Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The travails of house buying

I was supposed to close on my first house yesterday. This was to have been a great day for me. I was very excited. Unfortunately it all went to shit big time.

The builder of the house had put off finishing it to the very last minute. Yesterday morning at 9:30 there was no power running to the bedrooms because they had not installed the circuits yet for an example. We were supposed to close at 3:00.

The delay had forced the home inspector to wait to the last minute to do his thing. He discovered a serious problem. In the six weeks since I signed a contract on the house, the thing started to fall apart.

So in the end, I did not buy the house. Brand new houses are not supposed to be breaking in half. Just my opinion.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Congressional Bumpersticker

I believe that this says it all.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

More on Congressional Whining

The leaders of Congress clearly need a big old block of cheese to go along with their whining. The poor criminal bribe taking member of the House of Representatives must be protected at all costs apparently. The only protections for members of congress in the Constitution are that they can not be arrested on the floor or while going to and from the floor or arrested for what they say on the floor of Congress. There is no protection for their offices. They don't get to commit whatever crimes they want and only answer to the namby pamby ethics committees that go out of their way to not say anything bad about anyone, unless they work in the executive branch.

The only thing the Republicans and Democrats have been able to agree on in years is that they are "special" and are above the law.

They are disgusting and should all, regardless of party, be voted out of office.

Bush is placating the little babies now. He has sealed the records recovered from Jefferson's office for 45 days for a cooling off period. Perhaps he should have told them to grow the hell up. That and if they were all that serious about ethics, then the FBI wouldn't have had to search the office. The House of Representatives would have dumped him long ago, but they would never do that because William Jefferson, like Dennis Hastert, is "special."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Subpeona's for Congress

The FBI served a subpeona on Rep. William Jefferson's office a few days ago looking for evidence in the bribery investigation currently underway against him. Since he was hiding the money in his freezer, he clearly is not the sharpest knife in the block.

One part of the aftermath of the search, is that Republican members of the House are criticizing the FBI because they seem to feel that their offices are off limits. They should not be subject to searches unless they give prior approval, despite the fact that citizens of this country are subjected to these searches, without the niceties shown to Jefferson, every day. If they don't want to be the subject of investigations or searches, then perhaps they should not commit crimes. Also, members of Congress are not, despite recent behaviors, above the law. For those who seem to think that they are, perhaps the voters of their districts should give them some free time to rethink their positions.

Friday, May 19, 2006

End of Civilization?

I believe that the end of civilization as we know it has possbily come to an end. On MSNBC yesterday, Norah O'Donnell was interviewing Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi about the hearing for the confirmation of General Hayden as Director of Central Intelligence. This is a fairly significant event and important for the future of the country. For reasons which I do not fully comprehend or can believe they began to discuss American Idol and in that conversation Lott said,

"This (American Idol) is a part of American culture. If you are going to be a good Senator, you've got to be into the show."

I am left bewildered and confused. I don't mind that he watches the silly program, but first of all, the selection of the head of the CIA is far more important for the nation then who got voted off. Secondly, how is watching any particular program a requirement for being a "good" Senator. I thought that was representing your constituents and being honest and working towards a common good for all Americans.

I am dismayed. I will have the opportunity to vote for him this fall. Be still my heart. I thought that not having the brain-dead wonder that is Patty Murray on the ballot any more would be an improvement. I guess that will just not be the case.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Internet tales

There are a large number of Internet fables or stories winding their way in ever evolving forms through the ether of Cyberspace. I see them but rarely forward them on any more. But I saw one that I thought I would share.

In Pharmacology, all drugs have two names, a trade name and generic name. For example, the trade name of Tylenol also has a generic name of Acetaminophen.
Aleve is also called Naproxen. Amoxil is also call Amoxicillin and Advil is also called Ibuprofen. The FDA has been looking for a generic name for Viagra.
After careful consideration by a team of government experts, it recently announced that it has settled on the generic name of Mycoxafloppin. Also considered were Mycoxafailin, Mydixadrupin, Mydixarizin, Dixafix, and of course, Ibepokin.

Pfizer Corp. announced today that Viagra will soon be available in liquid form, and will be marketed by Pepsi Cola as a power beverage suitable for use as a mixer. It will now be possible for a man to literally pour himself a stiff one. Obviously we can no longer call this a soft drink, and it gives new meaning to the names of "cocktails", "highballs" and just a good old-fashioned "stiff drink". Pepsi will market the new concoction by the name of: MOUNT & DO.

Thought for the day: There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them.

Have a giggle.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

MI 3

I went and saw the new Tom Cruise Egofest otherwise known as Mission Impossible III. I mostly went because the reviews and trailers all made Phillip Seymour Hoffman look to be an outstanding bad guy. Unfortunately, the time and effort required to stoke Cruise's ego left none for any bad guy development. This left Hoffman as a generic pyschopath though he did chew his way through his lines with enough gusto to be reminiscent of Pacino.

I would like to see a Mission Impossible movie with no big stars in it so they could get back to the teamwork aspect that the television show had. The movies have been reduced to the bouncing midget and his every increasingly generic flunkies. It is sad to see such good actors wasted in the wake of the Ego.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


There has been a trend towards advertising for products in ways that would not have been acceptable in years past. The KY Lubrication ads on TV for example.

I have now seen it all. Internet advertising and opened the floodgates. Norelco has introduced a product that I will never EVER purchase called the Bodygroom. They have an internet advertisement for it that will blow your mind at


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Issues in the privatization of security

Peter Singer of the Brookings Institute has an essay in Humanitarian Review that outlines issues for humanitarian organizations to consider before hiring a Private Military Firm for their security. One of his biggest concerns is accountability. Who polices these guys? As the sex trade scandal of Dyncorp under US contract in Bosnia showed, nobody. The whistleblowers were fired, those participating in the activities never faced charges anywhere for anything and the company continues to have US government contracts.

I would think that even if you are in a situtation where there is no local government to deal with, the PMF's must hold their personnel accountable for egrigous and/or illegal behaviour. Singer suggests that this be written into the contracts and it should. Similarly, companies who are incapable of policing their employess should be banned for getting hired. This is good business.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Counterinsurgency training

The New York Times today has a lengthy article detailing the counterinsurgency training currently taking place at the National Training Center in California. This where the army trained for its full scale war with the Soviets in Germany during the Cold War. Now they train on how to deal with insurgents in Iraq.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the war games is that the insurgent force usually exacts enormous death tolls on the Americans. As in Iraq and Afghanistan, the insurgents at Fort Irwin know the territory better. "It's not even close," said Fuad Bahi al-Jabouri, whose real name is Specialist Anthony Manzanares. He is 46, a native of San Francisco and a disguised insurgent in the villages here. "It's a massacre. We know the terrain. It's our home turf." Unquote.

I disagree with the author that the fact that the insurgents usually win is troubling. If one were to examine the history of the NTC during the Cold War, they would find that is was rare for the OpFor (Opposition Force) to lose. The system is designed to exploit every weakness. It is only by losing in California can the Army learn to win in Iraq and where ever they end up fighting after Iraq.

More on Kurdistan

Iran sent troops into northern Iraq for approximately 24 hours and shelled at least two villages in raids against the PKK. First Turkey, now Iran. Apparently, Senator Biden said that a de facto partition is the way to go to alleviate ethnic strife. I am not so sure that the cure would not be worse than the disease.