Monday, July 31, 2006

The Dark and Stormy Night Happened Thursday

I couldn't sleep very well last night because of a dream I was having. My wife woke me up because of my tossing and turning and asked what the matter was. I told her my dream.
I woke up in the middle of the night because I heard strange noises. Not the same kind of strange noises our goofy dogs make, but different ... faint screaming noises.

I looked over to you. You apparently couldn't hear a thing over your snoring ... sorry. Anyway, you were sound asleep. I quietly got out of bed, opened and closed the door softly and walked into the living room. Max and Molly were nowhere to be seen.

I went into the bathroom, where Max usually sleeps (by the ac duct). He wasn't there either. I softly called to them and heard both of them shuffle into the living room from the kitchen. Both were whimpering softly, which if you know our dogs, is quite a feat. Neither is normally able to speak at anything less than the decibel level of a jet taking off from Mitchell Field.

I patted their heads and walked to the kitchen. I saw that there was a light coming up from the basement. Hmmm, I thought. I know I turned the light off earlier. I listened at the top of the stairs, and heard a chorus of squeaks. It sounded like Ian's gerbils.

You know how two of the five gerbils will get into a little tussle and some complaints will be heard. But the noise was nothing like that. I walked downstairs, turned the corner and peered into the gerbil cages.

The gerbils were thrashing about, not fighting, on their woodchip floor. I took off the cover and reached in to grab one to see what the matter was and it bit me. I looked closer and I saw the reason why ....

Each gerbil had a black “W” branded on its back.

“Oh my god, " I said to myself. "What happened here?”

I looked around and saw nobody, but I noticed that a light was peeking under the door to the laundry room. Leaving the wounded gerbils for a moment, I reached over and grabbed my 4-wood from the golf bag sitting behind the bar, walked to the door and slowly opened it.

I heard some noise ... some grunting. I peeked around the door and over on the other side of the room I saw four shadows thrown up against the wall.

"Who are you?" I asked.

The four figures turned around. They were hideous. They had sloping foreheads, a prominent ridge above their eyebrows and they were very hairy. They looked like what I would suppose neandertals would look like. The scariest thing was each had a "W" seared into their foreheads.

I took a step toward them. I don't know why. I'm really not that brave, especially with just a 4-wood ... now if I had grabbed my 3-iron ....

Anyway, they turned and somehow found a way up the wall and out what I had thought were locked basement windows. In fact, when I ran to the windows, I found they were locked.

I was baffled by their escape, why they were in my basement and why my son's gerbils were branded. I was also baffled by the bags of
George W. Bush Quick-Grow Grass Seeds ... Just What Every Liberal Home Owner Needs.

"Where the hell did these come from?" I looked closer at the bags ... three were empty ... and read more of the print:
Just plant the day before a heat wave and the grass will grow like magic. Watch in amusement as the liberal has to cut the grass in 95 degree heat.

"Ok. This is very strange."
I walked back upstairs and went back into the bedroom. At this point, you woke me up.

"How did the seeds get there," Kelly asked.

“I don't know. It's funny, though. Just the other day … I’m probably just getting paranoid, I thought I saw one of the local conservative bloggers, his name is Clint, drive by in a truck with a big W painted on its side.”

“Did he have a chubby face with a beard?”


As my wife gets out of bed and walks to the windows to open them, she says, “I saw him too. He drove by the meat market across the street a few times. Some guy in a white coat was out there too. He looked like a scientist."

"I can't imagine why a scientist and a conservative would be seen together ... a meat market? That’s weird. There's no meat market across the street."

“Uh. There is now. And, by the way, I think you need to cut the grass again.”

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Give it a Rest

This has been an interesting couple of days. I wrote a post about this blockhead driver who kicked up some stones and dust around Muslim friends of mine, and speculated about his conservatism because he had a “W” sticker. I called him vulgar. I equated him with comments made by Jessica McBride. And suddenly, my cup runneth over in the form of comments from the right side of the blogosphere.

These comments range from the direct response of one a bit brighter than the others (dad29), to one who comments before reading the entire post and consequently is somewhat disingenuous in his response (Clint), then to Michael J. Cheaney who asks whether he can be equated with the aforementioned Jessica McBride (I guess so), and finally the inimitable Chris … nuff said there.

So, I guess my speculation hit a nerve.

It’s never nice to have your inner workings revealed. My personal feeling is each and every one of the responders should probably look deep inside and see whether their protestations may not be masking some deeper illness.

I looked deep down myself and decided that I could really care less. You see, after years of taking it on the chin and listening to these clowns hee haw up and down the street about liberals, I don’t feel like apologizing. Not a one of my posts in which I exaggerate (yes, I admit it, I am exaggerating) the vileness of conservatives do I ever make any violent threats of any kind. But this type of “humor” is apparently just all right (emphasis on right).

Anyway, I have dinner to make and a lovely wife to feed and so, to my responders, you are boring. Cry your crocodile tears, take two aspirin and get some sleep. I’ll be back tomorrow with some more for you.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Incautious Driving

Our street, Fiebrantz Drive, is currently under re-construction. They are raising the road four inches and it is a few days short of being paved. Orange cones stand guard everywhere over raised manholes, which has turned our drive into a motocross zone. Consequently, as my wife Kelly, our two young children, the goofy dogs and I were taking a walk earlier tonight, we were very cautious about cars driving by and hoping the drivers were cautious too.

I heard something behind us, turned, and saw a blue SUV-type vehicle making its way toward us. It slowed down and carefully drove around. We moved over to the side for good measure. No problem there. A good neighbor! It was moving so slowly I noticed the "W 2004" sticker on its back bumper. Hmmm. Even conservatives, I thought humorously to myself, have good manners.

I looked up and saw our neighbors, Aysha, Amir and their four-year and one-year old sons about a quarter mile ahead. They are from Pakistan, are Muslim, and are our very good friends.

I watched as the SUV approached them, suddenly sped up, kicked up a cloud of dust, and whipped around an orange cone near the family. I saw Amir look at the passing SUV.

When we met by our driveways, I asked what had happened. Amir acknowledged that the car had sped up for no reason. It did frighten his little ones somewhat, but no one was the worse for wear.

I know exactly why the driver of the SUV sped up. He a racist thug who thinks that every Muslim is better dead and anyone who doesn't agree is a traitor to his country. His attitude is no different from that of Jessica McBride, or any of the other neocon thugs who travel the blogosphere, or make their homes on Fox News and spout their banalities to the nodding sheep in their audience.

One local blogger brags about a friend of his who recently got married. He brags that his friend is so brave because he says stuff this local blogger only dreams of saying. I linked over to that site. The person is a vulgar bully. Every other word is a cuss word and his brave actions include paving over the Middle East, and killing liberal traitors simply because they disagree with his twisted ideas about America.

I am not indicting conservatives. There are many thoughtful ones out there. But the ugly ones ... not much difference between their actions and those of Fred Phelps, in my opinion.

I'm so tired of them.

Carlos Lee Trade Unsatisfactory

A good write up at ESPN by Keith Law regarding the Milwaukee Brewers’ trade of Carlos Lee to Texas. He says ...

… The Brewers' haul is more quantity than quality. The club now has an option on Francisco Cordero for 2007 at $5 million, and could install him as their closer for the next year and a half, pushing the ineffectively wild Derrick Turnbow out of that role and perhaps into middle relief or on to another club. Cordero lost his job as Texas' closer with a rough April, but has pitched very well as the set-up man to Akinori Otsuka (who blew the save on Wednesday against the Yanks). Cordero is a free agent after 2007.

Mench has good raw power, but his results in the games haven't been good. His practical power isn't enough for a corner outfielder, and he's hit for more power at Ameriquest Field (generally a good park for home runs) than on the road. He's also never shown any ability to get on base. On the plus side, he has very good range in a corner outfield spot and is fringe-average in center. He's under Milwaukee's control through the end of 2008. Laynce Nix is an excellent defensive center fielder who can't hit a lick, and Julian Cordero is a 21-year-old lefty with a hard, sinking fastball and no idea what he's doing on the mound.

Read the entire article here (if you have Insider access).

I have to agree. It seems to me the Brewers are using mirrors if they say this is a good deal. I think GM Doug Melvin panicked. Melvin says the Brewers have not given up on this year and the acquisition of players who can play now proves that. I don’t agree. Especially when we give up our top-rated outfielder, Nelson Cruz, in the trade. Heck, the Rangers think so highly of him he’s starting in right field tonight.

And now we've added a $5M closer. I don’t know what other teams were offering. It seems that with two days to go before the deadline, the Brewers could have waited, played a few contenders off against the other and come away with something better.

Melvin has been good so far, so I guess he deserves the benefit of the doubt. But if this deal was made purely to sugarcoat losing Lee and give the impression the Brewers are still hopeful this year, then they failed miserably.

It would have been better to acknowledge this year was done, and get quality instead of quantity.

Right-Wing Nonsense

It really is pathetic that some righties have the audacity to claim they are god-fearing Christians and then call for the flattening of a section of the Middle East and turning it into a parking lot.

And for the clueless righties out there, that statement does not mean a love for or support of the terrorists. It merely states that issuers of statements like the one above are thugs … as thuggish as the terrorists they claim to so despise.

Conservative Hate Speech

Does anyone honestly think that conservative hate speakers such as Ann Coulter, Michele Malkin, Glenn Beck, Neil Boortz , Rush Limbaugh, etc. have nothing to do with the increase in threats made to federal judges? Or is it just a wild coincidence?
WASHINGTON - Threats against federal judges are on a record-setting pace this year, nearly 18 months after the family of a federal judge was killed in Chicago.

… Threats and inappropriate communications have quadrupled over 10 years ago. There were 201 reported such incidents in the 1996 government spending year and 943 in the year that ended Sept. 30, the Marshals Service said.

... Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed in February that she and former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor were threatened a year ago by someone who called on the Internet for the immediate “patriotic” killing of the justices.

Read the entire article.

George the Magician

by Stephanie McMillan

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

In Support of Bryan Kennedy

An Evening with Senator Russ Feingold in support of Bryan Kennedy’s Campaign for Congress.

When: August 9th, 6pm-9:30pm
Where: BARROW & JUAREZ Gallery
207 E. Buffalo Street – Suite 14 – Lower Level
Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee

Suggested donation: $50 – all donations graciously accepted!

For more information, please contact Bridget Dooley at (414) 431-3693 or
Bryan is a democratic candidate running against Jim Sensenbrenner in Wisconsin's fifth district.

Duh # 2,346

"I think -- tide turning -- see, as I remember --I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of -- it's easy to see a tide turn -- did I say those words?"

-- George W. Bush

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Two Sides to Every Story

Your heart just has to break to see these Shiite children in Lebanon smiling and writing “messages” on the rockets that soon will devastate Israeli homes. What kind of sick society produces little girls who exult in the infliction of pain against people they’ve never met?

And look at the woman in the background, presumably their mother—clearly she approves! Sadly, until the Arabs let go of their culture of incitement and rage, I’m afraid there’s no concession Israel can ever make that will bring peace with these people.

Oops. Sorry. Faster than Jessica McBride nodding her head in agreement at the previous statement, let me just say that these were not Arab children. They were Israeli children.

It's sad, really, that any child, from any culture, be introduced to this kind of sadism. Kids should be allowed to be kids. There are too many who have had to grow up way too fast. And, unfortunately, some not given that opportunity at all.

h/t Jonathon Schwarz (the piece in italics is his)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Virgins With Guns

A true story.

In the war against terrorism, right-wing bloggers soon determined they needed their version of heavenly virgin(s) to incite their followers to fight harder. They thought and thought. Fred Phelps' women-folk were rejected. Shrill harpies with no chance for some action.

Ann Coulter was considered. But she's a man so that wouldn't work.

Michele Malkin was considered, too. But exiting this world to escape the mind-numbing screeching of their current partners was half the reason they were considering this course of action. Why ask for more trouble.

So they thought harder. Blood began oozing from ears everywhere on the right side of the cheaddarsphere.

Finally, these ideas were formed.

1) They must be virgins.
2) We like guns.

Heaven has been determined. Right-wing bloggers will soon be leaping, armageddon-like, into the spiritual realm to reap their reward for knuckleheadedness. See below ...

Thanks to my friends at The Original Above the Border Line (Chris' favorite blog).

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I Drink, I Fall Down, I Get Up ... No Problem

Nothing to add to this. It speaks for itself.

--by William Rivers Pitt

George W. Bush is a good man, word has it. He's plain-spoken, they say. A regular fella. A good guy to have a beer with, except he supposedly doesn't drink anymore.

I wish, more than anything, that he were drinking. I wish he were drinking all the time. I wish, oh how I wish, that he were stand-up-fall-down-ralphing-down-his-shirt loaded every minute of every day. It would be a comfort, simply because it would explain a great many things.

Having a drunk for a president is, after all, a fixable situation. Put him to bed at Camp David for a few weeks and surround him with Secret Service agents. Let his body clean itself out. Problem solved, and really, would anyone actually notice his absence?

I don't believe Bush has gotten off the sauce, if truth be told. I know more than a few boozers who, like George, periodically show up with odd wounds on their faces they got from falling over or running into walls. The injuries that appear on George's mien from time to time can perhaps be explained away - maybe Dick Cheney is stalking the halls with a shotgun loaded with rock salt and blasting anyone, even the boss, who gets in his way - but if "George still drinks" were up on the big board at the MGM Grand sports book, I'd take the bet no matter what the oddsmakers had to say.

Having a drunk for a president is manageable. Having a stone bozo for a president, on the other hand, is a calamity of global proportions.

Let's take a walk through the last few days. George winged off to Russia for trade talks at the G-8 summit, and managed in the course of 100 hours to embarrass himself and our entire country. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is smarter than Bush by several orders of magnitude, insulted George in front of the international press corps with a tight quip about "democracy" in Iraq. No trade deal got done. The whole thing was a humiliating waste of time, captured best by all the photos of Bush and Putin together. In each and every one of them, Putin is looking at George with an expression that somehow conveyed disgust, disdain and awe simultaneously.

Putin's disgust and disdain are easily understood - the poor guy was trapped in a room with our knucklehead president for hours, after all - but the awe requires notice. What, Putin must have thought, is this fool doing running a country?

After that came the much-noted open-mike gaffe, during which George dropped an s-bomb while discussing the Middle East crisis with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The cussing doesn't trouble me - those who know say that John F. Kennedy swore like a sailor whenever he talked shop - but the rest of the scene was like something out of a high school cafeteria. Bush sat there, talking with what looked like seventeen doughnuts stuffed into his gob, while poor Tony tried to discuss matters of life and death.

You have to listen to the audio to get a full grasp of what transpired. It wasn't just the dialogue. It was the tone in Blair's voice. He sounded for all the world like a teacher attempting to explain something to an exceptionally dull student. His tone suggested infinite patience and a touch of true sadness, as if he could not quite believe he was speaking this way to an American president.

"It takes him eight hours to fly home," said George at one point during the open-mike massacre. "Eight hours. Russia's big and so is China." He was, presumably, speaking to someone about Chinese President Hu Jintao's travel requirements, but really now. Huffington Post writer Cenk Uygur captured the unbelievable vapidity of the discourse.

"Russia's big and so is China?" exclaimed Uygur. "This guys sounds like a third grader. Do you know anyone who would have a conversation like this with their neighbor, let alone a business associate, let alone a world leader? Who's proud to know that Russia is big and so is China? If someone is this ignorant, they're usually embarrassed and try not to talk much. But this guy is so dumb he has no idea how dumb he is. This sounds like a conversation you might have with a child, a mentally challenged child. Johnny, do you know how big Russia is? How about China? This would all be unfortunate if George were your dentist, or worse yet, your accountant. But he is the leader of the free world. This man makes life or death decisions every day. If you say you're not scared about that, you're lying."

Then came the pig-roast thing. Newsday described it best: "As Israeli warplanes were preparing an attack on Lebanon Thursday afternoon, and a Lebanese militia was aiming a rocket at the ancient Israeli city of Safed, President George W. Bush was bantering with reporters in Germany about a pig. Bush kept bringing up the roast wild boar he was about to dine on at a banquet that night, even when asked about the swelling crisis in the Middle East, where pig meat is forbidden to religious Jews and Muslims. 'Does it concern you that the Beirut airport has been bombed?' a reporter asked. 'And do you see a risk of triggering a wider war?' 'I thought you were going to ask me about the pig,' Bush replied blithely. Then he brought the pig up again - for the fifth time - before giving a long answer that ended with his saying Israel needed to protect itself."

After this came the moment when George tried to give German Chancellor Angela Merkel a back massage while she was speaking to someone at the summit table. He sidled up behind her and just started rubbing. Merkel's reaction was instantaneous and dramatic: she flinched, flailed her arms up and basically waved the president of the United States away from her. Her reaction would have been no different if Bush had dropped a live catfish down the back of her shirt.

What's next? Will George go to the United Nations, sit on Kofi Annan's head, and fart like some bratty brother tormenting a sibling? Will the cameras catch him playing penny hockey during Middle East peace negotiations? You can't say it'll never happen. It reminds me of the scene from "Caddyshack" where the golfers are hiding in the bushes and betting on whether the Smails kid picks his nose. It is not too farfetched a concept to believe that the other G-8 leaders were doing something very similar while watching Bush.

There were, by my count, no less than twenty different moments in the last few days where George brought shame and disgrace upon this country. He did not do this by being too tough, or too soft, or too strident. He did this simply by being himself. His head is an echo chamber where very stupid bats roost. He has the intellect of a bag of rocks. Maybe it's impolite to say this, but it has to be said.

And yeah, Mr. Uygur, it is really, really scary. I wish the man were a drunk. I'd sleep better, and so would the world.

Friday, July 21, 2006

One more thing before I go out to enjoy the day. This from Molly Ivins regarding SCOTUS (Supreme Comic of the United States).

AUSTIN, Texas -- Never let it never be said our president does not provide laughs, even as we wobble on the rim of war in the Middle East.

Comedy Relief

One more thing before I go out to enjoy the day. This from Molly Ivins regarding SCOTUS (Supreme Comic of the United States).
AUSTIN, Texas -- Never let it never be said our president does not provide laughs, even as we wobble on the rim of war in the Middle East.

Look what a good time Vladimir Putin had with him. Bush, responding to questions from the international press corps on his conversation with Putin the previous evening, said, "I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world like Iraq, where there is a free press and free religion, and I told him that a lot of people in our country, you know, would
hope that Russia would do the same thing."

Putin, with a fairly straight face, replied, "We certainly would not like to have the same of kind of democracy they have in Iraq, I'll tell you that quite honestly." Don't you hate it when the international press corps laughs at what a stoop Bush is? Bush, who fancies himself something of a fast-reply artist, said, "Just wait." Heh, heh.

The rest is hilarious.

What isn't so funny is that Bush represents our country. Can't wait for 2008.

Missing Link

This from Associated Press:

BERLIN - U.S. and German scientists on Thursday launched a two-year project to decipher the genetic code of the Neanderthal, a feat they hope will help deepen understanding of how modern humans' brains evolved.

Previous studies have “… suggested that Neanderthals and humans split from a common ancestor a half-million years ago.” And some have concluded, based on that evidence, that Neanderthals were an evolutionary dead end.

However, other scientists now believe that Neanderthals may not have died off. With the decoding of the Neanderthal genome, scientists hope to determine why evolution seemed to take a step backward with the mutation of the modern conservative.

Bloggers Everywhere

Meanwhile, here’s a link to a great article by Jack Shafer over at Slate. He asks the question: “Who Are All These Bloggers? And What Do They Want?” Shafer notes that 57 million Americans now claim to blog. That’s incredible.

I have 200+ links to other sites that I mean to install on mine, just haven’t gotten around to it (I like to collect links). Anyway, I hope the two or three readers of my site will find the article interesting.

No More Intimidation

A little over a week ago, I had a short blog conversation with my erstwhile friend dad29. He was responding to my post titled “Payback,” in which I bemoaned the classless actions of conservative bloggers who published names and other personal information of their liberal foes and suggested that a little visit might be in order. To be succinct: Intimidation tactics.

Dad29 responded by stating that Jim McGuigan of Milwaukee Watchdog had once published dad’s personal information … apparently in response to a comment that he made. Knowing dad29 all too briefly, I’m guessing the comment was dark and poisonous (well, maybe not but the line sounded good). Nonetheless, I agreed that if this was indeed true (I see no reason to disbelieve dad29, he does not appear to be as thuggish as some of his mates) then McGuigan had crossed the line.

Dad29 then provided a link to an article that reported on some purported intimidation tactics by a gay group called KnowThyNeighbor in Massachusetts. Apparently, this group published the names and zip codes of people who had signed petitions for the right’s latest gimmick, a protection of marriage amendment. One person who signed was confronted and called a “bigot” while others reported being called “breeders.” Both sides of this issue are now engaging in discussions about “hate speech” and the townspeople are discussing how to live peacefully with each other.

The point is that emotions are running high. While it was not illegal for KnowThyNeighbor to publish the names and addresses (the petitions are public record), it is deplorable that people be confronted in such a disrespectful manner, though I think dad29 would be hard pressed to find this sort of intimidation tactic used by leftys.

In the end it is not acceptable for anyone to put anyone at risk, just because you don’t like what they have to say.

Don’t shoot, dad.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The March of the Mindless Automatons

Inspired by Jessica McBride, thousands of like-minded and self-professed Christian women have declared their intent to follow their fearless leader where bloggers have not gone before. Determined to mangle sentence structure; defy grammar; refuse to read books, but comment on them nonetheless; malign other peoples’ faiths; imply reverse racism where there is none; refuse to separate fact from fiction, ignore the strictures of journalism and provide humorous fodder for liberals everywhere, these women have formed their own army … the Jessica Brigade of Mindless Automatons. Beware, the hair brigade is looking for you.

H/t to Xoff and Brew City Brawler, and special acknowledgement to Tom Tomorrow.

PS: Ever notice that profession of one's Christian faith seems to give these people leave to say the most un-Christian things?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Baby News

This from my lovely wife, the beautiful Ms. Kelly ...

We had a baby appointment on Friday and listened to the baby's heart beat. It definitely sounded like a galloping horse! Is that a sign of things to come? Still a fast heart beat at over 150. All else is fine. I'm a lot less tired, not sick at all, and not big yet, though my waistline is definitely gone.

I now think we're having a girl. Tim (just to argue with me) says it's a boy. We will make the appointment soon to find out. It'll be part of the genetic testing done in August. We still have to decide just how many tests we want done. We continue to weigh the risks of the tests against the value of the information they could provide.

Ian and Abby are having a great summer. My friend Draga took us out on their new pontoon boat last weekend. Even the new baby, Elijah, came with us and husband Steve, with his broken leg (don't ask!). Eli is 2 months old now and a very good baby. We had a lot of fun. I thought Ian might never come back on board the boat once he got in the water. Draga even let him drive - he was thrilled!

Ian had 4 weeks of individual cello lessons this summer. It was with a different instructor than during the school year and he really liked him. And he's now taking 4 weeks of a summer math class. Apparently (from Tim's account), his math teach is "very cute". That should help keep him motivated. And he never tires of playing with Evan across the street. They are best buddies.

Abby and I were out shopping yesterday and she picked out her first toy for the baby. She was very excited! She's been playing with Rayan (the little boy next door) and Alex (Evan's sister) all summer. If she doesn't play with a friend during the day, she gets very sad. She loves using Rayan's scooter and bike with training wheels (maybe it's time we get her one of those?!?!). Alex slept over for the first time this weekend. They played make-up and watched movies and giggled and giggled and giggled... I didn't even know what they were giggling about and I started giggling!

The addition will start soon. The contract is signed, the loan is closed and the building permit will be ready next week (if we actually are able to make the final decision about tile or fiberglass for the shower!). So many decisions yet to be made and so many choices yet to be seen.

Tim continues to do most of the work around here. He doesn't let me climb on ladders or stools or lift heavy things. Although he does like it when I cook occasionally. He's busy today with the photo show from Larchfest and the 50th birthday bash. It's going to turn out great!

The dogs... somehow we have to get Max settled down before the baby comes. Even though I'm not big yet, I have a hard time controlling both of them by myself when we meet another dog on our walks. Tim and I have been doing a lot more dog walking together. I wonder how it will work when we add a stroller (and baby!) to the mix.

I still can't believe we're going to have a baby this winter. And I can't believe my little sister is probably going to get married before the baby gets here. That and the addition seem like a lot to have happen in the next 6 months!

Oh, and the latest girl name is 'Megan'. 'Connor' has come up most recent as a boy's name. We're still taking ideas.

Hope all is well with you and yours. Please pass along our hellos and hugs to your families.

Kelly, Tim, Ian, Abby, Molly, Max and Baby Rock

Note to Jessica McBride: Rayan's parents are Muslim. I guess you wouldn't let your kids play with them, would you.

No Energy for Blogging

Too busy and too hot to blog today. Tomorrow, maybe.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Ignoring the Tears

This is priceless from Shana at From Behind the Cheddar Curtain. Regarding Indians and their “sovereignty” she says:

That “sovereignty” as you call it has caused more harm than good. Most of the people on the reservations are in horrible condition, often drunk and poor, living off of government checks. Those that have been ambitious enough to leave the reservations have done well for themselves, living mostly like the rest of us. Not perfect, but far better off than those living on the reservations. It probably wouldn’t hurt to take away some of that “sovereignty” and convince them to support themselves. They’d be far better off.
Unbelievable. This from a self-professed Christian. Do you think, Shana, that their ancestors for just one minute wouldn’t have preferred to give up that “sovereignty” and to have lived as they had on their own lands? Instead, forced to accept patches of land in return for peace (and the promise not to kill them off), they lived in a fashion totally foreign to what they were accustomed to, with no means for fending for themselves (do you think industry just miraculously popped up around them), and denigrated and hated by the surrounding whites.

You and many of your conservative brethren think it so easy for someone to just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make themselves into something more like you. You, Shana, do not have the weight of centuries of abuse on your shoulders. You do not see the hate in other people’s eyes.

Shana, did you ever hear of or read about the “Trail of Tears?” Here is an example of Indians endeavoring to be more like us and what happened to them for their efforts.
The Cherokees in 1828 were not nomadic savages. In fact, they had assimilated many European-style customs, including the wearing of gowns by Cherokee women. They built roads, schools and churches, had a system of representational government, and were farmers and cattle ranchers. A Cherokee alphabet, the “Talking Leaves” was perfected by Sequoyah.

In 1830 the Congress of the United States passed the "Indian Removal Act." Although many
Americans were against the act, most notably Tennessee Congressman Davy Crockett, it passed anyway. President Jackson quickly signed the bill into law. The Cherokees attempted to fight removal legally by challenging the removal laws in the Supreme Court and by establishing an independent Cherokee Nation. At first the court seemed to rule against the Indians. In Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, the Court refused to hear a case extending Georgia's laws on the Cherokee because they did not represent a sovereign nation. In 1832, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee on the same issue in Worcester v. Georgia. In this case Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Cherokee Nation was sovereign [emphasis mine], making the removal laws invalid. The Cherokee would have to agree to removal in a treaty. The treaty then would have to be ratified by the Senate.

By 1835 the Cherokee were divided and despondent. Most supported Principal Chief John Ross, who fought the encroachment of whites starting with the 1832 land lottery. However, a minority(less than 500 out of 17,000 Cherokee in North Georgia) followed Major Ridge, his son John, and Elias Boudinot, who advocated removal. The Treaty of New Echota, signed by Ridge and
members of the Treaty Party in 1835, gave Jackson the legal document he needed to remove the First Americans. Ratification of the treaty by the United States Senate sealed the fate of the Cherokee. Among the few who spoke out against the ratification were Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, but it passed by a single vote. In 1838 the United States began the removal to Oklahoma, fulfilling a promise the government made to Georgia in 1802. Ordered to move on the Cherokee, General John Wool resigned his command in protest, delaying the action. His replacement, General Winfield Scott, arrived at New Echota on May 17, 1838 with 7000 men. Early that summer General Scott and the United States Army began the invasion of the Cherokee Nation.

In one of the saddest episodes of our brief history, men, women, and children were taken from their land, herded into makeshift forts with minimal facilities and food, and then forced to march a thousand miles (Some made part of the trip by boat in equally horrible conditions). Under the generally indifferent army commanders, human losses for the first groups of Cherokee removed were extremely high. John Ross made an urgent appeal to Scott, requesting that the general let his people lead the tribe west. General Scott agreed. Ross organized the Cherokee into smaller groups and let them move separately through the wilderness so they could forage for food. Although the parties under Ross left in early fall and arrived in Oklahoma during the brutal winter of 1838-39, he significantly reduced the loss of life among his people. About 4,000 Cherokee died as a result of the removal. The route they traversed and the journey itself became known as "The Trail of Tears" or, as a direct translation from Cherokee, "The Trail Where They Cried" ("Nunna daul Tsuny").
It is said that President Andrew Jackson met with leaders of the Cherokee Nation. They did not plead or beg, but asked that he reconsider. His answer was “Endeavor to persevere.”

Shana, by one estimate, almost 15,000,000 Native American Indians were killed during the years white America occupied their lands. It's a fairly significant price don't you think?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

Wow. Lots of action over here. Like the debate and appreciate dad29 (I've said some harsh things, but hey he's got pretty thick skin ... and so do I, bring it on), Clint and Billiam joining the fray.

However, more important things to do. Just got back from baby doctor visit with the lovely Mrs. Rock. The little one's heart is strong and racing like a horse. Too small for a run at Belmont.

Everything continues to go well. Mrs. Rock is beaming.

Kids coming over for a sleepover tonight. Gotta go to clean up the basement and buy the prerequisite junk food (pizza, soda and ice cream). It's just for one night so why not indulge them a little, especially at the ages of five and six.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wisconsin: Second Most in Danger

Oh my, Jessica McBride has been right all along.

The National Asset Database was released Tuesday and little old Wisconsin is number two on the list by Homeland Security. Yes, Wisconsin has been identified to have more than twice the number of terrorist targets as the most populous state in the Union, California. The state that comes in first? Why, Indiana of course. Read on:

It reads like a tally of terrorist targets that a child might have written: Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, the Mule Day Parade, the Sweetwater Flea Market and an unspecified “Beach at End of a Street.

... In addition to the petting zoo, in Woodville, Ala., and the Mule Day Parade in Columbia, Tenn., the auditors questioned many entries, including “Nix’s Check Cashing,” “Mall at Sears,” “Ice Cream Parlor,” “Tackle Shop,” “Donut Shop,” “Anti-Cruelty Society” and “Bean Fest.” Even people connected to some of those businesses or events are baffled at their inclusion as possible terrorist targets.

“Seems like someone has gone overboard,” said Larry Buss, who helps organize the Apple and Pork Festival in Clinton, Ill. “Their time could be spent better doing other things, like providing security for the country.”

Angela McNabb, manager of the Sweetwater Flea Market, which is 50 miles from Knoxville, Tenn., said: “I don’t know where they get their information. We are talking about a flea market here.”
Anyway, someone let Jessica know. Please.

In the meanwhile, I have a suggestion to make us more secure. Perhaps our conservative blogger brethren (and Jessica) could line up along the borders with those terrorist havens of Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan. You know, like the wall F.(at) James is recommending along the southern border of the U.S.

We then can drive by and wave, secure in the fact that conservatives have got our back.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Proud Sister's Kiddies Take the Field

by Kate Rock

The evening of Tuesday, July 11, 2006 in Bay View, Wisconsin at the now infamous Lewis Field played host to the much anticipated baseball game, where the two Rock boys would play a game of baseball against each other.

My 9 year old son, Kiefer Rock, catcher, first basemen and pitcher for the 9/10 year old Nationals team, and also -- because of a player shortage -- center fielder for the 11/12 year old Padres team, has become a very productive hitter. My youngest son, Keaton Rock, 7 years old, pitcher, catcher, and third baseman for the 7/8 year old Bats, and newly acquired right fielder for the 9/10 year old Marlins, is also hitting the ball like a pro. Keaton has a solo home run this season with the Bats.

A couple of weeks ago, I learned that the Marlins needed a ball player. Gus, who is Keaton’s coach on the Bats, and the manager of the entire Bay View Area Redcats baseball program thought that Keaton would be ready to play with the older ball players in the 9/10 division. Gus asked what I thought about Keaton helping out the Marlins. I was concerned, but agreed with Gus that Keaton was a good ball player with a swift swing. Not to mention a great throwing arm. Afterwards, I joked with the boys that they may soon be playing against each other. The stage is set…

I worried all day long at work that the rain and thunderstorms predicted would cancel the big game. It was sprinkling as I picked up the boys at daycare. No messages left from any coaches that the games were cancelled on the answering machine at home.

The boys and I arrived at Lewis Field for the Bats/Timber Rattlers game, the first game of the double header. Kiefer and I played catch while we waited for the rest of the Bats team to arrive. The entire Timber Rattlers team were already to play. Unfortunately, only 4 Bats arrived. The coaches decided it would be just a practice game. Keaton was the starting pitcher for the Bats. Uncle Kevin arrived just before the practice game began and Keaton's mentors, Lynn and Greg (mentors through Big Brothers and Big Sisters) arrived around 6:45 p.m. and planned to stay for the much hyped Nationals/Marlins game which was to begin at the opposite field at 7:30 p.m.

Since the Bats/Timber Rattlers practice game started late, they were still playing when 7:30 p.m. rolled around. Across the field you could see the players assembling for the Nationals/Marlins game. One of the Marlin players ran onto the Bats field and asked Gus if Keaton could come to the other field and begin playing for the Marlins right away, because they were one player short. Gus told the Marlin player no. I believe this was the right decision, because Keaton has a commitment to the Bats team.

After the Bats/Timber Rattlers practice game was over, I quickly helped Keaton get his Marlin's shirt on (He asked me to put the blanket around him for privacy). I walked over to the other field and Keaton ran over to the Marlin bench. I looked over and I noticed that Kiefer was pitching. Kiefer has only pitched a couple of games for the Nationals and he was hoping to pitch tonight. His coach had promised Kiefer that he would be pitching again. I got to see Kiefer strike out a batter, which was their third out. I later learned that Kiefer had walked a couple batters, but no runs were scored.

Now the Nationals were up to bat for the first time. It started raining lightly about this time, and I was glad I brought the rain ponchos. When Kiefer was up to bat, he hit a double and two runs were scored. I believe that three runs were scored by the Nationals in that inning. The next inning Kiefer is pitching again and, who should come up to bat second, but my little Keaton guy. Keaton has a grin a mile long, and we are all cheering madly for him. The coaches on Kiefer's team finally realize that Kiefer is pitching to his little brother. Lots of buzzing in the stands and on the benches about the two Rock brothers playing against each other…someone quick call ESPN.

I don't recall the count, but the third pitch Kiefer throws it inside and hits Keaton in the shin and he starts hopping and tears start to flow. The coaches rush to Keaton’s side. Aunt Lisa who had arrived shortly after me with her daughter Kara and Kara’s friend Raoul, yelled out jokingly to Kiefer that he was grounded. Kiefer kinda grins in his own nervous way, and finally at our urging, checks on Keaton. Keaton says he is okay, and wipes his tears and trots off to first base.

The next batter is up and Keaton steals second, and on the following pitch steals third. He is a little antsy on third, I can tell he wants to steal home. He is not allowed to steal with his 7/8 year old Bats team. Kiefer throws a pitch and the catcher misses it and it rolls behind the catcher. I yell to Keaton to steal home, not thinking that there are two outs. He runs with all his might and has a perfect slide, but the catcher had picked up the ball quickly and throws the ball to Kiefer, who tags his little brother, and the ump calls Keaton out. (I realized right then I was wrong and I should not have urged Keaton to steal home.)

Now the Nationals are up to bat again and their own Damian Miller (who has met the Brewer's player of the same name) has a solo home run and the score is 4-1. The Marlins are able to get out of the inning without another run being scored. The Marlins are up to bat and now Damian is pitching for the Nationals. Several Marlins were walked and now the bases are loaded with two outs. Keaton gets up to bat, he hits several foul balls and it is a full count. Keaton has only been walked in his three games playing for the Marlins. I know that he can hit the ball, and he is anxious to get his first hit. Keaton’s coach tells him to hold the bat higher, so that he will swing the bat faster, and Keaton does as he is told. The pitch comes in and Keaton hits the ball and it bounces between first and second base and it rolls into the outfield. Keaton is safe at first base.

Kiefer is now playing first base and Keaton just smiles at Kiefer. Kiefer turns and looks at him and sticks out his tongue. Two more runs are scored and the game is tied 4-4. Keaton however, was stranded at third base when the third out was made. I contained myself this time and did not yell for Keaton to steal home.

The Nationals, being the home team, have the last at bat. Kiefer is the first batter. I discussed with family and friends around me that Kiefer generally hits the ball to left field. Kevin said that he has a hunch that Kiefer will hit it to his little brother in right field. One of Keaton's coaches tells Keaton to back up.

The first pitch is low and Kiefer swings and misses. The second pitch is high and Kiefer again swings and misses. The third pitch comes in and Kiefer hits a rocket out to right field over Keaton's head. Kiefer is running around the bases and we are enthusiastically cheering for him to go home. Keaton throws it to his cut off man, who then throws it home, but Kiefer is safe. It is Kiefer’s first official home run of the season and the Nationals win it 5-4. Their fourth straight win of the season.

It was an exciting game for the two Rock brothers and I will never forget it. Kiefer received his team's game ball, his second game ball of the season. Keaton was so happy that he got his first hit playing with the 9-10 year olds. There was no indication in Keaton’s demeanor that his team had lost.

With Friends Like These

Bob Dohnut, er, Dohnal, is a funny guy. Here is what he had to say about Glenn Grothman's decision not to run against Herb Kohl (spelling errors corrected).
There is nothing like an indecisive leader.

I like Glenn personally …

Glenn has a fabulous intellect, but can’t seem to figure out how to add 2 and 2.

Another wing-nut who is full of himself, and not very bright to boot.


Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional law attorney and chief blogger at Unclaimed Territory, paints a frightening picture of right-wing bloggers gone berserk. In similar fashion to local blogger Peter DiGaudio of Texas Hold’em Blogger (who thought it appropriate to publish e-mail addresses of people that he disagreed with), these whackos:

… find the home address and telephone number of the latest enemy and then publish it on the Internet, accompanied by impassioned condemnations of that person as a Grave Enemy, a race traitor, someone who threatens all that is good in the world. A handful of the most extremist pro-life groups have used the same tactic. It has happened in the past that those who were the target of these sorts of demonization campaigns that included publication of their home address were attacked and even killed.

There is no law against this sort of thuggish behavior. One hopes that local bloggers will condemn DiGaudio and these others who threaten the lives of people for no reason more than payback.

More Syd Barrett

Here's a link to an excellent obit written about the recently deceased, Syd Barrett.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My Tree of Liberty is Alive and Well

Master Metaphorist, Owen Robinson at Boots and Sabers, is at it again. And this time he seems to be advocating revolution. His latest column in the West Bend News is titled “The Withering Tree of Liberty,” and he waxes poetic about the demise of everything he believes in (because he and his group of true believers cannot convince others to vote en masse in similar fashion). Well, here’s some of what he says …

I can’t recall a good rebellion for the cause of liberty in any of the great Western democracies in the past century or more. I don’t mean a trifling riot here or there that telegraphs a healthy love of liberty. I mean a true insurrection with all of the blood and mayhem that such a societal upheaval entails.

We have not seen a 1688 or a 1776 or a 1793 in a great while. This void of revolutionary vigor in the historical timeline exists despite the fact that it could be easily argued and substantiated that the citizens of these democracies enjoy less liberty than they did in the age of Bossuetian Divine Rule.

In the United States, we have seen a steady erosion of liberty over the past several decades. For example, oppressive government restrictions on political activity, politely referred to as "campaign finance reform," have become the norm.

The government restricts how much and how often you or I can give money to a political candidate whom we support.

This is a bit disengenuous. Bi-partisan campaign reform was rammed through, but against the wishes of the most ardently conservative Republicans (like Robinson). Its major provisions had to do mostly with accountability, but they also were a brake on the big corporations who have in the past tried to buy elections and legislation.

It is now against federal law for a group of us to get together and run advertisements against an elected official within 60 days of an election. Wisconsin Right to Life went to the Supreme Court when they were forbidden from running a television ad that mentioned Sen. Feingold, and lost.

The regulations on why, how, when and what we say during political debates shows that we have abdicated any pretense of freedom when it comes to political speech.

Well, we agree here (somewhat, though I wouldn't go so far to say we've abdicated any pretense of freedom, that's really a bit extreme) and surprise, the ACLU does too.

The level of taxation in our nation would have brought the serfs of medieval Europe to revolt, yet we endure it - nay, we rejoice in it and christen it "progress."

Huh? For a moment there I saw a Shakespearean actor reciting his lines, hand raised to the firmament. A Dohnal moment (ask me another time).

Taxation consumes about 30 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in America today. In Europe, that percentage hovers nearer to 50 percent. As recently as 1900, taxation in America only comprised about 10 percent of the GDP. Even 10 percent would have been intolerable for our colonial forefathers, who rebelled when they paid less than 5 percent.

Although taxation is a necessary evil which is collectively paid to protect our individual liberty, every dollar spent in excess of what is necessary for the protection of liberty leads to a reduction of liberty because each dollar is one less dollar that you or I, who earned that dollar, can spend for our own necessities or niceties.
I won't even speak about how misleading it is to compare taxation levels 100, 150 and 200 years ago. Currently though, the United States spends more on military than the next nine nations combined plus an additional $100 billion. Since, other than China and Japan, those other nations are European, just who the hell are we defending our liberty against. In fact, the government spends almost seven times more on defense than education. But, according to Robinson and his crew, all in opposition to public education, that would be fine. An uneducated population is less likely to care.

And who is going to pay for the upkeep of roads, hospitals, schools, etc.? Guess what, these were all necessary evils to which the public in majority fashion agreed. Robinson can spin it any way he wants, but it’s true.

If taxes are deemed too high, the remedy is the ballot box. But therein lies the rub, the public does not agree with Robinson … hence the end around effort called TABOR in which the public was left out of the process. IT STILL failed.

He continues …

No tyrant is as powerful or as unmerciful as the one who is elected.

And yet, that redoubt of democracy, Winston Churchill, laid naked the truth: no matter how repressive a representative government becomes, mankind has not yet devised a better system with which to govern ourselves.

It seems that our tree of liberty is withering without the blood of patriots.

This is ridiculous drivel from a man who thinks he is the second coming of Thomas Payne. The fact is that in everything Robinson dislikes he sees the evil machinations of government. If his conservatives ran the government, however, Robinson would gleefully goosestep in time to the martial music he so admires. Their disdain for the voting public is spectacular.

If words such as these were spouted from the pen of a liberal writer, Robinson and his ilk would loudly proclaim treason. But when one of their own drips poison from his pen, he gets a round of “well dones.”

Actually, one can’t help but feel a twinge of sympathy for Robinson. He and his followers have managed to fool some of the populace through the use of loathsome gimmicks like gay marriage. But the real problem is that Robinson and his group haven’t convinced enough people. Somehow, it reminds me of Vladimir Lenin in exile. One then cannot but be just a little worried over these sentences …

But there is a tipping point where a representative government loses its legitimacy and insurrection threatens. It is the point at which the people no longer feel that elections are credible enough to legitimately embody the will of the people. It is the point at which fraud, corruption, suppression, incumbency, gerrymandering and ignorance overwhelm the true will of the people and elect a counterfeit government. At that point, the will of the people no longer rules and the seeds of revolution are rightfully sown.

Is Robinson waiting for the Germans to help him and his followers to power, brought to Washington or wherever by shielded carriage?

Actually the truth is that the revolution is occurring already and the fraud, corruption, suppression, gerrymandering and ignorance of the Republican party, and of Robinson and his followers, has already sown the seeds. He rightly fears that.

We Had Lots of Paperclips

Having signed the closing papers yesterday for the second floor addition to our home, I can't help but be asking myself: Why didn't I think of this?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Metaphorically Speaking

Buoyed by the promise of endless and contradictory metaphors from Owen at Boots and Sabers, Glenn Grothman today donned his body armor and walked out of his office ready to do battle with the forces of common sense. The first victim was a little old lady. She approached him to ask a question and a withering crossfire mowed her down.

The Grothman campaign later issued a press release regarding the incident and blamed her death on "... The forces of liberalism against which we issue forth from our citadel of righteousness, with cannon blazing, aircraft strafing, UFOs raining phasor blasts and with any other romantic or applicable metaphors applied as we see fit. If that fails, there's always Kevin Barrett."

UPDATE: Nevermind.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

This is What Marriage is Really All About

The old man ordered one hamburger, one order of french fries and one drink. He took the food back to his table, where his wife waited for him. Then, the old man unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half. He placed one half in front of his wife. He then carefully counted out the French fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife.

He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them. As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them kept looking over and whispering. You could tell they were thinking, "That poor old couple, all they can afford is one meal for the two of them."

As the man began to eat his fries a young man came to the table. He politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said they were just fine, they were used to sharing everything.

The surrounding people noticed the little old lady hadn't eaten a bite. She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.

Again the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the old woman said "No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything."

As the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked "What is it you are waiting for?" She answered ...


Run Glenn Run

Surprise. Surprise. I disagree with something Chris at spottedhorse 2 is saying. He states in a post today that Glenn Grothman running against Herb Kohl is a mistake. He says that Grothman running is just a cover for the inept leadership of the Republican Party in Wisconsin.

Chris is right about one thing. The RPW is inept.

But he is wrong about Grothman. Grothman running is another great opportunity for Wisconsin to see the real face of conservatism in Wisconsin. Along with Paul Bucher, Grothman represents the anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-responsible gun laws, anti-freedom of speech, and the anti-freedom of the press forces in Wisconsin.

Grothman is so extreme that if he lived in South Dakota, their Republican lawmakers would be considered liberal.

Grothman is so extreme that he makes State Senator Tom Reynolds seem almost palatable and sane.

I'm surprised his mom will let him come out and play. Nonetheless ... run Glenn run!

Saturday, July 8, 2006

A Rummage Interlude

Spending the day attempting to sell off odds and ends in our driveway ... yes, it's rummage o'rama at the Rock residence. We laughingly told the 10-year old neighbor that we were attempting to earn enough money for the second floor addition. He looked at us in wonder and asked whether we could really do that. My reply was honest.

Unlike our conservative brethren who continue to say that TABOR, or whatever it was called or will be called, is the answer to Wisconsin taxpayer prayers.

Noticed that Frank Zeidler died. I met him once. He was gracious and kind. I wish I had known him better. We could use more politicians like this man. A man who believed in peace.

Having said that, and before returning to selling, only conservatives could turn something good into something that sounds unAmerican. For example, if you are for peace, suddenly you are a peacenik or traitor (what's wrong with peace?).

If you want to protect the environment, not only for our sake, but for the sake of future generations, you are an eco-nazi (what's wrong with breathing clean air and drinking clean water?).

If you utilize your rights as written in the Bill of Rights, especially the one calling for freedom of speech, you are branded as unAmerican and a traitor (what's wrong with voicing your opinion civilly?).

Anyway, back to rummaging.

Friday, July 7, 2006

Coincidence ... I Don't Think So

I was heading home after dropping off some paperwork, and was listening to Charlie Sykes yammer away about gas prices and the failure of the Doyle administration to do anything when, out of the blue, he was apparently handed a press release from the Mark Green campaign that yammered about gas prices and the failure of the Doyle administration to do anything.

The irony was such that I couldn't help but laugh. These guys have no shame and their total disdain for the public is astounding.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Uncle Ho (by Billmon)

As a follow up to my Glass House Resident post … this has got to be one of the funniest posts I have seen. Billmon (here is the link) had an e-mail conversation with David Horowitz regarding the NYT’s efforts to expose Sec. Rummy’s vacation house of residence so it can be booby trapped by the evil Muslims living amongst us, don’tcha know.

Or so Horowitz, Jessica McBride (she didn't actually post anything, but she's so vapid I like to include her anyway) and the astoundingly shallow and insecure Peter DiGaudio would have us believe. The post is here in its entirety … thank you Billmon.

Uncle Ho
This evening I had an extremely weird e-mail conversation with David Horowitz -- yes that David Horowitz -- stemming from a trivial comment I left on his latest screeching rant about the Cheney-Rumsfeld vacation home flap.

Horowitz (on his blog): The fact that Rumsfeld responded to the Times request to take the pictures means what? What else could he say?

Me: How about "no"?
Horowitz killed the comment (or at least, I don't see it displayed on his blog) but he e-mailed me a rambling response that began by pointing to his proposed explanation for why Rumsfeld muscled under to those street toughs at the Times: "If Rumsfeld had said 'no' . . . that would merely have confirmed their view of this administration as secretive and repressive" (again, that's from Horowitz's blog, not his e-mail.)

So in what parallel universe has "confirming that the administration is secretive and repressive" ever stopped Rummy before?

For some quirky reason, virtually everything that emerges from the mouth (or pen) of a right-wing hysteric lately seems to remind me of a Monty Python sketch. And this was certainly no exception. There's simply no way you can read Horowitz's daft explanation and not be reminded of the one about the two-bit hoods who try to run their protection racket on . . . the British military:

Luigi: You've got a nice army base 'ere, Colonel. Be a shame if somethin' were to 'appen to it.

Colonel: What?

Dino: 'ow many tanks you got, Colonel?

Colonel: About five hundred.

Dino:Well you oughter be careful, Colonel, 'cos things break, don't they?

I mean the notion that the New York Times could use the threat of bad publicity to literally extort the Secretary of Defense into letting them publish a picture of his house is just falling down, can't breathe, snot-spurting-out-of-your-nose funny. Hell, in the real world, Rummy would just have Dick come over and shoot the Times photographer in the face with his shotgun. Problem solved.

The point is, nobody in their right mind could possibly believe what Horowitz wrote. And judging by the rest of his email, plus the two others he sent me in quick succession, Horowitz is every bit as loony as people keep telling me he his -- a real meshuggeneh, to borrow that fine Yiddish phrase.

I can't share the e-mails with you -- well, I could, but that would be a crass violation of blogfascist etiquette, plus he'd probably sue. And while having David Horowitz file a frivolous lawsuit against me might turn to be, to use the technical legal term, a real money maker for me and my lawyer, I don't need the money or the aggravation right now.

But take my word for it, David definitely has what the shrinks like to call "issues." One would have assumed 25+ years of flagellating himself for betraying his country, or his parents, or both, would have been enough to appease his inner Big Brother, but apparently not. In any case, in addition to having an inferiority complex big enough to swallow the fucking Hindenberg, Horowitz seems to have a congenital need to argue. (Must. fight. Monty Python. metaphor.)

A commentator on one right-wing site (, as I recall) once described Horowitz as a porcupine who never stops bristling, and that's about right -- to the point where he apparently can't even let a silly three-word comment from a minor-league lefty blogger go unanswered.

I would have thought David would have more important things to do with his time: running his rat lines into the Middle East Studies Association, tracing the sinister links between Harry Belafonte and Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman -- above all, figuring out new and nasty ways to draw media attention to himself.

But apparently not. I guess even the slander business has its slow nights.

North Korean Erectile Dysfunction

It was reported today that the North Koreans again attempted to prop up their failing regime with the launch of the Long Dong II, their version of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

This newer and cheekier version of the Long Dong I actually managed to pop up about 500 feet into the atmosphere before flopping limply into the Sea of Japan.

An advanced version, named Long Dong III, was rumored to be ready for pre-launch warm up, but at the last moment the experiment was cancelled because workers complained of headaches, flushed skin and vision problems.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Glass House Resident

Peter DiGaudio, of Texas Hold’em Blogger fame, is concerned about the privacy rights of the Swift Boat felons … you know, the guys who made up stories about John Kerry at the behest of Karl Rove.

Apparently, some people have published personal info about them on Huffington Post (according to Peter) and they’re upset, and so is Peter. Personal info should not be played over the Internet, he says.

Hmmm, Peter should follow his own advice. It wasn’t too long ago that Michele Malkin thought it okay to post the e-mail addresses of students who were involved with Students Against War (they had included them in a press release). She did so and was bombarded with nasty e-mails for doing it.

Petey defended her right and re-posted the student’s e-mail addresses not once, but twice.

No one here condones the messages of hate the Swiftys likely received, or what the students probably received. But ...

Cut it out, Peter. Your own words condemn you. Just another case of DiGaudio hypocrisy.

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday, USA. I wanted to do more than just put out the flag, but I couldn't find a helium balloon with the number 230.

Monday, July 3, 2006

Still Clueless After All These Years

Well, folkbum beat me to it, but after reading the nonsense about Sec. Rumsfeld's vacation home I just knew that Peter DiGuadio (Texas Hold'em Blogger) would have something goofy to say. Of course, Peter fails to note (folkbum did) that Rumsfeld gave permission for his home to be photographed.

Oh well, can't count on Peter, Michele Malkin, David Horowitz, etc. to harness the truth ... just to rant and rave.

As Tom Tomorrow says ... "These people should never, ever be taken seriously. They are complete idiots."

More from Tom Tomorrow here.

Profile Credit

Profile photo courtesy of Berke Breathed, genius author of Bloom County, Opus and creator of Bill the Cat.

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Home Schooling Creationist

From Garry Trudeau ... Doonesbury discusses creationism. Snark snark ....

Click on image to enlarge.