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  • New Evidence Proves First Flag Made By Betsy Ross Actually Shirt For Gay Friend
  • Colbert Leads Huntsman in S.C.
  • Polish prosecutor 'shoots self after news conference'
  • Jim Rome leaving ESPN. Bonus: Footage of Jim Rome getting attacked by Jim Everett & crying like a baby
  • Broncos, Tim Tebow stun Steelers in OT, win 29-23 in NFL playoffs
  • Video: Remember 2008
       [ 1 comment ]
  • Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop faces weapon and drug charges
  • Video: Green Bay anchorman loves lamp
  • Video: Rodgers & Raji in the new Discount Double Check ad
  • Jim Rome: out of The Jungle and onto the (horse) farm
  • New IL Law Requires Photo ID To Buy Drain Cleaner
  • Fawn Cuddles Kitten, Hearts Explode
  • The priest who changed the course of history for the worse... by rescuing four-year-old Hitler from drowning in icy river
  • Get Fit or Get Fined: Web Service Offers to Charge You for Skipping the Gym
  • Fine proposed for botching US national anthem
  • Why Best Buy is Going out of Business...Gradually
       [ 1 comment ]
  • Edina boutique takes heat for trashing $4,000-plus gowns
  • Law Student Goes 'Homeless by Choice' Touts Value of Gym Club Membership
  • VIDEO: Snoop Dogg on 'The Price Is Right'
  • Flynn and Out
  • Don't put Bielema on the firing line
       [ 1 comment ]
  • Your end of the season Vikings comment thread
  • Mass. budget motel fights forfeiture by feds
  • Vikings scrutinize downtown Mpls. stadium site near basilica
  • Kelly Clarkson criticized on Twitter after singer endorses Ron Paul for President 
  • Political Predictions for 2012
  • We're All Doing The Best We Can
  • Video Of Little Girl Getting Pissed Off About Pink Toys Will Make Your Heart Swell
  • The 10 best sports-related Hitler Reactions of 2011
  • Happy Endings on the housing crisis
  • Why You Just Got New York Times Spam
  • There Will Be No Friday This Week In Samoa
  • The Most Hipster State In The US
  • Online Merchants Home in on Imbibing Consumers
       [ 1 comment ]
  • On islamic fashion
       [ 1 comment ]
  • Sears as Lampert's 'Mismanaged Asset' Loses Customers to Macy's
       [ 1 comment ]
  • 5 social network predictions for 2012
  • Cheetah, chimp star of classic Tarzan movies, dies at 80
  • The Hottest Things on TV in 2011
  • Beer in cans: It's not just for Bud anymore
  • Seven Packers earn Pro Bowl selections
  • The Worst Angry Christmas Tweets In the World
  • Minnesota cities try to hold back on rented housing
  • Why Iowa Shouldn't Vote First Anymore
  • Some Falcons Players Upset Drew Brees Went For The Record Last Night
  • We've Identified Jilted Packergirl
  • With its 'W' initiative, ESPN tries to solve the equation of serving women sports fans
  • Owner surprised to find cat regularly catches bus
  • Charles Barkley: Skip Bayless Has Surpassed Peter Vecsey As The Biggest Jackass In The History Of Journalism
  • Handicapping the 2011 NFL MVP Race, 2.0


  • December 31, 2007

    2008 Fearless Predictions - Part Two

    [Posted by ]

    Click here for 2008 Fearless Predictions – Part One

    July - The Tour de France begins as organizers vow to defeat doping in cycling. This marks the first time in recent history that France does not surrender.

    Hundreds of thousands of young people flock to Sydney for World Youth Day. They gather to hear words of wisdom from Pope Benedict XVI. And to get laid.

    August - During the broadcast of the 2008 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies, NBC viewers learn that:

    • The actions of European settlers reduced Australia's indigenous population by about 90% between 1788 and 1900
    • In 1641, up to 12,000 Protestants may have been killed in Ireland
    • South African Zulu warriors killed 600 Boers in 1838
    • Over 5,000 people died in Thailand due to the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami
    • 31 people died in 1999’s Galtür Avalanche in Austria

    September - André Romell Young (i.e. Dr. Dre) joins an already crowded Presidential ballot that is expected to include Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Michael Bloomberg, Ron Paul and Steve Jobs. Dre throws his hat into the ring saying, simply, “I’m really rich too.”

    October - Instead of a really cool October surprise like capture of Osama bin Laden or revealing the secrets of Roswell, political junkies find out that death of Buddy the dog was no accident.

    Turning to sports, the New York Yankees defeat the Milwaukee Brewers in game seven of the World Series after Brewers manager Ned Yost changes pitchers six times in the final three innings of the game, leading to a late Yankees game-winning rally. is overwhelmed with traffic, but the state of Wisconsin quickly recovers and remembers that it really only cares about football anyway.

    November - Election Day comes and goes with none of the candidates getting the required number of votes to win in the Electoral College. The Clinton campaign points fingers at Dr. Dre, while McCain and the GOP cast blame on Ron Paul's libertarian supporters. On a personal note, I triple my votes from 2006 and finish just ahead of the Republican challenger in Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional district.

    December - The GOP comes to bitterly regret its decision to fold up the big tent as it is unable to form a coalition of faithless electors in the Electoral College and the election goes to the House of Representatives, which predictably elects Hillary Clinton. Clinton vows to use her "mandate" to bring the nation together again, improve the lives of women and children and institute a national bedtime.

    Bowing to court pressure, Green Bay designs an all-inclusive 2008 Holiday display. The decorations include a nativity scene, Menorah, Festivus pole, His Noodly Appendage and relics of the state's newest major religion, Favreism.

    As time runs out on 2008 and the Bush administration, concerns begin to rise about what will happen to BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) sufferers. It's expected that some will simply join the growing ranks of HBS victims, but mental health experts are unsure about the rest. Only 2009 will tell.

    Posted by at 04:47 PM | Comments (2)     
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    2008 Fearless Predictions - Part One

    [Posted by ]

    January – After a surprisingly strong showing in Iowa, Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards officially changes his name to “That Other Guy”. In related news, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney & Rudy Giuliani all simultaneously attempt to change their name to “Ronald Reagan”. Oddly, Mike Huckabee just wants to be known as Harlan Hucklebee.

    February – Brett Favre leads the Green Bay Packers to a dramatic and emotional Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots. The Packers innovative use of the Double Cross System foils Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick’s attempts at chicanery. In Green Bay, lawmakers decree that the Our Favre be read in each and every classroom. Even local gadfly and Freedom From Religion co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor is cool with this.

    Meanwhile, with a dominating performance in California (aided by her stunningly honest tagline "Hillary: The Devil You Know"), Hillary Clinton claims victory on Super Duper Tuesday over rivals Barack Obama and That Other Guy. On the GOP side everyone gets a piece of the action and at month's end the consensus is that anyone can still win - except for Ron Paul, because he's crazy and irresponsible.

    March - The person who knows the least about college basketball in your office shoots out to an insurmountable lead in the NCAA Tournament pool.

    After serving up such fare as "America's Next Top Dog Show Groomer", "Project Knitting Bee" and "Crop Of Love" (which follows members of Minnesota's Farmer-Labor Party as they try to find girlfriends), producers and writers finally come to terms. The writer's strike finally ends and America joyfully heads back to the couch.

    April - As the long primary season winds down, it's clear that the parties will nominate Hillary Clinton and John McCain for President. Really. America responds with a hearty "meh", proving that a democracy really does get the leaders it deserves.

    With the Summer Olympics just months away, human rights activists pressure China to institute democratic reforms. Their protests go unheeded by the Chinese government, although they do result in the long awaited release of Guns N' Roses latest album.

    May - In a shocking development, I pick the Kentucky Derby winner for the second straight year. Hell freezes over. Al Gore blames global warming.

    June - While most political pundits prepare for Michael Bloomberg's independent run to the Presidency, a new candidate enters the race: Apple's Steve Jobs, who vows to be America's first "iPresident". The electorate doesn't know exactly what this means, but early polling shows that they like the sound of it. More cautious voters plan to wait until all of the kinks are worked out before voting for the iPresident.

    Click here for 2008 Fearless Predictions - Part Two

    Posted by at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)     
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    December 30, 2007

    New to the Blogroll

    [Posted by ]

    I've added a few new blogs to the blogroll lately. Some of these blogs will probably be quite surprised to find themselves on a site called "Dummocrats". Well, as regular readers know, we have some rather eclectic political tastes here. Here's what's new:

    Awful Announcing: Threads and live blogs around the latest football games, so this should be fun for the next month or so at least.

    Glamocracy: Campaign 2008 from the female perspective (whatever that means).

    Letter From Here: Observations and photos from Madison.

    Waxing America: Beloved (except by those who bike in winter storms) former Madison mayor Paul Soglin's blog.

    What Would Dad Say: Life and career musings from a Minneapolis Baby Boomer dad.

    We're always on the lookout for new and interesting sites, so turn us on to some in the comments and we'll add them to the blogroll.

    Posted by at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)     
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    December 27, 2007

    One Woman's Voice

    [Posted by ]

    Glamocracy has invited all of the Presidential candidates to either guest blog or be interviewed for their site (as an aside, if any Presidential candidates or staffers are reading this, you can guest blog here too ;-). Their first blogger is none other than Hillary Clinton. Ironically, I find that Hillary is at her most condescending when she addresses women. She talks in platitudes and about sisterhood and a "woman's voice". That's all well and good, but in the immortal words of Clara Peller, "Where's the beef"? Women, even young women, need more from a candidate than a shared gender. Hillary Clinton says:

    But I am not running for president because I am a woman, I am running because I want to be the president who will prioritize the policies that matter most to women, who will stand up and fight, who knows the power of a woman’s voice.

    But here's the thing - and Clinton of all people should know this - I am more than a woman. I am a professional. I am a daughter, sister, aunt & friend. I am a capitalist. I am a conservative, for god's sake! What matters most to me, and the way I would determine and prioritize policies, has to do with every thing about me, not just the fact that I'm a woman. To reduce my beliefs and desires to "women's issues" demeans me. It's as if the Clinton campaign thinks I'm so stupid and easily led that I'll just vote for a woman because I am a woman. In fact, it's that very "you are stupid and I know better" attitude that makes it a 100% certainty that I will not vote for Clinton. That's my woman's voice.

    Posted by at 09:17 AM | Comments (1)     
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    December 24, 2007

    Opening Lines

    [Posted by ]

    Merry Christmas everyone! I love Christmas (and Xmas!), but I do get sick of all of the holiday TV specials. So, while flipping the channels last night, I caught the end of VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s. During the show, someone opined that Sir Mix A Lot’s “Baby Got Back” had the best opening lyric ever: “I like big butts and I cannot lie”. While that is fantastic, it’s not really the best opener ever, is it? What about The Outfield’s “Josie’s on a vacation far away” or Vanilla Ice’s “Stop! Collaborate and listen.”? Personally, I’d choose the opening lyrics from “Nothing Compares 2 U”:

    It’s been 7 hours and 15 days
    since you took your love away

    Oh that Prince…

    I’m sure I’m missing some other fantastic opening lyrics, so please use the Christmas lull to help me think of them.

    Posted by at 08:08 AM | Comments (1)     
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    December 23, 2007

    Happy Festivus

    [Posted by ]

    It's the most wonderful time of the year. Festivus!

    Although Green Bay's City Council won't allow a Festivus Pole at City Hall, we're a much more inclusive community. While, I doubt it will take a Festivus Miracle for the Packers to beat the Bears today, I would like to air some grievances (let's not even get into the Feats of Strength, okay?):

    • First, to the people who insist on blocking traffic to let their passengers out close to doors: unless your passenger is over 70, they should get off their fat asses and walk the 20 or 30 feet themselves. It's one thing to be lazy and quite another thing to inconvenience the rest of us through your laziness, jackholes.
    • Second, to the people of Wisconsin: it's not okay to wear beadazzled jeans and Bluetooths to a wedding. Also, please turn your damn phones off. Funny wedding story from this weekend: the mother of the groom was trying to figure out how to silence her phone. I finally just said "What important person is going to call you during your son's wedding?" She was like, "Oh yeah...". You know what everyone? Sometimes the people you're with should be your priority, not the people who might call you.
    • Third, to Madison liberals: when I ask that the city plow the streets and provide clean water, I'm not a revealing myself as a big government loving hypocrite, I'm merely asking that the city provide the basic services my taxes pay for. So quit it with the "Ah has!" please.
    • Fourth, to Boston sports fans: we're all dreadfully sick of you and are rooting against your teams (well, except for the Celtics, because Kevin Garnett is pretty awesome). Oh, and Tom Brady isn't that hot.
    • Fifth, to HR departments everywhere: call people back when you say you're going to. Not every job seeker is desperate and your inactions are a poor reflection on your company and will eventually result in worse and fewer candidates for important positions. Or so it would happen in my perfect world. :P

    Feel free to add your own grievances in the comments.

    Posted by at 09:44 AM | Comments (1)     
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    December 21, 2007

    Up with Sacagawea!

    [Posted by ]

    A few weeks ago, a friend and I were in a local "woman's" store. When we went to ring up our purchases, the clerk asked me if I wanted my change in coins or bills. I laughed and said that I had never been asked that before. She, in all seriousness, told me that lots of their customers preferred dollar coins because they were more environmentally friendly and they didn't "have a picture of a man on them".

    I realize that a post about feminists hating men, not having a sense of humor and taking things too far is hardly news, but this one absolutely floored me.

    Posted by at 10:11 AM | Comments (1)     
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    December 19, 2007

    College Football Bowl Pool Reminder

    [Posted by ]

    The college bowl season starts tomorrow! Join the fun and play our College Bowl Pick 'Em game on Yahoo! To join, go here and join our group. Use Group ID#: 20513 and password: band2007. If you've already joined, be sure you have all of your picks in before 8 pm central time tomorrow (Dec. 20). Need some help? Here's a quick column on all of the games.

    Posted by at 06:00 PM | Comments (5)     
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    December 18, 2007

    The glamourous conservative

    [Posted by ]

    Glamour magazine's new blog, Glamocracy, features a rather statist star, but it also features a rather wonderful writer in, Amanda Carpenter, who presents the small government conservative view on campaign 2008. In Carpenter's latest post, she gets to the heart of the Huckabee problem - he's a tax and spend "conservative":

    The feminist blogosphere is up in arms because Mike Huckabee pardoned a rapist and signed a petition that asks women to “submit graciously” to their husbands, but these same bloggers give him a free pass on taxes.

    This make me think of that terribly stereotypical Teen Talk Barbie from a few Christmases back. “Math class is tough!” she said.

    I’d hate to think that taxes are too “tough” for the Barbie blogs to address today. After all, the Huckster’s record on taxes portends a much more dismal future for women than his record on crime or a little unwelcome evangelizing.

    As governor, Huckabee supported higher sales taxes, gasoline taxes and cigarette taxes. Knowing this, Huckabee is more likely to make women submit to “the man” in Washington, by forcing them to work more to pay a higher tax burden.

    I'm excited to read a viewpoint that advocates small government conservatism rather than "family values" conservatism. Too often the token young and/or female conservative in the media (i.e. Elisabeth Hasselbeck) is all about religion or all about being pro-life or pro-chastity or anti-something fun. It's not that there's anything particularly wrong with people like that (although I usually disagree with them), it's that social conservatives are not the only kind of conservatives, particularly young ones.

    In my neck of the woods, I'm surrounded by what I call "knee jerk liberals". These people think they're liberal, because they've been taught to associate conservatism with Republicans. So, to them, conservatives want to control who you sleep with, what you do to your body, what you read and listen to and conservatives hate the poor and love big business. (My God, I could almost feel Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan turning over in their graves as I typed that).

    Once you talk to these folks about what they actually believe in, you quickly realize that they're only liberal because they don't realize that there's an alternative. My kudos to Glamour (of all places) for helping get the word out. Now, if only the GOP would open up the tent so some of us conservatives can vote in November without feeling like we need to take a shower when we're done.

    Posted by at 09:50 PM | Comments (1)     
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    December 17, 2007

    Dear Mike Tirico...

    [Posted by james]

    ... there is no such thing as a "former" Badger.

    Background: On MNF, Bollinger comes in for an injured Tavaris Jackson and runs for a 2 point conversion. Tirico says "Bollinger, the former Badger, in for the score..."

    Posted by jkhat at 10:22 PM | Comments (2)     
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    December 16, 2007

    Hillary Clinton: Expired?

    [Posted by ]

    Eric from the Viking Pundit reminded me of the “Rule of 14”. To summarize, the Rule of 14 says:

    With only one exception since the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, no one has been elected president who took more than 14 years to climb from his first major elective office to election as either president or vice president.

    A major elective office is defined as governorship, Congress, or the mayoralty of a big city. As soon as someone is elected to one of those offices, the clock starts ticking. I looked up the 2008 candidates (well, all of the ones who will be on the Wisconsin ballot) and found that the Rule of 14 disqualifies everyone except: Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama. Since all of the front runners are on that list, it’s hardly insightful this time around.

    The theory around the Rule of 14 is that Americans like “fresh” candidates. We want someone with some experience, but not a President that we know too well. They’re stale. Their flaws are all too evident.

    According to the Rule, Hillary Clinton is “fresh”, but is she? The Clintons boasted that they offered a unique “two for one” deal for America in 1992. I think Clinton’s clock starting ticking in 1992, not with her election to the Senate in 2000. By that measure, she’s expired. She feels stale. As the Viking Pundit says, we already know her all too well.

    Posted by at 09:54 AM | Comments (1)     
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    December 15, 2007

    Is there room in the GOP?

    [Posted by ]

    In an excellent column in the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal, Peggy Noonan watches the rise of Mike Huckabee and asks:

    I wonder if our old friend Ronald Reagan could rise in this party, this environment. Not a regular churchgoer, said he experienced God riding his horse at the ranch, divorced, relaxed about the faiths of his friends and aides, or about its absence. He was a believing Christian, but he spent his adulthood in relativist Hollywood, and had a father who belonged to what some saw, and even see, as the Catholic cult. I'm just not sure he'd be pure enough to make it in this party. I'm not sure he'd be considered good enough.

    I too wonder if there'd be room in the GOP for a man like Ronald Reagan. There doesn't seem to be room for Ron Paul. For whatever reason, the GOP is more comfortable with a man who questions evolution than with a man who questions the Department of Education.

    The real problem isn't that the GOP doesn't have room for a Ronald Reagan or a Ron Paul, it's that the GOP doesn't have room for me.

    Posted by at 08:05 AM | Comments (5)     
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    December 14, 2007

    7 Tips for Easier Holiday Shopping

    [Posted by ]

    Ohmigod!!! There are only 10 shopping days until Christmas!! Are you freaking out? If not, way to go. If you are, here are seven tips to make your holiday shopping easier and more enjoyable.

    1. Avoid the malls. The malls scare the crap out of me this time of year. Not because of gun toting maniacs (although that is horrible, of course) but because of the parking lots. The mall parking lots are icy, slushy killing fields full of pissed off, frustrated people who just want to go home. It’s a recipe for disaster, or at least a fender bender.

    2. Shop outside. There’s just something about fresh air, a little snow and twinkly lights that bring out of the magic of the season.

    3. Shop online. Although lots of sites’ shipping deadlines are looming, it’s still not too late. This year, I expect many etailers to do things like automatically upgrade you to express shipping (for free!) the week before Christmas. So take advantage of their generosity.

    4. Embrace the line. It’s Christmas and stores are busy. If you insist on shopping at busy times, you’re going to run into lines. You shouldn’t be shocked or pissed off about this. Find a trashy magazine, balance your checkbook or talk to the people around you. Don’t stand there fuming about the line.

    5. If you’re going to stand there fuming about the line, then I must insist that you consider doing your shopping on Sunday nights. No one shops on Sunday nights. Seriously. You will miss out on The Amazing Race, but life is full of tough choices, no?

    6. Spend less. There’s nothing worse than running around a bunch of stores trying to find something, anything (hey, like the Todd Rundgren reference?) they’ll want just because you need to spend a certain amount of money. Guess what? You don’t have to do this. If anyone really cares how much you spent on them, then you should probably reconsider gifting them at all (unless they’re family – then you’re stuck).

    7. Have a cocktail. Nothing makes the shopping experience more enjoyable than taking a break and mulling your lists over a hot toddy, salty margarita or nice, cold beer.

    Posted by at 09:00 AM | Comments (1)     
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    December 11, 2007

    Gas in the day

    [Posted by ]

    I was digging through the archives today and came across this old post from May, 2004. Check out this quote from a Prairie du Chien, WI waitress:

    At the restaurant, waitress Kim Sepe said she believes Bush is trying to do a good job on the economy. "It's a lot to handle, and after all, he's only one guy," she said.

    But she was skeptical about the president's claims that there are more jobs now and that his tax cuts have helped fuel an economic turnaround. She complained that whatever gains there have been have been swallowed up by rising prices, "especially now that gas is $1.95 a gallon."

    $1.95?!?! Today, gas is $2.96 a gallon in Madison. Heck, earlier this fall it was over $3 a gallon! I don't know whether to be depressed that gas is so much more expensive now or relieved that I can still afford to drive a car big enough to negotiate the city's unplowed streets.

    Posted by at 06:57 PM | Comments (1)     
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    December 09, 2007

    College Football Bowl Pool

    [Posted by ]

    It's that time of year again! Join the fun and play our College Bowl Pick 'Em game. Yahoo! finally stepped up and made a game this year, so we'll use it. Pick the games straight up and then assign confidence points to them. To join, go here and join our group. Use Group ID#: 20513 and password: band2007.

    Good luck! Although, if you've been keeping up with my picks you realize you don't need much luck to beat me ;-)

    Posted by at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)     
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    No Country For Old Men

    [Posted by ]

    I went to see “No Country For Old Men” last night. The film, based on Cormac McCarthy’s book of the same name isn’t my usual cup of tea. However, I’ve found that when I don’t choose the movie, it’s usually a good one. Imagine that. Anyway, “No Country For Old Men” is a good one. Stephen King named it the best movie of the year in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly and it’s nominated for the same honors by the National Board of Review.

    More than anything, the movie reminded me of “The Searchers”. Not because of the plot or theme, but because of the overwhelming sense of dread the filmmakers (the Coen brothers) were able to convey. Near the start of “The Searchers”, Ethan Edwards’ (John Wayne) brother’s family is massacred by Comanches. We don’t see the massacre, instead we see:

    The tense, uneasy pre-massacre scene at Aaron's homestead before the Indian attack in the orange-red light of dusk is highlighted by a succession of vivid, poetic images. Aaron and Martha pretend that nothing is amiss to avoid scaring the children:
    • a covey of birds (quail?) take sudden flight after being startled
    • the family dog barks on the porch
    • a nervous Martha watches her husband as he tries to remain calm, but takes his gun with him: "I think I'll see if I can't pick off a couple of sage hens before supper"
    • Ben shows concern to his mother: "I wish Uncle Ethan was here. Don't you Ma?"
    • a closeup of Lucy screaming when she realizes they are in grave danger and threatened by an Indian attack
    • Martha is anxious with Debbie as she is put through the window with her blanket and rag doll Topsy and told to run and hide in the family cemetery. Martha throws herself across the window sill in tears, crying out: "Baby!"

    The pre-massacre scene ends with the shocking view of Chief Scar (German-born Henry Brandon, a blue-eyed, non-Native American) standing menacingly over a frightened Debbie crouched by a family grave, his shadow moving over her and covering her.

    Amazingly, "No Country For Old Men" maintains that tension and dread for over two hours, as you look over your shoulder for another almost ghostly appearance by Javier Bardem's unspeakably evil Anton Chigurh.

    I think that in some ways the movie is about how different characters deal with that kind of evil. Most people can't even comprehend it, while some characters are almost impressed by it. Other characters think they can run away from it, while Tommy Lee Jones' weary sheriff Ed Tom Bell is resigned to a world filled with it. And finally, while Roger Ebert rather insultingly calls the main female character "childlike", her defiant reaction to evil is the one I admire the most.

    A word of caution - if you hated the ending of "The Sopranos" you should probably steer clear of this movie. It's not wrapped up in a neat little bow and I'd hate for you to be like the woman in our theater who yelled out "That sucks!" as the screen faded to black.

    Posted by at 11:31 AM | Comments (0)     
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    December 07, 2007

    Another Reason to Vote for Ron Paul

    [Posted by ]

    We had a new user register for the site yesterday who described her views as “Generally a fiscal conservative and a social moderate, closer to Libertarian, although firmly believes that the government does serve a purpose and that the US should be involved in the rest of the world, at least a little.” That’s pretty much how I feel. That last part is what keeps me from really being a gung ho Ron Paul supporter.

    However, there are times when a vote for Dr. Paul seems like it really would be a vote to “save America”. Yesterday the House passed the SAFE-Act, which says that:

    anyone offering an open Wi-Fi connection to the public must report illegal images including "obscene" cartoons and drawings--or face fines of up to $300,000.

    That broad definition would cover individuals, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and even some government agencies that provide Wi-Fi. It also sweeps in social-networking sites, domain name registrars, Internet service providers, and e-mail service providers such as Hotmail and Gmail, and it may require that the complete contents of the user's account be retained for subsequent police inspection.

    By most accounts this bill is both redundant and unworkable. It also reinforces my opinion that a President or politician is better off understanding the internet than understanding Einstein’s general and special theory of relativity.

    So what does this have to do with Ron Paul? Well, the bill passed by a vote of 409-2. Do you even need to look to know that Paul was one of the 2? Throughout his career Paul has been the lone voice crying out in the wilderness. Maybe the NY Times will write another hit piece on him and use this vote to claim that Paul is “soft on pedophiles”, but when I’m standing in the voting booth I’ll remember that Ron Paul consistently votes against legislation that’s meaningless, unworkable and violates our rights in the guise of security. That may be enough to sway me – and I’m not alone.

    Posted by at 09:49 AM | Comments (6)     
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    December 06, 2007

    The Skill Set of a President

    [Posted by ]

    Jonathan Adler at Volokh posted an excerpt of an article by Laurence Krauss from today's Wall Street Journal. In the article, Krauss asks how scientifically literate Presidential candidates should be. The question prompted a lively debate in the Volokh comments section. One commenter, "DiverDan" posted a laundry list of topics a President should have a working knowledge of, including, but not limited to: the scientific method, the laws of thermodynamics, Einstein's general and special theory of relativity, the basics of how elements can combine to form compounds, cell differentiation in multicell organisms, be familiar with the logical fallacies, such as post hoc, ergo propter hoc and understand Euclidean geometry.

    Coincidently, I also posted a link to a Popular Mechanics article that details the "25 Skills Every Man Should Know". Among the 25 skills: building a campfire, sharpening a knife, navigating with a map and compass, backing up data, performing CPR and changing a car's oil and filter.

    My question is, if you had to choose one list, would you rather the next President know what's on DiverDan's science list or would you rather that they've mastered the 25 skills on Popular Mechanics' list?

    Our next President should...
    have DiverDan's required math and science knowledge
    be able to perform Popular Mechanics' 25 skills
  free polls
    Posted by at 03:39 PM | Comments (1)     
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    Notes from Network News

    [Posted by ]

    Now that I'm on a mini-sabbatical, I get to watch network news again. Yippee! I watch ABC World News Tonight because a) I always liked Peter Jennings, b) have you seen Katie Couric lately? and c) my NBC station barely comes in (seriously, the reception is so bad that I often have to call people after Heroes to find out what actually happened).

    So, last night I caught two interesting stories. The first was the sleazy, almost gleeful reporting of Harlan Hucklebee's Willie Horton moment. All I've got to say about that one is to ask why in the world we, as a nation, would even consider electing another Governor of Arkansas? It sure seems like an awful lot of questionable dealings go on down there. Let's not export all of that again, okay?

    The second notable story was about Bush's new mortgage relief plan. Bush's plan would freeze rates for five years for eligible borrowers. ABC News anchor Charles Gibson was quite indignant (you can watch the video from the right sidebar here) that the proposal didn't cover everyone. It only covers those who:

    • Have a subprime mortgage that resets in 2008 or 2009
    • Are current on that loan or have never been more than 60 days late
    • Have no more than 3% equity in their house
    • Will not be able to afford their mortgage payments at a higher interest rate

    What bothers me about the story is the way the debate is framed. The "controversy" is over the fact that not every subprime borrower will be bailed out. The reporter and anchor don't even question whether or not the rest of us should bail them out. The small government/personal responsibility angle isn't even presented and that's what's so frustrating about our media.

    When we bitch about a liberal media bias, we aren't talking about stories like the Huckabee scandal (all politicians will get their dirty laundry aired) we're talking about stories like the mortgage plan. With Fox News getting the Christian conservatives and CNN courting the liberals, I'd think a smart network news team would realize that there's rating points to be had by incorporating a little libertarianism into their broadcasts.

    Posted by at 09:02 AM | Comments (1)     
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    December 03, 2007

    My College Football Playoff - 2007 Edition

    [Posted by ]

    Last year, I presented my proposal for a college football playoff. In my world, the top 16 in the BCS would battle it out for the title. Rather than rehash last year's post, I'd like to defend my system against some of the most common complaints about potential playoffs (playoffs?).

    College football already has a playoff - it's called the regular season

    Tell that to Hawaii. If the only undefeated team in the country has no chance to play for the national championship, then this year's regular season is less important than what happened in the 1970s. Besides - this isn't college basketball - only 16 teams would make it into my field. To get into this year's field, teams (with the notable exception of Tennessee) had to have 3 or fewer losses. Plus, my system gives a huge advantage (a home game) to teams in the top 8, so the reward for a great regular season is definitely worth playing for.

    But what about the bowls???

    My system uses the seven best bowls for the quarterfinals, semifinals and National Championship Game. As for the rest of the bowls, who cares? Why should we be concerned about what happens to the Meineke Car Care Bowl. In any case, the rest of the bowls could stay. It's not like the other bowls had access to most of the top 16 teams anyway. The bowls can stay and still be exactly as relevant as they are today - which is to say not relevant at all.

    Football-playing student athletes need to study for final exams

    With two weeks between the first round and the quarterfinals, there's plenty of time for finals. More time than, for example, hockey-playing or basketball-playing student athletes get.

    Instead of the #3 team bitching, the number #17 team will bitch

    Wisconsin is #15 in both of the BCS' human polls, but the computers knocked us down to #18 in the final rankings. As the fan of a bubble team, of course I'd be disappointed, but let's be honest - we'd lose in the first round. Most of the bubble teams would lose. If Wisconsin wanted off of the bubble, the Badgers shouldn't have lost to Illinois, Penn State or Ohio State. What more could Hawaii, a team that beat exactly as many currently ranked teams as #1 Ohio State, have done?

    Posted by at 09:55 AM | Comments (10)     
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