Friday, April 29, 2005

Dinner With Pursuit

Thursday night, instead of being a good patriot and watching the president's news conference, Mrs. P and I went to a wine dinner last night. The dinner was at Carlos, a restaurant nearby that is reputed to be one of Chicago's finest. I'm a bit of a holdout in that assessment, but I will admit it is very good, and our meal last night was excellent.

The featured wine was from Milat Vineyards, a small producer (3,500 cases annually) located in St. Helena, California. Mike Milat made the trip out, and was a delightful host, giving us an overview of each of the night's wine selections. Milat vines were planted in 1949, and wine making began in earnest in 1986. Overall, I was impressed with the selections. Here was our menu, with wine notes:

Mixed Seafood Terrine with an Apple and Jicama Salad
2004 Milat Chenin Blanc

The terrine was excellent. Seafood wrapped in a Salmon outer layer blended nicely with the apple and jicama salad providing texture and sweetness. A hint of saffron was present which brought the terrine in balance with the salad.

The Chenin Blanc was good, but not my favorite. With residual sugars at 2%, I thought it was a little sweet, and the nose had a hint of yeast. An average wine.

Grilled California Squab Breast, Florettes of Broccoli Rabe and Seven Spice Reduction
2002 Milat Pine Station Red Table Wine

Not traditionally a huge fan of sqab, I quite enjoyed this preparation. The seven spice reduction gave off a hint of asian taste, and the florettes of broccoli rabe packed intense flavor.

The Pine Station Red, was my favorite wine of the night. A blend of 45% Cabernet, 29% Merlot and 26% Zinfindel, it had a cherry front, with a long finish and excellent balance throughout.

Cocoa Crusted New Zealand Venison, Ramps, Fiddlehorn Ferns and smoked Cherry Demi Glace
20001 Milat Cabernet Sauvignon

mmmmmmmm smoked cherry demi glace. While the venison itself was a bit of a disappointment, I found the meat to be tender, yet somewhat flavorless, the cocoa interaction with the demi glace was an inspiration. Ramps are a springtime treat with anything and I enjoyed them here.

How many meals have the Cab as an up-front wine? Typically the answer is zero. However this cab, which had been opened for about five hours, was smooth and well balanced. Perhaps a bit too much so, as I've come to expect my California cabs to deliver a story with each mouthful. In this case, I suspect the wine was too young to drink, and the extended breathing time made it acceptable for this course, but also caused it to lose some structure. I would like to try this again right after it has been opened as I suspect it may be celerable.

Crispy Veal Sweetbread with Braised Carrot, Endive and a Black Mission Fig Reduction
2002 Milat Merlot

The sweetbreads were the best course of the night. By far. I love sweetbreads, and these were fantastic. Crispy exterior, melt in your mouth interior, with the carrots a perfect match.

The merlot was the second best wine of the night. Full bodied, with a nice long lasting mouth, this is merlot as it used to be.

Goat Cheese with Assorted Greens, Oven Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts
2002 Milat Zinfandel

The goat cheese finish was excellent and the zin, with its berry forward taste was a perfect match.

Chocolate Creme Brulee with Fresh Berries

A wonderful finish.

We ended buying a case of the Pine Station, which was hard to pass up at $16/bottle. Overall I'd recommend those that like the big California style give Milat a try, as it is quite good, and reasonably priced between $15 and $35.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

An Act of War?

Funny, I thought when an official of a foreign government encouraged it's citizens to kill the members of another country's armed forces it was considered an act of war. Under this premise, would we be wrong to send in our special forces to kill this guy? Better yet, perhaps we should invade and take over the oil fields.

What is the proper response here? I'm pretty sure holding hands with his boss isn't it. Posted by Hello

Annette Lives

Is this a hoot or what? Pursuit Daughter #2 (PD2) was looking for something to read last night, so she went down to the basement to dig through Mrs. Pursuit's old books. This has proven to be a treasure trove for her, as she has enjoyed the Nancy Drew series that Mrs. Pursuit read in the late sixties. Obviously a tie-in the beach movies with Franky, Annette and Babs (!) go on a mystery adventure to "Smugglers Cove". I can't wait to read PD2's book report on this one. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Look! We Made Something Really, Really Big!

With the enthusiasm and gusto typically reserved for the accomplishments of third word economies, 30,000 French people, who had little else to do on Wednesday, celebrated the fact that they built a really big plane, and it actually took flight. French President, Jacque Chirac, keenly aware of recent set backs in France's more traditional industries of wine and bread, oozed with glee at the party:

"A new page in aviation history has been written," French President Jacques Chirac said in Paris. "It is a magnificent result of European industrial cooperation."

Roughly translated Chirac's statement seems to mean, "in a few years nobody will want this gas sucking monstrosity, but for now our state run company can get the peasants to celebrate another largely meaningless accomplishment. That and we got the rest of Europe to unwittingly finance this glorious French employment program!

Underscoring, the dubious wisdom in building really, really big things was the generally held belief that the industry might be moving to more economically sized planes to maintain maximum fleet flexibility. Like a drunken Philippe armed with fireworks on Bastille day, this soiree was largely a celebration of Airbus shooting itself in the foot:

"But some analysts say signs of a boom in demand for smaller, long-range jets like Boeing's 787 "Dreamliner" show that Airbus was wrong to focus resources on a superjumbo jet at the expense of its own mid-size A350 - which is due to enter service in 2010, two years after its Boeing rival."

None-the-less, it is rare these days for Europe to have it's moment in the sun, and like the Democrats in the U.S., they enjoy celebrating these victories, regardless of how hollow history will prove them to be. Even then the party was not without it's tense moments as the brave crew, unwilling to trust the assurances of European engineers and a state employed workforce, took extra safety precautions on this, the plane's maiden flight:

"Part of the delay is down to the superjumbo's struggle with a weight problem that consumed months of engineering time......The crew took no chances - donning parachutes for the first flight. A handrail inside the plane led from the cockpit to an escape door in case the pilots lost control."

Bon Voyage!

UPDATE: The American Thinker weighs in with some related thoughts.

Posted by Hello

An Interesting Bolton Endorsement

As I said in the comments section, I am increasingly convinced the crusade against John Bolton may have peaked too early. Republicans, no thanks to the incompetent Senator Frist, have banded together and finally put the case for Bolton forward into the public eye. Ridiculous charges of Bolton's "meanness" pale in comparison to his talents and the scale of the reform effort required if the U.N. is ever to reestablish it's credibility.

Now more evidence that those celebrating the character assassination of John Bolton might have popped their champagne corks a bit early. This morning's Boston Globe, an unlikely source to say the least, endorses Bolton for ambassador. In their endorsement the Globe's editors point to one anecdote that illustrates how Bolton's penchant for hard headed principle can make a difference in the amoral world of the U.N.

In May 1991, while serving as assistant secretary of state for international organizations (which included the UN), Bolton was privately briefed by analysts on whether the United States had enough votes to reverse the UN's Resolution 3379, which equated Zionism with racism. He believed to his core that this resolution was an insult to the intelligence of the civilized world, and in that belief he was supported by the secretary of state himself, James Baker............ ............By late fall, the entire State Department had come together, and success, literally unthinkable only a few months earlier, had become a probability. By the time the tally was finally taken, on Dec. 16, 1991, the UN's General Assembly repealed Resolution 3379 by a vote of 111-25 (with 13 abstentions and 17 delegations absent or not voting). American leadership was restored to the General Assembly, and this stain on the prestige of the UN had been removed. But more important, a terrible wrong had been righted, and a critically important and historic principle had been vindicated.

In a body where the U.N. Human Rights Commission is chaired and populated with some of the worst offenders of human rights in the world, a principled ambassador is critical to reform. Make no mistake, the nomination continues to maintain a precarious hold on life support, but we may be in the early days of recovery. Lets hope the Republicans get their act together fast enough to recover.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

This Is Bolton's Accuser?

Hey, I have nothing against "enriching my spirit with haiku meditations, and if you want to create "many different realities" for yourself thats fine by me too. I won't comment on the recovered memories of abuse, as I have no idea what that must be like.

Really, though if you're a former appointee of Jimmy Carter (guess that explains the objection to strongly held opinions), and a propireter of a loopy new age website (as opposed to a loopy conservative one, I suppose), it seems to me you might not want to publicly charge others with tales of abuse that you failed to mention 12 years ago. Especially when you had developed a reputation for complaining about virtually everything else at the time.

The Pursuit of Happiness strongly urges Senator Dick Lugar to schedule Dr. Lynne Finney for public testimony regarding her charges against John Bolton as soon as possible. Posted by Hello

Tax Cuts For The Rich

A new non-partisan study is out that shows the Rich pay a much greater share of taxes than what you would expect, give their representation in society, and that share has increased significantly over the past 20 years. You know, the same time period during which our friends the Liberals have said we were giving it away to the rich?

Monday, April 25, 2005

Come (e'hem) and Get It!!!!!

There has been far too much accusation regarding the Homo-eroticism around here lately so here is a little something and an article link to "re-orient" my blog. To H, Abby and all seem a little grumpy lately.

Via - Annika

Update: Link FixedPosted by Hello

Frist's Failure

The Bolton nomination fiasco and the Democratic filibuster of the president's judicial nominees have created great political theater during the past month. The Democrats, with very little ammunition and even less political talent, have managed to out maneuver the Republicans on both fronts by working harder and exploiting their friends in the left-leaning media.

For a party doomed to extinction, it has been an impressive effort. Plagiarizing Joe Biden, a man fueled by hubris and a fevered desire for revenge at missing the opportunity to become John Kerry's Secretary of State, is holding this county's foreign policy hostage to his own personal agenda, managing to nearly kill the Bolton nomination.

On the judicial side, the Democratic Party has made equally impressive progress. Employing a strategy not used since segregationists wanted to block LBJ's Abe Fortas appointment in 1968, the party has distorted their advice and consent role, which constitutionally only requires a 50% majority vote, to block the appointment of 10 highly qualified judges to the appellate court. All of these appointees bring with them outstanding experience, high ABA approval ratings and in many cases bi-partisan support.

All this, it seems to me, leads to one inevitable and undeniable conclusion: Bill Frist is a lazy, idiot.

There really is no other conclusion that one can draw. The electorate has handed this man a 55 seat majority in the senate, in addition, he has a few remaining moderate democrats that are inclined to support the president's nominees, and yet there has been no visible evidence of his leadership on these issues. In fact, there is plenty of evidence of his incompetence. Let's take a look at some of Mr. Frist's missteps.

  1. The "Nuclear Option": Whoever came up with this term ought to be fired, for an all too obvious imbalance of testosterone to brain function. I can see the conference meeting now, the half wit must have taken the floor, puffed up his chest and insisted that "if the Dems don't back down we'll go nuclear". Could a more obvious public relations gaff this side of Newt's congressional shut down exist? The "Nuclear Option" is nothing more than insisting that the senate stay within its constitutionally mandated bounds of advice and consent. It would be more properly named the “Constitutional Option”. By Filibustering, the Democrats have:
  • Violated constitutional principles – filibusters are for legislation not advice and consent
  • Taken the strategy last employed by racist segregationists
  • Denied the president his right to appoint members of the judiciary which the public tacitly approved when they increased his Senate majority in the last election

  1. Allowing a “Stealth Filibuster”: As Majority Leader, Frist could compel the Democrats to carry out a real filibuster as they used to be done. Under such a move, all senate business would stop until the Democrats swayed enough votes to their side to kill the nominations, or until the Republicans won enough votes to kill the filibuster. By forcing the ongoing debate, complete with phonebook speeches and cots for senators to sleep on, Frist would be following the same game plan Bill Clinton used when he shut down the federal government and won the public opinion battle against Newt Gingrich in the late 90’s. The public loathes these partisan displays of intransigence and Frist ought to be confident enough in his convictions to force the argument. I strongly believe that once the public hears of the nominees qualifications, sees the evidence that the Democrats are fighting some of the nominees based on their religious convictions, and is made aware of the ABA approval ratings, our side will win.

  1. Lazy half measures: Frist’s appearance at the “Judicial Sunday” events this past weekend reeked of laziness. As the single public appearance of our key legislative leader in the judicial fight, it was a mis-step of stunning incompetence. Throughout this now muli-year fight, Frist has time and again failed to do the heavy lifting necessary to get the job done. Legislative work is a time consuming chore, requiring dedicated work at the retail level with fellow senators and constituents to get the votes on board and keep them there sufficiently long enough to win the vote. Frist’s appearance this weekend was a tacit admission that he is simply not up to the job. His prepared remarks, written by someone else, taped at his convenience, and played at a meeting organized by others did nothing but, literally, preach to the converted. I don’t our Bill missed one beltway cocktail party in making the effort. Further, the scheduling of his one public appearance on this issue in coordination with the most controversial members of the Christian right, belied a political tone deafness unworthy of his position in our party’s leadership.

  1. Un-enforced Party Discipline: The Bolton nomination fiasco reveals another deeply disturbing peak into the failures of Bill Frist’s tenure as Majority Leader. In possession of a 10 – 8 majority of the Foreign Affairs committee, Frist and his hapless committee head, Dick Lugar, utterly failed to get a qualified nominee of the president’s to the floor of the senate for a vote. This is arguably the most damning of Frist’s failures. Democrats, too afraid to object to Bolton on ideological grounds, have stalled the nomination of Bolton on the sole basis that he is “mean”. I am not sure that I have ever witnessed a campaign against a qualified nominee that was so nakedly political and so obviously shallow that actually succeeded. Yet the Bolton nomination is in trouble due to the last minute objections of a Republican senator who failed to bother to even show up at previous committee meetings. Clearly, there is not an overwhelming sense in the Republican halls that political treachery will be met with the appropriate consequences as long as Bill Frist is leader.

Republicans now find themselves 6 months removed from a grand electoral victory with their legislative agenda at a complete stall due to laziness and stupidity. I have often times in the past been perplexed to hear Senator Frist’s name listed as a party hopeful for the presidency. The events of recent weeks make me wonder what right thinking American would vote for the man. Unable to maintain party discipline, incapable of dealing competently with a loyal opposition, one wonders just what our country’s fate would be when Mr. Frist went off to deal with those that may not wish us well.

Perhaps for Republicans and Americans this remains the one positive development to come from the whole sorry episode. Bill Frist is a lazy idiot, and now we all know it.

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Revolution Fell Short

Apparently our Chinese brothers have a self image problem. It seems that they have long believed that their penises are smaller then those of men from other parts of the world. Perhaps they got some extra copies of that Rifleman comic book.

Anyway, in an effort to deflate this theory and buck-up, so to speak, the egos of Chinamen everywhere, a group of Hong Kong based scientists set out to erect a study of the varying sizes of men's penises in countries around the world. With firm resolve, our determined scientists moved in and out of countries world wide an came up with some interesting results:

"Germans have average lengths of about 3.4 inches, Israelis 3.27 inches, Turks 3.07 inches and Filippinos 2.89 inches. Italians were the longest at 3.54 inches, and Americans averaged 3.46 inches."

Our Chinese friends were throbbing with excitement when their calculations determined that the average Chinaman is packing full 3.33 inches. Not surprisingly, American men were among the world's leaders as we came in second only to the Italians in throw weight who delivered a full 3.54 inches.

Sadly, our Chinese scholars seem to have unwittingly revealed a little more about themselves and their understanding of the sex act then they may have desired:

"The study did not measure the penises when they were erect."

Doesn't this reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of what is important? When we rate cars do we measure them on idle speed? Of course not! Clearly those crafty Chinamen are trying to cover up the real truth, which can only be that when the time comes for action, our communist wusses just don't measure up.!

No surprise really. That whole long wall thing is the world's most obvious case of over compensation ever. Which raises an idea.

Maybe we can help save GM by selling Corvettes to under endowed Chinese!

Via: Annika Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Vulva Has Never Been Sooooooooo Dull

Here is an unintentionally interesting article. A couple of Princeton's finest have taken up the job of writing the school paper's sex column. My first thought was, "really, hasn't this been done?" At this point one would think these kids would realize such a column might have been edgy say 20 years ago, but now is nothing more than yet another opportunity to repeat the same tired bromides. My favorite of these is the "no you're not weird" reassurance, which really means, "yes you are, stay away from my daughter you friggin sicko”!

Sadly these people, who are most likely from some insular east coast burg, persist in scribbling their drek confident that they have a mission to teach the rest of us unevolved folk that sex is ok. Blinded by their assumed cultural superiority, the fail to realize that the rest of us are quite comfortable with this fact, and decided that the topic was dull sometime around the point when Dr. Ruth and her fellow septuagenarians assaulted us with their views on sexuality.

Yet they persist, and today's installment from the Daily Princetonian is another example. Just try to read this article all the way to the end. Instead of developing an edgy, titillating column, our two dears have ended up producing a primer for sexual half wits. Perhaps I'm just misguided and all that studying at Princeton has left the student body alarmingly bereft of any knowledge about the structure of the vulva, but I doubt it.

In any case, is this really the proper forum for learning these facts? When I was in school, that's what we had keggers for.

Via: Malkin

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Unintentionally Sexual Comicbook Covers

How about a little chuckle? Click on over to this site. My personal favorite; The Rifleman.

Isn't This Like Buying Tickets To Watch GM Design a Car?

Draft day party? Please tell me that there is not more than 10 wretched souls willing to go to this thing.

Der Pope Miester

As a non-Catholic I hardly feel qualified to comment on the selection of a new Pope. Unless you were comatose yesterday, you no doubt heard that Cardinal Ratzinger was selected to become Pope Benedict XVI. I was fully prepared to let others run with this ball as I find the whole process interesting, but not something that seemed as relevant to my life as it is to other's.

Then the left responded, and the relevance became clear; have these vulgar fools no shame? In the past twenty four hours the world has been treated to a display of hate, so palpable and shrill that it's outrage is exceeded only by it's predictability. This is what the left has been reduced to in our world. A ratty collection of moral relativists and libertines utterly bereft of any intellectual thought.

I am not unaware that some readers will find this an outrageous statement, but I make it unapologetically. Look at your movement. The selection of this new Pope, a man of great intellect and accomplishment who had to live in and fight against evil during his lifetime, has been greeted by the leftists in the most outrageous and hateful way.

"God's Rottweiller", "God's Enforcer", "Leader of The Division That Brought Us The Crusades" are just a few of the crude monikers with which the left has greeted God's servant. This from the people that claim to be against hate speech. To bad for the Pope he that he isn't an African pagan, because then he would qualify for all the protections of the benevolent left.

More instructive are the underlying complaints the left has used to justify their hate. He is "intolerant" of homosexuality, viewing it to be a sin. He doesn't believe in condom use, is against abortion and sacraments for those that promote it. All this, the left claims, will return us to the dark ages.

We could examine each of these objections individually, and it might be wise to do so if they had any real credibility when it came to discussing faith and the meaning of life. Sadly, it is pointless to do so because a church cannot and should not bend to the whims of an inherently imperfect people. The church's role is not to follow popular opinion so that the masses are comforted by their faith, but instead it is to set moral principles and absolutes by which it's followers are expected to conduct their lives, and in doing so find truth, fulfillment, and ultimately comfort. This is why forgiveness is such an important tenant of Christianity. Moral absolutes exist, we are to follow them, and when we fail, salvation remains available to those of us who repent.

Somehow in our modern times we have decided that the role of faith is one that is akin to the nursery school nanny. We recognize that we are fallible and know that as imperfect beings we will fall short in our quest for a moral life. Instead of correcting us when we proceed down a wayward path, we have decided that the church should allow us to continue on our wayward direction and pat us on the head when we error, saying "it's alright nobody is perfect".

An excellent example of this phenomenon has to do with the condom issue. The left reliably blames the aids epidemic in Africa on the church's refusal to support condom usage. This is shallow and idiotic. Aids is out of control in Africa not because of a lack of condoms, but rather because of a lack of moral guidance that has led to the wide spread practices of men preying on young girls, multiple sex partners, and infected men knowingly having sex with virgins to "cure" themselves of their affliction.

Instead of teaching these people that it is these very practices that are killing them, the left would prefer that we realize the brown skinned rabble is incapable of understanding moral guidance, and therefore should be patted on the head and given free condoms. It is this patronizing approach, founded in an underlying bigotry that the left refuses to recognize, that has led to the continued enslavement of Africans to dictatorships, disease and ignorance. It is time the left began to answer for this horror.

This is not to say that the right, the Christian right, or the church for that matter are faultless. Certainly they are. The Christian right is often correctly viewed as intolerant of non-believers, and attempting to legislate it's views on society overall. This is generally a small segment of society however, and their influence is ironically magnified by the megaphone of the left's outrage. Similarly the Catholic church which is responsible for more charity, education and relief work than virtually any other organization in the world, has had it's own well publicized scandal's over it's 2000 year history. We can all agree that these groups are guilty of imperfection. The outrage!

These are human institutions that attempt to find truth and build faith in our society, but as human institutions are fallible. Why is it that the forgiveness and understanding, indeed the left's much talked about but highly rationed tolerance are not available to these folks? The only answer is that the left's true agenda is to unhinge or society from it's moral underpinnings.

We have been told by the left that we are not to "judge" others. That each individual is responsible for his own moral code and that there are no absolutes in life. Eliminating a higher moral authority from our lives is the first step in the broader goal of substituting government as the final arbiter of control, and we know how the left loves the government. Once moral authority is gone, the left can then begin to legislate control of our lives. It is no mistake, that the first step the communists took in consolidating power was to shut down the churches. Similarly, the first step to their downfall was the election of the last pope.

This is not to say the left is evil and wishes the enslavement of all of us to their grand communist scheme. It's just that they believe they know better. Listen to them in the coming days, they truly think their morality is superior to that of the men of God. Their argument is not just with the Catholic church, it is also with Christian fundamentalists, Jews, and any other faith that demands morality from it's followers. Listen, and then ask yourself, why is the left's hatred reserved for these folks.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Slow Posting

Out at meetings this morning so it'll be a bit slow around here.

Follow the link to some ridiculous Howard Dean quotes. We're kicking the money changers out of the temple? This from a guy who's party is now financed by George Soros?

Thanks for voting Crazy Howard in guys!

Monday, April 18, 2005

What Was This?

Newsweek reports on the curious case of KLM flight 685. On April 8th, U.S. authorities denied the flight airspace access, on it's flight from Amsterdam to Mexico City. As it turns out two suspicious Saudi brothers were on the flight and triggered warnings in the Homeland security system. So all's well that ends well right?

Maybe not. The larger question for me is , why were these guys headed to Mexico City to begin with? Their story is that they were on their way to visit their father, a retired Saudi diplomat who lives in Mexico, which is certainly possible. However, with all the talk about America's porous southern border, and the fact that other Middle Easterner's have been aprehended trying to sneak across, one wonders if there isn't more to this story.

The obvious conclusion is that this could have been another 9/11 attempt. I'm not sure this makes a lot of sense. First, to attempt another 9/11 using foreign planes not even headed to the U.S. would only have the affect of inciting European anger against the Islamofascist cause. Secondly, by the time the plane reached the U.S. at least half it's fuel would have been depleted. In the original attacks, the plotters were sure that planes would have a full load of fuel at the time of impact. Finally, this was a full flight, which would have increased the possiblity that passengers would attempt to put down any hijacking on their own.

So, we're left with two possiblities. One; this was nothing more than two Saudi guys looking to escape the cold Saudi spring for the warm climes of Mexico, or two; there is an ongoing plot to smuggle bad guys into the U.S. from the south.

I don't know about you, but I sure am glad the government plans to have more control over the border by 2008.Posted by Hello

Sleep well. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Judicial Nominee Controversy

I was going to put something up on this, and then Stephen Green over at VodkaPundit, puts together an article that puts Frist in his place, exposes the implicit racial and religious bias on the left, and leaves nothing left to say.

If you read nothing else on this controversy, read this - see "Frist and Frack".

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Trial

I promise I will never – ever – post anything about the Jackson trial again. Allow me be to be clear: not in my life, or anyone else’s, promise.

I have just one question: Shouldn’t we throw every single person who has any association with the trial or Jackson himself in jail?

I have not followed this trial; the very transformation of Jackson from a talented, young kid singing upbeat Motown ditties, to a self loathing plastic surgery addict and accused child molester is so profoundly sad, that every time I see his tragically ruined face I am overwhelmed with the desire to wretch. I want nothing to do with Jackson, or his sordid family and associates, and I wish that by some miracle of justice their awful stain could be removed from society, if not history itself. Unfortunately, they and this trial are damn near impossible to avoid. This foul case spews nightly from the TV, it’s in the newspaper, on the web, and those with nothing else going on in their sorry lives feel free, if not compelled, to engage total strangers in conversations about the trial.

At this point I’d be much happier, and society would be better off, if we’d just be done with it and throw the whole lot of them deep, deep in the slammer. First there is Jackson himself. Of course he is innocent until proven guilty, but is there any real doubt that he is guilty? The man has already admitted to sleeping with children regularly, and has somehow gotten at least part of society to believe that these romps are merely the innocent frolics of man who missed his childhood. The poor dear is altruistically taking his time to ensure that others don’t suffer the same fate. Yet we now have years of multi-million dollar out of court settlements that have been paid to buy the silence of his “playmates” which provides the strong suggestion that Jackson is guilty of inappropriate actions during stays at “Neverland Ranch”.

And how about that name? Can there be any greater bright neon freaking clue that something is terribly, terribly wrong? Neverland Ranch, heh, as in Never, ever again should a freak like this be allowed to walk free.

To be sure, Jackson isn’t the only villain here, and another dead solid perfect conclusion that we all can draw is that at the very least, he himself was at one time, long, long ago a victim himself. I blame the dad.

Old Joe Jackson. Did anyone escape alive Joe? Sure, I suppose we can credit this cretin with delivering his family from the squalor of Gary, Indiana to fabulous wealth in California, but at what cost? Michael is a freak, LaToya a train wreck, and Janet a nipple exposing has been who was only momentarily rescued from obscurity by Jimmy Jam and Jerry Jeff in the early ‘90’s. Who knows what other horrors lurk in the dark vault of secrets containing this family’s history. Oh yes my friends, I say some kind of confinement is required for Joe.

The Neverland workers. What in the name of all that is decent and good is wrong with these people? Can anyone even imagine turning a blind eye after witnessing what these people now claim to have seen going on in Jackson’s house of alleged horrors? The poor dears justify their complicity in the supposed molestation with their wretched claims of intimidation and the need for a job. Does this ring familiar to anyone? We were just following orders, we had no choice. Nazis people. The Nazis said this, and now so do this scum of the earth that sat idly by and did nothing while the lives of children were allegedly being destroyed. Jail is a fate too good for this slime.

The parents – all of them. What levels craven scum will sink to in the quest for a free buck and the klieg light’s glare is completely beyond me. I don’t know when it became obvious to the rest of us that something wasn’t right, but can anyone of these people credibly say they had no clue to the alleged monstrous goings on at Neverland? I don’t think so. Rather, I believe that at some level many of these parents pimped their kids, unwittingly or otherwise, in a horrific attempt to extort Jackson. At the very least, the urge to bask in the filthy glow of Jackson’s misplaced celebrity led these parents to put their children in harm’s way. Words alone are insufficient to describe the revulsion I feel for these people. Here’s the thing: can anyone doubt that if Jackson is found innocent, a fresh supply of kiddies will be sent to Neverland for the victory celebration? Oh, if only we could burn people at the stake.

There are so many others. The authorities that turned a blind eye for so long, Jackson’s long string of attorney’s that I believe overstepped the line from vigorous defense to the complicit cover-up of one our society’s great crimes. Let’s not forget Jackson’s fellow celebrities. Surely, many of these people also knew all the details of what was going on, yet viewed these facts as mere fodder for monologues and gossip.

That’s it. I can’t go on. The whole nasty affair is far too disgusting to contemplate any further. I suppose I could be wrong and all these folks are just the innocent friends and family of a desperately misunderstood man, in which case I’ll issue a broad apology at the time this becomes apparent. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting though.

Until then, lock ‘em up. All of them.

Tax Day

I was about to rant on taxes, government waste, and idle sloth. Then I read Rachel and realized, I couldn't do any better. A sample:

I used TurboTax Premiere, which helped a great deal, but shit. I still feel like the whole return is a complete disastrous mistake even though I've reviewed it 40 times and John read every line on every page at least twice and we are both college educated, intelligent people who did in fact both pass all our math classes and in John's case, even business accounting classes, and I've done my own taxes as a self-employed person for four years now, but like I said before, shit. Shit, Shit, Shit. I am terrified and horrified and I hope the authors of those forms develop extremely itchy boils with foul-smelling discharge all over their buttocks. Because they are mean, hateful people, and we all know it as well as they do but we can't do anything about it because the IRS is practically GOD in this country and we all live in abject fear of its agents. I am sick with disgust.

See? How could I stay agree enough after reading that?

Red Sox Fans: Provincial Cowards

Did anyone see the Yankees - Red Sox game last night? In the eighth inning a Red Sox fan took a swipe at Sheffield as Sheff was fielding what turned out to be a triple. This incident confirms Boston as a city of provincial cowards. First the guy clearly took a cheap shot at Sheff, and the only reason their is any question about it is because it was a girlyman kind of swing. Secondly, not mentioned is the guy to the left of the incident, who throws his beer at Sheffield once he realizes that an altercation is underway. It's difficult to see how anyone can look at the tape and say nothing happened.

Sheffied demonstrated incredible restraint in not going after the fan, and should be commended. Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Worst Show In The History of The World

I've been holding off blogging about this because in general I'd rather not be mean to others. My folks always told me to live by the rule, "if you've got nothing good to say, then don't say it". It's a pretty good rule too, it limits angry outbursts, generally keeps you from pissing off friends, and your enemies remain blissfully unaware of your secret loathing.

So I've saved my public outbursts for the truly deserving; Saddam, Osama, Ted Kennedy, and of course those odious fools the French. Up until now its worked out pretty well. Occasionally I'll slip and mock a liberal or, when I still cared, spew venom in the direction of the Cubs. This, of course is not only impolite it's down right mean as one should pity and protect his inferiors - a social responsibility.

Now its time for a confession. For the past five weeks I have kept from you, dear reader, a secret shame, the horror of which is difficult to fully relate. I have made repeated trips to the abyss, driven by a sense of obligation that I only partially understand, and I have been so repulsed by the experience that I am left empty, fearing for my soul, and the future of our great country.

I won't pretend to know the depths that some poor depraved souls sink to, but I do think I understand the shame, the sorrow, the sense of helplessness that the weak among us experience. It started as a curiosity. I wanted to know what it would be like. I wanted to share the excitement, perhaps even revel in the reflected glamour if even for just a moment. I should have known better though. The pull was too much.

The first time was thrilling, I'll admit it. Damn, if only it stopped there, but you know this story don't you. It was there waiting for me the second time, like it knew I'd be back. Not even the least bit surprised. I think it was then that I felt it pulling at my soul. It was less than shallow - utterly empty and so powerful in it's nothingness. Every week, I'd go back and it would demand more always ending the same way: me in a fetal position on the couch screaming for it to go away, and knowing it would be back next week. That is when the self loathing would set in.

What, you ask is this addiction?

They're replacing Fabio.

Please, don't laugh it's awful enough. The whole truth is that Harlequin is holding a contest, a reality show, to see who can be the next "Mr. Romance". Normally, I wouldn't ever dabble with such a squalid event. I know these things exist, and I know some people inexplicably enjoy them. The only reason I tuned it in was because my daughter's ex-soccer coach was competing.

Hakkan. Freaking Hakkan man. Last year he coached my daughter's team, and we had him give her some private lessons as well. That's him up there back row, third from the left with the pointy hair and his thumb in his waistband - did I mention he is also a "hair model"?

Hakkan is a nice guy in a boyish sort of way, and when he mentioned that he might be on this show, well we felt an obligation to support him. What a mistake. Poor Hakkan is on this show with 11 of the most hapless mopes I have ever seen in my life. As if this wasn't bad enough, the show itself is truly about nothing. Hell, I can't figure out why these dolts at Harlequin even need a model for their book covers. Can't they just paint a picture of a good looking guy riding lions and rescuing damsels? I mean, the Brawny folks never sought out a real lumberjack, and things seem to be going just fine for them.

Back to the show. Each week, these pitiable fools - Hakkan excepted - compete in contests supposedly designed to measure their romance skills. Just as reliably, each week it is painfully obvious that none of these guys has a clue to what romance is all about. Several are "exotic dancers", others are "normal" models and the random truck driver or fisherman is thrown in to round out the cast.

We've talked about the decline of the American male here at the Pursuit before, but nothing has done so much to illustrate my point as Mr. Romance. When I was growing up, men dressed well (and generally kept their clothes on in public), respected women, and learned the fine arts of courtship, romance and ultimately seduction. All that is gone. Consigned to a different time, when people cared about the dignity of the individual.

God this show is awful. Fabio, who has turned into a bloated, wispy haired cartoon of his former self, begins each week with a description of what the boys will compete in. This is generally followed by some instruction at the "Romance Academy" and then the competition itself. Past events have been learning to "strike your five poses", where one competitor couldn't remember that he had to hit three different marks on the set for his pose. Another was picking costumes, and then appearing in front of a group of women where each contestant would tell them what romance meant to him. One guy became so lost for words, he literally cut off in mid-sentence and started acting like a lion. This was all he had. It's that sad.

Then there are the women. Generally, the boys get rated by a group of women during each competition. Where they dredge up these gals is beyond me. Most have either seen their best days years ago, or will never be sufficiently lucid to recognize their best days if they ever come. Did I mention the faux renaissance themes? Oh yes, they dress the ladies in costumes designed to evoke the romance of the middle ages. Of course, anyone who knows even the slightest bit about history is well aware that the period was fraught with disease, slavery, pestilence and if "Mr. Romance" is any guide - really tacky fashion. Draping these homely gals in wispy clothing that reveals every pock marked bump only serves to compound the pervasive sense of revulsion that one experiences watching this trainwreck. Yet each week, I'm back.

Mercifully, the contest is nearly over. This next Monday is the "Man Pageant" where the Fabio wannabees will compete in a pageant in front of 2000 women to see who lays claim to the title of Mr. Romance. Not satisfied with the regular one hour assault on taste and decorum, the fine folks at the Oxygen network have slated a two hour extravaganza. Drinking will begin early on Monday. It's my only chance.

If you want to help make this whole tragic event worthwhile for me, click on over to Oxygen and vote for Hakkan. Vote early, vote often. The way I figure it, there can only be 10 - 15 people watching this show, which means we just might be able to put our friend over the top. One word of advice though, what ever you do,


You have been warned. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

We Get Our First Hate E-mail

If you could see me now, you'd notice pride beaming from my manly rightwing face. Yup, The Pursuit of Happiness has received its first hate e-mail! Frankly, I'm a little disappointed that it took this long, and really, it was on one of my lesser efforts. None the less, I'll take what I can get. Fame and fortune are now sure to follow.

Noted linguist and brave soul, "anonymous" left an eloquent response to my post about the noted bunny victim, Jimmy Carter - check it out. Hey, just a thought, do think Jimmy actually stopped by?

Hurlers in Chief

Check it out, the photographic history of presidential first pitches. One president is missing........who is it?

hint: He might have thrown out the first pitch for Cuba's national league.

Now That We've Solved Low Test Scores........

......we can get on to frivolous protests! You may not be aware of this, but today is apparently the national day of silence to protest the bad treatment of gay kids in our schools. The deal is that kids will sign-up and commit to remaining silent in school all day, in recognition of......well I really don't know what they're recognizing, but it surely is critically important.

Coming soon, "national gluttony day" to support fat kids, and then "national tortoise shell glasses with adhesive tape day" to support nerds, then "national audio/visual helper day" and "national nobody invited me to the prom day". The possibilities are endless and no doubt will ultimately lead to "national I couldn't get into college because we never learned a bloody thing in school day".

And people wonder why my kids are in private school.

Nice Try Tom

Tom Friedman is one of the more readable Times columnists, but amusingly he is also reliably wrong on analysis. His column this morning is no exception. If I read him correctly, Tom is trying to sell the idea that we are more at risk now because we've been so successful in the war on terror. Friedman goes on to explain his ideas by proposing that the enemy actually invited the fight on their land, and now having lost will create some grand "hail Allah" plan for a spectacular attack on our mainland.

This is ridiculous. First, it is wrong in the extreme to suggest that the terror masters initiated 9/11 with the idea of inviting a fight with us. The truth is, we were attacked because we failed to respond to previous small scale attacks and thereby emboldened our enemy. Secondly, the enemy expected that the attack's audaciousness alone would serve as a humiliating defeat for the U.S. and serve as a strong recruiting vehicle for more jihadi's. Instead, this was just another case of the time honored practice of amateurs over playing their hand, and getting clobbered as a result.

Friedman's spin, it's not credible enough to call it an argument, is another attempt to introduce the argument that going to Iraq took our eye off what we really should be doing to secure the country. Nice try Tommy.

Bush understood from the outset that the best defense is a great offense. As a result of this strategery, we are not now more at risk due to some hail Mary plan, we are instead safer than at any point since 9/11. That said, there is still a daily threat of attack. It is greatly reduced, however, because even nutjob jihadi's won't be as willing to blow themselves up for the Washington Generals of the bad guy world.

Via: Vodkapundit who also has an amazing tale of the sad, sad, attempts of John Kerry to discredit his former opponent.

Monday, April 11, 2005

To My Daughter

Thirteen years old today! I can’t believe how quickly time goes by. I still remember so vividly the day you came into your Mom’s and my life. We had been married for seven years when we found out that our first child was going to be born. Trips to the doctor, the ultrasound, Lamaze classes it was such an exciting time, filled with hope and love for our first child. Then came April 10th, 1992.

It was a cold, rainy day. Your Mom and I were so excited that we already had made a couple of trips to the hospital on what turned out to be “false alarms”. It was a long wait, and we had gone to the hospital the night before. I was so nervous on the drive there that I had a couple near accidents, and I committed several traffic violations on the way.

April 10th was a long day in the hospital. Nurses came in and out monitoring you, and at times it seemed like the wait would never end. Then, at around 7p.m, came the moment we had been anticipating for so long. Our beautiful daughter entered the world, with all the grace and good nature that we’ve long since come to expect from you. I wish you could have seen your eyes. I will never forget them, so blue and so aware, looking from Mom to me and back again, almost as if you were trying to figure out what had just happened, and who these strange new people were. Your birthday was truly magical for both of us.

Now, 13 years and already a lifetime of memories later, we’re celebrating your birthday; a special birthday, because today you become a teenager. There can be no mistake, turning 13 is more than just another year in your life; it is a milestone. Today, as you become a teenager, you are taking your first step away from childhood and starting the journey to becoming an adult.

There are so many things that I want to say to you, and my thoughts overwhelm me. Many will tell you the teenage years are tough and uncomfortable. You will be challenged as never before, and will experience great joys, as well as great disappointments. This is undoubtedly true, but it is also true of life. So as you begin your journey it is important to remember that these next few years will prepare you for life. This is what becoming an adult is all about. Finding your way in life, learning to overcome your disappointments, celebrating your successes, and above all thanking God for your blessings.

I think some people look back on their teen years, with mixed emotions because they had these experiences for the first time, and for that reason found them to be very intense. My hope for you is that you find joy in your growing freedom, and learn that you have the strength to live your life with grace. If so, you will hold your teenage years dear for the wonder that they will bring you. Always remember that your Mom, sister and I love you, and will always be there to share in your life and support you. Let us help you and guide you. We may not always be right, but we will always be honest and loving.

The next years hold so much for you. You’ll graduate from upper school, begin high school, and then go to college. You will make new friends, leave some old friends behind, fall in love, fall out of love, and fall in love again.

You will also be challenged intellectually, socially, and athletically to perform and demonstrate to the world what you are capable of. So many kids run from these challenges and in doing so think that they have found an easier path. In the end though, they only cheat themselves of the thrill of discovering talents they never knew they had. So I will give you your first challenge. Take the hard road. Embrace life’s challenges with all your heart. Discover your full ability and then revel in the thrill of the victory that I know you will achieve.

There is another thing I need to tell you, and this is very important. The years ahead, indeed the rest of your life, will be filled with temptation. You are lucky to live in a world where God has given you free will. You will decide what you want to be, who you want to marry, where you want to live. You will also be faced with real choices between good and bad, and it will be important to choose wisely. Your life or lives of others may even depend on it.

To help you I can provide some advice. I have found in my life that those who make bad choices failed to distinguish between pleasure and happiness. Understanding the difference can help serve as a guide in life. Pleasure is something that provides a physical sensation; a glass of wine, buying a new car, taking a drug. Happiness is a much deeper feeling. It cannot be achieved by these things, but rather only by doing what truly touches your inner soul.

Pleasure will always seek you, either through advertising, a friend, or even someone who doesn’t wish you well. Happiness requires you to find it. Pleasure is cheap, you experience it, and it goes away. Happiness is work, you pursue it, achieve it and it remains.

I don’t mean to suggest that pleasure is bad, because at the right time, in the right place, in the right amount, it surely will add to your life. It should not, however, become the goal of your existence. Sadly, too many fail to recognize this and end up in an endless search for fulfillment because they never chose to accept the challenge of first finding their own inner voice.

So, in the coming years as life’s temptations come to you, remember this distinction and choose wisely.

Mom and I are so proud of the young lady that you already have become. It fills our hearts with great joy to watch as you display with such ease the confidence, kindness and maturity that everyone who knows you finds so endearing.

God has blessed you.

You are a natural leader.

Because of your respect for others and your innate goodness, your peers return your respect and look up to you for direction. Remember to use this blessing to choose responsibly and to watch out for those less fortunate than yourself.

You are a natural athlete.

Your love for competition is infectious – it excites and inspires others. So many times in your young life Mom and I witnessed how you have elevated your team’s level of play just through your spirit, enthusiasm and talent.

You are intelligent.

You have a good head on your shoulders and you know how to use it. In many ways I see myself in you. While intelligent, learning isn’t always a snap for you. Like me, you have to work for your academic success. Have confidence in your intelligence, and embrace this great blessing. Like me you are learning at a young age how to work for what you want. This is called mental toughness and it will be invaluable to you as you get older.

You are conscientious and diligent.

You work hard at everything, and we all know that if something needs to get done, you’re the person we go to.

You are beautiful.

A natural beauty, your looks reveal your positive spirit. Mom always told you to “make your own sunshine”. You not only make your own, but there is plenty left over for the rest of us to enjoy as well.

So today you are a teenager! It is a wonderful moment in time for all of us. In the next few years you will be stepping out into the world and beginning the first steps of making your way. I’m so excited for you and so very proud. Mom and I cannot wait to see where you go, and what you do with your life. No matter what you choose, we will always be there with love, admiration, and pride, wildly cheering you on – and you know how Mom loves to cheer!



Our Elvis

The first time I ever saw Elvis Costello was in December of 1977. I had just come home from a party and tuned into a new show that seemed to have some promise, Saturday Night Live. It was late in the show, and the musical guest was ready to perform his next number. Tom McMahon has a description at his site of what happened next, along with a great picture of the moment

Elvis is wearing a grey jacket with a dark tie and a striped shirt, plus narrow-leg blue jeans. As Elvis reaches the line about "there's a vacancy waiting in the English voodoo" he stops short, not quite getting the word 'voodoo' out as he starts to turn, yelling frantically "Stop! Stop!" to the Attractions. The second "stop" is almost inaudible as he has his back to the microphone by this point. Having gotten the band's attention Elvis turns back to the audience and rather earnestly announces "I'm sorry, Ladies and Gentlemen, there's no reason to do this song here". He then turns back towards the band and says "OK, Radio Radio... 1, 2, 3, 4" and the band crash, slightly awkwardly, into the opening chords of "Radio Radio"

As Tom says, it was one of the most memorable moments of my youth. Here was this geeky guy, who not only rocked but was also clearly violating some rule, and what 16 year old couldn't support that? Turns out that SNL had ordered Costello not to play Radio, Radio because they were still a young show and didn't want to upset the buzz they were getting on FM stations across the country.

Flash forward 28 years.

Last night, I was in my kitchen baking some bread following the directions of another one of my heros, Julia Child. I had WXRT on and it was time for the Sunday Night Concert on 'XRT. Last night's show? Elvis live at the Rivieria in Chicago in February 1977. I couldn't have been more excited. The show was an hour long, and that night Elvis played the Riv for $3 bucks a head, showcasing songs from the 1977 release, My Aim Is True, and his 1978 release, This Year's Model. A partial playlist:

Less Than Zero
The Beat
Red Shoes
Radio, Radio

So there I was, an adult now, baking bread and rocking like a maniac to one of the heros of my youth. Funny how time changes. The host, mentioned that Elvis is now married to Diana Krall and they are working on a joint project having something to do with the life of Hans Christen Andersen. Hey, its Elvis still bizarre and still very cool.: Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Important Poll

Personally, it was a tough call between Kiss/Grateful Dead tribute bands, and Oprah/Oxygen network.

Tribute bands won out in the end.

Friday, April 8, 2005


I was over at Michelle's recently, in the blog sense, and in between posts about walk'in around nude, she put up her list of recent wine buys. As a part-time oenophile, I found her list most interesting. It had a nice balance of all world regions, displayed a sophisticated palate, and a wise buck per sip ratio (bps). I encouraged her to report back on tastings and hopefully she'll follow-up.

I too spend way too much of my time haunting the isles of our local vin purveyors, but I find it quite enjoyable. I like to try new wines, find a perverse thrill in identifying an inexpensive bottle that is suprisingly good, and with Mrs. P tend to go through three or four bottles in the average week.

Having made my most recent monthly purchase last weekend, I thought I'd post my newly acquired wines here. If you have had any of them, let me know, and I'll report back with some notes on the tasting of each. (Side technical note, this would be much more doable if I could put it all in a spreadsheet and link to it. Does anyone know how to do that?) Also, feel free to leave suggestions for next month's buy.

The April 8:
1. 2001, Tedeschi San Rocco Ripasso $19
2. 2001, L'Ecole Cabernet Sauvignon $60
3. 2000, Montebernardi Chianti Classico "Paris" $32
4. 1994, Jean Leon Gran Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon $40
5. 2001, Lolonis "Orpheus" Petite Sirah $30
6. 2003, Adrian Fog Pinot Noir $72
7. 2000, Marco Donati Sangue di Drago $30
8. 2001, Saint-Joseph Offerus $27

One thing I should mention about those prices. Typically, I try to keep my purchases on average below the $20 per bottle mark. I strongly believe that you do not have to spend a tremendous amount of money to drink good wine, and it is much more fun to be able to drink several wines, comparing and contrasting, in an attempt to find the true undiscovered diamond.

This month I elevated the price level which means two things. First, the kids are eating PB&J's for the next 30 days, and secondly, next month's wines will be economy specials. Posted by Hello

Lawn Mowing Ingredients: Ice, Gin, Tonic.....Robomower

As my sabatical continues, I've taken the decision to mow my own lawn this summer - something I haven't done in almost 10 years. I don't mind the task, and a friend of mine who reads the blog from time to time (but never comments, the wuss) finds lawn mowing to be a zen like experience. While, I'm not sure I would go that far, I guess folks get their kicks in all sorts of ways, as Manties have shown us.

The biggest problem with lawn mowing for me, is that I have a lot of it. Not enough to get one of those cool riders, but too much to really get done in anything less than a couple of hours. So I ran into the Robomower over at Instapundit, and I'm thinking my problem is solved. Mix up a batch of gin and tonics, put some pork shoulder in the smoker, and let the Robomower do its thing!

Life is good. Posted by Hello


I hate to steal this one from my brother in blogging, Tom over at the Functional Ambivalent, but it fits in so well with one of our recurring themes over here: The feminization of the American male, which some have stubbornly insisted on interpreting as homoeroticism.


Speaking of which, check this site out. Underwear for the man who wants to wear his wife's undies, but is too timid to do it, and apparently believes that nobody will notice he is a bit of a girly man if he wears Manties. People, this has got to stop. First it was the Murse, now its frilly underwear. No wonder the Islamic nutburgers want to kill us. Hell, they might just be putting us out of our misery!

I'll be back in a bit, I need to go chop a tree down or something.

Thursday, April 7, 2005

About Those $100 a Barrel Oil Predictions

As you've no doubt heard, Goldman Sachs produced some research last week suggesting the oil prices could spike to $100/barrel. I admittedly no nothing about the oil market, nor do I have any particular insight into Goldman's positions, its research, or what could have led it to make such a prediction. My only thought at the time was that it sure sounded similar to some of those Tech darling brokerage reports we heard in the mid to late 90's.

No comes today's governmental report that says while consumption is up, supplies are up even higher. Guess what.....oil dropped today. Maybe this is a snapshot and Goldman will ultimately be proven correct.

Wouldn't be interesting though if it turned out they were long on oil, and positioned to take advantage of a $100/barrel price? Wouldn't it be more interesting if oil continued to fall?

Big Strong Men, Big Strapping Men

Last month came the troubling news that men were being encouraged to purchase the "murse". Effectively, a purse for men. At the time I bemoaned the continued feminization of the American male, and wondered when we would return to the days of the strong, manly man.

Behold the glorious power of The Pursuit of Happiness!

This new survey, conducted by Harris, finds that most women, clearly having been influenced by the very manly Pursuit, do not want one of those pretty boy metro-sexuals flitting through their life and stealing the conditioner. No these right thinking females, according to the survey, desire a strong manly sort of guy. Responses indicate that 72% of women prefer a man who spends his time doing home improvement products, and 47% want a man who spends his money on electronics.

To paraphrase Robert Duvall, "They love the smell of testosterone in the morning".

Sadly, we still have a way to go before we're back to the glory days of American maleness. Those day's when Cary Grant, Robert Mitchum, Jimmy Stewart and their peers set the standard for courage, chivalry and style, but it's a start.

Oh, and the title to this post? That was the jingle to a Big and Tall Men's shop in Chicago when I was growing up. It would start out with a rythmic beat of Typany drums. Boom Boom Boom. Then a guy with a very deep voice would sing, or almost rap, "big strong men, big strapping men, M. Hyman and Son."

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Whatever You Do, Don't Read This

I looked at the picture.

I read the article.

I still don't understand.

It's All About Jimmy

Citizen of the world, the loathsome Jimmy Carter, seems to be up to it again. This time the noted coddler of tyrants is upset that he has not been invited to attend the Pope’s funeral as a member of the official U.S. delegation. Not content to attend on his own as a private citizen, “America’s best ex-president” has, as so often in the past, taken his complaints public in what he regards as a slight from the current president.

Jimmy’s complaint simply begs the question, “why, exactly, should the lone diplomat/part-time nail pounder be included in the official delegation in light of his actions since leaving office?” What do I mean? Well, let’s review:

  • In 1984 he directly lobbied with the Soviets (our enemies, remember?) to influence a U.S. election
  • During the run up to Gulf War I, he lobbied against President Bush with members of the U.N. Security Council and Middle Eastern states to directly contradict U.S. Policy.
  • During the Clinton Administration, he tried to publicly subvert the administration’s attempts to impose sanctions on North Korea, after he had been sent by the president as special envoy.
  • On the occasion of his Nobel acceptance in 2002, he attacked the current administration’s policies, as per the expectation of his Nobel sponsors
  • Not content with the above, he as routinely chosen to cozy up to odious characters such as Arafat, Castro, Ortega and most recently Hugo Chavez. Notably, his actions in South America directly challenged the efforts of JPII to help bring democracy to the continent.

His actions aside, the real reason the king of malaise wants to be part of the delegation, is that in the end, it really is all about Jimmy, and we’re just puppets in his act. Why for example does he want to be in this delegation? The answer, of course, is that this Pope was the most popular and successful in recent memory, and Jimmy wants the love from all those television cameras. Why else would he be so eager to attend this funeral, when he couldn’t be bothered to attend the two Pope funerals that occurred while he actually was president.

By the way, I haven’t noticed, but did he also express his disappointment that Gerald Ford wasn’t included in the delegation? I didn’t think so.Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

The Mysterious Mr. Chen

An urban mystery suitable for that great detective, Mr. Charlie Chan!

Mr. Chen, NY chinese food delivery man, went missing last Friday night and was not discovered for four days. We can call this one, "The Mystery of The Missing Mandarin" as Mr. Chen claims he was stuck in an elevator the entire 4 days. Hmmmmmm, lets review;

Alarm system? Working
Elevator Security Camera? Working
Searchers? Canvassed the building over the weekend
Elevator repair workers? Dispatched Monday

Yet it seems the cleverly concealed Chinaman was noticed by nobody. Curious, isn't it?

What do you think our missing Ming really did for the past four days?

Be Not Afraid

Here is your inspirational reading for the morning from Larry Kudlow. There has been a lot of discussion about the Pope this week both good and, incredibly, bad (see the Neckro Heckler below). Kudlow's take is different from others that I've seen, in that he tells his personal story of how the Pope's guidance to a spiritual life, brought salvation.

Monday, April 4, 2005

In Honor of The NCAA Game In St. Louis

St. Louis: "The city that built a monument to those that had the gumption to leave"

- Some Very Smart Guy

Democratic Death Spiral - Part 2

Writing in today's NRO online, Robert Moran discusses some interesting numbers from last fall's presidential election. As frequent visitors here well know, I strongly believe that we are in the early stages of a historical political realignment in this country. Read here for my past fevered writings on this theory.

Moran, reveals that many Republican strategists believe that their current congressional majority is on "autopilot" since Republicans won such a commanding victory in terms of congressional districts in the 2004 election. From Moran's article:

"Bensen runs POLIDATA, the source for post-election numbers crunching at the congressional district level and below (see his most recent report [PDF file]). Bensen's number-crunching showed that President George W. Bush won a whopping 255 congressional districts in 2004. John Kerry won only 180. That in itself is a devastating indictment of a candidate with marginal appeal and a party generally relegated to the coasts, an obvious finding that the Washington Post completely missed in its analysis of this data.

Between 2000 and 2004, Bush increased the number of congressional districts he won by 27 (228 to 255). This data is difficult to compare due to redistricting, but it still demonstrates the difficult situation the Democratic party finds itself in.

The root of the Democrats' problems can be found in two simple statistics. Bush defeated Kerry in 214 congressional districts represented by Republican lawmakers and defeated Kerry in 41 congressional districts held by Democrats. In contrast, Republicans only have 18 seats where Kerry defeated Bush, less than half as many."

This is a stunning turn of events since the 70's and early 80's when the thought of a Republican congressional majority was nothing more than a pipe dream. How times have changed. While there are many faults with Republicans, and the prospect of a secure majority is not the least bit appealing, one cannot ignore the success they have had in securing a large base of Christian conservatives, suburban professionals, and libertarians with no real political home. Even more stunning is that because the Democrats have existed in the beltway media echo chamber, Republicans secured this tactical victory largely unnoticed by Democrats until it was too late.

Having just finished the Hamilton biography, I'm reminded of the bitter political landscape that existed in the 1790's and early 1800's. At that time the feuding between the Federalists led by Hamilton, and the Republicans led by Jefferson and Madison was as bitter as anything we've seen today. As with today, the Federalists held a strong base in the Northeast and won the Presidency in the first three elections with George Washington and John Adams.

Hamilton and the Federalists were critical to the evolution of America from a confederacy of states, to the current form of the republic as outlined in the constitution, because Hamilton was able to design and implement a strong federal government allowing the sum of the states to become greater than their individual pieces. Jefferson and the Republicans were always wary of the Federalists and feared that the real plan was to return the U.S. to some form of constitutional monarchy. While no evidence exists that this was so, it is instructive to remember that Americans have always harbored a natural suspicion of Federalism that exists to this day.

Republicans, Terry Schiavo not-withstanding, continue to recognize this trait and have built their governing coalition with this in mind. As a result, Americans uncomfortable with a strong central government dictating laws that are really best left to individual states have found a political home, albeit an uncomfortable one, with Republicans. Just as Federalists served their purpose and then slowly died off, Democrats helped deliver Government mandated solutions such as the New Deal, and Civil Rights legislation when these were needed. Much to the Democrat's credit, these battles were won and successfully became part of the fabric of our society.

Sadly, the party of FDR and LBJ seems wedded to its big government past, in a time when so much political opportunity for them exists. While the Republican victory has been impressive, the revolutionaries are already showing signs of incumbent hubris. Spending is escalating, deficits growing, and as the Schiavo case highlights, the majority party is not beyond abandoning its anti-Federalist root. Alas the Democrats, as with the Federalists are too caught up on in-fighting, and too stuck in the echo chamber of their own denial to notice.

So they will die. This is the inevitable result, unless some visionary rises to save the party from itself. Hillary you ask? Part of the problem. Mrs. Clinton does not believe in smaller government, she resists any attempt to empower the individual, and she seems to personally believe that she knows what is good for the country. Citizenry be damned.

The best hope for Democrats is that they kill the cancer of old time liberalism and receive a transfusion of libertarianism to save the party. Technology and freedom have so empowered the individual that the future lies in greater personal freedom, not more government. Libertarians intuitively realize this, but can find no credible political party to support their beliefs. They tend to lean Republican, but this is a marriage of convenience, not true love. Democrats are perfectly positioned to capitalize on this trend.

As the neo-cons left the Democratic party and built the Republican revolution, neo-libs can do the same for Democrats. Alas, I'm afraid the party is too intellectually stilted to make the transition. My guess is a new party of disaffected Republicans will form, perhaps taking on the hollowed out carcass of the Democratic party. The union will then move on with a tip of the hat to Democrats for the good deeds they accomplished during their time.

Christopher Hitchens: Neckro Heckler?

I enjoy reading Hitchens, and hardily recommend his homage to Orwell, Why Orwell Matters, if you haven't read it already. The QandO blog takes Hitchens to task though, because of his unfortunate habit of carrying his iconoclasm a bit too far.

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Time Magazine, Porno, and Prostitutes

Here is a bizarre little ode to the glory days of pornography in Time's online edition by a man named Richard Corliss. I don't know if this appeared in the printed version as I would never suffer the humiliation of facing the mailman after he delivered Time to my home. However I took a little peek online, because, like pornography, nobody knows that you furtively look at Time on the Internet. Please forgive my shame.

I'm unfamiliar with this guy, and the point of this article is unclear to me. It seems, that he liked porn when it was still naughty and had not achieved such mainstream success. If this is his point, then I guess I can agree since some things in a free society are acceptable, but still should contain some stigma of disapproval. I think Rich believes that this makes them more fun....and I would agree.

Rich seems to be a bit of an odd character though. Look at his picture. Is this an orgy guy or what? A bit creepy, all he needs is a silk bathrobe, pipe and shag carpet to fully round out the look.

Pause for a brief involuntary shudder.

There is one thing about this article that truly disgusts me though. The fact that it appears approvingly in Time makes it all the worse:

"Here's a little statistic that means a lot. In hotel rooms where pornography is available, two-thirds of all movie purchases are for pornos; and the average time they are watched is 12 minutes. The image instantly summoned is of the traveling businessman who wants a smidge of sexual exercise before retiring, but who is too tired, timid or cheap to summon a call girl."

He is to tired, timid or cheap to summon a call girl? How about, he is too committed to his marriage vows to break the oath he took before God. Or how about, he has a thing about STD's. Or maybe he believes prostitution victimizes women?

Really, when did Time's editors start allowing such squalid commentary in the pages of their magazine? Or am I just a backward's red stater out of step with today's new morality?

Friday, April 1, 2005

The Old Negro Space Program

Well who knew? The pernicious influence of racism in the U.S. was far greater than I thought. It turns out that when we were celebrating the glories of NASA during the 60's a separate program of black astronauts, Blackstronauts, was established by Wallace "Suitcase" Jefferson and "Loopy" Louie Hayes. Out of work, and unable to access gainful employment in a racist NASA culture, Jefferson and Hayes established their own program, mostly so they could get dates. These were brave men, from the film:

"....with their cloth spacesuits and makeshift rockets, blackstronauts faced far greater hardships than their white counterparts...."

The result is the largest governmental cover-up in the history of the union.....until now. Click on over to this vital link for the full documentary. Believe me, its well worth it. Did you know, that man first landed on the moon on September 31, 1966?

A tip of the hat to Rob. Posted by Hello