Friday, June 27, 2003
I may be able to check email down there, but I don't know if I'll be able to blog. I don't have a fancy laptop with WiFi installed - I'll have to make do with Dixie cups, strings, and RAM chips.
See ya later, agitators!
- Ann Coulter
- Michael Savage
- Rush Limbaugh
I'll give you Michael Moore as a head start.
And I'm not talking about liberal idealogy, as whacked out as it can be to the far left - I'm talking about those in the public eye who are as nasty, just bad human beings in their relations with others these are. Someone who would say this:
"My only regret with Osama bin Laden is that he did not manage to kill every member of the Wall Street Journal editorial staff." (link)
"Savage intimated in a broadcast on Disney-owned KSFO-FM, that the possibility of forcible rape was a reason why female high school students might find it exciting to feed homeless people in San Francisco's inner city." (link)
No new Bleat.
No new Instapundit.
The children wander alone, lost in the wilderness. Alone, bereft, starved for their daily input.
Whatever shall we do...whatever shall we do?
Looks like somebody has to take up the slack!
FRI! Another sunny day in the great historic state of Minnesota. Jasperwood seems lively with just the sound of Gnat running around, saying cute and funny things. She walked up to me earlier and said, "Dadda. Want worl pees!" "Equil rites - all peeples - gooood!". I think we have a budding statesperson in our midst, if she can just stop pulling Jasper's tail.
I watched an obscure 50-year-old black-and-white Sci-Fi film on DVD last night and was stunned by the clarity of it. I also tried to Tivo "E.R" but the connections to my system have gone bad - have to go to Target tomorrow for replacement parts. That Target has everything.
Spent another 3 hours piecing together my home movies on the iPod. We'll be heading over to the Apple store, too, while we're out. Gnat wants to try her hand at hacking into the CIA mainframe from the store.
I hear how downtown Minneapolis is preparing to demolish that old building, the one that was built in the 1920's out of asbestos, sheet rock and bits of string. I'll need to remember to pick up some chains at Target so I can attach myself to the building. It's a one of a kind, and there will never be anymore like it. If I can remember the name, that would make the experience complete.
I've added more matchbooks, more obscure recipes - heck, I've added the entire Google database to the site. Enjoy!
Oh, look - the latest Apple catalog just came in the mail. I think I can get a couple of other parts from the Apple store to permanantly hard-wire my mind to the computer, and Bleat by telepathy! Whoda thunk it...
How cute...Gnat just invented warp drive! That scamp. Combine that with the cure for SARS she came up with last week, and she will surely have a bright future. More tomorrow, after I correct her matter-antimatter imbalance.
Thurmond dead at 100
Former Republican Sen. J. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, the longest-serving member of the upper house of Congress, died Thursday at the age of 100.Indeed. (posted at 08:37 AM by Glenn Reynolds)
House, Senate Pass Medicare Bill
In a victory for President Bush, both houses of Congress (search) approved sweeping Medicare (search) legislation early Friday to give seniors a prescription drug benefit while creating a broad new role for private insurance in the government-run program.Heh.
UPDATE: Indeed. (posted at 08:36 AM by Glenn Reynolds)
'Miracle heart pill' for all
Everyone over 55 should take a 'miracle pill' which could cut their risk of having a heart attack or a stroke by 80%, researchers say.
As they say, read the whole thing. (posted at 08:35 AM by Glenn Reynolds)
The pill would combine aspirin, a cholesterol lowering drug, three blood pressure lowering drugs and folic acid.
Patients would have to have an initial check-up from a doctor before they were prescribed the pill.
It is estimated one in three people could gain up to 20 years of life without a heart attack or stroke through taking it.
A 'polypill' should never be a licence for people to lead unhealthy lifestyles
Sir Charles George, British Heart Foundation
The pill could cost less than a pound a day, and cause minimal side effects.
Volunteer Tailgate Party is Online
Be sure to take a look at this stunningly crafted, magnificently compiled artistic example of investigative journalism I've ever seen.
Sorry I missed this one last week - and from my own blogger collective! (posted at 08:34 AM by Glenn Reynolds)
There - isn't that better?
Thursday, June 26, 2003
Blogger...fixed?Is it just me, or has the permalink problem with Blogger been fixed?
There's a new posting interface, and it no longer has an area for reindexing Archives (that I can see), and I've added the previous two articles without disrupting the links.
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Turnabout, Like it or NotBill Hobbs makes the usual noise about Dick Gephardt, and adds that there's a silence from lefty bloggers on the issue - unlike the uproar against Trent Lott. Gephart said:
"When I'm president, we'll do executive orders to overcome any wrong thing the Supreme Court does tomorrow or any other day.Bill, and others around the Right side of the 'sphere, seem to attach great significance to Gephardt's statement as if it were part of his platform or official policy, and as if it were a definite campaign promise. I see it as an offhand comment during a discussion session at a candidates forum with other Democratic candidates and partisans. His comment was of the, "If that guy comes around here again, I'll kill him!" or "Everybody at my office is an idiot!" or "If I don't get this promotion, I'll kill myself" variety. It's bravado, it's hyperbole, it's playing to the audience. Nothing more. People do this all the time - their tongues get the better of them, and they say something they know probably isn't true or that they can't deliver on. But they go on, and we go on, because most people know it's so ridiculous he couldn't actually be serious.
Was it dumb? Sure. Was it ill-advised? Probably, although it likely got a rousing ovation from the crowd. Was it as bad as Trent Lott's pro-discrimination comments regarding Strom Thurmond? Not in the same ballpark.
And since the righty bloggers have all the time in the world to make hey of this...well, you know, it beats reading more about how Hillary is the anti-Christ.
Bill also criticizes South Knox Bubba's contention that Bush has said some dumb things, too. I agree with Bill that they were mostly in the Popeye "pronunskiation" variety, but then he says this:
"Stopping Bush has become the Left's only organizing principle."Dare I remind everyone that from 1992-2000, stopping Clinton was the Right's only organizing principle. Period. It had nothing really to do with policy, idealogy, opinions, whatever. It was stop Bill Clinton at all costs because He Is A Threat To Our Power. And it culminated in a politically created and motivated impeachment. I'm not saying what the Left is doing is correct in criticizing Bush, but Republicans have nobody to blame but themselves for any political backlash the president is receiving, has received, or will receive at the hands of liberals. What goes around comes around, and paybacks are hell.
And it continues today, 2 years after after Clinton left office - he's criticized for taking speaking engagements, hosting a talk show with Bob Dole, and daring to show his face in public. And let's not even talk about the hysteria that happens whenever Hillary Clinton's name is mentioned. She has the audacity to write a memoir, and is attacked - not because she wrote a book, but because she dared bring her head above water back into the general public view.
Monday, June 23, 2003
Coalitions? What about 'em?AlphaPatriot reports on this AP article regarding Senator/Presidential Candidate John Kerry:
Kerry says Bush misled Americans on war
"Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry says that President Bush broke his promise to build an international coalition before attacking Iraq. Evidently, a coalition of at least 37 countries is not a coalition without the French.Now, I don't really have a problem with Alpha's analysis - if that's actually what Kerry said. And he may have indeed actually said something like that, it's just the original AP article doesn't provide any real support to that supposition:
Today [06/19/03], the NY Times reports that troops from a dozen nations of the non-existent coalition will replace between 20,000 and 30,000 G.I.'s in Iraq.
The first paragraph states:
"Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday that President Bush broke his promise to build an international coalition against Iraq's Saddam Hussein and then waged a war based on questionable intelligence."It then goes on to quote Kerry on several WMD-related grievances which support the second half of the paragraph.
On down in the article, the statement is made:
"But the Massachusetts senator has criticized the president's diplomatic efforts. He that concern Wednesday saying Bush had alienated U.S. allies in the runup to war."Well, yeah, whatever. Aside from being grammatically suspect, it still doesn't actually give a Kerry quote regarding a lack of coalition consensus.
The article concludes with more of the same old quotes about WMD's.
Why exactly did the author not give any supporting direct quotes from Sen. Kerry to support the assertion he makes in the very first paragraph?
As a matter of fact, take out the first paragraph and it's focused almost entirely on Bush lying/receiving bad intelligence - same stuff we've been hearing for weeks.
As a reader, I'm left wondering what exactly were Kerry's words decrying Bush's coalition-building (or lack thereof)? Can we not judge them on their own merit, or is the author just saying, "Trust me - he said them (or something like that). Just let me sortof paraphrase to support my initial contention - you don't want to read all those messy quotes, anyway. I'll summarize and you can assume that's the official version.
But now, anyone who reads the article and uses it to support an anti-Kerry argument is quite possibly basing a course of action on false pretenses---
Wait - does that sound familiar?
Sunday, June 22, 2003
Bredesen Trips on Chance to be StatesmanSo far I, as have a number of other Tennessee bloggers, have been impressed with Phil Bredesen's performance as Governor of Tennessee. However, I think he may have slipped up on this one:
Bredesen walked path of least resistance on 'Choose Life' tags (Tom Humphrey, Knoxville News Sentinel, 06/22/03)
"In his comments on the bill, Bredesen basically agreed with the American Civil Liberties Union that the plate effectively gives government support to one side in an intense political debate."Bredesen had the opportunity to make it clear he was vetoing legislation that did just that - implied government support to a partisan political issue. It wouldn't have mattered what the issue was, as long as it was partisan.
True, he would have angered pro-lifers, but as Humphrey correctly points out:
"[H]is refusal to veto also mildly annoyed some pro-choice people, who were perhaps placated a bit by critical comments Bredesen directed toward the bill.What this says is the people who base their votes solely on one political issue, in this case abortion, are few and far between. Most people either vote party lines, which would or would not vote for Bredesen anyway, or consider a broad range of issues - license plate issues being fairly low on the totem pole.
Folks who base their vote solely on the abortion issue are unlikely to change their stance when Bredesen runs for re-election.
There is a segment of the electorate that does decide how to vote based on abortion - on both sides. But, for a majority of voters, that's only a part of the mix that goes into a decision. Bredesen's nonveto keeps the matter more in the background, which is surely his political preference."
No I think it's doubtful a veto of the legislation with the special emphasis on keeping the government out of political issues would've hurt Bredesen politically. If there's anything these past 10 years or more have shown us, America needs statesmen. People who are willing to ignore the political winds and speak from their hearts. They're not driven by polls, or parties, or "fatcats", or lobbyists. They're willing to recognize the chaff for what it is, and put it behind them. They're able to lead by example and inspire others to follow them.
Bredesen had the chance to take on a politically charged issue riding on an insignificant matter (specialty license plates), look it square in the eye, and make a decision based on the core of the matter. But he didn't - he decided not to decide.
No wait - he did make one important decision. He decided it wasn't politically expedient to be a statesman.
Friday, June 20, 2003
Man of the YearTime Magazine has already selected its "Man of the Year", and in this exclusive Last Home scoop, one of my gully dwarves has obtained a pre-release copy of the cover. Remember - you saw it here first!.
Actually, this is my entry in the Photoshop James Lileks contest. James Lileks, if you didn't already know, writes The Bleat - a blog of his life, in living literary color. He's the best in the biz, and the first thing I read every morning.
You can see what other people have done to deface his, er, face, at Michele's and also here.
Flag DayRookie Rocky Top Brigade member Celtic Grove offers up some choice history on the Tennessee State Flag.
You can also leave your opinion regarding our state flag in the Rocky Top Brigade Lounge.
Celtic Grove is an interesting site - it's dedicated to recognizing the deep Celtic history that Tennessee has by presenting streaming Celtic music, presenting news about artists plus reviews, gadgets, comics, pictures and other information about our Scotch-Irish heritage.
My ancestry is Scotch-Irish, as you can tell by my longer Index-toe (anyone heard of that?).
Anyway, take a gander at Celtic Grove, there's a lot of good stuff in there.
And remember..."If it ain't Celtic, it's c-r-r-r-r-r-ap!"
Thursday, June 19, 2003
License to PlateHere's some background on Tennessee's Specialty License Plate program:
- Knoxville News Sentinel:
(06/19/03) Naifeh backs eliminating specialty tags
(06/18/03) Governor will let 'Choose Life' license plate bill become law
- The Tennesseean
(06/18/03) 'Choose Life' tags possible this year
- Memphis Commercial Appeal
(06/19/03) Tenn. bill opts to kill specialty plates after 'Choose Life' ruckus
(06/18/03) 'Choose Life' plate passes
- Tennessee Department of Safety
Specialty License Plates
- Clubs / Groups : Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Ducks Unlimited, Int'l Association of Firefighters, Kappa Alpha Psi, MADD, Masons, Nat'l Fraternal Order of Police, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, TN Police Benevolent Assoc. Note: Only members of the specified groups may obtain these tags
- Collegiate: Alabama, APSU, Arkansas, Auburn, Belmont, Bryan College, Carson Newman, Clemson University, Cumberland, ETSU, Florida State University, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kentucky, King College, Lee College, LeMoyne-Owen, Memphis, Mississippi, Mississippi St, MTSU, Penn St., Purdue University, TN Tech, Tennessee Wesleyan, Trevecca Nazarene, TSU, Tusculum College, Union, University of Florida, University of
the South, UT Chattanooga, UT - Generic, UT Knoxville, UT Martin, UT Memphis, Vanderbilt, Virginia Available to any Tennessee resident
- Disabled Plates: Disabled Person, Hearing Impaired Tennessee residents with respective disabilities only
- General Issue Standard plate with customized identification. For what it's worth, for years mine said WARP 9
- Emergency Management: Amateur Radio, Emergency, Firefighter, Rescue Squad Note: Must be certified emergency personnel or possess FCC license
- Miscellaneous: Agriculture (Department of Agriculture), Animal Friendly (Humane Society), Antique (Antique cars), Automobile/Motor Home, Children First (Department of Childrens Services), Consular (credentials required), Environmental (Tennessee State Parks), Fish and Wildlife Species - Bear (wildlife resources fund), Fish and Wildlife Species – Turkey (wildlife resources fund), Friends of the Smokies, Helping Schools (county’s general school fund), Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center, Personalized, Radnor Lake (state lands acquisition fund, to be used exclusively to implement and carry out the purposes set forth in T.C.A., 67-4-409 (j).), Sportsman (Sportsmen’s Wildlife Foundation), St. Jude (children’s hospitals in Tennessee), TN Arts Commission - Cat, TN Arts Commission - Fish, TN Arts Commission - Rainbow, TN Walking Horse, U.S. Olympic (Tennessee Arts Commission and the United States Olympic Committee), UT Football Championship (UT Academic Scholarships), Lady Vols Championship (UT Academic Scholarships), Watchable Wildlife (Watchable Wildlife Endowment Fund)
- Clubs / Groups : Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Ducks Unlimited, Int'l Association of Firefighters, Kappa Alpha Psi, MADD, Masons, Nat'l Fraternal Order of Police, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, TN Police Benevolent Assoc. Note: Only members of the specified groups may obtain these tags
It's this kind of hard-hitting, late-breaking and up-to-the-minute coverage you've come to expect from our crack staff of gully dwarf reporters here at the Inn of the Last Home.
UPDATE: There's more on the license plate controversy above in my June 22 post.
The NYTimes is FishingA Blogger's Big-Fish Fantasy
The article is interesting, itself, but one passage caught my eye:
""I don't sit in front of my computer all day thinking about what I'm going to do to get more readers," said Elizabeth Thielke, a mother of three in Nashville, who writes The Busy Mom Blog (www.sugar-plum.net/elizabeth). "But at the same time, people who say they don't care whether anyone reads it are probably lying."Congratulations, recent Rocky Top Brigade recruit Busy Mom for the national press!
Busy Grandmother's in the hospital, by the way, so pay Mom a visit and wish her and her mom well!
This week we're going to do things a little differently. In the spirit of what seemed to be the main topic of discussion lately around the RTB, I wanted to take you on a nice tour. Just a nice, safe little tour where absolutely nothing could possibly go wrong. Relax...don't worry. All the guns are loaded with blanks, and my gully dwarf agents have been instructed not to harm any of you in any way (except maybe a toe stepped on here and there). Comfy? Got your walking shoes on? Well, here we go.
The Rocky Top Underground
Step lively, everyone. We're starting our tour of the Rocky Top Brigade at the home of Sugarfused. Deb serves us some tea as her guest, fellow RTB member Pathetic Earthling, waxes poetic about his covering of the recall effort of the governor of California:
"As one of two California members of the RTB, I've been blogging the Governor Davis recall stuff pretty regularly. I'm an unapologetic Republican -- and I've got no love for the Governor - but I think this stuff spells disaster for the GOP here in California. I don't think the Republican contingent candidate Darrell Issa would be any better at all and, besides, the SOB is a car alarm magnate who sleeps on a bed paid for by my sleeplessness."SayUncle, who has been wrestling someone for the remote control to switch off "Great Performances" on the TV, rails against the evils of Public Television and Government-controlled media: "All things considered - except the precedent". He sports a nice conservative suit and tie, and a button on his lapel reads "My New Domain - now 30% Bloggier!"
Sugarfused sits at her PC and muses about her online life and the online lives of others in On being connected....
Suddenly, the power zaps her computer, except for an ominous low hum. The lights dim and flicker, and there is the sound of choppers outside with large searchlights moving across the windows.
"They've found us - Quick, this way!" Deb says, ushering myself and the group through a door and downstairs to a dark cellar. As the door closes and locks behind you, you hear scattered gunfire and a scream.
Huddled in the darkness, a naked light bulb is the only illumination. JaNell muses sadly about the art she had just finished the night before, and how she could relate to the ants in the story: Sacrificial Ant Art.
The gunfire soon faded and, our eyes adjusting to the dim illumination, we could make out a small door in the side of the cellar. I lead everyone through it into a tunnel, where we hear some chanting. Hiding behind an outcropping, we see a group of people in a circle around a small lantern. They're speaking...one of them wearing a torn and tattered baseball hat with the letters "MTSU" on it is relating a tale about his son, "Conversations with Max" (scroll down).
Enboldened, I step out of the shadows and relate my own story of a conversation I had with my one daughter, in what seems like the far-away past..."A Round Dog Day". Some people in the circle tell us of the rumors that an evil Anti-Christian corrupt government has taken over...others says it's a dangerous Fundamentalist State, and it's every man and woman for themselves. They do say the tunnel leads to an old bookstore, and we can find shelter there. Not knowing what rumors might be true, we discuss the situation amongst ourselves...
Some of the folks in my group are sobbing, and we press on as best we can.
Another door leads into a dark, forbidding bookstore - long abandoned, it seems to have been called the Damn Diary. Floating behind the counter is a ghostly apparition, who speaks as we huddle in fright: "The Shaming of Skeletor". The spectre warns us, "Beware the ones who would take away that with which you would defend yourself - look what happened to me...". He motions toward an tome on table, written by a person named Les Jones. A young girl in the group picks it up and reads from it a haunting tale: Gun-Fearing Wussies in California.
Our respite is interrupted as the outer door is flung open and armed troops dressed in black and toting AK-47 Assault Rifles (now banned in all 50 states) capture us and herd us outside. One of their leaders, a forbidding person in a dark helmet, binds the hands of the young girl who read the book and tosses her, crying, into the back of a large truck. She screams for help, but is driven away into the night.
The rest of us are led into a bus and transported across barren, deserted streets. The only other occupant of the bus, a lone gentleman with long scraggly hair and the remains of a T-Shirt with the word "Bubba" on it, claims he is from the future and tells us about how things will be in 2007 in "Blog from the Future".
Our bus arrives at its destination, and we are led out together. Ahead of us stands the forbidding headquarters of the evil Anti-Christian fundamentalist pagan Algore corrupters, and their Regional Kommander steps out to confront us. Suddenly, a mob of godless right-wing environmentalist capitalists step out of the shadows and begin hurling accusations, slander, and dogma. Soldiers move in, brandishing weapons and hurling accusatory comments about Weapons of Mass Destruction, Income Tax, Tom Daschle, and Hillary Clinton. The angry mob is joined by an unruly bunch of domestic terrorist academics from Big Left-Wing Media Elite conglomerates, who cry for the older folks who can't get prescription drugs and call out slogans supporting Orrin Hatch and Jessica Lynch (scroll down). The tornado-chasing environmentalists complain about Bill Clinton speaking engagements, the soldiers scream about mobile weapons labs containing monkeypox created by Bill O'Reilly, the Leftist Right-wingers call the Rightist Left-Wingers "Idiots!!!"...The god-fearing communist Rumsfeldesque rebels call the atheist tax-and-spend warmongers, "Asshats!!!" The pacifistic electoral-college-reforming Ashcroftian revisionist historians tell the tree-hugging tax-cutting gun control advocates, "NO BLOOD FOR H-Y-Y-Y-Y-DROGEN!!!"
I immediately jump up on the hood of a dented Humvee, "STOP THE MADNESS!!" I cry. They all calm down and give me their attention. I shake my head sadly and ask if they can afford The Price of Admission by actually thinking through their differences, and keeping an open mind...
The crowd seems to ponder this, when it's revealed....it was only a simulation! It's an educational tool! And, hey, nobody got hurt, so what's the problem?
I trudge off alone, emotionally spent as the others all clap each other on the back and head off to Barley's Tap House for a Blogger Bash. "Was it worth it?" I wonder. "Will they ever work together???" "Can people of different philosophies and idealogies ever find common ground??"
The world may never know.
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Carnival of the VanitiesWelcome, readers of Carnival of the Vanities, hosted this week by Shanti of "Real Women Online"! If you're reading this, you might want to come back and visit tomorrow (Thursday) when Inn of the Last Home brings you the Volunteer Tailgate Party, an amalgamation of the wit and wisdom from the members of the Rocky Top Brigade.
Meanwhile, thanks for visiting and enjoy the Inn!
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Somehow I Always Suspected...How Will You Die?
I will be struck down by a meteor!
How will you die? Take the Exotic Cause of Death Test
Hat Tip to Danielle from Missives Anonymous
More EvidenceQU'EST-CE QUE C'EST... LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE? (from Roger Simon's blog)
"But it’s worse than that. These terms are actually destructive because they blind us. They are like mesh screens we put in front of our eyes before we confront a situation directly. I am a liberal; therefore I look at it this way. I am a conservative, therefore this… It’s hard enough to understand the world with clear eyes. But no, we persist in lining ourselves up this way with so many preconceptions not even John Milton could save our blindness. (It’s the Mets versus the Phillies with no hot dogs and no beer.)Well, see - this is what I've been trying to say (except 100x more eloquently than I. Sometimes I wish I could write...).
Choosing SidesMichael Totten has an excellent post about his first-hand experience with a pro-Palestinian rally a day after the "Passover Massacre" last March.
He was waffling back and forth between understanding which side to sympathise with in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and his essay explains the route he took toward coming to an understanding. He also talks a bit on how factions on both the right and left have embraced Anti-Semitism. Good read.
The Ping-Pong Matches ContinueBill Hobbs: "Bill Clinton was paid $400,000 to give a speech in Japan. A money-grubbing ex-president cashing in, and all that. More power to him, if he can find suckers willing to pay that much to hear the Blowhard in Chief. So, what did Clinton say that was worth $400,000?"
Barry Bozeman responds: "Of course Bill never knew about Reagans big Japanese payday following his term. In Hobbs America it seems only Republicans are allowed paydays although this one for Clinton involved no US Taxpayer dollars."
Bill Hobbs responds to the response: "Of course I knew about that. It's why I joked about Clinton being a "money-grubbing ex-president cashing in," which was the basic charge the liberal media leveled at Reagan - but aren't going to level at Clinton even though - let's face it - $400,000 for a speech is a rather hefty paycheck. Especially for a speech that, from the description of it, sounds like little more than a pitch from an Amway recruiter."
I sigh: Organizations pay for who you are, not what you're going to say. The more famous, the higher the payday. Talk about the bleeding obvious. And the ping pong matches continue...
News with a LudeEvery once in a while when every station on the radio I listen to's at commercial, and there's no tapes I'm in the mood for, I'll wander over to our local NPR station. Sometimes All Things Considered is on, or one of their so-called "news" shows.
I know a lot of people consider them liberally-biased - I also know a lot of people hear what they want to hear. The times I've listened to them I've never been able to tell any kind of slant to their stories.
In fact, those ear-bleeding moments I've forced myself to listen to NPR, I've almost nodded off and veered off the road into cattle fields, telephone poles and various rivers.
There must be a special broadcast school for NPR journalists, who are taught that precise monotone style that they use to report the news. I know SNL has parodied them with some success lately, and it's true. I can't figure out for the life of me how people can listen to NPR for more than a few minutes without screaming and tearing the knob off the dial in their haste to change the channel.
Some stations bill themselves as "news with a 'tude". NPR is just "news on ludes".
Yawn. Wonder if Sports Talk is back from commercial yet? Nope, course not...
Monday, June 16, 2003
Creating a WorldHere's an interesting little game:
The Kingdom of LastHome
"All's Fair in Love and Dragons"
Location: the Pacific
The Kingdom of LastHome is a tiny, pleasant nation, remarkable for its burgeoning dragon population. Its compassionate, hard-working, intelligent population of 5 million have some civil rights, but not too many, enjoy the freedom to spend their money however they like, to a point, and take part in free and open elections, although not too often.
The large government is mainly concerned with Social Welfare, although Healthcare and Education are on the agenda. The average income tax rate is 25%. A healthy private sector is led by the Book Publishing, Retail, and Automobile Manufacturing industries.
Crime is relatively low. LastHome's national animal is the dragon and its currency is the krynn.
Click here to see if you can run your own country - maybe if enough RTB'ers sign up, we can form our own region.
I've already had an issue come up: whether to use the surplus dragon population as food...all sides lobby the government heavily, and they have to make a decision............
Sunday, June 15, 2003
An ideaI'm formulating an idea regarding a use for the Fountain City Library on Hotel Avenue once their new building is built on Essary Dr. If anyone knows anyone on the Knox County Library Board or County Commission and can find out what the plans are for this old building, please let me know.
Saturday, June 14, 2003
Long DayI spent most of the day in the car riding to Clarksville, TN and back from Knoxville - 9 hours or so round trip.
Today was my first official meeting as East Tennessee representative to the Tennessee Theatre Association, a group that advocates theatre in Tennessee and holds an annual conference featuring live Community and High School Theatre productions, acting auditions and competitions and numerous workshops.
If you happen to be involved in theatre in East Tennessee (or anywhere in Tennessee for that matter) let me know - this is a going to very interesting :)
Friday, June 13, 2003
FearThere's a running discussion on SKB's comments about whether Jesus used fear in his teachings. Here are two relevant passages from the New Testament:
"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him, which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28).
Now "fear" in this context also means to respect, but it's a fear and respect based on the consequences of our actions and inactions - the separation from God. Sound advice.
Also, similarly, from Luke:
"But I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear. Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, fear him." (Luke 12:4,5)
Here's something I found using a Google search:
The Fear of God
"There are those who tell us that fear ought to be banished from religion; we ought, it is said, no more to hold before men's eyes the fear of hell; fear, it is said, is an ignoble thing. Those who speak in this way certainly have no right to appeal to Jesus; for Jesus certainly did employ, and insistently, the motive of fear.Sorry to dive out into the religious waters - I don't normally do that, but this is something I felt strongly about. I hope you found it enlightening...
Even the Christian must fear God. But it is another kind of fear. It is a fear rather of what might have been than of what is; it is a fear of what would come were we not in Christ. Without such fear there can be no true love; for love of the Saviour is proportioned to one's horror of that from which man has been saved. And how strong are the lives that are suffused with such a love! They are lives brave, not because the realities of life have been ignored, but because they have first been faced — lives that are founded upon the solid foundation of God's grace. May such lives be ours!
Cowardice or Overload?Well, the debate rages on regarding the Forest Hill Baptist Church "cult-like event" fiasco. Read SKBubba's account for all the latest commentary.
Interestingly, the page on the Youth Specialties website detailing this "Underground Church" simulation has removed the description page(s) from their website.
Whether this is due to sudden increased interest in the pages by people in this area, or whether they're just afraid of all of us corrupt, Anti-Christian bloggers, I'm not certain.
And speaking of...even though I am a Christian, I am very much in favor of the rights and freedoms of all Americans to follow the religion of their choice, a freedom guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Apparently, the information on this website that is now unaccessible details the oppression from an "corrupt, Anti-Christian government". Does this just mean that this hypothetical government is corrupt and also Anti-Christian, or does it suggest that all Anti-Christian governments are corrupt by definition? I'd be curious for a explanation of terms.
The Friday FiveNever tried one of these, but here goes:
1. What's one thing you've always wanted to do, but never have?
Well, the one thing I will always want to do but now probably never will is go into space. My life would be fulfilled if that were to happen. Here's hoping.
2. When someone asks your opinion about a new haircut/outfit/etc, are you always honest?
Probably not completely, but that most likely has to do with my ideas of style and what looks good on people. They may be expecting to hear praise, but since some fashions and hairstyles don't mean much to me one way or another my true opinion would probably be taken as negative toward themselves, and not simply the clothes or style.
3. Have you ever found out something about a friend and then wished you hadn't? What happened?
I found out that a problem a friend was having, and had been having for a long time was far, far worse than we ever realized. Sorry, no details.
4. If you could live in any fictional world (from a book/movie/game/etc.) which would it be and why?
I've been a sci-fi/fantasy buff all my life, and there've been many worlds/milieus I've found interesting. I guess nearest and dearest would the Star Trek/Federation worlds. Humanity has survived the 20th/21st century, moved beyond racism and capitalism, etc - but still finding there's much to be learned. It sounds hokey, I suppose, but there you go.
5. What's one talent/skill you don't have but always wanted?
Interestingly, being an actor and singer I've always found it difficult to speak extraneously about something. Giving presentations, making announcements in church, etc has always been difficult for me. I tend to get brain-lock when I lose my train of thought and stand there drooling slightly while I mentally try and find my place. I've always wanted to have the ability to be a powerful speaker - if I had a script in my hand, I'd nail it, but not just notes, and certainly not off the top of my head.
"A Michigan mother is angered after her 7-year-old son showed her a temporary tattoo of a Ku Klux Klan member that came packaged inside the wrapper of the bubble gum he purchased.... The tattoo apparently shows a hooded figure in a white robe with flames going up around him...'There is a white hood, white robe, flames going up around him ... I mean, you can pretty much tell it's the Klan," [his mother] said....Several other packs of the gum also contain tattoos that are inappropriate for children, including sexually explicit pictures and images depicting violence against animals."Good for you, son. Looks like someone's teaching their kids these days...
"[His Mother] said she explained to her son what the tattoo represents and he agreed he did not want to wear it."
Uncle Sam wants Joey Crossman
"First the Marines came calling. Now the Navy wants Joey Crossman. But is Joey ready? After all, he’s only 7. The name of the elementary school student mistakenly landed on military recruitment lists, most likely through a magazine subscription, and the military has been wooing him ever since.My son's seven, also, and while I don't think he subscribes to Soldier of Fortune I should probably check and make sure. We do get National Geographic and if they want him to go on an expedition to the Serengeti, well, by golly I'm going too.
Joey toured the USS Yorktown during a family trip to South Carolina in April and wasn’t impressed with the hard, impersonal bunks. “The bathrooms they had weren’t working,” Joey said. “I just don’t want to live on a ship.”
That's the news - goodnight, and have a pleasant tomorrow.
Thursday, June 12, 2003
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
"One Knows what the Angels Eat"Mark Twain said it best:
"[It is] chief of the world's luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat."Twain was talking, of course, about this.
As for me, I can't get enough of it - bought a half of one the other day, chopped it into slices and put the whole thing in a tupperware container. And just eat out of the bowl ;)
Hey. you can also go to the site above and win a t-shirt!
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
The Price of AdmissionI've finally decided to start charging a fee to view my site. Since a lot of bloggers have put out tip jars to support their
Determining my subscription fee was difficult - I had to take a number of factors into account. Admittedly I'm not among the most popular bloggers on the 'net, so that factor must be heavily considered. Still, my opinions, my experiences, my views and the time it takes to actually put my words on screen is very valuable.
Therefore, from now on the price I'm asking you to pay to continue reading Inn of the Last Home is -- keeping your minds open everywhere else.
That's it - not much. Certainly understandable when I and countless others reveal ourselves and our thoughts to the world. There are a lot of opinions floating around out there, a lot of perspectives. There's a lot of anger, righteous indignation, "facts" and "nofacts", opinions passing themselves off as news... The Rocky Top Brigade contains the whole spectrum of political and social thought, but sometimes it seems that we're farther apart than ever.
America is passing through a dark time - not just internationally, but here in the country. We're polarized along two distinct and separate planes. Colors, even - Red and Blue, according to the Election Maps on the news. In some people's eyes, nothing the other side believes has any value - it's immoral, it's stupid, it's just Wrong. The Reds are idiots, the Blues are morons.... Well, the time has come for it to stop, and it has to stop now.
How can it stop?
Thinking. Examining, being open with your opinions and ideas. Recognize that you may just not have all the facts. The other guy - your mortal enemy, one of THOSE people - they may just hold the key to explaining and solving it all. Can we afford to ignore that?
We've talked a lot about bigotry - political, racial, idealogical. We've talked about boycotts, and burning CD's, and hanging chads and lies and truths about Weapons of Mass Destruction. Racial profiling, denying tenure, raising taxes, lowering taxes, biased reporting, talk-radio pundits, talking heads.... Somewhere in there lies the answer to what we're looking for, but one side does not have the complete answer. We all do - each of us, in our own way.
The blogosphere has just begun to turn over the rocks on people's opinions - it's affecting the Big Media in ways we never imagined. But what will people see when they peek in - rational debate? Reasoned discourse?
Um, no, not yet. Just more yammering between the damn liberals and damn conservatives. And that isn't helping anyone.
So, please, read - participate, share. But keep your mind open and be ready to accept the possibility that you might be wrong. It's tough, I know. We're hard-wired to be proud of our opinions and the route we took to get there. It can hurt like hell to admit you might be wrong, and can cause you to lose face. But it's going to be necessary down the line, because we can't stay like this.
Red and the Blue? Add the White. That's the Price of Admission.
UPDATE: I realize upon further review that, of course, there are many different shades of political idealogy within both liberalism and conservatism - plus libertarians, Greens, Whigs, and I believe the Tal Shi'ar, the Obsidian Order and Section 31. Anyway, the above maybe a bit oversimplified when it comes to identifying the sides, but I think the basic idea it still there.
Waiting for Captain TripsFirst there was anthrax.
A brief flirtation with botulism.
Then, of course, SARS.
Look fast! Mad Cow Disease!
West Nile Virus rears its ugly head, again.
Now it's monkeypox.
Gettin' so a fella can't get cough without trying to remember if his will's in order...
What next? Superflu?
Monday, June 09, 2003
Rocky Top Brigade UpdateThe Rocky Top Brigade continues its quest to obtain U.S. protectorate status with the addition of two new members: Secret City Scene (great name!) and Newsrack Blog.
Secret City Scene covers the Oak Ridge, TN beat and Newsrack used to live in Oak Ridge and now reports from Washington D.C.
Sunday, June 08, 2003
Saturday, June 07, 2003
Friday, June 06, 2003
Simba had a Round Dog Day.
A Round Dog Day.
What do you mean a "round dog day"?
You know...(sings) "Free to run a round dog day..."
Oh...you mean "Free to run around all day..." (From The Lion King CD: "Just Can't Wait to be King")
No...a Round Dog Day!!! (sigh) Daddy...
(Passing a road construction truck, drilling a hole in the ground at the corner of an intersection)
Look, honey - look at the cool big drill.
Wow. They're making potholes!
(I wouldn't be surprised, kiddo)
(Driving by a tank farm)
What are those?
Those are the big tanks where they store gasoline. The trucks get gasoline from there and take it to the gas stations where we put it in our cars.
(driving up behind a tanker truck)
See, sweety - there's one of the tanker trucks I was talking about. There's gasoline in that big tank on its back.
No, daddy, it isn't gasoline.
It's not? What's in there?
Milk for the cows.
You mean milk from the cows?
No, for the cows. Milk for the cows to drink. They pour it in big round glasses and the cows drink it.
So cows drink milk? Is it the white cows that give white milk?
What kind of cows give chocolate milk?
Brown cows. (duh...)
Ok, what kind of cows give strawberry milk?
(think I got her on that one)
What do cows eat?
Do they eat...fruit?
Do they eat....pizza?
Do they eat...Pop Tarts?
Do they eat...vegetables?
(frustrated) No, Daddy, they eat Pop Tarts!
Do they eat hay?
What do horses eat?
You know they also eat oats.
Mares eat oats, too. And does eat oats. And little lambs eat ivy.
A kid'll eat ivy too...........wouldn't you???
You're funny, Daddy.
Thursday, June 05, 2003
Taste the RainbowRidge: Color-Coded Alerts Have Drawbacks
"State and local government officials chafe at the cost of paying police and emergency personnel so much overtime, particularly in parts of the country where terrorist attacks don't seem likely."If an overtime issue costs lives in a terrorist attack, I'll personally go down wherever it is and bust some heads. Overtime, geez. Not to mention that any place with a human population nearby is fair game. Except for the middle of the desert, nowhere in America are we truly "unlikely" in this context. Less likely? Yes. Not likely? No, unfortunately. And it's those less likely places that are more lightly guarded. While a dirty bomb in Seatlle gets more press, a dirty bomb in Billings, Montana or Dubuque, Iowa or Brownsville, Texas or Dyersburg, Tennessee would be just as devastating to the American psyche and morale.
"Others note that during the four orange alerts, no attacks have been attempted, leading them to question whether the intelligence used to guide them is reliable.While it would be of comfort to me to be confident that no attacks were attempted during these orange alerts, I have to be skeptical. First of all, there may be things that Intelligence is not going to admit - a plane diverted here, a bomb-in-a-bag defused quietly there, these stories may be being contained and not released to the public. Secondly, and more importantly to say that since no attacks were attempted, the intelligence recommending the alert raising was unreliable does not take into account attacks that might have been thwarted simply by the increased security and vigilence. Who's to say a guy planning to walk into a mall the next day strapped with dynamite decides not to due to an increased security presence. While we complain about the anxiety level (and I do), the very presence of increased security and awareness may be an invisible deterrant that has saved lives.
(Hat Tip: SKBubba)
Volunteer Tailgate Party - Vol. IVRich at Shots Across the Bow has the 4th Volunteer Tailgate Party, a bi-weekly compilation of the best and brightest blatherings of the Rocky Top Brigade.
Rich has outdone himself, compiling a veritable cornucopia of thoughts and ideas from the best blogger consortium on Earth. All of the authors have a connection to Tennessee, and cover the entire political and social spectrum.
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
Not Quite SerendipityHere's a simple question for those of you still concerned the war in Iraq was unjustified because no WMD's have been found yet.
If a hypothetical researcher had been given a research grant to find a treatment for SARS, and in the course of the research instead found the cure for all kinds of cancer...would you be upset that all that money had been wasted on SARS research?
Just hypothetically speaking, of course.
And to forestall The Inevitable Question:
- What if they lied to us about using the money for SARS research in the first place? Which has the greater benefit to mankind in the long run, finding a cure for SARS which has killed less than 1000 people, or curing cancer which has killed millions? In addition, these medical advances will likely benefit medical research in the future that will help to treat or cure SARS, too. Understandably, the ends don't justify the means, but when the ends are so beneficial, be thankful.
Israel, Palestine, and RepatriationI don't normally get into this controversy, but with all the concessions, counter-concessions and agreements floating around today, I'm reminded of a couple of long-standing questions I've always had about this conflict.
As far as I can remember the actual history of this subject was never taught in my schools, nor did I have any classes that touched on it in college. While I'm sure there are tons of research material available...hey, this is the 2000's and I want it in nice, neat digestible chunks, so here we go:
- After the end of World War II, it's obvious a lot of Jewish people had lost their homes and ways of life from Nazi rule. I'm assuming from memory that the Allies decided to resettle a lot of these people in what is now Israel. I'm also assuming there were a number of Palestinians living there at the time, and they were removed to allow the Jewish refugees to settle there. Under whose control was Israel at that time, and under what authority (moral or legal) did they use to remove one group of people to settle another?
- Why exactly is it imperative to the Jewish people that there be a "Jewish State"? I don't usually hear calls for a "Christian State" or "Muslim State". I understand the desire to live in their ancestral homes and control the Holy Land, but what is the basis for the need to maintain a state that is primarily and legally Jewish?
By the way, Donald Sensing has a good analysis of the day's proceedings, and how the Palestinian population problem threatens Israel's existance through sheer numbers.
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Blogshares - Investing without Risk!Invest in Inn of the Last Home!
Blogshares is an online stock-market game based on weblogs. Myself, Deb at Sugarfused, SouthKnoxBubba and several others are playing - take a minute to register your blog (if you haven't already) and "buy" shares in the Inn of the Last Home (or any other you want). The more people that buy shares, the higher the value grows and the more virtual money you can make. It's fun, and insider trading is legal :)
Monday, June 02, 2003
Power Bloggers, Unite?Hugh Hewitt, a radio guy I've never heard but who is apparently known around the country has some opinions about blogger alliances - formal and informal. Rocky Top Brigadiers, send him an email and let him know about the discussions we have, and how we've hopefully raised the awareness and tolerance level at least a little bit.
The Parental PanicOur Good and Dear Friend (you have to say that with an Ambassador Londo Mollari accent or it just doesn't work) James Lileks opines about how he feels when his family is not exactly where they said they would be at the exact moment they said they would be - mainly, home. As if you haven't read it already today, read it again.
BrainyBoyTM is at camp all day, and I can't help wondering....is he ok? Is he enjoying himself? Is he lonely? bored? constipated? Can't wait to see him at home and find out how it went.
We saw Finding Nemo Saturday evening, and it was as delightful as everyone has said it was. I sat next to BrainyBoyTM and hugged him in the scary parts and the happy parts. It's about a daddy fish who'll do anything to find his lost son, and the son who'll do anything to find his dad.
Oh, enough of that. Read the article and see the flick.