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Live In New York State?
Thursday, January 29, 2003

The Governor has proposed a serious change to the laws regarding NY state pistol permits. This is a real threat.

In addition to some obnoxious new fees, this bill would cause your permit to expire every five years, and would allow local governments to impose any fee they desire on permit renewals and amendments.

This means that any county judge can simply decline to renew your permit, and it's gone. It also means that the local town government can decide to impose, say, a $1000 fee every time you want to add a new gun to your permit, or when your renewal comes up. Think I'm kidding? This is what they did to the Federal Firearms Licenses (the FFLs), and they did it expressly with the purpose of reducing the number of people who could afford to hold them.

This is a serious back-door gun ban. Get off your ass, right now, and call your representitive in the state senate. If we don't stop it in the senate, it won't be stopped. Remember, the Governor proposed it himself.

Click here, and enter your address down near the bottom of the page; it will tell you who your representive in the state senate is, and what phone number to use to reach them. Call - do not use email! They have the same spam problems we do, and email messages are often discarded unread. Tell them that you are opposed to the part of the Governor's budget that amends Section 400.00 of the Penal Law to impose fees on pistol permits.

Local reps often do listen, and a few dozen phone calls really can change their behavior. Do this now.

Note: Remember, you want to talk to your representive to the state senate, not the federal senate. Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer are not going to help us here!


...but I think Howard Dean came out way ahead last night. The Iowa Caucus was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Coming in third in Iowa was no big deal. We all know that the Iowa Caucus is not a good predictor of eventual victory, it does not closely reflect the opinions of voters in other states, and it does not award a significant number of delegates. If it didn't present such a grand opportunity for the press to hyperventilate, it would remain forever unknown and ignored, and rightly so.

Dean lost only his overconfidence and his sense of privilege; he still retains his strengths. Don't forget that Dean still enjoys considerable popular support nationwide, he still has a skilled and powerful campaign organization, and he is still sitting on a ton of money. The one thing of real value that changed hands last night was the full endorsement of organized labor. With Gephardt gone, Dean is almost certain to pick up what little union support he did not already command.

In my opinion, the big loser last night was Clark, because Clark is going to be in very serious trouble if he is not among the top two in New Hampshire. Last week that was a pretty good bet, but now? Clark faces three serious challengers, not just one, and all the momentum belongs to the other guys. If it turns out that the Iowa voters actually succeed in killing off Clark, Dean will be thanking them in his memoirs.

What about Kerry and Edwards? Kerry was a dead man walking last week, and he's still a dead man now. Today probably marks the high water mark of his campaign. After he finishes out of the top two in New Hampshire, he's gone for good.

Edwards? He's pleasant, photogenic, and hopelessly out of his league. He has his merits, but he's still a political novice who has no business running for a wartime presidency. Neither Kerry or Edwards has any real money, a national organization, or meaningful support from unions, minorities, Hollywood, or the political establishment. They will hit the remaining primaries the way a bug hits the windshield of a speeding car. One or the other of them might squeak out a close second in New Hampshire, displacing Clark and paving the way for a Dean victory. That's about the best either of them can really hope for.

Dean got slapped, not hard enough to really hurt him but plenty hard enough to wake him up. He can't be careless anymore. No more foaming rants, not more conspiracy theories, no more being rude to the press. In about 24 hours a new Dean will emerge - confident, friendly, approachable, serious. That's part of what you can buy with all that money and all those expensive consultants. Dean has the power to remake himself, and he is fortunate that the motivation for this makeover has been so timely. If he had taken the lead in Iowa he'd have remained a prick right into the middle of the race, and by then it might have been too late.

The race belongs to Dean. If he can keep his anger in check, keep his mouth shut, and still appeal to his supporters, he's got it in the bag. If he can't, he'll lose. It's up to him.


Come See How It's Done
Thursday, January 15, 2003

The room falls silent as the Master Craftsman takes the stage. He's among the best of his kind in the world. Today he is about to perform another of his miracles, and we all get to watch.

I don't know this guys name, but I know what he does - he's a top-level political strategist, currently serving the Clark campaign, and today is when he earns his paycheck. I expect a remarkable performance.

You think his job is easy? How would you get your boss out of this one?

Two months ago Democratic hopeful Wesley Clark declared in a debate that he has always been firmly against the current Iraq War. "I've been very consistent... I've been against this war from the beginning," the former general said in Detroit on October 26. "I was against it last summer, I was against it in the fall, I was against it in the winter, I was against it in the spring. And I'm against it now."

Now we learn that just two weeks before congress passed the Iraq Congressional Resolution, Clark testified before the Committee On Armed Services, making a strong case in support of the Iraq war:

"Every president has deployed forces as necessary to take action. He's done so without multilateral support if necessary. He's done so in advance of conflict if necessary. In my experience, I was the commander of the European forces in NATO. When we took action in Kosovo, we did not have United Nations approval to do this and we did so in a way that was designed to preempt Serb ethnic cleansing and regional destabilization there. "

[...] "There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat... Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons... It's been a decade in the making. It needs to be dealt with and the clock is ticking on this."

Read the whole thing. By any rational measure, Clark's political career has just ended, right here. How can you possibly run this guy as an anti-war candidate who opposed unilateral action in Iraq?

I don't know how our Master Craftsman will do it, but I know he will. That's why he's getting paid more this year than most of us will make in our lifetimes.

Watch closely, and you can learn an awful lot.


Here's a link to the original documents. If you take the time to read it, I think you'll agree that Clark was (a) advocating force only as a last resort, but (b) making it quite clear that the use of force within a few months would be necessary if the Saddam regime did not collapse on its own.

THORNBERRY (R-TX): General Clark, it seems to me the crux of the judgments you make is that time is on our side in the near term. I mean that's really a bottom line, and with a calculated risk. You went through the six-month and so you're willing, I guess, to take the risk that time in the short term may not be on our side in exchange for the benefit that comes from having more international support. I guess my bottom line question is, how long would you mess around with that? How long is time on -- what is the near term during which time is on our side?

CLARK: This is a very important question, Congressman, and there's not a black and white answer to it. It depends on our sense of momentum and the progress that we're making. There are two contending forces at work here. One is that the longer we take and the more momentum we build and the greater coalition we build, the greater the likelihood that this Saddam regime and his repression will disintegrate either at the first tap or even before we use force, simply because the will and determination of his subordinates can be eroded, so in that sense, the slower inevitable buildup works against him and works in our favor.

On the other hand, the more certain he is that we're likely to use force against him and seize no alternative, then the more likely it is that he's going to seek a means of deterrence and defense against us. So if he wasn't working with Al Qaida before, if he can find anyone left in Al Qaida to work with, he may well be talking to them right now. He may well be trying to figure out how to use what capabilities he has against us and this will become particularly urgent as we build up forces in the region because as those forces go into the region, then we're going to have to be very aware of the fact that Saddam is somewhat unpredictable and he may well decide to try to strike first against them or someone else.

So it's a tradeoff. It's something that's going to be evaluated on a week-by-week, day-by-day basis by the administration, our military, and political leaders, and I think the only thing you can say right now is that from this perspective, from the information that I have at hand, that the balance comes down on taking the time now in the next days and weeks before the forces get there to try to build the international coalition. The situation may look different in December or January.

If this is opposition to the war, than I'm a goddamn dove.


An early strategy seems to be emerging - simply deny that the transcript says what it says! Most people can't be bothered to read it, and many democrats will be quick to embrace the suggestion that "it's all a Republican trick".

I'll be very interested to see what happens when the other Dem candidates - most likely Dean and Kerry - start using this against Clark as well. Suddenly, the idea that it's all the Republicans fault won't hold water anymore. Perhaps by that time there will be other minor scandals and gaffs to take attention away from this one. In fact, Dean and Kerry might get hurt if they associate themselves with this "Republican lie".

So far, I'd say the master has taught is three lessons:

1) Play for time, even at the risk of setting yourself up for a bigger fall later.
2) People are lazy.
3) Opponents can be effectively silenced if they are painted as Republicans.


The noose seems to be tightening.

(Via IP)


Alex at Marginal Revolution wants your opinion:

President Bush reputedly asked his big-think guys to come up with a new vision to unify and motivate the nation and they came up with ... a moon base? It's so been there, done that. Going to the moon was one of the greatest accomplishments of mankind but I am not inspired by imitation. Are you?

Hence, I issue this challenge to the blogosphere. What's your big-think idea to unify, motivate and inspire the nation?

Now, look... I was seven years old when we took that first giant step. I watched it on TV. I remember stepping outside and looking up at the sky, searching for the astronauts there on the moons surface. (I really could see them, too, but just barely. My eyes were much better then).

I still consider it one of the most beautiful, heroic moments in human history. Put me alone in a room and show me that footage again and there will be tears running down my face. Even now, when I watch that one camera angle - you space freaks know which one - of that huge fucking rocket lifting off, and the big letters painted on the side becoming visible one by one as it rises up...


...I swear I can feel my heart stop cold in my chest. Fellow space enthusiasts, I've been bit by our bug. I understand.

That's why it's so hard for me to say this: that moon base thing is a stupid idea.

I'm no space expert, and Gregg Easterbrook certainly isn't, either, but he sure as shit got right to the point in this post. It ain't gonna happen, guys. Go ahead and give it a read. I'll wait.

So what of Alex's question? What's the right thing to do?

I've got three words for you: Practical Nuclear Fusion.

The technical challenge is certainly there. With a trillion bucks, and fifteen years with a few hundred of our nation's finest minds, we might, just maybe, pull it off. And what do we get for our trouble?

That depends. What's the value of a limitless supply of cheap energy?

Yeah, sure, we'd be free of the Saudis. Big fucking deal. You're still thinking small, kid. With enough energy, you could manufacture just about anything you want, in whatever quantities you'd like. Food? No problem. Houses? Of course. Plenty enough for everyone, everywhere. Heat and light and medicine and books and cars and trains and washing machines and those cool-ass jetpacks you can use to zoom around in the domed city? Sure. Why the hell not?

OK, so I'm overstating the case here, but not by much. Seriously, could you even imagine something that would produce more wealth? Can you imagine anything that would bring more comfort and safety and progress to people everywhere?

The best part is, there would be nobody to say, "Why are you putting another man on the moon when we have hungry children to feed?", because we'd be feeding more children with this project than have ever been fed in the history of the earth. Even the "Don't you know there's a war on?" folks would have to agree - shafting the Saudis would be mega-sweet, wouldn't it? No more petrodollars for you!

Our biggest problem would be coping with the change. Coping with the change of lifting billions of people to a far greater standard of living. Coping with all the new things we could discover and build.

Now that, goddamn it, would be a worthy successor to Apollo. It's not really about standing on the moon. It's about lifting the whole goddamn human race to a whole new level. It's about doing something that people will never forget.

I'd bet we could do it, too.


Well, I just listened to Bush's speech. If I heard it right, the near-term plans are pretty modest. He only wants to increase NASA's budget by about 1.5% - that's $200 million a year, for five years. It's nothing, really.

In exchange, we get to retire the shuttle fleet by the end of the decade, and we get the space station finished. No word on what other programs will be cut.

I'll reserve judgement until I see what missions we'll have to give up. My gut feeling is that replacing the shuttle is a good and necessary move.

I wonder how much of this is being done with the Chinese in mind?


Here's A Thought
Thursday, January 8, 2003

Who do you think Bush will choose to be his running-mate this year?

Dick Cheney, right? Everybody seems to assume he just gets it by default, but I disagree. The more I think about it, the more confident I am that somebody else is going to take his place.

Cheney, no matter what you may think of him, has a single, critical liability - he's simply not going to be a viable candidate in 2008. His health is shot. This is not a man who can be counted on to remain vibrant and active for another 16 years.

As much as we poke fun at vice presidents, there is no better job in the world for the man or woman who seeks the presidency for themselves. Unless Bush fails spectacularly during his next term, his vice president is going to be the leader of the Republican party in 2008, and that person is going to be the presidential nominee.

Right now, that VP slot is the most valuable job in American politics, and, arguably, the most powerful, appointed position in the entire world. Think about that for a minute.

It would be insane to waste that opportunity on a man who can not follow through with it.

I expect a dramatic announcement shortly after the end of the Democratic nomination on July 30th. Just as the Democrats announce their candidate and start to enjoy their post-convention bounce, we'll learn that Dick Cheney has been forced to step aside for health reasons, and that the President must reluctantly choose a new running-mate. The last half of August will be filled with media speculation, and at the convention - scheduled to begin August 30th - we'll finally get to see who it is.

The crowd would go wild, of course, if it turned out to be Condi Rice. Nothing would cripple Hillary's '08 prospects more than running against a competent, black, female, and possibly gay Vice President who'd been in charge of US foreign policy for the last eight years, but I don't think that'll happen. (Why not? I don't Rice wants the job. If she does, she's been playing those cards very close indeed).

I honestly have no idea who else it might be. I'm also really surprised that this hasn't received more attention than it already has.

So, what do you think, folks? Who's going to run with Bush in '04?


Update: How likely is a VP to win the White House after serving with a two-term president?

Francis Porretto at The Palace Of Reason pointed out that "Before George H. W. Bush's victory in 1988, the last Vice-President to be elected directly into the Oval Office was Martin Van Buren in 1836". I had just assumed that VPs who followed two-term presidents would have done pretty well, but really hadn't bothered to check.

So, I fired up google... since 1900, there have been 10 Presidents who have served more than one term: Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, Coolidge, FDR, Truman, Ike, LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton.

Of the first six of these vice presidents, two assumed the presidency; the other four were not even nominated. Number 7 was Richard Nixon, who was nominated and lost, only to later run again and win. Number 8 was Ford, who assumed the presidency, 9 was Bush Sr (nominated and won) and 10, of course, was Al Gore (nominated and lost).

So, I guess it's fair to say that since modern times (the last 50 years) a VP to a two-term president has an excellent shot at the nomination, and at least a fair shot at the presidency. Not as good a shot as I'd imagined, but hey, that's what the internet is for.

Tuesday, January 6, 2003

Fucking Mars! Check it out:

Long view

Close up

Maybe I'm weird, but this just impresses the hell out of me. I've already spent an hour just letting my eyes wander all over these photos.

You know what it's like, when you're swimming in the ocean and you suddenly realise how deep the water is below you? You know how that can kind of freak you out?

I don't know what's spookier - the idea that we might find traces of living things there, or the idea that we won't. What if it's really just a huge, sterile place, utterly empty of life?

That kind of loneliness could almost kill you, if you could really wrap your mind around it.


Odds And Ends
Thursday, January 1, 2003

Well, we made it through another high-profile holiday without anybody blowing anything up around here. The bad guys wanted desperately to fly a 747 right into those crowds. They would have, too, if they could have.

All our guys working so hard in the shadows have done a damn good job, again. Another good year for all of us. Thanks, dudes.

Playing defense is a sucker's game and it will, eventually, catch up to us. Happily, we won't have to play that game forever.

That whole Mad Cow thing was actually pretty good news. Seriously.

After our friends in Britain got nailed by this disease, it became, unavoidably, something that we simply had to deal with. It's not a question of should we have, or not have, this disease in our midst. It's a question of what we were going to do about it.

One of the things we did was to take steps to prevent it; another thing we did was to monitor how well or preventive measures actually worked; a third thing was to make sure we could respond swiftly to any surprises that came down the road.

Our preventive measures worked pretty fucking well. The cow in question was imported from Canada, and was born well before the preventive steps were taken. None of our cows, born since the preventive measures have been in place, have ever turned up sour. Not one.

Our screening worked pretty well, too. We've been running down all the littermates of this sick cow and we have not found any more evidence of disease. It's not like we've had sick cows all over the place and only belatedly discovered the problem. It looks as if we nailed it, first time, right off the bat.

Our response, in my opinion, was admirable. We were open about what we found and we did not hesitate to take several extraordinary steps to instantly contain the problem. Our openness cost us billions of dollars in sales. We did it anyway.

The bottom line? We don't have a Mad Cow problem anymore. Our beef is good, and we've proved it. That's what a properly-functioning food safety system looks like.

There are some who would say that the actual health threat from Mad Cow has been vastly overblown, and that the billions in lost sales were the result of a foolish overreaction. These folks are undoubtedly correct. However, we don't get to decide how reasonably other people are going to respond to this news. Whether the threat of illness is real or not is irrelevant. The reaction of the world market is real, and that money is going to be lost for years if this problem is not contained. Perhaps this was just an exercise in managing hysteria, but if hysteria is going to be a real problem, then managing it is serious business.

We did a really good job here. I think it's a damn shame that these folks aren't getting the credit they deserve.

Here's a thought for the political junkies in the room. Imagine that you were hired by the Republicans, and asked to come up with a credible scenario for a Bush loss in '04. What's the highest-risk outcome you can imagine?

Something involving Dean? Gephardt? Clark or Kerry? Hard to put that one together, isn't it? Sure, any of these guys can run a decent race, but none of them is really a major threat.

In my opinion, there is one scenario, however unlikely, that could really do it. If Dean falters and none of the candidates gets the required number of delegates, a Clinton draft is not only likely, it's almost a sure thing. I can easily imagine how it would gather incredible momentum once it started to happen. It's be exciting as hell, and Hillary might well step up to the plate if she thought the votes were really there.

Sure, her best shot would be in 08, everybody knows that. Everybody also knows that four years is a long time, too, and nobody walks away from a good shot at the White House when it falls into their lap.

Imagine that race. First woman president. Democrats screaming themselves hoarse, money pouring in. Hillary the Hawk, with her wise and resolute game face on, offers herself as a sane alternative for protecting America's future, with the promise of eight more years of Clintonian prosperity and renewed multilateral fellowship. Blacks loved her husband and would turn out in record numbers. New York and California would instantly be in the bag, allowing her to focus all her resources on a handful of swing states. Florida would become a national battle ground.

That'd a be a real fight, wouldn't it?

Look again at the alternatives: Dean. Gephardt. Clark. Kerry. If you wanted Bush out, which option would you be praying for now?

The only thing necessary to make this all happen is for Dean to fall on his ass, and that seems a little more likely every day.

You probably heard about that punk congressman who advised people to stay home on New Year's Eve. It's too dangerous, he said, because of all the terrorists.

He's half right. It is dangerous.

I wish I could have been present when he'd said it. In a loud, polite, and reasoned voice, I'd have asked, "For how long, sir?"

For how long should we cower? How long should we be afraid?

The danger really is there. We certainly need to look out for ourselves, and we need to support the people we've hired to look out for us. We'll undoubtedly need to live our lives under this threat, this year and the next, and the year after that, perhaps for many years and through many setbacks. Even if a setback means a huge explosion in Times Square.

We'll manage, of course, the way good people always have; by doing whatever the hell we want, whenever we want to do it. Cowering is for cowards and failed congressmen. It's for those who are about to lose the fight.

There are only two responses to intimidation - surrender, or defiance. These are not momentary decisions anymore. They are lifestyle choices, and we are going to be living with them for a long time.

Happily, the people on my side get laid a lot more often. If there is any justice in the world, our little congressman will be learning that lesson himself.


Feces Flinging Monkey

What They Left Behind

Museum curator visits 100-year-old psychiatric ward, finds long-forgotten stash of 200 suitcases, abandoned or lost by their former owners - the patients.

Fascinating stuff.

That's One Hell Of A Camera

Not the one that took this picture - I'm refering to the one that's ten times better.

600 kilometers is about 370 miles.

(Via MO)

Libyan Nuke Materials Being Destroyed

...by US personnel. In the US!

A U.S plane filled with Libyan nuclear components landed this morning at a U.S. facility in Knoxville, Tennessee, for destruction, a senior administration official said.

"It is chock full of nuclear materials," the official said. "They let us take out some extraordinary stuff."

I'm sorry the Libyans ever had "extraordinary stuff" but I'm glad it's finally found a good home.

Bush deserves real credit for this. This was a looming disaster, nipped nicely in the bud.

The Dem Debates

1) Clark is finished. Furthermore, you will never see another candidate photographed with Michael Moore.

2) Edwards is finished, too - he's just Not Ready For Prime Time. He might be somebody's VP before this is over, though.

3) Dean, as I said before, will win this if he pulls his shit together, but he did not have it together last night. He looked like he'd had too much cough syrup.

4) Kerry now leads by default. He's a waffle. He'd fall to the first strong challenge, but absent that challenge, he'll just have to wait for Bush to crush him instead.

5) Best moment: Peter Jennings twisting the knife into Al Sharpton. Monetary policy and the Federal Reserve? Wassat?

Oh, My Achin' Ass

I can't imagine what it would be like, living with something like this.

Fun Site Of The Day

I've wasted an embarrassing amount of time this morning swatting a penguin with a baseball bat.

What are you waiting for?

Excellent Site Of The Week

The folks over at 2 Blowhards are always interesting; people who are so friendly and curious about the world, and who are, you know, six or seven times smarter than I am, pretty much can't help but be interesting. I'm not always a fan of every post, but when they get on a topic that I enjoy they are always a wonderful read.

This week they embarked on a real adventure - they picked up their blowguns, darted a well-spoken conservative, took him hostage and interviewed him within an inch of his life. How else to discover what the conservative viewpoint was really about?

Check it out: Part I, Part II.

I'll be honest and tell you that a good fraction of it went right over my head, but I understood enough to make it worth the effort.

I can now say, with more confidence than ever, that I'm really not a conservative myself. We may agree on a few important issues politically, but my heart belongs to a more Classical Liberal / Dynamist point of view. But hey, and least now I understand why.

Churchill's Parrot Still Alive


Churchill himself taught the bird a few choice phrases, too...


Might be a hoax...

(Via IT)

I've Always Wanted A .416

...but could never really justify having an elephant rifle around.

Until now.

Thought You Had A Rough Day

Remind me never to fuck with an Apache helocopter. It's just not going to end well.

I've seen a lot of people bitching about this video, because we it shows us killing an enemy who is down and apparently wounded. While it is not OK to fire on someone who has surrendered, there is no reason to hold your fire just because your enemy is down on the ground.

These are soldiers, not police officers. They are supposed to kill people.

The reader who sent me this had a good idea - this video should be published on Al-Jazera, as a warning.

Dirty Bombs In Baghdad?

Maybe. Read this scary post and decide for yourself.


Here's a thought - do our soldiers in Iraq currently keep their personal chemical protective gear close at hand? My guess is that they have not been doing this lately.

If we start seeing photos of GIs with gas mask bags over their shoulders, then we'll know that somebody is taking this seriously...


Moon Base Update

Well, I just listened to Bush's speech. If I heard it right, the near-term plans are pretty modest. He only wants to increase NASA's budget by about 1.5% - that's $200 million a year, for five years. It's nothing, really.

In exchange, we get to retire the shuttle fleet by the end of the decade, and we get the space station finished. No word on what other programs will be cut.

I'll reserve judgement until I see what missions we'll have to give up. My gut feeling is that replacing the shuttle is a good and necessary move.

I wonder how much of this is being done with the Chinese in mind?

Get Off Of My Lawn!

More news to make you feel old:

Kodak to stop selling traditional cameras

Hell, when I was your age, cameras had film in them - and we were grateful!


This is a pretty remarkable interview: Survival Of The Fittest: An interview with Benny Morris (mirrored here).

At the bottom of the first page, it gets very interesting indeed.

I'm not offering this because I necessarily agree or disagree with this guy, but because I admire his honestly and frankness, and because honest and frankness have been very hard to find whenever the topic turns to Israel. Once you put aside the pretty language, you can't talk about the Middle East without talking about this stuff, even if it does make the little hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

I know I'm going to regret this, but I'm going to open a comment thread on this one. Please, take the time to actually read the interview before you comment, OK?


Personally, I'll offer the same position I've offered all along - I'm no great fan of Israel, and I'm certainly no Zionist, but I'll always prefer Israel to another Islamic dictatorship. The rest of it, in my opinion, is just talk.

Be Sure To Send Him A Card

He was never a handsome man

Asshat over here kills his ex mother-in-law, his ex father-in-law, his ex sister-in-law, and strangles his own 10-month old baby girl to death in her crib. He then kidnaps his two remaining daughters and his stepdaughter and leaves.

Then he calls his ex-wife and tells her that he's going to kill the girls, too.

The police hustle like hell and find him hours later, stop his car and free the children unharmed. Asshat puts a gun to his head and fires his final shot.

He fucked it up! He blew a nice chunk of his face off, but he's still alive. Poor baby!

Sometimes even I suspect there might be a god out there, after all.

I'm In The Wrong Line Of Work

Suppose you had nothing to do all day long but sell cigarettes to people; not out of a store-front, but face-to-face, a carton at a time. Your task could be made somewhat easier by all the repeat business you could do, of course...

How many could you sell? You figure you could manage 10 cartons a day? That's only about one per hour, right?

Well, I know a place where that kind of ambition could earn you $100,000 per year. Tax-free. With weekends and holidays off.

They could nip this in the bud, right now, by just dropping those taxes. They won't, of course, but they could.

Watching these folks in action is like watching a slow motion train wreck, isn't it?

Thought You Had A Bad Day?

You know, one of those days when everything went wrong? You have no idea...

By All Means, Tell Them

The Dean campaign wants your opinion. I think you ought to give it to them:

Between now and the day that George Bush delivers his message to Congress, tell George Bush the truth about what he's done to the state of our nation.

They promise that

The hopes, dreams, and realities of the American people -- the true state of our union -- will be published online together here.

Fair enough. Here's what I submitted:

"I think George Bush has done a hell of a good job. The economy is back on track, the war in Iraq has projected American power deep into the heart of Islamic extremism, and he has freed millions from the appalling brutality of their former rulers."

I'd be fun if they got a few thousand comments like that, don't you think? Perhaps they will be fair, and post your comments truthfully along with everyone elses; perhaps they will be crap-weasels and silence everyone who disagrees with them. Either way, the truth will come out.


I must confess a Tom-Daschle-like sadness and disappointment. They only put the anti-Bush messages up! I guess the "true" state of the union only includes democrats.

After all, it's their country, the rest of us just live in it.

It Might Seem Quiet...

...but there seems to be a lot going on.

A few days ago, British Airways Flight 216 from Heathrow was held from three hours at Dulles Airport in Washington, DC. Later, BA Flight 0222 from Dulles to Heathrow was cancelled, and on Friday Flight 223 from Heathrow to Dulles was cancelled. The Scottish press describes the cancellation as a response to a "Real and Definite Threat".

Just now, they cancelled Flight 263 to Riyadh.

Meanwhile, the US Coast Guard abruptly shut down the Valdez oil terminal on Tuesday night, ordered three tankers to leave the area, and kept the facility closed all day Wednesday.

Call me paranoid, but it looks like something's up.

Hey, Osama!

I got your New Year right here.


-- not safe for work --


And you thought you had a bad day:

Not white, either...
Man Lives as 'Black' for 50 Years - Then Finds Out He's Probably Not

This is really interesting, on a lot of different levels. My call?

This guy seems like a decent sort. A lot of people would freak out over something like this.

The article dances around the question of affirmative action for his college-age daughter, Kenya. Does she receive it now? Will she continue to get it? We have no idea.

Anybody who treats this man any differently now is a punk. Any law that changes how his daughter is treated is a disgrace.

None Shall Provoke Me With Impunity


Day By Day, by Chris Muir. Used with permission.

Day By Day, by Chris Muir

Cox And Forkum, Used with permission.

Achewood, by Chris Onstad. Used with permission.

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