Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Well, Whaddaya Know!

You Are Most Like George H. W. Bush
You're considered boring by people that don't know you well. But like Bush senior, you do crazy things. Maybe you'll end up banning broccoli in your house, or puking on the Prime Minster of Japan!
What Modern US President Are You Most Like?

Tagged II

Tagged II

This time I am giving my own answers to the Petitedov tagging. You are warned that some of the things I say may turn out to be true!

A- available or single? – Married and unavailable

B- best friend? Money! Just kidding. There’s Gene, Michael, Jordan, Steve, Craig, etc.

C- cake or pie? Cake. Chocolate cake.
[Here I am in total agreement with my son. I would, however, like to add rum balls and raspberry chip brownies.]

D- drink of choice? - Well, I drink a lot of water! That said, I’m not too picky. Bonefish Grill had this pomegranate martini that I found interesting.
[“Water is bad enough in your shoes! For what do you want it in your stomach?”
-- Old family saying, poorly translated]

E- essential item I use every day: - The parking pass

F- favorite color? – Well, I seem to own a lot of blue

G- gummy bears or gummy worms? Not any of those two
[Here again I agree with my son]

H- hometown? Northern Virginia, but grew up in Maryland and born in New York City

I- indulgence? Milkshakes. After I munch a lactase enzyme pill

J- january or february? January. Because I haven’t gotten sick of winter yet, and because it’s my wife’s birthday (whereby I can buy her a present cheaper)

K- kids and names: Ilana (which we didn’t use because we have two boys), Nathan, (which we didn’t use because my wife didn’t like it), Evan (which we didn’t use because I didn’t go for it). Feel free to use these names if you want.

L- life is incomplete without? Project management. No, wait! How about . . . being able to see humor in almost anything.

M- marriage date: November 23, 1996

N- number of siblings: One younger sister.

O- oranges or apples? Oranges

P- phobias or fears? Vasovagal reactions.

Q- favorite quote? I have a few:
“Whereas a clock that stands still is right twice a day, a clock that runs backwards is right four times a day.”
“Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.”
“I think it is more exciting not to catch a large fish, than not to catch a small one.”
[The last one is attributed to Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (1893 – 1986).]

R- reasons to smile? I understand it's healthy for you.

S- season? Summer. I’m FOR global warming!
[If I sold t-shirts saying that would you buy them?]

T- tag: Theocon, Mike Antonucci, Tugboat Phil (what the heck is your blog?)

U- unknown fact about me: I bought my wife’s engagement ring four years before I even met her. That and I know the real fish story.

V- vegetable you don’t like: Beets

W- worst habit: Sarcasm. And too many remarks about fish.

Y- your favorite food? Fish. No, wait, I mean Chocolate!

Z- zodiac? Libra, or (metal) ox on the Chinese calendar

Monday, January 29, 2007


You may have seen the a - z list that has been tagging people on the blogs. Well, I've been tagged (by Petitedov), but I decided to let my six-year-old son answer the questions for now. So here's what he has to say:

A- available or single? – I’m six and still single and available. I put things away.

B- best friends? Abby and Ryan

C- cake or pie? Cake. Chocolate cake.

D- drink of choice? - Cherry soda

E- essential item I use every day: - The watch
[Daddy notes that he has a Batman watch]

F- favorite color? – black, because it’s dark

G- gummy bears or gummy worms? Not any of those two
[Same goes for Daddy]

H- hometown? Virginia, but born in Maryland

I- indulgence? Hugs

J- january or february? January. Because I don’t think it is snowy, and because it’s Mommy’s birthday

K- kids and names: I don’t know; I’m only six!

L- life is incomplete without? Balloons

M- marriage date: Probably when I’m around 24.
[Daddy notes that the good ones get taken early, and he better darned well marry a nice Jewish girl!]

N- number of siblings: One younger brother. I want to have four more brothers.
[Daddy adds that Mommy will not let this happen!]

O- oranges or apples? Apples, because they taste better

P- phobias or fears? Slides

Q- favorite quote? “Let’s go over the phonics book.”

R- reasons to smile? Cameras

S- season? Fall. It isn’t too hot, and it isn’t too cold.

T- tag: Mommy, Grandma, Aunt M.

U- unknown fact about me: I play Kitten Cannon
[Daddy provided the link]

V- vegetable you don’t like: Beans

W- worst habit: I make too many balloon jokes

Y- your favorite food? Chicken nuggets

Z- zodiac? Scorpio, or dragon on the Chinese calendar
[Daddy figured this out]

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Radio Not Roads Campaign

Hat tip: Below the Beltway

In response to a bill proposed by Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-37) to cut off State funding for public television and radio, several constituencies have started a “Radio Not Rails” movement. According to these groups, based mostly in Falls Church and Arlington, the citizens of Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun Counties should not mind being stuck in long traffic delays because “Listening to ‘Morning Edition’ or ‘All Things Considered’ is very educational.” According to sources in these organizations, once people listen to more state-subsidized NPR programs, they will be inclined to use bike trails, and thus, widening of roads will not be deemed critical.

Leaders of the groups issued a warning, however: “If it is found that drivers are listening to right wing hate radio, we will have to review our policy and possibly introduce other driving disincentives, such as potholes.” Asked to define “right wing hate radio,” the officials said, “We don’t know, we never listen. But we know it’s out there.”

The Senator did not respond directly to these groups, but a spokesman for a taxpayers' organization said that "in their typical fashion, Northern Virginia Democrats want to give everyone the Big Bird."

Friday, January 26, 2007

Elementary Thoughts IV

More important thoughts from my six-year-old son.

The world is big. The candles go up. The balloons pop. The books break. The speaker's here. That's all that I want.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Which Part of "Illegal" Do They NOT Understand?

From The Washington Times

OK, so FBI agents nab 24 illegal aliens at a 7-11 in Baltimore. Six had criminal records, and eight had deportation orders. These guys were smart enough to ask the agents for work. Hmmm, all vans are for construction companies, is that it?

The reactions in the news reports are interesting. The acting Mayor of Baltimore thinks that this is a justification for building day labor centers. Hey, it's not your money, right? How much would Baltimore's notoriously high crime rate might go down if you actually cracked down on lawbreakers? CASA of Maryland set up a protest at the arrest site.

Now in Virginia we have the right idea -- to eliminate as much as possible benefits to illegal aliens. Something tells me that CASA's budget would plummet at least 90% if that happened in Maryland! LOL Maybe then the tax dollars can go into something useful, like policing? Or back to the hard-working taxpayers (very few of whom actually live in Baltimore City)?

As I have said before, I am not anti-immigrant. The U.S. is one of the greatest countries in the world, and I can't blame anyone for wanting to live and work here. However, this does not mean that people should come here to be dependent on tax dollars and socila programs, and they should not come here to commit crimes. If you are here legally, fine, but if you are not a citizen, you are on probation as far as I am concerned.

So remember, if you are traveling down I-95, make sure your tank is full of gas, your tires are in good shape, and your engine fluids are topped off and not leaking. Use those fine highway tunnels (built by tax dollars paid by the citizens of other parts of Maryland and the U.S. in general) to go through Charm City. Because you don't want to stop there!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Stupid, Violent, Addictive Game

Kitten Cannon

My wife barely approves of my six-year-old playing this game, although it does enhance his mathematical abilities. ;)

Elementary Thoughts III

More wisdom from Ron's six-year-old son

Balloons go up. Hair looks messy. Light bulbs pop. Pictures fall. That's all that I want.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hillary Clinton Readies Attacks Against Kucinich, Others

Fresh off its attacks on Senator Barack Obama, leaked information from Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) campaign reveal that Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is actually an extraterrestrial.

“We’ve accumulated some interesting evidence against Kucinich,” said an unnamed Clinton aide. “First of all, he appeals to the conspiracy theorist base of the Party. He also attended a Mars-drassa, and his ideas seem to come straight out of Uranus. Lastly, we think we can hammer Kucinich on being an extraterrestrial by pointing out that he is from Cleveland.”

Other 2008 Democratic hopefuls are working feverishly to inoculate themselves against more Clinton spin machine attacks. The Clintonistas are believed to be combing the pages of Daily Kos postings to find accusations of Christianity, Judaism, or other unacceptable upbringings against potential Democratic opponents. “Once we find them, they are as good as crucified” said the Clinton aide.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Documentary Movie on Environmental Movement

Mine Your Own Business, playing in New York City on Friday, January 19, and in Washington, DC on Wednesday, January 24, 2007.

No role is listed for Al Gore. ;)

Global Warming Meltdown

There were two interesting items in the news today concerning the debate on global climate change. First, the Wall Street Journal had an article about how former Vice President Al Gore ducked an interview with a Danish newspaper:

Al Gore is traveling around the world telling us how we must fundamentally change our civilization due to the threat of global warming. Today he is in Denmark to disseminate this message. But if we are to embark on the costliest political project ever, maybe we should make sure it rests on solid ground. It should be based on the best facts, not just the convenient ones. This was the background for the biggest Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, to set up an investigative interview with Mr. Gore. And for this, the paper thought it would be obvious to team up with Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," who has provided one of the clearest counterpoints to Mr. Gore's tune.

The interview had been scheduled for months. Mr. Gore's agent yesterday thought Gore-meets-Lomborg would be great. Yet an hour later, he came back to tell us that Bjorn Lomborg should be excluded from the interview because he's been very critical of Mr. Gore's message about global warming and has questioned Mr. Gore's evenhandedness. According to the agent, Mr. Gore only wanted to have questions about his book and documentary, and only asked by a reporter. These conditions were immediately accepted by Jyllands-Posten. Yet an hour later we received an email from the agent saying that the interview was now cancelled. What happened?

Apparently, Al Gore never wants to debate anyone who has actually researched the topic of global climate change. The article also points out that:

  1. Al Gore claims that malaria is a growing problem in Nairobi, Kenya. His claims are contrary to World Health Organization statistics. In fact, malaria was a worse problem back in the 1920s and 30s, when average temperatures were cooler.
  2. Al Gore makes scary claims about the 2% of Antarctica that has melting ice, but ignores the other 98% that is getting thicker.
  3. He speaks of heat-related deaths, but conveniently leaves out that more people die of cold than heat.

The second item concerns how a Weather Channel climatologist is "advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming." Apparently, she has also featured an environmental activist (from Grist Magazine) who advocates "Nuremberg-style trials" for skeptics of global warming. I might add that Grist Magazine spread claims by former TV talk show host Bill Moyers that Christian conservatives want to accelerate global environmental destruction in order to hasten the second coming of Jesus. Moyers was forced to apologize to former Interior Secretary James Watt for misquoting him in this regard.

So what do we make of this? Well, these kinds of news items should tell all of us that global warming advocates are not really confident in their "science." They know they are relying on faulty data models. Believe me, I work in the environmental field and have seen just how environmental models need constant revision. Remember, "garbage in, garbage out" is a very appropriate way of looking at all this.

As the Wall Street Journal points out, adoption of the radical measures Gore is pushing will make us much poorer and do very little, if any, good. A lot of wide-eyed environmentalists think that we will be building a more compassionate world, but in fact the lives of many will be made more miserable. Of course, Al Gore with his millions of dollars, multiple mansions, and lots of SUVs won't feel too much pain.

Have you ever gone to a time-share sales presentation? The people who do this always embark in these high-pressure sales tactics because they know that if you walk out the door without buying, the chances are you will never buy from them. Well, I feel like we are being subjected to high-pressure sales tactics, and the snake oil salespeople do not want any competing points of view.

UPDATE: See comments by I'm Not Emeril and by Squeaky Wheel. Time shares are going going going . . . LOL

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Virginia AG Has the Right Idea

Hat tip: NOVA Townhall

McDonnell Calls for Immigration Enforcement Authority for State and
Local Police
-Legislation Carried By Delegate Tom Rust, Senator Jay O'Brien-
-Letter to Governor Kaine Attached to Release-
Attorney General Bob McDonnell today announced his support for legislation to clarify that Virginia localities can enforce federal immigration laws with the approval of The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Attorney General also urged Governor Kaine to reconsider his decision to not permit the state at this time to enter into an agreement with ICE to have Virginia State Police enforce those federal immigration laws in the course of enforcing certain state violent crime laws. McDonnell made the announcement at a morning press conference with Delegate Tom Rust (R-Herndon) and Senator Jay O'Brien (R-Clifton). Rust will carry the legislation in the House of Delegates as House Bill 2926; Senator O'Brien will carry the legislation in the Senate as SB 1045.

OK, so what's Governor Tim Kaine's mental block about this (besides the fact that he is a Democrat)? We are dealing with illegal aliens who have broken the law. We have seen in too many cities where the authorities flout the Federal government instead of helping out. No wonder there are crime problems, and no wonder a large percentage of them come from illegal aliens! I think a lot of problems in fighting crime and delivering social services come from poor coordination of information. At least we have an Attorney General in Virginia who understands our problems and how to fix them. Maybe Gov. Kaine should use his brain instead of his eyebrows.

Now look, I understand that the United States is a great country and many people want to live and work here. But earning citizenship means showing us that you want to be productive to society, not to commit crimes or consume social service benefits.

Remember, Sen. Jay O'Brien and Del. Tom Rust are both up for re-election this year, so let's support them.

Read the rest at NOVA Townhall.

Same Eyebrows, Different Cluelessness?

Hat tip: Ward Smythe

Read the whole thing.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Elementary Thoughts II

More thoughts from Ron's six-year-old son:

The sun is so big. The moon compared is smaller. Maybe the clouds are usually big. Usually the ocean is deep. The ants are small.

The balloons have air. Some balls have air.

That's all that we have.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Fearless Predictions for “24”

Inspired by IMAO

At the end of last year’s season, Jack Bauer was on a slow boat to China. Well, Jack manages to escape, jump off the ship and winds up lost. In fact, he is so lost, he winds up on “Lost,” on a totally different network!

Meanwhile, Jack the doctor is brought in to treat Jack Bauer. Jack the doc uses Bauer’s knowledge (while Bauer is delirious) to get off the island and get to CTU. The people at CTU are curious about the appearance of the new Jack, but they are told that being lost at sea gave Jack a good tan.

Doctor Jack is in a precarious position. He wants his friends rescued, but doesn’t want Jack Bauer to come back and reclaim this seemingly fun job. Besides, doctor Jack finally has a better choice of women, some of whom do not have a criminal record (and at CTU, Jack can look it up).

Meanwhile, back at the island, Jack tries to infiltrate the “Others.” During that time, the island is visited by strange men in yellow feather suits, a big orange furry blob, and a kindly old man in a cardigan sweater. Almost too late, Jack Bauer (with help from John Locke and the formerly-TV-addicted Hurley) realizes that these are Big Bird, Elmo, and Mr. Rogers! The whole crew on the island is about to be taken from their current purgatory to eternal damnation on Public Television. Jack goes into a state of confusion with so many changes of network. He then has to stop the Korean guy from defecting to the PBS crew since the opportunity to learn English is a powerful draw. He vies with Sawyer for Kate’s affections.

Meanwhile, back at CTU, one of the new programmers is able to backtrack doctor Jack’s journey and put it together with the story of the still missing aircraft from “Lost.” The White House gets involved because the Federal Communications Commission can’t resolve the conflict between two major networks. As it turns out, the Chinese Communists may be involved with PBS, thus making the lives of the two Jacks finally intersect again.

In Federal prison, President Logan rubs his hands gleefully. Revenge is going to be sweet, he is thinking . . .

Friday, January 12, 2007

Pelosi Exempts Girl Scout Cookie Manufacturers from Minimum Wage Hike

Stung by Republican charges of hypocrisy, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now claims she wants to expand the exemption to the minimum wage to manufacturers of Girl Scout Cookies. Speaking to journalists sandwiched into a Capitol Hill briefing room, a thinly-minted spokeswoman said that the Speaker was trying to promote opportunities for young women. She denied that Pelosi was trying to “butter” anyone up.

However, House Republicans became quite skeptical. Now, it looks like Speaker Pelosi has gotten herself into more trouble, as Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA) has pointed out that she has quite a fetish for “Samoas.” "The Democratic majority has demonstrated to the American people how they are unable to think outside of the box," he said.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Where Do I Sign Up?

A Virginia State Senator is proposing a bill to give children with disabilities up to $10,000 a year in educational vouchers.

The Tuition Assistance Grant Program for Students with Disabilities would give
parents money depending on the severity of their child's disability.
Grants would be available to families with students who
have spent at least one year in public schools by 2008.
"It's not an effort to compete with public schools,"
said Sen. Walter A. Stosch, Henrico Republican and the bill's sponsor. "It's
just a way for them to get specialized training that may not always be available
in a public school." Changes to the Neighborhood
Assistance Act would make permanent the $3 million tax-credit program, limited
to two years under the current budget, he said. The
program is expected to generate $9 million in private funds, later channeled to
private, nonsectarian schools serving the disabled, Mr. Stosch said.
In Virginia, disabled public-school students are taught
using individualized education plans, or IEPs, which are crafted to meet a
student's unique needs.

So wait, why are sectarian schools precluded from providing the same services? I mean, they may have very qualified people to deal with these kinds of students. Isn't that discrimination against religion?

Now I do understand the logic. Education of special needs students is quite expensive, costing many jurisdictions well above $10,000 per year. A private organization can likely do a better job than the public schools. Note how the union representatives quoted near the end of the article can't stand the thought that someone might do a better job than they.

A few years ago I read that the city of Washington, DC does send "special ed" kids to private institutions, often costing the city at least $40,000 per year. There was (and maybe still is) actually a waiting list for kids to be classified this way so the kids can get a better education. Knowing DC, the way it will turn out is like this: "The good news is that we can get your child into a private special ed program. The bad news is that this will take twelve years!" LOL

While we're at it, why is it only for students with disabilities? Why not give all of us $10,000 per year? Heck, I'd probably settle for less than that, and my property taxes would go down significantly! My oldest was in a religious preschool for two years, and he is blitzing through the reading material the public school kindergarten teachers give him. He is also doing an amazing job doing mathematical conversions (feet to inches and ounces to pounds) in his head.

It's almost tempting to coach my sons into having disabilities, but I would want to send them to religious day school. Hey, it's worth the cost of a few batches of my raspberry brownies, isn't it?

So how much can I make with this blogging? Enough to pay the religous school tuition?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Elementary Thoughts

Note to readers:

You may notice one of my links is to a web page called Commonwealth Conservative. This page used to host a caption contest, and I would let my six-year-old son comment on the pictures on the page (starting when he was five). He got some good honorable mentions and some notice in the Virginia blogosphere. So anyway, without further adieu, here are his thoughts for today:

The junior high school kids watch video games. The trees fall. Our house has a globe and then we have Hot Wheels. This is all!

Two Views of a Surge

Wall Street Journal article

Victor Davis Hanson in National Review Online

We seem to have heard a lot of “go” word” options recently: Go long, go deep, go wide, go home, and now, it seems, go smart. I seem to pick up a common thread of letting the fight against the terrorists be more aggressive, and to communicate success better. Now I admit to never having been in the military, but I can understand if those who are serving in Iraq are frustrated by rules of engagement that limit their actions.

One thing that has been very frustrating to me is the fact that the Administration does not do a very good job communicating successes. “What? There are successes?” a lot of people ask. Yes, it’s just that the news is buried in Department of Defense web pages or web logs devoted to the cause. Big, fat, hairy deal. The President needs to get out in front of that microphone and talk directly to the American people about how major milestones are being met, how we are helping the people in Iraq, and how we are wiping out terrorists.

Somewhere along the line the Administration will have to deal with Iran. Getting rid of the mad mullahs will go a long way to reducing the violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. As I see it, they can let the Israelis do damage to Iran’s nuclear facilities, we can do some ourselves, and most of all, we need to support the domestic opposition there. We learned in the 1980s that keeping enough pressure on the Sandinistas forced them to have an open and honest election, which the opposition won with 70% of the vote. That’s a good lesson for today!

Screw the French and Russians if they don’t agree!