Saturday, January 5, 2008

Hate Crimes, Lionheart, and Confederate Statues

A blogger called Wolf Howling is doing his best to publicize the pending arrest of fellow blogger, Lionheart.
Lionheart's offense? (And all praise to Allah, these laws are on the books in The U.K., not the U.S.....)
He has criticized Islam, the religion of peace.
Hit the link above for details.
Hit this one for Lionheart's point of view.
Here's more from Wolf Howling:
The Public Order Act of 1986 makes it an offense to "stir up racial hatred." The act defines "racial hatred" as "hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins." The law does not define the word "hatred." The specific provisions of the Public Order Act of 1986 mentioned by the police in their e-mail to Lionheart are:
18 (1) A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if—
(a) he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred, or(b) having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby.27 (3) A person guilty of an offence under this Part is liable— (a) on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or a fine or both.

We have some idiotic laws on the books that allow for additional penalties when a lawbreaker is motivated by "hate"....i.e. hate crimes.
In the U.S., these offenses can already be prosecuted under existing law. Hate Crime legislation comes about when politicians (usually from The Left) need a wedge issue. Who's in favor of Hate?
If you favor leaving Hate Crime legislation on the books, please consider the following:
I think it was George Will who recently laid out this scenario....Three Seventeen Year Olds were recently arrested for defacing a Confederate Memorial Statue in Montgomery, Alabama. If it turns out that the three kids were African-Americans, should they receive additional penalties for committing Hate Crimes?

Friday, January 4, 2008

David Huckabee Hung A Dog

David Huckabee, Mike Huckabee's son, once hung a dog.
Elect Rudy !!! Vote for McCain !!! Go Romney !!! Nominate Dr. Ron Paul !!!
Go Dick Cheney !!! Disinterr Nixon !!! George Bush, Go for a 3rd term !
George Bush's Daddy, Go for a 2nd term !!!
Anyone but an Arkansas Fundamentalist Witch Doctor from Arkansas !
David Huckabee photo from KTHV .

Go Lincoln !!! Go Taft !!! Go Hillary Obama !!! Recruit Warren Gamaliel Harding !!! Dig up Silent Calvin Coolidge !!! Prop up Hannibal Hamlin !!! Trot Bob Dole out for another go at it !!! (Gerald Ford couldn't possibly be at room temperature yet, could he?)

How addicted to Blogging are you?

75%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Just hit the widget to take the test....
I'm sure I've just given a free link to something horrible, but it was a fun test to take.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Iowahawk and the caucuses

Because of tonight's Iowa Caucuses, I made a point of checking out Iowahawk.

It's the funniest stuff you'll ever read about Iowa. Or caucuses. I'm only linking to the site, not individual posts, so if you're reading this a year from now, go to his posts from December 18th, 2007, through January 3rd, 2008.

Here's a sample:
Iowa is also widely known as "The Diversity State," with its vibrant Norwegian-American community and its equally vibrant German-American community, not to mention a growing population of German-Norwegian-American halfbreed mestizos. And, according to the most recent U.S. Census, Iowa has twice as many African-Americans as New Hampshire, and both of them are keenly involved in the political process.
Iowans Are Moderate. Historically, Iowa is neither strongly Republican nor Democrat, conservative nor liberal. It is near the median in state population and in the middle of the country, with an average per-capita income. Iowans speak in flat, unaccented Midwestern English, and avoid conflict and spicy foods. Iowans have a long tradition of political centrism borne of a strong libertarian desire to steer clear of government interference, along with an equally strong desire for federal subsidy checks to help better enjoy the government non-interference.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Harper's Magazine, January 2008, Saving The Earth By Selling Cars

Once I get past Lewis Lapham's whinings in the "Notebook" section, I generally enjoy Harper's magazine. (A previous Harper's editor, Willie Morris, was a family friend in Yazoo City, Mississippi. I wasn't born yet, but I'm still loyal. The full story of Lewis Lapham's back-stabbings can be found in Morris's book "New York Days". Good stuff.)
I took the January 2008 Harper's on my vacation last week. A writer named Meredith Broussard does a great Fisking of a food allergies pamplet. You'll never take THE PEANUT ALLERGIES CRISIS ! ! ! seriously again if you read it. Equally good stuff on Mummies, Monotheism, and Brasilia.

But I noticed something missing. Harper's doesn't have much advertising, which is pleasant.
Looking at the fine print on the masthead thingy, or whatever you call it, I saw that Harper's is owned and published by the Harper's Magazine foundation.
That explains it, I thought. So they've got foundation money. Good for them.
(I also saw Walter "Let's abandon the South Vietnamese" Cronkite and George "I couldn't carry my home state in '72" McGovern on their Board of Directors. Bummer.)
I only counted eleven full-page ads in a 96-page magazine.
Five of these were for academic publishing companies, books on tape, or language learning systems. Those industries can't pay much. They almost don't count in the great scheme of keeping Harper's afloat.

One other advertisement was for Bose headphones. No price is listed on the ad, which means that if you're curious about the price, you can't afford them.

Another ad was for Renaissance Hotels & Resorts. Eclectically dressed rich people of appropriately diverse ethnic backgrounds are doing Rich Folks At The Hotel things. The layout is supposed to remind you of Raphael's painting "The School of Athens". The idea being Raphael painted the ancient world's philosophicaly sound elites. You are the new world version of the same if you stay at The Renaissance with your Bose headphones and your copy of Harper's.

Now we get to the real money. The four remaining advertisements are for 1) Toyota, 2) The Chevy Tahoe, 3) BMW, and 4) The Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund.

What do those four ads have in common? And how can arch-capitalist outfits like automakers and mutual funds fit into the Harper's magazine of Lewis Lapham?

They're all green. They're saving the planet.

At Toyota, they're "driving toward zero waste" in all their factories. The ad shows it. They have a picture of a gloved hand reaching into a recycling bin to hold up a piece of scrap aluminum. Lordy, I'm glad Toyota finally stopped throwing away their scrap aluminum and started recycling it. It takes those Japanese a while to catch on, but they've done it! ! !
And get this: Future Toyotas will have fewer waste emissions than Nicole Richie! ! ! "Over one million Toyota and Lexus hybrids around the world have kept billions of pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere."
Unfortunately, if that's true, they've also put billions into the atmosphere. If Harper's readers want to support the environment and Toyota at the same time, there's only one way they can do so. Buy a Toyota, park it someplace, and throw away the keys.

Let's move on to the Chevy Tahoe. The background of this ad is green. There's a green heart-shaped leaf in the center, to show how much Chevy loves green. The Chevy Tahoe, which has A Bigger Carbon Footprint Than Al Gore's HouseTM, is parked in the middle of a green forest where it looks like it might just decompose into Whole Earth Mulch any minute. This is a hybrid Tahoe, which can operate in three ways: electric power, engine power, or any combination of electric and engine power. You probably have enough leftover power to run your laptop or a DVD player in the Chevy Tahoe. That way you can watch the documentary "Who Killed The Electric Car". (Spoiler Warning: Detroit might have done it. In Congress. With a lead pipe. Thus ends the game of Clue....)

The new BMW allows you to "wash your hands of CO2 emissions." There's a huge drop of water descending in front of the BMW Hydrogen 7. Yeah, you Pontius Pilate, earth destroying, Beemer driving Yuppie scum, you can wash your hands of emissions. Nothing can be your fault. "It's a great idea that makes more than an environmental statement," says the ad copy. And making a statement instead of a difference is what this is all about.

Now let's look at the back cover. The Calvert Alternative Energy Mutual Fund gives us a big picture of a wind farm. "One day, 'alternative' energy will just be energy", they say. Calvert is going to give us Alternative Energy Solutions AND they are "positioned to help you potentially capitalize on this investment opportunity." Let's deconstruct that last phrase: "We at Calvert know Al Gore. He and Kleiner Perkins are going to get Congress to subsidize this stuff. Give us your money. You can make tons more and not feel guilty. It's for a good cause."

I assume that Willie Morris is turning over in his grave, a grave where I hope he is composting nicely with minimal methane and CO2 emissions, and leaving the earth the way he found it.

The 40 Most Obnoxious Quotes of 2007

Most people with my political views dislike the anti-market bias of the left, and the anti-personal freedom bias of the right. That's why I don't spend a whole lot of time at sites with names like "The Left Wing of Truth", "Nancy Pelosi is Satan", "Bush is Evil" or even The Right Wing News.
But someone at Right Wing News deserves kudos for putting this batch together.
Here are the 40 Most Obnoxious Quotes of 2007.

And now that I've gone in there and looked around for a while, I'm linking to them. Ignore the ads....the content is good.

Richest Vice President, Part 2

Thanks for your help, everyone.
This site is now the #1 Google search result for the words RICHEST VICE PRESIDENT.
Please keep that rant alive....

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

PLEASE protect me from anything that might change my mind

"Did you ever hear anyone say 'That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me'?"-- Joseph Henry Jackson

I found this at a listing of quotes about banned books called The Forbidden Library. Good stuff.
I was in the bookselling racket when "The Satanic Verses", "American Psycho", and "Final Exit" came out. And guess wasn't conservatives who wanted these titles banned. It was, respectively, The Politically Correct, Feminists, and Lawyers.

The Celebrated Chinese Typhoon Story

I occasionally go to Xiamen, China, to do Quality Control work in a metal factory. The original factory was located relatively close to the downtown area of Xiamen island.

But in an effort to promote more tourism, the government decided to move all factories off the island. (That’s one of the many, many Blessings of Socialism….Big Government can simply move “undesirables” to other places, whether it’s factories, human rights activists, political opponents, people living upstream from the 3 Gorges Dam, Tibetans, or entire industries. No questions asked. Don’t you wish you lived under a government like that? No? Then start voting for Libertarians….)

The new factory is 45 minutes away from the island. The company driver always picks me up at the same coffee bar, along with a few salespeople or office workers who have gone home to the island instead of sleeping in the factory dormitory. Catching a free ride in the company car with The Great American (or Brit, Swede, Kiwi, etc.) is free and fast, as compared to taking a bus that stops at every fish stand between the island and the new factory.

My driver was named Mary.

Most Chinese people like Mary who work with Westerners usually acquire a Western Name. This has nothing to do with Imperialism, Colonialism, Capitalism, or Ethnocentrism. It’s about vowels. Since Asian languages are typically tonal languages - vowels can rise, fall, fall-rise, or stay flat - anyone like me from Merigold, Mississippi will fail to hear the differences in the tones. In Merigold, Mississippi, individual vowels wander pointlessly for several seconds but with no specific goal other than a reluctance to get to the point.

It’s worse when we try to speak a tonal language. Anyone from Merigold, Mississippi trying to get the right person on the telephone will fail. (Can I speak to Mr. Hu -- Mr. Hu ! ! Mr. Hu ?? Mr. Hu \__/ )

At some point, the Chinese individual will pick out a name he or she likes, and say “Call me Roger.” Or the Westerner will get frustrated and declare “In honor of your contributions to this enterprise, I hereby dub thee ‘Roger’”. The newly minted Roger will try the name out a few times, get the spelling down, and struggle with the R’s at each end. He’ll eventually Google “Roger” to make sure there’s no historical bad Mojo packaged with the name, like the bad Karma now found with Adolph, Benito, or Dahmer.. He’ll either declare the name acceptable, or suggest an alternative.

My Chinese friend Wendy, the factory’s leading salesperson and interpreter, once decided that Mr. Chen, the factory owner, needed a Western name. Wendy proposed “Charlie”. As in Charlie Chen. I didn’t explain the negative connotations surrounding the 1940’s and 50’s movie detective Charlie Chan, and that many people wouldn’t respect any Asian who voluntarily went by that name. So I told her that Mr. Chen is THE MAN at that factory. Nobody else gets called Mister. Therefore, a Western name was unnecessary for a man of Mr. Chen’s wisdom and stature. That’s how I killed the Charlie Chen project.

I once met an American at a Xiamen bar called “The Londoner”, who confessed to naming an entire Chinese office staff with aliases that reminded him of American strippers. He loaded the place with Ambers, Ashleys, Tiffanys, Mistys, and Lolas. That’s just wrong.

But I have my own confession to make. My political leanings go toward Libertarianism. Perhaps that’s why I subconsciously named people after Defeated Democratic Presidential Candidates. I was about 3 names into the process before I discovered I’d given the QC Manager the name Walter (Mondale), the Welding shop was run by George (McGovern or Wallace, name your poison) and the Wire department was managed by Albert (The Goracle of Music City Tennessee). Those first three weren’t intentional. Unlike the names I gave out during my last trip, when, I’m delighted to say, I ensured that the Final Assembly department would be ably managed by John and his lovely wife Theresa-Heinz (Kerry).

I’d pay my own airfare to China, just to name the purchasing agent “Hillary” as a pre-emptive strike.

But I digress. The point of all this is to explain that my Chinese driver on the day of The Typhoon had the unlikely name “Mary”. She was the first female driver to show up in Mr. Chen’s car, and was visibly nervous. People from her obviously impoverished background don’t get to spend much time with round-eyed Barbarians. Unlike the previous Davids, Tommys, and Mikes, Mary had absolutely no English, other than “Herro, Mister Aaron!” (In Merigold, Mississippi, I was named Allen. In China, it comes out as Aaron.) But once I saw that Mary could cope with the odd meter rhythms of Chinese traffic as well as anyone else, I would dive into my laptop within a few minutes of each departure.

(I’m writing this from a cruise ship on the Mexican Riviera, a long way from Xiamen China. But I can still hear the two CD’s in Mr. Chen’s company car: The Carpenter’s Greatest Hits, and a Richard Clayderman (?) CD of 1970’s movie themes, including Love Story, Romeo & Juliet, Moon River, and The Godfather. Those songs been pounded into my soul)

I couldn’t tell anything unusual about the weather on the day of the typhoon. Chinese weather is hard for me to predict. Because of China’s total absence of environmental protections, the sky is always the color of 10,000 outbursts of Satanic flatulence. China lives beneath the Marlboro Man’s overflowing ashtray. A Dickensian London Fog mixed with Plutonium for good measure.

Cleveland Ohio was once the only U.S. city where a river caught on fire. In Xiamen, that might happen to the sky. So who knows if it’s cloudy or not? Plus, the coastal fog and mugginess give everything the feel of stepping into a mildewed shower stall. One of the upsides of a typhoon is that the sky afterwards is a brief radiant blue, and everyone’s mood is noticeably improved.

Once I got to the factory, I worked until around 3:00 p.m., when Mr. Chen found me and said that a Typhoon was coming. I had one opportunity to get back to the Island. There were none of the usual delays waiting on hitch-hiking office workers, and I was the last one to get in Mary’s car. Wendy the Salesperson/Interpreter, Karen, her assistant, Nancy the office manager, and Walter from Quality control were in the back seat.

This was my second typhoon. The first was weathered from the relative security of the Osaka, Japan, airport. The airport typhoon experience was like being outside of a carwash, looking in. This one was like being inside a blender, vainly looking out. The windshield wipers weren’t squeegee-ing the water, they were briefly stirring it. When we could see out the windshield, we saw branches flying in front of us. The scraps of woven plastic mesh bags, broken chunks of tile, and rusted chunks of sheet metal that are China’s Roadside Beautification Program were washing across the road.

But we felt secure. Big Sister was with us. The ever present voice bringing reassurance in our time of trouble, the unseen comforter giving guidance to our tiny vessel. No, I’m not talking about the propaganda recordings of Mrs. Mao, the White Boned Demon. I’m not talking about any of the minor Buddhist or Hindu deities. I’m not even referencing the Mother of Our Lord and Savoir whose namesake was gamely gripping the wheel. No, we had the audible presence of the most prominent, inspirational voice in all of China, whose words ceaselessly blast from every Karaoke Bar, Bootleg CD shop, and restaurant on the continent: We had the music of Karen Carpenter.

And we were singing with her:

“When I wass young I lissen to dah radio,Waitin Foe mah favree song…..
When dey play I sing along
It make me smile

EvLeee Shah Lah Lah Lah, Evvv Leee Woa Woa Woa,
Still shiiiine,
Evv Lee Sheen a Leen a Leen, Dat dey Stahting to Siiing
So Fiiiiiine,
When dey get to dah Paaaht where he breakin’ her haaaht.
Eee can rearry make you cry…
Juss like Befooooe, Is Yessuhday One Mohhhhh. (Zhoo Bee Doo Woe Woe)

God, it was surreal.

I'm adding a YouTube of The Carpenters singing the song.  Don't bother watching the video.  Just turn your speakers up to ELEVEN, and let it provide a soundtrack for the rest of this story. 

We drove and drove. Normally we could expect a slowdown with factory traffic heading back into town, plus the usual slowdowns from ox carts, bicycles, mopeds and pedestrians. Not that afternoon. The road was ours. If we could only see it.

Evv Lee Shah Lah Lah Lah, Evv Lee Woa Woa Woa Woa, So Fiiiiiine….

Chunks of fence were coming across the road. Chickens. Mud from the hillsides.

Evv Lee Sheen a Leen a Leen, Dat dey stahteen to siiing, So Fiiiiine

For a moment, I knew I was going to die in a flooded Chinese ditch with those people, listening to Karen Carpenter reminisce about 1950’s DooWop music. When the Chinese government finally dispatched an ambulance to the scene of our crash, they would find me with my eyes frozen wide in terror with “It’s Yesterday Once More” still running on auto-repeat.

(Zhoo Bee Doo Woe Woe….)

And then there was total silence from inside the car. Silence. The rarest of all Chinese commodities. All I could hear outside was rain, wind, and the defeated windshield wipers. Wendy had said something that prompted Mary to turn off the CD player.

“What’s the matter?” I asked. “Did we hit a dog?” (Which is another story….)

Walter, Karen, and Wendy waited a few seconds and then started wildly Speaking in the Unknown Tongue. All I could pick up on were various permutations of the word “Ma”, which, depending on the tonal inflection, can mean Mother, it can imply Ownership, it sometimes means to Scold or Curse, and it also mean Horse, or Marijuana. Throw a “Ma” onto the end of a sentence, and it can turn statements into questions.

(Here’s a potential Chinese Pronunciation Exercise: “Mama, your damn horse ate my marijuana ????”)

I looked into the backseat, where everyone was talking, looking and pointing wildly, as if hornets were trying to get in through the windows.

“What’s the matter?” I asked again.

“We are missing…..???” Walter answered, pointing behind us. “Who are we missing?” I asked, dreading a trip back to the factory to pick up some clerk who just HAD to be back on the island that night.

“We are missing….???” Walter said again, this time scooting away from Karen as if making room for one more Chinese butt on the back seat.

“We are missing….???” he said one more time. Walter is a good kid, but sometimes a little dim.

“Oh Waltahh,” Wendy said, throwing her hands in the air. “In Engrish, you do not say We Are Missing. You say ‘AARON, WE ARE LOST’.”

Then it was my turn to start looking around like a madman. All I saw past the typhoon was generic Chinese landscape. Trees weren’t bent double any more, but they were still leaning. Conversation resumed in Chinese. More pointing and head twisting. We eventually came to an intersection with an unmarked road, where Mary balked, waiting on instruction from a higher power. It was chilly, but her hands were sweating. Chairman Mao and the Gang of Two were in the back seat. Richard Nixon was in the front seat. Mary wasn’t trained for Henry Kissinger-type work.

I started advocating a right turn, since I knew we were going north. Ocean, and therefore island, were both to the east. I was overruled by the residents.

We drove and drove. Finally we came to another road. This one had a sign POINTING TO XIAMEN. I know the characters that make the word Xiamen. There’s the little gallows with a bee hive hanging from it, followed by the half-box “men” character that makes things plural. It was a sign pointing toward home, and they wouldn’t let Mary drive down it. I argued. I cussed. THE DAMN SIGN WAS POINTING TO XIAMEN.
But they didn’t know that road, Wendy explained. We might get lost worse. We were already lost worse I explained.

“Look,” I said. “How many bridges go onto the island?”


“This country doesn’t spend anything on road signs, since that would be helpful to the people who live here. But somebody, Buddha bless his soul, has put a sign here saying this road goes to Xiamen. I promise you, this road leads to other roads that lead to one of the bridges that will get us to Xiamen.”

Wendy said something to Mary.  Mary, trembling like a whipped dog, crept past the intersection without turning. I decided to roll with it. “I’ve always wanted to see Russia,” I said, deteriorating into The Ugly American.
Thirty minutes later, we were still heading north. The rain was winding down, and we saw people coming out of their houses to start the cleanup. In the distance, there was a low, flat range of hills. They almost looked man made.

“Look,” I said. “There’s The Great Wall of China.”

Nobody laughed. We kept rolling.

Five minutes later, Walter piped up….”Aaron, the Great Wall is in far north China.”

Wendy was disgusted. “Oh Waltaah, Aaron just making bad joke.”

I honestly don’t remember much after that. We eventually got home by turning right, somewhere in Baha Beijing.

Happy New Year ! ! !

Monday, December 31, 2007

In Defense of Libertarianism

"Wired" magazine has a great article called "In Defense of Libertarianism", by Declan McCullagh.

Here are a couple of my favorite paragraphs:

Critics are wrong to trace the origins of libertarianism to Horatio Alger's "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" 19th-century philosophy of rugged individualism, or "social darwinism." Some libertarians call themselves "classical liberals," referring not to hippies of the 1960s, but to centuries-old political thinkers who valued freedom and equality and hated mercantilism and the arbitrary rule of the privileged class.
The true roots of libertarianism lie in the Jewish and Greek ideas of a higher law that governs everyone, even the ruler. Then there were 17th-century thinkers like John Locke and John Milton who defended equality, free speech, and religious tolerance. Activists in the fight against slavery, such as William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass, also believed in libertarian theories of human rights. So did early defenders of women's rights, such as Sarah Grimke and Mary Wollstonecraft. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are libertarian documents based on the view that government is built by the consent of the governed and exists only to protect individual rights. They created and support a system that will - in general - result in higher standards of living for more people than does government intervention.

Ok, people in Iowa and New Hampshire, vote accordingly.

Alzheimer's and Cruise Ships

Many of you who know me, or who have read some of my older posts, know that my Father-In-Law has Alzheimer's Disease.

Denny was diagnosed 3 or 4 years ago, and it's been difficult. He wanders away with things, leaves them in special hiding places, and will sometimes repeatedly make a circular path through the house trying to remember just what it is that he needs to be doing.

My Mother-In-Law has paid our way on vacation cruises once a year, ever since Denny was diagnosed. They want their family to have group holidays as many times as possible before his situation deteriorates any further.

We think each trip will be the last, but every year around September the disease goes into a brief remission - a remission long enough to justify booking tickets on the cruise, anyway. At this point, Denny has had more farewell tours than The Eagles.

Cruise ships work out well for Alzheimer's patients. There's always something going on, and you can't get off the boat and get lost. We got on the ship in San Diego, and went to Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. This has been the first trip where Denny really couldn't remember much about what happened the day before.

Denny used to get up and get on with his routine with military precision. On the cruise, he usually took an afternoon nap. When he woke up, he wouldn't know if it was time for dinner or time for breakfast.

This is a man who volunteered for two tours of duty in Viet Nam. His gun is now at my house, for safety's sake.

This is a man who, upon returning home from the war, got a Doctorate in Social Ministries from TCU. I once saw him in a video documentary about helping the homeless. He explained his favorite Bible passage, from the Gospel of John...."When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." So Denny has spent most of his non-military career providing food and clothing for the homeless. But now his wife has to look at menus and order for him.

This is a man who once knew the names and idiosyncracies of more than 500 street people. Today, he can't remember what a "shrimp cocktail" is.

He once acted as advisor to an entire South Vietnamese village. About a year ago, he had to resign from Meals On Wheels because he couldn't find Main Street.

The church has always been important to him. Denny made some promises to God during the Tet Offensive, and he's kept those promises. But he can no longer teach his Sunday School class because he taught the same lesson two weeks in a row.

If there's an upside, it's getting to hear stories about trips he never took. For instance, whenever I bring up trips to China he now "remembers" going to The Great Wall of China as an R&R trip during the Vietnam war. (The Communist Chinese were on the opposite sides of the trenches from us during Vietnam. I don't think this trip happened....) But the story is great. He can see it happening.

The same thing goes for the family's vacation in Panama. Didn't happen. But he's got lots of stories about it.

Denny's not going to live in our world any more. I sometimes enjoy going to live in his.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Al Gore, Time Magazine's Person of The Year....Almost

Thank God for Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent and the current Russian President, was all that stood between Al Gore and Time Magazine's "Person Of The Year" award.

Putin won it. This probably isn't enough to completely atone for Putin's KGB sins and his anti-free market crimes, but it comes close. Because of Putin, Saint Albert, The Goracle of Music City Tennessee, was only first runner-up.

If you need more fun facts about Gore, please read the New Age pap in the Time article. Especially if you have a fierce desire to learn how there can be a Deep Spiritual Side to something that's a total farce.

Please read the Gore interview, and notice Bryan Walsh consistently using the newer, more nebulous panic phrase "Climate Change" rather than previous panic phrase "Global Warming". (Climate Change has been going on for millenia. Climate always Changes. Therefore, Gore's warnings about Climate Change will be validated. But, hhhmmm. that "Global Warming" thing was uncomfortably precise. How can anyone make money off this con job if it gets colder???)

Here's the most important question in that Bryan Walsh asked in his Al Gore interview: "John Doerr, your new partner at the venture-capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins, has said of climate change, 'Sometimes panic is an appropriate response.' How do you remain optimistic?"

I've sounded off before about the Al Gore/Kleiner Perkins relationship. They're paying Gore a fortune. Both parties are about to make Tennesse Mansions-full of money by 1) continuing to panic everyone about the looming Global Warming Climate Change crisis, 2) insisting that their Buddies in Government do something about the fake crisis (with your money), 3) getting environmental legislation in place with target dates, quotas, new standards, and new bureaucracies, 4) offering government subsidies to the Alternative Energy start-up firms that Kleiner Perkins underwrites, and 5) setting other roadblocks in place that only the Kleiner Perkins Alternative Energy Wonderboys can help us get past.

It will be beautiful. I'm no longer asking people to get mad about it. That's like getting angry at the sunrise. I just want to call your attention to it, much like I hope you would call my attention to an we can enjoy watching it happen together.

I'm a little angry at one person, though. Bryan Walsh, who interviewed Gore, apparently asked the John Doerr "Panic is the appropriate response" question without a trace of doubt or cynicism. How in the heck does someone who claims to be a journalist do that? Does he not know that John Doerr will be a jillionaire, if only everyone will co-operate with Gore and panic?

I mean, there Walsh is, interviewing the Front Man For a Pack of Jackals. The Kleiner Perkins/Al Gore group is going to get filthy rich. That's why Kleiner Perkins is giving Saint Al the big bucks. It's not a secret. I didn't read about it in Time, where they pay Bryan Walsh to type, but it was previously in Newsweek, and I'm assuming a few newspapers. But in the Newsweek piece by Tony Dokoupil and David Kaplan, Saint Albert got the same reverent treatment.

What Livestock Auction should I attend to find cooperative journalist-sheep like these? I'm going to start making and selling perpetual motion machines, and need some free publicity.