Friday, July 29, 2005

Its time I confess

I’m an addict.

A TAPS addict.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Drugs and the type

There’s been a bit of a short discussion of drug type folks in town lately on the Discussion Board.  I’m perplexed that there has seemingly been little done thus far to curb the decaying state of things by the private sector.  I wholeheartedly believe that our Force is doing what they can with whom they can.  Perhaps more could be done by them I guess, but then that would be pulling them off of other jobs that would have at least some importance also.  Vicious circle and all.

A while back there was talk of forming a Neighborhood Watch, but that hasn’t really gotten off the ground.  I’ve put forth some ideas that involve getting more eyeballs on the situation, shedding some light on the subject, making business harder for these people.  I fear that we’ve really convinced ourselves that there’s nothing that we can do to stop the thugs in town. 

I want to know where these people do business.  I want to know who is involved in the business.  I want to keep my friends away from these people.  I want my children to stay away from these places.  Too many people are in the dark, because a few think that “well, everyone knows…”  I’ve driven through this town for years and have never seen anything that resembled a drug buy.  I’ve walked through the projects at night and never have witnessed a thing.  I do it regularly.  What am I missing here? 

Is there a risk involved in making a public statement that you want to get rid of these useless members of society?  Probably.  But you know what?  If the situation is as bad as everyone says, we’ve got to start taking risks like this.  Its either that or allow this segment of society to run rampant, lowering more than just property values.  Its going to take more than just letting the police do it.  Its going to take more than just education.  Its going to take a concerted effort of many citizens of town who have decided that its time for a change in attitude toward this type of crime. 

I would hope that the police force would help us regular folks to know how to better help them get rid of these people.  I personally know of people who’ve called both local and county police, but because of back logs, they cannote do all that much.  We need to know what we can do, and how best to lessen the effects that these thugs have.

And I’m open to any suggestion.  I’d be more than happy to post names and faces here, addresses to watch and avoid….anything.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Been a bit slow lately?

Perhaps the kids have been gettting on your last nerve.

That dirty Village Council up to no good again?  (Whippersnappers!)

Your neighbor hasn’t mowed his lawn in three months?

Want to take out some rage?

Try BZFlag.  It does a body (or at least your trigger finger) good.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Friday, July 22, 2005

And now for a post that will make no sense to anyone

Dear Andrea Zimmerman ,

Have you watched Alladin lately?  Just wondering.

Will

Why I love John Howard

He’s the lovable Australian Prime Minister who got asked a loaded question by the British press about whether the bombings in London are the result of British/Australian/American Iraq policy.  His response:

Could I start by saying the prime minister and I were having a discussion when we heard about it. My first reaction was to get some more information. And I really don't want to add to what the prime minister has said. It's a matter for the police and a matter for the British authorities to talk in detail about what has happened here.

Can I just say very directly, Paul, on the issue of the policies of my government and indeed the policies of the British and American governments on Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it's given the game away, to use the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.

Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq.

And I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq.

Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor. Are people by implication suggesting we shouldn't have done that?

When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan?

When Sergio de Mello was murdered in Iraq -- a brave man, a distinguished international diplomat, a person immensely respected for his work in the United Nations -- when al Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the role that de Mello had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations administrator in East Timor.

Now I don't know the mind of the terrorists. By definition, you can't put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at objective facts, and the objective facts are as I've cited. The objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq. And indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of principles of the great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.

PRIME MIN. BLAIR: And I agree 100 percent with that.

Linkage to the Corner

You may also want to check out the photo montage at The Anchoress to be reminded of the events leading up to 9/11 and today.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Satire

Some people get it, some people don’t. The Huffington Post is your example of the day.

This article specifically, and the comments following. (By the way, I do find every one of these funny, and that's no joke.)

Some favorites:

Jann Wenner walks into a pub and sits down next to a man with a dog at his feet. "Does your dog bite?"

"No."

A few minutes later the dog takes a huge chunk out of Mr. Wenner's leg.

"I thought you said your dog didn't bite!" he says indignantly.

"That's not my dog," says the other man.

"I can't help but believe that this is in part the result of Bush's War on Iraq," says Jann, before limping out to his car.

Funny!

How many conservatives does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Five. One to screw it in, and four to hate gay people.

Still funny! And from the comments section…

Q: How many Bush administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are a delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why doyou hate freedom?

This is good stuff!

A conservative, a liberal and an independent went into a bar. All three left, offended, before the punch line.

How many conservatives does it take to change a light bulb? Six. One to change the bulb and five to gripe about how much better the old bulb was.


How many liberals does it take? Four. One to call the African-American cleaning lady and three to feel guilty about calling the African-American cleaning lady.

And now to lift conservative satirical websites that should have been linked here long, long ago.

IMAO

Ace of Spades

Blame Bush

Scrappleface

Protein Wisdom

Now go, and be free!

The Discovery of the Year

Google has uncovered what is possibly the most amazing scientific find of the year, and perhaps the decade!  Head over to Google Moon (a derivative of Google Earth).  Zoom all the way in to see what they’ve discovered.

Amazing!

(And for a tutorial on zooming, its pushing the little + in the upper left hand part of the map.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Its NOTES time!

Yes, you read that correctly.  NOTES!  Yay for NOTES!  NOTES are good!  NOTES will be updated in a few days to more accurately reflect Village business, because they are simply NOTES and not actual minutes of the meeting.  They’re NOTES!  Whee!

Interesting points:

First reading of Ordinance #0–2005–12 delayed.  It will require landlords to provide names of their occupants to the Village.  This information will be used for tax collection purposes.

South Main is going to be landscaped by the Village and repairs will be done by the company that’s been bonded to do the work.

Kevin Knight is trying to resolve the high grass problem of some lots in the Village.  No one likes being told their lot looks crappy, so you can imagine how popular this makes him.

With emphasis of three exclaimation points (!!!), the Council isn’t charging the Hot Stove $100 for rental of the concession building.

No one seems to know who is on the Parks & Recreation Committee or what positions are held.

A 1.5 hour Executive Session was held to discuss Fire Department issues and other contractual concerns. 

Now, have at thee NOTES!

WINDHAM VILLAGE COUNCIL MEETING

JULY 12, 2005 - 7:00 P.M.

Mayor Starkey called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call: Present; J Moore, S Garrett, M Garrett, B Donham, J Minotti(F Ballard absent due to family illness)

There were no minutes of the April meeting due to family illness of fiscal officer, Shelly Craine. Shelley has been out of the office Monday & today so financial records and issues will be on the recessed meeting agenda.

Jim Moore provided the Police & Fire Reports.

Jim Moore moved to adopt Resolution #R-2005-8 to withdraw the Village's appeal to the Bureau of Employment Award of benefits to it's fromer Village Fiscal Officer, Grace Krontiris. Seconded by Marian Garrett. Aye votes: Minotti, S Garrett, M Garrett, R Donham, M Garrett.. Nay: none. Motion carried.

Marian Garrett reported that the State Auditor's will be coming within the next week or so to begin our 2004 audit. Because of the change in Fiscal Officers the State prefers to do the audit themselves. Once it is established that records are being correctly maintained by the new fiscal officer, the State auditor will be willing for us to consider an outside audit firm if we so choose.

Jim Moore's Safety Committee notes of July 5th were distributed to Council members.

Scott Garrett asked that we hold the first reading of Ordinance #0-2005-12 to require owners of rental properties to provide information as to tenants/occupants.

Under Streets & Sidewalks Kevin reported that several people have cooperated by trimming tree limbs that were overhanging sidewalks. So. Main Street will be landscaped by the Village & the bonding company will take care of the street repairs.

Under Building & Properties, Jodi Minotti agreed that extremely high grass at various village locations continues to be a problem. Kevin indicated he is attempting to get the responsible parties to take care of this. It was also noted that there has been favorable comment from the community on the new flags on Center & N Main.

Jim Moore, Planning & Zoning, had no report and the notes from the 7-11-05 meeting have been distributed.

Jodi Minotti reported no meeting for Parks & Recreation Com., however, commended Kevin for the improvements he has made. There is still confusion as to who should be serving on this Board and who the Chairperson is. Jodi is to contact the School Board President and determine who the Board's two appointees are. The rumor going around town that the Council would charge Hot Stove $100 fee for rental of the concession building is a total fabrication of someone's imagination and totally without any foundation in fact!!!

Marian reported no meetings for Economic Development or Records Commission yet.

No report from the Village Solicitor.

Under Other Business Kevin Knight reported that the white dump truck was sold for $750.00. We need to replace by fall as the big dump cannot mow the circles

In a very brief guest recognition Mr Quiggle shared his concern with Council about not pursuing the hearing on unemployment benefits.

Prior to entering Excutive Session to discuss legal issues regarding the Fire Dept and contractual concerns with Atty. Manlove, it was announced that there would be no action taken following the Exec Session and that the Council Meeting would be recessed until 7PM on Monday, July 25, 2005.

At 7:46PM M Garrett moved to enter Exec Session for the reasons stated. Bob Donham seconded. Aye votes: J Minotti, S Garrett, M Garrett, B Donham & J Moore. Nay: none. Motion carried.

At 9:14PM M Garrett moved to return to Open Session. J Minotti seconded. Aye votes: J Minotti, S Garrett, M Garrett, B Donham, J Moore. Nay: none. Motion carried.

At 9:15PM S Garrett moved to recess the meeting. Seconded by M Garrett. There being no dissenting vote, the meeting stood recessed.

Assume all spelling errors to be on the part of a bad computer scan, because we’ve finally figured out how to work the scanner to identify printed type, but still refuse to use spellcheck.

 

What not to do if you ever buy a Tazer

Seriously.

I do solemnly....

Umm, not quite yet.

Tomorrow evening, the notes from the recent Village meeting should be online.  Just thought you might like to know.  Its something that people like to plan their evenings around.  You know, have dinner, check The Windhamite for some lovely Note reading, perhaps with a nice cold glass of Coca-Cola, unofficial sponsor of the Windhamite. 

A Fine Choice Mr. President

Meet Mr. John Roberts, your next Supreme Court jurist.

Because I’m incredibly biased, I’ll link to Right Wing News with a round-up of blogger quotes from conservative bloggers.

Ok fine, I’ll link to some quotes from the DailyKos site, just not necessarily on the Kos site, and not really concerning Roberts either.  I just like piling on really.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Got a spare $75,000?

Oooooh, pretty.  Its a Morgan Roadster.  I want one.  I can’t afford it. 

Saturday, July 16, 2005

True Character

Unfortunately its going pretty much unappreciated by major US media.

 Trey Jackson Linkage

No Coverage of Soldier Capturing his would be Murderer and saving his life!

 During a routine patrol in Baghdad June 2, Army Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer, a medic, was shot in the chest by an enemy sniper, hiding in a van just 75 yards away. ThePfc_stephen_tschiderer incident was filmed by the insurgents.

Tschiderer, with E Troop, 101st “Saber” Cavalry Division, attached to 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, 256th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, was knocked to the ground from the impact, but he popped right back up, took cover and located the enemy’s position.

After tracking down the now-wounded sniper with a team from B Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Iraqi Army Brigade, Tschiderer secured the terrorist with a pair of handcuffs and gave medical aid to the terrorist who’d tried to kill him just minutes before.

See the video of the attack.

Read the account of the incident from the 256th Brigade Combat Team.

 

Saturday morning cartoons...

Because the cool one’s ain’t on tv anymore, I give you…

Strongbad Answering Email – Number 133

Of course, its found at Homestarrunner.com

Friday, July 15, 2005

Reporting or Opinion? You make the call!

So you picked up this week’s Villager and are perusing the fine reporting on such things as the recent Hiram Council meeting, or perhaps the reporting on the guided tours of the Arsenal which the government and Ohio EPA ocnducted recently. (I still say burn the place to the ground.) Then you turn to the second page and see that Windham Village Council had a meeting and it is the subject of not one, but two articles! Whew, must have been some meeting.

(The Notes from the meeting will be late as Shelley Craine who usually collects them has been away due to a family illness. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.)

Reporter for most Village meetings, Jody Schroath, separated remarks dealing with the recent Discussion Board meetings concerning the Hot Stove State Championships and rumors flying about that the Council was trying to make a few bucks off of it through concessions or some such.

Correctly pointing out that people’s imaginations have a bad tendency to get away from them, Ms. Schroath shifts from reporting to offering her opinions concerning “People would rather be angry than right.” She offers this paragraph in the article.

Oh, Windham is not alone. Its residents have plenty of good company, from the millions of people who listen to national talk-shows and believe what they hear without bothering to check on the facts to the growing numbers of subscribers to one-sided worldwide Web blogs.

First off, the term is “web log” if you’re referring to it as such, “blog” is the shortened term. Regardless, how does this paragraph lend itself to a better understanding of what’s going on here in Windham? Isn’t it a bit condescending to those of us who were actually waiting for the facts of the case to come out? Rather than focus on the issue at hand, she (unknowingly likely) pats us poor Windhamites on the head and say, “don’t you worry your little heads, everyone else does it too.”

The great complaint by those on the left side of the aisle for years has been that popular talk radio is dominated by right-wing talkers. Because of this, its obvious that all folks who listen to such talk radio are “mind-numbed robots” who don’t really think for themselves. Surely they don’t bother to check on the facts like the vastly more intelligent left-wingers do. They’re just a bunch of right-wing, conservative, evil, rich, child-starving Republicans who just don’t know any better and don’t have the sense to look things up.

To that, I humbly offer the wisdom found in such websites as Daily Kos, left-wing blog extraordinaire. Consider one of the diaries hosted on the kossacks website and the comments following.

I suppose that Ms. Schroath is making a general comment concerning both sides of the aisle, Democrat and Republican alike. The root of the problem is that the statement really has little place in reporting the goings on at a Village Council Meeting. It is fodder for an opinion article at best.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

So its Thursday and you're bored...

Let’s play with Google Maps!

Quick, what construction zones and traffic problems are in the area?

Now, how about low gas prices?  (OK, this one  is pretty much around Akron, but ah well, whatcha gonna do? You’ll have to use the drop-down menu to find OH-Akron too.  Sorry.)

Hot enough for ya?  Check out the Cleveland Radar overlay on this one.

Received to the sound of chirping crickets....

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!

Hockey is coming back (probably).

Does anyone really care anymore?  How many of us have been wringing our hands bewailing that we’re not able to see the Carson Denture Clinic posterboys this past winter?

That’s what I thought.

Here's a thought...

You know that vacant land at the corner of N. Main and Center Street?  Wouldn’t that be great for a large “Welcome to Windham” sign of some sort?  It is already zoned commercial and I’m guessing that there’s not a whole lot of interest in that lot as it is a bit small for building anything commercial-like.  Of course, that would require whomever owns it to donate it to the village.  Maybe that’s the downside of this whole thing.

Interesting fact

No Democracy Has Ever Experienced A Famine

Courtesy of Dean’s World

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

We hardly knew thee...

Ahh Will, you could have done the namesake more proud, we shall not miss  you all that much.  Poor little booted blonde kid on Rockstar tonight.  Shed a tear for the name, not the person.

In other news, go ahead and buy yourself the INXS: Kick album, you’ll thank yourself (and me by proxy).

Reality Tuesday!

Reality shows are ruling the summer for the networks, especially CBS this year.  Its a pretty easy call for them to make, since they are pretty much low budget, except for any prize money offered.  CBS even gets to fill three time slots a week to Big Brother 6, which could end up being pretty good this season. 

On the block this week (which for those of you scoring at home…or even if you’re alone I guess…is week one) are Ashlea and Kaysar.  She’s one of the “pretty-prettys” in the house, of which there are way too many this season.  Kaysar seems to be the kind of guy that pretty much anyone would hang around with.  It looks as if things are shaping up for a house that has one less Ashlea, but only time will tell.  I have a sneaking suspicion that Sarah is going to do well this season.

Also on Tuesday nights is the incredible live show of Rockstar: INXS.  If there was anyone who could kick the pants off of American Idol and its various across-the-world incarnations, it is Mark Burnett, the producer of this program.  Tonight’s show was outstanding, with Ty and J.D. giving the best performances of the night.  Tomorrow night the three rockstars with the least amount of public votes will get one more chance to shine, before INXS drops the performer they like least.  Great concept that leaves ultimate control of the band with the members themselves.  Clever twist, as always from the producer of Survivor and The Apprentice. 

Speaking of which, Survivor: Guatemala has began shooting about a week ago.  Three people have already been voted out and early word is that there are some interesting contestants on this show.  Perhaps one or two that we’ve seen before?  Only time (and spoilers) will tell.

Hey...look over there!

But don’t look here, really!

Ok, all over the news today is this story about Karl Rove, super evil right-wing, neocon, Conservative Republican extraordinaire, advisor to the President guy.  He obviously wants to eat your children and kill your grandparents because he’s just that bad of a guy.  The left side of the aisle (whoohoo!  Congress-speak!) is all over this whole leak that he was supposed to have made.  I think he mentioned that Charlie Wilson had a wife, which is obviously code for “she’s a CIA plant, but I’m not going to come out and say it, but it should be so obvious to you that you can’t miss it.”  Thus, because of the obvious leak, the Hungry Hungry Democrats are all up in arms about Bush firing Rove because he said he’d fire anyone involved in the leak. 

Does anyone really care about this?  Seriously.  I know that Karl Rove is a snivelling puppet-master that really controls the entire world through his mouthpiece Georgie Bush, but come on.  Is the left going to stand up if this takes place and say, “Ha, got you there you mean old Rovey.  Didn’t see that one coming did ya?  And don’t think about leaking that Barbara Bush is secretly Prince William’s lover because we’ve got her under contract as an NID plant.”

That’ll teach him.  Phooey.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Ya' know

I'm sitting here staring at the computer screen with the nice "post" place to write something....

...and I got nothing.

I don't know what it is, there just really isn't all that much running through my head right now. I did get to watch Rockstar: INXS this evening, which was great. Best band in the world and all, but even that really isn't inspiring me. Perhaps its because I pretty much just cleaned house today rather than paying attention to anything at all newsworthy. I don't know really. Perhaps in a few minutes.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Because I can

I just wanted to say Happy Fireworks!

Its dazzlemazing!

Welcome to the party

Today’s Sunday edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has an editorial that discusses what to do in light of the recent bombing of London by terrorists.  The byline reads “The murderers hit New York.  Then Madrid.  Now London.  How is the world to end terrorism?  Its time to find out.” 

Does anyone besides me wonder where this editor has been for the last four years?

To no one’s real surprise, the paper states that the answer begins with the U.N., seeking a simple definition of terrorism.  That definition is found in a late November, 2004 statement by a U.N. panel stating “any action intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or noncombatants . . .”.  Trite that the Plain Dealer is citing a source that in itself is also three years late to the party.  Any sensible United States citizen has recognized exactly what terrorism is and has been for years, but more specifically since September 11, 2001.  In legal speak, sure, its nice to have the particulars laid out for the lawyers to base their arguments upon in court.  In the wake of the London attack, do we need this kind of a definition to classify it as terrorism? 

The editorial does state that the vaunted U.N. has not made a convention outlawing terrorism in every form, and even goes so far as to say that U.N. resolutions don’t really have much authority unless there is enforcement.  Blatantly omitted is the recognition of a certain twelve years of such conventions against a certain dictator and the continued rejection of the enforcement of such resolutions.  When finally the United States stood up and said that it was time to enforce the resolution, the strong voices of the U.N. turned to whimpering that more time had to be allowed.  Will those same voices suddenly decide to stand up in the face of terrorism when one of their conventions is refused by Al Qaeda? 

In the end, though, the Plain Dealer finds their invitation to the party, stating that the Muslim community should stand up in unison and blatantly state that this radical Wahabist wing of the religion is not representative of the religion as a whole.  While this is not the cure-all answer that anyone would like, it serves one of the greatest purposes:  It marginalizes the wing in the minds of young Muslims, and shows the world that these atrocities are not tolerated.

I hope that statement comes soon.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Favorite type linkage

If you haven't noticed, on the right side there are some nifty little links to blogs and otherwise that I like to look at. Peruse them if you will, you might get a laugh out of some of them. I mention this now because I've added the Captain's Quarters blog to the listing. Seriously good analysis of events over there. Read up!

I'm Miffed

So I’m taking my nightly jaunt through “Maple Grove Park” (read:  the Projects), and I’m nearly to the end of Maple Grove Drive and I hear a bit of commotion.  There’s this shirtless man strutting about pretty much like an animal, breathing heavy and the like.  Being intrigued, I pulled the car over just far enough away to not be obvious, but close enough to be able to hear what was going on. 

From what I gathered, this guy was mad at some kids, likely his own, because they were too loud and were crying.  As far as I could tell, the child was under one year old.  Being the pinnacle of civility that this man was, he did his gorilla impression walking around a car, then going up and overturning a baby stroller (without the baby in it, thankfully).  One of the neighbors said that he was drunk and that it was a regular occurence to have the police down there to calm him down.  Color me surprised.

After overturning the stroller, he announced that he was going inside to get a knife.  Everyone else didn’t seem to take him to seriously, much to my surprise.  I take knives very seriously.  Especially around kids. Things calmed down quickly, after he choked his dog that was chained to the back of the apartment. 

Can someone explain to me what kind of idiot it takes to get so drunk that you’re a physical threat to those that are around you?  Another neighbor told me that his girlfriend/fiancee/wife/live-in busted him in the face before I arrived, trying to shut him up.  I can guarantee you that this woman’s one of those who says “But he loves me” and would never leave him, even considering the physical threat he poses to himself and those around him. 

I’m not one to promote violence in most cases, but if there was ever a person who was just asking for a mouthful of fist, its this guy.  These are the types that need cleaned out of any community, not just our own.

What? You've got a few extra dollars?

Allow me to make a suggestion or two:

Suggestion One

Suggestion Two

I guarantee you hours of enjoyment from these suggestions.  They make great gifts too!  (*ahem*) 

 

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The London Bombings

I think it is only apt to leave two quotations concerning the terrorist attacks in London today as my main thoughts.

Tony Blair, British Prime Minister

It's important, however, that those engaged in terrorism realize that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world.

Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilized nations throughout the world.

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London

Nothing you do, no matter how many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our cities where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another  

Edit to add:

Interesting things from all over the net concerning these things.

Publius Pundit has a picture of the British flag being raised over the State Department, the first time that a foreign flag has ever been raised there.

Here is the full text of Livingstone’s statement concerning the bombings.

The Belmont Club has some very interesting thoughts about Al Qaeda in general.  (And I’d like to endorse them as a good resource concerning US Military actions in Iraq.)

The Counterterrorism Blog is something you should be keeping an eye on at least once a week.

I'll never understand Steeler fans

Ok, this is just creepy.

Deceased Steelers fan laid out at funeral home on recliner in front of TV, beer at his side

That’s just flat out weird, but quote of the day goes to:

 ''I couldn't stop crying after looking at the Steeler blanket in his lap''

It takes all kinds, doesn’t it?

To France, With Love

Hah.

He should just stick to running

Well, the President has had another nasty run-in with a bicycle.  One of these days, Cheney is just going to have to pull him aside and say, “Look pal, just keep both feet on the ground, you’re not helping things here.”

And people say Republicans don’t have a sense of humor.  Feh!

Its rigged I tell ya!

So I’m one of the uberdorks that was hooked by ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars”.  I admit it.  No, I don’t really particularly like dancing.  Its just my style of kooky show that catches my attention.  (By the way, Big Brother starts Thursday…SWEET!)

Anyway, I’m sitting with my nice iced tea watching the finale where its pretty much a foregone conclusion that “Elaine’s Boss from Seinfeld” is going to win because he’s been head and shoulders better than anyone else dancing on the show since the very beginning.  He’s matched up against “General Hospital Soap Star And Let’s Just Forget That She’s Employed With ABC” who has been getting better over the last few weeks, but believe me, that’s not saying all that much.  This girl mysteriously made her way through three weeks of horrible dancing.  Just horrid, but magically, she somehow made it through.

“Elaine’s Boss” does incredibly well in the first dance, and gets rave reviews from the judges.  They give three 9’s, which is the highest score that they’ve given all season.  I, of course, figured that there was no honest way that these judges could give any of these amateurs a 10 because they’d be laughed out of the dancing world.  “General Hospital Skank” got two 9’s and a 7 for a lackluster performance.  In the second round of dancing, “Elaine’s Boss” does even better, and garners the same round of scoring, three 9’s.  “GHS” comes out, gives her version of a pole dance for a minute and a half, and faces the judges.  Lo and behold, three 10’s!  Perfect dancing from the woman who makes Pinnochio look like Rico Suave (ok, yeah, I’m going to the well on that one.) 

Surely the judges are just trying to soften the fall for the fragile tulip, right?  She suddenly lept into the lead for the evening, 55–54 with that miraculous scoring session.  But no, somehow the public all of the sudden loves GHS and gives her the victory.  Of course, ABC will never release the actual vote tallies and why they changed the scoring after the first week of the season.  No not at all, let’s just make the starlet (who just happens to work for us) win our little competition.

I’m sure everything’s on the up and up.  Riiiiight.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Drama

You know…sometimes, when the drama dies down I just like to sit back, take a sit of iced tea, and say to myself, “Wow…..people are stupid.”

Go Tribe!

In the neverending string of disjointed thoughts, I realized that I hadn’t spoken of the greatest sport ever conceived by the mind of man for a while.

Ahh yes, baseball.

My mind wanders back to those days as a child making the two and a half hour drive to Cleveland from home to watch the 1987 Cleveland Indians play in the not so friendly confines of Municipal Staduim.  It was a cool night when Steve Carlton struck out his 4,100th man, and I was there.  I think the Tribe lost the game but it didn’t matter, just sitting there near the field that I’d seen on television with my dad was the greatest thing in the world. 

In 1993, my best friend and I won an auction for the right to take some batting practice on the field at the Stadium.  We knew that it was going to be torn down later, so it was doubly special.  Hitting live pitching was kind of tough, as the other older gentlemen ‘round about us weren’t as adept with a bat, but I did get one to center field.  No one even came close to the seats.  While the other guys were taking pitches, we could just walk around the stadium and check things out.  In the bullpen, we saw the memorial to Steve Olin, who had passed away in a tragic accident the year before.  Though we were not sure if we were allowed, we went through the visitor’s dugout to the long walkway back to the lockerroom.  Only one person was there, the greatest starting pitcher that the Seattle Mariners had at the time, Randy Johnson.  All six feet and ten inches of him.  He thought we were part of the press, and we didn’t give him any reason to think otherwise.  It didn’t take him long to figure out that the two starstruck teenagers were somewhere they weren’t supposed to be.  He politely mentioned that there was a $500 fine for being in the lockerroom, and we promptly took him at his word, and walked back out to the field.

I almost went back to get one of the baseballs that he had already signed.  I kick myself to this day for not doing it.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Independence Day

NARA | The National Archives Experience

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

One

The G8 meetings are scheduled in a couple of days. Perhaps you've heard of them? Yes? No? Well if you haven't, I'll summarize. There's 8 big countries in the world, especially financially, and they get together every once in a while to discuss financial stuff, like global health issues, debts, and the like. Pretty much, its just a bunch of countries agreeing to where they're going to throw some money around.

A couple of nights ago, rock concerts across the world worked together to try to convince these leaders to begin to retire debt in impoverished countries in Africa. Definitely a noble cause to trumpet; Bono of U2 has been at the forefront of this cause for years. The concertgoers and viewers on television were encouraged to visit the One website and sign a petition supporting the debt relief:

WE BELIEVE that in the best American tradition of helping others help themselves, now is the time to join with other countries in a historic pact for compassion and justice to help the poorest people of the world overcome AIDS and extreme poverty. WE RECOGNIZE that a pact including such measures as fair trade, debt relief, fighting corruption and directing additional resources for basic needs – education, health, clean water, food, and care for orphans – would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation in the poorest countries, at a cost equal to just one percent more of the US budget. WE COMMIT ourselves - one person, one voice, one vote at a time - to make a better, safer world for all.”


This is an excellent idea where we have some semblance of respect with the sitting government. They can better use their resources in the vein of improving the health of their own countries without having the burden of oppressive debt.

The problem comes in with cases where there is not such a pleasant government in place. One of the ways that the G8 uses their oppressive debt ratios (and the US in particular, at least for this argument) is to force not so pleasant governments to fall in line when it comes to what the parent country considers to be important issues (health, food, etc.). Consider it as the wealthy donor of a university threatening to withdraw his substantial support of the school. The majority of the time, the school will suddenly change its mind and fall in line with the big supporter. With the threat of having to make good on the debt, the government is more likely to go along with the demands of the debtor.

In another case, we do need to be careful that we do not oversimplify things. Consider yourself to be a poor African farmer, and you've worked your fields for a few months growing a harvest to take to market. The day that you arrive at the market, you set up shop, only to realize that the day before, a huge shipment of the same grain that you're selling was sent by some rich kids in Cabo San Lucas. The price dropped drastically because of this shipment, and you have nothing to show for your hard three months' work. This type of thing actually happens in Africa today, because of simple carelessness on the part of people who are honestly trying to help.

Perhaps you think that the leaders of these G8 nations are only out for themselves and would stomp on every impoverished country like a grape. Don't worry, you'd actually have a lot of company believing that. Personally, I see the G8 as leaders who want the world to prosper, because lets be honest, there's more money to be had if everyone is prospering rather than through just a few that prosper. I expect to see some debt retirement soon, but also, a stronger committment to changing the governments in Africa away from totalitarian style governments to more democratically elected governments. My "pie in the sky" thought is that we are standing at the cusp of a global change to democracy.

Edit to add...

Perhaps you'd be interested in someone else's thoughts in this vein? Sure! How about:

Foreign Aid Facts at the Shape of Days

Grey Lady of Two Minds on Africa at Captain's Quarters

Live Grate at Powerline

Edit again to add:

Ack! Sorry Mr. Harrell, I'll sit in the corner with the Dunce hat on for fifteen minutes now. Here's the link on the main page to the article you mentioned in the Comments section. (By the way, love the blog, or are you going with an online magazine format now?)

One what, exactly? at the Shape of Days

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I suppose it might just be me....

...but I'm finding it quite humorous that Dairy Mart carries "officially licensed" Larry the Cable Guy apparel and do-dads. I don't know if there's a better marketing matchup out there right now.

Things discussed...

I don't know whether we've really had anything close to a resolution of a lot of things that have been discussed over the last few months. Let's make a list shall we?

  • Police Department funding and the lack thereof, has this situation been improved?
  • A resolution concerning garbage laying around dumpster areas
  • The disappearance of Fun in the Sun
  • Cleaning up the parks
  • Education and our schools' Proficiency Exam reports
  • Building a baseball/softball complex on School Board land
  • Upkeep of vacant houses/lots
Yeah that's about enough. Don't forget about these issues, especially if you have any input on it. Let me know or post it on the Discussion Board. We *can* get these things resolved, if we just keep pressing the issues consistently.

Luther Vandross

I was surprised to hear of his passing this afternoon. I enjoyed his style, the man had some seriously good pipes.

R&B Crooner Luther Vandross Dies at 54