been mentored by, sat at the feet of, worshipped with, befriended, endorsed the philosophy of, funded and been in turn funded, politically promoted and supported by a nexus comprising black power, anti-white racists, Jew-haters, revolutionary Marxists, unrepentant former terrorists and Chicago mobsters, is on the verge of becoming President of the United States. And apparently it's considered impolite to say so.

Melanie Phillips Spectator, UK


Why does it take a foreigner to point out the obvious?

And some artwork from Theo's place:




Monday, November 3, 2008

One more day...

Tuesday is it. And I'm certain this graphic I just saw over at Theo Spark's will become popular a popular bumper sticker... It just might take a year or so:


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gonna party like it's 1984

I remember this commercial when it first came out. No, I didn't see it the one time it aired, but I saw the 'reporting' about the ground breaking commercial for weeks afterward. Advertising's first viral video.

Redone for the 2008 Election, it makes more sense than ever:



With thanks to RedState

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lowered expectations...

What starts at $250,000 and drops down to $150,000? The Obama bin Biden line of demarcation between the wealthy and the middle class... At this rate, the line will be $50,000 by inauguration day.

Biden at Mass

Seen at American Papist...

`Nuff said:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phillies!


It appears that Tampa indeed did suck it.

Democracy, every 20 years

I live in Connecticut. Every 20 years our constitution requires the following question on the ballot:

Shall there be a Constitutional Convention to amend or revise the Constitution of the state?

That's it. A simple Yes or No. But it's not so simple. The group leading the charge for Yes wants to bring initiative and referenda to the Land of Steady Habits. The groups opposed say that initiatives and referenda will lead to outside money coming into Connecticut. And to prove it they are bringing in outside money by the bucket load. According to news reports, the "no" folks - as of the end of September - had collected over $800,000... some $300,000 was from the National Education Association. The "yes" folks had raised all of $12,000.

It seems everyone who's afraid of the voters clearing their throats in order to be heard is arrayed against this vote. Take a look at the list of organizations who oppose the question. It runs from the ACLU of Connecticut to the Windsor Democratic town committee. In between there is a slew of unions (including mine) and other groups, including some you've never heard of. "Queers without Borders?" "Liberals Like Christ"? (is that as in "similar to Christ" or as in "we like Ike" like?). The Connecticut Trial Lawyers association is there as well. Just perusing the list would have made me want to vote Yes.

These groups are concerned that initiative and referenda would make Connecticut - one of the bluest of Blue states - a hot bed of conservative nuts. You know, just like California and Massachusetts, two of the 31 other states who have initiative and referenda.So I say vote Yes. Let's have a full up, no kidding Constitutional convention. A convention could be dangerous - anything could find it's way in or out of our current constitution. Scary things like term limits even.

Amazing landing

What to do when aerobatics cause your wing to 'become separated from the fuselage'?

This guy knows!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wizards of Washington

Seen at Theo Spark's place... The Wizards of Washington:



"We're not in Alaska anymore, Toto!"

Writers Block

From ABC's website (!?!) comes a piece by Michael S. Malone (he of the silicon valley writings).

He is now officially ashamed of the media.

But worst of all, for the last couple weeks,I've begun -- for the first time in my adult life -- to be embarrassed to admit what I do for a living. A few days ago, when asked by a new acquaintance what I did for a living, I replied that I was "a writer," because I couldn't bring myself to admit to a stranger that I'm a journalist.


Think about that. Here's the "about the author" bit from the end of this piece at ABC:

Michael S. Malone is one of the nation's best-known technology writers. He has covered Silicon Valley and high-tech for more than 25 years, beginning with the San Jose Mercury News as the nation's first daily high-tech reporter. His articles and editorials have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, the Economist and Fortune, and for two years he was a columnist for The New York Times. He was editor of Forbes ASAP, the world's largest-circulation business-tech magazine, at the height of the dot-com boom. Malone is the author or co-author of a dozen books, notably the best-selling "Virtual Corporation." Malone has also hosted three public television interview series, and most recently co-produced the celebrated PBS miniseries on social entrepreneurs, "The New Heroes." He has been the ABCNews.com "Silicon Insider" columnist since 2000.


Malone may not be the ultimate insider, but he's clearly a card-carrying member of the MSM.

Here is his key point:

No, what I object to (and I think most other Americans do as well) is the lack of equivalent hardball coverage of the other side -- or worse, actively serving as attack dogs for the presidential ticket of Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Joe Biden, D-Del.

If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as president of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography.

That isn't Sen. Obama's fault: His job is to put his best face forward. No, it is the traditional media's fault, for it alone (unlike the alternative media) has had the resources to cover this story properly, and has systematically refused to do so.

Why, for example to quote the lawyer for Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., haven't we seen an interview with Sen. Obama's grad school drug dealer -- when we know all about Mrs. McCain's addiction? Are Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko that hard to interview? All those phony voter registrations that hard to scrutinize? And why are Sen. Biden's endless gaffes almost always covered up, or rationalized, by the traditional media?


While I do hold BO responsible for some of this (see the strong arm tactics against dissenters, Joe the Plumber, etc), Malone hits this one right on the money. There is no way BO would have stood up to a tenth of the scrutiny that McCain, and especially Palin, have endured. Can you imagine the wails from the media if John McCain had simply issued a one page letter from his doctor? But it's OK for The One.

As the saying goes, read the whole thing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dean Barnett, RIP

I have just learned that Dean Barnett has just passed away.

I first read him at his soxblog, then followed him to the big leagues at Hugh Hewitt's blog and then The Weekly Standard.

I loved his writing style. I regret I never heard him - and his Boston accent - on the radio.

"Well done, good and faithful servant!"

All Hail The One

Too good not to post! Seen over at Theo Spark's place:

Phillies up 3 games to 1



It looks like my declaration of Phillies allegiance just might pay off.

And don't look now, but the injury riddled Patriots are 5-2... Up next: The Colts... In Indy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

London, 1904 edition

Incredible. A clip of London from 1904. I saw this over at Powerline. It's from a movie that was made to entice Australians to travel to England. And that would have been no small feat in 1904.

London, 104 years ago, sadly before sound and color (colour?)... but happily before Londonistan:


World Series

So the Tampa Ray Bays (Mike Ditka should copyright that) and the Phillies are tied... and I was still 'conflicted' about who to root for. But a dedicated Red Sox blogger has changed all that for me. Put me in the Phillies camp. Texas Gal is pulling for the Phillies and blows away one of the few reasons I had for tepidly rooting for the Rays.

I could give two shits about whether the AL wins the series - I have no loyalty to any team other than the Sox, much less will I ever feel compelled to root for a team simply because they were arbitrarily placed in the same league and division as my team. Tampa can suck it.


Texas Gal's blog has quickly become one of my favorite Red Sox blogs... It's wicked good. Go visit!

Friday, October 24, 2008

23 October, 1983


The Reagans pay final respect to US Marines from Beirut

I am a day late in observing the 25th anniversary of the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut.

The global war on terror started, in my opinion, when the Iranians occupied our embassy in Tehran. The Iranians continued their war against us - including this attack in 1983. We cut and run. Reagan should have gone after the Hezbos then and there. Instead we reinforced the lessons the terrorists learned when they took our diplomats hostage: Terrorism works, or at least is low risk. The list of subsequent terror attacks in Lebanon and around the world culminated with 9-11.

25 years ago today I was in Air Force basic training at Lackland AFB. I was near the end of basic, and allowed the minor freedom of going to a recreation center for Coke and junk food. Several Marines where there. And a television. And idiot talking heads. I was mad. As I commented elsewhere:

...and for the first time in my life I saw barely contained Righteous Fury. It wouldn't be too long before I really understood the combination of anger (at the attacker and "higher ups") and the twinge of 'survivor guilt' (an unreasonable emotion if you've done your duty, but if you do your duty you're more likely to feel it, in my opinion).

We continue to honor their memory, even as many have forgotten, and would treat with their murderers "without pre-condition".


We cut and run then, and it brought us 18 years of grief. Soon our nation will elect Barack Obama president. You do the math.

McCain Ad

Thanks, Joe!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The lapdog media

Via RedState: Orson Scott Card schools the media in "Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?"

An open letter to the local daily paper — almost every local daily paper in America:

I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor — which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house — along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.


As they say in the blogosphere - RTWT

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Worst Playground Design. Ever.

Who could have possibly thought that an enclosed slide like this would be a good idea? Especially one that's un-circumcised?

From the not so good folks at Fail Blog:

Larceny

Stolen from the Coalition of the Swilling:


Reluctantly

Go Rays...., or something...

Well... I've always been an AL kind of guy. About the only times I've pulled for the NL team has been for the Dodgers (the Kirk Gibson series) and almost anytime the Yankees were in it (but not every time).

The thing is I'd be happy for the Phillies fans if they won it too...

Just when I think I'm reconciled, I come across this: The Top 10 Reasons to Despise the Rays.

Back to indecision...

Update
10/25/2008: With the series tied no one can accuse me of band wagoning. I now declare my support for the Phillies.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's Over



The Rays win it. I haven't decided if I should "rally to the AL cause", or be bitter and embrace the Phillies. I guess I'll have to console my self with the Patriots... oh, wait....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Even at 3

Sox take game 6, 4-2. I should have known... Texas Gal at Center Field reported that during batting practice, Big Papi:

...was taking batting practice, he crushed a ball to deep right-center field, some 430 feet from home plate and deposited a ball into the fish tank with live Rays in it.

He put his arms in the air and screamed "I just killed a Ray."