Monday, January 30, 2006

Carin called...

...and it looks like she'll be home today so I'm grabbing this opportunity to post a picture of my marvelous dog, Nick. This is him in Wisconsin's Kickapoo River. Four hours of canoeing and the boy swam and waded the whole way. Whatta dog! You just can't beat a Border Collie. ...well, you can but they're so quick they easily get away so what's the point?

So anyway....

She sounds much like her old self but tries to keep the laughing to a minimum as it hurts. We were remarking over the apparent success of this unusual weight loss strategy. They didn't feed her solids until this morning and so in addition to the lost kidney weight, there's no telling how much she wasted away. She couldn't put away any more than one pathetic pancake for breakfast. Well done, Carin!

So this is it for me. As Carin prepares to resume control of her blog, I am gearing up to depart for Fort Myers Beach tomorrow. Thanks for having me.

By the way....I hear Sven is planning something special for his last post too.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

If I had Carin's kidney...

First, an odd story:

Woman Claims to Have Diana's KidneyA French woman, Francoise Gaellar, had a kidney transplant two days after Princess Diana died in a car crash. She believes that she received Diana's kidney. As a consequence, she now feels urges to speak in English:"I found myself speaking English to my friends, something I don't normally do because I have no reason to," she says. "I cannot explain why I did this."Is this evidence of a fanciful nature, or an indication she had indeed received an organ from an English-speaker? Improbable though it sounds, there are many documented accounts of organ recipients taking on characteristics of their donors.The French authorities aren't allowed to say who people get their organs from. They also aren't about to reveal what happened to Diana's body after she died. But a Hospital spokesperson did say that: "Because of bioethical laws and other considerations, it would have been impossible for this type of transplant to have taken place in a French hospital involving a British citizen, particularly when that person was the Princess of Wales."
Posted: Wed May 25, 2005

Now if I'd received Carin's kidney, I'd be pleased to discover a new expertise in choosing a good bottle of wine.


This is incredible...

This is a resin cast of the urinary vessels of a kidney. The red structure shows the major and minor calyces which receive urine from different sections of the kidney; passing it first to the renal pelvis and then to the urethra.

Looks kinda like coral, don'tcha think?


Friday, January 27, 2006

Carin at the slots

I think this was taken when she really let loose and moved up to the quarter slots. Too rich for my blood.

I'm posting this because I think she's been pretty stingy with the pictures - unless, of course, our children are being sucked into jet engines.

Isn't she adorable?


Due to technical difficulities beyond Carin's control...

...we have updated scar information.

The first picture shows the scarring that results from the laproscopic procedure that had been planned. The second shows the scarring that results from the more traditional procedure that she ended up requiring. Both were taken one-year after surgery and neither looks too bad. Her husband assured me when I spoke to him on Wednesday that he fully intends to keep her.

She may have to give up bikinis but it seems to me that if she just takes it one step further and sheds only the top no one will ever notice the scar. ...or her hair color. ...or that she's trailed by five children. ...or that they're standing on a beach.


Spoke to Carin!

I figured that she might be feeling somewhat conscious today so I gave her a call right after I woke up this morning at 5 am. Took her FOREVER to get to the phone. Strange how she's still so groggy....

Of course I'm kidding you. I figured she might be up at lunch and would have her cellphone near if she was interested in calls.

Indeed she is beginning to feel bit better, certainly more awake, but I could tell that she's somewhat uncomfortable. Weird drug effects, she says. She has been up though for a shower and is able to take a turn about the room. She hasn't yet been to see her Dad as it would be a considerably longer walk and she wants to be more "put together" when he sees her. How nice, not wanting to trouble her Dad with the vision of her discomfort.

Reading, yes, even US magazine or the National Enquirer, has been out of the question though she admits they'd be the perfect thing at this point. She has about a two minute attention span with napping breaking out without warning.

Her doctor is guessing she'll be released Sunday or Monday and I would advise her husband to acquire for her a nice riding crop or some other long, light & threatening stick before her homecoming. ...just a little something to warn off a charging child or dog. You'd think kids wouldn't forget that their parent has an injury when said parent is now incapacitated in the La-Z-Boy but they do. Best to raise a warning crop or yardstick before suffering serious trauma. Keep the buggers at bay!

The flower, by the way, is the kidney flower.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Carin's Life Without Carin - Cars

Medical Updates:

Everyone's fine, and everything's working fine. Father slept four or five hours, which in an ICU with hourly tests is pretty good. Now he's reading Vince Flynn. Carin, we can't get quiet the same details on, but she's comfortable.

So, now as for Carin's day-to-day life.

I showed up at Carin's at 6:45 this morning. I was originals told that Husband would be leaving about that time. Instead, he was still getting ready. While waiting, I tested something. DLP actual works pretty well as a computer monitor, and Civ IV attracts little eyes on the bigger screen. His RSX had been in the shop for a while, but was ready for pickup today. The children woke, Husband got ready and we went to the dealership to get the car.

The Acura RSX is great fun, especially in second.

While we were out, #1 decided on breakfast - a bratwurst and a pork chop.

After returning, I've been watching the kids. Husband got some bagels and has done some laundry, and about 10 minutes ago, Husband has finally gone off to see to Carin. So I'm here. Two youngest children are watching Robots upstairs. First and Third are watching Big-O with me. Remaining child is down playing his MMO-resembling RPG.

And So lets see how things go. At some point, I'll be getting pizza for the kids. Given the fight on getting #3 to eat her Bagel without toasting it, should be interesting to see how it goes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Brother Appears

Yes, I left the hospital for all of you...

I'm going to keep this as a quick little update, but as of 5:00...

In the words of the surgeon I talked to, the actual incision Carin ended up with is similar to what would happen in a non-laparoscopic surgery, so the results and complications of it should be minor. Even before that discusion, Carin's Husband got to see her in recovery. In his words, she's "out of it" but I suppose for now thats for the best. He was planning on returning to the kids, but another has been found to watch them for the evening, given the minor complication.

Our Father is was almost done with Surgery. One of the surgeons came and talked to 'the family' and everything on his side went fine. We were going to find out his location shortly after five, but I had to leave. Following his time in recovery, he will be/was sent to the ICU. They will spend an hour to an hour and a half getting him settled and checked out once he gets there, and only then will he be allowed visitors. That should be around 7:00 PM.

I'm in a class right now, and it's sad when a grad class is so simple you can blog it, isn't it?

Expect my next post to bring word of the father, and tomorrow...

Blogging the Life of Carin without Carin - The Brother alone with the Kids


Just got off the phone with Carin's husband who reported that she is fine. The surgery ended up being more complicated than had been anticipated but she is fine, her Father is fine, the kidney is working and that's all that matters.

Let's pause to thank God for keeping them safe and for giving us all the gift of having this truly amazing woman in our lives.

Now for the details...

They did the laproscopic procedure as planned but somehow in the process her aorta was torn and an additional incision was required to repair it. That turned a 2-4 hour procedure into a 6.5 hour procedure and her potential 3" scar into an 8" one. She'll also likely be in the hospital now until Tuesday.

I sent her husband on a mission to get her US magazine. I know, I know...but as smart as she is it's really all she can handle right now.


While we wait...

...and keeping with our Theme of the Day, I have a cute Carin story that actually involves kidneys!

We were in Las Vegas a few years ago with two other friends. (Suddenly inspired to locate my pictures of Carin at the nickel slots - oh, but it could have been a bad move giving me the keys to the kingdom...) In the course of conversation we learned that the friend Carin was rooming with only had one kidney. As we'd known eachother for many years and had shared innumerable details about ourselves we were surprised by the revelation. Someone said, "I didn't know that!" To which Carin replied with a crinkle of her nose, "I saw her sleeping and could kinda tell."

Ah...good times, good times....


"I'm in charge now..." Alexander "George" Haig

As I haven't heard otherwise, I'm assuming that the surgery is underway. There was to be one last scan this morning before going in.

Here's the deal....

During laparoscopic donor surgery, three small incisions are made on the abdomen (shown in red).Since 1999, University of Colorado Hospital transplant surgeons have been utilizing video technology to allow the kidney to be removed safely through small incisions on the abdomen. This procedure is called laparoscopic donor surgery.
Patients undergoing laparoscopic donor surgery have significantly less pain, a shorter hospital stay and return to normal life much faster than those who undergo the more traditional “open” procedure.
The donor kidney is removed with sections of artery, vein and ureter through this laparoscopic procedure and placed in the recipient’s lower abdomen. Veins and arteries carry blood to and from the kidney and the ureter carries urine to the bladder. All blood vessels and the ureter from the donor kidney are connected to vessels in the recipient.

As you can see from the illustration, Carin is indeed a Barbie doll. Saves her a fortune on Brazillians...


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Of special interest to Kel

I checked out The Sopranos first season DVD from the library to watch while I'm down. I know you LOVE this show, right? I watched the first episode while working out yesterday.

Nano-Review of last night's "24"

Not enough Jack.

Public service announcement

I'll be offline for a few days. In my never ending-quest to lose weight, I've decided to have one of my kidneys removed. Granted, it is only going to result in a net loss of a few ounces, but I'm thinking that every little bit will add up. Not wanting the kidney to go to waste, my father has graciously offered to have the kidney attached to his body. Apparently, he can use it (how's that for lucky coincidences?) And it will free up some time for him since he will no longer have to spend 12 hours a week on dialysis. I'm supposed to arrive at the hospital at the beastly hour of 5:45 on Wednesday- so after this evening I won't be posting (or trolling anyone else's blog) until I get home. My brother has (been) volunteered to post in my absence.

Stupidest dog award

Not to piss anyone off with this, but chihuahuas have to be the stupidest dogs ever. And, I've had stupid dogs in the past, so I'm not speaking from an ugly place. You can love your stupid dog, but you should know it's limitations. It's weaknesses. Knowledge is power.

I do not currently own a stupid dog, chihuahua or otherwise. I have a queen of a dog- a white German Shepherd named Greta. In addition to being beautiful, loyal, and smart, she is also protective and very (very) strong. And, to focus my argument, her jaws, and therefor her BITE, is forceful. A thing to be avoided, especially if you were -say- a tiny little dog.

Now, imagine, if you will, you took this white shepherd on a walk though your neighborhood, properly leashed. It's dark (or light, whatever, it doesn't matter), and you've got your iPod on, and you're just generally enjoying life. Suddenly, you look up, and there is this rat heading STRAIGHT for your properly leashed dog. Except, the rat is barking! It's not a rat, it's a stupid little dog, UNLEASHED, trying to attack. Greta, of course, is always prepared to go a few rounds. But, this battle wouldn't make it one round. It would make it about two seconds, at which point I'd probably hear a hideous crunch. The only course of action, is to desperately RUN from this tiny dog, because if it gets w/in leash length, it's over. And, this (really) stupid dog is determined to get within range.

Needless to say, that dog didn't die that fateful day. Nor the other time the same (stupid) dog ran ACROSS the street to try to start something. The owner was at least outside that time, yet for some reason didn't seem to think the incident was the fault of his stupid dog.

So, here is my note to stupid dog owners: If , some day, your STUPID DOG finally does manage to get with-in leash length of my dog (by chasing us, barking and in attack mode) it will be TOTALLY YOUR FAULT. Your dog will be dead, and I don't want to hear boo about it.

Stupid internets

Is that all you got? Don't you have something else to distract me with?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Kennedy on Alito

Regarding the nomination of Samuel Alito, U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) had this to say:

In sum, in case after case, Judge Alito's decisions demonstrate a systematic tilt toward the powerful institutions and against individuals attempting to vindicate their rights. He cites a few instances in which he has decided for the little guy, but they are few and far between.

Justice Lewis Powell captured the spirit of America best when he said: "Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building. It is perhaps the most inspiring idea of our society. It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system exists."

I'm sure Kennedy believes this- except when the "little guy" is a woman named Mary Jo Kopechne, and the big, drunk, guy is himself. That Kennedy went on to have, and continues to have, such a long life in the Senate is as much a mystery to me as the whole Chappaquiddick incident.

Update: The The Mayor has his own post about Kennedy. And, as is mentioned in the comments, Fenris - I suggest you invade Massachusetts first. As a personal favor.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A hypothetical question

Do you think it possible, or at all advisable, that I spend the waking hours of the next 5 days surfing the internet?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A question

Jonah Goldberg in NRO:

A coup by sophisticated and serious members of the military would be great news. Even better would be a popular uprising. And best of all would be a combination of the two. An Iran with an old-style military dictatorship charged with defending democratic institutions would be an enormous, epochal victory for the West and for the Middle East. That would go a long way toward guaranteeing success in Iraq and would neutralize the threat of the Iran's nuclear ambitions, even if they decided to pursue a bomb. After all, the argument about nuclear weapons is no different than the argument about guns. The threat is from the people who have them, not from the weapons themselves. Lots of countries have nukes; we only need to worry about the ones run by whack jobs.

Alas, while there's reason to believe the White House shares this view in theory, there's less reason to believe it's doing that much about it in practice.

Well, let's say that the White House was doing something about it. Could (or should) they tell us about it? The last time we helped out a a dissident force within a country, some people were were outraged about it (not me.) Kinda ironic, don't you think, that it involved Oliver North selling weapons to Iran. Oh, different times.

Regardless, we should be doing whatever we can to support those opposed to the Iranian government, and do whatever it takes to topple Ahmadinejad and his mad mullahs. And, we shouldn't talk about it.

"Metro home sales tank"

Well, that's just farking GREAT. Thank you Jennifer Granholm. Thank you Kwame Kilpatrick. While national unemployement is down to 4.9%, Michigan's is around 6.6%. Detroit's is even worse.

Now, someone explain to me how this is Bush's fault?

Survey question

If you, possibly, rather likely, in the near future had to spend several days in the hospital, what piece(s) of classical music (leaning toward Operas, symphonies, or other "complete" pieces of work) would you want on your iPod?

So far, in addition to my System of a Down, I'm including Orff's Carmina Burana. It's an old favorite- I'm particularly fond of Tempus es iocundum, not the O Fortuna we've all heard a few too many times.

So, if you please, respond in comments your recommendations.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Two, count 'em, TWO

I have TWO nice long post right below here. I guess I'm feeling better.

Socialism, alive and well in the USA

From John Stossel:

Last week's Florida court ruling against vouchers came after teacher Ruth Holmes Cameron and advocacy groups brought a suit to block the program.
"To say that competition is going to improve education? It's just not gonna work. You know competition is not for children. It's not for human beings. It's not for public education. It never has been, it never will be," Holmes said.
Why not? Would you keep going back to a restaurant that served you a bad meal? Or a barber that gave you a bad haircut? What if the government assigned you to "your" grocery store. The store wouldn't have to compete for your business, and it would soon sell spoiled milk or stock only high profit items. Real estate agencies would sell houses advertising "neighborhood with a good grocery store." That's insane, and yet that's what America does with public schools.

It comes as absolutely no surprise that such socialist clop-trop would come out of the mouth of a teacher. Socialists, of course, don't believe in competition. But, I ask you this; How often do YOU return to a restaurant with bad service, crummy food, and is overpriced? I hope Ms Competition-is-not-for human-beings Cameron doesn't practice such capitalistic choices in her personal life. I'm sure she doesn't, because that would make her a hypocrite.

The NEA, supporting Democratic candidates (in addition to a long list of left wing causes) since the dawn of time, has fought strongly against school choice. And, in turn, the candidates push the NEA's agenda, to the detriment of the quality of education. When everyone was screaming last week about Abramoff paying politicians to push their agendas, I personally wondered what the heck the difference was? The NEA gets most of it's funding from unionized teachers (public school teachers.) The NEA employees (about 600 of 'em) AVERAGE a salary close to $100,000. Their influence in Washington is necessary for their own perpetuation. If public schools employed fewer teachers (in effect, if students LEFT the system), they would have a harder time pulling those big salaries. Why can't we all agree that the NEA's agenda is NOT to improve public education, but to improve the condition of the union, and it's members, the teachers?

h/t: KISP

Saddam's terrorist ties, again

Deroy Murdock, correctly, on President Bush's detractors:

If the president wrote a $10,000 check, they would denounce his penmanship. Bush’s detractors never stop complaining, so the administration simply should make its case.

What case? The one that Stepehn Hayes is making regarding Saddam's ties to Islamic terrorism. Murdock discuses Hayes' article regarding documents that prove that Saddam trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists in Iraq's three camps (in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak) and that this was directed by Iraqi military units.

Drop by drop, isolated news stories and emerging documents are eroding the popular myth that Saddam Hussein had no connections to Islamofascist terrorists. These revelations undermine war critics’ efforts to whitewash Baghdad’s ancien regime — such as when Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid declared: “There was [sic] no terrorists in Iraq.” Likewise, Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) describes a “nonexistent relationship between al Qaeda and Sadda

Man, do I hate Carl Levin. But, that is beside the point.

This story, like others, has yet to reach the popular media, but Hayes has been on it for a while, and months ago hinted that there would be major revelations in the captured intelligence. Here in the Weekly Standard he writes:

The photographs and documents on Iraqi training camps come from a collection of some 2 million "exploitable items" captured in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan. They include handwritten notes, typed documents, audiotapes, videotapes, compact discs, floppy discs, and computer hard drives. Taken together, this collection could give U.S. intelligence officials and policymakers an inside look at the activities of the former Iraqi regime in the months and years before the Iraq war.

The discovery of the information on jihadist training camps in Iraq would seem to have two major consequences: It exposes the flawed assumptions of the experts and U.S. intelligence officials who told us for years that a secularist like Saddam Hussein would never work with Islamic radicals, any more than such jihadists would work with an infidel like the Iraqi dictator. It also reminds us that valuable information remains buried in the mountain of documents recovered in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past four years.

Nearly three years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, only 50,000 of these 2 million "exploitable items" have been thoroughly examined. That's 2.5 percent.

So why has the effort gone so slowly? Says Murdock:

The worry, White House aides tell me, is that revealing these ties would generate media criticism and anti-war catcalls. Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita told Hayes that some reporters might discover exculpatory material among these papers, then “we’d spend a lot of time chasing around after it.”

What? The media might be critical of information and arguments put forth by the President? Say it ain't so!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Link Mecca

Is this that Allah?

The choices with Iran

Victor David Hanson sees four options in dealing with the increasing threat of a (crazy) nuclear Iran. Ignore and hope it just goes away; increase the international condemnation; allow Israel to take care of it; or take care of the problem ourselves with a few weeks of strategic bombing.

What I would like to see, right now, is for liberals to start stating exactly how they think we should solve this problem. Too often, they remain silent and then criticize whatever is attempted. The fourth option might be the best one, yet I can already imagine the howls of protest, and front pages filled with images of injured babies.

Right now, this is THE story. Not the Alito hearings, and certainly not the Abramoff scandel,

Mister Snitch!: Premature electulation

From Mister Snitch!, a definition:

The reaction to Abramoff is just the latest example of a debilitating but seldom-mentioned malady known as 'Premature Electulation': Elation over an election or other political milestone long before it's certain or appropriate. P.E. has rendered Democrats impotent for years, but it is now reaching crisis proportions. Unable to 'deliver the goods', today's Democrats have resigned themselves to hoping the other guy falls beneath their level of performance.

We must not remain silent while this political killer goes unchecked.

No, indeed.


The Eagle Has Landed

By eagle I mean my brother-in-law, and by landed I mean he just arrived in Bangor, Maine, after a year in Baghdad! He just called to tell me, so it's official. Woot woot!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Still sick

I spent tuesday night at the hospital, where they were able to declare with great certainty that my heart is in GREAT shape. Meanwhile, I spend last night doubled over in pain again.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Funny Stuff

There is some funny reading over at Kos regarding Kate O'Beirne's new book Women Who Make the World Worse; and How Their Radical Feminist Assault is Ruining Our Schools, FAmilies, Military, and Sports. The Kos kids have declared that O'Beirne can "drop dead" . Clever folk over there; they can google a few random comments, from those glean (one of ) her complete arguments, and rebut it without spending the twenty-five buck for the book.

As for myself, I'm enjoying the book and have about two chapters left.

Monday, January 09, 2006


As in I feel like crap. I've been sick since Friday evening. I think it's all Bush's fault, truth be told.

But I'm not too out of it to be ignorant of the latest economic bad news.

update: Perhaps this will aid in my weight-loss adventure? Since friday evening, I've had one bagel, a bowl of rice, half of a salad, and a bowl of chicken-noodle soup.

Friday, January 06, 2006

New Diet strategy

I'm gonna clink on this link every time I feel like snacking.

Warning. This is powerful stuff. Do NOT click if you plan on eating any time in the next three hours.

You've been warned

No, Jeff was right. The link was broke. I can't figure out how it was redirecting to an amazon page. Link fixed. Warnings still appply

Update II: George sends me an alternative to dieting; if it worked for Mariah, it will work for me. Now, where did I put the kid's crayons?

What media bias? III

We all heard about this story, right?

Italian authorities recently announced that they had used wiretaps to uncover the conspiracy to conduct a series of major attacks inside the U.S.

Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said the planned attacks would have targeted stadiums, ships and railway stations, and the terrorists' goal, he said, was to exceed the devastation caused by 9/11.

And, having been thus informed, it's understandable that Americans are not outraged by the wiretapping kerfuffle. What? You didn't hear this story in the US? Well, perhaps the following can explain why:

The Associated Press version of the story did not disclose that the men planned to target the U.S. Nor did it report that the evidence against the suspects was gathered via a wiretapping surveillance operation.

Furthermore, only one American newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, is known to have published the story that the AP distributed. It ran on page A-6 under the headline "Italy Charges 3 Algerians.” The Inquirer report also made no mention of the plot to target the U.S. - although foreign publications included this information in the headlines and lead sentences of their stories. Nor did it advise readers that domestic wiretaps played a key role in nabbing the suspected terrorists.

So, keep up your outrage that Bush has embraced fascism. Yes, that will serve us well. And make sure you concentrate on stories about Abramoff and ignore those of Ahmadinejad.

h/t Beautiful Atrocities

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Cough, sputter, choke, gag

Today in Detroit, at the inaugural of Kwame Kilpatrick, the theme is love:

"The idea behind the theme came from the first lady, Carlita Kilpatrick," said Kim Hagood, head of the inaugural committee. "What it represents is love, pride and unity of Detroit and the responsibility of the community back to Detroit."

Perhaps it is just me, but Democrats are the party of words. Nice. Pretty. Words. Which have absolutely no meaning. So, here we are in a City on the verge of financial and moral collapse (four people were murdered on New Year's day, including two women in their twenties whose bodies were found on a residential street), and what does the mayor have for us? Love. A city needs answers, and Kwame is singing John Lennon.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Well, it's a new year, which means it's time to come up with some new scheme designed to rid myself of 15 pounds. Apparently, donating a kidney just isn't going to get the job done. I thought I was going to have to resort to diet and exercise, but then I came across this picture of Nicole Richie.

I think this lovely "look" can be achieved by excessive smoking, and perhaps a drug habit?

BTW- like my new tagline? I stole it from the EXCELLENT ARTICLE MENTIONED BELOW.

I need a new passport

I have some traveling to do before it's all gone:

What will London--or Paris, or Amsterdam--be like in the mid-'30s? If European politicians make no serious attempt this decade to wean the populace off their unsustainable 35-hour weeks, retirement at 60, etc., then to keep the present level of pensions and health benefits the EU will need to import so many workers from North Africa and the Middle East that it will be well on its way to majority Muslim by 2035. As things stand, Muslims are already the primary source of population growth in English cities. Can a society become increasingly Islamic in its demographic character without becoming increasingly Islamic in its political character?

Merry old England certainly won't be the same with minarets affixed to Buckingham Palace. And France certainly won't be the same without it's wine.


In his book "The Empty Cradle," Philip Longman asks: "So where will the children of the future come from? Increasingly they will come from people who are at odds with the modern world. Such a trend, if sustained, could drive human culture off its current market-driven, individualistic, modernist course, gradually creating an anti-market culture dominated by fundamentalism--a new Dark Ages."


Since the president unveiled the so-called Bush Doctrine--the plan to promote liberty throughout the Arab world--innumerable "progressives" have routinely asserted that there's no evidence Muslims want liberty and, indeed, that Islam is incompatible with democracy. If that's true, it's a problem not for the Middle East today but for Europe the day after tomorrow. According to a poll taken in 2004, over 60% of British Muslims want to live under Shariah--in the United Kingdom. If a population "at odds with the modern world" is the fastest-breeding group on the planet--if there are more Muslim nations, more fundamentalist Muslims within those nations, more and more Muslims within non-Muslim nations, and more and more Muslims represented in more and more transnational institutions--how safe a bet is the survival of the "modern world"?

I don't know about you, but I would see that 60% figure as a problem.

H/T Diana who admonished one to read the entire Steyn article. Well worth it, she is correct.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Year's Epiphany

I had and epiphany on New Year's day, as I watched the last episode of Firefly (a wonderful show that was cancelled by Fox without giving it a scintilla of a chance of succeeding.)

Now, hopefully I'm not offending anyone here- but I've come to the realization that tv executives don't want me as a viewer. They don't care if they cancel my favorite program. You see, I don't watch enough tv for them to care. And, the more drek they put out, the less I watch. The only viewers they care about are those who are willing to watch the garbage that they offer EVERY night. I haven't watched a sitcom since Seinfeld went off the air. I've never seen an episode of any of the CSI's and haven't watched more than 10 minuets (total) of any of the Survivor shows. I could go on about the shows I haven't watched, but I probably don't even know their names.

Now, I'm not being judgmental (I don't think) - but the problem I have with the way the television world is set up is that the idiot minions who watch 5 hours a day are dictating what is on. And, people who watch that much tv aren't really going to be discriminating. I'm fine with there not being hours upon hours of watch-able television every night. It's just pathetic and sad when shows that are truly great lose out to absolute crap.

Emergency kits

These seem kinda cool.

Reviewing the movie watchers

I saw King Kong over the weekend. It's not for the squeamish- and I pulled my coat over my head during several scenes, for extended amounts of time. But, it was a thrilling ride, with more than a few fantastic scenarios. In one such scene, the characters were running underneath the legs of stampeding dinosaurs. Now, were this to happen in real life, I doubt anyone would survive. It surely would end in disaster for all involved. And grabbing onto a giant bat to escape King Kong also seems like an event that - in real life- wouldn't turn out so well.

But, to actually COMPLAIN during a movie that such scenes are unbelievable- a movie ABOUT a ginourmous ape? Well, that's just silly. Yet, complain they did (and they were right behind me.) I guess they could "go with" the idea that there is an island out there filled with dinosaurs and a giant ape, but the daredevil stunts just pushed things too far. Everyone has their limits, I guess.