So here's my take on 24 this season: Nope. If I wanted to watch political wrangling, I'd watch The West Wing. Or C-SPAN. Less talky, more shooty. Also, what is the deal with the running mates on this show? How come every season we've got something like a Ralph Nader-David Duke ticket? I know everyone hates politicians, but can't we for once have a Vice President who is not trying to take over the world and/or sell nukes to bad guys? Logan I could love to hate, but how necessary was it to have two completely unstable VPs in a row? The whole thing stinks. But, to paraphrase Lileks, the show could turn into 24 hours of nature photography, and I still would tune in every Monday.
The problem with [Al Gore's] analogy is that anytime he says, "The planet has a fever," people are going to immediately respond, "And the only prescription is more cowbell!" So that doesn't help his cause.
My in-laws have been visiting, so I've been away from the computer. We've seen all the military museums in the area, as one is wont to do in these sorts of towns, and we even managed to be surprised by our visit downtown: in one shop we were treated to a right-wing rant wherein the shopkeeper will shoot Hilary Clinton if she becomes president, and in the next shop we met a gay jeweler who spends his free time either jetting to London or running the local indy theater with his partner. If I were Lileks, I'm sure I could write something really cool about that juxtaposition, but I'm not Lileks, so I'll just have to point out that it takes all kinds in this world, don't it?
Anyway, the husband just found out he's been assigned to be a Farsi speaker. He is ecstatic. Life is good around here.
Yes yes yes. Instapundit just led me to the perfect book:
How to Raise an American: 1776 Fun and Easy Tools, Tips, and Activities to Help Your Child Love This Country
It's interesting what happens when people actually realize that the global warming issue isn't one-sided:
Before the start of the nearly two hour debate the audience polled 57.3% to 29.9% in favor of believing that Global Warming was a “crisis”, but following the debate the numbers completely flipped to 46.2% to 42.2% in favor of the skeptical point of view.
via Hud, who always has the good links
I want to know how John Edwards' 28,000 sq ft home has the same energy price as my 1900 square foot home! Whatever he's using, I want some.
Also, I have been meaning to write about this for a while now. The minimum wage hikes went into effect at my knitting job. So everyone gets an extra dollar per hour...and we all just got our hours cut. Now there's your basic economics at work! I am now a part of that group of people who end up making less because of the minimum wage hike. Thanks a lot, government jerks.
The other day we got an offer in the mail for a subscription to Time magazine. We cancelled that rag years ago, but I was wooed by the free clock/radio/thermometer they were giving away with the subscription. My mental dialog went like this: I really want that radio, and it's only $20, but then that means I'm saddled with Time. Weighing, weighing. In the end, I decided to do without the radio because I couldn't bear the thought of giving more money to that stupid magazine. Unfortunately, Annika has a free subscription, so she's reduced to tossing her Time when it gets unfreakinreadable.
I don't know who out there will take my advice and read this blog, but hopefully at least one of you will. I have just sat here for an hour and a half catching up on the neo-neocon's forty-year journey. Is someone out there interested in doing the same? You'll have to set aside time, for you'll need lots of it, but the journey is far worth the effort. Imagine you're reading a book instead of a blog! Grab coffee or cocoa and get comfy. Hit the link, scroll to the bottom, and begin the still-unfolding journey from Vietnam protester to neocon.
You know, there's a lot of disturbing crap on LGF. But after reading it for years, I've grown fairly numb to the shock value. Psycho Muslims, absurd protests, Jews are pigs and apes, yeah yeah yeah, every day. But this one, this one was too much for me to take.
Protesters in Oregon burned a soldier in effigy.
So let's counter that display of evil with a huge display of hope: Kurdistan is getting a mall. And a Hilton. These photos will take your breath away.
I'm already nesting for a baby that doesn't even exist yet. How's that for tuning in to my maternal spirit? But motherhood is also a handy excuse for new knitting patterns. Here's what I've been working on for the past two weeks:
The wombat looks highly ridiculous, but I just wanted mine to be the only kid on the block with a handmade wombat. The rhino is actually pretty cool, I think.
I plan to crowd the kid's crib with these things. Next up: an octopus and a snake.
We just got back from seeing 300. It was beautiful. And the line was all the way out the sidewalk and around the corner...not bad for a Saturday at 1:00. I hope they're making a ton of money.
I watched James Cameron's The Lost Tomb of Jesus the other day, and I found myself fairly convinced by what I was hearing. But at the same time, something nagging in the back of my mind made me feel like I was being led down the garden path. I was taken in by the statistical data presented, thinking that it seemed more than just coincidental. But then I read this article in Scientific American called "Has James Cameron Found Jesus's Tomb or Is It Just a Statistical Error?", and now I don't know what to think.
I don't really have a dog in this race. Whether or not those are really Jesus' bones has no effect on how I have chosen to live my life and what kind of person I want to be. I just want to know the truth and not be manipulated.
The problem with documentaries is that the documentarian always has something he wants his viewers to see. The process is inherently manipulative. James Cameron thinks they're Jesus' bones, so he will present evidence that supports that conclusion. Similarly, Al Gore thinks man is causing global warming, and Michael Moore thinks George Bush is evi, so they present evidence of the sort. But I know for a fact that someone could make a documentary showing that dogs are vicious, dangerous beasts. String together footage of snarling pit bulls, stories of children who've been mauled by dogs, and a reenactment of the time my neighbor's yellow lab bit me in the butt cheek, and a documentarian could convince someone who's never been around dogs that they're nasty creatures. That doesn't necessarily make it so.
I don't care if the ossuary belonged to the Jesus or not; I'm not sure what would change if we ever could figure it out, and I don't even really think we can figure it out. The inscription doesn't say Jesus The Messiah, The Guy We Were All Talking About In The Bible with a stick figure being crucified, so it's not so easy to be sure. But I also don't want someone to use math to manipulate me.
Math is too precious to be cheapened that way. Come to think of it, so are Jesus' bones.
Registration is underway for the Milblogs Conference! If you are planning to attend, please make sure you go register!
Did somebody out there buy us a really nice gift? We received a copy of America's Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between America and its Enemies in the mail today, and neither my husband nor I ordered it. And there's no receipt inside the package, so I can't even figure out if it was supposed to go to some other Amazon buyer or something. Anyway, it seemed blog-related, so I wanted to check and make sure none of you sent me a special gift while I try to track down who really was supposed to get this book.
If you haven't seen Pamela Hess' interview yet, you must devote nine minutes to watching this video. She's a reporter who went to Iraq to figure out how our servicemembers could possibly have such high morale. She never expected the lesson she learned.
Now she groks.
It is this understanding she's gleaned from Iraq that drives my husband and others to yearn to return to Iraq. My husband will most likely be deploying next year, and that's not soon enough for him: he asked me if he could volunteer to go this fall instead. He aches to go back before it's too late, before there's a drawdown or before President Clinton yanks us out of there. He feels like he's running out of time to get back there and help, and it's killing him. I told him that I understand, but that he's slated for language training and he would be a whole lot more useful if he did that first before he deployed.
(Ha -- People kept telling me there's no 100% safe time to have a baby in the Army; my husband's trying to purposely deploy during the nine months we've set aside. Our breeding plans aren't safe from his convictions!)
Pamela Hess managed to grok what fuels our troops. Let's spread her story.
You can't imagine how disappointed and frustrated I feel after hearing what happened to AirForceWife: Another Reason Not to Trust the Media
If you're already excited about the release of the movie 300, or if you don't know what the heck it is, you should read Victor Davis Hanson's review of the movie. Me, I'm excited. We haven't seen a movie in the theater since Superman returned, but we might have to make an exception for this one.
Two good links I found on JackArmy:
First, some dorks tried to call recruiters and trick them into being so desperate as to let gays or druggies into the Army. Didn't work.
Second, a medic wrote about his reasons for joining the Army:
I digress a little, but people say only the bottom of the barrel go to the military but I definitely don't think that's true. A lot of my friends from college have joined because college life just wasn't for them and they're all smart kids (none of us scored lower than 99 on the ASVAB). I went to college for awhile myself, but both ran out of money (College is expensive!) and decided that it was far too dumbed down and ... hands-off to be enjoyable. I wasn't satisfied with half-sleeping in a classroom while the professor rambled on about stuff I didn't care at all about just so in 4 years I could take my $100,000 debt and get a reasonable job (which a college degree doesn't even guarantee these days). Some of us just want to do something that matters. Being a college student hardly accomplished anything -- I'd rather be out there fighting for something that shows results. Saving people from gunshot wounds, giving people gunshot wounds or leading others to do the same.
Lileks on parenting:
We stood in the driveway and hacked at the ice with our heels until a yard of rubble cluttered the pavement. I thought of this today while listening to a Medved show about a WaPo piece on marriage; seems only the well-off can marry these days, and the poor decline the opportunity. A caller – male, age 31 – noted how he didn’t want to marry, and didn’t want kids, because they would ruin his freedom. Medved gently pointed out how things change, and gave the fellow a useful piece of news: kids are fun. You never consider that when you’re fancy-free and unburdened with diaper-filling squall-o-matic obligation units, but they’re fun, in ways you can never predict. You fill your day with all sorts of important tasks, but in the end nothing beats standing in the drive way in the wan March light, laughing and cracking the ice. That's the stuff you remember on your deathbed, I'll bet. That's the stuff you remember when you leave the building and strap on the wings.
I made a baby blanket. Now we just have to make the baby.
But I've found a new motto: If at first you don't succeed, drink boatloads of margaritas for 5-7 days and try again.
I've really become a big Neal Boortz fan, and his remarks about how the problems at Walter Reed will be everyone's problems if we have government health care hit home with me. We in the military have this government health care, and we truly understand the meaning of the phrase "you get what you pay for." I have never had any truly bad experiences with our health care system, but even the day-to-day dealings are what we'd all face under a nationalized plan. It takes at least six weeks to get a doctor's appointment, for anything whatsoever. And when it takes that long, it doesn't pay to be picky about which doctor you see, so I've never seen the same doctor more than once...except for the one in Germany whom everyone hated so her schedule was always open. It also routinely takes over an hour of waiting in line to get prescriptions filled. And records are constantly getting lost. It took me two months to request records from my hometown doctor, and then once the records finally arrived, you guess it, six weeks to get an appointment.
Boortz is right: this is what we'd all do if we had government health care. Yeah, we in the military don't pay for it, but when you don't pay, you also have no grounds to complain about being treated poorly.
MORE TO GROK:
JackArmy has great thoughts on the matter.
You should go check out this photo slideshow of ugly endangered animals. It was a very interesting commentary on the conservation movement. Plus, I think that jerboa is kinda cute. But what do I know; I'm a girl who hates dolphins.
This should get your mouth watered up for Lileks today:
Beware people who regard the distinctions between public and private as a mere legality, and one based on subjective viewpoint at that. In the end, they can define anything private as public, which gives them the right to take it away. And if you lose something you own, well, “loss” is a subjective concept as well that does not match real life. Or at least the real life you can understand if you have a whole new mind.
And if that doesn't make you want to click the link, this will:
It’s a safe bet that people who use the words “empowered,” “community” and “meaningful” in close proximity do not produce anything you can hold in your hands.
It isn't quite Notes from the Olive Garden, but it's definitely good squishy.
And here comes the heart attack, because I just tried to link to the Olive Garden screed and found that it is gone. Panic sets in. Lilek's main page says the screeds will be reposted in 03/07. Whew. OK, I suppose I can give him some time to rearrange.
Found this via SciencePunk:
Yeah, I didn't get it either until I went to the original website, and now I can't stop thinking that this is the coolest thing I've ever seen. Romantic Math is awesome.
Oh, and I totally want this clock.
The new Victor Davis Hanson: Anatomy of Iraq. Excerpt:
There were numerous reasons to remove Saddam — 23, according to the Congress that authorized the war — but the administration privileged just one, the sensible fear of weapons of mass destruction. That was legitimate and understandable, and would prove effective so long as either a postwar weapons-trove turned up or the war and its aftermath finished without a hitch.
Unfortunately neither proved to be the case. So with that prime rationale discredited, the partisan Congress suddenly reinvented itself in protesting that it had really voted for war on only one cause, not 23. And when the news and evidence both went bad, that lone reason was now pronounced null and void and hardly a basis for war.