Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Dang, You're Old

As a reminder, Chuck Norris becomes eligible for Social Security next year.

Now, to quote the eminently quotable Eliza, "How do you feel about that?"

Talking About My Vaccination

Michelle Malkin asks a question about vaccines:
    Why on earth does the U.S. get virtually all of its flu vaccine supply from just two manufacturers?
Short answer: Because the government hasn't nationalized it yet and left us with a single inefficient source.

Sure, some people might accuse me of wanting children to die; this is not the case. I do, however, not want the remote federal government to use its vast bureaucratic power to do its best to employee middle managers with poli-sci degrees whose goal is to perpetuate their own employment and budgets and save the children, only one of which they're really good at.

Friday, October 08, 2004
No Live Blogging Here

Ladies and gentlemen, I am not live blogging the second presidential debate, although I have watched about twenty minutes of it too much (which, oddly enough, was about twenty minutes). I am voting for Bush, and every time Kerry opens his mouth, I start spitting and cursing and quite frankly, I cannot afford the bib cleaning bills.

I don't dislike Kerry as a person, because I don't know him. And although I can snark a bit here among friends, I don't think he's necessarily a lying, conniving coward. I have no way of knowing. He's never started a bar fight and run off while I got pounded.

I do know that almost everything I hear him attack George Bush for, particularly in domestic agenda, blurs the division of government powers laid out by our Constitution and sometimes even blurs the line between government and private life, and if we elect someone who thinks that the President, not the Congress led by the House of Representatives, spends tax dollars or that the only the George Bush's obstinance and not understanding of economic and human nature principals holds up drug reimportation schemes, well, I guess we'll be ready to elect someone who's willing to nationalize industries to protect the children and are ready to dismiss the Congress to save money better spent on unelected bureaucracies run by appointees of Our Glorious Leader.

Some people impugn Bush and his administration for their simple devotion to protecting the country from threats abroad and for enforcing the ill-conceived lawa passed on by the too-comfortable and too-protected-from-the-consequences-of-their-actions legislators. But I, almost alone it seems, recognize that the executive branch of the government, including the President, only has those powers granted by the legislature.

And when I hear a legislator, or an alleged legislator whose absence from the legislature has not matched the legislator's willingness to forego pay that we taxpayers like to give to practicing members of that hallowed profession, when I hear that pseudo legislator bloviating about the president spending money, or running a deficit, or cutting anything, I....well, I've explained what I do.

Hasn't it occurred to any other voter but me that the entire reason John F. Kerry enjoys his $200,000 income tax bracket is because he's supposed to be a Senator? Come on, the really rich in America aren't paying income taxes, they're paying capital gains, if anything at all. Oh, but Senator Kerry as Supreme Leader would exercise powers not granted to the Constitution to repeal the tax cuts granted to the "richest" Americans, and at the same time he's lambasting that these people get tax cuts while President Bush hasn't single-handedly created five million jobs.

Pardon my misunderstanding of economics as a small business owner, but galdern, "Senator" Kerry, but when you're wanting to soak those who make two hundred thousand dollars a year and "Big Corporations," who's going to hire the unemployed? Last I looked in the want ads, I didn't find many $30,000 a year junior technical writers or $25,000 printers looking to hire five million people. Not even two and a half miillion each. So where do you think the capital is going to come from to keep the economy going?

Oh, I forget, the government will have us all working in its Bureau of Pharmacology, where we can work ten hours a day turning the manual pill-presses to grind out some acetylsalicylic acid to cure any ailment our citizens--who'll return to the time-honored tradition of dying before they're sixty--have.

I'd say a pox on ya, Senator Kerry and his idealogical counterparts, but I am still trying real hard to merely pity you instead.

I Don't Think That Will Help

With a story like this one, you knew the misplaced modifiers would be fun. And so they are:
    Los Angeles County health officials have sent letters urging producers and directors to use condoms during filming, and vaccinate actors for hepatitis A and B.

My Senator, Hard At Work

Looks like Jim Talent, R. MO, is putting his, erm, talents to work on issues of national importance: lighting the Gateway Memorial Arch pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month:
    108th CONGRESS

    2d Session

    S. 2895

    AN ACT

    To authorize the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, to be illuminated by pink lights in honor of breast cancer awareness month.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    In honor of breast cancer awareness month, the Secretary of the Interior shall authorize the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, to be illuminated by pink lights for a certain period of time in October, to be designated by the Secretary of the Interior.

    Passed the Senate October 5, 2004.
Swell. One of my two Senate representatives, purportedly of the small-government party, has wasted his time, his staff's time, and other taxpayer-funded time not to mention sundry expenses to turn this idea into law.

And that's before we get to purchasing a large number of pink light bulbs or pink cells and paying maintenance people to implement them.....

But that Jim Talent, he's sensitive.

Truer Words Were Never Spoken

Lileks, from his Newhouse News column yesterday:
    The next time America is attacked, people will not want someone who can calculate pi to the 48th digit while reciting Latin maxims on the nature of war. They will want someone who says, "Hulk smash." Inelegant as the sentiment might be, Hulk-thought works better than Captain Nuance striding into the United Nations waving resolutions and chastening editorials from Le Monde.
I feel clever in likening the purpose of a robust military in foreign policy as the same for criminal punishment:
  • Deterrence. Opposing states are afraid to attack, because if they do, they will suffer consequences.

  • Retribution. Oh, yes, Hulk smash.

  • Rehabilitation. After Hulk smash, Hulk elevate people's standard of living in the defeated country and leave behind something akin to a republic.
Perhaps I am too simplistic; after all, we're talking about nation states and not individuals. But one would have to argue that nations are more than the sum of their rulers, and some rulers would disagree, even though Louis XIV's time has passed. Some rulers just don't know it yet.

Make the Connection

Another internal consistency pointed out, courtesy MfBJN: Remember this nugget in the first debate between Kerry and Bush?
    I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes. If they weren‘t willing to work a deal, then we could have put sanctions together. The president did nothing.
How about someone directly contrast this with 1994's Agreed Framework, wherein the Clinton administration exchanged fuel for promises that North Korea would scrap its nuclear program.

John Kerry wants to apply the unsuccessful Agreed Framework to Iran.

But at least that foreign policy type is consistent. Consistently bad.

But hopefully, perhaps to them, a Republican administration will come along after a short failed Kerry era to take the fall for Iran's nuclear weapons.

We Need A Kitty Door

If only we put a kitty door on the shower enclosure, Ajax would not have to go over the top when he wants to take his daily shower:

Click for AUS (Ajax of Unusual Size)

Life is going to be a lot more interesting when he gets older and starts crashing into things as he tries to make those gravity-defying leaps to the highest points he can find.

Thursday, October 07, 2004
Mishandled Metaphors

Meanwhile, back in the Seattle Post-Intelligence, columnist Thomas Shapley decries an ad from a candidate for Senate. George Nethercutt, the Republican challenger, includes in the advertisement Senator Patty Murray from this immortal exchange:
    "He [Osama bin Laden]'s been out in these countries for decades, building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful," Murray told them.
Shapley tut tuts the despicable practice of using someone's words against her and opens a can of whoop metaphor:
    By that standard, fighting crime by trying to figure out what drove Gary Ridgway to murder 48 women is excusing him of the crimes. Sorry, that Doberman won't hunt.
Perhaps Shapely took a Doberman hunting when he went crawling through the brush with John Kerry and a trusty shotgun while deerhunting.

(Link via National Review's Kerry Spot.)

The Counterfeiting-Proof Fifties Work!

Apparently, the new design has made the fifty dollar bill impossible to counterfeit, so the counterfeiters have had to turn elsewhere.

Apparently, in Georgia, they're now counterfeiting dimes.

Free PUNchline

Red Hair Ring

Red Hair Ring.

Write your own joke around it. Jeez, do I have to do everything?

A Sincere Offer of an Honest Trade

Friends, Romans, and those with differing political philosophies: I offer a sincere, heartfelt trade to you.

I shall not extrapolate the vandalism and thuggery of a few criminals galvanized by their support of John Kerry as a property of the whole Democrat party or anyone with liberal sympathies if:

People on the left do not extrapolate the actions of a few vandals and thugs as being an insurgency of the entire populations of Iraq or Afghanistan.

Do we have a deal?

No? I didn't think so.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Here's a Slogan For You

Sam Adams Light: The taste of NA beer, but with alcohol in it!

Note to the fellows at Tap City: Last two of a sample twelve pack, I swear.

Steve Jobs and Michael Dell ARE IN MY HEAD!

Dell Computers and Apple Computers are trying to brainwash me. Here's how:

In the course of my self-employed Pat-Verbeek-of-Software-Testingdom, I have cause to use an eMac computer and a Dell workstation to test the various and sundry applications that clients pay me innumerable (as I explain to the auditor) dollars to test. My main workstation has a standard keyboard, with the slight rise and the stadium keying layout, where each row rises a little above it. The kind I've used since I got my first Packard Bell in 1990. The natural shape one can even remember from Commodore 64s and Apple IIs, and probably even abacuses.

But the eMac has a concave keyboard; that is, it's curved, with the tops of the keys actually turning toward your fingers like flowers to a star.

But the Dell workstation has a convex keyboard; that is, it's bowed outward, like its keys are employing centrifugal force to fling my software-destroying fingers into space.

And you might think it's nothing but some sort of Substance of Style-ing to be neat-o, but friends, I can tell you what they're doing--they're doing Pavlovian and Skinner tricks on you, and you're the dog and chicken. Apple, dog, and Dell, chicken. Pay attention!

You see, if you use one of these freak keyboards as your primary interface with the greater intelligence that is the Internet, Blogosphere, and Return to Zork, you'll grow accustomed to the unholy shape beneath your fingers. Then, when you're forced to use a different computer, that is, not a Dell or not a Macintosh, you'll think it weird, inconvenient, and slightly uncomfortable. All because you'll have to use a normal keyboard.

So forget Bill Gates; he's trying to rule the world in an honest, straightforward fashion. Dell and Jobs are conditioning you, man. Rise up! By an old keyboard at a yard sale for a buck and use it. Or you will be a lifelong customer lackey of one of these aforementioned diablolical geniuses.

I beg of you.

(Why, yes, another part of my s.e.P.V.S.T. lifestyle is drinking a lot of coffee, sometimes two or three pots a day. Why do you ask?)

The News Eric Mink Avoids

Courtesy of Allahpundit, we find this analysis of current events in Afghanistan courtesy to someone closer than Tucker Boulevard:
    Three years after the Taliban were chased out, Kabul has returned to the real world. The streets are jammed with cars, the shops are full of goods. Last year Afghanistan's economy grew by 30 per cent. The weirdest thing about Kabul under the Taliban used to be its unnatural silence. Now it's as noisy as anywhere on earth.

    This week, though, the move back towards teeming normality has received a perceptible check. The host of restaurants that have opened up here (I remember only three during the Taliban days, all disgusting and utterly predictable as to the menu) are empty.
    This is not Baghdad. The Americans and their allies are not unpopular here - except in the east and south of the country, where there has been fighting - and they are regarded as guarantors of Afghanistan's stability. The West is seen as essentially benign. At the international donors' conference in Berlin last April, $8 billion in aid and investment was pledged over the next three years: about as much as the Afghan economy can absorb.

    There is no equivalent here of the stories you hear every day in Iraq, about people being insulted or mistreated by American soldiers; no suburbs, towns or cities are attacked with the latest American weaponry. If Afghanistan gets safely through this week, it will be a remarkable success story.
Eric Mink probably has enough cosmopolitan stuporhuman skill at seeing through reality to the fantasy beneath to ignore these hopeful signs. Still, I think he would waste even less of my time were he still in the clique that lauds Desperate Housewives for lifting a leg on the American Dream, wittily and intelligentsially, of course.

Speaking of Packer Partisanship

Packer Nation, note that St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Jeff Gordon has spoken heresy about the most revered Favre:
    How can doctors really tell if free-spirited Brett Favre has suffered a concussion?
Summon the Wisconsinquisitors!

When Television Critics Attack!

Former television critic and now the peter principled head of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial page Eric Mink asks a vital question:
    Why would anyone who is concerned about the safety of his family, the security of our country and the fight against Islamist terrorism favor Bush?
Because Bush is responsible for 9/11:
    Speaking in Des Moines last month, Vice President Dick Cheney warned that electing the wrong person in November could increase the danger that "we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mind-set. . . ." Bush owns nine months of that mind-set.

    It's not fair to blame Bush for those attacks, although six of the 10 "missed opportunities" to stop them identified by the 9/11 commission occurred on his watch. But it is fair to hold him responsible for the rigidity of his White House bureaucracy and the lackadaisical attitude toward al-Qaida, both of which made America more vulnerable before Sept. 11, 2001.
Is Mink admitting he's unfair? He starts the second paragraph of that quote with "It's not fair to blame Bush for those attacks" and puts that admission among:
  • "Bush owns nine months of that [pre-9/11] mind-set."

  • "six of the 10 "missed opportunities" to stop them identified by the 9/11 commission occurred on his watch."

  • "it is fair to hold him responsible for the rigidity of his White House bureaucracy and the lackadaisical attitude toward al-Qaida, both of which made America more vulnerable"
In other words, Eric Mink is unfair.

Eric Mink must be a fat lady:
    The U.S. military won a stellar victory in Afghanistan in 2001, but Bush failed to follow through on the pursuit of Osama bin Laden and, much more important, failed to fulfill commitments to secure and rebuild the country.
Because apparently he feels our commitment to Afghanistan has ended and he's writing the post-mortem. Notwithstanding the coming elections there, notwithstanding our continuing partnership with the Afghan people, and notwithstanding that Afghanistan will soon surpass its condition before the war if it hasn't already. Perhaps Mink expected that, two years later, Afghanistan would be a trendy gentrified urban hotspot.

Ah, screw it. I don't have the tolerance to refute Mink line by line.

Go read it yourself if you have the stomach. Meanwhile, I think I'll go back to reading Emily Dickinson and demonstrating unabashed Packer partisanship.

I Meant Guinness Draught

Republican representatives have forced a vote on Chuck Rangel's bill to reinstitute a draft and voted it down 402-2. Of course, activists who like the sound of that particular drum when they beat it disagree with what the legislative defeat really means:
    But congressional Democrats and activists elsewhere denounced the vote as an empty exercise that trivialized what many Americans believe is a real possibility.

    "They have used gamesmanship to give a false sense that there is not going to be a draft. Nobody wants a draft. But if you don't have the manpower to confront the need, then there is no option," said Bobby Muller, founder of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, an international organization that addresses the causes and consequences of war.
Some might think that these fellows are remarkably disingenuous (depending on what that word means--remind me to look it up later--suspect it's a synonym for pelfiful).

I, on the other hand, applaud the intellectual consistency in the position. Namely, that a legislator's vote or record of votes has no bearing or reflection on the secret plans or inclinations of that legislator. Especially when a legislator runs for a position in the executive branch.

Because that's one of the arguments for a Kerry presidency featuring military strength and, you know, that archaic concept of I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States without the asterisk and footnote except where conflicts with the directives of the United Nations as formulated by France, Germany, Ghana, Syria, or China.

(Link seen on Ranting Profs.)

Et Tu, Wisconsin?

Protesters attack Bush Cheney HQ in West Allis.

(Link courtesy of homie Sean Hackbarth.)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Some Good Things Just Don't Go Together

Just like sex and a Sunday afternoon in late November, where the temperature hovers around twenty degrees in the sun, at Lambeau Field watching the Green Bay Packers and God's Gift to Wisconsin Brett Favre throw for a couple of touchdowns with two or fewer interceptions, some things that are good individually don't combine to make something better.

Just like caffeinated ginseng beer.

In a word: Ew.

John Edwards Goes Negative - On Me

According to this Drudge Flash, John Edwards has decided to forego negative attacks on the president and to carry it directly to the electorate:
    ABC'S BOB WOODRUFF: "He has avoided the kind of negative attacks that can make national news, although recently, he has stepped up his rhetoric."

    SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC) (clip of a speech): "I'd say if you live in the United States of America and you vote for George Bush, you've lost your mind."
Now that he's begun publicly questioning my mental fitness (without even reading this blog), I have contacted my attorney to determine if his allegations are actionable.

Lyrics Misheard by Emily Dickinson

Jane's Addiction, "Been Caught Stealing":
    We sat around the pile.
    Sudden Pelf.
    Sudden Pelf and
    Waved it into the air!
    And we did it just like that.
    When we want something,
    We don't want to pay for it.

Monday, October 04, 2004
Thank Goodness for Concealed Carry

Emily Dickinson, Poem 551:
    There is a Shame of Nobleness --
    Confronting Sudden Pelf --
    A finer Shame of Ecstasy --
    Convicted of Itself --

    A best Disgrace -- a Brave Man feels --
    Acknowledged -- of the Brave --
    One More -- "Ye Blessed" -- to be told --
    But that's -- Behind the Grave --
Crikey on a cracker, if ever there's a time for footnotes, explaining to this forelorn and slightly half-baked poetical sojourner what the devil Pelf means is it.

I have but one vow: if I'm ever confronted by a sudden Pelf, the damn Pelf will get the worst of it.

Good Question

Courtesy of triticale - the wheat/rye guy:
    If our action in liberating Iraq is creating so many new terrorists, how come all the actions taken in response to it are carried out by militants and insurgents?

Renaming the Hamlet Test

Some IT shops within the greater St. Louis area have learned to fear the Hamlet test, wherein a software tester (whose identity shall remain hidden to protect him from the raging hordes of developers seeking revenge) pastes the entire contents of Shakespeare's Hamlet into a text box to see what happens when he tries to commit it to the database.

Well, those same developers should prepare themselves for the next generation of the Hamlet test: Hamlet in Klingon.

Unicode includes Klingon letters, ainna?

Meanwhile, Further Down The Slippery Slope

In Minnesota, a 17-year-old prewoman (because girl is sexist nomenclature, donchaknow) is running for mayor. The biggest obstacle, aside from being only a write-in candidate and being unable to vote for herself:
    Even so, state law says candidates must be eligible voters and at least 21 years old when they take office.
The plucky little prewoman remains undaunted, because she can tell which way the wind blows, and apparently the wind is the only constant in civic life in the twenty-first century:
    Feehan-Nelson said that if she receives the highest number of votes but is not certified, she is prepared to take the matter to court.

    "I doubt the judge would be able to say no to the popular vote," she said. "The people's right to choose prevails over (state law)."
Isolated incident? A small stone begins an avalanche.

(Link courtesy of The Spoons Experience.)

Sunday, October 03, 2004
Brian Misses Hockey

Emily Dickinson, Poem 544, circa 1862:
    The Martyr Poets -- did not tell --
    But wrought their Pang in syllable --
    That when their mortal name be numb --
    Their mortal fate -- encourage Some --

    The Martyr Painters -- never spoke --
    Bequeathing -- rather -- to their Work --
    That when their conscious fingers cease --
    Some seek in Art -- the Art of Peace --

All I Have To Say

At least the Packers aren't peaking too early.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."