Wednesday, July 28, 2004

A Blogger's Hitlist...
I have been asked on a few (very few, mind you) occasions just what blogs I myself like to read. Well, here's a representative list of what I get into on a daily basis, complete with commentary:

1. - Glenn Reynolds (of fame) give us a daily roundup of all the good things on the web, and ads his own commentary. His site is so good that I can easily forgive him the sin of training would-be lawyers for a living. (
2. Porphyrogenitus - a fine writer, and an even better thinker, Porphy also rounds up the web and has an interesting series on the European Union. Currently, he's on hiatus (re re-enlisted inthe Army), but his archives are definitely worth scanning. (
3. FredOnEverything - Fred Reed is one of my all-time favorite bloggers, although I must admit, I don;t always agree with what he has to say. However, he seems to always find just the right way to say it, with a big dash of Southern common sense, and a big pinch of humor.
4. Best of the Web - James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal. They guy very rarely gets caught out, and is one of the few that can make politics fun. BOTW also has a daily roundup of what's happening around the world. A first-class site!
5. SteynOnline - Mark Steyn is one of the finest writers on the planet today, He has atalent for the turn of phrase and an impeccably logical way of thinking. He's funny, he's refreshing, and he's on the web! (
6. - a daily roundup of newspaper stories from around the world. Lucianne Goldberg is famous for two things: she stuck up for Linda Tripp and her son, Jonah, who writes for National Review, and very well, I might add. (
7. - the Web and Bill Buckley: it doesn't get any better than this. There's also a plethora of other writers on here that I enjoy immensely, such as John Derbyshire, Mark Steyn, Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru. ( It's a Conservative's dream!
8. Jewish World Review - a collection of columnists and religious writers from around the world. It has an all-star lineup (Ann Coulter, Larry Elder, Cal Thomas, Tohomas Sowell, just for starters), and is chock-full of links. (
9. - The web would be a dull, bleak and devestated landscape if it wasn't for James Lileks. If you've never heard of him, or read him, I implore you to do so. The man is a national treasure, or at least he should be. (
10. - the latest in political thought and humor from all ends of the universe. (
11. - a Conservative forum and daily roundup of world events. A little bit of something for everyone, and everyone gets to participate! (
12. My Side of the Swamp - Michael M. Bates gives us all a dose of common sense and a ton of Midwesterner humor that makes you wanna know just who was it that said Garrison Keiler was funny? Mike has got the goods. (
13. Andrew Sullivan - another very talented writer and a gay conservative, to boot! Mr. Sullivan manages to combine wonderfully concise writing with a very active and surgical brain. He's another guy I don't always agree with, but he sure as hell makes you think! (

I hope y'all will check some of these out and give yer brain some excercise. P.S., I think they're all fun, too, which is important. After all, most people consider reading a chore, don't they?


Anatomy of a Government Program...
Ever wondered how politicians get the ideas for their hare-brained schemes? I have (Damn, I sounded like Andy Rooney there for a second!). What usually happens is that someone, somewhere, identifies a "problem". The "problem" is often something that only affects them directly, but they bring it to the attention of the local Congresscritter who has his staff do some research -- and what do you? -- there's at least seven other people out there that have the same issue! Dammit man, let's write us some legislation!

More often than not, these "problems" are dug up by "think tanks" or lobbying groups than they are by private citizens. Most private citizens couldn't get the time of day from, let alone access to, their "elected representatives", because they don't have money behind them. Think tanks and lobbyists do.

So, one day, some liberal think tank (I know, contradiction in terms) releases a "study" (amazing how they study everything and never seem to get smarter) that shows that 12 out of 7 pre-schoolers cannot tie their own shoes (liberal math is funny that way). Something needs to be done before we have an entire generation of people walking around barefoot. The Republican solution to this problem would be to have parents take 10 minutes a day to teach their kids how to tie their shoes, or, tell them to start dressing the tyke in loafers. A demomoron, however, knows in his/her bones (more often her) that parents are little more than gamete donors, and NEVER take care of their own children. So, the government must step in to ensure that children everywhere learn the difficult craft of tying a bow in their shoelaces.

The firts thing that happens is the advertising. Talk shows, newspapers, CNNMSNBCCBSABCNBC and Oprah will all be shouting about this "serious issue that affects our children" 24 hours a day. Eventually, a B-List celebrity (say Janeane Garofalo) gets involved to soothe her conscience, and the ball is rolling. The message will be hammered home constantly: if your child cannot tie his/her own shoes, and you oppose this important government initiative, you don't love your children, you filthy, Republican-type person you! Now the politicians get involved.

The first thing they do is to carefully plan just how this is going to be packaged. Creating a Government Ministry of Shoe Security would be way too much for the average American to swallow, so what they'll do is invent a "program" that will be subordinate to an existing Federal alphabet soup agency. Usually, this is the Department of Education. To a demodope, "education" is the answer to everything, and if they had their way, Nuclear weapons would be contolled by the Department of Education. Anwyay, the program will be given a cutesy, easy-to-remember acronym so that The Diversity won't forget it. Something like "Shoestring Inititive", or SHIT.

What SHIT will do is distrubute "government money" (i.e. taxpayer money) to those associations and institutions that will devote all of their time and effort to helping children tie their shoes. Schools will be required to include two hours a week of shoe tying instruction in the curriculum. Schools that don't, will not get the "federal grant"(i.e. bribe) that comes with adherance to SHIT. What will happen is that schools will og through the motions of complying with SHIT without teaching a damn kid to tie his shoes. The "fedeal grant" though, will go to help pay for the new administrator necessary to administer the program and keep the paperwork straight, and if they can get away with it, for a new gym floor.

After 20 years of SHIT, we will have a "Shoe tying crisis" in the country, as all those kids who grew up with SHIT will still be unable to tie their shoes because the government didn't teach them to, and their parents abandoned their responsibility once the government took up the cause. This will require more funding for SHIT despite the fact that it never worked, and EVEN MORE legislation, this time requiring shoe manufacturers to design shoes soley (no pun intended) with velcro fasteners. Another study will find that he increased use of velcro either causes cancer or  doesn't decompose quickly in a landfill, that the shoe industry must be investigated and then sued out of business. Their short sightedness in this instance created even more problems than were solved by the use of velcro, but that's businesses fault, not government's. The lawyers pick up a piece of the action and all of our shoe-making jobs wind up in Pakistan. In the end, we'll still have a generation of people who cannot tie their own shoes, when the starting premise was to "ensure this does not happen", and the rest of us, who can tie our shoes (or who switched to loafers since shoelaces went out of fashion) will pay for it. Again.

Someone (I believe it was H.L. Mencken) once said "no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people" or word to that effect. He was right: this sort of thing happens in Washington, DC everyday, and none of us seems to give a SHIT.

For those of you who actually care about what John Kerry might have to say later this week at the democrat version of the Nuremburg rallies in Boston, please leave now. However, it might be an interesting excercise to see if I would be able to predict the man's speech before he actually gives it. Let's make a game out of it: I'll throw out my predictions now, and after the convention is over, let's see how many I hit on the head.

Okay, here we go. This is what Kedwards will say Friday night:

1. Bush sucks.
2. The war sucks. Unless, of course, the right people were running it, like us.
3. Another paean to the plight of the uninsured, with extensive plans for a national health care system or insurance, with lots of big numbers thrown around. The money will come from rescinding those nasty tax cuts.
4. Another paean to those that cannot afford a college education, despite the plethora of financial aid packages, scholarships, fellowships. government assistance, and good-old-fashioned minimum wage jobs available. Kedwards will offer you more programs, more assistance, more of everything, and of course, it gets paid for by rescinding them nasty tax cuts.
5. America must repair it's damaged relations with it's "allies" (i.e. France), and a Kedwards administration would bend over backwards to make sure Jacques Chirac gets a BJ in the Oval Office in the same chair Billy-Bob did.
6. Kedwards wil stress their "ideas" and "progressive thinking", without displaying either.
7. A Kedwards administration would put people back to work. How this is to be accomplished will be wrapped in government-speak gobbledy-gook that even they can't understand.
8. Ter-AY-za will be a "Great First Lady" (why this should make any difference is beyond me, but they will try to sell it).
9. Kewdards has more "experience". Well, if you need an experienced fence-sitter and blood-sucker..errr..trial attorney, then this is the pair for you!
10. There will be at least one throwback moment to any of the following: FDR, JFK, RFK, Billery. Probably all four.

Keep score at home and let me know how I did. I won't be watching, so I'll have no idea.



Sunday, July 25, 2004

The Gallic Bug...
Headline: "French President Bugs Others". Really? I wouldn't have noticed. Anyway, here's a link to an article on the semi-retarded rantings of Jacque Chriac, President of France:

The article gives three excuses for Chirac's seemingly neurotic behavior:
1. America, and George Bush, are arrogant.
2. America, and George Bush, don't have any resepct for France.
3. America, and George Bush, are to blame.

In fact, George Bush seems to be mentioned more in the article than Jacques Chirac. What this piece really is, is a way to bash George Bush under the cover of bashing Chirac. Notice the qutoe about Bush being arrogant because he "speaks bluntly". I did not realize that people, and nations, actually wanted bulshit to be a staple of their diplomacy and international relations. I guess this must be the "nuance" that KerryEdwards is always talking about.

What gets my goat is that in every respect, this article would seem to claim that Chirac does what he does only because George Bush goads him into doing it.

Now, I would bet a paycheck that this is not the view of the Frenchman in the street, but is solely representative of what passes for the French elite and intelligencia. In other words, the French government and by extention, the Pan-European Organized Crime Commission (i.e. The E.U.). In the view of these folks, an infantile United States,led by an infantile President (i.e. one who cannot readily and easily lie about where he puts his dick), with actual power, is somehow in charge of the world. This scraes the more "mature and nuanced" European elites to death because it signals a real end to their influence in world affairs. This influence was on the wane in the mid-1930's and has virtually vanished in this day and age. Hence, the zeal with which French politicians attack and defend their remaining interests: selling chemical, nulcear and biological material to Iraq, Iran, Libya, and half a dozen other despots. Tying American peacekeepers in Kosovo to NATO and UN command, rather than actually letting them pacify the country. Stepping into civil wars in West Africa and negotiating "treaties" and "agreements" that let the crap continue as long as French businessmen can continue to profit.

Chirac does bug people. France bugs people. But it's theirown fault, not George Bush's.
A Pet Peeve...
Somehow, although I can't recall ever asking for it, I get the Charlotte Observer delivered right to my door. The Observer is a lovely little newspaper that tries real hard to be the New York Times, and fails, which should be a cause for celebration, but I digress. The point is, I never asked to have the paper delivered. The person who is delivering these newspapers is making a mistake. P.S. I never see this person --- the papers somehow magically appear on the doorstep and no one ever comes to collect money for it, which confuses me.

What's even more confusing is that the paper isn't even delivered every day. Somehow, I might get it 3 times a week, sometimes five, and almost always on Sunday (not always). So, someone is delivering papers that I never asked for, they're not even delivering it every day, and they never come around to get paid for it. I know what you're saying: I'm getting something for nothing, and I really shouldn't complain about it, right? Well, I will. I don't want a newspaper and if I did, I am capable of spending a half a buck and getting it from the vending machine up the block, thank you. Newspapers are something of a misnomer these days as they contain a lot of advertisements, a huge sports section, and very little of what can be called "information". I'd rather watch Fox and MSNBC (just to make sure I got both sides of the propaganda) and surf the 'net for news, other blogs, etc, etc. No muss, no fuss. No papers to throw away (keeping the enviornment CLEAN! And you thought I didn't care?). Nothing to bundle up for recycling and no black ink all over my white t-shirts.

So, last week I left a note on the door for the paper-boy (or person) explaining that I did not order the paper and would they please stop delivering it? To no avail, because newspapers kept showing up. They I realized why -- these are split-level developments here and in order to get to my door, you have to negotiate a set of stairs (going down, of course) and whoever is delivering the things is standing at the top of the staircase and flinging the paper towards my door. They didn't even SEE the note.

So, I posted it where it would be SURE to be seen: at the top of the staircase. In big, block letters. I even wrote "Thank you" on it. Sure as God made the Keebler elves, more papers were deposited at my doorstep.

True, this is a minor annoyance. But think of the long-term damage that is being done; I am having a product delivered to my door for no charge. Somewhere, a corporation is laying out money for labor, materials and delivery so that I can get something I'm not paying for. Now, I'm positive that I'm not the only person in Charlotte that is getting a newspaper they ain't paying for, but even if the number is miniscule, over time it adds up. Fifteen-cents to produce a paper. Thirty five cents in lost profit. Fuel being consumed and labor being expended to deliver it someplace it shouldn't go. No one making an attempt to collect that lost revenue. Why, if this losing proposition continues, someone may eventually lose a job. Then he can't pay his bills and the guy at the credit card company loses his job, which causes the auto worker to lose his job, and so on and so forth. Economic disaster may well be traced back to my free newspaper!

I called the Charlotte Observer and asked them would they please tell who ever is doing this to knock it off? I feel like a thief and I hate having to keep filling my garbage cans with stuff I never asked for (I've also tried that with the phone company, the electric company, the credit card companies, the bank, get the idea. They send a bill that fits on one sheet of paper, but you get 12 other sheets fo advertizing). I was told that they will get the word out to the "route carrier" as soon as they can, which should be before the next lunar eclipse that coincides with Arbor Day. In the meantime, if anyone wants a free Charlotte Observer, just come to my house and absolve me of the fiscal responsibility.
Initial Impressions, Part V...
Stupidity has found it's way to North Carolina! We're not talking about your stereotypical, Hee-Haw redneck stupdity (which, btw, largely exists solely in trailer parks),  but the refined, elitist, snobbish, and supposedly-enlightened stupidity of the Yankee North. I heard something today that I never dreamed that I would hear in a million years: an IHOP (International House of Pancakes) restaurant, in trhe heart of tobacco country, has banned smoking. Now I know it wasn't anywhere in Charlotte, because I did not hear the staccato sounds of gunfire that could be expected to accompany such an announcement. Where, I asked my informant, did this take place? Why, in a suburb of Raleigh, she replied. You know Raleigh? The pimple on the ass of the south I told you about last week?

Now, I got a little more information on Raleigh and what it was like, say, 15 years ago. Back then, Raleigh was a sleepy little place where a redneck continued to run around the woods fighting the War of Northern Aggression  and attending Klan meetings whenever he/she wasn't out trying to reign in the runaway hogs. Well, maybe it wasn't that close to Dogpatch, but it wasn't that far removed from the rustic idyll. Then came the tech boom.

With the tech boom came the building boom as companies involved in the tech sector of the economy began building offices, which led to housing construction, which led to the building of shoping centers, hospitals, schools, etc, etc in a happy, little experiment in the joys of trickle down economics (and they said Reagan was dumb?). This had a wonderful effect on the people of Raleigh -- their property values went up, for example. People who had the training and education for a career in the techinical fields no longer had to tromp to Yankee-land or Silicon-Valley --- the Valley set up shop in their own backyards. They actually, secretly, began to think the Yankees were something of a godsend. It also had a major downside.

That downside was an influx of people from the North. While there were many qualified people here to take all them new jobs, there just was never enough, and so, the companies that moved in took some of their folks with them. Those folks wrote back home to their relatives to "come on down and enjoy country living", which they defined as a 4 bedroom mansion on an acre of land in a cul-de-sac surrounded by trees on the side of the interstate. Next thing ya know, there's more Yankees than roaches in Raleigh and this is where the trouble begins. Trust me, I've seen it happen in New York and I know what I'm talking about.

First, we have to define "Yankee". Historically, Yankees hail from New England. Long ago, when the Dutch controlled NewAmsterdam, which would later become NewYork, English sailors from the New England colonies would make port, and immediately buy up all the cheese in the city. The reason was that cheese was the only food that would keep on a long sea voyage. Anyway, the Dutch began calling the English sailors "John Cheese", which in Dutch is pronounced "Yawn-Kees", and thus a derogatory term was born. The English later applied the term to the people who had started a revolt against the Crown (Lexington and Concord, remember? Thems in Massachusetts --- Yankee Doodle, and all that). It was later applied to all Americans by the English, and even later, used by Southern Americans to describe their rabble-rousing neighbors to the North. You know, the New England abolitionists.

Anyway, Yankees are troublemakers and have been for over 200 years in this country.

Be that as it may, these Yankees come to North Carolina and immediately start trying to turn into Boston or Providence or whatever shithole it was they crawled out of. They do it here in Charlotte, too, which is a major banking center.  What this metamorphosis entails, however, usually revolves around the same four premises:

1. We know what best for everyone, especially since we're far more sophisticated, intellectually, socially, and educationally then anyone else.
2. Polite society can be created by getting government to enforce restrictions on liberty. Lenin and Mao were major proponents of this theory. Government does this by making laws that no one has a chance to debate or complain about when they get voted on in secret.
3. Freedom of choice, stupid, only refers to the right to have an abortion. If an establishment has a certain class of clientele or activities take place there that irk the Yankee, he does not remember that he has the option to take his business somewhere else, where folks might be more agreeable or a business may be happy to cater to his needs. He can't be bothered to make the effort, so he will do whatever is necessary to ruin everyone else's life in an effort to make everything JUSTTHE WAY HE WANTS IT. In other words: the fucking planet revolves around him and the rest of us exist as nothing more than background noise. Engendering hatred doesn't bother him as long as he can sip a Mozambiquan latte, and read his pretentious Northern Newspapers in a place reminiscent of a truckstop, in a smoke free-enviornment.
4. Whining is the Yankee's national past-time and if he doesn't have a reason that really requires it, he will be more than glad to make one up.

Banning smoking in a public place is par for the course for a Northerner. Banning it in a state where TOBACCO is a major industry is just asking to get your ass kicked, but that's aYankee for you. They're oblivious to anything that isn't DIRECTLY affecting them and their comfort.

I now know why there is such widespread resentment towards northerners here.  The folks here led a very simple, happy life, that looked like it was going to get much better until they realized that it was merely the prelude to an invasion of whining hypocrites with Napoleon complexes. These mental cases then run around screaming their heads off about how wonderful things were back home, and how you could get this and that at 3 in the morning, etc, etc, ad nauseum. They continually put southerners down as a backwards, inferior race who wouldn't know enough to not put their tongues in a wall socket if a Yankee wasn't there to tell them "this is how we did it back in Manchester". It is only a small step from suggestion to action, but it has a big impact on everyone else.

Smoking gets banned today to suit a Yankee. Tomorrow double-wides will be targeted as a "blight on the landscape" to suit a Yankee. Give these people an inch and they will take an acre.