that title might make sense to some people.

anyways, today the bbc brings us the story of the youngest ever member of cuba's national assembly, 18-year old liaena hernandez. key quote: "Having young Cubans in parliament shows that the revolution continues. It isn't just something from our history." the continuing revolution began on january 1, 1958, when fidel castro seized power. for reference, here are some other revolutions that come to mind:

american revolution: ~8 years, depending on how you count
result: the best country ever
french revolution: ~10 years, again depending on how you count
result: two of the greatest military leaders ever duking it out, and lots of dead people.

both marked major turning points in world history, and took less than 20 years between them to complete. 50 years later, the cubans are still right where they were--fleeing to america on whatever floats--only without soviet assistance and no more botched invasions of their island. cuba, i submit that your revolution is ineffectual, and it's time to give it up.


bass ackwards

i'm really not sure how amazon's shipping system works. i preordered Wrath of the Lich King a good two months before it came out, with regular shipping, and it got to me 4 days after the game released... which also happened to be one day after i went out and bought another copy because i got tired of waiting. last thursday, i ordered some beef jerky--a type i really like, but haven't been able to find locally lately. i chose the free "super-saver" shipping, which in theory is slower. the package shipped the next day, and was waiting for me when i got home from work. and it was shipped through the US post office, which is generally not known for it's speed. heck, it takes me three days to mail something from here to spokane, and i can drive there in less than three hours.


held up by the sheriff

we were well on the way to breaking the record (12 minutes) for fastest council meeting. and then the sheriff showed up. but harvey is a cool guy, so we didn't mind too much. and it still took less than 20 minutes, so i'm a happy camper.


various and sundry things

wow, i've been slacking lately. but it's been slow at work as well, so i've had a bit of time to peruse the BBC website for news... here are a few things i thought were interesting.

1) obama has already managed to piss off al-qaeda, so he can't be all bad. it was definitely in poor taste for al-zawahiri to refer to obama as a "house-slave" though. regardless of what may have brought the insult on, basing it on his skin color--which he has no control over--is pretty lame.

2) gays in california are still pissed about proposition 8; apparently "majority rule should not set the law." which, who really wants that messy democracy stuff anyways? they may actually have a pretty good case; if the courts deem this a revision to the state constitution instead of an amendment, it would have required a 2/3 vote in the legislature before being passed on to the voters. which brings us back to the majority thing; the gay rights folks got a majority of judges to agree to hear an argument that the proponents should have got a supermajority to vote in favor of prop 8 before the regular majority got to vote in favor of it. so apparently majorities are okay, as long as they agree with the gay rights people. personally, i'm going to side with sir elton john on this one. i don't remember the exact wording, but it was something along the lines of "marriages are for straight people, civil unions are for gay people... if you're getting the same basic rights, why should you care what it's called?" one is a relationship between two people of opposite sexes, and one is a relationship between two people of the same sex; they are, in fact, two different things.

3) philosophical questions for the day: number 1 is the only one i actually came up with an answer for, so i'm going to go ahead and post the whole thing and then give my answer and reasoning.


Suppose Bill is a healthy man without family or loved ones. Would it be ok painlessly to kill him if his organs would save five people, one of whom needs a heart, another a kidney, and so on? If not, why not?

Consider another case: you and six others are kidnapped, and the kidnapper somehow persuades you that if you shoot dead one of the other hostages, he will set the remaining five free, whereas if you do not, he will shoot all six. (Either way, he'll release you.)

If in this case you should kill one to save five, why not in the previous, organs case? If in this case too you have qualms, consider yet another: you're in the cab of a runaway tram and see five people tied to the track ahead. You have the option of sending the tram on to the track forking off to the left, on which only one person is tied. Surely you should send the tram left, killing one to save five.

But then why not kill Bill?

no, we don't kill bill. in both situations given, at least one person is going to die regardless of what happens. in the original question, if we don't "harvest" bill, he continues living his happy, healthy life. besides which, we really don't know if his organs will actually save the people they're intended for. they could be rejected by the host, or the doctor could screw up the operation, and there are probably several other things that could go wrong as well. also, back to the first example they give... if the hostage taker gives me a gun to shoot one of the other hostages dead, the first thing i'm going to do is shoot the guy that took us hostage, and we're all free. the end.


random question

believe it or not, i made it through my entire school "career"--high school, community college, and real college--without taking a single chemistry class. so i've got a chemistry-type question that randomly popped into my head the other day.

what happens if you drop an oxygen absorber into a glass of water? assuming there's actually enough to absorb all of the oxygen in the water, are you left with liquid hydrogen or hydrogen gas, or does something else entirely happen?


bummer dude

congratulations, mr. obama. i really hope that i was horribly wrong about you.


question of the day...

amd or intel? i want a quad-core cpu, and hope to be rocking dual graphics cards in sli/crossfire as well. any recommendations are welcome.


more on the bailout

which i was actually planning to write a few weeks back, but got lazy. go figure. in my defense, my original link broke, and i had to track down a new one... all the .pdf versions are coming up no good.

my favorite section, which i hope i'm reading/interpreting wrong, is 112, which states (emphasis mine):

The Secretary shall coordinate, as appropriate, with foreign financial authorities and central banks to work toward the establishment of similar programs by such authorities and central banks. To the extent that such foreign financial authorities or banks hold troubled assets as a result of extending financing to financial institutions that have failed or defaulted on such financing, such troubled assets qualify for purchase under section 101.
that same section 101 that tells us the treasury secretary can purchase troubled assets "from any financial institution, on such terms and conditions as are determined by the Secretary, and in accordance with this Act and the policies and procedures developed and published by the Secretary."

so on top of wasting money to cover the stupid financial institutions in our own country, we're going to be covering for the mistakes made by other countries as well? i think we should focus on our own problems first and foremost.

speaking of focusing... president bush's original proposal was 3 pages long. the finished bill was 451 pages, and roughly 330 of those (i think it was actually a few more, but don't remember the exact page number) had absolutely nothing to do with the economic crisis. 75% of this bill was just addons to get enough of the senators to abandon any common sense they might have had and vote yes. to make it "good" enough for people to go along with, they had to turn it into a very bad bill indeed.

so, there are my two cents. i may have a bit more later... at work i get a copy of the banc investment daily; most of it is way over my head (or "above my pay grade"), but they've had some good things to say about the bailout.


entrepreneuer of the week

and the award goes to.... sarah's smash shack. good to see that at least someone should be doing well in these troubled times.

h/t wp


next step, retention

i learned something again today: when in doubt, just keep your mouth shut. i've lost track of how many times that would have been a good idea, but i'm hoping that one of these times--preferably this one--the lesson will stick.


the good, the bad, and the ugly

the good
senator cantwell (D)
rep. hastings (R)
rep. inslee (D)
rep. mcdermott (D)
rep. mcmorris (R)
rep. reichert (R)

the bad
senator murray (D)
rep. baird (D)
rep. larsen (D)
rep. smith (D)
rep. dicks (D)

the ugly
h.r. 1424, on which i'll have more to say later



looks like the senate overwhelmingly passed a new version of the bailout package. they also managed to tack even more spending onto it--apparently to make it palatable to the majority of senators--in the form of what appears to be a rather odd set of earmarks, including funds for (or tax cuts for... it's hard to tell) virgin island and peurto rican rum, race tracks, and wool research. wtf do those have to do with credit problems, mate?

it sounds like the house will be voting on this (and probably tacking more crap onto it) on friday... hopefully they've got the good sense to shoot it down again.



so, i made it to my first cougar football game this weekend. and man, did i ever pick a bad weekend for it. oregon walked all over them, and the clock finally put an end to our misery with the score 63-14. i'm hoping to make it down for a basketball game as well... hopefully they stay pretty good


son of the year

the award goes jim richardson, who managed to track down and buy the m1 garand that his father had used in korea, and presented it to him for his 79th birthday.

h/t wp



found this little bugger hanging off the side of the bank today, and got right up in his grill for some pictures. hopefully he'll (or she... hard to tell with bats) still be there tomorrow, and i'll get some more.


you know what's really awesome?

spending a good chunk of your day cleaning up messes that you didn't create, so that you can keep the auditors happy, so they can keep upper management happy. on the downside, once you get all that fixed, nobody notices that half of your workforce is not so much helping things as actively making them more difficult, even if unintentionally.


random thought

obama '08: hope. change. hopechange. and with that, a side of vice presidential candidate who's been in the senate for over half his life... since nixon was president, mccain was still a "guest" at the hanoi hilton, and obama was 12 years old.

obama '08: hope? maybe. change? not so much.


there's gotta be a better word for that

it's probably unnecessary, but i get pissed when people (usually PETA, but a few others as well) talk about the humane (or inhumane) treatment of animals. they seem to be missing the key part of that word: human. the royal humane society, for example, was originally founded to rescue/resuscitate drowning people, and they still give awards for doing so; i saw no mention of the treatment of animals on their site.

animals shouldn't be treated humanely, because they're not human. that's not to say they shouldn't be treated well; just that we need to come up with a better term for doing so. "animalane" just doesn't sound right, so i'm open to suggestion.


dale soden is the man

i enjoyed most of his classes (even dale couldn't do anything with "ideas about history"), and just got to play pool with him a few months ago.


man, i am freaking lazy

that's the only excuse i can come up with for such light posting. in my defense... no, i really have no defense. i've pretty much been reading, playing WoW and another game i just discovered, and hanging out with the only friend i've got in the area before she heads back to pullman. and work, of course, but i think that's part of what leads to the laziness. unless it's a friday and i stay up fairly late, i spend more of my waking hours at or traveling to/from work than i do at home.

i am hoping to pick up writing again at some point. not just the blog, but actual writing as well. i recently finished reading a book that was written by a girl i went to school with. while not the best writing i've ever seen (though mine is far from perfect), it was a good story, and i'm looking forward to the sequel. she went through authorhouse to publish it, which is something i'll definitely look into. i've started and dropped more stories than i can count... usually i just don't have the motivation to keep going on them, or once i actually started writing they didn't come out quite like i expected. i do have a pretty decent outline for one that i liked floating around somewhere, which i'm going to try digging up again one of these days.

other than that, not a whole heck of a lot going on. i'm hoping to build a new computer sometime this fall or winter. my current machine (just hit 3 years with it) does everything i need it to and then some, but it doesn't do everything i want it to anymore. but then, this is something i was thinking about last summer as well, and nothing came of that, so maybe i'll just hold onto my money a bit longer. i'm setting some aside every month so that hopefully in the next year or two i'll be able to make a lump payment and no longer owe the government anything on my student loans. which really just means i get to start paying my parents more for the ones they took out, but it will still feel good.

on which note, i need to go to sleep, so i can wake up and go to work, so i can come home and not do anything productive tomorrow, but possibly avoid writing run-on sentences, even though this one was semi-intentional, just to piss off all those english majors out there.


bride to be?

iliza shlesinger, will you marry me? it would be great!
*you're incredibly attractive, i'm not bad looking; we'll call that one a wash
*you're a standup comic, i'm a sitcomedian; we'd complete each other! except not in those words, because that sounds cheesy
*we're both winners: you won last comic standing, i won an election

that's all i've got for now, unfortunately, but it's a start


candidate nicknames

i'm sure there are some out there that are more clever, but to me, the election this november looks to be a contest between BO and Old Spice.


good news!

from the cuba front: the government is planning to allow more private ownership of land. it seems like it's mostly a practical measure, designed to cut down on the amount of food that cuba needs to import. but whatever the reason, it's a huge step forward for freedom on the island, especially if coupled with this:

"He [Raul Castro] has also announced that workers can earn productivity bonuses, doing away with the egalitarian concept that everyone must earn the same...."
so wait... if i work more, i can get paid more? sign me up! if these reforms go through, it will definitely be time to start easing our trade and travel restrictions on cuba.


context is overrated

we actually ran into this one while designing the whitworth college republicans t-shirts, but didn't end up using it:

"A wise man's heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man's heart directs him toward the left" (Ecclesiastes 10:2, NASB)

i had been looking for that one for awhile, but couldn't remember exactly where it was. and then the other night, i randomly opened my bible up right to it. that's gotta be a sign of some sort...


good question

yeah, i'm with rachel on this one... how exactly does this change anything? shouldn't this be considered more evidence in favor of what christians believe, rather than "rewriting the bible"?



so, last night i stayed up waiting for my little brothers to get back from young life camp at malibu. they were supposed to be home around midnight, at which point i was supposed to pick them up at one of the local churches. at 03:15, somebody else dropped them off right at our house. which means i could have been in bed for three hours at that point. good times.

i'm alive!

believe it or not, i survived my trip. at some point i hope to have up a more thorough account of it, along with pictures; but for now, here are the highlights:

arlington national cemetery
the white house (just the outside)
washington nationals baseball game (vs texas, lost 5-3)
smithsonian national museum of natural history

supreme court (handed down three decisions [1, 2, 3])
library of congress
tour of the capitol building (including about 5 minutes of a house session)
navy memorial
washington monument

jefferson memorial
wwII memorial
vietnam memorial
lincoln memorial
fdr memorial
korean war memorial
us department of the treasury - bureau of printing & engraving (the buck starts here!)
national archives (constitution, bill of rights, declaration of independence, among other things)

harpers ferry

national zoo
smithsonian national air and space museum
marine corps memorial

15 hours of travel
my birthday!

ft. drum centennial air show

walking tour of sackets harbor battlefield

i'm home!


pat! update your friggin blog!

actually, i've been a bit lazy about that as well, so pat's not the only one. and i haven't really had an excuse... not yet, at least. in a few days though, i will, at least for awhile. friday after work i'm headed over to seattle, and saturday morning i fly to washington, dc. i'll be there until bright and early on the 27th, when i'll hop a train up to new york city, spend a few hours there, and then hop another train up to the syracuse area until the wee hours of the 30th, at which point it's onto another flight and back home. actually, come to think of it, i could probably extend the excuse for another week or so... it'll take me a few days to recover from the trip and readjust to my usual timezone, and then i'll have a friend from portland coming up for 4th of july weekend. monday after that i get to go back to work with my boss out on vacation, and hope things haven't gotten too crazy while i was gone, and then town council that night, where people will swear at us for either spraying or not spraying for mosquitoes. good times.

on which note, time for sleep.


Happy Memorial Day...

...and a sincere thank you to all the men and women who have fought and died in the name of freedom.


haloscan problems?

or maybe i just broke something. i can see comments in the "recent comments" bar, but not in the comments section of the actual post they go along with. any thoughts on why that might be?


poetry, or something like it

both of these just sort of popped into my head at work today. at some point, i may try and complete the color wheel. or maybe not, since i'm not a huge fan of poetry, and it's not something i'm overly good at.

If I Were Blue
What would I do,
If I were blue,
From lack of breathing air?

Wherever I wandered,
My humor would be squandered,
The people would just point and stare.

I can't say I'd blame them,
And I'd wish I were like them,
Living my life without a care.

But I am not blue,
So who cares what I'd do?
I'm off to go breathe some air.

If I Were Yellow
If I were yellow,
I'd be quite mellow,
But not the beverage of that name.

A treasure of gold,
If you could get a hold
Of me you'd win fortune and fame.

By now you are thinking,
"This writing is stinking,
This poem is really quite lame."

So I must digress,
And go join the protest
For the "outing" of Valerie Plame.


thoughts on california's gay marraige ban...

...that was struck down today by the california state supreme court.

1) gays already have the same marriage rights we do: the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. they're not pushing for equal rights, they're pushing for special rights.

2) is it just me, or does it seem like the process got less and less democratic as it went along?
a) 2000, california voters (or at least all those that bothered to vote) passed a resolution banning gay marriage
b) following this, the legislature--elected representatives, but still a smaller number of people than those who voted on the resolution--attempts to legalize gay marriage, but governor schwarzenegger vetoed their bills. proving his RINO status however, he said that it should be passed on to the courts.
c) in a 4-3 vote, the state supreme court overturned the law banning gay marriage. unlike the US supreme court, these judges were at least elected, but still... 7 people getting to make the decision on something as important as this?


the trend continues

with more conservative governments being elected to power, this time in the UK. the tories picked up quite a few council seats (+256), as well as winning the mayoral race in London and taking control of the city assembly. i still have very little idea of how the election system over there works though, so i have no idea what this means for the long run.



damn... how come i didn't find out about this till 20 minutes ago?




i'm not sure what made me think of it, but i just realized that i missed the annual Eat an Animal for PETA day. by about a month. right now it's an annual event (march 15), but I really think it's important enough to become at least quarterly.



500 bonus points to scott, our bank president, for the following conversation at the end of our open house tonight:

me: hey, if there's any fat tire left, i'll buy it.
scott: just take it.
me: what?
scott: you don't need to buy it. just take it.
me: hey, thanks much!

i definitely walked out of the bank with a full case of fat tire tonight. good times.



Hillary Under Fire

Ode on Hillary in Bosnia

by Orson Scott Card

"We landed under sniper fire!
We ran for cover, terrified!
The bullets flew around my head!
I thought for sure that I was dead!"

She told the tale in hopes it meant
We'd vote for her for president.
Instead we looked for evidence
Of Hillary's experience,
And found that not a bullet flew.
Her thrilling story wasn't true.

Because we know she never lies,
I ask, how did this tale arise?
Was it a dream, and when she woke
She thought that it was real?
Or was the story just a joke,
And no big deal?

Did drinking too much mocha make her
Fantasize this tale?
Or was it from a line of coke,
A furtive toke of the kind of smoke
That Bill did not inhale?

Oh hush, right-wing conspirators!
Your reasons suck! Now here is hers:
She just misspoke.
She meant to say
She landed on a sunny day
And a little girl read a poem aloud
And Hillary waved to the friendly crowd.

But campaign days are oh so long,
And being a woman, she isn't strong,
So the story simply came out wrong.

How could you think that Hillary lied,
When it was such a small mistake,
The kind that anyone could make?
No joke, no toke of smoke, no coke,
No dream from which she never woke --
She just misspoke.

You've heard that what goes up comes down
And where there's smoke there's fire.
Well, when you visit Hillary Town
The word "misspoke" means "liar."

(Copyright © 2008 by Orson Scott Card. Please duplicate this poem as much as you like, as long as you don't charge for it; but include this copyright notice with it.)


yay money!

awesome! apparently i'm about to recieve a donation from mrs jenifer bruce. assuming she actually exists though, either she's none to bright or she thinks i'm not. a few key excerpts from the email:

  • When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $2. 5 Million (Two Million Five Hundred U.S. Dollars) in the bank here in Abidjan in suspense account. [whoops... that should read "Two Million Five Hundred Thousand." strike one.]
  • Recently, my Doctor told me that i have serious sickness which is cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. [as opposed to what? a serious sickness which is cancer solution? also, last i checked a stroke wasn't a sickness. strikes two and three.]
  • I don’t need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband’s relatives is around me always I don't want them to know about this development. [i'm not even sure what she's trying to say here. that's gotta be worth at least 14 more strikes.]
  • Contact me on the above e-mail address for more information’s, any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church or individual for this same purpose. [note to jenifer: adding 's to the end of something doesn't automatically make it plural. this is even more fun than john kerry's "our troops need more ammo's" back in the 2004 debates. i think we're up to strike eighteen now.]
also, she claims to be a kuwaiti writing from the ivory coast... apparently she was married to the some guy who worked at the kuwaiti embassy there. problems with that statement: 1) i am unable to find any credible reference to a kuwaiti embassy in the ivory coast; 2) jenifer isn't exactly a kuwaiti name... the closest i was able to come up with from a list of arabic girls' names were janvier and jenna; and 3) a google search for "kuwaiti embassy ivory coast" brings up several different versions of the same attempted scam.

so, time for a little contest. the person who guesses closest to the chance (expressed as a percentage) there is of me responding to the email wins a prize.


an interesting comparison

over at say anything, pilgrim compares organized crime with militant islam. it's actually a very interesting way of looking at them. key paragraph:

And that’s my point: If an organized crime syndicate did the same thing the entire might of U.S. and European law enforcement would come down on them like a ton of bricks. Will the threats against the Live Leak staff get the same treatment? Probably not. Islam gets a pass. I don’t get it.
read the whole thing.


laziness, or a shout out?

i've probably mentioned it before, but i'm a huge fan of the stargate: sg-1 series. i just finished season 8, and seasons 9 and 10 are sitting on the shelf begging to be opened. recently, i saw a name that i recognized from the show: kelowna, a country on another planet that one of the main characters was from. and i thought "wait a minute, why is the wenatchee rotary club doing something with people from a fictional location?" but it turns out kelowna is also a city in british columbia, a four hour drive from where the show was filmed in vancouver. which really makes me wonder how many other locations on the show are named after places on earth. so the question is: were they just lazy when they were coming up with names, or did they think highly enough of the area to decide to put it out there for everyone to see?


for old times sake

i found my journal from my trip to england and scotland back in 2004 the other day, and resumed the task of completing it. you read that right: almost four years later, and it's still not done. i actually remember quite a bit of what happened though, and when rereading it was even able to remember some things that I had left out when i was originally writing it. i'm hoping to finish up sometime in the near future, at which point i plan to type it up and put it online.

random side note: i just found a small feather between two of the empty pages towards the end. i have no idea what it's doing there, but i'll go ahead and leave it there for now.

Happy Easter!

He is rizzle fo shizzle.


happy birthday!

to my younger brother bud. he turned 21 today, and told me he'd redeem the day from some of the other interesting folk who were born on march 12. in no particular order:

mitt romney
darryl strawberry
ron jeremy
some others i forget

it was also the day the jews were expelled from syria (1496); cesare borgia was killed (1507); the US post office was established (1789); the girl scouts were founded (1912); FDR gave the first of his 'fireside chats' (1933); the truman doctrine came into being (1947); hawaii became a state (1959); wonder woman made its television debut (1974); hungary, poland and the czech republic joined NATO (1999); and the color coded terror warning system was established (2002). i think bud has quite a bit of redeeming to do.

event dates courtesy of on-this-day.com


hey, they got one right!

or mostly right, at least. my favorite microbreweries are actually located in washington and oregon. so maybe i'm not as white as i thought?

... yeah, i am. oh well. and though i have no plans to open my own microbrewery, i have made my own beer before, and we do have organic golden hops growing in our back yard.


various bits and pieces

here are a few things i've been meaning to post on for awhile, but kept getting distracted. if i don't give anyone credit for them, either i found it myself or it came from one of the other blogs i frequent, most likely wizbang or say anything.

1) hooray! for socialized medicine. if you like being shipped to india for your health care, that is. (wizbang)

2) liberals are insane. we all knew that already, but now we've got a psychiatrist to back us up. although much like the "global warming" debate, you could probably find people with all sorts of facts on both sides of the issue. (wizbang?)

3) governor spitzer of new york wants to tax illegal drugs. either he's incredibly stupid, or he thinks all of the dealers in his city are. who the hell is going to claim that they've got crack, and then pay a tax on it? surprisingly, 21 other states have tried this or something similar. maybe they're taking their cue from britain, where polygamy is illegal, but you can still get extra welfare benefits for your multiple wives.

4) my vote might be making it's comeback. if obama & mccain end up as the nominees, i may vote for mccain just to be voting against obama, who wants to send more money off to the UN to fight global poverty. i've got no problem fighting poverty, but don't do it through the UN. they're much more likely to deface historic sites, rape the locals, or take bribes from dictators. and on the off chance they get something right, why should they get credit for something when we're the ones putting up the funds for it? if you want something done right, do it yourself.

5) i'm not sure what to think of this site. i've gotten through the first 10 postings, and for the most part it's fairly entertaining. but at the same time, if they had called it "things black people like," it probably would have been shut down for being racist.

6) on a more positive note, i want one of these.


thought of the day

from dostoevsky's crime and punishment (wordsworth classics edition, pg. 204):

"I do not believe in another life," replied Raskolnikoff.
Svidrigaïloff remained pensive. "supposing we found there nothing but spiders or such-like things?" asked he, all of a sudden.
"The man is mad," though Raskolikoff.
"Men always represent eternity as an incomprehensible idea, as a something immense--immense! But why should this necessarily be the case? Imagine, on the contrary, a small room - a bathroom, if you will - blackened by smoke, with spiders in every corner. Supposing that to be eternity! I often conceive it to be so."
i've had several different ideas of what heaven would be like over the years, but none of them come close to a darkened bathroom full of spiders. i'm with raskolnikoff... that guy was completely insane.


whoops, our bad

remember that whole "global warming is going to melt the icecaps and kill us all" shpeil? turns out that it may actually save lives. who knew?



i never knew how incredibly intelligent our speaker of the house is. she's figured out a way for our troops to be successful, even though their mission has apparently failed:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said twice Sunday that Iraq “is a failure,” adding that President Bush’s troop surge has “not produced the desired effect.”

“The purpose of the surge was to create a secure time for the government of Iraq to make the political change to bring reconciliation to Iraq,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “Late Edition.” “They have not done that.”

The speaker hastened to add: “The troops have succeeded, God bless them.”
so Nan, fill me in... what exactly are our troops succeeding at over there if not the surge? i realize we've got the best military in the world, but still, it seems a bit beyond their capabilities to succeed and fail at the same time. it's like that question some athiests will ask to "disprove" God: "Can God create a rock so big that he can't move it?", or something along those lines.

h/t say anything


fortune cookie say

"A blonde from afar has something interesting for you." ... [you know what comes next]


better late than never?

russia is finally beginning to see the light. after iran launched a long range missile on monday, russian deputy foreign minister alexander losyukov noted that "It increases the suspicion of Iran regarding its possible desire to create a nuclear weapon." yes, yes it does. although a better time to notice this sort of thing might have been two years ago, while russia was busy helping iran with its nuclear program.


remind me again...

why do we still send money to these people?

UN peacekeepers in the disputed African territory of Western Sahara have vandalised ancient rock paintings, a UN official has told a UK newspaper.


Graffiti, including the spray-painting of UN personnel's names, can be seen at Lajuad, an important archaeological site, Mr Harston said.

According to The Times, an area there known as Devil Mountain is regarded by the local Sahrawi people as a place of great cultural significance.

you'd think that after having been there for nearly 17 years (remember that number next time someone complains about how long we've been in iraq or afghanistan), they'd be able to find something better to do with their time. in theory at least, the united nations mission for the referendum in western sahara (MINRUSO) is tasked to "monitor the ceasefire and to organize and conduct a referendum which would allow the people of Western Sahara to decide the Territory's future status." 17 years later, the issue is still up in the air. we've spent less time in iraq and afghanistan combined, and have already overseen several successful elections in both countries. things are far from perfect, but at least we're making progress.

who knew?

to paraphrase hillary clinton, it's like the middle class squeeze, only without the squeeze.

h/t say anything


picture of the year

both accurate and absolutely hilarious, this picture has got my vote:

h/t: wizbang


hahaha! n00b.

though it's unfortunate that he took some civilians with him, the following is the quote of the month:

“Coming down the stairs, he fell down and exploded."

h/t say anything


irony? you be the judge.

recently, a group of mexican legislators started bitching and moaning about immigration. only this time, they weren't complaining that we make it too hard for people to enter America illegally; no, this time, they were complaining that too many mexicans were coming home from America without jobs. it seems that America finally enforcing some of its immigration laws is going to have a "devastating effect" on the mexican state of sonora:

At a news conference, the legislators said Sonora - Arizona's southern neighbor, made up of mostly small towns - cannot handle the demand for housing, jobs and schools it will face as illegal Mexican workers here return to their hometowns without jobs or money.
"Mexico is not prepared for this, for the tremendous problems" it will face as more and more Mexicans working in Arizona and sending money to their families return to hometowns in Sonora without jobs, she [Mexican Rep. Leticia Amparano Gamez] said.
so... it's just fine and dandy for these people to show up illegally in America demanding housing, jobs, and schools (along with social services), but suddenly mexico has a problem with some of its own citizens returning? does that seem wrong to anyone else?

h/t say anything


question of the day

global warming: to be, or not to be? depends on which part of asia you live in, i guess. it was much more fun yesterday, when they both showed up as headlines on the asia-pacific section of the bbc website.


still alive!

and i just survived my first town council meeting to boot. good times. hopefully i'll be able to get some more blogging in, if i can ever get back on track. i've got a booster club meeting tomorrow night (fun and games! not really. but they're quick, at least), and i'm getting sent off to spokane this weekend for a "new council member" training session-type thing. it would be fun to turn into a full visit, except: a) saturday will be completely shot because of the training, and b) i'm probably just going to ride with the other new council member, so i can read/sleep on the way.

that is all for now.