Friday, March 30, 2007

Gail's list of (so called) Great Books

I'm not arguing with the list (mostly), but with the title "Great Books." Most of these are more of the "Giants" of literature.
There are a lot more that are "great."

Here's the list, with the same rules as before - bold means I've read it, italicized means I intend to read:

The Iliad (Homer)
The Odyssey (Homer)

The Republic (Plato)
The Aeneid (Vergil)
The Satyricon (Petronius)
Confessions (St. Augustine)
Beowulf (Anon)
The Canterbury Tales (Chaucer)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Anon)
The Faerie Queen (Spenser)
The Inferno (Dante)
Paradise Lost (Milton)

Tom Jones (Fielding)
Tristram Shandy (Sterne)
Gulliver's Travels (Swift)
Pride and Prejudice (Austen)
Emma (Austen)
Persuasion (Austen)
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne)
Moby Dick (Melville)

Pere Goriot (Balzac)
Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Laclos)
Madame Bovary (Flaubert)
Middlemarch (Eliot)--- I'm currently reading this.
Great Expectations (Dickens)
David Copperfield (Dickens)
Bleak House (Dickens) Gail has mention this one enough ...
Our Mutual Friend (Dickens)
Crime and Punishment (Dostoyevsky)
The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoyevsky)
Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
Huckleberry Finn (Twain)
Portrait of a Lady (James)

A Passage to India (Forster)
The Heart of Darkness (Conrad)
To the Lighthouse (Woolf)
Ulysses (Joyce)--- OMG, I considered reading this a few months back, but perusing the first few page- I was reminded that life is too short.
The Sound and the Fury (Faulkner)
The Invisible Man (Ellison)

Lucky Jim (Amis)
The Gulag Archipelago (Solzhenitsyn)
Cancer Ward (Solzhenitsyn)
Actually, I intend to read ONE of his books, and we'll see if I read another.


I may consider reading Gone With the Wind.

That is all.

Local News

Finney High (about 4 blocks from my home) suspended almost 600 students last week for truancy. Apparently, the school has a real harsh attendance policy; if you skip 13 out of 20 days, you get suspended! How's a brother supposed stick to that high standard?

You'd think that amid all the attention paid to race issues in this country, people like Jesse or Al could give a modicum of interest to the issue of urban black children and education.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Trolling at HuffPo

Because I'm bored. Look what I found in a discussion about the 15 British soldiers Iran is holding:

It's amazing how UK/USA has done much worst (treatment of prisoners, occupying other countries), but when such a little thing as this happens to UK, they become all righteous and flock to the UN for a condemnation.

Where was UN's condemnation when America was PHYSICALLY AND SEXUALLY ABSUSING MUSLIM PRISONERS? Where was Britain's "righteousness" then? Where was Europe's rightousness when they allowed CIA to kidnap people from European land?

What a shame.

I'm glad that someone has the balls to stand up to UK/USA. We need more such countries.

thank you.

But, remember, we must not question their patriotism.

Start Preparing the Excuses

That is, of course, if this story manages to see the light of day. Or light of television cameras. From the "Metroactive" article that is :breaking the story.

SEN. Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein.

Feinstein abandoned MILCON as her ethical problems were surfacing in the media, and as it was becoming clear that her subcommittee left grievously wounded veterans to rot while her family was profiting from the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. It turns out that Blum also holds large investments in companies that were selling medical equipment and supplies and real estate leases—often without the benefit of competitive bidding—to the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as the system of medical care for veterans collapsed on his wife's watch.

It should be noted, though, that as of this moment, the only "media" covering the story is "Metroactive", and a few blogs.

Regardless, I think it is important that the left start thinking up the excuses as to why this is a non-story. "Everybody does it" is always handy."I didn't hear about that" can work in a pinch. Of course, you can always blame it on "The Vast Right-Wing Smear Machin."

I think my personal favorite, though, is to simply say that the story is being trotted out as distraction. "The LOOK A SHINY NEW PENNY Deflection" excuse, the subtext being that it is a non-story, and just a deflection from some TRULY-true RETHUGLIAN wrong-doing.

Pixie tagged me ...

Bold means I've read, italicized means I want to read. Shouldn't that cover all books? How about I italicized only those that already WERE on some list of mine.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell) --- I should read this, I've just never had the desire.
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)

8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)--- one Dan Brown book is enough!
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
I went through a John Irving phase as a teenager.
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)

25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)

29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom) --- hate this man, he's a local radio personality.
31. Dune (Frank Herbert) I LOVED this book, and read all the crap that followed it.
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) ---I've read part of this book, does that count for anything?
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)

36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Cohelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)

43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) - (thank you sweet Punky)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)

49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)-- started this, and put it down.
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card) One of my favorite, all time, books.
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)

60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)

65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding.

72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMavrier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)

97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

I see a lot of the fourteen-dollar paperback book genre on the list. While I've read some, I've grown wary of 'em. Fourteen bucks should only be spent on a really good book, and after The Memory Keeper's Daughter, I've sworn them off for the time being.

If you want to see Pixie's lists, click here.

If you want to play, put your answers in comments :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Polenta Beef Stew

Ok, I know it's Spring a tad out-of-season to post a Beef Stew recipe, but I promised Gail:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds boneless beef chuck steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-ounce can beef broth
1-1/2 cups dry red wine
8 ounces boiling onions
5 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 recipe Polenta
1/2 cup snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup tomato paste (I sometimes just add a can of diced tomatoes earlier in the cooking process)

1. Place flour, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a plastic bag. Add meat pieces, a few at a time, shaking to coat. In a Dutch oven brown meat, half at a time, in hot oil; drain fat. Return all meat to Dutch oven; add chopped onion, dried rosemary (if using), and garlic. Cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in broth and wine. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1-1/2 hours.
2. Stir in boiling onions and carrot. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 30 minutes more or until meat and vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, prepare Polenta.
3. Just before serving, stir parsley and tomato paste into stew. Serve stew with Polenta.
4. Makes 8 servings (about 7 cups)
5. Polenta: In a large saucepan bring 3 cups milk just to a simmer over medium heat. In a medium bowl combine 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir cornmeal mixture slowly into hot milk. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally. (If mixture is too thick, stir in additional milk.) Stir in 2 tablespoons butter or margarine until melted.

This is from "Better Homes and Gardens", Feb 2002

The Mind Wobbles, II

So, it is rather obvious that HuffPo didn't allow comments yesterday in the articles about Tony Snow because, as experience has shown, they know they will be deluged with DIE A SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH TONY, comments. Today, a post about reconciling America did allow comments, and the deluge begins. I'm not surprised, but I did find the following comment interesting :

That huffpo has been taken over by the neocon's is evidenced by the disallowing comments about Snow.All I can say is that the profound advice by our esteemed Resident Bush that prayer will heal Snow. However, it makes me wonder if Snow's cancer story is concocted so that Bush can claim his connection with god because of his advice for prayer, in Snow's behalf, resulted in remission of Snow's cancer thereby allowing Bush to declare his divinity as he has previously proclaimed.

So, it is a neocon plot to disallow the left's vindictive hate, at least temporarily on HuffPo? Personally, I'm perfectly OK with allowing them to display their full nuttiness. What I find interesting, is that there is a portion of the left that is so far gone, they don't even realize that the hate speech displayed against Rethuglians, like Tony Snow, is simply beyond the pale.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tony Snow (hate) Watch

No comments here at all.

I think they're blocking all comments at HuffPo; afraid they'd get stuff like this:

Tony Snow....I hope you die from this cancer, no I hope you suffer terribly and then die like a dog from this cancer. Dont keep Satan waiting.
By playa_brotha | Mar 27, 2007 12:53:07 PM | Request Removal

IKEA report

Ok, I'm at five bookshelves (and one CD tower) and I still need more room.

I think my books are multiplying in those boxes in the attic. And, yes, I am culling the herd as I go, but I simply have a LOT of books I want/need to keep.

My new shelves don't even contain the six years of home-schooling books, which I need to keep since I have a five-year-old. WHAT am I going to do with those? I was hoping to separate-out the curriculum portions, but shelve all the books. I'm gonna need ... two more big shelves, I think. OR, I could keep all the homeschooling books on the low shelves ... and buy maybe four more of those ...

Regardless, when I'm done (which will have to wait until I save up), I'm getting ride of all the non-Ikea shelves. I want a uniform, clean look.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Profiles in Michigan Politics

This morning, I heard Debbie Stabenow on WJR (local radio) being interviewed. She has to be the stupidest person in politics. I would give you a carefully crafted argument, but simply listening to her speak lowered my IQ. Hopefully the effect will only be temporary.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Ok, Now This Frackin Rocks

And, no I don't know what's up with his hair, so don't ask.

I gotta run to iTunes now. I've heard this song, but didn't know who did it.

Musical Interlude

Mayonaise (Live) - Smashing Pumpkins

My favorite Pumpkins tune.

In Memory of Cathy Sieppe

I went and did a little search to support or disprove the claim I read in one of the articles about her illness; that the tobacco settlement payola -$246 BILLION for the first 25 years - did little to help those with lung cancer.

this is what I found.

What did the states do with the money? A little bit to chew on:

Other venues that misused the funds include Los Angeles, where, according to the American Medical Association, former mayor Richard Riordan planned to use $100 million in tobacco-settlement funds to deal with lawsuits involving police corruption. In one year the tobacco state of Virginia spent about $15.5 million of these funds to cover its budget deficit. By 2001 just six states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were spending enough money on antitobacco programs to be effective, despite the fact that many of the states received hundreds of millions of dollars from the settlement for that purpose.

Meanwhile, each lung cancer receives a paltry $950 bucks per death. So, who did make out? Well, the lawyers, of course. Law firms divided up more than $20 BILLION in legal fees. And, what did they do in turn?

The settlement lawyers and firms that represented Texas alone have already donated at least $2.2 million in soft money to the Democrats since last year. Ness Motley, one of that group, has alone given $525,000 in recent soft and individual money donations to Democrats. Other firms have given at least another $900,000 to Democrats.

WHY did lawyers donate to Democrats? Because Bush, then running for office, stated tort reform as one of this goals. I like this quote:
"We're just exercising what we consider our constitutional right to elect the people who will best represent the working class," says Joe Rice, Ness Motley's folksy, Carolina-born managing partner. "These are the people who benefit from the kind of lawsuits we bring."

Like the working class people who get lung cancer? I don't think so.

Washington Post on Pork

From the sub-title: Are Democrats in the House voting for farm subsidies or withdrawal from Iraq?

AT issue is the $20 BILLION in pork spending, added to bride Democrates to support the withdrawal timetable. Captain's Quarters has this to say:

The pork shows that the Democrats have no mandate for a cut-and-run strategy. Had that mandate existed, they would have simply voted to explicitly defund the war and force a withdrawal, a move well within Congressional authority.

Because, in case you need me to connect the dots, they would have supported the supplemental funding without the pork incentives.

Of course, the pork had nothing to do with their sudden support. They gave up on their wrongheaded but principled demand to produce an honest withdrawal bill out of a sense of ... what? Duty? Honor? It seems that surrender comes rather naturally to this group of Democrats.

The timing of the withdrawal seems rather suspect, too. What conditions led them to select August 31, 2008? Did they carefully review the current operations in Iraq and determine when they could reasonably be completed? No. They selected that date because it comes about ten weeks before the Presidential election -- an election they hope to win by giving their activist base the surrender they have demanded for years.

Oh, that can't be true! Certainly the democrats are not that politically motivated.

Why Be Nice?

With yesterday's announcement about Elizabeth Edwards, the left side of the blogsphere has been exceedingly disappointed to find that the right has expressed pretty much nothing but good will for her situation. So disappointed, in fact, that they've decided to attack the right anyway:

I hope the good will, the niceties, the prayers for John and Elizabeth Edwards continue. I pray they do. But in a political climate where nastiness and name-calling have become epidemic, I have no reason to believe they will. Neither should John and Elizabeth Edwards. It's only a matter of time before the right-wing blogosphere or Rush Limbaugh start throwing around the "C" word, start smearing Edwards for pursuing his presidential dream while his wife has cancer. Accuse him of exploiting her illness for political gain.

"They haven't done it yet, but they are going to" is the charge. Yesterday, Pandagon leveled the following charge:

If you want to see a level of inhumanity about this matter from The Base, take a trip to Freeperland. I cannot bring myself to link to that filth.

Well, I did take a trip to Freeperland to see what she was talking about. I must note, though, that I *never* go to Free Republic. What did I find? Twenty-four posts, not exactly a hot topic, and the majority expressed positive thoughts for Mrs. Edwards. There were a few negative comments, and the following is, imho, the "worst" of the comments:

If/when she dies, he'll drop out of the race and devote all of his time to suing the doctors and hospital. The breck girl is a low life, scumbag who made his fortune off the backs of other people's sickness and death. I feel bad for his wife, but this cesspool scum is using her illness for his political benefit. He has no morals and is a lying POS.

Obviously, the commenter doesn't care much for John Edwards. In the thread, though there were only a few negative comments. Now, lets compare that with the comments at Huffington Post after the recent "attack" that occurred near Vice President Cheney:

Better luck next time! (TDB)
Dr Evil escapes again ... damn. (truthtopower01)
So Cheney is personally responsible for the deaths of 14 innocent people ... and then he waddles off to lunch!! What a piece of sh--! (fantanfanny)
Jesus Christ and General Jackson too, can't the Taliban do anything right? They must know we would be so gratefull (sic) to them for such a remarkable achievement. (hankster2)
Hey, Thalia, lighten up. I, for one, don't wish Cheny (sic) had been killed. I wish he had been horribly maimed and had to spend the rest of his life hooked to a respirator. Feel better now? (raisarooney)
Let's see ... they're killing him over there so we don't have to kill him over here? (ncjohn)
And they missed!? Oh, Hell. Like Mamma used to say, I guess it's the thought that counts ... (Anachro1)
You can never find a competent suicide bomber when you need one. (Mark701)

According to the TLB ecosystem, Huffington Post ranks at 14th, and Free Republic ranks as 19th. If they both attract a somewhat equal number of readers, and the Cheney thread ran into the hundreds, filled with hateful vindictive, while the Freepers only managed a few measly attacks, what does this say?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Cathy Seipp

Cathy Seipp, writing about the state of Lung Cancer treatment, which finally killed her yesterday:

I’m beginning to feel a responsibility to point out that lung cancer, which kills more people annually (about 163,000) than the next four most common cancers (colon, breast, pancreatic and prostate) combined, is terribly underfunded compared to other diseases: $950 in research money per lung cancer death, compared to $8800 for breast cancer and $34,000 for AIDS.

"That’s because the vast majority of lung cancer (about 85 percent) is still caused by smoking, even though the rate for lifelong nonsmoking women like me (and Christopher Reeve’s widow) has been going up for some mysterious reason, and the general attitude is that smokers deserve whatever they get.

"But half of all lung cancer patients have been nonsmokers by the time of diagnosis, sometimes for decades, like Warren Zevon. If they deserve to get sick, then I suppose so do people who are overweight or don’t exercise or who have promiscuous sex with strangers, all of which are contributing factors for various illnesses that get much more sympathy in the form of research dollars. Maybe the amount of attention we pay to a disease should have less to do with how many celebrities, magazine editors and junk bond kings carry its banner, and more with how many people actually die of it.”

I started reading Seippe when she began writing for NRO, and never skipped an article with her byline.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Facist State?

No, not here in America. Despite what the moonbats say, American is the Land of the Free. No, I'm talking about Germany, where home schooling is illegal. One poor child was taken away from her parents by, basically, Jack-Booted thugs.

This story began when 15-year-old Melissa Busekros began to have a bad experience in public school and fell behind in some classes. So her parents, Hubert and Gudrun, decided to homeschool her.

But in Germany, homeschooling is treated like a crime. Some German homeschoolers have been accused of treason, and they have been persecuted without mercy by the state.

Why did they take her away?

The evaluation says that Melissa is "a highly disturbed girl who obediently and faithfully obeys the idealistic statements of her father and who describes the State as being despotic and 'fascist-like'."

It adds, with a concerned tone, that "Melissa demonstrates loyalty towards her father and unconditional solidarity with her family."

What. A. Monster. The girl is now in a foster home, and her parents are only allowed to visit her once a week, for an hour.

Germany has a mandatory school attendance law, all the better for indoctrinating. In another German story, a family has lost custody of all their children:

A court in eastern Germany has taken custody of five children away from their homeschooling parents, but has not yet removed the children from the home. The parents, Bert and Kathrin Brause of Zittau, lost custody of their children, Rosine, Jotham, Kurt-Simon, Lovis and Ernst, to the local youth welfare office.

The parents can only regain custody by placing their children in public school, and the children may be physically removed by the state at any time.

According to court documents translated by the International Human Rights Group, the parents were also ordered to pay all court costs, estimated at almost $4000. The judge’s order was based solely on the parents’ unwillingness to send their children to the public school, in violation of Germany’s mandatory school attendance law.

Well, certainly the parents must have been doing a poor job educating their children, right?

The court decision in Zittau came despite the fact that the judge admitted that the children were well-educated under the direction of the Philadelphia school, a German homeschooling umbrella organization to which their parents belonged.

The court accused the parents, who both have college degrees, of not providing their children with a public school education as they themselves had received.

The family applied to educate their children at home because the parents believe it is their duty before God. The judge stated that the parents’ obedience to God put the interests of their children “second.”

Court documents show the judge also complained that the children answered her with the same opinions that their father had voiced; showing that they have not had the opportunity to develop independent personalities. This echoes the Busekros case in Bavaria, in which the Erlangen Youth Welfare Agency told a court that the daughter was influenced too much by her father, and was not developing a personality of her own.

The judge accused the parents of abusing their children by keeping them from public life (in public school) and “forcing” the children to follow their own lifestyle.

The next step will be for the state to take control completely of German children. Wouldn't want parents to have any opportunity to influence their children, now would we?


Dare to dream.

American Idol Chat

So ... who are you gunning for?

Monday, March 19, 2007


I visited the new Ikea yesterday. On a Sunday.

No, I'm not a very bright person.

Anyhoo, last night I put everything together, and today I'm moving all the books I had put in boxes and stored in the attic (in anticipation of moving) back downstairs and onto my new shelves. I want to go back and get a couple of the three shelve jobbies and the CD tower.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Truther Rosie

Rosie can add another feather to her cap: Truther!

at 5 30 pm
9 11 2001
wtc7 collapsed

for the third time in history
fire brought down a steel building
reducing it to rubble

hold on folks
here we go

• The fires in WTC 7 were not evenly distributed, so a perfect collapse was impossible.
• Silverstein said to the fire department commander “the smartest thing to do is pull it.”
• Firefighters withdrawing from the area stated the building was going to “blow up”.
• The roof of WTC 7 visibly crumbled and the building collapsed perfectly into its footprint.
• Molten steel and partially evaporated steel members were found in the debris.

[WTC 7] contained offices of the FBI, Department of Defense, IRS (which contained prodigious amounts of corporate tax fraud, including Enron’s), US Secret Service, Securities & Exchange Commission (with more stock fraud records), and Citibank’s Salomon Smith Barney, the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management and many other financial institutions. [Online Journal]

The SEC has not quantified the number of active cases in which substantial files were destroyed [by the collapse of WTC 7]. Reuters news service and the Los Angeles Times published reports estimating them at 3,000 to 4,000. They include the agency’s major inquiry into the manner in which investment banks divvied up hot shares of initial public offerings during the high-tech boom. …”Ongoing investigations at the New York SEC will be dramatically affected because so much of their work is paper-intensive,” said Max Berger of New York’s Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann. “This is a disaster for these cases.” [New York Lawyer]

Citigroup says some information that the committee is seeking [about WorldCom] was destroyed in the Sept. 11 terror attack on the World Trade Center. Salomon had offices in 7 World Trade Center, one of the buildings that collapsed in the aftermath of the attack. The bank says that back-up tapes of corporate emails from September 1998 through December 2000 were stored at the building and destroyed in the attack. [TheStreet]

Inside [WTC 7 was] the US Secret Service’s largest field office with more than 200 employees. …”All the evidence that we stored at 7 World Trade, in all our cases, went down with the building,” according to US Secret Service Special Agent David Curran. [TechTV]

lets start here
ok…go slow
remember 2 breathe
use google

Ok, right after I adjust the tin-foil hat.

h/t: Hot Air

Bobcaygeon Live

Tragically Hip

The best thing from Canada eva!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Socialist Paradise?

Anyone catch this little story from last week?

[Food} Shortages have sporadically appeared with items from milk to coffee since early 2003, when Chavez began regulating prices for 400 basic products as a way to counter inflation and protect the poor.

Yet inflation has soared to an accumulated 78 percent in the past four years in an economy awash in petrodollars, and food prices have increased particularly swiftly, creating a widening discrepancy between official prices and the true cost of getting goods to market in Venezuela.

Most items can still be found but only by paying a hefty markup at grocery stores or on the black market. A glance at prices in several Caracas supermarkets this week showed milk, ground coffee, cheese and beans selling from 30percent to 60percent above regulated prices.

The state runs a nationwide network of subsidized food stores, but in recent months some items have become increasingly hard to find.

Every time it's tried, Socialism fails. Yet the tools of the left still flock to it in droves.

At issue are the price controls set by Chavez, and the storeowner's unwillingness to sell items at a loss. Who wins? Well, Chavez will when he nationalizes the food stores and warehouses. After all, he can rule by decree now!

Faux News as Propaganda?

Not so fast. Karl, at Protein Wisdom looks into the issue.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Mind Wobbles

Alec Baldwin on HuffPo

It appears that the winter is over in the New York area, as temperatures are moving rather quickly from freezing, and some nights in the teens, to 50's and 60's in mid-March.

This has been an unusually mild winter. November and December both quite warm. And record January temperatures. (On January 6th, I walked along Central Park here in NY in 72 degree weather.)

WTF is he talking about? An unusually mild winter? You know, that .9 degree Farhenhite above average for the century REALLY made a huge difference this past winter. I thought about simply throwing away my winter coats. When I think about "unusually mild" winters, a POINT NINE degree difference isn't exactly what I'm imagining.

Here in Michigan, we started with a relatively mild winter (not UNUSUALLY mild), and then by the end of January we had a plummeting of temperatures as a result of a shifting jet stream.

Average temperatures (for Detroit) were as follows:

December 37.4
January 29.6
Febuary 19.3

The rest of Michigan showed a similar, although colder, trend.

Now, to find "unusually mild", we can simply go and look at this handy chart here.

The Warmest month occurred in February 1875, where the average temperature was 79.1 Now THAT would be unusually mild! So, our warmest month this past winter (December) was 41 degree colder than the record warmest month.

But let's not let the facts get in the way :

old weather from the North fought its way into this area in February, and we had five or six weeks of true winter cold, but it is running out the door a lot quicker than it came in.

Is this what global warming's first act will look like? Seasons shifted and shorter, less intense winters? Migrations of specific "bands of meteorology" moving northward. Miami's weather becomes DC's weather. Atlanta's weather becomes New York's? New York's becomes Toronto's and so on?

Once again, I turn to Michigan where they are predicting a Spring of normal, to slightly below normal temperatures. But, you know, I'm sure acclaimed climatologist Alec Baldwin can sense the nuance of the situation a bit better than I.

You still have people in the political "leadership class" in this country (that is anyone who is wealthy and/or well connected enough to be able to buy good seats to the latest Hillary-Obama-Romney-McCain rock concert-barbecue-Chardonnay sampling event) who do not want to talk about climate change during the campaign in any meaningful way so as not to "bring everyone's head down." The war, and all of the other unconscionable, lying, thieving and whoring done by Bush, Cheney and, now, Gonzales, is more than we all can bear. The low point in US politics (and it is the lowest point because of how close we all are to the lessons we should have learned from Vietnam, the first Iraq war, Watergate, etc.) has rendered us incapable of any real effort in the service real change. Americans, if not disgraced by their government, are enervated by it. And they hate it. I have never heard Americans speak so poorly of the institutions of our government as they are now.

This paragraph is such a mess of hyperbole that I don't even know where to start. Obviously Baldwin is giving away his secret; he's not backing Obama or Hillary. HUMN, who will it be? I'm so curious and intrigued.

Is a one-term Senator from Illinois the answer? Is a woman who is bright and strong-willed, yet in it just as much to rewrite her own epitaph as anything? Is she the answer? Could you ever vote Republican again? You'd have to pry all of their lips off of Bush's ass before they could answer a debate question or kiss your baby. (Think about where all those Republicans lips have been before you even contemplate handing them that baby.)

Oh, it's getting ugly here.

There is a candidate out there who IS the answer. The only answer. And, in what I believe is the true American spirit, I would rather die under a government headed by such a man than live under one like we have now. Just think, the pompous, self-important, intellectually vain attorney general taking orders from the White House to politicize the firings of REPUBLICAN -APPOINTED attorneys on his own staff.

Oh, WHO? Can't you just say his name? I'm dying here.

Add Gonzales' name to those of Colin Powell and Rice and all the other bright, dedicated public servants who squandered their reputations and trashed their places in history trying to do the bidding of the worst President in US history and his crypto-fascist, hate-filled Vice-President. Cheney....the most un-Amercan man to ever serve in high office in this country's history. Only Oliver North, had he beat Chuck Robb, would have brought us any lower.

He didn't mention Halliburton, so Baldwin loses one point for form. Otherwise, it's got a nice beat, and I can dance to it.

Think about it. One man. Smart. Experienced. Brave. Doing it for the RIGHT REASONS!

You want his phone number?

Obviously, Alec Baldwin is shilling for Rudy Guiliani. Who would have thought?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Kinda sucked last night. But, don't tell my husband, it's the only show I can get him to watch with me.

BSG (Sunday night) was really good, though. Best show on television. How long are they going to make us wait before they (somehow) bring back Starbuck?

Riddle Me This

I had jury duty this morning. It was boring, and I didn't get picked for a jury. Anyway, as I sat with about 170 other people, a curious question popped into my head.

Where are all the black people?

There were some black people. Just not enough. Wayne county is about 50% black (Detroit is the biggest city in the county, which is 84% black), yet there wasn't more than 20 black people in that room- I counted - and I rounded up. There should have been upwards of 80 people of African-American descent in that room

So, where were they?

Jury of your peers, folks. Bedrock of our criminal justice system and all. If that's important to you.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Don't Vote

Krista sent this over, and I heartily endorse it:

Don't Vote

Wedding Pictures

My brother and his new wife:) Now, if they would call me and let me know that they are home and rested from their honeymoon, I could give them their wedding present.

Vote Early and Often/sticky

Since I can't decide which blog to keep, I've created a little poll.


Still playing

I have a little camera in my 'puter, and a funny little "photo-booth" function. Hopefully that should explain what is going on here.

My Avatar?

What do you think? Does it look like me? I'm just playing around with stuff that now works here (for me).

Hate Crime?

When is a hate crime of no concern? When the perpetrators are a members of another "protected minority." That is why when a gay man was killed a few weeks ago, it wasn't a blip on the radar.

Andrew Anthos, a 72-year-old gay man, was attacked by a black-man who was shouting gay slurs. After being hit in the back of the head with a metal pope, he lingered in a hospital for ten days before he died.

When Matthew Shepherd was murdered by what was believed to be white-male, gay-bashers, the story was everywhere. This time, you have to go to to get the news.

The difference? Of course, this murderer was black. And, black homophobia is a taboo subject that scares the media.

Perhaps if the black thug had been a Catholic? Or, a member of the military.

Hey, Lookie here

I've got it working. What do you know?