Saturday, September 18, 2004

Kerry's Campaign: Incompetence? Or Conspiracy?

Do you really need to read the rest to figure out the answer? Conspiracy Planet lets the rest of us in on what the cognoscenti already know.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Her again

Once a kid gets to a certain age his parents are a source of acute embarrassment. For most of us that stops at some point, and we notice that the old guy who was so stupid when we were 16 sure has learned a lot in the years since.

I never knew the late Army 1st Lt. Seth Dvorin. He was killed in Iraq earlier this year trying to disarm a bomb.

My guess is that people who disarm bombs are dedicated individuals. The kind who might be embarrassed if someone made a huge fuss over their chosen occupation, because they were doing what they thought was right. If so, well, at least Mr. Dvorin is beyond embarrassment now, and can't see how his mother has been using his misfortune. Woman wearing 'President Bush You Killed My Son' T-Shirt disrupts first lady's rally

UPDATE: I'll leave the above as is just to remind me to pay attention when I hit the Draft button the next time. But I had to include a link to her latest. Hint - she doesn't like George W. Bush.

Success secrets from Barbara Walters

I'll let Big Arm Woman tell you about it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

There's a CBS News watcher born every minute

P. T. Barnum might say that if he were around today. You might recognize the name from Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circuses. Unlike a more modern corporation I could name, Barnum didn't have to give his product away - he could get people to pay to see BS.

No circus was complete without a collection of oddities to display, and in 1869 a real whopper was found in Cardiff, NY - the Cardiff Giant.

Barnum saw the marketing potential of this huge object and tried to buy it for his circus. No sale. OK, Barnum had a Cardiff Giant of his own created and toured with it instead. There's no word on whether he billed it as "inauthentic but accurate".

Whoops, it turned out that the original was a hoax. No problem - Barnum just started billing his version as the "real fake". See it in this link - it's the one that appears to be made of black rock.

There's also no record of Barnum saying anything like "I think the public understands that powerful and extremely well-financed forces are concentrating on questions about the giants because they can't deny the fundamental truth of the story". Of course the existence of fake giants would not prove that there never had been "real" giants. But it's truly perverse, seeing what it cost to create the fraudulent statues and the gain to be had from displaying them, to suggest that the people who proved them fake were the ones who were unscrupulous. Perhaps Barnum had more respect for the intelligence and sophistication of his audience than Dan Rather does.

But keep trying, CBS. Perhaps one day you'll make it up to Barnum's standards for accuracy.

Is President Bush manipulating terror warnings for his political benefit?

A discussion here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


It was dark, I was young and I was somewhere secluded and comfortable with a heretofore friendly young lady. The moonlight was very flattering to her skin tones. Romantic that I was, I sought words to capture the scene.

And what came out was "you look better in the dark". With charm like that, who needs contraception?

But we all foul up that way once in a while - even professionals. Woundwort offers examples


I have a lot of Depression-era relative still around. You can always tell these people. Saving the foil, twine, paper bags, margarine tubs, etc. Of course they often have small living spaces, and they never really do ever use the stuff they save. But to throw the stuff out? - that would be irrational. By the standards of their time, anyway.

Now we have Stuart Buck, a very sharp man, reviewing economic behavior in Atlanta in the early part of this century. He concludes that the actors were irrational.

Per his post Atlanta, or at least its Chamber of Commerce, decided to become a haven for "satisfied, intelligent, contented Anglo-Saxon labor". As a marketing strategy that might have been 100% rational at that time. If consumers liked it better, then they were the irrational ones, not the ones who gave them what they wanted.

It's fair to assume that this initiative, driven by the local Chamber of Commerce, was at worst perceived as a long-term investment at the time. We know that the companies in the examples incurred greater costs. What we don't know is if this increased expense resulted in increased profit. If not, I'm guessing those new white guys quietly started disappearing, fast.

Putting delivery boys in uniform isn't so strange by contemporary standards - it provides security bona fides and presents a consistent image to customers. That they should be white, well, people commonly believed strange things about black male sexuality then too. So the delivery boy thing might well have been completely rational.

(I helped deliver furniture for a major Atlanta department store in the late 70's, and most of my coworkers were black. They all wore uniforms. One old black guy had been at it for 30+ years, and he always kept a big empty plastic bottle in the back of his truck. I had to ask...well, that was one bathroom he knew he could use.)

Why did the hospitals demand the blacks back? Blacks were commonly thought of as caretakers and cooks et al. Aged whites likely to be found in the hospitals of the time probably preferred receiving intimate attention from blacks like they probably had in their youth. Being cleaned up by "equals" would have been humbling, but by those perceived as inferior? - well, you don't chase the dog out of the room when you take your clothes off, do you? And the blacks got the same money they had been getting before when they came back - the administrators seem to have gotten their rationality back in a hurry if they ever lost it.

In short, although the behavior certainly isn't acceptable nowadays, I conclude that at best Mr. Buck fails to make his case that the behavior was irrational.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Good grief!

You might recall how badly Zell Miller has been dog-cussed by the Dems for his speech. Sure, I can see how they might feel betrayed. But all the crap about "fascism" et al - what's going on?

IMO it's because he dared associate John Kerry with his votes. Kerry certainly hasn't shown any interest in doing so. Either he isn't proud of his record or he knows damned well that the rest of us (outside that asylum called Massachusetts) won't like it.

So what do the Dems try next? If you've read any blogs over the last several days you know about CBS and the apparently forged documents suggesting misconduct by George W. Bush 31 years ago. IMO even if the documents were authentic they wouldn't have amounted to a hill of beans, but....

Now what? Oh yeah, apparently Bush's campaign literature made an errant claim about his military service.

No, not in the current campaign. Back In 1978.

Oh yeah, it's damning too: "Flyers distributed to Texas voters during Bush's failed Congressional race say 'he served in the U.S. Air Force and the Texas Air National Guard.' But according to Air Force officials, Air National Guardsmen are not counted as members of the active-duty Air Force."

Now there's a major distinction for you. You'd think that if the Air Force had tried to activate him, he could have escaped by saying "No way, I joined the Reserves!"

I'm certainly in favor of accuracy, and if this turns out to be true it's regrettable.

But if the Dems think this kind of chickenshit will harm George W. Bush in the minds of sentient beings, especially 26 years after the fact, desperation simply isn't adequate to describe their position.

Leno, Letterman et al. isn't for everybody, except for their collection of one-liners from late-night TV. Follow the link for a bonanza.

My favorite was "Did you read this strange story – a woman was caught trying to pass a counterfeit $200 bill that had a picture of George W. Bush on it. Turns out there was also a John Kerry bill. It’s pretty realistic. Kerry’s on both sides."

Expert: Dan Rather Exaggerates Military Record

Heh heh.

Via Glenn Reynolds.


CBS News after Dan Rather.

Maybe he'd come clean about his favoritism, anyway.

Sean McCray is back

He disappeared for quite a while, but now he's back at Next Right.

Stem cell progress, no thanks to embryos

"An Italian boy has been cured of a potentially lethal form of anaemia by a new type of stem-cell therapy, using cells from the placenta of both of his recently born twin brothers, the health ministry said on Monday."

I d4c U?

Rebecca Blood, who unfortunately can't be trusted with sharp objects like Occam's Razor, cites this about SMS divorces in Malaysia.

How did you rate?

Attention to all of you Republicans who rented some feminine attentions in NYC during the convention - an alleged NYC escort has a few words for you.