February 27, 2005

The President Would Like Some Ribs

Here's a very humorous exchange between an overzealous reporter and a hungry President (hat tip Evil White Guy) at the Nothin' Fancy Cafe in Roswell, New Mexico. I'm sure there are other gems such as this in the White House archives!

Another Elitist Looking Down Upon the Peasants

Michael Gorman is President elect of the American Library Association. (hat tip Mercury News) Judging by this attempt to "explain" his disparaging remarks about bloggers, don't expect to see him at any blogger gatherings or conventions anytime soon.

Who are the Blog People?

It is obvious that the Blog People read what they want to read rather than what is in front of them and judge me to be wrong on the basis of what they think rather than what I actually wrote. Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs. In that case, their rejection of my view is quite understandable.

You can read the whole article if you like. That would certainly help to advance the notion that bloggers are not Neanderthals incapable of putting a grammatically correct sentence together. Do it for your own edification. My credentials will never match those of Mr. Gorman, but should that exclude me from sharing information or opinions? Is there a standard to which one must be held in order to be heard? I would hope that it is merely a standard of decency and not one requiring a stamp of approval from an erudite such as he.

February 26, 2005

February 24, 2005

Thursday Randomness

Here's a positive article on Brian Welch, the former guitarist for the alt. band Korn. Seems he has become a Christian and departed from the band due to moral objections to their music.

February 22, 2005

Should Terri Schiavo Be Put to Death?

That's essentially what will be happening if her "legal guardian" has his way. This opinion piece from the The Washington Times gives a good background on the the whole situation and I wholeheartedly agree with the conclusion, "Save Terri Schiavo". She should not be put to death. She has committed no crime. Her impairment is cognitive. She is not declining in health nor nearing death in any way. There are even questions in regards to her so-called "persistent vegetative state".

Her husband Michael, his brother and a sister-in-law have testified that when Terri visited her Grandmother hooked up to a ventilator in a nursing home she stated that she would not want to be a burden to anybody or live like that. She has signed no advance directive and the judges in her appeals cases have taken it upon themselves to make life and death decisions on her behalf. Lawyers have issued opinions on the bio-ethics of the case. Here is a quip from Terrie's parents website in regards to her diagnosis of "persistent vegetative state":

MYTH: Terri is PVS (Persistent vegetative state)
FACT: The definition of PVS in Florida Statue 765.101:
Persistent vegetative state means a permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is:

(a) The absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of ANY kind.
(b) An inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment.

Terri's behavior does not meet the medical or statutory definition of persistent vegetative state. Terri responds to stimuli, tries to communicate verbally, follows limited commands, laughs or cries in interaction with loved ones, physically distances herself from irritating or painful stimulation and watches loved ones as they move around her. None of these behaviors are simple reflexes and are, instead, voluntary and cognitive. Though Terri has limitations, she does interact purposefully with her environment.

You can see that there certainly are discrepancies and semantics (or so it seems) regarding that description of her condition. A lawyer that visited her had this to say about their visit with her in the hospice. You can see the state of her condition for yourself at the website that has been set up to help fight for her life - www.terrisfight.org. Watch any of the videos linked on the page and I will guarantee you will be able to form an opinion on whether or not she should put to death. The reason I use the term "put to death" I think will be apparent after viewing the video footage of her interaction with her mother and Doctor.

There are also indications that there may have been foul play in regards to the way in which she entered this state of disability. Her husband Michael may face a grand jury investigation. Findings from a medical examination in 1991 at a rehabilitation facility suggest there were other trauma sustained that may have resulted from a beating.

Terri's parents have been fighting tirelessly for her life since 1998. Take a moment to visit their website and watch the video footage. It will scare you to think that anyone would believe that this woman should die!

February 20, 2005

Gunner Palace

Came across an interesting link (hat tip Blackfive) to a trailer for a movie coming out in March called Gunner Palace. It's about some soldiers stationed in an old palace of Saddam's in Baghdad. It looks pretty interesting and apolitical. That remains to be seen though.

The tag line in the ad says, "400 American soldiers carry out their mission from a bombed-out pleasure palace once owned by Saddam Hussein. This is their story."

The website has diaries from the filmakers, trailers, reviews, screenings lists and synopsis. It definitely looks like a must see.

Also from Blackfive, "A Company of Soldiers" airs this Tuesday 2/9/05 at 10pm on channel 9 in the S.F. bay area. Check your local PBS listings for "Frontline". It may air at a different time in your area.

February 19, 2005

The Winter Doldrums

It is a typical "blue" day. The rain is torrential at times. Outside the neighborhood just has a very dark and dismal look to it. The gutters have filled with leaves and the rainwater is spilling over the sides. My daughters cat stares out the front window, motionless and very intent at watching nothing. The dog is asleep on her bed in front of the fireplace. Mrs. farfromgruvin is curled up in her easy chair with a good book. The parakeet, thankfully, is snoozing and quiet. Our neighbor across the street appears to be staring into our open front window from his dining room. He does this today just as he does on basically any other day of the week. The dishwasher quietly hums it's syncopated rythym in the kitchen.

All very soothing and comforting thoughts. Except for the neighbor thing but we have grown accustomed to it after 18 years. Now we have to throw a wrench in the comfort works and actually go outside in the rain to run some errands. My son needs to get some more behind the wheel experience before he takes his drive test next week. This would be a good day for that, eh? We have a couple of B'day gifts to pick up and a quick restock of some minor groceries and we will be back at the abode before you know it. Unless the behind the wheel training has some disastrous consequences and we are rushed to a hospital. Stop, that's just wrong. Anyway, gotta go!

February 18, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

February 15, 2005

Valentine's Day Enrages Jihadists

Valentines Day. A "holiday" which has, like most other American holidays, become entrenched in commercialism. From your childhood you remember passing out valentines to to your grade school classmates. As you got older it became more of a learned ritual. Get the candy, flowers, card, etc. Just another line item on the "to do list" of purchasing obligations. Not much sentimentality involved (or so it seemed). You performed this routine year after year trying to be original in your ideas for gifts or outings or surprises (can I sound more bleak than that??).

In the Middle East valentines day is sinful, evil, of Satan. I kid you not! This quote from the article explains it in a nutshell.
"The 'scholars' said human love is evil. The simple feeling of being attracted to or in love with someone is a terrifying sin if it is committed outside of their religious dogma -- and it warrants serious punishment."
If you are forbidden from showing human love how can you have any respect for life at all?? Read this article in it's entirety and I think you will have a different perspective on something as simple as expressing love to another.

February 14, 2005

A Very Humbling Serviceman's Story

Here's the story of a Captain in the Army who is heading back to Iraq after losing a foot to a landmine there (hat tip Attilla). The story comes from Jim Sheeler of The Rocky Mountain News.

"Amputee Heading Back to Battlefield" is the headline. It's a truly humbling and inspiring story, required reading!

February 13, 2005

Just a Little Fun

While roaming the plains I came across this spoof of the old King's Quest game. Then there was this entry from the "Yahoo! weekly picks" newsletter. Oh, and for those of you in need of a testosterone boost, here's a site that has some good military video downloads set to music.
I must say as an ex SeaBee, my favorite video is one called Divine Intervention. It's a montage of bridge building photos taken by someone in or attached to NMCB4, I believe. That should spur your melodic tendencies to want to create music of your own, or at least be in a cool band. You can do that here at CreateBands.com. It only takes a couple of minutes and it's really fun to tinker with!

That's it for your "way too much time" entertainment report!!

February 07, 2005

Why Do We Have to Dig Deep for These Stories??

I only found this extraordinary story of a Marines' valor by chance when digging deeper into the military blog links of numerous sites. The story goes all the way back to operations from March 25th of last year! This story should have been front page news on every major newspaper in the country? Remember the old newsreels that touted our successes in WWII?? This is prime material for such. Funny, I don't recall seeing endless footage of award ceremonies and praise from his fellow service members or a segment on 60 Minutes or the cover of Time or Newsweek. No interviews of his friends and family back home.

Another American hero that was recognized by his hometown paper but scarcely mentioned elsewhere. The St. Petersburg Times did a great job of memorializing and recreating this man's incredibly courageous actions to protect his troops. This story traces it's history to April 4th 2003.

Still more positive stories of courage and valor -

Marines confront, overcome the crucible of Fallujah

By Rick Rogers UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
July 31, 2004

FALLUJAH, Iraq – The citations for valor read like scenes from a movie, and it's only through cinematic comparisons that Cpl. Howard Lee Hampton Jr. can describe the combat his Camp Pendleton unit saw here in April.
"It was beyond anything in 'Black Hawk Down,' " said Hampton, 21, referring to the movie about the actual downing of two U.S. helicopters in 1993 Somalia and the harrowing rescue operation in which the lives of 18 American soldiers were lost.
"I remember going into the city in the (amphibious assault vehicle) and hearing the bullets hit off the sides.
"When the door opened, I thought about the scene in "Saving Private Ryan" when they were coming up to the beach and that guy got hit right in the head before he ever got to the beach," Hampton said, this time conjuring up the movie account of D-Day during World War II.
"Once we got in the city, we had hundreds and hundreds of people trying to kill us," said the native of El Paso, Tex., recalling how the cascade of enemy shell casings from windows above the Marines sounded like a never-ending slot machine payout.



To read the rest of this compelling story, go here.

It just seems shameful that every American doesn't know of these heroic individuals and what they have done.

February 05, 2005

Ugh..mmm...sigh...cough...sniff

Well, it finally bit me. I am officially sick. That makes twice in the last 2 months. Up until now it's been about 2 and a half years since I've been sick enough to stay home from work. Even my doctor said to my wife last month when I went to see him, "He never breaks!"

I'm broken now. Doing the green tissue dance and lung butter hoedown (imagine I lost a few readers there!). I have been sleeping so long that my back hurts and I have to get out of bed. Next comes bedsores. You know that weak and dizzy feeling you get when your muscles are about to atrophy? I have a terminal case of it. I ate an apple this morning. At least I think it was an apple, it had no taste. Or should I say it didn't taste like anything. I don't think apples are capable of aquiring a sense of discrimination. You can tell the illness is clouding my judgement and sense of reality.

It has given me a chance to watch some good TV (oxymoron). That sounds a bit pathetic, almost as if I was not watching TV I was being deprived of it's virtuous attributes. Wow, anyway I just watched The Last Mission on The History Channel. Quite good, if it reruns catch it! I've also had a chance to deplete my saved shows on my TiVo (only the greatest invention ever). Specifically there were a few shows of "Faith Under Fire". It's a topical debate generally over faith based issues or those of morality and ethics. There are very intelligent guests from both ends of the spectrum and it's always a lively debate.

One thing I do miss during this sick time is listening to talk radio. I'm a bit of a junkie when it comes to that. I obsessively channel surf. Some of the shows I listen to are Glenn Beck, Michael Medved, and Hugh Hewitt who has had a huge impact on blogging. He has cutting edge bloggers on his show everyday. This posting has put undue hardship upon my peepers and I think I'm gonna nap now. This is the most energy I've expended in three days not including the hunting of my daughters' rabbit that was scurrying through the house while she sat in her room on the phone. I loove fried rabbit! One day I will feast on it's carcass. Although I believe there is a point where it becomes too old and tough to really enjoy.

February 04, 2005

A Moving Pictorial

This is a must see. Pass this along to everyone you can!

These Iraqis are risking their lives to have the priveledge to do what we take for granted as Americans.

"Representative" government

Here's the latest constituent newsletter from the Congresswoman who "represents" me. Overtly partisan and continuing the Democratic Kool-Aid drinking.

Last night, I attended President Bush's annual State of the Union address in the House of Representatives. As you know, the President offered his agenda for the coming year. I think it important to let you know how I feel about his speech. These are comments I made directly following the President's address:

"President Bush's speech tonight reflects failure to understand the most pressing issues affecting all Americans."

"This week, Iraqi citizens exercised their right to vote, and they deserve praise for standing up for democracy. But America's troops are still at war, with mounting casualties day after day, and this Administration still does not have an exit strategy. The Administration has made critical mistakes and errors in judgment leading up to the war in Iraq. The President refuses to acknowledge these mistakes, and thus, no corrective action has been taken to prevent these problems from happening again. Republicans and Democrats all believe in freedom and democracy, but this does not relieve the President of his duty to devise a plan that brings our troops home."

"Social Security is one of the most successful government programs of the past 70 years. President Roosevelt created this plan to protect America's seniors and it has been a success. President Bush claimed tonight that Social Security is in a crisis. If so, it would be because the President's privatization plan puts Social Security itself at risk. If the President presents a plan to Congress that supplements and strengthens Social Security, I am confident that Democrats will stand with him. If however, his plan diverts money from Social Security, Democrats will not stand idly by as the Republicans destroy this very successful program."

"Finally, I am concerned that the President continues to ignore the state of our economy. With the President's failed economic policies, thousands of highly skilled persons in Silicon Valley remain unemployed, budget deficits are at record levels and many Americans are struggling to make ends meet."

Best,

Zoe Lofgren

A Suicidal Selection

Here's the intro to a great article on the Dems foaming at the mouth to elect Dean to the DNC. Click the link to read the rest of the story.

--------------------
A Suicidal Selection
--------------------

With Dean as party chairman, the Democrats wouldn't need enemies.

JONATHAN CHAIT

February 4 2005

A few weeks ago, when former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean declared his intention to run for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, news reports had the general tone of "Get this, that crazy scream guy is back and he wants to run the party." Now, a week before the vote, his victory is a fait accompli. How did this happen? Are Democrats suicidally crazy?

The complete article can be viewed at the LA Times website.