Friday, December 30

'05 memories

Some of you will remember that my year began driving cross country with my buddy Kip. I hadn't been back to Louisiana for 15 years. The trip, not only was a great way to kick off a new year, also happens to be one of the highlights of my life.

The months of February, March, April, May and June were spent almost exclusively in the company of a lovely young lady in Beverly Hills. And although we are no longer together (physically, mentally or geographically), the time spent with her, the memories made, the experiences (both good and bad) I will cherish forever.

Love you, G. Always.

My screenplay was a big focus for me in '05. Not only did I spend a considerable amount of time writing, re-writing, tweaking and fixing, but I also spent a great deal of time in Hollywood TALKING about it. I had meetings with directors, with producers, with editors and with production company heads. I even got to hang out at the Roosevelt Hotel (the site of the very first Academy Awards) for a meeting where an industry executive gave me 'notes' on my script.

How's that for a cool memory?

I have so much to be thankful for. I have my health. I have a tremendous group of loyal friends. My beautiful Mom and I are best friends. I re-connected with Mason and Sean in San Francisco. And I've really enjoyed the company of my faithful and fearless companion Pepper this year, knowing that, in all likelihood, it will be her last. Thirteen years (91 in black labrador years) is a good life and Pep and I have lived that life together with gusto, zest and zeal.

There's more to say about the year that will end tomorrow, but I'll leave it here. I step into '06 full of optimism and excitement for everything that's to come. I look forward to hearing from all of you. And you know you'll be hearing from me.

Happy New Year.

the roaring economy

From today's Wall Street Journal:

"Less than a year ago, we labeled the current U.S. expansion the "Rodney Dangerfield economy" -- because it "gets no respect." Today our now $12.5 trillion economy has only maintained its strength even as it still gets disparaged in the media, which continues to fret about the fragility of what has undeniably been a resilient expansion. There are a few policy lessons here, assuming Washington is awake.

The 3.5% to 4% rate of growth in 2005 has been especially remarkable given eight Federal Reserve Board interest rate hikes, oil prices as high as $70 a barrel, and one of the most devastating natural disasters in American history. Yes, fourth quarter GDP may come in softer thanks to limping auto sales, but the entrepreneurial U.S. economy will still have grown at about twice the pace of Old Europe in 2005. As economist Michael Darda of MKM Partners, puts it: "This is the most derided and ridiculed growth cycle in post-World War II history, even though by many measures, including productivity and corporate profits, it's one of the most impressive."

Remember the 2004 debate over the "jobless recovery" and "outsourcing"? Here's the reality: The great American jobs machine has averaged a net increase of nearly 200,000 new jobs a month this year. Some 4.5 million more Americans are working today than in May of 2003, before the Bush investment tax cuts. The employment expansion in financial services, software design, medical technology and many other growth industries dwarfs the smaller job losses in the domestic auto industry."

Quite a different tune from the one the Democrats (and most of the anti-Bush MSM) have been singing, huh?

Tuesday, December 27

my dsl

The fine folks over @ AT&T/SBC told me that they would be calling me to schedule my DSL installation. That was last week.

Today, as of right now, 1.57 PM, still no word. So, here I am @ the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, sponging free WiFi.

Don't tell anybody.

december 25

Is Christmas about a feeling or is it about a thought? Should we be all concerned with a utopian goal of feeling all warm and fuzzy and Christmasy or is Christmas a holiday based upon tangible beliefs?

The crux of a NYT op-ed on Christmas morning was that Christmas is all about wanting 'to feel' a particular way. Wanting to 'feel loved, safe, well fed, openhanded and moved.' 'Feel' is the favorite word of Liberals. In fact, they use it as a substitute for the word 'think.' Ever notice that?

Anyway, I don't think Christmas is about 'feeling' anything. Christmas is about celebrating and reflecting upon the birth, the life and the death of a man named Jesus. When you're a kid it's about receiving but as an adult it's about giving to the people you love.

After reading about the Christmas described by the neurotic Liberal New Yorkers, obsessed with their own feelings, I was left with the impression they haven't grown up yet.

Thursday, December 22

merry christmas

Thanks to all of you for reading my thoughts and opinions this year. Thanks for commenting, thanks for becoming my friends.

All of you have made me a better person, a better writer, a better thinker. And you've added joy to my life, whether you know it or not.

I wish all of you the best Christmas, the best holidays ever this year. And I wish you happiness, health and success in 2006.

getting cheeky

The corrupt Kofi Annan lost his cool when British reporter James Bone asked him whether or not Annan's son Kojo had imported a Mercedes into Ghana using his father's diplomatic status to avoid paying taxes.

When Bone told Annan that his version of events didn't make sense, Annan cut him off.

"I think you're being very cheeky," Annan said.

"Listen James Bone, you've been behaving like an overgrown schoolboy in this room for many, many months and years. You are an embarrassment to your colleagues and to your profession. Please stop misbehaving and please let's move on to a serious subject."

badvertising

Coca-Cola has a new slogan going into '06. 'Welcome To The Coke Side Of Life.'

That's some inspired creativity, isn't it? Remember, I'm a recovering ad exec and I don't mind telling you that is the WORST slogan I have ever heard in my life. Ever.

Mary Minnick, President of Global Marketing for Coke, should get absolutely no Christmas presents. Zero. Nothing.

nyc

I wonder, come election time, if New Yorkers will remember that Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer did absolutely nothing to avert the transit strike?

Why aren't Liberals outraged at the lack of a Federal response to this disaster?

Wednesday, December 21

monkeying around

Not only does Democratic New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson have a problem remembering whether or not he was drafted by the Kansas City A's back in the '60s, but he also apparently has a problem 'touching' and 'poking' New Mexico Lt. Gov. Diane Denish.

“He pokes me,” Denish said when confronted about photos taken of Richardson and her at an appearance in Bernalillo in late October. “He pinches my neck. He touches my hip, my thigh, sort of the side of my leg.”

Denish told The Journal, “I try not to put myself in that situation, trying not to stand or sit next to him.”

Denish has even gone as far as consulting Richardson's deputy chief of staff Billy Sparks about the problem.

I can't help but point out the double standard at play here. If Richardson were a Republican this would be a scandal of epic proportions. It would lead every newscast in every city in every country around the globe. It would be the lead story in every daily newspaper in America. But because Richardson is a Democrat, the story has mostly been buried.

But there's no such thing as media bias, right?

bah humbug

Did you know that Navy Chaplains are counseled NOT to pray 'in Jesus' Name'? Click on 'Bah Humbug' above and read the story from the Washington Times.

this just in

I now have AT&T/SBC DSL.

bill morrow

I've known California State Senator Bill Morrow for a long time. He's a good man and I've always thought he'd be a great addition to California's Republican Congressional delegation at some point in the future. Thanks to the resignation of Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, and the fact that Bill is going to be term limited out of Sacramento, that future is now.

Governor Schwarzenegger recently announced that the special election for the 50th Congressional District will be on April 11, 2006. Competing for the seat will be former Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian, former Congressman Brian Bilbray, former San Diego Chargers defensive back Scott Turner, former Del Mar Mayor Richard Earnest, businessmen Alan Uke and Ken King and my buddy Bill.

I think Morrow is clearly the candidate to beat based on his conservative credentials, his experiences in Sacramento and his positions on the important issues facing California and the United States.

I've always had great respect for Kaloogian because of his conservative principals and his instrumental role in the recall of former Governor Gray Davis. Kaloogian would have my support if Morrow wasn't in the race.

Bilbray doesn't stand a chance in this race because he's one of those squishy moderates. And he's a lobbyist, so in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal currently engulfing DC, I don't think he's got much of a shot winning Cunningham's extremely conservative district.

Turner is an interesting candidate. A former aide to Congressman Duncan Hunter and a motivational speaker, the guy is only 33 years old.

I had a long telephone conversation with Bill the other day. We talked about the importance of strengthening national security, winning the war on terror and cracking down on illegal immigration. Bill believes, as I do, that the Bush tax cuts must be made permanent and he wants to cut wasteful federal spending.

Also working in Morrow's favor is the fact that his district overlaps with 67% of Cunningham's former district, so 'Duke's' former constituents already know him quite well.

Congressional rules state that the candidates must declare what is known as 'a ballot designation,' a fancy term for job description. The rules also state that former members of Congress cannot list 'former member of Congress' as their ballot designation. Bilbray is going to have a hard time competing in this race.

If Morrow can raise $1 million, he'll win this campaign. In the meantime, I am committed to doing whatever I can to ensure than Senator Morrow becomes Congressman Morrow on April 11.

time warner cable

I've written extensively about my disdain for the blithering idiots @ Time Warner. Now I have a new source of irritation: Earthlink.

Back on December 9 I ordered Earthlink cable internet access with a wireless router. I was so excited. Forget about stupid sugar plums. I had visions of being able to take my trusty 17" PowerBook ANYWHERE inside or outside my house and blogging anytime I want (instead of here at the office) dancing in my head.

I should have listened to that tiny little voice in my head. You know the one? It said: 'Dude. Don't get Earthlink because they are the bastard stepchild of Time Warner Cable.'

But I didn't listen. I didn't listen because I wanted CABLE, not DSL.

The Earthlink lady had a really strong Asian accent. I could only understand every fifth word she said, which was really annoying. I mean, I think Asian women are really hot, but...Anyway, she took my order, we pre-selected an Earthlink email address and it took a really long time. Then she mercifully gave me over to the Time Warner people to schedule an installation date, which turned out to be this past Monday, the 19th, from 12.30-2.30.

And by the way, scheduling the installation was problematic too. Victoria, the Time Warner lady gets on the phone and we've got the worst telephone connection you've ever heard. I don't know if it was my line or hers that was all crackling and popping but she told me she'd called me right back. I made sure to tell her that I was at the office number not the home number. She promised to call me right back.

She didn't. Forty five minutes later, I called back, talked to some other lady and scheduled the 19th. When I got home that night there was a message on my answering machine. FROM VICTORIA.

I circled my calendar and so did everyone I know. See, I've been taking crap from all my friends for not having internet access at home. I've been taking crap for YEARS from all my so-called buddies.

I thought the 19th would never arrive. And for a very brief moment, somewhere around the 13th or the 14th, I remember thinking to myself 'I wonder when I'm going to get my wireless router from Earthlink?' Then I thought, 'Oh, the Time Warner guy will bring it.' My friends, even my Mom have been asking 'what's the date of the Earthlink installation again?'

Monday morning. I didn't go into the office, instead I went to the Gap to return a really ugly green sweater I bought for myself last week. It looked good at the store. Anyway, I got home at noon sharp, ate a sandwich and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited some more. At 2.00 I called Time Warner. The guy said since I had another thirty minutes before the technician would be considered 'late' he couldn't do anything.

At 2.30 I damn well considered the tech to be 'late.' I had to go to a political fundraiser for State Senator Bill Morrow, (more on that later) so I shaved, put on a nice shirt and some shoes and was ready to leave when, BEHOLD! The Time Warner guy finally showed up.

Now I want to convey to you that had this guy not been so apologetic and so polite I really would have RIPPED HIM A NEW ONE! I was prepared to do just that. But he was cool.

But there's more. MUCH MORE. I let the guy in. He said he name was 'Fran.' Not Fran, like the old lady name, but FRAN. Like the French would say 'FRAN.'

I invite Fran into the house and I've got my Mac sitting there with the Earthlink software, ready to go. So I say 'Fran, I can't wait to get hooked up wirlessly so I can...

Fran, as it turns out, doesn't do wireless installation. Anyone want to guess what Fran does? (PAUSE) That's right. He does DSL installation. Isn't that lovely? Isn't that just a bit ironic? I thought so, too.

So Fran, nice guy that he is, starts telling me that he can go back out to his van and call the wireless guy and see if he is in the area, blah, blah, blah. At this point I need a stiff drink or a cigarette to calm my nerves, so I say 'sure. Why not?' He goes out to the truck and it hits me. Why didn't I listen to that little voice a couple of weeks ago. The voice that warned me not to order Earthlink because they are the bastard stepchild of the Great Satan, Time Warner Cable.

Then it occurred to me. 'Dude. You have AT&T. Why not get internet from them? And since you already have SBC DSL at the office...' It made sense so I walked out and told Fran to piss off. Well, I didn't use those exact words. I think I said the word cancel in there someplace. So he leaves, still apologizing. Like I said, Fran's a good guy.

Cut to yesterday. I called Earthlink. Guess what they told me? When I placed my order back on December 9, they placed my order, not for cable but for DSL. So that's why Fran came out. That's also the reason that they never mailed my wireless router. And then guess what else? The customer service guy also had a very strong Asian accent. And like the time before, I could only understand every fifth word he was saying.

I called SBC. I was so relieved to be rid of Earthlink. And I was happy to get an English speaking person on the phone. Her name was Elsie and she probably has the best personality of any customer service rep I've ever spoken to. From the first minute she was asking me what I was doing for Christmas, how my week was going, the nice weather we're having in Southern California, etc.

Regarding the Christmas question, I told her: 'Didn't you get my email? I'm coming over to your house for Christmas, Elsie.' She loved that. Our banter went back and forth. We even talked about getting married briefly until she told me that her husband might have a problem with our union. I told her that we could all move to Utah and everything would be cool.

Then Elsie and I hit a wall because she claimed that, even though AT&T and SBC recently merged into one company, they haven't yet gotten to the point where they share internet customers. So I had to leave the warm and comfortable confines of Elsie and be treated to the Barry White sound-alike stylings of Tyrone over at AT&T.

Tyrone tells me that the AT&T/SBC systems are germaine and seamless and, in fact, Elsie could have (and damn well should have) been able to sign me up for DSL service. So I say, 'Hey Ty. That's great for me. With all due respect, I like Elsie better than you anyway. Could you please transfer me back over to Elsie. 'That's not gonna happen, my Man,' he says to me.

But guess what? It did. Elsie gets on the phone and when I identified myself she screamed into the phone: 'Kent R-------!!! What are you doing?'

Told you Elsie and I were close.

I said: 'You didn't give me directions to your house for Christmas.'

Tuesday, December 20

shift

Much ado about nothing. That's what I think about the newly disclosed information that President Bush ordered the NSA to eavesdrop on certain American citizens.

In a time of war, especially in the current G.W.O.T., we cannot be too careful or too cautious in our approach to defending America and Americans from terrorism. If this means that the Federal Government must listen in on certain telephone conversations originating from the United States to specific locations in the Middle East, then so be it.

Extraordinary measures are called for in extraordinary circumstances.

Now please note that I said 'certain telephone conversations originating from the United States to specific locations in the Middle East.' It's not as if you, whoever you are, wherever you are, will have your telephones bugged. If you aren't doing anything wrong you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

The Founding Fathers took particular care to insure that the President was in clear and secure possession of powers to protect the national security of the United States. The Founders did not vest Congress with these powers, presumably, because when it comes to national security, time is of the essence. There is little time for debate when danger beckons.

President Bush is doing nothing differently than what other Presidents have done in wartime. Of course, you won't hear that from the MSM and from the opposition Democrats.

What you will hear from the Democrats is lie after lie, distortion after distortion about ________________________ and President Bush. (pick a subject, any subject) It reminds me of the title sequence of the soap opera 'Days Of Our Lives.' "Like sands in the hourglass," the Democrats are constantly shifting subjects, flailing about, failing to get any traction and gain any political ground going into '06. In fact, the more they struggle, the more desparate they look and sound, further alienating Moderates and Indepedents.

Monday, December 19

uptick

According to a new ABC News/WaPo poll President Bush's approval ratings are improving due to his recent speeches and the success of the Iraqi election last Thursday.

I was driving home from Los Angeles last night and heard the President's speech. Sounded like a fireside chat to me, reminiscent of that other great wartime President, FDR.

shameless

Joe Wilson and the woman he outed, his wife, Valerie Plame posing for yet another photo shoot. This time, Time Magazine.

Are these two people not the biggest media whores in America?

Friday, December 16

b-movie

Those courageous, strong, patriotic Democrats won't take a position on Iraq in '06, according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

"There is no one Democratic voice . . . and there is no one Democratic position," Pelosi said in an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors. That's code for 'we are so screwed.'

The Left has painted themselves into a corner. And they can't get out. The party of nuance is in deep feces.

No reasonable voter could ever hope to reconcile the litany of positions Democrats have espoused on the war these past three years. Let's see. First, they all voted for the war, but when it became unpopular they said they regretted their votes and claimed they were misled. Then it was 'Bush lied' about intelligence. Then they decided they just wanted to troops to come home, just withdraw, drop their guns in the sand and leave, without finishing their mission.

If this was a movie, no studio would ever release it--it would just go straight to DVD.

civil liberties

The Senate voted not to renew the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, citing concerns over civil liberties.

That seems like a very trivial concern to me, given the fact that Americans won't have any civil liberties AT ALL if the terrorists attack us again.

Thursday, December 15

impeachment in '06?

John Kerry reportedly told 100 or so of his brain dead campaign staff that if the Democrats can manage to win back the House in the '06 midterm elections, then there's a 'solid case' for impeaching President Bush for 'misleading the country' about Iraq.

Then he quickly said, 'Don't tell anyone I said that.'

Yeah, Johnny. Way to spread that Christmas cheer!

zazzle.com

I recently ordered tshirts for two of my buddies from Zazzle.com. It's a fun site that allows you to customize apparel, from tshirts, to hats, even greeting cards. You pick the colors and the fonts, the whole deal. It's not exactly as intuitive as, say, Amazon, but who cares?

Call me crazy, but when the billing name and address and the shipping name and address are different the assumption has to be that the ordered item is a gift, right?

Not on Zazzle it's not! In fact, both of my buddies were notified by email of the gift I had purchased for them BEFORE receiving their shirts.

Like John Kerry would say, 'What the f---?'

Every e-tailer asks for an email address in case there are delivery problems, but never before has one of clients or friends received notification of my Christmas gifts before getting them.

50%

I've never heard of the Diageo/Hotline poll but it's conclusion is that Bush's approval rating has skyrocketed back up to 50%, including a 16% jump in favorability among Independents.

“Bush has gotten a December bounce every year of his presidency, and this is no exception. Holiday cheer brightens the national mood, and this season’s scandal-plagued Congress can make the president look better in comparison,” said Chuck Todd, Editor-in-Chief of The Hotline. "

torture

This is ridiculous on so many levels. The White House allowing John McCain, a former P.O.W. to author legislation on torture? And then signing off on the bill?

I question the wisdom of telling our enemies what we can and cannot to do them in a time of war. Yet this is exactly what McCain advocates, having a book of torture standards. Are we really going to handcuff the troops in the field? Are we really going to tie their hands? Are we going to go back to the Col. West model, where firing a gun in the air to frighten a captured terrorist suspect is verboten?

Extracting information from terrorists, by any means necessary, in order to prevent acts of terrorism just makes sense to me.

Why the big controversy over an interogation technique called 'waterboarding,' where a detainee is made to feel as if he or she is suffocating? Oh, and by the way, by all accounts, 'waterboarding' has been used on all the top tier al Qaeda officials in US custody, and it is said to have been a 'highly effective' way of gleaning intelligence.

Sounds good to me. The proof? No terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11. Whatever we're doing, it's working really well. If it works and saves the lives of millions of Americans, I'm all for it. And you should be for it, too.

Should we really be relying on a guy who was tortured in Vietnam to be setting the standards to define what is and what is not torture? It seems to me that McCain, just from his life experience, would be overly sensitive to anything torture-related. We can't possibly expect the guy to be objective on this issue.

millions of purple fingers









Voter turnout today in Iraq was so huge, they ran out of ballots in some precincts. Voting was even extended an extra hour. Great news for everyone that loves democracy and freedom. Bad news for the obstructionist, do nothing, status quo whiners of America's so-called 'Democratic' Party.

God bless the brave citizens of Iraq, God bless the American military, God bless our Commander In Chief George W. Bush and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

Wednesday, December 14

rice to lead

The latest example that Condi Rice is running for President in '08? President Bush has given her the lead authority in the planning and reconstruction efforts in conflicts areas around the world, like Iraq.

tomorrow

Tomorrow Iraqi will make history by electing a new, permanent government.

The Democrats owe an apology to the Iraqi people, to President Bush, to his Administration, to the United States military, the participating coaltion forces, their commanding officers and all of those who have selflessly given their lives thus far in the liberation of Iraq.

Democrats should apologize for undermining the effort, the noble effort, currently underway in not only in the Middle East but around the world in the global war on terror.

killing some time

If you don't have anything better to do, click the above link.

prius

I've been thinking seriously about getting a Toyota Prius. It seems like a logical and reasonable purchase based solely on the gas mileage--I mean, I'd LOVE to get 50 miles to the gallon. Who wouldn't, right?

But lately I've been hearing rumblings about inflated claims by Toyota about that mileage. Sure, you get 50 MPG, but you've got to drive like your Grandmother. And then this morning, I read a brilliant column by Holman Jenkins in the WSJ.

Jenkins claims, among other things, that the Prius is priced $9,500 higher than comparable vehicles, like the Honda Civic or Toyota's Corolla. And that, according to car experts auto price guide Edmonds.com, a consumer would have to drive 66,500 miles and gasoline would have to cost $10 a gallon for the purchase of Prius hybrid a smart buy.

He also makes the point that the popularity of the Prius actually enables Toyota to sell more of those evil gas guzzling SUV's and trucks. Jenkins describes this as 'the special genius of our corporate fuel economy rules,' which 'directly underwrites Toyota's ability to sell more SUV's and pickups in the US market without paying the fines that Mercedes, BMW, and Volvo long ago accepted as a cost of doing business in the US.'

How's that for irony? You think you're driving a hybrid vehicle to save the planet, but you're really contributing to the further demise of the environment? Take that Larry David.

syria

Syrian journalist Gebran Tueni was killed on Monday, shortly after returning to Lebanon from France, where he had been hiding for several months because of the threats on his life.

Tueni's murder is the latest in a series of state sanctioned assasinations by the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad which is responsible for the death of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri earlier this year.

From what I hear and read, the Bush Administration is considering regime change in Syria but remains extremely skeptical of the possible replacement candidates for Assad.

punishing those pesky telemarketers

The Federal Trade Commission levied the largest fine to date--$5.3 million--against DirectTV for illegally calling people who had registered with the Do Not Call registry. So far, over 110 million phone numbers have been registered.

Consider this my Christmas gift to you. If you get an unwanted call, here's what you do. Write down the date you received the call, the company calling or their number. Then go to DoNotCall.gov, click on 'Complaint,' and follow the instructions.

There are certain companies that are allowed to call you like polling companies, non-profits or political organizations, unless you've told them not to call you.

Tuesday, December 13

rioting down under

This guy had one too many Foster's.

character development

A Hollywood executive told me recently that the one weakness in my screenwriting is what's called 'character development.'

In other words, the screenwriter, in creating characters for the reader, has to develop those characters to the extent that they are like real people, foibles and all.

I think I need to take a class.

The scripts I've done are about characters that I know intricately, but for some reason the translation seems to get lost as it makes its way from my head to my Powerbook.

Have you ever seen the NBC sitcom 'The Office'? Now there's a great example of character development. And I'm not just talking about casting, either. You can't successfully cast without having a script with specifically developed characters.

The characters on 'The Office' are so perfect you'd swear you actually know them. Or that you've worked with THEM.

Maybe one day my characters will be as crisp, as well defined.

maggie and jerry

When I was a boy living in Northern California my Mother took me to meet President Ford as he was campaigning for re-election against Jimmy Carter. I remember Mom forcing our way through a sea of people, all the way to the front until we were standing at the front of the rope line. I also remember the building excitement as he came closer and finally, suddenly, there he was standing right in front me, towering over me.

I extended my hand and said 'Nice to meet you, Mr. President. I'm Kent.' Judging from his reaction to me, I don't think the President had encountered very many articulate 9 year olds out on the campaign trail. He shook my hand, said 'Nice to meet you, Kent,' messed up my hair and moved along down the rope line.

Back in '97 I was invited to have lunch with Lady Thatcher. It was a large affair and my face time with Mrs. Thatcher was extremely limited. But I'll always remember her greeting me with that extreme accent. 'Hello Kent R-------.' We joked about the food. She said she loved San Diego. I told her to give me a call the next time she was in town so I could buy her a pint.

And now, we enter the twilight years for these two great people. Lady Thatcher, 80, is experiencing short term memory loss and appears to be at the beginning of Alzheimer's. President Ford, 92, while in generally 'good' health, was rushed to the hospital this morning for what has turned out to be just 'routine' tests.

coitus interuptus @ 30,000 feet

If my girl and I are drunk on a plane and decide to go into the lavatory to have some sex, don't interupt us. Let us finish and nobody gets hurt.

Monday, December 12

kudlow

Larry Kudlow is as happy as I am that President Bush has finally begun to make the case for just how strong the American economy is.

vlog

Have you seen Rocketboom? Amanda Congdon is pretty hot. And they just inked a deal with TiVo. Check it out.

ideas

Each year the NY Times Sunday Magazine publishes a roundup collection of the year's 'best ideas' as chosen by Times' editors.

Many are just concepts for the sake of being creative or outrageous; others are ideas already in use; some are coming to a store or theatre or bathroom near you.

Out of all 91 'ideas' I liked these the best: the 'anti rape condom,' the 'his and her t.v.,' the 'runaway alarm clock,' the 'conservative blogs are more effective,' and the 'singing toothbrush.'

The 'anti-rape condom' was created by an South African woman named Sonette Ehlers, who was just disgusted by the high number of attacks in her country, one of the highest in the world. The Rapex, is a female "condom" lined with rows of plastic spikes on its inner surface is to be inserted anytime a woman believes she is in danger.


'His and her t.v.' sounds like an idea. Imagine sitting on your couch or in bed. You want to watch the ballgame, but your honey wants to see some stupid romance movie. Sharp has a solution. Depending on the angle you can watch different things and just wear earplugs to hear the audio of your program.
If you're like me, you can't (or you won't) wake up when your alarm clock goes off. My cell phone doubles as my alarm and I've gotten in the habit or either punching the snooze button or just ignoring it all together.

No more. The 'runaway alarm clock' goes for a ride a couple of minutes after the snooze button is pushed. And it's movements are unpredictable. It might go under the bed, into the corner or just might stop in the middle of the room, but, always out of arm's reach.

The 'conservative blogs are more effective' isn't so much and idea as it is a fact. According to the NYT what 'makes conservative blogs effective is their pre-existing media infrastructure, composed of local and national talk-radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, the Fox News Channel and sensationalist say-anything outlets like the Drudge Report.'

If that were true Liberal blogs would rule the blogosphere, given that the REAL pre-existing media infrastructure is entirely comprised of the ABCCBSNBC nightly newcasts, cable outlet CNN, and 25 or so daily newspapers from America's biggest cities.

No. The reason Conservative blogs are more effective than Liberal blogs is simple. Conservative philosophy is based on facts and actionable intelligence. Liberal blogs and ideology are based on short-lived emotion and feelings, rather than rational thought.
The 'singing toothbrush' is a great idea, especially for kids. Dentists advise brushing for two minutes to effectively clean your teeth. And as luck would have it, each song that plays on the 'Singing Toothbrush' is approximately two minutes long. Coincidence?

tookie's legacy: death & destruction

Some people say that Tookie Williams has somehow made amends for killing four people by writing children's books. Dude could write 10 million children's books, as far as I'm concerned, and that wouldn't make up for one life, much less the four lives that he took. Or the thousands of lives that he has negatively impacted.

When it comes to taking responsibility for his crimes, Williams, the co-founder of the Crips street gang in Los Angeles, has been completely silent. He has never admitted that he killed anyone just like he has never taken responsibility for the thousands of deaths that have occurred as a result of street gangs.

What Williams does say, loud enough for everyone to hear clearly, is that he didn't receive a fair trial because of racism. Racism, according to Williams and his supporters, is the big evil in this case.

Governor Schwarzenegger reportedly was conflicted about this case. I can't imagine why but I salute him for making the correct decision in this case.

My hope now is that if there is any violence as a result of the Williams execution, that police, law enforcement and city officials in Los Angeles, and beyond, will act quickly and forcefully. Zero tolerance.

joyful




Iraqi citizens sure seem happy about voting, don't they? I'm not wearing a hat today, but if were, I'd tip it to Gateway Pundit for these photographs.

a salute or just a wave?

I do this very thing all the time. I wave at people. I hold my arm up with my palm open. All five fingers are extended. It's called waving. Or can you still call it waving if you don't really your hand back and forth? Whatever. I wave. And that's how I do it.

Do you think Italian soccer player Paolo Di Canio is waving in the photo above or is he giving a fascist salute to fans as he entered the game against Livorno on Sunday, as some are suggesting?

my crazy cul-de-sac

I live on a six house cul-de-sac and Saturday night house number six had a big Christmas Party. Her parties have a tendency to get a bit wild. She serves the best food, usually has live music and her guest list is always comprised of extremely interesting people. Her last party, the cops showed up.

This time around, there was quite a collection of strange (and decidely un-eclectic) people. Everyone I met was more bizarre and more strange than the person before. One guy told me the history of the state of Missouri. The conversation started off as a bit of a joke. My Mother, when she pronounces the word 'Missouri' calls it 'Missoura.' I think it's a generational thing. So I ask this guy, who looked to be roughly the same vintage as my beautiful Mom, how he said it. 'Missoura.' Then, he launches into 'hey, if you think that's interesting...'

Next up was this guy telling me about his handicapped son. Apparently, twenty years ago this man's son was in Indonesia, where he was kidnapped and drugged. Somehow, he escaped and jumped out of a twenty story window. When he landed he pretty much broke every bone in his body. 'He was lucky to be alive,' this guy says to me. 'No shit,' I say.

Then there's this woman that I met at the last party, y'know, the time the police dropped by? She's quite a piece of work. Turns out, she's been secretly pregnant, and get this: She smoked throughout the entire pregnancy. That's really showing your fetus the love, isn't it?

And here's more weirdness. Sunday morning, slightly hung over, I am awakened to breaking glass and someone shouting 'f---ing a-------!'

My neighbor (to my left) lost his wife over the summer following a really long illness. But being the stud he is, he's already hooked up with another woman and they're living in sin a couple of streets over.

Not that his son, who is the black sheep of the family, knew anything about it. Just like he didn't know that the house has been rented out.

I go outside and I just said 'Dude. What are you doing?' I thought he on drugs or something, the way he was acting. But then he looked at me, totally lucid, and he says 'Hey, Kent. What's up?' like it was just a normal visit. Almost as if he wasn't breaking into his Dad's house.

Normally I need a couple of cups of coffee to wake up. Not yesterday.

71% say life 'is good'

So says a new ABC News poll.

I love this: Writers Gary Langer and Jon Cohen lead their story about the poll with this: 'surprising levels of optimism prevail in Iraq.'

It's not surprising. Things ARE going well in Iraq, but you guys and the rest of your MSM colleagues have been lying about virtually everything that has happened in Iraq for the better part of three years.

Friday, December 9

progress

Paul Mirengoff over @ Powerline is reporting that the citizens of the Iraqi town of Ramadi have turned in a terrorist known as "The Butcher of Ramadi," butressing a claim made by President Bush that intelligence on the ground in Iraq is yielding productive results.

And then there is the missile attack in Pakistan that killed al Qaeda's international operations manager Abu Hamza Rabia, has received surprisingly little coverage.

Day after day, more and more progress is being made in the War On Terror, much to the chagrin of the Democrats.

Have a great weekend, my Friends. See you Monday.

give me a v...

A decision on the clemency of Tookie Williams could come anytime from the Governor and public officials in Los Angeles are concerned that some residents (code for gang members) might opt for violence if Tookie's not granted clemency.

Wow. Talk about the inmates running the asylum. Let's just grant the bastard clemency and get it over with. We don't want to piss off The Crips, do we?

exploitation

Meet Leah Hodges. She's been described as a 'New Orleans community activist.' She's also a former member of the Black Panther Party, which means that she's a racist.

Hodges and three other New Orleans women testified before Congress this week and described the treatment they received at the hands of police immediately after Hurricane Katrina as 'demoralizing and inhuman.'

"This is how we made it: We slept next to dead bodies, we slept on streets -- at least four times, next to human feces and urine," said Patricia Thompson, whose evacuation to Texas after the storm was the first time she lived outside the city.

I'm sure being in New Orleans during and after Katrina wasn't a bunch of fun. I have no doubt that it was terrible and horrific for everyone involved and I'm sorry that Americans had to suffer. Okay? But. And it's a big but. You do what you've to do to survive, right?

The attempt by Democrats to turn this into a racial issue disgusts me. This is just one more blemish, a stain on the long, sad heritage of the Democratic Party, exploiting race yet again in this spectacle. This is nothing more than myth and urban legend. Just like the lie that black people were disenfranchised in Florida in 2000. That didn't happen, either.

You won't hear Louisiana Democrats admit that they were woefully unprepared for Katrina. What you you will hear from Democrats are the all too predictable charges of racism, which, to me is inhuman.

"We were cursed when we asked for help for our elderly," Thompson said. "We had guns aimed at us by the police who were supposed to be there to protect and serve. They made everybody sit on the ground with their hands in the air, even babies."

Yeah, sure. I believe that.

According to Hodges, "race had everything to do" with the poor response to the hurricane. And the she compared New Orleans, post-Katrina, to the German Concentration Camps where six million Jews were murdered.

Wrong. As noted here time and time again, the poor response to Katrina had everything to do with the clueless, ineffectual and unprepared Governor of Louisiana Kathleen Blanco (who we've learned recently was taking a nap when the National Guard called her office) and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin who spent six days after the Hurricane hiding in his hotel room.

the stealth tax

The alternative minimum tax was established in the '60's to ensure that the rich would pay their fair share of taxes. Now, the AMT has turned into a potentially big problem for politicians and taxpayers.

This year 3.5 million Americans will pay the AMT, but in '06, that number will balloon to 18.9 million. That realization has led to swift action in Congress which has created a one year 'patch' that will protect these additional taxpayers from being subject to the AMT.

Of course, politicians don't want to repeal the AMT, which they argue would trim government revenue by $1 trillion over the next ten years, which, of course, is ridiculous. Getting rid of the AMT would be great for the economy.

Now, I realize a good portion of you don't understand how beneficial tax cuts are to the economy, but they are. You'll just have to trust me on this. The lower taxes, the more productive an economy is. That's a fact, Jack.

killing bin laden

I caught an epidose of South Park the other night, where the boys somehow ended up in Afghanistan where they encountered and eventually killed Osama bin Laden.

The writers chose to portay Osama as an idiot and a clutz incapable of even uttering a coherent sentence as he stumbled around like a retarded person. At one point, after stubbing his toe he yelled 'RAMADAN!'

Good stuff.

Thursday, December 8

extension

The Patriot Act has been extended. That's a good start.

waving that white flag

This just in. The Democrats ARE CRAZY. And a new GOP web video campaign breaking tomorrow just tells the truth about the dumb things Dean and Kerry have been saying.

You can't see me, but I'm clapping.

save tookie

The hypocrisy!

All these anti-death penalty celebs like Snoop Dogg, Jamie Foxx, Alfre Woodard, Danny Glover, Margaret Cho, Jason Alexander, Noah Wylie, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Jesse Jackson, Bonnie Raiit, Mike Farrell, Bianca Jagger, Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston, want you to believe that they CARE so much about Tookie Williams.

But where the hell where they this past Monday when Wesley Baker was executed in Maryland? And what about Kenneth Lee Boyd or Shawn Humphries who were both executed last Friday, December 2? Or John R. Hicks? Or Eric Randall Nance? Or Elias Hanna Syriani? Or Shannon Thomas?

give this man some nuclear fuel...

Here's something I've never considered: Moving Israel to Europe. That way, Muslims would no longer be offended by the presence of Jews.

Former terrorist and current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doesn't believe the Holocaust occurred.
"Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is: is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem?" Ahmadinejad said.

Is this guy serious? How do you deny the deaths of six million people? And saying that the Jews are 'the occupiers of Jerusalem' is like saying 'the Pope isn't Catholic.' It doesn't make any sense.

"If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe -- like in Germany, Austria or other countries -- to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we (Iran) will support it."

We'll take that under consideration. NOT.

Remember, John Kerry advocated giving nuclear fuel to Iran last year.

'litte crybabies'

Ann Coulter is even a bit too abrasive for me. I agree with her on principle and I enjoy her writing. I even think she's kinda hot, but the arrogance and the condescension gets to me.

Last night at the University of Connecticut, after being interupted about 15 minutes into her speech by a group of people she described as 'little crybabies' Coulter went straight to the Q & A portion of her program.

I saw her last night on Hannity & Colmes. This must have been right after her speech. No wonder she was so aggravated. She was ANGRY. Or I should say she was ANGRIER THAN USUAL. You know what? I'd be pretty angry about being treated rudely, too. Especially if I had been invited. But I would have finished that speech. Nothing would have prevented me from finishing my remarks. No way I'd ever let the 'little crybabies' think they had won.

Ann will you please lighten up just a smidge? I remember when you were less angry and much more enjoyable to listen to.

You're a successful author, lecturer (screw UConn) and television commentator. I know you think you're smarter than everyone else but that doesn't exactly engender the warm and fuzzies.

lieberman to pentagon?

Rumor has it that Joe Lieberman might become the next Secretary of Defense if/when Don Rumsfeld quits early next year.

According to a piece in the NY Post, Lieberman was even offered the UN Ambassador's post before John Bolton.

"He thought about it for a week or so and finally said no," a White House adviser recalled.

I don't think it's been much of a secret that both Bush and Rumsfeld have been waiting for the best time for the Defense Secretary's departure. Neither men wanted it to appear as if Rummy had been forced out by outside pressure.

But I disagree with the Post's assertion that Bush has told his friends that he views Rumsfeld as a 'liability.' I think Don Rumsfeld has been one of the brighter stars of the Administration, a voice of reason and wisdom, amongst the cacophony of stupidity the last three years.

It would certainly seem that the Connecticut Senator is campaigning for the job. Anytime a microphone is within a three mile radius Lieberman finds it and starts tossing out GOP talking points on Iraq.

If the Pentagon gig doesn't work out Joe had better get his resume ready because it appears that his party has successfully recruited former Republican (now Independent) Connecticut Senator Lowell Weickerto run against him next year.

Wednesday, December 7

'backlash'

This is exactly what I've been saying for months. The Democrats, with their anti-American, anti-troop, victory-is-impossible rhetoric, are in danger of falling even further into electoral irrelevance in '06.

Now even the Washington Post is saying the same thing. Without realizing it, this piece admits that the Democrats don't have a plan. Check out this paragraph:

"The aim is to provide the party enough maneuvering room to allow Democrats to adjust their position as conditions in Iraq change -- and fix public attention mostly on Bush's policies rather the details of a Democratic alternative."

Amazing. And true.

'ignoring the pessimists'

Today, on the 64th anniversary of Pearl Harbor,President Bush finally said the magic words, the words I've been waiting so long to hear: "Things in Iraq are going better than the media coverage would lead you to believe."

Thank you, Mr. President. What took you so long?

mel gibson

There's a story in the NYT today about Mel Gibson developing a non-fiction television mini-series about the Holocaust for ABC.

The story is based on a book by Flory A. Van Beek, a Dutch Jew whose gentile neighbors hid her from the Nazis.

Gibson's involvement in this project is interesting given that his father, Hutton, has publicly declared the Holocaust to be a 'fictional' event in history. Maybe this is Mel's way of doing penance, since he's Catholic.

rapid

Governor Schwarzenegger was taken to the hospital last night for what was described as a 'rapid heartbeat.' But he's okay.

I didn't know that back in '97 Arnold had heart surgery to repair a congenital valve problem. Hey, live with a Democrat at your own risk.

That's my advice to you.

taking your medicine

Two federal air marshalls fired, shot and killed Rigoberto Alpizar as he frantically exited American Airlines Flight # 924 as it was about to take off from Miami and fly to Orlando.

Alpizar, 44, of Maitland, FL was an American citizen, who, was said to have suffered from bi-polar disorder. Apparently he failed to take his medication today.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, once the plane was parked at the gate, another passenger indicated that Alpizar had a bomb in his carry-on bag. When confronted about the carry-on by air marshalls, Alpizar ran off the plane. The air marshalls then gave chase, tackling Alpizar on the jetway bridge in an attempt to subdue him, only to be forced to shoot him when he attempted to reach into his luggage.

circus

The Hussein trial is beginning to remind me of the American judicial system, where justice is rarely handed down and inefficiency is the rule, rather than the exception.

From Reuters: "Defense lawyers had spent the morning in discussions with judges and the 68-year-old ousted strongman about what to do next."

'What to do next?' Will someone please tell me why this trial has been allowed to turn into this silly circus? What happens 'next' is the trial continues, after a two week break, of course.

This is unbelievable. Are they really going to allow this to go on forever, like the Milosevic trial? Does Hussein think that just because he claims that he doesn't have clean underwear and that he doesn't have time for cigarette breaks that the trial should just be discontinued? He thinks his treatment has been 'terrorism.'

I'll tell you about terrorism. I heard this morning that the son of one of Hussein's prison guards has been kidnapped. So the Saddamists are still trying to exert terror on free Iraqis. What type of threats do you think the Chief Judge in the case has received and continues to receive daily? Saddam and his thugs have been terrorizing the Iraqi people for thirty years.

Isn't this all just so incredibly predictable? While it is certainly important for the citizens of Iraq to be given front row seats to the 'Trial of the Century,' it may eventually prove to have been a poor decision to televise the proceedings.

I have the solution: take Saddam outside and put a bullet in his head.

can i win a pulitzer?

'Web journalism is now an eligible category for the Pulitzer Prize,' read the headline. Wow. I was already working on my acceptance speech.

Then I read down a bit further. Dammit. Talk about a non-story. Bloggers aren't eligible, yet. The submission guidelines still are limited to daily newspapers.

Tuesday, December 6

i still like dogs better

Have you ever heard of bomb sniffing wasps? They can detect cancer, toxic chemicals and explosives, just by being taught to apply the same sense of smell they apply to finding food.

Trick a wasp into thinking a bomb is a snack and voila! And it only takes five minutes.

"We feed them for 10 seconds, then take them away for at least 30 seconds, and we do that just three times," says Glen C. Rains, a biological engineer at the University of Georgia.

Oh, and by the way, these are non-stinging wasps.

crazy bastard

From what I can gather from the coverage of the Saddam Hussein trial, it seems as if Chief Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin has totally lost control and that the control is firmly in the hands of the former dictator.

Today, after listening to testimony from a young Iraqi woman who told of how she was abused and raped by Hussein henchmen, Hussein suddenly rose, told Amin to 'go to hell' and that he would not return to court tomorrow. He told the Chief Judge that he and the other seven defendants were tired and had not been allowed to shower, change clothes, exercise or smoke.

"This is terrorism," Hussein said.

ramsey clark

Ramsey Clark, a former Attorney General of the United States, and now lead counsel for Saddam Hussein, has a long history of befriending and assisting genocidal maniacs.

He went to Iraq in 1991 during the first Gulf War and accused the American military of aiming for civilian targets.

He's advised former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, on trial for crimes against humanity before a U.N. war crimes tribunal, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, also accused of war crimes, a Rwandan pastor accused of orchestrating the slaughter of thousands of Tutsis, al-Qaida terrorist Mohamed Al-Owhali and Nazi war criminals Karl Linner and Jack Riemer.

Clark also aided Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization when its leaders were accused in the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair-bound Jewish American who was shot and pushed overboard in the 1986 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro.

He traveled to Tehran to attend a conference called "The Crimes Of America," while 52 American were being held hostage by the Iranian government.

Now Clark says he believes that Hussein is a victim of "selective prosecution."

I can't imagine why this guy hasn't been forced to relenquish his American citizenship and charged with sedition.

david cameron

At first glance, David Cameron, the new 39 year old leader of the Tories, the Conservative Party in Great Britain, looks a bit uptight doesn't he? He also sounds a lot like George W. Bush.

I like what he's saying about how the Tories must stop 'grumbling about today's Britain.'

"People in this country are crying out for a Conservative Party that is decent, reasonable, sensible, common sense and in it for the long term of this country and that is the party we are going to build, with a focus on a full bodied economic policy beyond taxes and national and international security," Cameron said. "We must change and be in tune with today's Britain with a "modern compassionate Conservatism," he said.

This guy sounds like quite the stud. An avid mountain biker, he's had real life experience in the outside world with corporate careers in public relations and televison and he's into cool music like the Killers. (For those of you scoring at home, his all time favorite record is "The Queen Is Dead" by the Smiths)

And I read on BBC.com that he and his wife Samantha have a disabled son. Who could possibly be better at recognizing the merits of compassion than a guy who has a special needs child that requires 'round the clock care'?

I wish the Tories luck as they begin the long climb back to relevance. Hopefully, one day they will come back to the extent that they can again control the Government, which will be especially hard in the short run with the entrenched Gordon Brown waiting in the wings to replace Tony Blair.

more fox

We talk quite a bit here about media bias, but there's something new I've noticed: The anchors on the Fox News Channel talk about how biased the other networks are. And it's not just as a part of the 'Fair And Balanced' slogan. It's during segments and programs.

The other night the business team of Neil Cavuto, Rebecca Gomez, Brenda Buttner, Dagan McDowell and Gary B. Smith all talked the other night about how the msm will never report good news of any kind for President Bush. 'Jesus walks and water and the New York Times would run a headline saying 'Jesus Can't Swim,' said Cavuto.

It's totally true.

Then Smith said, 'hey, I hate to say it but the media is never going to report good news about George Bush.'

Gomez praised the President for coming out so strong last week and trumpeting his Administration's record on the economy and on the War On Terror, even cheering his rising poll numbers.

McDowell continued the praise for Bush as she went on to say 'the President should do MORE chest thumping because of all the good economic indicators, all of which are 'GOOD.' 'It's ALL GOOD,' she said. 'Pretty soon, as we approach Dow11,000, it's going to be harder and harder for the DC media and the American people not to know and acknowledge the universal truth,' she said.

That's stuff you won't hear (or see) anyplace else, which, I think, is the key to the success of the Fox News Channel.

And it is.

dave

Letterman's ratings last Thursday night (featuring guest Oprah Winfrey) were his highest in ten years and his fourth highest since 'The Late Show' came to CBS.

intel

I wrote about Middle Eastern optimism yesterday in Iraq, but there also is a tremendous amount of optimism in Israel, as well. Intel, the big American chip maker, is building an enormous plant in Israel, which will be one of the largest employer in the region.

In fact, Israel and Intel have quite a history together. Both the Pentium and Centrino chips were initially marketing and sold in Israel, not America.

Why Israel? Low taxes. In fact, no taxes the first two years of operation, then only 10% annually after that, versus 30% in the United States.

black & white

I continue to be surprised by the anti-American rhetoric of Democrats Dean, Kerry, Murtha, Pelosi, among others.

Calling US troops terrorists over the weekend, which is essentially what John Kerry did, is anti-American.

Predicting the defeat of the United States in Iraq, which is what Howard Dean said yesterday, is anti-American.

Jack Murtha, a Vietnam vet, surely remembers how political posturing negatively impacted his fellow soldiers in Vietnam and emboldened the enemy. Yet his comments now are totally un-American.

This is a black and white issue. Either you are with the United States or you are with al Qaeda. There's no middle ground here. Either you hope and pray for the safety of our troops and the swift success of the mission in Iraq or you don't.

Monday, December 5

sentiment

Here's the front and the inside of a greeting card sent to an injured soldier named Joshua Sparling at Walter Reed Medical Center. It reads: "Dear Soldier, Have a great time in the war and have a great time dieing in the war. From Miguel." And then the P.S. reads "DIE."
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