Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Best Sentence Money Can Buy

Apparently the "Show Me State" would be better described as the "Show Me The Money State". We've all seen the high-priced, high-profile attorneys available to defendants who can afford the bill. Seems they think (perhaps rightfully so) the more you pay, the better the defense. Well, the folks in Missouri have taken things to the next level.

A defendant in a murder trial agreed to pay the family of the victims $230,000. In exchange, the victim's family recommended the defendant only receive 10 years in prison. The other defendant is sitting on death row. I guess in Missouri, money does solve all problems.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Further Proof That Most Singers Are Idiots

This comes courtesy of Instapundit...

ANTI-AMERICANISM doesn't even impress the hipsters anymore. Just listen to the dismissive treatment of Green Day in the December issue of Q Magazine, which I just noticed:

On the roof of a photographer's studio in a corner of Hollywood so drab it gives Slugh a good name, the three members of Green Day are discussing whether or not to desecrate the American flag. Singer Billie Joe Armstrong, who is dressed in black shirt and skinny red tie, is cautious but keen, while bassis Mike Dirnt, who is bleached blond and much more aloof, is keener still.

"It means nothing to me," he sneers. "Let's burn the f*cking thing."

Only drummer Tre Cool, who is normally the designated prankster of the three and who comes across like Bart Simpson made flesh, offers the lone cautionary voice. "Isn't it, like, illegal?"

It is reluctantly agreed that Cool has a point. It's all very well being punk insurrectionists but there is an album to promote, and nobody wants to face jail time. In the end, a compromise is reached. The matches stay intheir box, and instead Armstrong spraypaints the word IDIOT across the flag in large capital letters, grinning at this apparently considerable fate of derring-do.
"Apparently considerable feat of derring-do." Ouch. Johnny Ramone crapped bigger than these guys, and everybody knows it.

But it's not working with the fans, either, as apparently Green Day's anti-Bush songs don't go over as intended. From later in the same article:
The next night, Green Day perform their new album in its entirety at the Henry Fonda Theater in downtown Hollywood to a partisan crowd of heavily tattooed fans who, in truth, care more about some good old-fashioned slam dancing than any political rhetoric. Afterwards, one beery fan happily confesses that the track Boulevard of Broken Dreams brought tears to his eyes. "It's about a girl, right?" he asks. And 47-year-old maintenance specialist Gary Lansdon hasn't quite heeded their message either.

"I'm a Democrat myself," he says, beaming brightly.

So he'll be voting for Kerry?

"Oh, no," he says, the smile fading. "No band will tell me what to do. I voted for Bush last time, and I'll vote for him again. He's doing a fine job."
"No band will tell me what to do." The article was written before the election, but the handwriting was already on the wall.

UPDATE: Steve Sturm has comments, and observes: "And, for what it's worth, you three idiots, it is NOT illegal to burn the flag. How can you guys even pretend to be intelligent and informed enough to tell other people how to vote when you don't even know that?"

Well, I guess it just seemed like, you know, it had to be, since it was, like, John Ashkkkroft's Amerikkka and everything.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

"...Moved the entire island of Sumatra about 100 feet..."

You've probably heard by now about the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck in the Indian Ocean yesterday, the strongest quake on the planet in 40 years, and the fourth-largest quake ever. Massive tidal waves struck coastal areas from India and Sri Lanka to Indonesia. Right now they're saying over 12,000 people dead, and some entire coastal villages washed out to sea.

Here's what gets me, though. Drudge is reporting that the quake "...moved the entire island of Sumatra about 100 feet toward the southwest." An entire island, over 470,000 square kilometers, moves 100 feet. Wow...

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas! Enjoy your time with family and eat too much.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Was The Lone Ranger Racist?

If he'd been Canadian, maybe so. The Supreme Court of Canada has been asked to rule on whether the term "kemosabe" is a racial slur. A Nova Scotia woman of Mi'kmaq (is that Eskimo?) descent claims her boss used the term to refer to her and other co-workers. She's already been ruled against in their Court of Appeals, after judges spent an entire day watching Lone Ranger episodes on TV.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Political Diversity On Campus

More and more, conservative college students are using the courts to protect their rights to politically-free college classrooms. With so many professors and administrators emphasizing the "liberal" in liberal arts, right-leaning students have turned the tables on the liberals who used activism in the 60's and 70's to gain control on so many campuses.

A former liberal activist turned conservative agitator, David Horowitz, is at the forefront of this movement. So is the group Students For Academic Freedom (SAF). They provide a basic "bill of rights" for students, helping explain what is and isn't appropriate, and they offer suggestions for students seeking recourse for political bias they encounter on campus.

A web site I've mentioned before,, provides a forum for students to post experiences of political intolerance on campus. Some examples:

In a Georgia State University history class:
"...On the first day of class, the professor (who was British) made fun of President Bush, lamented the Bourgeoisie, praised Marx, said that workers should own the means of production (but did not admit that the stock market is for that purpose), and said the only way the problems of the masses are ever solved are through "Revolution", which she wrote emphatically and in very large letters on the board. "

In a course on Chinese religions at Vasser College:
"The most prominent bias was the professor's negative attitude towards President Bush, who he derided several times throughout the course. In two unique situations, he questioned us (the students) on our opinions towards war with Iraq and the death penalty -- it was quite noticeable from earlier comments and his tone that he was in opposition to both."

From University of California - Berkeley RA Training seminar:
"She referred to a hall with pictures of donors to a college as the "Hall of Shame" instead of the "Hall of Fame" because the donors were white."

Also from University of California - Berkeley, a Molecular and Cell Biology course:
"The professor dedicated 30 minutes of a 1.5 hour lecture to letting about 10 individuals speak out about the reasons students in this 700+ student class should dissent against the war."

From a Notre Dame Intro to American Gov't. course:
" [The professor] made it very clear from day 1 that he was a liberal democrat, and that liberal democrats were 'right' and 'the light side of the force'. His stated goal was to win students over to the cause of liberalism."

Turning The Tables On Anti-Christmas Crowd

Columnist Kathleen Parker wants to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and like most of us, she's had enough of the politically-correct crowd's attempts to stifle every mention of Christmas. A good read...

Good Financial Times

Despite the gloom and doom from the Left, the economic health of this country is excellent. In case you missed it, the stock markets had a very good day yesterday. The Dow closed at 10,759. That's the highest close since mid 2001. The S&P market was up yesterday, and all three (Dow, S&P, Nasdaq) are performing well.

The economy is getting stronger, as evidenced by the increase in our gross domestic product (GDP). That measure of economic strength grew by 4 percent during the third quarter of 2004, exceeding estimates. That works out to about $106.3 billion in new econimic business. Gross domestic product measures the value of all goods and services produced in the United States and is the broadest barometer of the country's economic health. Estimates for fourth quarter growth are 5.5 to 4.5 percent.

During the third quarter, consumer spending was up a whopping 5.1 percent. On the job front, 415,000 new jobs were created in October and November.

Just a little more good economic news to brighten the holiday season.

Monday, December 20, 2004

From Around The Web

The Mormans are preparing to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith's birth, and things are starting to get interesting. Some are even starting to suggest (egad!) that he made up the whole golden tablet/"revising" the scriptures/polygamy is fun/we're all gods in embryo thing. As a genealogist, I've gotta give the LDS folks tons of credit. They have a tremendous belief in the importance of family and the family unit. Their contributions to family history research are unsurpassed. But when it comes to their beliefs about God, I just don't get it.

Meanwhile, Samsung has announced the development of its 102-inch plasma screen. That's a man's TV.

In Vatican City, St. Peter's Basilica now has a coffee bar. No, it's not a Starbucks. In other news, you can now fire off an e-mail to Pope John Paul II. Wouldn't you like to see some of the spam he gets?

Still no official word on what caused the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (not that too many people actually care), but his associates are suspecting he was poisoned. They think the poison might have been administered last year - by handshake.

Even a tropical paradise can have its little drawbacks. Seems people in Hawaii are paying upwards of $200 for Christmas trees. Life is so unfair...

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Split Christmas

Shannon and I are doing our first dual-family Christmas this year, trying to get together with her family and mine for all the holiday fun. With meals at her Grandma's on Christmas Eve, and my Granny's on Christmas Day, the diet must start on December 26th!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

"... Their love was like forbidden fruit: tasty."

The annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest challenges entrants to pen the world's most atrocious first line to a novel. The winners included the bl;og title above , and these ditties...

"Tasty waffle?" Jim suggested alluringly, prodding me with the afore-mentioned breakfast food

My English teacher, Mrs. Robinson, always said to start in the middle of something interesting, so here's Peter encased in 50 cubic feet of Jell-O.

Critics are calling me a fat cat, viciously ignoring the fact that I've been working out.

I am pleased to announce that, although attitudes have improved immensely, the beatings will continue.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Know Who You're Giving Your Money To

I know it's probably considered extreme, but I just hate spending my money at stores or on products that indirectly benefit liberal political causes. That's why I won't buy Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, and why I don't like Old Navy and Barnes & Noble. I don't want to knowingly support people and businesses that have a radically skewed vision of this nation.

The Libs themselves have helped me keep track of who I do and don't want to do business with. Through a web site called Choose The Blue, you can see just how much money the people you buy from are spending (2003-2004 election cycle) on political causes. Some examples, from the Retail Stores category from Choose The Blue...

Barnes & Noble - 98% of their donated funds went to Democratic candidates
Bed, Bath & Beyond - 93% to Democrats
Costco - 98% Democratic
Gap - 61% Democratic
Old Navy - 61% to Democrats

Circuit City - 96% to Republican candidates
Home Depot - 94% Republican
Sears - 76% To Republicans
Target - 73% to Republicans

There are tons of listings, from fast-food (Arby's, Starbucks and Sonic are heavy Blue) to car companies (all Red except Toyota). If you check it out, I hope your favorites fall on your side.

UPDATE : To address the comment posted by "Nemo", most of the information comes from the Federal Election Commission's web site ( and from the Center for Responsive Politics ( The liberal web site is posting it for their use, and I think it's priceless that we can use it to avoid their supporting businesses, if we choose.

Maybe Good News From PLO

It seems that since Yasser Arafat began his celestial sand-nap, there may actually be a chance for something resembling peace between the PLO and Israel. Mahmoud Abbas, a former Palestinian prime minister who now heads the Palestine Liberation Organization, told the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that the Palestinian "use of arms has been damaging and should end."

Abbas has repeatedly called for an end to the violence against Israel, saying he doesn't believe that continued violence would achieve the goals of Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and establishment of a Palestinian state. Maybe there's some hope...

Monday, December 13, 2004

Good News From Iraq

As I've mentioned before, blogger Arthur Chrenkoff presents "Good News From Iraq" every couple of weeks. He brings us news that somehow doesn't make the cable or network newscasts. It's amazing how this news presents a far, far, far different picture about everyday Iraqi life and society than you'll get from CNN, CBS or the New York Times. Or, for that matter, from the Democrats...

Good News From Iraq
The Iraqi national elections are slated for January 30, and over 14 million voters are registered. Iraqis who fled the country during Saddam Hussein's rule are being allowed to vote as well. Thousands of candidates are running for provincial seats and seats in the National Assembly. Nations from Switzerland to China have pledged money, resources and/or people to help ensure the elections take place properly.

Iraqi women continue to acclimate themsleves to greater rights and freedoms in the new Iraq. Many nations and organizations from around the world are assisting the living victims of Hussein's genocidal legacy.

Iraq's museums are benefiting from the country's new leadership, with antiques and objects of historical significance being returned for display.

Christian churches and chapels are being rebuilt. Muslim organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have offered their help in raising the awareness of the issue and collecting funds.

Economically, the country is beginning to grow. Economic output in the first ten months of 2004 is almost 52% above 2003. Per capita income is also up over 50% from last year. The Iraqi currency, the dinar, has appreciated 27% against the U.S. dollar in the past year. $33 billion in Iraqi debts to the G7 nations have been written off, which may help bring in financial aid from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Kuwait is proposing a cut of 80% in the debt owed to it, and Russia will reduce what Iraq owes them from $10.5 billion to around $1 billion.

The Iraqi Stock Exchange has more than 70 companies listed, and anywhere from 100 million to 500 million shares are traded daily.

The largest industry in Iraq, oil, stands to grow. Already the fifth largest oil producer in the Middle East, Iraq plans to increase capacity by about 15% next year.

An employment boom is reported in some parts of the country, especially in the Kurdish north. In Samarra, economic activity was climbing to new heights, store fronts booming with goods for sale, market places bustling with movement, and decades old trash, rubble, and graffiti disappeared as it was being carried away by a robust and motivated work force. In Nasiriya, reports say more than 30,000 new jobs have been created in the last few months.

There's more going on, with water plants being brought back online, roads being build, trains being renovated and running again, electrical output increasing, etc.

There is so much we aren't hearing about in the press. Wonder why?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

This Is A Hero

Meet Sgt. Rafael Peralta, a Marine from San Diego, California. He's my new hero. What this man did in the final few minutes of his life provides a lesson in what a true hero is.

Sgt. Peralta's unit was clearing a house in Fallujah when, entering a room, he was hit in the chest and face by by multiple rounds of AK-47 fire. Although mortally wounded, he was able to move out of the doorway, allowing other members of his squad to go after the terrorists who had shot him. In the chaos that ensued, one of the terrorists tossed a grenade into the crowd of Marines, rolling to a stop close to Peralta’s nearly lifeless body. The sergeant, nearly dead, reached for the grenade and pulled it into his chest, taking the full brunt of the explosion and saving the lives of several comrades.

This is what a hero is. This is what a Marine is.

I Don't Know What To Say...

This just might be the most outrageous story I've ever heard from a public school system. This is disturbing, disgusting and unbelievable.

A female senior at Rufus King High School in Milwaukee, Wisonsin was a victim of a sexual assault at the school by a male student - and she was suspended by the school when she reported it. She was suspended without explanation, even though an investigation led to a guilty plea by her attacker. Her record has still not been cleared, even after the guilty plea, and even after an assistant district attorney has intervened on her behalf. Her family is now suing the school system.

So even the victim of a sexual assault at Rufus King High School gets suspended?

Friday, December 10, 2004

Odds And Ends

Some interesting items from around the world, just in case you missed them...

Curse Of The Christmas Song
The U.K.'s Guardian has compiled the top ten singers & bands whose careers and/or lives hit the skids after releasing a Christmas song. Ooh, scary...

There's Always Room For Jello
A fourth-grader in Louisiana was suspended for bringing small, clear plastic containers of Jello to school to sell to her friends. Even though they contained no alcohol, the school charged her with selling a "look-alike drug" because the treats resemble "Jello shots".

Greatest Canadian Ever

Beating out Wayne Gretzky and Dudley Doright, actor Keifer Sutherland's grandfather has been named the Greatest Canadian in a national poll. Tommy Douglas founded and championed the Soviet-style form of medicare so cherished by pious Canadians, who don't mind waiting years for elective surgery.

Springer on AM
Trash talk show host Jerry Springer gets his own daily radio show on Cincinnati's WSAI-AM when the Clear Channel station flips from oldies music to liberal talk in January. Further proof that Clear Channel is killing the radio business.

Pork... The Other Lethal Weapon
An Oklahoma inmate charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon after stabbing another inmate with a pork chop bone.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Those Crazy Ivy Leaguers

My choice for best prank of 2004...

The "Harvard Pep Squad" ran up and down the aisles of Harvard Stadium at The Game Nov. 20. They had megaphones in hand and their faces were painted as they encouraged the crowd to hold up the 1,800 red and white pieces of construction paper they had handed out. It would read "Go Harvard," they said.

But the 20 "Pep Squad" members were actually Yale students. And when the Harvard students, faculty and alumni held up their pieces of paper -- over and over again -- they spelled out "We Suck" in giant block letters the whole stadium could read.

You simply must check out a video and pictures of the prank at their web site.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

At The Beach In December

It's not what it sounds. I just returned from four days working at Jekyll Island. It was a company trip, all work and no play. Some good food, though, satisfied my seafood fix. From here through the holidays I shouldn't miss too many opportunities to post. Today, though, is all about catching up in the office.

Friday, December 03, 2004

War On Terror vs. War In Pacific

In his current column on, Oliver North shows the amazing similarities between the current War on Terror and the WWII War in the Pacific. Ideology, tactics, fanaticism... everything old is new again. Ollie also comments on the attempts by some to rewrite history and assign some of the blame for Pearl Harbor on the U.S. A highly recommended read.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Robots Heading For The Battlefield

Early in 2005, a new generation of armed robots will make their appearance in the theatres of battle in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the ability to carry four 66-mm rockets or six 40-mm grenades, as well as an M240 or M249 machine gun, the robots come armed for duty.

Also ready for rollout, a robot ambulance. It's capable of carrying two soldiers on stretchers from the battlefield to a nearby medical facility. Wounded soldiers could be loaded into the REV (Robotic Extraction Vehicle) by other soldiers. But the REV also carries an electrically powered, 600-pound, six-wheeled robot with a mechanical arm that can drag a wounded fighter to safety if there isn't a flesh-and-blood soldier around.

Pretty cool...

Left Ties To U.N. Corruption

Do you know the name Marc Rich? He's was the fugitive financier indicted on 65 counts of tax fraud, tax evasion and racketeering, who fled the U.S. for Switzerland in 1986. In one of his last official acts, Rich was inexplicably pardoned by President Clinton as he was leaving office in January 2001. It was controversial for two reasons. First, technically he probably wasn't even eligible for a pardon. Secondly, his pardon seemed to be payback for huge financial donations from Rich's ex-wife Denise to Clinton's Presidential campaign and Hillary Clinton's run for the Senate.

Now, Marc Rich is back in the news...

As you've surely heard, several investigations are looking into the United Nations Oil-For-Food program. Billions of dollars intended as humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people were instead stolen by Saddam Hussein and his sons. Untold millions were paid in kickbacks to Kojo Annan, son of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Here's where Marc Rich comes in

Rich was a middleman for several of Iraq's suspect oil deals in February 2001, just one month after his pardon from President Clinton, according to oil industry shipping records obtained by ABC News. And a U.S. criminal investigation is looking into whether Rich, as well as several other prominent oil traders, made illegal payments to Iraq in order to obtain the lucrative oil contracts.

Rich's involvement in this growing scandal could pose problems for the presumptive Democratic candidate for President in 2008: Hillary Clinton.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Remind Me Again How Bad The Economy Is

Some very good economic news is coming out today, but I wonder how much play it'll get in the mainstream news outlets. Remember, the economy is supposed to be tanking under President Bush. The Libs would have you believe the only people doing well are Bush's cronies. Let's see what's going on...

Americans Earning More Money
October earnings, as announced by the Commerce Department, showed a 0.6 percent gain. That's a tremendous gain over September's 0.2 percent, and it's the largest increase in six months. That was also one-tenth of a point higher than economists had anticipated.

We're Spending More, Too
More income for consumers means more spending, and during October consumer spending went up a whopping 0.7 percent. That was three-tenths of a point higher than economists had predicted. When tied to inflation, the growth was a healthy 0.3 percent.

Manufacturing On The Rise
The Institute for Supply Management reports that, for November, manufacturing activity grew sharply. Activity is measured on an index scale, and a reading of 50 or higher on that scale indicates expansion. The November score was 57.8, which is up from 56.8 last November. A score of 57 was expected, indicating greater manufacturing growth than anticipated. This was the 18th consecutive month of manufacturing growth.

Stocks Rising
With very strong economic numbers and lowering crude oil prices, stocks have taken off. As of 3:00pm ET today, the Dow is sitting at 10,565 (up 136), the NASDAQ is at 2,131 (up 35), and the S&P shows 1,188 (up 15). Meanwhile, the price of crude oil on the New York marketver $3 a barrel.

Employment Up
For October, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 337,000 people. Unemployment remains relatively low at 5.5 percent. Construction employment rose sharply over the month, and several service-providing industries also added jobs.

Somebody please remind me why the Democrats said the economy was so bad...