Friday, November 26, 2004

Read the whole thing

Thomas Sowell channels Ambrose Bierce:

Most unlikely remake?

CNN just assured me that Dolly Parton has just recorded a version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven".

Yeah, I know Tom Jones did "Kiss" by Prince, Judas Priest remade Joan Baez's "Diamonds and Rust", and there's no telling what you'll hear on Muzak or the like.

Anyway, I'm looking for nominations for the most unlikely remakes. Can you top my examples?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Poor Mo

I wish liberals could make up their minds. One minute John Ashcroft is the guy who covers up breasts on statues, and the next he's having his Transportation security folks checking out Maureen Dowd's rack.

The fact is that MoDo is going to bitch as long as there is a Republican in the White House. And if there is another successful terror attack she'll blame it on the Republican administration's policies no matter what.

In particular, she may choose to ridicule "breast bombs", but in fact drug smugglers have used implants for drug smuggling.

Maybe our enemies ought to work on becoming journalists. Then they can try to ridicule us out of our security measures until we let down our guard.

Brand Democrats

Oliver Willis once was a reasonably respectable blogger. But he sold out to become a Democrat shill. Now he has created "Brand Democrat".

(Why is he working so hard at this? Could he be trying to live something down? For instance, could he have been named after Oliver North?)

(Then there's Oliver Hardy.)

Hubris applies the artwork appropriately here

Nice work, but IMO the original is still the best. Big image here, buy the shirt here.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Are these drugs safe?

Derek Lowe discusses drug safety here.

I guess you could say he's conservative:
I don't think that I'm alone in the drug industry as someone who never takes even OTC medication unless I feel that the benefits outweigh the risks, and the risks are never zero. I know too much biochemistry to mess around with mine lightly.


For ballroom dance professionals the Ohio Star Ball serves several purposes. Of course they can compete, with professional or amateur partners. But it's also a big convention where pros, amateurs and vendors can network and do business.

Of course it helps to be noticed, and one young professional I know had just the idea. She's very attractive to begin with, and then she showed up in some strapless bustier thing that was just enough for precarious containment of what I assume are 34B's. If she sat still everything was OK, but then someone asked her to dance a cha-cha.

It was fun to watch. A good cha-cha is fairly fast, and the women spend a lot of time turning with their hands over their heads. That doesn't work well if you're trying to stay decent in what she was wearing. Our heroine was all too aware of the problem, reaching down to stuff everything back in every chance she got. She would have lost the battle but for some adhesive pastie-like cups she had worn underneath.

Well, there's always next year.

The Betty Van Patter award goes to...

...whoever it was who killed Margaret Hassan.

(What words do we have for these people? Insurgents? Minutemen? No, let's call them "jihadis". Then maybe some day we can get people to associate jihad not with holy war, but with the wanton feral slaughter of defenseless, harmless older women.)

No, I never met Margaret Hassan, and if I had we probably would have disagreed passionately about many things. In particular, she opposed UN sanctions in the misbegotten belief that they, rather than Saddam Hussein's spending priorities, were causing problems for Iraqis. No doubt Christopher Hitchens could come up with much more, like he did with the late Mother Teresa.

But I can't help but respect someone doing what Margarat Hassan has done for Iraqis for the last years. She didn't bug out with the expats - she considered herself Iraqi. Unlike the many other expats (and who knows how many Iraqis) who have been murdered by "jihadis", she had been there all along and in no way could have been considered some sort of profiteer or even a collaborator.

So she stayed around in Baghdad to be kidnapped and to die degraded on videotape.

Not there too

Several of us from the same studio were eating dinner at the Ohio Star Ball when someone mentioned something I had already noticed - a number of the better male dancers were wearing fairly large labels on their jackets. I hadn't been close enough to read them, but it turned out that the labels were deliberate advertising by sponsors.

About that time the devil whispered in my ear. So I proposed that the ads go the whole NASCAR route, and invited them all to picture the dancers with big Skoal or Red Man ads on their backs.

You never heard a conversation stop so fast in your life. The looks of horror were priceless.

The fact is that competing at dancesport is expensive, and the prizes aren't exactly huge even for the top pros. The competitions aren't exactly money machines either from what I can tell, so any added money from sponsors or patrons is a huge help. A couple of common sponsors are Capezio and Chrisanne.

But really, there's something about an ad which clashes with formal wear. It makes the dancers look like they're part of the hotel staff. Surely we can do better than this.


I just got back from spending the past week at the 2004 Ohio Star Ball. It's like nothing else.

One of the odder things I saw was on the last day of competition and many of us were leaving. I was riding in an elevator at the Hyatt Regency Columbus when some others got on. One volunteered something about going home to a "blue state", in a tone suggesting he'd been playing Jane Goodall for the past week in red Ohio. Someone else seconded the concept as the elevator opened to the lobby.

I couldn't let that pass, but wasn't particularly inspired - I just said something like "I'm a red stater, I'm proud of it, and I'd vote for Bush again" as the others left. I didn't chase them down to argue with them, but I'm sure I left them shaking their heads.

I know I shook mine. What is it about these people that makes it so important to let people know where they stand? Apparently they think they're superior and demand recognition of this, but why?

Thinking about it later, I wanted to say something like "we red staters are the ones who feed, clothe, shelter, power, and defend the rest of you. We are the sources of physical and moral capital that make this country what it is and can be. Kill off the blue staters and that would be a setback. But without the red staters the blues would starve in weeks". (apologies to William Jennings Bryan).

Anyway, I'm guessing that the blue stater expected solidarity because of the nature of the event - surely there wouldn't be any NASCAR-loving red-staters there!

If so, he sure wasn't paying attention. The winners of the professional American Smooth were Ben and Shalene Archer Ermis from red Tennessee, and they'd won the year before too. The event has been held in red Ohio from its beginning almost 30 years ago because that's the home of organizer and former Blackpool competitor Sam Sodano. And on Saturday night during a break in the finals they announced the retirement of one of the best American Rhythm couples ever, Dan Rutherford and Nicole Carroll from red Indiana.