Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Shock and Awe

Our brains are no longer conditioned for reverence and awe. We cannot imagine a Second Coming that would not be cut down to size by the televised evening news, or a Last Judgment not subject to pages of holier-than-Thou second- guessing in The New York Review of Books.

- John Updike

Monday, August 29, 2005


It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry compilations of my travels, which, by often rumination, wraps me in a most humourous sadness.

Wm. Shakespeare, "As You Like It"; IV, i, 16.

Wax Nails It

An old law school professor of mine, Amy Wax, takes on the root causes and effects of single-parent families in today's Wall Street Journal. (Unfortunately, the article is for subscribers only at this time.) In "What Women Want" Professor Wax takes issues with "left-leaning scholars" who "insist that family breakdown is all about economic opportunity." In essence, these social scholars explain the disparity in the incidence of marriage between economic and social classes thusly:
Expectations for marriage have risen across the board. A house, a well-paying job, and enough money for a nice wedding are now needed to tie the knot. But wages at the bottom have stagnated or declined, so few of the unskilled can afford to marry. The authors' message is clear: Out-of-wedlock childbearing is simply a matter of money. Raise economic prospects and the problem will fix itself. That objective is best addressed through government programs, not individual or community reform.
With a B.S. from Yale, and M.D. from Harvard and a J.D. from Columbia, Professor Wax has never suffered fools gladly*, and she quickly calls the scholars on the results of their studies of 150 Phildelphia unwed mothers.
Nice try, but it misses the mark. The explanation is at odds with what these women say: Men's antisocial behavior, not their modest earning power, is the main obstacle to matrimony. The complaints are not of insufficient potential income, but of drug use, criminality, financial irresponsibility, violence, poor work ethic, defiant attitudes and, above all, flagrant sexual infidelity. That most boyfriends had children by other women was a source of great mistrust.

This is no different from other portraits of urban family life, such as Jason DeParles's "American Dream" and Adrian LeBlanc's "Random Family." The men in these books also openly reject sexual fidelity and flout the most basic standards of male responsibility towards their women and children. The women respond by seeing marriage as an impossible dream. These are not stories of rising expectations. Rather, these women want what women have always wanted: men who are steady, faithful, considerate, and industrious. What has changed is men's willingness to live up to these age-old standards. Indeed, Ms. Edin and Ms. Kefalas tacitly acknowledge this: They describe the one man who comes closest to displaying the traditional bourgeois virtues as "the neighborhood equivalent of a Rhodes Scholar."
The explosion of single-parent families among the urban poor is not a result of economic status, Professor Wax tells us. Rather, the qualities that make for economic success and orderly families, "foresight and capacity for self-governance," are no longer present at certain levels of society following the the "demise of clear standards" that resulted from the sexual revolution. The higher the level of education, the lower the incidence of single-parent families.

At bottom, Professor Wax is simply stating what should be common sense in any society:
Wise behavior can secure economic well-being. Men and women who stick together, stay out of trouble, and work steadily are rarely poor, and their children surmount poverty as well. Public money and policy gimmicks are no substitute for good conduct.
How simplistic! Clearly, the good Professor has lost it. I mean, what are we supposed to do? Say "just say no to pre-martial sex?" Tell people that having babies out of wedlock is a sure ticket to low income status? In short, talk to them as if they were children? Come to think of it, yes. That's exactly right...and beyond the will of this society. Sadly, until we can figure out as a society how to fund "good conduct" so that our esteemed politicians can get re-elected, I am afraid that such helpful lessons will be confined to the social class where they are already part of the curriculum. But that doesn't mean we have to piss our dollars away in the meantime, either.

*In the interest of full disclosure, as a newly minted first-year student in Prof. Wax's Civ Pro class, your host once found himself on the wrong side of the Socratic Divide. The words "Thank you, mr. rdr. We're all much stupider for your remarks" mark the low point of my law school experience. I hated her guts and livers, but I have always admired her brain.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Catagory 5 Moron

Here's the headline:

Hurricane Katrina Now a Dangerous Category 5 Storm as It Heads Toward New Orleans Area

Here's the warning:






Here's the moron:
"The only dangerous hurricanes so far are the ones we've been drinking," said Fred Wilson of San Francisco, as he sipped one of the famous drinks at Pat O'Brien's Bar. "We can't get out, so we might as well have fun."

Well, Fred, you are in for a surprise. I knowthat San Francisco isn't hurricane alley and all, but somewhere you just had to have learned that 160 mile an hour winds and 25 foot storm surges are dangerous, especially when you're below sea level. But I'm surethat you will find the experiece exciting.
What's really fun, Fred, is the days following a storm of this magnitude- no power, no water, no food, and no sewage, except that floating past you as you attempt to avoid the balls of cottonmouth snakes and fire ants rafting down the streets of the Queen Cityas you search for shelter. Hey, remember those pictures after the tsunami? Yeah, like that.

But enjoy your cocktail in the meantime, Fred. We'll be watching for you on TV.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


In Response To A Rumor That The Oldest Whorehouse In Wheeling, West Virginia, Has Been Condemned

I will grieve alone,
As I strolled alone, years ago, down along
The Ohio shore.
I hid in the hobo jungle weeds
Upstream from the sewer main,
Pondering, gazing. I saw, down river,
At Twenty-third and Water Streets
By the vinegar works,
The doors open in early evening.
Swinging their purses, the women
Poured down the long street to the river
And into the river. I do not know how it was
They could drown every evening.
What time near dawn did they climb up the other shore,
Drying their wings? For the river at Wheeling, West Virginia,
Has only two shores:
The one in hell, the other
In Bridgeport, Ohio. And nobody would commit suicide, only
To find beyond death
Bridgeport, Ohio.

-James Dickey


No Comment

Friday, August 26, 2005

Fidel Castro Is A Lying Pig

That just needed saying.

Ladies and gentlemen, today's excercise in doublethink

Cuba blames US for deaths of migrants missing after boat capsize at sea

HAVANA (AP) (3rd item)- Cuba on Friday blamed the U.S. government for the deaths of 31 people who authorities believe perished in the Florida Straits when their overcrowded boat capsized during an apparent smuggling trip to the United States.

"We blame the United States for the deaths of 31 people, almost certain that all have died," Cuba said in an official statement published on the front page of the Communist Party daily Granma.

It said the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, which allows Cubans to apply for permanent residency if they reach U.S. shores, is the "principal stimulus for illegal migration, as well as a gross violation of migration accords signed by Cuba and the United States in September of 1994."

The U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday suspended its search for the missing Cubans, three days after three other people were rescued Sunday by a merchant vessel north of Matanzas, Cuba. No one else was found.

The survivors, two women and a man, were being treated in Cuba for burns and dehydration after five days at sea.

That's right folks. We're guilty as hell. The United States is nothing more than an "attractive nuisance", maybe even rising to the level of a "dangerous instrumentality." Plainly, the freedom and properity we enjoy here is attractive to those imprisoned in Fidel's Socialist Paradise. Why else would people leave their homes and families and venture forth upon a darkened ocean? And surely that same lamp of liberty is inheremtly dangerous to Fidel's ability to maintain control over his subject people. It's all our fault.

Screw you, you filthy bastard. I am truly sorry that these people didn't make it over your moat. But I hate you for it. The blood is on your hands.

New Shiny Thing Updated

Butterfly Wing Scales

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Pigs Arriving At Concourse D, Gate 7

Russia Says Its Companies Did Not Violate Sanctions in Iraq Oil-for-Food Program
The Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian diplomats told members of a commission investigating alleged abuses of the U.N. oil-for-food program Thursday that Russian companies did not violate sanctions against Iraq while participating in the program, the Foreign Ministry said.

The commission members, led by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, met with Foreign Ministry officials during their third visit to Russia while investigating the scandal-tainted humanitarian program.

The Russians told the commission that "our companies, as they have officially informed the Foreign Ministry, acted in strict accordance with (U.N. sanctions against Iraq) and with Russian law," the ministry said in a statement.
Oh! These companies, as they told the Russian authorities, complied with Russian law! I am completely placated now! I mean, after all Russian law is completely reliable and free and, you know, all those things that Judge Roberts might not be. Al Capone said he paid his taxes, too.

Russian companies and individuals were heavily involved in the U.N. oil-for-food program, which allowed Saddam Hussein's Iraq to sell oil to pay for humanitarian goods despite the U.N. sanctions imposed on his country after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Investigations have found that Saddam manipulated the program to obtain illegal revenues and try to influence officials and political figures in foreign countries, particularly those with veto power in the U.N. Security Council, such as Russia and France.
Oh no! Not France! They ride bicycles in France. I saw it on TV!

Russia has criticized U.S. reports that alleged Russian involvement in the machinations, and companies and individuals involved have denied wrongdoing. The ministry said commission members also met with company representatives during their visit.

Meanwhile, OJ is still looking for the real killers, and yes Virginia there is a Sanata Claus.
His name is Kofi.


The Hawaiian legislature is taking on the soaring price of gasoline in a classicly misguided manner. The Democratically controled body has decided that "greedy fat cat oil companies" are to blame and that the only way to rein them in from "gouging" the state's residents is by ***wait for it*** price caps!!!!

Yes, folks, that old tried and true formula is back again. Feel the nostalgia! Carter! Nixon! Hammurabi! Price caps have a proven track record. They fail every time and wreck the economy. HWat are they thinking out there in the middle of the Pacific? Malia Zimmerman has an idea.

So why bring back price controls more than 30 years after Nixon tried them and failed miserably, causing shortages, rationing, inflation and an economic crisis? It's hard to find a reason, other than to retaliate against the big oil companies, namely Chevron, which many Democrats tried to punish unsuccessfully in court.

Made up primarily of liberal Democrats with no economics training, no business background, an open disdain for the free market, and a lust for price caps (except on state taxes), lawmakers say they have to "do something" about the high price of gasoline. (Groan...Ed.) Never mind that oil prices have skyrocketed everywhere thanks to increasing demand in the world market and rapid growth in China and India.

Led by Rep. Hermita Morita and Sen. Ron Menor, who delivered lengthy speeches on punishing the "greedy" oil industry, the Democratic majority passed a version of the bill in 2002. Sen. Paul Whalen, much to the horror of his Republican peers, helped introduce the measure.
Hmmmm... I've heard this argument somewhere before. How to explain?
Brian Barbata, a jobber for Molokai and Lanai, fought against the proposed legislation, telling lawmakers they're just plain wrong about the causes of higher gas prices. "High prices in Hawaii are a myth," he says, "perpetuated by the media to the level of urban legend." Mr. Barbata believes Hawaii's sky-high gas taxes (the highest in the nation) are driving up prices. Maui County, he explains, has the highest taxes in the state at 60 cents a gallon, compared with 29 cents a gallon in Alaska. "Subtract the associated taxes and you will find Hawaii is not out of line at all," Mr. Barbata says.
Hmmmm... high gasoline taxes are to blame? I've heard that argument before too.

Let's see how Hawaii's gas prices compare to the Nation's.
Hmmm...I think it may be a little of both. Hawaii appears to have had higher prices for more than just a few months back. That looks like it could be a combination of higher wholesale prices and higher taxes. Yep.

Let's do the math.
As of November 2004:
National average of federal and state gasoline taxes = $.44/gal.
Hawaii average gasoline taxes = $.572/gal.
Difference = + $.132/gal

Current National average gas price: $ 2.603
Current Hawaii average gas price: $ 2.846
Difference = + $ .24.3/gal

So if it were only gasoline taxes, then gas in Hawaii should only be about 13 cents higher than on average (understanding that Hawaii prices are thrown into the national average as well, thus skewing the National average higher).

Let's check another state...mine:

As of November 2004:
National average of federal and state gasoline taxes = $.44/gal.
Virginia average gasoline taxes= $.374/gal
Difference = - $.066/gal

Current National average gas price: $ 2.603
Current Virginia average gas price : $ 2.553
Difference = - $.05/gal

Hey! Where'd that extra 1.6 cents/gal go? I'm getting ripped off by the greedy oil companies!

In reality, gas costs more in Hawaii because it all has to be imported. N'cest pas? And in fact, since last September, the price of Hawaiian gas has only gone up 50 cents a gallon, while its jumped more than 70 cents "nationally." Are you sure price controls are a good idea?
Despite dire predictions, Hawaii's Democrats are putting on a happy face. House Speaker Calvin Say recently told the Honolulu Advertiser that despite the possible rise in prices, the gas cap legislation should go forward. "We should give it a chance to see how it goes," he says.
Oh, brother.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

We Call It "I-Pod"

News From KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY of DPRK(Democratic People's Republic of Korea)

1/f Fluctuation Treatment System Pyongyang, August 23 (KCNA) --
The newly developed 1/f fluctuation treatment system has proved successful in clinical practice in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

It, developed by the Medical Appliances Institute under the Academy of Medical Science, was highly appreciated at the 8th national show of scientific and technical successes gained in the public health sector held from August 1 to 10. The computer-aided system, the third generation of body-stimulating treatment system, is based on the principle of 1/f fluctuation common to the natural world and the living body. It controls labor pain and homeostasis.

The 1/f fluctuation system with sound effects of famous songs gives impetus to the part of disease and thus treats patients while they feel pleasant and comfortable. The system is applicable to the treatment of various kinds of neuralgia including brachialgia, sciatica and backache, insomnia, autonomic imbalance, hypertension, stress, etc.

It has no side effect in comparison with the existing electro puncture appliances and physiotherapist appliances using direct current and low frequency, high frequency, ultrasonic waves and microwave.

Years of clinical test over some 1,000 patients show that 80 percent of them have recovered their health from insomnia, autonomic imbalance, hypertension, brachialgia, sciatica, backache and other diseases.

The rest must have escaped.

Could it be???? Wing?

What Passes For Discourse

AS part of a mildly heated topical discussion I had with a certain mildly neo-liberal Yankee fan the other day, the subject was raised as to the level to which political discourse has sunk during the Bush administration. The crux of my argument (which is psuedo-scientifically proven below) is that the left doesn't discuss, it SCREAMS. Oh sure, I'll conceed Pat Robertson's latest idiocy as an example of an loose cannon far from the republican mainstream. But then Robertson doesn't head a political party like that pinacle of stability, Howard Dean.

The problem, however, goes beyond the rantings of the stooges you hear in the news. It's on the blogs, in the chat rooms and in the letters to the editor. Any attempt to cogently discuss a political subject is shouted down by the most inane retorts from those whose sole apparent purpose in life is to hate George Bush. My case in point: The following is the entire set of letters published in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle in response to a recent article about Bush not visiting San Francisco. See if you can spot the arguments being made.
Dueling views of Bush refusal to visit S.F.

Editor -- Regarding the front-page article, "Bush keeps S.F. at bay" (Aug. 21): There are many reasons why President Bush has not visited San Francisco. The least reason is because of protesters.

President Clinton visited the city 23 times, and always was greeted by protesters, and rightly so -- as would President Bush. The real story would be if there were no protesters to oppose the president or his policies.

Fifty-thousand San Francisco Republicans, thousands of independents and even Democrats would welcome Bush if he should visit San Francisco.

Those with family members in the U.S. military, who are defending America and the right of all citizens to protest, would especially welcome him.

San Francisco Republican Party

Editor -- President Bush has no problem sending thousands of young men and women into harm's way for his illegal war in Iraq. But he is too chicken to visit San Francisco.

Well, Bush is not welcome here because of the crimes he is perpetrating on humanity. And he obviously can't handle being faced with the truth.

San Rafael

Editor -- Why would this president feel obligated, when he has much more important places to visit?

A presidential visit is an honor -- and it used to be a thing of honor in this city -- but as former San Francisco Mayor and present Sen. Dianne Feinstein (herself a Democrat) points out, "This is not the city I grew up in."

A city that would refuse to berth the battleship Iowa is no place for the president of the United States to visit. A city that quietly deports the homeless, prohibits guns but allows sex clubs to fester and operate 24 hours a day -- a city where more teachers are fired and more schools close and the population dwindles -- is not a special place for Bush.

A city that makes it its business to make sure gentrification proceeds unchecked and minorities are forced out by outlandish taxes and fees, and where city employees do not even live in the city, is not a special place.

San Francisco has become unfriendly to Americans, and to San Franciscans. It is being effectively turned into an amusement park for outsiders. Nothing can stop this, short of a Republican revolution.

This is not our father's San Francisco.

San Francisco

Editor -- It is no mystery why President Bush refuses to visit San Francisco. He hates us for our freedom.


Editor -- Why should President Bush come to San Francisco? The local media give no credit to his tax reductions restimulating the economy and creating 4 million new jobs. Officials give no credit for his No Child Left Behind program helping improve the test scores and education of our schoolchildren.

He gets no credit for his homeless program contributing to the improvement of our homeless situation. And the Board of Supervisors insults the history of this country and its military, denying the battleship Iowa a place to let citizens better understand the history of our Navy.

No, he should not come. I am happy to see him in Washington, D.C., and Crawford, Texas.

San Francisco
Ok class, which writers discussed why President Bush might not want to take time out of running the world's largest free republic to visit San Francisco? Which writers offered nothing but invective? What does this tell us? Why am I not worried about the left anymore?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bikini Discounts

Having just returned from the beach where my daughters and their friends attracted all sorts of attention for their remarkable ability to cram their entire bodies into swimsuits no larger than a cigar wrappper, I find this story a bit unsettling. It seems that a South Korean beach town in a desparate attempt to lure scantily clad women (and thereby ogling men) to their shores is advertising a 10% discount to any woman wearing a bikini, or guy wearing a Speedo. And it's not working.
"Since it's called Bikini Beach, we thought we should give visitors an extra incentive," said Gang Heung Ueon, a spokesman for Buan County, sitting at a beachside fish restaurant specializing in clam porridge and raw cod.

A poster of a bikini-clad woman in the restaurant explained the new incentive, in effect since July 7: "Show off your bikini! Get a 10 percent discount on top!"
Call me old-fashioned, but I'm not really all that interested in a 10% discount on raw cod. What other incentives have you got?
In Seocheon County, directly north of here, "Amenity Seocheon" is the motto used to advertise the region's unspoiled wilderness. The county also proposed a dog-eating festival for lovers of the meat, which is considered a delicacy in Korea. That's not going to get me into a Speedo, thank you very much. How about some entertainment?
The beauty contestants, still in their one-piece swimsuits, showed off their talents. A few sang. One would-be flight attendant gave airplane information in Korean, Japanese and English. Another walked suggestively around the stage. An especially tall contestant danced a sexy dance, towering over the M.C., who compared her to an eel.
Now you're talking. Nothing gets the old motor started like a stewardess in a one-piece explaining how a seat belt works. And the eel woman sounds pretty slippery too. But I've got a better idea: Free Beer. It never fails.

As a side note, I'm still digging out from vacation, so pardon me if I'm absent for long stretches.
Have a free beer on me.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Home Again, Rested

The Beach Boy (click for larger)

Friday, August 12, 2005

To The Beach!

Maybe I'll come back.

In the meantime, play nice.

The littlest rdr in 2003.

We Only Hurt The Ones We Love

Click me for a special greeting...

Have a spanking good birthday!

The girls.

From Harden, who has no idea what Spd is kicking...

And from all your friends...

New Shiny Thing Updated

Meet Bob, the Copier Repairman.


* Happy Birthday Pat Metheny

And We're All As Stupid As You

"We regret that many people have misconstrued our recent advertisement about Mr. Roberts' record," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

"Unfortunately, the debate over that advertisement has become a distraction from the serious discussion we hoped to have with the American public," she said in a letter Thursday to Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who had urged the group to withdraw the ad.
Oh shut up.
You got caught.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Come On, Irene!

I just want to cry.
But big boys don't cry.
So instead I want every body in Georgia and South Carolina to statr blowing as hard as you can towards the ocean. Please keep it up until at least a week form Saturday.


Uncivil Servant

What with Florida almost consistantly dominating the dumbass-in-the-news segment at Heigh-ho, California must have been feeling neglected. How else to explain this award-winning defense in response to being charged with molesting 14 teenage girls?
A former Department of Motor Vehicles driving instructor who said he was driven to grope his female teen students because of a phobia of being in a car he wasn’t driving himself was sentenced to two years in jail today....“He said the stress of the job brought out the evil in him,” Wagstaffe said.
Of course! I've been in the same position! Why just a few weeks ago I was sitting in the passenger seat of my boss's Lexus while he drove at high speed through a savage downpour all the while talking on his cellphone. I don't have to tell you what was running through my mind.

Yep. Hot sex.

I was thinking of his pink blubbery bod sitting just inches away from me, and the urge to reach out and fondle his man-boobs was nearly overwhelming. It was hell, I'll tell ya. The only thing that kept me from doing something I probably would have regretted later was the overwhelming fear of impending death. It's a buzz-killer for sure.

From now on, I'm driving the damned car. It's safer that way.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I'm Getting A Bad Feeling About Next Week

Don't even think about it.

Where's MoDo?

Maureen Dowd pops up in the New York Times this morning after a long absence, and I am left scratching my head. While her column is predictably anti-Bush, it is eerily subdued. None of her trade mark childishness peeks through. No "icky ca ca doo doo" talk. No far out fantasies about Dick Cheney being Darth Sith (she only once refers to "Bushies"). No "little lost girl in a big man's world" coyness. The whole piece is pretty straightforward and adult-like.

What's going on here? Was she abducted by aliens who replaced her with a look-alike android? Is this the result of a forced intervention/deprogramming by Karl Rove? Or did she simply stop by the Betty Ford Clinic for a few quick ones?

I've got no idea. But the new MoDo is going to be a lot less fun to poke sticks at.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Bloody Outrageous

This is unf***ing believable:

Cuban Agents to Get New Trial

MIAMI (AP) -- A federal appeals court threw out the convictions and life sentences of five accused Cuban spies Tuesday, ruling that they did not receive a fair trial because of community prejudice and extensive publicity.
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ordered a new trial after agreeing with the arguments of defense attorneys about the 2001 convictions. None of the jurors was Cuban, but the defense argued that prejudice against Fidel Castro and his communist government runs high in Miami.
Hello? "Community predjudice?" What the living hell kind of a reason is that for tossing out the convictions of five of Castro's spies? Of course there's community prejudice against Castro in Miami and just about everywhere else in the country except moonbat alley. For chirssakes the man's a freakin' murdering dictator who throws his critics into jails for 20 years at a clip. "Community predjudice?" SO WHAT?

Also overturned was the murder conspiracy conviction of ringleader Gerardo Hernandez. He was also convicted for his role in the deaths of four Cuban exiles shot down by Cuban MiGs in international airspace in 1996, an event that sparked widespread condemnation.

All five Cubans were convicted in June 2001 of serving as unregistered agents of a foreign government. Evidence showed that two of them targeted U.S. military installations from Key West to Tampa and the ring spied on Cuban exiles....
The five were the only ones who went to trial after they were indicted in 1998 as part of the 14-member Wasp Network.

Cuba has made the five a cause celebre, featuring them on a Web site and issuing a CD of one spy's jailhouse poetry set to music. Free the Five committees were set up in several countries.

Beautiful. Murders and spies go free and Castro laughs his ass off.
What a f*cked up mess.


You can read the decision here.

Val Prieto's got lots more at Babalu blog.
Check out the comments.

Welcome Home

Well done, Discovery.
Stand down.
Liberty call.

Monday, August 08, 2005


I rode motorcycles for nearly 25 years before my last wreck was almost the end of me. Mrs. rdr kindly informed me that if I got another bike she would kill me before it did. I still miss motorcycling terribly, but I am resigned to the fact that I can't ride like I used to (damned reflexes) and I won't "cruise" the boulevard on some junk wagon with a beer gut and a phony weekend tattoo. Anyway, this story drives me plain nuts:

Motorcycle Deaths Up After Helmet Law Repeal, Federal Study Shows

MIAMI (AP) - A federal study has found motorcycle fatalities in Florida increased more than 81 percent, and the number of deaths for riders younger than 21 nearly tripled, in three years after state lawmakers repealed a law requiring riders to wear a helmet.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study also found injuries have become more expensive to treat. The average hospital cost to treat a head injury was $45,602, more than four times the $10,000 insurance non-helmeted riders are required to carry. ...

In the three years before the July 1, 2000, repeal of the helmet law, 9 percent of the 515 motorcyclists killed in crashes were not wearing a helmet. Of the 35 motorcyclists younger than 21 killed in crashes during those three years, 26 percent were not wearing helmets.

In the three years after the repeal, 61 percent of the 933 fatally injured motorcyclists were not wearing a helmet. Of the 101 riders younger than 21 who were killed in those three years, 45 percent were not wearing a helmet....

Head-injury hospital admissions rose 80 percent and the cost for hospitals to treat head, brain or skull injuries more than doubled, from $21 million to $50 million, according to the study.
Not wearing a helmet is one of the stupidest things a rider can do. I've been listening to the "helmet laws suck" crowd for decades talk about "their right" to go lidless and their psuedo-science argument how if you came down on your head in just the right manner, the helmet could break your neck. Maybe that's so, but at least there'd be a open casket for your loved ones. I've heard all the arguments that a helmet won't save you at speeds over 13 miles per hour. Could be, but I've slid on loose gravel and dumped the thing going 5 miles an hour. If it wasn't for my helmet I wouldn't be here ranting today because my head would have split open like a ripe grapefuit and there was no one for miles around to find me. I also took a tumble down a road at sixty when some idiot in a van decided that his own lane wasn't big enough for him. I broke my collar bone, my leg, both my feet and left a couple of square yards of skin on the asphalt. Thanks to my full face helmet, however, my face and noggin were still in pristine condition. Lesson learned. You ride long enough and sooner or later you are going to hit the ground...hard. It's always quite a surprise.

Some people just don't get it, however. From a companion story in the Miami Herald (*&%$#&@ registration required):

But James ''Doc'' Reichenbach, a lobbyist for the motorcycle group that successfully lobbied legislators in 2000 to lift the helmet requirement, said the federal agency is biased against helmetless riders. He said the increase in deaths can be largely attributed to the increasing popularity of motorcycle riding.

''It's the same old rhetoric. There's nothing new here,'' said Reichenbach, a lobbyist with the Florida chapter of American Bikers Aimed Toward Education, which believes bikers should be able to choose whether to wear a helmet. ``They could tell me that the sun is shining, and I wouldn't believe them; I'd have to look.''
This is a perfect example of why you should never trust anybody who goes by the nickname "Doc." He's probably not too bright. May we have the figures, please.

The report suggests that some of the increase in motorcycle deaths can be attributed to increased ridership in the state -- but even when that factor is taken into account, the non-helmeted fatality rate per 10,000 registered motorcyclists increased from 0.7 fatalities in 1998 to 6.1 in 2002, the report says.
Way to spin, "Doc." But then maybe if you were an emergency room physician trying to put some kid's head back together instead being a lobbyist who refuses to believe "them" your own head wouldn't be stuck so far up your a$$. Then again, if I was the lobbyist who pushed for a bill that appears now to have contributed to an 81 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities, I wouldn't admit I was wrong either. Instead I'd probably go live in a hole and pray for forgiveness. And by the way"Doc," who's picking up the extra $35,000 in medical bills? How about the cost for long term care? We know who, don't we Doc?

That's all I'm going to say on the matter.
Please boys and girls. Don't listen to these jackasses. Put on your lid.

Bad Idea - Edited Version

Anyone who's not named "pinhut, dueller to the death,"* probably thinks that high-resolution pictures of nuclear facillities is a bad idea these days. Certainly the Aussies do after these some very revealing pictures of their atom-sparking plant at [deleted] an undislosed location were posted by [deleted]a big irresponsible internet company. I like [deleted] the big irresponsible internet company well enough, but let's talk dumbass for a moment. Why are we feeding those who would like nothing more than to destroy us the damned plans for our destruction? I don't know about you, but I am very nervous about giving those who care nothing about life, their own or any others, the freakin' key to the city of death.

[deleted]Big irresponsible internet company, my old friend, this is plainly irresponsible, undefensible and perhaps suicidal. If some Islamic nut-job flys a plane into the [deleted] reactor and it's established that he took his bearings from your directions, expect (1) the worst of political reprecussions and (2) the mother of all lawsuits. You're way out on a limb here, and as you're publically traded now, dudes, Elliot Spitzer will be on your ass like white on rice. By God I'll help him, pro bono.

Fix it now, [deleted]big irresponsible internet company, or expect big doings at your next stockholders meeting.
This is sheer idiocy.

P.S.: On a friendly note, I sure hope your accounting is in order.

*Given what you've got mate, this is clearly a losing proposition. May I suggest checkers?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Something Stupid

Okay, so the week's almost completely down the drain anyway.
Why start being productive now?
Here. Go play with something stupid on your boss' time.


What can I say? The internet is a very scary place, sometimes.

Shiny Thing Updated

Out Of The Panhandle And Into The Fire

Meanwhile in Florida news....

Panhandle Sports Fan Gets Death for Killing Wife After Sex
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) - A man who said he was angry with his wife because she nagged him to cuddle after sex while he wanted to watch sports on television has been sentenced to death for killing her with a claw hammer.
Christopher Offord, 30 received the sentence Wednesday from Circuit Judge Dedee Costello, who said the brutality of the killing outweighed any mental health issues.
"The defendant struck his wife approximately 70 individual blows after spending a happy interlude with her," Costello said. "Her desire to cuddle after sex does not justify the extremely violent, brutal response of the defendant."
Man! Talk about your activist judges!
Panhandle Prisoner Gets Life in Anthrax Threat Against Bushes
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) - A state prison inmate has received a federal life sentence for threatening President Bush, his brother Gov. Jeb Bush, and government employees with anthrax in a letter mailed to a courthouse. The letter contained white body powder.
Roger V. Evans, 51, also was ordered Wednesday to undergo mental evaluation and treatment. Evans protested that he was mentally competent and said he would keep sending threatening letters in an effort to change the state prison system's mailing rules.

"It's very easy to mail whatever you choose at any time," Evans said. "I'm here to correct rules, and if I have to get life after life after life sentences, fine. I've got a mission."
It's good to have goals, Roger. But I really think that that may be the dumbest defense... ever.
Evans, already serving a 50-year state sentence for robbery, armed robbery and escape, pleaded guilty in December to federal charges of mailing threatening communications, assaulting, resisting or impeding federal officers and threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction against federal property.
Say, I thought you said you were in prison to correct rules?
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Swaim told U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers that Evans compounded his crime last week by sending the prosecutor a letter threatening him with botulism. Evans' lawyer, Chris Patterson, removed himself from the case before the sentencing because he, too, had received a letter from his client threatening him and his family.
Always a good idea to threaten the prosecutor and the family of your own lawyer. You're not too bright, are you Roger.

Swaim argued Evans' real motive was to get transferred from Washington Correctional Institution at Chipley to a nicer federal prison, which Evans disputed. In any case, it won't happen for a long time. Rodgers ordered that Evans begin his federal sentence only after finishing his state time, not expected before 2030.
Well, at least you have something to look forward to, Roger.

Evans claimed the state fabricated escape and robbery charges in 1982 to cover up his real crime - an assassination attempt on President Reagan.
Oh for heaven's sake! Get the net!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Everybody Out Of The Ocean

Angry Dolphins Strafe Beachgoers, Take Coronas

Costa Rica Prohibits Swimming With Dolphins, Whales

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) - Costa Rican officials are prohibiting people from swimming with dolphins or whales, shutting down a growing tourism industry that has been criticized, an environmental group said Thursday.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Future Current Events

Government Gives Blessing to Manless Merger *

WASHINGTON (AP) - Crystal ("Bambi") Hardmaker's acquisition of Stacy-Anne C. ("Buzz") Moore got the go-ahead from the Federal Weddings Commission on Wednesday as the deal to create the No. 3 largest lesbian commercial marriage in the U.S. moved a step closer to final approval.

With the FWC's unanimous action, the merger awaits approval from the Justice Department.

The FWC said the deal "will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity, and that the likely public interest benefits of the merger outweigh any potential public interest harms."

The new couple would have more than 40 million online customers and $40 billion in annual media revenue. It would represent a strong competitor to Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson, the market leaders.

Shareholders from both sides of the family/aisle approved the merger last month.

The combination would give Hardmaker access to Moore's 15.3 million subscribers, many of whom are registered as "Anonymous businessman." In return, Moore would avoid a costly lawsuit involving its own network, Boeing, Dailmer-Benz Goldman Sachs, The Puppy Place, six goats and a round of parmesian cheese , the details of which were inadvertantly published on the little known weblog, "Heigh-ho"(pronounced "hay-ho") just last week.

Officials have said there will be some layoffs. (hee-hee. Ed.) The combined marriage is expected to service around 60,000 "visitors," which is about equal to the current Hilton and Anderson "visitors."

The new Hardmaker-Moore Corp. plans to spin off Hardmaker's local telephone response services as its own business early next year. That would form what would be the fifth-largest local telecommunications sex company in the U.S., with 7.6 million access lines in 18 states.

Rival postal competitors Victoria and Victoria's Secret could not be reached for comment. The American Civil Liberties Union, however, has vowed to fight the merger based upon the government's use of the term "blessed" in conjunction with any lesbian marriage, unless such rights are condoned by the government, in which case it's okay...unless it isn't, which case the ACLU vows to fight to get such unions blessed by the government as long as there is no actual "blessing" involved.
I now know why the Russians drink vodka.

*This is parody. Swallow it and read Swift.

A Mouthful

CRICKET: Jayawardene's aggressive 94 fashions Sri Lanka's four-wicket victory over India
DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka (AP) - Mahela Jayawardene smashed an aggressive 94 not out to help Sri Lanka bounce back from the brink and clinch a four-wicket victory against India on Wednesday in a limited-over tri-series.
Chasing India's modest 220 for eight from 50 overs, Sri Lanka slipped to 95 for six before Jayawardene's unbroken 126-run eighth-wicket partnership with No. 8 Upul Chandana (45 not out) spurred it to 221 for six in 48 overs.
Defeat was staring Sri Lanka in the face before Jayawardene unleashed his strokeplay that stunned the accurate Indian attack and clinched Sri Lanka its third straight win in the current tri-series. India has won one match and lost two, while the West Indies have suffered defeats in both games.
Okay, I don't have a clue what any of that meant, but I think if Manny Ramirez was caught "unleashing his strokeplay" in the seventh inning of a Yankees-Red Sox game he'd probably get suspended.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Lost Time

I just spent about two hours on a post that I wound up deleting because it was just too inflammatory and politically insensitive. I tried to tone it down, but it just didn't work.
What a pain in the neck.

So you go read the story.
And remain calm.
It really can't be that stupid at university.
Can it?

Dosvedanya, Booby

Russian Foreign Ministry Says It Will Not Renew ABC-TV's Permission to Operate

MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it will not renew permission for ABC-TV to operate in the country after the network broadcast an interview with a notorious Chechen warlord.

In a statement, the ministry said ABC would be considered "undesirable" by all Russian state agencies because of an interview with Shamil Basayev, which was broadcast last week on "Nightline."

The ministry called the broadcast a "clear fact supporting the propaganda of terrorism" and said it "resounded with direct calls for violence against Russian citizens."

As a result, the ministry said it decided "not to renew the accreditations of employees of this television company after they expire."

The Foreign Ministry is the main government agency authorizing foreign media outlets to work in Russia, and the decision effectively now bars ABC from working here.

ABC News had no immediate comment.

There's a war on!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Wha? You Got A Problem Wit Dis Tattoo?

Jeremy Shockey may a jerk, but he's my kind of jerk.
Get bigger. Get stronger. Get better. And fly the Flag.

I'll take two of him and you can have the rest.

I'll bet HE'S not hiding a cell phone under the goal post.
I smell victory.