Friday, December 31, 2004


Well it's that time of year again. People start making promises to themselves to lose weight, eat healthier, start a new hobby, etc., so I figure why not join the pack.

But I wanted to try to do something different this year. If I've learned anything from my short blogging experience, it's that I've got a lot to learn. Every once and a while the infinite power, connectivity, and sheer volume of information on the web gives me that feeling that I wandered a little to close to the edge of the cliff and I'm staring of into the abyss of things that I'll never be able to comprehend on a micro or macro level. Whether it's politics, religion, culture, history, medicine, music, or any other number of numerous possibilities, the amount of information that is available is intimidating.

A very good friend of the fetching Mrs. Wookie and myself was in town for the holidays from Chicago where he is in medical school. Since medicine is mine and the fetching Mrs. Wookie's passion as well, we always get into fairly in depth conversations on the current state of affairs in the medical field. I've chosen to pursue a career as a PA when it became more and more obvious that doctors were becoming less patient oriented and more supervisory of their PAs and NPs, letting them make the diagnoses and just signing off on the paperwork. I had no desire to be a surgeon which is where doctors still get to do procedures themselves and don't necessarily need to farm the work out, so to speak. I was more interested in being a pediatrician or general practioner and that's where the most drastic changes have occured. Anyway I digress, we eventually chatted on other topics when the wealth of information to study came up and I expressed my desire to learn as much as I could about everything I could and the above uneasiness of being on the brink of a vast ocean. (My friend has always maintained that I would make an excellent doctor for that very reason, and I agree, but for some reason thirst for knowledge isn't tops on the list of admissions committees).

So as far as this concerns my resolution, it's simple. I've done the lose weight, eat healthy, exercise more crap before, and they never work (and beside the fetching Mrs. Wookie and I started that about six months ago so we're more in the continue and maintain the progress frame of mind) What I'd rather commit to is simply to learn, to disregard the fears and dive in head first to the information available.

The easiest place to start is at work. My co-workers will probably think I'm an moron for being enthusiastic about work, but the financial arena is something I know zilch about. My past jobs have included waiting tables, working in a bookstore, and a medical assitant. I majored in biology in college, so other than managing my bank account, I've no idea how the finance world works. I always turn to my father wookie, the quintissential banker (even though he doesn't do that anymore) for advice. The oppurtunities my current job present me are vast. Learning about how investment banking, securities, trading, and home loans work could be invaluable information.

I'd also like to learn more about computer languages and web design, so that I can make the site reflect my personality a bit more. Plus unnamed people (ahem... LegalXXX) have started to complain, so I'll need to learn how to accomodate. Blogger is a great way to start up with the blogosphere, but I'd like to play with the template to give it a more personal touch. I dig Got Design's site, but he of course has the advantage of being a programmer, so that's probably setting my sights too high. I'll have to head off to Barnes & Noble and pick up the latest "blogging for idiots" book or something close to that. I'd also like to pick up a copy of Hugh's new book Blog (sorry no link, Websense sucks). I started my blog before the election because it gave me the oppurtunity to argue, vent, etc with anyone and everyone. But since then, things have slowed down a bit, so bloggers like Llama Butchers have started to question, why blog? It's an outlet, a diary, a way to communicate, a way to educate yourself. It kind of exhibitionist, yet you do maintain an element of privacy as well. It's the latest thing sweeping the nation.

And of course I'll be starting PA school (knock on wood) in September, and for me that's a life changing event. It will be the start of a new chapter of my life that I am eagerly anticipating, something so momentus it's deserves a new tattoo (aha! betcha you didn't think I had a tat!). Fortunately, the fetching Mrs. Wookie is a pharmeceutical sales rep, so I've had many conversations with doctors, nurses, and PAs to help prepare and learn what tricks of the trade that I can. So that's more of a continue on the path resolution...

So while many think of resolutions as stupid, it really depends, like most things in life, on your perspective. Better your life: start a blog, stop a bad habit, resolve to repair burnt bridges, start a new habit. There's so much to discover out there.

Start the new year right and dive in.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

The southeast Asia tragedy worsens

The death toll is now up to 120, 000 and will probably only continue to rise since there are still thousands missing and those who are left behind will have to fight off disease as well as contaminated food and drinking water. People in 13 different countries have in one way or another been affected by the tsunamis according to House of Wheels and just as I posted the day after the tsunamis, Tim Blair still has the most complete round up.

Americans once again prove themselves to be the most generous people on earth raising more money from charitable donations than the French government gave altogether (via House of Wheels). This, of course, is contrary to the opinion of pointless UN bureaucrat Jan Egeland (actual title: coordinator of humanitarian affairs, actual definition: pointless bureaucrat) who believes that the $15 million that the US government plans to donate is "stingy." Here's an update for you Jan, we pay most of your salary on top of that through "donation." We certainly never expect to get any of that back, and more often than not you UN imbeciles like to bite the hand that feeds you. You're idiotic statements just prove my point. House of Wheels has the links and breaks down the stats in nice neat graphs (far more advanced blogging than I'm capable of), so go check it out.

And for those who haven't please donate what you can. Se any of the sites above for links. This tragedy is still unfolding; we can expect to hear more bad news in the weeks to come.

"I'm dying..."

"You're not dying. You just can't think of anything better to do."
- Ferris Bueller

Well, the holiday season wouldn't be complete without getting sick. It's official; I feel the head cold coming. But like the good mindless worker drone that I am, I went to work anyway. I figure all I'm gonna do is sit in front of the computer for 8 hours. How tough can that be?

This of course causes the fetching Mrs. Wookie much consternation not only because she gave me the cold (really, I'm not blaming her... I swear) and she doesn't want me to get worse. I don't either, but how is sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours different from sitting in front of the TV for 8 hours because that's what I'd be doing if I stayed home. This way I at least get paid. And as a bonus, an unlimited supply of hot tea, water, and kleenex. Can't beat that. Oooh, and just now as a bonus, I don't have to deal with customer calls, all I'll be doing is data entry stuff. He shoots, he scores!

Plus I've got this thing about calling in sick. In my opinion most workers abuse their sick days by not being sick when they call out, so unless I can't physically function I'll go to work. I've had employers send me home for being sick, which is must better than calling out. In that case, at least I gave it a shot and at that point.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

More hate crime silliness

You may recall last week the university professor that was sentenced after commiting a hate crime on herself. Well apparently stupidity strikes twice (via Say Anything):

Police said a 22-year-old man was charged with filing a false report about a hate crime.
Floyd Elliott, of Independence, told police that on Dec. 14, two subjects attacked him in the parking lot of his apartment complex. He said the attackers cut him in the stomach, branded him with a hot knife, and attempted to carve the word “Fag” on his forehead

Investigators were suspicious about the report because the head carving was backwards, as if done while looking into a mirror.

Vandalizing your car is one thing, but vandalizing your forehead is something completely different. File that one under the big fat moron.

Maybe he and the professor can be bunk mates in prison.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Christmas for the troops

We often forget how difficult the holidays can be for our troops and their families, but it's doubly hard for those families who lost someone in combat. Here's a great poem from Major Dad (via Smash) reminding us of the difficult lives our troops choose in order to protect us and promote freedom around the world (who knew he was such a great poet):

Twas the night before Christmas, the house seemed so sad,
Early this year, this family lost "Dad."
He’d been a soldier, in Afghanistan serving,
To help people live free, now thankful, deserving.

His wife and the kids have cried a river of tears,
They had known this could happen, through all of the years.
It’s a dangerous business, no place for wimps.
Some don’t come home, some others with limps.

As I slipped down the chimney, I really did dread…
That I’d fall straight apart in this house with war dead.
I crept from the hearth, wondering what would I see,
What my eyes would behold, in this land of the free.

The home was decorated, with the tree and some lights
The milk, plate of cookies, and some other tasty bites.
Next to this was a note, from the boys up in bed,
I picked the page up and here’s what it said.

"Dear Santa we know that you’re busy and need to be speedy
So we’ll keep it short, we don’t want to sound greedy.
You know already that our Daddy’s not here,
He went to heaven, that's perfectly clear.

Tonight as you travel across the cold Christmas skies.
We want you to help, take the tears from the eyes.
Of the other kids missing a Mom or a Dad.
Please help them to realize that it’s not so bad.

Our Dad died doing what was just, what was right.
His nation had called him, to head off to the fight.
To free the oppressed and protect us all here,
He went with a smile, a heart without fear.

One month ago, we had gotten the news
An airplane was missing, along with its crew.
Up in the mountains with weather so cold,
One of the missing, our daddy…a pilot, so bold.

Later we learned that God had called him that day
He needed a pilot, so tough and so brave.
We cried and we cried, the tears would not cease,
Daddy’s West Point friends wrote, "Mike…be thou at peace."

We need your help Santa, for our Mommy tonight,
She misses him so, they were so tight.
All we want for Christmas is for her to be happy,
Knowing Daddy still watches over us, a flier so scrappy."

Could I help these kids? I scratched my old head.
I snuck up the stairs and found Mom in bed.
Her eyes were still red, it was plain she’d been crying.
But a smile on her face, in her dreams she was flying.

Along with her pilot…her husband…her mate…
This lady was special, so obviously great.
My task wasn’t tough, really it ain’t.
After all, my name is Nicholas and I am a saint!

I straightened my suit, combed back my long hair…
Then as quiet as a mouse, I pulled up a chair.
I touched her calm face and closed tight my eyes…
My mind it was reeling, I started to cry.

Then inside my head, I heard a soft voice…
"Santa it’s Mike. Buck up, you don’t have a choice.
You know where I am…and I’ll tell you quite clear,
If I can’t have Christmas there…it’s not so bad being here.

I’m no longer with them, they know that it’s true,
That doesn’t mean I can’t see what they do.
When you pray for my wife and my kids Christmas night,
Let them know I’m on duty and I am alright.

My crew's here too and we’re flying tonight…
Take a look over your shoulder, make it your right!
You need to be careful. You need to "check six."
That’s us behind you…Chief, give the lights a few flicks."

Santa it’s time:
Your job here is through…
The night’s not half over,
you’ve still plenty to do.

No need to worry, you need to be quick.
They’re in great hands, Jeanette’s got the stick,
You prayed for them all and showed them the way,
A soldier still stands guard over them every day."

I knew Mike was right,
it was getting late.
The world only half covered,
I just couldn’t wait.

I stopped by the rooms of each of his boys…
I had to be careful to avoid clothes and some toys.
Mike Jr., Thomas, and Ricky lay snug in their beds…
I gave this blessing to each as I touched their heads.

"Your daddy was special,
fighting for peace.
May you boys be spared from combat
when all conflicts have ceased."

With that I took leave from this Hawaiian home,
Through the skies I’d be flying, though not alone.
I did look back a number of times, more than a few.
And yes, on the horizon was my escort crew.

Across the world tonight, I saw the same scenes,
Homes full of sorrow, homes full of need.
After you read this, give it some thought.
Can I be happy with just what I’ve got?

Dig deep into your pockets, you’ve got spare cash.
Drop it in the kettle; it’ll help tighten your sash.
It will make you feel good; it will make you feel right…
Merry Christmas to all, and to all….a good night!

Amen Major! Very well done!

Monday, December 27, 2004

South East Asia suffers 9.0 earthquake

Being born and raised in California, this strikes close to home. I remember watching the 1989 San Francisco earthquake coverage on TV and that was only a 6.7 and living through a 6.7 in the LA area in 1994, but I believe the power of the earthquake increases a thousand fold every 1.0 it increases. That is impossible to fathom. Something that big in the LA area would destroy most of the greater LA area. Hundreds of thousands would die. In this case it appears the tsunamis were more deadly and the epicenter was apparently out at sea (although I don't know that for sure. My company has all news sites blocked by friggin' Websense), but go check out Tim Blair for a full round up on all aspects of this tragedy (via House of Wheels).

If you can afford it, donate money to victims. Here's a list of sites.

Gift exchange

Why do I always get the gag gift?

I've got a particularly large extended family, so instead of everyone buying everyone gifts, we just do an exchange. Up until recently, we drew names out of a hat and just got that person something on the list. It was getting very boring as more and more people simply bought gift certificates to be done with it.

So my one of my wookie cousins, my father wookie, and I, with the approval of the family's matriarch, my grandmother wookie we switched over to a white elephant type exchange with one exception. The gifts have to be something you would want. No crap gifts. No gag gifts.

But does anyone listen, no. A few years back one of the wookie aunt and uncles gave out a set of silly, fluffy animal slippers, and they've been regifted ever since. And of course this year I end up with a pair. Fabulous. At least they tossed in a bottle of tequila to help numb the pain.

So of course I'm already thinking of how I can possibly regift this next year, but the fetching Mrs. Wookie thinks this is a bad idea. Stop the cycle of regifting. But now that I've got it, I want to pass it on.

Stay tuned for more later from "As the gift regifts."

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas

May all of you have a safe and happy Christmas!

And to best express the spirit of the holiday season the Llama Butchers:

Although it is generally silly to speak of transcendence and cartoons, I've always felt that there was one very important exception to this rule, namely, Linus' recitation of Luke 2:8-14 in "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Even as a kid, I recognized that there was something very special about the moment when Linus walks out to the front of the stage, the lights go dim around him, everything is hush and he begins to speak in calm, measured tones:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

As ridiculous as it may sound, just reading these words causes me to start tearing up. And Linus is absolutely right: This is the true meaning of Christmas.
I sometimes used to wonder how it was that in the midst of a rather poorly animated cartoon voiced over by a gang of child actors this moment could have come off as perfectly as it does, suddenly passing beyond the limits of the medium and touching on the greatest of glories. But it occured to me that the answer is really quite simple: Because Charles Schultz believed in what Linus said. I do, too. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

On that note, I wish to express my warmest wishes for the season to all of you who drop by our little piece of silliness, whether you're regular readers or just passing through. I'm sure plenty of you follow different faiths than I do, or may not even have a faith. That's okay. The message of Christmas on earth is not confined to a select group of believers but, as the man says, extends to everyone.

Merry Christmas and God bless you all, every one!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

FDA bigwigs are on crack

Really that is the only explanation that I can think of for this retarded lunacy:

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday ordered a review of all prevention studies involving drugs such as Celebrex and Bextra, which have been associated with increased risk of heart problems. The agency also urged the public to limit use of over-the-counter pain medications.

"Consumers are advised that all over-the-counter pain medications ... should be used in strict accordance with the label directions," said Dr. John K. Jenkins, FDA director of new drugs.

That means the drugs - including such popular products as Aleve, ibuprofen and even aspirin - should not be used longer than 10 days without consulting a doctor, Jenkins said....
[for those of you who mistake your bowl of aspirin by your lazyboy with the bowl of M&Ms]

...The agency is "advising physicians to be very thoughtful as they are prescribing" painkillers, Jenkins said. "We are clearly suggesting that doctors take into account the new information that's become available."

Nah. Just prescribe whatever you want willy-nilly around the neighborhood.

Has the role of the government really become that of a nanny who's there to coddle us, make sure we pick up after ourselves, wipe our noses and asses, and generally treating us like two year olds? It's the same with the Social Security situation. The government is not responsible for us; we are. No wonder we're the fattest nation on earth, we probably expect the government to exercise us, or give us free liposuction, whatever's easier. As for the prescription meds, do we really expect the pill that we're prescribed to do exactly what it is supposed to with zero side effects? If one pill eliminated all symptoms with no side effects, would there really be a dozen types of medications for each illness?

Sit down with a microscope sometime and read all the side effects on whatever medication you happen to be taking sometime. The FDA requires the drug companies list all side effects patients in the trials reported. All of them. If that new allergy medication made someone drowsy or caused insomnia or both they'll be listed. If that blood pressure medication gave someone a headache or made them temporarily speak like a Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean, that will be on there. If that new pain medication made one guy in a million grow sprouts out of his ass like a Chia Pet, they are required to list it. It's in these situations going to a doctor you trust counts (as well as not being a complete moron). You need to be able to weigh the costs and benefits of the drug's actions and the side effects. For those liberal moonbats suffering from P.E.S.T., that new anti-depressant will make you feel better, but maybe it will make you nauseous. Is that a trade off you can live with? That new pain medication for the heartbreak you've been enduring since the elections and the headaches from the uncontrollable rage you feel every time you hear Dubya speak will alleviate the pain, but maybe it will make you impotent. Can you live with that? (works for me then you couldn't hatch more little liberal hippie wing-nuts)

Runsfeld takes one for the troops

You've got to respect a man who'll risk his life by going to the site of the Mosul terrorist attack just three days later, deep in hostile territory to check up on his troops:

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, on a surprise Christmas Eve visit with the troops three days after the devastating attack on a U.S. military dining hall here, told soldiers he remained confident of defeating the insurgency and stabilizing Iraq, while noting that to some "it looks bleak."

He added later:

"When it looks bleak, when one worries about how it's going to come out, when one reads and hears the naysayers and the doubters who say it can't be done, and that we're in a quagmire here," one should recall that there have been such doubters "throughout every conflict in the history of the world," he said.

God bless ya, Rummy. If only you could have done it after being dropped on an aircraft carrier's deck via helicopter with a "Mission Accomplished" sign as the backdrop.

That would have been perfect.

Silent America

It's here at last. Bill Whittle's collection of essays, Silent America. Bill is one of my favorite essayists (hence the link to his website Eject! Eject! Eject! to the right), and my favorite essay of his is by far Trinity, not only because he maims and hobbles Michael Moore in the essay (gratuitous violence is always a big hit), but because he succintly describes the formula that makes America the greatest country on Earth (see my previous post here).

Go help a brother out and buy his book.

Social Security, free money for old people

Social Security is one of those ideas that sounds great on paper (much like other great ideas of the previous century fascism, communism, spam, and N*Sync or just boy bands in general) but when put into action turns out to be horrendous. I can't see how the fact that population was increasing at near exponential rates didn't play into rethinking the whole concept:

"Gee, there are going to be more people who will receive social security, than taxpayers who will be paying into it. My math is kinda rusty but I don't think there's a feasible way to make that work out. Unless of course you just want to take all of the money from the taxpayers. Then it might work."

And that seems to have been the solution for the past 30 umpteen years. But now as the infamous baby boomers begin to retire, the strain on the Social Security system will increase dramatically (via Say Anything):

In about 13 years, the system is projected to start paying out more in benefits than it collects in benefits. Then, the government must start repaying the excess Social Security funds it already has spent. With the repaid funds, the system can cover full benefits until 2042, according to the forecast by Social Security’s Board of Trustees. The Congressional Budget Office predicted the system is in better shape and probably can pay full benefits a decade longer.

Sweet. I'll be 64 in 2042 and just in time. I didn't want to get all my money back anyway. This topic is being discussed due mainly to Dubya's Social Security Savings Account idea which he pumped during the election, and is trying to now get implemented. I honestly don't think it will be enough, 3% seems paltry, but it's a start (I agree with Rob, we ought to dump the whole system, but people being responsible for themselves and their own retirement is a bit taboo these days). But Kerry's (and Democrat's in general) solution, atleast during the campaigns, was sticking their fingers in their ears and singing to themselves so they could avoid the question by pretending they didn't hear it, which brings us to the story that prompted this whole ordeal:
The Social Security Administration’s Web site and customer service lines are pushing the need to “modernize and reform” the retirement system, saying the future shortfall is “massive and growing,” and promoting personal investment accounts as a financial fix.

Critics say the agency is trying to scare people about the system’s finances and is improperly advocating President Bush’s political agenda for a Social Security overhaul to private accounts.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., says that some messages on the agency’s toll-free customer service line played to people on hold, are “inappropriate political propaganda” paid for with taxpayer dollars and contain inaccurate information.

Aah, but stick with me. My story gets better. If you continue to read the article you find this...

Lautenberg, in a letter sent Wednesday to Social Security Commissioner Jo Anne Barnhart, asked that the recorded messages be removed from the toll-free line.

But agency spokesman Jim Courtney said one message Lautenberg referred to was created and used during the Clinton administration. “We never changed it,” he said.

Man do Democrats love to complain. They whine and whine and then you end up with gems like this. "It's all Bush's fault! He's going to bankrupt the country! Eliminate Social Security! Make you all convert to Mormonism!" Blah, blah, blah.

I like Rob's idea for the Democrats new spokesman (ok "spokesperson". Sorry if I offend any women out there with my testosterone-centric point of view) good old Baghdad Bob.

There are no problems with Social Security. Please go about your business as usual. Bush is Hitler. Conservatives are bigots. Social Security is fine…

The Jedi mind trick only works on the weak minded fools. Stupid man.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Human ingenuity

Sure the end result of this is obvious, but it's too damn funny to pass up (via ... Sharp as a Marble). Sure Robb's probably right that it's a fake, but they do get style points for funny.

Why I like Bush

Get your minds out of the gutter there people, it's not that. I found this at Madfish Willie's (via Straight White Guy):

That's why I like Bush. He doesn't over-think it. He wakes up every morning, jumps out of bed, lands on his two feet, scratches his balls, and says, "Let's kill some fucking terrorists!"
- Dennis Miller

That just about sums it up for me, too.

Bonus: Straight White Guy has a blogosphere version Billy Joel's Piano Man (via Evil White Guy. Wow there sure are a lot of white guys out there). Check it out.

Tragedy in Mosul

Yesterday's terrorist attack on a messhall in Mosul to this point has killed 19 and wounded 45. The best description of the honor of our men and women serving are at Training for Eternity (via Shot in the Dark). He's a chaplain currently serving in Iraq and was in Mosul for the aftermath of the attack. Before the MSM gets too caught up in the horrors of war, please read his post:

As my assistnt and I walked away at the end of the day I saw another chaplain and a soldier standing among the silent rows of black body bags. The soldier wanted to see his friend one more time. We slowly and as respectfully as possible unzipped the bag to reveal the face of a very young Private First Class. His friend stared for a few seconds then turned away and began to cry.

The last count was 25 dead, and around 45 wounded. Nevertheless, our cause is just and God is in control even when the crap is a yard deep. I'm where God wants me and wouldn't change that for anything, even if it means death. After all, "to die is gain".

Now email it to everyone you know.

Monday, December 20, 2004

New link

I just put a link up for Armor Geddon, he's a first lieutenant in an armored division on the front lines in Iraq. He's a fantastic writer. It's like reading Black Hawk Down all over again.

Go send him some love.

Man of the Year

Kudos to Time magazine for picking Dubya as the man of the year. I think it's a great pick; I just can't believe they actually did it. Last year they made the easy pick (the US soldier), but a great pick nonetheless. But look at his accomplishments/world events that occured due to his war on terror policies. Afghani elections (they almost elected a woman, how's that for feminism), and they just swore that president in last week, continued fighting for the freedom of the Iraqis with elections less than a month away, and the first US president to win a majority of votes in 20 years by receiving the most votes in history.

Not too shabby for some dumb cowboy from Texas, huh.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

The myth that is gun control

Ever since Dubya let the Assault weapons ban pass without renewing it, gun control has been a popular topic. In a nutshell, lefties tend to think that it's more the gun's fault that some person ends up dead, and conservatives actually want to hold the person responsible (Gasp! Oh the humanity!) for killing someone else.

House of Wheels posted this from Drumwaster on the true effects of gun control:

Crime rates have sky-rocketed in every instance where guns were banned from a location, and it's easy to explain why:

The only people who will obey this ban are those who are not likely to choose to violate the law. This means that the vast majority of people (90%+) would give up their guns, making the job of the criminal much easier. (I mean, how dangerous would it be to rob someone if you know that they are not allowed to carry a weapon, while no such rules apply to you?)

Go figure. Nice people when told not to buy a gun, don't. But of course that won't stop a criminal. But take solace lefties, after that gun toting punk kills you, if he gets caught he'll get life plus a year or two for illegal gun possession. That'll teach 'em. But check out this comment left by someone named Krispy Kreme or something to that effect:

However - caveat time! - in the age of Bush, know this: every citizen DOES need a gun, because our worst enemy lives in the White House, and anyone who'd cede their guns wholesale to a government hell-bent on enslaving its own citizens is insane. So my usual stance regarding guns (guns are good for nothing but destruction, whether targets or deer or people) has changed a bit (the aforementioned may be true, but now they have a new function: keeping the fascists away).

I love it! That's sticking to your principles! What happened to the true "make love, not war", hunger striking, sit-in staging liberals we used to know and love? Next thing you know you'll be a card carrying NRA member. It's a slippery slope, I tell you.

Cold fury also gets into the act with a concrete US example, Washington DC:

FBI statistics show that Washington, D.C., has one of the highest crime rates in the United States despite the draconian gun ban. From 1976 to 2001, D.C.’s crime rate rose 72% while the national rate fell 36%.

Under D.C.’s current gun laws, all handguns are banned unless they were owned and registered before 1977. Residents of the District, even the few remaining legal handgun owners, are prohibited from carrying their handguns in their own homes. Legally registered and owned rifles and shotguns must be stored unloaded, disassembled or locked, rendering them useless for self-defense unless the gun is kept at a place of business.

“Washington`s 27-year firearm ban is a perfect example of the failure of gun control,” added Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “D.C.’s politicians—who get abundant security protection at taxpayer expense—have stripped law-abiding citizens of their ability to defend themselves and their families. Today’s vote has brought District residents one step closer to the rights guaranteed under the Constitution—the right to protect themselves and their loved ones from criminal harm.”

And from the lighter side of the argument take this post of mine earlier (via Say Anything and Evil White Guy):

Do assault weapons cause crime? I think most reasonable people would say no. However, without empirical data, that's just an opinion. And the 1994 assault weapons ban has recently expired. So the people at assault Weapons Watch have purchased a Colt AR-15. They have set up lighting and a web cam to monitor it 24/7. So far, the rifle has just remained where they left it, but if it ever does decide to go out on its own and kill someone, they will have captured it on video.

Finally someone approaching the problem from a scientific point of view. At last all of our questions, hopes, and fears will be solved.

Personally the Wookie parents are gun owners; actually, they have a collection to be more accurate. Mother Wookie grew up around guns and learned to shoot at a fairly early age. Father Wookie was an army reservist, so guns went with the territory. We had a .22 in the house all of my childhood as far as I know, and believe it or not, no one blew any digits off. Honestly I've never even fired a weapon, but the fetching Mrs. Wookie and I plan to rectify that soon. She wants to put one of those "this home is protected by" whatever security signs in the yard that says "gun owner - will shoot to kill." Isn't my baby sweet!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Pablo Paredes

Citizen Smash continues to keep us up to date with the comings and going of the deserter Pablo Paredes. Here he has the email replies from some of Pablo's former comrades who are, umm, shall we say, less than pleased (ahem) at the chosen course of action our little Pablo has taken:

This guy *cough* is nothing more than an attention whore. He was the type of guy who constantly made fun of other people… He thought he was the coolest thing since sliced bread.

Well, well, well. Look at you now, punk.

I seriously hope he gets what's coming to him. If I were still in San Diego, and I had passed by him sitting there on the pier, I would have gone to my ship and gotten ahold of my MAC, and a few of my gunner buddies, and dragged his ass onto the boat. Now the other FCs in his workcenter are going to have to pick up HIS slack.

Some of the other emails are a little more constructive, but all are worth a read. And here Smash has the his latest effort to counter-protest the peacenik hippies trying to make it easier for Pablo to drop out of his military commitment without any legal ramifications:

THE SAN DIEGO MILITARY COUNSELING PROJECT, a group that encourages military personnel to "resist" the war, is holding a rally Saturday afternoon in support of Navy deserter Pablo Paredes.

We'll be there, too... The San Diego Chapter of Protest Warrior, and anyone else who believes Liberty is worth defending.

You go guys. I'm with you in prayer.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Racial tolerance professor commits hate crime

Well almost (via Legal XXX):

A former Claremont McKenna College psychology professor convicted of falsely reporting her car was vandalized and spray-painted with racist and anti-Semitic slurs was sentenced Wednesday to a year in state prison.

Kerri Dunn, 40, of Redlands, was convicted Aug. 18 of one misdemeanor count of filing a false police report and two felony counts of attempted insurance fraud stemming from the March 9 incident. She had faced anywhere from probation to three years in prison.

She had claimed her car was targeted in what at first appeared to be a hate crime while she was speaking at a campus forum on racial tolerance.

The allegations prompted college officials to cancel classes at Claremont's five undergraduate campuses the next day as thousands of students took part in demonstrations calling for tolerance.

I remember hearing this story when it was first reported back in March, and when it was determined based on eye witness accounts shortly thereafter that she had vandalized her own car with derogatory ethnic slurs while on campus teaching a racial tolerance seminar at one of the Claremont Colleges I remember being thoroughly disgusted.

Think of it like one of those Mastercard commercials:

One car vandalized in paint with ethnic slurs, costs covered by insurance... 0 dollars

The wasted time of honest protesting hippie tree hugger students concerned about the supposed vandalization of the professor's car... 0 dollars (let's face it they don't have jobs anyway)

One year in state prison for defrauding your insurance company, filing false police reports, and just generally being a dumb ass... priceless.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

And just to prove my point... are a couple quick links to some good stuff:

The Rottweiler has Another "Why Do They Hate Us?" Moron Speaks Up:

"A billion Muslims throughout the world have three serious concerns: Palestine needs security and self-respect;" - And they can have it as soon as they become something worth respecting, rather than a cesspool of terrorism.

"...they want the American military out of Islam;" - We weren't aware that the American military was a prominent part of Islam. If, however, they want our troops to leave, they can have that too, as soon as they learn one simple lesson:

"...and they want control of their natural resources (to charge whatever they like for their oil)." - And they aren't doing that at this very moment?
Gee, somebody needs to tell the guy that puts up the numbers at my local gas station that, because apparently he and the company that employs him are still suffering under the delusion that they can't dictate oil prices to their suppliers.

"These are three basic foreign policy questions that any U.S. president could address without compromising the security and interests of America or Israel." - Explain to us how selling the Israelis down the river can be done without compromising their security.
Then explain to us how withdrawing our troops from a region previously controlled by ragheads hellbent on our destruction won't compromise our security.
Finally, explain to us how the supply of oil isn't connected to the security of our nation. That Honda Element that you putt-putt to work every day doesn't run on fairy dust, you know, nor does an M1 Abrams or an F-18 Hornet. Oh, and kindly explain to us how we can be preventing the "devout Muslims" from charging what they want for oil when our military is sitting on top of a significant portion of it. It's not like we couldn't steal it if we wanted to, yet we continue to insist, stubbornly, on paying for it.
We're some bloody incompetent thieves, I'll give you that.

Citizen Smash conitnues his dialogue with Pablo Paredes, a naval deserter... oops, I mean conscientious objector.

Sorry about the light posting...

...but it's been a bit busy here the past week. Between final exams, a weekend trip to San Diego, and work actually making us work for a change, I haven't had time to post anything. Hell I haven't had much of a chance to do anything besides study and attend festive (drunken)Christmas parties. (what can I say the fetching Mrs. Wookie and I have a busy social calendar. No really, we do).

Anyway, finals are over, but the busy season at work continues with training classes and 1 month's worth of work squeezed into 3 weeks of actual working time. All this leaves little free time, but I'll try to pick up the pace.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The godsend that is TiVo

Before I get into my latest favortie show House, I've got to say that TiVo (I have a DVR, but they're essentially the same) is the greatest thing since sliced bread. No more fumbling with VCR timers, no more missing your favorite shows. For the losers who won't leave the house if their favorite show is on (like me), they are no free to live their lives without that hanging over their heads! This is the biggest mass liberation of US citizens since feminism! How crazy is that!

Anyway, I've been recording the series House, every time it airs, but I hadn't had a chance to watch the last three episodes. So instead of wasting my time studying for my physiology final, I watched all three episodes las night (and it only took about 2 and a half hours because you get to fast forward through all the stupid commercials, and since it's a medical based show I don't feel so bad about not studying).

Dr. House's rants when he's forced to actually deal with a patient face to face are hysterical. He had two that I watched yesterday one with a newborn's mother who insisted she didn't want to vaccinate her child just to line the pockets of pharmeceutical fat cats since they'd obviously created a mass hysteria over the subject, padding their bottom line in the process. His response was, "Yeah sure, and you know what other shameless capitalists pad their bottom lines? Baby coffin makers. All thanks to stupid mothers who don't realize that their antibodies only protect the baby for six months." Priceless.

The other patient drove 70 miles out of his way to this hospital for a small stab wound and House deduces it's because he's sued doctors at the closer two hospitals (and because he's cheating on his wife), so now they won't treat him. House treats him and lets him go. When he returns with the lawsuit papers, House says he's got to inform the CDC that he has gonorrhea since it's a health risk, so his wife should be expecting a call shortly from the government. They guy asks for the papers back, House says, "Nope, see you in court." This guy is quickly becoming my hero. He's got that rapier quick wit that I only seem to be able to express via the written word. Upon meeting anyone, I usually stumble over "Hello." My mouth just doesn't seem quick enough to keep up with my brain and then lots of drool and slobber ensues as I fumble. But I digress.

If you haven't seen it yet, watch it, if for nothing else than to keep their ratings up. Otherwise Fox will probably replace it with some other lame reality TV show like My Big Fat Annoying Boss or Rebel Billionaire.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

A day that will live in infamy...

December 7, 1941. America awakens to a surprise attack by the Japanese which finally involves us in World War II. At the time it as the worst surprise attack in US history, and post September 11 it's the worst military surprise attack in US history.

That was a truly tragic day in US history, as Shot in the Dark, Michelle Malkin, and Froggy Ruminations point out our WWII vets are passing away quickly, so find one and thank them for the sacrifices they made to make America safe and promote freedom and democracy in the face of totalitarianism and tyranny. They fought for a noble cause and are deserving of the recognition.

For those who haven't visited the Pearl Harbor memorial in Hawaii, put it on the list of things to do. It's a peaceful, serene, and beautiful place. I was still a teenager at the time of my visit, but the power of the memorial was evident as veterans, on their knees, openly wept for those who died and for those still entombed in the sunken wreckage. That memorial and ground zero at the former world trade center are the two most amazingly emotional and patiotic places I've ever been. All Americans should make that pilgrimage.

UPDATE: Laughing Wolf has a telling history of the Pearl Harbor attacks (via Citizen Smash).

UPDATE: National Geographic has a full timeline and reenactment of events that day. Very cool (via Six Meat Buffet).

Monday, December 06, 2004

Zut alors! I have meessed one!

Ah the French. We all love them and the little things they do that just make life so interesting. Cafes, fine art, wine, nude beaches and... how to propoerly secure explosives on an airplane (via Say Anything):

"Airport police deliberately placed a bag containing plastic explosives into a passenger's luggage early Friday evening, Bouquin said.

The exercise was designed to test sniffer dogs' abilities. One dog successfully detected the item, but the other did not. Before police got another chance, the bag had been carried off on a conveyor belt going from check-in to planes."

But here's the best part, they LOST THE BAGS!!!!

They must have put Inspector Clouseau in charge of airport security over there. Perhaps Rowan Atkinson has been consulted on the proper procedures for baggages-with-explosives-in-them handling.

Whatever's going on over there, it's certainly not helping. At this point they should be treated like a 3 year old around breakables. You just want to tell them, "No please, don't help. No, really. It's OK. We're better off with you just sitting down and not touching anything."

UPDATE: Radio Blogger has the story as well with another quote which exemplifies the French laissez-faire attitude towards... well, everything:

About five ounces of the explosive were slipped into the bag of a passenger during dog training at Charles de Gaulle Airport. The bag ended up flying away on one of 90 flights leaving at the time, and police were trying to track it down Sunday. Airlines, airports and police forces around the world have been alerted.

However, police said the explosive is "no more dangerous than a bar of chocolate."

Ah yes, the true danger of chocolate is revealed! I always knew the "it melts in your mouth not in you hands" slogan was a lie. This has been a public service announcement. Merci beaucoup!

UPDATE: Bummer! Radio Blogger stole my Inspector Clouseau idea! Great minds do think alike however...

Friday, December 03, 2004

Groningen Protocol

This is something that most of you probably haven't seen covered anywhere else (especially in the MSM). The Groningen Protocol is a independent board of review put in place by the government of Holland to "review cases for terminally ill people 'with no free will'" to determine their quality of life so that they may be killed. Now of course those of us with some compassion can obviously understand the position of loved one's allowing their mother, father, son, etc. to be taken off of life support or the availability of a person ahead of time to decide whether or not to sign a DNR form. But this is very different (via Hugh Hewitt).

"Under the Groningen protocol, if doctors at the hospital think a child is suffering unbearably from a terminal condition, they have the authority to end the child's life. The protocol is likely to be used primarily for newborns, but it covers any child up to age 12.

The hospital, beyond confirming the protocol in general terms, refused to discuss its details.

"It is for very sad cases," said a hospital spokesman, who declined to be identified. "After years of discussions, we made our own protocol to cover the small number of infants born with such severe disabilities that doctors can see they have extreme pain and no hope for life. Our estimate is that it will not be used but 10 to 15 times a year [for now, sure]."

A parent's role is limited under the protocol. While experts and critics familiar with the policy said a parent's wishes to let a child live or die naturally most likely would be considered, they note that the decision must be professional, so rests with doctors."

That is scary. I'm pro-abortion (regulated to first trimester, no partial birth abortions), but this takes abortion to a whole new level. This new protocol covers any child up to age 12? So some government assigned panel out there can decide to end the life of a 12 year old kid, if they think he doesn't have the free will to determine his own life's value or quality? And the parents are only involved in a limited fashion in the decision? Since when can a government decide who deserves to live or die?

And you've got to love the vague qualifier "suffering unbearably" and "terminal condition." So what exactly does does that encompass? Deformations (spinal deformity, missing limbs, paralysis)? Mental retardation? What about cystic fibrosis or multiple sclerosis? Those are painful and in many cases lethal. Can we kill them? This is some sort of genetic discrimination. People who don't "meet certain criteria" aren't allowed to live. This could only come from a country with socialized medical care where the government foots the bill and doesn't want to pay for excessive doctors fees for those who shouldn't be living anyway, according to their panel.
Keep and eye on Hugh and Carol Liebau for more info.

UPDATE 1: Here are some other great blogs discussing the Groningen Protocol:

Dr. John Mark Reynolds: Holland is just another sign of the end of this kindly regime, dimly remembered from my childhood. Modern liberalism, secularism really, now is defined by who it can kill. Kill the unborn. Kill the weak and sickly child. Make society such that no one desires or can afford enough children to replace the population. Create a culture so libertine that children are scarred by the violence and ugliness that pervades their lives. There is nothing good about liberalism anymore. Modern liberalism is ineffectual and hateful. The party of Bryan, Scoop Jackson, and Zel Miller has become the party of abortionists and people who value snail darters over loggers.

De tout et de riens: "Applying euthanasia to children is another step down the slope in this debate," said Henk Jochemsen, the director of Holland's Lindeboom Institute, which studies medical ethics. "Not everybody agrees, obviously, but when we broaden the application from those who actively and repeatedly seek to end their lives to those for whom someone else determines death is a better option, we are treading in dangerous territory."
ou quand la décision de l'euthanasie est prise par d'autres que les personnes concernées [my translation: or when the decision to euthenize is made by others than the people concerned.]

Tan Horizons: It is fortunate that Stephen Hawking is English... "As things are, people are doing this secretly and that's wrong," said Eduard Verhagen, head of Groningen's children's clinic. "In the Netherlands we want to expose everything, to let everything be subjected to vetting." Vetting? "Can we kill this baby?""Mmm...No.""Too late."

Sidespot: What we are talking about, though, is the next step after consensual, doctor-assisted suicide. Namely, the non-consensual termination of life. More bluntly, they are killing these babies. They are killing babies for noble (in their minds) reasons, but they are killing babies nonetheless.

Brain Shavings: Now imagine that the decision whether or not to kill your daughter will be made by strangers. These government sanctioned strangers are bureaucrats, and no matter how high-minded their intentions may be in the beginning, we all know what eventually happens to bureaucracies. Bureaucrats strive to protect and expand their turf and their influence. They reduce everything to cold calculations about supplies and budgets and expenses. The interests of the people they're supposedly serving disappear in the haze, and the high-ranking bureaucrats make sweeping policy decisions that they never have to implement themselves. Eventually, they see themselves as entitled to the power they wield, and woe to the lowly citizen who disagrees.

Froggy Ruminations: Here is what happens when a fully matured version of Hillarycare is allowed to evolve ensuring that the government is responsible to pay for everyone's treatment. When the government controls medicine, treatment priorities emerge, funding shortages arrive, and rationing is inevitable. Traditional rationing as experienced in Canada or the UK are bad enough; look at the collective dental condition of the British. Atrocious. But when rationing is mixed with secular humanism and liberal eugenic ideals, involuntary euthanasia of infants will eventually come into the picture. Government policy in all of its manifestations is a game of incentives, and people will adjust their behaviors good or bad in accordance with the policy landscape in which they live. That is what makes slippery slopes so slick.

Interested-Participant: Fourth trimester abortion is my term for what is generally called the Groningen Protocol... encompassing the systematic mercy killing of newborns.

UPDATE 3: Patterico links the latest from Hugh and Captain's Quarters.

UPDATE 4: Got Design (along with a kick ass new design, two thumbs way up!!) has two great posts on the Groningen Protocol here and here coming from slightly more religious perspective than my own. Both deserve to be checked out.

A little bit of humor

After a round of less than fun posts, I found this (EvilWhiteGuy) too funny to pass up (via Say Anything):

Do assault weapons cause crime? I think most reasonable people would say no. However, without empirical data, that's just an opinion. And the 1994 assult weapons ban has recently expired. So the people at Assult Weapons Watch have purchased a Colt AR-15. They have set up lighting and a web cam to monitor it 24/7. So far, the rifle has just remained where they left it, but if it ever does decide to go out on its own and kill someone, they will have captured it on video.

Bwah ha ha ha!

Nuclear reality TV

Based on recent discussions held by Citizen Smash on the future likelihood of a nuclear weapon being detonated on US soil by our enemies, pop TV seems to have taken to the possibility. The WB's Jack & Bobby (Wed. 12/1 episode) ended the show with this scenario to leave viewers hanging in the balance:

President Robert McCallister addressed the nation on September 11, 2040 (or somewhere around that year) in the shadow of the new Freedom Tower which replaced the World Trade Center. The next day, Spetember 12th, a generic terrorist group drives a van across the Canadian border and detonates a nuclear warhead in downtown Chicago.

As Smash outlines, most Americans don't want to think of this threat as a reality, because let's face it, the thought is a bit of a bummer. But that doesn't change the nature of the threat and that is why deterrence is not enough. A suicide bombing terrorist doesn't care that in response we my nuke his country, he's going to be dead anyway. This isn't like the Cold War where they were afraid we'd fire our nukes in response to theirs and vice versa. Terrorists aren't worried about their citizens, they have no country. They will sacrifice whatever they have at hand to reach their goals, which leads us to the concept of a preemptive war. There out to kill us (our society and way of life actually) and for those of you concerned, that would be bad. Hence Dubya's policy which he clearly articulated shortly after 9/11/01 that we would not distinguish between the actual terrorists and those who harbor or fund them whether those are individuals or countries and their government. And since then we've killed or arrested some 60+% of al Qaeda and replaced to terrorist friendly (harboring/funding) governments.

There is still lots of work to be done. This is not a threat that will easily be defeated, and honestly it could take at least as long as the Cold War. But Americans have the pateince and attention span of an ant. If it takes longer than 30 seconds we're not happy campers. Well too friggin' bad. Deal with it America. If we don't wage this war now, it will bite us in the ass much sooner than later. Most military experts actually expect a nuclear attack on the US to happen, but my thoughts are if we continue this war and start to enforce our borders we can delay what the experts believe to be inevitable. Hopefully delay it forever, but that requires a lot of dead terrorists. America better suck it up and deal with that.