Saturday, August 09, 2003

Friday, August 08, 2003

Music News Hoax Alert!
Kieren McCarthy at The Register amuses with Cherie Blair dance track hits Number One:
"Will you still love me, will you still hug me, when I'm number 1?" read a story in The Independent on 4 August, which revealed the startling news that Cherie Blair, wife of the Prime Minister, was to become the summer's biggest dance hit sensation.

According to the article, a sample of Cherie singing The Beatles' 'When I'm Sixty-Four' at a Chinese press conference last month had found its way onto a dance track and become an instant hit. "The sample has serious novelty value. It's a catchy tune and an eccentric performance. When people realise it's Mrs Blair it is difficult to know how they will react but it is set to be red hot this summer," an apparent spokesman for Radio 1 in Ibiza told the reporter.
The news was too good to miss and suddenly every media outlet was running wild with the tale, picked up off the Internet. Most, in the best tradition of British reporting, omitting to mention the fact that they had stolen it from The Independent.
Sounds like "Purple People Eater" to me - time for a snooze. But wait, there's more:
Except, except, except. Five days after the sensational news was revealed to an astonished world, has anyone actually heard this incredible summer hit? Thousands of clubbers are, even as we speak, dancing to it, yet no one save a so-called Radio 1 spokesman and a "music industry source" has had anything to say about it. And - possibly the final proof - it hasn't appeared on any of the file-sharing networks.

Maybe we're wrong. Maybe the song is so devastatingly good that the listener's mind is incapable of remembering it mere seconds later. But it would seem that Cherie's Song will only be number one of one chart this summer and that is the Media Hoax Top Ten.
He also notes that
the exception [is] the BBC, which appears to have learnt from its numerous previous cock-ups and gone with the headline 'Mystery of Cherie's Ibiza 'hit''.
The BBC link also has a snap of Cherie belting out the tune. Looks like she's calling pigs.

So are the Independent and the other newsies blushing or will Kieren and the BBC be the chumps? Enquiring minds want to know, but not necessarily hear Cherie sing.

Passing strange
Frankly, who the American Episcopal Church chooses as a bishop rates rather low on the care-o-meter with me. But the guy they picked with all the hoopla as their first gay bishop seemed to be a rather odd choice for a poster boy. James Lileks says it better than I:
This story has irritated me from the start, and it has nothing to do with Rev. Robinson’s sexual orientation. The guy left his wife and kids to go do the hokey-pokey with someone else: that’s what it’s all about, at least for me. Marriages founder for a variety of reasons, and ofttimes they’re valid reasons, sad and inescapable. But “I want to have sex with other people” is not a valid reason for depriving two little girls of a daddy who lives with them, gets up at night when they're sick, kisses them in the morning when they wake. There's a word for people who leave their children because they don't want to have sex with Mommy anymore: selfish. I'm not a praying man, but I cannot possibly imagine asking God if that would be okay.
Donald Sensing too:
There is no way on God's green earth that Robinson would have been elected bishop by his own diocese, much less the entire denomination, if he had left his wife for another woman. Lileks is right: he moved in with a man, and the church has endorsed all of it: his past sexual infidelity, breaking his marriage vows, and his continued enjoyment of illicit sex. All have now been given the Episcopal Church Seal of Approval.
To my mind, the whole thing merely illustrates why there is a continuing decline of the mainstream Protestant denominations in the USA. After all, if you're going to go to the trouble to be religious, it might be nice to have something to believe in.
It's Big Weird Al Again
The Union Leader editorializes on yesterday's eructation from the Goron - Delusion-Al: Gore speaks nonsense in New York:
Occasionally history produces moments that make one pause and give thanks that some past event turned out the way that it did. Al Gore’s speech at New York University yesterday was one of those moments. It made us very thankful that George W. Bush won the 2000 Presidential election.
Amen, brother! There's just something about that smarmy Gore goof that makes one want to put a boot print on his butt. But hey, at least he lost the beard!

Howard the Duck chimed in, saying that Prince Al is a swell guy. One wonders how long the love-in will last if Al is really testing the waters for his own presidential run.
Every man for himself!
Arnold Schwarzenegger's entry into the California recall election has overshadowed the DemocRats who are leaving Gray Davis' sinking ship:
Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi broke with party unity to announce they would run.

The pressure even started mounting on Davis in Washington, with party sources saying House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California had reversed herself and concluded the party needs a replacement candidate.
Bustamante, a former state Assembly speaker and the first Hispanic elected to statewide office in more than 100 years, was the first prominent Democrat to enter the fray despite weeks of saying he would stay out.

He decided to enter as a backup candidate after polls showed Davis vulnerable, but said he would campaign against the recall.
"I'm here to tell everyone to vote no on the recall and yes on Bustamante," he said. "We are going to fight like heck against the recall."
Sure you are, Cruz. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more.

And Grayout Davis still doesn't get it:
He said he wished that fellow party members had followed his plan to stay off the ballot, but said more Democrats could lure more voters to the polls.

"Every Democrat says they are against the recall, and I take them at their word," he said
Dream on!

In case recollections of the exploits of Cruz Bustamante don't exactly float to the the top of the bowl, here's a picture and some highlights:
Davis, who preceded Bustamante as lieutenant governor, and Bustamante have had their scrapes. Early in Davis' first term, Bustamante criticized a Davis policy on immigrants, and Davis responded by eliminating some of Bustamante's staff parking spaces in the Capitol.
Woohoo! Hot steaming bureaucratic infighting!
Thursday morning, Bustamante criticized a car tax increase approved by Davis and the Legislature, saying it hurts working families.

"When I was a child of six in the little tiny town and my father was a barber, a hundred or two hundred bucks meant school clothes," said Bustamante, who grew up in Dinuba, about 30 miles southeast of Fresno.
Someone get a stopwatch - he's breaking all records getting away from Davis' vicinity!
The lieutenant governor caused a stir two years ago when he used a racial slur against blacks in a speech to the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. But the remark was largely forgiven after he apologized for it as an out-of-character slip.
He's of the party whose racial slurs are always forgiven.
As lieutenant governor, Bustamante chairs the state Senate and sits on several boards, including the University of California regents, the California State University board trustees and the State Lands Commission, which manages 4.5 million acres of public lands and waterways.
Dang, just dang!
There's so much goodness over at Samizdata this morning that I might as well just copy all their posts. In Iraq, The Queen's Lancashire Regiment bagged a biggie; there's a heart warming story over at the dissident frogman; and surprise, surprise there's a big US State with a balanced budget - Texas. It seems they adopted the novel expedient of cutting expenditures.

The latter reminds me of a comment I heard last night from Rep. Tom Feeney while I was channel surfing past O'Reilly - The difference between the spending habits of sailors on shore leave and Congress is that sailors spend their own money.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

More nominations for the "Full of more crap than a Christmas goose" contest
I missed Supeme Court Justice Ruthie Ginsburg's remarks to the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, a new organization of "progressive" lawyers. Ruthie apparently jumped at the chance to illuminate her activist judicial attitude for her fellow radical tinkerers:
The Supreme Court is looking beyond America's borders for guidance in handling cases on issues like the death penalty and gay rights, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Saturday.
"Our island or lone ranger mentality is beginning to change," Ginsburg said during a speech to the American Constitution Society, a liberal lawyers group holding its first convention.

(Some asshat) Justices "are becoming more open to comparative and international law perspectives," said Ginsburg, who has supported a more global view of judicial decision making.

Ginsburg cited an international treaty in her vote in June to uphold the use of race in college admissions.
I wonder if she also led 'em in chorus of Kumbaya? I've noted this perversion previously, but it's always nice to hear it from the horse's er, mouth.

However, Ruthie's got some tough competition from Her Heinous:
U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton inadvertently insulted hundreds of thousands of people who have purchased her memoirs during an appearance on the "Tonight Show" last night, telling host Jay Leno that many of her fans had never bought a book before purchasing her tome.

"It's terrific," she said, describing the crowds that have flocked to her book signings. "They tell me it's the first book they have ever bought. It's wonderful."
Pure bull, but what a fantasy! Some possibilities are positively enticing.
  • Maybe they thought they were buying decorative doorstops and ended up in the wrong store
  • Maybe they thought her book was a religious icon and would keep away AIDS (or at least herpes)
  • Maybe they wanted to scare birds away from the garden and noticed her scary mug on the cover
  • Maybe they're really, really stupid and planned to look at the pictures?
  • Maybe they're really, really twisted and planned to do weird things with household objects and small furry animals while looking at the cover?
  • Maybe they planned to sell them on eBay?
So how does the "smartest woman in America" explain this phenom?
An incredulous Leno erupted in laughter. "They're an adult and this is their first book? Doesn't this say something about our educational system?"

"Well, it might say something about their income," Clinton countered.
Letters - we send letters!
Holly Ramer at the AP reports that the Kool Aid drinkers are keeping busy in Howard Dean's campaign to send out personalized letters from fans:
CONCORD, N.H. -- Personalized letters from fans of Howard Dean's presidential bid will be filling the mailboxes of New Hampshire voters next month.

The Democrat has asked supporters around the country to write to 40,000 New Hampshire residents urging them to consider the former Vermont governor and his candidacy.
On Aug. 6, supporters will put pen to paper at 340 sessions organized through, which connects people with shared interests. The campaign collected names and addresses from voter registration records, then contacted voters to winnow the list to those who haven't committed to a candidate, Clark said.
Dean's "New Hampshire Neighbors" effort is similar to the "Adopt-an-Iowan" program he launched last month.
"I think in this day and age, everyone appreciates receiving a handwritten letter from someone who genuinely cares about a candidate they're supporting," she said.
But it turns out that some of those who "genuinely care" about Howie aren't so favorable as a Letter to the Editor of the Daily Iowan (terrible free registration system) reveals:
The true face of Howard Dean

I would like the people of Iowa to see the true face of Howard Dean before his campaign workers put so much lipstick on the pig that he becomes unrecognizable.

The people of Iowa should know that, thanks to Dean and his cronies in the Vermont Legislature, family farms in Vermont are going out of business at a rate never before seen in the state's history. Property taxes have risen to a point where people are being taxed out of their homes and off their land, and working people cannot afford even the most basic of services.

Dean has used our tax dollars to fund a rail service that has no passengers, a bike path that is so over budget it cannot be completed, and an educational system that consistently produces high-school graduates who cannot make change for a dollar nor find the United States on a map of the world if it were the only country outlined in red.

Dean does not belong in any public office, much less the office of president. He doesn't support the active defense of this country, he believes in taxing those who do real work to support those who don't, and he will do or say anything to get elected. I hope that he never gets the chance to do for America what he's done for Vermont.

Albert Reil
Morrisville, Vt., resident
Uh Oh! Looks like someone beat Howie's spinners to the punch.

I see that IQ's didn't increase while I was away
Zsa Zsa will declare her candidacy for California governor today. And there are more to come apparently. Stand by for extreme hilarity.

Meanwhile in Arlington, VA the County Board voted to build a $110,000 pavilion (with $30,000 per year staffing and additional police patrols) where illegal immigrants can hang out waiting for jobs. The residents of the local community where they used to hang out (and I do mean "hang out") are mostly relieved,
Residents of Nauck, an historically African-American community, have clashed frequently with the day laborers, who are largely Hispanic. Nauck residents have complained about trespassing, public urination and acts of petty crime, which they pinned on the day laborers.

Alfred Taylor, president of the Nauck Civic Association, said his group was giving “limited, conditional support” to the new location. But he criticized county staff for failing to involve the community in the selection process, and criticized board members for funding a site for immigrants, many of them illegal, while proposals for improvements to the Nauck community languish.
but the local "public" broadcasting weenies are all upset:
If the decision to move the facility south of Four Mile Run Drive pleased the residents of Nauck, it positively infuriated officials of WETA, the public broadcasting giant that operates out of several buildings in Shirlington.

WETA chief executive officer Sharon Percy Rockefeller attended Tuesday night’s board meeting, and was deeply critical of the final decision.

“It would absolutely complicate our lives,” said Rockefeller, who noted that the new facility is to be located adjacent to WETA’s broadcast center.

Rockefeller predicted that a “pretty hostile environment” would quickly develop between her employees, who now walk between the various facilities, and the day laborers. “I don’t want the incidents to happen,” she said.

Rockefeller also complained that the location of a day-laborer camp would complicate security around the studios of the “NewsHour,” public broadcasting’s signature daily news program. High-profile guests begin arriving at the studios shortly after noon each day, Rockefeller said, and would likely be met by the day laborers who did not find work that day.

Republican-leaning activist Robert Molleur, who attended the public hearing, had little sympathy for Rockefeller’s woes.

“She’s part of the liberal establishment that created the mess, now she wants to protect elite liberals from it,” Molleur said. “Liberal hipocrisy at its best.”
C'mon Sharon, put your party duds on and welcome the new neighbors!

But a question occurs - why not just call the INS and ask 'em to pick up the illegals? Hmmm, never mind.
A few more notches for the Ecoweenies
John Berlau reports in Insight magazine that the Columbia and Challenger space shuttle disasters are both directly attributable to the substitution of unsuitable materials based on typical Ecoweenie whining.
But many experts looking at the tragedy that killed seven astronauts say there is a deeper cause. They say that the metaphorical smoking gun should be painted green.

Because of demands that the agency help to front for environmentalism, and under pressure from the Clinton-Gore administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) led by Carol Browner, NASA had stopped using Freon, a fluorocarbon that greens claim damages the ozone layer, in its thermal-insulating foam. NASA found in 1997 after the first launch with the politically correct substitute that the Freon-free foam had destroyed nearly 11 times as many of the shuttle's ceramic tiles as had the foam containing Freon. The politicized foam was less sticky and more brittle under extreme temperatures. But apparently little or nothing was done to resist the environmentalist politicians.
The sad thing, critics say, is that NASA and policymakers seemed to have learned very little from the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger on Jan. 28, 1986, where the switch to another eco-friendly material - due to another hyped scare having become politically correct - also played a large role in the tragedy. "The bottom line is that in both of these cases NASA made or was forced to make design changes based on claims that are not scientifically established," Hacker observes.
Meanwhile over at the Guardian, they've discovered the Weather Gods are angry at the USA. Their screed is fetchingly titled The climate must change: And reform must start with America.

Maybe the gods would be placated if we threw a few Ecoweenies in a volcano? It's certainly more pleasing than dead astronauts.
Back from the hinterlands
"When the van is full, it's time to head home." At least Mrs. Philosopher didn't spot a U-Haul dealer before we were well on the way back to the barn. Now I'll have to wait a month before she fully removes the selection of prime junque which she acquired on our jaunt. Next year she's threatening a a visit to the Route 127 yard sale. My observation is that unless she learns to drive a 18 wheeler, she won't last more than a mile or two.

As for politics, we didn't go looking for it and mostly it didn't find us. I would have to say that small town America loves the troops based on the copious displays of flags and yellow ribbons at homes, businesses, and schools. (Apparently the NEA hadn't gotten to the latter.) However, standing in line at an old mining town's Volunteer Fire Department sale of fresh cooked bleenies, the locals were grousing about the useless mayor, the incompetent police department, and President Bush wasting money on rebuilding Iraq and fooling around in Liberia. Mrs. Philosopher innocently inquired whether that meant they were Hillary fans and the howls of distaste for "that crook" amazed us. When asked who they did like, the Volunteer Fire Department seemed to be about it. That's the kind of folks I like - grumpy.

Blogging will recommence shortly at a suitably mellow pace.