May 31, 2010
Commentary from Kevin Rieders 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office
Memorial Day is a holiday, peculiarly observed. If you have not served on a detail, volunteered for honor guard, or flown a missing man formation over a military ceremony on Memorial Day, you may primarily associate this holiday with the running the Indianapolis 500, the beginning of the Critical Days of Summer, or just a glorious three-day weekend at the end of May.
The official function of Memorial Day is to honor the men and women of the United States who have died while serving our nation's military service. It is an American holiday, with obscure origins even though it is less than 150 years old, and claimed by many as their own patriotic invention. Officially proclaimed in 1868, Memorial Day became widespread by 1902, and was named a federal holiday in 1971.
Originally known as Decoration Day, the holiday began as the organized honoring of the fallen from the Civil War by decorating their graves with flowers, candles and prayer. After World War I, the separate Union and Confederate Decoration Days combined as Memorial Day and recognized those who have died in military service during any war.
During the years, traditional observances of Memorial Day diminished. Many Americans forgot the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day, and at many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are untended. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. Some people think the day is for honoring all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country. Memorial Day used to be a solemn day of mourning. With the memory of the lost still fresh, it was a sacred day of remembrance to honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. Businesses closed for the day, and towns held parades honoring the fallen, often ending at a local cemeteries. People took the day to clean and decorate graves of those who fell in service to their country with flowers and flags the graves. As the decades passed those observances faded.
"There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 1950s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 Soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry (Regiment) place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of Soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights," according to www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html.
Within a few hours' drive from Spangdahlem Air Base, there are 55,586 reasons to observe this Memorial Day. They are the graves of our military dead, including at least 14 recipients of the Medal of Honor. Many of the graves are marked with "Here rests in honored glory an American Soldier known but to God." Each of the seven nearest American military cemeteries also records the missing. They are American Battle Monuments Cemeteries and Memorials. The graves are well cared for by the U.S. government. Many of the cemeteries in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg have local nationals who have adopted American graves as individuals, groups and families. It is common for them to honor our dead on our Memorial Day by decorating the graves as an expression of appreciation for their freedom and the sacrifices made by Americans on their behalf.
In 1923, Congress established the American Battle Monuments Commission. This was done largely to "commemorate the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces where they have served overseas since 1917." link
There are seven ABMC cemeteries located in Eastern France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg relatively close to Spangdahlem AB by car. They are the Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium, the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium, the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in Eastern France, the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial in Luxembourg, the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery in France, the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in the Netherlands and the St. Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial in France. There are an additional 13 ABMC cemeteries in Belgium, France and Italy.
So, this Memorial Day you might consider to decorate a grave and take a moment of silence to reflect on the sacrifices made by our fellow Americans.
I wish you a safe and thoughtful Memorial Day.
May 30, 2010
The Philadelphia Phillies' Roy Halladay threw the 20th perfect game in major league history in a 1-0 win over the .
It was the second perfect game in the majors this month. achieved the feat for Oakland against Tampa Bay on May 9. It is the first time in the modern era in which two perfect games were thrown in the same season.
May 29, 2010
May 28, 2010
The White House Used Bill Clinton to Ask Sestak to Drop Out of His Race
President Obama's chief of staff used as an intermediary to see if would drop out of a Senate primary if given a prominent, but unpaid, advisory position, people briefed on the matter said Friday.
Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, asked Mr. Clinton to explore the possibilities last summer, according to the briefed individuals, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the politically charged situation. Mr. Sestak said no and went on to win last week's Pennsylvania Democratic primary against Senator Arlen Specter.
In my search to verify the pulled-out-of-someone's-ass-statistics, I came across the following article at Snopes.com. Unfortunately for the gag writer, it seems that it's false.
But, as promised - I post everything I get. Thanks for the mail, C.K.!
Shlitz, Old Milwaukee, Strohs, and PBR are part of the deal.
Metropoulos, known for buying food brands such as Vlasic Pickles and Bumble Bee Tuna, will secure the deal, which is in its final stages.
Pabst has been ordered by the Internal Revenue Service to sell itself under a federal law that bars charities from owning for-profit businesses for more than five years.
Pabst is owned, at the moment, by the Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation, named for Paul Kalmanovitz, a brewing magnate who died in 1987, two years after buying Pabst. A 2005 deadline passed, so the IRS granted a five-year extension that expires this year. Strange that a charity would own a hipster beer company. I don't remember the girl scouts selling PBR at the grocery store... Maybe it really is a charity since they're only selling it for a couple bucks at the bar.
The deal would give Metropoulos a beer marketing company that owns more than 25 brands, such as Old Milwaukee, Stroh's and Old Style. Pabst doesn't operate any breweries, and contracts production of its beer to Chicago-based MillerCoors LLC, formed two years ago by merging Miller Brewing Co. and Coors Brewing Co. The agreement with MillerCoors expires in 2014, according to a regulatory filing.
Pabst sells about 6 million barrels of beer annually, said Harry Schumacher, publisher of Beer Business Daily, an Internet-based trade publication which first reported the pending sale to Metropoulos. He said the sale will not affect the brewing contract, which has generated work at MillerCoors' Milwaukee brewery. Ironically, they only use one barrel of hops or barley to make the beer flavored water they call Pabst.
"Where else are they going to brew it?" Schumacher said. "It's not like a craft brewer can handle it." Or want it, he forgot to add.
Schumacher also said Metropoulos would likely have Pabst continue to operate with most of its current staff, which amounts to around 30 employees. Pabst in recent years has revived some of its brands, including Pabst Blue Ribbon and Schlitz.
U.S. sales of Pabst Blue Ribbon jumped 33% to $173 million in the 52 weeks ended April 18, making it the 20th-largest beer brand in the country, according to SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm. Pabst Brewing has less than 2% of the U.S. market. That's a lot of doggammed hipsters.
Pabst was a Milwaukee mainstay for more than a century when it was acquired in 1985 by Kalmanovitz. He bought other declining breweries, including Pearl and Falstaff, which were losing market share to Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing.
Pabst closed its Milwaukee brewery in 1996 and shuttered its last remaining brewery in 2001 after hiring Miller to brew its brands. Pabst in 2006 moved its offices from San Antonio, Texas, to suburban Chicago.
The former Pabst brewery in Milwaukee is being redeveloped into apartments, offices and other new uses.
Bloomberg News and Tom Daykin of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.
May 27, 2010
Warner Bros. has been sued by a German technology firm which claims the movie and television production company pirated its anti-piracy technology.
German firm Medien Patent Verwaltung claims that in 2003, it revealed a new kind of anti-piracy technology to Warner Bros. that marks films with specific codes so pirated copies can be traced back to their theaters of origin. But like a great, hilariously-ironic DRM Ouroborus, the company claims that Warner began using the system throughout Europe in 2004 but hasn't actually paid a dime for it.
"We disclosed our anti-piracy technology to Warner Bros. in 2003 at their request, under strict confidentiality, expecting to be treated fairly," the company said in a statement. "Instead, they started using our technology extensively without our permission and without any accounting to us."
Medien Patent Verwaltung originally claimed that Warner was infringing on patent 7,187,633, called "Motion Picture and Anti-Piracy Coding," but as The Hollywood Reporter discovered, the patent going by that particular name actually bears a different number and is held by none other than Warner Bros. MPV's attorney in New York acknowledged the error and said that the suit will be refiled with the proper information.
Warner Bros. for (allegedly) using pirated anti-piracy technology you're our:
BLASPHEMES HYPOCRITE OF THE WEEK!
May 26, 2010
You called me 9 times today. Pretty much, in a row. This is after multiple calls from you all week. Now today, of the nine calls, on two voicemails you left an incoherent message. No, not in a foreign language - I'm usually quite astute to understand the dialect of a particular country. My Korean and Vietnamese's isn't great, but I can usually tell you that a person is speaking. I can tell the differences in the flowing rhythm of Arabic or French over the guttural Dutch or German. No, whatever you're mumbling doesn't make a lick of sense. Pretty sure it wasn't any language that I've ever heard before.
And I have issue with the 9 calls in a row to listen to my voicemail message. Is it really that good? Are you learning the English language through my voicemail message? As flattered as I am, there are better and more effective, and much cheaper ways to learn English than calling my voicemail. I would try Rosetta Stone or Sesame Street over my voicemail.
See, ever since you started calling my number at 3AM, and since I couldn't figure out how to block your number, I decided it would be easier just to add you as a contact. Then, I named your contact as 'WRONG', so I wouldn't be tricked into thinking you were a friend, a relative, an old college roommate, the IRS, or a collection agency tracking me down for the damage that I caused. No I would talk to those people. You're going on the big board of contacts as 'WRONG'. Then, with my new-fangled phone, I found the setting where I checkmarked the option for you to go straight to voicemail.
There are still a few things I can't work out, though.
Seven of the nine times, today, you stayed through the entire message, so that a little bit of breathing could be picked up from your reciever into the voicemail and it registered it as a 'message' -- which then identified you as a caller who has left me a message. In two of the messages, as I mentioned, there was a bit of a garbled message, and the second one was a bit truncated. Couldn't make any of it out. Not sure I wanted to. This was kind of excruciating to have to delete seven voicemail messages from you. I'm sure these were all costing my minutes, real and phone minutes.
Another thing I can't work out is why, after nine attempts today, and forty nine attempts the last couple days, maybe even weeks, you either haven't realized that I'm not the party you're looking for, or perhaps you're incapable of dialing a telephone? It's not hard. And frankly, if you can't perform this simplest of tasks, I fear what other modern conveniences you're currently trying to master. It boggles the mind what kind of damage you could do to my fellow human beings. I have this terrible feeling that you're currently behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, and that vehicle transports other people. Perhaps it is yellow? Some checkers on it? I fear the worst.
My friend, you can't dial a phone. You can't reason. You can't speak English, or any other language known to humanity. You haven't deduced that I don't want to talk to you, or return your messages. Not during business hours, or at 3 AM. Or 3:02, 3:05, 3:15, 4:10, 5:13...
Please, pretty please. Enough.
Or I might have to talk to you.
May 25, 2010
Posted: 6:12 pm EDT July 10, 2007BERVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County doctor who was arrested for groping a woman while dressed as Captain America with a burrito in his pants will not go to jail.
SLIDESHOWS: Arrested | Booked
RAW VIDEO: Capt. America Booked At Police Dept.
Instead, Doctor Raymond Adamcik will take part in a diversion program for first time offenders, which includes community service, fines and random alcohol and drug testing. The charges will not show up on his criminal record. Adamcik was arrested in April during a bar crawl for medical professionals.
Two people were shot at about 9:38 p.m. in the 3600 block of West Schubert Avenue in the Logan Square neighborhood, police said.
A 20-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man were stopped in traffic there when a male assailant approached their vehicle and shot them. The woman suffered a gunshot wound to her leg and was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital. She is now listed in "stable" condition. The male victim was treated on the scene for a graze wound to his leg.
Less than an hour later, two teen boys were shot in the 5200 block of South Mozart Street in the Gage Park neighborhood. The youths were sitting on a porch when a male suspect jumped out of a vehicle and opened fire, police said.
One victim, 15, was shot in the arm, and the other victim, 17, was shot in his hand and leg. Both teens were taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital and listed in fair condition, police said.
At 11:10 p.m., a 19-year-old man was shot on the 100 block of West Fullerton Drive in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on the North Side. He was taken in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
A 33-year-old man was found shot at about 3:29 a.m. in the 1400 block of North Karlov Avenue in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood, police said. He was walking on the street when he heard gunfire and then was shot in the leg. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, police said.
Earlier Monday afternoon, a 16-year-old boy was shot in the 3400 block of West 53rd Place, police said. The youth was walking down the street when three male suspects in a vehicle approached him. The suspects got out of the vehicle and began arguing with the teen, then beat him. One of the suspects pulled out a handgun and shot the teen in his thigh, police said.
The boy was taken to Mt. Sinai in serious condition and as of 6:30 a.m., police report his condition has not changed.
As of 6:50 a.m., no one was in custody for any of the shootings. Wentworth Area, Belmont Area and Grand Area detectives are investigating.
Thanks for the cutn'paste, Chicago Tribune.
Now, how's that gun ban working out Mr. Mayor? Perhaps you should take your rifle and stick it up the shooter's asses?
May 24, 2010
Ahem. Let me begin.
Science fiction television writers, I understand that using religion in your work is compelling and new, and can even bring in new audiences. Perhaps you'll get a few thousand of the folks who bought the 'Left Behind' series of books about the Rapture? What a nice demographic.
Perhaps, as storytellers, you find the religious aspect of your shows -- and I'm not speaking specifically to characters with strong faith, but instead on your entire narrative arch of the plot ending in a religious tone or in the case of Lost, and the Battlestar Galactica, the religious crescendo. Maybe you're reacting to the world where ancient mysticism and regular church going isn't compatible with iPads and frozen chicken dinners? The mysterious world of witches and magic are bottled and packaged as Disney characters for toddlers, and we're out of touch with our ancient mythology. You see an opportunity to tap into these simple stories, and have found compelling ways to repackage them and sell advertising.
I mean, look how well it worked for Star Wars, Twin Peaks and X-Files? Star Wars is nothing more than a princess, a pirate, a wizard and a farm boy going up against the evil man in black, right? Good and evil. Man With A Thousand Faces! Too bad Joseph Campbell wasn't around to help Lucas write a compelling first three prequels, right?
Twin Peaks had the black and white lodges - pretty basic stuff there too, really. And X-files had the mysterious mythology that they would drag out and kick around in-between monster-of-the-week episodes, that dealt with urban legends and ancient mysticism... and UFO's are grouped in there too for good measure.
So Lost and Battlestar come after these highlights in science fiction, and exploit the mysticism storyline as well. It was just a bit TOO much and TOO blatant for yours truly.
Let me make one request. You keep religion out of my sci-fi, and I'll keep my science out of religion? Deal?
I won't ask how the velocity of David's sling could have possibly taken down Goliath - as there's no way it could have caused enough head trauma. I won't ask how Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt - was that figurative or literal? And what was the street value of that pillar of salt in antiquity? How about Jesus turning water into wine - was that an Ocean's 11, or Jesus's 13 kind of caper involving a hilarious Vaudevillian double switch? I'll just let those things slide as long as we never see a religious ending to shows with time-travel or space ships.
Not that I hated the ending last night - as they would have had to have plotted it out in advance. Battlestar, though, really was pulled out and thrown on the wall to see if it would stick. The first couple seasons were awesome, and the Jewish robots going after the heathen Zodiac worshiping people was great. There were analogies to the Iraq war, 9/11, religion - great stuff and mirroring our world and telling a morality tale = which I'll be the first to say is what makes great science fiction. But they should be left ambiguously, not literal.
But, that said, the best shows to tackle morality tales were the Twilight Zone and the original Star Trek. Automan, Manimal, and Man from Atlantis? Not so much.
And while answering questions, and finishing hanging story nuggets - the ending quietly ties up those threads by saying, did that one little red herring really have anything to do with how it ended, no - now quit obsessing, Nerd Fan. Okay, well, I don't have a choice -- but were you, as writers, being lazy or were you tossing around red herrings in case your ending didn't work? I don't care that you didn't explain what the Island was or what the glowing thing was, but then you kind of did... but my point was to KEEP it vague and not tell us the Force is midichlorians.
And you did do that, but not with the characters.
How would I have ended it? Glad you didn't ask -- but I'll tell you anyway. The alternate pocket universe gives the characters a choice. Go to the island and help Jacob -- or stay here in this world. The two shall converge and those of you who are dead, keep on keepin' on. Remember your choices and lives on the island, and live good lives. The show rebooted six times. There's no reason why these people couldn't have just rebooted again too. Those of you who want to stay and help out, that's your choice (the choice the man-in-black and Jacob never were given) and that's cool too.
Then it really is about fate vs choice -- which was a major theme throughout the show.
So Lost disappointed me. There was a very heavy religious 'Defending Your Life' ending to the entire program. How much was real? The island was, but the pocket alternate universe, not as much. Does it matter? Is it worth watching? Probably. Will I have fond memories of the show. Kind of, but I'm still going to always think that the ending was a cop-out.
May 23, 2010
May 22, 2010
It's not news, it's CNN.
As tired as I am news sites putting useless crap on their front page, I also am aware that they are aware of EXACTLY what people are clicking on, and tailor it to match to sell advertising.
We are the problem, not them.
Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York announced that he was running for governor in a video on his Web site. The announcement is available at andrewcuomo.com.
Oh, hey, it looks like it's time for Blasphemes' Vocabulary Booster Shot for Saturday Morning! Today's word is Oligarchy.
An oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία, oligarkhía) is a form of government in which power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, military might, or religious hegemony. The word oligarchy is from the Greek words "ὀλίγος" (olígos), "a few" and the verb "ἄρχω" , "to rule, to govern, to command".
Such states are often controlled by politically powerful families whose children are heavily conditioned and mentored to be heirs of the power of the oligarchy.
Oligarchies have been tyrannical throughout history, being completely reliant on public servitude to exist. Although Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich, for which the exact term is plutocracy, oligarchy is not always a rule by wealth, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group. Some city-states from ancient Greece were oligarchies. The combination of the words plutocracy and oligarchy make the word plutarchy.
WASHINGTON — The House Armed Services Committee has dealt a blow to President Obama’s hopes to shutter the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, by unanimously approving legislation that would prohibit creating a detention center inside the United States.
The administration had asked Congress to approve about $350 million to buy and renovate a nearly empty prison in Thomson, Ill. The White House plan was to empty Guantánamo and transfer its detainees to Illinois — including 48 who would be held without trial as wartime prisoners. Read more
When Mr. Obama announced a year ago that that his first executive order was to close Guantanamo prison, I mentioned that I was very skeptical that such an order will be carried out. A year and a half later, with little fanfare, President Obama's fellow Democrats in Congress have killed this executive order.
But it doesn't matter since, due to a major court ruling -
Court Rules that No Habeas Rights For Prisoners In Afghanistan (LA TIMES)
Obama wins what Bush tried so hard to get... the right to hold suspects without judicial oversight at the Bagram air base.
The Obama administration has won the legal right to hold its terrorism suspects indefinitely and without oversight by judges — not at Guantanamo or in Illinois, mind you, but rather at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan.
In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. appeals court in Washington ruled for the administration Friday and said the Constitution and its right to habeas corpus does not extend to foreign prisoners held by the U.S. military in Afghanistan because it is a war zone. The judges dismissed claims from three prisoners who were taken to Bagram from Pakistan and Thailand and have been held for as long as seven years. Read more
Another milestone looming is the complete and total U.S. drawdown from Iraq is coming in August. Wonder if we'll hit that marker, or if they'll somehow find a reason to stick around?
May 21, 2010
This candidate, Mark Critz, is a Democrat. Heh, wut?
But that's the good news for the Democrats. Their favorite to win the Chris Dodd's ass grooved Senate seat in Connecticut -- the state's attorney general, Richard Blumenthal -- chose to hold a news conference at a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall to discuss why he had falsely said he fought in a foreign war. The DNC may try to find a less damaged candidate for Connecticut, but I might suggest they visit Illinois to save some important vetting time. (Get it? Vet? Richard said he was in 'Nam... never mind)
The exposure of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal as a hoaxster boasting of a nonexistent record of service in the Vietnam War is an example of what is known as the Taranto Principle.
Wall Street Journal editorialist James Taranto formulated the principle, which postulates that when the press gives a politician a pass or fails to hold the politician accountable for his misbehavior, (perhaps if they agree with the letter next to his/her name?) it encourages the politician to ascend to a higher level of misbehavior.
Perhaps they'll teach that in journalism school someday -- that is, if the profession makes it past the opening salvo of the iPad and cut'n'paste blogs such as yours truly.
At a news conference to discuss Chicago's gun ban and the Supreme Court's pending ruling on the issue, a reporter from the Chicago Reader asked him if the ban was effective.
"Since guns are readily available in Chicago even with a ban in place, do you really think it’s been effective?" asked Mick Dumke.
“Oh!” Daley said. “It’s been very effective!”Dumke said the room became "very, very quiet" before reporters realized he was joking.
He grabbed a rifle, held it up, and looked right at me. He was chuckling but there was no smile.
“If I put this up your—ha!—your butt—ha ha!—you’ll find out how effective this is!”
“If I put a round up your—ha ha!”
Daley's press flak said the mayor didn't regret the remarks but said by offering to place the gun in the reporter's rear end "could admittedly be considered a less-than-ideal example."Unbalanced? Clouted his way through grade school? Shouldn't have risen past State Senator? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a mayor shoving a firearm up your ass and pulling the trigger until it goes click.
May 20, 2010
"As news of the rebellion against the attacks to our liberties are heard, brave people join the campaign to stave of [sic] those who would annihilate that which we believe in, freedom."
Some people claim the campaign is an insulting, hateful, even racist attack on Islam and its adherents. I think killing cartoonists and animators is insulting, hateful and stupid.
What do you think? Is a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad a legitimate expression of free speech? How about blowing up women and children on a street corner? Is there a better way to defend free speech, without insulting 1.5 billion Muslims around the world? Why can't 1.5 billion people take a joke without getting all stabby?
Meantime, here's my entry into the game!
Wait, let me explain it... there's a lot going on here... it's a pig's head, in pig blood - with a beard and an Islamic prayer hat, and he's smiling, so there's ... ah, you know, I think I'll let it speak for itself.
May 19, 2010
Our reader, Jerry, sent this in.
His e-mail, mostly in all caps, is as follows:
"MAXINE WATERS (D-Calif) AND THE PRESIDENT OF SHELL OIL COMPANY.
OOOOOOOOooooooops - she let it slip !! This clip is showing Congresswoman Maxine Waters discussing drilling for new oil reserves. She explains, in a slip of the tongue, what this whole thing is all about. Whoops! She let it all slip out! . . . NOW . . . What can you say? (notice the reaction of the people around her)
This clip is about as blatant as a Liberal can get. What she said was The Truth, accidentally, and notice that when she realized what she revealed to the public and the news media, it stopped her dead in her own tracks for a l-o-n-g moment. BUT it was too late. Just hope the country wakes up in the 2010 elections!!!"
Slip of the tongue, or exposure to the grand Ayn Rand conspiracy being hatched by Congress?
May 18, 2010
Rand Paul, one of the early leaders of the Tea Party movement, won the Republican nomination for Senate in Kentucky on Tuesday night, delivering a powerful blow to the party's establishment and offering the clearest evidence yet of the strength of the anti-government sentiment simmering at the grass-roots level.
Mr. Paul, the son of Representative Ron Paul of Texas, easily defeated Trey Grayson, the secretary of state from Kentucky. Voters turned against Mr. Grayson even though he had the support of the state's best-known political leader - Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader.
Take note, Washington.
And I'm happy to see the evil racist violent teabag movement found their voice at the ballot box. It's also pleasant to see the G.O.P. got their man handed back to him in that ballot box.
The grassroots raised money for Rand in small donations.
Trey Grayson had fundraisers thrown for him by the establishment. 21 Senators at one fundraiser, AIG lobbyists throwing another, endorsements from McConnell, Dick Cheney, Giuliani. And with all that weight and cash -- their horse got it's head chopped off.
Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who bolted the Republican Party 11 months ago in a bid to salvage his Senate career as a Democrat, was defeated in a primary for his new
party's nomination on Tuesday, as Democratic primary voters turned against him and selected Representative Joe Sestak for the nomination.
Mr. Specter, 80, lost his bid for a sixth term despite the backing of a wide swath of the Democratic political establishment -- starting with President Obama in the White House and continuing with Ed Rendell, the governor of Pennsylvania.
Let's review -- bolted the Republicans and is 80 years old. If you can't stick with your convictions when you're 80, it's time to give up your Senator card.
May 17, 2010
You folks be the judge. (Hat tip to Taegan Goddard at Political Wire for this).
Dale Peterson: Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture
According to Crave Online, Leigh Brackett's 1978 script, known as "Star Wars Sequel," laid to groundwork for the prequels. Brackett died of a cancer a month after finishing the script, leaving George Lucas - and then Lawrence Kasdan - the task of rewriting. What differed in Bracket's first draft?
- Coruscant, the Imperial homeworld, appears and is known as Ton Muund.
- Lando Calrissian is a clone, and his family was displaced by the Clone Wars. Lando's clone lineage began with his great-grandfather.
- Bespin is the homeworld to a wispy alien race. Says Crave:
[I]n this early draft, the native inhabitants of what we know of as Bespin, the Cloud People, seem to resemble the Kaminoans in Attack of the Clones. They're tall, "white-skinned and white-haired" and ride on flying manta-rays. (This may be coincidental, but they also use darts as weapons, and the Kaminoans were linked to the toxic dart in AOTC.) The notion of flying steeds is absent in ensuing "Empire" scripts (along with the Cloud People) but will be entertained for the next two films before finally getting implemented in "Clones."
- Chewbacca goes toe-to-toe with a Wampa! Why in the name of the Force would you cut this? Also, the Wampas are irked that the Rebels are on Hoth and invade their base. Also shows that the Rebels aren't as awesome as we were led to believe.
- Darth Vader may not be Luke's father, and Luke's twin sister Nellith is hidden somewhere across the galaxy.
These radical changes echo George Lucas' lighthearted letter to the creators of Lost at a dinner for the spooky island drama last Thursday:
"Don't tell anyone ... but when 'Star Wars' first came out, I didn't know where it was going either. The trick is to pretend you've planned the whole thing out in advance. Throw in some father issues and references to other stories — let's call them homages — and you've got a series."
This certainly helps explain why Star Wars is perhaps the most famous incest fable this side of Oedipus Rex and Genesis 19:30-38, when Lot dirty danced with his daughters.
[thanks Crave Online]
"Crimes are crimes, no matter who does them," the statement reads over pictures of Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush due to appear in the New York Review of Books... which is the most important book of our time.
The statement, published as a paid advertisement, accuses Obama, who was elected by these same people, of continuing Bush's controversial approach to human rights in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in domestic security. Meet the new boss same as the old boss stuff must finally be sinking in with these folks?
The Review of Books Statement takes aim especially at Obama's decision to authorize the killing of a radical Islamic cleric and US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who is accused of ties to Al-Qaeda in Yemen.
"In some respects this is worse than Bush," the statement says. "First, because Obama has claimed the right to assassinate American citizens whom he suspects of 'terrorism,' merely on the grounds of his own suspicion or that of the CIA, something Bush never claimed publicly." Just to be clear, these important people now believe Obama is WORSE than Bush? Yeah, I had to rub my eyes a couple times on that one too.
Among the signatories are cunning linguist Noam Chomsky, "L.A. Confidential" actor James Cromwell, actor Mark Ruffalo and prominent Bush-era anti-war protest icon and professional whiner Cindy Sheehan. At last count, were 1,804 signatures.
They also lambast Obama for having refused "to prosecute any members of the Bush regime who are responsible for war crimes, including some who admitted to waterboarding and other forms of torture, thereby making their actions acceptable for him." Well, if he did that, he'd have to prosecute the entire Congress too... which Obama was a member of. That'd be just silly!
To be fair, Norm Chomsky thought Jimmy Carter was a war criminal. Now while I agree that putting a hit on American citizens creates a slippery slope... a dangerous slippery slope (And more than just bi-polar since we're reading Miranda Rights to non-citizens with shoe bombs on airplanes, while we're sending Terminator drones to kill actual citizens in Yemen?).
But to just blindly follow Chomsky, Sheehan, and the 'Important Actors' based on their allegations that the procecution of the War on Terror and the hit on (potential traitor) Anwar al-Awlaki was a groundless and violent action for the sake of violence. We are not meant to question their logic, statement, or motives at all. These same people who would have us believe that the White House and the CIA are not worth our faith are asking us to place our faith in them?
And when they simply speculate and accuse with no foundation or proof then that is a tough sell.
May 16, 2010
Then there's the fun of European Socialism and the EU experiment. They can't go back now... but then, neither can the US. I think we're seeing the casual management of societal collapse.
And the oil spill is only a mere drop in the bucket, (BP even said so -- and, well, talk about no press release is better than that release) but never has such a disaster so clearly put a face on society's collapse. Well, at least not since Katrina.
I do wonder why people are so upset over this... and it finally hit me. It's certainly not the 11 dead oil riggers, or the grief and mourning their families are going through. That would be downright humanitarian of them. They're discussing the use of oil so casually in American society. The price hasn't been driven up, too dramatically, anyway. And then I got it! They're pissed that the price of their shrimp cocktails are skyrocketing... especially on the East Coast! If you have a better idea, please toss me an e-mail.
Meanwhile, Cap and Trade got moving in the Senate this week... This ought to be entertaining.
And while that tempest brewed, there's still a lot of fun in the SCOTUS discussion.
Pat Buchanan (and seriously, why would anyone ever give him a microphone at this point) complained that there are 6 Catholics and 3 Jews on the SCOTUS. His complaint is that this demographic doesn't correctly represent America. Hey Pat? Can they read? Can they judge what infringes on the Constitution or not? I don't care one lick what magic ghost in the sky they subscribe to as long as they are competent to understand the law. Which is what the debate is supposed to be about, right?
There are a lot of New Yorkers represented too...
I swear, the poor woman plays softball and wears a pair of Birkenstocks and the whole world just assumes she drinks from a furry cup. Look at her record!
Well, so much for that... so at least let's be honest, and blame all our problems on the Baby Boomers.
Well, that's it for this week. Go Blackhawks. Go Oil Spill - you're there as a symbol to remind us that society is going away soon, 5000 (plus/minus a couple thousand) gallons a day. See you next week.