Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ralph Nader is screwing and cheationg college kids

Go here and learn, and it's true: more than just this Fox News article believes this and tells us this.

He's not just some wacko for being Green Party. He's not harmless.

The guy's a scumbag!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Guy's rules

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

2. 1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one:
Subtle hints do not work!
Strong hints do not work!
Obvious hints do not work!
Just say it!

3. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

4. 1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

5. 1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

the Pinger

Click the Ping-o-Matic link and set the audience into motion.

YAF Fixes the Anti-MCRI Rock

As an opinionjournalist It's up to me to report things even when I'm not present. That means that I cannot go Hunter S. Thompson on everything.

So the leftist socialist stalinist entitlement society freaks want to make a point about the just inclusion of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative's proposal on the ballot this November? They wish to paint our Rock? The Young Americans for Freedom paint it back!

In the intest of full disclosure I admit that I am the Eaton County Chairman of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Eric Spratling on Firefly boxed set

In resonse to Chuck Dixon's review:
A couple quick things because I'm on a pay-by-minute connection currently

1) Too much backstory for all the characters? Wha? Were you really that drowned in the dark history of, say, Wash? And what's wrong with that sort of thing anyway-- it's a common device in media that we get introduced to a bunch of characters and then find out things about them gradually. Should "Star Trek: TNG" watchers have never been introduced to Picard's brother, Riker's old Captain, Worf's father's supposed crime, Data's "twin," etc? And since you like watching "Lost" I find it extra strange that this sort of thing would irritate you....

2) Um, I never had a problem understanding what the characters were saying, to the point of needing subtitles. Unless of course they were speaking Chinese, in which case you're not supposed to know anyway.

3) Inara wasn't just a whore, she was a courtesan trained in the highest levels of lovemaking, manners, etiquette, companionship, etc. "What world would this happen on?" Try Japan, a couple hundred years ago. Firefly's "Companions" are pretty much souped-up versions of Japanese geisha.

4) The Western aspect, in appearance if not just in theme, was obviously meant to deliberately parallel humanity's new tendency to settle on bleak, harsh worlds with America's old expansion into the Old West. It's obviously carried to extremes for artistic effect, but it's not too much of an suspension of disbelief to think that six-shooters and the like would be easier to mass-produce/cheaper to purchase than lasers (or that "frontier" clothing was a lot more practical than most anything else).

5) The dialogue.. okay, yeah, it's hard to disagree with you. Joss Whedon's characters, although they do differ in tone and characters aren't usually interchangeable (e.g., Jayne wouldn't make a joke meant for Kaylee) the characters always sound like what Joss THINKS they would sound like. It's a filter. And you like it or you don't. I can see why someone wouldn't.

I would go more into it but my time is expiring....
source IP:
Posted by Eric Spratling on August 19, 2006 at 10:21:56

Chuck Dixon Teaches Dialogue

In response to questions about good dialogue, rendered in light of his Firefly review.
School's in!

There's nothing wrong with the dialogue in Firefly per se. There are some clever exchanges. The trouble comes when they're TOO clever and EVERYONE is having them.
The "voices" of the characters in Firefly were too similar. Everyone spoke in practically the same meter and using the same lexicon and the same level of wit.
The best example for a contrast I can think of is the show Northern Exposure. When the show first aired it was fesh and surprising and bright. The characters were clearly drawn and entirely different from one another. Each had his or her own distinctive voice and way of phrasing. By season three that distinction was gone and all of the characters were speaking in the same way and often using phrasing and vocabulary that flew in the face of their established characterization. They were all "speaking to plot" rather than character and the audience fled the show in droves. I left when the Barry Corbin character began making cultural references that his character would not have been aware of only the season before and started speaking in airy-fairy soliquies like the rest of the cast had taken up.

An example from the movie HEIST. Mamet has learned when to have a cute exchange and when not to have one.
In this first example, Pinky has been established as a rare wit. He’s a guy with a ready answer for everything. Bergman is impatient to learn what Pinky knows but enjoys a bit of verbal sparring as well. So they are established as nearly evenly matched and Mamet takes advantage of this for a few snappy exchanges. But all the while, character is being brought to the fore and the sense of menace beneath Bergman’s words is always there. We know he means business and we know that Pinky knows it.

Bergman: Where's the gold?
Pinky: You know, I'm reluctant to tell you.
Bergman: When we put it to you, you know when we put it to you, you're gonna be telling us the gross national product of Bolivia.
Pinky: Hey...
Bergman: You're gonna be telling us the area codes of Belgium and Luxembourg.
How do you pick up your share? Where's the gold? Where's the meet?
Pinky: What're you gonna do, hurt me?
Bergman: Well, no, actually, no. I'm not gonna hurt you. But tell a guy, I'm full of admiration. What was the deal? What was the deal?
Pinky: The way you're looking at the deal, the deal was we get away with the gold. Cute, huh?
Bergman: No, that's charming. And then what?
Pinky: We slip away.
Bergman: You slip away? And me and my guys, we go to the meet and we find a truck full of pig iron. Is that the thing?
Pinky: Well, Joe figured you weren't ever going to the meet.
Bergman: He did? You know, your guy doesn't get it in his head to fly off on a variation, we're all out on the patio right now, we're all having a margarita! Where's the gold?
Pinky: You understand my reluctance to tell you.

In this next exchange, Pinky is not on equal intellectual terms with his adversary and so the dialogue goes differently.

Pinky: Nice day for the race.
Thug: What race is that?
Pinky: The human race. Kids growing up, so on. Hope for the future.
Thug: Get in the f******g car!

This last exchange is called a reversal. Bergman and Pinky had this clever tete a tete and we’re set up to expect that other characters will respond in the same way to Pinky’s observations on life. Not so.

This brief exchange lets us know that Pinky’s time is up. He’s been rendered over to Bergman’s underlings and will no longer be able to use his gift of gab to stall for his life. The dialogue speaks to character rather than plot but carries the plot along with it better than a more didactic exchange would have.

As I always say, you can learn more from a bad movie than a good one. Here’s an example from a bad movie:

Private Reiben: You want to explain the math of this to me? I mean, where's the sense in risking the lives of the eight of us to save one guy?
Captain Miller: Anyone wanna answer that?
Medic Wade: Hey, think about the poor bastard's mother.
Private Reiben: Hey, Wade, I got a mother, you got a mother, the sarge has got a mother. I'm willing to bet that even the Captain's got a mother. Well, maybe not the Captain, but the rest of us have got mothers.

This exchange from Saving Private Ryan speaks to plot in a painfully obvious way. It’s made all the more painful because nearly EVERY exchange of dialogue in the film is used only to cover plot points and the SAME plot point over and over again. And nothing here speaks of character. Reiben is a griper and that’s a deep as we get. Miller is their officer but, even though he’s been very direct and articulate to this point, has no answer. Back when flmmakers understood dialogue better and had more respect for moviegoer’s intellect, the scene might have gone like this:

Private Reiben: So, they’re willin’ to spend eight guys to save one?
Captain Miller: Do you have a mother, Reiben?
Private Reiben: Everybody’s got a mother, Cap’n.
Captain Miller: Just checking, is all.
Private Reiben: And I’m just asking, is all, sir.

Same plot points are covered but less painfully. AND we learn from his simple response that Captain Miller is losing his patience and won’t be answering any more stupid questions. AND, now that his question had been answered, Reiben will follow orders in the true, fatalistic attitude of the men who served in WWII. We also imply that the question has been asked before though we were not privy to it. And the open insubordination (that would have gotten Reiben a .45 slug to the end on D-Day +1) of the first exchange is more implied than apparent in the second. AND, if it were John Garfield or George Tobias playing Private Reiben, you would have gotten a laugh.

Now here’s an exchange of dialogue to cover a simple a plot point. It’s from RED RIVER:

Matthew Garth: Buster, where's Cherry?
Buster McGee: Cherry? Well, he figured there was no need two of us coming. One was . . .
Matthew Garth: Is she pretty?
Buster McGee: Oh, Matt, do you remember that little filly I used to own?
Matthew Garth: That's what I thought.

How much ground is covered in this simple conversation? We learn that Cherry Valance is a lady’s man and that Garth already knows this. We also learn that Garth and McGee have been friends a long time, long enough that the merest reference to a horse McGee once owned is enough to entirely fill Garth in on the situation as well as fill US in just by his reply. In this very brief exchange we also see that Matt is direct in his questioning and that Buster tends to beat around the bush. The actual plot point (that Cherry will not be returning to the herd any time soon) is never directly referred to. The scene ALSO serves to firmly establish that Cherry is a heterosexual. Anyone who’s seen this movie and was paying strict attention will understand why this was necessary. The audience at the time certainly picked up on it.
The whole thing is covered in a very brief time in a clever turn of dialogue, deceptive for its simplicity, in which the humor of the situation is left for us discern rather than being spelled out for us. And with Buster being played by Noah Beery Jr you know you’ve got a little, sparkling piece of cinema gold.
source IP:
Posted by Chuck on August 19, 2006 at 14:14:54

Chuck (Dixon) Finally watched the Firefly boxed set.

I still have liscense to reprint this stuff. Hard to believe he hasn't seen this program until recently; harder still to believe that he likes it as much as he does.
Didn't care for it.
The suspense level was nil in most of the episodes.
The imponderables piled one upon the other until they distracted from the storyline.
It was a by-the-numbers ensemble show where every character has a backstory that is revealed little-by-little in dull flashbacks. Each character had a “moment” in each episode to either re-define them or bring up a cryptic element to make them more “interesting.” But no one’s story was advanced to any great degree. I know the series didn’t get a full season but after 14 episodes I think we should have advanced a little, bitty bit.
And “space western” shouldn’t mean chaps and cowboy hats and people saying “shucks” a lot. Star Wars is a space western and there ain’t a cowpoke in sight.
Any show that also requires me to turn on the subtitles option so that I know what’s going on is also in trouble.
I was willing to give it a chance and kind of enjoyed the first few episodes. But the dealbreaker for me was Princess Whore-a-lot. I got tired of the elevation of a woman who trades sex for cash to the level of a Shaolin monk. What is this fascination H’wood folks have for prostitutes? It’s like those movies where the cop falls in love with a hooker. What world would this happen on?
After that I began questioning everything. Who would believe the pilot and the woman warrior as a married couple? It was never credible for even a second.
They travel through space at FTL speeds but everyone’s packing six guns. Thye HAD laser/maser technology.
In what economy would carrying LIVE cattle over lightyears of space make sense? Did anyone ever see them take on the tons of feed they would need?
Why did everyone talk so tough but never actually stick to any of the tough decisions they made. "We're not going back to rescue them. But now we ARE."
The Jayne character (who should have been the ship’s captain instead of the cipher they had) acts alternatively crazy brave or cowardly as the story demands.
And EVERYONE talked in cute exchanges. This worked on Buffy because the core characters were teenagers filled with self-esteem. But we never saw Giles joining into these over-articulate teen-speak sessions. On Firefly, everyone, even strangers or new arrivals, talks in the same "ain't I clever" patois.
It’s a sci-fi show that kept breaking my suspension of disbelief. And I have a suspension of disbelief made of pure titanium. I liked CONGO for pete’s sake!
And the music…The country music industry should sue over the theme song. And the “folk” music sprinkled throughout the episodes was painful.
I know the show and subsequent feature film have lots of fans here. But I’m always asked if I watched the series and I’m just posting to say I have and was left wanting.
And how DID that feature film happen? A failed TV series gets greenlit for big budget, big screen treatment? What’s next? THE ROPERS: THE MOVIE?
source IP:
Posted by Chuck Dixon on August 18, 2006 at 13:36:52

Thursday, August 24, 2006

business trip and a guest writer-blogger

I am leaving on a week-long business trip on Sunday moring, August 27th. My flight departs at 7 AM.

I will be in Arlington, VA for five days where the Leadership Institute will train me in the ways of the Field Representatives. I will return the following Saturday and then depart again for my work in the field, which will last three months but I will likely get opportunities to write while I am out there.

In my week-long absence Apologies Demanded will not enter into a total null. The weblog will remain semi-active because I, ironically, have obtained a guest writer. Michael Hutchison, creator and webmaster of Monitor Duty, as well as the last editor-in-chief of Fanzing and the owner of, has volunteered to occasionally (and thus irregularly, based on his availability) take over and post political stuff for the next week. That will be whatever comes into his head, but since he has a comic book site already, I imagine that only political commentary will be here. If you came for comic stuff, goto Monitor Duty for that week.

Hopefully the hit-count will not substantially drop in the comic weeks, just because I am busy becoming a better human being. That means I will be a professional earning an income.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Beau Smith and Heroes Ages

For Immediate Release
Contact Beau Smith 304-453-6565

Wolverine, John Byrne and Old Age.
Busted Knuckles Looks At What Super Heroes Have Their AARP Card.

Ceredo, WV. (August 14, 2006) John Byrne and Wolverine. You either
agree with them or you don’t. Main thing is you always know where
they stand on things. Like fine wine it’s always an interesting
discussion if either age very well. This week in Busted Knuckles, Beau
Smith agrees with John Byrne on the subject of one of the most popular
X-men ever, Wolverine.

Speaking of Busted Knuckles, this week’s episode also brings you a
new talent on the rock scene in the form of the Busted Knuckles Babe
Of The Week as well as turning your TV into a time machine with the
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week.

All this and more so much Beau Smith manly sweat that athletes are
trying to use it instead of steroids.

Just click on the manly link or cut and paste it…What ever it takes to
get there.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


The following was forwarded through the listserv for Michigan State University Young American for Freedom (MSU YAF).


Americans for Prosperity's Ending Earmarks Express will be making a stop in East Lansing on their national campaign to stop earmarking and pork barreling at the federal level. The Michigan stop will be in the parking lot of the MSU Family Horticultural Center, in the heart of MSU's agriculture, forestry, and horticulture departments on campus. The stop will highlight a $4 million earmark MSU received of our money to explore possible uses of wood! The media will be on hand, so we need to have as many activists there to show support for smaller government and less taxes.

The stop will take place from 11:30 - 12:45 a.m.. Box lunches will be served to activists and all participants will receive an Ending Earmarks Express t-shirt. Speakers for the event will be:

Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity
Amy Hagerstrom, State Director, Americans for Prosperity - Michigan
State Representative Leon Drolet
Former U.S. Senate candidate and AFP-MI Advisory Board Member Jerry Zandstra
Taxpayer activist and founder of the Kalamazoo County Taxpayers Association Isaac Moorehouse

Please email Amy Hagerstrom at to let her know you're interested in attending so she can make sure she has a lunch available for you and send you a map to the event. Thank you for supporting Sen. Coburn, Congressman Flake, and the movement to end earmarking.

The event is this Thursday, August 24th.

cracking facebook

Minor tips... stuff soon to be gone next time Facebook's resident evil bogeymen discover how to plug the holes.

Discover random Facebook imagery.

Evans-Novak Political Report on Conservative victories in August primaries

Like last time, I post this verbatim:

Conservative Nominees: After last Tuesday's primaries, the media paid much attention to the defeat of incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) by liberal, anti-war insurgent Ned Lamont (D). Yet relatively little attention was paid to the defeat of moderate freshman Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-Mich.) by conservative former State Rep. Tim Walberg (R).

  1. President Bush's closest political lieutenants were not happy about Schwarz's loss. Bush backed him and contributed to his re-election effort with automated phone calls, even though Schwarz had opposed the President on key issues such as stem-cell research, the environment and population control. In the end, though, Schwarz was probably too liberal for the district. He won in 2004 over a crowded field full of conservatives, and it made him a target for the Club for Growth.

  2. Walberg's victory for a House nomination, of course, should carry less weight than a Senate seat. But it is also part of a much larger trend that promises to make the GOP caucus in the House more conservative after the 2006 election, whether or not they hold on to their majority. Even before Schwarz's downfall, several primaries had shaken out in a way that ensures that sitting and exiting congressmen will be replaced by more conservative lawmakers.

  3. The trend began with primary victories by conservatives in several key open-seat races.

    • State Sen. Jim Jordan (R) is now a lock to replace Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio).

    • State Sen. Adrian Smith (R) will likely replace Rep. Tom Osborne (R-Neb.).

    • State Rep. Bill Sali (R) will probably replace Rep. Butch Otter (R-Idaho).

    • State Sen. Doug Lamborn (R) will replace Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), whose falling out with House GOP leadership has reduced his profile this year.

    • Conservative State Rep. David Davis (R) will easily win in November and replace the quiet Rep. Bill Jenkins (R-Tenn.).

    • The same is true of Walberg. Despite worries privately expressed by Bush advisors about keeping the seat, Walberg will have an easy time winning in November over organic farmer Sharon Marie Renier (D), whose campaign reports a current negative cash balance of $1,209.

In each case, a staunch conservative bomb-thrower defeated moderate primary opponents to win the nomination. Each of the above has at least a very strong chance replace an exiting incumbent who is less outspoken and at least a bit less conservative -- in some cases much less conservative.

  1. In other cases, the general election outcome is far less certain, but the nominees are still more conservative and more outspoken than the members they hope to replace.

    • State Sen. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), one of the fiercest conservative advocates in her state's legislature, won her party's endorsement to replace the less outspoken Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-Minn.).

    • State Sen. Ray Meier (R-N.Y.) faces a tough race, but he is at least slightly favored to replace liberal Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.).

  2. Only in two cases has a more moderate candidate replaced a more conservative member. One such winner is Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), who won a special election to succeed disgraced Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) after the latter's conviction on bribery charges. The other came in Tuesday night's Nevada primary, won (as we predicted) by Dean Heller (R).

  3. Moreover, some of the House's few moderate and liberal Republicans figure prominently among those most likely to lose their seats to Democrats. Moderate-liberal Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) is considered to be in grave danger, and moderate Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.) in slightly less danger. Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) is facing her toughest race yet. The seat of retiring moderate Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) has a great chance of going Democratic.

  4. One lesson is that Republican voters are disappointed in the failure of Republican leadership in Washington to deliver on key domestic issues important to the right. Conservatives grumble that the administration has used so much political capital on the Iraq War that it has been powerless to advance other priorities -- spending reductions, earmark reform, and social issues such as marriage protection, entitlement reform and tax reduction, to name a few examples. A more conservative Congress will be needed to deliver on ANWR drilling and a host of other issues dear to conservatives.

  5. Also significant is the number of current and former state legislators on the list of conservatives. This is the culmination of a long-term effort to build a more serious farm team of identifiable conservatives on the state level. This has been the baby of several activist groups on the right, including Americans for Tax Reform, whose "no-tax" pledge has become something like a seal of approval. All of the conservative hopefuls listed above are pledge-signers. With the clear identification of a conservative "team," it is easy for a group like the Club for Growth to swoop in and fund a serious, conservative candidate who can actually win.

  6. This is a large phenomenon, so again, the lack of media attention is curious. One explanation recently offered is the tendency of the major news organs to engage in "Democratic strategizing" as they analyze political races. The right or wrong of this is irrelevant to us -- the phenomenon is noteworthy because it is real and it actually could be affecting the political landscape. This year, full of talk about a Democratic wave, is strikingly different from 1994, when the Republican takeover of Congress caught most commentators by surprise.

This helps create a vague image problem for Republicans, but it is not all bad for them. A side effect of the media echo-chamber is that many Republican incumbents, scared by all the talk, are running for their lives instead of taking re-election for granted.

I point out that Mister Novak and Mister Evans were correct about the District 7 situation, as was I, and that the President's wisdom, the larger Republican common wisdom, and the state GOP's supposed wisdom were all wrong. It is a mistake to run a weak Conservative Republican when a strong one will do, especially in every seat where a Republican will win the November election regardless of his personal politics or ideology. The lack of faith undermines the movement for justice as well as the Conservative Movement.

an e-mail from the Center of Individual Freedom - foreign criminals, invaders, get more rights than our guardians

The following is pulled straight from an e-mail sent by the Center for Individual Freedom.

The next time you hear a Member of Congress speak about so-called "comprehensive immigration reform," remember the story of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

Ramos and Compean are U.S. Border Patrol agents who are facing 20 years in prison for attempting to apprehend an illegal alien -- who was also smuggling drugs -- at the border.

Hard to believe, but it's true! Consider this account of the incident from the Internet magazine

"When Border Patrol Agent Ignacio Ramos pulled the trigger last February, all he knew was that his partner was lying on the ground behind him -- bloodied from a struggle with a fleeing suspect -- shots had been fired and now, it appeared, the drug smuggler he was pursuing had turned toward him with what looked to be a gun in his hand...

"Ramos, 37, is an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve and a former nominee for Border Patrol Agent of the Year.

"On February 17, he responded to a request for back up from agent Jose Alonso Compean, 28, who noticed a suspicious van near the levee road along the Rio Grande River near the Texas town of Fabens, about 40 miles east of El Paso...

"Behind the wheel of the van was an illegal alien, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila of Mexico. Unknown to the growing number of Border Patrol agents converging on Fabens, Aldrete-Davila's van was carrying 800 pounds of marijuana.

"Unable to outrun Ramos and the third agent, Aldrete-Davila stopped the van on the levee, jumped out and started running toward the river. When he reached the other side of the levee, he was met by Compean who had anticipated the smuggler's attempt to get back to Mexico.

"'We both yelled out for him to stop, but he wouldn't stop, and he just kept running,' Ramos told California's Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Aldrete-Davila crossed a canal.

"'At some point during the time where I'm crossing the canal, I hear shots being fired,' Ramos said. 'Later, I see Compean on the ground, but I keep running after the smuggler.'

"At that point, Ramos said, Aldrete-Davila turned toward him, pointing what looked like a gun.

"'I shot,' Ramos said. 'But I didn't think he was hit, because he kept running into the brush and then disappeared into it. Later, we all watched as he jumped into a van waiting for him. He seemed fine. It didn't look like he had been hit at all.'"

But that wasn't the end of the story! Two weeks later, a Border Patrol Agent received a call from the drug smuggler's mother-in-law in Mexico who claimed that Ramos had actually shot the drug smuggler in the buttocks.

And our own government filed charges against Ramos and Compean for violating the civil rights of this illegal aliens and felon.

In the words of U.S. Assistant District Attorney Debra Kanof, "The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it is a violation of someone's Fourth Amendment rights to shoot them in the back while fleeing if you don't know who they are and/or if you don't know they have a weapon."

That's not all. Not only did our government give immunity to this drug smuggler to obtain his testimony at the trial, but this illegal alien and drug smuggler is now suing Ramos for $5 million dollars.

I think that it's somewhat disapointing that the Center's first and best response is some sort of electronic petition to the President of the United States. When would the Chief Executive pay attention to that sort of measure?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Chuck Dixon on The JonBenet Ramsay case

They finally have their man in this odious child murder.
I don't generally follow these "hot" murder cases. But this one has always bugged me for several reasons.
I still have my doubts and a lot of questions.
There were so many odd, maddening and incongruous elements to this case.
The parents did just about everything they could to complicate the investigation process.
The initial police search did not find a body inside the house. Then JonBenet's dad insisted on another search and let them directly to his daughter's body.
The ransom note brings up a LOT of questions. Did her mother write it? And why?
The Ramsays lawyered up almost immediately and insisted on every Byzantine process they could dredge up to keep the cops at arms length from them.
This confession from a guy in Thailand is suspicious as well. He's being held on a sex charge by the Thai authorities. Being arrested for a sex crime in Thailand is like being hauled in for gambling in Las Vegas. What exactly did this guy DO to violate Thai moral statutes?
And what are the chances that a guy facing Thailand's style of justice would confess to the most publicized child murder case of the past decade? That's a confession even the Thai authorities couldn't ignore. So, he gets extradited back to the good ol' USA to face trial and do time in a Colorado prison. Better than a Bangkok lock-up. Hell, a Mexican prison would seem like Club Med in comparison.
I still have questions. And since this clown will probably recant his confession the second his Reeboks touch down in the Land of the Free to Walk, we'll now have some of them answered.
My crazy, wild-eyed theory? Little JonBenet died by misadventure in her own home. Fell down a flight of stairs. Took a header in the bath tub. Something lethal but not criminal. Her parents, with their WAY over-exaggerated sense of their own importance in the community (they both EXUDED this in interviews and statements to the press) went blood simple and cooked up first a kidnap plot and finally a bizarre, ritualistic sex murder to cover the fact that their child died in a common home accident due to their own negligence.
Yeah, it's a nutty idea. But it's the only scenario that explains, to me anyhow, the events of that night and the following days.
I wouldn't be surprised if this guy jetting in from Thailand doesn't have his story fall apart quickly or fails to prove that he was even in the Boulder area at the time of the murder.
No matter how this plays out, I'm still convinced that there's far more to all of this than meets the eye.

source IP:
Posted by Chuck on August 16, 2006 at 19:38:12

Chuck Dixon on Saving Private Ryan

Chuck Dixon replies on the question of why Saving Private Ryan was really such a bad movie.

We might have to make this a permanent post.

All historical movies are guilty of sacrificing some accuracy for the sake of drama, expediency or whatever. But the misrepresentations of fact, attitude, tactics and reality of Saving Private Ryan represent a high-water mark of cinema dumbness.
We start at the very beginning of the movie. The old vet in the memorial cemetery having the flashback will be revealed at the end of the movie to be Private Ryan himself. But he flashes back to his memories of Omaha Beach and the fighting there; experiences he could not have had himself since his unit (the 101st Airborne) parachuted into France the night before, many miles from Normandy and its beaches.
From there it’s all downhill.
I haven’t seen the movie in a number of years and lots track of some of the gaffes. But a few stick out in my mind.
First and foremost, Captain Miller (played by Tom Hanks) puts up with a level of open insubordination throughout the film that would never have been tolerated in a WWII combat situation. They were summarily executing guys in the field during this operation for refusing to obey orders. The entire rifle squad’s lives are constantly at stake because Miller hesitates to take control.
The language of the GIs is also anachronistic. It’s sprinkled with phrasing that would not have been used then. Chief among them is the use of the “F” word as a verb, noun, adverb and adjective. Soldiers do use salty language. But this particular Anglo-Saxon term was not in nearly the common useage that this flick suggests and certainly not in the all-purpose forms we hear in this movie.
The squad itself just sort of ambles along like they were heading for a picnic. No one walks point, no one walks drag. When moving through occupied territory a small unit places a man in front to scout for trouble. A man walks behind in case the unit is being followed. In SPR they all walk in a clump where a single grenade or mortar round could take them all out at once. They also walk up on trouble without any advanced warning at least twice in the movie but don’t think of changing their order of march to prevent it happening again.
In the name of artfulness, they are continuously sky-lining themselves; walking along ridgelines and hilltops so we can see their silhouettes against the sky. Very pretty. It also would make them plainly visible to any Germans who happened to be looking for American soldiers that day.
The squad goes through piles of dogtags while members of the 101st march by watching with curiosity. These paratroops are shown as fresh-faced kids who teleported in directly from an Iowa cornfield. In reality, at this point of the battle, these guys would have been awake for 72 straight hours high on adrenalin and amphetamines and coming off of one of most savage hand-to-hand battles of the war. In this instance, reality could have aided the drama as Miller and his unit would have been in real danger for their lives from their own side for their behavior.
The worst comes when Miller and co. finally find Private Ryan. He’s in a village where his paratroop unit has been tasked with holding back German reinforcements. This is a pressure point at a small bridge over a canal. The krauts cannot be allowed to cross that canal or they’ll be able to bring armor against the advancing Americans. Rather than blow the bridge and flee with Ryan, Miller chooses to defend the bridge FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE CANAL. He deploys his men (none of whom have anti-tank weapons) to buildings on the opposite side of the canal.
The Germans are all dopes as well. Panzer-grenadiers show up. These guys are motorized infantry assigned to armor units to scout ahead and clear obstacles, mines and take out anti-tank positions. German tank were expensive and the Reich did everything it could to protect them from unnecessary risk. But here, the grenadiers helpfully run along either side of the tanks so they can be mowed down in the open like Imperial Stormtroopers.
These are the ones that I recall. The errors that allow a movie like KELLY’S HEROES to stand as a paragon of research over this much-vaunted movie.
In articles I read while SPR was being filmed, the military advisor on the movie, Dale Dye, was quoted in articles about the difficulty of working on this movie because there were so MANY mistakes in the screenplay. He stated that he could not talk the filmmakers out of keeping many of the egregious errors out of the film. He nearly exhausted himself convincing them to excise the repeated use of the term “motherf*****r” from the dialogue as it was a profanity that did not yet exist in the patois of anyone in 1944.

source IP:
Posted by Chuck on August 20, 2006 at 12:10:50

Is the Mainstream Media Fair and Balanced?

From Imprimis August 2006

Fred Barnes
Executive Editor, The Weekly Standard

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard. From 1985 to 1995, he served as senior editor and White House correspondent for The New Republic. He covered the Supreme Court and the White House for the Washington Star before moving on to the Baltimore Sun in 1979. He served as the national political correspondent for the Sun and wrote the Presswatch media column for the American Spectator. He is host, along with Mort Kondracke, of the Beltway Boys on FOX News, where he also appears regularly on Special Report with Brit Hume. Mr. Barnes graduated from the University of Virginia and was a Neiman Fellow at Harvard University.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 22, 2006, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar on “The News Media in the Twenty-First Century.”

Let me begin by defining three terms that are thrown around in debates about the media today. The first is objectivity, which means reporting the news with none of your own political views or instincts slanting the story one way or another. Perfect objectivity is pretty hard for anyone to attain, but it can be approximated. Then there's fairness. Fairness concedes that there may be some slant in a news story, but requires that a reporter will be honest and not misleading with regard to those with whom he disagrees. And finally there's balance, which means that both sides on an issue or on politics in general—or more than two sides, when there are more than two—get a hearing.

My topic today is how the mainstream media—meaning nationally influential newspapers like the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today; influential regional papers like the Miami Herald, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times; the broadcast networks and cable news stations like CNN; and the wire services, which now are pretty much reduced to the Associated Press—stacks up in terms of the latter two journalistic standards, fairness and balance. In my opinion, they don't stack up very well.

Twenty years ago I wrote a piece in The New Republic entitled “Media Realignment,” and the thrust of it was that the mainstream media was shedding some of its liberal slant and moving more to the center. This was in the Reagan years, and I pointed to things like USA Today, which was then about five years old and was a champion of the Reagan economic recovery. CNN was younger then, too, and quite different from the way it is now; Ted Turner owned it, but he wasn't manipulating it the way he did later, which turned it into something quite different. Financial news was suddenly very big in the midst of the 401 (k) revolution, and the stock market boom was getting a lot of coverage. The New Republic, where I worked, had been pro-Stalin in the 1930s, but by the 1980s had become very pro-Reagan and anti-communist on foreign policy. I also cited a rise of new conservative columnists like George Will. But looking back on that piece now, I see that I couldn't have been more wrong. The idea that the mainstream media was moving to the center was a mirage. In fact, I would say that compared to what I was writing about back in the 1980s, the mainstream media today is more liberal, more elitist, more secular, more biased, more hostile to conservatives and Republicans, and more self-righteous.

Liberal and Impenetrable

Liberalism is endemic in the mainstream media today. Evan Thomas—the deputy editor of Newsweek and one of the honest liberals in the media—noted this very thing with regard to coverage of the 2004 presidential race, which I'll discuss later. It was obvious, he said, that the large majority in the media wanted John Kerry to win and that this bias slanted their coverage. And indeed, every poll of the media—and there have been a lot of them—shows that they're liberal, secular and so on. Polls of the Washington press corps, for instance, about who they voted for in 2004 always show that nine-to-one or ten-to-one of them voted Democratic. Peter Brown, a columnist who just recently left the Orlando Sentinel, conducted a poll a few years ago of newspaper staffs all around the country—not just at the big papers, but midsize papers and even some small papers—and found that this disparity existed everywhere.

Nor is this likely to change. Hugh Hewitt, the California lawyer and blogger and talk radio host, spent a few days recently at the Columbia Journalism School, supposedly the premiere journalism school in America. He spoke to a couple of classes there and polled them on who they had voted for. He found only one Bush voter in all the classes he spoke to. Steve Hayes, a fine young writer and reporter at The Weekly Standard, went to Columbia Journalism School and says that during his time there he was one of only two or three conservative students out of hundreds.

This is not to say that there aren't many fine young conservative journalists. But they aren't likely to be hired in the mainstream media. When I was at The New Republic for ten years—and The New Republic was quite liberal, despite its hawkish foreign policy—any young person who joined the staff and wrote stories that were interesting and demonstrated that he or she could write well was grabbed immediately by the New York Times or other big newspapers, Newsweek, Time or the networks. But that doesn't happen at The Weekly Standard, where I work now. Some of our young writers are the most talented I have ever met in my 30-plus years in journalism. But they don't get those phone calls. Why? Because they're with a conservative magazine. Of course there has been one famous exception—David Brooks, who is now the conservative columnist with the New York Times. But he was probably the least conservative person at The Weekly Standard. Conservatives are tokens on most editorial pages, just as they are on the broadcast networks and on cable news stations like CNN and MSNBC. Of course, I have a vested interest, since I work for FOX News; but if you compare the number of liberal commentators on FOX—and there are a lot of them—with the number of conservatives on those other stations, you'll see what I mean.

The fact is that the mainstream media doesn't want conservatives. It doesn't matter whether they're good reporters or writers. They go out of their way not to hire them. This was true 20 years ago, and it's true today. This impenetrability is why conservatives have had to erect the alternative media—talk radio, the blogs, conservative magazines and FOX News. Together, these form a real infrastructure that's an alternative to the mainstream media. But it's still a lot smaller, it's not as influential and it's largely reactive. It's not the equal of the mainstream media, that's for sure.

Powerful and Unfair

One way to see the unequaled power of the mainstream media is in how it is able to shape and create the stories that we're stuck talking about in America. A good example is Cindy Sheehan last summer. The Sheehan story was a total creation of the mainstream media. And in creating the story, the media shamelessly mischaracterized Sheehan. It portrayed her as simply a poor woman who wanted to see President Bush because her son had been killed in Iraq. Well, in the first place, she had already seen President Bush once. Also, though you would never know it from the dominant coverage, she was in favor of the Iraqi insurgency—the beheaders, the killers of innocent women and children. She was on their side, and she said so. She was also filled with a deep hatred of Israel. Yet the media treated her in a completely sympathetic manner, failing to report the beliefs that she made little attempt to hide. In any case, the Cindy Sheehan story came to dominate the news for the latter part of the summer; only the mainstream media still has the power to make stories big.

To see how distorted the mainstream media's view of the world can be, one need only compare its coverage of the Valerie Plame “leak” story with its coverage of the NSA surveillance leak story. Plame is the CIA agent whose name was written about by reporter Robert Novak in a column, following which the media portrayed her as having been outed as an undercover CIA agent. The simple facts from the beginning were that she was not an undercover agent any more; she was not even overseas. The story had no national security repercussions at all—none. But that didn't stop the media, which built the story up to great heights—apparently in the groundless hope that it would lead to an indictment of Karl Rove—and kept it front page news, at least intermittently, for what seemed like forever. The NSA surveillance story, on the other hand, also created by the media—this time pursuant to a real leak, and one that was clearly in violation of the law—had tremendous national security implications. After all, it revealed a secret and crucial program that was being used to uncover plots to bomb and massacre Americans and probably rendered that program no longer effective. Not only was this important story treated on an equal basis with the non-story of Valerie Plame, but the media was not interested, for the most part, in its national security repercussions. Instead the media mischaracterized the story as a “domestic spying scandal,” suggesting constitutional overreach by the Bush administration. Well, a domestic spying story is exactly what the story was not. Those being spied on were Al-Qaeda members overseas who were using the telephone. If some of those calls were with people in the U.S., they were monitored for that reason only. But the media's stubborn mischaracterization of the story continued to frame the debate.

This brings me to the use of unfair and unbalanced labeling by the media. How often, if ever, have you heard or read the term “ultraliberal”? I don't think I've ever heard or read it. You'll hear and see the term “ultraconservative” a lot, but not “ultraliberal”—even though there are plenty of ultraliberals. Another widely used labeling term is “activist.” If people are working to block a shopping center from being built or campaigning against Wal-Mart, they are called “activists.” Of course, what the term “activist” means is liberal. But while conservatives are called conservatives by the media, liberals are “activists.” For years we've seen something similar with regard to debates over judicial nominees. The Federalist Society, with which many conservative judicial nominees tend to be associated, is always referred to as the conservative Federalist Society, as if that's part of its name. But the groups opposing conservative nominees are rarely if ever labeled as liberal—giving the impression that they, unlike the Federalist Society, are somehow objective.

Related to this, I would mention that conservatives are often labeled in a way to suggest they are mean and hateful. Liberals criticize, but conservatives hate. Have you noticed that the media never characterizes individuals or groups as Bush haters? There are Bush critics, but there are no Bush haters—whereas in the Clinton years, critics of the president were often referred to as Clinton haters. I'm not saying that there weren't Clinton haters on the fringes in the 1990s. But far-left groups like have been treated as acceptable within the mainstream of American politics today by the media, while in truth they are as clearly animated by hatred as the most rabid anti-Clinton voices ever were.

Secular and Partisan Bias

With regard to religion, Christianity in particular—but also religious faith in general—is reflexively treated as something dangerous and pernicious by the mainstream media. Back in the early 1990s when I was still at The New Republic, I was invited to a dinner in Washington with Mario Cuomo. He was then governor of New York, and had invited several reporters to dinner because he was thinking about running for president. At one point that night he mentioned that he sent his children to Catholic schools in New York because he wanted them to be taught about a God-centered universe. This was in the context of expressing his whole-hearted support for public schools. But from the reaction, you would have thought he had said that one day a week he would bring out the snakes in his office and make policy decisions based on where they bit him. He was subsequently pummeled with stories about how improper it was for him, one, to send his kids to religious schools, and two, to talk about it. It was amazing. The most rigid form of secularism passes as the standard in mainstream journalism these days.

President Bush is similarly treated as someone who is obsessive about his religion. And what does he do? Well, he reads a devotional every day; he tries to get through the Bible, I think, once a year; and he prays. Now, I know many, many people who do this. Tens of millions of people do it. And yet the media treats Bush as some religious nut and pursues this story inaccurately. Again, it is clear that partisan bias is involved, too, because in fact, Bush talks publicly about his faith much less than other presidents have. There is a good book about Bush's religion by Paul Kengor, who went back to every word President Clinton spoke and found out that Clinton quoted scripture and mentioned God and Jesus Christ more than President Bush has. You would never get that from the mainstream media.

The partisan bias of the mainstream media has been at no time more evident than during the last presidential election. Presidential candidates used to be savaged equally by the media. No matter who—Republican or Democrat—they both used to take their hits. But that's not true any more. Robert Lichter, at the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, measures the broadcast news for all sorts of things, including how they treat candidates. He's been doing it now for nearly 20 years. And would anyone care to guess what presidential candidate in all those years has gotten the most favorable treatment from the broadcast media? The answer is John Kerry, who got 77 percent favorable coverage in the stories regarding him on the three broadcast news shows. For Bush, it was 34 percent. This was true despite the fact that Kerry made his Vietnam service the motif of the Democratic National Convention, followed weeks later by 64 Swift Boat vets who served with Kerry in Vietnam claiming that he didn't do the things he said he did. It was a huge story, but the mainstream media didn't want to cover it and didn't cover it, for week after week after week.

There was an amazingly well documented book written by a man named John O'Neill—himself a Swift Boat vet—who went into great detail about why John Kerry didn't deserve his three Purple Hearts, etc. It might have been a right-wing screed, but if you actually read it, it wasn't a screed. It backed up its claims with evidence. Normally in journalism, when somebody makes some serious charges against a well-known person, reporters look into the charges to see if they're true or not. If they aren't, reporters look into the motives behind the false charges—for instance, to find out if someone paid the person making the false charges, and so on. But that's not what the media did in this case. The New York Times responded immediately by investigating the financing of the Swift Boat vets, rather than by trying to determine whether what they were saying was true. Ultimately, grudgingly—after bloggers and FOX News had covered the story sufficiently long that it couldn't be ignored—the mainstream media had to pick up on the story. But its whole effort was aimed at knocking down what the Swift Boat vets were saying.

Compare this with September 8, 2004, when Dan Rather reported on documents that he said showed not only that President Bush used preferential treatment to get into the Texas National Guard, but that he hadn't even done all his service. The very next morning, the whole story—because CBS put one of the documents on its Web site—was knocked down. It was knocked down because a blogger on a Web site called Little Green Footballs made a copy on his computer of the document that was supposedly made on a typewriter 30 years earlier and demonstrated that it was a fraud made on a modern computer. Then, only a few weeks after that embarrassment, CBS came up with a story, subsequently picked up by the New York Times, that an arms cache of 400 tons of ammunition in Iraq had been left unguarded by the American military and that the insurgents had gotten hold of it. Well, it turned out that they didn't know whether the insurgents had gotten that ammunition or not, or whether indeed the American military had possession of it. It was about a week before the election that these major news organizations broke this unsubstantiated story, something that would have been unimaginable in past campaigns. Why would they do that? Why would Dan Rather insist on releasing fraudulent documents when even his own experts recommended against it? Why would CBS and the New York Times come back with an explosive but unsubstantiated arms cache story only weeks later? They did it for one reason: They wanted to defeat President Bush for re-election. There is no other motive that would explain disregarding all the precautions you're taught you should have in journalism.

I'll wind up on a positive note, however. Forty years ago, John Kenneth Galbraith—the great liberal Harvard economist—said that he knew conservatism was dead because it was bookless. Conservatives didn't publish books. And to some extent, it was true at the time. But it's no longer true. Conservatives have become such prolific writers and consumers of books that Random House and other publishing companies have started separate conservative imprints. Nowadays it is common to see two or three or four conservative books—some of them kind of trashy, but some of them very good—on the bestseller list. Insofar as books are an indication of how well conservatives are doing—at least in the publishing part of the media world—I would say they're doing quite well. They're not winning, but they're much better off than they were before—something that can't be said about how they are faring in the unfair and unbalanced mainstream media.

Reprinted by permission from IMPRIMIS, the national speech digest of Hillsdale College,

Michigan State University Pro-Life Rally

Hi all!!!
****** I wanted to say let you all know that MSU is having a fall pro-life rally!! It is on Saturday September 16th, 2006 from 2-5pm at The Rock on msu's campus. It is free admission and we will be having the Silent Hero band play as well as inspirational stories from Silent No More members. Congressmen Mike Rogers will also be there!! I hope everyone can stop by even if it's for a few minutes!!! This is gonna be such a huge event with pro-life groups from all of Michigan coming as well as the surrounding pro-life community!
(I could use all the help in the world with final details of the rally when it gets closer to the date so please email me back to let me know you can help!!!)
****** Also- we are going to be ordering t-shirts for our group in the fall and we would like to get that started as soon as possible so if you know you're interested please come to the first meeting (not sure of the exact date yet- it'll be a tues night tho) and sign up to order a shirt!
****** Another important fyi: Party @ the AUD is right around the corner so we need to know if anyone will be in the lansing area or at msu before the event (saturday august 26th 6-10pm) to help out with the planning of our booth or let us know if you wanna help run the booth during the event!! It is lots of fun and you get to meet so many people!!! If you can't help out-please stop by our booth and say hi as well as check out some of the other groups that will be there supporting us!
Have a great summer...what's left of it! :( ---and we'll see ya'll in the fall for the pro-life rally!!
~Natalie M. Kuzminski
Rally Coordinator

Ken Curell
President, MSU Students for Life

Nitro incinerates Wolverine

click the image above to enlarge as neccessary.

from Wolverine Vol. 2 #43 pencilled by Humberto Ramos

Nitro uses his power on Wolverine and agents of SHIELD. Wolverine's flesh is incinerated clean off of his unbreakable skeleton. Despite logic or the stories written by previous writers over the last few decades, the character survives this attack, which should have killed him.

Friday, August 18, 2006

X-Men 3 on Film Journal

This article analyes the third X-Men movie and demonstrates that the writer either did not stay l until after the credits before leaving the show, or he just did not pay attention near the end,

The DVD Lexicon

by the DVD Journal

click here.

Stealing to Study

Facebook: Threats to Privacy

Students used a special script to steal data on a few thousand students directly from Facebook and then used that to do a study on what people reveal and how that can be made public to those outside the specific internet community.

The link goes to a HTML translation of a PDF file.

Please Pray for...

these people.

There was a car accident. There would be healing.

Book Burrow

Lansing, MI

Lansing Library and Information Center
Book Burrow
401 S. Capitol Ave.

* Wed 11-6, Fri, Sat 11-2
* Many thousands of books; 50% donated; 50% hardcover; sorted; Most .30-$3

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Wictory Wednesday

This week, Wictory Wednesday present Thomas Kean for the US Senate for the state of New Jersey. Tom is a known conservative supporting sound economic and political policies that will keep America going in the right direction.

Much has been said about the "culture of corruption" that permeates both parties nationally as well as in New Jersey. Recently, the New Jersey Attorney General resigned over ethical violations. Kean is no stranger to the destruction a corrupt government causes and is committed to the cause of reform to clean up not only corrupt politicans, but wasteful bureaucratic spending and expansive government agencies.

Kean understands that funding education is essential but that it must come with accountability. Projects and organizations that are achieving results should be funded and expanded. Bureaucracies and programs that are failing students and parents should be defunded and discarded. Throwing money at a problem without taking the time to ensure results just wastes money and condemns American youth to second-class status in the global economy.

As a supporter of lower taxes, Kean understands that this must come with lower spending. While the economy is growing and reducing the impact that the budget deficit has on the economy, much greater gains would be made if wasteful spending never took place to begin with. Ending absurd taxes such as the marriage penalty and the ever-expansive alternative minumum tax would not shackle the middle class. The best way to create jobs is to keep the cost of running and expanding businesses economical.

Kean would be a solid voice for conservative values in the United States Senate where it seems to be needed the most. Please consider contributing to the Kean campaign.

This has been a production of the Wictory Wednesday blogburst. If you would like to join Wictory Wednesday, please see this post or contact John Bambenek at jcb (dot) blog [at] gmail {dot} com. The following sites are members of the Wictory Wednesday team:

a Speedway

Store #6616
2765 Eaton Rapids Rd
Lansing, MI 48911-6334

a (Moorewatch) Bio page for a Blue Spider


After descending from heaven and destroying thirty pagans in a bloody ritual sacfrice 500 years ago, the minor diety decided that Zeus was getting to be a bit too uppity and went to take a permanent vacation upon Midgard.

After awhile he took to right-wing politics like a fish to water and is now attempting to establish his career and pull out of his current rut as a college student.

link here

students for life- an easy, free, powerful event

The following is from Michigan Student for Life chairwoman Joanie Barrett. It was sent by e-mail through the sfl listserv.

Hi Pro-Lifers,
I hope you are all having a great summer. As we are getting ready for fall semester, I wanted all of you to know about an opportunity to bring a Genocide Awareness Project display to your campus. The Leadership Institute has generously offered to purchase a mini-gap display and bring it here to Michigan for a week or two to do a tour of campuses. The Genocide Awareness Project uses graphic images of aborted babies and graphic images of holocaust victims, K.K.K. victims etc. to compare abortion to other form of violence that are more widely recognized as genocide. You can learn more about the mini-GAP display here.
I realize that some groups may not want to use graphic images, this is a decision for each group to make but I encourage you to consider it with an open mind. The pictures are very effective. Many pro-lifers worry that this may not be the best way to get our message out. I'm not going to argue about it being the best, but it is one way. As with all of the events or displays we use to get our message out, this display will effect some people. Nothing we do will change all the pro-abortion minds. Different people respond to different methods and I believe that we should approach the issue from as many angles as possible.
At Wayne State last year we had a group called Missionaries to the Pre-born on campus. They displayed graphic images of aborted babies. And one pregnant student who intended to abort her baby changed her mind that day. The display didn't convince every student on campus that abortion is wrong, but it saved that baby.
If you do decide that you would like to have GAP at your school, please let me know by Friday or ASAP. I will also need to know if you have any preferences for the date. We will try to accommodate everyone to the best of our ability. Right now we are shooting for sometime in September or October.
As usual let me know if you have any questions, if you need help with anything your group is working on, or if you know anyone who would like to work on starting a pro-life group on a campus where one does not already exist.
Thanks everyone and I hope to hear from you soon.

Joanie Barrett
SFLM President
(248) 890-8738

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I first heard of the P-90 from watching Stargate SG-1 and saw it and assumed that the firearm was fictitious. I saw it as something like the BFG from Doom or those guns shaped like mailboxes that Cable tended to wield in the nineties. My assumptions that it didn't actually exist were reinforced by a reference that Richard Dean Anderson made to the weapon on an appearance on the Wayne Brady Show, referring to in such a manner that it wasn't something a child would run across or that the presence of that particular weapon on the show was something that distanced the program from real life enough that his kids would not make a violent connection. Obviously I misinterpreted, but Mr. Anderson's statement wasn't entirely clear to begin with.

Awhile back, and quite some time after Mr. Anderson's statement, I was surprised to discovers that P-90s were real. The FN P90 is a submachine gun, designed to balance the needs of an ammo load, with size, compactness, weight, and accuracy. The Arms Site puts it this way:
Military organizations have struggled for generations with two frequently overlapping problems: (1) how to arm troops whose primary mission is something other than the use of small arms; and (2) how to arm troops who need compact firepower for conducting special operations. A remarkable array of pistols, submachind guns and carbines have been fielded over the years in an, attempt to give people such as vehicle drivers, operators of crew-served weapons, support personnel and special operators a weapon with the optimum mix of compact size, hit probability, sustained firepower and terminal ballistics. Recent decades have also seen a similar quest in law enforcement to provide superior sidearms and auxiliary weapons for officers facing a changing tactical environment. The result is that sidearms, submachine guns and carbines developed for the aforementioned special military needs have become widely used tools within law enforcement. One of the most provocative attempts to solve the common requirements of both the military and law enforcement is the select-fire P90 Personal Defense Weapon designed and manufactured by Fabrique National Herstal SA of Belgium.
In other words it's a gun for non-infantry that is still effective for killing people wearing protective gear. This weapon appears to be so awesome I'm surprised that I have not run across it in more fiction.
The FN P90 submachine gun (SMG) was developed in the late 1980s as a defensive weapon for the troops whose primary activities does not include small arms - vehicle and tank crew members, artillery crews etc. Standart pistols and SMGs chambered for pistol rounds were proved ineffective against enemy soldiers, wearing armour (bulletproof) vests, so FN Herstal developed a new round with enhanced penetration - the SS190. This round looks like scaled downt 5.56mm NATO round and forces the pointed, steel core bullet to the 600-700 meters per second at the muzzle, thus being capable to defeat standart CRISAT helmets and armour vests at reasonable distances (50-100 meters).
Suddenly I wish to own one. I don't think it's possible.

The P90 is the ultimate system for operating in urban and other close-quarter battle scenarios. This system is built around our revolutionary FN 5.7 x 28mm ammunition. It utilizes the SS190 armor piercing duty round, but since the dual core destabilizes on impact, overpenetration is unlikely. The P90 provides a compact, lightweight and completely ambidextrous platform for this ammunition. The 50 round magazine runs horizontally across the top of the P90, keeping it compact and empty casings are ejected downward, where they cannot interfere with the user. The P90 fires from a closed bolt, giving it outstanding accuracy and making it easy to keep on target. Ideal personal defense weapon for armored vehicles or helicopter crews. Perfectly fitted for law enforcement tactical teams. Other P90 configurations include the P90 Triple Rail, P90 Laser Visible, P90 Infrared (IR), P90 USG and the P90 USG IR. The Triple Rail and Standard are also available in semi-automatic.The Five-seveN pistol, also chambered for 5.7 x 28mm, is an excellent companion to the P90.
From the description at that site and my two other primary resources I'm not entirely certain I understand why Colonel O'Neil and the others in the SGC have used this as the primary weapon considering how most of the time following Gate-Travel is hiking, walking, and running. Then again much of what I see on the show resembles depictions of resl-life urban combat, and the United States Air Force acts, in real life,as a consultant for the program; I trust these are the right weapons.

I cannot afford to purchase a civilian model P90. "The PS90 is the only civilian legal version", and it costs upward of $1,489.99! That is the "On Sale" price and it's for the long-barreled version. The short barrel model costs $510 more. If I desire to purchase another firearm for sport or protection I wouldn't spend two grand on a watered-down civilian version of a kick-ass military-class firearm when I can get a Glock, any other handgun, or even purchase another shotgun or rifle. All of those choices are far less expensive and are just as reliable for tearing stuff up.

I find it fascinating, for no particular reason, that the manufacture of the weapon is Belgian and even that it was the Belgians that invented it. On the other hand my resources don't list it as common use by the American military, instead Modern Firearms lists the use "by Saudi Arabia, Peruan Special Forces and some special units of Thailand army, and offered for export by FN." Perhaps I assume too much, or perhaps for the ASAF the use of the FN P90 as a standard issue weapon is as fictional a concept and as fictionalized of an institution as the Stargate Command.

My primary sources are
The last one, ultimately, is a product pagem but an informative and useful one. The middle one is a reprint of a weapon review.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A Serving Soldier's View on Heroism

The following is a recollection/reprinting by a writer with the nom de plume of "Not From Around Here". His brother served in Iraq and was doing so through last year and during that time sent e-mails home, which got posted on the Dixonverse Message Board. This post is new.

Some of you may recall this from last year. It's my brother's description of one action he witnessed:
"They tried our gate yesterday, too. I was out checking progress on the ECP4 mission then a white 4-door sedan pulled off the road and turned toward the gate. It was dragging its springs and the back windows were blacked out, which are fairly-certain indicators. I hit the ground and locked and loaded. Startled my buds (Chief ***** and MSG ****** of the *****), but they soon understood. Anyway, the guards fired a warning shot with no response, and then shot the car up with a .50 cal MG. Big chunks flew off the car under the hammering of Ma Deuce, the car staggered to a stop, and then it blew. Even flat on the ground 200m away, it felt like a punch in the gut. And me without my camera! When I got back to the hooch, I took a pic of the smoke. The best (worst) moments always pass without being able to record them. Anyway, the blast took out about six Iraqi cars either on the road or parked. No Coalition casualties. Don't know about Iraqi civ casualties yet, but cou ldn't be more than 8 or 10, maybe less, several of the cars looked unoccupied. I'm not sure if this has made it into the news. The prelim assessment is 500+ pounds of explosive equivalent. I had a ringing headache for the afternoon."

I commented after reading this that his lastest post was "kind of harrowing." He sent this in reply:

"You know, the bomb at the gate is more harrowing in retrospect than in the experience itself. When things do happen, they seem to happen so fast that there's little time to do anything but realize "I'm okay, now who can I shoot?" I suspect the difference between one who can react effectively and one who cannot rests largely in the individual's ability to swiftly settle that first question: am I okay? Those we call heroes are frequently those who forget to ask the question at all."

Posted by Not From Around Here on August 14, 2006 at 10:39:52
source IP:


see Brethren and Sistren and cistern

Definitions and explanations of the uncommon word are found there. But at least it is real!

Brethren and Sistren and cistern

I have been utterly convinced for some time that there was a feminine equivalent of the word "brethren", that being a stylized and archaic plural form/reference of brother and brothers. I knew it was "sistren" but for the life of me I cannot recall where I got that knowledge and I discovered why people doubted my knowledge of this word; although I knew why they thought I was referring to the word "cistern" no one should doubt that the word "sistren" is not something that I made up, but a real word. I looked up the answers and discovered why.
What is the feminine equivalent of brethren?

There is a word sistren, though it has a somewhat different history from its male parallel. Both words were used in Middle English (12th to 15th centuries) simply as the plural forms of brother and sister. From about 1600, brothers began to take over from brethren (Shakespeare used both), except in referring to fellow members of a religious community, or a society or profession. Even this use is now rather archaic (though groups such as the Plymouth Brethren keep it in use). Sistren, meanwhile, had fallen completely out of use by the middle of the 16th century, but has been revived (and used almost exclusively) by feminist writers.
The reason why it was so difficult for me to look up the word in standard references and normal resources is that the word fell completely out of common use by the middle of the 1500s! The word has been gone for nearly 500 years now! My diction hasn't been normal for half a millenium. Rest assured that I did not acquire the word from a feninist text or any work by a feminist writer. That leaves the point of introduction a mystery.

A cistern is a "receptacle for holding water or other liquid, especially a tank for catching and storing rainwater." I knew that.

Getting an Absentee Ballot in the state of Michigan

Follow the link to Michigan's Absentee Voting Process

If you already have an idea how it all works and don't care much for the specific rules, laws, minutia, and details then simply download an absentee ballot request.

You can fill one of those out using the proper Adobe PDF reader, print it, sign it, and mail it to your local township clerk for processing. You can find his or her identity and address through here. Then you can expect to receive your absentee voter ballot.

There is no shame in voting straight-ticket Republican and it is especially vital that we support the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which, as I recall is Proposal 2 this year and if we vote correctly we can remove racial characteristics as a standard measurement in academic assessment.

Reiko Aylesworth

The Reiko Aylesworth Interview from/at Television Without Pity

There is an unofficial Reiko Aylesworth Fan Blog.

It's actually rather embarrassing. The bulk of the content is tiny pictures; most of the which are actually seperate frames from individual scenes fron a television program or movie. The entire month of March is just Ms. Aylesworth sitting at a table, but with slightly different positions in each image because she was actually moving in the television scene! I would be embarrassed and I know what blogs I have.

what? row house!

“Just break even”

“sell it to a moderate income family for 250 (thousand dollars)”

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Seattle Terrorism and such

From Sid Fredrickson, July 30, 2006
Will Justice Be Done In Seattle?
Sound Politics is really doing very good coverage of
the recent terrorist attack in Seattle, Washington

This article in particular is a must read.

King County Prosecutor Maleng Must Seek Death Penalty
For Jew-Killer Haq

Please Contact the King County Prosecutor

And King County Executive Sims who hasn't even
expressed much outrage regarding this yet.
Sid Fredrickson also sent one other fascinating note.
Seattle Terrorist Loves Cats
Here's the Seattle Terrorist's Friendster's page.

About Me:

Exercising is a passion for me. I like to stay in
shape and I like biking. Being opinionated is not me
but I lean on the liberal side. I don't do anything
real crazy, like ice climbing or bungee jumping. That
would require getting off land, which I don't like to
do. Finally, I like cats, but currently I have no

Who I Want to Meet:
A person who has a sense of humor and is easy going
like myself. A woman of the world, but not a worldly
woman. I'm not sure what that means. It just sounded
good. Last but not least, people with felonies need
not seek my company.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Hero Falls...

WPTF Terrorism Expert Dies In Accident

(WPTF)--Former comrades from numerous military units and public
safety agencies are shouldering the loss of Capt. Craig Marks, U-S
Army Retired.

Marks, who was an authority on terrorism for 680-WPTF, died in an
land-clearing accident at his Harnett County home.

Among his many responsibilities, Marks served as a reserve police
officer with the Lillington P-D, where Frank Powers is chief...

"He was always willing to help...a very good guy. He helped us in a
number of ways...You can't replace somebody like Craig."

Craig Marks was an expert in law enforcement, emergency
management, and military science. He was a veteran of both the Marine
Corps and the Army Special Forces.

Randall Rickman - WPTF News
Copyright: Curtis Media Group
Fri Aug 11, 11:09:42 AM EST


E. Clark says:*
I never met the man. Never knew him at all, but I did listen to him
when he was on the air. He was knowledgeable about the topics and
helped me understand more about the conflict and put in to context
the situations we find oursleves in in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

But while I knew he had served his country overseas, unfortunately I
didn't find out about the ways he continued to serve his country at home
until after his death. I thought you guys might like to read a testament
to a real American hero, Capt. Craig Marks. He will be missed.

* on August 11, 2006 at 19:46:52
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The Cooler...

do you ever want to see William H. Macy's naked arse?

I've never seen so much of his naked ass.

His naked ass, the image, has been cauterized onto my eyeballs.

Burned seared horrendous horrible.

Granted the Kevin Costner nudity is tolerable but unpleasent.

But so much exposure of the bottom portions of William H. Macy, both sides, unclad and barely covered when covered are enough to justify R-rating and more? What's the Rating for Unpleasent Nudity, Undesired Nudity?


The Cooler the Movie.... William H. Macy is naked. Completely naked. Too much so.

Granted the movie is a good. It's a good movie. I like the movie. But parts are incredibly unpleasent.... interestingly those must have been the parts most pleasent for the Bernie character. William H. Macy probably did not protest his exposure or interaction with Maria Bello. Again though, I warn you of the mighty, terrible things you may see in this film. Mind you: if you want to see William H. Macy in the buff, that's your terrible taste but I tell you that H does does not stand "Hiney, wonderful".

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What Cricket has to do with this Terrorist Plot

From Sid Fredrickson:
As early as 16 years ago, Lord Norman Tebbit, a
British politician expressed his concerns about the
increasing numbers of British Citizens who identified
with a foreign nationality more than their British

An example he gave was what he saw at a cricket match
in Great Britain between their national team and that
of Pakistan. He saw a great number of British
citizens of Pakistani descent rooting not for England
but for Pakistan. And they weren't all naturalized
first generation British citizens, but third and
fourth generations as well.

How, he wondered, can these people be considered
British citizens and take part of the responsibilities
of British citizenship, when they themselves don't
even really think of themselves as British as
indicated by them rooting for a foreign team instead
their own national team?

And what are the consequences for British society of
having a significant segment of its population that
will not integrate itself into British Culture but
instead identifies itself more with a foreign country
than their own?

This "test" of British citizenship came to be known in
England as the "Cricket Test" and as you can imagine
was greeted with hostility and calls of racism from
the Left.

But his concerns were unfortunately vindicated on July
7th, 2005 when "home grown" terrorists hit the London
Underground subway system with suicide attacks

And now we have another terrorist plot which might
have just included "home grown" terrorists in Great

Too bad people didn't listen to Lord Tebbit's concerns
in 1990 instead of ridiculing his "Cricket Test".

For More Information:

Tebbit attacks 'unreformed' Islam

Lord Tebbit said the 'cricket test' was a means of
gauging whether a community had integrated.

"If a community was looking back at where it had come
from instead of looking forward with the people to
whom they had come to, then there is going to be a
problem sooner or later."

Jocasta versus the Taskmaster

from Avengers #196, pencil art by George Perez

Kevin Smith on Superman Returns

from Fox News:
By the way, I couldn’t resist asking Smith what he thought of the new "Superman Returns,"as he was one of the many screenwriters who took a crack at the script along the film’s torturous route to the big screen.

“I always think it’s great to have a director see his vision realized, and Bryan Singer’s vision of Superman as Jesus was definitely achieved,” he told me.

Yes, this Superman may have the mildest manners of all who donned the “S” before him.

But forget about viewing it as a filmmaker, I said. What did Smith think as a fan?

“Well,” he answered wryly, “I would have liked to see Superman punch someone.”

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Wictory Wednesday

This week Wictory Wednesday presents Steve Laffey for the US Senate for Rhode Island. Steve is running against well-known *insert appropriate adjective here* Republican incumbent Senator Lincoln Chafee. The reasons to vote against Chafee are many, but as a rule, we should cast votes for something.

A vote cast for Laffey is a vote cast for fiscal restraint. Laffey understands that the federal government spends other people's money and that pork projects are an egregarious example of government waste and corruption. He also is against raiding the Social Security Trust fund (yeah, I know, it's a joke) and corporate welfare. It is a national disgrace that our tax system cannot be understood by even the enforcers of that system, the IRS, and that such a system is an oppression and shackle against the American family. He supports simplifying the system so that the average person doesn't need to hire a team of professionals to figure out what their "fair share" of taxes is.

Laffey is a strong economic growth candidate supporting policies that will keep the economy moving forward. He supports making the Bush tax cuts permanent and will work to introduce additional tax cuts. He understands that tax cuts also need to come with spending cuts. Laffey is an experienced politician who, as mayor, led his town from having a near junk-bond rating to financial solvency and has overseen some of the greatest economic renewal Cranston has seen in decades. The Club for Growth has endorsed his campaign recognizing that he will move the nation forward and avoid the recession-prone policies of the Democrats.

Please consider contributing or volunteering for Steve Laffey's campaign for the Senate.

This has been a production of the Wictory Wednesday blogburst. If you would like to join Wictory Wednesday, please see this post or contact John Bambenek at jcb (dot) blog [at] gmail {dot} com. The following sites are members of the Wictory Wednesday team: