Friday, February 29, 2008

Just Goin' Thru the Motions

OK…there’s lots and lots of cool stuff on these here inter-tubes…like YouTube, ViralVids, Gizmodo, The Wiki, memeorandum, IowaHawk, and the like. But Blog-Bud Barry tipped me off to the coolest site I’ve seen in at least a year…possibly longer. It’s called “Stuff White People Like.” And it’s frickin’ funny. Omigawd funny. Spit coffee funny. If you’re white and you don’t see yourself or someone you know here you’re either lying, deluding yourself, or worse. Example:

#75…Threatening to Move to Canada.

Often times, white people get frustrated with the state of their country. They do not like the President, or Congress, or the health care system, or the illegal status of Marijuana. Whenever they are presented with a situation that seems unreasonable to them, their first instinct is to threaten to move to Canada.

For example, if you are watching TV with white people and there is a piece on the news about that they do not agree with, they are likely to declare “ok, that’s it, I’m moving to Canada.”

Though they will never actually move to Canada, the act of declaring that they are willing to undertake the journey is very symbolic in white culture. It shows that their dedication to their lifestyle and beliefs are so strong, that they would consider packing up their entire lives and moving to a country that is only slightly similar to the one they live in now.

Within white culture, it is agreed upon that if Canada had better weather it would be a perfect place.

Being aware that this information can be used quite easily to gain the trust of white people. Whenever they say, “I’m moving to Canada,” you must immediately respond with “I have relatives in Canada.”

They will then expect you to tell them about how Canada has a perfect healthcare system, legalized everything, and no crime. Though not true, it will reassure them that they are making the right choice by saying they want to move there.

But be warned, they will reference you in future conversations and possibly call on you to settle disputes about Canadian tax rates. So use this advice only if you plan to do some basic research.

Note: Canadian white people threaten to move to Europe.

Note: Europeans are unable to threaten to move anywhere.

There were 599 comments to the above post the last time I looked. I think the site might be catching on.


Very short post today. I’ve been having a more difficult time with this latest episode of Adventures in Modern Dentistry than I thought I would. I think it was the early afternoon yesterday when I thought to myself “Hey. This ain’t so bad. I feel pretty damned good, in fact.” It couldn’t have been more than 30 minutes later when I was overcome with a wave of nausea, and a pretty severe one, at that. The usual episode at the Porcelain Plastic Altar followed in very short order. I then retired to my bed for the remainder of the entire day and half the night after ensuring I was absolutely, completely, and totally finished with My Prayers. I woke up sometime around 2330 hrs or so and was up for the rest of the dark hours… retiring sometime just after 0500 this morning. I probably should have posted something during that time but motivation, such as it was, was sorely lacking, Gentle Reader. The situation remains the same today. The odd thing is I’m not experiencing any sort of serious discomfort…nothing that can’t be handled with OTC pain relievers, anyway. I’m just psychically whipped.

This, too, shall pass…


Today’s Pics: …are from my dorm room on Yokota AB, sometime in late 1976, and are meant to illustrate two specific items of décor that stayed with me from that time until the Great Divestiture of Stuff in late ‘99. That large green frog used to stand outside a pharmacy somewhere in the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area. It was “liberated” from its indentured servitude by two of The Second Mrs. Pennington’s college buddies in the wee small hours of a long-forgotten night of debauchery and petty crime sometime the previous year. I “inherited” Froggy when the guys went back to the US and decided shipping Froggy home would be more expensive than he was worth.

The second picture contains a Japanese railroad crossing sign which was similarly liberated in the wee small hours by someone else. The names of the thieves (and there were two) won’t be revealed to protect the innocent guilty-as-charged, even though I'm quite sure the statute of limitations has expired. I just wouldn't want to reveal any moral turpitude on the part of people I hold near and dear, Gentle Reader.

The third picture is of a very cold Froggy, who took up residence in places various and sundry in homes and rentals The Second Mrs. Pennington and I occupied (usually on the patio and/or deck) later on. He’s on the deck in Rochester, NY in this pic… the year is 1999 and illustrates the morning after a 24-inch snowfall. The train sign hung in various places over the course of the 20+ years in between the time I acquired it and its eventual disposition.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

William F. Buckley, Jr

Everyone who is anyone on America’s political right is genuflecting in William F. Buckley, Jr’s direction today. And I will be no exception. The man was a titan of conservative thought and as erudite and sophisticated…in the true meaning of the words… as any man who ever walked the planet, and much more so than most. His accomplishments were legendary and he is often credited with being the Father of Modern Conservative Thought. I’ll probably be reading his obits for days, if not weeks. Blog-Buddy Barry has a good round-up of the obituaries that struck his fancy, and he has links to some of the very best. This particular obit (Radley Balko, writing at Reason Magazine’s blog) struck me as particularly fitting:

Buckley leaves an enormous legacy, but to the detriment [of] everyone, the right left Buckley years ago. Where Buckley stood athwart the tide of history and beat it back with wit, sophistication, and argument, we today get best-selling Regnery screeds from lowest-common-denominator clowns like Ann Coulter, Dinesh D'Souza, and Glenn Beck. Where Buckley mistrusted government and aimed to slow the world down, he's been usurped on the right by the likes of William Kristol and David Brooks, men who want to use government to remake the world in their own image. Where Buckley flourished in cosmopolitan Manhattan and took delight in life's finer things, modern conservatism has grown disdainful of the marketplace of culture, commerce, and ideas abundant in urban areas (witness the last election, where many on the right weirdly smeared John Kerry as a "latte-sipper"—real Americans apparently drink Maxwell House). In fact, today's Bush/neocon-right is often contemptuous of commerce itself, sometimes calling the voluntary, unchecked exchange of goods, labor, and services—a pure free market—"ugly" and "crude."

Clowns, indeed, for the most part. There are a couple of examples Balko cites that I don’t agree with, but his point is very well taken. WFB’s wry humor, articulation, and simple goodness will be sorely missed. I’m afraid WFB was a man of another age… a time when one could disagree with a person on any given subject…but most especially politics… yet still respect the person you disagreed with and extend your hand in friendship, which Mr. Buckley did, and often.

RIP, Mr. Buckley. And thank you.

Wherein I Become a Nattering Nabob of Negativity…

Well. I went to sleep right after eating dinner this evening... around 1900 hrs, with all-too-predictable results. Like: here it is, 0230 hrs. and I’m wide-a-frickin’-wake. Might as well put the time to good bad use.


Roadmap to Third World Status…

… beginning on January 20, 2009 at a Superpower near you. If, of course, that guy in the video means what he says. I know he’s a politician, and politicians will emphatically assert the sun rises in the West if it suits their objectives. But I’m just naïve enough to take people at their word from time to time…and I believe the good senator from Illinois will actually try and accomplish everything he said in that video. I dunno about you, Gentle Reader, but that scares the Holy Hell out of me.

h/t: Bookworm, who is just as strident about the dangers of The Messiah as I am… perhaps more so. We’re kindred spirits in our shared low opinion of The Obamanon, at any rate. Check out her post about Senator Obama’s anti-American upbringing. And no, I’m NOT being hyperbolic. Not in the least. Do you remember what Mom used to say? That thing about the acorn not falling far from the tree? Think about it…


Well, now. This just pisses me right the Hell off: Air Force Blocks Access to Many Blogs.” Quote:

The Air Force is tightening restrictions on which blogs its troops can read, cutting off access to just about any independent site with the word "blog" in its web address. It's the latest move in a larger struggle within the military over the value -- and hazards -- of the sites. At least one senior Air Force official calls the squeeze so "utterly stupid, it makes me want to scream."

Until recently, each major command of the Air Force had some control over what sites their troops could visit, the Air Force Times reports. Then the Air Force Network Operations Center, under the service's new "Cyber Command," took over.


"A couple of years back, I fought this issue concerning the Counterterrorism Blog," one Air Force officer tells Danger Room. "An AF [Air Force] professional education course website recommended it as a great source for daily worldwide CT [counterterrorism] news. However it had been banned, because it called itself a blog. And as we all know, all blogs are bad!"

He's joking, of course. … Now there's the Air Force's argument, that blogs aren't legitimate media outlets -- and therefore, shouldn't be read at work.


But this view isn't universally held in the military. Many believe blogs to be a valuable source of information -- and a way for ordinary troops to shape opinions, at home and abroad. Gen. David Petraeus, who heads the U.S. effort in Iraq, has commended military bloggers. Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, who replaced Petraeus as the head of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, recently wrote (in a blog post, no less) that soldiers should be encouraged to "get onto blogs and [s]end their YouTube videos to their friends and family."

Within the Air Force, there's also a strong contingent that wants to see open access to the sites -- and is mortified by the AFNOC's restrictions. "When I hear stuff this utterly stupid, it makes me want to scream.... Piles of torn out hair are accumulating around my desk as we speak," one senior Air Force official writes in an e-mail. "I'm certain that by blocking blogs for official use, our airmen will never, ever be able to read them on their own home computers, so we have indeed saved them from a contaminating influence. Sorry, didn't mean to drip sarcasm on your rug."

Well… if those airmen happen to live in the barracks they won’t be able to read blogs from “home” now, will they? This policy is incredibly short-sighted and I think…personally…that it will be reversed in the very near future. OTOH, the Air Force seems to be doing an incredible amount of “less than inspired” things of late. And for me, personally, this means neither of my adult sons will be able to read EIP during an idle moment at work. SN2, even though he’s Navy, is stationed at USSTRATCOM… located on Offut AFB.

Generals LeMay, Twining, Doolittle and Vandenberg are rolling in their graves. The service they built would be unrecognizable to them today.

(Pssst: “less than inspired” is code for frickin’ dumb. Stupid. Twisted. Boop-shooby.)


I’ve been meaning to rant about this subject for at least two weeks now, or since the first time I saw the incredulous claims made for this product on my teevee. I finally went to their web site to gather fodder for this post and was amazed and mystified, as I’m sure you will be, too. Sample:

Why use Kinoki Detox Foot Pads?

Formulated in Japan using all-natural tree extracts and powerful negative ions Kinoki Foot Pads help capture toxins your body eliminates. Kinoki Foot Pads cleanse and detoxify, safely and effectively.

How Kinoki Detox Foot Pads® Work

Your body naturally eliminates metabolic waste and toxins through your skin. Using the natural cleansing power of double distilled bamboo vinegar, Kinoki captures toxins eliminated by your body, cleansing and detoxifying your skin’s outer layers. You’ll see results right away!

Kinoki is a natural way to assist your body in the removal of:

• Heavy metals
• Metabolic wastes
• Chemicals
• Toxins

Now let me get this straight…and I might need your help, Gentle Reader. If your body “naturally eliminates metabolic wastes and toxins” why would you want to capture them? Isn’t that what the sewer system or your septic tank is for? And really… my kidneys, bladder, large intestine, other organs and the associated plumbing for removing “metabolic wastes” function just fine. No assistance required, actually.

But back to capturing those toxins. I suppose the accumulated toxins might be useful for poisoning small animals or maybe your mother-in-law, if you have a problem of sorts with her. Maybe you could brew a toxic tea with old used Kinoki pads. But if you save the old pads for the purpose of poisoning pests (of any sort), do you have to notify the EPA? Do you need a license to accumulate and store heavy metals and toxins? And if you just throw ‘em in the trash, are you adding heavy metals and metabolic wastes to our landfills, thereby “becoming part of the problem,” which none of us want to do? Come to think on it, are the used pads safe to handle without a hazmat suit? The list of undesirable things the used pads contain is quite scary when you think about it. I mean…chemicals! Dang!

Another question comes to mind… is double distilled bamboo vinegar (?) twice as powerful as bamboo vinegar that’s distilled just once? Why don’t I see bamboo vinegar on the shelves with the rest of the quack herbal remedies at my local health emporium?

What about these “powerful negative ions?” How do I know these ions are really negative? Isn’t negativity generally bad? Are they Democrat ions? Why not good ol’ positive Republican ions? If I lay out good money for ions, I want ‘em to be in general agreement with my basic philosophy, yanno? Coz I’m generally a positive kinda guy. (This rant aside, of course.)

Finally… I was disappointed that the web site doesn’t have any of the nifty “before and after” tables and graphs one sees in the teevee ads… the ones showing the “scientific proof” that Kinoki pads reduce heavy metals and toxins after just 30 days of use. Why, I wonder? Enquiring Minds© wanna know… Enquiring Minds wanna know where the Hell the Food and Drug Administration is, too. I thought there was some sort of law concerning false advertising in this country. I guess Dubya killed that, too.

Judging from the ads I’ve seen on my teevee, you should just wash your feet before retiring at night and save yourself $19.95. That will also keep your sheets a lot cleaner, too.


And finally…

NOTHING…not even Kinoki… makes me dive for the remote faster than this frickin’ ad, and all the others like ‘em. Yet another business I plan to visit when I become a midnight fire-bomber.

They’ve got it coming.


Was it good for you, Gentle Reader? It sure was for me. Let’s have a smoke and then take a short nap… Oh, wait. I said I couldn’t sleep now, didn’t I? Clean the bathroom? Re-alphabetize the CDs? What?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Can You Dig It?"

Just for fun, ya know. Dang, but I lurves me some Brit humor.

Via Chap...who digs up the very coolest stuff. Always and consistently.

I’ve Been Under the WX…

…for the last two days or so with a dental issue, which is scheduled to be resolved today. That means I’ll have one less tooth in this ol’ head when we’re done. I’m more than willing to make the trade-off at this point, the trade being one very painful tooth for some blessed relief. Blogging will continue to be light for a while until I get back up to speed.

Thank God for Aleve. That’s some great good stuff, Gentle Reader.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mixed Bag

Dueling Videos out of Iran… featuring an official video from the Iranian regime pontificating about the American threat (with guest appearances by John McCain and George Soros!) and which also ham-handedly encourages Iranians to report “suspicious activities” to the Iranian authorities; and a cell-phone video of an impromptu uprising by young people at an Iranian mall against the Modesty Police. The MEMRI vid can’t be embedded, but the cell-phone vid made it to YouTube. So here it is:

There’s a full description of the riot at the mall at Pajamas Media, along with other useful links.

The cell-phone video represents good news, to say the very least. The fact that the Iranian regime is producing videos encouraging the population to become informants is also good news, if you think about it. It remains to be seen where the allegiances of the Iranian people lie, but there are strong indications the younger folks have had enough.

This, on the other hand, is not good news… in any respect. Sanctions are warranted, to be sure. But the unrest of the Iranian people and their increasing willingness to confront the ayatollahs’ goons must be considered in any future course of action. The Iranians go to the polls for parliamentary elections on March 14th. To say that election will be interesting is the understatement of the year. Can you say “martial law?”

Good Lord… I’m just so thankful to be an American.

(h/t for the MEMRI piece: Lex. The other bits are from memeorandum and Google News.)


Today’s Pics: These may be the last of the Sinop pics. I have more, but you can wear anything out if you try hard enough. Today’s pics fall into the category of Local Color…even though they’re in black and white. Interesting architecture, eh?

As for larger.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Via Phlegmmy… my brain:


On the other, other hand…


And then there’s this…

Jeez. I could do this for hours! ;-)

Full Stop

I am SO with Rick Moran at Right Wing Nut House on this…

I am usually quite proud of being a conservative. I know in my heart that the only way to enjoying liberty under the law AND equality of justice is through the application of conservative principles to government and society. And I am usually proud of the rational, reasonable basis on which most conservatives see the world and evaluate people and events.

That’s why it embarrasses me to no end to see fellow conservatives who actually believe that Barack Obama is some kind of “Manchurian Candidate” sent by Muslims to undermine American society. Or that Obama is a closet Muslim just waiting to take power before unmasking himself. Or perhaps most bizarrely, since Obama was born to a Muslim father, he is a Muslim whether he wants to be or not and that Muslims elsewhere will not let him forget his heritage.

There are other permutations to this theme involving Obama’s middle name of Hussein which to some of my fellow conservatives is a dead giveaway that he is Muslim. And there are no end of theories, rumors, tall tales, and outright lies about Obama’s Muslim childhood spent at this madrass (sic) or that mosque which “proves” him to be a son of Islam.


And that’s why I find charges that Obama is some kind of closet Muslim so absurd. The candidate may have been trained as a grass roots organizer using the playbook written by radical Saul Alinsky. And he may have been involved in radical lefist politics early in his career. But a man who has so carefully crafted a political resume by conveniently being absent for key votes or voting “Present” on controversial bills – all the better to obscure how far left his politics go or what his true politics are – it is not beyond imagining that whatever his religious beliefs, they are calculated to effortlessly merge with the rest of this image Obama is presenting to the world. There is no room for Islam in this image nor is there anything in the public record that would indicate Obama has even given his Muslim heritage – if indeed his father was a member of the Islamic faith – a second thought as an adult.

Read the whole thing. As Moran and many others… including YrHmblScrb… have noted, there are many reasons to disagree with Senator Obama, and no lack of reasons why he shouldn’t be the next Commander-in-Chief. His middle name and his parentage ain’t part of ‘em.

Just frickin’ stop it.


More of the same. And it’s getting tiresome, Gentle Reader.


Today’s Pics: More from Sinop. Today... street scenes, and both shots were taken from the city wall once again. The conical objects in the second picture are part of the town’s hammam, which I never visited. Kinda strange, that, since I loved the public baths in Japan and visited them often. But…the public baths in Turkey are quite different than their Japanese counterparts. Or so I’ve heard.

Back in a bit. I was up waaay too late, yet again. Sometimes it bees like that.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Rather Random...

I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh but I used to once upon a time, and I don’t particularly like Rush Limbaugh but I agree with about 97.6% of this rant:

Limbaugh is reading an editorial by Gary Hubbell that appeared in the February 9th edition of the Aspen Times Weekly, so this is old news. Still and even, old or not…there’s a lot of truth in that, eh? If you disagree, I’d like to hear about it…with an emphasis on “why.” If you have the time and inclination, of course.

I wouldn’t call myself an Angry White Man. But I am disturbed at the way things are going in this country, so I most definitely relate to the sentiments in Mr. Hubbell’s piece.


I posted about Blogger Play at some point in the distant past (“distant past” being in blogging terms, not in real life), but I’m danged if I can find it. What it is, aside from being a serious time-waster, is a random selection of photos posted on some of the millions of blogs hosted on Blogger. You’ll see some real gems from time to time, and the cool thing is you can stop the slide-show, back it up, or fast forward. Check it out if you haven’t already. Make sure you have some time to spare coz you might be there for a while…


This is useful, in that geeky sort of way that floats MY boat: Country Codes of the World. Most are intuitive, a few are not. You can zoom the illustration, as well. Yet another time-waster, if you want it to be. Or not.

(h/t: Will, at MS-NBC’s Clicked…which is another cool time-waster in itself.)


Today’s Pics: More from The Wall. No, not that wall…the one I posted yesterday. The one on Turkey’s beautiful Black Sea coast. The first pic is taken standing upon the most ancient of fortifications while looking north at the most modern of fortifications…of a sort, and at the time. These modern fortifications, and those like them, endure only in our memories and in certain places on these here inter-tubes, which may or may not be permanent in nature. One hopes, and all… but still. One never knows. I use the term “fortification” when referring to the monitoring site in the sense we were sentinels on the far-flung walls that bordered the Evil Empire. The work was quite serious, and we took it seriously... as all sentinels throughout time have done.

The second pic was taken from the wall looking down upon a Sinop city street. You’ll note a modern tiled roof that apparently extends out directly from the wall I’m standing upon. One of the more interesting things about this ancient wall…which exceeded ten feet in thickness, in places… was the fact the Turks built modern homes and businesses directly into the wall. Some of the residences were mere hovels that consisted of hollowed-out spaces in the wall, converted to living quarters of a sort. Other buildings used the city wall as one of four walls for the new building… always the rear wall, for obvious reasons… and some of those buildings were two or more stories high.

And the third pic? Just your standard yet gratuitous “pretty girl” pic that happens to fit in with the current meme. You’re welcome.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Because I Said So!" (And More)

Every Mom will relate, but not every Mom can put it all together in one go like this Mom can. To music, even!

Well, I think she hit 'em ALL, eh?

There's Negative Campaigning...and Then There's This...

Heh. I might just watch SNL tonite...

Say What?

I think they're saying something to the effect that "G-Mail is cool." If so, I agree. Best spam control ever, among other things.

Oot and Aboot (That's Canadian, In Case You're Wonderin')...

We lost one

HAGATNA, Guam -- A B-2 stealth bomber crashed Saturday at an air base on Guam, but both pilots ejected safely and were in good condition, the Air Force said.

It was the first crash of a B-2 bomber, said Capt. Sheila Johnston, a spokeswoman for Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

And then there were only 20. Losing even one hurts, when you consider they cost $1.2 billion, each. Still, it was bound to happen at some point. The great good thing is both pilots got out alive and are doing well. It could have been worse, as it’s said.


So then ya know what happened? This: Official apology after CIA 'torture' jets used UK base.” Excerpt:

The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, had to make a humiliating apology to the Commons after it emerged that the US failed to tell British officials that two CIA rendition flights carrying suspected terrorists landed on the island of Diego Garcia in 2002. Six years on, one of the suspects is still being held by the US at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The other has been released.

Mr Miliband denied there was a deliberate cover-up and said he believed the US had acted "in good faith". However, Gordon Brown, attending an EU summit in Brussels, expressed his "disappointment" and said Washington's failure to disclose the flights earlier was "a very serious issue".

That’s from The Independent, the British left-wing fishwrap that is otherwise (in)famous as the print home of columnist and pundit Robert Fisk, Moonbat Extraordinaire. C-SPAN (God Love ‘Em!) ran the entire “apology” yesterday as delivered by Mr. Milibland in the House of Commons. The broadcast lasted about an hour and I was privileged to watch it in its entirety.

The thing that struck me as supremely odd was watching the US Gub’mint being articulately defended by the Labour Party (!) against vociferous attacks from Conservatives (!!) and Liberal-Democrats (not surprising at all). Those of you who don’t keep up with Brit politics might well say “So?” Well, just imagine John Kerry or Teddy Kennedy holding forth in the Senate and defending Dubya, or the actions of his administration. Yesterday’s spectacle in the Commons was the same sort of thing and just goes to prove it’s all about politics, anywhere and everywhere. The party out of power will do whatever is required to put the party in power in a bad light. So much for “principles.”

I sure do miss Dame Maggie.


Oh, shit. This hurts, Gentle Reader:

Today that term is all around Barack Obama — perhaps because there seems so little other way to explain how a first-term senator has managed to dazzle his way to front-runner in the race for the presidency, how he walks on water for so many supporters, and how the mere suggestion that he is, say, mortal, risks vehement objection, or at least exposing the skeptic as deeply uncool.

I don’t care if this is propeller-beanie wearing, egghead analysis, or even the fact that it appears in the NYT…which, as we all know, is…umm… partisan. Simply knowing that one is considered to be “uncool” in certain circles is, well, uncool. But it’s a badge of sorts, and one I’ll wear with pride.

It appears I’m not the only person who’s uncool, though. According to the WaPo, anyway. Excerpt:

It's the nature of the Web -- and, really, of life. What goes up must come down. What's popular becomes too popular. What's seen as hip and hot and cool eventually gets mocked.

Even, yes, Barack Obama.

In recent days, sites have popped up indicating that the ongoing online Obamamania has hit a wall. What kind of wall? A snarky, ironic, this-Obama-thing-has-gotten-over-the-top wall. Obama's smiling mug is mashed up on countless faces on He's Sumobama. He's Pharaohbama. He's Navajobama, complete with a blue-and-white feathered headdress. The blog Is Barack Obama the Messiah? features a photo of the Illinois senator standing on a flight of stairs, Christlike, above an adoring crowd while a ray of light beams from above.

And on the aptly titled Web site, the candidate caters to all your needs: Barack Obama made your bed . . . Barack Obama folded your laundry . . . Barack Obama picked you up at the airport . . . Barack Obama remembered your birthday . . . Barack Obama is your new bicycle . . .

That's funny ha, ha. And funny ouch.

Heh. It was just a matter of time, really. There’s more at the link.


Much ado about nothing much… Wherein Our Illustrious Guv’nor is (supposedly) being run hard by the Democrat contenders for his endorsement. The NYT:

Mr. Richardson’s transition from supplicant to benefactor provides a glimpse into a rarefied theater of political persuasion. Within hours of his exit from the race, he received calls from Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama and John Edwards. Mr. Clinton, who as president made him United Nations ambassador and then energy secretary, called him even before his withdrawal was announced. All of them wished Mr. Richardson the best and told him he had run a great race and, oh, by the way, “we need you.”

And they promised to be in touch.

“I want to make it clear that I’m not annoyed by any of this,” Mr. Richardson said of the repeated overtures.


Since ending his own run for the White House, Mr. Richardson has entered what he calls “a period of decompression.” He has grown a beard, ridden his beloved horse, Sundance, and started going to art museums around New Mexico again and to boxing matches in Las Vegas. He is sleeping about seven hours a night, up from four on the campaign trail, yet somehow looks more tired, as if the accumulated wear of the last year has taken residence in his eyes.

“I’m not annoyed…” That, Gentle Reader, may be the understatement of the day. Well, sorta. Note there’s precious little about Richardson concentrating on the business of running New Mexico… instead we have Billy riding his horse, trekking up to Vegas, and hanging out in art museums, which may or may not explain the new beard. I suppose that’s what he does best.

I could see where a Clinton-Richardson ticket would make good sense, less so where Barack is concerned. Either one would possibly benefit from Richardson’s endorsement, with emphasis on the “possibly.” As for me, personally? I’d just like to see Richardson out of Santa Fe, for what that’s worth.


The graphic above is evidence of another one of those “was it something I said?” moments here at EIP. I first mentioned the phenomenon last summer. I still feel the same way… even though this latest drop off leaves me in a better overall position, traffic-wise, than when I first blogged about precipitous drop-offs.

This most recent freefall is due, in part, to the extraordinary amount of folks who hit EIP on V-Day looking for creepy valentines… note the significant upward spike in traffic on 2/14. After that it’s all downhill. Makes ya wonder… even considering a lot of folks are using RSS these days.


It’s supposed to be warm here on The High Plains today…approaching, if not exceeding 70 degrees… if the weather materializes as forecasted. Warm, however, ain’t everything. Especially when one has gale-force winds accompanying said warmth. And gale-force winds are what we have, Gentle Reader.

We be rockin’ here at El Casa Móvil De Pennington. And how.


Today’s Pics: …are from Beautiful-Sinop-By-The-Sea. That would be by the Black Sea, Gentle Reader. Sinop has history, and lots of it. The town, like most towns that stretch back to medieval times and long before, was entirely surrounded by fortifications. The city walls are still extant and were in remarkable shape when I was there, given the age of the fortifications…which stretch back to Roman times and earlier. They also happen to be fully accessible and are wonderful places to play, if you’re of a mind to climb and don’t mind picking your way through and around various and sundry obstacles.

The first pic shows a portion of the city wall, viewed from the Yeni Hotel. The second shot was taken on the wall itself, and bears looking at in its larger version. Coz there’s detail, and lots of it, Gentle Reader.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Let's Get the Politics Out of the Way...

Didja watch the Dim Dem debate last night? Me, neither. If not, then Jules Crittenden provides a valuable service by posting an extensive excerpt from the debate transcript, with helpful translation of the non-English bits, of which there must have been more than a few. Sample:

RAMOS: (SPEAKING SPANISH) Right now, there are more than 30 million people in this country who speak Spanish.


(SPEAKING ENGLISH) Muchos de ellos estan aquí. Por el año 2050, habrá 120 millones de hispanos en los Estados Unidos. Ahora, hay cualquier desventaja, senador Clinton, a convertirse de Estados Unidos (SPEAKING SPANISH) becoming a bilingual nation? Is there a limit?

Hill: (SPEAKING SPANISH) No. (SPEAKING ENGLISH) ¿Dije eso correctamente? Mi experiencia extensa no incluye ninguna otra idiomas. Quisiera decir esto claramente… Yes.

Obama: (SPEAKING ELECTISH) US out of Babylon. Babel aqui. Pero en Los Estados Unidos, everyone must learn English.

RAMOS: (SPEAKING ENGLISH) Porque el imperialismo del Yanquis es muy importante: Cuál de usted está preparado lo más menos posible para ser presidente?

Hill: (SPEAKING NONSENSE) Married to a president = being president. Mi marido era un gran enabler del al Qaeda y estaré también.

Obama: (SPEAKING XEROX) Together we can convince ourselves that all we have to do is fight in Afghanistan. (BABELING INCOHERENTLY) As commander in chief, I would prefer politically correct conflicts. My experience with matters of national security in the Illinois State Senate are a good indicator of what I would do as president. I’m sorry, do I have to say that in English? Juntos podemos convencernos que de que todos lo que tenemos que hacer es luchar en Afganistán. Como comandante en jefe, preferiría político conflictos correctos. Mi experiencia con las materias de la seguridad nacional en el senado del estado de Illinois es un buen indicador de lo que haría como presidente.

Go. Really. And put your coffee cup down before you read, coz keyboards are expensive. Oh, and that Obama “speaking Xerox” bit? Explanation here, if you absolutely must. Taylor Marsh seems to think that was Her Hillaryness’es Line of the Night, Captain Ed less so.

As for me… I hope Hill gained some ground last night. The best of all possible worlds would be to watch those two go into the convention with their delegate counts dead-locked. Wouldn’t that be fun to watch, Gentle Reader?

::rubs his hands together in a Rovian expression of glee::


Speaking of Her Hillaryness and the Obamanon… a correspondent forwarded this to me yesterday. It’s an AP photo, with the following caption:

A float featuring effigies of US Democratic presidential candidates, New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama makes its way through the streets during the "Rose Monday" carnival parade in the western German city of Duesseldorf.

Cute, eh? Pretty damned accurate, too.


One more thing about The Obamanon, and then I’ll go look for more worthy blog-fodder. From Kathleen Parker, in a column (“The Ecstasy of Barack”) published at

So what is the source of this infatuation with Obama? How to explain the hysteria? The religious fervor? The devotion? The weeping and fainting and utter euphoria surrounding a candidate who had the audacity to run for leader of the free world on a platform of mere hope?

If anthropologists made predictions the way meteorologists do, they might have anticipated Obama's astronomical rise to supernova status in 2008 of the Common Era. Consider the cultural coordinates, and Obama's intersection with history becomes almost inevitable.

To play weatherman for a moment, he is a perfect storm of the culture of narcissism, the cult of celebrity, and a secular society in which fathers (both the holy and the secular) have been increasingly marginalized from the lives of a generation of young Americans.

That’s a good beginning, nu? There’s more where that came from… and, like…whoa!

Added, 1030 hrs: After you read Parker (assuming you will), go read Peggy Noonan in today's WSJ. Ms. Noonan writes in the same vein, but a bit better and more "on point," IMHO. Excerpt:

Mr. Obama did not really have a good week, in spite of winning a primary and a caucus, and both resoundingly. I don't refer to charges that he'd plagiarized words from a Deval Patrick speech. He borrowed an argument that was in itself obvious--words matter--and used words in the public sphere. In any case Mrs. Clinton has lifted so many phrases and approaches from Mr. Obama, and other candidates, that her accusation was like the neighborhood kleptomaniac running through the street crying, "Thief! Thief!"

His problem was, is, his wife's words, not his, the speech in which she said that for the first time in her adult life she is proud of her country, because Obama is winning. She later repeated it, then tried to explain it, saying of course she loves her country. But damage was done. Why? Because her statement focused attention on what I suspect are some basic and elementary questions that were starting to bubble out there anyway.

* * *

Here are a few of them.

Are the Obamas, at bottom, snobs? Do they understand America? Are they of it? Did anyone at their Ivy League universities school them in why one should love America? Do they confuse patriotism with nationalism, or nativism? Are they more inspired by abstractions like "international justice" than by old visions of America as the city on a hill, which is how John Winthrop saw it, and Ronald Reagan and JFK spoke of it?

Have they been, throughout their adulthood, so pampered and praised--so raised in the liberal cocoon--that they are essentially unaware of what and how normal Americans think? And are they, in this, like those cosseted yuppies, the Clintons?

Great good stuff that. I generally like Ms. Noonan, but she's hit this one out of the park.

Added again, or, Still more... this time it's Gerard Baker, writing in The Times (UK) (“Obama: is America ready for this dangerous leftwinger?)

It (ed: Michelle Obama's comments about "being proud of my country for the first time in my adult life.") was instructive for two reasons. First, it reinforced the growing sense of unease that even some Obama supporters have felt about the increasingly messianic nature of the candidate's campaign. There's always been a Second Coming quality about Mr Obama's rhetoric. The claim that his electoral successes in places like Nebraska and Wisconsin might transcend all that America has achieved in its history can only add to that worry.

Secondly, and more importantly, I suspect it reveals much about what the Obama family really thinks about the kind of nation that America is. Mrs Obama is surely not alone in thinking not very much about what America has been or done in the past quarter century or more. In fact, it is a trope of the left wing of the Democratic party that America has been a pretty wretched sort of place.

There is a caste of left-wing Americans who wish essentially and in all honesty that their country was much more like France. They wish it had much higher levels of taxation and government intervention, that it had much higher levels of welfare, that it did not have such a “militaristic” approach to foreign policy. Above all, that its national goals were dictated, not by the dreadful halfwits who inhabit godforsaken places like Kansas and Mississippi, but by the counsels of the United Nations.

Though Mr Obama has done a good job, as all recent serious Democrats have done, of emphasising his belief in American virtues, his record and his programme suggest he is firmly in line with this wing of his party.

This stuff just seems to be pouring out of the woodwork today, to mix a metaphor. And it's about past time, too.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


We’ve been going on a bit about voting and such in the comments to my recent Obama post. Keeping in the spirit of that discussion…here’s a civics quiz that’s a LOT harder than most of the fluff I’ve posted in the past (“fluff” refers to quizzes. mostly.).

I’m reasonably pleased with my results:

You answered 54 out of 60 correctly — 90.00 %
Average score for this quiz during February: 71.4%
Average score since September 18, 2007: 71.4%

But you know what’s really sad, Gentle Reader? This:

That’s the average college senior, Gentle Reader.

I think this quiz should be given to everyone attempting to register to vote. Were I King, you wouldn’t be allowed to vote unless you scored a “C,” at the very minimum. Or maybe you could vote twice or more, as your score went up.

How did you do? Would you be allowed to vote in my kingdom?

(H/t: Lex)

Apropos of Nothing…

… other than the fact I’m in a somewhat lazy and self-indulgent mood today, coupled with the additional fact that there’s not much that interests me in the realm of current events… here are three really old pics of YrHmblScrb at the very beginning of his USAF career.

The pic above is a 1963 newspaper clipping announcing to anyone and everyone who cared (a small audience, that… consisting mostly of my parents) that I was off to Keesler AFB in Beautiful Biloxi, Mississippi for to become a “radio and radar maintenance specialist.” Which only goes to show how clue-impaired the USAF Public Relations people were at the time, and still are… from what I hear. There were, at the very least, three different ground-based radar specialties (aircraft control and warning (AC&W), ground controlled approach (GCA), and radar bomb-scoring, otherwise known at the time as “auto-track radar”) and at least that many radio maintenance specialties. Moreover, the twain never met as far as work went, although us radar and radio types did kinda hang together.

This pic is of Airman Third Class (E-2) Pennington standing at the entrance to his barracks. A3C is the rank a single solitary stripe conferred upon its wearer back in the day; today’s one-stripers are simply called “Airman.” One is no longer “third class,” or even “second class,” in the lower enlisted grades. These days one goes directly from Airman (E-2) to Airman First Class (E-3), which may or may not be a good thing. But I digress, as is my habit.

You cannot believe, Gentle Reader, how proud I was to sew that one lonely little stripe on my sleeves. Making Airman Third was the first promotion one used to receive in the Air Force, and it’s a pretty big day. Until you realize that 99.05% of the Air Force still outranks you. Life at the bottom of the food chain just ain’t all that good. Especially when we still had things like KP, squadron and base detail, and various and sundry other inconvenient, dirty and boring things to occupy our time. Like the other services still have, or so I hear.

This picture was taken in my dorm room, which I shared with two other troops. By this time I had advanced to Airman Second Class (E-3) and was only outranked by approximately 90% of the rest of the Air Force. An improvement in status, but a minor one. I had also become a student leader, AKA a “rope,” which entitled me to wear said rope on my left shoulder and conferred additional, albeit very limited, responsibilities and (much more limited) privileges… a private room NOT being part of that package, unfortunately. (See here for more on ropes) But at least we in the Air Force had rooms. The other services lived in open-bay barracks at the time, and I hear (yet again) some still do. We won’t talk about how the Navy lives. We’ll simply provide an illustration of how their ossifers live aboard ship. You can just imagine how the enlisted swine live, by comparison. It’s not pretty, Gentle Reader.

Ah, but I had more than the usual, customary, and reasonable amount of fun in those days. Even considering that I lived on $99.37 per month, gross. That meant I actually received something close to $40.00 each and every payday, without fail. It was entirely possible and perfectly conceivable (if not normal), Gentle Reader, to blow the entire amount in one go at the various dives and gin mills located right outside the gate. Don’t ask me how I know this. I just DO…

One Shot, One Kill.

Congratulations to the U.S. Navy and the men and women of USSTRATCOM on the successful intercept of that dead spy satellite.

The Chicago Sun-Times has a good summary and description of the event here. Is this a great country...or what?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mostly, But Not Completely, Obama...

Ya know what scares the livin’ sheiss out of me? As of this morning… This:

Yes We Can Obama Song by Will.I.Am

MySpace 45 new posts 10,163,831 views

This video has been Number One on the ViralVideos list for over a week now and the number of views is simply incredible, to say the very least. Just for contrast, the video with the second highest number of views on the list (“Frozen Grand Central) has 5,228,274 views.

O! My Country!

As if I needed yet another reason to be depressed. Is it too late to raise the voting age to 35? Please?


Speaking of The Phenomenon from Illinois… he had yet another big night last night, and he’s up to ten straight victories in the Democrat primaries. Victory, of course, is relative when it comes to Democrat primaries and their arcane delegate allocation process. The delegate count remains somewhat close, but Obama is opening up what may be an insurmountable lead. At least the pundits think so…

Some folks are saying it’s all over but the shouting. Or the crying, as the case may be. Yet still, not everyone’s impressed. Particularly Robert Samuelson who, writing in today’s WaPo (“The Obama Delusion”), sez:

It's hard not to be dazzled by Barack Obama. At the 2004 Democratic convention, he visited with Newsweek reporters and editors, including me. I came away deeply impressed by his intelligence, his forceful language and his apparent willingness to take positions that seemed to rise above narrow partisanship. Obama has become the Democratic presidential front-runner precisely because countless millions have formed a similar opinion. It is, I now think, mistaken.

As a journalist, I harbor serious doubt about each of the most likely nominees. But with Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain, I feel that I'm dealing with known quantities. They've been in the public arena for years; their views, values and temperaments have received enormous scrutiny. By contrast, newcomer Obama is largely a stage presence defined mostly by his powerful rhetoric. The trouble, at least for me, is the huge and deceptive gap between his captivating oratory and his actual views.


The contrast between his broad rhetoric and his narrow agenda is stark, and yet the media -- preoccupied with the political "horse race" -- have treated his invocation of "change" as a serious idea rather than a shallow campaign slogan. He seems to have hypnotized much of the media and the public with his eloquence and the symbolism of his life story. The result is a mass delusion that Obama is forthrightly engaging the nation's major problems when, so far, he isn't.

Specific examples abound in the entire op-ed. As it’s said: RTWT. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more articles in the mainstream press now that Obama is definitely the front-runner. Too late? I think so, but your mileage most certainly may vary.

But Hey! Speaking of Obama supporters being “dazzled…” there’s this...

These women were so dazzled they completely forgot how to spell. (yes, I AM being charitable. Very.) (h/t for the image: V the K)

And then there’s this… I missed it, but Ed Morrissey did NOT. From The Good Captain’s post:

Matthews asked (ed: Texas state senator Kirk) Watson to name any significant legislative accomplishment by Obama, and the campaign surrogate got stumped:

MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "You are a big Barack supporter, right, Senator?"

State Sen. Watson: "I am. Yes, I am."

Matthews: "Well, name some of his legislative accomplishments. No, Senator, I want you to name some of Barack Obama's legislative accomplishments tonight if you can."

State Sen. Watson: "Well, you know, what I will talk about is more about what he is offering the American people right now."

Matthews: "No. No. What has he accomplished, sir? You say you support him. Sir, you have to give me his accomplishments. You've supported him for president. You are on national television. Name his legislative accomplishments, Barack Obama, sir."

State Sen. Watson: "Well, I'm not going to be able to name you specific items of legislative accomplishments."

Matthews: "Can you name any? Can you name anything he's accomplished as a Congressman?"

State Sen. Watson: "No, I'm not going to be able to do that tonight."

Matthews: "Well, that is a problem isn't it?"

It will be in November. Hope and change sound great ... for a while. At some point, the spell breaks, and people wonder how all this hope and change will morph into actual policy, and whether the candidate can actually deliver it. That usually means looking at the record to see how the candidate did so in the past, when they had the opportunity to do so.

That excerpt is from MS-NBC’s coverage of the primaries last evening. I don’t watch MS-NBC at all, ever. But (a) I’ll not digress here and (b) I’m damned sorry I missed that particular exchange. Good on Matthews for pointing out the would-be Emperor is most definitely naked. You can bet anything and everything that’s important to you that Senator McCain will be relentless on this particular point, as he should be. (The Huffington Post has video of the Matthews – Watson exchange here. Watson looks like a blithering idiot. Emphasis on “blithering.”)

Speaking of Senator McCain… I’m not intentionally slighting the Republicans by focusing on the Democrats, but the Republican race is over. Everyone knows that except for Mike Huckabee and a handful of disgruntled conservatives ideologues. All the action is on the Left side of the house now, innit?


Teflon Don completed his journey back to Iraq and is now in the field and posting…with lots of photos. Great good stuff here, as most of y’all already know. The man can write, Gentle Reader, and has a good eye for pictures, as well.


Can we please dust off the sedition and treason laws now? From World Net Daily:

JAFFA, IsraelMideast terrorist leaders today thanked actress Sharon Stone for claiming to Arab media the U.S. used the Sept. 11 attacks as "pretext" for launching wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The terrorists stated Stone's remarks, published this week in Arabic, reinforce their views that current U.S. foreign policy is leading America toward destruction.

"What Stone said strengthens what we have been saying all along – that the Bush administration and the American evangelical Christians who control U.S. policy are leading America to defeat," said Muhammad Abel-Al, spokesman and senior leader of the Popular Resistance Committees terrorist organization.

Aside from her remarks about 9-11, Stone, in her interview with the pan-Arabic Al Hayat newspaper, also bemoaned what she called Americas' decision to ignore the deaths of "600,000 Iraqis."

She stated she was against war with Iran and criticized the international community's failure to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Senior terrorists here urged Americans to take heed of the "Basic Instinct" star's comments.

It’s past…waaay past… time we charge and bring some folks to trial for their remarks in direct support of the enemy. I’m all about free speech, but this? Stone is over the frickin’ TOP.


Today’s Pics: Another woman from my past. Pictured is the lovely Elaine, a woman I met while stationed in Beautiful Sinop-by-the-Sea. The first pic is a close-up, taken at one of the drunken brawls parties that were the primary source of entertainment and amusement for the crowd I ran with during my sojourn in Sinop. The second pic was taken looking down from the railing of The White Boat on the day I left Sinop. That’s my Buddy Dan In Florida giving me the “thumbs-up.” Dan left Sinop about a week or so after I did.

But back to Elaine. I met her while working at KBOK (the closed-circuit radio station I deejay'ed at) and we became very good friends...but only friends... during our stay in Sinop. We got romantically involved a couple of years later following her divorce. She and I were in the process of making plans for her to accompany me to Japan in 1975, but I had second thoughts about the relationship and ended it in a rather abrupt and uncaring sort of way. Which, in retrospect, may or may not have been “a good thing.” I would have never met The Second Mrs. Pennington had Elaine and I gone to Japan together. There are all sorts of different possibilities associated with that particular line of thought... but ya can’t second-guess your past, eh?

Finally… Elaine is the reason I can never go back to Tucson. I still fear for my life, with just cause. “I did her wrong,” as the song goes, and we both knew it… she much more than I, perhaps. I base that thought on her oh-so-explicit (not to mention graphic) promises of violence to my person should we ever meet again. Ergo: I can never go back to Tucson. For any length of time, anyway.

Update 2/20/2008, mid-day: I've mentioned The White Boat more than a few times of late and it dawned on me that all y'all have not the slighest idea of which I speak. So...for your illumination, here's the SS (or MV, or whatever prefix the Turks use on their ships) Izmir as she was pulling up to the pier on the blessed day I departed Beautiful-Sinop-By-The-Sea. One doesn't have days like this very often, Gentle Reader. Or trips on The White Boat, for that matter.