Weird Spokes Persons

Drudge links to this story, which makes no sense:

Actor Richard Gere has recorded a TV commercial urging Palestinians to vote in their election Sunday.

In a transcript obtained by The Associated Press, he said: “Hi, I’m Richard Gere, and I’m speaking for the entire world. We’re with you during this election time. It’s really important: Get out and vote.”

Appearing with Gere in the spot are the head of the Islamic court in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.

The spot is apparently an attempt to use both glamour and religion to get Palestinians to the polls. It will air soon. It’s unclear what kind of sway Gere may have with Palestinians. One man who appeared with him in the spot said he’d never heard of Gere.

I really have a hard time believing that a great number of Palestinians will know who Richard Gere is, let alone be persuaded by him. The article references attempts to use ‘glamour and religion’ to get out the vote. I guess Gere falls under the glamour category, since the article doesn’t even mention that he is a Buddhist. Not that the Palestinians will know or care anyway.

The Sweet Taste of Shoe Leather

Andrew Sullivan, yesterday:

QUOTE FOR THE DAY I: “I’d much rather be doing this than figthing a war,” – helicopter pilot Lt. Cmdr. William Whitsitt, helping the survivors of the south Asian tsunami. Earth to Whitsitt: you’re a soldier.

A reader responds, eloquently, to Sullivan, pointing out in polite terms what a %$@# idiot Sullivan is and what the soldier really meant. A snippet:

EVERYONE in the military would rather be saving lives than taking them. More important, most military personnel don’t see any difference between the mission in Iraq and the mission in tsunami-stricken south Asia. The goal is to help people who have been ravaged by forces beyond their control to get back on their feet and join the community of nations so they won’t continue to be a burden (or danger) to us.
Relief work is hard and dangerous and unpleasant. No one enjoys the stench of rotting corpses, whether its in Fallajuh or Banda Aceh. Military personnel will be exposed to any diseases that break out. Working in the tropics with only rudimentary living conditions (as those assigned onshore to the cleanup and reconstruction will face for months) is no picnic. Flying supplies off of ships to remote locations over miles of ocean and jungle will not be accident-free.

LCDR Whitsitt’s point is, he’d rather risk his life helping the Indonesians than fighting in a place where some of the very people he’s risking his life for are indifferent at best, and gunning for him at worst. However, like virtually every other person in the military, he’ll do his best to accomplish the mission assigned to him by the nation’s leaders… in Baghdad or Banda Aceh.

Andrew’s Response:

My point is not that bringing relief to stricken people is somehow less worthy than fighting wars. My point is that the military is primarily about fighting and winning wars – not disaster relief.

People pay $1300.00 a month for a blogad on a website offering that type of deep insight. Unbelievable. The only point showing, Andy, is the one on the top of your head.

Depressing Note

Today is the season finale versus the Bills, which means that I am only guaranteed 8 more quarters of Steelers football before the long dark desolate season begins. After the Superbowl ends, I am moody and emotional for several weeks as I go through football withdrawal.

Bowl Mania

For years, I have been an advocate for a national playoff in college football, as it simply is unfair to many teams to be left out of the mix because of nonsense like “strength of schedule.” When you schedule 11 games, and your kids win them all, what elese can they do? Run up the score to encourage poor sportsmanship?

However, I have decided today that I am against a playoff system. To work fairly, it would take too many weeks, and I don;t think we need to spend another 6 weeks distracting from other student activities. Like class, for example.

When I was a kid, I remember watching the Rose Bowl parade and the Rose Bowl, and Keith Jackson was covering it then, too (how many if you are aware he is in the Rose Bowl HoF?)> At any rate- maybe it is my proximity to Ohio State and Penn State, but winning the Rose Bowl was something. Something big. I assume the same thing is true for other regions- I know the Sugar Bowl and the Cotton Bowls always stick out in my memories from the 70’s and 80’s, as well as the Citrus Bowl.

My suggestion? Get rid of the whole concept of #1 in the nation, as there is no way to verify this with any realistic system. LEt the people vote, and you can cover it if you want to, but what should be listed next to the AP TOP 25 are the actual top 3 teams by record for each conference. Then set it up in a revolving manner that different winners of each conference play the winner of a different conference every year. Those conference matchups could be the Rose, Orange, Citrus, etc. And that would be it. The smaller bowls could invite whoever the hell they want.

There is no way to determine the national champion. Let’s quit pretending there is, and return to the good old days- when winning the Cotton Bowl meant something,.

I’ll Second That

Here is a resolution I should make:

I resolve to be less of an asshole to those who don’t deserve it, and more of one to those that do.

Get a Grip

Dear Mr. Madsen,

‘State of Fear’ is a work of fiction, you reactionary dolt. It isn’t like Crichton is pretending this is a documentary, or something.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

My WVu Mountaineers celebrated the New Year by forgetting to show up for their bowl game. Florida State humiliated them.

Things I am Thankful For, 2004 Edition

Thought I would make al ittle list of things I am thankful for, etc. Parents, friends, family, and pets are obviously included, so I am not even mentioning them.

Things I Am Thankful for in 2004 (in no particular order after the Steelers)

1.) The Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL
2.) A Global economy, which allows us to enjoy things like items #3-5
3.) Kona coffee
4.) Laphroiag scotch
5.) Imported cigars
6.) HDTV
7.) President Bush and Vice President Cheney- they aint perfect by any stretch, but I will take them over what the Democrats keep burping up any day of the week.
8.) That the junior Senator from Massachussetts is still Teddy Chappaquiddick’s understudy.
9.) That ESPN and other sports cable networks are starting to show lacrosse.
10.) Down comforters, fluffy pillows, and high count sheets in the winter.
11.) Air conditioning and iced tead in the summer.
12.) Long hot showers in the with good water pressure
13.) BBQ
14.) How easy techonology has made so many things (internet shopping, internet banking, blogging, cell phones, etc.)
15.) The PGA
16.) Every man and woman who is serving or has served in the military in defense of this nation.

Feel free to make your own list and link. And don’t forget to eat pork and sauerkraut tomorrow.

Just a Thought

What is the world going to do when Bob Barker dies/retires? He has been the most dependable person in my life- every morning for 35 years I knew where he would be. He has outlived two announcers, (I am not sure who the current announcer is, but the old ones were Johnny Olson and Rod Roddy), numerous games, and what seems like hundreds of showcase showgirls.

Tsunami Videos

Here is a torrent stream for all the tsunami videos, via Jordon Golson. Damned frightening.

If you have not donated and want to, I would recommend doing so through Scrappleface. That is where I chose to donate, although you can also give through Amazon.


I am not dead, and I should resume blogging tomorrow. Lots of things to talkabout, but for right now, let me officially declare that I would not piss on Markos if he were on fire.

I Beg To Differ

Via the Instapundit, accusations of hypocrisy on the art of Rush Limbaugh:

Not being a cigar aficionado, I have no idea what the hell Rush is talking about, except that he took the opportunity of a visit to London to break US sanctions against importing products of Communist Cuba.

Hunh? The US embargo dictates what individuals must do in England?

Now as a democrat/democratic socialist, I make an effort not to buy items produced in countries whose governments repress free trade unions. With China seemingly manufacturing most of the world’s goods these days, that’s getting harder and harder, but I try. But I’d like to believe that even if I was a cigar aficionado, I would resist the temptation to puff on a Cuban stogie as long as the Castro regime forbids the island’s cigar workers from freely organizing and striking.

So does this mean that on the Cuban-cigar issue, I’m (shudder) to the right of Rush Limbaugh?

No, it just means you have never smoked a good cigar.

How to Steal an Election, Pt. 2

The Democrats continue their theft in broad daylight:

After a bitter and protracted recount fight in the Washington governor’s race, elections officials announced Wednesday that the Democratic candidate, Christine O. Gregoire, was leading her Republican opponent by 10 votes – a minuscule margin but a stunning reversal of the Nov. 2 election results.

The preliminary results elated Democratic Party officials and came only hours after the party scored another victory, when the State Supreme Court agreed with the Democrats’ contention that more than 700 newly discovered and erroneously disqualified ballots in heavily Democratic King County should now be considered.

Since those ballots came from a county where Ms. Gregoire, 57, already had a solid lead, the ruling could allow her to increase her extraordinarily tiny edge in a race that is the closest in state history and one of the closest in the nation’s history.

The day’s events dealt a serious blow to state Republicans and Dino Rossi, 45, a businessman and former state senator, who had been certified the winner of the Nov. 2 vote after eking out a margin of 261 votes out of almost three million cast. He later won a machine recount by 42 votes.

Got it, now? Demand a recount, then run around and contact only Demcrats who have challenged ballots. Then ‘find’ some uncounted ballots in King County. Demand another recount. Shit. Still short. Recanvas, find some more ballots in King County. Insist on hand recount, despite it being much less reliable. Just in case you still don’t have the lead, make sure there are a couple hundred more King County ballots ‘found.’

This was their vision for Florida in 2000. This is what they wanted in Ohio this year. At least the Republicans are fighting back:

Whatever the final results, they are almost certain to be contested.

“This count, this election, is not over,” said Chris Vance, the chairman of the state Republican Party. The Supreme Court, he said, “basically threw the door open to start all over again. I think that’s crazy.”

He said Republicans planned to “show up at 9 a.m.” on Thursday “on the doorstep of every county auditor with people whose votes weren’t counted for Dino Rossi.”

Again- ‘count every vote’ really means ‘count thevotes until the Democrat wins.’

BTW- why do the Democrats feel so confident with the results of the third recount? Why should this one be considered accurate and final? The first two weren’t.

The Death of Christmas

I have to say I am with Matt on this whole ‘death of Christmas’ nonsense. Why all these ‘free market’ conservatives can not understand that a department store may have employees say “Happy Holidays” instead of ‘Merry Christmas’ is beyond me. They do so to be inclusive of all religions, thereby not offfending anyone, and thus maximizing the bottom line.

You see, it is not that they hate the baby jesus, you poor oppressed Christians. They just love the bottom line more.

And if the meaning of Christmas is cheapened for you because everyone you greet during a select 6 week period does not return a heart ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS,’ I might sugest you are missing the point of the holy day.

BTW- If this sort of thing does offend your delicate Christian sensibilities, let me issue a firm warning. Do not look into the pagan rituals you are eagerly engaging in, like cutting down a tree and decorating it, hanging a shrub in your hallway to kiss underneath, hanging other shrubs over your fireplace and above doors, placing wreaths on your door, the star worship, etc. And for the love of everything holy, you better not google Saturnis.

In short, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa and the others are all about faith- yours, and I, for one, was unaware that you needed unanimous consensus in order to have faith. Now stfu and have a Happy Holidays.

What is the Goal?

Read this snippet from Matt Yglesias:

I’m not quite sure I grasp what’s supposed to be going on here. Most notably peace has not, in fact, broken out between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The hopeful signs we’re seeing lately are just signs that we may see a return to peace talks. But of course the failure to have such talks is precisely what critics of the Bush Israel policy have been criticizing Bush for. The proximate cause of all this is that with Arafat dead, the Bush/Sharon policy of not negotiating with Arafat is non-operative. But if Bush and Sharon had never adopted that policy, we could have had hopeful talks years ago. Maybe those talks would have come to nothing, but maybe (indeed, I would say “probably”) they will still come to nothing now.

It appears that to Matt, what is really important are peace talks- not the outcome of any such talks, but the peace talks themselves.

The reason there have been no peace talks in ther past several years is because Sharon and Bush realized, from the 30 years of experience Arafat has provided them, that Arafat was a bad actor and would never follow through with any peace talks. It really isn’t that hard to grasp- ask Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak, or anyone else on the planet.

Continuing to harangue Bush because there were no Israeli/Palestinian peace talks recently shows me what is really important to some critics- peace talks, and not real peace.