NFL Prognosticator Picks Week 13
Some tough games to pick, but the prognosticators made some good ones even on somewhat empty stomachs - compared to how they will be 24 hours from now! The first game on Thursday has all the trappings of a turkey, while the second game may involve some heavy hitting by teams that actually think they have a shot at post-season (ha-ha).
|WEEK 13||KEVIN||SPUD||BYRON||CAR||HEDDLE||AUSTIN||pts||Vegas||NE at DET||NE||NE||DET||NE||NE||NE||6||NE||WAS at DAL||DAL||DAL||WAS||WAS||WAS||DAL||1||WAS||ARI at KC||KC||KC||KC||KC||KC||KC||10||KC||ATL at MIN||ATL||ATL||ATL||MIN||ATL||ATL||4||ATL||BAL at CIN||CIN||BAL||CIN||BAL||CIN||BAL||3||BAL||CAR at CLE||CLE||CLE||CLE||CLE||CLE||CLE||7||CLE||CHI at GB||GB||CHI||GB||GB||GB||GB||10||GB||MIA at BUF||MIA||MIA||BUF||BUF||BUF||BUF||3||MIA||PIT at JAX||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||JAX||3||PIT||TEN at NYG||TEN||TEN||NYG||NYG||NYG||NYG||3||NYG||DEN at SD||SD||DEN||SD||SD||DEN||SD||3||DEN||HOU at IND||IND||IND||IND||IND||IND||IND||12||IND||SEA at SF||SF||SF||SF||SF||SF||SF||9||SF||STL at PHI||PHI||STL||PHI||STL||PHI||STL||3||STL||TB at NO||NO||NO||NO||TB||NO||NO||1||TB||NYJ at OAK||OAK||OAK||OAK||OAK||OAK||OAK||6||OAK|
Posted by MarcV, 4:15 PM link
Alabamans will be rising up with a cold fury in their eyes once they find out that there is a movement afoot to take down the statue honoring Vulcan. Trek fans everywhere have been mobilized and once again Birmingham may be the location of more ugly riots.
Oh, wait a minute, that's Vulcan the Roman god of war. Never mind.
Seems there's some Christian guy who resents having a religious statue on public land. From the Ten Commandments to Vulcan, what a state! What hath the ACLU wrought? Don't worry, your tax dollars will be hard at work defending this important matter in court.
Posted by MarcV, 3:00 PM link
Just Say the Word
Just read an article from Christianity Today's online Leadership Journal that blew me away (thanks to Sarge for the original link - and yes, I finally got around to updating your link to the right!). This section is tailored for "church leadership" but many other folks can get nuggets of gold from here. The author starts by describing how he was challenged into memorizing and reciting one third of the Book of Revelation with two other men.
If you're like me, the first thing that would flash into my mind is fear of an old brain not being up to the task. He went ahead and was encouraged by one of the other men: "That night, just before we went out and did this terrifying thing, Bill reminded us that no matter how poorly we might do in the memory department, God was pleased with us and would bless his Word." For two and a half hours they blanketed their audience with His Word, and were richly blessed.
I was stunned, and when my persuasive friend later suggested we do the same thing with the Book of Mark and then the Book of Romans, we agreed. Each time, people sat in pregnant silence and listened to the naked Word, "unplugged" as musicians might say, with no frills, no illustrations, no visual aids. Alone, it was more than enough.
I'll never forget how whistles and applause erupted spontaneously when one of us came to those closing lines of Romans 8: "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Hallelujah. Praise God. Glory and Honor to Him. Alleluia. This verse is one of the true anchors in my life, and to hear about the response to its reading gives me tears of joy. There's also a smidge of regret, that I have been so lazy and not taken the time to memorize at least a chapter or two from Romans, let alone the whole book.
How often can we pull out the lyrics, from memory, of some stupid pop song from 10 to 20 years ago, but have a problem memorizing a verse? Up until the last about hundred-fifty years, that's how the Word spread. The author concludes by saying it's not too late. Amen and amen. I need to make the time, before the time is gone.
Posted by MarcV, 2:58 PM link
More funnies from the comedian Argus Hamilton:
[This one is especially for Byron and Holtsberry]
Ohio State students went wild Saturday night after the Buckeyes made it into the national championship game. They looted businesses and disappeared without a trace. It sounds like they have the best executive training program in the country.
Al Gore said Friday he will announce in January if he will run for president in 2004. Can he do what is necessary to win? History shows that the only way a candidate can successfully maintain a proper distance from Bill Clinton is to marry the guy.
Posted by MarcV, 11:25 AM link
I watched some of the Bay bowl Sunday (Tampa vs. Green). I did not see the original play where Sapp took out Clifton, just on replays. I did see the end of the game, where Sapp and Coach Sherman started woofin' at each other. It was interesting to see Fox break away from the game for a commercial just as they were getting into it, and then get back as soon as possible to show the end of it. Pam Stone (?), the reporterette on the sidelines, was trying to get in the middle of it, but didn't have a chance with all of the big strapping males crowding the scene. This was an instance where not having the Y chromosome hurt the coverage of a sporting event, not that I'm trying to get sexist or anything (wink-wink, nudge).
Anyhow, I thought the replay clearly showed a helmet-to-helmet hit, but nobody else is bringing this up. Am I the only one to see this, or is it just a matter of camera angle? Regardless, it was a cheap shot and a dirty hit, no matter what Tampa Bay may say about it not being penalized or that it was a "legal" hit. It shows Sapp for what he is, a cheap thug. Players have a difficult time as it is avoiding injuries during the normal play of a game without some maniac trying to take them out.
This just in from Tagliabue: "The Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been warned by the NFL that assistant coaches who comment publicly about retaliation against players will be severely disciplined by the league." What kind of warnings do you think they will be giving out if these teams meet in the playoffs? His office also ruled that it was a legal hit and will not fine Sapp. I hope Sapp gets "fined" by losing endorsement contracts, but it seems that some companies like to embrace the "thug" persona.
Update #2(unrelated to above):
Mike Tyson said he's ready to get back in the ring, bringing with him a new joy for life and an understanding of past mistakes. ''I feel good. I'm just very happy. I'm tired of being stupid,'' Tyson said Tuesday at a news conference announcing a Feb. 22 fight with Clifford Etienne in Memphis, Tenn.
Is that the first step in the 12 step program, admitting you have a "stupid" problem? I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but his career has to be one of the strangest ever in the strange world of professional boxing. I was about to wonder how long he will keep trying to get into the ring, but I guess as long as there is someone offering him decent money to strap on the gloves, he'll go.
Posted by MarcV, 9:02 AM link
NFL Picks Results Week 13
A little late, but these results were so ugly I didn't know how to dress them up any better. Spud and Byron tied by going 8-8, while the rest of the "too-loose crew" slipped below .500 this week. Heddle the Greek really took it on the chin, but he always has next week to recoup his losses. Philly surprised everyone by winning handily on the Left Coast. I'll try to remember this hint I saw from one of the NFL columnists, who said that the team who loses their star player will usually win the next game on adrenaline, but then can slip in the following weeks. We'll see how the Eagles fare down the homestretch.
|WEEK 12||KEVIN||SPUD||BYRON||CAR||HEDDLE||AUSTIN||Vegas||win||ATL at CAR||ATL||ATL||CAR||CAR||ATL||ATL||CAR||ATL||BUF at NYJ||NYJ||NYJ||NYJ||NYJ||NYJ||BUF||NYJ||NYJ||CIN at PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||CLE at NO||NO||NO||NO||NO||NO||NO||NO||CLE||DET at CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||JAX at DAL||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||DAL||MIN at NE||NE||NE||NE||MIN||NE||NE||NE||NE||SD at MIA||SD||SD||MIA||MIA||SD||MIA||MIA||MIA||STL at WAS||STL||STL||STL||STL||STL||STL||STL||WAS||TEN at BAL||BAL||TEN||BAL||BAL||TEN||BAL||TEN||BAL||KC at SEA||KC||KC||KC||SEA||KC||KC||KC||SEA||OAK at ARI||OAK||OAK||OAK||OAK||OAK||ARI||OAK||OAK||GB at TB||GB||TB||TB||GB||GB||GB||TB||TB||NYG at HOU||NYG||HOU||NYG||NYG||NYG||HOU||NYG||HOU||IND at DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||IND||PHI at SF||SF||SF||SF||SF||SF||SF||SF||PHI||7-9||8-8||8-8||7-9||6-10||7-9||7-9||SEASON||0.589||0.560||0.629||0.478||0.528||0.531||0.600|
Posted by MarcV, 8:30 AM link
Wired Online has an article up on the convergence of religion and science. If the author's name sounds familiar, Gregg Easterbrook, here's a hint: he cannot use the actual name of the NFL team representing our nation's capitol. I didn't care much for the cover on the dead-tree issue, but I guess that is their way of drumming up interest (and sales). What goes around comes around, and religious issues have crept back into the higher reaches of scientific thinking.
Why the renewed scientific interest in spiritual thinking? One reason is the cyclical nature of intellectual fashions. In philosophy, metaphysics is making a comeback after decades ruled by positivism and analytical theory of language. These restrained, empirically based ideas have run their course; now the pendulum is swinging toward the grand vision of metaphysics — someday, surely, to swing away again.
I had heard before about the extraordinary circumstances that had to be in place in order for organic life to prosper on Earth, such as the specific orbit arond the Sun, presence of water, temperatures, gravity, etc. He also mentions how unique the carbon atom is and how its special properties were needed for life. One aspect that I had not heard of before deals with the density of the universe.
The existence of 50 billion galaxies isn't the only mystery that's prompting scientists to rethink their attitudes toward the divine. Beyond this is the puzzle of why the universe is hospitable to living creatures.
In recent years, researchers have calculated that if a value called omega — the ratio between the average density of the universe and the density that would halt cosmic expansion — had not been within about one-quadrillionth of 1 percent of its actual value immediately after the big bang, the incipient universe would have collapsed back on itself or experienced runaway-relativity effects that would render the fabric of time-space weirdly distorted. Instead, the firmament is geometrically smooth — rather than distorted — in the argot of cosmology. If gravity were only slightly stronger, research shows, stars would flame so fiercely they would burn out in a single year; the universe would be a kingdom of cinders, devoid of life. If gravity were only slightly weaker, stars couldn't form and the cosmos would be a thin, undifferentiated blur. Had the strong force that binds atomic nuclei been slightly weaker, all atoms would disperse into vapor.
Gosh, there's something that will help you to sleep a little more soundly! There is more in the article about the different defenses that some scientists use to explain away a Divine hand guiding the universe. The Divine hand theory works for me.
He also brings up that old chestnut: Big Bang. A discovery 4 years ago has not helped the cause:
Other experiments suggest that as much as two-thirds of the content of the universe may crackle with an equally mysterious dark energy. In 1998, astronomers were surprised to discover that, contrary to expectations, cosmic expansion isn't slowing as the momentum of the big bang peters out. Instead, it appears to be speeding up. Something very powerful is causing the galaxies to fly apart faster all the time.
Hmmm, let me see, something very powerful, hmmm, could it be God (insert picture of ChurchLady smirking with eyes wide open)! What the next few decades will bring with respect to more scientific discoveries is anybody's guess, but I hope people who worship at the altar of science will be a little more open to Judeo-Christian theology, and vice-versa. Here's a final thought from the wild-haired one:
Oh, and what did Einstein think about this issue? He said, "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
Posted by MarcV, 8:29 AM link
In case you're conflicted about which kitty litter is right for you, this website will rescue you from the agony of making the proper kitty litter decision. The power of the Internet - thank goodness AlGore supplied it to the masses (the Internet, not the kitty litter). Just take the test!
Posted by MarcV, 4:00 PM link
Some more funnies from the comedian Argus Hamilton:
President Bush was reported Sunday to be planning to give amnesty to Mexican illegal aliens. It's part of his outreach to Hispanic voters. If George W. Bush was any more pro-Hispanic, candy would come out of him when you hit him with a stick.
The Zogby Poll says Americans think U.S. borders are too porous. The poll also said fifty-six percent are against amnesty for illegal immigrants. Of that group, ninety percent think that Jennifer Lopez is marrying Ben Affleck for his citizenship.
Posted by MarcV, 3:59 PM link
Here is a copy of the proclamation that Lincoln made to establish the Thanksgiving holiday. Oh that our leaders in government could say something like this without fear of reprisal from the ACLU and their ilk.
Interesting note that Lincoln did not write this, just approved it and issued a proclamation. It was actually written by William Seward, Secretary of State under Lincoln. Although the Civil War was still in their thoughts (and prayers), today we have a different war that the country is facing. We still need to ask God for his guidance in this War on Terrorism, and thank Him for all of our blessings.
Posted by MarcV, 10:10 AM link
The 3 B's
Anna, over at the Belligerent Bunny Blog has visited this patch of the tater garden bed for a few nibbles, so I thought I would return the favor. Her blog is a little out of the ordinary, with some interesting posts featuring pictures of bunnies (rabbit, not Playboy), sci-fi and 70's films/TV, and military weapons. If you have a dial-up you may have to wait awhile for the pictures to load.
This was a pretty good post on the M-1 Abrams tank and how it was used during the Gulf War. So if you are looking for a little bunny love, do go pay a visit and tell her Spud says "hey".
Posted by MarcV, 10:09 AM link
One of the better posts I have read these past few months comes from Francesca Watson at Yorkie Blog (link via Possumblog) where she relates how she was at the right place to follow God's will and encourage a complete stranger. Very moving - go read it and be ready to encourage someone in need.
And speaking of Possumblogger, he sure was living large this weekend. First he gets a date night Friday night (no kids!), enjoying a pulled BBQ sandwich and followed by another Bond movie on the big screen. Then the next day he watches his favorite team, the Auburn Tigers, pull the upset over their rivals, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Auburn was down to their fourth string running back, without any backups, and still managed to post some impressive rushing stats. The way things are going he might even get a 4 day weekend!
Posted by MarcV, 12:59 PM link
After a prolonged absence, the PC Patrol at FoxNews is back. The guy who writes it, Scott Norvell, now has his own blog, Tongue Tied, that looks to be devoted to daily PC Patrol reports. It's another MT site designed by Sekimori (she must be rolling in the dough with all the work she gets). So instead of only once a week, he will post throughout the week. He did list a few links to other blogs, but strangely enough Spudlets was not linked, an oversight that will surely be rectified shortly.
Posted by MarcV, 10:47 AM link
The hometown paper ran a few funnies from "The Lighter Side of Argus Hamilton", a comedian out of Hollywood. I'd never heard of him before, but he had some clever quips. He has a website where you can check out the column he sends out six times a week(?). His stuff is a little on the liberal side (surprise!) but there a few good chucklers. Jokes are the most fleeting of vaporware, as people have a difficult time remembering the political atmosphere of two months ago, so check him out and see if he deserves a daily visit.
U.N. inspectors arrived in Baghdad Tuesday on a mission to find Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Already they've located a dangerous germ warfare program. They discovered three Iraqi travel agents selling cruise packages on Holland America.
Senator John Edwards of North Carolina gave a speech on education last week as he began testing the waters for a presidential campaign. He's a solid Democrat. The Nativity Scene in his front yard depicts seven lawyers surrounding a Happy Meal.
The U.S. announced the capture of the al-Qaeda leader who planned the USS Cole attack. He was born in Saudi Arabia and trained by fellow Saudi Arabian Osama bin Laden. Saudi Arabia is widely considered to be America's closest friend in the Arab world, and a team of historians has just been commissioned to find out why.
Posted by MarcV, 10:45 AM link
More Liberal Strategy
Last Saturday the paper ran another column of crud (like they do nearly every Saturday) from Good Golly Miss Molly Ivins. I usually skip her rantings, but when I say the headline, "Liberals now defenders of the Constitution", I nearly lost my lunch. This site where the column is copied on the Internet features the writings from ten different columnists. If you see a column that is not copied over at Jewish World Review, you may find it at Intellivu. Another interesting note is that the local paper cut out a good portion of her column (to make it fit the slot they assigned her?), while the Internet post had the whole unsavory enchilada reprinted.
Last week I highlighted the liberal media's attempt at bringing back universal health care as a campaign plank. Now Miss Molly is delving into another area they are sure to hit hard, the Homeland Security Act and all of the hand-wringing over the loss of civil liberties, as well as the fear of jack-booted thugs that are sure to come after her and her liberal friends. I can't bring myself to fisking the whole thing, but just to a mention a few things.
At the introduction, to bolster her argument she quotes Mussolini, immediately followed by something from Krugman. [sarcasm]Whew, that really helps her credibility.[/sarcasm]
This ACLU, under Anthony Romero, is fighting hard, but I think we need a new coalition organization -- civil libertarians, libertarians and principled conservatives ... real patriots who believe in the Constitution. The blowhard right-wingers sometimes put down Barry Goldwater these days as "the liberals' favorite conservative," and so he was. But in your heart, you know Goldwater would have had a cow over all this.
I'm having a difficult time understanding why Goldwater's name has been brought up so much recently, and why he seems to be relevant. I did notice how Miss Molly tried to sneak in a dig at conservatives. If you agree with her and the ACLU, then you are a principled conservative, otherwise you are unprincipled. While the ACLU at one time may have done been involved in worthwhile efforts decades ago, they are now just another arm of the liberal machine, defending the right to kill babies, remove any trace of religion in the government, and squashing even the hint of non-PC speech or behavior. Yeah, the ACLU is fighting hard, probably for survival.
I have been pondering all week why she would repeat "civil libertarians, liberterians" as she did. Could Democrats consider some of what they stand for as being civil liberterian, but not want to lump themselves with libertarians? Maybe I'll e-mail Tony Woodlief and see if he can help. If anyone should know about libertarians, afer his recent voluminous posting on the libertarian crowd, he would.
In her column that meanders all over the liberal road, she gets back to bashing Bush, his ties to corporations and big oil, and the real reason we are going to war with Iraq: oil.
As a matter of both foreign and environmental policy, it makes a lot more sense to lay rail, promote renewable energy and get serious about conserving oil. We subsidize the hell out of the oil bidness with innumerable tax breaks, loopholes and support programs. For heaven's sake, why not support renewable energy, instead? Why should we ask our military to die for cheap oil when the rest of us aren't even being asked to get better mileage?
Been there, done that, can show you the runaway inflation that results. Go ask Amtrak how profitable they are and if they would want to "lay rail". The only way you are going to get the public "serious" about conserving oil is if other energy sources are cheaper overall (that includes price of fuel, availablity and the machinery that uses it). Miss Anti-Freemarket Molly (along with those "environmental" Christians) would want government to outlaw SUV's and make everyone drive hybrid cars. Oh wait, isn't she one of the new "defenders of the Constitution" that doesn't want the government intruding into her private affairs? A liberal who wants their cake and eat it too, how conveeenient!
I'm still trying to swallow "... real patriots who believe in the Constitution." Are these they same liberals who screamed and cried about the lack of intelligence gathering after 9/11/01 yet are now screaming and crying about their "lost" civil liberties? The same ones who solve problems by instituting new federal programs, and yet defend Presidents who lie? They try to talk the talk, so let's see how much they walk the walk.
Finally, this "going to war over cheap oil" crap is starting to get past the point of merely annoying. We have a war on terrorism, the public supports it (by electing a Republican majority in a mid-term election as well as other polling data results) and we need to get the job done. Like a Baby Ruth candybar in a punch bowl, this seems to keep floating up to the surface. How much longer do we need to wipe away this cockamamie connection? We'll chalk it up to another tired play being repeated from the liberal handbook: keep repeating it often enough and some of the public will believe it.
Posted by MarcV, 10:44 AM link
NFL Picks Week 12
Here are the picks (before kickoff!) for another attempt at prognosticator pride. Nobody giving Dallas or Washington a chance, although they are only three and four point underdogs, respectively. Oh how the mighty have fallen. I can remember when those two teams were duking it out to get into the Superbowl, now they are just part of the struggling pack of also-rans. Nice to see the Bears as favorites and everyone picking them. Now all they have to do is follow through and deliver a W.
|WEEK 12||KEVIN||SPUD||BYRON||CAR||HEDDLE||AUSTIN||pts||Vegas||ATL at CAR||ATL||ATL||CAR||CAR||ATL||ATL||3||CAR||BUF at NYJ||NYJ||NYJ||NYJ||NYJ||NYJ||BUF||3||NYJ||CIN at PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||11||PIT||CLE at NO||NO||NO||NO||NO||NO||NO||6||NO||DET at CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||6||CHI||JAX at DAL||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||3||JAX||MIN at NE||NE||NE||NE||MIN||NE||NE||8||NE||SD at MIA||SD||SD||MIA||MIA||SD||MIA||3||MIA||STL at WAS||STL||STL||STL||STL||STL||STL||4||STL||TEN at BAL||BAL||TEN||BAL||BAL||TEN||BAL||2||TEN||KC at SEA||KC||KC||KC||SEA||KC||KC||4||KC||OAK at ARI||OAK||OAK||OAK||OAK||OAK||ARI||8||OAK||GB at TB||GB||TB||TB||GB||GB||GB||3||TB||NYG at HOU||NYG||HOU||NYG||NYG||NYG||HOU||6||NYG||IND at DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||6||DEN||PHI at SF||SF||SF||SF||SF||SF||SF||7||SF|
Posted by MarcV, 8:52 AM link
Victor Davis Hanson has another good one up at NRO (I don't get tired of typing that!) detailing the most likely scenario of our liberation of Iraq and Saddam's mindset for his "retaliation". I hope the Bush administration can continue to calmly yet firmly warn everyone that terrorists are out there, and they will probably strike back, particularly after we enter Baghdad.
If Saddam can hold out for a month or two in Fortress Baghdad, use his own population of millions as veritable hostages whom he prays will be casualties to collateral bombing damage, snipe at Americans who venture Mogadishu-fashion into his redoubt, and like Chechens send out an occasional salvo or some terrorists to cause havoc — he believes he can create a war of attrition and wage it with a few thousand diehards hidden among the general population. Under such a scenario, merely his continued survival will be a rallying cry that not only might change Iraqi opinion, but could galvanize the Arab street should Americans or Jews start dying in real numbers.
Or so he thinks.
Mr. Hanson goes on to prescribe a plan of methodically taking out "the individual estates and headquarters of Baathist grandees", showing the consequences of associating with Saddam. The tactics he advocates are clear-cut and sound like a winner. We should also be prepared for the same result like Osama, where a body is not found yet the power base that he (Osama or Saddam) used to have is considerably weakened.
Posted by MarcV, 3:00 PM link
Dr. Uncle Sam
I've had the displeasure of reading Clarence Page's columns (Chicago Tribune) over the years, and he tries to sink to the level of Ivins and Cohen. He's not quite there, but he's in the bullpen, warmed up, ready to go. After the Dems were smacked down last Nov. 5th, the liberal media has tried to rally the troops to come up with some message that they can start working for the next two years.
One curious strategy is trying to resurrect universal health care. That issue 8 years ago helped sink whatever momentum Clinton had from his presidential election, and cost the Dems the legislature for the first time in decades. In a way I don't mind the Dems/liberals going back to the playbook, as it will probably make the hole in their sinking ship get wider.
On the other hand, this foolishness does need to be repudiated. Inspired by Charles Austin's "fisks" of Cohen, I'm going to take the plunge myself on Page's latest: Gore's gutsy gambit on health care for all American citizens (link does require registration).
Like a dateless and desperate guy who is calling up a girlfriend about two years late, Al Gore finally is expressing serious interest in single-payer health care. Better late than never. But before we can examine Gore's plan, he has to come up with one.
Did Chicken Little have a plan? The sky is falling strategy (put down the opponent but don't offer any alternatives) almost worked two years ago, and was defeated about two weeks ago. Nice description of AlGore: dateless and desperate.
For the moment, though, it is enough that he has even put the issue on the table. Health care, like the economy and the environment, is one of the big issues on which polls show most voters look to Democrats for the best answers.
Yet Democrats oddly avoided these issues and just about every other galvanizing theme in their recently disastrous midterm election campaigns.
Could it be they saw the results from 8 years ago and wanted to avoid them? The main poll (vote) taken two weeks ago showed most voters are looking to Republicans for the best answers. Here's the result from another poll: "Seniors in both political parties, 90 percent in the USA survey, believe they should have the right to choose between health care plans and benefits, not be forced into a one-size-fits-all government health program." Oh yeah, a Democrat plan for single-payer health care doesn't sound too popular with the Medicare crowd.
So while many Democratic activists consider a second Gore presidential campaign to be about as exciting as yesterday's pizza [ha-ha, hold the anchovies!], a larger percentage of rank-and-file Democrats think the former vice president deserves a second chance, especially if he can arouse Democratic impatience with the Bush administration.
And besides, with less than a year to go before 2004 campaigning starts getting serious, no other likely Democratic contender comes close to Gore in the polls.
Anybody else getting tired of his use of the hand-waving polls, especially when he is wrong? From an LA Times poll Sunday: "Only about a third of Democratic Party insiders think former Vice President Al Gore should run for president again in 2004." While Gore may be ahead compared to other contenders/pretenders, he is still behind "no preference". Could no preference be something like a hanging chad?
46% no preference, 19% AlGore, 18% John Kerry, 13% John Edwards. Hey Democrats, here's a hint: name the last Senator elected to the presidency ... tik tik tik [cue Jeopardy theme song] Who is Nixon? eeaahhhh - not quite, since he was the VP when running against Kennedy, and ran as a former VP against Humphrey and Wallace. He also only served two years as a senator before joining the Eishenhower campaign as VP. LBJ would probably be a better guess, but again he was a VP (ran against Kennedy and lost in the primaries) and then took over the presidency before actually being elected to the presidency. He did serve two terms as senator from Texas - can't keep those Texans down!
So you can't blame the guy for seizing an opportunity when he sees it.
And you can't blame a poor, misguided liberal columnist for picking up a paycheck for this crud.
Basically, single-payer coverage would collect insurance premiums or tax dollars in a single agency, which would pay for comprehensive coverage for all citizens. Canadians have a form of it and it constantly rankles conservatives and the health-insurance industry. They talk a lot about Canadians who come here for health care. They talk very little about Americans who go to Canada for cheaper drugs. Canada's program has its problems, and while there have been many moves to improve it and even privatize parts of it, there have been few moves to scrap it.
Wow, it's that easy, and the Canucks are already doing it and love it. Or do they? Canada's "cheaper drugs" are subsidized by hard-working Americans, because if drug companies cannot make enough profit to cover the high cost of R&D, then we will be going back to the days of medicinal herbs. Canadians do not have to follow US laws when it comes to drug patents. Others have and will continue to spotlight the glaring problems with Canada's health (s)care, so all I will say for now is no thank you.
Centrist Democrats, of which Gore has been a leader in the past, along with the Clintons, have been scared of it. Sounds too much like socialism, they say. But so did Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which have been some of the government's most popular programs during much of the past half-century or so.
Repeat after me: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, single-payer/universal health care are socialist programs. Sure they're popular - with the people who get money for nothing! How popular are they with tax payers? I'd be curious to see how popular they would be if taxes were not deducted each paycheck but rather sent in quarterly. Off the top of my head, Social Security is about 8% flat off of the first $75,000 gross(not to mention the employer match), Medicare about 6% (don't know of any limit), Medicaid is huge(states administer it with federal help) and now the Dems still want to hijack about 12% of the GDP so they can sit on and "administer" it. Let's call it what it really is: pure power grab.
So, now, as Gore ponders whether to run again, he has broken "reluctantly" with his former centrist position on health care. In front of several hundred people in a Manhattan synagogue on Nov. 14, Gore said that he has decided that single-payer is the best solution to the nation's health-care crisis.
More details to come, Gore spokesmen said, along with Gore's announcement of whether he is running for president. In the meantime, he is behaving like a man who plans to run, including doing a stint as host of "Saturday Night Live," a leading platform for reaching that coveted late-night youth vote.
Oooh, AlGore is hip and happenin' now. Think that "coveted late-night youth vote" pushed Bush over the top two years ago? Dude: Let's go vote Tuesday. Other dude: Oh man, I'm still recovering from the weekend.
Health care is no laughing matter for 40 million Americans who don't have coverage. Nor is it a laugh riot for those who were frightened away from government intervention by the "Harry and Louise" TV ads in the early 1990s that warned of rationed health care.
Warning still holds. "Government intervention" should be enough to raise the hackles on the back of everybody's neck. Does the right of "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" include unlimited and paid-for-by-the-government health care?
Instead, growing numbers of covered Americans are receiving a different form of rationed health care in the name of "managed" health care.
So, if Gore, a former newspaper reporter, is as smart as he needs to be to win this time, he will remember the four initials countless editors have passed on to young reporters: "K.I.S.S. --Keep It Simple, Stupid."
Hmmm ... Krushing Ignominious Socialist Systems, or Kowtowing to Indigent Sick Sucker/leeches ("kome" up with your own if you like). The former reporter wasn't smart enough to win two years ago, and I don't see that changing.
First, he should stop using the clunky term "single payer" to describe his plan. [Why - you've been using it for your whole column?] Nobody except for us news junkies and policy wonks knows what that means. [I'm in the club, I'm in the club - WOO HOO!]
Instead, he should describe it as a simple expansion of Medicare to cover everybody. Medicare is a program most Americans understand comfortably and want to keep. Building on that popularity and comfort level, many experts over the years have advocated expanding Medicare to cover everyone, regardless of age.
Great googly-moogly, if that doesn't chill your blood, welcome to the far left. Who are these experts advocating Medicare expansion, and have they been slapped down yet? Simple expansion ... I guess to match the universe, because once we start a single-payer health plan, there will be no end in sight to the gouging of wallets.
Of course, funding and administering a health plan to cover all Americans will be anything but a simple matter. [Harumph, er, er, minor details.] But to start a national dialogue, grand ideas must be expressed in simple terms. [Here's a simple term - just say no.]
At least Gore is giving voters something serious to think about. I hope he keeps it up. [Me too, and takes the Democrat party down again with him.] Americans deserve to have a choice, not an echo. That was a slogan of conservative Republicans in the 1960s. [For more on "Gorewater", please refer to this excellent put-down.] They made a comeback. So can the Democrats--if they offer Americans something worthwhile to choose.
CHOICE is at the heart of the problem. Today's health care "system" has taken the choice out of the customer's hands and into the insurer's hands. Does an insurer want the best affordable health care or the cheapest? If we can get back to a system of consumers/patients having more say in choosing their health care based on quality and price, then health care will stop being the economic black hole that it has been the last few decades. I'm not sure how to break the stranglehold that insurers have on the health care industry, but single payer plan ain't it. If anything, single payer will give us a no-choice poor quality health system (just ask the Canucks).
Posted by MarcV, 10:20 AM link
Buschbaum over at Pro Football Weekly was crying yesterday over the fact that some teams may not be able to reach the playoffs because of the way the new divisions are set up. This is the first season under the new alignment, so give it a chance! He also made the grave mistake of lumping the Bears with the Vikes and Lions and calling them "hapless". It's difficult enough to take 8 in a row, but for 7 they were in the game up until the final minutes. Well, I guess we all know where "close" only counts. Here's an example of the boo-hoo:
As a result, there is no way the NFL will have the best 12 teams in the playoffs and teams in the AFC East and West are bound to get the wrong end of the deal. Actually, you probably have six of the top 10 teams in the AFC in those divisions.
I can remember when 4 teams made it into the playoffs. My problem with him crying over the disparity (two tough divisions, two weak divisions per conference) is that he seems to think that a team with a better record than a playoff team will get left out. A championship team does what it takes to get into the playoffs, and then keeps winning in the playoffs. Every team knew at the start of the season how the playoffs would be set up, so if they are left out it is their own fault.
The way things are going with the salary cap and injuries around the league, the NFC North could return next year to being the black and blue division and beat up on the rest of the league. That's how the NFL changes every year. While I might not like the results of this year vs. last year, I'm hopeful that next year the Bears will return to being America's team.
Posted by MarcV, 11:30 AM link
Has anyone else received an e-mail from Mrs. Grace Ojo, who wants to donate "...$10.000,000.00 Million US Dollars to your Church/Ministry for the development of evangelism and also as aids for the less privileged around you"? She gives an address of Kaduna, Nigeria, in the north-central part of the country. She did not ask to send her any money in her letter, just to contact her lawyer since the fund is in a "Security Company in Switzerland".
What would I do with $10M for evangelism? I could travel the world and see where it would be most useful. I could set up a foundation, where I could pay myself a full-time salary to run it. Hmmm... maybe I'd just drop it off in those Salvation Army buckets for the next month (ring-ring-ring-ring - oh the bells-bells-bells!) If she writes again, I'll forward it to Possumblogger, who is already set up to receive these big windfalls. All that money would just go to my head and change me from the nice peaceful Taterhead that I am now.
[Update: Jeffrey Collins at JoyfulChristian mentioned it yesterday afternoon. And here I thought I was special!]
Posted by MarcV, 10:08 AM link
Jonah Goldberg over at NRO has a good takedown of Al Gore. I was misled by the title at first, since I thought "Gorewater" had something to do with Watergate. Instead he compares Gore to Barry Goldwater (38 years ago). If Gore gets serious about running again, this paragraph will come is handy:
...there was a presidential candidate who bragged about hypnotizing chickens and disposing of the internal combustion engine. He spoke of budgetary lockboxes as if they existed in space and time, and of how the Founding Fathers had established a giant parallel computing system to govern our lives — which, presumably, would be news to them. He insisted that anyone who disagreed with him was doing so because oil and drug companies were paying them to. He accused his opponents of racism and favoring bigoted violence, and sighed like a church lady watching Will and Grace. He lied like a rug stretching from sea to shining sea. He lied about fixing Love Canal and cosponsoring the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance bill. When he was criticized, he blamed others; when others got credit, he glommed it for himself. He sweated like he was trying to put out a fire, and seemed proud to show it off (perhaps because it was one of the few manly things he could convincingly do).
Jonah G. is one of the bright spots over at the Corner. He can sometimes go off on strange tangents, but his writing has some good humor. After all he brought up in the above paragraph, he did not mention the infamous Gore gaffe of claiming to invent the Internet.
Posted by MarcV, 9:24 AM link
I'm currently not doing what I had been trained to do, engineering, back about twenty years ago, but that's OK. I'm a computer nerd now and it gives me time to blog. Mr. Bowen (Jeff?) had a post reminiscing about old engineering days that I really enjoyed. He also pondered the reason why we don't have amateur engineers, and I replied: "Amateur engineers? You find can find them with tool belts working on home improvements." I won't copy the rest of the comment I left at his site, so you'll just have to click on the link and go see the post and comment for yourself.
Posted by MarcV, 4:18 PM link
Mark Byron had an excellent post/reply on a post from Ben Domenech, who gave a call to arms on how Rod Dreher (from National Review) seems to put down people who believe in the rapture. Be sure to have a cold drink and some snacks ready before tackling Dr. B's post. It's good, but lengthy. Wish I had the time to go into depth like that...
One paragraph I wanted to highlight from him:
Many international trends towards globalization are feared by premillennialists, for they can be used to make the Antichrist's world government possible. However, if it will happen someday, people who fight globalization or computerization of things on the grounds that such innovations will make the Antichrist's job easier are missing the point. If the Antichrist is going to come, your efforts to stop him will be in vain.[my highlight] I think that a spiritual Ludditism could derail positive technologies or economic integration that could be use to aid a one-world government; that is more of a threat than financial shortsightedness or a lack of respect of suffering.
When the "End Times" comes, it will be a total surprise that nearly nobody will predict or be ready for (the ones that do predict it accurately will have previously been labeled "kook"). Well, those that are saved and trust God for their provision will be ready. The "Rapture" can be an attractive and reassuring insurance policy, which could account for some of its popularity. I won't predict how the Second Coming will happen, but I do rely on God to get me through whatever situation crops up.
Life has so many troubles on its own, that worrying about prophecy and what flavor millennial you are does not interest me all that much (but apparently enough for this post though!). Bless you whatever flavor millennial you are, continue to watch for signs, but most importantly keep seeking the Lord and loving one another as Jesus taught us.
Posted by MarcV, 10:30 AM link
Just Cut the Knot!
Victor Davis Hanson dishes up another goody (yes, it was last Friday, I'm just catching up) on the tangled knot we are trying to unravel in Iraq. He gives the historical example of the legendary knot of King Gordius of Phrygia. Anyone who could unravel the knot would be the future king. When Alexander the Great saw the problem, he drew his sword and cut it in half.
Mr. Hanson details what constitutes the current "knot" in Iraq and some of the consequences of our actions (or inaction). This paragraph is good enough to repeat, on whether or not we should cut the knot:
Either we can accept that the United States is a more moral and decent culture than the tribal world of the fundamentalists and dictators, and thus must not lose out to their medieval visions — or in our self-doubt and moral conceit we can worry endlessly over why we are not liked as we would wish, and therefore choose to feed both our fears and their audacity. The former and harder course will lead to acrimony and caricature in the present, but victory and security in the future. The latter, easier way ensures that we will be for a time tolerated by the U.N., Europe, and the Arab states publicly, but privately despised as not only crass, but also weak, as we — not they — descend into a constant war of attrition from terrorist attacks and lunatic dictatorships armed with frightful weapons.
Saddam has been back-pedaling recently, as if he wanted to show us that he really is an accomodating and nice dictator. I don't like the thought of sending our sons and daughters into harm's way, as well as the loss of Iraqi life, but Osama-Saddam (and crew) started the War on Terrorism, and we must finish it. [WARNING: these are the last two paragraphs of his article, so if you want to read the whole thing (and you should) just click on the link above.]
Is all this sudden frenzy of criminals and killers to appear less murderous a result of the U.N. edicts? Are we to thank the efforts of a pious Jimmy Carter or the post-9/11 speeches of a lip-biting Bill Clinton listing the sins of the Crusaders and General Sherman? Do we see some progress because of a moralistic Tom Daschle's hoarse warnings about going to war? Or perhaps the visits to Baghdad of worried American Congressmen have produced moderation in our enemies? Or have the recent ethical marchers in Washington and in Europe had salutary effects? Did the French set us straight?
We know the sad answers. They are as old as the Greeks and tragically will remain the same until the brutal nature of man himself changes. And so we must go reluctantly forward and finish utterly the unpleasant job before us. The moment Saddam Hussein violates the resolutions — and he will, and soon — let us cut our knot immediately and leave it to the Phrygians of our present age to harp in the aftermath that it was not properly untied.
Thank God for President Bush and his administration, and I pray that they continue to seek God's will in this battle, and that He will continue to bless us and keep us in the palm of His hand. I also pray for the people in the Middle East, that they will come to right relationship with the Lord and accept Jesus as their Savior.
Posted by MarcV, 4:50 PM link
Is Thanksgiving really next week? If someone finds out where the year went, let me know - another one just whoooshed by. First morning this season that I had to scrape windows. There's something to look forward to for the next 5 months. Yeah, I see those crocodile tears coming from you "Yankees".
Posted by MarcV, 9:10 AM link
NFL Picks Results Week 11
In our last exciting post from yesterday, I believe I asked to get slapped upside the head again, and the Rams were only too willing to comply, and gave the Bears another defeat (close but no potato). My condolences (and apology) go out to Mr. Austin. First, I'll use the excuse of poor scanning due to advance age for my oversight of not seeing his selection of Baltimore (he probably wishes he could take that one back though). My condolences go out to him, particularly if he is reading this through bleary eyes this morning. Not only did he have to endure the overbearing Lamb fans at the Edward Jones (who?) dome, not only did he have to see da Bears come up just short again at the end of the game, but then he had to fight through those same fans to get back to his vehicle and drive back home. I'm estimating his head hit the pillow somewhere around 1:48 am. My rundown of the Bears "drama" will need a separate post.
Once again, kudos to Dr. Byron, a whiz with numbers who whipped prognosticator butt again, going near-perfect for week 11 (Huzzah!). He usually picks home teams, but predicted accurately against some weaker teams (CIN, HOU, DET-no homey pick!) and gambled with MIN and SEA. If he had chosen against SEA, he would have been the perfect prognosticator.
After being goaded last week, he accepted the challenge and laid down the smack right back at the rest of the pack. Those footsteps you hear in the distance are Dr. B's stomping shoes, as he separates himself from the rest. The other pickers have their work cut out for them the next seven weeks.
|WEEK 11||KEVIN||SPUD||BYRON||JASON||HEDDLE||AUSTIN||Vegas||win||ARI at PHI||PHI||PHI||PHI||PHI||PHI||PHI||PHI||PHI||BUF at KC||KC||KC||KC||KC||BUF||KC||KC||KC||CLE at CIN||CIN||CLE||CLE||CLE||CLE||CLE||CLE||CLE||DAL at IND||IND||IND||IND||IND||IND||IND||IND||IND||GB at MIN||GB||GB||MIN||GB||GB||GB||GB||MIN||JAX at HOU||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||NO at ATL||NO||NO||ATL||ATL||ATL||ATL||ATL||ATL||PIT at TEN||PIT||TEN||TEN||PIT||PIT||TEN||PIT||TEN||WAS at NYG||NYG||NYG||NYG||NYG||NYG||NYG||NYG||NYG||CAR at TB||TB||TB||TB||TB||TB||TB||TB||TB||SF at SD||SD||SD||SD||SD||SF||SD||SF||SD||BAL at MIA||MIA||MIA||MIA||MIA||MIA||BAL||MIA||MIA||DEN at SEA||DEN||DEN||SEA||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||NYJ at DET||NYJ||DET||NYJ||NYJ||DET||DET||NYJ||NYJ||NE at OAK||OAK||OAK||OAK||OAK||NE||NE||OAK||OAK||CHI at STL||STL||CHI||STL||STL||STL||STL||STL||STL||12-4||12-4||15-1||14-2||10-6||12-4||13-3||SEASON||0.604||0.566||0.646||0.579||0.556||0.541||0.619|
Posted by MarcV, 9:08 AM link
FoxNews had an update to something that has been brewing for years, and will be sure to get more blood boiling. States arre getting serious about collecting sales taxes from people who are physically located in their state but purchase items online from somewhere outside their state. (Mark Byron also noted this as "taxation without representation".)
During the boom years of the late '90s, states were flush with income-tax cash and some legislators were reluctant to kill the Internet golden goose, but with the economy in a downturn, the states collectively face a $50 billion budget deficit for the current fiscal year.
The states' decision doesn't mean that sales taxes will begin to be collected tomorrow. Rather, it's the first step in complying with a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled that sales-tax laws needed to be coordinated before out-of-state revenue could be collected.
As a result of that ruling, the Streamlined Sales Tax Project was set up. When at least 10 states representing 20 percent of the U.S. population have joined, those states involved will ask Congress to make the system mandatory as of 2006. On Tuesday, thirty-one states said they would begin to implement the program.
Wow, 20% of the population/states decides on gouging the rest of the country! Our sales tax went from 6 to 6.5% (and I think they are scheduled to go up to 7% soon) because the state can't figure out how they will reduce spending to match lower revenues.
I don't know how many other states have this "easy" tax, but on the NC form, rather than figuring out how many items you purchased from out of state sources, you just pay a small percentage of your gross income. It came out to about $12 last year, so they have it pegged where the relatively small amount is not worth the aggravation. I have a sneaking suspicion that this "easy" tax will still be around even if they pass the Streamlined Sales Tax.
"When the economy is already sagging and times are tough, to add another brand new tax out there is foolish and about the most destructive tax policy I can imagine," said Darrell McKigney, president of the Washington-based Small Business Survival Committee, a lobbying group that represents small business interests. "It's government greed at its worst."
Other critics say the tax plan just another way to tax the Internet.
"It's going to inhibit interstate commerce," said Grover Norquist, president of the Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform, which opposes any sort of tax hikes. "You have taxation without representation. ... It's very dangerous to allow people to tax people outside of their jurisdiction."
State lawmakers are simply "desperate to come up with a blame for someone for overspending," Norquist said.
Our best hope is that the US Congress will see this as a power grab by the states and stall this stupid legislation. Then again, Congress could see this as an opening for a national sales tax and give the states a cut, or maybe go a step further and eliminate state sales tax for a national system. Wouldn't that be streamlined! Welcome to the world of VAT, currently helping to drag down the economies of several European countries, coming to a store near you.
God help us from ourselves.
Posted by MarcV, 12:47 PM link
Mon. Morn. Prog. Week 11
Another great week of football. Almost makes me want to get the GameDay package and a dish ... oh yeah, I just remembered 180 reasons why not. The Bears played the Rams quite "stoutly" during preseason when the starters were in last August, so hopefully we will be in for a pleasant surprise tonight. After 7 slaps upside the head in a row, I'm ready for a pleasant surprise!
- I wanted to call Minnesota's upset over GB the upset of the year, but I heard that the Pack typically has problem's on Viking turf. Maybe Favre sees all of the primo fishing and hunting opportunities and gets distracted.
- I double-checked and yes, Kevin did choose Cincinnati. Maybe he got caught up in some of those anti-Browns feelings, but the Bengals are starting to play better ball as the season progresses, and kept this game close. I know he is hurting with his Steelers - seeing Slash come in must have given him a knot in his stomach. The TV guys were saying that knocking out Maddox was the big play of the game, but the Nashville Cats looked too good to beat. By staying healthy, and getting Kearse back next week, they will be a force to be reckoned with. Their D kept pressure on Maddox while he was in, forcing three picks before knocking him out. Curious to see how Steeler fans react to the QB choice forced on the team.
- The Patsies played tough, but the Raiders wanted it a little more. It's possible that the defending Super Bowl champs may be left out of the playoffs.
- I'm glad I kept my Philly pick, but maybe I jinxed them just a little. McNabb playing on a broken ankle for most of the game is incredible.
- I had a hunch the Charger D would rise to the occasion, and they ended up scoring just enough points to squeeze out a W.
- The AFC is heading for some interesting playoff implications if most of the teams keeps hovering around .500, except for the AFC West, which may supply both wildcards. The NFC seems to be set, with both wildcards probably coming out of the formerly maligned NFC South. I don't think the Rams can overtake the 49'ers, but the Giants may have a chance stepping over the hurtin' Eagles.
- Those poor Cardinals, they've lost 4 in a row after a strong start. They have so many problems that they may end up blaming Coach McGiness and letting him go. He was the main Bear coach candidate a few years ago, before management foul-ups caused him to flee and opened the door for Jauron to step in. Both coaches are feeling the heat now.
Posted by MarcV, 12:46 PM link
NFL Picks Week 11
Not too much difference between the prognosticators. A certain Spud goes out on a limb for those Ursine Wonders - yes hope springs eternal in the heart of a Bear fan (Cub fan for that matter too). Nobody likes the Skins or the Ravens (capital, just capital!), but most of the pickers are taking the Chargers in spite of how Vegas is choosing. Although I chose Philly, look for Arizona to upset and cause a great gnashing of teeth (on cheesesteaks - yum!) in the city of Brotherly love. I'm tempted to take my pick back, but it's too late, gotta go ...
|WEEK 11||KEVIN||SPUD||BYRON||HEDDLE||AUSTIN||pts||Vegas||ARI at PHI||PHI||PHI||PHI||PHI||PHI||11||PHI||BUF at KC||KC||KC||KC||BUF||KC||3||KC||CLE at CIN||CIN||CLE||CLE||CLE||CLE||3||CLE||DAL at IND||IND||IND||IND||IND||IND||7||IND||GB at MIN||GB||GB||MIN||GB||GB||7||GB||JAX at HOU||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||JAX||6||JAX||NO at ATL||NO||NO||ATL||ATL||ATL||3||ATL||PIT at TEN||PIT||TEN||TEN||PIT||TEN||3||PIT||WAS at NYG||NYG||NYG||NYG||NYG||NYG||4||NYG||CAR at TB||TB||TB||TB||TB||TB||9||TB||SF at SD||SD||SD||SD||SF||SD||3||SF||BAL at MIA||MIA||MIA||MIA||MIA||BAL||5||MIA||DEN at SEA||DEN||DEN||SEA||DEN||DEN||5||DEN||NYJ at DET||NYJ||DET||NYJ||DET||DET||3||NYJ||NE at OAK||OAK||OAK||OAK||NE||NE||4||OAK||CHI at STL||STL||CHI||STL||STL||STL||?||??|
Posted by MarcV, 5:04 PM link
John Dvorak, over at PC Magazine, opens up another can of worms by complaining about the unsolicited pr0n e-mails he gets and then saying that the govenment should do something about it. In the discussion section, there have been over 400 posts from people for and against. After about 100 my eyes started to glaze over.
Two camps seemed to form:
1. It's more of a spam than pr0n problem, and regulating it will allow government to do worse things, so just filter and use common sense
2. It's bad, it's sick, our kids have no protection from this, I don't want to be assaulted by this, someone make it go away.
While I would like to see it go away myself, I don't want to see the government intervene. Like trying to limit campaign contributions, people will work around attempts at limiting spam, and it is the price we pay for having a "free" Internet. Parents have to maintain eternal vigilance, as well as continually teach and discipline their children to navigate this dirty world.
Hotmail and AOL seem to have the most problems with pr0n spam from the few letters I read. A little advice: mix in numbers with your e-mail address, making it more difficult for random name generators to come up with your address. For my e-mail account listed at the top right of the page (msv0828 at yahoo.com - in case anyone would want to write me, hint-hint), I have not received any pr0n spam, but get the usual mortgage/loan and other web junk tools that I assume come from signing up with Bravenet and Blogger. I've only had 3 Nigerian scam spams, though, so I don't know if that's good or bad. I know Possumblogger keeps hoping for his ship to "coem" in with large "bukkets" of "MO-KNEE" (if only it was that easy!).
Posted by MarcV, 4:47 PM link
Posting by your host, the TaterHead, has been light recently, due to some work-related stuff. I have, though, been able to snag a new laptop, and it is sweet. While before I was pounding away on a P-III 700 MHz 128 MB RAM, I now have a P-IV 1.7 GHz 512 MB DDR SDRAM. Both have Win2000 OS, and the extra muscle makes quite a difference running the bloatware from Redmond. So for a little advice - as long as you are running older OS's, such as Win 95 or 98, don't worry about the processor and memory. Once you get serious to run Win2000 or XP, get as much processor as you can with at least 256 MB RAM, unless you like taking long coffee breaks.
Since getting the new laptop, it has taken awhile to transfer files and programs, as well as just setting it up properly, but next week should be better for blog time.
Posted by MarcV, 4:27 PM link
WW III ?
FoxNews posted an article based on a radio interview with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. He stated something that confirmed my feelings:
"I can't say if the use of force would last five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that," Rumsfeld said. "It won't be a World War III."
When this War on Terrorism first started out, alot of folks were calling this WWIII, and it just did not seem like that to me. Like the war on crime or the war on drugs, this will be a long drawn-out affair, with some triumphs as well as letdowns. The Muslim world cannot field any type of significant military force, to be a credible threat of capturing and holding another country. There are some countries, besides the industrialized nations, that do have some nasty bombs and enough military power to cause trouble, but not a world war.
Posted by MarcV, 4:20 PM link
Jeffrey Collins brings up an interesting point on approaching the abortion "war" and ending partial-birth abortions. By proper use of the 10th Amendment, where states have rights to pass laws not mandated to the federal government, we can possibly be more successful at chipping away Roe v. Wade:
There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that delegates the power to ban abortion of any kind to Congress. This means that this is an issue that must be approached at the state level.
Technically he is right. Unfortunately, NARAL, NOW and other liberal groups have enough legal resources to block legislation in state houses, or to overturn it in state judicial systems. Appeals to the Supreme Court would have the justices running for cover behind Roe v. Wade.
Perhaps with a Republican-led Senate, some good judicial nominees can finally be seated, and maybe even a Supreme Court justice will be replaced, so that the court is ready and willing to review the abortion issue. With different states having various abortion limits, you would always run into the problem of people travelling to a liberal state for an abortion. For abortion limits to be effective, Congress will have to come up with standards that will not be rejected by the Supreme Court. Our Founding Fathers did not want the judiciary to be so active in legislation, but that is the paradigm we face today.
Posted by MarcV, 1:28 PM link
For the BIG kids, tickets to the following, even if you have seen it already, may be a treat:
This holiday season, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones will be bigger than ever. Lucasfilm Ltd., The IMAX Corporation and Twentieth Century Fox have announced that Episode II will be coming to IMAX theaters in the United States and Canada starting November 1, 2002.
This is not just the projection of the standard theatrical print on an IMAX screen -- the movie will undergo the revolutionary IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) process, which enhances the quality of the image and soundtrack to the huge IMAX 15/70 format. This marks the first time IMAX DMR has been used to re-master a film that was digitally captured and created.
"For the first time, fans of Star Wars will be able to see all their favorite characters, environments, vehicles and droids in a setting that is up to eight stories high and over a hundred feet wide."
If you have never been to an IMAX theater, this would be a good "break-in" film. This site will give you a listing of films and theaters. The one in Raleigh, NC is charging $11 for the Star Wars showing, so you will have to decide if it is worth it to you.
Posted by MarcV, 2:20 PM link