Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Duesberg was right (?)

Does this article mean Duesberg was right to think that the only thing killing Africans other than the usual diseases that have been killing them for millennia is the medication they are given for the non-existent "AIDS" syndrome? What a kick in the head if he is finally vindicated after all these years! This is bigger than oil-for-food-scam or global warming-gate or any of the other frauds perpetrated by the new collectivists. Scary to think that just when I had about given up on the theory, after buying Duesberg's book, and Kary Mullis's, it may surface once again. This time, though, the blogosphere is ready to take it on big time and examine it from every possible point of view. Why do I feel the NIH and WHO are in big trouble? Couldn't happen to two nicer tyrannical slugocracies.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

New America - it is I

Ok, so there's old Europe and New Europe, according to the God Rumsfeld. But more than that, there's Old America and New America. Gee, I wonder which is more important? Odd thing is, when you say Old America, one thinks of traditional, conservative, Bushist America. But like so many things these days, that's completely, 180 degrees wrong. Old America is the New Yorker, the New Republic, the Atlantic, Harper's, the "blue" states and all the cultural tyrants who attempt to impose Old Europe mores on America. Have we ever allowed Europe to do this to us? Will we ever? One hopes not, no matter how many third-world lackeys line up behind Chirac and Dan Rather.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Mistuh Chimpy frat-boy moron Bushitler - he dead!
Well, well, well. The Halliburton AWOL WMD shriekers didn't get the job done. What a surprise! This is the best gloat-meat since the impeachment. How burning with shame must the Kerryites - or, no, I guess I'd better call them the anti-Bushies - be. As Kerry said earlier in the campaign, they just can't believe they got beat by this idiot! That's the way to survive and thrive, underestimate an opponent who got a Harvard MBA, comes from one of the most powerful families in America, has all the right contacts and has Karl Rove on his side! Nice move! I actually voted, for the first time since 1976. Jimmeh C.'s term in office disgusted me so much that he turned me into an Objectivist, but even us Randianistas came out for this one. What a coincidence that it was in Carter's term that the Iranian thug-youth took our embassy personnel hostage. And then their colleagues - yes, I'm tarring all those idiot Islamists with the same brush, because it's got our blood on it - bombed Marines in Beirut, air passengers in Scotland, servicemen at Khobar Towers, sailors in Yemen, and oh let's not forget the several thousand in New York, the Pentagon et al. Payback's a bitch, you Muslim slime! But for those who survive, we've got freedom and democracy and property rights and a real non-totalitarian future for your children. All you have to do is not kill us. Is that too much to ask? If so, and you'd rather die than extend rights to your women and allow freedom of thought, we now have a President who will accommodate you.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Mistuh Know-it-all, he dead

I killed him. It just got too annoying, it was more of a nuisance than those irritating Al Qaedas, having this comprends-tous (sait-tout?) in my head. See, that's proof. I don't even have a clue if the French really have an expression corresponding to "know-it-all" in their silly language, which has now almost completely surrendered to me, {Only Compiegne and the Haute-Savoie are holding out, along with a few mountain villages in the Pyrenees} or if "comprends-tous" is used, how it should be spelt (wait a minute. Shouldn't that be "spelled"? Doesn't "spelt" have something to do with fish and their utterly irresponsible and Clintonian mating processes? Or is that smelt?) But I went ahead and put it down anyway, because darn it "comprends-tous" sounds better than "know-it-all" and I don't even care if some mindless truffle-snorters use or don't use a particular expression, or how they spell it. It serves my needs and so there you feckless foie-gras fanciers.

This is so liberating you just don't know. For 56 years now old monsieur (actually, far more likely to be mamselle!) comprends-tous has been beating me about the head and shoulders when I write or say anything that doesn't correspond to what dimwit wrote in some book around the time of the Flood, which may or may not have happened and I don't know and even care. More later, if I care to and if the Scotch doesn't do for me entirely and disenfranchise me by rendering me unable to vote for Bush on Tuesday, the result, obviously of a conspiracy between McEdwards and MacKerry. If I look really hard and drink a real lot I'm sure I can find those names somewhere on the bottle. Like it matters.
This fever will break

Saturday before the election, dear Diary, and here I am in a sweat, because this darn weather hasn't broken and I bought a half-gallon (no, I WON'T call it a "1.75-Liter" even though that's what it is) of Scotch (Duggan's Dew, 86.8 proof) to get me through the election. And by the way, couldn't they have just evened it out to two liters? If Bush wins, I celebrate, if he loses I drown my sorrows as I watch Kerry turn the keys of the country over to Osama. Either way the rapacious international Scotch merchants win and I turn up for work with a hangover.

And I know it doesn't really matter. I've been through this so many times before and it has never actually changed my way of living, except for that idiot Carter. The more I think about it I don't think I did vote for Carter in 1980, so 1976 was the last time I voted. Carter had broken his promise to run the govt. on "zero-based budgeting", which was the only reason I voted for him in '76. There was also that little matter of the hostages and the idiotic Olympic boycott. That's what Kerry would have done if he had been Prez in 1990. "Now, Saddam, you pull out of Kuwait or else the US will pull out of any Olympics that Iraq participates in and by the way the UN - and the entire Olympic Committee - except for you and probably Kuwait - is going to really, really punish you for killing your Olympians who don't perform properly. Oh, you're going to be so sorry!"

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Naked spin
It was cool to see all the spinmeisters on TV utterly naked, without any clothes at all, not even clothed in plausibility. The spin-meter has gone off the scale and bears no relation to reality. I watched part of the debate and read liveblogging on the rest of it. I thought Bush clearly did better, calling out Kerry-bot 2004 on his opposition to the First Gulf War (what, not enough allies?) and his plans which contain no details except spending even more than the supposedly conservative Bush administration.

The Main Stream Media has abandoned any pretense of objectivity. Kerry-bot's weird mannerisms, his botching of the Bible and blathering about "Native American" (don't get me started) religions and his answering a question about his wife by talking about his mother and his ridiculously obvious "wink, wink" reference to Mary Cheney's lesbianism make this by far his worst performance. And yet the MSM call it a "draw" or even a win for Kerry. Absurd. Disgraceful. Inexplicable except by bias. I'm glad they're being so obvious. This is going to come back to haunt them big time, even if Bush loses. Which I have a feeling - heck, let's make it a prediction - that Bush is not going to do. I predict 52% for Bush, with 290-300 electoral votes. See, it's in print now, on the Web. It's at least as accurate as anything Taegan Goddard's ever said.

Much substance will come out of this debate to haunt Kerry, too. It's just the beginning of the most intense and interesting part of the campaign. Bush should be loaded for bear now. And, after last night, Kerry-bot's got nothing left.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Quote of the day - er - month

From Graham Greene's The Comedians:
"I get scared sometimes, too. I lose the way. It's frightening to be lost, isn't it, in a strange city, but when you get lost inside yourself ... Have another lager."

Easy forgetting

I've been finding it very easy to forget things lately, which is a great blessing. I forget my limitations, my grievances, my sins. I also forget about this little blog. But then when I remember, it's a good smiling memory and I find my way here easily.

Last night's debate was by all accounts a Bush "win". I didn't listen to it, having been ennui-ed out of my mind by the last one. I wonder if anyone else has ever verbified "ennui". I wonder if anyone else has ever used the word "verbified". Ah, enough innovation. And wondering. Kerry's positions do seem to be coming apart, unfolding and drooping like his face would if he stopped with the Botox. He seems to be out of ammunition. He's used "Halliburton, AWOL, WMD" (repeated ad libitum endlessly whether any of it makes any sense or not) and the other slogans until they're all used up. He really needs another one to get him to election day.
I didn't listen to or watch the debate, but I read it, on Hugh Hewitt and Ann Althouse. Even the puppy blender was liveblogging. It reminded me of "watching" the Fischer-Spassky championship in 1972 on PBS from Iceland when the moves would come in on a teletype and be recreated by an "expert" on a big board with slots and cardboard pieces. It's much more calming than having to look at the protagonists and wonder whether the odd drop of sweat or nervous tic was going to keep one of them out of the White House. From now on I'll read all the debates - oops, there's only one left. Maybe I'll read all real-time live events instead of relying on talking heads and deceptive video. Anything for equanimity.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Debate thoughts

Kerry held his own, but came up with nothing new that I could detect. The "global test" meme could be his worst moment. He really let it be known that there's one thing he does believe in and that's the necessity for getting international permission before the US does anything to safeguard itself. That's the only time he showed any passion, when he was talking about getting the UN involved in all the conflicts of the world, as if they've ever done anything positive about any conflict they ever got into. He even had the nerve to mention "global warming" but didn't dare bring up the ICC, which Bush used to some effect. That could come back to haunt him and should be showing up in an RNC commercial - soon!

Bush hit all the right themes, but could have been more forceful about the connection between 9/11 and Iraq and the War on Terror. There was too much about Iraq. I thought Lehrer would have a little more imagination. Does he really think Iraq deserves ninety percent of a foreign policy debate? Unless - you don't think! - he was purposely trying to hammer home what a terrible job he thought Bush was doing. There really isn't that much to say about Iraq any more. And Kerry never did say in any detail what his "secret plan" was.

Overall, it was the War of the Stump Speeches. On North Korea, I thought Kerry stumbled badly by appearing to come out against the multilateral talks. Bush said, "That's just what Kim Jong-Il wants to happen" and of course he's right but I don't delude myself that anyone's really going to notice. On Iran and the sanctions Bush caught Kerry out with the comeback that they hadn't started on his watch and Kerry never replied to that.

Bush now knows that Kerry's a worthwhile opponent and with any luck can boost his preparation a bit and hit back harder next time. Time for the gloves to come off.
Pre-debate frenzy

So O'Reilly is doing his best to keep me from watching the debates on Fox. I just don't like the fake neutrality he espouses. Before too long that attitude is going to look so pre-blog! Maybe it will be a good thing when all commentators declare their allegiance before they start to pontificate. I find it very handy to have someone declared as a liberal. Then I can stop listening to him. I no longer delude myself that any liberal has anything interesting to say. I saw Instapundit on Kudlow and Cramer earlier. Thought he did pretty well, although the blogger segment was awfully short. Now Instapundit is regarded as neutral by most anti-collectivist bloggers like me, but he seems to have come to that position honestly, from his gut, not just to get people to read him, but to get to the truth. My only problem with that attitude is that he has not yet realized that liberals really do have nothing real to say. But he's young yet. He'll learn.

I'll be looking for Bush to stay steady and on course. He knows exactly what he has to say and how he needs to say it. Kerry, if experience is any guide, will essentially go in winging it, hoping to score points like a boxer who knows he's behind in the judges' scoring and can only hope for a knockout. I just hope they aren't allowed to recycle their stump speeches.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Cars - again?!

Doesn't it burn you up when you see the ads this time of year from new car dealerships? They all say, "Hey, we've got 2005 models coming in and no room to put them anywhere! We've got to move out the 2004's pronto! Come in and get your best deal now!"

Wait a minute. How dumb do they think we are? Well, considering these ads play every year, they must work, so they must think we're plenty dumb, and I guess we are! But really, who believes that new car salesmen are sitting around in the summer with a lot full of cars, saying to each other, "Wow, it's a good thing we've got all this room for all these 2004 cars. Sure hope the manufacturers don't send us a whole passel of new 2005 models. Nah, that's not gonna happen."? Then October approaches, when new cars have been sent out from the factories for, what a HUNDRED YEARS NOW?? And trucks start showing up full of cars and the dealers expect us to believe they're SURPRISED???!!! So the best they can come up with is to put ads in the paper complaining that something that happens every year has happened again, darn it? Nope, no way they could have, for instance, only ordered the number of new cars they actually had room for! No way. Then the ads wouldn't work and they wouldn't be able to create in the prospective buyer's mind the image of car dealers stacking up cars three deep and desperately slashing prices in half to get rid of the old ones. The most amazing thing is that some buyers actually fall for this nonsense. The older I get, the dumber people get. And the sleazier car salesmen get.

Sunday, September 12, 2004


The long-overdue Day of the Blogosphere may finally be dawning. How predictable was this? But, then, who predicted the rise of Protestantism out of the new technology of printing? Hmm. Everybody can read and comment on the original text and therefore see how stupid and vicious the hierarchy's reading of it is. And perhaps how irrelevant the "authentic" text itself is to everyday life. And then there's Open Source, the god of some lefty-types, but now serving as a model for the self-correcting blogosphere, inexorably crushing the idols of left and right. It IS a good thing for thousands of bloggers of every conceivable political and cultural orientation to see and comment on news events, isn't it? And for such comment to be instantly available to everyone with an internet connection? Or, at least, it has to be an improvement on a few rich white male Democrat "journalists" putting out the only "authoritative" texts of such events. We do all believe in diversity, don't we?

Monday, September 06, 2004

Becalmed in a hurricane
Here at ground zero it's barely raining, blowing a bit. I had a power outage last night, annoying only because the AC and fan went off. Storms make for cool days but warm nights, for some reason. I keep seeing pictures on TV of trailers blown to pieces and think "Gulp!" The rain and wind I've had so far, though, is barely sufficient to move the surrounding trees around. I'm looking more carefully at those trees. They seem to be tall and thin and far away from the trailer. Good. A large decrepit tree right over the bedroom would be worrisome. At least no one's ordered me to evacuate. I'd rather stay right here and read about Perkin Warbeck and Lambert Simnel.

Sunday, September 05, 2004


Frances has finally showed up, or at least her far outskirts. The eye's still over Tampa and we're feeling strong winds and rain here in Tallahassee, so I guess for once the weather Cassandras were right. It IS a large storm. But I'm in my snug little trailer here, not worrying about anything. It would just be inconvenient if the lights went out just as I was bloggin

Ha.. Just my little joke. I've got plenty of time to evacuate if it should become necessary. Haven't I? Looking on the bright side, if this rain and wind keeps up maybe I'll get a day off work on Tuesday.

OK, back to reading about Buckingham's rebellion against Richard III. That's what I like about the Wars of the Roses. One surprise after the other.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

The Wounds of Time

All I'm going to say about this is what a good thing it is that no one really has to worry about what happens to Bill Clinton any more. It doesn't matter, as it did in the days when he had his wandering finger on the nuclear button and his backup was Al-Gor. I certainly won't mention the rumors that his weak heart may be a result of cocaine ingestion, not Big Macs, or wonder why he didn't release his medical records while he was president (no capitalization deserved in his case).

Thursday, August 26, 2004


John Kerry says he can’t be blamed for voting to give authority to George Bush to wage war to liberate Iraq because how was he to know that Bush would take that authority and “use it in the wrong way”? He seems to think he can be absolved of the consequences of any action he takes if he didn’t predict those consequences in detail. In other words, he claims to have intended that Bush would not have used Congressional authority to go to war but would have, for example, NOT gone to war!

Isn’t Kerry responsible for the consequences of his votes in Congress? Isn’t he responsible for making the judgment that Bush would properly and responsibly (in Kerry's view) use authority granted him? How stupid does Kerry think people are? Or, perhaps more to the point, how stupid is Kerry?

Here at the end of August, the Kerry campaign doesn't seem to have any traction at all. I will be very surprised if he manages to gain any voters out of the Republican convention. If form holds, Bush will gain. He may gain big. And if by the middle of September Bush is ahead by five points or more in most polls, Kerry is an ex-politician. He has gone to join the choir invisible of politicians who never quite made it onto the big stage, like his former boss Dukakis, Mondale, Gore, Dole and his special buddy, Captain Oldsmobile. ( I just saw somewhere that nickname for Teddy Kennedy, and I love it!)


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Gambella Massacre

It's amazing what you find just by ambling around the blogosphere. Actually, I found this site while I was looking at Africapundit. The Anuak blog tells a detailed story of the Ethiopian government's ethnic cleansing of an area of western Ethiopia called Gambella state. Here is a
I have never heard about this. I followed the Ethiopia-Tigre-Eritrea story for years, mostly, I guess, because it corroborated my idea that collectivism always leads to violence. The stories on Anuak Genocide Watch are as bad as what came out of Rwanda, much worse than Bosnia and Kosovo. Because Gambella has no oil (that I know of) or uranium and doesn't fit any pet victim profile that would galvanize the UN into action (hah!), it has been totally ignored. It makes one wonder how many of these stories exist around the world, holocausts that fade unnoticed into history. Their motto is not "Never again". It's "That never happened". People care more about the elephant or the mountain gorilla than they do about Anuaks. The tragedy can be best appreciated by seeing where the survivors headed for refuge: Sudan!

Update: there is, apparently, an oil angle, though this article is irrationally biased against oil extraction. I understand the mistrust of government, but there's no reason why oil can't be produced to the profit of the Anuak. It will only be the fault of the left-leaning government if it isn't. To call the use of valuable resources "socially and environmentally destructive" tells you everything you need to know about the real agenda of "Genocide Watch" and their "Cultural Survival" project to keep people as pets, protected from the nasty twenty-first century so they can stay poor on their farms and never get it together to defend themselves from the Ethiopian government. I'm only linking to these collectivist fools because there's some interesting history in their article.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Oh, those fascinating Olympic sports! I tuned in to the coverage this morning and saw two teams of women playing something that looked like a cross between field hockey and water polo on land. I remembered before too long that there was something called "team handball" and this must be it. I'd never seen it before. It was the Hungarians, who all seemed to have their hair frosted in unison, and the Chinese, who seem to be able to come up with skilled athletes in any sport in a month or two after the sport is adopted in the Olympics. The US is definitely at a disadvantage in women's team handball, since hardly any Americans are even aware such a sport exists. All our athletes are out playing "beach" volleyball, which is now an Olympic sport distinct from regular volleyball. Maybe this is a trend. Why not have "beach" soccer or "beach" tennis or "beach" cycling, where athletes try to ride a bike through deep sand? No doubt they'd develop new bikes with big tires. Didn't the Romans set their gladiatorial combats on sand? I think "arena" comes from a word for sand. So once again the Romans were there first. But there's little blood in women's beach team handball, just a lot of screeching and hair pulling.

As for men's basketball, starring two NBA stars against the rest of the world, the US lost to Puerto Rico yesterday. Which is very odd, considering that PR is PART of the US! Does no one else find this disturbing? Why not the US vs. Florida in football? Florida would win. I've been puzzling over the autonomy of PR in basketball since I've been watching Olympic sports. I suppose it's an outgrowth of the move for independence, which has been soundly rejected by the Puerto Riqueno populace every time it's been voted on. And for good reason, considering that half or more of the PR populace receives US government Food Stamps funded by the taxpayers of the rest of the US. But still. In the Soviet era, Belarus and the Ukraine were not allowed to have separate Olympic teams. All their athletes had to play for the Soviet team, even when in the United Nations they had separate votes as part of the Soviet bloc. And you know who's responsible for all this nonsense? Yep. You guessed it. SHEMP!!

Monday, July 26, 2004

On the Lighter Side
Measurement. It's such an annoyance. The Metric Maniacs insist that a system invented during the French Revolution is clearly superior to the English system, based, as far as I can determine, on the size of various parts of the human body. Let's see, which is more universal, easier to understand? One ten millionth of the distance between the North Pole and the Equator along the Greenwich meridian or the size of my thumb?
I was watching this documentary about the feasibility (see http://denbeste.nu/) of a manned Mars mission, when I started thinking, OK, so this is it. We're going to the stars. For thirty years it's been really hard to actually believe it was going to happen.

But when we're out on Aldebaran a thousand years from now why should we be using a system of measurement based on a more or less random distance on a third-rate planet in a mediocre solar system in an average galaxy? OK, I've been reading Stephen Hawking, too. So English would be better. If we still have thumbs and feet. But maybe we won't.

So why not adopt a measurement system based on something that won't vary no matter where in the universe we go? I'm talking about light. The speed of light, that is. The light year is used extensively right now. It's neither metric nor English. Its only not universal because of that "year" thing. Why the time it takes for a somewhat average planet - etc. - to go around a mediocre star is relevant will not be apparent to our descendants on Aldebaran. A light year is of course a bit lengthy to be useful for cutting cloth or constructing football fields. But that's where exponents can come in handy. We can use an appropriate fraction of a light year to represent a convenient unit of length. Cloth, lumber or licorice can be measured as a fraction that is universal, at least for observers in a similar frame of reference.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Mountain of lies
I'm awed by the mountain of lies the political campaign has thrown up, almost all on the Democratic side, although if the Republicans started talking about the War on Some Drugs, they would add to the heap. But no one talks about the WOSD these days. Does that mean the war's lost or everyone's given up or the war's won and no one cares?

Michael Moore and Leni Riefenstahl. Both won awards from the French:
see Triumph des Willens

Moore lies intentionally and continuously, by implication and outright. Riefenstahl was just going along with the Nazis because she wanted to make films.

The lies will form an avalanche and bury their sponsors eventually. But will it collapse before the election or after? I've come to the conclusion that a Kerry presidency would be a great opportunity for the Republicans to consolidate their control of the Congress and would be a disaster for Hillary Clinton's hopes for 2008. So not so bad. But Bush's speech yesterday makes me think he's going to turn up the heat. Also, Theresa appears to be cratering. So maybe now it gets to be fun.

Got a truck. Got a W04 sticker for the back window of the truck. Funny not having a back seat. At least I have a cool silver tool box and a plastic bedliner.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Reagan and stupidity
I never liked Reagan. Mostly because he just had to be a stupid actor but he turned out to be right about most everything. That's really annoying. Lileks has a good summary of the situation in today's Bleat. I voted for Carter in 1976. In 1980, because Carter never came through on his promise of zero-based budgeting, I didn't vote. That was the beginning of my Harry Browne-inspired "there's no point in voting" period. As Lileks remembers:
We didn’t hate Reagan; we viewed him with indulgent contempt, since he was so obviously out of his depth. I mean, please: an actor? As president?

Then when the wall fell in 1989 and it obviously had something to do with the stances Reagan took, I was so ashamed of myself. I mean, the Berlin Wall. I remember when it went up in 1961, I was twelve. The wall became a permanent part of the world. It was the concretization (!) of the Iron Curtain. Which would never go away. And then all of a sudden there it was, gone. Something was going on which I couldn't understand. What blows my mind today is that anyone could live through all that and not realize that they didn't understand anything. And reexamine their political assumptions. Then the Gulf War and twelve years of ineffective Cartering around. Then 9-11. Then Bush actually does something about it. How can anyone not love it? Or at least give it a chance? The point is that freedom is something tangible, as real as a good meal. Something everyone can learn how to enjoy.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Sounds familiar
A news story about Jose Padilla, a traitor who worked on bombing US apartment buildings, reminded me of stories during the Russians' little problems with Chechnya. Weren't something like 500 or more Russians killed by Chechnyan (Muslim) terrorists blowing up buildings around Russia? And didn't these terrorists use exactly the same technique Padilla is accused of contemplating? That is, renting an apartment and filling the apartment with gas by opening the pipes and then lighting the whole building off with a timed bomb.

And if my memory serves, wasn't it mostly because of this horrific bombing campaign that the Russian military went into Chechnya, killing thousands and losing hundreds in Grozny alone? Why haven't I seen any reference to this similarity?

Thursday, May 27, 2004

It's obvious
The suicide rate in New Jersey is twice the homicide rate, according to a new study. This isn't surprising, since anyone who has seen any part of the rest of the world and finds himself trapped in New Jersey has no other realistic option than to commit suicide. The small number of murders is no doubt accounted for by the few native New Jerseyites who realize the nature of the hellhole they inhabit. The few who do will do anything, even murder, to get out.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The only boooks in the world
Thought I'd come up with a list of the only real books out there. It's odd to go into a bookstore and not see any great number of books, just a few here and there, separated by meaningless jumbles of typography on wasted paper. So I'll just give you authors' names. Not all the authors listed actually wrote a book every time they put words on paper but most of their production is real:

Adam Smith
Bernard Lewis
Raffaello Pumpelly
Benvenuto Cellini
Vernon Howard
Lysander Spooner
Thomas Paine

I'll add more as I think of them and perhaps someday figure out how to move the list into a permanent section of the site. Odd how few wrote after 1900, eh?

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

More Fish War
To be even-handed, I must present the Pakistani view of the piscine pugilistics off the coast of the subcontinent. But who will speak for the fish?

Monday, May 24, 2004

Indo-Pak fish war
Yes, only on Conundrum will you hear about the Indo-Pakistani fish war:

An Indian Navy patrol boat fired at a fishing trawler that strayed into Indian waters in the Arabian Sea , killing three Pakistani fishermen, officials said on Tuesday.

One just hopes it doesn't scale up.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Bye-bye Briscoe
I've said a lot about the racism and leftism (but I repeat myself) that characterizes the "Law and Order" TV show. But still I must admit to a little rueful pang when Jerry Orbach retired his Lenny Briscoe character last night. I managed to catch the last few minutes of the show in a timeout of the Kings-Timberwolves fiasco. I always liked Briscoe's attitude toward the bad guys and his skepticism about the weenie DA's and their technicalities. His battle with alcoholism gave him a dimension not shown by anyone else on the show. His daughter was a drug addict killed by a dealer. This character had depth, pathos. His every action and word was colored by the pain he'd been through. His anger at a kid who was throwing away his life, or had taken someone else's, appeared more understandable and real than that of some of the other characters. Good on yer, Lenny.

Good Cocktail
God Bless Google! I found a Dubonnet Cocktail on some site:

Equal parts (red)Dubonnet and gin (I used Beefeaters - mmm!)
over ice in a rocks glass
with twist - I used lemon wedge.

Delicious and powerful and smooth. And the formula is simple to remember after you've had a few. After all, Dubonnet, as I understand, is a vermouth or vermouth-related. So it should go well with gin. And it does. I may try it with some soda or seltzer as a long drink.

I have no idea if it goes well with my Cortislim non-diet. But I don't care. I'm still taking four a day and eating and drinking pretty much what I want. And have yet to see the looser-clothes phenomenon.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Lileks nails Hunter Thompson, after scaring all of us former fathers of formerly small children by losing Gnat momentarily. The only mystery is why someone else has not nailed Thompson so definitively before this. I can only feel glad I am not Thompson.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

The plan
OK, four weeks have gone by since I started using Cortislim and I have hardly lost any weight or inches, but I do feel better. Big deal. I'm spending a hundred dollars just to feel better?! No!! I want weight loss and svelteness. So I'm switching from two capsules a day to four, starting today, two at breakfast, one at lunch, one at supper. And I'm continuing my regular diet, but no eating between meals or after about eight at night. We'll see what the next four weeks brings. On the bright side, my Peugeot cinq-cent-cinq should be back a la route by Tuesday, or Wednesday at the latest. A small oil leak apparently caused all the trouble.

My digital camera is working great - I bought a Nikon Coolpix 3200. With my older son's help it's hooked up to my Linux computer, without using any of that software that comes with the camera. Linux rules again! Now I can bring photos into the Gimp and warp them beyond recognition. Went to a little air display out at the Tallahassee Airport today. Saw two F-16s and the inside of a Fedex 727. Oh, yes, and two old AT-6s took off in front of us. Actually they were in Marine garb, so I guess they were really SNJ's or some such designation. I felt the History Channel was coming to life. I'm inspired. Maybe one of these years I'll make it to Oshkosh. I've always wanted a Bensen Gyrocopter. But I want someone else to build it for me. Now to find another place to live. True independence beckons.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Metric blindness
Via Slashdot, I found this interesting article about so-called "Metric" paper sizes (A4 and so on) that implies that those 0h-so-smartypants Euro types are way ahead of us North American Babbitt frontiersman warmongers. Oh, yeah, if they're so smart how come golf courses all over the world are still measured in yards? Even the new ones? I especially love the way the article slips in a "yet" whenever it says that not everybody uses the devilspawn Metric system. I'd be willing to bet in fifty years the good old English pound-inch-gallon system will still be alive and well.

And as to those paper sizes fitting so well with each other because the sides have the ratio of one to the square root of two: Am I missing something or couldn't that work in any measurement system, not just the Metric system? What's that got to do with the soulless, unnatural millimeter?
OK, I did it, I admit it. I got on a darn scale yesterday at lunch before my big new job interview. And I had GAINED weight. Now I know why the Cortislim people tell you not to weigh yourself for the first month. I could be wrong. I've noticed before that I weigh different amounts at lunchtime, dinner, and in the morning. Usually I'm lightest in the morning, before the cares of the day have burdened me. Who knows how much the anxiety of going to a job interview weighed me down? But my clothes aren't any looser. And the guy in the Cortislim radio ads seems to have changed his spiel to say that he's taking four pills a day instead of two. What does THAT mean? I'll stay the course, though, and do my two-pill a day routine for another few days, which will be one month. Then maybe I'll switch to four a day for a month. Of course then the 60-day money back guarantee will be expiring. HAH! JUST LIKE THEY PLANNED!! Or maybe not. Hope not. Is this just the 200 pound plateau? Why does my war against weight seem to parallel the War against Terror and to Liberate Iraq? Maybe by June 30 I can declare victory and buy new pants with a thirty-inch waist. Not that I really want to be that skinny again. Perhaps the shedded weight will take with it all the wisdom I've accumulated over the last thirty years. But wait a minute. If the foolishness sloughs off as well, I can start over with a clean slate. And a full plate. Sorry. I love to eat.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Americans are prisoners in our own Abu Ghraib

The obscene pictures from the Abu Ghraib prison have been compared by "conservative" commentators to the images popular culture on cable TV and in NEA-funded "art" expose Americans to every day. The obvious difference that compulsion is involved in the prison doesn't refute the basis of the comparison. If it is horrendous and unacceptable for prisoners to be exposed to sexual images, why is it any less horrendous for American taxpayers and TV watchers to be exposed to images like Janet Jackson at the Superbowl, "Piss Christ" and profane and obscene "performance art", simulated sex and constant foul language in hip-hop videos and booming rap filth streaming from loud cars at stoplights? Is it any wonder some of us feel like prisoners in our own country?

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Can I be (Gasp!) Wrong??
Paul Campos of the Guardian has an interesting article about weight loss whys and wherefores. Of course, being a Guardianista, he blows it at the end by relating America's "obsession" with weight loss to SUV's and "Imperialism". Fool. And isn't it the svelte, sophisticated Europeans who are always complaining about what fat, low-class pigs Americans are? Then American liberals breathlessly and shamelessly copy their attitudes, just like Mencken noticed a century ago.

Nevertheless, he makes some good points about the lack of real evidence that being fat hurts anyone. I am losing weight, though, so I can get strong and feel attractive and energetic. It probably is a class thing, to some degree. But it also feels good to be thin. Now I'm going to worry about why thin feels better, why I obsess about losing weight. But I shouldn't.
Just in time!

Whew! Looks like I decided to get rid of my toxic fat just as more evidence came out that fat is incredibly bad for you. So why are fat people so jolly, anyway? I know! Because they can eat anything they want! Seriously, the article could be an ad for Cortislim:
The first real inkling that fat is more than just inert blubber was the discovery 10 years ago of the substance leptin. Scientists were amazed to find that this static-looking flesh helps maintain itself by producing a chemical that regulates appetite.

One of the main ingredients of Cortislim is something called "Leptiplex" (TM) which underwhelms when you see it's just extracts of green tea leaf and bitter orange peel. But it could be just what you need to combat the chemical signals being sent to the rest of your body from the fat, according to the AP. And they never deceive. Do they?
Once again, it seems that I have taken to something just as it becomes wildly popular. Atkins was like that. Is it perhaps the other way around? Does a particular ideology or lifestyle become wildly popular because I adopt it? Hmm. (or "heh"))

Friday, May 07, 2004

Literary losers
It would be hard to parody this account of a literary prize gathering on Mauritius. It self-parodies so well one is suspicious if such a prize even exists. The animadversions against "modern" literature in The Fountainhead pale by comparison. So I sent the following letter to the editors of the Independent:

Dear Editors:

I just wanted to make sure you knew how much I enjoyed Tracy Macleod's satire on literary prize competitions. I laughed till I cried. Books which have "love at their spine"!! Please, stop!! "A Glaswegian painter-decorator"! "Lesbian love in a shabby-genteel Oxford"!! "love between an ageing gay composer, his dog and a brutal Bosnian interloper."!!! That last one, if I may criticize, is where Macleod went a little over the top. I mean, come on. Bosnians are always victims. Oh, wait a minute, maybe he was a Bosnian Serb. Then that would be OK. But Macleod overdoes it again with "it's smart to be intelligent". I needed my heart pills after that one. The Aberdonian Travelodge was also a bit much, but all in all I haven't enjoyed such a brutal yet humorous savaging of literary pretensions since The Fountainhead. Thanks again.

Robert Speirs

Tallahassee, Florida

Thursday, May 06, 2004

The Full Story - Shot Live!

RealClearPolitics.com does a good job in this piece explaining exactly what must have been going through John Feckless's mind when he went to Vietnam. I'd always been puzzled why he was so aggressive and warlike as a soldier, when even before he joined the service:

By that time Kerry had also expressed grave doubts about the war in Vietnam, most notably on June 12, 1966 when he said in an oration to his fellow students, "We have not really lost the desire to serve. We question the very roots of what we are serving."

For someone that much opposed to the war to go to Vietnam is understandable only if he had coldly calculated the whole thing in advance. He was about to be drafted. So his plan was to join the Navy and sit safely on a ship offshore and set up a nice juicy political career. Then his hitch on the Swift boats got dicey. But there he was with a movie camera getting himself on film, Liveshot shot live! It must have been near-hallucinogenic. All the medals he grubbed, the action he got into, the praise and, probably, somewhere deep inside, the awful guilt for even having gone, much less having killed enemy soldiers. I suppose it's hardly surprising that he had to come back and apologize, publicly and repeatedly. In his mind the whole war was an atrocity and he was part of it. The fact that his ravings and even his apologies and his medal-throwing garnered him more publicity than he could have dreamed must have seemed hugely laughable. And he must have known it was all wrong. Because here he is thirty years later, pluming himself on the medals whose ribbons he threw away, acting as though his actions in Vietnam "defended America" when he never thought they did any such thing. And he's having to defend what he must always have thought was his most admirable action, his criticism of and apologies for his country's trying sincerely to defend a small vulnerable country from Communism.

What a mixed-up man.

update Pernod and bitter lemon is not my favorite drink. Bitter licorice needs something else. Sugar? Maybe I need to put a little lemoncello in it. I'm trying to conceive how a Hemingway would taste. That's one part Pernod to five parts champagne. Maybe I'll try it on Mother's Day. Found the perfect present for Mom. A music box with an airplane that goes round and round while "Here we go into the wild blue yonder" plays. You see, Dad was an Air Force guy.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Peugeot Panne-ic

Little Anglo-French pun there for ya. The 505STX is in the shop after pooping out on the side of the road. Since my daughter's car is also in traction, mending, it's been an interesting couple of days. I would swear the Cortislim has had something to do with keeping me calm and focused. It almost got me through the neighbor's brass band rehearsal for Cinco de Mayo last night, but he pushed things a bit too far and I yelled at him anyway. Moron. Tonight seems quiet, so maybe I'll be able to get some distance into the autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini before I pick up the kids at work at nine. And then there's the Lakers-Spurs game. Busy busy. And I finally got the Pernod drink menus. Tonight I'm going to try it with Bitter Lemon. After I finish driving.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Looser clothes?

Hmm. Does my abdomen actually have muscles in it, under all that fat? My usual way of judging whether I'm losing weight or not is whether my belt still fits. It's in the last hole - OK, so I bought a 44, hoping for this result. The problem is that I'm still wearing 40 pants and I could swear they're getting all bunched up around the waist, so the belt is still working even though just maybe there's less fat for it to circumscribe, but all the bunched-up fabric makes it seem just as tight. The real test will be to buy some 38 pants and see if I can breathe in them and if I'll have to put another hole in the belt.

I've been reading all the pieces about the prison "atrocities" in Iraq. What atrocities? Sounds like all the things they tell teenagers about prison in Florida to get them not to smoke dope. And that leads me to wonder about all the pundits solemnly opining that the pictures of mistreatment - that's the proper word - will convince millions of Arabs to rise up and become terrorists. Maybe this is cynical and mean, but isn't it more likely that millions of young Arab men will look at the news stories and become markedly LESS eager to earn a place in an American-run prison? Of course a few may think it looks like fun.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Andalusia is lost - again!

What would El Cid say? Did he worry about upsetting the Moors? No, he was too busy slicing them into little bits and crushing their heads and stringing them up three or four at a time on his lance. To be historically accurate, I've heard he did actually use Moors in his army, when the time was right. But now BBC alleges that people say idiot things like this:

The Baroque image of a sword-wielding St James cutting the heads off Moors is not a very sensitive or evangelical image that fits the teachings of Christ, he added.

Nah, nobody else ever cut people's heads off in the name of Christ (or Muhammad!) so why should St. James be the only one!? How about those of the six million tourists who visit Santiago de Compostela just to see the image of St. James cutting off Moorish heads? That must be right up to five million, nine hundred and ninety thousand or so. Including all the real live boys.

This explains it

I always wondered why I could never understand Chomsky's linguistics when I studied linguistics in the early Seventies. I even went to a summer seminar and sat - literally - at the feet of the great master. I just figured I was too dense or lazy to penetrate the mysteries. Now Pejman has opened my eyes to the nature of Chomsky's evil ineptitude. I think I'll steal bits and pieces and just call Chomsky an "intellectually stunted microbe" and forget him. Be sure to check out the comments. And Amritas on the subject. "Like Lenin and Lysenko rolled into one." Yup. That's Chomsky.
Two Weeks

The literature says not to look at a scale for the first thirty days of the Cortislim regime. Of course, I couldn't resist, looked again yesterday morning, which marked two weeks since I started taking the stuff, and realized why the Cortislim folks say that. You get frustrated by seeing you only lost five pounds in two weeks. The scale shows me at 200, where I was a couple of days after I started. Will I be able to avoid scale obsession for the next two weeks? No. Can looking at a scale make you gain weight or lose it slower? Of course not - or - hmm. Depends on the psychological component. I'm still waiting for the dramatic looser-clothes effect to hit, too. On the bright side, I'm off Atkins and not gaining weight. I walk quite a lot, sometimes not by choice, as when my car broke down yesterday. I seem to have mastered the art of stopping the snacks early in the evening. And I feel better. On balance, I have hope. I'm not yet at the point where I can recommend to others to spend a hundred bucks on three bottles of these pills, though. I'll know about that after six months when I've lost as much weight as I want and kept it off.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

As much as I want and no more

Trying to pay attention to my body today, stopping eating even if my plate isn't clean. That could save money, too. I keep expecting my pants to start falling off, but that hasn't quite happened yet. It's a bit disorienting because, the propaganda is correct, my body does seem to have changed shape somehow so I'm not quite sure whether it's fatter or leaner or what. That should change.

Not Wyatt Earp

Hate to disagree with Ralph Peters, but Iraq doesn't need a Wyatt Earp or a Rudy Giuliani. Peters thinks order on the streets is the basic medicine that will purge Iraq of its chaos:

In addition to the military reduction of the last breath of resistance in Fallujah and the arrest or killing of the renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Najaf, we need to change the rules on Iraq's streets.

If any adult touches a damaged or destroyed U.S. military vehicle, he must be shot. Start with a one-week warning period to get out the new rules. Then execute. The Iraqis playing trampoline on the hoods of our charred vehicles aren't the ones who will build a better future.

As for the juvies, send them to reformatory camps. No exceptions, even if daddy's the Sheik of Araby.

If we can't or won't bring order to that festering country's streets, we'll never see a lawful state emerge. I still believe that most Iraqis want democracy - in some adjusted form that gives them a voice in their country's affairs. But they want and need security even more. You can't build a legal economy or hold honest elections if you can't control the neighborhoods in broad daylight.

Law first, then democracy. Sorry, but it doesn't work the other way around.

He seems to forget that Saddam used the "all force all the time" method for years, although concededly in a less than judicious manner. But even Wyatt Earp could not get the Iraqis to feel like Iraqis who need to subordinate their factional interests to democratic methods for the good of the nation.

Iraq needs an Ataturk. I'm not saying Turkey's perfect. But most Turks do think of themselves as Turks these days. An Iraqi leader who can get Kurds and Sunnis and Shi'as to think of themselves as citizens of a modern, respectable nation state would take the country far beyond simple civic order to true nationhood. The Ataturk reforms:

Between 1926 and 1930, the Turkish Republic achieved a legal transformation which might have required decades in most other countries. Religious laws were abolished, and a secular system of jurisprudence introduced. The concepts, the texts and contexts of the laws were made harmonious with the progressive thrust of Atatürk's Turkey. " The nation", Atatürk said, " has placed its faith in the precept that all laws should be inspired by actual needs here on earth as a basic fact of national life."

Among the far-reaching changes were the new Civil Code, Penal Code, and Business Law, based on the Swiss, Italian and German models respectively.

The new legal system made all citizens - men and women, rich and poor - equal before the law. It gave Turkey a firm foundation for a society of justice and equal rights.

are not that different from what the new constitution is trying to introduce to Iraq. The problem is the lack of a charismatic leader who can personalize the reforms and offer an Iraqi vision of the new democratic man. Is there no survivor of the Iran-Iraq war and the Gulf wars with military and political leadership credentials and not too many atrocity rumors attached to him who could be Iraq's Ataturk?

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


The Cortislim website says that a Cortislimmed body will send you signals as to when to stop eating. They're right, but I am really finding it difficult to obey the signals. For instance, yesterday we had a lunch for the secretaries at work. I had a chicken sandwich with fries. Halfway through I can remember thinking, "Gee, I don't know if I want this whole thing." But I have a strong impulse to "clean my plate" even though I can't actually remember my mother using that "Think of all the children starving in China" line on me when I was a kid. Maybe I just hate to pay for a meal and then leave half of it. Then it happened again at supper, when I insisted on eating a whole box of breaded scallops because I'd cooked them all, even though I practically had to force the last of them down. Sigh. Maybe I'll train myself by making smaller portions. Also, I'm back to a usual carbohydrate ratio, after being on a modified Atkins for years. So maybe that's confusing things. I really want to see if Cortislim will work with a "regular" diet, though, to clarify whether it's my Atkins efforts or the Cortislim that's working. Oh, yeah. Day 11. Haven't dared weigh myself the last two days because I feel fat. That may be the carbs talking.

Kerry implosion

Even hard core Dems seem to be getting really worried about Kerry's campaigning competence. I can't believe this. Who did they think they were voting for in all those priimaries, anyway? John Feckless is a pretty known quantity, or lack thereof. I know, Bushies shouldn't be too quick to carp and caper with glee. The last thing we want is to have to deal with Hillary or even John Edwards instead of Liveshot. But it is delicious to watch the Dem-mobile driving over a cliff with Craggy X. Blowhard pontificating at the wheel, not even aware of the spectacle he's presenting.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Day Nine
Pretty frustrated at my scale, for refusing to show the weight loss that my body tells me I've experienced. Ah, well, according to the testimonials on the Cortislim website, I should lose ten or fifteen pounds this month. That's all I care about. If I had already lost ten, I would be a bit scared. Still feel good and am sleeping better, no doubt about it. I must say I'm not exercising much, either, on the theory that I need to be thinner before I can do enough of the Combat Conditioning exercises to make a difference. I did do a whole sixty second "Wall Chair" yesterday, though, which felt good. Is it my imagination or does my gout feel better since I started taking Cortislim? Hmm. I bet the Cortislim folks would be interested to know that, although they probably couldn't use any testimonial I might make to claim a cure for gout without going through sixteen years of FDA paperwork.

Oil for Anti-Americanism

Claudia Rosett has really put it all together about the U.N.-scam known as the Oil-for-Food program. I'm glad to see the Kurds are still demanding their four billion dollars that - surprise, suprise! - Satan, I mean Saddam, never gave them. Hard to believe the UN's auditing never discovered that fact. Does anybody seriously maintain any more that the UN - or any agency of the "international community" - is good for anything? Wait, there is one thing. That big building in New York would make fantastic condos. And think of the parking revenue the city would pick up. Mayor Bloomberg? I hear they're smoking in there. Can't you condemn and confiscate the building on that basis?

Billy Joel

Is anyone really wondering why Billy Joel has all those car accidents? Has anyone actually looked at his CAR?? I thought Citroen Deux Chevaux couldn't be imported to the US because they were so lame. That one looks just like the one my landlady had in Paris in 1964. (Scroll down, on the right, until it goes away). And this is spoken by the proud but frustrated owner of a 1987 Peugeot 505.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Day Six

Still becalmed, I feel the first stirrings of wind. I would swear my abdominal area feels tighter, less, well, fat! I'm reducing the size of my meals purposely now, because I just don't want to eat as much. My personal behavior disaster - inhaling a bag of chips and a bag of SourPatch Kids with a few beers when I get home - not only doesn't seem as appealing, it hardly seems possible any more. I mean, I tried. And I actually had to put the candy away and roll up the bag of chips and stash it in the magazine stand next to my chair. I'll try again tonight.

I found a great Romantic Realism art site. As often happens, though, the linked sites are just as good, especially the one about the Rational Basis of Happiness. I may HAVE to buy an Ayn Rand cap and bumper sticker.

I was thinking what would have happened if AlGore had been president during 9/11. He would probably have invaded Afghanistan, but then, if he followed the Liberal Democrat line, would have left the Iraq situation as it was. Sooner or later the pressure would have been off Saddam and the whole region would have sent terrorists into Afghanistan. Does anyone really think that would have been a better situation than the one we're in now? Does anyone think Libya would have caved and Pakistan would have exposed Dr. Khan? And how many tens of thousands of Kurds and Marsh Arabs and other Iraqis would now be dead who are now, because of the sacrifices of our young men like Pat Tillman, alive?
Plateaued, becalmed

I feel like Captain Cook in the Horse Latitudes, stuck at 200 pounds, which, I concede, is better than being stuck at 205 pounds. I need to put some longboats out with every available man in them in pull for moving air. It's only day 5, so I have some hopes of getting off ten pounds this month, which is all I really need. Under Atkins it would take several weeks to get through the 200-pound plateau.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Day Four

OK, I'm disappointed I didn't lose a lot in the first three days. I feel as though I've lost, but the scale says no, though I'm still very close to 200 pounds. I have always had trouble breaking through my 200\-pound plateau. I'll be happy to break through in the next two weeks, especially if I keep feeling this good. I'm also back to eating a lot, for me, of carbs. That's kind of an experiment, to challenge the Cortislim to work even though I'm inhaling bread and pasta.

John Kerry's wife is a hoot, eh? Is she really, really stupid or just so arrogant she can't bring herself to understand what is demanded of a presidential candidate's wife? Of course, Kerry himself seems dubious about doing what a candidate has to do. Teresa's income tax returns will be interesting, when the reporters beat them out of her. What a circus! I should go to a Kerry rally with a big sign saying, "Hey, Liveshot, montrez vos plaies!" That would make me happy.

Monday, April 19, 2004


I would swear my focus is better, even my eyesight is improved and I am definitely calmer today. Placebo effect can only account for so much. Jayna Davis, who wrote that book about Iraqi intelligence being involved in the Oklahoma City bombing, was on Glenn Beck this morning. I want to believe! But it's going to take a little more real evidence. Perhaps the Terry Nichols trial will bring out the oddness of his trip to the Philippines, where he apparently learned to make a really good truck bomb.
Day Two

Interesting night last night. Cortislim is supposed to help you sleep better. I had a heck of a time getting to sleep, but I didn't seem to mind. When I did get to sleep, I had vivid dreams. My mind seemed to be racing. Supposedly the stuff racks up your metabolism, which would explain the inability to sleep. "Thermogenesis", they call it. This stuff could save billions in oil during northern winters. Unfortunately, I'm coming up on a Tallahassee summer, so that may not be a plus. The pills cost about a dollar a day, so I'm hoping I can save at least that much on food. I may end up spending it all on books if I can't sleep! This morning the scale actually showed I had lost 2.5 pounds! In one day. At this rate I'll disappear in three months! I seem to be happier. Happiness in a pill! The millennium IS here! Tonight I'll stay up later, see if that makes it easier to sleep. I've finished with the thirteenth century, having killed off Simon deMontfort and that idiot Henry III, turning over the running of England to Edward Longshanks, the Hammer of the Scots. And I'm moving on to a biography of Captain James Cook, speaking of Scots.

Sunday, April 18, 2004


At 12:08 PM, I took the second Cortislim. So far no particular reactions aside from a slight metallic taste, which may be my imagination. The great effect is supposed to be a lessening of cravings for sugar and other carbs. We shall see, as I plan a spaghetti dinner.

As of 9:08 I felt no great tide of good feeling. Perhaps I am calmer. I am putting off taking gout pills for as long as I can, to give the Cortislim full rein. I'm reading Thomas Costain's The Magnificent Century, all about the jolly fun-loving thirteenth century in England. Makes me want to travel and examine cathedrals in minute details to pinpoint the genesis of the Gothic. Hubert deBurgh sounds like a man.
Did it

At 8:08 AM, April 18, 2004, I took my first capsule of Cortislim, with a "good breakfast" (in my case, six Krispy Kreme donuts). I record the time because the Cortislim folks - or what's left of them! - say that one hour after taking the first capsule the peace of Jerusalem will descend on your soul. Or maybe they didn't say that exactly, but maybe something more like your pants will fall off and supermodels in skimpy bikinis will appear at your door. Or maybe it was just that you would feel less stressed. OK. Full disclosure. I'm 55 years old, male, five-eight, weigh 205 pounds and am losing my hair. I expect at least one of those conditions to be improved by the Cortislim. My goal is 160 pounds within six months. And I plan to keep exercising on Matt Furey's Combat Conditioning plan if my gout allows. So we're off.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Cortislim diary

Ordered Cortislim last Sunday on the internet, got it today - three bottles. The ads have got me all rarin' to go but I'm determined to start out tomorrow morning. This will be a test of how my body responds to my credulous mind. One is supposed to take one capsule with breakfast, one with lunch. At least for the first thirty days, I'll stick with the two-a-day and then see how things go. I've been off and on with Atkins for about four years now and don't seem to be able to stick with it. I googled Cortislim just to see what people were saying. Found a few good comments, some non-specific warnings. I like the idea of sleeping better and dealing more successfully with stress.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the Israelis are putting Hamas on a severe reducing diet. When Sheikh Yassin was disintegrated a few weeks ago, everyone was joking that whoever took over better have his life insurance paid up. And now Rantissi has been given the big pass to the amusement park in the sky, Raisin or Virgin land. The promised awful vengeance for Yassin never came off. So now the Israelis have made those nice terrorists really mad. If they would only leave them alone, they would come over for Passover dinner. Just ignore the bulges under their coats. Little warm for coats, isn't it?

Now if the IDF and IAF would only pay Arafat a call.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Yag "marriage" and immigration
This morning, leafing through some immigration cases, it struck me that letting yags marry would bring some complications to immigration law. The law defines family relationships carefully for the purposes of determining, for instance, if a citizen or permanent resident alien can bring a wife or parent or child in to this country without triggering numerical limits. Of course marriage is defined in the law as it has been since the beginning of society. The immigration authorities have had a lot of trouble with sham marriages, as depicted in the movie Green Card with Gerard Depardieu. If the US were to legitimize yag marriage, a US yag could go overseas and drag in anybody it wants to. What constitutes "consummation" of a yag marriage, anyway? Coverture? Are we going to have to come up with thresholds of love in quantifiable units?

Marriage is interwoven throughout our society's web of rules. Duh. Those yagophiles who say that letting them marry wouldn't really change anything are either stupid or disingenuous. And the immigration laws also point out a problem with polygamy. One US citizen could bring in half the population of Guatemala if polygamists were granted the same right as yags, that is, to define marriage to suit themselves.

Another separate point: What if a biologically female "married" yag gets pregnant (Hey, it could happen)? Is the yag it's married to considered the father of the child? Is it liable for child support? If not, why not? That's what happens when a man's wife gets pregnant by another man. Equal means equal, doesn't it? Or is that only until it's not convenient?

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Annex Canada

Canada is having trouble financing its armed forces, which have sunk to a low ebb. Maybe this is a good thing. A few companies of Marines on rotation back from Iraq or Afghanistan could come back through Ottawa and take over Canada with little or no opposition. The French-Canadians would of course surrender immediately and most of Western Canada would breathe a huge sigh of relief. We'd be connected by land to Alaska and would gain enormous reserves of oil, gas, nickel, uranium and fish. And we'd never have to worry about ice supplies. Disney could build "Polar Bear Land" and give the Indians and Eskimos jobs. The only big problem would be the health care bureaucrats and other freeloaders who would have to be retrained to be productive. Best of all, we'd have a lifetime supply of native comedians. Who's going to stop us? France?!

Monday, February 23, 2004

Kerry AWOL in the War on Terror
Kerry has been attacking President Bush for being "AWOL" thirty years ago by serving in the National Guard. Yet Kerry himself has been AWOL for years in the war on terror. "Serving" in the Senate carries with it an obligation to fight for your country. What has Kerry done in the last twenty years to make the world safe from terrorism? He voted against the First Gulf War. When this position drew hostile fire, Kerry turned tail and ran, voting last year for the Second Gulf War. Then, when he saw that wasn't the best political position to garner the Democratic nomination, he surrendered to the French and voted against follow-up funding for the troops in Iraq. In his twenty years in the Senate, he was AWOL repeatedly when his vote was needed to support intelligence funding and many weapon systems which could have convinced the terrorists that we were serious about defeating them. But then, of course, we would also have to have had a President who would fight for the country and not just for his right to seduce interns without penalty.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Tactics on yag marriage

A lot of debate is going on about how to deal with the political side of yag "marriage". Should there be a constitutional amendment to define marriage as "the union between one man and one woman"? Will activist judges find a right in the Constitution for yags to get married to people of their own sex? Even though straights will not have this right? Or would they? Hmm. Anyway. The politicians would be best advised to try to get the proponents of yag marriage to fight for a constitutional amendment establishing such a right, as I advocated before. So maybe the first step is not the "Defense of Marriage Act" but a finding that such a major change in the constitutional powers must come through an amendment process. So then all the arguments can be channeled into a decades-long amendment fight, like the ERA struggle in the '70s that was overtaken by evolutionary change. Then Bush can say he was leaving the decision to the people and not have to come out for or against the concept. That always makes politicians happy. All the activists, advocates and "progressives" will have a huge battle to engage in that will safely divert their energies. So they'll be happy. And they'll lose. Which will make me happy.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Fish or foul or yag?

The hubbub about gay marriage licenses being handed out like - well, like condoms at a high school - in San Francisco, couldn't help but remind me of the Monty Python skit about the fellow who comes in to a county office to renew his fish license. Remember? John Cleese says, "No, you can't have a fish license. We only license dogs." So Eric Idle, I think, shows him a paper which appears to say "Fish license". Cleese objects that he has crossed out the word "Dog" and put in the word "Fish". Similarly, in SF, apparently homosexuals have been altering standard marriage licenses. They've crossed out the words "Bride" and "Groom" and replaced them with "Applicant 1" and "Applicant 2" !! Or "Spouse for Life" or something as absurd. Parody is dead. Nothing remains to mock that hasn't been mocked by its own self. And of course, this is not supposed to affect in any way the nature of heterosexual marriage. Somehow "Here comes the Applicant 2" doesn't have quite the cachet of "Here comes the Bride".

Say, why is it these counter-culture "yags" = reverse gay, because they're not = are so into getting official sanction for their relationships? I thought they were going to overthrow old forms, not squeeze themselves into them like a bearded middleaged "Applicant 2" squeezing his paunch into a wedding gown? I guess the only consolation is that a family whose children all became yags would cease to exist.

Update: WorldNetDaily has more.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

The Love Conundrum
This whole gay marriage thing is really getting me bothered. It should be put up to a constitutional amendment process, for the simple reason that no one in his right mind could contend that the Federal Constitution, or that of any state, authorized the state to make laws about marriage as a "right" - or a privilege - pertaining to any arrangement other than that between one man and one woman. Does anyone seriously maintain any other position? Oh, that's right. Some of us nutty objectivists do say the state shouldn't have any power over marriage or - especially - love, since IT'S NOT MENTIONED IN ANY CONSTITUTION!!! This power has been extracted from constitutions by courts, who have also inferred other nutty powers. Taxation of income and female suffrage and ending slavery required amendments because the court system found that they were contrary to the constitution as written. Does anyone sincerely think the idea of gay "marriage" would survive the constitutional amendment process?

How would such an amendment read? How could it logically exclude polygamy, incest, even pedophilia? If the ground of a relationship legalized by state action is that the participants love each other, shouldn't that factor be subject to proof? How can people prove they love each other? Nowadays, a man and a woman do not have to prove they love each other in order to get married. They DO have to prove, if challenged, that they are man and woman, not man and frog or woman and Beast. But that's the only requirement. So how about it? What's the legally sufficient proof of love? PET scan results?

Friday, February 13, 2004

Why no second attack?
Charles Krauthammer puts together some reasons why Al Qaeda has not attacked the US again after 9/11. He leaves out one. Maybe Al Qaeda expected the US to fall apart and appease them, as Clinton did after the first WTC attack, Khobar Towers and the USS Cole. When their attack led only to the toppling of the Taliban and Saddam, they may have said to themselves, "Hmm, guess we won't do that again! Not with that W guy in there!" Bin Laden probably has a better idea than most Americans of what can happen to him if he makes the US under George W. Bush any angrier than it already is. Better to go attack Australians in Bali and even Saudis than risk full extirpation. He'll bide his time until Kerry gets in and is thinking more of interns than protecting America.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Let us hippies speak!
I've been listening with some bemusement to John Kerry claiming that he is a "patriot" because he volunteered to go to VietNam and then protested against the war when he got back. Well, I don't feel the same way now, but back in the Sixties, I was thoroughly against the war. I wouldn't ever have harassed troops coming back from VietNam, especially if they were draftees, but I hated - yes, hated - anyone who went voluntarily. Now that Kerry is claiming political capital because he went and fought - and also because he protested - I can't believeanyone is taking him seriously. If you absolutely positively couldn't get out of the draft and felt you must volunteer to get a commission or for whatever reason - like running for President in thirty years - the only morally correct thing you could do, short of going to Canada, would be to get a place in the National Guard and show up as little as possible. So Bush was the real moral patriot.
And why is any of this relevant now, when all the services are one hundred percent volunteer? And when so many of us feel strongly that America should not be ruled by Osama bin Laden, isn't the situation a little bit different?
Marriage every which way
Now that a Massachusetts "court" has "ruled" that the legislature must allow gay marriage - and what exactly gives them the legitimate power to dictate to the legislature in this way? - it has become clear that marriage rights are now open to all. If you are a man, why must you be "gay" in order to marry another man, to get benefits or dower rights or hospital visitation or whatever? Aren't the courts going to need a definition of "gay" to determine whether two men are allowed to marry by the new laws? What is that definition, anyway? Are you gay if you say you're gay? That didn't work for the Philadelphia firefighters who claimed to be minorities on the basis of a great-grandmother they asserted was part Negro. They were subject to a judicial examination of their bloodlines worthy of Nazi Germany or apartheid South Africa. So we'll doubtless need a national certification agency to investigate, examine and analyze those who claim to have a certain habit of mind that matches the legal definition of "homosexual". Oh, Joy. More work for lawyers, psychiatrists and philosophers. Will a "couple" have to prove a certain level of "love" to get a license? How exactly would that concept be quantified? I really love cole slaw. I expect it to be my constant companion until my Creator claims me. Oh, I may stray in the direction of potato salad now and again, once I get off this Atkins kick, but if a psychologist put me in a darkened room and flashed pictures of food on a screen and measured my pupillary dilation, I'm sure good old slaw would always produce a reaction reaching the legal minimum.
Evil Bread
Going back on Atkins and getting the good old energy boost and clear thinking, I ruminate on the evil of bread. Man used to eat mostly meat, before agriculture. After agriculture came along, the tribe of Man grew in numbers, but only the nobles had a good supply of meat. The peasants ate carbohydrates, dooming them to stupidity and inertia. Now that capitalism has made it possible to supply everyone with cheap meat, a new utopia awaits. Everyone can have the mind of a Charlemagne, a Caesar. Carnivores have always ruled. Now we can all rule ourselves. The only necessity is the exposure once and for all of the evil of starches and sugars. The FDA should stop harassing smokers and start rooting out the real evil - carbohydrates. Only by utterly eliminating the temptations of fresh-baked bread, steaming pasta and twinkling jellie candies will we achieve our real potential as men.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Clark is as Dean was
As the eternally fascinating NH primary draws closer, Dean looks weaker and weaker. In the latest poll on Real Clear Politics, he's in third place, with Clark and Edwards jostling each other to take over second. Clark is what Dean was: the "unknown quantity" that all the Bush-haters - meaning, nowadays, every Democrat except Joe Lieberman - hope will prove to be the silver bullet to stop Bush. Many Dems don't see John Kerry as having staying power, especially in the South. As the outlines of Clark become clearer, though, it's apparent there's something monstrous hidden behind his four stars and deer-in-the-headlights stare. If with Clinton there was nothing there except naked lust for power, with Clark there's nothing there at all. His handlers have apparently told him to deny saying everything he ever said that contradicts the position he wants to take in any particular situation. And then counterattack, like a good general. If Clinton was the first black president, Clark would be, in the infinitesimally possible event that he makes it, the first president with no grasp on reality at all.

If Dean comes in third or worse in NH, he's done. The combination of a rejuvenated Kerry and homeboy Edwards in South Carolina will doom him there. General Clark has to pull rank on Lieutenant Kerry at every opportunity and I don't think that will work. Regular soldiers don't like Generals. Grunts outnumber brass. And his general buddies wouldn't vote for him to save their souls. So who's left? The Clintons? Maybe (pleasepleaseplease!) their support of Napoleon XIV will be the beginning of their political decline. Think about what Kerry and Ted Kennedy will do with the Democrat Party apparatus if Kerry becomes the nominee. Doesn't look too good for McAuliffe and the Beelzebubbas. But it's all good for Bush, so far.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Wes Clark and New Hampshire taxes
I heard - no link, sorry - that Wes Clark has been saying to New Hampshire voters that their problems - which he of course promises to solve - can be traced to the fact that New Hampshire has no sales or income taxes. Has no one told him that New Hampshire politics are based on not having a sales or income taxes? I lived in NH for decades and saw many Dem candidates shrivel up and die when they appeared to be advocating more taxes. Even Jeanne Shaheen, the former Dem governor, carefully avoided trying to push sales and income taxes. For one thing, if a sales tax were imposed, the border communities would immediately lose millions of dollars of sales to Taxachusetts consumers. This includes massive liquor store sales on Route 93 from state liquor stores that would lose both profits and liquor taxes for the state. An income tax would mean fewer Mass. workers living in southern NH and paying the increasing property taxes. And of course the infamous 8% (or is it more now?) rooms and meals tax would still be in place, soaking tourists. For Newhampshiremen, taxes are something tourists pay so they can keep their money where it belongs. Clark's tin ear strikes again.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Well, it's happened. Here it is October 1, 2004, and the Democrats have decided not to put up a candidate to oppose President Bush in the November election. Oh, there are a few nutcase fringies out there, like the totally discredited Wesley Clark, who, after admitting that he had participated directly in creating the war plans for invading Iraq, only to disavow all knowledge of them. He is polling at less than one percent in what's left of the polls. It's been a bad summer for the pollsters. Every credible Democratic candidate self-destructed in one way or another before the Democratic Convention in Boston. On the coldest day in August in thirty-seven years, the convention broke up in fistfights over whether global warming or a new ice age was the bigger threat to the world's oppressed.
Still waiting
Drudgereport has broken a story about Wesley Clark that may just torpedo his candidacy below the waterline. It simply points out that Clark was an enthusiastic advocate of the invasion of Iraq in testimony before a Congressional committee not long before the war, and just before most of the Democrats voted for it. I keep checking, though, and none of the big media outlets have picked up on the glaring inconsistencies of Clark's statements about the war since, especially his repeated declarations that he was "always" against the war. This is psycho territory. Maybe the big boys want to make sure the transcripts are accurate before they run with the story. Or maybe - just maybe - they are reflexively covering for a Democratic candidate they think may have a better chance than Dean of beating Bush. Which is damning with faint praise, anyway!
Just tryin' to get through the territory
In Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove, Robert Urich plays a cowboy who's strung up by a sheriff played by Robert Duvall. He had been riding with a couple of psychotic killers. He pleaded that he wasn't part of the gang, he never did anything bad, he was "just tryin' to get through the territory". He had to ride with the bad guys for protection from Indians, starvation, other bad guys and, I guess, just to find his way.