Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The seige continues

As most people who don't watch mainstream news would assume, the protests of immigration reform are highly organized...hardly the "groundswell" of opposition the NYTimes has tried to portray.

has a good piece by Ben Johnson connecting most of the dots.
These massive gatherings of illegals, who denounced their government unmolested by police or immigration officials, had an immediate impact – on legislation and on border security.

Reporter Sara Carter of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin says since these protests, border patrol agents have reported an explosion in illegal crossings from Mexicans (and others) keenly observing the Senate debate and emboldened by same. Some were under the impression amnesty had already been granted and hoped to be the first to take part in the second California Gold Rush.

The rallies had a political impact, too. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-CO, stated on Monday:
The immigration rallies over this weekend and today show how disordered our immigration system has become. For years, the government has turned a blind eye to illegal aliens who break into this country. It isn’t any wonder that illegal aliens now act as if they are entitled to the rights and privileges of citizenship.
As a sign of their political impact, Republicans immediately began discussing the potential threat their political careers face from an Hispanic backlash, should they have the temerity to pretend the United States is a sovereign nation with definable political boundaries.
I also recommend checking out Michelle Malkin's blog. Malkin, journalist and author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists Criminals & Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores has done a lot of research into border issues over the last decade.

Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled

Monday, March 27, 2006


(photo courtesy 500,000 demonstrators Saturday in Los Angeles)

And now the time for reckoning has come. Not only are they here illegally, but they are developing the inevitable audacity to change our laws. Rush had a lovely analogy today--this is like watching thieves unionize to lobby for fewer cops on the street! And congress will listen to them. They will ignore real American citizens, who by and large, are opposed to granting rights to those who violate our laws--who aren't even subject to our laws. (see recent poll results on the AP)

If some things make you sick, you are not alone.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Cold inside

Spring is here... It's getting colder. Say what? Yeah, it seems like every year about this time, as soon as the sun starts to come out again for a day at a time, all the heaters in every business suddenly go out.

So, as the temperature outside barely hits room level (60 degrees F), I still (take today for an example) get cold and sit shivering in a coffee shop, then a restaurant, then again in the coffee shop. It will continue thus throughout the summer no doubt--the only time I will have to wear my jacket is when I go to a local establishment such as Woods or Starbucks.

I asked a barista today if she happened to know what the temperature was in the building. Over by the espresso machines, it was 68F... Where I sit (near the entryway), it must be closer to 60--which is way to cold for my slight frame. *sigh* The barista had said she was not allowed to make adjustments to the thermostat, but she did kindly turn on the gas fireplace, which I think has helped in the immediate situation. Moreover, she said, there isn't any air conditioner in the building per se. They rely just on a heater, which in the absence of need will shut down... hmmm. Seems the "smart machine" doesn't have the smarts to know that it is causing me to shiver in the spring.

That's Woods Coffee's excuse. Can't answer for Taco Time, where I shivered through a modest dinner across the street.

Someday, we minority little people will have rights. I will form my own special interest group to campaign for minimum building temperatures! It businesses won't volunteer to recognize our needs, then we will start lobbying in Olympia--should go over well in this state. I mean, if we have a law against smoking in public establishments (it's unsanitary air), why shouldn't we have a law against frigidity in public establishments (it's also unsanitary right?).

Ok, so maybe I should stick to the minority discrimination story.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Oh, it burns!

Think we didn't know already? Well, it's good to watch just for the sake of seeing them wallow in "mortification,"--almost like an elder from the Church of Objectivity getting caught in an adulterous affair with *gasp* an OPINION!

Drudge has the headline today: "ABC NEWS EXEC: 'BUSH MAKES ME SICK'; E-MAIL REVEALED"

John Green, currently executive producer of the weekend edition of GOOD MORNING AMERICA, unloaded on the president in an ABC company email obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT.

"If he uses the 'mixed messages' line one more time, I'm going to puke," Green complained.

The blunt comments by Green, along with other emails obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT, further reveal the inner workings of the nation's news outlets.

Three thoughts:

1: The media is really liberal.

2: The media is so liberal that he felt "safe" enough to send this out to everyone, expecting a outpouring of commiseration I guess (which makes his lament sound so pathetic now that he was "outed"). I feel sorry that he lost his sense of security from opposing viewpoints in the workplace--ouch--I mean, somebody backstabbed him for crying out loud! Worse, they spilled it to DRUDGE!!! Agh! Of all the people, Drudge is the epitome of the "anti-media" (if you factor in liberal bias).

3: On the other hand, what the point? I mean really, I was serious in my reference to the "church of objectivity" as the religion of journalists. While I appreciate a lot of the benefit embodied in the theory (fact-driven, consistent, concise, agenda-free reporting), it seems to appeal mostly to those who are shallow enough to be complete relativists. Green will probably be slapped on the wrist in a hypocritical show of "shaping up."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Template trials

Dear readers,

I've set up a test template at my exparimental/backup version of this blog. If you could take a look at this link, then let me know what you think of the concept on this post, I would greatly appreciate it. Cheers!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Professors: the one (or two?) up here

The book makes headlines in the academic world by the simple virtue of its title - "The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America."

My favorate professor (Brad Howard) has lamented that he missed the list. Perhaps it is out of sympathy for his disappointment at being snubbed that I call on Mr. Horowitz to pen a sequel as soon as possible with my favorite professor prominently displayed on the front cover.

But...alas, back to the reality of the book itself. Western is blessed with one professor who was deemed worthy of mention. The Western Front finally published their obligatory protectionist piece on behalf of the besieged Prof. Larry Estrada of Western's Fairhaven College. It can be viewed in the last issue of Winter quarter...and can be found online here. I don’t have anything to add on Mr. Estrada beyond that he has been involved in forming the faculty union recently. I don’t know him, nor anything special about him. Fairhaven College seems in some ways like an isolated nursery. Walking around the faculty offices, absorbing the project displays and door posters, and talking to 6th year seniors forms the basis for my impressions. It’s always seemed like a good place to go for students who don’t want the pressure of living in the world or learning about it for as long as possible.

My copy of "The Professors" arrived the other day. It will keep me great company through spring break I'm sure.

Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled

Johari joke

I'm unfurling the results of my Johari Window because I got such a rise out of it. Here's a quick summary of how many different versions of me exist in this world--all wrapped up in the perceptions of the people who know me.

The three that I had listed and at least a couple agreed with:
The TWENTY-FIVE that I didn't list and came up in the minds of others (there's only 24 unused options left!):
"Complex" was one of the most recent this point I wonder if there's any more accurate single word.

Thanks to all who responded.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Whimsical wanderings

Forgive me if I feel compelled to give you an accounting of yesterday. It is too enigmatic an account to bury.

Monday was my day to end the misery. I had fifty percent of my grade due for two different classes, however, by most standards, I am to be envied for the fact I am now free of school for the rest of finals week.

The day started with an early morning session at Starbucks in preparation for my Poli Sci final at 8. There I sat at the Sehome location right next to the pickup counter. The barista who worked steadily through each double, tall, no-whip, extra-hot vanilla latte might as well have been there all night—a good possibility since that shop is open all night during finals week. She had this whimsical cheerfulness you see--it didn't matter if no one was listening. A cell phone ring-tone mimicking a bird was enough to send her into fits--declaring her passionate love of that ring-tone and how it had just made her day.

She must have noticed me smile one or two times. Just as I was about to get up to leave she had a slight lull and said in a hushed voice, as if she was a taking a chance, "hey, do you wanna sample?" I said I was just about to take off...she goes, "What flavor, or do you want me to surprise you?" I acknowledged the later as a better option and she asked me if there was anything I didn't like. Nothing came to mind so she took my empty coffee cup and fixed a tall latte while I packed up. It ended up being a half white, half dark chocolate flavor—not too bad I must confess. I stole away with my "sample" and took my exam.

Next was my last class of winter quarter—my very favorite professor was there to see me off to spring break (don't laugh too hard if you know who I'm talking about). It was an amusing setup: the sun streaming through the window. There were three people in the class graduating after this class period. Their obvious sense of euphoric excitement was infectious. On the board, written in bold upper case was, "MY LAST DAY!" and it stayed there. The class naturally devolved into the standard, last-chance rant by the one hundred and second most dangerous professor in America (David Horowitz please take note: I don't know how you missed this guy).

Ok, I finally headed to Haggen for lunch and my last-stretch effort to finish my research paper. All was going smoothly when a figure appeared at my booth—gesturing and asking me if she could sit across from me. She was a short woman, walked with a cane and seemed oblivious to the fact that I was one of only a few people in the cafe who were taking up booths—in fact, I think she singled me out for company I guess. She was mentally handicapped(sorry, I'm not learned enough to identify specific conditions) and a very warm person to talk to. As soon as she sat down, she asked me to take the lid off her coffee cup. I took my fingers off the keyboard and obliged, after which, she promptly poured half of her coffee into my coffee cup -- only she didn't realize that I had refilled it with water and it still had an inch or so in the bottom. I suppressed a laugh and realized that I'd better ration my conversation or I would never see any progress on my paper. That was the gist and theme of her visit with me: sharing. She began to share other things too. She shared about the bus driver who didn't mind people sleeping on the bus. She shared about the many people were not nice enough to the dog at her home--including her mother. She shared that she had just done the dishes for her mother, and then asked me to open her 3 Musketeers bar. I at first objected, thinking she wanted to give part of it to me, but she continued to ask me to just open it for her -- which I did. She confirmed my fears when she asked me to break it in half. I again objected till she assured me she just wanted to save the rest for later. Fifteen minutes later, after writing just two sentences in that time, I decided it was the better part of wisdom to find a way to conclude our visit. I asked Sarah what her name was and then calmly mentioned that I had to go back to finishing my paper--was that alright with her? She nodded and left...not before finally sharing that other half of a 3 Musketeers bar. *sigh* Oh if only I had met Sarah a day later. I probably would have enjoyed a much longer visit.

I finished what passed for a research paper, turned it in, and headed to work. I was surprised to discover everything was relatively normal at work, and I don't know how to explain that in light of the day's preceding events!

Happy spring break!


Saturday, March 11, 2006

'A new uniform'

NewsMax is reporting one of Pat Tillman's former teammates has decided to follow his lead and join the Marine Corps.

Jeremy Staat, who also played professional football, left the game at age 29 to endure the rigors of boot camp and life in the military.

Staat was an offensive lineman at Arizona State University while Tillman played there, and the two were roommates.

After college, Staat moved on to the National Football League, playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams, plus one year of arena football with the Los Angeles Avengers.
Staat's stated reasons are because he hates the idea of entertainers (football players) getting paid so much more than those who are doing something of lasting significance.
"I wanted to be a part of something that is going to live forever instead of getting trophies. What are trophies good for – collecting dust?”
Inspiring to be sure. I just hope he doesn't get disappointed if he finds he's not appreciated as much as he thought. It's all fine and dandy to join to try to make a difference--but (speaking as a man who knows) that can be twisted into a hunt for personal glory...I guess I'm making something of a confession of weakness here...

...when I should be studying!

In other news--the quarter is done on Monday! It's scary what I need to finish in the next few hours. Moving on...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Don't mess with granny!

A 75-year-old great-grandmother proved once again that firearms are still worthy of the tag: "the great equalizer."

According to WKYC TV (Akron Ohio), Eleanor Lynn, of Akron, Ohio, keeps a .380 handgun "loaded and nearby at all times."

"I already had the gun out," she said. "Somebody was breaking into my house so I took the gun out and went to the door. They flew."

She'd been robbed before and wasn't about to let it happen again.

"All I got to do is hold this trigger and it goes six times without stopping," Lynn explained. "I just bought this one and this one has never been used I'd like to have a chance to use it."

Lynn's neighbor quickly called police who arrested the suspects, ages 15 and 17, in nearby yards.
As a side, I'm not impressed at all with the presentation of the story. The photo is a glaring ethical violation--totally staged, and not noted as such. A little more detail would be cool, but what can you expect from a TV station?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Catch of the!

Matt Drudge is showing a link to an essay by Barbra Streisand, in which she accuses Bush of being an arrogant C student:

In her February 28th, 2006 essay, Streisand flubs 11 words, a personal record.

• Irag
• curruption
• dictatoriship
• crediblity
• Adminstration
• warrented
• desperatly
• preceedings
• ouside
• subpoening
• responsibilty

...Streisand has not seen fit to run a spellcheck on the rant as of Noon, March 06.
But alas, she had when I checked the link little bit ago--and ran it through spellcheck...but don't let that stop you from seeing it: The old version is still preserved in all its currupted glory in the cache system. It's quite entertaining so read it while you can.

Some gems for safe keeping:

In the 1970’s, during the Nixon Adminstration, serious political curruption arose and the Republican leadership stepped up and took responsibilty by holding hearings and subpoening administration officials.

The arrogance of this C student who maligns his opponents’ crediblity by calling them flip floppers, is the biggest flip flopper himself!

When debating Al Gore during the 2000 presidential elections, Bush spoke against nation building, yet went into Irag a year later to national build…which we now see has resulted in disaster.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

So soon?

I anticipated a drop in support among Canadians for their increased mission responsibilities in Afghanistan--just as we all expected the liberals in the U.S. to get cold feet (or at least display them) sooner or later. But really--isn't it a little soon for Canadians to start wailing about the inevitable casualties? They have little over 2000 troops there and just assumed primary leadership: Either the pollsters are out creating something from thin air, the media is spinning the results (most likely), or Canadians are truly ready to call it quits?

Read the scoop here in the Edmonton Journal.

Observe the headline: "Dangers leave Cdn's split over Afghan mission"

And yet one of the poll questions is telling.

The IpsosReid poll, conducted for CanWest News Service and Global News, found 52 per cent of Canadians feel the 2,200 Canadian Forces troops deployed to Kandahar are on a vital mission and should stay the course, while 48 per cent said the troops should be brought home as soon as possible.
I would have thought that 100 percent would think the troops should be brought home as soon as possible. Doesn't everyone think that? I mean, no one thinks (in Canada or the U.S.) that we should just waste time in another country. So "as soon as possible" means "when the mission is completed" right?

Of course, I wouldn't say "as soon as possible" because the zombie pollster probably doesn't know what he's asking and spin my answer to mean I'm anti-war. But since I'm not exactly in the "mainstream" (liberal), I guess I don't have to worry about being asked such questions.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Last week

Here's a pictoral sample of last week's events here on the homefront:

Tubing at Mt. Baker - Saturday the 17th.
Went up to Baker for the day with our church Young Peoples.

Brian gaining a few inches of air

Ruth arrived from Ontario the day before.

Whidbey Island - Monday the 20th

A visit to the beach with Ruth and Jackie.

Climbing the bluff.

Tuesday - Lake Whatcom

Saturday - Port Townsend
Ruth and I headed across the water with Steve and Laurie (her sister) and their four kids.

Steve (holding Joel) and Ruth on the ferry.

Sidewalk artist.

Marie and Joel riding the 50 cent carousel


Grandpa and Grandma, just before leaving.

Mom took us out to dinner at the Olive Garden before we left for SeaTac.