Upsetting
Sunday, November 30, 2003
 
Chuck Hagel: This measure will not strengthen Medicare
BY CHUCK HAGEL

The writer, a Republican, is Nebraska's senior U.S. senator.


I voted against the Medicare reform bill because it will not strengthen Medicare and does not responsibly address the need for prescription drug coverage. It will add trillions of dollars onto Medicare's current $13.5 trillion in unfunded liabilities for future generations.

I voted against this for reasons different from those of many of my Democratic colleagues.

Yes, it does contain some good things, like realistic Medicare reimbursement formulas for rural hospitals and physicians, preventive health care measures and means testing. For $400 billion over 10 years and an additional $7 trillion of unfunded liabilities, it should!

This started as a prescription drug plan for seniors. We need to add such a plan. But it must be an honest, responsible plan that can be paid for and sustained by the next generation. This bill became a payoff to special interest groups involved in Medicare reform.

It expressly prohibits the federal government from negotiating drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries, even though the government negotiates prices for other Medicare services. Who wins here?

The drug benefit structure is confusing. There are premiums, deductibles and gaps in coverage. Between $2,250 and $5,044 of drug expenditures, seniors pay 100 percent of their drug expenses while continuing to pay monthly premiums. Who wins here?

There is a fear that many employers may drop the drug coverage they offer retirees once a federal benefit is in place. In order to prevent this, the bill contains $68 billion in tax-free payments to employers so that they will continue to offer retiree prescription coverage.

However, many employers are already contractually obligated to do this through collective bargaining agreements. These employer subsidies are being used to provide drug coverage for those already covered. Who wins here?

Congress should have produced a bill that addressed those seniors who do not now have prescription coverage. Seventy-five percent of Medicare beneficiaries already have some such coverage. We also should have limited the bill to addressing some of the real problems with Medicare, such as rural health care reimbursement formulas and preventive health measures, and by addressing some form of means testing and the cost of prescription drugs. This could have been done.

There is nothing in this bill to control costs. There is a phony cost containment "trigger" that would require an unspecified "congressional response" once the general revenues (revenues beyond the Medicare payroll tax) account for 45 percent of program spending. Currently, 30 percent of Medicare costs are being paid for from the general treasury. When Medicare was enacted in 1965, the government's lead actuary projected that the hospital program (Part "A") would grow to $9 billion by 1990. It ended up actually costing more than $66 billion by 1990. This is reality.

There is a larger point to all of this. Who is looking out for the future of the country? This administration and Congress have increased federal spending over the past three years by 21 percent, resulting in budget deficits for the last two years of $559 billion, with next year's deficit estimated to be about $500 billion. We passed some of the largest and most expensive bills in the history of the Congress in the past three years - at the same time passing some of the largest tax cuts ever.

All of this at a time when America has taken on more peacekeeping and nation- building around the world than at any time since World War II - all at huge costs. And we see a dangerous and strong protectionist movement beginning to dominate our historical commitment to free trade that will have a negative impact on our trade and institutional relations as well as our economy.

I gave my first speech on the Senate floor in February 1997 in support of the balanced-budget amendment. Republicans used to believe in balanced budgets. Republicans used to believe in fiscal responsibility, limited international entanglements and limited government. We have lost our way.

We have come loose from our moorings. The Medicare reform bill is a good example of our lack of direction, purpose and responsibility. If we don't get some control over this out-of-control spending and policy-for-the-moment decision-making, we will put America on a course that we may not be able to recover from.

We need to reform Medicare. We need a responsible and affordable prescription drug plan for seniors. But this legislation does not fit that prescription. The forces of reality will require us to go back and try to undo the damage we've just done to Medicare and future generations. We then will have another opportunity to do it right.

This time it was about 2004 politics. Next time it will be about responsible policy for the future.
 
 
animus \AN-uh-muhs\, noun:

1. Basic attitude or animating spirit; disposition; intention.
2. A feeling of ill will; animosity.
3. In Jungian psychology, the inner masculine part of the female personality.
 
Saturday, November 29, 2003
 
"The Catholic Church explicitly teaches that artificial contraception is morally unacceptable and, if knowingly and freely engaged in, sinful," Catholic Charities of Sacramento attorney James Sweeney said.
 
 
chickenhead

1) (n) Any dumb person (usually refers to women unfortunately) who clucks (speaks) alot, and walks around aimlessly or without purpose (like a chicken with its head cut off). "Give me all the chickenheads from Pasadena to Medina, let B.I.G. get in between ya" - Total featuring the B.I.G. (Can't you see [1995]).

2) (n) A derrogatory term used when referring to females who perform oral sex on males, because of the motion of the woman's head: back and forth, like a chickenhead. "Chickenheads be cluckin' in my bedroom" -- Notorious B.I.G. (Warning [??]).

3) (n) Crack addict, because many will perform oral sex to get free crack or money. Repeatedly referred to in "Do or die", a book about the conflict between the Crips and the Bloods in South Central.
 
 
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - At 23, Alexandra Baker figures it's time to get rid of the spider on her ankle. The tattoo was inked on in college - one of seven on her body. But Baker's outlook has changed somewhat. The spider is something to hide rather than exhibit. So it's coming off, along with two little fairies on her chest.

"I can't stand having them anymore," said Baker, who lives in New York's Hudson Valley. "It's just not how I want to portray myself anymore."

Baker is not alone. Doctors say tattoo removals are becoming more common at a time when people frequently sport butterflies on their ankles or barbed wire around their biceps.

"There are a number of people who did this and have said 'Geez, this is not what I want.' What seems really great at age 17 or 20 may not seem so great at age 30," said Dr. Brian Kinney, a Los Angeles plastic surgeon and spokesman for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Tattoos, once commonly associated with bikers and veterans, proliferated in the '90s on skin of all types of people - from students to bartenders to bankers. In a nationwide poll this year by the Scripps Survey Research Center, 15 percent of respondents said they had a tattoo. The percentage almost doubled among 18 to 34-year-olds.

Some regret it.

No hard numbers exist for tattoo removals, but medical professionals report more people coming in for laser treatments in recent years. Dr. Elizabeth McBurney, a New Orleans-area dermatologist, said she used to do five laser treatments a month in the 1980s. She did twice that one day recently.

All sorts of people come in for removals, doctors say. Some had such slogans as "Tammy Forever" committed to ink, only to find love was fleeting. Others, like Baker, got tattooed in their youth and later regretted being imprinted with a flaming death head or a Flying V guitar.

There are a few common tattoo removal methods - people try to rub them out with chemical lotions or have a doctor abrade or surgically cut them out. State-of-the-art removals are done with lasers that penetrate through the outer layer of skin and fragment the tattoo pigment.

Lasers require several treatments over a period of weeks, can cost hundreds of dollars and can be painful.

Also, a faint trace of the tattoo remains.

Researchers at Wright State's School of Medicine in Ohio are studying the effectiveness of a cream used for genital warts as a complement to laser treatment. The results aren't known yet, though researchers say they have been inundated with offers from would-be guinea pigs.

Professionals - from artists who create tattoos to doctors who remove them - say the best strategy is not to get ill-considered tattoos in the first place. Their advice: Think. Will you enjoy having your fraternity letters on your backside in a decade?

T-Bone, an artist at Lark Tattoo in Albany, said people must sign a consent form before getting a tattoo. Still, the occasional customer has a change of heart after the fact. He echoes the advice of doctors: Don't get a tattoo of your sweetheart's name.

"Unless it's 'Mom,'" Kinney said, "because your mom won't go away."
 
Friday, November 28, 2003
 
False report of rape is lower than for any other crime and only 2%.
 
 
BAGHDAD, Iraq – President Bush's surprise visit to Iraq was the talk of Baghdad's teahouses, kebab shops and mosques Friday, with many Iraqis asking why he didn't take advantage of his trip to see firsthand how his rule has treated them.

Many complained that Bush met with few Iraqis during his secret, two-hour stay Thursday evening and never left the grounds of a heavily fortified U.S. base. Several called the trip an electoral stunt, and took offense that he would use their country as his stage.
 
 
A female born in South Africa has a better chance of being raped than learning to read.
 
Thursday, November 27, 2003
 
Happy Thanksgiving, truly. I hope you are with the ones you love most -- or at least loving the ones you're with.

satiety \suh-TY-uh-tee\, noun:
The state of being full or gratified to or beyond the point of satisfaction.
 
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
 
Happy Thanksgiving

WASHINGTON - Victims' relatives who pressed for an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks say the panel risks being undercut by the government's failure to cooperate with it.
 
 
The Republicans have a "me too" candidate running on a "yes but" platform, advised by a "has been" staff.

-- Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965), U.S. Democratic politician
 
 
I thought Bush would do this. I thought he'd run ugly, dishonest ads questioning the patriotism of his Democratic opponents. That's what Republicans do in campaigns (see Saxby Chambliss vs. Max Cleland, 2002). That's what the Bushes do when they're running for President (George H.W. Bush vs. Michael Dukakis, 1988). But I didn't think Bush would run red-baiting ads a year ahead of the election, before a single vote had been cast for any Democratic candidate.

That the RNC has launched this ad so prematurely may be a hopeful sign for the Democrats. It suggests that the Bush administration recognizes a deep vulnerability on Iraq and is getting panicky. When you're panicked, you can make mistakes that help the other side. That's what I think is happening here. With this spot, Bush and the RNC insult the integrity of anyone who has qualms about the war—and the intelligence of everyone else. According the ad, believing that the invasion of Iraq was not central to the war on terrorism is equivalent to "attacking the President for attacking the terrorists." Arguing that we should occupy Iraq with more support from our allies or the United Nations makes you one of those who "call for us to RETREAT putting our national security in the hands of OTHERS." The scoundrels are seeking their last refuge before the first shot has been fired by a Democratic nominee.
 
 
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada memo to George Bush: When making a first presidential visit to a state, use the right pronounciation of its name.

Bush, in Las Vegas on Tuesday, repeatedly said Ne-vah-da. To properly pronounce Nevada, the middle syllable should rhyme with gamble.

Mispronouncing the state's name "sets people's teeth on edge," said state Archivist Guy Rocha. "He's the president, and he ought to get it right. Nothing personal."

State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, said the mispronunciation shows Bush, who won the state in the 2000 election, doesn't care much about the state.

"They take such pains to orchestrate these trips and to make sure everything is politically correct," she said. "You would think the name of the state would be a simple piece of that."

Assemblyman Lynn Hettrick, R-Gardnerville, said the president ought to pronounce Nevada correctly, but Bush's message was more important.

"There are a lot more important things to worry about than that," he said. "The visit itself is far more important. Clearly some people will make hay out of it, and that's OK. That's the way it works."
 
 
Dear Prospective Participant:

I am a graduate student in counseling psychology at the University of Oklahoma. Under the direction of Denise Beesley, assistant professor of educational psychology at the University of Oklahoma, I am working on my doctoral dissertation, examining the validity of an instrument measuring racial/cultural identity called the People of Color Racial Identity Attitudes Scale.

If you are over 18 years of age and identify yourself as African/African American, Asian/Asian American, Hispanic/Hispanic American, or Native American, you are invited to participate in a research study for my dissertation, the goal of which is to create a better understanding of the experience of racial/ethnic minorities in the United States.

If you decide to participate in this study, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire on the Web that will take about 20 minutes to complete.
The informed consent form and the survey can be found at the following link:

http://elearning.ou.edu/hsiao

Your participation is voluntary and confidential. There is no foreseeable risk associated with your involvement in this project. There will be no penalty should you decide not to participate in this study. You may withdraw at any time.

If you would like more information concerning this study, please feel free to contact me at (734) 764-8312 or lohs@ou.edu or my adviser, Denise Beesley, at (405) 325-0984 or denise.beesley-1@ou.edu. Additionally, you may contact the University of Oklahoma Norman campus Institutional Review Board at (405) 325-8110 with questions about your rights as a research participant.

Thank you for considering participation in this project.


Sincerely,

Hsiao-wen Lo, M.A.
Denise Beesley, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
Advisor/Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Psychology
University of Oklahoma
820 Van Vleet Oval
Norman, OK 73019

 
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
 
Over the past ten years, advertisements in mainstream magazines have increasingly relied on the explicit sexualization of both men and women to sell products. Over the same period, the models used have become younger and younger.

The images in these ads often contain or imply

violence
superiority and domination
dismemberment (fragmenting and sexualizing body parts)
playfulness and exaggeration
coy behaviour
approval seeking
emaciation
drug addiction
fetishism
 
 
Klan fun.
 
 
PUEBLO, Colo. - The widow of a soldier killed in Iraq says she skipped a meeting with President Bush because she is angry with the president and "didn't want to go and be disrespectful."
 
 
WASHINGTON – By pushing through a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients after years of congressional gridlock, President Bush has fulfilled a key campaign promise - and given himself and the Republican Party a potential boost with what could be the most critical voting bloc in 2004: senior citizens.

The bill represents the most sweeping change to Medicare in the program's 38-year history. Depending on how it plays out, it could alter the nation's political landscape by giving Republicans a major stake in an issue Democrats have claimed ownership of for decades.

 
 
PLEASE NOTE.....

The Email Server will be down ALL day on Friday for maintenance. If you are in the office on Friday (and we sincerely hope you don't have to be), Email will not be available.
 
 
Many of you have asked how payday will work this week because of the holiday.
Check stubs will be passed out on Wednesday. (Checks will arrive in TX and GA Wed a.m.)
Paychecks will still be dated Friday, 11/28 and can't be cashed until that date.
Direct deposits will occur at their normal time, as Friday is not a banking holiday.
If you still have questions, please let me know.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend!
 
 
Thanks for visiting wamu.com!

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If you would like to access one of the other web sites offered through the Washington Mutual family of companies please click one of these links or call the number provided:

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We regret any inconvenience and thank you for your business.

 
Monday, November 24, 2003
 
WESTERBERG: If somebody says something is good, that means it was shit. If somebody said it was unbelievable, that means it was pretty good. That's standard for performance. And if they tell you it's sold out, that means it isn't. How do you know a promoters lying? His lips are moving. And if a photographer takes you outdoors, they want to take a picture of something else other than you.
 
 
limpid \LIM-pid\, adjective:

1. Characterized by clearness or transparency; clear; as, "a limpid stream."
2. Calm; untroubled; serene.
3. Clear in style; easily understandable.
 
 
Here is a little survey a friend sent me on what women think about there bum size. It's good for a chuckle.

The results of a recent survey have been released. It was a poll on how women felt about the size of their bums.



WOMEN'S ASS-SIZE STUDY

The findings of the study are very interesting:

85% of women think that their ass is too big.

10% of women think that their ass is too small.

5% of women say that they don't care; they love him ...

And would have married him anyway.
 
 
Why, Sir, most schemes of political improvement are very laughable things.

Samuel Johnson (1709-84), English author, lexicographer
 
 
We were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt flying over the North Atlantic and I was in my crew rest seat taking my scheduled rest break. All of a sudden the curtains parted violently and I was told to go to the cockpit, right now, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed the crew had one of those "All Business" looks on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. I quickly read the message and realized the importance of it. The message was from Atlanta, addressed to our flight, and simply said, "All airways over the Continental US are closed. Land ASAP at the nearest airport, advise your destination."

Now, when a dispatcher tells you to land immediately without suggesting which airport, one can assume that the dispatcher has reluctantly given up control of the flight to the captain. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. It was quickly decided that the nearest airport was 400 miles away, behind our right shoulder, in Gander, on the island of New Foundland.

A quick request was made to the Canadian traffic controller and a right turn, directly to Gander, was approved immediately. We found out later why there was no hesitation by the Canadian controller approving our request. We, the in-flight crew, were told to get the airplane ready for an immediate landing. While this was going on another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. We briefed the in-flight crew about going to Gander and we went about our business 'closing down' the airplane for a landing. A few minutes later I went back to the cockpit to find out that some airplanes had been hijacked and were being flown into buildings all over the US. We decided to make an announcement and LIE to the passengers for the time being. We told them that an instrument problem had arisen on the airplane and that we needed to land at Gander, to have it checked. We promised to give more information after landing in Gander. There were many unhappy passengers but that is par for the course.

We landed in Gander about 40 minutes after the start of this episode. There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world. After we parked on the ramp the captain made the following announcement. "Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. But the reality is that we are here for a good reason." Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the US. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. Local time at Gander was 12:30 pm. (11:00 AM EST)

Gander control told us to stay put. No one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near the aircrafts. Only a car from the airport police would come around once in a while, look us over and go on to the next airplane. In the next hour or so all the airways over the North Atlantic were vacated and Gander alone ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, out of which 27 were flying US flags.

We were told that each and every plane was to be offloaded, one at a time, with the foreign carriers given the priority. We were No. 14 in the US category. We were further told that we would be given a tentative time to deplane at 6 pm. Meanwhile bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC.

People were trying to use their cell phones but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada. Some did get through but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the US were either blocked or jammed and to try again. Some time late in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash.

Now the passengers were totally bewildered and emotionally exhausted but stayed calm as we kept reminding them to look around to see that we were not the only ones in this predicament. There were 52 other planes with people on them in the same situation. We also told them that the Canadian Government was in charge and we were at their mercy. True to their word, at 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would come at 11 AM, the next morning. That took the last wind out of the passengers and they simply resigned and accepted this news without much noise and really started to get into a mode of spending the night on the airplane.

Gander had promised us any and all medical attention if needed; medicine, water, and lavatory servicing. And they were true to their word.

Fortunately we had no medical situation during the night. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without any further complications on our airplane despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements. About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th we were told to get ready to leave the aircraft.

A convoy of school buses showed up at the side of the airplane, the stairway was hooked up and the passengers were taken to the terminal for "processing" We, the crew, were taken to the same terminal but were told to go to a different section, where we were processed through Immigration and customs and then had to register with the Red Cross. After that we were isolated from our passengers and were taken in a caravan of vans to a very small hotel in the town of Gander. We had no idea where our passengers were going.

The town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people. Red Cross told us that they were going to process about 10,500 passengers from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander. We were told to just relax at the hotel and wait for a call to go back to the airport, but not to expect that call for a while. We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started. Meanwhile we enjoyed ourselves going around town discovering things and enjoying the hospitality. The people were so friendly and they just knew that we were the "Plane people". We all had a great time until we got that call, 2 days later, on the 14th at 7 AM. We made it to the airport by 8:30 AM and left for Atlanta at 12:30 PM arriving in Atlanta at about 4:30 PM. (Gander is 1 hour and 30 minutes ahead of EST, yes!, 1 hour and 30 minutes.) But that's not what I wanted to tell you. What passengers told us was so uplifting and incredible and the timing couldn't have been better.

We found out that Gander and the surrounding small communities, within a 75 Kilometer radius, had closed all the high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to a mass lodging area. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up. ALL the high school students HAD to volunteer taking care of the "GUESTS".

Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 Kilometers from Gander. There they were put in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women only facility, that was arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were given no choice and were taken to private homes. Remember that young pregnant lady, she was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24 hour Urgent Care type facility. There were DDS on call and they had both male and female nurses available and stayed with the crowd for the duration. Phone calls and emails to US and Europe were available for every one once a day.

During the days the passengers were given a choice of "Excursion" trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went to see the local forests. Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests. Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the school for those who elected to stay put. Others were driven to the eatery of their choice and fed. They were given tokens to go to the local Laundromat to wash their clothes, since their luggage was still on the aircraft.

In other words every single need was met for those unfortunate travelers. Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. After all that, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single one missing or late. All because the local Red Cross had all the information about the goings on back at Gander and knew which group needed to leave for the airport at what time. Absolutely incredible.

When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everybody knew everybody else by their name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. It was mind boggling. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a party flight. We simply stayed out of their way. The passengers had totally bonded and they were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. And then a strange thing happened. One of our business class passengers approached me and asked if he could speak over the PA to his fellow passengers. We never, never, allow that. But something told me to get out of his way. I said "of course". The gentleman picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers. He further stated that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of the town of Lewisporte. He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide a scholarship for high school student(s) of Lewisporte to help them go to college. He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, it totaled to $14.5K or about $20K Canadian. The gentleman who started all this turned out to be an MD from Virginia. He promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship.

He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.

Why, all of this? Just because some people in far away places were kind to some strangers, who happened to literally drop in among them? WHY NOT?
 
Sunday, November 23, 2003
 
You're right, it shouldn't really matter what the victim is wearing, but it does. some
people have such strong dillusions when it comes to sexual attraction and the meaning of
the word "no", that those without such dillusions must be extremely cautious not to
invoke unwanted attention. As sad as that is, it is the truth. To some men, the fact that
a woman wears tight-fitting clothing and a low-cut dress is a sure sign of the woman's
desire to attract sexual advances, and to the ultimately dillusional individual, they
assume the attention this woman wants is from them and them alone.

Unfortunately, the solution is not this simple. If it was, I'm sure women who were truly
conscious of this danger would Habbits to all functions, even their own wedding. The fact
is, that in random victimization, it doesn't matter what the vicitim is wearing. I would
even venture to say that to the perpatrater, it doesn't really matter the sex of the victim,
as long as they can fully control and subdue them. We often say that "Absolute power
corrupts absolutely". Rape is a person's search for absolute power. Their search leads
to absolute perversity, and ultimately, corruption.

On the issue of education of men as to the respect of men: we should define a man by
his respect and treatment of women. I have never, ever, EVER hit a women. I never
will. I have actually been in a fight because one of my "friends" starting smacking his girl
friend around because she was a little late in meeting us for dinner. He never hit her
again because she left him (later on, we dated briefly). I don't consider him a man.
Besides that, education will not help in rape. It is not an issue of respect, but of
perspective, of the need for absolute sway over someone. Women who rape men (yes,
it does happen) often were raped themselves by men, and wish to regain and project
their need for power upon those of the gender that abuse them.

Nicole, I understand what you are saying, and I'm glad you took the pulpit -er, uh, "soap
box" for a little bit. I agree. Women should be as assertive as men are. I personally
don't like women who think they need men to take care of them. I don't like that
clinginess that some women have developed. I love a woman (like my fiancé) that will
be strong in their character, and do as they will, go after what they want. Women do not
need men, nor do men need women, instead, we should lean on eachother, equally, in
loving and tender fashion. That is how the two live naturally and peacefully, with the co-
mingling of grace and affection.

 
Friday, November 21, 2003
 
My friend and I are going to see Slayer tonight, and I almost feel like we should buy some angel dust first.
 
 
A reminder to all....

Some of you may be out of the office all, or part of next week. Therefore, if you have anything in the refrigerators that you DON'T want thrown out today, be sure you clearly mark your name on it before 4:00 pm. Any item without a name on it will be tossed out!
 
 
We are entering our 2004 Benefits Open Enrollment period!

Below is a list of Open Enrollment meetings that will be held on Friday November 21st in the upstairs training room.

All full time employees must attend one of the meetings - very important information regarding benefit changes will be discussed.

Representatives from the insurance carriers will be on site to discuss plan changes and answer any questions you have. Information packets and enrollment paperwork will be distributed during the meeting.

11:30 - 12:30 Fri Nov 21st Last names H - M
1:30 - 2:30 Fri Nov 21st Last names O - Z
3:00 - 4:00 Fri Nov 21st Last names A - G

What you need to know about Open Enrollment
During open enrollment you may:

Add dependents
Delete dependents
Change medical plan from HMO to PPO, or PPO to HMO
Start or cancel coverages (ex. get on or off vision plan)

Changes made during open enrollment will become effective as of January 1, 2004 and will remain in effect until December 31, 2004. You may only make changes mid-year due to a qualifying event. (marriage, divorce, birth, loss of other coverage, etc.)

What you need to know about ____'s Benefit Plans
We are changing insurance carriers for the following benefits:

Life Insurance
Voluntary Vision
Voluntary Long Term Disability
We are also adding voluntary Short Term Disability.

Please contact me if you should have any questions.
 
 
Argus-eyed \AR-guhs-ide\, adjective:

Extremely observant; watchful; sharp-sighted.
 
Thursday, November 20, 2003
 
James Dean was one of the most well known actors of the 1950's and his sexuality on-screen influenced many actors after him and even through today. He was born in Marion, Indiana, in 1931, but moved to Los Angeles with his family four years later. His mother died in 1940, and he then went to live with his aunt and uncle back in Indiana until 1949.

When he was drafted, it is rumored that he was not because he said, "You can't draft me, I'm homosexual."

His homosexuality was a constant question to many people, and his relationship with Pier Angeli in 1954 "may have been because the publicity department at Warner Brothers. and Jimmy's handlers wanted to see Jimmy as virile, macho, and heterosexual."

He returned to Los Angeles in 1949 and spent some time at UCLA and may have interacted with the Hollywood homosexual clique at that time. He started to get small acting jobs around Hollywood, and then moved to New York in 1951.

He started out on Broadway in See the Jaguar, and then was cast in many television shows during the year of 1953. In 1954, he returned to Los Angeles and starred in East of Eden and then went on to play Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause and then Giant.

He was killed in a car crash in 1955, before his last two movies were even released, at age 24.
 
 
"There are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and that this is not a time for remarks like that. … It never is"

-- White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer

"We need honest, reasoned debate not fear mongering. To those who pit Americans against immigrants and citizens against noncitizens, to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies, and pause to America's friends. They encourage people of goodwill to remain silent in the face of evil."

-- Attorney General John Ashcroft
 
 
Artist: Neil Zlozower

Confronting Bodies: Music stores, chain stores ad newsstands across the United States

Date of Action: 1995

Specific Location: United States

Description of Artwork: The cover of "Guitar" magazine's October 1995 issue featured Flea and Dave Navarro, two members of the rock group "Red Hot Chili Peppers," topless and kissing.

Description of Incident: When the issue was released, stores such as Wal-mart, Gelson's, and hundreds of smaller stores and newsstands refused to sell the issue because they felt that it "promotes homosexuality." Several of the smaller stores refused to sell any further issues of "Guitar."

Results of Incident: "Guitar" magazine still circulates to 180,000 businesses.

Source: Artistic Freedom Under Attack, 1996

Submitted By: NCAC
 
 
Ho! Ho! Ho!

We need your help and are asking for volunteers for our Holiday Luncheon.
See the choices below and respond by email to Teresa on or before December 1st.

* Greeters - need 4
* Registration Table - need 4
* Photographers (digital cameras) - unlimited

Thank you in advance for your help!


The Activity Committee....
 
 
interlard \in-tuhr-LARD\, transitive verb:

To insert between; to mix or mingle; especially, to introduce something foreign or irrelevant into; as, "to interlard a conversation with oaths or allusions."
 
 
Just a reminder to those who smoke: please do not smoke in or near doorways. The smoke has a potential to create unpleasant conditions for those non-smokers entering and exiting the building as well as for those whose work area is in close proximity to a doorway.

Thank you for your cooperation and consideration.
 
 
Good morning,
Please be aware that the upcoming payroll processing needs to be in one day earlier than normal due to the Thanksgiving holiday. This means I must have payroll wrapped up and transmitted by 1 pm on Monday.
Due to the change in schedule it is very important that everyone adheres to the following deadlines:
All salaried employees' timesheets need to be completed and approved by CLOSE OF BUSINESS TOMORROW. (Fri, Nov 21)
All hourly employees' timesheets need to be approved by 10 AM ON MONDAY. (Nov 24) (Special note to supervisors of hourly employees: if you will not be here Monday I need you to let me know ASAP so that I know to take care of your approvals for you.)

With your help I am sure we can make this processing go quickly and smoothly! Thank you!
 
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
 
A series of demonstrations against President George Bush's state visit passed almost without incident yesterday as a huge security operation kept him mostly out of sight and earshot of the protesters.
 
 
Buckaroo!

"Because European countries now resolve differences through negotiation and consensus, there's sometimes an assumption that the entire world functions in the same way," Bush said.

 
 
Observe this, that tho' a woman swear, forswear, lie, dissemble, back-bite, be proud, vain, malicious, anything, if she secures the main chance, she's still virtuous; that's a maxim.

George Farquhar (1678-1707), Irish dramatist
 
 
While this has a certain appeal, I got sad thinking about their rehearsals.
 
 
We are extending the deadline for making donations to help the fire victims.
For those who have already donated - thank you!
For those who still wish to donate - you may bring your donations to Janna or Anita before the close of business on Friday, Nov 21st.
Here's what's needed:
Kids coats/jackets
School supplies
Canned goods
Cash/Checks (We will use all cash/checks collected to purchase gift cards.)
Gift cards
Thank you!!
 
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
 
portent \POR-tent\, noun:

1. A sign of a coming event or calamity; an omen.
2. Prophetic or menacing significance.
3. Something amazing; a marvel.

 
Monday, November 17, 2003
 
Winning the Culture War
By Brian C. Anderson
City Journal


The Left’s near monopoly over the institutions of opinion and information—which long allowed liberal opinion makers to sweep aside ideas and beliefs they disagreed with, as if they were beneath argument—is skidding to a startlingly swift halt. The transformation has gone far beyond the rise of conservative talk radio, that, ever since Rush Limbaugh’s debut 15 years ago, has chipped away at the power of the New York Times, the networks, and the rest of the elite media to set the terms of the nation’s political and cultural debate. Almost overnight, three huge changes in communications have injected conservative ideas right into the heart of that debate. Though commentators have noted each of these changes separately, they haven’t sufficiently grasped how, taken together, they add up to a revolution: no longer can the Left keep conservative views out of the mainstream or dismiss them with bromide instead of argument. Everything has changed.

The first and most visible of these three seismic events: the advent of cable TV, especially Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel. Since its 1996 launch, Fox News has provided what its visionary CEO Roger Ailes calls a “haven” for viewers fed up with the liberal bias of the news media—potentially a massive audience, since the mainstream media stand well to the American people’s left.

Watch Fox for just a few hours and you encounter a conservative presence unlike anything on TV. Where CBS and CNN would lead a news item about an impending execution with a candlelight vigil of death-penalty protesters, for instance, at Fox “it is de rigueur that we put in the lead why that person is being executed,” senior vice president for news John Moody noted a while back. Fox viewers will see Republican politicians and conservative pundits sought out for meaningful quotations, skepticism voiced about environmentalist doomsaying, religion treated with respect, pro-life views given airtime—and much else they’d never find on other networks.

Fox’s conservatism helps it scoop competitors on stories they get wrong or miss entirely because of liberal bias. In April 2002, for instance, the mainstream media rushed to report an Israeli “massacre” of Palestinian civilians in a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin; Fox uniquely—and correctly, it turned out—treated the massacre charge with complete skepticism. “We try to avoid falling for the conventional liberal wisdom in journalistic circles—in this case the conventional wisdom ‘Israeli bad, Palestinian good,’ ” says daytime anchorman David Asman. “Too often ideology shapes the tendency to jump to a conclusion—something we try to be aware of in our own case, too.”

Nowhere does Fox differ more radically from the mainstream television and press than in its robustly pro-U.S. coverage of the War on Terror. After September 11, the American flag appeared everywhere, from the lapels of the anchormen to the corner of the screen. Ailes himself wrote to President Bush, urging him to strike back hard against al-Qaida. On-air personalities and reporters freely referred to “our” troops instead of “U.S. forces,” and Islamist “terrorists” and “evildoers” instead of “militants.” Such open displays of patriotism are anathema to today’s liberal journalists, who see “taking sides” as a betrayal of journalistic objectivity.

Asman demurs. For the free media to take sides against an enemy bent on eradicating the free society itself, he argues, isn’t unfair or culturally biased; it is the only possible logical and moral stance. And to call bin Ladin a “militant,” as Reuters does, is to betray the truth, not uphold it. “Terrorism is terrorism,” Asman says crisply. “We know what it is, and we know how to define it, just as our viewers know what it is. So we’re not going to play with them: when we see an act of terror, we’re going to call it terror.” On television news, anyway, Fox alone seemed to grasp this essential point from September 11 on. Says Asman: “CNN, MSNBC, the media generally were not declarative enough in calling a spade a spade.”

Fox’s very tone conveys its difference from the networks’ worldview. “Fox News lacks the sense of out-of-touch elitism that makes many Americans, whatever their politics, annoyed with the news media,” maintains media critic Gene Veith. “Fox reporters almost never condescend to viewers,” he observes. “The other networks do so all the time, peering down on the vulgar masses from social height (think Peter Jennings) or deigning to enlighten the public about things that only they understand (think Peter Arnett).” This tone doesn’t mark only Fox’s populist shows, like pugnacious superstar Bill O’Reilly’s. Even when Fox goes upscale, in Brit Hume’s urbane nightly Special Report, for example, the civility elevates rather than belittles the viewer. For Ailes, Fox’s anti-elitism is key. “There’s a whole country that elitists will never acknowledge,” he told the New York Times Magazine. “What people resent deeply out there are those in the ‘blue’ states thinking they’re smarter.”

The “fair and balanced” approach that Fox trumpets in its slogan is part of this iconoclastic tone, too. Sure, the anchor is almost always a conservative, but it’s clear he is striving to tell the truth, and there’s always a liberal on hand, too. By contrast, political consultant and Fox contributor Dick Morris notes, “The other networks offer just one point of view, which they claim is objective.” Not only does the Fox approach make clear that there is always more than one point of view, but it also puts the network’s liberal guests in the position of having to defend their views—something that almost never happens on other networks.

Viewers clearly like what they see. Fox’s ratings, already climbing since the station debuted in 1996, really began to rocket upward after the terrorist attack and blasted into orbit with Operation Iraqi Freedom. “In the Iraqi war,” Dick Morris explains, “the viewing audience truly saw how incredibly biased the other networks were: ‘Turkey did not let us through, the plan was flawed, we attacked with too few troops, our supply lines weren’t secure, the army would run out of rations and ammo, the Iraqis would use poison gas, the oil wells would go up in flames, there would be street-to-street fighting in Baghdad, the museum lost its priceless artifacts to looters,’ and now we’re onto this new theme that ‘Iraq is a quagmire’ and that there ‘aren’t any weapons of mass destruction’ and that ‘Bush lied’—and all the while, thanks in part to Fox News, Americans are seeing with their own eyes how much this is crazy spin.” The yawning gulf separating reality and the mainstream media during the war and its aftermath, Morris believes, “will kill the other networks in the immediate future—to Fox’s benefit.”

The numbers make clear just how stunning Fox’s rise has been. Starting with access to only 17 million homes (compared with CNN’s 70 million) in 1996, Fox could reach 65 million homes by 2001 and had already started to turn a profit. A year later, profits hit $70 million and are expected to double in 2003. Though CNN founder Ted Turner once boasted he’d “squish Murdoch like a bug,” Fox News has outpaced its chief cable news rival in the ratings since September 11 and now runs laps around it. This past June, Fox won a whopping 51 percent of the prime-time cable news audience—more than CNN, CNN Headline News, and MSNBC combined. The station’s powerhouse, The O’Reilly Factor, averages around 3 million viewers every night, and during Operation Iraqi Freedom the “No Spin Zone” drew as many as 7 million on a given night; CNN’s Larry King, once the king of cable, has slipped to 1.3 million nightly viewers. Cheery Fox and Friends has even edged out CBS’s Early Show in the ratings a few times, despite the fact that CBS is free, while Fox is available only on cable and satellite (and not every operator carries it). While the total viewership for ABC, CBS, and NBC news—more than 25 million—still dwarfs Fox’s viewers, the networks are hemorrhaging. CBS News just suffered its lousiest ratings period ever, down 600,000 viewers; 1.1 million fewer people watch the three network news programs today than 12 months ago.

Fox enjoys especially high numbers among advertiser-coveted 25- to 54-year-old viewers, and it is attracting even younger news junkies. As one CNN producer admits, Fox is “more in touch with the younger age group, not just the 25–54 demo, but probably the 18-year-olds.” Even more attractive to advertisers, Fox viewers watch 20 to 25 minutes before clicking away; CNN watchers stay only ten minutes. Fox’s typical viewer also makes more money on average—nearly $60,000 a year—than those of its main cable rivals.

Not only conservatives like what they see. A new Pew Research Center survey shows that, of the 22 percent of Americans who now get most of their news from Fox (compared with a combined 32 percent for the networks), only 46 percent call themselves “conservative,” only slightly higher than the 40 percent of CNN fans who do so. Fox is thus exposing many centrists (32 percent of Fox’s regular viewers) and liberals (18 percent) to conservative ideas and opinions they would not regularly find elsewhere in the television news—and some of those folks could be liking the conservative worldview as well as the professionalism of the staff and veracity of the programming.

The news isn’t the only place on cable where conservatives will feel at home. Lots of cable comedy, while not traditionally conservative, is fiercely anti-liberal, which as a practical matter often amounts nearly to the same thing. Take South Park, Comedy Central’s hit cartoon series, whose heroes are four crudely animated and impossibly foul-mouthed fourth-graders named Cartman, Kenny, Kyle, and Stan. Now in its seventh season, South Park, with nearly 3 million viewers per episode, is Comedy Central’s highest-rated program.

Many conservatives have attacked South Park for its exuberant vulgarity, calling it “twisted,” “vile trash,” a “threat to our youth.” Such denunciations are misguided. Conservative critics should pay closer attention to what South Park so irreverently jeers at and mocks. As the show’s co-creator, 32-year-old Matt Stone, sums it up: “I hate conservatives, but I really fucking hate liberals.”

Not for nothing has blogger and former New Republic editor Andrew Sullivan praised the show for being “the best antidote to PC culture we have.” South Park sharpens the iconoclastic, anti-PC edge of earlier cartoon shows like The Simpsons and King of the Hill, and spares no sensitivity. The show’s single black kid is called Token. One episode, “Cripple Fight,” concludes with a slugfest between the boys’ wheelchair-bound, cerebral-palsy-stricken friend Timmy and the obnoxious Jimmy, who wants to be South Park’s Number One “handi-capable” citizen (in his cringe-making PC locution). In another, “Rainforest Schmainforest,” the boys’ school sends them on a field trip to Costa Rica, led by an activist choir group, “Getting Gay with Kids,” which wants to raise youth awareness about “our vanishing rain forests.” Shown San José, Costa Rica’s capital, the boys are unimpressed:

Cartman [holding his nose]: Oh my God, it smells like ass out here!
Choir teacher: All right, that does it! Eric Cartman, you respect other cultures this instant.
Cartman: I wasn’t saying anything about their culture, I was just saying their city smells like ass.

But if the city is unpleasant, the rain forest itself is a nightmare: the boys get lost, wilt from the infernal heat, face deadly assaults from monstrous insects and a giant snake, run afoul of revolutionary banditos, and—worst of all—must endure the choir teacher’s New-Agey gushing: “Shhh! Children! Let’s try to listen to what the rain forest tells us, and if we use our ears, she can tell us so many things.” By the horrifying trip’s end, the boys are desperate for civilization, and the choir teacher herself has come to despise the rain forest she once worshiped: “You go right ahead and plow down this whole fuckin’ thing,” she tells a construction worker.

The episode concludes with the choir’s new song:

Doo doo doo doo doo. Doo doo doo wa.
There’s a place called the rain forest that truly sucks ass.
Let’s knock it all down and get rid of it fast.
You say “save the rain forest” but what do you know?
You’ve never been there before.
Getting Gay with Kids is here
To tell you things you might not like to hear.
You only fight these causes ‘cause caring sells.
All you activists can go fuck yourselves.
As the disclaimer before each episode states, the show is so offensive “it should not be viewed by anyone.”

One of the contemporary Left’s most extreme (and, to conservatives, objectionable) strategies is its effort to draw the mantle of civil liberties over behavior once deemed criminal, pathological, or immoral, as a brilliant South Park episode featuring a visit to town by the North American Man-Boy Love Association—the ultra-radical activist group advocating gay sex with minors—satirizes:

NAMBLA leader [speaking at a group meeting, attended by the South Park kids]: Rights? Does anybody know their rights? You see, I’ve learned something today. Our forefathers came to this country because they believed in an idea. An idea called “freedom.” They wanted to live in a place where a group couldn’t be prosecuted for their beliefs. Where a person can live the way he chooses to live. You see us as being perverted because we’re different from you. People are afraid of us, because they don’t understand. And sometimes it’s easier to persecute than to understand.

Kyle: Dude. You have sex with children.
NAMBLA leader: We are human. Most of us didn’t even choose to be attracted to young boys. We were born that way. We can’t help the way we are, and if you all can’t understand that, well, then, I guess you’ll just have to put us away.
Kyle [slowly, for emphasis]: Dude. You havesex. With children.
Stan: Yeah. You know, we believe in equality for everybody, and tolerance, and all that gay stuff, but dude, fuck you.
Another episode—“Cherokee Hair Tampons”—ridicules multiculti sentimentality about holistic medicine and the “wisdom” of native cultures. Kyle suffers a potentially fatal kidney disorder, and his clueless parents try to cure it with “natural” Native American methods, leaving their son vomiting violently and approaching death’s door:

Kyle’s mom: Everything is going to be fine, Stan; we’re bringing in Kyle tomorrow to see the Native Americans personally.
Stan: Isn’t it possible that these Indians don’t know what they’re talking about?
Stan’s mom: You watch your mouth, Stanley. The Native Americans were raped of their land and resources by white people like us.
Stan: And that has something to do with their medicines because . . . ?
Stan’s mom: Enough, Stanley!
South Park regularly mocks left-wing celebrities who feel entitled to pontificate on how the nation should be run. In one of the most brutal parodies, made in just several days during the 2000 Florida recount fiasco, loudmouth Rosie O’Donnell sweeps into town to weigh in on a kindergarten election dispute involving her nephew. The boys’ teacher dresses her down: “People like you preach tolerance and open-mindedness all the time, but when it comes to middle America, you think we’re all evil and stupid country yokels who need your political enlightenment. Just because you’re on TV doesn’t mean you know crap about the government.”

South Park has satirized the sixties counterculture (Cartman has feverish nightmares about hippies, who “want to save the earth, but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad”); anti-big-business zealots (a “Harbucks” coffee chain opens in South Park, to initial resistance but eventual acclaim as everyone—including the local coffee house’s owners—admits its bean beats anything previously on offer in the town); sex ed in school (featuring “the Sexual Harassment Panda,” an outrageous classroom mascot); pro-choice extremists (Cartman’s mother decides she wants to abort him, despite the fact that he’s eight years old, relying on the “it’s my body” argument); hate-crime legislation, anti-discrimination lawsuits, gay scout leaders, and much more. Conservatives do not escape the show’s satirical sword—gun-toting rednecks and phony patriots have been among those slashed. But there should be no mistaking the deepest thrust of South Park’s politics.

That anti-liberal worldview dominates other cable comedy too. Also on Comedy Central is Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, a new late-night chatfest where the conversation—on race, terrorism, war, and other topics—is anything but politically correct. The Brooklyn-born Quinn, a former anchor on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” and a Fox News fan, can be Rumsfeldesque in his comic riffs, like this one deriding excessive worries about avoiding civilian casualties in Iraq: “This war is so polite,” he grumbles. “We used to be Semper Fi. Next, we’ll be dropping comment cards over Iraq saying ‘How did you hear about us?’ And ‘Would you say that we’re a country that goes to war sometimes, often, or never?’ ”

Then there’s Dennis Miller, another Saturday Night Live alum, whose 2003 HBO stand-up comedy special The Raw Feed relentlessly derides liberal shibboleths. In his stream-of-consciousness rants, whose cumulative effect gets audiences roaring with laughter, Miller blasts the teachers’ unions for opposing vouchers, complains about the sluggish work habits of government workers (“ironically, in our highly driven culture, it would appear the only people not interested in pushing the envelope are postal employees”), and attacks opponents of Alaskan oil-drilling for “playing the species card.”

Miller, like Quinn, is unapologetically hawkish in the War on Terror. Dismissing the effectiveness of U.N. weapons inspectors in the run-up to the Iraq war, he says: “Watching the U.N. in action makes you want to give Ritalin to a glacier.” On war opponents France and Germany, he’s acid: “The French are always reticent to surrender to the wishes of their friends and always more than willing to surrender to the wishes of their enemies” and “Maybe Germany didn’t want to get involved in this war because it wasn’t on a grand enough scale.” Lately, he’s been campaigning with President Bush, crediting W. for making him “proud to be an American again” after the “wocka-wocka porn guitar of the Clinton administration.” Fox has hired him to do weekly news commentary.

Why is cable and satellite TV less uniformly Whoopi or West Wing than ABC, CBS, and NBC? With long-pent-up market demand for entertainment that isn’t knee-jerk liberal in its sensibilities, cable’s multiplicity of channels has given writers and producers who don’t fit the elite media mold the chance to meet that demand profitably.

Andrew Sullivan dubs the fans of all this cable-nurtured satire “South Park Republicans”—people who “believe we need a hard-ass foreign policy and are extremely skeptical of political correctness” but also are socially liberal on many issues, Sullivan explains. Such South Park Republicanism is a real trend among younger Americans, he observes: South Park’s typical viewer, for instance, is an advertiser-ideal 28.
Talk to right-leaning college students, and it’s clear that Sullivan is onto something. Arizona State undergrad Eric Spratling says the definition fits him and his Republican pals perfectly. “The label is really about rejecting the image of conservatives as uptight squares—crusty old men or nerdy kids in blue blazers. We might have long hair, smoke cigarettes, get drunk on weekends, have sex before marriage, watch R-rated movies, cuss like sailors—and also happen to be conservative, or at least libertarian.” Recent Stanford grad Craig Albrecht says most of his young Bush-supporter friends “absolutely cherish” South Park–style comedy “for its illumination of hypocrisy and stupidity in all spheres of life.” It just so happens, he adds, “that most hypocrisy and stupidity take place within the liberal camp.”

Further supporting Sullivan’s contention, Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice—a “punk-rock-capitalist” entertainment corporation that publishes the hipster bible Vice magazine, produces CDs and films, runs clothing stores, and claims (plausibly) to have been “deep inside the heads of 18–30s for the past 10 years”—spots “a new trend of young people tired of being lied to for the sake of the ‘greater good.’ ” Especially on military matters, McInnes believes, many twenty-somethings are disgusted with the Left. The knee-jerk Left’s days “are numbered,” McInnes tells The American Conservative. “They are slowly but surely being replaced with a new breed of kid that isn’t afraid to embrace conservatism.”

Polling data indicate that younger voters are indeed trending rightward—supporting the Iraq war by a wider majority than their elders, viewing school vouchers favorably, and accepting greater restrictions on abortion, such as parental-notification laws (though more accepting of homosexuality than older voters). Together with the Foxification of cable news, this new attitude among the young, reflected in the hippest cable comedy (and in cutting-edge cable dramas such as FX’s The Shield and HBO’s The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, which are unflinchingly honest about crime, race, sex, and faith, and avoid the saccharine liberal moralizing of much network entertainment), can only make Karl Rove happy.

What should make him positively giddy is the rise of the Internet, the second explosive change shaking liberal media dominance. It’s hard to overstate the impact that news and opinion websites like the Drudge Report, NewsMax, and Dow Jones’s OpinionJournal are having on politics and culture, as are current-event “blogs”—individual or group web diaries—like AndrewSullivan, InstaPundit, and “The Corner” department of NationalReviewOnline (NRO), where the editors and writers argue, joke around, and call attention to articles elsewhere on the web. This whole universe of web-based discussion has been dubbed the “blogosphere.”

While there are several fine left-of-center sites, the blogosphere currently tilts right, albeit idiosyncratically, reflecting the hard-to-pigeonhole politics of some leading bloggers. Like talk radio and Fox News, the right-leaning sites fill a market void. “Many bloggers felt shut out by institutions that have adopted—explicitly or implicitly—a left-wing orthodoxy,” says Erin O’Connor, whose blog, Critical Mass, exposes campus PC gobbledygook. The orthodox Left’s blame-America-first response to September 11 has also helped tilt the blogosphere rightward. “There were damned few noble responses to that cursed day from the ‘progressive’ part of the political spectrum,” avers Los Angeles–based blogger and journalist Matt Welch, “so untold thousands of people just started blogs, in anger,” Welch among them. “I was pushed into blogging on September 16, 2001, in direct response to reading five days’ worth of outrageous bullshit in the media from people like Noam Chomsky and Robert Jensen.”

For a frustrated citizen like Welch, it’s easy to get your ideas circulating on the Internet. Start-up costs for a blog are small, printing and mailing costs nonexistent. Few blogs make money, though, since advertisers are leery of the web and no one seems willing to pay to read anything on it.

The Internet’s most powerful effect has been to expand vastly the range of opinion—especially conservative opinion—at everyone’s fingertips. “The Internet helps break up the traditional cultural gatekeepers’ power to determine a) what’s important and b) the range of acceptable opinion,” says former Reason editor and libertarian blogger Virginia Postrel. InstaPundit’s Glenn Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee, agrees: “The main role of the Internet and blogosphere is to call the judgment of elites about what is news into question.”

The Drudge Report is a perfect case in point. Five years since Matt Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky story, his news and gossip site has become an essential daily visit for political junkies, journalists, media types, and—with 1.4 billion hits in 2002—seemingly anyone with an Internet connection. The site features occasional newsworthy items investigated and written by Drudge, but mostly it’s an editorial filter, linking to stories on other small and large news and opinion sites—a filter that crucially exhibits no bias against the Right. (Drudge, a registered Republican, calls himself “a pro-life conservative who doesn’t want the government to tax me.”) The constantly updated cornucopia of information, culled from a vast number of global sources and e-mailed tips from across the political spectrum, says critic Camille Paglia, a Drudge enthusiast, point up by contrast “the process of censorship that’s going on, the filtering of the news by established news organizations.” Other popular news-filter sites, including FreeRepublic, Lucianne, and RealClearPolitics, perform a similar function.

In a different register, Arts & Letters Daily, a site devoted to intellectual journalism, is similarly ecumenical in what it links to, posting articles from publications as diverse as City Journal on the Right to the New Left Review. When Arts & Letters ran into financial trouble last year, both neo-conservative elder Norman Podhoretz and Nation columnist Eric Alterman rushed to its defense. Going from 300 page views a day in 1998 to more than 70,000 a day in 2003, and with many left-leaning readers (including a large number of academics), it has introduced a whole new audience to serious conservative thought.

Though not quite in Drudge’s league in readership, the top explicitly right-leaning sites, updated daily, have generated huge followings. Andrew Sullivan’s blog, launched in the late 90s, attracted 400,000 visitors this July. FrontPage, vigorously lambasting political correctness, the antiwar campaign, and other “progressive” follies, draws as many as 1.7 million visitors in a month. More than 1.4 million visitors landed on OpinionJournal this past March, when the liberation of Iraq began, most to read editor James Taranto’s “Best of the Web Today,” an incisive guide to and commentary on the day’s top Internet stories. NRO, featuring scores of new articles daily, averages slightly over 1 million a month—and over 2 million during the war. “More people read NRO than all the conservative magazines combined,” the site’s editor-at-large Jonah Goldberg marvels. The web’s interconnectivity—the fact that bloggers and news and opinion sites readily link to one another and comment on one another’s postings, forming a kind of twenty-first-century agora—amplifies and extends the influence of any site that catches the heavy hitters’ attention.

It’s not just the large numbers of readers that these sites attract that is so significant for the conservative cause; it’s also who those readers are. Just as Fox News is pulling in a younger viewership, who will reshape the politics of the future, so these conservative sites are proving particularly popular with younger readers. “They think: ‘If it’s not on the web, it doesn’t exist,’ ” says Goldberg. FrontPage’s web traffic shoots up dramatically during the school year, as lots of college students log on.

Equally important, these sites draw the attention of journalists. “Everyone who deals in media—and they’re not all ideologues on the Left—is reading the Internet all the time,” says FrontPage editor David Horowitz. “Michael,” who co-authors the 2blowhards culture-and-politics blog as an avocation while working full time for a major left-leaning national news organization (he uses a pseudonym because his bosses wouldn’t like the blog’s not-so-liberal opinions), reports: “I notice the younger people on staff in particular are aware of blogs—and that a lot of local newspapers seem to have people who stay on top of blogs, too.” The Internet’s power, observes Mickey Kaus, the former New Republic writer whose Kausfiles blog has become indispensable reading for anyone interested in politics, “is due primarily to its influence over professional journalists, who then influence the public.” Judges Andrew Sullivan: “I think I have just as much ability to inject an idea or an argument into the national debate through my blog as I did through The New Republic.”

Almost daily, stories that originate on the web make their way into print or onto TV or radio. Fox and Rush Limbaugh, for instance, often pick up stories from FrontPage and OpinionJournal—especially those on the antiwar Left. Fox News’s Sean Hannity surfs the net up to eight hours a day, searching sites like Drudge and the hard-right news site WorldNetDaily for stories to cover. Phrases introduced in the blogosphere now “percolate out into the real world with amazing rapidity,” InstaPundit’s Glenn Reynolds recently noted. For example, the day after the humor blog ScrappleFace coined the term “Axis of Weasel” to satirize the antiwar alliance of Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schröder, the New York Post used it as a headline, talk radio and CNN and Fox News repeated it, and it soon made its way into French and German media.

The speed with which Internet sites can post new material is one source of their influence. No sooner has the latest Paul Krugman New York Times column attacking the Bush administration appeared, for example, than the “Krugman Truth Squad”—a collective of conservative economic analysts—will post an article on NRO exposing the economist’s myriad mistakes, distortions, and evasions. Earlier this year, the Truth Squad caught Krugman comparing the cost of Bush’s tax cuts over ten years with the one-year wage boost associated with the new employment it would create, so as to make the tax reductions seem insanely large for the small benefit they’d bring—a laughably ignorant mistake or, more likely, a deliberate attempt to mislead in order to discredit Bush. The discomfiture web critics have caused Krugman has forced him to respond on his own website, offering various lame rationales for his errors, and denouncing the Truth Squad’s Donald Luskin as his “stalker-in-chief.”

The timeliness of web publication also means that right from the start a wealth of conservative opinion is circulating about any new development—often before the New York Times and the Washington Post get a chance to weigh in. A blog or opinion site “can have an influence on elite opinion before the conventional wisdom among elites congeals,” notes Nick Schulz, editor of Tech Central Station, a site that covers technology and public policy. A case in point is the blogosphere “storm” (a ferocious burst of online argument, with site linking to site linking to site) that made a big issue out of the Democrats’ unseemly transformation of Senator Paul Wellstone’s funeral into a naked political rally, forcing the mainstream media to cover the story, which in turn created outrage that ultimately may have cost the Dems Wellstone’s seat in the 2002 election. Blogosphere outrage over Republican senator Trent Lott’s comments that seemed to praise segregation at onetime Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday party, led by NRO and other conservative sites keen to liberate modern conservatism from any vestige of racism and to make the GOP a champion of black advancement, shaped the mainstream media’s coverage of that controversy, too—helping to push Lott from his perch as majority leader.

Debunking liberal humbug is one of the web’s most powerful political effects: bloggers call it the Internet’s “bullshit-detector” role. The New York Times has been the Number One target of the B.S. detectors—especially during the reign of deposed executive editor and liberal ideologue Howell Raines. “Only, say, five years ago, the editors of the New York Times had much more power than they have today,” Andrew Sullivan points out. “They could spin stories with gentle liberal bias, and only a few eyes would roll.” If they made an egregious error, they could bury the correction later. The Internet makes such bias and evasion harder—maybe impossible—to pull off. It was the blogosphere that revealed Enron-bashing Krugman’s former ties to Enron, showed how the paper twisted its polls to further a liberal agenda, exposed how it used its front page to place Henry Kissinger falsely in the anti–Iraq war camp, and then, as the war got under way, portrayed it as harshly as possible.

It’s safe to say that the blogosphere cost Raines his job. When the story broke about Times reporter and Raines favorite Jayson Blair’s outrageous fabrications in the paper’s pages, Sullivan, Kaus, Drudge, blogger-reporter Seth Mnookin, and other web writers kept it alive, creating pressure for other media, including television, to cover it. When disgruntled Times staffers began to leak damning information about Raines’s high-handed management style to Jim Romenesko’s influential media-news site Poynter, the end was near. Kausfiles’s “Howell Raines-O-Meter,” gauging the probability of the editor’s downfall, was up barely a day or two when Raines stepped down. “The outcome would have been different without the Internet,” Kaus rightly says. The Times’s new ombudsman acknowledged the point: “We’re not happy that blogs became the forum for our dirty linen, but somebody had to wash it and it got washed.”

But the Blair affair was more final straw than primary cause of Raines’s fall. Unremitting Internet-led criticism and mockery of the editor’s front-page partisanship had already severely tarnished the Times’s reputation. It may take the Times a while to restore readers’ trust: a new Rasmussen poll shows that fewer than half of Americans believe that the paper reliably conveys the truth (while 72 percent find Fox News reliable); circulation is down 5 percent since March 2002.

Other liberal media giants have taken notice. In May, the Los Angeles Times’s top editor, John Carroll, fired an e-mail to his troops warning that the paper was suffering from “the perception and the occasional reality that the Times is a liberal, ‘politically correct’ newspaper.” In the new era of heightened web scrutiny, Carroll was arguing, you can’t just dismiss conservative views but must take them seriously. By the recent recall vote, though, the lesson had evaporated.

The third big change breaking the liberal media stranglehold is taking place in book publishing. Conservative authors long had trouble getting their books released, with only Regnery Books, the Free Press, and Basic Books regularly releasing conservative titles. But following editorial changes during the 1990s, Basic and the Free Press published far fewer conservative-leaning titles, leaving Regnery pretty much alone.

No more. Nowadays, publishers are falling over themselves to bring conservative books to a mainstream audience. “Between now and December,” Publishers Weekly wrote in July, “scores of books on conservative topics will be published by houses large and small—the most ever produced in a single season. Already, 2003 has been a banner year for such books, with at least one and often two conservative titles hitting PW’s best-seller list each week.” Joining Regnery in releasing mass-market right-leaning books are two new imprints from superpower publishers, Random House’s Crown Forum and an as-yet-untitled Penguin series.

These imprints will publish mostly Ann Coulter–style polemics—one of Crown Forum’s current releases, for example, is James Hirsen’s The Left Coast, a take-no-prisoners attack on Hollywood liberals. But higher-brow conservative books will pour forth over the next six months from Peter Collier’s Encounter Books, Ivan R. Dee (publisher of City Journal books), the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (it’s releasing Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Russia in Collapse, the Nobel Prize–winner’s first book in English in nearly a decade), Yale University Press, Lexington Books, and Spence Books. Other top imprints—from HarperCollins to the University of Chicago Press—are also publishing books that flout liberal orthodoxy. And Bookspan, which runs the Book-of-the-Month Club, has announced a new conservative book club, headed by a former National Review literary editor.

It’s no exaggeration to describe this surge of conservative publishing as a paradigm shift. “It would have been unthinkable ten years ago that mainstream publishers would embrace this trend,” acknowledges Doubleday editor and author Adam Bellow, who got his start in editing in 1988 at the Free Press, where he and his boss, the late Erwin Glikes, encountered “a tremendous amount of marketplace and institutional resistance” in pushing conservative titles. “There was no conspiracy,” avers Crown Forum publisher Steve Ross. “We were culturally isolated on this island of Manhattan, and people tend to publish to people of like mind.”

Ross believes that September 11 shook up the publishing world and made it less reflexively liberal. And in fact, many new conservative titles concern the War on Terror. But what really overcame the big New York publishers’ liberal prejudices is the oodles of money Washington-based Regnery was making. “We’ve had a string of best-sellers that is probably unmatched in publishing,” Regnery president Marji Ross points out. “We publish 20 to 25 titles a year, and we’ve had 16 books on the New York Times best-seller list over the last four years—including Bernard Goldberg’s Bias, which spent seven weeks at Number One.” Adds Bernadette Malone, a former Regnery editor heading up Penguin’s new conservative imprint: “The success of Regnery’s books woke up the industry: ‘Hello? There’s 50 percent of the population that we’re underserving, even ignoring. We have an opportunity to talk to these people, figure out what interests them, and put out professional-quality books on topics that haven’t been sufficiently explored.’ ” Bellow puts it more bluntly: “Business rationality has trumped ideological aversion. And that’s capitalism.”

There’s another reason that conservative books are selling: the emergence of conservative talk radio, cable TV, and the Internet. This “right-wing media circuit,” as Publishers Weekly describes it, reaches millions of potential readers and thus makes the traditional gatekeepers of ideas—above all, the New York Times Book Review and the New York Review of Books, publications that rarely deign to review conservative titles—increasingly irrelevant in winning an audience for a book.

Ask publisher Peter Collier. After only three years in business, his Encounter Books will make $3 million in profits this year, he says—not bad for an imprint specializing in serious works of history, culture, and political analysis aimed at both conservatives and open-minded liberals. Several Encounter titles have sold in the 35,000 range, and a Bill Kristol–edited volume laying out reasons for war in Iraq has sold over 60,000 copies. Instead of worrying about high-profile reviews in the media mainstream—“I’ve had God knows how many books published by now, and maybe three reviews in the New York Times Book Review,” laughs Collier—Encounter sells books by getting its authors discussed on the Internet and interviewed on talk radio, Fox News, and C-Span’s ideologically neutral Book TV. “A Q & A on NRO sells books very, very well,” Collier explains. “It’s comparable to a major newspaper review.” A bold Drudge Report headline will move far more copies than even good newspaper reviews, claims Regnery’s Marji Ross. A book discussed on AndrewSullivan will briefly blast up the Amazon.com best-seller list—even hitting the top five.

Amazon itself is another boon to conservatives, since the Internet giant betrays no ideological bias in selling books. Nor do big chain booksellers like Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble, where Bill O’Reilly books pile up right next to Michael Moore’s latest loony-left rant. “The rise of Amazon and the chain stores has been tremendously liberating for conservatives, because these stores are very much product-oriented businesses,” observes David Horowitz. “The independent bookstores are all controlled by leftists, and they’re totalitarians—they will not display conservative books, or if they do, they’ll hide them in the back.” Says Marji Ross: “We have experienced our books being buried or kept in the back room when a store manager or owner opposed their message.” She’s a big fan of Amazon and the chains.

Amazon’s Reader Reviews feature—where readers can post their opinions on books they’ve read and rate them—has helped diminish the authority of elite cultural guardians, too, by creating a truly democratic marketplace of ideas. “I don’t think there’s ever been a similar review medium—a really broad-based consumers’ guide for culture,” says 2blowhards blogger Michael. “I’ve read some stuff on Amazon that’s been as good as anything I’ve read in the real press.”

All these remarkable, brand-new transformations have sent the Left reeling. Fox News especially is driving liberals wild. Former vice president Al Gore likens Fox to an evil right-wing “fifth column,” and he yearns to set up a left-wing competitor, as if a left-wing media didn’t already exist. Comedian and activist Al Franken’s new book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them is one long jeremiad against Fox. Washington Post media critic Tom Shales calls Fox a “propaganda mill.” The Columbia Journalism School’s Todd Gitlin worries that Fox “emboldens the right wing to feel justified and confident they can promote their policies.” “There’s room for conservative talk radio on television,” allows CNN anchor Aaron Brown, the very embodiment of the elite journalist with, in Roger Ailes’s salty phrase, “a pick up their ass.” “But I don’t think anyone ought to pretend it’s the New York Times or CNN,” Brown sniffs.

But it’s not just Fox: liberals have been pooh-poohing all of these developments. Dennis Miller used to be the hippest joker around. Now, complains a critic in the liberal webzine Salon, he’s “uncomfortably juvenile,” exhibiting “the sort of simplistic, reactionary American stance that gives us a bad reputation around the world.” The Boston Globe’s Alex Beam dismisses the blogosphere with typical liberal hauteur: “Welcome to Blogistan, the Internet-based journalistic medium where no thought goes unpublished, no long-out-of-print book goes unhawked, and no fellow ‘blogger,’ no matter how outré, goes unpraised.” And those right-wing books are a danger to society, grouse liberals: their “bile-spewing” authors “have limited background expertise and a great flair for adding fuel to hot issues,” claims Norman Provizer, a Rocky Mountain News columnist. “The harm is if people start thinking these lightweights are providing heavyweight answers.”

Well. The fair and balanced observer will hear in such hysterical complaint and angry foot stamping baffled frustration over the loss of a liberal monoculture, which has long protected the Left from debate—and from the realization that its unexamined ideas are sadly threadbare. “The Left has never before had its point of view challenged and its arguments made fun of and shot full of holes on the public stage,” concludes social thinker Michael Novak, who has been around long enough to recognize how dramatically things are changing. Hoover Institute fellow Tod Lindberg agrees: “Liberals aren’t prepared for real argument,” he says. “Elite opinion is no longer univocal. It engages in real argument in real time.” New York Times columnist David Brooks even sees the Left falling into despair over the new conservative media that have “cohered to form a dazzlingly efficient delivery system that swamps liberal efforts to get their ideas out.”

Here’s what’s likely to happen in the years ahead. Think of the mainstream liberal media as one sphere and the conservative media as another. The liberal sphere, which less than a decade ago was still the media, is still much bigger than the non-liberal one. But the non-liberal sphere is expanding, encroaching into the liberal sphere, which is both shrinking and breaking up into much smaller sectarian spheres—one for blacks, one for Hispanics, one for feminists, and so on.

It’s hard to imagine that this development won’t result in a broader national debate—and a more conservative America.
 
 
God bless our men in uniform.

Fields was a Marine and a scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts when he molested a sixth-grader while on a trip to Big Bear.

AND

The jury immediately began hearing evidence on whether the 42-year-old Army veteran should get the death penalty or life in prison.
 
 
Alright, this is embarassing but here's a tip on putting on condoms.

I don't rush it, I think the contest in class implied that this is something where the faster
you do it the bettert. I also think that a lit candle helps a lot and it can be pretty sexy.
So... the embarassing part...

Here's how I put on condoms. I check which way it unrolls, then I put it on the tip of my partner's penis, then wrap my lips around the edge of the condom and push them down the shaft, unrolling the rubber. It's like a blowjob and putting on a condom in one. If the condom is the right size and isn't too tight, it's not hard to do at all and it REALLY makes the whole condom deal more fun and sexy for both of us.

If this doesn't seem too kinky to you, give it a try!
 
 
felicitous \fuh-LIS-uh-tuhs\, adjective:

1. Suitably applied or expressed; appropriate; apt.
2. Happy; delightful; marked by good fortune.
 
 
"He thinks the same way as Philip II did in the 16th century: As long as we believe in God we're going to win," said Mayte Embuena, a 43-year-old tour guide in Madrid. "He doesn't know anything about history, economics or sociology; he's governing thanks to his faith, his mother's advice and the help of four friends."
 
Sunday, November 16, 2003
 
It's amazing what a moralizing pussy Matt Drudge is.
 
 
bifurcate \BY-fur-kayt; by-FUR-kayt\, transitive verb:

To divide into two branches or parts.
 
 
No. 851-03
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov 15, 2003
(703)697-5131(media)
(703)428-0711(public/industry)

DoD Statement on News Reports of al-Qaida and Iraq Connections

News reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence
Committee are inaccurate.

A letter was sent to the Senate Intelligence Committee on October 27, 2003 from Douglas J. Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, in response to follow-up questions from his July 10 testimony. One of the questions posed by the committee asked the Department to provide the reports from the Intelligence Community to which he referred in his testimony before the Committee. These reports dealt with the relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida.

The letter to the committee included a classified annex containing a list and description of the requested reports, so that the Committee could obtain the reports from the relevant members of the Intelligence Community.

The items listed in the classified annex were either raw reports or products of the CIA, the NSA, or, in one case, the DIA. The provision of the classified annex to the Intelligence Committee was cleared by other agencies and done with the permission of the Intelligence Community. The selection of the documents was made by DOD to respond to the Committee's question. The classified annex was not an analysis of the substantive issue of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaida, and it drew no conclusions.

Individuals who leak or purport to leak classified information are doing serious harm to national security; such activity is deplorable and may be illegal.

_-END-_


 
Saturday, November 15, 2003
 
My uncle's girlfreind has had 8 abortions, Honest !!! She is not in the best of health
 
Friday, November 14, 2003
 
"Tonight's the Night," Neil Young


Tonight's the night, tonight's the night
Tonight's the night, tonight's the night
Tonight's the night, tonight's the night
Tonight's the night, tonight's the night.

Bruce Berry was a working man
He used to load that Econoline van.
A sparkle was in his eye
But his life was in his hands.

Well, late at night when the people were gone
He used to pick up my guitar
And sing a song in a shaky voice
That was real as the day was long.

Tonight's the night, yes it is, tonight's the night
Tonight's the night, yes it is, tonight's the night.

Early in the mornin' at the break of day
He used to sleep until the afternoon.
If you never heard him sing
I guess you won't too soon.

'Cause people let me tell you
It sent a chill up and down my spine
When I picked up the telephone
And heard that he'd died out on the mainline.

Tonight's the night, tonight's the night
Tonight's the night, tonight's the night.

Bruce Berry was a working man
He used to load that Econoline van.
Well, early in the morning at just about the break of day
He used to sleep until the afternoon.

Tonight's the night, yes it is, tonight's the night
Tonight's the night, tonight's the night
Tonight's the night, tonight's the night
Tonight's the night, tonight's the night.
 
 
"The education system is very tough," says an official in the police department requesting anonymity. "Even by 10 years old, your future can be decided by the system. This puts enormous pressure on kids."
 
 
The change comes as the White House and the Pentagon are showing increased sensitivity to the portrayal of U.S. casualties from the war in Iraq. Officials have barred media coverage of the bodies of troops arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, in that case also insisting that a long-ignored rule be enforced.

"It concerns me, because you can't understand the true cost of war if you can't see the amputees and the people who have been killed," said Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, a veterans group. "The results of war have to be witnessed at graveside, whether you like it or not."
 
 
You know your company's bottom line is healthy when a jury returns a $12-billion judgment against it and the resulting stock drop is less than one full percentage point. That's a business to be in.
 
 
George W. Bush's powers of persuasion are apparently so spectacular, at least to some, that almost all the pro-Bush voices in Washington and the media have remained pro-Bush even when "pro-Bush" means the opposite of what it did five minutes ago.
 
 
termagant \TUR-muh-guhnt\, noun:

A scolding, nagging, bad-tempered woman; a shrew.
 
Thursday, November 13, 2003
 
SAN DIEGO – A former San Diego Padres catcher who joined the city's police force five years ago was critically wounded in a shootout with an armed suspect.

Officer Dan Walters, who played two seasons with the Padres in early 1990s, was shot in the neck as he got out of his patrol car to help another officer.

The bullet shattered on impact and the 37-year-old San Diego native was paralyzed from the neck down with bullet and bone fragments lodged in his spinal cord, police Lt. Jim Duncan said Thursday. He remained conscious.
 
 
obfuscate \OB-fuh-skayt\, transitive verb:

1. To darken or render indistinct or dim.
2. To make obscure or difficult to understand or make sense of.
3. To confuse or bewilder.
 
 
"It looks like the people of San Francisco are an endangered species, which may not be a bad thing. That's probably good news for the country."

Even in jest, a joke about how the people of San Francisco may be an endangered species indicates how clueless this family is. Not the people of Florida or Texas, but the people of San Francisco.
 
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
 
Folks,

With the postseason upon us, here's a style tweak that should simplify high school copy:

Please do not attach the unwieldy "CIF" moniker when describing the San Diego Section playoffs. It's unnecessary, and few readers seem to know what the letters even stand for.

EXAMPLE:
Coronado High won the San Diego Section Division II water polo championship.
(On second reference) It was the Islanders' third straight section title.

If CIF pops up in a quote that must be used, please substitute with a word readers understand.

EXAMPLE:
(No) "We're happy to win a CIF title," said Jones.
(Yes) "We're happy to win a (section) title," said Jones.

Instead of including CIF in stories about local water polo and volleyball playoffs, we'll save the initials for second reference in stories that involve the California Interscholastic Federation, the state's governing body for high school sports.

Any questions, please holler . . .
 
 
But why is it that these interface issues are so obvious to you and me, but not to the programmer types who should be quite familiar with the issues involved?
 
 
The president of the Associated Press Managing Editors, an association of editors at AP's more than 1,700 newspapers in the United States and Canada, sent a protest leader to the Pentagon on Wednesday urging officials to "immediately take the steps to end such confrontations."

"The effect has been to deprive the American public of crucial images from Iraq in newspapers, broadcast stations and online news operations," wrote Stuart Wilk, managing editor of The Dallas Morning News.
 
 
Some senior policymakers have expressed frustration in efforts to provide Bush with more somber analyses of the situation in Iraq than the optimistic views presented by Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and other hard-liners.
 
 
"It is an outrage that the most unwelcome guest this country has ever received will be given the freedom of the streets, while a movement that represents majority opinion is denied the right to protest in the area which is the heart of government," said Stop the War Coalition convenor Lindsey German.
 
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
 
Tony Pierce is on about Tsar again, but word from on high is that they are lazy and that's why they're not bigger.
 
 
exemplar \ig-ZEM-plar; -pluhr\, noun:

1. A model or pattern to be copied or imitated.
2. A typical or standard specimen.
3. An ideal model or type.
4. A copy of a book or text.
 
Formerly GOD'S LONELY MAN

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