August, 2005


30
Aug 05

Solid Quality

Dearborn Animal Hospital (no site that I know of) gets a solid thumbs up from me. I just got back from Drex’s first appointment there, and I’m very impressed. Good people, knowledgeable and kind, and surprisingly well priced.


30
Aug 05

Social Decline

From the article Police: Witnesses mum in rap mogul’s shooting

“It’s disturbing that someone can let off six shots in a packed club and can escape without being arrested,” said Elliott Wilson, editor in chief of the rap magazine XXL. “The hip-hop community doesn’t trust the police to confide info to them, and in turn the police have done little to make us feel like they give a damn about our safety. It’s a vicious cycle.”

He said this out loud. As if giving information on someone who had shot a member of the “hip-hop community” was some sort of deep favor to the police. Sigh.


29
Aug 05

Horrible people

3 stories, all found in one day,

First the merely classless
Osbourne Says She Evened Score With Maiden -

Sharon Osbourne says she cut Iron Maiden’s power during a concert on this summer’s Ozzfest tour. The wife of rock icon Ozzy Osbourne has accused the heavy metal group’s singer Bruce Dickinson of badmouthing her husband on stage.

“Dickinson got what he deserved,” Osbourne wrote in a letter to the group’s manager. “Was Dickinson so naive to think that I was going to let him get away with talking … about my family night after night?”

During the same show in Devore earlier this month, Iron Maiden’s members were pelted with eggs and debris from the crowd.

Not that I care that much about Iron Maiden these days, but that was just ridiculous. It’s an insult to any notion of professionalism.

To the horrible and sordid

Word that Sgt. Dan Kennings had been killed in Iraq crushed spirits in the Daily Egyptian newsroom. The stocky, buzz-cut soldier befriended by students at the university newspaper was dead, and the sergeant’s little girl–a precocious, blond-haired child they’d grown to love–was now an orphan.

They all knew that Kodee Kennings’ mother had died when Kodee was about 5. The little girl’s fears and frustrations about her father being in harm’s way had played out on the pages of the Daily Egyptian for nearly two years, in gut-wrenching letters fraught with misspellings, innocent observations and questions about why Daddy wasn’t there to chase the monsters from under her bed.

It turns out Daddy didn’t exist. And neither did Kodee.

The Tribune went to southern Illinois to learn about the bond between Kodee and Dan Kennings, and the life Kodee would face without her hero.

Instead, eight days of reporting revealed elaborate fabrications and intricate lies. There is no soldier named Dan Kennings. The charming girl people came to know as Kodee Kennings is someone else entirely, a child from an out-of-state family led to believe that she was playing a part in a documentary about a soldier.

I recommend reading the whole article (fairly short).

To the truly despicable

Funeral protests merciless

Small, pitiful groups of perverse traitors cloaked in a warped, hate-filled and degraded version of Christianity are tirelessly traveling across America, cruelly protesting at the funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq.

They are scheduled to stop in Middle Tennessee today, in Smyrna and Ashland City, to dishonor the solemn services and add to the horror and grief of those who mourn Staff Sgt. Asbury F. Hawn of Lebanon and Spc. Gary Reese Jr. of Ashland City. The Army National Guardsmen served together in the 278th Regimental Combat Team and died in an enemy attack Aug. 13 in Iraq.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., will be there, not to spread the comforting Gospel of Jesus Christ, but to spew a disgustingly vulgar and crude message of gay hatred while celebrating the death of U.S. soldiers.

This evil little congregation, led by Fred Phelps, gained infamy for showing up at the funerals of homosexuals to taunt family and friends and to promote their own unique brand of hatred. This summer they started picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in battle with placards that say, “We hate gays” and “Thank God for dead soldiers.”

I did some research, and its’ a Kansan named Fred Phelps and his cult, oddly called Westboro Baptist Church. It’s a very strange group, even for cults. Most of the members (around 100 or so) are related to Phelps by either blood or marriage, and a disproportionate number of them are lawyers. One of the main reasons they do this sordid display is to incite violence against themselves and later lawsuits against official entities who “let” it happen.

Wife beating and child abuse are seemingly specific tenets of the faith and there is some weird alignment with the Nazi Christian Identity groups as well. It’s hard to imagine a more loathsome group of people.

Original links via Instapundit


29
Aug 05

Interesting

A New Orleans webcam, where it looks quite rainy.


29
Aug 05

Oddness

As of right now, Kinkos.com has expired and would seem to be available.


29
Aug 05

Annoyances

I was looking at CNN.com today and came across the article “Report: More journalists killed in Iraq than Vietnam“. I thought it interesting that CNN wasn’t even willing to stand behind a finding of fact, hence they put the “Report:’ in the headline.

Then I read the article, relevant quote

Since U.S. forces and its allies launched their campaign in Iraq on March 20, 2003, 66 journalists and their assistants have been killed, RSF said.

The latest casualty was a Reuters Television soundman who was shot dead in Baghdad on Sunday, while a cameraman with him was wounded and then detained by U.S. soldiers.

The death toll in Iraq compares with a total of 63 journalists in Vietnam, but which was over a period of 20 years from 1955 to 1975, the Paris-based organization that campaigns to protect journalists said on its Web site.

During the fighting in the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995, 49 journalists were killed doing their job, while 57 journalists and 20 media assistants were killed during a civil war in Algeria from 1993 to 1996.

Note the separate but sometimes equal “assistants” in the math. They seem to have the figures available (journalists killed during the Iraq War so far) to do an apples to apples comparison but choose not to do so. Also they artificially limit the “fighting in the former Yugoslavia” to a four year period which strikes me as quite fishy as well.

On the whole shabby work from CNN.


27
Aug 05

Much Quieter

I finally installed my new case fan and it works very well, the entire workstation is much less noisy than before.

What an exciting life I lead.


26
Aug 05

Thursday rapid fire

  • Shoplifting as Social Commentary – We truly have it easy and are getting soft when we (the West that is, not the US) this happens. Germany should sentence them to live in Darfour for a year as punishment.
  • E-Machine Shop – It would seem that Instapundit’s era of cottage industry here. Originally from a Wired article (not online yet). You can design something entirely online, they fab it and ship it off.
  • Men Smarter than Women in Australia – The article doesn’t actually provide much useful information on the distribution. It also doesn’t address Paulos’ notion that the reason women aren’t at the good end of the Bell curve is a matter of personal taste and habit (i.e. they are more likely to occasionally clean (taking up valuable time) and maintaining personal relationships whereas men are more likely willing to live in filth and lose everyone in their lives in the pursuit of a goal.)
  • Cars, PHEV, and Green Tuning
  • Another superb article + photos from Michael Yon always worth reading

24
Aug 05

New Gallery Uploaded

I recently visited historic Oakland Cemetery in downtown Atlanta, some of the shots turned out okay.

View Gallery


23
Aug 05

Boaz on PBS

From a good article by Cato’s David Boaz

Sometimes the bias is not quite so obvious. Rather than imbalance within each report, the bias is reflected in the choice of topics. A careful listener to NPR would notice a preponderance of reports on racism, sexism, and environmental destruction, but very few reports on the burden of taxes and regulation, or the unconstitutionality of most federal programs, or the way that state and federal governments increasingly abuse the rule of law in going after unpopular defendants such as tobacco companies and Wall Street executives.

Anyone who got all his news from NPR would never know that Americans of all races live longer, healthier, and in more comfort than ever before in history, or that the environment has been getting steadily cleaner.

In the past few weeks, as this issue has been debated, I’ve noted other examples. Take the long and glowing reviews of two leftist agitprop plays, one written by Robert Reich and performed on Cape Cod and another written by David Hare and performed in Los Angeles. And then there was the effusive report on Pete Seeger, the folksinger who was a member of the Communist Party, complete with a two-hour online concert, to launch the Fourth of July weekend.

The real problem is not liberal bias but the inevitability of bias. Any reporter or editor has to choose what’s important. It’s impossible to make such decisions without a framework, a perspective, a view of how the world works.

Something else to bean in mind is that by subsiding an “independent media” the government can ensure that while having representation of the left or right in the media, they can make sure that the people they actually fund are lightweights who pose no threat.