April 30, 2009
Gratuitous Politically Correct Pandemic Panic Observation
Good Lord - even the Llama-ettes are calling it H1N1 flu instead of swine flu.
I'm sorry, but every time I see "H1N1", I'm inclined to pronounce it "heinie".
There's got to be some material for a joke in there somewhere.
UPDATE: Some mailbag Yippers suggest that there's room for a Joe "Let Them Take Taxis" Biden joke. I think that probably would be more appropriate if the new name were ass flu.
April 28, 2009
Gratuitous Nats Posting - Irritating Side Issues Division - NOW "BABE-DATED"
Somehow, it's not so painful when it's not even close.
So instead, I post this evening about a commercial that runs on MASN during Nats games these days. It's by Firestone and features a fairly hawt babe in a cowboy hat and shades driving a top-down jeep out in the desert somewhere.
The theme of the commercial is stupid enough to be easily dismissed. It involves turning the supposedly great grip of Firestone tires into a play on "rap" music. Don't ask.
No, what gets me is this: After having had fun with said play at a T-head intersection stop sign, the jeep-driving babe laughs and turns off on to the crossing road. But here's the thing: She's in the middle of the freakin' desert, there's not a soul within 500 miles of her and she.....signals the turn!
I have always been of the opinion that turn signals should only be employed on a need-to-know basis. Thus, I only use them a) if there is actually someone immediately around me and b) if my intent isn't fairly obvious.
Thus, it grates on me that Free-Wheelin' Babe, out at the back of beyond where it couldn't possibly matter to anything other than the gila monsters and scorpions, feels compelled to use her turn signals anyway. I mean, I'm Mr. Law and Order Tory Conservative, but even to me this kind of Rebel-With-Training-Wheels thing is repulsive.
(What? Well what do you expect me to thing about - the Game?)
BACK ON TRACK UPDATE: Mink Monica sends along this little piece of snarky taunting courtesy of the Philly press. Ya know, most of my ire so far this season has been aimed at the goddam Fish down Florida way, but a cheap dig like this brings me back to my original battle cry for the season:
PHILADELPHIA DELENDA EST!
"ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE" UPDATE DEUX:
Prof. Chaos calls for the babe in the hat. We deliver:
April 27, 2009
Gratuitous Nats Posting - Sum'BITCH! Division
You're up by four runs in the middle of the 8th against the Phillies. So what do you do? Just go ahead and give em a six run bottom of the inning, that's all!
Pardon me while I pound my head against my desk for just a few minutes.
I've argued all season that the Nats are not a bad team, but have just not played up to their potential. Well, I still think that's the case with most of them, but God damn Joel Hanrahan and the rest of that sorry-assed bullpen!!
Morning-After Silver Lining Update: Forgot to congratulate Gary's Mets last night for taking down those bloody Fish. Good work!
So Long As He Makes The Unicorns Run On Time, I Suppose....
I'm with Larry Kudlow on this one:
What is going on in this country? The government is about to take over GM in a plan that completely screws private bondholders and favors the unions. Get this: The GM bondholders own $27 billion and they’re getting 10 percent of the common stock in an expected exchange. And the UAW owns $10 billion of the bonds and they’re getting 40 percent of the stock. Huh? Did I miss something here? And Uncle Sam will have a controlling share of the stock with something close to 50 percent ownership. And no bankruptcy judge. So this is a political restructuring run by the White House, not a rule-of-law bankruptcy-court reorganization.
Meanwhile, top Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett opened the door wide on CNN yesterday to bank nationalization and CEO firings. Unfortunately, my take that the economic stress tests are a political stalking horse for more government ownership, more government control of the banks, and more government disruption of shareholder rights and normal corporate governance looks to be coming true.
Then there’s today’s huge New York Times story about Tim Geithner. It starts on the front page and goes on and on for thousands of words. Yes, he missed early signs of the crisis. But he was altogether too cozy with the New York banks, especially Citibank — and Robert Rubin along with Sandy Weill. In fact, at one point Weill asked Geithner to be Citi’s new CEO. And Geithner joined the board of a Weill-run non-profit to help inner-city high-school students. There were numerous lunches and dinners with Rubin and Weill and other Wall Street luminaries.
With Geithner running the Treasury and the potentially criminal enterprise called TARP, is his incestuous relationship with Wall Street bigwigs a perfect example of the fox guarding the henhouse? Was he too cozy to keep a critical eye on the very institutions that blew up later?
By the way, Geithner sometimes worried about derivatives. But he also worked hard for a plan that would reduce the amount of capital banks were required to keep on hand.
You just have to wonder about this cozy relationship with a trillion dollars of TARP money at stake — essentially a second government budget for Bailout Nation run by a young guy who is in bed and under the covers with the leading bankers he’s supposed to regulate, all while the TARP inspector general is launching 20 criminal probes into how all this taxpayer money is going to be spent.
I don’t usually agree with Nobel economist Joe Stiglitz, but he talks about how mindsets can be shaped by people you associate with and that “you come to think that what’s good for Wall Street is good for America.” I know Stiglitz, Krugman, and the other lefties want to nationalize the banks, and allegedly Geithner does not. But frankly, backdoor nationalization is coming and Mr. Geithner’s independence is suspect.
No, the Times article doesn’t mention Geithner’s failure to pay back taxes until just before he was nominated for Treasury secretary. But it seems that at this point in history we need a strong, credible, and independent TARP and bank regulator.
The New York Times really makes me wonder all over again about Mr. Geithner.
Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?
Hopey and Changey: Smiles, Everybody! Smiles!
Okay, let's do a little situational scenario. You're standing in lower Manhattan and suddenly you see this:
What is your reaction?
A) Holy Mother of God, the bad guys are attacking again!
B) Oh, that's okay - it's just The One practicing for his walking on air act.
9/11? What is this 9/11 of which you speak?
Jesus. Mary. Joseph.
And the Newest Additional to the LMC Platoon Will Be
a gel, due 9/11, and who will join The Future ROTC Scholarship Recipient and Our Little Debtante. The OB referred Mrs. LMC to a physician who seems to have cornered the market in screening "high risk" pregnancies." Mrs. LMC is, at 39, "advanced maternal age," and thus subjected to a lot of poking and prodding, testing, and conversations such along the lines of: "Are you sure you don't want the amnio which will remove all doubt about chromosomal abnormalities? And that is becasue you would not do anything?" Followed by: "please sign here." The nurse who actually did the measurements with the high resolution ultrasound was great, explained each part of the exam, and found none of the six "soft markers" of Down Syndrome. The physician was the academic type with the bedside manner of a brick.
Homer Nods Yips! from Robbo: In fact, Mrs. LMC is 29, just like Mrs. Robbo, and has been for several years now.
Kin I haz swine flu panics yet?
As a matter of fact, the youngest Llama-ette had to be removed from St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method at lunchtime on Friday because she was feeling a bit low and her tonsils were a bit red. The office staff were convinced that she had strep - I'm rayther surprised they didn't jump on the swine flu bandwagon instead.
(Yes, we took her to the docs to check her out. Yes, she did have a bit of a virus. No, it wasn't anything to worry about. And by yesterday she was swinging on the back yard rope swing in her usual Tarzan-like fashion.)
"Why Not?" UPDATE:
Because it's been floating around in my braims all day:
April 26, 2009
Porter Goss Calls Out Madame Speaker
Via Hot Air. And Dodd must go.
April 25, 2009
And Just Exactly Where is Gary?
Seriously. I've been MIA for a while now, except for the occasional Yip!
I feel it proper to report in before Robbo sends an e-mail to my wife inquiring as to whether or not I've suddenly and unexpectedly assumed room temperature.
(more below the fold)
Those long-time dear readers may recall that last year I received the same pink slip that has been ceremoniously presented to far too many of our fellow citizens in these difficult times. Having spent eighteen years with the same uber-conglomerate I had thought that seniority made you less vulnerable to such vocational catastrophes. Actually, when you consider the cost of post-retirement benefits and other perks that are due to a company's more tenured associates it makes more financial sense to riff the more seasoned talent.
I was - literally - home bound without active employment for a full year. In early February I was hired in a consulting capacity by one of my old company's competitors and continue to commute an hour (more or less) to this assignment in the hopes that it will lead to something permanent. Really, I can't remember the last time I worked this hard or tried harder to impress every person in the organization beyond expectations.
This, of course, brings me to my recent absence. I've been working long hours and doing my best to balance this with family needs for almost the last three months. Even if a permanent job doesn't result, I've done everything I can to cultivate the best possible references.
So, needless to say, I have been exhausted when not working and I've self-imposed a ban on posting at work (anticipating the most draconian of sooper-sekret workstation tracking procedures) to "keep my nose clean" in this respect.
I've actually not even been monitoring the almost weekly flubs of "dear leader" since that time so on these topics I've been more of a laggard than my colleagues here at the Butcher Shop - particularly the LMC.
I'll try harder to pop in from time to time - especially now that it's baseball season - but I beg the patience of all of you who've come to expect more of my mental diarrhea here on a daily basis.
In the meantime, chins up. There's hope on the horizon. Things are beginning to turn.
May we all persevere.
Words of Wisdom
"It is tough to be the guy on the end of a water hose when the other guy is on the end of an RPG."
- GEN David Petraeus, in response to a question to a question during a congressional hearing about using nonlethal means to repel pirates. He advocates armed guards on merchant ships. (From The Virginian Pilot)
in the opinion of the resident knuckle-dragger. First up, the first mate of Serenity, Gina Torres:
and the ever-lovely Renee Zellweger:
Both are 40 today. BTW, I am told I will be the second one lined up against the wall when the feminist revolution comes (the first will be my father-in-law).
April 24, 2009
Stand By To Repel Boarders!
For some time now, I've been joking that as I believe Blackwater had lost its security contract in Bagdad, why not hire its guys out to the merchies fighting off Somali pirates?
Well bow down before the armchair acumen of Robbo the Llama, because none other than that modern day Grant, Gen. David Petraeus is now saying the same damned thing:
WASHINGTON – The global shipping industry should consider placing armed guards on its boats to ward off pirates who have become increasingly violent, the U.S. military commander who oversees the African coastline said Friday. Gen. David Petraeus who came to the Capitol to talk about a wide variety of issues told a House committee Friday that just trying to outrun or block pirates from boarding cargo ships isn't enough to deter sea bandits off the Somali coast who are becoming more aggressive. The Pentagon is starting to study how to better protect merchant shipping, but hasn't yet come up with a formal plan.
The shipping industry has resisted arming their boats, which would deny them port in some nations.
In response to questions from a House Appropriations subcommittee, Petraeus said defensive preparations short of armed guards "can work. You can have water hoses and others that can make it more difficult."
But in a wry tone, he added: "It's tough to be on the end of a water hose if the other guy is on the end of an RPG. So you've got to think your way through that calculation as well."
What has puzzled me all along is why anti-pirate measures should be all that difficult. I mean, it's not as if these guys are bearing down on their prey in heavy cruisers with overwhelming firepower. The attacking force is typically a couple small boatloads of thugs armed with RPG's and maybe a few machine guns. It strikes me that even a moderately-armed merchie would be able to blow these clowns out of the water at 500 yards.
I understand that the hesitancy on the part of the merchant marine to fight back centers around not logistics or firepower but complications involving international law, port access and the like. It seems to me that at some point - especially when fighting lawless savages - one must jettison these niceties. (Of course, this is a variation on the old adage that the Constitution is not a suicide pact.) Where that point is, exactly, I don't know. But it strikes me that Gen. Petreus is suggesting we're pretty darn near it.
Gratuitous Nats Posting - Battle of the Basement Division
The Nats (3-11) travel tonight to Shea Nouveaux, or whatever it's called, to take on the Mets (6-9). If we can sweep, we will actually emerge next week ....out of last place!
Be afraid, Gary. Be very afraid.
FIRST GAME UPDATE: Santaaaaaaaana!!!! What can I say except that in our 4-3 loss tonight, at least I hope we made Gary and his friends sweat a bit. On the other hand, walking in the winning run with bases loaded is something I would expect out of my crew of 5th grade girls, not out of a professional veteran reliever.
Gloating Yips! from Gary:
Finally, we get a series with Washington!! We need two more wins to settle down and then...bring on them fish!
April 23, 2009
I Don't Know What to Say
The FOX "Sexpert" discusses S&M. Take aways: Safety first! and "Have a "Safe Word".
I really have to wonder about "We Report, You Decide". Via Hot Air.
April 22, 2009
UAV with a high-velocity sniper rifle. Via Fox News.
Gratuitous April 22 Posting
Happy "Earth" Day! Have you hugged your Mother yet?
I've been reading articles here and there over the past day or two about the Great Green Brainwashing of our children by the schools and the Culchah, full of dire stories of kiddies having conniptions at the sight of their parents failing to recycle or biting into a tuna sammich or the like.
I don't doubt that there are some such young neurotics out there and that they probably do get fed a steady diet of man-made global doom stories. I'm happy to say, however, that none of the Llama-ettes seem to have succumbed to such twaddle. This, no doubt, is because on the very rare occasions when they have brought up the subject of melting glaciers or the like in my hearing, it has been met with a dismissive wave of the hand and a curt "Tchah!"
What's most infuriating about all of this is that the good lesson gets masked by the bad: Conservation and responsible stewardship are unimpeachable values, well grounded in moral, religious and economic sense. But those values have been hijacked and co-opted by the eco-zealots, whose own motivations have very little to do with communal and personal responsibility and more to do with a general nihilistic contempt for humanity in general and the West in particular.
Now a gang of loud-mouthed hippies in and of itself doesn't pose much of a threat. But when corporate and guv'mint fellow-travellers climb aboard the train - recognizing it as a ticket straight to expanded power for themselves - well, then we have a much more serious problem.
April 21, 2009
McCain has a primary challenge
From the Politico, via Drudge.
Continuing with the enduring brunette theme. . .
Andie Macdowell, who is fifty-one today and still shmokin':
while we are it, Bridget Fonda (it is not her birthday, but who cares?):
Yips! from Robbo: Mmmmm....Andi.....Mmmmmm...slow, sultry, Suthun' drawl....mmmmmmm.......
April 20, 2009
Wisdom from a Morning Drive Host
Tony Macrini has the morning gig at an AM station in Norfolk. This morning's topic was the "gun control loophole." Macrini challenged anyone to point to a crime committed with a weapon purchased at a gun show. In response to calls for gun control because "the police are out-gunned," he responded: "Then give the police bigger guns."
Cheney Calls Out The One on the Release of the "Torture Memos"
and calls for release of the memos dealing with the success of the program:
"Cheney Calls For More CIA Reports To Be Declassified
Mon Apr 20 2009 16:20:53 ET
In a two part interview airing tonight and tomorrow night on FOX News Channel’s Hannity (9-10PM ET), former Vice President Dick Cheney shared his thoughts on the CIA memos that were recently declassified and also revealed his request to the CIA to declassify additional memos that confirm the success of the Bush administration’s interrogation tactics:
“One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is they put out the legal memos, the memos that the CIA got from the Office of Legal Counsel, but they didn't put out the memos that showed the success of the effort. And there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified.”
“I formally asked that they be declassified now. I haven't announced this up until now, I haven't talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country.”
“And I've now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was, as well as to see this debate over the legal opinions.”
Via Drudge Report.
April 17, 2009
Today's Required Reading
This WSJ editorial on the release of previously-classified CIA "torture" technique info is one of those pieces that has made me change my daily commuter prayer from "Lord, please don't let us suffer another attack" to "Lord, if I am to die in the next attack, please let it be as quick and painless as possible."
Gratuitous Nats Posting - Sweet Smell of Victory Division
Congrats to the Nats for getting the monkey off their collective backs with authoritah last evening by defeating the
Rat-Bastards Phillies by a score of 8 to 2.
That's right, boy-chick, we are now one and seven! I can smell that pennant from here!
I only caught the late innings of the game, but the meme that seemed to be floating around the MASN press box was that the sending of Lastings Milledge down to the minors jolted the rest of the team into sharper focus. I'm not sure I especially buy that - the Nats got about as many runs and hits last night as they have in most of their games so far. The difference is that this time we actually had some pitching.
Speaking of which, in the I-must-be-doing-something-right-as-a-dad category, when I mentioned the news of the Milledge demotion to the eldest Llama-ette the other day, she said, "What? Why?"
"I don't know, sweetie. They seemed to be upset about his hitting."
"Who cares about his hitting? Everyone is hitting! What about the way he played in the field on Monday? Are they serious?"
That's my gel.
(BTW, for those of you who missed it, I'm managing the gel's softball team this spring. Our first game is this afternoon. Wish us luck!)
Random Commuter Observation
I notice that Starbucks is flogging what it calls "perfect oatmeal". For some reason, this irritates me.
I am mighty tempted to ask some mornings if they have any of the "slightly flawed" variety available, but refrain on the grounds that I'd probably just be throwing the joke away.
April 16, 2009
April 15, 2009
HAPPY TAX DAY!
Look at it this way: The only other sure bet in your life is that some day you'll be dead.
UPDATE: Correction - Happy Patriots' Day! Paul Begala says anyone not happy today is nothing but a knuckle-dragging dupe of Rupert Murdoch, Paris Hilton and - wait for it - the Idle Rich.
Put it that way, you should be enjoying Uncle's tender embraces today. If you can't manage that, I suppose you can always just close your eyes and think of your Country.
UPDATE DEUX: I've been seeing headlines this afternoon about a proposal announced today to "greatly simplify" the tax code.
Reminds me of a joke "simplified" tax form I was shown waaaaay back in about 1978 or so. It only had two line:
1. How much did you make last year?
2. Send it in.
Gratuitous Nats Posting - Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Division
I realize that I have very little expertice in these matters, but I am stunned that Lastings Milledge is being sent to the minors:
The Nationals optioned center fielder Lastings Milledge to Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday. The club has not announced a corresponding move.
Milledge was given the news about his demotion in a phone conversation with acting general manager Mike Rizzo.
Milledge, 24, is off to a slow start, batting .167 (4-for-24) with one RBI. Milledge was the leadoff hitter, and the front office didn't like the fact that he didn't take enough pitches to draw walks.
It was an adventure for Milledge in center field so far this season. On Opening Day against the Marlins on April 6, Emilio Bonifacio hit a ball that went over Milledge's head for an inside-the-park home run in the fifth inning.
The next day, Bonifacio hit a triple that went over Milledge's glove. In both cases, some people in the organization believe Milledge should have caught the ball. Not Milledge. He followed the scouting report, which said to play shallow.
"It was a shocker," Milledge said via telephone. "I thought I would be given more than 24 at-bats [to get it going]. Mike is the boss, so he has to do what was best for the team. He told me I needed to work on my hitting and defense."
Well, with an average of something like .167, it's hard to argue about the hitting. But the defense? On Monday, Milledge made three or four great catches without which the loss to the
Rat-Bastards Phillies would have been considerably worse.
Personally, I think the move was somewhat premature. But again, what do I know?
The good news is that it appears the team is just interested in maturing the kid a little:
The team had warned Milledge about a possible demotion since Opening Day. Members of the organization were upset that Milledge was late for a meeting held by manager Manny Acta the day before, and they wanted Milledge to sit out for Opening Day. Acta refused, however, so the team fined Milledge instead.
But Rizzo said character issues had nothing to do with the demotion. It was a matter of Milledge improving his game at Syracuse. Milledge will most likely play all three outfield positions and bat leadoff.
"He took the demotion like a professional," Rizzo said. "We had a good dialogue about a lot of things. He was unhappy and eager to show me that he belongs in the Major Leagues. Lastings Milledge plays extremely hard. I have very little problems with Lastings' attitude and his work ethic.
"A lot of things will tell us how long he is going to stay down in Triple-A. The progression of Lastings, the makeup of the ballclub, where we are at during the season, how we are playing ... will lead us to the answer.
So perhaps he won't be out of teh Show for too long.
The other good news, at least from Mrs. Robbo's perspective, is that this move means more playing time for Austin Kearns. I believe that when we go to Nats games, Mrs. Robbo deliberately gets seats down the right field line so she can watch him up close.
UPDATE: Oops! Almost forgot - PHILADELPHIA DELENDA EST!
April 14, 2009
For No Particular Reason
Yips! from Robbo: I'm going to throw down here and say that I have never quite understood the LMC's Halle thing. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but she's just never really lit my pilot light.
The Northrup Grumman UCAV under development for the Navy and Air Force:
Via the good folks at The Sandcrawler.
Practical Easter Basket Lesson
for the Future ROTC Scholarship Recipient and Our Little Debutante: do not leave said baskets in easy reach of the house boxer. They learned the hard way.
Looks Like I Fail Janet's Test
From Drudge. Let's see: anti-abortion, pro-borders, anti-tax, gun owner, and a war veteran to boot. Looks like the DHS crowd has me in mind.
Gratuitous Nats Posting - "Gonna Be A Looooong Season" Division
Well, look at it this way, since there's no game today, at least we're safe for 24 hours or so from the danger of dropping to 0-8.
Hey, ya gotta take 'em where you can get 'em.
I watched yesterday's loss to the Philadelphia
Rat-Bastards Phillies. It was the first game I've seen this season, but I gather it was much like the others: plenty of offense, but damn-all pitching, some stupid fielding mistakes and a series of infuriating bad breaks.
This was also my first experience of new MASN color-commentator, Rob Dibble. Now one of the things I had liked about ol' Don Sutton (who's gone back to calling games for the Braves this year), was his laid back, unflappable manner. Dibble is something completely different. I don't know much about him except that he's another ex-pitcher, but much anger there is, I think. It strikes me that the Nats' current slump may not constitute the best circumstances for Dibble's introduction to the Dee Cee market.
PHILADELPHIA DELENDA EST!
April 13, 2009
Mrs. LMC and the kids are visiting her parents while yours truly minds the store at the post headquarters, located amidst the vast real estate holdings which comprise Fort LMC. This place is awfully quiet.
Gels, What Do You Think?
The trailer for this summer's must-see date flick?
A few off-the-cuff thoughts:
1. Good shooting by the SEALs on the fantail of Bainbridge. Three simultaneous head shots taken in failing light from a rolling platform at pirates who themselves were moving with the swells on the lifeboat. I could not have done it and do not know anyone who could.
2. Discussion about "bringing the world together" to end piracy is nice, but three pirates dying of SALP (Sudden Acute Lead Poisoning) sends a far clearer message and one which requires no interpretation, consultation witth allies, or diplomatic massaging: "Board an American vessel and someone is going to bust a cap in yo' head!" Short, simple, and unmistakable.
3. Negotiations (if that is what they were) with pirates sets a bad precedent--stalling for time so that the right assets are in place when the shooting starts is good.
4. Press reports indicate the President twice authorized the use of deadly force. Not sure why the skipper of Bainbridge needed anyone's permission--he is the captain of a U.S. Navy warship dealing with pirates, the scourge of the sea. He has all the authority he needs. Never having met the man, I like to think he would smoked the bad guys no matter what.
5. Arming merchant crews is a good first step but it is playing defense. Offense means you go after their bases of support on the mainland. It will require planning, decent targeting intelligence, and the willingness to use force. Fortunately, Somalia is not the type of place where the MSM likes to visit so the likelihood that anything "dynamic" will play out on CNN is minimal.
April 12, 2009
How to persuade a recalcitrant six year-old to wear khakis
Convince him they are "Indiana Jones pants."
"Oh Hear Us When We Cry to Thee, For Those in Peril On the Sea"
Keep Captain Phillips and his family in your prayers on this Easter.
"Those who go down to the sea in ships,
To do business in great waters,
See the works of the Lord,
And His wonders in the deep."
UPDATE: The Navy frees Captain Phillips and smokes several pirates. Good shootin', Tex. (Via MSN)
April 11, 2009
Now This is Interesting
The Holy See has reportedly refused to accept Mrs. Schlossberg as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. Via Hot Air. Mrs. Schlossberg and the Holy See do not see eye-to-eye on life issues so it sounds like B-16 is sending a message to "ardent" Catholic politicians such as the Vice President and Madame Speaker.
Lessons from History on How to Handle Pirates
Now would be a good time for the movers and shakers to read: Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror 1801-1805. There is a reason names such as Intrepid, Decatur, and Preble have graced ships and monuments for two centuries and why Constitution is still carried on the list of active warships.
Even Cylons have birthdays
This one is 35:
Tests have taken electric lasers over the 100kw threshold last month. Via Wired. The near-term applications seem to be for zapping incoming indirect fire but the long-term potential seems limitless.
April 10, 2009
One plot twist after the next tonight and nary a blonde in sight with Echo front and center as always:
Trailer for next month's release:
Mrs. LMC's take: "It has to be better than the last one."
April 09, 2009
And Now, Idiots
I interrupt my self-imposed Easter blog embargo to ask: How on earth have we got to this point?
Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say socialism is better. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which is better.
Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. Thirty-somethings are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better.
Here is the key graf, tho':
The question posed by Rasmussen Reports did not define either capitalism or socialism.
On the one hand, I suppose that's reassuring in the sense that people don't really know what the hell they're talking about, so this is hardly what one would call a deep philosophical shift. On the other hand, being shallow and ignorant they're all that more manipulable. And they still vote.
And speaking of that, I notice that most of the pro-Nanny Staters tend to be, if I may so describe them and if it isn't redundant, moron kids. I used to be in favor of raising the minimum voting age. I still am, but I am now also in favor of imposing a maximum voting age, given that a lot of our current economic woes are the direct result of aging Baby Boomers in Guv'mint and Big Bizness Exec Lounges hoovering everything they can out of the trough. ("Just Imagine", indeed.)
Therefore, I hereby propose not a minimum voting age, but a limited voting window: Only people between the ages of 40 and 50 ought to be entrusted with the franchise.
April 08, 2009
I'm more or less taking Holy Week off from posting, but I thought I would send along this email that I received this morning. It's for a good cause:
As Memorial Day approaches, The Memorial Day Foundation, based out of New York, is determined to "increase awareness and respect for Memorial Day." In order to do that, they have set up a system to send flowers to a veteran, to a deceased party's loved ones or sponsor flowers to be laid at various War Memorials.
The below link is offered to view the many options for anyone who is
A little about "The Memorial Day Foundation":
The Memorial Day Foundation's mission is to increase awareness and respect
for Memorial Day. We are trying to fulfill our mission by involving the
public in our historical and traditional ways of remembering Memorial Day.
One of these traditional ways is with flowers. The gift of flowers at a
memorial site is a ritual that occurs around the world in every culture. As
you probably know our own Memorial Day began as Decoration Day, when on the 30th of May Americans would decorate the graves of Civil War Veterans with
We have designed a beautiful and dignified "Thank You" floral bouquet of
artificial flowers. The floral sleeve is appropriately flag draped in red,
white and blue with a specially designed label evoking past Memorial Days.
It pays tribute to those who fought and died for us; it explains the origins
of Memorial Day and includes a beautiful and moving poem in their honor. The
Foundation would like to give the public an opportunity to remember and
honor the nation's war heroes, by placing these bouquets at the Nations War
Memorials during Memorial Day Weekend even if they are unable to visit
We will be using stems of artificial red roses in the bouquet. The tradition
of red flowers as a symbol of the blood that was shed for our freedom and
liberty goes back to the Civil War. Red roses are also the universal symbol
Each bouquet will have a thank you card attached to it (hence the name
"Thank You Bouquet") that the donor will have the option to sign. The thank
you card can be signed by individuals, couples, families, corporations,
institutions, organizations and civic associations. It's important to
remember that Memorial Day belongs to everyone.
We would deliver the bouquets to the Nations War Memorials during Memorial
Day weekend so that they will be in place for Memorial Day. This would allow
for the maximum number of visitors to these memorials to see the bouquets
for the fitting tribute that they are for our war dead.
We are asking the public for a $15.00 donation for each bouquet. $5.00 of
every $15.00 donation will be given to the Wounded Warrior Project this year
in the long held tradition of honoring our dead and helping our wounded. We
have deliberately set the donation as low as possible for the greatest
participation by the American public.
We delivered and placed the first bouquets to the Nations War Memorials on
Friday May 25th of Memorial Day weekend 2007. It was a very reverent and
memorable day to have made a public display of remembrance with the flower
bouquet. Members of the Nam-Knights Brooklyn-Queens Chapter help place the
flowers at the Memorials along with many people who were visiting the
Memorial and wanted to participate in remembering our war dead on Memorial
The Memorial Day Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt not for profit
organization and all donations are tax deductible. The Foundation has no
paid positions and relies on volunteers, donors and gratuitous services.
Happy Easter and Yip! Yip!
This is Princess Buttercup's Day
Robin Wright Penn:
April 07, 2009
The Dead Hand of TARP
The WSJ has this on the Administration's refusal to accept repayment of TARP funds. At least the smaller banks can give it back.
The UAW Won't Like This
GM is speeding up plans for a bankruptcy filing. Via Drudge and Bloomberg. GM should have done this a year ago and used a chapter 11 filing to shutter money-losing lines and bring health and labor costs in line. The real question is whether the Administration will actually allow a filing--bankruptcy wil break the grip of the UAW and it has the Dems in its pocket.
April 06, 2009
W. Throws a Strike
Ceremonial first pitch at the season opener for the Texas Rangers:
Via Hot Air.
He did it in front of a crowd that was giving him a standing "O"
Gratuitous Nats Posting - Opening Day Edition
Yes, indeedy, the Nats open the season this afternoon down in Miami against the Marlins. Woo Hoo!
Our Maximum Leader has a few predictions about this season. Here are a few of my own:
- The Nats don't lose 100 games. (Maybe 101, maybe 99. Not 100.)
- Ryan Zimmerman gets his Golden Glove (as opposed to earning it, which he's already done).
- Nick Johnson stops impersonating Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford, starts impersonating Chevy Chase as Ty Webb.
- MASN cracks the magic "10,000 viewing households" ceiling.
- The expression "The Plan" is officially retired.
- Screech the Mascot gets into brawl with Philly Phanatic - beats the living Jaysus out of him.
- No Mo Willie Mo. (Whoops! Already happened!)
- Teddy finally wins presidential race but Jeffersonian legal challenge drags decision all the way to Supreme Court. In dramatic ruling, Justice Scalia orders Jefferson guillotined on White House lawn.
- Because of acquisition of Adam Dunn, "no kryptonite" rule at Nationals Park strictly enforced.
- Austin Kearns gets restraining order against Mrs. Robbo.
Okay, okay - all but one of the above are jokes.
In reality, here's what I think will happen - the team will finally stay healthy and will surprise a lot of people. The starting rotation will quickly become the talk of the sports press and the bullpen, well, won't let anyone down too badly. Solid third place finish in the NL East. Plus, whatever else happens, at the end of the day today we'll still be within at least a game of first place.
But here is what must happen above all else: PHILADELPHIA DELENDA EST!!
Bizarre Pregnancy Dream Contest
We have some five months to go before the arrival of the third installment in the offspring series and Mrs. LMC's nighttime dreams have taken a turn for the really bizarre so it is time for a contest--the winnner gets a linkie to this video:
Chai-Rista, Kathy, Monica Mink, Jen (formerly Jen Speaks), submit your entries!
Yips! from Robbo: Not going there, but this song (and his others that borrow WWI imagery) always reminds me of my longstanding opinion that "Sting" is a Siegfried Sassoon -wanabee.
April 04, 2009
(Oh, Go Ahead And Put Your Own Witty Play-On-A-Madonna-Song-Title Pun Here. The Only One I Know Is "Like A Virgin" And I Can't Make It Work For This Story)
(Okay, it's only the tabloid Mail, but any rag that sticks it to Madonna gets my support.)
It appears that the judge who denied the "adoption" did so on general residency grounds (and, most delightfully, quoted Chesterton in doing so). But it also seems plain that there was a good bit of "Jesus, we just can't stand this woman" sentiment behind it:
But the people of Malawi - family oriented and with traditional values - had concerns about this newly divorced woman who until a couple of weeks ago was going out with a 22-year-old model called Jesus.
The fact that before her divorce from Guy Ritchie she was worth an estimated £300million - he is believed to have taken around £50 million as part of the settlement - did not impress them.
Neither did her divorce. According to one source, Guy's name was originally on the adoption documents and he had planned to be Mercy's father - but the split put paid to that.
Then there was Mercy's family, who seem to have been pushed into something they didn't want, saying they repeatedly refused to agree to the adoption before finally relenting under the pressure placed on by them by government officials operating on Madonna's behalf.
Mercy's grandmother, Lucy, went so far as to accuse Madonna of 'stealing' the child. A couple of days later, Malawi's Human Rights Consultative Committee, a coalition of 85 non-governmental organisations, accused her of 'child kidnap' and of being a 'bully'.
'She has money, she has status, she is using her profile to manipulate the procedures,' said Undule Mwakasungula, its national co-ordinator.
But then, Madonna's arrogance has been on conspicuous display all week. Her wild extravagances in this desperately poor country are insensitive and really rather impolite.
Three days ago, for example, Madonna went to Blantyre to see the orphanage where newborn Mercy was placed following the death of her mother.
Blantyre is a three-hour drive from Lilongwe. Early Wednesday morning, a convoy of the singer's staff set off from their luxury lodge for the scenic drive across country.
Madonna did not go with them. The 50-year-old had another important commitment that morning - her two-hour workout under the tutelage of Josh, the personal trainer she has also brought with her.
Madonna a bad mom? Gee, ya think?
UPDATE: WOOT! I got me a comment troll!
April 02, 2009
They're Not Chanting "Daaaave", They're Booing
Ace takes down Letterman.
Ya' know, I used to be a devoted follower, almost from the very beginning. And I loved all of it - not just the set pieces like throwing stuff off the ten story building, the velcro jump-suit, crushing stuff in the hydrolic press, Larry "Bud" Melman, the Chris Eliot characters, getting Teri Garr to take a shower on camera, but also the little mannerisms and shticklets as well - the cards through the window, Hal "Gurtner", fiddling with the camera, the confetti cannons and so on.
It was funny back in the mid-80's because Dave was young and hip and having fun just jerking everyone around. Unfortunately, over the years he aged but his act didn't. Now that he's a cranky, bitter old coot, what was funny back then just isn't any more, never mind that now he's just phoning it in.
I stopped watching Letterman some time in the late 90's and I must say that I have not regretted that decision in the least.
RAINING CANNED HAMS UPDATE: A flood of correspondence in the Tasty Bits (TM) Mail Sack all ask the same question: Why did Dave go bad?
I will tell you why.
Because he didn't get that richly-deserved Oscar for his walk on in Cabin Boy, that's why.
Enough to scar anybody for life.
Father Justice to Ted Stevens: Nevermind
NRO's take on the government's motion to dismiss the indictment is here. I do not care much for the new AG but he got this one right. Now, what happens to the career prosecutors who brought the case? Where does Ted Stevens go to get his reputation back? What is the likelihood he will recover even a portion of the fortune he must have spent defending the case?
April 01, 2009
I Am Shocked, Shocked
Odyssey or Sienna?
The arrival this fall of James Tiberius or Jaimie Tyronica means we will be replacing the Mrs. LMC's ride with a dreaded minivan and the selection has narrowed to Honda and Toyota. Recommendations, anyone?
SUPER-SEKRET MESSAGE FOR THE BUTCHER'S WIFE: Yes, you won the bet and yes, I know what that means.
is 71--here she is, back in the day:
I thought she did a great job in Winds of War.