Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Milestone of Sorts

I changed my first diaper as a grandpappy last night.

No, not mine. Mason's.

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

He’s Here

Mason Ethan Hailey was born today at 4:40PM at St. Mary's Women's Pavilion. He weighs 7 lbs, 5 oz, and is 19.5 inches long.

Mother and son are resting comfortably, and will be able to come home tomorrow.


More pictures after the jump:

Posted by Rich
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I’m Gonna be a Grandpappy Today!

Erinne is headed to the hospital for a 5:30AM appointment and her doctor is going to induce labor due to Mason's size, and Erinne's elevated blood pressure, so in just a few short hours, I'll be a Grandpappy!

Posted by Rich
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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sen Johnson and the Senate Majority

We know Democrats will do anything to get in power and stay there. You may remember how they convinced Jim Jeffords to switch from Republican to independent and caucus with the Democrats to give the Dems control of the Senate in 2001. You may remember the 2002 New Jersey Senate race, when Bob Toricelli withdrew after the official deadline because he couldn't win, and the Dems sued to overturn state law and allow Frank Lautenburg to be placed on the ballot. Ironically, Democrats reversed their position in the case of Tom Delay, suing to force him to remain on the ballot in 2006, when he tried to step down due to problems similar to Toricelli's.

That the Democrats won both lawsuits is indicative of the state of our judicial system, but that's a post for another time.

Now Republicans have a chance to play at being Democrats and game the system. Sen. Tim Johnson was hospitalized and just had major brain surgery after experiencing stroke like symptoms. South Dakota law allows the governor to appoint a replacement if Johnson has to step down. The governor is a Republican, and given the 51-49 Senate split, if he installs a Republican, then Dick Cheney would be the tie breaker and the Republicans would keep control of the Senate.

Setting aside for the moment that Democrats have elected dead men to the Senate before, so it's no great stretch to imagine them leaving Johnson in place regardless of his condition, Gov. Michael Rounds has a decision to make. Does he replace Johnson with a Republican if the occasion arises, giving the Senate to the Republicans, or does he appoint a Democrat?

It's a tough call, but in my view, the voters of South Dakota elected a Democrat, and Gov. Rounds should respect that.

Posted by Rich
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Monday, December 11, 2006

Barack Obama Channels Jeff Foxworthy

While campaigning touring in New Hampshire, Barack Obama said, "If you disagree with my politics, you might be a racist!"

Okay, he didn't come out and say it as baldly as that. Here's how he put it:

Are there some voters who would not vote for an African America candidate because of race? I'm sure there are. Those are the same voters who probably wouldn't vote for me because of my politics.

Now for those of you who don't like the source, here's a link to a paraphrase of the comment:

Obama said some people would never vote for a black candidate, but they probably wouldn't vote for him anyway because of his politics.

Now, since Obama is a liberal, then the people who don't like his politics must be conservative. And if the people who won't vote for him based on his politics are also, as he claims, the same people who won't vote for him based on his skin color, then he's quietly calling conservatives racists.


I think I've learned all I need to know about Mr. Obama.

Posted by Rich
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The ISG:  It Was All a Joke, RIght?

Ok, let's see if understand this clearly. Iran and Syria have supplied most of the foreign insurgents fueling the opposition in Iraq, and are doing their level best to foment chaos, discord, and bloodshed in Iraq.

Yet even though this is beyond question, the ISG suggests that we should enlist Iran and Syria in an effort to end the chaos, discord, and bloodshed in Iraq.

Does this make any sense to anyone outside of Washington DC?

Maybe it's something in the water...

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Empire by Orson Scott Card

Key paragraph:
A good working definition of fanaticism is that you are so convinced of your own views and policies that you are sure anyone who opposes them must either be stupid and deceived or have some ulterior motive. We are today a nation where almost everyone in the public eye displays fanaticism with every utterance.

Do you recognize anyone you know in that description?

Card's book is a quick, entertaining read that tries hard to walk a middle line, instead of casting one side as good and the other as evil. The rebellion involves those on the right fringe and the left, working separately to overthrow the legitimate government, which ironically, both sides see as illegitimate. The rhetoric Card applies to the demagogues of each side could very well be verbatim transcripts of Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore, just to name two.

His premise, that we are in a place very similar to the one in 1860 is also apt. As he says in his afterward,
We live in a time when moderates are treated worse than extremists, being punished as if they were more fanatical than the actual fanatics.

Joe Lieberman, anyone?

And you really can't even call Lieberman a moderate, since he has one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate. But he broke with the party over the war, and that cost him.

Do I think we'll have a Civil War as described in Empire?

Only if we're lucky. Instead, because the divisions are ideological instead of geographic, I'm predicting that the conflict will be much more low key, drawn out, and will ultimately be much more devastating as we lose our national identity. Instead of all out war, we'll have strikes, and work stoppages, and food shortages, and so on. Each side will continue to blame the other, and things will begin to crumble. And that will allow a younger, more energetic group of people to come in and take over.

We've already got candidates lining up waiting for just such an opportunity.

Posted by Rich
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Friday, December 08, 2006

Why Bloggers Are Important.

Last week, Michael Silence asked whether he should continue blogging, and then decided he would, and I want to expand on something he said.

It's not that his opinions are important, but that he has opinions, and has a forum to express them that's the important part. It's why we all blog; we have something to say, and blogging let's us say it.

Now, it used to be that the press was the voice of the people, but somewhere along the line, they forgot that. Instead of reporters they became advocates. The problem with being an advocate is that you no longer speak for all of the people, just for the group you're favoring. To make matters worse, since then, journalists have forgotten that they no longer speak for or even to all the people. Nowhere is this more clear than in the media's reaction to the growth of the blogosphere.

They were outraged. How dare the common man think that his opinion was worth sharing! What arrogance! Had he gone to journalism school? Were his columns distributed by syndicates? Did he make a living off of his writing? Then why should he think his opinion matters enough to share? It was almost as if many old school journalists felt like they had some official mandate to be the only ones with a voice.

And to be fair, until blogging came along, they were right. They were the only ones with a voice. And if you didn't like what they had to say, your only option was to turn off the TV, or stop reading the newspaper.

Now we have a choice. If my local news outlets aren't covering an issue to my satisfaction, detailed, in depth coverage and analysis is only a few mouse clicks away. To use a current example, Kathryn Johnston, an elderly woman, was shot and killed during a no-knock raid on her home. Compare the KNS coverage here (Article found doing a search for "Kathryn Johnston") with the coverage by Radley Balko. Just scroll down the page. There are multiple entries about the affair.

One article with little information vs a dozen or more detailed articles. That's the blogosphere.

And this isn't a knock on the KNS or any other paper for that matter. They have neither the space nor the resources to provide the in depth coverage this story demands. Even though no-knock warrants are a national issue, unless one goes bad locally, the KNS will not be able to cover it in any kind of detail.

Blogging gives a voice to all of those who have been squelched out either by editorial bias, or by the economic constraints of the old media. And that's why bloggers are important.

We the people are now speaking for ourselves. That makes each voice, whether it is talking about politics, sports, puppies, or dating, important. There's a bonus in this for the media. Since we can all advocate for ourselves, maybe the reporters can get back to what they do better than bloggers.


Posted by Rich
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Thursday, December 07, 2006

I May Have Fixed the Problem

It turns out that my allotted disk space was full of Spam mail, over 4000 in 2 days.

I deleted them all, then upgraded my filters to prevent the next spamalanch.

I hope.

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Unintended Silver Lining:  A Cynical Post that is Sure to Offend Most Everybody

Mark Steyn, among others, has made a big deal about the disparity in birthrates between Christians and Muslims, particularly in Europe. Others have noticed a similar discrepancy here in the good old US of A, and are sounding alarm bells, warning the Muslims may soon import sharia here, just like they're doing in Europe.

Not to worry folks; it's not going to be an issue.

Once we allow the 12-20 million illegal immigrants already here to remain here legally, most of them devout Catholics, and allow them to import their extended families, low birthrates will no longer be an issue. And while we may be too sensitive and multicultural to oppose sharia effectively, I'm betting our newest American citizens will see the situation entirely differently.

Posted by Rich
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Monday, December 04, 2006

Blog Issues

Can anybody see this post?

I' suddenly having all kinds of problems with Moveable Type. Or my computer. Or my server.

I can't get the page to load completely, and if I take out the section of code that is causing the problem (I think), nothing will load at all!

This is getting to be very annoying.

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, December 03, 2006

A kitchen from Hell in Knoxville

I had lunch last week with a friend of mine who works in the kitchen of a very exclusive Knoxville restaurant, one with a very elevated reputation.

Now I've been around the restaurant business for about a decade, as my then wife worked at a variety of sit down restaurants like O'Charleys and Fridays, and I managed a fast food place for almost two years, so I know just what kind of horror stories to expect, but nothing I've seen or heard prepared me for the stories this guy told.

Have you heard of anyone taking spoiled beef, trimming off the green sections, and serving up the rest?

Have you heard of anyone serving up 3 week old oysters?

Have you heard of anyone washing rancid oil off of spoiled fish with lemon juice to hide the odor?

I watch a lot of shows on the Food Network, and I haven't seen Bobby Flay do any of those things. Heck, I haven't seen Rachel Ray do anything like that. As a matter of fact, the only time I've seen anything like that was on Fear Factor.

Apparently the head chef at this restaurant has been a chef for 25 years, and he figures that if the food is younger than he is, it counts as fresh.

The good news is that most of you reading this are like me, and you'll never get the chance to eat at this exclusive Knoxville eatery.

Posted by Rich
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Titans Top Colts!

Manning Mystified!
Titans Triumph!
Colts Clobbered!
Bironas Blasts!

Sportswriting is fun!

So is watching the Young Titans (pun intended) top the Indianapolis Colts with a 60 yard field goal.

Don't get me wrong; I like the Colts and I'm a big Peyton Manning fan, but I'm a bigger Titans fan. NO, they wont go to the playoffs this year, but they're showing constant improvement every game, and that makes next year look very good indeed.

Posted by Rich
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BCS Conundrum

No problem. Florida plays for the championship; They had the tougher schedule; they play in the toughest conference; they've earned a shot at the title.

Michigan had their shot and blew it. Do we really want to see that game again?

By the way, I'm picking the Gators by 6.

Posted by Rich
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Friday, December 01, 2006

Zombies Would Starve in Nashville

Apparently there's a tremendous shortage of brains in our State Legislature. Via Michael and Uncle, I see that our best minds (god help us all) are proposing to monitor by GPS our every move and then tax us per mile traveled because:

"Gas tax revenues are static, and they don't necessarily increase with the transportation needs that have to be met," said Sen. Mark Norris

What a tool.

What he doesn't realize is that not only is this a non-problem, his solution is functionally identical to the existing system!

Except of course for the tremendous violation of our privacy.

Allow me to explain, and I'll use short, simple words for the legislators in the room. The revenues aren’t static, period. The revenues from the gas tax track with consumption, meaning the more gas we buy, the more taxes we pay.

Follow me so far Sen. Norris?

Now then, unless you let your car sit in your driveway and idle all day, the same way our legislators seemingly allow their brains to lie idle all day, you burn gas when you drive. The more miles you drive, the more often you have to fill up.

Is this starting to sound familiar, Sen?

So, the more miles you travel, the more gas you buy, and the more tax you pay. Taxing by the gallon produces exactly the same revenue stream as taxing by miles traveled.

Did you follow that Sen Norris, or should I simplify it more for you and your idiot colleagues?

The only thing "static" about the tax is the amount per gallon sold, and there's no sane reason why that should fluctuate.

Of course, sanity is not something I've come to expect from legislators.

Posted by Rich
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