Saturday, March 22, 2008

Re: Converting Vinyl to CDs

Crosley Radio also has some turntables pretty cheap that record LPs to CDs. And they look pretty cool, too.

Atheists go to the movies, or try to

The American Atheists are convening in Minneapolis this weekend. Apparently some of them, including Richard Dawkins, attended a screening of the movie Expelled, the Ben Stein anti-evolution flick, at the theater at the Mall of America. A University of Minnesota-Morris biology professor, P.Z. Myers, was part of the movie-going group and was asked to leave. Here is his account of the episode, published on his website "Pharyngula: Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal".

Friday, March 21, 2008

Re: Peck

I call bs again. Read this.

Re: Re: Albums

Yes, Stephanie I still have almost all of my old vinyl. They are at my parents house in a closet in boxes. I haven't looked thru them in forever. I don't play vinyl anymore (don't even have a turntable), but I also don't want to get rid of them (why, I don't really know).

At one point, my "plan" was to gradually replace them with cd's, but my tastes were so eclectic and exotic that many of them still aren't easily available. I also have a feeling that if I were to listen to them these days, I would find many of them unlistenable crap.

Ambassador Peck and his chickens

So big surprise. When viewed in context, Rev. Wright's "chickens coming home to roost" comment seems pretty benign. Sam Stein at Huffington Post details the whole thing. Rev. Wright was referencing Ambassador Edward Peck, a retired, white, career U.S. diplomat who served 32-years in the U.S. Foreign Service and was chief of the U.S. mission to Iraq under Jimmy Carter. Be sure to watch the video clip. Violence begets violence was the point.

Re: albums

What am I, chopped liver? Does LJ have Long John Baldry's It Ain't Easy?

I certainly bow to LJ but My vinyl is still taking up too much room.


LJ, do you still have your album collection? I recall, from the day I met you 25+ years ago, that it was substantial.

Re: Copyright Permission

Wouldn't one first get a "cease and desist" and opportunity to delete the image or to complete reprint of text? I hope my hero Walter E. Williams would give me the chance to correct before he comes after me.

Spring Wonderland

I would complain about winter hanging on, but it was just too gorgeous today. We got 4-6 inches of snow overnight. This is a huge wooded area by the river where dogs are allowed off leash. Camera battery gave out before I got to the best part, the Mississippi River Gorge where the river runs beneath rocky cliffs. Karma the Dog swam in the river a bit, much to her surprise, when she followed another dog into the water for a stick.

Since I'm the only one who had to work today...

The view (from left to right, and I know, I still have to figure out the camera) from Scooter's office:

Re: Barry's con

All of the continued Barry-bashing seems to presume that Wright spent all of every sermon spewing the kind of things that are presented in the 30-60 seconds of clips we've been seeing.  There's no sign that that was the case.  The services at TUCC were broadcast live every week and rebroadcast many times during the week.  Trinity is a congregation within the UCC denomination that is 99% white.  Had UCC found Wright's sermons objectionable, they would have canned him.  

Barry's con?

As usual Krauthammer says it best: "Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend? "

Copyright permission

My episode with the City of Minneapolis maps illustrates a useful copyright pointer.  You can often get permission to use material that's protected by copyright.  
Thanks to Scooter for catching my illicit use. 
There are statutory damages for copyright infringement of $50,000 per occurrence, so the fact that one doesn't make money off use of infringing material doesn't insulate one from having to pay out.  (It's a factor in determining if a use is "fair", but it's not determinative.) 

Re: Foreclosure maps

With persmission? Explain please.

Sir Thomas More dead, again


That woman on the toilet?

"I don't want to make light of this, but if a woman ever allowed me to sit on the toilet for two years and brought food and water to me to permit such a thing, I'd marry her. Just mount a flat-panel tv opposite the can and I'm alll good."


Truly incredible robo-thing. Stay with the video at least to the middle where robo-thing slips on the ice and almost falls down, but doesn't. Via Ace.


I voted three times (once from the office, once from my laptop stealing a neighbor's WIFI, and once from the home PC) so the poll is looking better.

Copyright law for bloggers

You're not going to get me to spend my day off writing about copyright law. But I found this list of tips on copyright for bloggers that looks accurate and useful.

There's no distinction between text and images, by the way. But because it can be acceptable to use a portion of a copyrighted work, it's easier to make acceptable use of text, where you can use a small piece of a larger work, than of a photo where you're typically copying the whole of a photo.

Re: Picasso of asininty

Scooter: it's worth linking. I've said before that I've found the right much more willing to think about the big issues than the left.


I've corresponded with Stephanie about whether images are fair to post or not, and she has given me some direction (which I didn't like). I intended a couple of days ago (when the issue came up again) to ask her to post something about it and didn't so I am now: what can we put up? how are photos/images different from text? what is "fair use?" etc.

While I generally believe in following the law and respecting OPIP, posting a photo on SSJ seems much more like cutting out a picture in a magazine and putting it in a family scrapbook than stealing.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Foreclosures in Minneapolis

Home foreclosure sales in Minneapolis in 2002 on the left and 2007 on the right:

Maps are published by the City of Minneapolis and are posted here with permission.


Just saw my first bluebonnet of the season.

I'll try to take some real pics this year.

Also noticed some activity at Zilker Park today.

More John Adams thoughts

I know this is not an original thought but it occurred to me as I watched some of the second episode of HBO’s John Adams again. What an extraordinary collection of individuals gathered in 1776 and 1787 and the surrounding years. I don’t count just those who fought or debated in Philadelphia and elsewhere, but count Abigail Adams (and others), too, though I probably wouldn’t have until recently reading Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis who included her as a brother.

By no means do I discount the two original sins of the founding, slavery and the Native American issue. From what I gather, most historians think the former simply not solvable in 1787 and the conscientious plan was to kick that can down the road 20 years to be addressed later. The latter was presumably to be handled through assimilation. That sounds rather like a Chinese or Borg tactic today but then was seen as charitable and probably inevitable.

Late 18th century and probably the most extraordinary piece of technology these folks commonly possessed were eyeglasses. (Apparently, Washington used his glasses to great dramatic effect later in life when he wanted to persuade by appearing somewhat frailer than he was...a heavy sigh while reaching into his pocket so that he could read what had been placed in front of him.) Population small compared to Great Britain. Economy almost nothing compared to the mother country.

By focusing on Adams, probably the most underappreciated of the group, and Abigail, players such as Washington, Franklin and Jefferson become their supporting cast and that just staggers. I’m sure that later in the series we’ll be similarly introduced to figures such as Hamilton, Madison, and Jay. And those are just the Big 8. I mentioned John Dickinson earlier, the Pennsylvania Quaker who agreed to be absent at the final vote so that Adams could persuade South Carolina to vote in the affirmative because there were no nay votes, only an abstention from New York. Dickinson did serve as an officer in the militia briefly even after arguing persuasively against the separation from Britain.

That these characters should all come together at the same place and time and get so much right just amazes me. We’ve got 300,000,000 now and the best we can come up with for 16 years is Bill Clinton and George W. Bush? What if the cast had been different?

Instead of Jefferson, Elliot Spitzer;
Adams, Rush Limbaugh;
Madison, James Carville;
Washington, Wesley Clark;
Franklin, Tom DeLay;
Abigail, Ann Coulter;
Jay, Ted Rall?

Barry's foreign adviser is also a Hamas supporter???

"Robert Malley, a principal Obama foreign policy adviser, has penned numerous opinion articles, many of them co-written with a former adviser to the late Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, petitioning for dialogue with Hamas and blasting Israel for numerous policies he says harm the Palestinian cause.

Malley also previously penned a well-circulated New York Review of Books piece largely blaming Israel for the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at Camp David in 2000 when Arafat turned down a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and eastern sections of Jerusalem and instead returned to the Middle East to launch an intifada, or terrorist campaign, against the Jewish state.

Malley's contentions have been strongly refuted by key participants at Camp David, including President Bill Clinton, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and primary U.S. envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross, all of whom squarely blamed Arafat's refusal to make peace for the talks' failure."

Trinity supports Hamas???

"Sen. Barack Obama's Chicago church reprinted a manifesto by Hamas that defended terrorism as legitimate resistance, refused to recognize the right of Israel to exist and compared the terror group's official charter – which calls for the murder of Jews – to America's Declaration of Independence."

Coffin nail?

Jim Geraghty

... on Barry taking his daughters listen to Wright: "Would you ever take your children to listen to a man call for God to damn America? As a new dad, I can't imagine it. Sorry, Barack. That's a bridge too far." Via Dan Riehl.

Andrew McCarthy

... is stuck on two points I've made previously: "If I were inclined to look beyond the fact that he chose to immerse his young children in Wright's poisonous worldview, I'm stuck on the following: The Obamas, as they've repeatedly emphasized, are not people of great means. Yet, only a couple of years ago, they chose to give $22,500 of their own money to support Wright and his ministry. That's not guilt by association; that's active, material promotion. Did anything he said in the speech satisfy you about that? Me neither."

Is the toilet half full or half empty?

Dilbert (Scott Adams) sees the benefits of spending two years on a toilet, and of dating someone so situated.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New poll -->

Star Trek over Star Wars with multiple caveats, 4-0.

Arthur C. Clarke

At risk of bringing up another sci-fi theme, RIP.

Medved on HBO's John Adams

I'm quoting almost the whole thing but here's the link:

HBO’s epic eight hours on John Adams is precisely
[a] sort of pop culture miracle: a lovingly-rendered tribute to the most misunderstood, most under-rated of our founding fathers. …the HBO miniseries offers perfect casting—with Paul Giamatti as an Adams who’s simultaneously brave, pompous, and selflessly patriotic. The luminous Laura Linney captures Adams’ wife Abigail, with dialogue based frequently on actual letters, providing a singularly moving portrait of a romantic, richly functional, lifelong marital partnership. The series also stresses the nobility of politics – without which, even battlefield heroism could come to naught. David Morse is appropriately noble, charismatic and dignified as George Washington while Tom Wilkinson enjoys the role of Ben Franklin nearly as much as Franklin himself enjoyed his long life. Every American over the age of ten should see this rewarding piece of work – while prepared to see brief, disturbing glimpses of war time violence.

Sleeping with (crocheted) Afghans

I sleep nightly (in winter at least) beneath one my mom made for me.

Woo Hoo! My Economic Stimulus Payment Notice Came today

Why bother sending me a note to let me know it's on the way. How much did this genius cost?

Re: Re: 3 a.m. phone call

Without addressing McCain's particular assertions (busy day), there has been at least some connection between Iran and AlQ. References (the links take you to the sources they cite; I may be committing some kind of blogging sin here) from Michael Rubin and Katherine Lopez at NRO’s The Corner.

Music, Youth and Beauty

LJ posted about his plans to attend the Radiohead concert in May where he’ll be surrounded by “today’s youth and all that that implies”, so I'll share my recent concert experience.

I’ve completely given up paying attention to current music, but a couple years ago my husband happened upon a band called The Dropkick Murphys, a sort-of-punk band that has a bagpipe player. They’re from Boston and have a working-class ethos to some of their lyrics, like this from "The Worker's Song" on the album Blackout:

Worker's Song (Handful of Earth), written by Ed Pickford
This one's for the workers who toil night and day
By hand and by brain, to earn your pay
For centuries long past for no more than your bread
Have bled for your countries and counted your dead.

In the factories and mills, in the shipyards and mines
We've often been told to keep up with the times
For our skills are not needed, they've streamlined the job
And with slide rule and stopwatch, our pride they have robbed

(chorus) We're the first ones to starve, we're the first ones to die
The first ones in line for that pie in the sky
And we're always the last when the cream is shared out
For the worker is working when the fat cat's about.

And when the sky darkens and the prospect is war
Who's given the gun and then pushed to the fore
And expected to die for the land of our birth
Though we've never owned one lousy handful of earth

And all of these things the worker has done
From tilling the fields to carrying the gun
We've been yoked to the plow since time first began
And always expected to carry the can.

We felt pretty hip that we could still fall in love with music that the kids are listening to. When the Murphys came to town a few months ago we went to see them. It was our first concert in, oh, 15-20 years. Sure, we were the only people older than 30 and the only people without tattoos, but I wasn’t fazed by that. We’re young at heart, after all. We enjoyed two warm-up bands, but then the Murphys started playing and I felt as old as I am. It was LOUD beyond any loud I’d ever heard at a concert before. Worse than the decibel level, though, was that it was undifferentiated unmitigated blaring noise with no hint of a melody or chords or even rhythm. I was surprised and disappointed because their recorded music has great melodies. We lasted through two “songs” before we gave up and left, laughing at ourselves for having been so mistaken.

But we did get a lot of pleasure out of the evening. I had a great time watching the kids. They were just so beautiful to me. They had that fabulous lightness of being of youth. Of course, the lightness is partly physical; they have yet to gain weight at the rate of one pound a year over decades. But the lightness is also spiritual; they don’t have responsibilities; they haven’t failed at anything big yet; they haven’t disappointed anyone in any significant way; they haven’t experienced much loss.

I had just had a conversation the day before the concert with someone who assessed beauty based on particular facial features or proportions, and I kept thinking as I watched the kids that you’d miss out on so much beauty if you were hunting through the crowd for those particular qualities.

Starting a new SSJ feature....

"What LJ is listening to." As the resident music aficionado, enquiring minds I'm sure want to know.

As I am want to do, when Oscar time rolls around, I try to see as many nominated films as possible. This not only includes those nominated for Best Film, but also those with Best Actor/Actress nominees. One of these films really piqued my interest, since I was only vaguely aware of the main character. I knew her name, but nothing of her life. My only real knowledge of her craft came from the jukebox at La Carafe in Houston.

Edith Piaf

It is amazing how many cd's of her music are available. The one I bought is of her concerts at Carnegie Hall in 1955 and 1957. One reason I chose this one was because she gives a brief introduction to the songs, to give you an idea of what the song is about. The other is that I like live recordings - you get to hear all the inflections, imperfections, emotion of the performance. Within a few songs, you can hear the pain and sorrow coming from her. The quality of the recording isn't always the greatest (the music at times is barely audible and her voice is garbled at times, especially with the 1957 recording). However, the pain, sorrow, sadness and emotion clearly comes through. One of my favorite songs is sung in English, "Heaven Have a Mercy":

No more smiles, no more tears
No more prayers, no more fears

Nothing left, why go on
When your lover is gone
Shout with one
Ring the bells
Throughout the towns
And the farms
Will the shouts and the bells
Bring him back to my arms
Must each man go to war
Evermore, evermore
While some lone woman stands
Empty heart, empty hands
When the time came to part
And he kissed me goodbye
From the depths of my heart
Came a great lonely cry:
Heaven have mercy!
Heaven have mercy!

Miners came
They carved his name
Upon a cross...
Heaven Have A Mercy
I remember the dance
Where we first fell in love
How we whirled 'round and 'round
While the stars danced above
We would walk by the shore
Watch the ships sail away
Lovers need nothing more
Just a new dream each day
So we dreamed of a home
With a garden so fine
And a son with his eyes
And a nose just like mine
Now it's done, why be brave?
Why should I live like this?
Shall I wait by the grave
For my lost lover's kiss?
Stop the bell! Stop the bell!!
I've no tears left to cry
Must I stay here in hell?
Lord above, let me die...
Heaven have mercy!
Heaven have mercy!
Heaven have mercy!

Another favorite is "C'est A Hambourg" - the inflections of her accent are enthralling.

Re: Can anyone answer that 3am phone call?

McCain made the same mistake again today, this time in a written statement, as reported by Sam Stein at HuffPost:

For the third time in two days, the Arizona Republican has pushed the definitively false statement that the terrorist group Al-Qaeda was getting assistance from Iran, even though he was publicly ridiculed for the same false assertion on Tuesday.

This time, in a statement from his campaign honoring the fifth year anniversary of the war, McCain wrote:

"Today in Iraq, America and our allies stand on the precipice of winning a major victory against radical Islamic extremism. The security gains over the past year have been dramatic and undeniable. Al Qaeda and Shia extremists -- with support from external powers such as Iran -- are on the run but not defeated."

Can anyone answer that 3am phone call?

Per CNN, seems McCain has a problem grasping the whole Iran/Iraq, Sunni/Shiite thing. Perhaps Scooter heard the interview on the HH show referenced.

Added: I read the transcript of the interview on the HH show. Read it here. For those who don't care to, here is the statement:

"As you know, there are al Qaeda operatives that are taken back into Iran, given training as leaders, and they’re moving back into Iraq. I think Americans should be very angry when we know that Iran is exporting weapons into Iraq that kill Americans."

I think he was confusing exporting weapons that terrorist use vs exporting the actual terrorists.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Are they just used for internet connections now?

I have a book buying addiction. Hello, my name is Scooter....

I had to buy a new bookcase this weekend and when I moved books there that had been clumsily stacked, I realized I need yet another bookcase. I'm turning into my mom.

Resolved, more use of my local library.

Re: Star Trek v. Star Wars

My vote was for reasons entirely the opposite of LJ's though it was the same. I eliminate the Trek movies as just Paramount's bid for cash.

If Wars had stopped with the second movie or, if the remaining 4 1/2 movies had been completely different, my vote may have been for Wars. My vote was for the overall/total product/genre (I can't think of the right word but hope that gets me there).

Goodness knows that there were a handful of the the original Trek episodes that I adore, e.g, City on the Edge of Forever, The Trouble with Tribbles, but too many were just Roddenberry's view of 60's issues.

Next Gen, Deep Space 9, Voyager and Enterprise (thanks, Michael) were, overall, far superior to the last 3 1/2 Wars movies.

Re: Robins

Is it just me or do those famous red breasts seem to becoming more rust than red?

HBO's (and David McCullough's) John Adams

First 70 minutes a little slow and I could have lived without the tar and feathering. Last 90 minutes pretty darned good.

Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney (ok, maybe she was awful but I have a bias) both terrific but I would have liked to have seen a bit more of his respect for her intellect and her input into his thoughts and actions. And, at risk of moving the movie from HBO to Lifetime, more about their famous love for one another.

David Morse as His Excellency was perfect.

The governor from Oz/prosecutor from Law and Order and Homicide: Life on the Streets as the Quaker from Pennsylvania got a bit a short shrift. You never really quite grasp that he went on to be one of Washington's best officers in spite of his appearance in uniform on the horse at the end.

For those who haven't seen it yet and have digital cable, it's available on HBO on Demand for about another 8 weeks.

Update: my hopes may still come true for the relationship between John and Abigail and the Penn Quaker (John Dickinson, I think, maybe Dickerson), I didn't realize there are five or six more episodes to go. I thought it ended with the Declaration of Independence.

Hadn't heard this pet peeve in a while...

Caller on radio show said "mute" when he meant "moot." Drives me crazy.

One peculiar con

Here is what I can't follow about Michael's charge earlier of Obama being a con man:
If Obama were a raving white-hating lunatic who is dishonest and trying to fool white America into voting for him with soothing words and a gracious smile while he secretly hates them and the country, then would he not have left his church years ago to avoid the examination and criticism of the past few days?
After all, the services at Trinity United Church of Christ are broadcast live every week, with replays during the week, so what is said there has been available for all to see.
Surely, Obama could have found better cover -- a lily-white Lutheran church, for example -- once he no longer needed Chicago street cred to get elected (per Michael's post), if he were running a con.

Obama's speech on race

Here is Obama's speech on race and Rev. Wright. When was the last time a politician gave us such a thoughtful and true consideration of race in America?

In December 2006, I listed for Michael my reasons for supporting Obama. Amongst them was this:

3. Gifted at something that seems so simple but just is not — he pulls truth out of the air and puts it into words. Some might say it’s just meaningless rhetoric. But I think great rhetoric can move people. Such a rare gift and we haven’t seen it for such a long time. Did you hear his speech at the Dem convention? “We’re not red states and blue states...People in red states have gay friends and people in blue states care about national security . . ." And when he’s said something like this, it seems obvious that it’d be a good idea to say it — but no one was saying any such thing. And therein lies the genius. Distilling, crystallizing, recognizing. Hard to explain, but it’s what great writers do — find ways to convey truth.

I think he managed to do it again with today's speech on race.


Saw a robin this morning. This is my first sighting this "spring". The robin was easy to spot against the fresh SNOW.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Re: Any Bracketology Thoughts

Scooter.....not sure how much you follow UT basketball, but is Barnes really THIS stupid? I'm taking my ball and going home.

Then again, perhaps he is a genuis. Ensuring he gets the behavior he wants to justify getting out of next years game in Fayetteville.

Limbaugh/Scooter effect

Scott Helman in the Boston Globe today discusses the Limbaugh effect (Republicans voting in Democratic primaries to achieve strategic advantage for Republicans in the general): "It is also possible, though perhaps unlikely, that enough strategically minded Republicans voted for Clinton in Texas to give her a crucial primary victory there: Clinton received roughly 119,000 GOP votes in Texas, according to exit polls, and she beat Obama by about 101,000 votes."

119,000 would be 4% of the votes for Obama and Clinton combined in the Texas primary.

The Great Democracy

Ok, technically it's a republic, but we know what the author means.

From The Australian (h/t RCP), some kind words about the US in general but "flyover country," the Democrat voting process (with some admittedly bizarre comments about the two candidates) and Austin in particular:

For reasons too complicated to retell, on the return trip we found ourselves becalmed in a village in the backwaters of rural Indiana, in the old American heartland. The streets we strolled down were lined with wooden bungalows, and there was a flagstaff with the Stars and Stripes in every other front yard. We ate in rural diners by the highway with orange-tinted windows, stained wooden cubicles and waitresses with chequered aprons.

Much like Columbus, we had voyaged in search of streets paved with gold, and instead we had accidentally discovered America.

It's a pity more Australian observers don't discover heartland America in this fashion, especially in this historic election year. Because we have more to learn from the rambunctious drama of American democracy than we are prepared to admit.

Many Australians believe they know all about America. On business trips they sidle through the galleries of New York, or amble down the boulevards of Los Angeles, and imagine that they have gained some essential insight into the American character. Back home they watch American TV and movies, and teach themselves that American society is gaudy, individualistic and lacking in decorum.


One of our favourite fictions about the US is that its citizens, disillusioned by a lack of choice, don't bother to vote. And yet Americans vote, up hill and down dale, for everything and everybody that moves. For school boards, for precinct committees, for police chiefs, for judges, for district attorneys.

Like Australians, they vote because it's necessary to keep the wheels of organisation turning. But there's another reason. Somewhere underneath those layers of post 1960s cynicism, many of them still believe in their hearts that the act of voting is the consummation of the spiritual equality of Americans. How many of us could say that?


By nomination time, the better part of a hundred million Americans will have involved themselves, not infrequently standing in queues in the winter wind for several hours. Or they will have gathered in draughty community halls to be lobbied and harangued in the archaic yet quintessentially democratic caucus system.

Last week in New Republic magazine a young Texan journalist gave a worm's-eye view of his experiences in the Precinct 426 caucus in the city of East Austin. It reads like a chapter out of Tocqueville, suitably updated and digitised.

There are more than 8000 precinct conventions in Texas. They will elect some few dozen of the 4000 delegates at the Democratic National Convention in August. They are, in other words, the merest tip of the electoral iceberg.

Yet this year, when the Precinct 426 chair arrived with her sheaf of manila folders, more than 250 people were lined up outside the doors of the local elementary school. Most had never caucused before; some were old enough that they remembered voting for John F.Kennedy.
But there they all were, white, black and Hispanic, college-educated and high-school graduates alike, forming lines and making impromptu, hesitant speeches.


We could do much worse than to institutionalise our political parties, as the Americans have done. Give every citizen a voice in the selection of candidates, so long as they're willing to register in the name of one of the parties for the purpose [me: no, the irony is not lost]. Encourage them to manifest themselves physically in the proceedings, and to make those impromptu, hesitant speeches.

The ends of democracy are vital. But as Tocqueville understood, the processes of democracy have profound significance, too. We ought not only to be enfranchised by our democracy: we should feel dignified by it as citizens, as Precinct 426's members did. I'd wager most Australians don't feel that way.

Is the Democrat Primary...

"a" historic primary or "an" historic primary? I mean, isn't the rule use "a" unless the h is silent as in "an honest lawyer?"

Who besides a nighttime denizen of of Covent Garden says "istoric?"

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Enough of this silly stuff…

This is really important. From Jonah’s Odd Link Gal, Original Series Star Trek Episodes.

Any Bracketology Thoughts?

I see that we've got a 9 seed and a 2 seed so far.

Last Friday would have been my Dad's 83rd Bday

Wore one of his shirts in his honor (sleeves are too long). I hadn't had a real relationship with him in 3 years. Who'd have thought I'd miss him so much?

Re: Lobster Girl

Favorite quotes from the article Stephanie links:

Danny the Half-boy, Little Miss Firefly, Jackie the Human Tripod, and Flipperboy are pissed off [just so we get all their names].

Apparently, the freaks weren't P.C. enough.

China Blocks YouTube

From NDTV: China has blocked access to the popular website apparently after video clippings on the massive pro-independence protests rocked the Tibetan capital of Lhasa this week, appeared on the website.

Re: Foreign Debt

This is so far beyond me I can't even pretend to know anything about it. I've only recently asked an econ prof at UT to get me some Monetary Policy for Dummies type materials.

Having disclaimed all knowledge, I'll happily chime in that I've been getting queasy feelings (notoriously inaccurate) that there do seem to be signs of the "perfect storm."

Foreign debt, jittery Wall Street, weakening dollar, soaring gold, $100 crude and related and other signs of inflation. It seems to me that this squirrely rebate is ridiculous. It wasn't the rebates 6 years ago that helped, it was the tax cuts. I'd let the next administration raise my rates by an additional 5% if we could just drop the corporate tax rate to the average rate of the EU (from almost 40% to 26%) to get our biz on a more level playing field with the EU companies.

I've got to think that would make the dollar more attractive and boost it's value. Remember the last time the European currencies bowed to the mighty dollar? It was back in the late 70s and early 80s when our interest rates were sky high so everyone wanted dollars to by US paper. I sure don't want those interest rates again and leveling the playing field tax wise would seemingly reduce my effective rate of taxation (even with a 5% personal income tax increase) and strengthen the dollar.

I'll give this more thought.

Why talk about Barry and Wright?

It may well decide who the leader of the free world is for the next eight years, that's all. Nothing to see here. Go back to your hookers.

My favorite section of the Sunday paper

The "Points" section of the DMN. Editorials, from both local and contributors. Letters to the editor. A snapshot to see what is on the minds of Dallasites and around the U.S. Let's take a look at what is in today's edition:

Second Thoughts: Points asked thoughtful North Texans "What have you changed your mind about?"

Talking Points (which are quotes from persons involved with or commenting on the big stories of the week: (1) a quote regarding a goodbye phone call from parents with a suicide pact; (2) a quote from one of the parents in the suicide pact; (3) a quote from Spitzers latest call girl; (3) a quote from an Iraqi police trainer about Chuck Norris; (4) quote from Geraldine Ferraro about Obama; (5) a quote from Obama about Hillary; (6) a quote from that woman in Kansas who sat on a toilet for 2 years.

Local Editorials: (1) Meyerson Center needs harmony with outdoor venue; (2) Light of day vital for government dealings.

Letters to the Editor: (1) Right to safe airplanes (about SW Airlines and safety issues); (2) Graffiti incident (racist graffiti written on the garage of a minority home owner in Arlington); (3) Sympathy for Shaws's son (the suicide pact parents); (4) Flushing drugs, water (about the amounts of drugs found in cities' water supplies); (5) We're numb to porn (Spitzer); (6) His privacy was invaded (Spitzer again); (7) Responsible gun use (gun control); (8) Big business bailout (Fed and bank bailouts).

Sunday Letters to the Editor: (1) Invest in Education; (2) Free ethanol from subsidy; (3) Citations for certain crimes; (4) Education is costly; (5) City of Dallas new computer system.

Letters commenting on last weeks editorials by topic: Topic 1 - Going Vegan; Topic 2 - The Iraq Conundrum; Topic 3 - The Body Politic (all letters about either the Texas Caucus system or the "Dream Ticket".)

National Editorials: Spend some time talking about the candidates; In academia, some are beginningto worry about a pop-pills-or-perish future; A widespread enviro movement?; People can't be trusted to make the "right" decisions, so public and private forces are offering some subtle clues.

Hmmm, I better go back and read the entire section again - I must have missed all the comments about Obama and Wright.