Monday, August 30, 2004

Liberal Tolerance

The New York Times has a lovely article detailing how the tolerant New York liberals are treating the Republican Conventioneers:
(I)ndividual protesters kept tensions high, some of them hissing or cursing at well-heeled couples heading to popular Broadway musicals like "Thoroughly Modern Millie'' and ``Fiddler on the Roof.''
"Republican murderers go home and kill your babies!'' one young man yelled at theatergoers, a far cry from local public service messages urging New Yorkers to ``make nice'' to party delegates in the city for the four-day convention, where Bush will be nominated for another four-year term.
A second protester shoved a middle-aged woman in a black cocktail dress, shouting: "Bitch, go home! We don't want you here!'' At one point, police cordoned off a city block after several dozen demonstrators jeered and razzed the incoming audience.
Nice folks, aren't they?

Via Belmont Club

Update: More from the New York Times
(D)elegates engaged in shoving matches with protesters seeking to spoil their night at the theater. And outside "The Lion King" on 42nd Street, a delegate was punched by a protester who ran by.

When marchers approached the Garden, a police detective was knocked off his scooter. He was then repeatedly kicked and punched in the head by at least one male demonstrator, the police said.

The detective, William Sample, was listed in serious condition at St. Vincent's Manhattan Hospital.

Kerry's Plan for Iran

Check out this Reuters report:
If elected U.S. president, Sen. John Kerry would offer Iran a deal allowing it to keep its nuclear power plants if it gave up the right to retain bomb-making nuclear fuel, said Kerry's vice presidential running mate in an interview published on Monday.

Sen. John Edwards told The Washington Post if Iran did not accept this "great bargain," this would confirm the Islamic state was building nuclear weapons under cover of a nuclear power initiative.

If Iran rejected this proposal, Kerry would ensure European allies were prepared to join the United States in imposing strict sanctions against Iran, said Edwards.
So there we have it. Kerry's grand vision for dealing with Iran is to offer the Islamic nut-jobs in charge the same deal Jimmy Carter offered the Communist nut-job in Korea! We all know how well that deal worked out. Not to worry, though, Kerry's deal has teeth:
If Iran rejected this proposal, Kerry would ensure European allies were prepared to join the United States in imposing strict sanctions against Iran, said Edwards.
Strict sanctions! Now that'll put the fear of Allah into the Ayatollahs.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Another Sweep

Americans are often portrayed as boorish, but last night the Greek fans pretty obnoxious, as their booing and chanting delayed the start of the men's 200 meter dash. The announcers thought that the crowd was purposely preventing the start of the race under the theory that America was somehow responsible for the positive drug test of a popular Greek sprinter.

Couple that with the behavior of the crowd in the gymnastics venue, and the Greeks sport fans aren't looking so great.

The Americans eventually stuck it to them in the 200, however, going 1-2-3.

Fear This

For reasons I don't care to either examine or know, I found myself watching a rerun "Fear Factor" last night. That show gets a lot of mileage out of Madagascar spitting cockroaches.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

This does a pretty good job of describing how my summer is going.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

A Northern Redneck

A televison station has the story of a New Jersey man mourning the death of his pet snake:
A Cumberland County, N.J., man, who police say reacted with drunken rage when his 6-foot black snake was stepped on and killed, used the dead reptile to whip its killer.

An irate Davis pushed the father, whose name was not immediately available, then whipped resident Michael File, 26, with the dead reptile. Police said File, who was shirtless during the attack, sustained small cuts and lacerations on his back.

File then grabbed a baseball bat and took aim at Davis' head, police said. Davis was treated for head lacerations by the Cederville Rescue Squad.
This should serve as conclusive evidence that "Rednecks" are not simply a southern phenomenon.

A New Way to Throw Your Money Away

The Time Travel Fund claims that a small "investment" today, collecting interest for, oh, 500 years or so, will allow you to pay someone in the future to retrieve you when time travel becomes possible.
We establish a fund in current time. You make a small contribution to the fund, and in a few hundred years that small amount grows to a very large amount. From that fund, moneys will be taken and used to retrieve you, perhaps seconds after you join, perhaps even moments before your recorded death, perhaps some other point in your lifetime. Further, the fund may even pay to have you "rejuvenated" medically (assuming this is scientifically possible at that time,) and support you financially for a number of years.
So not only do you get to see the future, your "investment" will cure what ails ya and support you financially! I think I will invest my Nigerian lottery winnings into this sure thing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Americans Sweep Olympic 400; Minorities Unable to Prevail

America sweeps the 400 meters and the press can only focus on one thing: The winner, Jeremy Wariner is *gasp* - white! Here's the picture at the top of the page, along with its caption:

Jeremy Wariner, right, became the first white American man to win a sprint medal since Mike Larabee's 400 gold in 1964.

Later, we are treated to this insightful analysis from one of Wariner's competitors: "I’ve never seen a white man run that fast,” said Grenada’s Alleyne Francique, who was supposed to be Wariner’s biggest threat but finished fourth. “It was a blazing race, man. The kid is good."

Wariner himself has a more color-blind take on things, which you will find two-thirds of the way into the article: "It doesn’t matter what race you are," Wariner said. "It’s just ability."

Things That Make You Go "HMMMM"

This from Drudge:
Kerry reached out to Robert "Friar Tuck" Brant Cdr., USN (RET) Sunday night, just hours after former Sen. Bob Dole publicly challenged Kerry to apologize to veterans.

Brant was skipper of the #96 and #36 boat and spent time with Kerry in An Thoi. Kerry and Brant slept in the same quarters, and Brant used to put Kerry back to bed at night when Kerry was sleepwalking.
Meanwhile, this from Integrated Publishing:
Any request for discharge under this article will be submitted in writing only by the member and may be approved by the Chief of Naval Personnel (PERS-282) or by the CO or OIC having SPCM CA. Characterization of service will be honorable, general, or ELS. [...]

This category provides for the separation of members on the basis of designated physical or mental conditions considered inherent or developmental defects that do not constitute a physical disability. Such conditions are those considered to interfere with a member’s performance of duty or pose a threat to his or her safety or well-being. These conditions include but are not limited to the following: [...]

Somnambulism (sleepwalking)—must be medically confirmed. A sworn statement from the military member must be included documenting at least one sleepwalking episode. The episode must be witnessed by at least counseling is required processing.
Was Kerry Klinger without the dress?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Dispatch From the Religion of Peace

This from online magazine Iran Focus:
On Sunday, August 15, a 16-year-old girl in the town of Neka, northern Iran, was executed. Ateqeh Sahaleh was hanged in public on Simetry Street off Rah Ahan Street at the city center.

The sentence was issued by the head of Neka’s Justice Department and subsequently upheld by the mullahs’ Supreme Court and carried out with the approval of Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Shahroudi.

In her summary trial, the teenage victim did not have any lawyer and efforts by her family to recruit a lawyer was to no avail. Ateqeh personally defended herself. She told the religious judge, Haji Rezaii, that he should punish the main perpetrators of moral corruption not the victims.

The judge personally pursued Ateqeh’s death sentence, beyond all normal procedures and finally gained the approval of the Supreme Court. After her execution Rezai said her punishment was not execution but he had her executed for her “sharp tongue”.
This is how the Iranians treat a smart-mouthed teenage girl and they expect us to be comfortable with their pursuit of nuclear weapons?

Woman Survives Suicide Attempt

From the Virginian-Pilot:
VIRGINIA BEACH — A woman survived an apparent jump from a fifth-floor hotel balcony this morning. She is in critical condition with multiple injuries.[...]

Her fall was witnessed by a couple on the same floor, Rimer said. They told police the fall appeared to be intentional.

The couple was attending a conference on suicide prevention in the hotel. The victim and her husband were not part of the convention.
Two people attending a suicide prevention convention actually witness a suicide attempt from their hotel room? Sounds like that couple needs to pay particular attention over the next few days.

On the other hand, if the convention is over they could demand a refund, because it didn't do them much good.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Troop Movement

At the conclusion of his column analyzing the value of bringing some of our troops home from places like Germany, Korea, and Iceland, Charles Krauthammer offers this precious nugget on Democratic opposition to such a plan:
The New York Times editorial page offered this reason for maintaining the status quo: Otherwise, "the military will also lose the advantage that comes with giving large numbers of its men and women the experience of living in other cultures.'' Seventy-thousand GIs parked in Stuttgart practicing their German and listening to Wagner. Finally a military deployment The New York Times can support.
The Times thinks the purpose of the United States military is to provide "study abroad" opportunities to people that didn't get to do it in college. Priceless.

Satire Alert


According to a new study on female alcohol use and blood pressure, young women who consume two or three alcoholic drinks a week are much more fun to do research on than women who do not consume alcohol.

Oh, and the report also found that women who have a few drinks each week are less likely to develop high blood pressure. Whatever. [...]

Dr. Eric Shinauer, who headed the study for Harvard's School of Public Health, put the findings in perspective. "Alcohol, 70,000 nurses, and us," he said. "Is that cool or what?" [...]

Palava bristled, however, at the suggestion that researchers should also study the effect of alcohol on young men. "Jesus, we're not gay," he said.

More Fun Here

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Great Moments in Civil Engineering

A colleague sent me these, and from what I can tell, it is real. How would you like to arrive home after a long day at work and have to negotiate these driveways?

This is "Nuance"

"Why are we withdrawing unilaterally 12,000 troops from the Korean peninsula at the very time that we are negotiating with North Korea, a country that really has nuclear weapons. This is clearly the wrong signal to send at the wrong time."
John Kerry, August 18, 2004

"I will have significant, enormous reductions in the level of troops . . . In the Korean peninsula perhaps, in Europe perhaps."
John Kerry, August 1, 2004
That nuanced reversal only took him 17 days! If challenged on this Kerry will most likely dance around it with some newly-invented modifiers, like he only meant he would pull out troops when negotiations are complete, or some such nonsense.

Hat Tip: Boortz

NYC to GOP: Drop Dead

The ever wonderful Ted Rall, writing for Common Dreams News Center (which claims to offer "Breaking News and Views for the Progressive Community"), has these kind words in advance of the Republican Convention coming to New York:
The Republican delegates here to coronate George W. Bush are unwelcome members of a hostile invading army. Like the hapless saps whose blood they sent to be spilled into Middle Eastern sands, they will be given intentionally incorrect directions to nonexistent places. Objects will be thrown in their direction. Children will call them obscene names.
The much vaunted liberal tolerance and celebration of diversity didn't even make it out of the first paragraph, at least as far as Republicans are concerned. And calling everyone in uniform a "hapless sap" is an especially nice touch. I'll pause while Vietnam veteran John Kerry repudiates that nasty slur: [sound of crickets] Ted goes on:
Well aware that it is barren soil for their party's anti-urban, anti-immigrant, anti-feminist, overtly racist ideology, Republican leaders have wisely avoided New York City as a convention site for the past 150 years.
Nothing like a little ad-hominem name-calling to get the progressive juices flowing. Hey, Ted, your ideology is anti-rural, anti-American, anti-masculine, and covertly racist. That didn't advance a debate any more than Ted's screed, but unlike Ted, I don't think that it did. As far as New Yorkers being hostile to Republicans, tell that to Rudy Giuliani and Ed Koch, two somewhat prominent New Yorkers both voting Republican this cycle.
As the nation's official unemployment rate hovers at six percent, the city's runs around eight.
According to this economic analysis, unemployment for July was 5.5%, down from 6.2% a year ago. It would be more accurate to say unemployment is dropping through 5.5% than hovering around six as Ted contends. And according to the same source, New York's June unemployment is at 6.9%, down 0.4% from last year. So in New York, unemployment is dropping below seven, not hovering at eight as Ted contends.
Creatively altered maps of streets and subways will be handed out to button-clad stupid white men. (I guess J.C. Watts and Clarence Thomas will be handed accurate maps - ed.) Other saboteurs wearing fake RNC T-shirts will direct them to parts of town where Bush's policies have hit hardest. Rumor has it that prostitutes suffering from sexually transmitted diseases will discourage the use of condoms with Republican customers.
Did I call Ted Rall a "covert" racist? I was wrong. He is an overt racist. Moreover, how will the City's liberal prostitutes (now there's an attractive constituency for the Democrats) identify the Republicans, so they don't infect other progressives accidently? I suppose the same way Ted does: by the color of their skin, IQ, and size of their buttons. The prospect of being thought of as a stupid white man by a drug-addled, disease-ridden, prostitute should be enough to convince any conservative of the error of his ways.
Come to think of it, the only apparent physical trait separating Ted himself, a white man of questionable reason, from his view of the dreaded Republicans, is the buttons.
Republicans are neofascists now, and that's why New Yorkers good and true will be yelling at them to go back home.
I get it. The group attending a convention are "neofascists." And the group yelling obscenities, sending people into dangerous neighborhoods, and infecting them with fatal diseases? Ted Rall would certainly call those people "progressives." Ted has an interesting concept of progress.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Bring the Troops Home!

From this John Podhoretz column we learn that the Democrats are against any redeployment of our European forces:
Surrogates and spokesmen for the Kerry campaign went ballistic. "Alarming," declared Richard Holbrooke, the foreign-policy guru who will almost certainly be Secretary of State if Kerry is elected. Wesley Clark, who was supreme commander of NATO before his disastrous run for the Democratic presidential nomination earlier this year, thundered that the plan would "significantly undermine U.S. national security."
Naturally (and transparently), this is simply being contrary for its own sake. Curiously, Holbrooke ads this:
"I know that the Germans are very unhappy about these withdrawals," said the former ambassador to Germany.
It seems in the mind of prominent Democrats, we need Germany's permission before sending troops overseas and before bringing them home. Perhaps that is the Democrat strategy for balancing the budget: lower defense expenditures by turning command and control functions over to the French and Germans!

Ribbon Cutting

Wolf Village Apartments
Yesterday I attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Wolf Village Apartments
at NC State University. Although our firm has done larger projects, at a total cost of $80 million, this is the largest project in which I have played a major role.

The work is long and hard, and with projects like this one taking upwards of three years to complete, an architect can expect to attend no more than a handful of such celebrations over the course of a career.

Thankfully, the owner appears happy and the students appear to enjoy their new digs. Days like that make the daily grind worthwhile.

Friday, August 13, 2004

New Jersey Politics

As a resident of the Garden State for the first 25 years of my life, I am happy (?) to review the events of yesterday surrounding NJ Governor McGreevey:

  • Revelation that he is gay: Who cares?

  • Revelation that he fooled aroung on his wife: Who cares?

  • Revelation, as evidenced by his resignation, that McGreevey considers himself so politically compromised that he is unable to govern: Fair enough. Certainly McGreevey is better equipped to make that call than I.

  • Revelation that he put his boyfriend in a no-show job paying $100 K: Not yet confirmed but worthy of further investigation, as it is evidence of corruption with taxpayer money

  • Decision to make his resignation effective, not immediately, but after the November election, thereby avoiding an election to name his successor: SAY WHAT?!

  • If McGreevey feels so compromised that he must leave office, there is no justification for hanging around for three months, simply to assure party control of the office.The same Democratic party that promotes continually the "will of the people" and "count every vote" is effectively maintaining a compromised Governor in office for the sole purpose of averting an election..

    At least McGreevey goes out with the standard Democrat legacy: enormous tax increases:
    New Jersey has increased taxes more than any state other than New York since Gov. James E. McGreevey took office in 2002, a Star-Ledger analysis of state budget data shows. [...]

    New Jersey has raised taxes by $3.6 billion since McGreevey took office. The $1.7 billion increase in his third budget is the largest by any state this year.
    McGreevey has endured numerous scandals to date, so I speculate there is more to be uncovered before we know why this particular one toppled the cards.

    Update: Since I wrote this, Democrat Chris Matthews has taken up the torch (pun unintended), and he is farther into conspiracy theories than I. It will be interesting to see how this thing plays out, and what effect it might have on the Presidential election in New Jersey, a state that swings wildly from moderate Republican to far left Democrat in the space of weeks.

    Thursday, August 12, 2004

    Scott Morris, writing for the Wall Street Journal, has a profile of historian Forrest McDonald, coupled with a review of his latest book, Recovering the Past. The last line, quoted from the book, is striking in that it puts much in perspective:
    After rehearsing the long evolutionary odds against human beings coming into existence, Mr. McDonald, age 77, concludes: "Whether I am hungry or well fed, whether I am sick or healthy, or cold or comfortable, or honored and respected or despised and kicked and beaten, even that I shall soon be leaving, all is trivial compared to the fact that I got here. I am a miracle, and so, dear reader, are you."

    Wednesday, August 11, 2004

    Dowd hits the Tube

    11:05 PM Tuesday Night - NY Times weekly yo-yo Maureen Dowd is scheduled to appear with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. I missed Mo on Russert's show Sunday so I am about to see her "live" for the first time! It's so exciting, like a first date! Is she pretty? How current is that head shot that runs with her columns? How will she fair sparring with a guy with a genuine sense of humor, in contrast to MoDo's snarky cynicism? (as if I have any real estate from which to criticize snarky cynisim) Let's find out!

    Here she is! Big hair. Lots and lots of big red hair. Lots of looking at the ceiling, floor, and out into space, but not much to say; mostly one word answers to the small talk.

    Now comes the red meat: the Bush family is like Star Wars, GWB is Luke Skywalker, Dick Cheney is Darth Vader, and "barking mad" to boot. Huh? I say again: HUH? "Barking mad" is the best the Times lead commentator can manage?

    Here's a NewsFlash from Mo: Safire has a private secret phone! MoDo breaks this "secret" from the times Editorial offices, which she glibly calls "murderer's row." Gehrig, Ruth, and Meusal are now all on subterranean rotisseries.

    Finally, the interview winds down and we get into the booze. Turns out that when things heat up in the Middle East, Tom Friedman seeks out the winsome Ms. Dowd for some afternoon daiquiris! Now here's a real revelation! We finally have a believable explanation for the Times editorial page! When the going gets tough, the writers hit the sauce.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2004

    Jay Leno had some terrific looks at the political playground:
    "This past weekend, Kerry met with leaders of the Navajo Indian tribe. He's been traveling by train across the country. He's traveling by train, he's meeting with Indians ... what is this, 1882? What, is he going to try and get a treaty so they don't tear down our telegraph poles?"

    "At a meeting of thousands of minority journalists, John Kerry was asked if he would have gone to war if Saddam had refused to disarm and he said, and this is an exact quote, 'You bet we might have!'"

    "First Lady Laura Bush said that people shouldn't be saying that the benefits from stem cell research are 'right around the corner' because it gives people false hope. Then later her husband said that the economic recovery is 'right around the corner.'"

    "In a huge upset, Ralph Nader has failed to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot in California. How embarrassing is that for Nader? You can't get on the ballot in California? Remember our governor's race? Imagine finding out you're not up to the legal qualifications of porn star Mary Carey or Gary Coleman."
    Hat Tip: National Review Online

    Friday, August 06, 2004

    Jimmy Carter Redux

    On Fox News last night, Britt Hume reported that John Kerry has a plan to spend 20 billion over the next ten years to develop independent, clean energy sources. No mention of what these sources might be, but Kerry knows how to pay for it: "winterize" federal buildings to save on utility bills!

    As an architect, I know that there are only two ways to effectively reduce heating load in existing buildings: decrease heat loss through the building envelope, or lower ambient internal temperatures.

    Senator Kerry appears to believe that he can create an entire new energy production and delivery system for the country in ten years, while paying for it by blowing insulation into office buildings and putting federal judges into sweaters. Now there's a realistic proposal.

    Thursday, August 05, 2004

    The Painful Truth

    After several months of trying to describe blogs, blogging, the blogosphere, posts, permalinks, trackbacks, blogrolls, webcounters, and all the other associated nonsense we live with every day to my wife, she finally looked at me and said this:
    You're like a bunch of teenage girls leaving your diaries on the table in the high school cafeteria, then giggling about how many people looked at them
    How does one argue with someone so close to the truth?

    Wednesday, August 04, 2004


    Chris Matthews, interviewing Roger Cressey on Hardball, said the other night that there were no "significant quantities" of WMD in Iraq. This begs the question "what constitutes signicant quantities of WMD?

    So far, coalition forces have unearthed 35 chemical weapons rounds, each capable of killing 60 thousand people. Grand total killing power: two million one hundred thousand people. Decide for yourself whether there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

    Monday, August 02, 2004

    Elusive Policy

    John Kerry is running an interesting campaign. He is promising a "significant, enormous reduction in the level of troops" in Iraq by the end of his first term. How will he fulfill this pledge? He won't say! It's top secret.
    I know that as president there's huge leverage that will be available to me, enormous cards to play, and I'm not going to play them in public. I'm not going to play them before I'm president."
    So there you have it. The cornerstone of the Kerry campaign, how to "do it the right way" in Iraq, and the candidate refuses to discuss it.

    So what about domestic policy, i.e. finances and jobs? Here's07/30/2004 John Kerry's top economic advisor, former Clintonista Robert Rubin:
    "I don't think you can make proposals to try dig out of this hole until you've gotten elected. If you start to put out proposals now, they would be vigorously attacked and they would in effect become tainted so they couldn't be used.
    Say what?? Does this campaign really think letting people know what you intend to do before you do it is bad policy? Specifically because they might be challenged? Kerry appears to be running for king, not president.