Thursday, February 23, 2006

We still remember

Students got a dose of reality Tuesday on one college campus. Undoubtedly, many others remain ignorant.

World Net Daily is reporting about a student who got so angry during a speech by Sen. Ted Kennedy, he stood to leave, but not before shouting, "Remember Chappaquiddick!" He will most likely face disciplinary action from Massasoit Community College.

[Paul Trost, 20], was upset by an introduction of Kennedy given by Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., in which the congressman noted how the long-time senator overcame hardship in life on his way to success.

"Lynch said Kennedy had overcome such adversity to get to the place he was, and that's a bunch of bull," Trost said of the introduction, which occurred in the school's student center yesterday morning.
The school administration has yet to act, but Trost has already faced criticism from instructors.
"One of my teachers called me ignorant and told me this was an embarrassment to the school," Trost told WND. "She said to me, 'Can't you forgive him after all these years?' And I said, 'No, he killed somebody.'

"If it had been me or any other person, we'd be in jail," Trost says he told his instructor.

"I wanted to send a message to him that my generation still knows about it. We haven't forgotten about it."
Read the complete story at World Net Daily.

Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled

Thursday, February 16, 2006

So sad...

I am obligated to make note of a very sad happening. John Michael Montgomery, a country singer of whom I am fan, was arrested today in Kentucky...

Montgomery was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence and possession of a controlled drug, jail officials said.

The 41-year-old country singer also was charged with having a prescription drug not in its proper container, two counts of carrying a concealed deadly weapon, disregarding a traffic control device and improper turning, said Darin Kelly, a spokesman for the Lexington jail.
The story here on

Vutures on the prowl

If I wasn't so maddened, I'd be yawning.

The media has the audacity to make themselves the story in the race to see who can behead Cheney first. Now these bloodsucking vermin are appalled they won't get the chance to "interview" (read: interrogate) the Vice President of the United States. A fool's fool knows they look stupid for what they are saying. So the question remains, how far below foolishness (i.e. status quo) do they intend to stoop.

The very idea that Fox News (the top rated cable network in the world) should be the only one granted an interview, is just absurd according to the rest of the objective, mainstream (read: partisan, green with envy) media. It won't do congressional Democrats any good to chime in either--but don't tell that to Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J
Now that he feels forced to talk, he wants to restrict the discussion to a friendly news outlet, guaranteeing no hard questions from the press corps.
You've probably already heard the "Bonnie interviewing Clyde" jab from CNN commentator Jack Cafferty. Read it here in the SF Chronicle.

Press Ethics class in an hour--I think I'm looking forward to it.

The thanks that are due

I meant to post this (as I did a number of other items) a few days ago. It's one of those things that gives me chills--the good kind. The Iraqi mayor of Tall ‘Afar apparently has a way with words!

From: Mayor of Tall ‘Afar, Ninewa, Iraq

In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful

To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life...
Read the rest at The American Thinker.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Smokey update III

Maybe this one will work for me... soon as it arrives from the vender on eBay.

Pioneer DEH-24F Car Stereo with CD Player and FM/AM Tuner. Very good condition. Included is the stereo, the faceplate, wire harness, and a mounting sleeve. Features: - 45W x 4-Channel High Power - Rotary Volume Control - EEQ Performance Chip - 3-Band Equalizer - Easy EQ (EEQ) switches 5 Factory, 1 User EQ Presets (Super Bass, Powerful, Natural, Vocal, Flat, Custom) - Source Custom EQ Memory (Independent Custom Memory for each source) - Selectable Loudness Control (Low/Mid/High/Off) - Selectable FIE (Front Image Enhancer) (Rear LPF 100/160/250Hz) - Selectable Fader Control - RCA Preouts (x1 pair) (2V) - Large Amber-Back Liquid Crystal Display with LED Backlight - Clock Radio - Supertuner III - 24-Station/6-Button (18FM / 6AM) Presets - BSM (Best Station Memory) - Up/Down Seek with Selectable Local Seek Tuning Compact Disc - Track Scan/Pause/Repeat/Random Play - Audible Fast-Forward/Reverse - Playback Compatible with Digital CD-R and CD-RW - AGC (Automatic Gain Control) - 8x oversampling - 3-beam laser pick-up - 1-bit D/A Converter - Anti-shock mechanism This stereo worked great when it was removed from the car. But, it is being sold as is. The only reason it was removed was to install an mp3 capable stereo. Relisted due to non paying bidder.
This is the cause for my current sleepy state of mind. Bidding at night can be productive...I had to set my alarm to wake up near the end of this auction. Only had to bid once though and it was done!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Noise from the jungle (vol. IV)

This is a direct continuation of my last installment regarding interesting quotes on campus. From the same professor:

The overarching mold of [media] objectivity is completely unrealistic.
Interesting to say the least, and not totally untrue. But what is to be the replacement if they are not to even bother striving for objectivity as we have expected them to do for so long?

The question is not whether there should be bias. The real question is: "Which bias benefits the largest number of people?" It is strictly utilitarian calculus. John Stuart Mill would be proud.
My immediate response is that the decision he speaks of, to decide what bias benefits the most people, is strictly subjective, and in his teaching methods, he ends up distracting from discussion the merits of his model (public journalism) by taking sides on issues and advancing an agenda through the model.

Clear as mud?

Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled

Smokey update II

The Weekend this weekend was not what I had hoped on several counts. I believe I mentioned wanting to get a secondhand stereo before the weekend was out--I began my Saturday with just that goal. I pulled out the old(!) tape deck/radio and examined the twisted mess of cords and plugs that most obviously didn't match up. Before running off half-cocked, I called my brother Ben, who happened to be working on his old Demolition Derby car (stripping out the engine and junking the remaining metal) with my cousin Josh... He suggested I come on over and let him and Josh check it out. This I did, and after one trip to Bellingham with Josh and the purchase of some severely overpriced adapters from Circuit City, we made it back to the shop...only to run into the henceforth unknown, and therefore slightly overlooked fact that the CD player I was attempting to install was unequivocally inoperable... (i.e. DEAD).

"What about that rattling?"

The question was to define the remainder of the day. That was the suspected problem with my alternator bearing or maybe the water pump. Whatever it was, it was making the car sound more and more like a diesel engine.

Josh promptly dove into the compartment with his small hands and felt the water pump--time for a replacement. Josh is the ideal Honda mechanic. No matter how much he complains about the cramped conditions under my hood, he still has to admit his small but strong frame is the ideal American counterpart to the car's Asian creators.

"Pick up a timing belt while your at it," he said several hours later before I headed to the auto parts store.

It was after 7 p.m. when I drove out of the shop with a gapping hole under my dashboard and a normal sounding engine--not to mention a quicker ignition. No music for a while, no matter how poor the quality.

In other news

That role of duct tape has found a new home on my dash. Thanks for the suggestion Beth.

Music...good music

The Home School Choirs (or what's left of them) performed last week...I was at Friday's concert. The regular concert choir has morphed back into an all-lady's choir. A disappointment in a sense for someone like me who has many fond memories from the now absent base section. Two sisters and three cousins, but no room for me. *sigh*

But after Friday's performance, I'm tempted to say the switch back to all ladies is an upgrade. Having five months to practice didn't hurt I'm sure, but it was truly the best performance from the concert choir ever.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

The swig


Having just taken my first swig of any existing energy drink on the market, let me make my utter disgust known to the world. Yes, that's right, it is a sweeping generalization. Since we all understand that coffee is not an energy drink, I don't mind condemning all the other grog-like concoctions I haven't tried.

It all started Tuesday when I was just about to board an elevator in the Viking Union. A student sitting at a window table called to me...

"Excuse me sir," he said with his best car salesman demeanor pinned on top of his ordinary student looks. "Can you identify these cans?"

There he sat, gesturing with a professional flare to his row of seven or so cans, lined up with their backs to me.

"Red Bull," I answered.

"Good job! Here, have you tried it?"

"No," I said. "It's just really caffeinated right?"

"Yes...oh, are you not able to have caffeine?"

I laughed...hard...took the can and stepped into the elevator.

"Good job on guessing," he called after me as the doors closed. I just stood and wondered how desperate I would have to seek his job.

Fast forward to last night.

My coworker Mike and I were sitting for break at 6. I happened to mention the above episode. He was amused--and also surprised. Red Bull is pretty expensive, he said.

"Maybe you should sell that can," he joked. I laughed at the thought of me walking around the Com Building trying to hawk a single can of Red Bull for a profit of 2 bucks.

Fast forward to this afternoon.

I was just contemplating my options for lunch and decided to patronize the Atrium before heading to a computer to finish a past-due mini-project. I picked out a small wrap, and then stood irresolute as to whether I should buy a drink. I didn't want to spend a bundle like I have before (easy to do in the Atrium) on ton of small items. I shook back the inclination toward an apple juice and took my little wrap to the counter. Besides, I reasoned, this might finally motivate me to try that Red Bull sitting in a pocket on my backpack. If I don't like it, I can just dump the rest.

I took a seat, after warming my refrigerated wrap, opened it and took a bite. I then pulled out the can, hesitated for a second, then cracked it open. Out rose the obligatory vapor, designed perhaps to encourage us to subconsciously ascribe some mystical power to this beverage. Oops, I thought, there goes my two dollar pawn profit.

Two more bites and I grabbed the can and downed a mouthful... It was gross. Accuse me of not having an open mind, of being a coffee snob--I don't care; this had one of the most sickening aftertastes ever. I even tried several more swigs just to be sure I wasn't just fooling myself--no, I still got the impression I was drinking caffeinated chemical-heavy perfume. I think it is no coincidence they put these words right below the top on the opening side (where you are sure to see it as you move it toward your face):
Improves performance, especially during times of increased stress or stain. Increases endurance. Increases concentration and improves reaction speed. Stimulates the metabolism.
Hmmm. Perhaps, but maybe not today.

Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled

A carefully orchestrated outrage

The following analysis was sent to me recently by my cousin Chris Barnekov, an economist working within the beltway. I think it is insightful and I hope it gets out.

A Carefully Orchestrated Outrage
by Chris Barnekov

It is now very reliably reported that the eruptions across the Middle East were carefully nurtured by none other than the chief Imam for Denmark (Formanden for Islamisk Trossamfund -- President of the Islamic Society), one Ahmad Abu Laban, assisted by other Danish Muslim leaders.

Twelve drawings were actually published in Jyllands-Posten, but these imams added others -- none of which was published in Denmark (or elsewhere). I have seen some of these additional drawings, and three are incredibly offensive. So much so that I am not adding them to this post. One shows Mohammed with the face and ears of a pig; another shows him in the standard Muslim prayer position, but being sodomized by a male dog; the third depicts him as a pedophile. The Danish Muslim leaders showed these drawings around the Middle East.

These additional three cartoons are obviously made by amateurs, not the artists who made the 12 sketches actually published (which in my opinion are not particularly offensive). The three phony drawings are HIGHLY offensive and disgusting, even to me (and I am certainly no fan of the "prophet"). I can understand why Muslims would respond violently to these, but these were circulated by the Danish Imams who knew perfectly well that they were not published by Danes.

It took the Imams four months to orchestrate the planned uproar (and to make arrangements for such touches as having Danish flags available for burning -- isn't it odd that the street mobs all over the Middle East had Danish flags readily at hand? How many Arab markets regularly stock the Dannebrog?). Evidently this whole affair has been carefully orchestrated by the Muslim leaders of Denmark, no doubt with considerable assistance and funding from their radical Islamist sponsors across the Middle East.

In addition, Abu Laban is recorded as saying one thing to the Danish media, but the opposite the same day to Arabic media. If you can read Danish, here is one link to a recent documented example: . Essentially, Abu Laban told Danish media on January 31 that he would urge Arabs to stop the assault on Denmark, but later the same day he told Al Jazeera (the Arab TV channel) that the Muslim citizens must "do their duty in defending the prophet" and that he rejoiced at the uproar. [Later he denied having said this, although Danish TV (DR) has the recording!] This is in the tradition of such 'Muslim leaders' as the late, unlamented Yasser Arafat, who was famous for saying one thing in English and the opposite in Arabic -- a trick he repeated many, many times (and usually got away with!).

Why are they doing this? It is a long term strategy, a frequently repeated tactic. Muslim leaders seize upon some (real or, as here, manufactured) affront to stir up violence and attract recruits. In this case, they thought they could pressure a small country with large export volumes to the Middle East. They hope to force Islamic law in place of Danish freedoms and to further radicalize Muslims in Denmark and abroad. It is a strategy employed over and over again to move toward the goal which has not changed in 1300 years – the subjugation of the entire world to Allah and Islamic law.

What is especially worth noting is that this campaign of violence and hatred has been orchestrated by the Muslim leaders in Denmark – the same leaders who meet with church leaders for dialogue and "understanding." It would be most interesting to follow the money that funded their travel around the Middle East for four months before the violence was ripe.

Crossposted at HWTR

Monday, February 06, 2006

Football notes from a non-fan

It's either poor-sport, or heartbreak...

A good article on takes its objectivist anger out on the referees (as is the rest of Seattle right now). It's sad. I thought the Seahawks were going to win and there's nothing out there to tell me they didn't deserve it to win.

But I didn't watch the game...

I planned to visit the pallet shop this morning so I could see Ryan and Michael in dresses. They had a running bet with Dave... Everyone was sure Dave would be the one wearing it. The irony is, of course, that Dave isn't even a football fan and didn't care until he suddenly found his own signature cynicism getting him into hot water--and the resulting wager. I'll not find out till tonight whether anyone honored the bet.

Smokey update I

So progress has been made on the GREY 1984 HONDA ACCORD, 5 SPEED, 4 DOOR car of mine (happy?). Smokey is running happier of late...

I used mid-grade gas on my first fill--seemed like the old stuff was causing some idling problems. Smokey has been running on synthetic oil for a while, which means I should be doing well on that end.

Smokey is vacuumed!

Smokey has new seat and steering wheel covers--and a little scent to, the other smell.

The sound system will be upgraded over the next week if all goes well and the crick don't rise.

Revised list of future Smokey projects:

[begin list]
Figure out SOME WAY of rigging a cup holder (I mean REALLY!)

New floor mats...

Clean out door with wasp nest

Drive like an old man (still to be attempted, much less mastered)

Some bodywork might be in order...those rust holes aren't pretty--they'll just get bigger--maybe then it will finally be worth waxing like my "old" car.
[end list]

I know it's kind of sad to put so much surface TLC into a 21-year-old contraption, but this is just my way of making it livable—I already enjoy my commute more by many degrees (now if I could just get that CD player in…)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The new inquisition

Read this BBC article for the goods on how a one religion deals with offense:

Syrians have set fire to the Norwegian and Danish embassies in Damascus to protest at the publication of newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
Protesters scaled the Danish site amid chants of "God is great", before moving on to attack the Norwegian mission.

Denmark and Norway condemned Syria for failing its international obligations and urged their citizens to leave.
I once had a conversation with a green friend from Whatcom several years ago. She was busy condemning America for bringing terrorism on itself because of its exports that promote antithetical ideals, or (I quote), "We sell Pepsi cans with Britney Spears on them. Of course they are going to be mad."

Ok, I responded. But I am every bit as offended as a Christian at such things. Do I have the green light to start a campaign of terror against America? She didn't have an answer. That's where the conversation ended.

What sets the Gospel apart? Love does--it is the summery of the law? Love God and love our neighbor as ourselves...we follow this out of thankfulness for something we didn't work for.

Benedict the islamist

Another excerpt:

The Vatican [said] the right to freedom of expression does not imply the right to offend religious beliefs.
Where is that supposed to go? So we are ready to start prosecuting (and persecuting) everyone who offends any belief that might come under the category of religion? Ok...but I forgot--this is the institution who was offended by Huss, Luther, and Tyndale, to name a few.

Thank God for the first amendment--because I might be in trouble if the Vatican was in charge here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Noise from the jungle (vol. III)

Mid-terms today in the BH class--the first for me this quarter.

In preface to this volume:
Honestly, I hope I haven't given the impression that I hate Professor BH's guts. That would be a misinterpretation of my frustration. Indeed, I think BH and I respect each other as human beings--he knows I have "differences" from the many hints I've dropped (and perhaps from faculty informants:), and we have even found time to joke about it.

Whether this bit of jungle culture can be described as "noise" is beyond me, but, for what it's worth, here is the main essay prompt on today's mid-term (for some limited context, read volume II):

Define hegemony and explain the role of qualitative research, including the Chicago School method and textual analysis, in exposing hegemonic messages to the public.
Upon completing what I hope was a comprehensive answer, and since the question left no room for disagreement, I included a little postscript that read (under the heading "ignore this when grading please"):
...and having said all that, I must say that I think most of the above is bunk.
I'm depending on his respect for academic honesty and perhaps his sense of humor to forgive me for taking that little bit of liberty.

Moving on...

(visit Western Washington Unraveled for exclusive student news and views)

Whither reform

Candidates for the House majority leader position are courting the right people: Rep. Mike Pence and his Republican Study Committee. For those who don't know (there are many) the RSC is the truly conservative bloc in the Republican party responsible for getting the first budget cuts we have seen in a long time after Katrina finally gave them an excuse to push some pork-busting measures.

Two of the majority leader candidates (minus Roy Blunt--not a big loss), have sat up to answer questions from the RSC. This if hopefully a strong sign the party, in general, is going to allow greater RSC influence in congressional affairs--they are the only group with the ability to save Republican credibility on spending issues.

Read Tim Chapman's article on for details of the RSC questioning--and a greater sense of what the future holds.