Friday, December 20

Moving Day!

Hallelujah!!! Today, thanks to the kindness and technical ability of Rachel Lucas, I have moved. I now live here.

Thursday, December 19

Mad Cow and a Letter

All right, all you assholes at PETA. Just for you, here is a mad cow.

My friend Bryce was in town tonight and he took me out to dinner. Bryce is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He is married to a wonderful lady and has four children and nine grandchildren. And he is a Christian. He is not an in your face Christian. In fact, I never even knew he was religious until after I had known him for about two years and the only way I discovered then were some offhand remarks about knowing some people through his church. His is the quiet faith. He is not holier than thou. He does not wear his religion on his sleeve. And, he accepts a foul mouthed old reprobate like me as a friend.

And it's gonna get mushier. My friend Richard forwarded the following to me:

My Heart On The Line By Frank Schaeffer Before my son became a Marine, I never thought much about who was defending me. Now when I read of the war on terrorism or the coming conflict in Iraq, it cuts to my heart. When I see a picture of a member of our military who has been killed, I read his or her name very carefully. Sometimes I cry. In 1999, when the barrel-chested Marine recruiter showed up in dress blues and bedazzled my son John, I did not stand in the way. John was headstrong, and he seemed to understand these stern, clean men with straight backs and flawless uniforms. I did not. I live on the Volvo-driving, higher education-worshiping North Shore of Boston. I write novels for a living. I have never served in the military. It had been hard enough sending my two older children off to Georgetown and New York University. John's enlisting was unexpected, so deeply unsettling. I did not relish the prospect of answering the question "So where is John going to college?" from the parents who were itching to tell me all about how their son or daughter was going to Harvard. At the private high school John attended, no other students were going into the military. "But aren't the Marines terribly Southern?" asked one perplexed mother while standing next to me at the brunch following graduation. "What a waste, he was such a good student," said another parent. One parent (a professor at a nearby and rather famous university) spoke up at a school meeting and suggested that the school should "carefully evaluate what went wrong." When John graduated from three months of boot camp on Parris Island, 3,000 parents and friends were on the parade deck stands. We parents and our Marines not only were of many races but also were representative of many economic classes. Many were poor. Some arrived crammed in the backs of pickups, others by bus. John told me that a lot of parents could not afford the trip. We in the audience were white and Native American. We were Hispanic, Arab and African American and Asian. We were former Marines wearing the scars of battle, or at least baseball caps emblazoned with battles' names. We were Southern whites from Nashville and skinheads from New Jersey, black kids from Cleveland wearing ghetto rags and white ex-cons with ham-hock forearms defaced by jailhouse tattoos. We would not have been mistaken for the educated and well-heeled parents gathered on the lawns of John's private school a half-year before. After graduation one new Marine told John, "Before I was a Marine, if I had ever seen you on my block I would've probably killed you just because you were standing there." This was a serious statement from one of John's good friends, an African American ex-gang member from Detroit who, as John said, "would die for me now, just like I'd die for him." My son has connected me to my country in a way that I was too selfish and insular to experience before. I feel closer to the waitress at our local diner than to some of my oldest friends. She has two sons in the Corps. They are facing the same dangers as my boy. When the guy who fixes my car asks me how John is doing, I know he means it. His younger brother is in the Navy. Why were I and the other parents at my son's private school so surprised by his choice? During World War II, the sons and daughters of the most powerful and educated families did their bit. If the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done? Have we wealthy and educated Americans all become pacifists? Is the world a safe place? Or have we just gotten used to having somebody else defend us? What is the future of our democracy when the sons and daughters of the janitors at our elite universities are far more likely to be put in harm's way than are any of the students whose dorms their parents clean? I feel shame because it took my son's joining the Marine Corps to make me take notice of who is defending me. I feel hope because perhaps my son is part of a future "greatest generation." As the storm clouds of war gather, at least I know that I can look the men and women in uniform in the eye. My son is one of them. He is the best I have to offer. He is my heart. Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book, co-written with his son, Marine Cpl. John Schaeffer, is "Keeping Faith: A Father-Son Story About Love and the United States Marine Corps."

Please, when you see someone in uniform, thank him for serving his country.

Wednesday, December 18

Gimme a Wooden Stake!

My friends, Michael and Cindy had me over for dinner Saturday night. Their house had been torn up for quite some time. They had decided to knock out the wall between their den and living room and create a great room, hereafter referred to as the Great Room of Dunwoody. This was a major project and required many Mexican workers, who, of course spoke no English. So, when Cindy tried to explain stuff to them, the response was always, "OK. No problem! " Example:

  • Cindy: Um, I didn't want that part of the hall painted purple.
  • Mexican Worker: OK. No problem

Upon returning home, the whole hall was now purple.

And of course, since they don't celebrate Thanksgiving, the mariachi music started bright and early Thanksgiving morn. Michael said, "To be fair, they work on Thanksgiving and I work on Cinqo De Mayo."

Since their house was torn up for quite some time and they were essentially living on the second floor of their home, I had them over for dinner on a few Saturdays. Like this is a problem for me. Throw a couple more steaks on the grill, bake two more potatoes, cook some corn on the cob on the grill and make a larger salad. Michael would furnish the wine. Since he's in the business and has an excellent cellar we drank very well. I would furnish the cognac and grappa. Not much trouble at all.

So last week the project was finally completed and they had me over for dinner. I came in the door from the garage so I could enter the Great Room of Dunwoody from the side and not be so overwhelmed with awe that I would pass out. And it was a beautiful job. I didn't see any purple anywhere.

Having gone through the experience of the building of the Great Wall of Dunwoody and the Great Patio of Dunwoody at GOC Central (a subject of a future blog), I could relate to what they went through and how wonderful it was when the project was finally completed. Let the celebration begin!

After dinner, we were finishing up a bottle of an excellent 1989 bordeaux and turned on Saturday Night Live so we could make fun of the Gorebot. Much to our surprise, he was actually pretty good. All at once Michael and I looked at each other and said, 'He's running.' Yep. I said he was pulling a Nixon.

For those of you too young to remember, Nixon lost a very close election to Kennedy. Lots of dead people in Chicago voted for Kennedy and that helped do the trick. As an aside, I was worried when William Daley went to Florida in the 2000 election to fight for selective recounts. I was sure Bush was doomed. No one knows how to steal elections better than the Daley family.

Anyway, Nixon lost the 1960 election and went back to California. Then, he ran for governor of California in 1962 and lost. That is when he made his famous statement, "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore." Gosh, it sounded like he was finished with politics. He watched Barry Goldwater get creamed by Johnson in 1964. Then, all of a sudden, in 1967, he appeared on Laugh In and said, "Sock it to me". He's back! He's tanned and rested, and he has a sense of humor. This was 'the new Nixon'. He ran in 1968 and clobbered Hubert Humphrey.

Well, golly, parallels abound, albeit in a different order. Gore goes on Saturday Night Live to show he has a sense of humor. The very next day, he announces he is not running in 2004. (Rachel, you won't have Al Gore to kick around anymore.) Good decision. If Bush maintains his high ratings and Gore runs and gets creamed he becomes the new Adlai Stevenson. But, if someone else gets creamed by Bush in 2004, there may appear 'the new Gore', all ready for 2008. He'll probably have to fight the Clinton politics of personal destruction machine as Hillary will probably want to run then.

If Bush does get a second term, and if Cheney is still his VP, who will the Republicans have in the wings to run in 2008? We know it won't be Cheney. And we sure as hell know it won't be Trent Lott. So, I fully expect Gore to be back in the running in 2008. He's tanned and rested, and he has a sense of humor.

Someone give me a wooden stake to drive through that bastard's heart. Kim du Toit already said he'd swing the hammer.

It's the right thing to do. Let's do it for the children.

Tuesday, December 17

No Rant Again

I'm sorry that there will be no rant tonight. I'm busy signing up for a new hosting service and downloading and installing Moveable Type. Plus, I have to get the house ready for the cleaning lady tomorrow.

Cleaning lady? Well la-de-freaking-da! Cleaning lady? Aren't we fancy?

Listen. It's a necessity. Can you imagine me, a cripple, pushing a vacuum cleaner around the house? Nope. Can't be done. So, I've gotta do that. I've signed up for a hosting service and right now I'm downloading the instructions for installing Moveable Type. Blogger has finally done it to me. You may have noticed my October archives are missing. I've been trying to reload them for the last month. Every time I try I get a message that there is a template failure and they're working on it. (Insert I/T support joke here)

And do you want to have a Trent Lott rant? Jesus H. Christ! It's all Trent Lott all the time. Give it a rest! John Lewis, noted civil rights activist (and spitter) and Congressman from Atlanta wrote an op-ed in Monday's Atlanta Urinal and Constipation tying Trent Lott to Perdue's win in the gubernatorial race to the Georgia state flag to the racism in the Republican Party. Give me a freaking break! Get the fuck over it! Before tarring Republicans as racists go after Robert Bryd and Ernest Hollings. And how about the racist anti-Semites like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, and Cynthia McKinney? "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." The hypocrisy is sickening.

So for a little levity, in the spirit of Kim du Toit, I give you the announcement I would like to hear on my next flight.

And, my friend Charlie, in St. Louis sent me the following:

The Democratic National Committee is currently polling Americans through the Internet to determine the electability of Hillary Clinton for the presidency of the United States in 2004.  If you would like to show your support for Hillary and encourage her to run for President of the United States in 2004 please click this link.

And with that, I'm calling it a night.

Monday, December 16

A Letter to the Editors

Feeling better. Went to the doctor and this time I got my regular physician who is a real sweetheart! I love her to death. The guy I got last time was a real cold fish. My sweetheat doc put me on another drug that does not have horrible side effects. I'm still not gonna write anything on my own tonight.

Tim sent me a copy of a letter that he sent to the Atlanta Urinal and Constipation. Not much chance of it getting published, but I will post it in full here.

Cynthia Tucker and Jay Bookman are trying to convince you that the GOP is a party of racists. They are lying to you to perpetuate a myth started 40 years ago, when Republicans were instrumental in passing civil rights legislation. The truth is, and we know and can prove this, racism in American politics has largely been a southern white problem, and substantially a southern white DEMOCRAT problem. To prove their point, they both point to a few southern white men and recount acts starting from 40 to 60 years ago. Namely, Strom Thurmond, a Democrat, turned Dixiecrat, turned Republican. Barry Goldwater, a failed Republican Presidential candidate (Mr. Goldwater carried only six states and 36 percent of the popular vote in 1964, hardly a resounding fact for labeling the entire Republican party racist). And now, Sen. Trent Lott, a segregation sentimentalist Republican from Mississippi. Fine, let's compare notes. First, I'll name three Democrats with a racist past. Then, we'll look at the history of the Democrat Party here in Georgia. Finally, I'll point out lies of omission by both writers. The 3 Democrats: Let's start with Sen. Robert Byrd, senior Democrat from West Virginia. Sen. Byrd was a "Kleagle" -- an official recruiter who signed up members for $10 a head. He said he joined because it "offered excitement" and because the Klan was an "effective force" in "promoting traditional American values." In a letter dated April 8, 1946 (three years after his alleged break with the Klan), Sen. Byrd wrote a letter addressed to Klan Imperial Wizard Samuel Green of Atlanta. It stated in part: "I am a former kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan in Raleigh County and the adjoining counties of the state .... The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia .... It is necessary that the order be promoted immediately and in every state of the Union. Will you please inform me as to the possibilities of rebuilding the Klan in the Realm of W. Va .... I hope that you will find it convenient to answer my letter in regards to future possibilities." In another letter, Sen. Byrd vowed never to fight "with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds." The ex-Klansman later filibustered the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act for more than 14 hours. He also opposed the nominations of the Supreme Court's two black justices, liberal Thurgood Marshall and conservative Clarence Thomas. Last year, on the Fox News Channel, Sen. Byrd said, "There are white niggers. I've seen a lot of white niggers in my time. I'm going to use that word." September of this year, while appearing on Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes," Reps. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., refused to condemn Byrd's Klan past Next, let's move on to Sen. Fritz Hollings, junior Democrat (at age 80) from South Carolina. As a lawyer, Sen. Hollings appeared on behalf of South Carolina in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, arguing for the doctrine of "separate but equal" that made segregated schools legal. While Governor of South Carolina, Sen. Hollings oversaw the raising of the Confederate flag over the Statehouse on April 11, 1961, the anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter. As James Shannon wrote on July 31, 2002, this "mischief was the work of Democrats since virtually everyone who held elective office in South Carolina, and most other Southern states in 1961, were members of the Democratic Party." Let's take a brief look at the 1961 celebration of the Confederate War. The centennial delegations from New Jersey and Missouri included blacks who were refused entrance to the segregated Francis Marion Hotel, where the events were to be held. The South Carolina hosts refused to allow the black delegates to participate. The situation was only partially resolved when President John F. Kennedy (not Gov. Hollings) issued an executive order moving the centennial meetings to the Charleston Navy Base, one of the few integrated facilities in town. South Carolina led the South in leaving the national commission, and holding its own segregated events in the hotel. I'm curious, did then Gov. Hollings attend the events at Charleston Navy Base or the Francis Marion Hotel, or both? The dais in the ballroom of the Francis Marion was festooned with Confederate flags when state Democrat Sen. John D. Long, who had sponsored resolutions that placed the flag over the House and Senate rostrums, warmed up the crowd: "Out of the dust and ashes of War with its attendant destruction and woe, came Reconstruction more insidious than war and equally evil in consequences, until the prostrate South staggered to her knees assisted by the original Ku Klux Klan and the Red Shirts who redeemed the South and restored her to her own." To discourage African Americans from registering as Democrats, the party in South Carolina made a "loyalty oath" of allegiance to white supremacy and racial segregation a requisite for participation in the primary. This loyalty oath was still a requirement for Democrats when Sen. Hollings was Governor of South Carolina, did he sign one? More recently, Sen. Hollings has reportedly used the slur "wetbacks" to derogatorily refer to Hispanics and "darkies" to derogatorily refer to blacks. He also once disparagingly referred to the Rainbow PUSH Coalition as the "Blackbow Coalition," and called former Senator Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio "the Senator from B'nai B'rith.". He gained international criticism for his remarks about the African Delegation to the 1993 Geneva GATT conference, where he crudely remarked "you'd find these potentates from down in Africa, you know, rather than eating each other, they'd just come up and get a good square meal in Geneva." Finally, there's House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, who spoke before a prominent St. Louis white-rights organization during his first run for Congress and attended two of the group's picnics after his election. "Gephardt is one of many local officials who dropped by the Metro South Citizens Council's gatherings in the early 1980s," according to a March 7, 1999, report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Metro South Citizens Council was a group concerned primarily with "states' rights" and forced busing and when it disbanded, many of the members joined his Council of Conservative Citizens, according to Gordon Baum, head of the Council of Conservative Citizens in 1999. Rep. Gephardt later denounced the organization in 1988, but talking before the Council of Conservative Citizens is considered proof of being a racist by Democrats. It's true that the Republican Party inherited a few segregationalist southern Democrats in the post-Reconstruction era, but the majority of them remain Democrats. The Georgia Democrat Party: The racist record of the Democratic Party in Georgia is best described by Laughlin McDonald in "A Voting Rights Odyssey, Black Enfranchisement in Georgia." Georgia, a state ruled by the Democrat party for over 100 years, has been "in the forefront of the efforts to block the expansion of the franchise to blacks. It fought passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, and 1964. Members of its congressional delegation and the staff of the state attorney general argued before Congress that the proposed Voting Rights Act of 1965 was unconstitutional. A former president of its state bar association denounced the act as a violation of states' rights. Its governor wrote directly to President Lyndon Johnson urging defeat of the voting rights bill." Not one Democrat senator from Georgia voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Only five southern senators voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1957. The 1964 Civil Rights Act, after a three-month filibuster, passed in the Senate with the vote of only four Southern Democrats. Senator Richard Russell (D-Ga.) began a filibuster against the bill on March 9, 1964, just days after it was introduced in the Senate. At 9:51 on the morning of June 10, 1964, Senator Robert C. Byrd completed an address that he had begun fourteen hours and thirteen minutes earlier. Of the 26 Southern senators (including the two in West Virginia), 22 voted against the Act (exceptions: Cooper and Morton, both R-Ky.; Yarborough, D-Tex.; and Randolph, D-W.Va.). Overall, 80% of Republicans (138 to 34) voted for the Act as opposed to 61% of Democrats (152 to 96). In the Senate, 82% of Republicans (27 to 6) voted for passage along with 69% of Democrats (46 to 27). The Voting Rights Act of 1965 received overwhelming support from Republicans in both houses of Congress - with 82% Republican support in the House of Representatives and 94% in the Senate. Only three southerners voted to support the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Among those voting against the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were 17 southern Democrats, including President Bill Clinton's political mentor, J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The Lies of Omission: Cynthia Tucker writes, "The simple fact is that the modern Republican Party has built a Southern power base by accommodating racists..As political scientists Earl and Merle Black note in their book, 'The Rise of Southern Republicans,' the ascension of the Republican Party in the South can be traced to Barry Goldwater, who ran for president in 1964 on a states' rights platform that rejected desegregation." Interesting, in a review of the book by CBS News Senior Political Editor Dotty Lynch, she writes, "'The Great White Switch' didn't happen until the presidency of Ronald Reagan when massive numbers of white Southerners felt comfortable calling themselves Republicans" She quotes the authors, "His optimistic conservatism and successful performance in office made the Republican Party respectable and useful for millions of Southern whites." According to Ms. Lynch's review, "A combination of positions on civil rights and demographic changes that brought a number of anti-government, anti-tax suburban voters into the South formed the basis of Republican Party's appeal." Jay Bookman writes, "Lott's resignation will not, for example, change the fact that of the 51 Republican senators and 225 Republican House members who will serve next year, not a single one will be black." The reason Mr. Bookman adds next year is Representative JC Watts, will retire from the U.S. House of Representatives this year after representing the 4th District of Ohio for eight years. Congressman Watts received the following letter concerning his retirement. "Dear Congressman Watts, thank you for your years of service to the United States House of Representatives. Many people are proud you have been dedicated to an opportunity few people of African-American descent have in this land. If you can, please remain as a pioneer on the Republican side until others come to assist you. I am glad I stayed in my seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus December 1, 1955. I did not know at that time people would rally as they did. I was pleased about their support, but it has sometimes been lonely. "Through the years my life has had peaks and valleys, but I have never been sorry about my decision. The Lord has always provided. "I would also like you to keep your seat and not think of your mantle as heavy, but think that you are chosen to prepare the way. "Peace and prosperity, "Rosa Parks" Representative Watts is an amazing man. I can only hope he continues to speak publicly and actively, in America and in our party. You may also have heard about Condolezza Rice, our National Security Advisor, whose wisdom and grace are vitally important to our country during this troubled time. And our Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who I was once proud to have served under as our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and now even more proud as a citizen to have him represent us to our allies, and our enemies, given the importance of our foreign policy. I can think of no one I would rather have doing this critical job at this time. You might not have heard of some others. Roderick R. Paige is our Secretary of Education. Alphonso Jackson is the Deputy Secretary to Housing and Urban Development. Claude Alien is the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services. Leo S. Mackay, Jr, is the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Larry D. Thompson is the Deputy Attorney General. Stephen A. Perry is Administrator of General Services Administration. Rev. Steve Gordon, was the Republican nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives, 5th Congressional District of Kansas. Jennette Bradley will become the first African American female to serve as Ohio's Lieutenant Governor. In Maryland, Lieutenant Governor-elect Michael Steele will become the first African American to hold statewide office. Other African American candidates elected to office under the Republican banner include: Kenneth Blackwell, OH Secretary of State Cynthia Calhoun, Dallas County Clerk Linda Douglass, Guadalupe County (TX) Treasurer George Hanks, Jr., TX District Judge 157 Bill Hardiman, MI State Senate, District 29 Lisa Hembry, Dallas County Treasurer Dianne Jones, Dallas County Criminal Court 11 Ed Jones, CO State Senate, District 11 Sherman Parker, MO State Rep., District 12 Jane Powdrell-Culbert, NM State House, District 44 Michael Williams, TX Railroad Commission Chair Jackie Winters, OR State Senate, District 10 Others ran but did not win election, such as Rev. Steve Gordon, the Republican nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives, 5th Congressional District, Missouri. He was defeated by Rep. Karen McCarthy, D-Mo., the incumbent. And last year, Pittsburgh mayoral candidate James Carmine, was defeated by incumbent Democrat Tom Murphy. Where do we go from here? Republicans are outraged by Sen. Lott's statements. There's a temptation to defend Sen. Lott against the political hypocrisy of a Democrat Party that could find no disqualifying faults with their own members who have committed similar offenses, and worse. I don't know if he'll hold on to the Majority Leader position or not. I hope not. Whether the "conservatively biased" media and Democrats can convince you the GOP is a party of racists, or not, is ultimately up to you. You may already hold that opinion. As for me, I'll continue to vote for the best candidate, regardless of race, religion or gender. And I'll continue to pray that someday, maybe through our children, we can move one more step closer to better race relations in this country.

I couldn't have said it any better myself, which is why I let Tim do it. Now let me give you a few examples of the difference between Republicans and Dimocrats.

  • When Richard Nixon was facing impeachment for obstruction of justice (He knew nothing about the Watergate break in until after the fact. The cover up was to protect his subordinates. Contrast this with Clinton using his subordinates to protect him.), three Republican senators went to Nixon and asked him to resign for the good of the country. Nixon could have stayed and fought it out and might have even won, but for the good of the country he resigned. When Clinton was facing impeachment, there were no honorable Dimocrat senators to ask Clinton to resign for the good of the country. And in my opinion, the crimes of the Clinton administration were much worse. (One thousand FBI files where Nixon only requested one that he didn't even get. Nixon tried to use the IRS on his enemies with no success. Clinton was successful. ) Anyway, Clinton only cared for the good of Clinton, not for the good of the country.
  • When Robert Byrd, a member of the Ku Klux Klan in his earlier days, used the word nigger on national television, where was the outrage from the Congressional Black Caucus? Where was the call for him to resign from his position as President Pro Tempore of the Senate or from his position as the Chairman of the Senate give as much federal money to West Virginia as possible Appropriations Committee? Where was the wall to wall press coverage? Byrd has a history of racism. Certainly more so than does Trent Lott. One of the nattering nabobs on the left said that Trent Lott as Senate majority leader was fourth in line for the presidency. Nope. It is the racist Robert Byrd, who as President Pro Tempore (until the Republicans take control) is fourth in line for the presidency. I have read the Constitution. Republicans have called for Trent Lott to resign as majority leader. I never heard any Dimocrat suggest that Byrd resign as President Pro Tempore.

I did a fisk last week of a colum by E. J. Dionne where he claims that there is now a right wing bias in the media. If there were, we surely would have heard at least an equal amount of noise about Robert Byrd's racism and Klan membership.

Did I miss that?

Bah! Humbug!

I started a post last night about how sucky my day off was last Friday. And I'm sick again. Actually, that should be still, since the antibiotics didn't kill all the little bugs and as soon as I finished the course, back they came. Sneaky little bastards. Whine! Whine! Anyway, I had to stop since blogger was messed up. I promise. I'm moving. I need to find an ISP and figger out how to use Moveable Type. So, looks like it will be next year.

So since I will probably feel like crap after going to the doctor today, I will take the easy way out and share some mail. The first piece of mail was forwarded to me by my friend Richard. If you have any children that have worked hard and have done well in school this is a good way to let them know how socialism works.

Father & Daughter Politics

"One time there was a young teenage girl who was about to finish her first year of college. She considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat and her father was a rather staunch Republican. One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to programs like welfare. He stopped her and asked her how she was doing in school. She answered that she had a 4.0 GPA but it was really tough. She had to study all the time, never had time to go out and party and often went sleepless because all of the studying. She didn't have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because of all her studying.

He then asked how her friend Mary, who was attending the same college, was doing. She replied that she was barely getting by. She had a 2.0 GPA, never studied. Was very popular on campus and was at parties all the time. She often wouldn't show up for classes because she was hung over. He then asked his daughter why she didn't go to the Dean's office and ask why she couldn't take 1.0 off her 4.0 and give it to her friend that only had a 2.0. That way they would both have a 3.0 GPA.

She fired back and said, "that wouldn't be fair, I worked really hard for mine and my friend has done nothing."

After a moment of silence, she replied, "I guess I will never vote Democrat again."

I should have sent the next piece of mail to Rachel Lucas to put on her site, but, since I'm sick and lazy (Whine! Whine!), I'm puttin' it on mine.

'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,        HE LIVED ALL ALONE,        IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF        PLASTER AND STONE.        I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY        WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,        AND TO SEE JUST WHO        IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.        I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,        A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,        NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,        NOT EVEN A TREE.        NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,        JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,        ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES        OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.        WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,        AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,        A SOBER THOUGHT        CAME THROUGH MY MIND.        FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,        IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,        I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,        ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.        THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,        SILENT, ALONE,        CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR        IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.        THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,        THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,        NOT HOW I PICTURED        A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.        WAS THIS THE HERO        OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?        CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,        THE FLOOR FOR A BED?        I REALIZED THE FAMILIES        THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,        OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS        WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.        SOON ROUND THE WORLD,        THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,        AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE        A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.        THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM        EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,        BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,        LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.        I COULDN'T HELP WONDER        HOW MANY LAY ALONE,        ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE        IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.        THE VERY THOUGHT        BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,        I DROPPED TO MY KNEES        AND STARTED TO CRY.        THE SOLDIER AWAKENED        AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,        "SANTA DON'T CRY,        THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;        I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,        I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,        MY LIFE IS MY GOD,        MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS."        THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER        AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,        I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,        I CONTINUED TO WEEP.        I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,        SO SILENT AND STILL        AND WE BOTH SHIVERED        FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.        I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE        ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,        THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR        SO WILLING TO FIGHT.        THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,        WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,        WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA,        IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."        ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,        AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.        MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,        AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."

At the bottom of the note was the following:

"This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan. The following is his request. I think it is reasonable..... PLEASE.

Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our US service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

I'll do better than that. I don't have 100 friends, but I do have 100 readers. Feel free to cut and paste this and send it along or send people my link. I'm not doing this to get more traffic. As a Viet Nam veteran, I am familiar with our military being treated with contempt. Our country had to endure 8 years with a commander in chief who was a draft dodger and stated that he loathed the military. We have men who are serving their country (my nephew is one of them) and they do not get the recognition and respect they deserve. Next time you see a soldier, sailor, marine or airman thank him or her for serving our country and keeping us safe.

Sorry. No rant.

Thursday, December 12

Sour Kraut For Lunch

About two and a half years ago, I got involved with a (Caution! Buzzword alert!) synergy project with my counterparts in Germany. The goal of this project was to develop a common operating system (IBM OS/390) platform. We had different operating system standards and that inhibited application development. We had weekly conference calls to see how we could address this problem. After the third call, we were already at an impasse. They built their systems one way, and we built our systems another way. Our entire infrastructure was based on our standards. We could move to their standards, but it would take, in my estimate, three additional programmers to restructure our infrastructure to match the Germans, and, once we had done that, an additional programmer to manage the new standards. I tried to explain to the Germans that we built our systems our way because they were easier to maintain. We managed the same workload with one third the staff. Their argument was they installed the systems using the IBM defaults and surely IBM knew what they were doing. Having talked to IBM programmers in the United States, they built systems just the way we did. The IBM defaults were just the way the system deliverable was packaged.

So every Friday, at 10:00 AM I would have to attend a conference call to discuss our synergy project which I had code named Death Spiral. At about five minutes into each conference call we would once again hit the impasse of dataset naming standards. These calls would last an hour and would essentially waste one hour of my time every week. We would try to explain to the Germans exactly why we did things our way and that IBM US did it that way. They would then ask why IBM packaged their system deliverable differently than we installed it. Six months into the project, I overslept (I had had a tad too much to drink the previous night) and got in to work at 10:00 AM (and I was hungover) so when I dialed into the call I hit the magic five minute impasse mark. I asked if we were once again discussing dataset naming standards and having been told that we were, I went off on a five minute diatribe about how we did things the easy way because we were understaffed and they did things the hard way because they were a socialist country and had a bloated programming staff and contrasted our economies with our 5% unemployment and their 10% unemployment and how I was tired of wasting one hour every Friday on a project that was doomed to failure because they were booger eatin' moh-rons and slammed the phone down and hung up.

My manager punished me by kicking me off the project for the next two months. Oh please B'rer Fox, don't throw me in that briar patch! But, alas, my good fortune was not to last. Two months later he put me back on the project and as part of my job objectives for the year, I was supposed to make it work. Yeah, like that's gonna happen. I tried to explain to him, using logic (wasted on a manager) that we were at an impasse. There were three possible solutions:

  1. They do things our way. Fat chance!
  2. We do things their way, in which case, he would have to hire three more programmers for a year to revamp our infrastructure, and an additional programmer after that to maintain it since the Germans did things the hard way. Additional head count? Fat chance!
  3. Fire us and let the Germans maintain our stuff. Whoa! There goes his empire. Fat chance!

I told him the only solution was for a manager to make a decision. A German manager had to tell them to do things our way or an American manager had to add the staff to do things their way. Fat chance! So, the Death Spiral project went on for another year. The one change was the conference calls were moved to every other week. Even though I was supposed to make this project work, I only checked in every month or so. I hate exercises in futility.

One of the reasons I was replaced as team lead (Same pay. Less responsibility. Less bullshit. And the downside of this was ... ?) was my inability to make this project work. Another reason was I had become a grouchy old man and called one of my users incompetent. He had gone to my manager who, in typical management fashion, said whatever it took to get this asshole out of his office. He then called me and said there was a policy change. When I sent out a note to all the appropriate people to formalize this policy change, which was in total contradiction of our policies, my manager went ballistic and claimed he never said that. So now I was on his shit list. The user, in the meantime, got fired. Guess he must have been incompetent.

So our new team lead came on 18 months into this project. At this time we had a skill rebalancing action (layoffs) which eliminated two of our headcount. It only took two conference calls for him to realize that the project was doomed. We agreed to table it and revisit it in 2002. We conveniently neglected to revisit it until about a month ago.

My team lead and I (we share an office) were sitting around fat, dumb and happy about a month ago when our manager came in all excited. This was a bad sign. It seems Europe (That is, the Belgians who control the purse strings for Europe) was wondering why I/T expenses were higher in Germany than they were in the United States. (Three times the programming staff might be one reason.) I asked my manager if this meant we were gonna have to go through the synergy bullshit again? He said this time it would be different because it was the financial people (bean counters) who were involved. Yeah, that really gives me a real warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Fortunately, I had been left outside the loop until last Thursday. It seems our counterparts in Germany outsource their hardware and software support to another division of TCIDNN (The Company I Dare Not Name) in Germany. We used to do a similar thing here. We outsourced our hardware support and did our own programming. We discovered, that due to the overhead markup, we could purchase our own hardware and do everything ourselves. We saved so much money we were actually able to increase our hardware capacity and still spend less money. The outsourcers in Germany are raising the prices and the German manager is screaming breach of contract. Here's where we come in.

The Germans are coming to us and asking if they can outsource all their I/T support (both hardware and programming) to us. We figger we can probably do it for $1 million less that the TCIDNN outsourcers in Germany. Now wouldn't you think, if someone was in the position to save you $1 million per year and started asking requirements you would be very forthcoming with those requirements? Wouldn't you think that you would want to treat someone who was in a position to cut your I/T costs by one third very nice? Nope! Evidently that's not the way they do business in Germany.

We sent the manager a note with ten questions that we needed answered to help us determine hardware requirements and additional staffing. We needed these questions answered before our first meeting (conference call) which was at noon last Wednesday. His response to almost every question was to get it off their website. So, we spent one hour and twenty minutes on the Wednesday conference call getting the answers to only the first three questions because the arrogant asshole wanted us to get the answers rather than giving them to us. And, no, the answers that we wanted were not on their website. What a dickhead! What gets me, is he is negotiating from a postition of weakness.

In talking to my team lead today, he told me that our manager wanted him to drive this project, but he has entirely too much on his plate right now. Our best programmer is retiring this month and he has had to pick up her workload. So then my manager suggested me. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! My team lead said that would be fine, but I would be a PR disaster. Yeah, I have this annoying habit of speaking the truth and I have a serious problem dealing with booger eatin' moh-rons. So, what we did is assign our most bureaucratic project manager to it. We had our first meeting Wednesday (in which I spent most of the meeting biting my tongue) which accomplished next to nothing. There is another meeting tomorrow. Oh, what's this? I'm off work? Too bad. That meeting will accomplish next to nothing but will lead to another meeting. The nice thing (for us, not the Germans) is this project manager's solution to every problem is to call a meeting. So, if there is a problem in any of the meetings with the Germans, he'll simply schedule another meeting. I figger it will only take about another month and the arrogant German asshole will be screaming for mercy and will give us any information we desire. Stop! Stop! I'll talk! No more meetings! I can't take it any more!

Now lest any of you think I hate Germans let me say that on my mother's side of my family I am 100% German. My sister is real big into genealogy and has traced all of my mother's ancestors back to Germany. Here are some of the names: Breitschuh, Weber, Neudeck, Eisele, Dreiling, Gruner, and Yaeger. Can't get much German than that.

Our network guy was on the call yesterday and he waited until almost the end of the call to ask some questions about their network since we will have to pick that up also. He pretty much got the same bullshit. He complained to me that he had Kraut for lunch, since this call was over his lunch hour. It was at this point that I told him, that he had actually had sour Kraut for lunch.

But we'll have the last laugh. After dealing with this particular project manager for the last four years I never thought I'd ever enjoy hearing him say, "We will have to hold a meeting on this".

Music to my ears.

Wednesday, December 11

This, That, and The Other

This

This is the last thing (I hope) I'm gonna say about the Trent Lott bullshit. He should resign as Majority Leader. And let's look at this logically. Who wants him to resign? The RWPP's (Race Warlord Poverty Pimps), like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters, et. al. That alone should be a reason for him not to resign. What we need to examine is who doesn't want him to resign. Why, none other than Little Tommy Dasshole. Good ol' spineless Trent has rolled over so many times for Dasshole and the Dimocrats it's pathetic. He rolled over on the impeachment trial. When the Senate was 50/50 and Cheney had the deciding vote, spineless Trent, in the spirit of bipartisanship, worked out a power sharing deal with the Dimocrats. As soon as Jumpin' Jim Jeffords handed control of the Senate to Dasshole and the Dimocrats, you didn't see Dasshole, Mr. Obstructionist, working out a deal with the Republicans in the spirit of bipartisanship. Trent Lott is Dasshole's bitch. Howza 'bout someone like Kay Bailey Hutchinson as Majority Leader? She's got more balls than Lott? Geez! Any woman in the Senate has more balls than Lott.

That

In today's Atlanta Urinal and Constipation it was a celebration of Jimmy Carter. And howza 'bout this:

Oslo, Norway -- The tables were topped with the finest linens. Each place setting had four gold and green-rimmed stemware. But what stole the show was the centerpiece -- three tiers of matte gold bowls containing lilies, mums, birds of paradise, grapes and, yes, peanuts.

Must of been in honor of his brain. Oh, that's right. He was a peanut farmer before he screwed up the economy, gave away the Panama Canal, presided over the humiliation of the Iran hostage crisis, and began a long career of coddling dictators.

And from another article:

Carter brokered the Egypt-Israel peace treaty with his summit talks at Camp David in 1978. The agreement, in which Israel withdrew from captured Egyptian territory in the Sinai peninsula in return for an end to Egyptian hostilities, still holds.

Of course, it's costing us $5 billion dollars a year. $2 billion for Egypt and $3 billion for Israel. Let's see ... 1978 to 2002 is 24 years. 24 x $5 billion = $120 billion.

The formula it used -- land for peace -- is still seen as the most likely path to any peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Unfortunately, the Palestinians want all the land. Then there will be peace.

The Other

The Atlanta Urinal and Constipation prints an E. J. Dionne colum on Tuesdays and darned if he thinks that there is a right wing bias in the media.

The fat is in the fire on the issue of media bias, and that is a good thing. It's time to revisit a matter on which the conventional wisdom is, roughly, 180 degrees off.

Oh?

You hear the conventional wisdom all the time from shrewd conservative commentators who understand that political pressure, relentlessly applied, usually achieves its purposes. They have sold the view that the media are dominated by liberals and that the news is skewed against conservatives.

Well, yeah. That's 'cause it is.

This belief fueled the construction of a large network of conservative institutions -- especially on radio and cable television -- that provides conservative viewpoints close to 24 hours a day.

Had to do sumpin' to counteract ABCCBSNBCCNNCNBCMSNBCPBSNPR, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the St. Lous Post Dispatch, the Atlanta Urinal and Constipation, and just about every other large city daily newspaper.

Conservatives argued that hopelessly left-wing establishment news sources needed to be balanced by brave, relentless voices from the right.

Yep! And that is why Fox and Rush Limbaugh are so popular. And that is what has E. J.'s shorts in a bunch.

But the continuing attacks on mainstream journalists have another effect. Because the drumbeat of conservative press criticism has been so steady, the establishment press has internalized it. Editors and network executives are far more likely to hear complaints from the right than from the left.

Thanks E. J. for making my point. The reason there are so many more complaints from the right than the left is because the mainstream press is leftest. If it tilted to the right as you say, dontcha think there would be more complaints from the left than the right?

To the extent that there has been a bias in the establishment media, it has been less a liberal tilt than a preference for the values of the educated, professional class -- which, surprise, surprise, is roughly the class position of most journalists.

See all of us people in the red parts of the country are not as good as the 'educated professional class' that E. J. is talking about. This 'educated professional class' includes people like Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Al Gore, Peter Jennings, Dan Blather, and of course E. J. Dionne who know what's best for all of us ordinary citizens who live in the red parts of the country. These people are just oh so much smarter that we are. And they're not liberal. They're mainstream. At least in their minds they are.

This meant that on social and cultural issues -- abortion and religion come to mind -- journalism was not particularly hospitable to conservative voices. But on economic issues -- especially free trade and balanced budgets -- the press tilted toward the center or even toward moderate conservatism.

Remember, he's defining the center and moderate conservatism. He thinks he's a centrist.

You might say that the two groups most likely to be mistreated by the media were religious conservatives

Yep. I agree with that.

and trade unionists.

Nope. Missed that. When did that happen?

Earlier this week, former president Bill Clinton contrasted what he called an "increasingly right-wing and bellicose conservative press" with "an increasingly docile establishment press."

Oh yeah. If Clinton says it it must be true. Give me a freaking break!

A couple of weeks back, Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle lashed out at radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. He said Limbaugh's attacks were so "shrill" that "the threats against those of us in public life go up dramatically, against us and against our families."

Ya wanna hear shrill? Howza 'bout the Congressional Black Caucus? Racist this. Meanspirited that. The Republicans want to starve children and kill old people. How about that fat demagogue Al Sharpton? He instigated the Crown Heights riot where an innocent Jew was beaten to death. Little Tommy Dasshole is a crybaby. Go read Peggy Noonan. She's got more balls and class than Dasshole and Clinton put together. What a bunch of whiny crybabies. Jesus they make me want to puke. And these are the people the Dimocrats think are leaders? A pervert and a crybaby.

Note the response of the so-called liberal media. Rather than join an outcry against Limbaugh, the establishment commentary was mostly aimed against Daschle and picked up the conservative cry that he was "whining."

That's because anyone in the country with half a brain knew he was whining.

Now, television hosts are free to invite anyone they wish (they've even had me on), and cable networks long for a piece of Limbaugh's large audience. But that is the point: Limbaugh's new respectability is the surest sign that the conservative talk network is now bleeding into what passes for the mainstream media, just as the unapologetic conservatism of the Fox News Channel.

As opposed to the unappologetic liberalism of ABCCBSNBCCNNCNBCMSNBCPBSNPR.

is now affecting programming on the other cable networks. This shift to the right is occurring as cable becomes a steadily more important source of news.

And why are more people watching Fox News? Could it be that given a choice between the liberalism of ABCCBSNBCCNNCNBCMSNBCPBSNPR and the so called 'unapologetic conservatism' (I actually think Fox is fairer than the major networks), the people are choosing Fox because they think it is fairer or more accurately reflects how they think. But what do we know? Remember we are not the 'educated professional class'.

When Katie Couric had the nerve to ask some tough questions of EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman on Monday's "Today" show, the ever-alert conservative Media Research Center trashed Couric for bias.

That's because perky Katie only asks conservatives tough questions. She throws softballs to liberals. Remember, it was on the Today show that Hillary came out with the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. What do you think Katie would say if someone said there was a Vast Left Wing Conspiracy?

When the Chicago Tribune ran an unflattering picture of President Bush on its Nov. 14 front page, it was assailed for a lack of patriotism.

Did the Chicago Tribune ever run an unflattering picture of Bill Clinton?

Editors who worry about conservative criticism are not paranoid. You just wonder: Where have the liberals been?

C'mon. Name me an editor who's worried about conservative criticism? Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta paper sure as hell isn't.

It took conservatives a lot of hard and steady work to push the media rightward.

Facts not in evidence, your honor.

It dishonors that work to continue to presume that -- except for a few liberal columnists

A 'few' liberal columnists?

-- there is any such thing as the big liberal media.

Except for all the major networks, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, NPR and PBS (our tax dollars at work), and most large city newspapers.

The media world now includes (1) talk radio,

There's no law against liberals having talk radio shows. Except no one will listen since they have to use logic to defend their views and liberal views do not stand up well to logic.

(2) cable television and (3) the traditional news sources (newspapers, newsmagazines and the old broadcast networks). Two of these three major institutions tilt well to the right,

Once again, facts not in evidence. CNN,CNBC, and MSNBC tilt to the left versus Fox which he claims tilts to the right. And, once again, it shows that the people, given a choice, prefer Fox, so I guess that must mean the country tilts to the right. Or maybe the country believes Fox is mainstream since Fox is winning in the ratings. Therefore, the establishment media must lean to the left.

and the third is under constant pressure to avoid even the pale hint of liberalism.

But, I've noticed, they haven't given in to the pressure. They're just as liberal as they've always been. Hell, even more so. What did MSNBC do when they couldn't compete with O'Reilly? They brought in a liberal, Phil Donahue. And the media isn't liberal?

These institutions, in turn, influence the burgeoning world of online news and commentary.

I've noticed that we bloggers are pretty good at looking at various points of view and coming to our own conclusions, thank you.

What it adds up to is a media heavily biased toward conservative politics and conservative politicians.

Nope. Still wrong.

Kudos to the right. Now, what will the rest of us do about the new bias?

Probably not a damn thing and you will contine to become more and more irrelevant.

And that's a good thing.

Tuesday, December 10

Shut The Fuck Up!

"Bring me the head of Senator Lott!", they scream. "He's a racist!" "He should resign as Majority Leader!" I agree with that last. He should resign as Majority Leader. But not for anything he said. He should resign because he is a spineless wimp. But let's take a look at some of the people screaming for his scalp. I found this story from Reuters.

"His remarks require minimally a much larger apology ... a meeting with the black caucus ... and whatever else the caucus may decide," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat.

Oh that's just special. A meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. A bunch of racist assholes. They can spend an hour or two insulting Trent Lott and since they probably wouldn't stop talking, he couldn't get a word in edgewise. Then they could take him outside and lynch him. And Sheila Jackson Lee? My friends Michael and Cindy call her the hat lady. She was one of the staunchest Clinton supporters during the impeachment of Bubba. And she's also a real rocket scientist. During the Mars landing she asked if the Mars Rover was anywhere near the flag that the astronauts planted. Sheila Jackson Lee, you are an idiot. Shut the fuck up!

"We are not finished," added Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, another Texas Democrat and the outgoing caucus chairwoman.

Yep. We gonna milk this shit for all it's worth. I've seen Congressthing Johnson on television. She's another idiot. Whatcha gonna do to Lott? Lynch him? Ms Johnson, Shut the fuck up!

Just hours before his written apology on Monday, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the country's oldest civil rights group, called on Lott to resign as Senate Republican leader.

Oh yeah, here's the pot calling the kettle black. (Sorry. Sometimes I can't help myself.) Hey NAACP, howza 'bout you apologizing for that shameful add in the 2000 election trying to tie President Bush to the death of James Byrd? Howza 'bout you guys apologizing for all the hate speech directed at President Bush during your last convention? Howza 'bout having Julian Bond apologizing for the screed he wrote about Strom Thurmond? Howza 'bout you guys not acting like a bunch of hateful bigots? When the shoe is on the other foot, all we hear is "That's in the past. Let's just move on." Good idea. Let's just move on and have you guys Shut the fuck up!

"Senator Lott's statement is the kind of callous, calculated, hateful bigotry that has no place in the halls of the Congress," said NAACP President Kweisi Mfume.

Give me a fucking break! How many illegitimate children have you fathered? What was your past? What, you've been in jail? But you've reformed? And you believe in forgiveness? Fine. Forgive this and shut the fuck up!

One caucus member, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, rebuked Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota on Tuesday for promptly accepting Lott's regrets.

Omigawd! Maxine Waters! Now there's a voice of reason. Everything is whitey's fault! Didja know that the crack problem in the inner city is a CIA plot? Yep. That's what Maxine thinks. And do you remember the Watts riots when Maxine coined the slogan, "No justice, no peace!" C'mon Maxine. Give us a break and shut the fuck up!

Lott issued his statement of apology late on Monday, shortly after former Vice President Al Gore (news - web sites) denounced his remarks as "racist" in an interview on CNN.

Gore, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee, said unless Lott retracted the comments the Senate should move to censure him.

This is the same Al Gore whose father was a staunch segregationist. I know Al tells us his father lost his seat because he was for civil rights (This from the guy who claimed to invent the internet), but Al Gore Senior voted against the 1965 Civil Rights bill. This is the same Al Gore whom Cynthia McKinney said had a low Negro tolerance and whose family made their black maid stay in the car when they would go to a restaurant. Also, this is the same Al Gore who said of Clinton, during impeachment, that he was one of the greatest presidents of the 20th century. Hey Al, why didn't you call for censuring Clinton, you hypocritical asshole? Shut the fuck up!

OK let's see what the AP has to say.

"Hateful bigotry" has no place in Congress, said NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, a former House member.

OK Kweisi, I'm waiting for a big percentage of the Congressional Black Caucus to resign since they're the biggest bigots in Congress. And I already told you to shut the fuck up!

"It sends a chilling message to all people," said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., of the remarks Lott made last Thursday at a birthday party for 100-year-old Thurmond, R-S.C., who is retiring after 48 years in the Senate.

"These are the kinds of words that tear this nation apart," said Cummings, who was elected chairman of the 39-member Congressional Black Caucus (news - web sites) on Tuesday. "We are going to do something about it."

Whatcha gonna do? Take him out back and bitch slap him? Yeah. Trent Lott is an idiot. He's also spineless. He apologized. Let's move on. You booger eatin' moh-rons are making a mountain out of a molehill. If you wanna get outraged about sumpin', how about Robert Byrd, Senator from West Virginia, former member of the KKK, who used the word nigger on national TV twice earlier this year? Nary a peep from you hypocritical bastards. Shut the fuck up!

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson called last weekend for Lott to quit the majority leader post.

I was wondering when he was gonna check in. Let's see. Jesse fathered a child out of wedlock and then used funds from a nonprofit organization to pay her off. Also, I don't recall him ever apologizing for his Hymietown remark. Jesse, I think you should resign from your job. Wait a minute. He doesn't have a job. Where the fuck did he get all his money? It's pointless, but I'm gonna say it anyway. Jesse, Shut the fuck up!

And I'm sure that fat fuck Al Sharpton had to regale us with his wisdom, but I'm too lazy to look for any more articles on this bullshit. At least Trent Lott didn't start any riots like the one in Crown Heights that was a result of Al Sharpton's anti-Semitic rantings and ravings. People died from that. So Al, I don't give a crap what you have to say. Shut the fuck up!

And where was Major Owens? Didn't he have anything to say. He was the Congresscritter who gave a speech and said that over 200 million blacks were thrown overboard during the slave trade. In fact, even to this day, the sharks are patrolling the waters waiting for the black meat. The next day, Rush Limbaugh had his staff run the numbers to see how many people would have had to have been thrown over every day for the duration of the slave trade. I don't remember what he came up with, but let's do it ourselves. We'll be real generous and say it ran from 1500 to 1850 (which is real generous since the Spanish enslaved the indigenous people first, and only imported Africans after all the Indians died, and the United States didn't start until after 1600.) So 200,000,000 / 350 = 571428. 571428 / 365 = 1565. Holy crap! That's 1565 being thrown over the side every single day for 350 years! So Major went back on the floor of the House to correct himself and said it was actually 20 million. OK using the same calculations that would mean 156 blacks being thrown over the side every single day for 350 years. Ol' Major makes up numbers just like I do when I have to code my SHTS (Stupid Hourly Tracking System) numbers at work. So just on general principles Major, shut the fuck up!

But there's more important stuff going on than Trent Lott. What about Jimmah Carter in Oslo? Do you think we could just have the Norwegians keep him? It can be real bad living in Atlanta and having to read the liberals at the Atlanta Urinal and Constipation, Cynthia Tucker, Jay Bookman and Martha Ezzard fawn over that incompetent bastard. Fer chrissakes, Jimmah and his admirers need to Shut the fuck up!

Just give me some peace and quiet.

Please.

Monday, December 9

Champagne and Hypocrisy

I didn't blog last night because last night was the annual Sommelier Guild of Atlanta's champagne dinner. Most of the Sommelier Guild tastings consist of a bunch of rich old farts who get together once a month to taste wine. But, twice a year, wives show up. They come to the annual banquet in the Spring and to the Champagne tasting in December. This year the tasting was at the Tiburon Grille in Atlanta. The food and the champagne were both fantastic.

Here is the menu.

Speaker's Wine
Raymond Henriot Brut NV

First Course
Ginger Curry Crabcakes

Piper Heidsieck Brut NV Feuillatte Brut NV

Second Course
Sesame Seared Tuna

Pol Roger Rose 1995 Billecart - Salmon Rose NV Feuillate Rose NV

Third Course
Grilled Maine Lobster Tail with Ginger and Winter Vegetables

Salon 1990 Dom Perignon 1993

Fourth Course
Irish Salmon Souffle

Krug Grand Cuvee Brut NV Veuve Clicquot "La Grand Dame" 1993

Dessert
Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial NV

It's a rough job, but someone's gotta do it.

Fortunately, I went with my friends, Michael and Cindy, and Cindy was kind enough to drink less than Michael and myself, so she drove us home. We each had a nice glass of Delemain Vesper cognac when we got to my house, and then they went home.

I really did not feel like going to work today.

So that covers the champagne. What about the hypocrisy?

Strom Thurmond is retiring and since he's 100 years old and is the longest serving senator in the history of this country, people are saying nice things about him. Hey, that's what you do. All right, he was a Dixiecrat and a segregationist, but, he changed with the times. But of course, that's not OK with some people. Julian Bond wrote a venomous op-ed last week about Strom Thurmond with the expected rhetoric of a RWPP (Race Warlord Poverty Pimp) like Julian Bond. This is the same Julian Bond who ranted about how bad President Bush was in a speech at the last NAACP convention and then was pissed the Bush didn't come speak at the convention. Listen up you classless asshole, I wouldn't want to attend a convention and get insulted either.

Trent Lott (the man without a spine) tried to say sumpin' nice about old Strom and got hisself in hot water with the Dimocrats and the liberal media. He said he was from Mississippi and Mississippi voted for Strom when he ran for president in 1948. So here it comes. Mississippi is a racist state. Trent Lott is a racist. No he is not. He's a spineless nitwit, but I doubt if he is a racist. But the hypocrisy is so blatant it's pitiful.

Ya wanna talk about a racist? Howza 'bout good ol' Robert Byrd? He used to be a member of the KKK. Hey Julian, whatcha gonna say when he retires? Oh, that's right. He's a Dimocrat so that's OK. Byrd even got away with using the word nigger on national TV. A Republican would have been hounded out of office. There was barely a peep from the media. Where were Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson?

And what about the Confederate flag that used to fly above the Statehouse in South Carolina. Guess who put it there. Why it was Senator Hollings from South Carolina. He was the governor at the time. How come the NAACP doesn't bring that up? Oh, that's right. He's a Dimocrat so that's OK.

But, then we need look no further than Bubba. Let's see, it was all about sex. But Robert Packwood had to resign for sexual harassment. He was a Republican. Too bad that was before Gloria Steinem came out with the 'one free grope rule'. See, if you are a Dimocrat, and you are pro-abortion, you can pretty much treat women any way you please. You can rape 'em. You can grope 'em. You can get blowjobs in the Oval Office. A military officer who did what Clinton did would have been forced into retirement. A CEO would have been fired. But pro-abortion Dimocrats are immune.

But wait until we have another sex scandal with a Republican. We'll see all the Clinton apologists like Barbara Boxer, Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Smeal, and the others shrieking like the harridans they are demanding that the evil bastard resign and how this is a disgrace and he used his position of power to take advantage of an innocent girl, yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah.

And ABCCBSNBCCNNMSNBCCNBCNPRPBS, the New York Times, and the Washington Post will not bother to point out the hypocrisy. They're fair, balanced, and mainstream.

But the mean old right wingers like FOX, Rush, and the Washington Times will.

You can count on it.

Friday, December 6

Clueless

Since I write my blogs in the evening, I usually only post Sunday through Thursday which has them available Monday through Friday. I'm doing a bonus blog today for a variety of reasons.

First reason: I got my address book program fixed. I wound up buying a new copy and importing my data. Worked like a charm. Since the program was only $20 it wasn't worth my while to try to fix what I had screwed up. So, since I'm off work today, I have some time to kill.

Second reason: Poor Tommy Glavine is whining to the media about how ungrateful the Braves were in not offering him a contract. He wanted to finish his career here, but he said the Braves insulted him and played hardball in the contract negotiations. Boo hoo! This from a guy who was one of the leaders in the baseball strike. Who was ungrateful then you whiny crybaby? Back then he said this was a business. Guess what Tommy? It is a business. The Braves didn't think you were worth what you were asking. And, the Braves didn't try to negotiate using the media like you did. The Braves have a hell of a lot more class than you do you ungrateful bastard. Go ahead on to the Mets and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way to New York. I hope your arm falls off and you don't finish your career with 300 wins. What a clueless dickhead!

Someone got to my website using a search argument of old+granny+fucking. Huh? Wassup wit dat?

And the last reason I'm writing sumpin' today is Toren Smith at The Safety Valve sent me this link. I checked to make sure he hadn't ranted about it, but he's busy so I just had to write a few words about this. I don't have a clue who Diana Griego Erwin, is, but I do know she is a clueless idiot. I'm not trying to insult her here, I'm just stating a fact.

I feel like an idiot.

Well, duh! That's because you are. It's nice to see you're in touch with your feelings.

I'm calling the White House, but not to drudge up the kind of information that reporters usually gather. I'm not pressing for details on Iraq's upcoming deadline to turn over the skinny on its weapons program. This isn't that kind of story.

OK. What kind of story is this gonna be? What kind of information is she looking for? Put down your coffee cups and coke cans. Do not read this next paragraph with any liquids in your mouth. Make sure your chin is at least 18 inches above any hard surface so when your jaw drops it won't hit anything. OK. Are you ready?

"Has anyone asked what they want?" Silence. "You know, the terrorists who are out to kill innocent Americans? What do they want? To stop this, I mean."

And the response from the person at the White House?

She says she'll have to have someone get back to me. No one did.

Can you imagine how hard that person at the White House must have been laughing? And, yeah, no one called her back because they figgered it had to be a crank call. I'm surprised the person at the White House didn't say, "Is this Crank Yankers? This can't be for real right?"

Go read the rest of the column if you want to see examples of more liberal logic. I mean, why aren't we talking to the terrorists? Yeah, can't you imagine if Al Gore were president? The Taliban would still be in power and Jimmy Carter would still be trying to broker some sort of deal with them.

OK Diana, I'll tell you what they want. If they are Palestinian terrorists they want the total destruction of Israel. They have never ever made a secret of it. The PLO charter actually states that. It was supposed to be changed as one of the requirements of the Oslo peace process, but the Palestinians never got around to it. The geography books used in Palestinian schools show Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranian Sea. To a Palestinian (and to most Arabs) there is no Israel. The only reason Jordan and Egypt recognize Israel is because we pay 'em to. In the case of Egypt it's $2 billion per year.

Diana, when you heard that women are from Venus and men are from Mars you didn't have to take it literally and go to Venus. You couldn't have been here and missed all the bin Laden videos. What does Binny want?

  1. He wants the United States out of the Middle East. That means Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Kuwait.
  2. He wants the total destruction of Israel.
  3. He wants the total destruction of Western Civilization
  4. He wants to take the world back to the 7th Century.
  5. He wants the total world under Islamic Law. That means you would have to walk around in a tent. You wouldn't be allowed to write ridiculous columns. Wait. That might be a good thing. You would be under the total control of your father until he sold you to your husband. Then you would be under his control. You would have no rights.

As I grow older and I observe the thought processes of liberals like one of my cousins and a friend's sister, I really do think liberal brains work differently.

"What do the terrorists want?" he asked. "No, ma'am, that's not a question we ask. We are out there combating terrorism. We don't ask them what they want."

What do the terrorists want? They want to kill us! Jesus H. Christ! Can't you hear all the hatred for us coming from practitioners of the Religion of PeaceTM.

Apparently we're not as adept at asking questions, building bridges or seeking resolutions to address why so many people the world over despise us. We react. We militarize. We kick butt. Talk? No, ma'am, we don't talk.

Kum-bay-fucking-yah! Give peace a fucking chance! It doesn't matter why they despise us. They want to kill us. What would it take to make them stop? Total surrender. Give up our way of life. Convert to Islam. Return to the 7th Century.

President Bush and his advisers should sit down and read the fine print of the National Security Council's "National Security Strategy of the United States of America." Woven throughout are the ideals behind those catchy phrases peppered in speeches: freedom, fairness, democracy, human dignity.

Name me one Islamic country that has freedom, fairness, domocracy, and human dignity? One. Name me one. Just one. If we listen to twits like you we will lose freedom, fairness, democracy, and human dignity.

I can't take any more. I cannot believe that Diana gets paid to write bullshit like this. I could write tripe like that for free. Geez I write this stuff for free.

I read somewhere this morning that Mexico is flooding California with illegal immigrants to eventually take over California and return it to Mexico. Take it now.

And take Diana, too.

Wednesday, December 4

PTSS

Went back in to work today. Did my day suck! Have you ever had one of those days when everything you touched turned to shit? I think I'm suffering from PTMDRSS (Post Traumatic My Day Really Sucked Syndrome) tonight.

The forecast this morning was for sleet and freezing rain hitting Atlanta in the afternoon. Well that's just freaking great! Any forecast in Atlanta that includes either snow or freezing rain throws the entire area in a complete panic. The stores sell out of bread, milk, and eggs in no time flat. The reason this happens is because of Snow Jam 1982. Atlanta got hit with 6 inches of snow (a veritable blizzard) during the day and none of the businesses let people off early. So there was an afternoon rush hour, with stupid drivers, and 6 inches of snow. Talk about a recipe for disaster. And it was. The city was shut down for two days. I was living in St. Louis at the time and drove through Atlanta on my way to Florida that evening. There were cars on the shoulder up and down the interstates. I was in a Volkswagen Beetle and drove right through with no trouble. Ever since Snow Jam, the city overreacts. Schools closed today. It didn't start raining today until after 4:00 PM and it still isn't freezing.

So I got to work and started working on a problem that I was trying to fix on Monday. No luck. Then Operations called and said they can't get some systems up and could I come upstairs and help. Sho 'nuff.

First problem was a communications problem which kept us from getting some systems on the network. This was a problem caused by a power outage over the weekend. Recycled some PU's, and that problem was fixed.

Next problem was some systems wouldn't come up. Turns out I had made a configuration definition error when we had done some recabling last month. Fixed it and got one of the systems up and told Operations everything was OK and went back to my office. Wrong! I thought I had fixed the configuration error but I had forgot how to count in hexadecimal and fixed it wrong. Fixed it right this time.

Half an hour later Operations called again. They can't get some policies activated because they can't be found. I looked and then realized they were trying to load the wrong policies. Told them the right ones.

  • OBO (Our Best Operator): That's not what the procedures say.
  • Me: The procedures must be wrong. Here is the naming convention we use.
  • OBO: I better change the procedures.
  • Me: Yep! And I'll thump the guy who wrote them. (Who happens to be a guy I like and I cannot imagine him giving her the wrong procedures)
  • OBO: Wait a minute! You're right. The procedures are OK. I misread them. (See. She is a good operator. She admits when she makes a mistake.)

A half an hour later I get a call from Operations. This time it's Our Worst Operator.

  • OWO: I'm trying to activate these policies and the system says they cannot be found.
  • Me: That's because you are trying to activate the wrong policies. You need to activate these policies.
  • OWO: Well xxxxx told me to activate these.
  • ME: xxxxx was mistaken. Read the procedures and talk to OBO.

Arrrgggghhhhh! This blew three hours of my day.

As regular readers know, I had to move out of my old office into an office with my team lead. My old office was on a different floor. This office is on the same floor as my manager. He loves to pop in to see how we're doing. We got one of his daily visits today. He's all excited because we're revisiting a synergy project with our cousins in Germany.

I'm still suffering from PTSPWTGS (Post Traumatic Synergy Project With The Germans Syndrome). We used to have a weekly conference call with them about building a common development platform. The problem is they build systems one way and we build 'em another. We don't have the staff to reconstruct our environment to conform with theirs and they won't conform with us. So we would spend 45 minutes discussing this impasse every Friday. One Friday I came in hungover and ranted (Me? Rant? I'm shocked!) about how we do things our way bcause it is the easy way and since they live in a socialist country and have to justify their bloated head count they won't do things the easy way and I'm not gonna waste any more time on this waste of time project and slammed the phone down.

At this time I was our team lead. This is just one of the many reasons I am no longer team lead. My manager told me that in the future, the project manager should be the one to negotiate with the Germans. The project manager eventually changed the conference call to once every other week. That way we only wasted 45 minutes every other week rather than every week. This went on for over a year and a half. I constantly told both the project manager and my manager that this was a dead project (my name for it was Death Spiral) to no avail. Finally, when I was replaced as team lead, after two calls, the new team lead declared the project dead and my manager agreed with him. Of course, this was after my team lost two people which would have made it even harder to redo our systems to conform with the Germans.

Now it turns out that the I/T costs in Europe are considerably higher than here in the USA. Duh! They have three times the headcount. So, they are revisiting the project, only this time, managers are involved, and, they're looking at shutting down Germany and moving everything here. My manager who has wanted to go global for as long as I've worked for him is ecstatic. For me, it would mean job security, but I know it ain't gonna happen. One reason is he put the most bureaucratic project manager in charge of the project. This guy's solution to everything is "We will have to call a meeting on that." There will be so many bloody meetings the Europeans will decide it's easier to pay more for I/T costs than go to all the meetings. They will soon be suffering from PTHTATMFMS (Post Traumatic Having to Attend Too Many Fucking Meetings Syndrome).

So I guess you must be thinking I'm making up all these post traumatic (bullshit) syndromes. Yep! I am. But why not? Maureen commented the other day about listening to a program on National Proletariat Radio and there was a guest on one of the programs talking about some slave syndrome that "can be used as an explanation for self-defeating behaviors perpetrated by some African-Americans." My first response was, she's making this shit up. So off I went to Google. The correct term is Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS - Hence the title). There was an off-Broadway play named Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. I found some info about it. Here are some excerpts.

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome described the condition - that crippling mixture of fear, paranoia, anger, and depression that can follow a period of acute violence or victimization - the chilling parallels with the World Trade Center disaster were impossible to ignore.

Huh?

Though this new drama looked at four hundred years of black/white history as the source of our collective trauma, the harrowing ordeals of recent weeks were never far from mind. That's not to say that our newest national horror somehow trumps or invalidates the play's premise, or makes it inappropriate for those still struggling with the here-and-now - quite the contrary. Universal Arts' therapeutic use of theatrical performance as a tool for exposing, understanding and ultimately re-imagining destructive patterns of emotion and thought may be just what the doctor ordered as the nation, our city, and the theatrical community begin to grapple with an awful aftermath.

Awright! About now I'm suffering from PTGMAFBS (Post Traumatic Give Me A Fucking Break Syndrome). And who was the person who discovered PTSS? Let's read further.

Principal among sources is the work of sociologist Dr. Joy DeGruy-Leary, whose theories on "Axiology and Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome"

Holy shit!

endeavor to rationalize many of the differences between African-American and European-American cultures. Dr. DeGruy-Leary's argument (in a nutshell)

No comment.

posits that the short three-month growing season in prehistoric Europe has rendered European-Americans - thanks to bygone prehistoric necessity - time-sensitive, forward-looking, and obsessed with efficiency, hierarchies, and the acquisition of objects, while the year-round warmth of African climates has translated into a more fluid, holistic, and spiritual approach to life for African-Americans. The incompatible value systems of these two cultures collided in the slave trade; we, as a nation, continue to suffer from the traumatic and manipulative methods through which white slave-owners deliberately brutalized and manipulated the fears and loyalties of their captives, all in the name of stabilizing and maximizing the output of their plantations.

So does that mean we white folk can't help it? It's because of a three month growing season? Omigawd! I'm suffering from PTTOOTSTIEHS (Post Traumatic That's One Of The Stupidest Things I've Ever Heard Syndrome). Here's the deal. SlaveryTM has been the order of things since the beginning of civilization. It was those mean old white Europeans (the English) who first decided slaveryTM was wrong. That spread to the United States, which fought a bloody war to abolish it. SlaveryTM, by the way, still exists in, of all places, Africa, where the slaveholders happen to be those " holistic, and spiritual" Africans who enslave their fellow Africans. How come we never hear blacks in the United States speaking out on that?

Look, slavery was wrong. We admitted it. We abolished it. That was over 140 years ago. Segregation was wrong. We abolished it. We passed civil rights laws. We implemented affirmative action. Yes, racism still exists, but it is not what is holding blacks back. What is holding blacks back is lack of education which is a result of deplorable schools in the inner city and the anti-achievement mentality that equates doing well in school is "acting white".

Nope there ain't no such thing as Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. It's total bullshit.

There is, however, PTLTBFJJAASS( Post Traumatic Listening To Bullshit From Jesse Jackson And Al Sharpton Syndrome).

And that does exist.

Tuesday, December 3

Health Care

Every day I go out to Neal Boortz' web site to read his daily program notes. Today, he referenced a column in Tuesday's Atlanta Urinal and Constipatation by a liberal named Robert Reno. I was afraid he was gonna take down the entire column, in which case I would have had to have found sumpin' else to write about, but he only concentrated on one sentence, which left the rest of the column for me.

At a time when nothing seems to stand between President Bush and soaring approval ratings,

And doncha just know this really pisses liberals off sumpin' fierce? Their hero, Bubba, never did this well. But that's the difference between style and substance.

his one vulnerability may be a health care system on the verge of falling apart.

Now there's an issue the Dimocrats rode to success in 1994.

''Health insurance premiums are rising at double- digit rates,'' writes Henry Aaron of the Brookings Institution in the Washington Post. ''Drug prices are skyrocketing. Employers are curtailing health insurance benefits and boosting the share of cost employees must shoulder.

And what is one of the big reasons that health insurance costs are skyrocketing? Can you say malpractice insurance? Malpractice insurance premiums are skyrocketing which means doctors have to charge more for their services to cover the costs of rising premiums. Tort reform would address that issue, but, since the trial lawyers own the Dimocrats, they won't let that happen. Mike Royko, the late, great Chicago columnist, once suggested that we needed to have universal legal care in this country to keep lawyers' fees down. And the people who would set up that system would be doctors.

''Stunned by rising premiums, employees are foregoing coverage for themselves, their spouses and their children. As a result, the ranks of the uninsured rose to more than 41 million, a jump of 1.4 million in 2001 alone, and appear likely to continue expanding as rising costs hammer employers whose profits are depressed by a weak economy. No one should be surprised if 50 million people are uninsured by 2005.''

Aaron's words suggest that if people aren't hysterical, they should be.

Quick! Call Chicken Little! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

A do-nothing attitude could even lead to a point where Americans punish Bush for leading them down a garden path to nowhere and to a health-care system that lies in wreckage.

Is he saying that our current health care system lies in wreckage or is headed that way?

What's most depressing is that there is little evidence Bush has a plan for this impending crisis or a clue to its solution.

But I bet Robert does.

''The number of uninsured will continue to grow as long as health insurance premiums rise more rapidly than earnings, as they have for a decade,'' says Drew Altman of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, which specializes in health care issues. ''Losing health benefits is becoming a middle-class issue.''

And health insurance is right there in the Constitution. It's in there right between welfare and campaign finace reform.

Altman's words are ominous because when a sense of insecurity creeps into the comfortable middle classes, it touches raw nerves. These are not the same alarms sounded when the rich help themselves to a larger share of the nation's income or when the poor get it in the neck again, as they always do.

Here we go again with the fucking poor. Jesus H. Christ! I get so fucking sick of hearing this same old whiny bullshit over and over again. As long time readers know, I have stated over and over again that with the exception of some catastrophic event like disease or accident, there is almost no excuse for being poor in this country. I came from poverty and a dysfunctional family so I know. Get an education. Work hard. Do not have children you cannot afford. Don't live beyond your means. Save and invest. Live the American dream. And if you do that, you might become one of those evil hated rich folks.

In any event, it's a problem that has already been settled in most of the civilized world, where the health care debate has been solved by universal coverage.

Yeah. Like in Cuba. Don't laugh. This guy's a liberal and to liberals, Cuba is part of the civilized world.

It exists in Canada,

Where Canadians come here for treatments unavailable in Canada.

in Europe,

Home of high taxes and high unemployment.

even in countries that can afford minimal health standards.

Like Cuba.

It often creaks with inefficiencies and anomalies, but stands as the only sane answer to a compelling need.

See that's the way socialism works. It is far better to have institutionalized mediocrity, which is what socialized medicine is.

The nightmare that still haunts the health care system is the experience of Hillary Clinton, who tried to solve the mess in 1993

That should read, "The nightmare that the health care system almost became was averted in 1993 when Hillary Clinton was prevented from implementing socialized medicine".

and got nothing but grief and vilification for her efforts.

And gave the House and Senate to the Republican Party, so sumpin' good did come from it.

She's now a sitting senator from New York, which ought to tell us something,

Yeah, it tells us how fucking stupid the people in New York are.

if only that people who try to solve problems instead of pretending they don't exist sometimes get their just rewards.

And Hillary sure solved that problem of her husband's philandering didn't she. Wait. That's right. She didn't know it existed until he told her after the stain was found on the dress.

It's a good thing she never pretended that problem didn't exist.

Monday, December 2

AIDS Causes Terrorism

Boo hoo! Whine! Whine! I'm sick. Boo hoo! Whine! Whine! Poor ol' pitiful me! Boo hoo! Whimper! Whimper! Whine! Whine! In the words from a song by the immortal rock group, the Fugs, "And I feel like homemade shit!" Whimper! Whimper! Whine! Whine!

Sorry. I'm practicing to be a Dimocrat. And yes I am sick. I got a big ol' shot of a powerful antibiotic this afternoon at the doctor's office. And it was one of those big ol' needles that they have to stick in your butt. Since I have no sensation there, I didn't feel a thing. But, as anyone who has ever had to use a super powerful antibiotic knows, there are some undesirable side effects. Lactaid works for those, but I didn't take any soon enough.

As I was suffering in my misery, I just thought of three Dimocrats and how much they were like kids we all knew in school. Tommie Dasshole is that little whiny kid who was always running to the teacher saying everybody was picking on him. Al Gore is the class snitch. And Bill Clinton is Eddie Haskell.

But enough about little whiny children. I just learned over the weekend that AIDS causes terrorism. Yep! It was a surprise to me too, but Cynthia Tucker, in her Sunday column explains why.

Though this is the season of goodwill and generosity, the Bush administration continues to shortchange poor nations struggling with AIDS.

Those bastards! Not content to poison the water supply, set civil rights back forty years, and push old people in wheelchairs off cliffs (or graphs), the Bush Administration is turning its back on poor nations struggling with AIDS.

Prepared to spend $100 billion to wage war on Iraq, the administration has so far spent less than $2 billion on programs to curb AIDS abroad. Even as international aid experts and physicians document a plague that is destabilizing countries across the globe, the United States has resisted offering substantial funds to help.

Iraq is a sponsor of terrorism. Iraq is developing nuclear weapons. We'll talk more about why AIDS is a plague later.

Last summer, when retiring Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) was belatedly stricken with a bout of conscience over his years of opposing funding for AIDS research, he proposed a dramatic increase in U.S. donations to curb the spread of AIDS worldwide. But President Bush fought the proposal.

Cry me a fucking river!

It was a remarkable moment. As he neared retirement, the jingoistic troglodyte from North Carolina

Now that sounds pretty mean spirited to me. Ya notice how liberals like to resort to name calling. If someone on the right were to refer to Ted Kennedy as a notable drunk driving, passenger killing, Senator can you imagine the howls of outrage?

realized he'd been mistaken about anti-AIDS efforts. Believing that his Christian faith required more of him, he rounded up bipartisan support for a bill to pour billions into programs to fight the epidemic.

Praise God! I've seen the light!

But Bush, who marketed himself to the American people as a "compassionate conservative," deep-sixed the plan.

That heartless bastard!

If simple compassion is not enough to persuade the president to do more, perhaps national interest will. AIDS --- the great plague of the 21st century --- is creating chaos and instability throughout Africa and parts of Asia. Those conditions give free rein to terrorist groups such as al-Qaida.

Got AIDS? Call al-Qaida. Remember, in the middle of al-Qaida is aid. Unless of course you spell it al Qaeda, in which that slogan doesn't work too well.

While there is no clear link between poverty and terrorism

Which pretty much invalidates the rest of this column and everything that follows is bullshit, but let's keep reading just for the fun of it.

(the hijackers who committed the terrorist atrocities of Sept. 11 were mostly middle-class and educated), it is no accident that al-Qaida could make itself at home in countries such as Afghanistan and Sudan. In both places, years of civil war had created desperate poverty and undermined central government authority. It was easy enough for Osama bin Laden to move in, buying loyalty with his millions.

Of course, Afghanistan and Sudan were mainly Muslim countries. Since al-Qaida is based on the Religion of PeaceTM, I cannot imagine them setting up shop in Zimbabwe or South Africa.

AIDS is creating similar conditions in countries from Angola to Zimbabwe to Rwanda. As just one example of the consequences, the Pentagon has started to notice that AIDS is decimating African armies. That does not portend well as the United States starts to look toward African nations as sources of petroleum; multinational oil companies depend on local armies to provide security for oil installations.

Let's see. What do all these countries have in common? Would you believe corrupt, incompetent gummints. Look what Mugabe has done to Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe used to be a net exporter of food. It now imports food and is using state sanctioned famine to starve opponents of the regime. Howza 'bout South Africa? AIDS is rampant there, but the gummint is in denial and doesn't think it has an AIDS problem. In the very same section of Sunday's paper ran this article about AIDS in Africa. In it was this statement

An estimated one in four South Africans between the ages of 18 and 50 carries the AIDS virus, making it the most infected country on earth.

Later in the same article.

In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Mbeki and his health minister suggested that HIV does not cause AIDS and that the drugs used to fight the disease could serve only to poison South Africans.

Yeah. Giving aid to South Africa and Zimbabwe would be a big help. How about Zambia? They're starving and won't eat our donated grain because it is genetically engineered. We've been eating it for years and it sure has crippled us as a nation hasn't it?

The AIDS pandemic has also begun cutting a broad swath across Eastern Europe and Central Asia;

Hmmmmm ... More incompetent, corrupt gummints. What a surprise.

the region now has the unfortunate distinction of having the highest rate of new infections. Uzbekistan, for example, has had nearly as many new cases of HIV infection in the first six months of this year as it had in the previous decade, according to UNAIDS, a U.N.-affiliated health organization.

Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic, has a heavily Muslim population and shares a border with Afghanistan. If Uzbekistan's government grows more unstable because of a high rate of AIDS, American efforts to halt terrorism, drug trafficking and gun running in the region will be crippled.

Not if everyone is dead of AIDS. Sorry. I shouldn't be so heartless. But if AIDS is spreading in Muslim countries, that must mean there is lots of adultry going on. AIDS is just saving them the trouble of stoning adulterers.

Americans are not easily persuaded to support efforts that wage peace.

Yeah. We're a nation of bloodthirsty savages.

Despite our self-image as a generous and charitable nation, we donate about 0.01 percent of gross national product in development aid to poor countries,

Which is about .01 percent of gross national product too much.

the lowest percentage of any wealthy nation.

Great. Send Europe the bill for the Cold War. Have the United Nations start paying rent for their headquarters in New York. Have the rest of the world pay what they owe us for World War II. I'm sick of the liberals in this country along with the freeloader nations who think that we are supposed to support the entire planet. Fix your gummints. Fix your economies. Freedom and low taxes. Works here.

Given his personal popularity, Bush could help Americans see the connection between increased foreign aid and a more stable world.

Huh? We give Egypt $2 billion dollars a year not to wage war with Israel. There's a real hot bed of stability. There is no connection between foreign aid and stability unless it results in an educated populace, freedom of the press, religious freedom, and democracy. Damn! There I go using logic again.

As we settle in to fight terrorism for the next several decades, we ought to help ourselves by curbing the conditions that allow it to fester and grow.

Radical Islam. Corrupt gummints.

Bush could easily convince Americans of the connection. But first, someone will have to convince him.

And since Bush has a functioning brain, that won't happen.