Saturday, February 07, 2004

Thanks to for the amusing graphic.
This post is just to say that people who don't agree with me can go to hell. That is all.
Kerry bringin' the heat!

Yeah, I too have an American SUV (Ford Escape) and a European car (VW Passat). Sure, the Escape is kind of a wussie SUV, but that didn't stop an enviro-weenie from trying to put an "ask me what I'm doing for the environment" bumper sticker on it once.

That outrage against SUV's has more to do with the relatively affluent part of the population that they are associated with (wrongly) rather than any actual merits of the vehicle. Full size pickup trucks get equally bad mileage as big SUV's but you won't hear the Sierra Club complaining about those. Why? They are viewed as "working class" vehicles, and therefore it would be politically incorrect to criticize them.

The so called environmental movement is just a thinly veiled anti-capitalist movement, and should be treated as such.

The "made in USA" crowd can eat it too. I'd actually PREFER to buy an American car, as long as the American offerings are equal or superior to their imported counterparts. I know my cars, and I do a lot of research when I buy. When I bought the Passat, the closest American competitor was the Ford Taurus. Anyone who has ever driven these cars knows there is no comparison between the two. I'm not going to buy a piece of crap just to support one of the biggest leeches on the US economy, the UAW. Thankfully, American cars are getting a lot better, but so are the imports. Their fortunes will improve as a direct relation to the quality of their vehicles.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Just thought that I would post that now Tom and I will officially piss off everyone. We are purchasing a Saab 9-5 and our other vehicle being a Ford Expedition should take care of it. We're gas guzzlers bent on hurting the environment (Ford). We don't support American jobs (Saab). We're elitists (both)!

Of course it doesn't matter to people like the one that I saw the other day at our local grocery, an old, rusty, falling apart Volvo with Jonathan Carter and Dean stickers on it. Yeah, you're green, you emit about 50 times the amount of emissions that my Expedition does. Oh, I use more gas, maybe that is made up for a bit by the fact that I can fit 8 people in my car, so I actually, yes, you guessed it, CARPOOL, saving the gas that would have to be burned by the other people picking up their kids from school.

Oh, and you are right, I DON'T support spending my hard earned money on something unless I am convinced that it is the best VALUE for my money. I don't support underachievement. And by the way, all of you that voted in the 8 year/80 lb limit on kids in booster seats, you are the REASON that I own an SUV, so quit crabbing. You are of course the same voters that are so concerned about "the children" and natural resources, but maybe you don't realize that three booster seats don't fit properly across the back of any car on the road. Oh, I must be overpopulating if I need three booster seats right? If I were, it wouldn't be any of your damned business (insert key phrase:) AS long as I'm not asking you to pay for it, but just to remind you, I'm car pooling.

Which way do you want it?
Does anyone really care what these clowns think, eh? The lower that number the better in my book.
I just love the headline of this article over at NRO today:
Victor Davis Hanson: Saddam Hussein was, in fact, a WMD. 02/06 8:37 a.m.

Here's the article on the top ten "free markets" in the world.

In order:
1.Hong Kong
3.New Zealand
7.Great Britain
10.United States of America

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Here's another reason that privatized schools work better:

Today, I got a call from my son's school stating that he had been involved in an incident at recess that left him with abrasions and bruising on his cheek. I was told to check with his teacher, both she and one of our invaluable school "secretaries" (read nurse, fill in teacher, and any other thing needed) had been on the "scene" when said incident happened.

Here's the story. My son, a first grade student was out at recess with the rest of the first and second grade students. One of the second grade students threw a chunk of ice, and it hit him right in the face. When my son's teacher caught up with the boy that threw the ice, she asked him what he had to say and he was silent. She waited until he finally said, "well, I didn't mean to hit him". At this she said, "whether you meant to or not, the fact is that this (points to my son's cheek) is the result of your actions". "You broke a school rule, and you showed disregard for other students." "You will miss recess for the next two weeks, and you will write one hundred lines of "I am sorry that I hurt you." Now I can see how some people might think that a bit harsh for an unintentional injury, for playground antics. However, our school has very clear rules about outdoor conduct (indoor as well for that matter).

I am willing to bet anyone the amount of their choosing that had this happened at one of our two local public elementary schools, my son would have gotten a "go get some ice dear" and that would have been the end of it. Though that would have been a fine ending for my son, what about for the other child involved?

In this case there is a child that has learned that there are consequences for actions, even when the hurt that they cause may have been unintentional, that you must think before you act. Ultimately, that we are all responsible for every action that we take. When this kid has a boss someday, he'll benefit from the writing of those lines. Ultimately, accountabilitiy makes for better members of society, and true self esteem in a child.
Our boy Kim lays down a lovely rant on religion.

Man, I want to go drinking with this guy.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Take a look at Cavalier X's Guardian post on Jan 31st titled "Headlines I'd like to see". I know some of you that will find certain parts of this hilarious.
There is no perma-link so you have to scroll down through Feb 1 post, which also has its merits, and has attracted "Robert the Troll from Canada" in the comments section.
This is another obscene abuse of American tax revenues. We better charge Mafia style interest on this loan. You know that this debt will end up being "forgiven" or we'll cave and make it interest free.

The lack of a fiscally conservative candidate in the coming election is truly maddening. This is why people don't vote. I'm thinking of writing myself in on the ballot in November.
How in the world can people not see that this guy is a political nightmare, if not all of the other things that he is:

His latest dumb quote from NRO's Corner:
except: "We won the non-New England part of New Hampshire"...this is Clark, now.

"The non-New England part of NH?" How does he suppose this is going to make the rest of proud New Englanders feel, particularly when none of those states have had primaries yet? We're up next in Maine and it should be amusing. No doubt it will be Dean, Clark, or Kucinich coming out as the winner, gotta love the Maine loonies.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

‘lo all. In case you somehow managed to chew through my Sunday Feb 1 entry here’s a little update on the story.

Well, in case you didn’t make it Sunday, the People’s Republic of Wallonia (Belgian inbred frogeaters) granted Ryanair, in exchange for using its starving Charleroi airport the following:

• a 50% reduction in landing fees
• a 1EUR/passenger fee on ground handling assistance
• a 4 EUR/passenger fee to help Ryanair finance its advertising costs and ticket prices
• grants worth several (4?) millions of euros as start-up benefits

So now the European Commission has ruled that Ryanair has to repay up to 4 million euros of the support it got from PRW. Note that throughout Europe other cheap airliners are harming flag carriers and “serious” carriers with insanely low prices made possible through state-funding and that the Ryanair case may be a precedent for ending this kind of practices. Note too, that two other low fair companies, Bransons Virgin and Easyjet, who do not benefit from sugardaddies, carry banners on their planes with “no subsidies” on it. As it should be.

Now you guys, I guess the article on the EU’s Competition Branch suing Microsoft for the embedded Media Player probably got you shaking your heads again on the EU, and you know what? You’re probably right, in that case the EU's Competition Branch is likely overreacting. But the Ryanair case shows that it’s not all that bad, IMHO. There are worse things, e.g. spending on a Fruitcake Lab in Anchorage, heh heh. Or was it in Maine??? Memory is resembling an Emmenthaler cheese these days....
We've hit this one pretty hard here at DowneastBlog, but here's another look at the Bush administration's out of control spending policies.

We need to stop this insanity now, because this stuff won't go away once it gets passed. I've been hammering our Maine congressmen and senators over this. No replies yet, and no surprise either.
Here's Thomas Sowell with a look at special interests. I'm especially glad to see that Sowell points out the effect that exorbitant jury awards are having on the cost of health care.

Ironically, (unless you're a Democrat) John Edwards believes the cost of health care in America is too high, but spent the majority of his career making it that way as a trial lawyer.

Monday, February 02, 2004

I saw this on The Corner:
To All Kucinich Supporters: New York City Friends of Kucinich will be holding a group meditation and visualization for the Dennis Kucinich campaign. This will occur at 8:15pm on Wednesday, January 28th.

The intention of the meditation will be to create the energy pathways needed to give the Kucinich vision and everyone who aligns with that vision a voice in America and the World and to attract the prosperity and resources to do so.

At 8:15pm EST find a quiet space alone or in a group...Place your hands over your Heart Center and align your Heart and your Voice with the vision of the Kucinich campaign. Set an intention to reach out to others, especially possible supporters of the campaign. Spend five to ten minutes in this space. Close the meditation with a statement of gratitude.

If you are unable to participate at that exact time, then find a time as close as possible to 8:15pm that evening and set your intention to tune into the group, sending your thoughts and energy either forward or backward in time.

We hope as many people as possible can participate. Remember Dennis' belief in the interconnectedness of all living beings. So be it.

ok - that is it - I'll wait to hear back from ya...

peace and blessings,


Kim Brooks Wei
New Jersey Coordinator,
Kucinich for President
NJ website: www.njforkucinich

Sunday, February 01, 2004

This is all I have to say to the Carolina Panthers.
On Kerry's post on the EU's Competition Branch's proposed fines on Microsoft:

I read it Kerry. I was actually unaware that this case was going on. I understand the EU Commission?s Competition Branch argues that because Windows supplies its OS with an embedded Media Player, software suppliers of other Media Players have trouble competing. So basically it?s the Microsoft Explorer/Netscape Navigator story again. Since that litigation battle was fought within the US I don?t think the EU?s Competition Branch can be criticized on its principal grounds to open up a similar case in the first place. But, since for as far as I know, and apparently Scott is of the same opinion, other Media Players have no problem operating under Windows. And so it looks to me that maybe the Competition Branch shot itself in the foot.

Even so, since I assume that this particular EU body has brighter minds on its payroll than your servant it might be interesting to hear their story on the compatibility issue. In short, I don?t think the EU?s Competition Branch in this matter acted no different from the US Justice Department a few years ago in the browser case ? but yes, it may be overreacting.

However, don?t throw away the child with the bathwater as they say over here. The EU Commission?s Competition Branch IS generally doing a good job. And honestly, when it?s mentioned in the newsreels over here it?s typically because it is scrutinizing some deal between a national government and a company where gross state-subsidies are involved: actually the Competition Branch is fighting these practices ? which are diametrically opposed to free market mechanisms, and which have been so common in Europe over the past decades.

Let me give you just one example: the Ryanair/Charleroi airport case. Ryanair is an Irish low cost carrier offering inter European flights at incredible prices; I think you could compare it with ValuJet in the US (does it still exist?). Anyway, they offer flights like Brussels/London for, say, 9.99 EUR (I kid you not!!!). Well, since 1997 they operate the airport at Charleroi, 45 minutes to the south of Brussels. Charleroi, a former industrial town which has one of the highest unemployment numbers (and crime rates) in the country, was so eager with the prospect of additional jobs that it sought the Wallonian Region?s support in persuading Ryanair to invest heavily in its underused airport. The Wallonian Region and BSCA (Brussels South Charleroi Airport) awarded Ryanair a 50% reduction in landing fees, a 1 EUR/passenger fee on ground-handling assistance, substantial (millions of euros) financial support in start-up benefits as well as 4 EUR support per passenger to reduce Ryanairs advertising costs and ticket prices?. A typical example of how socialist (communist?) Wallonia is running its business. For an excellent article on the subject click here.

And a somewhat more digestible article can be found over here.

Well now, the European Commission' CB is expected to announce its findings on the Ryanair/Charleroi deal on February 3.
If the Competition Branch has its way, Ryanair will have to repay at least part of the unlawful support from the Wallonian Region. Really, mostly the CB acts in favour of fair competition. I may keep you updated on the ruling.

For those of you with a fair share of time, find out more on similar 2003 cases here.

...........Tom, what kind of dictionary are you using? I checked out "BWEEEEUUUUUAAAAARRRRK" in my Dutch/English dictionary and in English it should read "BRROOOOOOOOOAAAAAAARROOOOOOOORRRK! Splash!!!"

To be fair, I thought another EU enormity would have caught your attention: namely, the EU Commission?s willingness to end the weapons embargo against China.

How ?bout that? Can I now quote Mr. F*cking Human Rights Champion Pr?sident Jacques Chirac, He Who Cared So Much For The Welfare Of The Iraqi People: "Respect for human rights is a necessary condition for the development of modern societies and economies. I know that this is one of your priorities." Adressing Hu Jingbao on hist state visit to France, a brightly red lit Eiffel Tower in hte background. Click here, if you please.

His conscience thus silenced, Mr. Chirac will now do his utmost best to weigh in on the European Parliament (read the CNN article: Parliament is opposed) to lift the arms sales ban come Spring. I must say that I was rather disappointed with President Bush?s harsh remarks against the Taiwanese government when President Chen Shui-bian suggested the referendum on independence and against hundreds of Chinese missiles pointed at the tiny island state. I guess that's what they call Realpolitik. This Chirac however bakes the cake brown? Never mind that the majority of Chinese is living in appaling conditions... HR are violated on an unsurpassed scale... the commie Chinese are violating virtually every accord made with the British on the existence of democracy in Hong Kong... I can now really understand your fears of a France-dominated EU. I can only hope the soon-to-be entry of 10 new member states will dilute France?s influence even further.

And now back to the Super Bowl! Have a nice Sunday yet!
Welcome February! A short month, even on a leap year such as this, that will hopefully give us more snow and less temperatures in the negatives here in Maine (please!).

On Super Bowl Sunday, with the team that Mainers root for "The Pats" in the bowl, I'm going to blog about televised sports. First of all, call me unAmerican but I do not like football. I'll watch it if I'm at somebody else's house, and even turned it on to watch the Pats win their first Superbowl victory in years, but that's the extent of it. Televised sports have lost their appeal to me. I watched every Celtics game when I was 10-15, during the years of Larry Bird, Parish, McHale, et al. There was nothing better than a matchup between the Celts and the 76ers at the time. Michael Jordan was an amazing athlete, but he changed the game of NBA basketball forever. Now it is all flash and no team play. No intelligent working the court in the same way that it used to be. Hockey has degenerated as well. We watched the Bruins when I was a kid. Sure, there was checking, and there were occasional scuffles, but it was about the game, not the barely held in check, boiling under the surface desire to physically get engaged with somebody that is there now. And then there was football. The guy catches the ball in the end zone, gets over the line for a touchdown and does a victory dance. As if the guys that set up the play weren't as much a part of that, as if the guy that threw that perfect pass wasn't integral to the occurence of the touchdown.

That is the one thing that I will say impresses me about the Patriots. Who can forget when they insisted on being introduced as a team and not individual players. That's the kind of spirit that gets you to the big games, even when you aren't the favorites. And that's the kind of spirit that when you lose allows you to rise above.

Baseball has had it's share of change as well, but it is still my favorite if I am going to a game. I love the comraderie in the stands, the hotdogs and popcorn, the cheering and chatting. Nobody there is dying for a fight or waiting for somebody to bash somebody else. Baseball to me represents what I love about American sports. Teamwork.
I watched a re-run of David Kay's testimony before the Senate armed services committee on CSPAN yesterday. I came away very impressed with Kay and the manner in which he conducted himself. Of course, this hearing was just an opportunity for the senators to try and squeeze a soundbyte out of Kay to further their respective agendas. In the segment I watched, Kay deftly handled attempts from Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton to get him to repeat various anti-Bush mantras, without ever losing his composure. It was fun to watch a group of career politicians try to crack someone who was smart, confident, and apparently devoid of a political agenda. Kay is a scientist, so he lives in the world of facts. Since many of these senators aren't interested in facts, it was as if they couldn't even hear him when he repeatedly corrected their assertions. The attempts to shape his testimony were so impotent that it made me wish that there were more people like Kay representing us and fewer people like Kennedy and Clinton, who's intellects are so tied up in their own political agendas that they never get applied to solving the actual problems of society.