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Monthly Archives: April 2006

Speedy Service

April 28th, 2006 - 2:39 pm

The good folks at Hosting Matters have VodkaPundit up and running again. Thanks!

About Time

April 27th, 2006 - 10:34 pm

Is Atlas Shrugged finally coming to the big screen? With a major studio

Birthday Dinner Update

April 26th, 2006 - 11:32 am

“Missing, presumed fed.”

All Flash

April 26th, 2006 - 11:04 am

Outside the blogosphere, is there any Left left anywhere at all?

Playlist 37

April 25th, 2006 - 11:06 pm

For her 36th birthday, a friend asked a favor: Name one great pop song for each year of her life. I added a rule of my own, not to choose more than one song by any one artist. If you’re gong to make a mix tape, you’ve really got to mix it up. For my birthday, here are 37 of’em. We’ll start in 1969 and work up to 2005.

“Something,” by The Beatles. One of the most beautiful songs ever written or recorded. Unlike most of the dreck on Abbey Road, “Something” has stood the test of time.

“Lola,” by The Kinks. First time I heard this song, I thought it was a perfectly strange combination of horny and sweet. When I finally figured out that Lola was a transvestite, I thought I’d been had. Later I realized, hey, they’re in love.

“Maggie May,” by Rod Stewart. Speaking of having sex with inappropriate people…

“Amie,” by Pure Prairie League. Next time you’re driving by yourself, play this one real loud. I dare you not to sing. I double dare you.

“Let’s Get It On,” by Marvin Gaye. ‘Nuff said.

“Black Water,” by The Doobie Brothers. This song never fails to take me back to those wasted summers on the Gasconade River, drifting downstream on an inner tube.

“Young Americans,” by David Bowie. Glam purists might not like Bowie’s blue-eyed soul persona. But who wouldn’t want (or want to be) the young American?

“Lowdown,” by Boz Scaggs. Speaking of blue-eyed soul, Boz has got it. Makes me think of day camp and my first secret crush.

“Got To Get You Into My Life,” by Earth, Wind & Fire. The Beatles never dreamed of having brass this tight, or guitar so cutting.

“Baker Street,” by Gerry Rafferty. Two words: Bittersweet lyrics. Two more words: Bittersweeter sax solo.

“My Sharona,” by The Knack. Yet another song about inappropriate sex. And just what is this song, anyway? New wave? Rock? Pop? Dunno, but it’s a classic.

“Late In The Evening,” by Paul Simon. Wasted youth, Caribbean style.

“Kids In America,” by Kim Wilde. Another tribute to wasted youth, this time in anthem form.

“Somebody’s Baby,” by Jackson Browne. Heartache – a recurring theme in those teen years.

“Pride And Joy,” by Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble. You want this on the jukebox when you’re shooting pool.

“When Doves Cry,” by Prince and the Revolution. Just as pretty and timeless as “Something,” but even more haunting.

“Don’t You Forget About Me,” by Simple Minds. Heartache and wasted youth in one slick, overproduced package.

“Cemetery Gates,” by The Smiths. This is the one must-have song for each and every teenage underachiever.

“Middle Of The Road,” by The Pretenders. Reagan-era angst. Slamming guitars. Chrissie Hynde vocals. What more does a song need?

“I’m An Adult Now,” by The Pursuit of Happiness. I laughed when this song first came out. I’m not laughing now.

“Personal Jesus,” by Depeche Mode. You might think this one is the first pop music tribute to phone sex, but you’d be wrong. That honor goes to Billy Joel’s 1980 hit, “Sometimes A Fantasy.” Joel’s song was cute, but “PJ” is sexy.

“Why Can’t I Fall In Love,” by Ivan Neville. Heartache + slow sax * bluesy vocals = good music. Listen while it plays in the background of the Christian Slater movie, “Pump Up the Volume,” and a young and curvy and topless Samantha Mathis is added to the equation.

“Girlfriend,” by Matthew Sweet. Some of the best guitar work you’ll ever hear in a Top 40 song.

“Wicked As It Seems,” by Keith Richards. So long, wicked women. You can make fun of Keith’s singing, but he’s still better than Bob Dylan.

“Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

“Closer,” by Nine Inch Nails. Best. Club. Song. Ever. If a girl dances with you to this song, and you don’t get laid, then you’re hopeless.

“I Kissed A Girl,” by Jill Sobule. Lesbian chic at its folksy best.

“Her First Mistake,” by Lyle Lovett. Only Lovett could do this song. I’d explain, but that would ruin it. But I will say this: We’ve all been there, guys. More often than we’d like to admit.

“Sex And Candy,” by Marcy Playground. Best/worst juxtaposition ever. This song is the 1990’s version of “My Sharona.”

“Let’s Live It Up,” by The Brian Setzer Orchestra. It’s all about fun. And even with a wife and child, I’m still living this song. Trying to, anyway.

“Outside,” by George Michael. George’s “coming out” single is great danceable fun. Since it came out when I was still (barely) young enough to enjoy the club scene, this song has to get its due.

“Things Have Changed,” by Bob Dylan. After dissing Bob for decades, I finally understood what all the fuss was about. The man still can’t sing though.

“Short Skirt/Long Jacket,” by Cake. New wave is back! Man, that’ll make a guy feel old.

“Curbside Prophet,” by Jason Mraz. Young Mraz is the future of pop-folk, and the future looks good.

“Everything Must Go,” by Steely Dan. Ever lose everything, then fight valiantly to stay right there at the bottom?

“Run Run Run” by Phoenix. There’s really nothing to recommend this song. It’s derivative and hackneyed. Then again, it’s got a great hook – and that’s what pop music is all about.

“Inside And Out,” by Feist. An electronica-ish cover of the old Bee-Gees song. If you think nobody should ever record anything by the Bee-Gees, then I suggest you crank up Al Green’s cover of “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?” Then again, maybe I’m just getting senile.

2006 is still too young to choose from. With any luck – and one of them new robot livers – I’ll be around next year to add to the list.

Required Reading/Listening

April 24th, 2006 - 11:05 pm

Two items at OP-FOR you don’t want to miss. They’ve got a fun podcast from last weekend’s Milblogging conference in Washington. Also, Charlie looks at Russia, nulcear deterrence, and our multipolar world.

Link-O-Rama

April 24th, 2006 - 10:34 pm

Still working on the Great Big Glob of Essay. Damn thing is going to drive me batty, even if it does somehow end up being worth all the effort. While I do that (working, going batty, whatever) here are some items of bloggy interest.

Are we winning in Iraq? Osama must think so.

If everybody holds hands and concentrates really hard, we might be able to contact John Lennon.

My town – Colorado Springs – probably isn’t the easiest place to live if you’re gay. But having Focus on the Family as a scowling neighbor sure beats getting killed by your neighbors in Iran.

Why does gas cost so much? Maybe this guy knows.

OP-FOR’s John Noonan
is interviewed by the Boston Globe. If I’d given this link its own post, I’d have headlined it “Nest of Vipers.”

Speaking of the Boston Globe, Harry Forbes tells us they’re still carrying water for John Kerry.

Speaking of John Kerry, he’s still a duplicitous dipshit.

Atlas Shrugs has everything you ever wanted to know about al Qaeda and Darfur, but were afraid someone would tell you.

Our very own United States Attorney General wants you to watch porn. Who said Republicans are no fun?

My good friend Ed turned me on to Finkbuilt. I like it, and you might, too.

The Dog That Chased High-Definition Bears

April 23rd, 2006 - 6:26 pm

Our dog finally noticed the television last week, during a Discovery HD show on brown bears in Alaska:

Bob-TV.jpg

He followed them back and forth across the screen for a good fifteen minutes, and then looked back at us (doubled over in laughter) as if to say, “Hey , aren’t you two worried about all those bears outside the window?”

I wish I’d had a camcorder. The still picture just doesn’t capture how funny it was. Bob’s still wondering where the bears went…

Throw Away The Key

April 22nd, 2006 - 8:04 am

Mary McCarthy, a former Clinton appointee and Kerry campaign donor who was hired by none other than convicted classified information thief Sandy “Pants” Berger, was fired from the CIA yesterday after admitting to revealing classified information to the Washington Post.

Let me put this in perspective.

I’ve had a security clearance for over a decade now. Every time that clearance is renewed or changed, I have to read and sign a stack of legal papers affirming my understanding of Federal law, which can be summarized as Thou Shalt Not Reveal Anything Classified Or Allow It To Be Revealed To Those Who Ain’t Cleared For It.

Now, let’s just suppose that during the last election, I had taken it upon myself to go and leak classified information about the F-22 fighter to, say, Bill Gertz at the Washington Times, in the hopes that such information would bolster the campaign of George W. Bush. Or what if I’d leaked that information before last year’s budget was finalized, trying to get a competitive advantage over rival aircraft? (There are no rival aircraft when the F-22 is in the air, but that’s beside the point.) Or what if I just did it to make myself look and feel cool?

I’ll tell you what would happen. I’d be fired, and then I’d be locked up, and I’d deserve it.

It’s not my place to make that kind of decision. It wasn’t Mary McCarthy’s place, either. Neither of us were elected. Neither of us are responsible for deciding what can or should be released from the classified world. Contrary to the bleatings of McCarthy’s partisan cohorts editing the Washington Post and New York Times (who are actively soliciting classified information, even today, which I should note is itself an illegal act), neither is anybody in the press.

Are many things classified that shouldn’t be? You bet. Is it legal, moral, or ethical for somebody who has sworn to keep those secrets to unilaterally reveal them, for political reasons?

Hell no, it isn’t. And suggesting that McCarthy should get some kind of pass just because a bunch of ideological yahoos who work for newspapers like what she did is beyond asinine. What she did is no different, and no less unforgivable, than if she were an al-Queida spy. Her actions had the exact same outcome of aiding deadly enemies.

Lock her up.

First Person Reporting, Pt VI

April 21st, 2006 - 10:32 am

In his final installment of “Back to Iraq,” Michael Totten has to smuggle himself out of the country.

Just Wondering

April 21st, 2006 - 9:15 am

First, the Left used the “chickenhawk” argument to claim that only active-duty soldiers could venture any opinions on war. Now the Left is filled with glee because we have a clique of generals dissing their elected civilian commander-in-chief.

It’s enough to make you ask if the Left is preparing this country for a military dictatorship.

Friday Recipe

April 20th, 2006 - 2:09 pm

Before I get back to work on the Great Big Glob of Essay, I thought I’d give you a little weekend grilling assignment.

Semi-Greek Lamb Chops

You’ll need:

8-10 Lamb chops
1/2 red onion, quartered
5 cloves of garlic, halved
5 sprigs or stalks or whatever of fresh oregano
10 leaves of fresh mint
1 lemon, halved
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper and kosher salt

Lay the chops in a pan just big enough to hold them. Squeeze one half of the lemon all over the meat. Throw the garlic in there, and arrange the onion chunks in between the chops. Cover everything with the oregano and mint. Drizzle olive oil over everything, then squeeze the second lemon half over the mess. Add sprinkled salt and ground pepper to taste. It should look something like this:

(Click on the pic for the full-size, extra-tasty version.)

Stick it in the fridge, covered, for a couple hours.

Grill your chops over extremely hot charcoal, for an absolute max of 90 seconds per side. You want to get them extra-caramelized on the outside, and rare-to-medium-rare on the inside. Know what else is tasty? Put those onion chunks on the fire for about 45 seconds and serve them with the veggie.

Starch? I like angel hair pasta, tossed with olive oil and your leftover herbs. For your veggies, try a spinach salad with those onions on top. If you like your spinach wilted, then toss the salad while the onions are still hot. Use a little lemon, olive oil, and pepper for the dressing.

The best part is picking up the chops and eating them with your soon-to-be lickable fingers. The second best part is that your loved one’s fingers will be lickable, too.

Or do I have that the wrong way around?

You’ll Have To Do Better Than That

April 20th, 2006 - 9:37 am

Those caring souls at Indmedia are trying to intimidate bloggers they don’t like – including me. Do I feel threatened? No, not really.

But I sure feel sorry for that other Stephen Green who lives in Rancho Cucamonga, California. I wonder how many idiots will show up on his lawn this weekend, and if his town has a (ahem) liberal “Make My Day” law.

Also according to Indymedia, my Denver buddy Jeff Goldstein lives somewhere in Montana. You’d think they could at least get the state right. Here’s a hint, fellas: Jeff and I both live in Colorado. I guess all those Red States look alike to them.

Our “reality based thinkers” are looking more and more like brownshirts in clown shoes.

(Hat tip, Joe Cool.)

Notice

April 19th, 2006 - 2:50 pm

Spent the night working on something, but you shouldn’t expect to see it before Friday. Meantime, I’m going to get some sleep and try to get back to regular blogging Thursday morning.

Bleg: Me vs. the Varmint Cong

April 19th, 2006 - 1:07 pm

We have mice in the house. We have a LOT of mice in the house. We have mice that are smarter than the dog–since the mice now ignore mousetraps, and the dog does not.

Have you ever seen a black lab with a mousetrap on his tongue? It’s not a pretty sight. But that’s not important right now.

We’re about to give up and go nuclear on the little bastards. They’re getting into the cupboards and spoiling our food. They’re even eating the dog treats out of the dog treat jar (further proof that they’re smarter than the dog).

I’ve tried snap traps, and got about five kills before the mice started ignoring them. I’ve got an ultrasonic thingie in the attic, but they ignore it, too. I tried a large “tin cat” trap, but all it has in it, night after night, is a lump of peanut butter–no mice.

The wife wants to call in an exterminator ($$$). I’m afraid all he’ll do is put out a bunch of poison. I can do that myself for cheap, but either way, then we’ll have a house full of rotting mouse corpses, just in time for summer. In Atlanta.

Does anybody have any last suggestions before I’m forced to go one of these unpalatable routes? I have found entry points, but I’m afraid if I fill them up, the vamints will just chew around the repairs.

Next thing you know, they’ll find out that I’m going online for help, and start chewing on my computer’s power cor

Somebody is off his meds.

(Hat tip to Mike K.)

First Person Reporting, Pt V

April 18th, 2006 - 1:46 pm

Lots of pictures in today’s installment of “Back in Iraq.”

Click

April 18th, 2006 - 9:31 am

An entire carnival of liberty? It’s true!

Air Defence

April 17th, 2006 - 11:45 pm

Taiwan is beefing up its Air Force. Maybe it’s time we sold them some Aegis technology?

New Tagline

April 17th, 2006 - 11:02 pm

Comedy Central: We suck slightly less than our parent company!

If You Live Here You

April 17th, 2006 - 10:56 pm

Or Even If You

Technical Support

April 17th, 2006 - 12:10 am

Sometimes Murphy wields his Law like the Robert De Niro version of Al Capone

Required Reading

April 16th, 2006 - 9:13 am

It’s official! George Will has given up on the Republican Congress:

“In 2006 you Republicans said that because Democrats have done better than Republicans with 527s, the 527s should be restricted in order to ‘level the playing field.’ Now we will level the playing field by restoring the ‘fairness doctrine’ to broadcasting, thereby eliminating conservatives’ unfair domination of talk radio.”

The 211 Republicans who voted for big-government regulation of speech will have no principled objection. How many principled Republicans remain? Only 18. The following, who voted against restricting 527s:

Roscoe Bartlett (Maryland), Chris Chocola (Indiana), Jeff Flake (Arizona), Vito Fossella (New York), Trent Franks (Arizona), Scott Garrett (New Jersey), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Ernest Istook (Oklahoma), Walter Jones (North Carolina), Steve King (Iowa), Connie Mack (Florida), Cathy McMorris (Washington), Randy Neugebauer (Texas), Ron Paul (Texas), Mike Pence (Indiana), John Shadegg (Arizona) and Lynn Westmoreland (Georgia).

On this remnant of libertarian, limited-government conservatism a future House majority can be built. The current majority forfeited its raison d’etre April 5.

All I can add to that is, “Yeah, what he said.”

First Person Reporting, Pt IV

April 14th, 2006 - 1:34 pm

Back to Iraq continues in Kurdistan.

You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me

April 14th, 2006 - 1:05 pm

Crushing of cleanliness in Iran:

Tehran, 14 April (AKI) – Iran’s hardline president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has apparently been incensed by an anonymous text message suggesting he does not wash enough. Ahmadinejad has taken legal action over the offending text, has fired the president of a phone company and has had four people arrested and accused of colluding with the Israeli foreign intelligence service, Mossad, the anti-government website Rooz Online reports.

I always knew something about that guy stinks.

The story goes on to say, “Poking fun at the president, the regime’s senior figures and its policies, has reportedly become a national pastime in Iran.” That’s got to be a good sign.

Oops II

April 14th, 2006 - 11:04 am

Man. Let a wild-ass nation enrich a little uranium, and suddenly they’ve got all these oats so sow:

“Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation,” [Iranian President and former kidnapper Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad said at the opening of a conference in support of the Palestinians. “The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm.”

Usually when you read that some Islamic leader has made a threat against Israel, the proper response is, “You and what army?” Only these days, Iran is close to having nukes. And leadership in Tehran nowhere close to sanity.

We see where we get by letting try to talk to Iran, all warm and fuzzy and multilaterally. Now what?

Shall We Dance?

April 14th, 2006 - 12:22 am

If you’re tangled up, just tango on.
-Charlie Simms, Scent of a Woman

Read the adventures of a former ballet dancer learning to tango. I laughed so hard I almost two-stepped.

Shocking News

April 14th, 2006 - 12:12 am

No shit: Cheetah turned 74 on Tuesday.

Yes, that monkey, from the old John Weissmuller Tarzan movies.

(Hat tip, Ed Lambert, who probably should have been launching rockets into space or something when he sent me that item.)

Friday Recipe

April 14th, 2006 - 12:09 am

In the cooler months, I

Third Party Blues

April 13th, 2006 - 11:42 pm

Glenn Reynolds looks at our immigration problem, and concludes:

The more I think about it, the more this looks like fertile ground for a third party to emerge. Who will it hurt more? The Republicans, or the Democrats? I’m not sure. Perhaps it will shake things up in general.

I