Showing posts from July, 2004

Sen. Kerry speech

As for his speech on Thursday night, it felt long. It felt like it was written by committee as it seemed all over the place. I was looking for the national defense angle of the speech and there were a few obligatory lines about it but it simply didn't inspire me to trust him with that issue.

No doubt, the Bush administration has made errors on the Iraq situation. However, I'm not hearing what would be materially different under a Kerry administration. And what I am hearing actually makes me think they will make it worse by not taking it seriously.

Edwards in Wednesday night's speech had a very strong line: And we will have one clear unmistakable message for al Qaida and the rest of these terrorists. You cannot run. You cannot hide. And we will destroy you.

Where was that kind of resolve in the Kerry speech?

I don't like being a one-issue voter but that is what it has come down to for me.

Yes, I wish the Bushies and the GOP took more seriously the whole fisca…

Kerry war re-enactment story?

You do have to give credit to Sen. Kerry for serving in Vietnam. He was there. He could have been injured or killed in an accident or in combat. For that willingness to go, all fairness says, thank you for your service.

What are we to make of this story?

It says that Kerry filmed his exploits in Vietnam and sometimes would return to the scene of the action to re-enact it.

Is this true? Is there some confirmation of this story?

If true, it paints Kerry as a very unseemly ambitious person with an inflated sense of his own destiny.

Politics as preaching

I was very tired on Monday night so when I got home and turned on the tv to view the Democratic Convention, I soon was asleep. I had the tv on briefly on Tuesday night before dashing off to meet a friend for dinner. I caught most of the Obama speech.

He definitely has a great American story and charismatic speaking style. The post-speech pundits gushed that we have just seen a star blaze across the political scene. I have to say that Sullivan makes some good points but I also have to say, it would seem that he has "drank the Kool-Aide" the last couple of days.

Obama has the rhythm and cadence of revival style preaching down. As I listened, my goodness, if he gave that speech in the Republican Convention it would go over well. Heck, for that matter, if he gave that at a church, the audience would be shouting, amen, preach it.

In the end, his speech seemed more about life in general rather than any specific political viewpoint. I mean, how could anyone object to what …

UPDATE: 14 Syrians on the plane were musicians

A few days back I heard about and blogged the story of the Jacobsen's and their observing 14 Syrians on their flight.

The mystery has been mostly resolved.

Excerpts:The Syrian "musicians" really were musicians, and though their behavior was odd, reporter Clint Taylor, who got to the bottom of a story that baffled the New York Times, observes:

Nour Mehana's band might have acted like jerks on the plane, but it appears safe to say they were not casing Northwest Airlines for a suicidal assault, and we can quit worrying about this being a "dry run" or an aborted attack. And if Jacobsen was wondering why one man in a dark suit and sunglasses sat in first class while everyone else flew coach, well, it seems pretty clear that this was the Big Mehana himself.
Evidently no one even engaged these guys in a conversation, and no one, not the flight crew, and not the air marshals, challenged their egregious violations of protocols about congregating near restroom…

Hollywood Bowl Pictures

During the offseason from last year, they fixed up the shell and made a bunch of other technical upgrades.

Finally went to the newly renovated Hollywood Bowl to see the event last Sunday night. The Joffrey Ballet did Nutcracker Act 2 (costumes were lovely and I am always amazed at the blend of grace and strength in ballet) and Pictures of the Exhibition with fireworks was the closing number. The audience was treated to two encores: Sabre Dance and Sleigh Ride.

Don't just tell me, show me!

I aim to please!!

Teens: they are doing better but I still worry about them

Went to Instapundit and saw this post where Reynolds links to an article he wrote over at TCS where there is a discussion on how teens are doing. Stats are showing good trends: reduction in teen crime, teen drug use and teen pregnancy and (gasp!) higher regard for family and their parents. Here are some excerpts:The question is, why are teens doing better? I think there are two answers. First, people noticed problems, and tried a lot of different approaches. Private organizations, church groups, schools, and -- especially -- parents started taking a greater role in educating teenagers and encouraging better behavior. As with teen pregnancy, no single policy solved the problem, but multiple approaches tended to make it better until something seen as insoluble just a few years ago began to look, well, solved.
The other reason for the improvement is simple learning. Parents -- who in the 1960s and 1970s thought they could pursue self-centered lifestyles without harming their …

Natural theology

Have recently been introduced to a concept called Natural Theology.

Regular Theology I guess would be derived from texts considered divine revelation like the Hebrew Scriptures (a.k.a. Old Testament) or the Christian Scriptures (Old plus New Testaments). I figure the other major religions have theologies based on their revered texts.

Anyway, Natural Theology would be ideas about god apart from divine texts.

For instance, the existence of god in sacred texts is dogma and assumed and need not be argued for.

But can one argue for god apart from religious revelation?

In steps, Natural Theology.

It sounds like there are five notible arguments for god. I suppose there may be more.

Cosmological argument says the universe exists; thus, there is a creator = god.

Teleological argument says there is design in the universe; thus, there is a designer = god.

Ontological argument says that all cultures have a god concept; thus, there is some god that must exist for such a concept to be univer…

Just because you are paranoid...

doesn't mean they aren't out to get you...

Or so goes the old cliche.

I heard on the radio last night about the Jacobsens. I've been busy so haven't been making the usual rounds in the news web pages nor the blogs but did come across the item cited by Reynolds in the above link.

The radio report was that the Jacobsens saw 14 (?) Middle-Easterners on a plane moving about as if they were "casing" out the plane. Some are concerned that the terrorists are planning to use planes again. However, since 9/11, the terrorists know the passengers will resist; thus, larger numbers of terrorists would be needed to take control of the plane.

After the Jacobsen's went public with their story, the radio report said other members of the flying public confirm their observations and reports are coming in that on other flights such odd activities are occuring.

I don't know how much of this is paranoia and how much is real but it is a concern which I hope the TSA is …

Is this song politically incorrect?

I'm not nearly as musical as some of my friends. Some of them can spontaneously burst into song. Others can recite lyrics off the top of their head.

Yet, for some odd reason, some random bits of musical memory has bubbled its way into my consciousness.

The song on my mind is from the musical, Flower Drum Song which I saw a couple of years ago on Broadway. Lyrics if you please:

I Enjoy Being a Girl

I'm a girl, and by me that's only great!
I am proud that my silhouette is curvy,
That I walk with a sweet and girlish gait
With my hips kind of swivelly and swervy.

I adore being dressed in something frilly
When my date comes to get me at my place.
Out I go with my Joe or John or Billy,
Like a filly who is ready for the race!

When I have a brand new hairdo
With my eyelashes all in curl,
I float as the clouds on air do,
I enjoy being a girl!

When men say I'm cute and funny
And my teeth aren't teeth, b…

around the internet: forwarded email

Have you seen this one? I've edited it down a bit...

My friend wrote the following...

I'm Confused! I'm trying to get all this political stuff straightened out in my head so I'll know how to vote come November. Right now, we have one guy saying one thing. Then the other guy says something else. Who to believe. Lemme see, have I got this straight?

Clinton awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Yugoslavia - good...
Bush awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Iraq - bad...

Clinton spends 77 billion on war in Serbia - good...
Bush spends 87 billion in Iraq - bad...

Clinton imposes regime change in Serbia - good...
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...

Clinton bombs Christian Serbs on behalf of Muslim Albanian terrorists - good...
Bush liberates 25 million from a genocidal dictator - bad...

Clinton says mass graves in Serbia - good...
Bush says mass graves in Iraq - bad...

Clinton says Saddam has nukes - good...
Bush says Saddam has nukes - bad...

Clinton refuses to t…

@ the movies: I, Robot

Saw it Thursday night at a pre-release marketing event with the local ESPN station here in Los Angeles, KSPN-710.'s round-up has more positives than negatives. Yahoo! Movie's round-up has the critics less than impressed.
Our audience was overwhelmingly positive. However, given that it wasn an ESPN radio demographic, that might not be so surprising.

I'm giving it 3 stars out of 4!!

I've only read Asimov's Foundation series. In those (an initial trilogy which got two additional books decades later) books, the topic of robots did appear and his famous Three Laws of Robotics were discussed. The Three Laws are probably so well known that non-readers of his books have probably been exposed to the concepts.

And so the logic of the Three Laws seems to insure that things would go fine. Of course, Will Smith's character soon finds out that things are going wrong and he has to figure out what happened. He has to convince robotics engineer played b…

Go Dodgers!

Dodgers at the All-Star Break are atop the NL West but huge questions remain. Right now the starting rotation is Weaver, Ishii, Jackson, Lima and Alvarez. Not exactly what the managment had in mind at the beginning of the season.

As for the offense, Cora and Izturis have been pleasant surprises. Beltre is having a breakout year but injury lurks in the wings for him. Lo Duca and Roberts have been solid as hoped for. I had hoped for bigger numbers from Bradley and Encarnacion. Green has really struggled.

Will DePodesta pull off a trade for pitching and hitting or will he only go for some pitching?

I don't know how much would he be willing to part with to bring in Randy Johnson.

Stay tuned as LA may turn into Dodgertown with the likely collapse of the Laker dynasty.

Best guess: Kobe leaves the Lakers

It is 11:20AM and the town is rife with speculation about what is the next shoe to drop in the Laker saga.

First it was Jackson out as coach. Second it was Shaq being traded. And now we wait for Kobe's choice of where he wants to play.

My best guess: he is leaving. There is just too much damage from the crazy season just past.

UPDDATE: I was wrong. Kobe has decided to stay as he signed a $136 million over 7 years.

The Edwards Pick

As a on-again-off-again mostly on-again political blog, I haven't chimed in yet on the Edwards pick.

My post a while back didn't include Edwards in the mix.

My view at the time was that the 2004 race will be close and that it will come down to flipping a few states i.e. the whole Red-state versus Blue-state thing. Hence, my thinking was that Kerry would have picked someone who could help win a specific state or make ground in a region and have enough heft to be taken seriously as a President in waiting. In my calculation, Gephardt was the best bet with perhaps a mid-western Governor as another option and finally a Florida politico. I thought there was a slim possibility that Kerry might go for a demographic pick to energize the party and sway indies. I had California Senator Feinstein as that option instead of Senator Clinton who would have fill that slot though with more controversy and baggage. I felt Edwards would have been in that catagory of pick but bring less buz…

Scheherazade's Gift

As any regular reader knows, I tend to draw upon political blogs. But I do sometimes read diaristic blogs and one of my favorites is Scheherazade's "Stay of Execution". Sherry, as she is sometimes called, lives in Maine and is a lawyer.

Some of us have a certain picture of the legal profession and it is easy enough to think ill of them. The antidote to this of course is to actually know some lawyers which I do from my brief four years in the Washington DC area. So I've found myself thinking, okay, I may like individual lawyers I meet and be skeptical of the profession!

Anyway, reading Sherry's writing shows me that wisdom once again. She has many fans in the blogosphere because she gives "inside baseball" and she gives us snapshots of her life that are honest and uplifting.

Just happen to catch her latest post where she gives a toast to a newlywed couple. Of the bride she said:You have always, always been fun. And your fun is a special kind of f…

What the world needs now

There is an old song that says, "what the world needs now is love sweet love..." and indeed it is so.

As human beings we live in our own little worlds and there are few things as powerful as feeling a bond and connection to another human being in the journey of life.

How comforting is it to know when we share our sorrows there is someone to hear it and bear it with us?

How much pleasure is there when we are happy about something and to see someone else smile too?

How re-assuring is it when we know we have failed and yet we look up from the ground and are in wonder and awe and say, "You are still here?"

In Sunday school hour, with the junior high students, we were talking about how when we are together swapping stories, how do we know we are talking about stuff God would be pleased with? How do we know if it is things Satan would be cheering on?

Does it build us up? Does it build others up? Does it make us happy? Does it help us feel a greater connection wi…

Left, right and center

There is always talk about media bias. If you listen to conservative talkradio, they will be citing examples of the media favoring the left. If you listen to Bob Scheer of KCRW's Left, Right and Center, you will think the right owns the media and they are all shills for President Bush.

I saw this item over at Instapundit (Glenn Reynolds) who cites this column by Linda Seebach of Rocky Mountain News who gives her summary of this Yale report on media political leanings.

The premise of the report is to measure the media's use of think tank reports and compare it with how politicians use think tank reports. Since politicians are rated by a self-described liberal advocacy group called ADA (Americans for Democratic Action), one can then rate the media outlet by extension of how closely they match the politician who have ADA numbers calculated for them.

Seebach writes:People trying to persuade others to adopt their views are very likely to cite think-tank experts who agree with th…