Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Snow Fox To White House

Fox Television commentator Tony Snow will replace Scott McClellan as the chief White House media punching bag, the NY Times reports today.

The story reports that Snow is more gregarious and aggressive than McClellan, which personally I think will be a nice change. Frankly, I hope they issue him a whip and a stun gun.

The story also reports that Dems are noting critical comments made by the conservative Snow about the president and his policies.

These are the same people, of course, who always tells us the president surrounds himself with people who tell him only what he wants to hear.

*cough, cough* full of crap *cough, cough*

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

To remember is to act

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis during World War II.

Some estimates of this systematic murder place the number at close to 10 million, if you include Poles, Czechs, Slavs, homosexuals, the disabled, and others deemed as "undesirable" by the Nazis.

In all, WWII deaths exceeded 40 million people.

And as important as it is to remember the dead, it's important to recall how it call came about -- because moral, decent human beings watched the escalating violence against the innocent and failed to act until it was too late.

In 1933, Hitler is named chancellor of Germany and the Nazis open the first concentration camp outside of Berlin. Dachau opens later that year. All other political parties are outlawed. Anyone not of pure German blood, and especially Jews, are classified as "non-Aryan." Jews are prohibited from owning property and publishing newspapers. Criminals, beggars, and other "undesireables" are rounded up and hustled off to the new concentration camps.

And no one does anything to stop it.

In 1934, Jews are prohibited from getting health insurance and obtaining legal licenses of any sort.

And no one does anything to stop it.

In 1935, German Jews are stripped of all their rights, reclassified as subhuman under the Nuremburg Race Laws. The Nazis pass a law calling for forced abortions for women with hereditary diseases.

And no one does anything to stop it.

In 1936, the Gestapo is placed above the law and the Germans reoccupy the Rhineland in violation of the Treaty of Versailles.

And no one does anything to stop it.

In 1937, Jews are prohibited from holding professions such accounting and dentistry, and are denied all tax exemptions.

And no one does anything to stop it.

In 1938, the Germans annex Austria and invade the Sudetenland. German Jewish businesses and homes are attacked and Jews are beaten and murdered on "Kristallnacht." Jews are prohibited from practicing law and medicine, and must register all businesses. Jewish women must add the name Sarah and Jewish men the name Israel to all legal documents, including passports.

And no one does anything to stop it.

In 1939, the Germans invade Czechosolovakia and later Poland. The sick and disabled in Germany are rounded up and murdered. German Jews are forced to surrender all gold and silver, may no longer hold government jobs and are forced into ghettos. They are under curfew from 8 p.m. in the winter and 9 p.m. in the summer. Slovakia adopts its own version of the Nuremburg race laws. Jews in occupied countries are also forced into ghettos. A ship filled with Jewish refugees is turned away by the U.S., Cuba and other countries, and returns to Europe.

Finally, France and England act. America maintains neutrality.

But it's already too late.

The Germans have allied themselves with Italy and Japan, and the three begin their plans to split up the globe.

In 1940, the Germans force the Allies forces off the European continent in a stunning defeat. Paris falls. Auschwitz is established in Poland, and the Nazis begin deporting German Jews to concentration camps in Eastern Europe. German ally Romania begins persecuting Jews.

And there is nothing anyone can do to stop them.

In 1941, America enters the war only after the Japanese bomb the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. (The Germans are not involved, but that doesn't stop them from immediately declaring war on the U.S.). Jews throughout Europe are persecuted, murdered, and forced into labor.

That same year, German Einsatzgruppen (Special Purpose Teams) begin rounding up and murdering Jews and other "undesireables" throughout eastern Europe. German Jews are ordered to wear yellow stars. The Nazi leadership adopts "The Final Solution" -- the systematic murder of all Jews. Zyklon-B gas is used for the first time at Auschwitz, and mass deportation of German Jews begins.

There's nothing anyone can do to stop them.

In 1942, mass murder of Jews throughout Germany and elsewhere begins at extermination camps throughout Europe. German Jews are banned from using public transit. Jews in France, Belgium, Holland, Slovokia, Croatia and Romania are ordered to wear yellow stars. The New York Times reports that the Germans have already murdered one million Jews.

There's nothing anyone can do to stop them.

In 1943 and 1944, the Allies invade Europe, first in Italy and later in France, and the Russians begin driving out the invading German army. Over the next two years they will fight their way across Europe into Germany. But the deportation and killing of Jews throughout Europe continues.

There's nothing anyone can do to stop them.

In 1945, the Allies liberate the concentration camps.

But it's already too late -- 10 million people are dead, murdered by the Germans and their allies.

Take a good look at the pictures. You're seeing unrestrained evil in its vilest, most corrupt form.

Confronting evil always comes at a cost. Hesitating to do so only increases that cost.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The coolest toy ever

Definitely. Bought it for my little guy the other day when I was in New York City.

We got it at the Toys R Us in Times Square -- the store is so cool, my teenagers still like to go there.

Anyway, remote control copter that flies 40 feet in the air.

Made of stryofoam, but suprisingly resilient.

Uses a rechargeable battery -- runs about 20 minutes.

The minute I saw the young lady at TRU demoing I thought, "Okay, that's hot -- gotta get one for the little guy" and immediately walked over to the pile and pulled one out.

Only 20 bucks. Available online.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Impeach Has No Reach

We've heard the pathetic wailing for going on five years now, offered up for every and any excuse -- impeach Bush, impeach the president, impeach the crook, impeach the liar.

The 2000 election, 9/11, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, warrantless surveillance of terrorists, ingrown toenails, whatever.

Now they even have a song, penned and recorded by (Canadian) Neil Young.

When comes to actually putting it into practice though, not so much.

In fact, when Senator Russ Feingold recently introduced a resolution to simply censure the president -- a step much less severe than impeachment -- he couldn't get anyone to second it.

In fact when asked for comment by the media, his Democratic Senate colleagues RAN AWAY. Some actually hid in the bathroom.

Yeah, uh, okay. So much for solidarity within the Democratic party.

But I'm sure the chants will continue. And Neil will keep singing.

But they don't matter.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The muted voice of protest

The flooded the streets of cities across the U.S., large and small, thousands in New York , perhaps a quarter million in Los Angeles.

Demanding a voice in the debate over reforming immigration. Many of them illegal immigrants themselves.

Failing to understand that the very conditions of their presence in the U.S. mute their voice.

One does not gain a voice through protest, because the only ones who listen to protesters are the protesters themselves and those who agree with them.

The way you get heard in this country are through the following:

-- Voting -- and illegal immigrants can't vote because they are not citizens;

-- Taxes -- and illegal immigrants don't pay a representative share of taxes, and can't even take credit for the taxes they do pay because, as I mentioned before, they're here illegally.

-- Economic power -- illegal aliens have some of this, as a labor force and as consumers. But again, they can't participate fully because of their illegal status -- they can't, for example lobby their Congressmen for stricter enforcement of working conditions and the minimum wage. They can't join collective bargaining organizations like unions.

So, they mostly talked to themselves. And what a confused message it was. One banner displayed on the front page of a local newspaper declared "Oust the Bush Regime Now."

Ironic, since it's the Bush "regime" that is advocating the very reforms they are demanding -- a guest-worker program, a path to citizenship for current illegals.

Some were demanding the return of California and other parts of the Southwest to Mexico. Yeah, uh, hey listen, good luck with that.

Despite such idiocy and confusion, I expect Congress will pass immigration reform to address the more serious issues. Hopefully, they'll forgo stupid ideas like building a $2 billion fence along the Mexican border.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Going for the Green

It's springtime, and a young man's heart turns to...lawncare.

Put down about 100 pounds of Lesco pre-emergent and fertilizer -- fights the crabgrass and greens up the lawn nicely.

Ton's of nitrogen in this stuff, which is what makes the lawn so green.

Used my trusty Scott's SpeedyGreen 3000 spreader. I like to set the spreader at half the drop-speed recommended and go over the lawn several times in various directions -- that way you get even coverage and avoid streaking.

A cold, rainy morning -- which, of course made it perfect for putting down fertilizer. The rain instantly activates it and sets it in the lawn, so that it doesn't blow or roll off.

Only problem is that as the fertilizer gets wet, it tends to clump in the spreeder. So you have to give it a stir and a sift occasionally to keep it flowing nicely.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Congressional Dems: Pot, Kettle Black Redux

Dems rejoicing at the resignation of House Majority Leader Tom Delay (although I don't know why, since this pretty much assures that a Republican will retain his seat in the fall elections), saying this is time to sweep Congress clean of GOP corruption and the stink of special-interest lobbying.

But Investor's Business Daily notes that the Democratic broom they want use ain't so clean. Some highlights:

-- Nancy Pelosi's two PACs (they rules say you're only allowed to have one, incidentally) have both been investigated and fined for contributing beyond legal limits to 36 political campaigns -- you know, the same kind of thing Delay is currently on trial for;

-- Harry Reid's sons have netted more than $2 million for lobbying on behalf of special interest. Reid himself has accepted more than $70,000 in contributions from Jack Abramoff and his associates -- you know, the same lobbyist Reid has the coconuts to attack the GOP over;

-- Hillary Clinton recently conceded to filing false FEC reports for her 2000 Senate bid, understating contributions by over $720,000.

Nice, huh? I'm thinking houses...throwing stones....

Cynthia: Not Sorry

Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney reportedly "apologized" yesterday for assaulting a police officer last month.

The facts of the incident are these: McKinney entered a government building last month. She walked around a metal detector, which she is authorized to do as a member of Congress. Except she was not wearing the special ID tag that allows her to do so. A Capitol police officer, who did not recognize her, asked her to stopped. She declined. He put his hand on her to stop her. She slapped him.

Later, when called on it, she regrettably played the race card.

The fault here is clear: she's to blame. Now with her Democratic colleagues slowly backing away from her and a grand jury weighing criminal charges, she has issued an" apology."

Or did she?

Here's what she said: ''I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all, and I regret its escalation, and I apologize. There should not have been any physical contact in this incident.''

She then went on to talk about how she will vote for legislation providing funding for the Capitol police.

Not much of an apology. She says the words "sorry" and "apologize," but fails to take responsbility for the incident. There was a misunderstanding. An incident occurred. It should not have escalated. I regret that it happened. Note the use of passive voice.

THIS would be an apology: "I'm sorry. I should have been wearing my ID and I should have complied with the police officer's order to stop -- he was merely doing his job, trying to keep us all safe. And I should NEVER have raised a hand to him.

"I don't know what I was thinking, but I'm totally responsible for what happened. This was not about race or anything else other than my own behavior. I hope that fine officer will accept my personal apology and forgive me, and I hope you all will too. I can only assure you that this was a momentarily lapse of judgment on my part, and I will work daily to conduct myself in a manner more appropriate and responsible for a member for Congress."

She's welcome to use that one if she wants.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Hey, Lookee What I Bought!

Sweet, Huh. I't s Pedulla Rapture J2-5.

Got my annual bonus last week, and decided it was time to trade my crappy Carvin in for a new bass. Planned to buy a Musicman Stingray 5, and had my man Rick at the Guitarhangar looking for one -- he's not an MM dealer, so he was making a rounds.

Called me today, saying he was having a tough time finding what I wanted. Mentioned that he a G&L in stock, but I'm not really keen on those.

Then mentioned somewhat casually that this had come in -- mint condition, barely played. Price was half original list, which was less than I had planned to spend on a new 'Ray 5.

Went into check it out, and it was nearly unplayable. But a quick adjust on the trussroad did the trick.

Nice feel, nice balance. And the tone!!!! Oh my goodness. Can't wait to hear it through my Eden Rig. The pickups and elex are Barts, which I love.

It's still at the shop -- getting strings, set-up and straplocks. I pick it up Saturday.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Antiwar Gas

There he was this morning at the Dairy and Energy Mart. Some unreconstituted hippie, with a bunch of antiwar bumperstickers on this car.

Some not repeatable here (this IS a family-oriented blog), but the theme was familiar -- Bush is a liar, Bush is a war criminal, etc. ad naseum...

And, of course, the war is about oil ("War is Shell...and Exxon, and....")... he was filling the tank on his Chevy S-10 pickup.

Which can't top 20 mpg highway (I used to own a Blazer, which has the same engine).

Uh huh.

I'm sorry, but if your going to go around shrieking "No blood for oil" you better be making your way around town on a flatuence-fired/bio-waste-fueled/lunar-powered eco-moped.

Otherwise, you're just a big, fat, juicy, foamy, crap-spewing-out-of-every-orifice, liar-liar-pants-on-fire, HYPOCRITE!