Monday, February 28, 2005

Quote of the day

"And now an actor who when he isn't exciting us with his acting he's boring us with his politics, Tim Robbins!"

- Chris Rock, The Oscars

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Vox Blogoli 2.2: Does the Senate GOP Go McClellan or Grant if Harry Reid "Goes Gingrich?"

Well, since Hugh's asking us all for our opinions again, I figured I'd add my two cents.

It is with great hesitation, after much deliberation, and only to be used as a last resort that I would recommend using what has commonly been referred to as the "nuclear option" regarding the override of a potential Democratic filibuster of Dubya's judicial nominees.

For those of you who've read my blog before you know better than to come here for insightful legal advice. I'm just a simple wookie trying to get into the medical field who happens to be an opinionated loudmouth as well. Don't ask me how all this government mumbo-jumbo works, for that you can go read Hugh, Powerline, or some of those other lawyers out there.

I just finished watching Field of Dreams on AMC. It's one of my favorite movies and I always get choked up at the end, not because Kevin Costner repairs his relationship with his dad, not because James Earl Jones "dies" and joins the other ballplayers in heaven, amd not because Kevin's little girl falls off the benches and then Doc Graham has to give up baseball again to save her and then he has to go and walk off into the corn forever.

To me the movie is about James Earl Jones' speech toward the end about the traditions of America. America has been a slate "wiped clean, rebuilt, then wiped clean again." When our founding fathers began this country freedom was the goal, but they were smart enough to realize that they didn't know what the future would bring, so they left us the ability to make the necessary changes as times changed. In the grand scheme of things, America as a country is still a teeneager; we're rebellious, we don't like being told what to do by others, and regardless of what you say we're going to do what we feel is right (damn, that makes us sound an awful lot like the French, *shudder*). We don't have the grand history of the French or Italians or British. All we have is our freedom and our traditions no matter how short lived.

And it is with our traditions in mind that I am so reluctant to put aside Senate tradition, so that Republicans can rewrite the judicial process to prevent judicial filibusters. Once we've done that and "gone nuclear" there is no turning back. That is something that cannot be undone. Should this happen perhaps we'll have shot ourselves in the foot for the future when Democrats try to push Michael Moore or their latest darling Ward Churchill through judicial nomination process. What could we do then?

This does not mean that I am not furious with Democrats for taking us to the point where we have to even consider this option. They are breaking Senate traditions as well by filibustering Dubya's nominees. Again. But as Hugh points out this could be a good thing in the long run, but Republicans should weather the storm. It shows that the Democrats are really starting to lose their sanity, doing things never before done. They are afraid of losing their two remaining bastions of hope: the courts (and the legal profession in general) and academia.

With Dubya winning his second term in what is in retrospect a landslide, the country gave Dubya his mandate (on a side note, for all you morons out there with the "53% is not a mandate" bumper stickers... get a grip. Just because you disagree, doesn't mean it's not a mandate. If roles were reversed and Kerry had won with 53%, you'd be screaming from every mountain top that "the nation had spoken" to "hold Bush accountable for his" *gag, wretch* "war crimes." Please. Take it like a man; stop whining.) The public is now being made aware of the atrocities being preached in our universities in the name of diversity; the Ward Churchill debacle is a prime example. And now Dubya is trying to swing our courts back toward the center from the far, far left.

This possible filibuster is the Democrats chance to save their party. If they decide to filibuster, they will further marginalize themselves and push mainstream, political centrist Americans away by mocking their faith and their beliefs in standards and accountability. Or, as Hugh suggested, perhaps a Democrat with some common sense will step forward and speak out against the filibuster in an effort to save their party (this really could be a shining moment for Hillary. It would go a long way with middle America) . We'll have to wait and see.

Think of the nuclear option in terms of the weapon it alludes to. When we dropped "the bomb" on the Japanese to bring them to their knees and prevent future years worth of war and killing, it gave the left-wing, moonbat peaceniks something to hold over the head of this country. You still hear them ridicule this country and guilt trip those in power with their tired sayings like "the only country to actually use a nuclear weapon." Let's not give them anymore ammunition.

For Republicans, the nuclear option should remain just that, an option. Use it for leverage; use it to threaten. But push that button only if all other options have failed.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Mmmmm..... just...... had..... massage......






(that's a puddle of wookie drool)

"Thank you Ms. Rice, May I have another?"

When I heard Hugh mention this story today I thought maybe April Fools Day had come early. But no he spoke the truth. One of this country's top newspapers thinks Condi could be a dominatrix.

Rice's coat and boots speak of sex and power -- such a volatile combination, and one that in political circles rarely leads to anything but scandal. When looking at the image of Rice in Wiesbaden, the mind searches for ways to put it all into context. It turns to fiction, to caricature. To shadowy daydreams. Dominatrix! It is as though sex and power can only co-exist in a fantasy. When a woman combines them in the real world, stubborn stereotypes have her power devolving into a form that is purely sexual.
My favorite part is that instead of running this is say People, Weekly World News, or Dominatrix Today they run this on the front page of their Fashion Section ("Page C01"). I suppose that better than the front page of the paper in general, but still... does crap inanity like this deserve to be printed? Even Hugh's guest (name eludes me at the moment) who said he works for the Post said he wouldn't have run it.

Was it said tongue in cheek? Probably. Was it stupid? Definitely. But if this type of commentary is fair game, just wait to see what the blogosphere does to Hillary Clinton when she runs for president.

Game on!

Hunter Thompson attends his own wake

This is just a little too weird for me (via Drudge).

ASPEN — Hunter S. Thompson heard the ice clinking.

The literary champ was sitting in his command post kitchen chair, a piece of blank paper in his favorite typewriter, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot through the mouth hours earlier.

But a small circle of family and friends gathered around with stories, as he wished, with glasses full of his favored elixir — Chivas Regal on ice.

"It was very loving. It was not a panic, or ugly, or freaky," Thompson's wife, Anita Thompson, said Thursday night in her first spoken comments since the icon's death Sunday. "It was just like Hunter wanted. He was in control here."

Anita Thompson also echoes the comments that have been made by Hunter Thompson's son and daughter-in-law: That her husband's suicide did not come from the bottom of the well, but was a gesture of strength and ultimate control made as his life was at a high-water mark.
Yeah, I know the guy was hailed as a literary genius (I can't testify to that, never read any of his stuff, but from what I've heard he wrote what he knew), but when you leave the body in the chair he shot himself in, have a few family and friends over, and crack open a bottle of Chivas, that's crazy not normal.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A proud day for my alma mater

O'Reilly just aired a piece about student TV sex scandals at my alma mater (hat tip to mom and dad wookie who called to let me know about the piece and asked if that's what all the money they spent on my education went to. Haha very funny)

La Jolla, CA - The University of California San Diego is investigating whether a campus television station's broadcast of a student performing sexual acts violated federal and university regulations.

The 90-minute show, "Koala TV," which has aired three times this month, contains a 10-minute segment showing UCSD senior Steve York performing sexual acts with an unidentified woman.

The show is a spinoff of The Koala, a satirical magazine distributed on campus that has printed irreverent and controversial material. It has featured graphic photos and illustrations of lewd sexual behavior, and poked fun at Asians, blacks, Jews, Mormons, gays and lesbians.
Now more often than not The Koala is the type of publication that would be considered bathroom reading do to a preponderance of fart, sex, and drinking jokes and therefore, generally harmless, and they have had some brighter moments. This, however is way over the top.

Bill could barely get out the words "tax payers money" without laughing in the face of the star of the sex film. The kid laughs and smiles, thinks it's a big hoot, but (if the chancellor has grown some cajones since I graduated) he's about to get all the funding pulled for SRTV, or some sort of censors for the show. UCSD TV used to also broadcast on the local cable carriers as well (for all the off campus students). I'm sure there's a world of hurt waiting to be unleashed over this one.

There'd better be or I want all the $0 dollars I've donated as an alumni back.

I tell you... kids these days...

Give them a video camera and they think they're Paris Hilton.


Video link to the O'Reilly segment here.

Syria to start withdrawing from Lebanon

A hardline Middle East policy pays off again for Dubya (via Slings & Arrows):

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria indicated on Monday it would start withdrawing some of its troops from Lebanon soon, but President Bush insisted it should "end its occupation" of its neighbor...

"Just as the Syrian regime must take stronger action to stop those who support violence and subversion in Iraq and must end its support for terrorist groups seeking to destroy the hope of peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Syria must also end its occupation of Lebanon," Bush said in a speech in Belgium at the start of a trip to meet European Union and NATO leaders...

Thousands of Lebanese protesters chanted "Syria out" as they marched in Beirut a week after Hariri's assassination.

Protesters carrying Lebanese flags and wearing red-and-white scarves, a symbol of the opposition, converged on an exclusive seafront area where the bomb tore through Hariri's motorcade.

They observed a one-minute silence at 12:55 p.m. (5:55 a.m. EST), the exact time Hariri was killed a week ago.

"The truth is, we can't stand Syria," protesters chanted, as well as "Syria out" and "Freedom, sovereignty, independence."
When you knock out a couple of corrupt regimes, the rest of them just start to crumble. First Libya, then Palestinian leadership started to move away from being under the thumb of Hamas, and now Syria.

The rest of the region better watch out; it looks like that democracy thing is contagious.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Krauthammer not happy with Bush

I actually think it's a good thing when conservatives criticize their own party. It keeps us fresh and dynamic as opposed to stagnant and shrill like the Deaniac Democrats. And Krauthammer says what has to be said, that the social security is doomed and that the president's idea, while nice, won't solve it. What a happy idea to start the weekend.

We have to reform the system. There is no free lunch. Private accounts are a fine idea for other problems, such as dependency and transferability to heirs. They are irrelevant to the solvency problem. We would have to raise taxes or cut benefits -- or borrow, endlessly and ruinously.

The Democrats' plan is to stick their heads in the sand. The problem is that every year we allow to go by means that the reduction in benefits or the increase in taxes will have to be larger. If we had started this in the fat years of the 1990s, we could have done it at reasonably low cost in benefit cuts and/or tax increases. We now have 13 years rather than 20 or so before the system starts bleeding red.

That is why the president's 2042 date is so disastrous. It makes it seem as if the problem is very far away. True, he mentioned 2018, but bringing up 2042 simply muddies the logic. It reinforces the idea that there really is a trust fund from which we will be drawing to pay the elderly for the quarter-century between the years 2018 and 2042. There is not. It is just paper.

As much as I love giving away money for nothing, I really would like all the money social security sucks out of my paycheck back when I retire in 40 years. Let's get that fixed sometime this decade shall we?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

True art

This was sent to me in a forward.

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That is what I call art.

UPDATE: I thought I ought to credit the artist here. This was done by a young man Ray "Bubba" Sorenson.

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Excellent work Ray. God Bless.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Quote of the day

"I believe... that if you can't say something nice about somebody, you must be talking about Hillary Clinton"

- Jeff Foxworthy, "Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again"

I knew he was smarter than just those redneck jokes.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Iraqi elections a success

The results are in, and in true democratic fashion no one ran away with the election. In a country with such diversity of culture and religious beliefs, it only makes sense that no one would be a clear winner meaning the three main groups Shiites, Kruds, and Sunnis will have to work together to get their fledgling democracy off the ground.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Clergy-backed Shiites and independence-minded Kurds swept to victory in Iraq's landmark elections, propelling to power the groups that suffered the most under Saddam Hussein and forcing Sunni Arabs to the margins for the first time in modern history, according to final results released Sunday.

But the Shiites' 48 percent of the vote is far short of the two-thirds majority needed to control the 275-member National Assembly. The results threw immediate focus on Iraqi leaders' backdoor dealmaking to create a new coalition government - possibly in an alliance with the Kurds - and on efforts to lure Sunnis into the fold and away from a bloody insurgency....
Just a thought here but since when is 48% ever been considered a "sweep to victory"? Dubya got what, 53% of the US vote and the MSM can't say "mandate" without putting a big fat question mark behind it. But now somehow 48% is a runaway sweep.

...The Shiite-dominated United Iraqi Alliance ticket received 4,075,295 votes, or about 48 percent of the total cast, officials said.

The Kurdistan Alliance, a coalition of two main Kurdish parties, finished second with 2,175,551 votes, or 26 percent. And the Iraqi List headed by Allawi stood third with 1,168,943 votes, or nearly 14 percent....
This is perhaps an even more excellent view of a truly representative democracy than the US two party system. Everyone will be represented. But of course the Sunnis will complain:

...In contrast, many Sunni Arabs, who make up an estimated 20 percent of the population, stayed home on election day, either out of fear of violence or to support a boycott call by radical clerics opposed to the U.S. military.

Overall, national turnout was about 60 percent, the commission said - but only 2 percent of the eligible voters cast ballots in Anbar province, the Sunni insurgent stronghold that includes Ramadi and Fallujah.
Well the rest of your country seemed to make it OK. Next time get off your asses and you won't have as much to whine about. The "we boycotted but now that's it's over we protest because we won't be represented as much as we should be" argument really doesn't hold much water. There's no reason why Sunnis have to be the Ralph Nader party in Iraq; you're 20% of the population. Deal with it.

Congrats to the Iraqis for braving the threat of violence and choosing to decide their own destiny.

So who's next on our list... Iran?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Abbas is playing hardball and other Jewish sundries

Well this certainly looks good for finally bringing peace to Israel and Palestine.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will meet Saturday with militant leaders to push them to honor a days-old cease-fire marred by mortar and rocket attacks on Israeli targets, according to an aide...

Abbas' planned meetings with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad faction were the latest sign of his commitment to keeping intact the cease-fire he and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared Tuesday to end 4 1/2 years of bloodletting.

On Thursday, he fired top security commanders after Hamas bombarded Jewish settlements in Gaza with mortars and rockets. And the central committee of his Fatah movement announced a state of emergency in the Palestinian security forces in an effort to prevent new attacks.
Wow. Them's fightin' words. Pretty soon the Israelis are going to want to throw that man a bar mitzvah or something... if it works. He's still got to get Hamas and Islamic Jihad to come to the table:

The Islamic militant group Hamas said it would only stop attacks when it was satisfied Israel would release prisoners and stop pursuing militants.
Yeah right. To quote the great philosopher Wayne... "and monkeys might fly out of my butt." I think Israel is the only country you can count on to follow up tough talk with action. They're not afraid to assassinate the occasional terrorist leader or make preemptive strikes to ensure their survival regardless of the UN's frowning, resolution making, and coordinating. In fact they're our wild card with Iran trying to obtain nuclear weapons. The Israelis destroyed Saddam's reactor in the 1980's, and I'm sure they'd do it again if it came right down to it (the sad thing is our government would probably chastise them for doing so). So if that whole diplomacy thing doesn't work, Israel can blast Iran back into the stone age if they need to.

And, for those of you interested in advances in medical technologies, apparently an Israeli has come up with a new method for saving lives in the field: rocks. And our soldiers like using rocks too:

IsFullofCrap (via Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler) - An innovative new bandage, invented by an American-born Israeli combat medic adapting an improvised IDF field practice of placing a rock onto a bandage to keep pressure on a wound, is already saving the lives of U.S. soldiers in Iraq...

Cracking the thorny U.S. military purchasing system, the Jerusalem-based First Care Products startup founded by Bar-Natan sold nearly 200,000 Emergency Bandages to the American military in 2003, and 800,000 last year.

American GIs have come to call it "the Israeli bandage."
See, now why couldn't I think of that? Then I'd be making millions of dollars, and it would be called the "wookie bandage," which sounds much better if I do say so myself.

And finally, one more Jewish update. The fetching Mrs. Wookie attended a speaker presentation by our favorite talk show host, Dennis Prager, that was on the subject of Jews impressions of Christianity and why there's been a revival, so to speak, of Christian appreciation for Judaism, and Jew's general suspicion of Christians. It was apparently a very involved discussion which I, unfortunately, was unable to attend (my life is work, school, sleep. That's it. I barely have time to blog at all. Sometimes I have to choose, blog or eat. Man that's a tough one.) When the fetching Mrs. Wookie, returns from her business trip I'll get her notes and post something on Dennis's talk. Very rarely does anyone express such complicated philosophies in such a precise and powerful manner. But that's why we listen, and that's why the fetching Mrs. Wookie cried when he gave her a hug.


Maybe monkey's will really fly out of my butt:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - The Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad said Saturday they were adhering to a de facto truce with Israel, but stopped short of committing to the official cease-fire that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed on at their summit.

Damn. And a doctor I worked for emailed me this comment:
Make no mistakes about it. Israel won't take shit from anyone in the middle east. Six days was five days more than probably necessary historically to kick butt to all the followers of the "religion of peace." By the way, I recommend a book, if you haven't already read it. "The Case for Israel," by Alan Dershowitz.

It's unfortunate, but probably predictable, that any purveyor of peace in the Palestinian world such as Abbas, will ultimately face his death by the "Religion of Peace," the Hamas, or Islamic Jihad. God forbid that anyone with a vision of peace could actually survive such a milieu.
Thanks Doc. Hopefully this time we're wrong.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Check the new digs

I finally got around to my New Years resolution to improve my website after complaints that the previous scheme was giving people seizures:

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.

Far be it from me to use my opinion to incapacitate people so with the keen eye for fashion of the fetching Mrs. Wookie, we have new colors and a HTML for morons type book to learn some of the finer points, like how to center images (duh), and block quotes.

Yeah I know, I'm an idiot with this website crap. Hey I didn't even know that I could use my browser to check out the code for other people's websites. I haven't done it yet, so I should say in my case it's still in the theoretical realm, but it sounds good.

So enjoy, and let me know if you like it. And look for new graphics and themes soon! (Now I need that Photoshop for Dumbasses book)

Friday, February 04, 2005

al Qaeda captures G I Joe, rumors are Cobra jealous

Al Qaeda accomplished something that Cobra never seemed to be able to pull off; they captured and executed G I Joe.

As humorous as that is, it appears to be true (via RadioBlogger). And of course those in the blogosphere with a more creative sense of humor than your humble wookie have responded in kind by capturing Osama bin Laden (more props to RadioBlogger):

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Message to al Qaeda: do what you will to G.I. Joe. He is willing to sacrifice his life for the greater good. This ought to teach you to fight the more powerful infidels. (BTW: Dubya looks like a bad ass. I wonder if he knows he has his own action figure)

So in the immortal words of G.I. Joe's comrades, "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle."

More CNN bias...

As I'm sure the whole world knows by now, CNN executive Eason Jordan, at the Davos conference, got diarrhea of the mouth and blabbed that US troops were using reporters for target practice in Iraq. Any updates are being completely handled by Hugh so give him the hits (like he needs them).

But it does make one wonder: is there something in the water in Davos? First Bill Clinton, then Eason Jordan. Who's next? Maybe we should send Michael Jackson over and have James Lipton interview him, to give the rest of the world a break from the unavoidable 6 months of 24 hour a day coverage that is about to descend on us like the plague with the onset of his trial. He could ask the important questions:

What is your favorite word?
What word do you hate?
What is your favorite sound?
What sound or noise do you hate?
What is your favorite curse word?

Besides, if they keep organizing "Caravans of Hope" from LA to Santa Barabra traffic on the 101 is really going to suck.

Iraq, UN Oil for food (or money, weapons, women, booze...)

It seems to be the story of the day, other than that whole SOTU thing and Iran not being our next traget (I forsee big conservative protests... "Make war, not diplomacy!"). LGF posts this story from CNN. You can tell it will be a good article from the horribly biased title: Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling: Trade was an open secret in administration, U.N.

Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein's regime, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq's neighbors.

I've got ten bucks that says they try to spin this to implicate Dubya even though 9/11 happened just nine months into his term, he listed Saddam in the original "Axis of Weevils," then proceeded to topple his dictatorship, arrest him, prepare him for war crimes trial, and turned Iraq into a democracy. Oh, hey... what do ya know I'm right...

The unclassified State Department documents sent to congressional committees with oversight of U.S. foreign policy divulge that the United States deemed such sales to be in the "national interest," even though they generated billions of dollars in unmonitored revenue for Saddam's regime...

"It was in the national security interest," [...] said [Edward] Walker, who served in both the Clinton and Bush administrations.

What a crappy excuse. Just say Dubya was trying to pad his stock portfolio, make his "Big Oil" buddies happy, or that Halliburton made him do it. At least they mentioned Clinton, since he was in power for the entirity of this scandal. Of course he was too busy diddling interns. And besides, national security is so two decades ago. But why was it in our national security interests (just for shits and giggles...)

[...] because we depended on the stability in Turkey and the stability in Jordan in order to encircle Saddam Hussein," said Walker.... "We had a great amount of cooperation with the Jordanians on the intelligence side, and with the Turks as well, so we were getting value out of the relationship."

You mean there were actual reasons? Wow, who knew. Of course you've got to read 5 paragraphs in to get to that, but that's OK. The title really says it all.

I can't believe the garbage that MSM tries to pass off.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Iraq votes!

Three cheers for the Iraqis! They've taken a monumental step toward liberating not only their own country but the entire middle east. They are the new shining city on the hill (via Powerline)...

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Images like this one will be the example of the success that freedom and democracy can bring to the entire region. That people will risk their lives for a say in their own destiny, flaunting their choice in the faces of the terrorists. This is a big step for the region. Will everything run perfectly from the very beginning? Of course not. There will be some growing pains, but they've made their choice; they've chosen freedom.

But there is more good news. The Iraqis actually think our troops should stay for a little while, because the terrorist attacks on polling places were few and far between. Maybe that means their troops are improving, but the current Iraqi president stills wants our troops there a little longer:

ABC News - The Sunday ballot, which occurred without catastrophic rebel attacks, raised hopes that a new Iraqi government would be able to assume greater responsibility for security, hastening the day when the 170,000 U.S. and other foreign troops can go home.

During a news conference, President Ghazi al-Yawer was asked whether the presence of foreign troops might be fueling the Sunni Arab revolt by encouraging rebel attacks.

"It's only complete nonsense to ask the troops to leave in this chaos and this vacuum of power," al-Yawer, a Sunni Arab, said.

He said foreign troops should leave only after Iraq's security forces are built up, the country's security situation has improved and some pockets of terrorists are eliminated.

Finally someone who makes a little sense when discussing our troops in the region. And some more good news...

ABC News - Meanwhile, Iraq reopened its borders Tuesday and commercial flights took off from Baghdad International Airport as authorities eased security restrictions imposed to protect last weekend's landmark voting.

And for even more unbelievably good news, including an excellent round up on the elections, check out Chrenkoff's Good news from Iraq pt. 20:

Chrenkoff - In scenes unimaginable only two years ago - and scorned as impossible, undesirable and impractical for months - millions of ordinary Iraqi men and women braved terrorist violence and came out to vote for their future government...

Way to go Iraqis; God bless you, and God bless our troops.