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Bloviating Zeppelin: September 2006

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Another Good One Bites The Dust

AB Freedom has decided to call it quits.

I've been there many times -- even on a weekly basis.

On one hand I can understand the reticence to continue one's blog.

And I certainly can understand the time committment one must make to enable a blog in today's environment.

It is a completly unrelenting task to realize that, if you wish to be "competitive," one must post at least one fresh thought per day.

You think that's easy?

It is furthest from the truth.

ABF has said:

Please note; As of Friday Sept. 29, this blog will be closed down. There are a lot of reasons, but the biggest reason is that I just no longer have time.

Thanks to everyone for all your great comments and time. I've learned a lot from you all, and it's been a blast. I'll be around to visit when I can, and ya never know, if it eases up, I might be back one of these years.

And another logical and coherent voice bites the proverbial dust. God bless you, ABFreedom.

A voice resonating with veracity and verisimilitude.

Which is another reason that I submit I shall not quit in my continuance of postings.

ABF: come back. Soon. We shall all be looking for you.


Friday, September 29, 2006

The Air Is Falling In Chunks

The sky is falling. Falling; hell the sky is raining chunks of clotted air. The Kyoto Protocol. That First-World-Killing device we clearly should have signed. Al Gore the 'Viro's Whore knows that -- and knows more than you do.

Because now AGVW says that cigarette smoke is a "significant contributor to global warming."

Per the Drudge Report:

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore warned hundreds of U.N. diplomats and staff on Thursday evening about the perils of climate change, claiming: Cigarette smoking is a "significant contributor to global warming!"

Gore, who was introduced by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said the world faces a "full-scale climate emergency that threatens the future of civilization on earth."

Gore showed computer-generated projections of ocean water rushing in to submerge the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, parts of China, India and other nations, should ice shelves in Antarctica or Greenland melt and slip into the sea.

"The planet itself will do nicely, thank you very much -- what is at risk is human civilization," Gore said. After a series of Q& A with the audience, which had little to do with global warming and more about his political future, Annan bid "adios" to Gore.

Then, Gore had his staff opened a stack of cardboard boxes to begin selling his new book, "An Inconvenient Truth, The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It," $19.95, to the U.N. diplomats.

Can the UN sink any lower -- where now a failed American Pol gets to shill his book in open session? Can we find someone to hawk control-top panty hose next week? How about some Ginsu Knives? -- slices, dices, cuts prices? Can I interest you in some Guatemalan Viagra?


For a moment, if we were to credit this with even the remotest semblance of veracity, where would one now find the greatest abuse of smoking on the planet?

Certainly not in the United States, what with its Left-Driven proscribing of smoking and various laws that now even make it illegal in many jurisdictions to smoke in public. Can't smoke in bars in Fornicalia. Can't smoke within 25' of doors in government buildings. Soon to be unable to smoke in your own vehicle if there is a child in the car -- that would be child abuse!

Smoking in the US? Heretic! Blasphemer! Impious! Sacrilege!

Yes; certainly not in the United Snakes of America.

Where? Certainly heavily in Europe: Britain, Ireland, heavily in Scotland; Spain, Greece, heavy smokers in Italy; much smoking in Russia and its Balkanized satellites; China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Tonga.

Huh. Most everywhere except the United States.

Looks like the Euros and the rest of the developing world have something to work on, according to AGVW.

Trust me: I am no fan of cigarettes. I grew up in a household where my mother smoked more than the typical 1874 London factory. Her smoking was so despicable that it drove me, luckily, from cigarettes (and marijuana during the 60s and 70s) altogether.

My mother died of complications from COPD on May 14th of 2002. She literally ran out of breath, a short time following her 80th birthday, in a sterile, impersonal hospital. I can recall that was the only time I'd ever seen my father cry, holding her cool hand in his, cannula blanch marks on her face.

Despite that, I know that AGVW is, quite frankly, not only full of shit but focusing his ire on the wrong country.

Once again.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

7-11 Takes A Stand

And an amazing one at that.

In partnership with Citgo for over 20 years as its sole-source petroleum provider, 7-11 has severed its ties with the Venezuelan-owned company on Wednesday the 27th -- and had the balls to additionally indicate the reason was partially "due to politics."

For those just tuning in, harken back to the toad-frog-faced Hugo Chavez making his pronouncement last week at the UN that the smell of sulfur remained on the podium at which he spoke due to President Bush's presence there prior -- and at that point crossed himself and declared Bush to be el diablo -- the Devil.

Apparently 7-11 decided to make their own stand and distance themselves from Citgo gas and, in the process, moved to Tower Energy Group of Torrance, Calif., Sinclair Oil of Salt Lake City, and Houston-based Frontier Oil Corp.

And to this I say: bravo.

If I had a 7-11 anywhere near me, I'd purchase gas at their pumps just on principle.

There used to be a 7-11 on darned near every corner.

In today's pussified environment, it took testosterone to say:

Regardless of politics, we sympathize with many Americans' concern over derogatory comments about our country and its leadership recently made by Venezuela's president," said 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris.

"Certainly Chavez's position and statements over the past year or so didn't tempt us to stay with Citgo," she added.

God bless 7-11 for that.

Even if 7-11 decided to pull this off for political reasons, fabulous. The timing couldn't have been better.

Incidentally, for those interested, Chavez rules over Venezuela's state-owned tar sands -- an environment that requires much technical expertise, heavy work and consultation. It is estimated that, due to Chavez's presence and overall inefficiency, Venezuela is experiencing a 15% diminishment of its oil capabilites each year.

Things are not as easy as they seem on the surface.

Where is Cindy now that we need her?


Monday, September 25, 2006

Clinton: It's All About Bill

On Fox News Sunday, former President William Jefferson Clinton lit off on Chris Wallace after he said:

WALLACE: When we announced that you were going to be on Fox News Sunday, I got a lot of e-mail from viewers. And I’ve got to say, I was surprised. Most of them wanted me to ask you this question: Why didn’t you do more to put bin Laden and Al Qaida out of business when you were president?

Clinton thought he was blindsided by this but, likely, he was tired of having to address the issue as terrorism has become such an incredibly serious topic. Clinton said:

CLINTON: OK, let’s talk about it. Now, I will answer all those things on the merits, but first I want to talk about the context in which this arises.

I’m being asked this on the Fox network. ABC just had a right-wing conservative run in their little Pathway to 9/11, falsely claiming it was based on the 9/11 Commission report, with three things asserted against me directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission report.

And I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans, who now say I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was too obsessed with bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neo-cons thought I was too obsessed with bin Laden. They had no meetings on bin Laden for nine months after I left office. All the right-wingers who now say I didn’t do enough said I did too much — same people.

How odd. I've not yet met anyone or read anything that would indicate Clinton was even remotely "obsessed" with OBL. Anyone else know something about this or, as I wonder, is Clinton pulling a defense out of the proverbial thin air?

It is interesting to note that during the interview Clinton referred constantly to Richard Clarke's book Against All Enemies. But as Byron York of National Review writes:

But Clarke’s book does not, in fact, support Clinton’s claim. Judging by Clarke’s sympathetic account — as well as by the sympathetic accounts of other former Clinton aides like Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon — it’s not quite accurate to say that Clinton tried to kill bin Laden. Rather, he tried to convince — as opposed to, say, order — U.S. military and intelligence agencies to kill bin Laden. And when, on a number of occasions, those agencies refused to act, Clinton, the commander-in-chief, gave up.

That is not to say there is not blame to throw around. Clarke's book documents the sorry state of the CIA, and their laissez-faire attitude to terrorism of the time.

This frightening paragraph from York regarding Clarke's book:

But neither the FBI nor the CIA would say that al Qaeda was behind the bombing, and there was little support for a retaliatory strike. Clarke quotes Mike Sheehan, a State Department official, saying in frustration, “What’s it going to take, Dick? Who the shit do they think attacked the Cole, fuckin’ Martians? The Pentagon brass won’t let Delta go get bin Laden. Hell they won’t even let the Air Force carpet bomb the place. Does al Qaeda have to attack the Pentagon to get their attention?”

The sad answer: well, yes, they would have to.

The World Trade Center 1993; the US embassies; Khobar Towers; the USS Cole. The writing was on the wall and we all put our heads in the sand -- Clinton, as the Commander In Chief, could have done more and clearly needed to.

Clarke, however, strays from the reservation when he ascribes Clinton's refusal to deal with the problem to the Republicans who were "going after the President" following the Lewinsky affair.

That's like my prior "cat in the glass post." No one put ol' Bill there but Bill.

Byron York hits to the core, however, when he summarizes:

But the bottom line is that Bill Clinton, the commander-in-chief, could not find the will to order the military into action against al Qaeda, and Bill Clinton, the head of the executive branch, could not find the will to order the CIA and FBI to act. No matter what the former president says on Fox, or anywhere else, that is his legacy in the war on terror.

Not only sad, but costly to our nation.

This is one more example of it being All About Bill Time. Wallace asks a reasonable question, one asked by many persons and, as a journalist, he decides it's time to pose it to the former president. Instead of taking the high road and using what he said as "yes, I failed" and then turning it around by indicating there is always more one can do -- Bill makes it all about that Evil Fox Network, the "making his bones" Chris Wallace, the nasty Republican Empire, and then lies once again by saying he's never criticized the President and then, in the very next sentence, criticizes the President. What manner and make of man is this who turns petulant, bratty and, in truth, into a bully with one question -- and who demanded that a full 50% of the questions be about his new "program?"

Bill: your legacy will never change. I didn't hate you, I felt sad for you; you even did one very important thing that I will always welcome, and that is put limitations on federal welfare. Score. But your legacy will always be a soiled dress, "that all depends on what the definition of is, is," a cigar, a fat book on cutout racks and "I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

I'm sure Bill tried to pin the ears of Fox Network back and score points with his buddies. But he came off as a petulant, stamping little kid.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Whom Do You Hate?

Do I hate certain persons?

You bet I do. I'll also wager you and I share some persons we hate in common.

My most recent experience that got me to thinking:

So there I was. At the Monterey Fisherman's Wharf with a rather urgent need requiring fulfillment. I had already tried two restrooms clogged with waiting persons or a flock of children and their fathers. That did nothing for my requisite demands.

I left the muni wharf for western reaches beyond. I tried another restroom. Locked. By this time I was bordering on psychotic. Nature wasn't going away, that much was abundantly clear. I had already wasted ten precious minutes.

I finally found a bathroom in a State of Fornicalia complex and waited patiently for another few minutes whilst a man urinated in a closed stall. Now, let me make this straight: he could have used the Mark I, Model I urinal a few centimeters to his left; but no. He had to have an enclosed stall. And, as we all know, these enclosed stalls contain basic toilets replete with seats and everything.

Did he know I was there and waiting? Yes, because the larger handicapped toilet was otherwise occupied by someone clearly with pants around ankles, and the urinal then became occupied by the man ahead of me. So I already knew: this guy is peeing, he isn't doing other things. He could hear myself and other persons clearing our throats, talking, letting those involved know that they were not the only ones on the planet. Common etiquette.

He finished and snatched the latch open, sliding out. Another guy hit the urinal. My only option was the smaller toilet stall. I walked inside and found the toilet seat down and completely covered in piss. This guy had pissed all over the toilet seat. Folks, I had to do something more serious than that and required said seat. All he'd had to do was lift the toilet seat itself, requiring something like 12 pounds of pressure on the lid. And then do what needed to be done. Knowing that other persons were behind him. I lit off like a Roman Candle.

The guy was probably a good ten years younger than me and taller and heavier. He was carrying a backpack, a large gut, and another bag over his shoulder. Short dark hair, glasses, shorts, sneakers. Tourist. My scope of vision narrowed and turned dark red.

"Hey asshole," I purred warmly, "you just pissed all over the fucking toilet seat." In the minute or so that followed I found my right hand around his throat squeezing with some decent pressure, pinning him up against the tile. Suffice to say I was rather irate. We exchanged a few further pleasantries and he wisely didn't swing at me but scurried away when I came to my senses. I have never, ever, I swear to you, done anything remotely like this before.

But the exquisite rudeness and assumption of this portly fuckhead defintely pulled my chain.

I smartly concluded that it was time to leave the Monterey Fisherman's Wharf.

What sets you off?

A few of my additional peeves:

  • Driving 60 MPH in the far left lane when the freeway is clogged with traffic and the limit is 65, and there's a good mile or more in front of you;
  • Pacing the Kenworth tractor/trailer rig through the curves when you possess twice the engine he does and traffic behind you is backed up a good quarter mile;
  • Being in a construction zone and talking on the phone, unmoving, whilst others behind you wait for you to move -- and the light turns red -- and you only wake up on the yellow and move ahead a few feet;
  • Being in a movie theatre and deciding the deux ex machina is the perfect time to take that cell phone call -- loudly;
  • Dragging your two or three brats to the market or Costco or Sam's Club and deciding to block an entire aisle while me and four others are stacked up, attempting to continue further up the aisle past you;
  • Being in a restaurant and having to watch and listen whilst your kid(s) throw food about, scream at the top of their lungs, shriek at ear-piercing decibels, and you respond with complete indifference or eminently ignorable comments like "he does that all the time." Folks, I came to the restaurant for a relaxing dinner, not to hear or watch or listen to your spawn break windows with their tight little vocal cords or shitty attitudes;

What pisses me off: people who think that they are apparently the only ones in the Universe and no one else exists.

What pisses YOU off?


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Critters And The Sea

I recently traveled to the Monterey Bay with my fiance, stayed in a Santa Cruz motel, then a Monterey motel and shot over 150 photos during this trip. I've grown tired of politics for now; I would rather post some of my photos of critters and the sea.

At one point I lived in Santa Cruz in 1979; I had forgotten how the dark evening fog obscures one's car windows requiring wipers -- in the midst of summer.

The crashing waves of the California coast -- even the most jaded of persons can become humble here.

How can one not be struck by the innocent eyes of a harbor seal?

The playfulness of pinnipeds, the ingenuity of the average otter?


Friday, September 22, 2006

WHO Put The Cat There?

Geoffrey Nunberg has written a book entitled (get ready) "Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism Into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show."

Whew. What a title.

The premise of the book is that the Democrats are victims of having themselves or allowing themselves to be defined by those hooligans on the Right. Nunberg bemoans that "liberal" is now associated with "malevolence, anarchy, elitism and irresponsibility." Liberals, in turn, have seemingly disassociated themselves from the word and now tend to embrace "progressive."

That part I know to be true; how many times has a conservative talk show host, most specifically Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved and Dennis Prager, attempted to get a liberal guest to admit that they are the "L" Word and that guest has refused? Many times. They'll now admit to "progressive" but not to "liberal." I find that most odd. If you're in fact a liberal then stand up and admit it. You're not a "progressive" -- "progressive" is for rock music like Magna Carta, King Crimson and Porcupine Tree.

Enough of the book review; I simply want to respond to the above paragraph. Nunberg writes the obvious.

To begin, Liberalism does consist of tax raisers, latte drinkers, sushi-eaters, Volvo drivers, NY Times readers, those with body piercings, lovers of Hollywood and yes, the Left is a Freak Show.

Like the cat with its head in a glass, no one put the Left there but themselves. And the Left's reaction, poor poor poor people, is merely a response to the Right's deciding that they were going to find their voice.

I've written this once but shall emphasize it again: the so-called culture and political "wars" in America only started when the Right decided to voice its stance. The Left had their voice carried for them in the Mainstream Media for years and, as the Left leaned farther left, the Right became increasingly frustrated. The true breakthrough did in fact come via AM radio when a little fuzzball was given a chair at KFBK in 1984 Sacramento. Oooh, 1984 -- chilling!

Rush Limbaugh provided the voice and the venue for those of a conservative bent and a movement was started. There are those who would credit the political process itself for the Right finding its voice -- and certainly the Ronald Reagan years should not be discounted as it was during the temper of these times that RL worked his way to syndication in 1988.

From there the wars began. After literally decades of ruling all forms of media and, moreover, its content, liberals were most chagrined to discover AM radio shortly became the bastion of conservatives. It took literally years for the Left to even attempt inroads to AM radio via Air America -- and we all know how solvent and powerful AA is currently.

From there, the internet blossomed. Conservatives took to the net like fish to water. This in turn led to various conservative magazines with links to the internet, Fox News and, most recently, to my venue -- the blog. Conservatives are big in the Blogosphere.

As grew the voice of Conservatives, so the Left and liberals felt (because, let's face it, they were) more challenged. Not everything they said and espoused was accepted by rote. Persons actually had, egads, the temerity to speak up and attempt to refute what the MSM said and wrote. And, egads, it was proven time and again that the MSM occasionally seemed to omit some very salient things from their stories -- some people call them facts.

Liberals then, during that transition and now (witness this book and others) feature themselves the victims in this heinous and oppressive power grab by the Right.

What happened is this: common people found a voice. They found an outlet for their frustrations. People from the heartland. People from the working class who wanted to get ahead and didn't want the government to do it for them. People who wanted to be left alone to prosper. People who believe in Capitalism and believe that hard work should yield benefits. People who believe in a higher being as did our Founding Fathers, who believed in justice, in ethics and morals.

So in truth, Conservatives haven't "fought back" -- they just had the gall to voice their beliefs and concerns in a way they never had before.

And that's what's threatening to liberals.

Make no mistake: Leftist dogma is every bit a religion; Leftists believe the greatest enemy is the United States, the epitome of Capitalism. Capitalism by its nature must exploit people, so a major country like America, as a capitalistic leader, must be overthrown just as any capitalist oppressor must be overthrown. Anti-big, anti-corporate. Anti-capitalist. Anti-success.

And one step beyond equality of opportunity -- the Left wants a guaranteed equality of outcome. And that's just not feasible or realistic. Lazy and stupid people simply exist. Life itself tends to thin the herd and frequently that's a good thing.

When there are bad days and blank days and times when I don't feel like blogging -- well, those are the days I have to continue making my little teeny mark on the Blogosphere and why I simply mustn't quit. Conservatives must never quit.

"Poor kitty! Who put his head in the glass? -- for surely he couldn't be responsible!"


Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Massive Response

Venezuelan President (and I use that term rather loosely) Hugo Chavez came to this country yesterday and proceeded to do nothing but insult our president and our nation.

John Bolton, oddly enough, wasn't present during Chavez's speech. Bolton later said he wasn't sure where he was, perhaps balancing his checkbook or cleaning his fishtank. He also said that people understand it was insulting, but on the other hand people need to draw their own conclusions, and that people know he's not a serious leader. Amen.

And the response from the Mainstream Media? Massive. On front pages everywhere. Outrage! Heresy! Our country insulted! UN out of the US! Never let Chavez back into the country!


From the LA Times. Predominantly silent.

New York Times? Not even on the home page.

Even former President Clinton on Larry "Elbows" King said that Chavez's comments were "unhelpful, undignified and it's not true." D'ya think?

Would this have happened in the 1950s -- even perhaps in the early 1960s? Where is the media in all this? Those on the Left or in the Democratic Party?

Conspicuously silent. But of course they're "above" it all in any event.

How far have we fallen when we either adamantly refuse to support our own country upon attack, verbal or otherwise, or we shrug our shoulders with indifference.

That's why I call them the DEM: Defeatist, Elitist Media.

Shame on them but, on the other hand, their subscribers and readers in all forms are plummeting.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

YOUR Money Well Spent

You fund the United Nations.

Perhaps you were not aware, but 5 BILLION of your hard-earned tax dollars are shuttled to the UN every year.

What do you feel you receive for your kind contribution?

In the shadow of the 61st General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan felt it was time to, in his farewell speech (10 years as S-G), lay the burden of the world's entire ills at the feet of the Israelis.

As long as the Palestinians live under occupation, exposed to daily frustration and humiliation; and as long as Israelis are blown up in buses and in dance-halls: so long will passions everywhere be inflamed," he said.

So you see, it is those horrible JEWS who are solely responsible for the ills of the world.

Ooops, side-rant coming. . .

On that tack, Republican Senator George Allen was excoriated for being a (huge intake of air here!) -- dare I write it -- JEW! From Hugh Hewitt's blog:

George Allen and Jim Webb had another debate yesterday. Probably to the relief of many of you, I did not get to see it. But from the clip I did see, and the clip that everyone will see, Allen walked away from this fray the big winner. After running a sub-par campaign and his dreadful appearance on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Allen caught a huge break, a break that will likely turn the momentum of the race in his direction.

One of the panelists, a woman named Peggy Fox, asked Allen, “It has been reported your grandfather Felix, whom you were given your middle name for, was Jewish. Could you please tell us whether your forebears include Jews and, if so, at which point Jewish identity might have ended?”

The crowd booed, and rightly so. Allen responded with angry indignation, again rightly so. And, I must say, he looked good doing so. The problem with a politician as programmed as George Allen is he often appears phony. This question showed the real man, and it was the best I’ve seen him look during the campaign.


-- "When did you stop beating your wife?"
-- "How long have you been a JEW?"

Back to the UN. . .

Admadinnerjacket said at the UN yesterday that the US was behind the Hezbollah-Israel War and questioned the legitimacy of the Security Council itself. "Is it appropriate to expect this generation to submit to[to the Security Council]?" Further, Dinnerjacket said:

I emphatically declare that today's world more than ever before longs for just and righteous people with love for all humanity, and above all longs for the perfect, righteous human being and the real savior who has been promised to all peoples and who will establish justice, peace and brotherhood on the planet. [The Twelfth Imam] Oh Almighty God, all men and women are your creatures and you have ordained their guidance and salvation. Bestow upon humanity that thirst for justice, the perfect human being promised to all by you, and make us among his followers among those who strive for his return and his cause.

Huh. I wonder what would have occurred had a Christian invoked God publically before the UN? A coup? Sanctions? Escorted out of the building by armed security personnel, forthwith?

Ah! Your tax dollars at work.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Radio Issues


Gosh! It would appear that Air America is going bankrupt. What? An insufficient audience to keep it going despite a manual infusion of cash on any number of levels from the Democratic Party all the way to Mr. Soros?

Huh! Imagine that. No one willing or wanting to expand the lugubrious audience of such stellar persons as Mr. Franken, et al. From ThinkProgress:

Air America Radio will announce a major restructuring on Friday, which is expected to include a bankruptcy filing, three independent sources have told ThinkProgress.

Air America could remain on the air under the deal, but significant personnel changes are already in the works. Sources say five Air America employees were laid off yesterday and were told there would be no severance without capital infusion or bankruptcy. Also, Air America has ended its relationship with host Jerry Springer.

More information here and here.

Also, "conservative" talk radio is being blames by CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) for an alleged "rise" in so-called hate crimes against Muslims. From WorldNetDaily:

CAIR said it received 1,972 complaints in 2005, the most since it began compiling annual reports after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. About 2,300 reports were received, the group said, but some were found to be illegitimate.

Most of the complaints, according to CAIR Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar, were of a "due process" nature, such as racial profiling. Second were denial of religious accommodation and third were employment discrimination.

It should be noted, though, that as WorldNetDaily reported, CAIR's chairman of the board, Omar Ahmad, was cited by a California newspaper in 1998 as saying that the Quran should be "America's highest authority."


He also was reported to have said Islam is not in America to be equal to any other religion but to be dominant.

How odd, I note, that in the entire WND article I see no clear evidence of overt violence against Muslims. In the rest of the world I see, daily and hourly, violence of Muslim against Muslim and Muslim against others. Consistently. I do hear on much of talk radio, however, words against Islamists and Militant Islam.

Who are the practitioners of real violence, I wonder?

Of final note from Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush's approval rating has rebounded to 44 percent, the highest level in a year, in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, the newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Really? Imagine that.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Is The Pope Correct?

Pope Benedict XVI recently made a speech which has now allegedly fanned flames in the Islamic world. YNet, an Israeli webwite, wrote:

Arab op-ed: Pope’s remarks may lead to war

Muslim world newspapers filled with articles slamming pope’s remarks; ‘it is clear that such remarks only contribute to the fueling of the fire raging between Islam and the West,’ op-ed published in al-Sharq al-Awsat says.
Roee Nahmias
Published: 09.16.06, 21:32

The recent remarks made by Pope Benedict XVI on Islam are threatening to ignite the entire Muslim world.

Op-Eds published in the Arab newspapers slammed the pope even after the Vatican’s apology.

The most extreme opinion was voiced by Hani Pahas in the London-based Arabic-language daily newspaper Al-Hayat, who wrote “the pope’s comments may lead to war; we fear that the pope’s statements may lead to a war that we, Muslims and Christians alike, are trying to prevent through dialogue between East and West."

Pope Benedict was "extremely upset that some portions of his speech were able to sound offensive to the sensibilities of Muslim believers and have been interpreted in a way that does not at all correspond to his intentions."

Further, Iranian newspapers said that the Pope's comments were the result of a US-Israel plot to distract attention from the resistance of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah to Israel's offensive on Lebanon.

Pope Benedict's speech in his native Germany on Tuesday, September 12th, referred to a link between Islam and jihad, or "holy war", and quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor who said innovations introduced by the Prophet Mohammed were "evil and inhuman."

The Pope explored the historical and philosophical differences between Islam and Christianity, and the relationship between violence and faith, in his speech at Regensburg University.

Stressing that they were not his own words, he quoted Emperor Manuel II Paleologos of the Byzantine Empire, the Orthodox Christian empire which had its capital in what is now the Turkish city of Istanbul.

The emperor's words were, he said: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Benedict said "I quote" twice to stress the words were not his and added that violence was "incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul."

"The intention here is not one of retrenchment or negative criticism, but of broadening our concept of reason and its application," he added in the concluding part of his speech.
"Only thus do we become capable of that genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today."

However, I will say what the Pope cannot: Emperor Manuel II Paleologos of the Byzantine Empire was correct. Muhammad did command that the word of Islam be spread by the sword and, yes, that is evil and inhuman.

What portion of this is difficult to comprehend?


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Everlasting War

The United States has created what I shall call an Everlasting War because it dared to stand up against Militant Islam and Islamists.

It is up to every American to realize that, from 9-11 forward, there shall never be any rest for this country and we shall always be in the crosshairs of Islamists from now until eternity or until all of Islam is eliminated. And that, of course, will never happen.

The price we must pay for this has yet to be calculated. When Militant Islam makes threats of acts yet to come, they mean what they say and, given time, some of these acts are bound to acquire fruition if for no other reason than the matter of numbers and the human factor.

Does that mean necessarily that there is another similar "9-11" in our future?

I would answer that question with a resounding yes.

JERUSALEM – The Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks were the beginning of the collapse of the American empire, and it is only a question of time before the next "great big event" strikes the United States, a senior Palestinian terror leader who received American training warned during a WND interview today.

"The Americans even now are doing everything to bring our hostility and hatred to higher levels and bring us to wait impatiently for the next great big event," said Abu Muhammad, a senior leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the northern West Bank city of Jenin. "They deserve one more coup of this kind (like 9/11), and I am sure it is only a question of time. September 11 was the beginning of the collapse of this empire of evil."

The sooner we understand that completely, the better off we shall be. We cannot even remotely afford to bury our heads in sand.

We dodged a massive bullet on 9-11. We lost 3,000 Americans when, depending upon the day, the time, we could have lost up to 50,000 Americans. At any one time there have been up to 50,000 persons occupying both towers of the World Trade Center in the past. Due to the massive evacuation efforts and the matter of timing and luck, we dodged the 50K bullet.

Will we be so lucky once again?

As I have said before and will say and write until I expire: with a WMD event, Islam has but to win once; conversely, we have to win every time.

You have to admit: our country is remarkably open. Our borders leak illegal immigrants and other determined persons. It is a given that Islamist cells already exist within the contiguous 48. If you are in a population zone there is a chance you live next to some of them. They will do their best to blend because, after all, that is their job.

In an open and free society such as ours we are vulnerable. And I shall relate a recent tale that should make your head spin.


Because I have had occasion to make a total of 16 flights between February of this year and now, I have an excellent grasp of security procedures on the west coast with regard to Southwest Airlines and the Sacramento and San Diego airports.

My last three flights have been subject to the newest rules regarding liquids taken aboard aircraft. Going down to San Diego, screened in Sacramento, I packed my Class A law enforcement uniform so I could graduate from my masters class. This uniform contained my original metal Sergeants' badge, metal commendations, metal shooting medal, metal EVOC pin, American flag pin, and various lifesaving medals I have been awarded over the years. I packed the uniform into my carry-on because I didn't want unauthorized personnel deciding they would liberate my checked uniform. I wanted the greatest amount of control I could acquire of my uniform. Of course I did not check my Sig sidearm and did not take it.

My bag sailed through Sacramento with a bit of focus; the operator ran my bag through the machine twice, but didn't demand I open it up. I was not chosen for further TSA/National Guard table scrutiny prior to boarding.

The flight down was great; the graduation cermonies were exquisite and I took many photos during the event. Coming back, I ran the same bag through San Diego's checkpoints and the screener ran my check-on bag twice, then called for a hand search.

I told the TSA employee that I knew what caused consternation: I had a badge that could be misinterpreted as a throwing star and various metal objects on my uniform. I told him I had nothing to hide and suggested he make a complete search of my bag. I showed him my law enforcement credentials and he found my Class A shirt. I pointed out my camera, my toiletries kit, my PDA, my cell phone and Bluetooth earpiece. I had no problem with him taking everything out and going through it all. I would wonder what I had seen, myself, on the X-ray screens. These people cannot interpret everything without a futher search. That only makes sense.

If they search me that's fine. I'm not the only person who wants a completely clean Southwest 737 when I fly. I would hope everyone would want the same thing.

It's not what they found that concerns me; it's what they didn't find that makes me shudder.

In the process of unpacking I found what I had purchased in San Diego.

Because I couldn't carry liquids I had purchased a tube of toothpaste at a local market after I landed in San Diego; I had also purchased some shampoo, some conditioner and thrown a Red Bull into my toiletries kit, thinking that I would drink it on my last day. I forgot about all of these items.

They passed every screening event in San Diego; the X-ray machine and the hand search.

I should have been caught. I didn't plan it that way; I have no memory and should have been confronted with my items. I was not.

This grievous event gives me pause. I am but one citizen in a continuing stream. Granted, I am white, I am older, I am male, I have no beard, I am not Muslim, I had law enforcement creds with me. But I STILL should not have been carrying liquids with me.

I am guessing that the liquid events are indicating an attempt by various factions to bring innocuous liquids aboard like energy drinks or cartonized quick drinks, perhaps even breaking them down into binary explosives to be mixed on board.

I passed an X-ray search and a hand search. This gives me great pause.

What ELSE are we missing -- not only at our airports, but in our ports, on our borders, in our mail, in our very towns and cities?

This is an EVERLASTING WAR. And the enemy shall never give up. Never. Because religion is the GREATEST motivating factor extant.

John Kennedy once said: "He who makes peaceful revolution impossible, makes violent revolution inevitable."

We can either, as a nation, confront this issue up front, as Jack Kennedy admonishes, or we can wait until it is too late and watch our freedoms, belatedly, become boarded up and inaccessible.

We can choose now.

Because we must choose now.


Monday, September 11, 2006

9-11: A Tribute

I'm going to take a bit of a different tack than most bloggers and the media likely will today. I shall not focus on the falling of the Towers or American patriotism; instead I shall display, in photos for all to see, how Islam portrays itself today -- five years after our marked event.

Thank you, Steve.

These photos are from a London "Religion of Peace" protest. Witness for yourself the true thoughts and intentions of Islam:

Freedom: Go To Hell.

I would submit that the concepts of freedom and democracy are ideas wasted on those intent upon embracing Islam.

They deserve the kinds of governments and rulers they embrace.

I cannot say this with sufficient frequency: the sooner we locate and drill our own oil, the sooner we move from a petroleum-based economy, the sooner we can tell these ignorant religious bastards to simmer in their own swill and abandon them completely.

We are there for oil. Let no one tell you anything other. But we must protect our own interests or we will be living in the SM Stirling novel "Dies The Fire."

God Bless America.

The last, best hope of this entire planet.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Blair Will Be Proven

How sad to see and hear that Tony Blair has given way to political pressure to step down prior to the end of his term.

Blair is no one's Toady -- not of the US, not of anyone.

He has consistently been looking out for the welfare of his country, though his countrymen and-women have not the capacity to see this for themselves. Londonistan has clearly had its influence.

In a recent interview, Mr. Blair said it would be remarkably stupid to ignore the threats made to Israel from Iran.

Please read the entire following:

Did you find Prime Minister Olmert different from when you met him last (in June)?

Obviously it's been a very traumatic, difficult time. When you lead a country through a crisis like that, it's a massive challenge. I found him extraordinarily focused and energetic and determined.

Did you give him any political advice?

He was more likely to be giving me political advice! What I did say was this. The important thing is for Israel to be always the country that is striving for peace but is sometimes forced into war. And that's why it's important that we got the resolution 1701, because that is a political framework within which the issues to do with Lebanon can be dealt with. And if we can, we should invigorate the peace process with the Palestinians.

Olmert has forgone the West Bank disengagement.

The important thing is to try and get a negotiated agreement because that in the end is the only way forward. Now, in Israel people will be very skeptical, not to say cynical as to whether it is possible at all. There is one major strategic question that has changed in the whole of the international community. People everywhere now see this global movement of extremism, they see Iran putting itself at the head of it, and there is a huge strategic interest that includes America, Europe, Israel and any Arab and Muslim countries that want a modern future - there is a huge strategic interest in making sure that that extremism doesn't succeed.

Did the Lebanon war sharpen this consciousness?

Yes, I think it did, and though obviously, for obvious reasons because many innocent people died - many innocent Israelis, many innocent Lebanese - and the destruction of so much in Lebanon is terrible, of course. And so while the conflict was going on, it was very difficult for people to think in terms of anything other than stopping the conflict. But I think that there emerged from that a clearer notion of how this came about and how Iran and to an extent Syria are pulling the strings and ensuring that there is such conflict. And so I think there has been that greater clarity.

Greater clarity in your mind. But what makes you think in the minds of other European leaders?

Because I think amongst the leaders in Europe I think it is clear. Amongst the people in Europe and Western opinion there is a big battle to be won. I mean, I'm being just honest about this. And I think there is a desire not to face the fact that we are fighting a global struggle. There are all sorts of issues to do with America and whether people want to be associated with America. And I think there is sometimes a naivete about organizations like Hezbollah and the activities of Iran. I'm just being frank. I think there is a battle, and it is important that we take our case out and win that battle.And one part of winning the battle is making the case as to why Israel is entitled to its security and why it's important to revitalize the Palestinian process.

How can Israel fend off the erosion of its legitimacy, the proposed indictments of Israeli officers -- academic boycott in Europe and in UK in particular?

The two things are: To give people a real sense of strategic clarity about the threat that we face, and secondly to be the people who are striving to revive the Palestinian process. We may not succeed, but we should always strive.

With the recent arrests of suspected terrorists in the UK. These are people who grew up in the UK, in the welfare state, with no experience of any form of oppression or occupation. Did you ask yourselves what went wrong, what you did wrong?

Well, they become like that. It's not necessarily what have we done wrong, because part of the problem of what you have in Western opinion is that Western opinion always wants to believe that it's our fault and these people want to have a sort of, you know, grievance culture that they visit upon us and say it's our fault.

And so we have a young British- born man of Pakistani origin sitting in front of a television screen saying "I will go and kill innocent people because of the oppression of Muslims," when he has been brought up in a country that has given him complete religious freedom and full democratic rights and actually a very good job and standard of living. Now, that warped mind has grown out of a global movement based on a perversion of Islam which we have to confront, and we have to confront it globally.

And as I said recently in my L.A. speech, the first way to win a battle is to realize you're in a battle. That's part of the trouble: We don't yet really understand this is a global movement and it requires a global strategy to beat it.

One other point - you can't beat it simply by security or military means. This is an ideological battle. It's got to be taken out to the enemy. And that's why I say it's important for us always to be the ones who have got a political strategy running alongside the military strategy. We should never, ever, whatever the technical difficulties, let the political strategy fall away.

We in our paper see your political difficulties and the battle of ideology as very closely linked. We have witnessed with a certain amount of sorrow your inability to inculcate this awareness in your own public opinion and among Western European opinion.

Yeah, but you know in the end sometimes it takes people a long time to wake up. And sometimes these struggles go over a whole generation, almost. It's less important what my position is - but as you say rightly, I expect it indicates that we've got a big job to do.

But I think that underneath opinion is changing. On the surface I agree at the moment, no, it isn't. But underneath people are beginning to see it change. Now my own view is that if we were able to revive the Palestinian process that would be a huge part of persuading opinion that the one issue where even quite moderate Muslims just feel frustration and anger - that we were dealing with it now.

I know from the Israeli point of view how frustrating it is to be told, you know, this is an issue that in the interest of the world has got to be solved -- and you worry in Israel that maybe our interests get sacrificed in the course of finding a solution. I hope that I've done enough to prove that I will never sacrifice the security of Israel in that way. But I do genuinely believe that our job has got to be to build that alliance of moderation and empower the moderate Muslims and Arab voices.

We are concerned that even you cannot evoke from the Palestinian side - now that the Hamas has won power and Abu Mazen is merely a figurehead, having lost the election to them - even you can't evoke a negotiating partner, just when an Israeli government, however bruised and battered, is ready to relinquish the vast bulk of the territories.

That's absolutely right and I understand that. One of the things I've been discussing here - because this has been a very strong sentiment of mine for a long time - is that what should have happened on disengagement from Gaza is this: Everyone should have come into Gaza, built a strong institutional capability and governing capacity, with the economic reconstruction, and then say, 'right - the disengagement from Gaza is the beginning, now let's move to the next stage.' I'm sure that is what should have happened. And it didn't.

And the fact that it didn't means that there is in my view a need for the international community to support in a far stronger and more effective way capacity on the Palestinian side. Otherwise there are two alternatives: What happens is that either we try to reinvigorate the process but it never really happens.

You agree to documents but they're never really operationalized; or alternatively what happens is that - and I think this is a reason why it is very much in the strategic interests of Israel to try to make progress - is that you can end up with a sort of semi-state on the Palestinian state, full of militias and gangs and trouble.

But the Hamas government rejects the conditions of the Quartet, despite the economic and diplomatic boycott and military pressure?

Yes, well I think there is a lot of pressure coming now from the Palestinian people. This refusal to accept at least the basis of the Quartet principles is holding back the Palestinian people. And after all, how can we possibly negotiate with a government about a two-state solution if they don't accept the existence of the other state?

Is it pie-in-the-sky to see the beefed-up UNIFIL as something of a precedent for involvement in the Palestinian question later?

Only in this way: Not that you'd replicate that type of force or anything like that, but I think that it does indicate that sometimes what happens is not that moderates don't want to do the right thing - but that they don't have the capacity to do it. I am quite sure that Prime Minister Siniora never wanted a situation where Resolution 1559 was never implemented. He wasn't able to do it. Interestingly, with Resolution 1701 he may be able to do it. I think in the same way we can transfer the analogy to this extent: That's why you need real international support on the Palestinian side. I think that is in the interest of the Palestinians and of the Israelis as well. Obviously these are things we'll now discuss, because I think you'll find now a great churn of activity but we need to make sure that out of it comes something that is applicable.

Regarding Iran, do you agree with the comparisons to the 1930s that we often read about?

When you have the President of a country as powerful as Iran say those things, it may be very foolish of us to assume he doesn't mean them. And when he's also trying to acquire a nuclear weapon, then I think the warning signs are pretty clear... I think for a president of a country to say they want to wipe another country off the face of the earth and at the same time he's trying to acquire a nuclear weapons capability - if we don't get worried about that, future historians will raise a few questions about us and about our judgment.


UK's Tony Blair "gets it."

Do we?


Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Day My Music Died: 09-07-2003

01-24-1947 to 09-07-2003

I remember I came to the site a few days later and gaped with astonishment. The site had vanished and in its place was a photo, his full name, and a birth date and death date. And these three words: “Enjoy every sandwich.”

For some reason, this death became my preoccupation for weeks thereafter. Was it because my mother had died in May of 2002, and my father had experienced his own life and death medical emergency in 2003? Or was there more?

Warren Zevon was me. He was me and I was him. I was in my own little world and I simply assumed he would consistently be in my world as well. Except, of course, that reality tends to get in the way of the best laid plans. Years of comfort and assumption.

Warren was a few years older than me. But not so much older that I could not relate to what he said and when he said it.

Persons have said that I have a black and grim sense of humor — with an emphasis on the cynical, sarcastic and egregious.

In this vein, Warren went to his dentist in August of 2002 and, as an aside, happened to complain of a shortage of breath while exercising — “I was working out more than Vin Diesel,” he said. One medical referral later, Warren was handed a literal sentence of death. The same day.

At 56, Warren was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a disease that late-night talk show lawyers attribute to asbestos inhalation and related problems. The cancer is considered rare and, generally, inoperable. So it was with his condition.

Originally given a mere three months to live, Warren Zevon shoved this estimate aside and collected his family and friends about him, determined to produce one final and complete album.
And that he did — then passed away, in his sleep, almost a year to the precise day that he was diagnosed.

Warren is me and I am him. He has passed, dead from a horrible disease. Something I can acquire and have fought. He brings to me my mortality. My generation of entertainers are dying. I am mortal. I am finite. I don’t want to think about this. And yet I must because my favorite musical artist is now dead.

Does that not sound cheap and shallow? Who cares about what music I enjoy? — Except that, having been in radio my late teens and early 20s as an on-air DJ, Music Director, Program Director, Promotions Director and actual Station Manager, my entire life at one time revolved around music and Warren clearly intrigued me from the beginning. For those keeping track, I worked for WWSU and WING in Ohio, then to KERS, KEG in Sacramento, KOBO in Yuba City, a brief time for KROY/KNDE (Wonder Rabbit!) and finally KFBK-AM and KFBK-FM. I worked production for KNBR in San Francisco for a time, then worked for a local audio production facility. I did voice-overs, narration, and corporate audios and videos.

In the meantime, Warren wrote and sang about death, guns, special ops, politics, animals, the Soviets, death, almost anything but love — and, then, okay, sometimes about love — but sparingly. And when his love songs came, they came disguised, heartfelt and then, later, incredibly effective in their simplicity.

You needed to analyze his words, read his lyrics. Take the time to unearth the meanings. I readily admit: I took Warren Zevon for granted. Certainly, I purchased every album. I initially thought many were weak and poorly produced. I questioned his moving from one label to another. Was it because no one wanted to have anything to do with his music? He had, after all, moved from Asylum to Elektra, to Asylum, to Virgin, to Giant and then to Artemis. Could he not find a “home” because of his poor recordings? Who had ever heard of the labels “Giant” or of “Artemis?”

Except that: one of his two finest recordings, from the album “Mutineer” (what I then considered to absolutely be his weakest recent work) would be the lilting “Similar to Rain” and maybe even “Mutineer” itself. I thought Piano Fighter to be a throwaway, and many of his other songs, until I gave them a chance. That’s all I had to do. Give them a chance.

And then Warren produced his final album, which won two February 2004 Grammies; one for Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals for “Disorder in the House,” with Warren and Bruce Springsteen, and won Best Contemporary Folk Album, for The Wind — which likely to this day has Warren turning in his grave because anything he ever produced would NEVER fit into something as lame as a “folk” album.

And yet, I never had a true appreciation for the agony, angst and struggles he experienced to complete his final album, The Wind. VH-1 filmed portions of the production of this CD, and produced a beautiful and gut-wrenching documentary of the event.

I am so glad I watched it once. And I am so not sure I can ever watch it again. At one point it shows a lost Warren Zevon having to be told by his best friend and session bass player, Jorge Calderon, how to time his singing to the music bed. Warren just couldn’t pick up the right timing signature. He was lost. Absolutely lost. And so was I. For him.

I write this through tears of confusion. Oh sure, I won’t soil the keyboard. But Warren was me and I am him. And another once-comfortable portion of my life is gone. Another one of those persons, unrecognized in Life, but finally recognized in Death.

He was me and I was him. Sarcastic, irreligious, fascinated with politics, war, death, black humor. And with some occasional glimpses of love.

Sometimes love is wet and cold;

Similar to rain, just as hard to hold.

Love can make you sad and blue,

If you don't watch out it'll fall all over you.

Talk about irony. He was all about irony.


I wrote this a week after Warren Zevon's passing in 2003 where it was published in a trade magazine. I reprint it here, now, to commemorate his passing. I too, like Warren, seek to "enjoy every sandwich."

It is said that Life is what occurs whilst you're making other detailed plans.

I recognize that now.

I also recognize how swift is the passage of time and how very important it is to proffer more hugs, love more, see more sunsets, witness more sunrises, hold more hands, and see things through the eyes of a child.

Life is too short for bad beer, and saying "some day we'll do that."

No you won't. Make plans now. Tell people you love them now. Expose your heart now. Step up. Step out.

If not you, then who? If not now, then when?


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Requiescat in pace

A friend of mine passed away in an automobile accident. I received the phone call late last night. He was a fan of Stevie Ray Vaughn. He would like this:

From SRV's "The Sky Is Crying" album:

Life By The Drop
Hello there, my old friend,
Not so long ago it was 'till the end
We played outside in the pouring rain,
On our way up the road we started over again.
You're livin' a dream,
Whoa, you on top
My mind is achin',
Lord it won't stop
That's how it happens,
Livin' life by the drop.
Up and down that road in our worn out shoes,
Talkin' 'bout good things and singin' the blues
You went your way, I stayed behind
We both knew it was just a matter of time
You're livin' a dream,
Whoa, you on top
My mind is achin',
Lord it won't stop
That's how it happens,
Livin' life by the drop.
No wasted time, we're alive today
Churnin' up the past, there's no easier way
Time's been between us, a means to an end
God it's good to be here walkin' together my friend.
You're livin' a dream,
Whoa, you on top
My mind is achin',
Lord it won't stop
That's how it happens,
Livin' life by the drop.
That's how it happens, livin' life by the drop
That's how it happens, livin' life by the drop.


Peace be with you, Chuck.



I am away on my final session of school in San Diego. I shall return on Saturday. Take care and tell everyone you love how you feel about them: today.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve On The Barbie

Steve Irwin, age 44, is dead after the spike from a stingray pierced the left front of his chest and into his heart. He leaves behind his wife Terri Irwin, 42, and two children, Bindi Sue (8) and Robert Clarence (3).

Of all radically ironic things, to be killed by the barb of a stingray -- surely a manner of death I had never even remotely imagined for Steve Irwin. I envisioned him succumbing to horrible wounds from, say, a crocodile that managed to catch him unawares; I envisioned him being the victim of the bite from a Black Mamba; but never aquatically.

Some people will likely think, say or write that Irwin got nothing more than what was due him for his history of attempting to "humanize" wild animals, not unlike Timothy Treadwell, the so-called Grizzly Man who was killed at age 46 with his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, 37, when they were both attacked and partially eaten by a brown bear in Alaska's Katmai National Park on October 5th of 2003. In my post, Grizzly Man: Today's Allegory, I wrote that "Treadwell tried to 'understand' the bears -- he wanted to sit down and break croissants and have a nice latte with them. They tolerated him for a while or remained indifferent at best. Until one bear, one day, simply got hungry, and the food chain was complete."

Steve Irwin did not take the "humanization" route; to be sure, he was perceived many times to be the fool, jumping on the backs of crocodiles -- even causing much worldwide consternation when he held his then one-month-old baby, Robert, while feeding a snapping crocodile at his Australian zoo in 2004. His greatest fault may have been the comfort and confidence he felt around wild animals.

Certainly he pushed the envelope and we all, I suppose, knew that one day he would die at the hands (or barb!) of an animal. I guess he knew that as well -- just not suspecting the manner of his final exit. He was an environmentalist and, moreover, put his money into his Australia Zoo in Beerwah on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

Watching Steve Irwin was not unlike watching a NASCAR race -- knowing or thinking that something bad may happen -- a guilty thrill. His episode detailing the ten most venomous snakes in Australia -- and he picked them up by the tail? You knew he would be bitten, and he was bitten by snakes on TV (though none were poisonous).

Steve also blazed the TV trail with regard to others coming after him. Certainly, Jack Hanna was the "first" person who brought animals up and close to TV audiences but it was some time before he acquired his own show. Irwin also spawned Jeff Corwin and the other guy (whose name escapes me!) who wrangles snakes. Even the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, owes his place on TV to Steve Irwin.

As my fiance wrote:

Well, he saw an opportunity and ran with it. He was raised by his dad to not have total respect for nature; thought he knew all about animal behavior, but the thing is, guess what? Just like humans are generally the same, we all have our idiosyncrasies -- same with animals. 99 times out of 100 animal behavior can be generally predicted, but you never really know what happened to that stingray last time something big swam over him. He may have had to fight for his life last time, and animals DO have a memory, so in terms of experience, not all stingrays act the same way.

We all knew Steve pushed and sometimes overloaded the envelope. It was why we watched.

But moreover, what about Terri and her two now-fatherless children? Steve should have factored his family into his life. But he was what he was. And Terri knew it, and bought into his life fully. She enabled his actions. Now the children shall not see their father any more. How sad.



Saturday, September 02, 2006


This is the most popular inmate in the entire Fornicalia Department of Corrections.


Friday, September 01, 2006


"Anybody seen Scooter?"

"Maybe we shoulda taken that left at Albequerque."


(After yesterday's post I needed to take a Chill Pill.)