Friday, December 29, 2006

Oh, Great Seer, How Did You Do?

In this space a year ago, I mixed up a Manhattan and made some predictions for the year that would become 2006. How did I do? Well, I'm thinkin' I might have gotten a hold of some bad vermouth cuz it seems I made some incredible mis-calls. Lets rate the results:

  • In the 2006 mid-terms Democrats will once again snatch defeat with a death grip from the jaws of victory and gain no seats in the House or Senate. In fact, they may lose some. Whoa, talk about leading off with a doosey! Clearly missed on this one, but I will take some solice in the fact that the Dems did their darndest to screw it up and came close to succeeding.
  • The Chicago Bears, after a surprising defeat of the Seattle SeaHawks on their home turf will lose the Superbowl to the New England Patriots in one of the hardest hitting, well fought gridiron battles of recent years. Old timers will be heard far and wide to remark, "yup, that's the way they used to play the game". Ok, well niether the Bears nor the Pats made the big one. In fact the Bears were embarrassed on their home field in a pathetic loss to the Panthers. For the most part, old timers were disgusted.
  • That is unless they clobber the Pittsburgh Steelers in a defensive gem. Glutten for punishment aren't I? This year though.......
  • Osama, my most wanted man-a, will be found to have been dead, and will remain dead for all of eternity. White Flag Murtha will be heard to mutter, "I shouldn't have let Dean buy me that extra martini at lunch". Well not a total loss here, Osama is still dead and Murtha is a disgrace, so I'll count it as a win.
  • Pursuit will be unexpectedly called to the stage at Chicago's United Center on January 22nd to sing "Dead Flowers" when Mick needs a short breather. Critics will hail this "fresh new era" of the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band. In what can only be explained as an incredible loss of opportunity for the rock n' roll world, this did not happen.
  • Unfounded and vehemently denied rumors of an affair with Chrissie Hynde will be floated in Rolling Stone shortly thereafter. When asked to comment Chrissie will say, with a distant look in her eye, "only if...." My guess is she would do this if the above happened so we'll say the jury is still out.
  • Mrs. P will roll her eyes! Perhaps my most accurate prediction...
  • The Yanks will win the series in five. Or not
  • Trumpet's long running and highly entertaining tale of love, lust, romance and ultimately redemption will end with a tragic not completely unforeseen twist. Well it was a twist, but hardly tragic....unless the book never see's the light of day.
  • A conservative revival that belatedly and wonderfully renounces goofballs and hucksters such as Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and the rest of they're crayon scribbling ilk will begin and be led by a surprising figure. Well we're getting there, but no it didn't happen yet. Look for my friends Bo Steed and Major X to have something to say about this in the new year.
  • This guy will continue to write one of the most thoughtful blogs out there. Um, nope
  • Sadly, this guy won't. Um, yes
  • The curtain of silence that protects the MSM from itself will be pierced when one major news outlet investigates another. Subscriptions will be canceled heads will roll. Kind of true at the Times. Institutional shareholders are near revolt and the insurgency that started with blogs is beginning to attract mainstream advocacy.
  • My buddies here will continue to post some of the funniest bits out there. They have, but with less frequency.
  • Michelle will have a great year in the mountains. And in the Middle East currently.
  • Duf will become a neo-con after another year of reading my inspired political writing. I think Duf may have died.
  • Joe Wilson, in a desperate attempt to keep his 15 minutes alive, will do something to further discredit his wife. True
  • Zarqawi will die. Also, happily true.
  • A grateful world will rejoice. Yup
  • It will be a happy and prosperous new year for all my blog buddies. Yup too.
  • Friday, December 22, 2006

    Christmas Past, Christmas Present

    Last year we went skiing for Christmas:

    This year, we'll be in Kentucky:

    Oh boy!

    Christmas Past, Christmas Present

    Last year we went skiing for Christmas:

    This year, we'll be in Kentucky:

    Oh boy!

    Thursday, December 21, 2006

    Dick in a Box

    I saw the edited version Saturday, and oddly, the full metal version isn't any funnier...most likely because it's pure genius.

    Justin Timberlake is my new personal hero.

    Saturday, October 28, 2006

    Rockin' Tune of the Weekend: Warren Zevon

    Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy

    When PD 1 graduated from 8th grade last year,she and her classmates were asked to put quotes or famous sayings in the yearbook that had special meaning to them. She choose:

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission" Elenaor Roosevelt

    "Make your own sunshine" Her Mom

    and, "Enjoy every sandwhich" Warren Zevon

    Now any guy that can have such a positive influence on my kids and make a such great rockin' tunes deserves "Rockin' Tune of the Weekend" status


    Sunday, October 22, 2006

    Are You Ready For Some Football?!

    Ok, a small drop off in performance last week with a less than impressive 5-8 record. Still, I'm 26-17 against the spread over the past three weeks which is quite acceptable. Now is the time for the killer week that will make the year. Herewith are the picks:

    Falcons getting 2.5
    Bills getting 5.5
    Bengals giving 3
    Texans getting 9.5
    Chiefs getting 5
    Dolphins giving 5
    Jets giving 3.5
    Bucs getting 5
    Broncs giving 4.5
    Seahawks giving 6.5
    Raiders getting 3
    Colts giving 9
    Cowboys giving 3.5

    Sunday, October 15, 2006

    Are You Ready For Some Football?!

    Whoa Nellie!!!!!!!!!!!

    21-7 against the spread the past two weeks! I'm on a roll and this baby ain't ready for stoppin! Quite a blow out in the lab last weekend. The boys have been doing so well at their prognotication that I brought over cigars, liquor and babes, and well, things got a bit out of hand. On Tuesday morning, my seriously hung over head of research submitted the bill for server repairs and I must say it was not insignificant. So, he has been put on notice that this week had better be a good one.

    Picks to click:

    Bills giving 1
    Cowboys giving 13
    Falcons giving 3
    Rams getting 3
    Redskins giving 10
    Ravens giving 3
    Saints getting 3
    Bengals giving 6
    Dolphins getting 2.5
    Steelers giving 7
    49ers getting 10
    Broncs giving 15
    Cards getting 10

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Rockin' Tune of the Weekend

    "I Want to be Christina's Dog". And who doesn't?

    This, my friends, is remixing genius from Divide and Create. Although nobody ever asked the question, "what happens when you marry Christina Aguilar with The Stooges", these enterprising folks took it upon themselves to answer the question. The result is in a word, breath taking.

    Ok, that's two words, but I think you know what I'm saying. Dig?

    Sunday, October 8, 2006

    Are You Ready For Some Football!!

    Well, last week's house cleaning down at the lab really had an impact! The boys, under new leadership reworked the models, updated the correlations, and even managed to reduce processing time by 28%.

    Well done men!

    Of course all of this wouldn't be impressive had it not been for the results: 10-4 against the spread! Cigars and single malt were passed out Monday night following the Eagles glorious win that put us into the double digits, and then Tuesday morning the servers were humming again. I think we may have another can't miss week here folks:

    Take the Bears and give 10 over the Bills
    Take the Panthers and give 8 over the Browns
    Take the Pack and get 3 against the Rams
    Take the Colts and give an awesome 18 over the Titans
    Take Detroit and get 6.5 against the Vikes
    Take the Pats and give 9.5 over the hapless Dolphins
    Take the Bucs and get 6.5 over the emotional fave Saints
    Take the Giants and give 4.5 over Wash
    Take the Cards and get 3.5 against the Chiefs
    Take the Jags and give 7 over the Jets
    Take the Niners and get 3.5 over the Raiders
    Take the Eagles and get 2 over the over rated Cowboys
    Take the Chargers and give 3.5 over Big Ben and the Steelers
    Take the Broncs on Monday and give 4 over Baltimore

    Wednesday, October 4, 2006

    Throw The Bums Out

    Once again Congress provides the voters with a lesson. The only question is will they listen.

    Of course I'm referring to the foul revelations regarding Congressman Foley. As of this writing the Congressman has pretty much 'fessed up to everything, and as they say in the media, the scandal may have legs.

    The "legs" in this case are that virtually everyone in Washington new Foley was gay, many new he was "different", and a few seemed to be in on the fact that he is a pervert. A harsh term? Well, yes, but then what is the proper term for a grown man who sends explicit IM's to 16 year old male pages? Pervert, it seems, is the perfect term....but I digress.

    As I was saying, the legs are the possibility that Deny Hastert, who I've already said should resign over his land deals, may have also known the full depths of Foley's depravity and decided to look the other way. We do know that Deny was aware of the emails that were just "creepy" (as opposed to sick), and was satisfied that the Congressman received a good talking to. In my view, in a situation where Congress has a responsibility to the children in their employ and the children's parents, a good talkin' to just isn't good enough and Deny should have known that. The fact that he didn't is reason enough for him to not only resign his Speakership, but his Congressional seat as well. The man was a wrastlin' coach prior to his political career for God's sake, and this, as much as common decency, should have made him sensitive to Congress's obligations and he certainly should have demanded that more be done.

    And what of the Democrats? While it doesn't appear at this writing that they knew about Congressman Foley's emailing predilections, the suggestion that none of them knew what was going on strains credulty. Still, until we find out more I suppose we must accept this as fact.

    None-the-less, I have to ask what kind of people try to make political hay off the back of an abused 16 year old boy? Fiends, would be the appropriate answer here. We've known all along that the Democrats, a group so berift of ideas that they were having trouble winning back power from a party that deserved to lose it, are among the most craven of political operations in our country's history. Power for power's sake is their goal, and any group that would actually produce tv commercials to capitalize on this awful situation is no better than those who averted their gaze.

    Throw them all out and start over is the only answer. The question is how do we do that?

    Sunday, October 1, 2006

    Are You Ready For Some Football!!!!!

    Ok, a tough couple of weeks to start the season. Sadly, I had to let my head of research and senior quant guy go on Monday after last weekend's 5 & 11 debacle. Yes they have families to feed, yes I had foolishly signed them to full season contracts and had to negotiate large payouts, but this is the price I pay to bring you the best in football prognostication.

    So, the boys at the lab are little shaken this week, and I did notice the lights were on pretty late this week. Good, I smell something in the air and yes.....yes, I think it smells like victory!

    Bears giving 3
    Falcons giving 7
    Texans getting 3.5
    Ravens giving 2.5
    Bills giving 1
    Cowboys giving 9
    Colts giving 9
    Chiefs giving 7
    Saints getting 7
    Lions getting 5.5
    Redskins getting 3
    Raiders getting 3
    Bengals giving 6
    Eagles giving 11

    Wednesday, September 27, 2006


    Chris Wallace’s interview with Bill Clinton this weekend was an extraordinary moment of television. When so much of what we witness on the Sunday chat shows is carefully scripted spin, it is quite a unique moment when a skilled politician goes “off script”. This is doubly so when that politician is the old Spin Meister himself, Bill Clinton.

    There has been substantial debate on the right about whether Wallace was set up or not. Those who believe that it was argue that Clinton, for reasons that are unclear to me, wanted to exploit the interview as an opportunity to do one of several possible things:

    • Criticize Fox News in an effort to reestablish his bona fides with the left
    • Neuter any future criticism of his policies in an effort to protect his legacy
    • Give his wife an opportunity to respond to the same questions and appear sane in comparison

    None of these possible motives strikes me as particularly compelling, and anecdotal evidence coming out of Fox following the interview suggests that if it was a ruse, it was an unusually complete scheme.

    We therefore, I think, can assume that Mr. Clinton did not intend to go berserk when he agreed to the interview. My guess is that he was “pre-sensitized” to any questioning of his administration’s failures due to the recently broadcast ABC mini-series that was highly critical of his lack of action. This was compounded by the fact that at Fox, he probably felt that he was “behind enemy lines”. Of course this second point is ridiculous, it was Chris Wallace after all not Sean Hannity, but none-the-less, Mr. Clinton’s persecution complex is, fairly well documented; which, by the way, is not to say that it is unwarranted.

    The bottom line in all this is that it was an extremely poor decision for the ex Commander in Chief to make. His complaints to the contrary the fact is that conservatives have largely left Mr. Clinton alone when it comes to assigning responsibility for 9/11. While it is true that his actions in hindsight were woefully insufficient in the face of an avowed enemy, it is also true that given the political and cultural atmosphere in this country in the run-up to the millennium, Mr. Clinton would not have been able to do much more than focus on trying to get bin Laden. Any wholesale invasion, such as that undertaken by the Bush team, was only doable following the attacks and even then had strong opposition on the left.

    Mr. Clinton was left with two choices in the coming weeks; keep his mouth shut and let the controversy generated by the ABC mini-series dissipate (indeed both sides of the political spectrum found the “fiction as fact” based movie too flawed to regard with credibility), or stake out a public position that is equally in opposition to the facts and declare his willingness to fight. Bizarrely, Mr. Clinton chose the latter, and he has done so at his peril.

    Already, the Secretary of State has pointed out where Mr. Clinton is wrong on fact. Further, the authority that he sites as proof of his position, Richard Clarke, is at odds with him on several key points, not the least of which is that a “comprehensive strategy” was handed over to the Bushies as he left office.

    Further compounding Mr. Clinton’s error is his insistence that his critics accused him of being “obsessed” with bin Laden while he was in office. While others have already demonstrated that nothing could be further from the truth in the public realm, I think it does give us some insight into the internal debate that must have been underway in the administration. That debate is the question of whether or not the U.S. should have focused on bin Laden, or on the states that sponsor bin Laden and his sort. Whatever the merits of either argument, it seems the side that won the debate in the Clinton administration was the former.

    Following 9/11 there can be little doubt that many in the previous administration, perhaps Mr. Clinton himself, had second thoughts about whether they made the right choice. They may even have realized that there wasn’t a choice to be made, and that they should have pursued both options. Obviously this kind of second guessing is bad enough when others engage in it, and must be terrible to contemplate when looking back at one’s own actions. I cannot comprehend the incredible burden that some of these people must carry knowing the awful outcome. That burden is multiplied by the judgment of history that will be levied at some point in the future, and I think that this, more than anything else, is what plagues our former president.

    I never thought I’d say this, but I feel a bit sorry for Mr. Clinton. While his foibles were certainly many, and his obsession with his legacy was in many ways damaging to world security, on this matter, I’m not sure he really could have done more than he did. I think the country is willing to agree on this point, and Mr. Clinton would be wise to let things lie as they are.

    Monday, September 25, 2006

    Watch Out! He's Going to Kill You!

    "I don't have a last line yet....."

    As far as I can tell it's because he's an talentless hack who looks more greasy than hot, and is unquestionably planning to use that mallet on his victim's noggin.

    Not quite what the Brawny folks had in mind I bet, but it appears they aimed for sexy and came up with creepy.........just as Spinal Tap said, "It's a thin line between clever and stupid"

    Welcome Back New Orleans......Can I Ask One Small Favor

    Good to see everyone celebrating a big Saints game tonight, even if they have to endure the presence of the awful Joe Theisman as the price. If the citizens wouldn't mind, I do have one tiny request:

    Could you please stop playing that "Oh When The Saints" Song?!

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    Redefining the Conventions

    The global war on terror has forced Americans to think a lot about our role as the world’s sole super power, history’s leading light of human rights and self determination, and how we reconcile these exceptional positions with the need to win a war that not all of our citizens are willing to acknowledge exists. Of course this is not the first time that global conflict has forced this debate, as we saw a similar dynamic between the political left and right during the cold war. Indeed, I would be stunned at the level of self delusion the left has employed to deny the evil goals of Islamic terrorists had I not been witness to the left’s denial when it came to the Communism’s goals during the second half of the 20th century. The more things change, they say, the more they stay the same.

    Normally, I would think that it goes without saying that nobody is happy to go to war. I say normally because in some of the debates that have arisen around our tactics, members of the left, who are the first to cry foul when they think their patriotism is being challenged, have been quite willing, even eager perhaps, to impute the most nefarious of motives on those of us who see things differently. We’ve been accused of revoking the civil rights of citizens, sanctioning war crimes, and worst of all, desiring to turn the U.S. into a “torture state”. Such charges are obscene in both their exaggeration of legitimate war time tactics, and in what they say about the left’s willingness to politicize the debate for their own selfish goals. The great irony, of course, is that those on the left who look to gain politically by employing the aforesaid distortions, ultimately have the most to lose should we fail to win this, the battle of our generation.

    Having said that, there has been, in recent weeks an honorable debate over how the U.S. will interpret the Geneva Conventions. Unlike the irresponsible left, a group of Republican Senators has led a principled charge against the administration’s attempts to more explicitly define what constitutes, “outrages against human dignity” in the treatment of prisoners. Because I believe in the senators’ good intent and concern for their country, I’ve thought quite a bit about what is and is not right in this new kind of war.

    Their arguments, it seems to me are built around two basic premises. The first is concern that if we change our interpretation of the Conventions we will put our soldiers at risk in future wars with enemies who will use our precedent to justify their poor treatment of our POWs. While I fully understand the concern, I find myself unpersuaded after a simple review of the facts. The struggle for freedom that this country has led for over 200 years is replete with battles that had to be fought to turn back the spread of fascism and communism in foreign lands and to ensure our citizens’ basic human rights. It is a simple historical fact that in every single war since the Conventions were adopted (or before for that matter) our enemies not only violated the Conventions, but did so egregiously. Be it Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Germany, or virtually any other opponent, violations of the Conventions were sanctioned by the highest levels of government. No justification was required for the awful policies these countries followed, they did what evil regimes do when they want to win, and the “rules” were not even remotely considered.

    To suggest that a more specific defining of the conventions to something more clear than “outrages against human dignity” will cause countries to torture our uniformed soldiers in future battles is not supported by historical fact or by application to today’s war. We must be clear here and remember that the Conventions are applicable to uniformed combatants fighting for legitimate countries. Terrorists are neither. They do not serve as a precedent justification for future countries engaged in battle, nor as evidenced by their own behavior, do they feel any particular need to follow the conventions themselves.Whether they are attacking civilian targets or mutilating the bodies of our soldiers who died from their pointless torture the terrorists’ very existence and modus operandi is an open defiance of the conventions.

    The second argument that the Republican Senators employ is the suggestion that if we more clearly define the Conventions we will “become just like the enemy”. Forgetting the bizarre logic stream that suggests that a more specific set of rules, makes us less moral, I think it is fair to say that this argument relies on a very dim appreciation for what this country stands for, and for what we’ve contributed to the human experience throughout our relatively short history. Simply put, given our legacy of human rights, expansion of civil liberties and indeed our humane treatment of the worst of the terrorists captured in this war, to suggest that some extreme treatment in the pursuit of battlefield intelligence is a non-starter.Senator McCain is in fact deeply inconsistent on this point in that he has already suggested that we will need to violate the conventions from time to time, when the need for information is urgent. The difference, in his view, is that when you do, you will have to “do what you have to do. But you take responsibility for it”. This is a high price to ask our men and women in the field to pay so that a group of Senators in Washington can sleep better at night.

    Having said that, I respect the Republican Senators’ views, and for the most part, am grateful for the dignity and honor that they’ve brought to the debate. I do not agree with them, and after lengthy consideration will not agree with them. I’ve read the hysterical descriptions of waterboarding temperature extremes, forced standing and other methods. Clearly none of this stuff is pleasant, but just as clearly, none of it is torture either.

    More to the point, the suggestion by opponents of the administrations’ redefinition, is that in the past we never engaged in any extreme treatment of prisoners. While I have only anecdotal evidence to suggest that this view is both hopelessly naïve and absolutely wrong I cannot say with absolute certainty that this is not the case. Still anecdotal evidence suggests that in the past the approach that McCain outlines, (You do what you have to do) was exactly our policy.

    The difference between past conflicts and this one is that in the past the left was not spending their time during the war talking about bringing war crime charges for our men and women in the field and members of the administration as they are today. In past conflicts we did what we had to do; we won the war, and then welcomed our enemies back into the brotherhood of nations. In winning those wars we pressured our prisoners for information, and I suspect treated some quite harshly. The difference is that we didn’t talk about it, and we didn’t suggest that those who were willing to put their lives on the line might have to spend some time in the hoosegow if they broke a few rules. The very reason the administration now suggests that our soldiers cannot live with a Convention that is quite “gray”, is because members of our society have decided to ignore the understanding that we had in the past.

    Redefining the Conventions then is not an option, but instead our obligation, as a moral society to our men and women in the field. We must as a country agree on what we can and cannot do in order to gain intelligence from an enemy that has sworn to destroy us. Doing so is the only way we can stand behind our men and women in the field and ask them to do the things so many of us have chosen not to do.

    Monday, September 18, 2006

    I Need A Restaurant in Davenport Iowa

    I will be spending the weekend in Davenport Iowa on a PD1 related excursion. On our last trip in the Spring to Indianapolis, another dad and I hung out at the hotel while the team and parents ate pizza and then after we had put in our time, we took leave and headed over to Ruth's Chris for the evening.

    This weekend is Davenport; where should we dine?

    Sunday, September 17, 2006

    Are You Ready For Some Football?!!!

    It's been an exciting weekend here at the Pursuit household. Last night saw Mrs. P and I dining at our favorite local restaurant where we enjoyed a seven course dinner (with wine pairing) that began with an heirloom tomato salad with cilantro sorbet, jalapeno tempera and 25 year old balsamic, and ended with foie gras and molten chocolate cake. Quite the culinary tour!

    Michele that was for you.

    As for the rest of you, today we finish the weekend with PD2's soccer game followed by NFL football. Is there any wonder why the Fall is my favorite time of year?

    The picks for this week are:

    Bears -8.5
    Falcons -5.5
    Raiders +12
    Bengals -10
    Packers +2
    Texans +13.5
    Dolphins -6.5
    Vikes +1.5
    Giants +3
    Rams -3
    Cards +7
    Broncos -10.5
    Pats -6
    Chargers -11.5
    Cowboys -6
    Jaguars +1.5

    After going 8-8 last week, I'm a little worried about how many points I'm giving up this week, but the boys at the "Pursuit NFL Statistical Pick 'em" lab said I'm good to go so we'll see. If things don't go well, some heads my roll.

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    Rockin' Tune of the Weekend

    An oldie but a goodie today; The Offspring.

    I really don't have much to say about these guys, which is no doubt, a disappointment for a readership that hangs on my every word. All I really know is that back in '92 or '93 when this CD came out, I was one of the fevered fans that made their debut the largest selling independent label release ever at that time. It may still be for all I know, and why shouldn't that be the case? Dexter and the boys know exactly how to bring the rockin' tunes home for the listener, and now I'm bringing it home for you.


    What In The World Is This?

    I'm home today tending to PD2 who seems to have contracted a small bug of sorts. So between taking care of her and teaching Rob a thing or two I've been surfing the net for new blogs.

    Well, I ran into this.

    And I don't quite know what to make of it. Definitely entertaining though, and if I can remember the process - and if the quality remains - I think I might add it to my blogroll. I have right click saved their banner from the website and used it here, which I'm not sure is legal, but then I'm promoting their site so I imagine nobody will complain. You know, assuming they find my humble location.

    Any way, check it out, it's good for a couple of yucks.

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006

    Can You Dig the Zbig?

    Readers here will know that it is something of an understatement to say that I am no fan of Jimmy Carter. A self important jerk, and even worse President, Carter left a mess in the Middle East, yet declared “victory!” simply because he bribed Egypt and Israel into signing a peace agreement.

    Empty headed foreign policy on the scale of Carter’s failures simply cannot be attained by just one incompetent peanut farmer from Georgia. Nope, as empty as Jimmy’s cardigan sweater was, even he could not have been solely responsible for the disaster that was his presidency. Thankfully, a man has stepped forward in recent days to announce his candidacy for “Carters Idiot Rasputin”.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Zbigniew Brezezinski:

    Spiegel: Dr. Brzezinski, President Bush compares the dangers of terrorism with the dangers of the Cold War. He has even spoken repeatedly of a "nation at war" and will only accept "complete victory." Is he right or is he using exaggerated rhetoric?

    Brzezinski: He is fundamentally wrong. Whether that is deliberate demagoguery or simply historical ignorance, I do not know. For four years I was responsible for coordinating the U.S. response in the event of a nuclear attack. And I can assure you that a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union on a comprehensive scale would have killed 160 to 180 million people within 24 hours.

    No terrorist threat is comparable to that in the foreseeable future. . . .

    Spiegel: Is fear, as at the thought of a nuclear weapon in the hands of terrorists, not something very natural?

    Brzezinski: Certainly, such a notion is not entirely unrealistic, but on the other hand we are not confronted with the Soviet nuclear weapons arsenal. I do not wish to minimize the danger of a single or even multiple terrorist acts, but their scale is simply not comparable.

    Got that? In Zbig’s world, just because Russia had more nuclear weapons they are by definition a greater danger as compared to today’s terrorists. No consideration of underlying intent, no consideration of willingness to use said weapons and no consideration of likelihood of an actual nuclear attack. If this is any representation of Zbig’s logic path, we may also be able to assume that he subscribes to all those “you may already be a winner mailings”, plays the lotto and is just certain that he is going to win really soon!

    One thing Zbiggy and I agree on is that the terrorist threat is not comparable to the Ruskies. We know this with certainty if for no other reason than the terrorists have already attacked us in this country. They have taken the measure of what they would like to accomplish and decided that, yes, attacking the U.S. absolutely makes sense given their goals. The did on 9/11 and they also hit the World Trade Center in the ‘90’s. Does Zbiggy really think they’d hesitate to use a nuke if they had it?

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    My 9/12 Post

    So I watched a lot of the 9/11 five year anniversary things yesterday and over the weekend. Horrible day, I suppose that goes without saying, and something I hope to never have to live through again. I thought about doing a little 9/11 post marking the day, but that seemed to be well covered by virtually everybody else in the country so I left well enough alone.

    After all was said and done one thing seemed to be missing yesterday in particular, and that was a simple “thank you” to the President and his team for doing everything they could to prevent another attack on our homeland. I don’t think any of us can begin to imagine the difficulty of the job that has been forced on them by history, and certainly each and every one of us could find fault with some or several specific actions. Still, how could “thank you” not be one of the most often communicated thoughts yesterday? Is it possible to find a country that is more full of ingrates than ours?

    Sorry, I suppose that was rude, but in all candor it isn’t completely inaccurate. Back in the early weeks after 9/11 President Bush told us that it was going to be a long war. We all talked about how we needed to remain united as a country, and in our grief we found hope and confidence in the single sense of purpose that united us around our common cause; and just to be clear, that cause was to kill Islamic terrorists.

    Five years is a long time, and a lot has been written and said about what we should and what we shouldn’t do. In many cases we’ve had some excellent debates about strategy (Should we invade Iraq?), and tactics (When does harsh treatment cross the line to torture?). Sadly though, this debate has too often devolved into accusations that are fully beyond the pale.

    Famous beagle loving bloggers have supplanted their genuine disagreement with emotional tirades motivated more from a disappointment in the administration’s position (insert joke here) on gay marriage, than on any responsible view of the President’s motivations for actions taken in the war. Lefty nut cases claim that “our civil liberties are being stripped from us every day” in one breath, and then in the other decry what they term as the President’s use of fear to move his evil agenda forward. These dolts, who hold their oxymoronic views so preciously never seem to be fully aware of the outrageous irony of their position. We’ve been subject to idiot charges of Koran abuse, and politically correct debates about just what we should call our enemy; Islamists, Arabs, Islamofacists, Terrorists and others. Did we actually debate what we called the Japanese after Pearl Harbor? Nope, we fought them to an inch of their very lives, and didn’t relent until they begged for an end.

    The most recent example of the left’s idiocy in their ongoing circus performance titled, “Why Nobody Will Ever Trust Us With National Security” would be the Plame affair. Recall that this whole sorry event began with a moronic column (“I spent the next eight days drinking sweet mint tea”) by a neer do well career diplomat, was published in the country’s “newspaper of record”. The column, not only mis-represented the actual findings of the trip (as did Wilson’s own report to his superiors who after reading his findings came to the exact opposite conclusion from what he had drawn), but also contradicted the findings of British intelligence. Worst of all, the idiot Wilson it seems, ended up as the one person most responsible for “outing” his supposedly undercover wife from a role at the CIA which many people in Washington knew about anyway.

    Regardless, the left thought they had Cheney and Bush where they wanted them and a political witch hunt was born.

    And what do we have now that all is said and done? Well, Wilson has been returned to the fringes of credibility where it seems most people had classified him prior to his rise as the Great Libby Hope, the special prosecutor has charged one administration official for forgetting the details of his busy appointment calendar, jailed one journalist for not telling him what he already knew, and let the one guy who broke the law the prosecutor was assigned to investigate go free.

    Well done!

    Which is why it is so important to say “thank you” to the president and his team. Our precious lefty’s, who spent the cold war on the wrong side of history, make much about the importance of dissent, and if their’s was a cause focused on dissent they’d be correct. Unfortunately for them, true dissent is so much more than name calling, protesting and inviting maniac ayatollah’s to speak at Harvard. True dissent is not formed in the words, “no, asshole”, but rather in the words, “no but”. As in “no we shouldn’t invade Iraq, but instead we should do……..”

    In true form, the left has decided that the effort involved in responsible dissent is just a little too much for them to muster. It seems that they’ve decided that it is far better to spend their days enmeshed in Clinton idolatry and Bush hatred than to actually contribute to the defense of the western traditions and culture that they claim to hold so dear. In doing so, they’ve knowingly made the war on terror that much more difficult for President Bush to lead and for our country to win. In my view, the reason for this is because the left recognizes their own culpability in allowing terrorism to gain a strong hold in the world, and they’ve decided that it is far better to live with this evil than to admit the failure of their world view by joining in the good fight and defeating the throat slitting bastards.

    I’ve been critical of Bush’s policies in the past. As I’ve said many times, when a country goes to war, it must follow a path of total dominance and destroy the enemy completely. Doing so requires us to ignore the pleas of the hand wringers who worry about Koran abuse and due process for enemy combatants, and do what is necessary to win total war. President Bush, a decent man I think, has tried to find a middle road between these two views and has ended up with the expected; hatred from a left wing that will never accept his legitimacy, and less than total victory over an enemy that is committed to killing us.

    Still, the thought of Algore or John Kerry as our leaders in this battle is a reality far too traumatizing to even consider. More to the point, while we’ve not been successful in stabilizing Iraq, and continue to hang on to a very delicate situation there, the fact remains that we’ve been free from attack on the homeland for the past five years. Nobody, absolutely nobody, considered that such a success was possible on 9/12/01.

    For this reason, I say thank you Mr. Bush, and I hope you take time to say it as well.

    Sunday, September 10, 2006

    Are You Ready For Some Football!!!?

    I don't know where these fine lasses are playing, but it undoubtedly would be quite a sporting event! In lieu of their game, we still have the more traditional form of the world's greatest sport and it's opening day! Here are the picks to click against the spread for week one:

    Packers +3.5
    Falcons +6
    Saints +3
    Lions +6
    Texans +4
    Chiefs -3
    Pats -9
    Rams +3.5
    Bucs -3
    Titans -3
    Cards -7.5
    Jaguars -2.5
    Colts -3
    Vikes +5
    Raiders +3

    As always, if you assume I have any particular insight into the outcome of these games, and gamble any of your money......well then you're a damn fool!

    Saturday, September 9, 2006

    A Reason to Love Fox News and.....

    .....a reason to loathe Fox News.

    All in one shot.

    Via: Annika

    Tuesday, September 5, 2006

    It's Not Alway Glory When the Bears Play the Packers

    Being a Bears fan, one becomes accustomed over time to glorious heights and soul crushing depressions. Many of the latter have been at the hands of our Green Bay enemies, and today I'd like to write about one in particular.

    It was the 1980 season opener, and the Bears who were coached at the time by the less than legendary Neil Armstrong found themselves coming off of a decent year in 1979 when they lost the NFC wild card game to the Eagles. While it would be an over statement to say that hopes were high - the 1970's were a tough time to be a Bear fan - it was a new decade and the previous season gave us some hope.

    The 1980 opener was a tense one that went in to overtime. Things looked grim though as the geekiest looking player in the history of the NFL, Chester Marcol - tortoise shell glasses and all - lined up to kick the game winning field goal. Suddenly, a giant Bear hand looms high in the trajectory of Marcol's's blocked! Bear fans begin the glorious rapture of celebrating a renewed lease on life when the the unfriggin' believable happens.

    The ball, which moments ago looked to be harmlessly bouncing away from the goal posts, was in actuality deflected right into the chest of a very startled Marcol. Chester, who didn't need to be told what to do, runs 25 yards into the end zone for the game winning score. The awful moment is pictured above. Game over. The Bears go on that season to post a disappointing 7-9 record, with the only salvation being that they beat the Packers 61-7 in the second game of the season in what was the most lopsided victory in the history of the rivalry. Bears scout, Bill Tobin who had previously worked for the Packers revealed that the Bears had stolen that Packer signals.

    Monday, September 4, 2006

    Welcome To Bears/Packers Week!

    The only rivalry that matters in any sport, anywhere at anytime. For those of you not familiar with all that is Bears/Packers greatness, here is the list of Bear priorities for each new season, most important first:

    1. Beat the Packers

    2. Beat the Packers again

    3. Win the Superbowl

    If we get numbers 1 & 2, 3 is then a "nice to have".

    More later. In the mean time, enjoy my post from last year, "Ed O'Bradovich and the Bart Starr Kid"

    Half Moon Bay: Life Is Good

    Looks like I'll be heading out here in a couple of weeks. Cool huh?

    Saturday, September 2, 2006

    Rockin' Tune of the Weekend: The Iceman

    Albert Collins - I Ain't Drunk

    "nobody gets outta here without singin' the blues".

    With those words, Albert Collins , aka; The Iceman, made his star turn in the much underrated "Adventures in Babysitting". It was a small scene, but a memorable one as the movies heroine, who was for some reason or another on the run from the Chicago mob with her young charges, accidentally bumped into Mr. Collins in a Chicago blues bar.

    And sing the blues is exactly what she did...the Babysittin' blues to be exact, backed by The Iceman and his formidable band. If you haven't scene the movie, give it a rent some time as it is a highly watchable representation of mid '80's Americana. It also has the classic scene of the babysitter high atop the Stone Container building, nearly falling to her death as the bad guys try to nab her. Great fun!

    As for The Iceman? Well he departed these earthly bounds a few years ago, but left a treasure trove of highly listenable blues. With a guitar sound that cut through any blues club fog, like a knife through butter, the Albert Collins sound is instantaneously identifiable as one of kind. Today's song, "I ain't drunk, I'm just drinkin'" is a personal fave.


    The Pursuit of Happiness: Always Right

    Last year this blog predicted in several posts, including this one, that Joe Wilson was the one person most responsible for outing his wife.

    From yesterday's Washington Post:

    Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.

    Unfortunate, indeed. Still I must ask how such an obvious goofball ever got access the NYT opinion pages in the first place (have they printed a retraction yet?), and secondly how he ever was lent so much credibility by the press. Further, is it not treasonous to "falsely claim" in the middle of a war, for what can only be interpreted as political reasons, that the administration's report on the enemy's efforts to obtain uranium were debunked?

    The answer in my view is yes. While perhaps not criminally actionable, it does seem that Joe has caused this country to spend countless millions on a three year investigation that resulted solely from his irresponsible actions. Shouldn't he be sent the bill?

    Saturday, August 26, 2006

    Rockin Tune of the Weekend: Gov't Mule

    Gov't Mule - Slackjaw Jezebel (Live)

    For most of my music lovin' life I haven't exactly been a fan of so called jam bands. In my view these bands took the concept of the obligatory '70's "live in concert!" drum solo and needlessly extended it into a collaborative effort. Instead of crafting well honed, tight musical compositions (which doesn't necessarily mean 2 minutes and 50 seconds of formulaic pop) these bands lazily extended jams and ended up distorting what limited musical idea originally drove the song into a bloated, meaningless sonic blob. I know I'll get criticism but some of the greatest offenders of the genre are the Grateful Dead and their odious coat tail riders, Phish.

    There are bands that manage to write solid songs that extend past 5 minutes and still avoide this trap and they do so with outstanding results. The most prominent and routinely under rated example, when they were still together, is the mighty Allmans. Yes, they felt the need to play with two drummers - go figure - but anyone who suggests that those good old boys aren't American classics is both wrong, and itchin' for a fight.

    As this Wikipedia entry details, one band with similar chops was born out of the reformation of the Allmans. That band is today's Rockin' Tune of the Weekend artist, Gov't Mule.

    In addition to a fantastic name for a band, Gov't Mule, for my money represents the modern day torch bearers for the southern twinged, blues based rock that the Allman's excelled at. Slackjaw Jezabel is probably their most radio ready tune to date, so I've included it this week as your first step into Mule lovin' nirvana.

    Gosh, I wonder if that last phrase is going to get me some bizarre search hits.


    Friday, August 18, 2006

    What Song Is This?

    I'm linking to a blog with some not work safe, very cool nudes photography. You could say it's kind of an advance reward for answering this question for me:

    Who is the artist and what is the song that is playing there. It sounds a bit Portisheadish, but I don't know. I must have this on my Ipod today.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Putting Lipstick on the Pig

    I, as much as anyone else, was disappointed that the recent mini-war (mini, that is, unless you happened to be in the middle of it) ended without the total destruction of Hezbollah. As is often the case with these things, passions become inflamed, hopes rise and expectations begin to take on a life of their own, and this latest conflict was no exception. It seemed that maybe, just maybe, Israel might have a chance to take out the noxious "state within a state".

    So now that the cease fire has been declared and a multi-national force is moving into place to "keep the peace" (which is UN speak for maintain the odious status quo) my conservative brethren are suffering morning after regrets. True, Hezbollah was allowed to live another day, and yes, Israel was disappointingly less successful than we might have otherwise hoped, but I wonder if the result is really as bad as it seems.

    First of all, if prior to Hostilities we had said Israel was going to push Hezbollah back away from the border, see 4,000 rockets land with only 40 civilian deaths and gain a renewed commitment from the UN to enforce a buffer zone, I wonder if we would have thought this to be an all that bad conclusion? I think it is clear, that as long as the cowards who make Hezbollah continue to hide amongst civilians and absent a global consensus that Hezbollah must go, the odds of completely eliminating the terrorist organization were extremely unlikely.

    Furthermore Israel did gain quite a few intangible benefits from the month long campaign. First and foremost, there is no longer any doubt anywhere in the world that Iran and Syria are on the side of the terrorists. More importantly, Hezbollah's moral standing in the eyes of all but the most lunatic lefty groups has been severely down graded. Only one side in this fight targeted the civilians of it's enemy and only one side used it's own civilians as human shields against it's otherwise assured total destruction. Shia nut jobs around the world can say whatever they want to try to put some lipstick on this pig, and apparently enough of their pathetic followers will believe them to keep things going for a few more years. But international support from cultures that have actually achieved a thing or two in the last 700 years has clearly attained a new low.

    what's more is that that very international support will at some point begin to include more moderate Arab states - moderate being a relative term here. As these states begin to realize the destabalizing force of the Shia - Irani/Syrian threat an Israel that just wants to produce high tech goods, and private equity funds doesn't appear all that bad anymore.

    Finally, as we move into the cease fire period, Israel has gained international agreement for both a continued presence in Lebanon until peace keepers arrive, and for the legal authority to attack further Hezbollah provocations. Given that the peace keeping forces seem to be having trouble getting organized, and given that Hezbollah has committed to re-arming, Israel may have the opportunity to advance their defensive cause further in the very near future with greater international support than in the past.

    So, I'm not completely sold on this latest peace movement in the middle east, but I can't really see where an improved outcome could practically be expected. Net net I 'd say that our side has moved the ball forward, positioned itself for further gains, and now has the opportunity to build increased international support. Lets see what happens.

    Monday, August 14, 2006

    A Pursuit Fiction

    The loathsome Sully reached a new low today in his secular jihad. In a foul post that equates "Christianism" with Hezbollah, Sully demonstrates the depths he's willing to plumb in his quest against those who he believes are out to turn our country into a Christian nation. Never quite realizing that his fevered anti-Christianism posts are far more hysterical than those he rails against, Sullivan continues to destroy whatever is left of a formerly admirable reputation.

    I could go on, but Goldstein beats me to it today in "Andrew Sullivan: Man of nuance", and does it better than I ever could.

    Instead, I got to thinking about what kind of person this Sully character must be. I mean my goodness he seems to fly off the handle so easily. One second a guy can do no wrong, and the next he is public enemy number one. Or so it seems to me. Can you imagine what it must be like to be Andy's boyfriend?

    As Mr. Mike used to say, I think it would go something like this:

    Andy And The Boyfriend's Socks

    "Socks on the floor?! Again, with the socks on the floor? What is it with you and leaving bits of clothing all around our tidy little cottage? I've got real issues to deal with dear! Christianism! Bush! Rumsfeld! There is also that evil genius Rove! Is it too much for you to pick up your socks? My God, and I don't say that in a Christianist sort of way but rather in a Gobsmackingly pissed off boyfriend sort of way, why should I have to look at the PTown sunrise with your bloody socks on the floor!"

    "I should add that you, my dear fiance, still refuse to acknowledge or account for your own role in the whole boxer shorts on the daybed incident! Again, your inability to cop to even basic moral and intellectual responsibility is a feature of the very slovenliness that I have tried to sketch. Oh sure you still insist that you make a "mistake" once in a while, but you do not make an actual argument against why your boxers were there in the first place! All I can say is that I see deep tropes of medieval Andrew hatred, perhaps invisible to virtually any casual observer! Oh but I know it's there and it is deeply disturbing. Why, how do I know this foul act wasn't committed for political reasons?! In fact, I have a mind to include a whole chapter on the creeping filth with which I'm forced to live in my new book!"

    "Now be gone and get me a latte from that hunky barrista down at The Cup! I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I've got modern conservatism to save!"

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    Rockin' Tune of the Weekend

    This weekend's tune is Joan Osborne's St. Theresa. Joan first became known to me when her hit, One of Us was popular. While that was a terrific song, the CD was chock full of tunes that were even better. Since then I've been a Joan head.

    One interesting point is that if you listen closely to the songs on the One of Us CD you hear a resemblance to a band from the late 80's early 90's.....The Hooters. As it turns out, two of the guys in that band, Eric Basilian and Rob Hyman wrote or co-wrote many of the tunes on Joan's CD including, I think, today's rockin tune.

    Friday, August 11, 2006

    21st Anniversary

    Yup, yesterday was the big day...21 years. Yikes!

    Went out to dinner at a place in town that we haven't tried before. Five spices powder, pork tenderloin and vanilla froth?

    More later.

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    A Link?

    As we celebrate the victory in the GWOT today, and I truly hope we accomplished this without looking at any international financial transactions because then the terrorists will really have won, it's worth asking the following question:

    Is this related to this?

    With a wife flying to Europe on Sunday, I really hope not.

    Wednesday, August 9, 2006

    Will They Do The Right Thing?

    Life presents us with little challenges all the time. Sometimes these challenges are disguised as great gifts, which are really opportunities to demonstrate that we've learned our responsibility to help others while we're here on earth.

    The hardest part about these challenges is that they often have nothing to do with our legal obligations, or even our moral obligations. A strict reading of either would tell us to carry on with our lives, no real obligation exists. Despite this, we may feel that twinge of guilt, the little voice inside of us that asks us to wait, think a little and reconsider whether or not we really should act and do "the right" thing.

    I've linked to an article that I found in the paper today that is a perfect example of one of these situations. By now all of us have heard of the Wisconsin cheese factory workers who went in on the Powerball together and won. As a result of their good fortune approximately 100 of them will split a total pot of $208 million. For each, this translates into a take home of around $700,000.

    How great would that be?

    One person who must be asking that question is Shelly Pittelko, a co-worker who ussually contributes her $1 to the pot when her co-workers play. Unfortunately for Shelly, she was on vacation last week and forgot to leave a buck for her share of the pot, and now finds herself out of the loop when it comes to splitting the winnings. Shelly says she isn't bitter and certainly doesn't feel her more fortunate co-workers owe her a dime. This is undoubtedly correct from both a legal and a moral point of view.

    But is it right?

    Obviously not. Shelly was apparently part of the gang that went in on the Powerball every week and enjoyed the friendship and comradery of dreaming the big dream together. Certainly, they all shared the common fantasy of "what would happen if we all won and walked in together and quit?!" at one time or another. So why now should she be frozen out? It this the way we should act towards one another, or should we aspire to a higher call?

    I'd suggest that in a world where we are so often compelled to our lower instincts of self interest, Shelly's co-workers have an opportunity to stand as an example. What appears as a windfall is really a chance for them to do something quite selfless.

    And it would be so easy. One of the problems of having to split a big pot with 100 other people is that what seems like a stupendous win in reality is only kind of amazing. The wonderful thing about this though, is that the cost of splitting the pot between 101 people is only 1% for each person; the difference essentially between ordering a Suburban instead of a Yukon.

    I guess then they have to ask themselves one question. What is more valuable; a slightly larger gas guzzler, or the smile on Shelly's face when they let her know that when the real opportunity came calling, they embraced their friend and reminded her that she was still one of the gang.

    Sully's Doppleganger?

    It's like the alternate universe of Sully!

    Sully: The Passion is an anti-Semitic movie marketed to Christians, who just happen to be this country's strongest supporters of Israel

    Baehr: Talladega Nights is an anti-Christian movie marketed to NASCAR fans who just happen to be the most solid block of Christians in the country.

    Were these guys somehow separated at birth?

    Tuesday, August 8, 2006

    Sully, Again

    I've mentioned it before. I have a hard time understanding it and yet it's the same old thing. I'm drawn to Sully's hysterical blog. It's like it has it's own gravitational field, and the harder I resist, the more I want to read. Besides attacking Hugh Hewitt, a radio guy who should have gone in to testifyin' with a name like that, Sully lately seems to have taken a delight in announcing the insanity of those who he doesn't particularly like. Actually, the truth is he sometimes makes the accusations himself, and other times posts email suggesting these things. While this does tend to entertain, since my belief is that Andy himself is a bit of a nut, it still doesn't fully explain the attraction.

    Today it all became clear: It's the irony!

    First he posts this.

    The he follows with this

    Does he even read his own blog?

    A Prediction

    I don't really have a horse in this race, or a dog in the fight. None-the-less, I'm kind of hoping Ned Lamont beats Joe Lieberman today as this would most likely spell certain victory for the Republicans in the fall. I say "kind of" only because I've always liked Joe, not so much for his political views as for his image of being a rather decent guy.

    So I'd like to make a little prediction. So many in the media and on the left have invested so much in the Lamont candidacy that they are now at the point of seeing what they want to see, not what is really going to happen.......Lieberman will win.

    By two % points.

    Cries of "stolen election" will follow soon thereafter.

    UPDATE: Coming next; Hot Stock Tips From Pursuit! Winners every trade!

    Note to Joe: Nobody like Sore Loserman version 1.0, it's unlikely that 2.0 will have much more success

    Sunday, August 6, 2006

    The Cross-Over is Complete

    Food TV star, or p*rn? You be the judge. Careful! The Barefoot Contessa will never look the same.

    Saturday, August 5, 2006

    Elvis Costello -

    One of my favorite tunes of all time, Oliver's Army has it all; a catchy tune, politcal lyrics, social commentary all wrapped up in a two minute thirty nine second video. Best of all, it's the Rockin' Tune of the Weekend!

    Why That A-Rab Boy Sounds Like A Sissy

    Note: I wrote this a few days ago, and then accidently posted to the wrong site. Needless to say I was deeply confused when I couldn't find it on my blog! At any rate, here, slightly delayed, are my latest deep thoughts.

    Sorry Trumpet!

    When I went back to my high school reunion I had a somewhat unpleasant experience that Mrs. P found quite amusing. To this day she mocks me relentlessly for it.

    You see, in the course of 10 minutes, two ex-class mates came up to me to remind me of the time I beat them up. The weird thing was they both quickly followed their stories with the words, "You know, I deserved it". Even more weird was the fact that both in one way or another kind of thanked me for popping them. It was a bit disorienting since I really hadn't thought of either incident since the sting from my hand hitting their jaw disapated.

    I don't want to give the wrong impression, I wasn't a bully in high school at all. In fact I was fairly well liked. It's just that I did have a temper and a willingness to engage in a brawl sooner rather than later. I always found the best way to deal with those that talked a big game and threatened the weaker kids was to take them at their word and engage in some pre-emptive punching.

    So today I view the nut jobs in Iraq in much the same light. Whether it's President Amadinejad talking as he did today about "the main solution", Ayatollah Khamani (the moderate!), or the Supreme Leader (does he get a cape?) Khamenei, I find them terribly entertaining but I can't fully enjoy their performances because they're so committed to obtaining nuclear weapons.

    What does this all have to do with my high school experiences you ask? Well the truth is that high school is very much a small, hormonally enhanced microcosm of the real world. We can learn from our experiences there, and apply them to the real world as adults. One of the lessons I took away from high school is that bullies and big talkers are at their hearts cowards who really need their nose bloodied but are too afraid to go out an ask for it. Years later, after you've done the deed, if you've done the job well they may even thank you for your efforts!

    I've long harbored the view that Islamic fanaticists are, much like my high school bullies; they're cowards. Life hasn't been easy for them, they've never accomplished much and they're troubled by the realization that they just don't add up. So they attack innocents. They hide out among civilians, and Bill Mahr's claims not withstanding, they commit cowardly acts like flying planes into office buildings.

    Every now and then they slip though and show their real face. Iran's supreme leader did just that today. I quote:

    'America Can Expect a Resounding Slap and a Devastating Fist-Blow From the Muslim Nation'; Hizbullah is the Muslim Nation's 'Front Line of Defense'; 'There is No Way to Confront... the Zionists... and the 'Great Satan' Except Through Martyrdom'

    What a pussy! A resounding slap? Oooooooh I'm really, really scared! As if that wasn't enough, the old codger then seems to realize his mistake and tries a bit too hard to reinforce it with, "a devastating fist blow". Fist blow?! Oh no, maybe a mighty foot kick is next! Look out Great Satan!

    I realize that we've got to take these people seriously, but it is awfully hard to do when they insist on acting like this. This man is not even worthy of a good pop on the chin. In fact what I think he needs is a swirlly. Lets send the JV team over to do the job.

    Wednesday, August 2, 2006

    New, From Pursuit Productions

    So it seemed like a good idea at the time. An India based hedge fund they said! Spectacular returns on the Mumbai stock exchange they said! Pursuit baby, get in while the gettin' is good!

    So I invested. Big time. Next thing I know the fund implodes, I can't find the manager and I receive notice that I am the proud owner of the only surviving asset of the fund; an Indian TV production company. Now, I'm not a well known artist, but I have been known to come up with a few creative bursts, and then there is the whole "from misery comes great art" thing!

    Well I can say "lights, camera, action" as well as the next Hadji so what the heck? I give it a whirl. Now that we've wrapped and the movie is "in the can" I'm thinkin' I may have a cult hit here on my hands. I'll let you decide.

    Click over on the link and view the trailer to my new Movie of the Week: Passion Pursues Pursuit.

    Via Annie

    Monday, July 31, 2006

    A Nice Weekend

    We like to say Door County is the Midwest's version of Cape Cod, but the truth is that The Cape is the East's version of Door County. True, the Cape has the ocean and it's pretty hard to beat the salt water for it's culinary treasure trove, but I have been to both locations several times in my life, and for my money "The Door" has The Cape beaten hands down.

    As you might have guessed, our long weekend was spent up north. In the four glorious days that we were away we managed to pack in a lot of living. On Friday we went up to some land we own, grabbed the canoe and went for a great little paddle around our lake. Half way through, we stopped off at the state park across the lake and went swimming to cool off. That night it was J.J's La Puerta for some fine Mexican food. A question: Mrs. P and I did a couple tequilla shots at dinner; considering we were with the girls, was this bad parenting?

    The next day, Saturday was packed from one end to another. We started off with jet sking in Ephraim Bay, followed by sailing for a couple hours out of the same area. Then it was off to Mr. Helsinki for dinner and then on to the Penninsula Players Theater for a play that night. We finally got in around midnight.

    On Sunday, it was back to our land and the canoe, and then bowling and dinner at Sister Bay Bowl that evening. We also indulged our fairly regular dream of building on our land by meeting with a couple contractors to see if maybe we can afford the impossible. Sigh, some day I suppose.

    Anyway, we're back, and I've posted some pics of the trip. Eat your heart out East Coast swine!

    Thursday, July 27, 2006

    Rockin Tune of the Weekend

    Ok, so it's only Friday but I'm takin' it off! So the weekend starts a little early this week and what better to kick-off a weekend but a little Dramarama?

    I'm doubly motivated to put up this video this weekend since 1. It's a great little diddy, and 2. I get to talk about Storm Large.

    Storm Large you ask? Yup, that is her name and no, she is not the weekend gal at the weather channel, but rather the current leader on Rockstar, the battle of the singers show. Last summer the show was looking for a new singer for INXS and was quite a hit. The band turned out to be nice, fairly thoughtful guys, and the competitors were, at times, truly inspired.

    Sadly, this year's version attempting to find a singer for Tommy Lee's new band, the creatively named SuperNova. The only real question is just how many bong hits it took for the name to sound "really cool man". Unsurprisingly it's a fairly squalid affair, and as with all reality shows, the contestants in year 2 just aren't quite real.

    Still, we have the delightful Storm. A reasonably talented lass, she puts her all into every performance and has the added quality of being a smokin' hot babe. That's her posted above. This week, Storm performed Dramarama's tune, "Anything, Anthing" and just blew the folks away. So, in tribute to this fine specimen of the American female, I thought we'd go with another Dramarama tune. Enjoy.

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    Welcome To The Club Bill

    It has been a long time coming, but finally somebody came out and said it; George Bush is not a conservative. There have been others who have made this point, faux conservative and beagle aficionado Sully comes to mind, but until yesterday very few true conservatives were willing to announce what has been obvious since the day Bush declared his candidacy for the Office of President. All I can say is welcome to the club boys.

    Lets let Mr. Buckley tell it in his own words shall we?

    "I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology — with the result that he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant of excesses by Congress,"

    Translated for earthlings; That boy's mind ain't right!

    I don't mean to throw Mr. Bush under the Bus and I'm not about toabandone those policies that he has pursued which I support. I think, however, it is important for conservatives to acknowledge that this man does not believe in the same principles of limited government that those of us who have been in the movement for years believe in.

    I've made the point here before, and I'll make it again today. Mr. Bush threw us all a huge clue back in 1999 that he didn't quite get conservatism when he announced that he was a compassionatee conservative". This was an extraordinary admission that the man was not a believer. In one sentence he managed to be both insulting and redundant. I never understood why this didn't anger my fellow conservatives as it did me.

    Compassionate Conservative? First the man is announcing that he believes that "normal" conservatives are some how not compassionate - the insult. As for the redundancy, Conservatives believe in their heart that government has no business in people's lives and that it's main purpose should be little more than defending the country, providing for a rule of law that protects private property and ensuring a stable currency. That's it. Giving people the chance to make the most of their lives with as little "help" from the feds is in our view the epitome of compassion! To suggest that some form of conservatism is required that is more compassionate than normal conservatism is to announce to God and everyone that you don't get it.

    What angers me most about Mr. Buckley and my other conservatives who went along with this gambit is that they knew all along what Mr. Bush was really saying. See Mr. Bush made the calculation that instead of Reaganesque conservativism he was a social conservative and an economic liberal. Then, as is typical of Mr. Bush, he went out and told us exactly what he believed. Believe me, my fellow conservatives knew this and instead of supporting another conservative for the Republican nomination, their hunger for power was such that they chose to go along with George.

    So to hear Mr. Buckley now express surprise that he finds Mr. Bush is a profligate spender is just a bit rare. Look, there is plenty that we can find fault with in Mr. Bush, but the one thing we can't say is that he didn't warn us that he wasn't fully on board with that economic conservatism stuff. With all due respect to Bill Buckley, next time when somebody tells you he's not a conservative, you might want to take him at his word.

    The Central incompetence Agency

    To paraphrase the Gipper, "There they go again"! Who, you ask? Why it's those new darlings of the left leaning media, the CIA.

    The agency the failed to predict the collapse of the USSR, and sent the oily Mr. Plame on an intelligence gathering mission has done it once again. Only this time their failure is so fundamental, so mind numbingly idiotic, that it is almost not to be believed. Let's let the Chicago Tribune fill us in on the details:

    "The man and woman were pretending to be American business executives on international assignments, so they did what globe-trotting executives do. While traveling abroad they used their frequent-flier cards as often as possible to gain credits toward free flights.

    In fact, the pair were covert operatives working for the CIA. Thanks to their diligent use of frequent-flier programs, Italian prosecutors have been able to reconstruct much of their itinerary during 2003, including trips to Brussels, Venice, London, Vienna and Oslo."

    Got that? Spies, working for the greatest country in the world, make sure to leave an electronic trail of their movements around the world so that anyone with a laptop and just an ounce more intelligence than these droolers can find out where they've been. Amazing.

    Saturday, July 22, 2006

    The Noble Bar B Que

    I"m back at it today: Ribs on the smoker!

    As you may have noticed, I've dedicated my summer to the manly art of smoking meat with the delicious smoke of a wood fire. Today that meat is pork baby back ribs and that wood is hickory.

    Yesterday I had delivered to my driveway a 1/2 cord of Hickory and a 1/2 cord of cherry wood. When I arrived home I was greeted by the happy sight of a pile of smoking wood in my driveway and my smiling family full of expectation of the magical things to come tonight.

    I awoke this morning at 7, called my butcher and ordered three slabs of ribs, and one butterflied leg of lamb. More on the lamb later. After picking up the meat and various sundry ingredients, I returned home and prepared my brining solution; 2 quarts of water, and 3/4 C of kosher salt. Once the salt was dissolved in the water, I popped the ribs in, and stored them in the fridge.

    Loyal readers, and avid fans of my continuing BBQ experiments will recall that the last time I made ribs, I felt that the taste was just a tad too salty. So this time, instead of backing off on the salt in the brine, I reduced the brining time from 2 hours to 1 hour and 20 minutes. I'm hoping this makes the difference.

    Next I rubbed the ribs with a little paprika based rub that I have been quite happy with and let them sit at room temperature for a little over 2 hours. At noon I fired up the smoker and at 1 I popped the ribs inside. They're smoking now at 189 degrees.

    As for the lamb, I'm just doing that in the oven later today for a pic nic with the grand parents tomorrow. I'm convinced that there is nothing better than some well roasted meat, at room temperature, with a nice plate of roast vegetables and a pasta salad. I think I'll be serving a chilled rose with the dinner tomorrow, and the pasta salad is an old favorite of mine that I made after having it in a restaurant several years ago: some rotini pasta, green beans, julienned sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts all mixed in with a light pesto sauce, served room temperature.

    More later.

    UPDATE: Results are in and the Que is consumed. Whoa. Just frickin' whoa. 7 hours seems to be the key.....meat separated from the bone without too much tug, and was still in possession of its moisture and texture. Well smoked flavor too. I have just taken the lamb out of the oven, and now will let it cool completely before I put it in the fridge to chill for tomorrow's dinner picnic. It's 11pm, I think I had better set the alarm.

    Oh, and I came up with a killer Rucula E Prosciutto salad tonight that just killed. I had one Thursday night at a local restaurant, and recreated it tonight at my place. Here's the kicker; mine was better, way better. Basically I combined arugula and prosciutto in salad bowls. I diced some excellent tomatoes from my local stand which I piled on top, and then diced some mozzarella di buffala on top of that. Next I poured a lemon/olive oil dressing lightly over the salad, sprinkled sea salt (I'm becoming increasingly convinced that sea salt is the key to great salads by the way) followed by some ground pepper. A little julienned basil on top and the rest was just magic. Try it yourself.

    Friday, July 21, 2006

    Studies in Oxymorons

    Heh, who would have ever thought "Professionals" and "Durbin" would appear in the same sentence? "State Secret Leaking, Income Redistributin', Hezbollah Sympathising, Liberal Blowhard" works a little better in my view.

    But then I'm a stickler for detail.

    Still, they wanted me to publicize the event, so you know, if you go, I have a challenge and a warning.

    The challenge: Do make your very best effort to completely empty Dick Turbin's coffers based only on your consumption of free Kendall Jackson White Zinfandel and Costco cocktail shrimp alone.

    The warning: If you accept the challenge, never ever lose site of the fact that those chunky braless gals in earth shoes will start to look better and better as the night wears on.

    Oh, and report back on the whole horrifyingly awful event.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    Where There's Smoke.....

    "Uh, yah, Captain we were uh...we were busting this here pot farmer, yah.
    See we thought we'd arrest the man and uh...uh burn his pot! Yah, we were uh burnin' it so it wouldn't fall in terrorist hands, cuz you know, when the terrorists get the pot uh...uh then they've won. Yah that's it!"

    "So, you wanna head over to that falafel stand down the street, cuz I'm really hungry man."

    Via The Functional Ambivalent

    Monday, July 17, 2006

    Click Over Carefully

    I'm not quite sure what this is, but as far as I can tell it is either the single most frightening example of a video personal add, or............ a pilot for "Libbies Gone Wild!".

    One wonders. Did the guy sit down and conciously think, "I've got the bad haircut, the unseasonal red turtleneck, but there most be something more. Something that is going to put me over the top with the earth shoe wearin' chicks."

    "I know! Where is that leather jacket that mom gave me?!"

    Newt's Big Run

    I'm a fan of Newt Gingrich.

    This, to paraphrase Homer Simpson, is I suppose my secret shame. It's not that I fully agree with Newt on all things, nor is it the sort of fawning love that liberals all over like to suppose conservatives feel for leaders of their movement. No, the truth is I like Newt and I accept him with all his warts. I keenly remember the genius of his "Contract with America" which successfully nationalized what previously had been local elections of members of Congress. It was a strategic and tactical masterstroke from which Democrats are still trying to recover. I also remember his failure at implementation following victory. To this day I can still taste the bittersweet result that was not unlike getting your date in the back seat of the car and then not being able to deftly unclip her bra.

    Disappointment, accusations, crying and ultimately a long silent ride back home

    Still, like so many conservatives, Newt is a thinker. Unlike the liberals in the west who's last great idea was the WPA (notably a tactic, not a strategy....liberals aren't great on the strategy), conservatives are blessed with a lot of great ideas. True, our implementation isn't always the best, but the one key reason we keep whipping the libbys like an old worn out horse is because we have ideas and they have......well....they have John Kerry.

    And Ted.

    And Hillary.

    And Barbara,

    And White Flag.

    You get the point.

    Oh we've got our embarassments too. Tom Delay, that Cunningham feller, and many more. The difference is that we also have ideas.

    In the attached interview Newt comes forth with an idea that to conservatives will not be all that surprising; we're in WW III. I found this link at my pal Tom's site. Tom, echoing the liberal zeitgeist refers to Newt's idea as one more attempt to scare America and this time vote Newt into office. I was going to comment over at Tom's, but the discussion became so involved that I didn't have time to do that and post here so my spot won out.

    The fact is, that no matter how you look at it, Newt is right. We are in WW III and this is no attempt to scare us, rather, it is a very clear attempt to wake us up. Liberals have pointed out in many places, and Tom is no exception, that we can't be in WW III if the entire world isn't fighting which is both myopic and self deluding. It, in fact misses entirely, Newt's point. As per Newt, the reason the whole world isn't fighting is because western liberals refuse to acknowledge that we're at war!

    For those old enough to remember the cold war, this scenario is not so unfamiliar. Despite what the left says now, we experienced a similar dynamic back then as well. Even at the height of the cold war, the left insisted that the Soviet Union was not bent on world domination, and meant us no harm; they just wanted to co-exist and to be left alone. The truth has since come out.

    Since the fall of the Soviet Union we've documented this liberal fairy tale for what it is. A dream, and a dangerous one at that. At the time conservatives rightly referred to this type of thinking as a policy of appeasement. Thank God that we fought it tooth and nail.

    Today's left follows a similar script. In their words, we've forced Islam to this point, and really, all they want is to be left alone. This ignores the facts that are as plain as any signal the Soviet Union sent during the cold war. Islam is bent on world domination, it is intolerant of non-believers, and it is the source of every major act of terrorism in the world today, and has been for years. States sponsor this terror, Wahabism is teaches death, and Palestinian TV teaches martyrdom, to name just a few examples.

    What the left refuses to acknowledge is this; just because one side refuses to fight, doesn't mean we're not at war.

    So Newt is trying to wake the left up by forcing them to confront a basic fact; we are at war. It is not pretty, it is not comfortable, and everything that we have done to fight the war may not have been correct. Hell, Newt's words acknowledge this and could (most likely will) be interpreted as an attack against our President. Still, the fact remains, we are at war and we need members of the left to quit their cackling, stop trying to score cheap political points, and get in the game. If you don't like Newt's ideas fine. If you don't like Bush's policies that is fine too.

    But for the sake of our country and western civilization, get in the game.