Tuesday, July 27, 2004

This just in...

Ted Kennedy is not drunk yet...

Friday, July 23, 2004

But wait! There's more!

If you like Taylor Gifts, you'll also like As Seen On TV.com...

Mom's gonna kill me.

Tuna Turner Redux...

I obviously did not make myself clear. I loved the Tuna Turner. I miss the Tuna Turner. In fact, I googled "Tuna Turner" trying to find one online, but the only correct reference was to a recap of a David Letterman show where Dave presented Tina Turner with a Tuna Turner.

I only wish I could find a Tuna Turner now.

And, for the record, the only fish I have ever caught in my life was with a Popeil Pocket Fisherman.

Further on "This product doesn't quite sell itself"

Oh wow!!  I just checked out Taylor Gifts.  It is a virtual goldmine.  If I try, I can almost hear a pitchman with an Australian accent reading the items on the page.  I want every one of them.  Oh, thank you David, for opening this new world to me.  Your mother will undoubtedly have some other choice words of thanks for you when she next speaks to you.

Response to :"This product doesn't quite sell itself"

Unfortunately, my "brilliant, handsome, debonair and man-about-town real estate attorney" son (and his equally modest mother) wouldn't recognize a wonderful buy if it rose up, whistled the Hallelujah Chorus, and bit him on his nose.  The Tuna Turner was a wondeful work-saving invention.  It could not core a apple, but it could mix all of the elements of a tuna salad into a marvelous melange without the backbreaking necessity of using a fork.  It was a great gadget (and it only cost $2.00 at Oddjob).  For years, I have suffered in silence at the neverending japes aimed by David and his mother at my purchase of the Tuna Turner.  However, no more will I stand quietly by while they poke fun at my attempts to ease the burden of kitchen drudgery.  This is it!!  The Tuna Turner will be defended from now on!
Does anyone want to buy a slightly used Ronco fishing rod?

This product doesn't quite sell itself.

I love infomercial-type stuff. The cheesier the better. My father once bought something called a "Tuna Turner" which did away with the old-style workaday mixing of tunafish salad with a fork in a bowl in place of the new technology of a lucite bowl with a spinner in the top of it that controlled the specially coated and placed agitators (patent pending) creating the optimal tunafish salad emulsion. It was great.

I am routinely on the lookout for a Handy Housewife Helper, especially if it can core a apple.

Anyway, the Internet is a great place to look for this stuff, and one of the places I look is Taylor Gifts. I was perusing the offerings, and I noticed Liquid Leather. Unfortunately, the Before and After pictures aren't really that impressive...

A Necessary Break

Need to laugh and take a break from the craziness of times we live in?  Check out this video that was made spoofing Kerry and Bush.  Enough for everyone to laugh at.  When you get to the website, click on the "Watch Film" button on the left.  It takes a bit to load, but absolutely worth it.  And you might want to close your door before you run it.....



Thursday, July 22, 2004

An alternate history

I was referred to an older TNR column by Frank Easterbrook today called "An Alternative History."

Interesting points he makes, especially this one:

Bush justified his attack on Afghanistan, and the detention of 19 men of Arab descent who had entered the country legally, on grounds of intelligence reports suggesting an imminent, devastating attack on the United States. But no such attack ever occurred, leading to widespread ridicule of Bush's claims. Speaking before a special commission created by Congress to investigate Bush's anti-terrorism actions, former national security adviser Rice shocked and horrified listeners when she admitted, "We had no actionable warnings of any specific threat, just good reason to believe something really bad was about to happen."

[Listening to: Rock Lobster - The B-52's - Time Capsule (4:54)]

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Presbyterian Church -- Precisely not what Jesus would do.

Evidently the General Assembly of the Presbysterian Church (USA) has called for divestment from Israel and has called Israel an apartheid state.

Sigh. I find it incredibly difficult to believe that Jesus would really be behind a criticism of Israel for trying to, you know, exist.

So does Dennis Prager.

His column today explicates the moral bankruptcy of some of those purporting to speak from religious belief.

It takes a particularly virulent strain of moral idiocy and meanness to single out Israel, not Arafat's Palestinian Authority, or terror-supporting, death-fatwa-issuing Iran, or women-subjugating Saudi Arabia, for condemnation and economic ruin. One of the most decent societies, one of the most liberal democracies in the world, is fighting for its life against Islamic fascists who praise the Holocaust and publicly call for the annihilation of Israel -- and the Presbyterian Church calls for strangling Israel!

Apartheid state? This Goebbels-like Big Lie, concocted by the world's anti-Israel and anti-American Left and by those who want Israel destroyed, is now an official doctrine of the Presbyterian Church. Israel is a nation whose population is one-quarter non-Jewish Arab, with the same rights, including voting and its own political parties, as Jewish citizens; a nation whose second official language is Arabic, the language of those who wish to annihilate the Jewish country; a nation that occupies a tiny sliver of land known as the West Bank only because Jordan, overwhelmingly composed of Palestinians, invaded Israel in 1967 in order to destroy it and thereby lost its ownership of the West Bank.
. . . .

This is one of the morality-clarifying issues of our time. To single out Israel for economic strangulation while that good nation fights for its life is an act of such immorality that holding that view precludes one from the title "good" or "God-fearing," for if they are true to God, I am false to Him. If they are good, I who support Israel am bad. If their Bible teaches them to strangle Israel and support Yasser Arafat, I am guided by a different Bible.

They have drawn a line. It is now time for good people, Presbyterians specifically, Christians generally, to distance themselves vigorously and publicly from this morally sick church. And it is time, once again, for Jews to realize that the enemies of the Jews in our day are to be found on the Christian Left while their friends are far more often on the Christian Right.

Many serious Christians ask, "What Would Jesus Do?" If Jesus were here, he would probably be at Israeli hospitals comforting fellow Jews who were deliberately blinded, paralyzed and brain-damaged by Jew- and Christian-hating Palestinian terrorists. He would surely not be with the Jews' enemies, among whom are now the leaders of the Presbyterian Church, USA.

Read the whole thing.
[Listening to: Rockin' In The Free World - Neil Young - Freedom (4:40)]

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Jim Lileks fisks Michael Moore

Wow. Not that the blogosphere hasn't been critical of Michael Moore, but Jim Lileks kicks the ever-loving crap out of him, fisking Moore's July 4 LA Times op-ed, noting a glib falsehood in Moore's tear-jerking soliloquoy about "nine boys from [his] school [coming] back home in boxes" from Vietnam. (Whoops! Only six Vietnam casualties from his home town, only four of them could have been high school classmates, one of whom died of a heart attack.)

Lileks also notes, in response to Moore's rhetorical question, "Are you proud that 40 million adult Americans are functional illiterates?":

This is addressed in “Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man.” As the authors note: the survey to which Moore refers also says (quoting MMIABFSWM) “in the next paragraph, [the survey] goes on to note that 25 percent of those people who scored in the lowest literacy category were immigrants who have learned little or no English. And in classic Moore fashion, he also fails to disclose that nearly 19 percent of the group he includes in the uneducated masses are actually people who have ‘visual difficulties that affect their ability to read print.’”

The authors also note that when it comes to the highest level of literacy skills, “the US figure is 21.1 percent, compared to 16.6 percent in the UK and only 13.4 percent in Germany.” I’m sure there are those who find calamity in those numbers, too, some sort of gap in the distribution of literacy skills. The rich get wordier while the poor are unable to afford the new, longer words, and have to make do with hand-me-down single-syllable slang.

Read the whole thing. It's terrific.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Terrible songs redux...

So I'm in Au Bon Pain this morning getting my morning iced coffee (not to be confused with my mid-morning iced coffee, noon iced coffee, early afternoon iced coffee, evening iced coffee or late supper iced coffee) and on the sound system, which normally plays Ella Fitzgerald, they are playing Volare, a song so terrible I had forgotten its very existence.

I don't mean that I had forgotten its name or the basic tune, I had forgotten that the song ever existed. Clearly it was a defense mechanism, because I now can't get the damn thing out of my head and am considering electroshock therapy. In the meantime, as you can see below, I'm trying to push it out with liberal doses of R.E.M. Any further therapeutic suggestions would be much appreciated.

[Listening to: Radio Free Europe - R.E.M. - The Best Of R.E.M.: The IRS Years (4:05)]

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Timing is Everything

I am not one to take USAToday seriously. Other than sports, I find it more amusing than informative. Nonetheless, I see it everywhere when I travel (I mean EVERYWHERE,...hotels, airports, etc.) so if anything else, I realize its headlines get 'read' by many. It's with that in mind that I noticed today's headline while walking in the street: "Foreign detainees are few in Iraq." In reading the byline, I found the following:
"Data suggest administration has overstated role of jihadists in the insurgency."

That piqued my interest. On line, I read the following in the article:
"Suspected foreign fighters account for less than 2% of the 5,700 captives being held as security threats in Iraq, a strong indication that Iraqis are largely responsible for the stubborn insurgency."

Now, I understand the logic being employed here, but I thought that was a remarkable conclusion. Is the relationship that USAToday is suggesting truly linear? Maybe I am a statistical idiot, but I really couldn't see what the correlation was between the number of foreign detainees is with the number of foreign fighters without knowing a hell of a lot of other information. Are the tactics of locals and foreigners the same, thereby rendering probability of capture equivalent? What are the methods of the US military in capturing potential terrorists and do they apply equally to foreigners and Iraqis? What are the methods of foreigners?; do they employ locals to do their bidding? Etc. I just found that a remarkable NEWS story; I can see that as an opinion piece, given that the conclusions are remarkably speculative. But as news? Then again, should I even be remotely surprised these days? No...just doing what I can to point out idiocy and bias; or just bad journalism.

But, timing is everything. On the same day that USAToday publishes its piece, I see this from Reuters (not the most pro-Bush publication you will find...):
"Video Shows Foreign Fighters in Major Iraq Attacks"

The article goes on to read:
"Foreign Muslim militants from across the Arab world have appeared in a chilling video tape which claimed they carried out some of the bloodiest bombings in Iraq since the war ended.
The tape obtained by Time magazine and given to Reuters Television shows young men enraged by the U.S. occupation of Iraq saying farewell to their loved ones before climbing into vehicles and blowing themselves up in operations across Iraq.

The U.S. military and senior Iraqi officials have said for months that foreign fighters have played a major role in bombings and shootings that have killed thousands of people and destabilized the country.

But they have produced little tangible evidence. Muslim militant groups have previously claimed responsibility for attacks on Web Sites which are impossible to verify.

In the video, Muslim militants in headdresses clutching rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 assault rifles stand in the desert late at night as one of their ranks engages in what appears to be a pre-suicide bombing ritual.

He reads a statement telling his father, mother, brother and loved ones that he will miss them after he performs his duty to wage holy war.

Abu Harith al-Dosari, whose accent sounded Saudi, then climbs up into a large fuel truck and points to a electric cord that he will use to detonate a large bomb.

Footage then shows him driving to Baghdad's Kathimiya bridge, where the truck explodes into huge balls of fire.

The video shows several young Muslim militants uttering their final words before carrying out major operations such as last year's massive truck bomb attack on United Nations headquarters in Baghdad that killed 22 people.

It was the worst attack on a U.N. civilian complex in the organization's history.

Read the whole thing. Very scary stuff. So, now we have concrete proof of this. But do you think this will appear in USAToday? Will there be a 'correction?' What bothers me is that I know that USAToday will get distributed widely. But will the Reuters report(that was provided by information given by TIME...I guess TIME didn't think it was worth publishing themselves?) get a fraction of the distribution? I only caught it because it happened to be on one site I tend to look at. If there are no repurcusions for this kind of reporting, what will make it stop?

Allah Strikes Again

Allahpundit, one of my favorites, is back. He has had some outstanding things lately, but this one had me laughing out loud. In case the reference isn't clear, it is a doctored image debunking an ad that 'graced' the back of The Nation: a 'cartoon' of Bush eating a child. It is a take-off of a Goya painting, with Bush's head superimposed. And it is remarkable similar to an 'acclaimed' cartoon that ran a year ago of Sharon eating a Palestinian child. See LGF for comparison of all three pictures. Yes, it is horrendous and somewhat unbelieveable that this stuff gets out there in mainstream publications and is found not only acceptable but commendable by many.

Anyway, Allah strikes back. And does so noting that in the bizzare world that we live in, there is no such thing as fair play.

I'm glad he's back.