…known to everyone else in the world as Rebecca MacKinnon at the Rconversation blog. I must confess I’ve been thinking about my own issues but I thought I’d check up on how thing are going in China:

It ain’t pretty:

….the crackdown is broad and deep, and shows no sign of ending. In May, 20 civil rights lawyers who had defended Tibetans, Falun Gong members, and other politically sensitive clients were effectively disbarred. In July the licenses of another 53 lawyers were revoked. On the same day as Xu’s detention, security officials raided the office of Yi Ren Ping, a non-governmental organization dedicated to fighting discrimination, and confiscated all copies of its latest newsletter on grounds that they don’t have a publishing license. A number of people involved with a citizens’ effort to collect information about children who died in the Sichuan earthquake and raise questions about shoddy construction of schools have been arrested. Earthquate survivor He Hongchun was convicted for disturbing social order. Huang Qi, who reported online about the plight of children who died in the quate, went on trial this week for disclosing state secrets; the court’s ruling has yet to be announced. According to Human Rights in China a key witness was kidnapped and prevented from appearing in court to testify for Huang’s defence. Tan Zuoren, an activist who conducted an investigation into the reasons why so many school buildings collapsed in the quake, is scheduled to go on trial for state subversion next week.

Attacks on free speech and civil rights in China didn’t stop just because nobody decides to complain about them anymore. Our free speech diva isn’t going to keep quiet about it. She and maybe Jay Nordlinger will keep reminding us, although she will do it from the lion’s den.

…or at least 1000+ of them do:

More than 950 requests for speeches have poured in for Palin, and over 120 candidates for office have asked her to appear, including folks running for Senate, House and state Legislature, aides said.

And that is months before her book comes out.

But I shouldn’t make anything out of it since all of these really smart people think Sarah Palin is stupid. Her supporters don’t read books they’re just fringe idiots.

We’ll see who is laughing come spring.

in the Amazon.com ranking against actual conservatives like Michelle (still 8th after a month), Mark (still 33rd after 5 months) and Glenn (Still #7 after 2 months). Is to try to spice things up a bit:

Former DHS secretary Tom Ridge exposed himself as a weasel nearly two weeks ago when he allowed his publisher to gin up bogus book buzz with a false claim about the Bush administration pressuring him to alter homeland security alerts for political purposes.

He confirmed his weaseliness again in a USA Today interview published today, in which he walks back the sham allegation:

Remember when all the smart people told us Ridge was the man and Toomey can’t win.

What a difference a little time makes:

That’s two Nelson’s in two days!

Update: Of course there is always plan B.

There are plenty of reasons to hit Olberman, but I think this is nitpicking:

The man who believes he’s got the top rated news program on cable told his tiny audience Thursday that the eldest Kennedy brother was “shot down in World War II.”

In reality, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was part of an experimental program called Operation Aphrodite that attempted to turn a bomb-laden plane into a remote controlled explosive device.

Kennedy was one of many pilots who lost their lives trying to make this program a reality.

I frankly never heard of Operation Aphrodite but if you watch the clip embedded in the link it is apparent that it was considered even more dangerous than a regular run.

As the clip shows the plane was on an offensive “bombing” mission (with the plane as a bomb) when it blew up. It is a really minor difference and wasn’t the focus of the segment.

And it certainly wasn’t a question of trying to pump up Joe. The danger of the mission actually enhances his rep.

I can’t see how it rates a Newsbusters post. Olby is wrong enough lets not sweat something like this.

Update: Now this is interesting but old.

…was to leave the Red Sox and to face last place teams as often as possible:

Smoltz doesn’t care about the skeptics who point out his first starts have come against last-place teams. He struck out nine, including seven in a row, last Sunday at San Diego. The Nationals are 14-12 in August, with a shot at their first winning month since September 2007.

“People can say what they want about the Nationals maybe not having the best of years, but lately they’ve been swinging the bat extremely well, scoring in double digits every time you look up,” Smoltz said. “I was fortunate to keep them to one run.”

Smoltz has a 0.82 ERA after going 2-5 with an 8.33 ERA in Boston, leading to his release earlier this month.

All four of his wins this season are against teams in last place. He has also lost 3 games against basement dwellers. The combined record of the teams he has defeated this year is 206-318.

Will he manage to win against the big boys? Will the Cards choose to spot start him? Only the next month will tell.

You know something hit me today during the coverage of the British terrorist release business.

I can’t see how England did this without at least informing the US if this is true the big loser is Not going to be president Obama.

Back when Hillary was named Sec of State it seemed a shrewd move for both parties. By making Mrs. Clinton a part of the administration she is tied to it, and by taking State she not only avoids having to deal with a declining economy but she puts herself in a position to resign in protest at a key moment if she wants to make a move.

It it turns out that the British DID inform the US prior to the release/deal concerning Al Megrahi release, that would likely have gone up the command ladder. It is impossible that it would not have hit Hillary before it reached the president.

Now Mrs. Clinton is in an untenable position. As she didn’t object at the time she becomes complicit, and if she HAD then the president backs her up and has another mini toughguy episode to play with.

It is not impossible that the British foolishly (or cleverly) didn’t say a word to us, but baring that this might be another example of playing the Chicago game very well.

Pure speculation of course but that’s what I think.

Update: Mr. #24,154 agrees that it’s unlikely the Administration didn’t know. You can decide if that improves my case.

Well I found out the best way to get parishioners to the end of the month after mass breakfasts at St. Anthony di Padua.

The secret is to start frying the kielbasa during the mass. The scent goes up the stairs to the main church “a fragrant aroma” (Philippians 4:18b). And when that “sweet smelling” (Numbers 15:7b) odor hits the parishioners who haven’t yet had breakfast, when mass ends they pour down the stairs to the church hall where…

“They all ate and were satisfied.” (Mark 6:42)

One funny story, a fine woman who I’ve known since grammar school was at mass as always with her 4 kids. Her husband never comes to church. The kids suggested that since there are free pancakes and Kielbasa maybe they can get him to go at least once a month.

It’s a good plan. Maybe it will work on the Christmas and Easter crowd. The Kielbasa can get them in the doors and and The Holy Spirit can do the rest.

Ironically today’s Gospel was Mark chapter 7.

Some interesting tactics being used to gin up support for Obama/Kennedy care.

These green shirts blocked the north entrance to the high school parking lot. All who wanted to enter to hear Representative Perlmutter had to go approximately 1/4 of a mile to the west entrance. They said everyone had to sign in for security reasons.

Apparently the security was for the security of the democratic party because once things got started the congressman Ed Permutter…

…who thanked all who had signed the clipboard form and stated that all these signatures would go on to to Washington showing support of the Obama Health Care Plan.

Well hey it not as if they were trying to move the event or something to keep people from showing up…Oh wait:

What should also be mentioned is that the location was changed at the last minute from the Aurauria campus to this high school. It was only the determination of the anti obamacare activists who were on top of this fact that any of our counterdemonstrators showed up at all.

The late breaking news on the OFA website the night before was noticed by one of the freedom groups and he alerted as many people as he could. No doubt, many showed up to protest at the other location and never knew of the change.

Well its not like they are kicking out people for questioning the presence of the Union astroturfers…Oh Wait again

He challenged Shea-Porter on the appearance of SEIU protesters in the room, one of whom got up and disrupted his question. When the first man then challenged the residency of the SEIU rep, police swooped in and removed him.

After all there is nothing more dangerous than an elderly retired policeman. You’d think it ain’t America no more?

Gee phony security, bussed in demonstrators, moving events, removing people who question them. The tactics used by the administration and its supporters seem old style soviet odd to an observer. It’s almost as they were part of some sort of Culture of Corruption or something.

My review of the game Punch-Out for the Nintendo Wii gamesystem is available at Amazon.com here.

I’ve actually only played the game sparingly but I’m spent MANY hours on the couch watching my son play the game while I was tapping away posts. I’ve seen more of this game than almost any other straight video game out there.

All you have to do is go to the 8 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Anthony di Padua Church in Fitchburg Massachusetts this morning and after mass go to the church hall!

This obscure blogger will be in the kitchen providing free pancakes and kielbasa to all who attend.

Come and get a free meal at my expense!

Due to the expected crowding blogging will be light this morning.

I guess this is Newsweek’s article to celebrate Sarah Palin Day.

Why does Newsweek have an article arguing that the word “Cunt” is losing its sting and should be “reclaimed?” I think it’s because our liberal friends discovered it during the 2008 campaign.

The article itself in unexciting but has this hilarious conclusion:

And even though I question our squeamishness about the C word, I don’t believe we’ll be using it willy-nilly, at least not anytime soon. Despite my secret affection for the term and the women who say it, I just can’t bring myself to type it out here—and not just because NEWSWEEK, a family brand, helps pay for my daughter’s expensive private school. It’s still just too powerful

Oh Kathy Kathy Kathy of course it will be used. Democrats and Liberals will have need of the term for 2012 or 2016 so the campaign to excuse it has to begin now.

And if you don’t believe that this will happen or that it was a common opinion among the left or even feminists on the left. Dr. Violet Socks can recite chapter and verse to remind and admonish you that respect is not only for women you agree with.

Here are a few shots from the family day out.

You need food for a picnic so first stop was Mighty Subs

This is Needham
This is Needham

We came at lunch, there is always a line then:

At lunch hours the line will stretch out the door into the street
At lunch hours the line will stretch out the door into the street

Art and Karen have been doing this for 20 years. He is always a friendly face at the register:

4 a.m. every weekday Art is there
4 a.m. every weekday Art is there

You know that a marriage is strong when you can work together 20 years every day while being married:

Karen hates having her picture taken, I can't see why.
Karen hates having her picture taken, I can't see why.

It is one of the hardest working teams you will ever see:

This is a well oiled machine that handles crowds quickly and correctly
This is a well oiled machine that handles crowds quickly and correctly

Once the Subs are in hand it was off to Concord and the Old North Bridge:

This is the first info plaque you will see
This is the first info plaque you will see

Before this was any “official” place the citizens put up this monument.

This the oldest monument in the place

Here is the inscription:

Old concord monument inscription

Park Rangers give a regular talk about every half hour or so. The young lady who gave the talk was from Indiana and had previously worked in National Parks in Montana:

A very nice and knowledgeable young lady
She is a very nice young lady

She informed up that the actual grave of the British soldiers killed at the bridge in the first actual exchange of fire is unknown as people were worried about grave robbers:

I've always been struck by the inscription
I've always been struck by the inscription

The bridge and the river are things of beauty a great place to picnic

The old north bridge in concord
The old north bridge in concord

Or Canoe:

I saw more canoes on this river Friday then I ever have before
I saw more canoes on this river Friday then I ever have before

Or relax and Paint:

The shot was almost iconic
The shot was almost iconic

A thing of beauty:

You can't get more iconic that this
You can't get more iconic that this

Another thing of beauty 22″ of pure perfection!

The best sub you will ever eat 22 inches of perfection!

The Monument on the “American” side of the bridge went up at the 100th anniversary of the battle:

The most iconic monument
The most iconic monument

Several views and the inscription:

From our picnic area
From our picnic area
The most famous inscription of the concord minuteman statue
The most famous inscription of the concord minuteman statue
It's quite a sight
It's quite a sight

The main building is across the river and up the hill. It is where the colonial force mustered. When they thought the town was being burned they came down and attacked.

Part of the diorama at the visitors center

One of the primary targets of the British expedition were 4 brass cannon that the colonists managed to snatch from the British Army. They were hidden at Barrett farm one mile from the bridge. They were not found by the British but two of them were later captured during the Canada campaign. One was located at the Boston navy yard in storage when it was being torn down:

This is one of the actual cannons the British were trying to seize
This is one of the actual cannons the British were trying to seize

The barrel was inscribed in the late 18th century:

This inscription was the first "monument" to the battle

These are some of the weapons. Even though a total of 500 men were engaged at the bridge only 5 men were killed 2 colonists and 3 British regulars. The volunteer described firing smoothbore muskets as throwing knuckleballs and just as reliable.

Brown bess

It was as always a very pleasant day. Strangely enough I’ve never visited the primary visitor center about 5 miles to the east along the battle road. I’ll hit it in the next few weeks. I’ve also never been here on Patriots day when they have the reenactments. The place is really packed then.

It proved that you can have a very nice day without a PC anywhere near you. Minute Man park and Concord Bridge are a wonderful place to visit. Consider making it part of your Massachusetts Vacation.

…for the last full day that My kids and my wife have before they all head back to school or start college.

We try to picnic at North Bridge in Concord at least once a year. It is a wonderful and historic spot for picnicking and I recommend it highly to everyone.

Therefore blogging will abruptly stop for the day in an hour or two. I don’t do remote blogging often. I don’t have enough of a life to begin with (:c).

Oh and speaking of Mighty Subs and their 20″ subs if you don’t take my word about how awesome it is check out this blog. These guys decided to do the ENTIRE mighty subs menu and blog and review it each item.

The Chicken Cutlet is wonderful, only Linguine’s chicken cutlet in Marlborough can compare to it.

Of course if I can’t get you to go peacefully…

Sam Tanenhaus the Senior editor of the New York Times Book Review has his own book on Conservatism coming out next Tuesday. The Death of Conservatism. He promoted it on Morning Joe today.

As of this moment it ranks #17,330 in Books on Amazon.com which means before release it has edged out Joe Scarborough’s The last best hope currently ranked #19,057 in Books

He must have been very busy working on this book, it must be taking time away from his duties from the New York Times Book Review since he hasn’t had time to review Culture of Corruption the #1 book on the best seller list for the last 4 weeks. (ranked #7 in Books on Amazon)

Or Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny (ranked #25 in Books on Amazon) 3rd on NYT best seller list.

Or Beck’s Common Sense (ranked #4 in Books on Amazon)

Or Dick Morris’ Catastrophe (ranked #43 in Books) 5th on the best seller list.

Maybe once he’s done with his book tour he can get around to having someone reviewing them.

You know it’s as if the Media chooses to ignore certain facts they don’t like or something.

Update: I guess PJ. O’Rourke will read it.

Update 2: Stacy links to another reader Rick Moran. Not sure if he has read or reviewed any of the above books either.

…I find myself unready to make the last two trades that I should in the Sable Baseball league that I’m playing in.

I made a big trade at the all star break with the team in first, Picking up 5 players: Tori Hunter, Armando Galarraga, Adam Lind, Kevin Millwood and Orlando Cabrera for Jose Reyes who had an incredible card last year but will be a “fringe player” (unusable in our league) next year. (Dynasty Baseball generates cards based on the previous years performance). I also added from wavers veteran Omar Vizquel as extra defense and hit and run ability off the bench.

Since then I’ve gone 9-6 including series wins against three different playoff teams. Ironically I’ve gone 8-5 since Losing my starting first baseman and right fielder to injury (yes your players can get injured and suspended in this game). Hunter is hitting over 300 and has 5 homers in 15 games. Galarraga is 3-0 with one ND and in his first relief appearance for me came into a bases loaded no outs situation and struck out Pat Burrell and Lance Berkman before coaxing a ground out from Nick Markakis to end the inning. The team was so inspired they managed to score 7 (including a Solo Shot to start the inning and a two run triple from David Wright who won the previous game with a walkoff homer in the 12th) in the 6th to win 11-6. The team has not lost any game that Galarraga has appeared in.

Our trading deadline in in two weeks. Galarraga will not have a valuable card next year and Milton Bradley (.436 OBP last year, best on my team) is unlikely to be kept with Jason Bay in Left. Both have very high trade value. I have three teams I will need to pass in order to make the playoffs. Although next year I will not be managing this team (I’m league treasurer and took over when a player moved to Minnesota) the greatest value I can get for these players is right now…

…but looking at my remaining schedule It’s very possible that I can go 10-5 and perhaps even 12-3. I’ll be playing three of the teams I need to pass and I finish against the best team in the league that will have clinched their playoff spot long before then and resting starters to avoid injury or suspension. This team is clicking I KNOW I have a chance…

…but It is still much more likely I’ll go 8-7 or 7-8 but I just can’t bring myself to give up.

My next series is the last one before the trading deadline. If I manage win 2 of 3 I just HAVE to go for it.

Are you a fantasy baseball player? What do you think?

Oh and if you live in Central Massachusetts and are interested in taking over an up and coming team next year, let me know in comments and I’ll have our league commissioner contact you about our spot in our 22 year old tabletop league.

…well out of the mouth of a new graduate.

Because I have the greatest filial love for my alma mater, I write today as a sorrowful son and disappointed disciple. The Yale that cultivated my faith in the power of knowledge to move the world forward has resorted to censorship. I grieve.

As the News reports today, Yale decided this summer to omit cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad from a book about the fit of violence that swept the Muslim world in their wake four years ago. I can’t help but feel the dismay and embarrassment of a pupil watching his teacher sabotage the foundation of her credibility by betraying the spirit of her most important lesson.

That lesson, which singularly informs the work of a great university, is this: that free dialogue and the unfettered exchange of ideas fuels human progress. A great university is a place where these activities are protected and encouraged. But Yale forfeited this most basic role, pleading that it did not want to be responsible for tension that counterterrorism authorities speculate could still provoke protests and bloodshed.

(with apologies to Glenn Reynolds) You know they said that if I voted for George Bush Sarah Palin we would see censorship of art by religious zealots in this country. And they were right!

Allow me to demonstrate how it’s done.

My favorite of the cartoons
My favorite of the cartoons

No Saudi money for me! And I could really use it.

Hey I hear the president’s supporters are hiring!

An Art Gallery in Denmark shows Yale how it’s done:

A Danish gallery has decided to exhibit a caricature of Muhammad that unleashed a wave of protests in the Muslim world against Denmark in 2006. Citing an article in magazine Sappho, Agence France-Presse reports that the controversial caricature will be part of a larger exhibition dedicated to the watercolor works of the artist-caricaturist Kurt Westergaard at the Galleri Draupner in Skanderborg.

This is called actually speaking truth to power, as opposed to taking instruction from power as the NEA seems to be promulgating:

The NEA is the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts. That is right, the largest funder of the arts in the nation – a fact that I’m sure was not lost on those that were on the call, including myself. One of the NEA’s major functions is providing grants to artists and arts organizations. The NEA has also historically shown the ability to attract “matching funds” for the art projects and foundations that they select. So we have the nation’s largest arts funder, which is a federal agency staffed by the administration, with those that they potentially fund together on a conference call discussing taking action on issues under vigorous national debate. Does there appear to be any potential for conflict here?

Discussed throughout the conference call was a hope that this group would be one that would carry on past the United We Serve campaign to support the President’s initiatives and those issues for which the group was passionate. The making of a machine appeared to be in its infancy, initiated by the NEA, to corral artists to address specific issues. This function was not the original intention for creating the National Endowment for the Arts.

A machine that the NEA helped to create could potentially be wielded by the state to push policy. Through providing guidelines to the art community on what topics to discuss and providing them a step-by-step instruction to apply their art form to these issues, the “nation’s largest annual funder of the arts” is attempting to direct imagery, songs, films, and literature that could create the illusion of a national consensus. This is what Noam Chomsky calls “manufacturing consent.”

I guess this is the soviet Chicago way of making art.

I’ll wager that there will be no Saudi money going to the Galleri-draupner anytime soon.

Via Glenn.

…Morning Joe is you know just a fun show.

They tend not to take themselves too seriously and the humor isn’t forced. It almost seems like a Jay & Silent Bob movie without the F this or F that, ok, it has that too but only once. (The real profanity of the clip is Barnicle suggesting that the President is really “moderate and pragmatic” ah those halacon days of yesteryear when (some) people still thought president Obama was moderate.

If I could only skip every MSNBC promo it would really be good, but once they mention Sarah Palin they almost instantly revert to Full MSM mode.

The new general Amazon Vine newsletter went up today. Shopping on it is very much like being at a mall at midnight on the Friday following Thanksgiving trying to get one of the 10 $100 laptops offered.

Basically the program works like this, based on the interests you give when you sign up, you are given a personalized list of about 10 items that you can select. About a week later everything goes on a general list and then you get a crack at it.

Last month my vine e-mail was classified as “junk mail” so I was the last of everyone to see things so I was determined this month to be ready. I checked the date on the e-mail that was junked and determined when to expect the new e-mail. I’d be ready this time…

Of course to my surprise the e-mail showed up a few days earlier than the previous month. When I saw it it had been in my inbox for 30 minutes which was long enough for both the software and the earphones (which I really could use) to be gone. Nothing else rang my chimes so I noted that the new e-mail was due today and was determined to be ready when the time came.

So This morning when I finished my errands I logged into the Amazon Vine site and kept refreshing the window every now and then.

By 2 p.m. I was refreshing every few minutes but as the 3 o’clock came I found myself distracted by the news of the day. When I finally turned my eye back to Amazon…the Newsletter was up and the race was on!

The newsletter couldn’t have been up 10 minutes but by the time I got there every electronic device and accessory was gone.

Then it came time to look at the books, My primary interest is history and I found something that looked pretty good but there was only two copies left, I clicked as fast as I could to request it but by the time I got to the confirmation page they were gone.

Deciding I wasn’t taking any chances rather than try to look through everything the moment I saw something of interest I started to click through. It was high on my priority but I was taking no chances. I clicked through and got it!

Now feeling like I wasn’t totally shut out I continued through the list and found a book on a historical event I never heard of. I read the description and it was interesting but since it didn’t have the “only x left” warning I left it open in a new tab and kept checking. I saw one or two items of interest but decided that the first one was the one I wanted. BIG mistake. By the time I went back to the tab and started the request they were down to two. By the time I finished I was too late.

Feeling resigned I checked out the list and found 4 items that seemed pretty good, three histories and one technical book. The technical book was interesting but was something I knew pretty well. One history seemed interesting but as it was written by a reporter from the New York Times guilt by association moved it back in the line.

I was down to two volumes, one on a legendary sports figure of some note and another on ethnic families and their struggles. It was a tough call but I decided to go for the book on the sports figure.

All of this took place within 30 minutes of the items showing up on the vine list. One hour later the offical e-mail listing the vine items showed up in my inbox.

But that’s ok I have to interesting items on the way and I didn’t have to worry about being trampled. Life is still good. Once I’m done the books you’ll see links to the reviews here.

…running for Kennedy’s empty seat:

It’s an interesting thought. If the thinks President Obama is vulnerable in 2012 then politically he might not bother figuring that he will need to be free to run, if he is thinking 2016 then it is a good move .

I wasn’t enamored the Romney as governor he didn’t seem to stand for anything but he would be in a position to be the THE voice in Washington to combat Obama.

The big problem is Romneycare. It is awful and if he was in the senate the President would try to craft something like it to get his support and we would be frankly screwed.

There is absolutely no question that he would win in Massachusetts particularly after Deval Patrick in on beacon hill. He would beat any Kennedy in the state.

If Obamacare was not the issue of the day I would like the idea, but I think Romney in the senate would assure its passage WITH republican votes.

The 41st seat isn’t worth it.

…Tim Blair gives the answer that outrages the Boston Phoenix

But evidently there’s another vast conspiracy afoot, which has now succeeded in moving the search term “Mary Jo Kopechne” — the victim of Chappaquiddick — ahead of the late Senator.

The Victim of Chappaquiddick? What did the Island jump up and whomp her in the head or something?

Jim Treacher didn’t use the term that the Phoenix considers “bile” but had the best tweet of them all concerning the tingle going up MSNBC’s leg:

Think of it this way: If they get to bring up Camelot, we get to bring up the lady in the lake.

Wow that’s gotta leave a mark.

Update: It’s important not to forget facts, including this one.

Update 2: My wife didn’t get the reference to the Arthurian legend if you didn’t either here is what he’s talking about:

The Lady of the Lake was the foster-mother of Sir Lancelot and raised him beneath the murky waters of her Lake. She is, however, best known for her presentation to King Arthur of his magical sword Excalibur, through the intervention of the King’s druidic advisor, Merlin (Myrddin) who was constantly worried that his monarch would fall in battle.

Of course there is always this reference:

…by this white house

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former high-ranking members of his administration won’t be criminally charged in a yearlong federal investigation into pay-to-play allegations involving one of the Democratic governor’s large political donors, someone familiar with the case said.

The decision not to pursue indictments was made by top Justice Department officials, according to a person familiar with the investigation, who asked not to be identified because federal officials had not disclosed results of the probe.

“It’s over. There’s nothing. It was killed in Washington,” the person told The Associated Press.

…then you haven’t read the book that’s #1 on the NYT best seller list for the 4th straight week. My review is here.

Update: Hot air spots it.

Update 2: The Author concurs

Well it looks like the democratic party is going to use the death of Senator Kennedy to force the health care bill through:

You’ve heard of ‘win one for the Gipper’? There is going to be an atmosphere of ‘win one for Teddy,'” Ralph G. Neas, the CEO of the liberal National Coalition on Health Care, told ABC News.

Democrats are hoping that Kennedy’s influence in death may be even stronger than it was when he was alive as they push for President Obama’s top domestic priority. Democratic officials hope that invoking Kennedy’s passion for the issue will counter slippage in support for heatlh care reform.

Ironically it is a tactic that Kennedy would have totally supported as he was a political animal.

However Ted Kennedy was not popular with a large section of the populace who is already angry about the healthcare boondoggle. I strongly suspect that Kennedy would get under 50% of the votes if he had run at any time in the blue dog districts.

Anyone who thinks that blue dog house members are going to protect their seats by voting in memory of Ted Kennedy is insane…so naturally the New York Times and Washington Post will likely think so.

But the actual congressmen are not that stupid, they know their districts and can count. In 14-15 months Kennedy will still be dead, but the voters who oppose Obamacare will still be alive and voting.

Must Credit: DaTechGuy

According to a national officer of Vietnam Vets against the war, the group will decline a request from Cindy Sheehan for an enforcement of her protest of President Barak Obama

A couple of days ago I posted on the whole Afghanistan Quagmire business. I followed up with an e-mail to Vietnam Veterans against the War to see if there was any change to their positions with a different administration in office.

I sent the e-mail to all 15 contact names available on the site. Only one person responded.

John Zutz is a national officer of Vietnam Veterans against the war. He very graciously answered the questions of a total stranger and only asked that his e-mail response in full be reprinted:

His reply to my e-mail follows His answers to my questions are in blue:

Whoever you are,

I’ll try to answer your questions below.

John Zutz


I was writing a blog post concerning attitudes about Iraq and Afghanistan since the election. To this end I checked out your web site and noted that it had been over a year (June 2008) since you had a press release.

Considering the attention or lack thereof by the media over Cindy Sheehan’s activates on Martha’s Vineyard I was curious what you guys thought so I have the following questions:

Do you still oppose the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? If not why not?

We oppose the war, and now the occupation of Iraq. We found that Afghanistan is an operation on which reasonable people can differ. Since we couldn’t come to a consensus, we didn’t take a position.

Presuming you still oppose one or both wars what public events have you had over the last 6 months to publicize this opposition?

Guess you haven’t been reading The Veteran – our national newspaper. The last issue came out for Memorial Day, and the next issue will be out for Veterans Day. They are available on our web site. We’re even getting a bunch of the old (and some of the really old) issues on line.

If the number of activities is significantly smaller then during previous years why is that?

I don’t know. Have you counted? Perhaps we’re forgoing quantity and emphasizing quality.

Why have you had no press releases over the last year?

Guess we didn’t feel we had anything new to say.

Does VVAW have a position concerning Ms. Sheehan’s current activities?

The National Office is discussing her request for endorsement right now. I voted in favor of endorsement but it looks like I’ll be in the minority and we’re not going to endorse her actions.

Does VVAW agree with Charlie Gibson who when asked about Ms. Sheehan’s current activates said “Enough Already”

VVAW doesn’t have a position, as I pointed out above. And just why would anyone give a flying f— what Charlie Gibson says? Where did he serve?

I personally remember how she was a leader in rallying people to end the war. She had her 15 minutes and it would be real easy for her to fade away, but she’s coming back for more. Sure, some of her ideas are pretty flakey, but then again she’s doing something – when nobody else is doing much of anything. I say it’ll be enough when the troops come home. Go Girl!!!

Any information on these questions would be most appreciated.




P.S. a FYI when I clicked on Robert Gronko on the e-mail list my anti-virus went nuts so he might want to check his yahoo account and run a good anti-virus.

I was surprised that the vets didn’t have an official opinion on Afghanistan although if you look at the latest issue of their magazine there is certainly a lot of unofficial feeling against it. It appears there have been some activities including at least one march in Washington since the election but they seem (like Cindy Sheehan) to have fallen under the national radar, certainly there were no press releases to promote them. Their newspaper appears very happy with the election of President Obama, but that might be more a function to their dislike of President Bush

As for Cindy Sheehan, I wasn’t aware a formal request was made for support. Mr. Zutz certainly supports her (and has choice words for Charlie Gibson’s statement) but it appears he is going to be outvoted. One can only speculate as to why.

So here is what we DO know:

VVAW still opposes Iraq and has no position on Afghanistan

They are still active but have not put out any press releases, nor has the media seemed interested in covering their events.

Cindy Sheehan has officially requested enforcement of her protest against President Obama but apparently the majority of the board will decline to endorse it.

One final note: A search for “Vietnam Vets against the war” in Google News produces one result. If you look at the search results from 2005-2009 the graphic is very interesting.

Results of Google search for "Vietnam Vets against the War"  2005-2009

The news stops at January 2009. Nothing beyond.

In closing I want to thank Mr. Zutz for answering my questions so promptly and forthrightly.

Oh we also know it is possible to actually break news from the couch at your home.

As usual Sarah Palin shows how something is done right:

I would like to extend our sympathies to the Kennedy family as we hear word about the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy. He believed in our country and fought passionately for his convictions.

Short correct and acknowledging potential disagreement without attacking it. Not a trace of politics.

Robert Stacy McCain is one of my favorite bloggers. Yesterday this post went up at his blog:

Aurelio Vallerillo-Sanchez is So totally going to hell.

The post is the story of a 39 year old fellow who assaulted a 14 year old girl, got her pregnant then Stole a 300 year old painting of the Madonna from a church and took the painting and the girl to Mexico, then sold the painting to pay for an Abortion.

In the end the abortion didn’t happen, the child wasn’t put up for adoption and Aurelio Vallerillo Sanchez is now off to serve a 70 year jail term.

I read that headline and understood the irony and humor but all I could think when I read it was: I sure hope not.

What I would like to see is a man who repents and eventually makes it to heaven. There is no limit to the power and mercy of God. I think the abortion was avoided by the mercy of God and the intercession of Mary. I think that the repentance and redemption of Aurelio Vallerillo-Sanchez would be a wonderful thing. I think there is nothing more pleasing to God and more frustrating to Satan than to pull a soul ANY SOUL that is “so going to hell” out of the fire.

I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. Luke 15:7

Now if you’re an atheist you think this is all a fairy tale so this shouldn’t offend you (if you are offended then I guess you’re not the atheist you think you are) if you are a Christian in general or a Catholic in particular you might say: “But DaTechGuy you can’t mean Any Soul? What about someone like Tim McVeigh?” Funny you should bring him up:

Somewhere along the line, clearly something went horribly wrong, and he made a series of choices that culminated in the horrific crime for which he paid the ultimate penalty of the law. But at the end, we know McVeigh was anointed. We may presume that he confessed his sins, since the anointing of the sick, assuming the person about to die is conscious, requires such a confession before the sacrament can be conferred.

If this is the case, and McVeigh’s confession and contrition were sincere, he received Christ’s pardon for all his sins, thus reopening the way to heaven. According to Catholic teaching, McVeigh faced his Lord and Savior for judgment immediately after his death. If he was indeed in a state of grace, he would be received into heaven or sent to an intermediate state called purgatory for a period of purification. There also he would be punished for past sins that, although repented, still needed to be atoned for.

Personally I really like the idea of McVeigh in purgatory and eventually heaven, imagine a soul all ready for the pit suddenly stolen away mere hours from damnation. That type of thing drives Satan nuts.

Now before the inevitable angry comments about justice go up I would remind all Christians of this little prayer that you likely pray every day:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one. Matt 6:9-13 emphasis mine

The next two verses are even more blunt:

If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions. Matt 6:14,15

Every time you say the Our Father (of you prefer the term The Lord’s Prayer) and you choose not to forgive you are condemning yourself. Christ was very explicit here. He meant to be. This is not an optional doctrine. These are the rules.

I suspect the potential satisfaction of somebody’s damnation will be considerably lessened if you’re burning next to him. I think I’d prefer mercy for me any anyone else who’ll accept it.

And if you are a Christian in general and a Catholic in particular you should too.

The Anchoress shows Christian Charity

BBC Image from the Two Doctors
BBC Image from the Two Doctors
in FACT a lot. Big Finish finished has announced that Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon will return to the Tardis as companion to the 6th doctor for three episodes in 2010 begining with episode #133.

No titles or details have been released concerning these stories yet. In the last few hours Big finish gave the following details:

“We’re trying something a little different next year,” announces executive producer Nicholas Briggs, “with some surprising combinations of Doctors and companions. So it’s with great pleasure that I can announce that Frazer Hines will be reprising the role of Jamie McCrimmon, joining the Sixth Doctor for four brand new adventures.”

Three of these stories will comprise a season of full-cast plays, to be released between April and June. The fourth will be a tie-in Companion Chronicle story, which will be released in May, and will be performed by Hines alongside an as yet unnamed guest star. Hines, of course, accompanied the Second Doctor in his travels on TV between 1966-1969, and returned alongside the Second and Sixth Doctors in The Two Doctors (1984).

the Doctor and Nyssa from the BBC site
the Doctor and Nyssa from the BBC site

And if that wasn’t enough big news they have further announced that not only will Janet Fielding Return as Tegan but we will have Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa in the tardis together AT THE SAME TIME
from the BBC Site
from the BBC Site

July 2010 brings another season of three stories, this time reuniting members of the TV cast for the first time in 26 years. “Janet Fielding will be back as Tegan Jovanka,” says Briggs, “for three stories that include Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, Sarah Sutton as Nyssa and Mark Strickson as Vislor Turlough. Getting these actors together in one studio is a first for us – Janet has only done one play with us before, while Mark now lives in New Zealand. But they’ve all committed to the project and we couldn’t be more excited!”

For a year that was supposed to be thin for us Doctor Who fans an awful lot is happening.

and I can’t believe that I forgot to mention that Forever Janette the Dr. Who/ Forever Knight crossover is back today too, our cup Tardis runnith over.

…that the fact that Ted Kennedy didn’t abuse or rape his staffers was an odd thing in congress?

Did I just hear Bob Kerrey tell about how Senator Kennedy joking about the first time he was Excommunicated from the Church? I wouldn’t think that was a joking matter particularly for Catholics today.

Of all days to remind us of his Excommunication, today would be the least charitable day to do so..

Update: I’m with Michelle Malkin on this one:

There is a time and place for political analysis and criticism. Not now.

Yes, there will be a nauseating excess of MSM hagiographies and lionizations — and crass calls to pass the health care takeover to memorialize his death.

That’s no excuse to demonstrate the same lack of restraint in the other direction. Not now.

Although I would have used a different photo.

Robert Stacy McCain dissents. Update: The Caption agrees with Michelle.

…and it took less than 24 hours for Nancy Pelosi to try to demagogue his death into votes:

“Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration.

Watch for democrats to use his death to try to push “healthcare”. Update: Yup more of it. Prediction: That is going to fall VERY flat.

Slightly breaking news: I talked to a member of the State Legislature this week, he said that due to the heat over the flip flop concerning his seat, the legislature would likely delay changing the rules of succession slightly but that Ted would get what he wants. Now that he has actually died there is no question that they will pass this through as his last political request.

I think that Joe Kennedy or another one of the clan will be put in at that time, I can’t see them risking an election as the environment has never been better for a Republican.

I offer my condolences to his family. I won’t hit him today, but Pat Whittome of Ulster has a long memory (and he’s not talking about what you think).

And one thing, I hope Jeff Jacoby never asks me to resign. I don’t like the results.

…it turns out my son will NOT need surgery so today’s operation has been canceled.

He will still need a couple more months for the scaphoid bone in his hand to heal but barring disaster it looks like smooth sailing and a lesson well learned.

And for any of you who thought because I was a Massachusetts conservative and thought I was talking about something else. Shame on you!

republicofrome My review of the Classic Avalon Hill Boardgame Republic of Rome is available on Amazon.com Here.

I simply can’t recommend this game enough particularly if you are a political junkie on either the right or the left. If possible try to play it with a mixed group like I do and watch the factions move and act.

I understand there will be a new version coming out sometime soon. I’m sure they will simplify the rules a bit but I hope they keep the spirit of the game. This review suggests so. But why take chances, if you can get the original one?

When a republican congresswoman didn’t buckle under on his insistence that there are no “death panels” in the healthcare bill. The whole group around the table almost didn’t know what to say.

They seem to be obsessed with the fact that the words “Death Panels and “Euthanasia” are not listed in the bill. After all Sarah Palin said it, it MUST be false. If I may be so bold to suggest to these experienced pols and reporters there is precedent for something being misnamed to wit:

Sir Humphrey: East Yemen isn’t that a democracy?

Dick from the Foreign Office: It’s full name is the People’s Democratic Republic of East Yemen.

Sir Humphrey: Oh I see so it’s a Communist Dictatorship.

The actual clip comes at about 2:53 in this bit:

I think Yes Prime Minister should be required watching for anyone who follows politics.

Let’s look back at some early posts I did over the first three months of the blog. I’m going to be busy today so it’s a quick filler post thing:

Back in December the Jammie Wearing Fool predicted that the birth of Bristol Palin’s son would be the death Knell of the Trig Truther Movement, at the time I said this:

You have to think of people who follow conspiratorial type stuff as people following a religion. Excuses will be followed by clarifications but in the end the belief will not be dropped, remember William Miller and the 2nd coming.

The only thing that will be missing is the tax-exempt status. (Believe me the collection plate WILL exist).

The other McCain, Dan Riehl and Aaron Gardner prove me almost totally right but Anne Briggs proves the last sentence wrong as she didn’t use her Trig Truther fame to improve the Amazon Rankings of the book (#2,761,947 as of this morning). No collection plate there.

Speaking of a collection plate back in January I did a post on the New Quarter Sovereign coin offered by the British Royal mint and said this:

The glory of the British Empire is long past but if you want a chance to get something to remember it by the quarter sovereign is a solid and inexpensive choice. The mint is getting £47.95 each for them at the current exchange rate that works out to around $63 each for a gold coin in it’s first year of issue.

I grabbed 3 since that’s all I can afford, If I had a job I’d grab 10.

In case you forgot the design:

Same design used for all size sovereigns
Same design used for all size sovereigns

Not only has gold gone up and the Royal Mint raised its price to £65 but the exchange rathttp://datechguy.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpe is now favoring the pound so I hope you jumped on the coin when you had a chance. It’s still worth getting as a first year issue gold coin.

I posted quite a bit about Israel going into Gaza. I mentioned this about the cease fire:

It is now up to the Palestinians are they going to stop the rockets or are they going to go through all of this again. That is when we will know if the war is actually over or not. It also remains to be seen if Israel is going to be willing to go back in during an Obama administration.

Well looking at the blog The Muqata which live blogged the war along with Israellycool looking under the category “Qassam Rockets” there is not an entry newer than Jan 18th that mentions a launch. The section under “Gaza” doesn’t either.

It looks like the war is over, but once the Palestinians are done killing each other I’m sure they’ll manage to try again.

Also in January I decided I arrived because of an increase in Spam. I’ve actually had a drop in spam lately but I’ve had an increase in comments so I guess a few more people are reading me, if you are thanks.

Considering the political landscape this post is Ironic, I hit Marc Ambinder over suggesting it was a bad idea for Republicans to vote against the stimulus bill due to the 70% Obama approval. I said this:

This is the same advice that might have been given to republicans in the first two years of the Clinton administration. Not taking it gave them control of the house for the first time in 40 years.

Anyone who thinks a vulnerable republican congressman who goes along with this plan will survive a primary challenge is silly. Remember our democrat friends were the same ones who told us McCain was the man to win with.

Bold prediction time: Anyone who thinks Obama will have approval ratings in the 60’s in two years is dead wrong. They will not be above 50%. It would not surprise me to see his ratings in the low 40’s.

That one is looking pretty good (I even used the battered wife example later in the post that Glenn uses today) and the Bold prediction is not looking so bold these days. One note, the first two sentences were in a block quote, I either missed the link or I accidentally put it in the block. I can’t find the quote elsewhere online so it might be mine but I should be more careful.

Another post that looks like it could have gone up this week is this one:

The question then is why? Why make the big deal, and why the big fuss over republican votes when the democrats have the power and the votes? Easy.

They want cover, they want power but not responsibility. They want someone to blame. They remember 1994 and the Clinton Tax increase. They also know that this country is still a 51-49 country and that the blue dogs in the house are not going to keep their seats if they go too far left.

Mark my words when things get worse (they will) the congress will get worried. In 2010 with the recovery hasn’t taken place (much too soon) Democrats in congress will be trying to deflect blame and ask for patience.

Remove the word “stimulus” and replace it withhealthcare” and it could go up now.

Several “linked” posts have particular relevance today. I promoted something from comments:

his president has already made it clear that he is above the press by his actions. It is as if he is royalty and bestowing his favors on his faithful subjects. I can’t believe that the members of the press are going to be willing to take this treatment for long. Oh they will keep their mouth’s shut for a while. Their resentment will be whispered and building, but it will take only one prominent reporter on the left to say it aloud and it will come pouring out. I actually have an opinion as to which two reporters/opinion journalists will do it. But I’m keeping that to myself for now.

It will be hard for the press to re-direct their anger to conservatives when we have so little power.

I hate to admit it but I totally forgot who those reporters were, but we have seen some of this from the base and from reporters, but it is the next line that mattered:

The whitehouse will use the Blame Bush stratagem to deflect this when it comes but I think it will come.

Ok so the White house is having trouble with their base, but I didn’t think they would be so desperate to mollify the base to risk the consequences mentioned in these two posts:

The democrats are all talk and smoke on this subject. They will try to go though some motions to mollify their guys but there is no way at all they will pursue this. It is a high risk move at a time or crisis with the only upside being among fanatics.

My explanation is here, my money quotes:

You can take this to the bank: Any successful attack on American soil during an Obama administration is going to be wholly owned by not only that administration but the Democratic party…

…Any kind of trials will be drawn out affairs and would likely be still going on during a successful attack. How much worse will it be for those who failed to protect the country if those who succeeded in protecting the nation are on trial during their failure?

It was my opinion at the time that the President would offer the pardons as he cares not what the press think. From what I’ve seen about the way the press and the news has been treating not only the incoming president but the outgoing crew even in his last days, I think the smirk is going to win. He is savvy enough to know what this would do to the Democrats they will be forced to either engage their far left base or take the risk I said above. These people won’t do it and it they did it would destroy them. It will be his final victory against them.

All the risks still exist, I think this is sheer panic to change the subject. He has fallen into the final trap laid by George W. Bush.

It was interesting reading those old posts, I’ll do it again when I hit the 1000 post mark or my year anniversary.

UPDATE: I looked at the wrong column, it was 900 comments. Pass me my idiot mittens.