Saturday, November 27, 2004


Recordable DVDs?

Hey guys,
Our VCR croaked so I'm thinking about getting one of those new-fangled, fancy-dancy, recordable DVD/VCR combos. The idea is to be able to record home movies onto DVD so we can send them to the grandparents and keep them for posterity. Do you know if the recording format on these players is compatible with standard DVD players? I just wasted 5minutes trying to 'chat' with Gateway to get an answer but still have no response from them.

Any recommendations? Amazon seems to have a good selection and good prices.

Happy Holidays!

Bill C,


I would buy them separately. My experience with products that combine two in one is that it leaves more to go wrong. I think you would be better off price wise, also. Better yet, buy a DVD player and borrow a VCR from Bill O. I know he likes outdated technology. ;-)
From Billo:
Ha! That shows what YOU know. My VCR broke two weeks ago so right now I *don't* like outdated technology. Pffft.

I would agree with BillC that buying separate components is a better way to go for the reason he mentioned, but I think it would be slightly more expensive rather than less. If you get separate components, you can still connect them together to move VHS movies onto DVDs. It just might take a little more effort in terms of pushing buttons and synchronizing. The recording formats should be compatible w/standard DVD formating.

If you get the DVD recorder by Wednesday, can you record the Illinois-Wake Forest game for me? I'm going to be on a plane. You'd have to record it on DVD since my VCR really is broken...


OK, matto again,
what I was really getting at was the compatibility issues of recordable DVD and standard DVD players such as the run-of-the-mill grandparently type person would have. So let's try again:

Do any of ya'll know anything about the compatibility of recorded DVDs with regular DVD players?



Freudian slip from the Wall Street Journal?
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Thursday, November 25, 2004


Happy Thanksgiving, guys!
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"What the stars' Democratic allegiance illustrates for this segment of the public is not the glamour of Democratic candidates but their repulsiveness and shallowness and insufferable moral superiority; their distance from the historical Democratic base of average Americans. For them, Hollywood's superficial leftism only validates the ludicrous claims of the Republicans to be the party of the common man. "

Clueless Democrats Trot Out Hollywood

A celebrity endorsement of you beer or shampoo might win you more customers but it seems to be a negative when it comes to politics.


Teresamania sweeps Canada

Canadian Heritage Minister Liza Frulla stands to speak in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, November 25, 2004. REUTERS/Jim Young
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Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Our Enemy

After recent arguments with a leftist friend and a discussion with Bill O, I remembered this post. Though dated, it is the best articulation of the war that I have seen.

An edited exerpt:

Our enemy is a culture which is deeply diseased.
The problem with our enemy's culture is that in the 20th century it was revealed as being an abject failure. By any rational calculation, it could not compete, and not simply because the deck was stacked against it. The problem was more fundamental; the culture itself contained the elements of its own failure.
The diseased culture of our enemy suffers from all seven of the deep flaws Ralph Peters identifies as condemning nations to failure in the modern world. Peters makes a convincing case that there is a correlation approaching unity between the extent to which a nation or culture suffers from these flaws and its inability to succeed in the 21st century.

He lists them as follows:

* Restrictions on the free flow of information.
* The subjugation of women.
* Inability to accept responsibility for individual or collective failure.
* The extended family or clan as the basic unit of social organization.
* Domination by a restrictive religion.
* A low valuation of education.
* Low prestige assigned to work.

They hate us. They hate us because our culture is everything theirs is not. Our culture is vibrant and fecund; our economies are successful. Our achievements are magnificent. Our engineering and science are advancing at breathtaking speed. Our people are fat and happy (relatively speaking). We are influential, we are powerful, we are wealthy. "We" are the western democracies, but in particular "we" are the United States, which is the most successful of the western democracies by a long margin. America is the most successful nation in the history of the world, economically and technologically and militarily and even culturally.
We're everything that they think they should be, everything they once were, and by our power and success we throw their modern failure into stark contrast, especially because we've gotten to where we are by doing everything their religion says is wrong. We've deeply sinned, and yet we've won......They have nothing whatever they can point to that can save face and preserve their egos. In every practical objective way we are better than they are, and they know it.
al Qaeda grew out of this deepening resentment and frustration within the failed Arab culture.......The original demand was for a complete cessation of contact between America and Arabia. Not just a pullout of our soldiers from holy Arab soil, but total isolation so that the people of greater Arabia would no longer be exposed in any way to us or our culture or our values. No television, no radio, no music, no magazines and books, no movies. No internet. And that isn't possible; you can't go backward that way.
We're facing a 14th century culture engaged in a 14th century war against us. The problem is that they are armed with 20th century weapons, which may eventually include nuclear weapons. And they embrace a culture which honors dying in a good cause, which means that deterrence can't be relied on if they get nuclear weapons.
And I claim that the US bears essentially no blame for the fundamental source of their anger towards us. They don't hate us because of our foreign policy. They don't ultimately hate us because of past mistakes. They don't hate what we do or what we have done. They hate what we are, and what we show them that they are not. They hate our accomplishments and our capabilities because we force them to see their own lack of accomplishments and their incompetence and impotence.
Afghanistan and Iraq are the two parts of the consolidation phase of this war. al Qaeda had to be crippled and Saddam has to be destroyed in order to gain us time and adequate safety to go onto the offensive, and to begin the process which will truly end this war: to destroy Wahhabism, to shatter Islamic fundamentalism, to completely break the will of the Arabs and to totally shame them.
After the consolidation phase of this war is complete, with the destruction of the Taliban and occupation and reform of Iraq, then we will go onto the offensive and begin to strike at the deeper core of the problem. Part of that will be to force reform on Saudi Arabia, through a combination of diplomacy, persuasion, subversion, propaganda and possibly even military force
I am forthrightly stating that no amount of aid to the poor will stop the aggression against us, which will anger liberals everywhere. It isn't our wealth they hate, it's our accomplishments. The only way we can appease them is to ourselves become failures, and that is a price I'm not willing to pay.
We (America) will be the primary target because we're the most successful. It's as simple as that. And that means that this ultimately will be a unilateral war by us; we're the ones with the most on the line.
They won't stop hating us until they become successful and begin to achieve on their own. We can't make them successful with material gifts, including aid to their poor. We can only make them successful with cultural changes, and they will resist that. Now that we've been attacked, we are ourselves compelled to force them to accept those cultural changes, because that is the only way short of actual genocide to remove the danger to ourselves. This war will end when they change, but not before.

Bill C:

I think Tony Blankley might be a little optimistic but this is a good sign that radical Islam is on Europe's radar screen. I don't know if you hightlighted "short of actual genocide" or if Den Beste did. It is a good point that the left has to acknowledge. What is our policy towards radical Islam going to be? They clearly will not settle for peaceful coexistence, so we are forced to respond in some way. The left seems to think that a policy of deterrence will work. (More likely, they are reflexively against military action which causes them to chose to do nothing) However, for deterrence to work we have to credibly and willingly decide to respond with overwhelming force. Clearly, the Islamists do not have any compunction about using nuclear weapons. Is the left ready to respond in kind? Are they ready to handle the change in public opinion if a nuclear weapon goes off in an American city? I think you would find the idea of genocide given a prominent place in the court of public opinion.

In this context, our current policy is bordering on hippie-like idealism.

John O:

The emphasis is mine Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 20, 2004


China and America

On a collision course?

By itself, the strategic alliance between China and Iran is troublesome. But it seems to be part of a lager and potentially very dangerous pattern of Chinese global assertiveness.

Thursday, November 18, 2004


Any doubt in your mind that Mike R. is a raging moonbat? (Inside joke) Posted by Hello Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Airline Security

More from Annie Jacobsen.


Does Kim Have A Russian Cold?

The latest wierdness from the Hermit Kingdom.

Pictures of Kim Jong Il seem to be disappearing from public view. Interesting, if its true. Here's more wierdness via Roger Simon.

Also interesting is this article about our de facto blockade of North Korea. It is worth a read.

Saturday, November 13, 2004


Liberals are sooo much better than the rest of us.

I'm off to Chicago soon for a real paying gig, so I will link to this post at Leftist as Elistist without much comment. The despicable cartoonist, Ted Rall (Taranto has a now outdated list of Rall more offensive pieces here), pens a piece explaining once again how superior Kerry voters are to Bush voters.

Why is it that when liberals point to the consistent Democratic majority in urban areas they say it's due to the cultural and educational superiority of city denizens. What happened to the inner-city folks; the welfare moms and unemployed who rely on the democrat's welfare state? Why are these people not mentioned? Is it because in this situation it doesn't serve their narrow argument? Isn't the inner-city important to the Dem's anymore? Why couldn't any of these liberals pen a coherent argument explaining how proud they are of retaining the inner-city vote? I'm guessing they don't feel proud of that support. Why is it less noteworthy when a welfare mom votes for your party than when an overeducated, effete snob supports your party?

John O adds this quote from George Will's most recent column:
It is passing strange. As the American public has become more educated, American intellectuals have become more disparaging of the public's intellectual incapacities and moral shortcomings. In 1940, more than half of the U.S. population had only an eighth-grade education, or less. Now that 85 percent are high-school graduates, 53 percent have some college education and 27 percent are college graduates, it is an article of faith among the progressive intelligentsia that the public is becoming increasingly obtuse, bigoted and superstitious.

There was a time—say, from the early 1930s to the mid-1960s, the period of the Democratic Party's ascendancy—when progressives thought their job was to increase the material well-being of ordinary Americans. It is not mere coincidence that the Democratic Party's strength has waned as its intellectuals' disapproval of ordinary Americans has waxed.


"Cracker culture"

Truly hilarious conservative satire.

Blue State Blues as Coastal Parents Battle Invasion of Dollywood Values

Friday, November 12, 2004


Political Theater/Using wounded soldiers

I saw a post on the message board that shall remain nameless the other day that really bothered me. It took me a couple of days to hash out the reason why. Here is the post and my response.

Original post

Eighteen U.S. and five Iraqi soldiers have died since the assault began on Monday and 178 U.S. soldiers have been wounded, the military said in a statement in Baghdad. Two planes ferried 102 seriously wounded soldiers from Iraq (news - web sites) to the main U.S. military hospital in Germany on Thursday, joining 125 who arrived between Monday and Wednesday, a spokeswoman said. "This is one of our peak periods. We are very busy. It is more than we have seen in the last couple of months because we used to admit about 30 patients a day," hospital spokeswoman Marie Shaw said

These aren't cuts and bruises either, it's life changing stuff. 200! Think about it.

My response

I have always been cowed by reports of casualities. What do you say when good men have been hurt or killed in a war that you support. There is nothing that seems appropriate to the level of sacrifice. I know when you post these articles you are not doing it to honor these men. You are doing it to rub it in the face of those of us who have supported the war. You are saying, "Look at what your war has done? Do you feel happy about what you are supporting has done to young men?" It is the equivalent of marching outside of am abortion clinic with a butchered fetus poster. It is political theater and you should be ashamed for using these men just as Michael Moore should be ashamed of using their suffering. If you want to honor them, don't make it poltical. Don't say,

These aren't cuts and bruises either, it's life changing stuff. 200! Think about it.

...that is wrong. I think about these terrible wounds done for a cause and I know that these men are doing a job that needs to be done. For that I am grateful. You should be, too.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


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Doesn't he look a little jaundiced?


I got this off of which is a response to the pathetic Apparently our friends on the left think they can beg for forgiveness. Or maybe they plan on converting. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Arafat Dies

Good riddance to an oppressive, murderous bastard. If you care, here's a link (at WSJ, probably requires registration).

Update: Read Max Boot's reflection of Arafat's tyrranical reign.

more: and kudos to the Boston Globe for properly calling him a monster.


Info We'll Gain From Fallujah

It will be intersting to know how many foreigners are among the jihadis.

This is Bill C:

I am very interested in this because it will show how easy it is to pacify the Sunni triangle. The more foreign fighters the more likely that we can win over local support. Iraqis willing to die fighting US troops means we have a much harder job.

"In the end they settled on a 50-50 split. We told the fighters that those who want to stay alive and fight should leave, and those who want to become martyrs in this battle should stay."

I am optimistic, because of news like this, that the jihadis are not smart enough not to waste the lives of their young followers. A tragedy but better them than us. In the end, it will come down to the good life we offer and the death that is certain if they continue to attack the Iraqi people.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Iran Gets Chinese Protection; Europe Folds

And the times get more interesting

Following the signing of a a huge, long term energy deal between Sinopec Group and Iran, China removes the only serious diplomatic lever we held over the mullahs. True to form, Europe capitulates thereby putting the onus on the US. This is an ominous development.

Diplomacy seems doomed. Will the US take millitary action to stop Iran's program? Will Israel? Can we afford to wait until after Iraq's Janurary elections to stop the Iranians? Are the Chinese trying to complicate or sabotage our efforts in Iraq? Do they see a nuclear Iran as a welcome counterbalance to American power in the region or are they hoping we exhaust ourselves diplomatically and/or militarily?

We'll likely have the answers over the next three months. It will be interesting.


Crime and the Left

Something else they don't understand.

As Patterico notes, this happens again and again. Unbelievable.

Monday, November 08, 2004


The UN Anti-Proliferation Plan

They cross their fingers and hope for the best.

Mohamed el Baradei says that's the UN plan to thwart nuclear/radiological terrorist attack. And Europe wants us to trust the IAEA to monitor Iran's nuclear program? Yikes!


Hatred on the left

I am part of a messageboard that is one of my fields of interest. That is as far as I will go in its description because I want to share some of the posts on this board that I find very revealing of the attitude that some on the left have for America. I consider some of these people to be my friends so it is very disturbing to see the level of hatred.

I haven't been on this board in freaking forever, so I'm sure this has been
gone over before. But I figure with the election so close, it's a decent enough
topic. THe closer this election gets, the more and more concerned I become. If
Bush wins it won't be a simple matter of "we'll get them next time." I will be
incredibly upset. At this point, I don't want to meet up with one side of my
family because they are mostly Bush voters, and I simply cannot face that. I
believe that voting Republican is more than a bad choice, it's actually a
personality flaw. At best, I regard voting for Bush a severe lack of reasoning
capabilities; at worst I consider it a serious moral deficiency. If Bush wins, I
simply will not be able to regard him as "my president" and give him the
"respect his office holds."

I've considered the option of moving to another country, but I probably
won't. If Bush wins it will be time to double efforts to make direct political
action a major force that cannot be ignored. If Bush wins I will likely just
become more active politically, in a direct way. I don't know what form that
will take. If Bush wins there will likely be a world-wide uprising. Probably not
immediate, or in direct reaction to the election, but soon, and in reaction to
his entire presidency. It will view the U.S. less as a lazy country,
politically, which allowed a violent zealot to be elected, and more and more as
a dangerous country which willingly re-elected a violent zealot to lead them

I honestly can't imagine waking up Wednesday in a world where Bush has four
more years. I will very likely be depressed for a time. I will be very
disillusioned and this passion that I have for our politics will be completely
snuffed out. The thing is, the goal is so clear here. The enemy is so easily
typecast (by his own actions) I can't wrap my brain around the mentality that it
takes to not see this. And because things are so easily black and white right
now, I am hopeful and have a faith in the American Political System that I
haven't ever had before. I would grieve for myself and for my country, if this
is proven to be a fallacy. So, it would be a black time for me, for a while and
then I would eventually move on and get distracted by the busy activities of my
daily life. And intentionally drug my brain and my conscience with relaity tv,
dvd sets and online video games. Also, I will physically assault anyone who
actually crows about a Bush victory. I have also had to re-evaluate my feelings
about some of my family members because of this. the things that I hear them
say, to back Bush up are riddled with factual innacuracies and FOXNews talking
points. (In less thant 24 hours after they were revealed to be lost, my
grandmother was parroting the FOXNews "How can we have lost WMDs if there never
were any in the first place?" bullshit.) I am not buying an airline ticket home
yet. I can't imagine spending the holidays with relatives that I have lost so
much respect for. Maybe I will feel different on the 3rd. I sure hope so. We'll

It really IS that divided in my family. And as much as I would love to just
take the "Ah well, they're family" philosophy, it is simply not applicable to
mine. Believe me, as strongly as I state my views here, they do the same via the
internet to me, daily. I get assailed with forwards, not actual writings, mind
you, but bucket loads of glurge trying to tell me that "Kerry is a flip flopper
and here's why..." to "Don't vote for Kerry, because the Clintons had their
enemies killed off!!!" It's hard to respect and love people who are so
shamelessly ignorant. I used to think of my grandmother as a wise old lady. I
have had to re-adjust my views because of this election. And the day when she
realizes how wrong she is and how bad Bush is for our country, will come far too
late. Her vote will already have been cast and contributed to the mess that we
will have to wade through on Nov. 3rd.

I'm from Minnesota and I was raised in a Christian family. Everyone in my
extended family is a christian ranging from moderate to fundmentalist. Guess
were the fundamentalists live? In the country. Guess were the moderates live? In
the suburbs. I live in NYC. Most of the time I'm the only white guy on the
train. I live in a real polish neighborhood where no one speaks english. On my
corner alone, I buy pizza from two mexican guys, chicken sandwiches from arabs
and chinese from...the chinese. Isolated? Nope. NYC votes democratic for a
reason. People here are exposed to every culture under the sun. Most republicans
are white folks from the suburbs, where they aren't exposed to other cultures
and perspectives. They only know about those from what they see on TV and that's
pretty stereotypical. I happen to enjoy a varitey of viewpoints, where as I'm
not impressed with the generic, myopic suburbs and big, dumb white fellas like
yourself. You talk a big game like O'reilly and Hanniety, but try that phoney
alpha male BS in Harlem, Pine Ridge, Compton or the southside of Chicago. You
wouldn't last a second. People in rural and suburban areas that vote for Bush
out fear and the need for security have a distorted view of reality. They're
suckers. Too bad. Living without fear is a hoot.

Where does this anger come from? I have some ideas, I think our country is ill served by its colleges and universities. So much bile is served to young Americans that some of it is bound to stick. If Republicans allow the blame America first crowd a monopoly on higher education then you can expect to see a militant minority of our youth who will be completely alienated from their country. I don't think we can survive as a nation if this continues unchecked. There are some who are trying to counter leftist dogma in our universities.

Sunday, November 07, 2004


German Humor?

Or wishful leftist thinking?

From Der Spiegel, purportedly a center-left publication. We've had 250,000 soldiers permanently stationed in Germany as recently as 15 years ago and more Americans have German ancestry than any other. Can they really be this ignorant about us? Or is their sense of humor this bad? I wonder...

Friday, November 05, 2004


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Tuesday's other losers

The Weekly Standard has a round-up of Tuesday's other losers:

Joseph Wilson--When Wilson claimed that his clandestine work proved the Bush administration was lying about alleged Iraqi attempts to procure uranium from Niger, he was lionized as a courageous truthteller willing to stand up to a corrupt and deceitful administration. Oops. In fact, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee review of pre-Iraq war intelligence concluded that Wilson's findings contradicted his earlier public claims and that despite his insistence that his wife, undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame, had had nothing to do with his selection, his work was undertaken after she recommended him for the job. The media buried those reports.

Richard Clarke--Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism czar, was similarly celebrated when he published a book criticizing the Bush administration's conduct of the war on terror and the Iraq war. The Fox News Channel released a transcript of a background briefing Clarke gave while he was still at the White House in which Clarke praised some of the very efforts he would later criticize. Most journalists focused on the propriety of Fox's action, not the contradictions in Clarke's accounts. Clarke also argued that Iraq had never supported al Qaeda, "ever." Several months later, the final 9/11 Commission report, however, quoted an email Clarke had written in 1999 in which he cited the existence of an agreement between Iraq and al Qaeda as evidence that Saddam Hussein had assisted al Qaeda with chemical weapons. Most journalists ignored the revelation.

Dan Rather--The CBS anchor aired a story about "new" documents suggesting that the young George W. Bush had received preferential treatment from political big-wigs to avoid serving in the Vietnam war. The documents were forged--something CBS had been warned about before the story was broadcast. When numerous forensic document experts concluded that the memos were fraudulent, Rather lashed out at his critics as partisan hacks and spoke of the supposed broader truth of the allegations. Although CBS later backed away from the story, Rather never apologized to President Bush.

The Missing Explosives--Eight days before Election Day the New York Times published a major story about missing high explosives in Iraq. The Times's account was based largely on an erroneous assessment from IAEA chief Mohamed El Baradei. The Times collaborated on the piece with 60 Minutes, and a producer from CBS admitted that they had hoped to hold the story for October 31--two days before voters would go to the polls.


Hey! A Shout-out to the Liberals in MA and SF

I'm sure this point has been made elsewhere but the extremely high conservative voter turnout helped propel W into office. And I think the gay-marriage proposals that where on ballots in 11 states (including Ohio!) helped bring out those voters. Of course these proposals may not have been on the ballots at all if it were not for the Massachussetts Supreme Court legislating approval of gay marriage and of course San Fransisco's newly minted mayor Gavin Newsome discarding the voter approved ban on gay marriage and marrying hundreds of gay couples anyway.

Is this another example of the leftist liberals' self-destruction?


Kinda funny...found this pic at TheSun link that JohnO referred to.
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French Diplomacy

Chirac style.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


Out with the old...

in with the new. Via Jericho's blog I found this one: Leftists as Elitists.
As you know one of my pet peeves is the intellectual arrogance that so distastefully colors the opinions of many leftist liberals. This site looks like a great place to visit occassionally so the rest of us simpletons can see what the gifted elites think of us.

I will add it to our Links bar.


time to pull the 'Polling' links

I hope they served you well...


What's Your Favorite Election Conspiracy Theory?

I'm torn between two:

1) Electronic voting machines were programmed to switch Kerry votes to Bush votes


2) Karl Rove orchestrated the timing of the release of the latest Grand Theft Auto game to keep the 18-24 year olds from wanting to leave their XBoxes to go vote.

I'm leaning toward the latter. It's diabolical, unethical, and unprovable. To quote a visitor to our blog, "it has Karl Rove's name all over it", which is proof enough that it must be true...



A little late but I have been busy/lazy. Posted by Hello


John Kerry, political genius. Posted by Hello


Teresa is known as an outspoken woman. Sometimes it was a good thing, sometimes not. Posted by Hello


And you thought John was the schemer Posted by Hello

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