A trans-Atlantic series of emails

Subject: I just witnessed a glitch in the matrix
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 22:09:48 +0100


Your wit is too much. I like that post on your blog. Why does this
internet journal-type thing have to have such a gross sounding name?




Subject: RE: I just witnessed a glitch in the matrix
Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 8:59 PM


I know. "Blog" is gross. It's short for "web log" but why does it need
an abbreviation? Web log isn't that long. I heard about blogging quite a
while back, and I probably would have started it a lot sooner, but, like you,
I thought the name was yucky. But, "fudge" is a yucky-sounding word and
that doesn't make it any less delicious.


Subject: RE: I just witnessed a glitch in the matrix
Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 9:53 PM


I think maybe you should post this e-mail on your blog. It is interesting. Your comments are always, witty, clever, cutting, right-on (and whatever
else you said in your last post).


Subject: Thank you and I will
Sent: Thursday, November 25, 2004 1:35 AM


Thank you for helping me sharpen my wit over the many years. I couldn't have done it without you. Seriously.



You know you're online too much...

if you get excited because you see the "Dan Rather to leave CBS News" headline on Drudge before there's even a link or the blaring siren animation or even "Developing..."

(Wait. A siren is the thing that makes the noise. So what do you call the rotating red/blue light thing?)

To my new-to-the-blogosphere readers, you need to make the Drudge Report your home page. It's a great summary of the big, breaking news stories and the little, yet important or interesting stories in one glance.

When I was the co-editor of my HS paper, my column was called "Random Thoughts." Here's why:

Blogging is the answer for people who lay awake at night and realize the hilarious/biting/brilliant/perfect comment they should have said much earlier and at a specific moment in the the day.

I thought of that as I was lying awake last night.

It's also perfect for relating hilarious/biting/brilliant/perfect thoughts you had earlier in the day, but were alone, so you had no one to share them with, even if you thought of them at the perfect moment. There was an infomercial about the new Matrix DVD box set on last night and it reminded me of one such moment in my life. A few years ago, I was at the mall and just as I approached the top of a small flight of stairs to go down, a few teenage boys were coming up the stairs. As one of them stepped off the top step, he just.... floated... right by me. I immediately thought, "I just witnessed a glitch in the Matrix!" And I was seriously disturbed. Soon after, I learned of those tennis shoes that have the litle roller skate wheels in the bottom, and I realized he must have had those on. OK, it was clever and funny if you were there. In my head.

I'm really really tired.


What liberal ringtones?

I must admit that I'm guilty of contributing to the billion dollar industry that is the cell phone ringtones market. But so what if I like to hear the Super Mario Bros. theme or a tinkly version of Sweet Home Alabama instead of a really tinkly version of The Entertainer when my phone rings?

I was surprised as I was browsing the newly available ringtones on my phone the other day and came across voice clips of President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, and President Reagan. However, it was an unpleasant surprise considering they highlighted what many on the left view as blatant lies (or big mistakes or badly-timed jokes) of these great conservative men. I heard Bush declaring major combat over in Iraq, Cheney promising that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs, and the famous clip of Reagan joking that he'd signed legislation outlawing Russia and bombing would begin in five minutes. You can go listen to these clips for yourself on the Modtones website.

Modtones is one of the several purveyors of ringtones offered by Alltel. I've been very happy with my Alltel service, but I will be emailing both Alltel and Modtones about the blatant liberal bias of their offerings. If they're just trying to be funny or ironic, why not offer Kerry's "I actually did vote for the 87 billion dollars-- before I voted against it," or Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman"? Or even better, in the spirit of "healing" that seems so pervasive today, why not the best, most positive quotations from many different politicians and other great figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and JFK? Those are the questions I'll be posing to both Alltel and Modtones. I'll let you know how they respond.

UPDATE: I've emailed Modtones, but I decided to wait to see how they respond before bothering Alltel.

UPDATE 2: Monday afternoon, 4:30 PM CST. No reply from Modtones yet.


"Blue State Blues as Coastal Parents Battle Invasion of Dollywood Values"

Go read this brilliant and hilarious satire from Iowahawk. Here's the introduction:

  • "I'm not sure where we went wrong," says Ellen McCormack, nervously fondling the recycled paper cup holding her organic Kona soy latte. "It seems like only yesterday Rain was a carefree little boy at the Montessori school, playing non-competitive musical chairs with the other children and his care facilitators."

    "But now..." she pauses, staring out the window of her postmodern Palo Alto home. The words are hesitant, measured, bearing a tale of family heartbreak almost too painful for her to recount. "But now, Rain insists that I call him Bobby Ray."

    Even as her voice is choked with emotion, she summons an inner courage -- a mother's courage -- and leads me down the hall to "Bobby Ray's" bedroom, for a firsthand glimpse at the psychic devastation that claimed her son.

    She opens the door to a reveal a riot of George Jones CDs, reflective 'mudflap mama' stickers, empty foil packs of Red Man, and U.S. Marine recruiting posters. In the middle of the room: a makeshift table made from a utility cable spool, bearing a the remains of a gutted catfish.

Seriously. Go read the whole thing. Now.


Only 43 Days 'Til Christmas!

If you're going to buy any books, DVDs, CDs, or just about anything from Amazon.com, please visit this site first, and click to Amazon.com using the button in the right sidebar. I'll earn a percentage of what you spend (you get everything at the regular, super-low prices) and then I'll use what I earn to buy presents for you! Or at least buy books for myself, which I will read, and then share the gift of my knowledge with you!

Arafat's Evil Acts

Read this entry at Power Line for a quick overview of what you probably won't hear in much of the MSM (mainstream media for those of you new to the blogosphere). Some of Arafat's lowlights:

  • "He presided over the operation resulting in the massacre of the Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich by Black September in 1972."

  • "He personally ordered the assassination of American Ambassador to Sudan Cleo Noel, Jr. and charge d'affaires Curtis Moore in Khartoum on March 2, 1973."

  • "Although Arafat occasionally interrupted the war against Israel with short term periods of truce or "hudna," he never relented from his orgy of murder or ceased to pursue his lifelong goal of destroying Israel."

UPDATE: For even more, read Jeff Jacoby's column in the Boston Globe: "Arafat the Monster."


Things That Are Dead (Finally)

- The dream (nightmare?) of a Kerry-Edwards administration

- The plant on my balcony

- Michael Moore's credibility

- Stirrup pants

- Yasser Arafat


My portrait with the President

I was at the President's Labor Day Rally in Poplar Bluff, MO. A friend just sent me pictures that someone had taken from the bleachers behind the President. I didn't even know it, but I had my picture taken with the President! (Well, half my face made it into the shot, anyway... I'm right below the "me" label. Click the picture for a larger version.)


Laura... so hot right now... Laura.

The First Lady and I have the same taste in movies! From MSNBC - "The First Lady: Laura's New Agenda":

  • "But other things about the First Lady might surprise her admirers. Mrs. Bush is a big Ben Stiller fan, and especially liked the campy comedy "Zoolander.""

Zoolander is highly quotable. I can picture the First Lady quoting Derek to Dan Rather:

  • "Do you understand that the world does not revolve around you and your do whatever it takes, ruin as many people's lives, so long as you can make a name for yourself as an investigatory journalist, no matter how many friends you lose or people you leave dead and bloodied along the way, just so long so you can make a name for yourself as an investigatory journalist, no matter how many friends you lose or people you leave dead and bloodied and dying along the way?"



Christopher Kallini also learned a few things during the campaign.

  • I learned that a sitting President with a large allied majority in the House and Senate is a “lame duck.”

  • I learned that if the majority of the country disagrees with you, it means that you are the mainstream, and the majority is a group of extremists. And they’re stupid.

  • I learned that if you spend 4 months in a war zone and then use a technicality to abandon your men in order to return home and accuse them of war crimes, it means you’re a War Hero, and that Medal of Honor winners who question your service and patriotism are just slimy liars.

  • I learned that freeing women from bondage in the Middle East doesn’t advance the cause of women as much as retaining the right to killing a 9 month old baby as it’s being delivered does.

  • I learned that socialism will work here, despite its failure everywhere else in the world for over 100 years, because...corporations...in their corporation buildings… see, they make money…

  • I learned that rich people are the root of all evil, unless those rich people donate millions to your party.

  • I learned that “supporting the troops” means voting against the candidate they overwhelmingly support, because the people in the military are too stupid to know what they’re doing.

There's more. Go read them.

(via Free Will)


Read this lovely piece by one of my very favorite writers, Peggy Noonan.

"Social issues are important, but they don't come close to telling the whole story."

This op-ed in the New York Times by David Brooks makes an important point. While, according to many exit polls, moral values played a huge role in the re-election of the President, that wasn't the whole story. Liberals (and their chore-boys in the mainstream media) are attempting to use that fact to label Bush supporters as homophobic small-minded bigots. Mr. Brooks writes:

  • "This theory certainly flatters liberals, and it is certainly wrong.

    Here are the facts. As Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center points out, there was no disproportionate surge in the evangelical vote this year. Evangelicals made up the same share of the electorate this year as they did in 2000. There was no increase in the percentage of voters who are pro-life. Sixteen percent of voters said abortions should be illegal in all circumstances. There was no increase in the percentage of voters who say they pray daily....

    Much of the misinterpretation of this election derives from a poorly worded question in the exit polls. When asked about the issue that most influenced their vote, voters were given the option of saying "moral values." But that phrase can mean anything - or nothing. Who doesn't vote on moral values? If you ask an inept question, you get a misleading result.

    The reality is that this was a broad victory for the president. Bush did better this year than he did in 2000 in 45 out of the 50 states. He did better in New York, Connecticut and, amazingly, Massachusetts. That's hardly the Bible Belt.....

    The fact is that if you think we are safer now, you probably voted for Bush. If you think we are less safe, you probably voted for Kerry. That's policy, not fundamentalism. The upsurge in voters was an upsurge of people with conservative policy views, whether they are religious or not....

    What we are seeing is a diverse but stable Republican coalition gradually eclipsing a diverse and stable Democratic coalition. Social issues are important, but they don't come close to telling the whole story. Some of the liberal reaction reminds me of a phrase I came across recently: The rage of the drowning man."

Let me qualify what I wrote yesterday about voting according to your values being more important than voting according to your pocketbook: Neither mean much if you've been blow up by freedom-hating Islamofascists.

(via The Corner)

UPDATE: Mark Steyn has more on this topic, focused on Europe's opinion: "The great European thinkers have decided that instead of doing another four years of lame Bush-is-a-moron cracks they're going to do four years of lame Americans-are-morons cracks." Read the whole thing.



Powerline is one of my very favorite blogs and this bit of brilliance is a perfect example of why. Deacon describes things he's heard from the left in Washington D.C.:

  • "One of my favorite lines goes something like this -- "these people in Ohio don't have jobs and all they're worried about is gay marriage." (You've all heard about the problem of rampant unemployment among evangelicals, haven't you?) This concept was reinforced today when the Washington Post ran a piece about a family in Ohio whose income has dipped from $55,000 a year to $35,000 since George Bush became president, but ardently supports the president because he shares their values. Liberals around here can only shake their head when they read about this. Yet some of these same liberals have seen their incomes rise by several hundred thousand dollars since Bush took office, yet oppose him because, in essence, he doesn't share their values. I say, good for them and good for that family in Ohio.

It would be preposterous for me to say to a liberal, "So what if you support gay marriage? Your income increased by $20,000 in the past four years! You should vote for Bush!" Yet again, I'm reminded that voting based on morals and character is more important that voting on the economy.

The moral of the story

Jim Geraghty at The Kerry Spot on National Review Online perfectly summarizes how I STILL feel:

  • "Anybody else feel like a ten-ton weight has been lifted from his shoulders? Anybody else feel like every muscle had been tensed and clenched for about two months, and a steadily increasing vice-like pressure had been squeezing him, day by day, as the election approached? Just me? Boy, since that last debate, I just wanted the race to end. Just vote and get it over with.

    And we've endured a lot during this campaign. Attack ads that will rip out your heart and scald your eyes. Large groups of hairy, under-employed, bandana-clad reprobates marching around carrying signs equating the president with Hitler. A new political documentary at the "independent" theater up the street every weekend. Every single B-list comedian, aging rocker, and hitless actor (*cough*Affleck*cough*) believing that he was the greatest political thinker since John Locke. I'm sorry, Linda Ronstadt: You're a wonderful singer, but if I ever need your assessment of the Kyoto treaty, I'll call and ask."

I've been thinking about why I'm so elated about the President's victory. Obviously, the continued steady conservative leadership and the failure of the Bush-bashers explains much of my glee, but I think there's more to it. This is the first year I actually volunteered to work for a campaign. I didn't do a lot, but I spent a few hours making phone calls and a few hours knocking on doors. That small investment apparently yielded big returns. Not for the President so much (Missouri was pretty much a lock), but for my personal sense of accomplishment. One purpose of this blog is to be a journal to help me remember lessons I've learned, or already knew, but have had reinforced. So here's the lesson: Don't just sit on the sidelines; get in there and DO something. Sharing in a victory is so much sweeter if you're actually playing on the winning team, not just cheering from the stands. (I realize that the disappointment of defeat would also be sharper, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.) OK, enough with the cheesy after-school special "moral of the story."

Oh yeah! Not only did I call and knock, I also forced this bit of glowing propaganda upon my neighbors:


Welcome to the blogosphere!

I have introduced several of you to the addictive world of blogging in recent days. I thought I might fill you in on a few things that might not be readily apparent. It's usually best to click on every link in a post, so you can understand exactly what the blogger is referring to. If someone says something like "Via johncombest.com" (see my previous post) or "Hat tip: Powerline" it means they found the article or post they linked to at that site. Read lots of different blogs as you begin exploring them. Most blogs have lists of blogs which that particular blogger reads. There are thousands of blogs out there, and the more you read, the faster you'll find your favorites and narrow down your favorites list. Also, not all blogs are about politics. You'll find ones on any topic imaginable. Of course, my favorites are mostly political. The list of links to the right are the blogs and news pages that I check every day or at least a few times a week. Get out there, click around, and enjoy educating yourself!

I voted for a "bland Christian know-nothing"

I've read a lot today about how Democrats will need to distance themselves from the far left wing if they want to have a chance to win battleground states. This edition of the Political EYE in the St. Louis American is the perfect example of the "progressive" rhetoric which would probably offend many Missourians, even many of those who voted for Kerry and McCaskill. Here's the most ridiculous chunk:

  • "If Blunt for governor was a trial balloon for the electability of bland Christian know-nothingness over substance, a disturbing message is visible on that balloon floating its way to Jefferson City. Everyone in his right mind knows Claire McCaskill is more qualified to run a state government than Matt Blunt. When voters don't vote on substance, credentials, experience or ability, then a person of reason who continues to speak about politics is left with a feeling very much like that of talking to a wall. The wall doesn't care how long you talk to it. All it understands is a coat of paint.

    Progressives need to learn how to apply coats of paint. We need to find bigger, broader brushes - shorter, simpler messages. And it would seem we need to find a way to make it look like Jesus is on our side, since Jesus - and an enormous load of unfounded nastiness about Claire McCaskill - was the only asset Blunt could even begin to claim for himself in this election. And, unbelievably, with Bush at the head of the ticket, that was enough to win the right to govern the state of Missouri.

    One can only pray - the EYE is trying to get into this Jesus habit starting now - that the trial balloon of blank, bland, blonde Blunt doesn't soar any higher than Missouri. Unfortunately, his resemblance to George W. Bush - both are shallow, provincial-minded sons of privilege who can be taught to stay on point and thump the Bible - is unmistakable, and won't be lost on Republican strategists."

So we have yet another example of Christians being branded as anti-intellectual simpletons by the left. Rather than simply shaking my head and moving on to ignore such ignorance, I want to explore what exactly is perpetuating this myth of "bland Christian know-nothingness." I think much of it has to do with the arrogance of the left, and their reluctance to actually get to know one of those Bible-thumpers and see what's going on in those bowed heads of theirs. I also think those of us who are already into that "Jesus habit" need to make more of an effort to articulate the logic behind our beliefs beyond "because the Bible says so." For example, while our opposition to abortion is based on the Biblical principle of the sanctity of life, it is also supported by the right of every American (whether they are in the womb or outside it) to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. (I realize that example doesn't capture that complex issue, but a discussion of abortion isn't my point here.) It is apparent we will need to reach out to the left wing apart from the Bible. We should not be surprised; Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 1, "the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength."

(via JohnCombest.com)


I'll definitely tune in for that

Greta Van Susteren previewed her show during Hannity & Colmes by hyping big surprises in the Petersen trial, including:

"...how Scott Peterson got scratches on his knuckles..."

Seriously. Nobody cares.

(Not to imply that nobody cares about justice for Laci and Conor. I just think that Greta could find something more important to go "On the Record" about than every little detail of the trial.)

"I don't know why they are so dumb!"

- Senator Zell Miller on Democrats and their understanding of the South

Sen. Miller was just on with Sean Hannity and was insightful and hilarious as usual. He also related a great anecdote about working in his yard and uncovering a nest of three copperheads. He said he didn't call his wife or his neighbors, he didn't go to City Council for a resolution, he just picked up hoe and killed them. He said something like, "I guess that was unilateral action, or considering that they hadn't attacked me yet, a pre-emptive strike. I certainly didn't give them a global test."

W is for Winner!

How can I describe how I feel today? The air is sweeter, food tastes better, I can't stop smiling. Every single thing I've read or seen in the past year and a half (or longer) that bashed Bush now makes me giggle. Everything Michael Moore, Al Franken, Ben Affleck, Sean Penn, Leonardo DiCaprio, P. Diddy, and the rest of the Hollywood left did to attempt to brainwash America into voting against the President was meaningless. Thank you America for making my year!

I was at the victory party of Governor-Elect of Missouri Matt Blunt last night and had a great time. Even though Claire McCaskill's reluctance to call and concede kept us there until past 2:00 am, it was worth it to be there. Blunt is impressive in person. He seems much more mature than his 33 years; cool, calm, and in control. The future First Lady of Missouri, Melanie Blunt, looked great and will be a great asset to Missouri.