Saturday, September 30, 2006

How About A Sonny Don't List?

Sonny Perdue Thinks He's The Tooth Fairy

I don't live in Georgia, but I'm close enough to the border to see their election TV ads. Sonny Perdue, theoretically at least a Republican, is running an ad asking you to send him your idea for what you want him to do. Your "Sonny Do" list... Honey do, Sonny do... Cute. Whatever. For his part, he thinks retired folks shouldn't have to pay state income tax.

Now, why the income tax burden should be shifted onto the productive members of society or why people should get some sort of pass just because they managed to make it to mile marker 65 is beyond me. That being said, if you read his site (it's the link above), it looks like a wishlist for the nanny state. People want this laundry list of small issues that would make Bill Clinton's heart leap.

One person wants to get tough on school tardies, another wants free hunting and fishing licenses for geezers and veterans, somebody else doesn't think all geezers should get an income tax exemption but retired teachers definitely should... Then there's the idea about using ethanol for school buses... Or how about... It just goes on and on.

Here's an idea for Sonny... How about you work on having the government do LESS, not more? How about we stop pretending that we're Democrats and remember that we believe in less government? How about we cut taxes for EVERYONE who pays taxes, not just certain groups? How about all of that, Sonny?

Jackie Kennedy Has Nothing On Rosie O'Donnell

A Mystery Inside a Riddle

More on the payperpostbignews. PayPerPost has been surprisingly successful so far which is what makes the announcement scheduled for next week all the more interesting. One hopes that if it's a change then it's a change for the better. I have a pretty good feeling at this point. If PayPerPost were going to crash and burn then I think it would have already done so. Now, that doesn't mean there won't be changes, but I think this model has some staying power. I'm interested to see what's planned.

Here's another piece of the puzzle:



blog advertising

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

I'm a little hesitant to introduce this meme to the Net since after searching Google for quite awhile I couldn't find anything to suggest it has come up before. That said...

Does anyone thing there is a degree of homophobia in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series? I don't believe there is, but I don't really believe in the whole concept of homophobia to start out with. What I can't deny, however, is that there are a number of homosexual characters, pretty much all of them villains in one way or another. Now, it has to be admitted that Maturin is completely untroubled by their sexual proclivities. For his part, Aubrey doesn't care much for buggery, but he doesn't think about it very much either.

At any rate, given the nature of things, I'm surprised there aren't a dozen web sites condemning O'Brian as a homophobe.

Things Unknown

PayPerPost (you may have heard of it) has a big announcement scheduled for next week. A new money-making program? A big partner? A new blogging tool? Who can say? Apart from a few hints, the powers-that-be at PayPerPost are being quite tight-lipped about the whole thing. They are, however, holding a little context. Assemble the puzzle pieces and win a thousand bucks. The pieces themselves are a part of the mystery. Properly assembled, they make up the press release that announces the payperpostbignews.

Here's a piece of the puzzle:



payperpost

A Question of Priorities

GOP Aims to Crack Down on Web Gambling

The Congress didn't have time to extend the income tax deduction on sales taxes but they somehow found time to tack on a useless amendment against internet gambling.

It's crap like this that pisses off Republicans. With the exception of a hard core among my fellow Christian conservatives, nobody gives a crap about this issue. Well, them and the casino and paramutual gaming lobbies, that is.

I honestly do think that we're going to hold both houses of Congress, but garbage like this is what has the base pissed off. Newt didn't pull this sort of crap. He understood what mattered and what didn't.

Friday, September 29, 2006

What We've Learned From Celebrity Duets

Just as Mel Tillis doesn't stutter when he sings, Little Richard doesn't sound like he's senile when he sings.

Please Read This

We write a lot of fairly trivial stuff around here. Good, clean (sort of), harmless (sort of) fun (we hope). Once in a great while we like something serious. The following fits into that category. This is the single best serious piece on the Middle East that I have ever read. It comes from the fertile mind of the preeminant Mid East scholar Bernard Lewis. Yes, he sort of scared us all to death a month or so ago when he convinced a good number of people (Glenn Beck's ears are burning right now) that Iran was going to usher in Armageddon at the end of last month. That being said, he really is nothing less than brilliant.

This article comes by way of Imprimis. The speech journal of Hillsdale College. It's free and worth every penny. No, seriously, it is a great source of serious, conservative opinion. It's the most worthwhile thing I ever got out of Paul Harvey's broadcasts.

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“Freedom and Justice in Islam”
Bernard Lewis
Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University

Bernard Lewis, born and raised in London, studied at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, where he earned a Ph.D. in the history of Islam. After military and other war service in World War II, he taught at the University of London until 1974 and at Princeton University until 1986. He is currently Princeton's Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies. For many years he was one of the very few European scholars permitted access to the archives of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul. In addition to his historical studies, he has published translations of classical Arabic, Turkish, Persian and Hebrew poetry. Professor Lewis has drawn on primary sources to produce more than two dozen books, including The Arabs in History, What Went Wrong? and The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror.

The following is adapted from a lecture delivered on July 16, 2006, on board the Crystal Serenity, during a Hillsdale College cruise in the British Isles.


By common consent among historians, the modern history of the Middle East begins in the year 1798, when the French Revolution arrived in Egypt in the form of a small expeditionary force led by a young general called Napoleon Bonaparte—who conquered and then ruled it for a while with appalling ease. General Bonaparte—he wasn't yet Emperor—proclaimed to the Egyptians that he had come to them on behalf of a French Republic built on the principles of liberty and equality. We know something about the reactions to this proclamation from the extensive literature of the Middle Eastern Arab world. The idea of equality posed no great problem. Equality is very basic in Islamic belief: All true believers are equal. Of course, that still leaves three “inferior” categories of people—slaves, unbelievers and women. But in general, the concept of equality was understood. Islam never developed anything like the caste system of India to the east or the privileged aristocracies of Christian Europe to the west. Equality was something they knew, respected, and in large measure practiced. But liberty was something else.

As used in Arabic at that time, liberty was not a political but a legal term: You were free if you were not a slave. The word liberty was not used as we use it in the Western world, as a metaphor for good government. So the idea of a republic founded on principles of freedom caused some puzzlement. Some years later an Egyptian sheikh—Sheikh Rifa'a Rafi' al-Tahtawi, who went to Paris as chaplain to the first group of Egyptian students sent to Europe—wrote a book about his adventures and explained his discovery of the meaning of freedom. He wrote that when the French talk about freedom they mean what Muslims mean when they talk about justice. By equating freedom with justice, he opened a whole new phase in the political and public discourse of the Arab world, and then, more broadly, the Islamic world.
Is Western-Style Freedom Transferable?

What is the possibility of freedom in the Islamic world, in the Western sense of the word? If you look at the current literature, you will find two views common in the United States and Europe. One of them holds that Islamic peoples are incapable of decent, civilized government. Whatever the West does, Muslims will be ruled by corrupt tyrants. Therefore the aim of our foreign policy should be to insure that they are our tyrants rather than someone else's—friendly rather than hostile tyrants. This point of view is very much favored in departments of state and foreign offices and is generally known, rather surprisingly, as the “pro-Arab” view. It is, of course, in no sense pro-Arab. It shows ignorance of the Arab past, contempt for the Arab present, and unconcern for the Arab future. The second common view is that Arab ways are different from our ways. They must be allowed to develop in accordance with their cultural principles, but it is possible for them—as for anyone else, anywhere in the world, with discreet help from outside and most specifically from the United States—to develop democratic institutions of a kind. This view is known as the “imperialist” view and has been vigorously denounced and condemned as such.

In thinking about these two views, it is helpful to step back and consider what Arab and Islamic society was like once and how it has been transformed in the modern age. The idea that how that society is now is how it has always been is totally false. The dictatorship of Saddam Hussein in Iraq or the Assad family in Syria or the more friendly dictatorship of Mubarak in Egypt—all of these have no roots whatsoever in the Arab or in the Islamic past. Let me quote to you from a letter written in 1786—three years before the French Revolution—by Mssr. Count de Choiseul-Gouffier, the French ambassador in Istanbul, in which he is trying to explain why he is making rather slow progress with the tasks entrusted to him by his government in dealing with the Ottoman government. “Here,” he says, “things are not as in France where the king is sole master and does as he pleases.” “Here,” he says, “the sultan has to consult.” He has to consult with the former holders of high offices, with the leaders of various groups and so on. And this is a slow process. This scenario is something radically different than the common image of Middle Eastern government today. And it is a description that ceased to be true because of a number of changes that occurred.
Modernization and Nazi and Soviet Influence

The first of these changes is what one might call modernization. This was undertaken not by imperialists, for the most part, but by Middle Eastern rulers who had become painfully aware that their societies were undeveloped compared with the advanced Western world. These rulers decided that what they had to do was to modernize or Westernize. Their intentions were good, but the consequences were often disastrous. What they did was to increase the power of the state and the ruler enormously by placing at his disposal the whole modern apparatus of control, repression and indoctrination. At the same time, which was even worse, they limited or destroyed those forces in the traditional society that had previously limited the autocracy of the ruler. In the traditional society there were established orders-the bazaar merchants, the scribes, the guilds, the country gentry, the military establishment, the religious establishment, and so on. These were powerful groups in society, whose heads were not appointed by the ruler but arose from within the groups. And no sultan, however powerful, could do much without maintaining some relationship with these different orders in society. This is not democracy as we currently use that word, but it is certainly limited, responsible government. And the system worked. Modernization ended that. A new ruling class emerged, ruling from the center and using the apparatus of the state for its purposes.

That was the first stage in the destruction of the old order. The second stage we can date with precision. In the year 1940, the government of France surrendered to the Axis and formed a collaborationist government in a place called Vichy. The French colonial empire was, for the most part, beyond the reach of the Nazis, which meant that the governors of the French colonies had a free choice: To stay with Vichy or to join Charles de Gaulle, who had set up a Free French Committee in London. The overwhelming majority chose Vichy, which meant that Syria-Lebanon—a French-mandated territory in the heart of the Arab East—was now wide open to the Nazis. The governor and his high officials in the administration in Syria-Lebanon took their orders from Vichy, which in turn took orders from Berlin. The Nazis moved in, made a tremendous propaganda effort, and were even able to move from Syria eastwards into Iraq and for a while set up a pro-Nazi, fascist regime. It was in this period that political parties were formed that were the nucleus of what later became the Baath Party. The Western Allies eventually drove the Nazis out of the Middle East and suppressed these organizations. But the war ended in 1945, and the Allies left. A few years later the Soviets moved in, established an immensely powerful presence in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and various other countries, and introduced Soviet-style political practice. The adaptation from the Nazi model to the communist model was very simple and easy, requiring only a few minor adjustments, and it proceeded pretty well. That is the origin of the Baath Party and of the kind of governments that we have been confronting in the Middle East in recent years. That, as I would again repeat and emphasize, has nothing whatever to do with the traditional Arab or Islamic past.
Wahhabism and Oil

That there has been a break with the past is a fact of which Arabs and Muslims themselves are keenly and painfully aware, and they have tried to do something about it. It is in this context that we observe a series of movements that could be described as an Islamic revival or reawakening. The first of these—founded by a theologian called Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, who lived in a remote area of Najd in desert Arabia—is known as Wahhabi. Its argument is that the root of Arab-Islamic troubles lies in following the ways of the infidel. The Islamic world, it holds, has abandoned the true faith that God gave it through His prophet and His holy book, and the remedy is a return to pure, original Islam. This pure, original Islam is, of course—as is usual in such situations—a new invention with little connection to Islam as it existed in its earlier stages.

Wahhabism was dealt with fairly easily in its early years, but it acquired a new importance in the mid-1920s when two things happened: The local tribal chiefs of the House of Saud—who had been converted since the 18th century to the Wahhabi version of Islam—conquered the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. This was of immense importance, giving them huge prestige and influence in the whole Islamic world. It also gave them control of the pilgrimage, which brings millions of Muslims from the Islamic world together to the same place at the same time every year.

The other important thing that happened—also in the mid-20s—was the discovery of oil. With that, this extremist sect found itself not only in possession of Mecca and Medina, but also of wealth beyond the dreams of avarice. As a result, what would otherwise have been a lunatic fringe in a marginal country became a major force in the world of Islam. And it has continued as a major force to the present day, operating through the Saudi government and through a whole series of non-governmental organizations. What is worse, its influence spreads far beyond the region. When Muslims living in Chicago or Los Angeles or Birmingham or Hamburg want to give their children some grounding in their faith and culture—a very natural, very normal thing—they turn to the traditional resources for such purposes: evening classes, weekend schools, holiday camps and the like. The problem is that these are now overwhelmingly funded and therefore controlled by the Wahhabis, and the version of Islam that they teach is the Wahhabi version, which has thus become a major force in Muslim immigrant communities.

Let me illustrate the significance of this with one example: Germany has constitutional separation of church and state, but in the German school system they provide time for religious instruction. The state, however, does not provide teachers or textbooks. They allow time in the school curriculum for the various churches and other religious communities—if they wish—to provide religious instruction to their children, which is entirely optional. The Muslims in Germany are mostly Turks. When they reached sufficient numbers, they applied to the German government for permission to teach Islam in German schools. The German authorities agreed, but said they—the Muslims—had to provide the teachers and the textbooks. The Turks said that they had excellent textbooks, which are used in Turkey and Turkish schools, but the German authorities said no, those are government-produced textbooks; under the principle of separation of church and state, these Muslims had to produce their own. As a result, whereas in Turkish schools in Turkey, students get a modern, moderate version of Islam, in German schools, in general, they get the full Wahhabi blast. The last time I looked, twelve Turks have been arrested as members of Al-Qaeda—all twelve of them born and educated in Germany.
The Iranian Revolution and Al-Qaeda

In addition to the rising spread of Wahhabism, I would draw your attention to the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The word “revolution” is much misused in the Middle East; it is used for virtually every change of government. But the Iranian Revolution was a real revolution, in the sense that the French and Russian revolutions were real revolutions. It was a massive change in the country, a massive shift of power—socially, economically, and ideologically. And like the French and Russian revolutions in their prime, it also had a tremendous impact in the world with which the Iranians shared a common universe of discourse—the world of Islam. I remember not long after the Iranian Revolution I was visiting Indonesia and for some mysterious reason I had been invited to lecture in religious universities. I noticed in the student dorms they had pictures of Khomeini all over the place, although Khomeini—like the Iranians in general—is a Shiite, and the Indonesians are Sunnis. Indonesians generally showed little interest in what was happening in the Middle East. But this was something important. And the Iranian Revolution has gone through various familiar phases—familiar from the French and Russian revolutions—such as the conflicts between the moderates and the extremists. I would say that the Iranian Revolution is now entering the Stalinist phase, and its impact all over the Islamic world has been enormous.

The third and most recent phase of the Islamic revival is that associated with the name Al-Qaeda—the organization headed by Osama bin Laden. Here I would remind you of the events toward the end of the 20th century: the defeat of the Russians in Afghanistan, the withdrawal of the defeated armies into Russia, the collapse and breakdown of the Soviet Union. We are accustomed to regard that as a Western, or more specifically, an American, victory in the Cold War. In the Islamic world, it was nothing of the kind. It was Muslim victory in a Jihad. And, if we are fair about it, we must admit that this interpretation of what happened does not lack plausibility. In the mountains of Afghanistan, which the Soviets had conquered and had been trying to rule, the Taliban were able to inflict one defeat after another on the Soviet forces, eventually driving the Red Army out of the country to defeat and collapse.

Thanks to modern communications and the modern media, we are quite well informed about how Al-Qaeda perceives things. Osama bin Laden is very articulate, very lucid, and I think on the whole very honest in the way he explains things. As he sees it, and as his followers see it, there has been an ongoing struggle between the two world religions—Christianity and Islam—which began with the advent of Islam in the 7th century and has been going on ever since. The Crusades were one aspect, but there were many others. It is an ongoing struggle of attack and counter-attack, conquest and reconquest, Jihad and Crusade, ending so it seems in a final victory of the West with the defeat of the Ottoman Empire—the last of the great Muslim states—and the partition of most of the Muslim world between the Western powers. As Osama bin Laden puts it: “In this final phase of the ongoing struggle, the world of the infidels was divided between two superpowers—the United States and the Soviet Union. Now we have defeated and destroyed the more difficult and the more dangerous of the two. Dealing with the pampered and effeminate Americans will be easy.” And then followed what has become the familiar description of the Americans and the usual litany and recitation of American defeats and retreats: Vietnam, Beirut, Somalia, one after another. The general theme was: They can't take it. Hit them and they'll run. All you have to do is hit harder. This seemed to receive final confirmation during the 1990s when one attack after another on embassies, warships, and barracks brought no response beyond angry words and expensive missiles misdirected to remote and uninhabited places, and in some places—as in Beirut and Somalia—prompt retreats.

What happened on 9/11 was seen by its perpetrators and sponsors as the culmination of the previous phase and the inauguration of the next phase—taking the war into the enemy camp to achieve final victory. The response to 9/11 came as a nasty surprise. They were expecting more of the same—bleating and apologies—instead of which they got a vigorous reaction, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. And as they used to say in Moscow: It is no accident, comrades, that there has been no successful attack in the United States since then. But if one follows the discourse, one can see that the debate in this country since then has caused many of the perpetrators and sponsors to return to their previous diagnosis. Because remember, they have no experience, and therefore no understanding, of the free debate of an open society. What we see as free debate, they see as weakness, fear and division. Thus they prepare for the final victory, the final triumph and the final Jihad.
Conclusion

Let's spend a moment or two defining what we mean by freedom and democracy. There is a view sometimes expressed that “democracy” means the system of government evolved by the English-speaking peoples. Any departure from that is either a crime to be punished or a disease to be cured. I beg to differ from that point of view. Different societies develop different ways of conducting their affairs, and they do not need to resemble ours. And let us remember, after all, that American democracy after the War of Independence was compatible with slavery for three-quarters of a century and with the disenfranchisement of women for longer than that. Democracy is not born like the Phoenix. It comes in stages, and the stages and processes of development will differ from country to country, from society to society. The French cherish the curious illusion that they invented democracy, but since the great revolution of 1789, they have had two monarchies, two empires, two dictatorships, and at the last count, five republics. And I'm not sure that they've got it right yet.

There are, as I've tried to point out, elements in Islamic society which could well be conducive to democracy. And there are encouraging signs at the present moment—what happened in Iraq, for example, with millions of Iraqis willing to stand in line to vote, knowing that they were risking their lives, is a quite extraordinary achievement. It shows great courage, great resolution. Don't be misled by what you read in the media about Iraq. The situation is certainly not good, but there are redeeming features in it. The battle isn't over. It's still very difficult. There are still many major problems to overcome. There is a bitter anti-Western feeling which derives partly and increasingly from our support for what they see as tyrannies ruling over them. It's interesting that pro-American feeling is strongest in countries with anti-American governments. I've been told repeatedly by Iranians that there is no country in the world where pro-American feeling is stronger, deeper and more widespread than Iran. I've heard this from so many different Iranians—including some still living in Iran—that I believe it. When the American planes were flying over Afghanistan, the story was that many Iranians put signs on their roofs in English reading, “This way, please.”

So there is a good deal of pro-Western and even specifically pro-American feeling. But the anti-American feeling is strongest in those countries that are ruled by what we are pleased to call “friendly governments.” And it is those, of course, that are the most tyrannical and the most resented by their own people. The outlook at the moment is, I would say, very mixed. I think that the cause of developing free institutions—along their lines, not ours—is possible. One can see signs of its beginning in some countries. At the same time, the forces working against it are very powerful and well entrenched. And one of the greatest dangers is that on their side, they are firm and convinced and resolute. Whereas on our side, we are weak and undecided and irresolute. And in such a combat, it is not difficult to see which side will prevail.

I think that the effort is difficult and the outcome uncertain, but I think the effort must be made. Either we bring them freedom, or they destroy us.

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Reprinted by permission from IMPRIMIS, the national speech digest of Hillsdale College, www.hillsdale.edu.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Double Take

So I'm getting ready for work this morning. The Today Show is on in the background. I'm still not used to Meredith Viera and I'm not so sure we're not headed for Fox and Friends. Anyhoo... I'm tucking my undershirt down into my underpants to avoid ride-up when the camera starts panning the crowd.

Was that a PayPerPost sign????

Quick as lightning, my hand is on the rewind button for the Tivo.

That was a PayPerPost sign! These people are everywhere!

Guerilla Marketing

Not Cost Effective

So anyway, about a year ago my wife made a $10 donation to a charity that will remain nameless but that involves Christians who aren't so crazy about pork. You do the math. $10, nice folks, no big deal. Since then we've gotten about a dozen solicitations for more donations. Let's do a little math, shall we?

$0.39 x 12 = $4.68

So, at this point they've spent almost half of what my wife gave them to try to get her to give them more. I haven't talked to her, but I have a feeling that Mrs. MediaBlog didn't give them money so they could harass her. I mean, I'll do that for free.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Brother Can You Spare a Dime?

Sometimes everyone runs a little short. Now, good planning and thrift are the best way to avoid this kind of situation but, if you don't have anywhere else to turn then a payday loan can probably be a lifesaver. You can get an Instant Payday Loan Online by clicking on this link.

Tough Guy Bloomberg Is At It Again

NYC Mulls Ban on Trans Fats in Eateries

"Republican" Mayor Mikey Bloomberg, who likes to proove his manhood by firing people who play solitaire but lets striking transit workers bend him over the hood and scream "Mommy!" has another plan to take on the greatest threat to New York.

Al Qaida?
Global Warming?

Wanna try greasy food?

Yep, New York City wants to ban trans fats. The nanny state in full bloom. What in hell goes on in New York?!?!?!

You didn't see Rudy doing any of this crap

'Stang

There's just something about a Mustang. I've never owned one but my best friend in high school practically lusted after one. Now, this was in the late 80s when, to be honest, Mustangs weren't looking all that great. Now though? The classic Mustang is back with a vengeance!

Mustang

Monday, September 25, 2006

Oprah A Racist? Or: How XM Wasted $55 Million Dollars

Oprah Lords Over White Folk, Talks Poop on XM - TMZ.com

Today was the debut of Oprah's new channel on XM radio. I didn't listen because, quite honestly, I don't give a crap about Oprah. Of course, since I'm just another whitey she apparently doesn't give a crap about me either. Does enjoy talking about it... Crap, that is.

While St. Oprah doesn't have time to learn how to pump gas like the rest of us plebes, she does have time to sit around on the satellite with her gal pal (make of that what you will), Gayle and talk about the following in no particular order:

1. Poop
B. How she loves having all these white people waiting on her hand and foot.

Yes, Mis-tis Oprah. Wees love you so much.

Why the hell does anyone give a crap what Oprah has to say? I'm not just talking about this loon she threatened who, for some reason known only to Satan, thinks she should be president. I'm talking about the millions of hausfraus and the deadbeat welfare trash who hang on her every word when they should be out earning a living. Thank heaven for the federal teet which lets them stay home to watch their stories and St. Oprah.

You know, Sirius probably overpaid Howard Stern but at least he has a proven radio audience. Why would anyone want to listen to Oprah and her "friends" on the radio?

Is it "Coo-pon" or "Cue-pon"?

Like the whole Tootsie Roll Pop thing, the world may never know.

What we do know, though, is that however you say it a coupon is a beautiful 'ting. Seriously, what's better than saving money? I ask you. I've let it slip before that The MediaBlog is a little bit of a tightwad. We like nothing better than a bargain and a bargain is exactly what you'll get at CouponChief.com!

I mean, this place has coupons for all the best online retailers. If you're like me, you probably shop at these places already. Why not make a quick stop at CouponChief on your way to the site? I mean, I shop at Amazon all the time... Why not stop at CouponChief for Amazon coupons? Or Buy.com? Or any of hundreds of other great sites!

Online Coupons

7th Heaven: The Second Coming

Watching 7th Heaven has long been an exercise in disgust for those of us here at The MediaBlog.

Watching 7th Heaven: The Resurrection is like drinking a warm glass of diarrhea.

Phil Angelides: Traitor

Angelides: Withdraw Calif. National Guard From Iraq

California gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides calls for the withdrawal of California National Guard units from Iraq. Not for the withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq, but specifically for those from California to be withdrawn.

The idea, the thought, that a state would try to pull out of a war in which the entire nation is engaged is nothing short of treasonous.

Angelides, the state treasurer, acknowledged he could not recall the troops on his own. He said he would consider filing a lawsuit or taking other steps against the Bush administration to seek their return.

1. This is a publicity stunt by a loser.
B. No federal court (not even in the 9th Circuit) is going to attempt to order the removal of military units from a combat zone. It would be blatantly unconstitutional.
III. Phil Angelides can go screw himself

And Now For Our Moment of Zen

After a hard day at work we all need to chill, am I right? Some folks kick off the buster browns and watch a little tv. Some folks have a cold one. And then some folks like to go for a little inner peace.

The site below is a great starting point for finding the peace that lies within. THey even have a flash presentation that can help you put some of that stress from the day behind you and relax. After a Monday, couldn't you use a little something like this? Check it out. After all, you've got four more days this week! You need all the help you can get.

Best Self Help Book

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Amazing Race: Non-PC Comment of the Night

The gimp with the artificial leg is like a frickin' superhero! She can swap out feet! Why doesn't she put on one with a spike like the evil stewardess in the James Bond movie?

More peanuts, Mr. Bond?

The Amazing Race: Fashion Comment o' the Night

Why did the hick chick think it would be a good idea to dress like a leprechaun?

A Win is a Win

Some poor soul found his way here by searching for FSU, Rice and torrent. Sorry bud. Wish I had a video of the game for you but I don't. I was actually at this one. FSU didn't play as well as the score would make you think. Yeah, the Noles won by 48 but it was against friggin' Rice? They're a third tier team. We ought to be beating 2nd tier teams in this fashion and saving the close games for powerhouses.

Troy ain't a powerhouse.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Idiot or Elitist: You Make the Call!



So Oprah doesn't know how to pump gas. How come Bush the Elder was pilloried as an out-of-touch elitist because he was unfamiliar with a pricing scanner but St. Oprah is still the patron of all that is good and true when she is THIS out of touch with the commoners?

And now we have to put up with a whole channel on XM devoted to this self-important snob. XM Radio must really have its collective head up its collective ass to think that we're just yearning to take Oprah with us in the car on a long trip.

Money Talks

You may have noticed that we here at The MediaBlog are enthusiastic supporters of PayPerPost. It's the best way for bloggers to make money online. Bar none. Well, they've recently added a blog to their site. It really is a great feature since it lets you interact with the folks who are running things. One of the great things about PayPerPost, and something that sets it apart from AdSense by the way, is that it honestly seems to be shooting for a sense of community.

Now, I won't kid you... I'm there to make money, not friends. That being said, the blog does put a personal touch on the business and it's a great addition.

advertise on blogs

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Commerce Tomorrow, Blogporn Tonight!



We've had quite a bit of commerce around here lately. It's going to continue because, quite frankly, daddy likey money. However, you folks deserve a little blogporn for being such swell fellas so, here you go.

I am a man of unique tastes. Discriminating and unique. Sure, I could throw up another shot of Angelina Jolie, but where's the fun in that? Okay, scratch that. Lots of fun. Where's the challenge though? I ask you. Much more interesting to find an overlooked lovely and give her the credit she deserves.

That's why we bring you Jean Louisa Kelly. You know, the jailbait from Mr. Holland's Opus. Actually, I think she was 23 at the time so you can forgive yourself for lusting in your heart. She was on the episode of Mad About You that I watched this evening and it reminded me just how cute she is. Just adorable.

Anyhoo, this one's for you Jeanie baby!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It Sounds Decidedly Unpleasant

I'm not entirely sure what Mesothelioma is but I know that it sounds quite uncomfortable.

Hmm... Let's check out that fount of all human knowledge, Wikipedia:

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is almost always caused by previous exposure to asbestos.[1] In this disease, malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers most of the body's internal organs. Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity) or the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart).

Ugh... Yes, quite uncomfortable. You know, my only real "asbestos" memory is from the pre-wedding festivities for Prince Charles and (then) Lady Diana. They were putting on this spectacle over the England and one of the things was a guy on fire who was wearing an asbestos suit. Hopefully he doesn't have this Meso-whatchamacallit stuff now.

Anyway, the site I referenced in the link above has a lot of information on the disease, symptoms, treatments, etc.

It's The End of the World As We Know It

And I feel remarkably well.

We here at The MediaBlog are going to do our best to give you the highlights and lowlights of the new Fall season. We're not going to go out of our way to watch something, but we'll give you our two cents on what we do watch. We already told you that Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip sucks and now we'll tell you that Jericho doesn't suck.

We're not going to go further than that at this point. It doesn't suck. It may turn out to be quite good, but for now it doesn't suck.

If you've seen the commercials then you have a pretty good idea of the premise. The End of the World comes to Jericho, Kansas. You know, Hollywood really has it in for Kansas. Wasn't The Day After set in Kansas?

Anyhoo... If we leave aside the fact that star Skeet Ulrich bears an unfortunate resemblance (from a distance... when squinting) to 7th Heaven star Barry Watson... If we further leave behind the predictable, post-Apocalyptic plot devices (prison escapees, fight at the gas station)... If we forget the plot holes big enough to drive a school bus full of strangely calm children through... Why, if we forget all of this, then we've got a hell of a show right here. A show that's trying damn hard to be Lost... But in Kansas... With Major Dad...

Seriously, it's worth watching for awhile. Studio 60 is about to be taken off the Tivo season pass list.

Something For You To Hold While the Mrs. is in the Restroom

We here at The MediaBlog do not carry a purse. We don't have a man-bag, a murse or anything of the sort. We do, however, rely upon that endless source of every needed item: Mrs. MediaBlog's purse. We are convinced that should we ever find ourselves lost in the desert, Mrs. MediaBlog will be able to pull out a package of crackers that will be the only thing standing between us and eternity.

That being said, our fashion sense (limited though it might be) tells us that a purse should not be merely functional, but also fashionable. Designer Handbags from Darby Scott are both! It's the sort of think you'd expect to see on the runway or the red carpet. Take a look! Mrs. MediaBlog thinks you'll be pleased.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Ooh La La!



Campbell Brown, our favorite screwed-over morning newsie looked tres stylish this weekend!

Sorry it's a little grainy. Framegrab from a Tivo.

A Moving Experience

Moving sucks.

Sorry to be blunt, but there's just no way around it. Moving sucks. You've got to find boxes, you've got to load your crap into said boxes, you've got to haul said boxes onto a truck. You lose track of half of what you put into the aforementioned boxes. It's a pain in the kiester and best avoided where possible.

Now, that being said, sometimes you've got to do it. Maybe the folks told you to scram. Maybe the wife told you to scram. Maybe your job told you to scram. Whatever the reason you've decided to pack it up and hit the road, every little bit of help... Well... Helps. Moving.bz (yes, you read that right, .bz) is a good place to start.

Whether you're looking for a place to store your stuff, boxes and moving supplies or somebody to handle the moving for you, moving.bz is the place to start your search. Punch you zip code in and bing, bang, boom you've got a selection of local providers who can get you started. Find a provider, get a quote and make a call. It's easy with moving.bz

Self Storage Directory - Moving.bz

Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip: A Premature Review

We here at The MediaBlog pride ourselves on figuring things out ahead of the crowd. I mean, why wait to hear people out when you already know they're full of shit?

For this reason, we feel qualified to render a summary judgement after watching only 9 minutes of the first episode of Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip.

This show sucks. It's painful because it takes itself so seriously. So very, very seriously.

Aaron Sorkin is a very talented man. The problem is that he writes dialogue for a show about a Saturday Night Live knockoff with the same gravity and pretentiousness as a show about the leader of the Free World.

Yes, the show has a magnificent cast and, yes, Aaron Sorkin is going to have no trouble at all luring the cream of Hollywood for guest stars. That's not enough to save this show.

Is it going to be cancelled tomorrow? No. It may even last more than one season (though I doubt it). This much is certain though: it isn't going to be a hit. It isn't even going to be a success. Oh, it may get Emmy nominations. Hollywood loves to navel-gaze. Fundamentally though, it isn't going to go anywhere.

Write it off, folks. The MediaBlog is never wrogn.*

*That's called irony folks, look it up.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Hitched in Hawaii

Mrs. MediaBlog and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. Out of our hotel window was a pavillion where several couples got married during our stay. Now, I'm not the most romantic cuss you're ever likely to find, but I can't think of anyplace more romantic for a wedding. Tropical breezes, beautiful views, the sound of the ocean... What could be better?

Maui Weddings

LiveBlogging the Amazing Race Premier

The MediaBlog: Bringing you the best in snarky, un-PC reality show comments since 2004!

The cheerleaders are a damn sight hotter than the beauty queens.
Drug addicts AND models... Now there's a combination.
The Kentucky coal miner and his wife MAY have 9 teeth between them.
Queers, muslims and cow worshippers... Amazing Race: Keeping the Freak in Freak Show
Phil vs. Allah? Phil wins, baby!
That chick with one leg is tough!
Muslims out first and then the Hindus... Jehovah kicks ass!

This Post Is Worth An Arm And A Leg... Or Maybe Just An Arm



Until PayPerPost came along I never knew just how much I liked money. That being said, I do have limits. I mean, it's just an arm right? I wouldn't write it somewhere else.

Well, not for $10.50 anyway. Now if the offer was right...

Consumer Generated Advertising

Enough Already

Pope Tells Muslims He's "Deeply Sorry" For Crisis

I am not a Catholic. I've never even been inside a Catholic church. To me, the Pope is just a swell guy in a funny hat. That being said, he does not need to do this. He does not need to turn politician. He does not need to search for some verbal formulation that will satisfy the rabid mobs of the Islamic street while preserving the dignity of the Catholic Church and the papacy. Enough is enough.

It was a quote. He went so far as to say that it was a quote. He did everything he could reasonably do to indicate that he was not expressing his own beliefs. He has nothing to apologize for.

However, let me go ahead and say as truth what Benedict said as a quote:

Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.

There. If it's not the pope's view it is mine. No quotation marks.

Here, on the other hand, is the response from a respected leader of the "religion of peace:"

In Iran about 500 theological school students protested in the holy city of Qom on Sunday and influential cleric Ahmad Khatami warned that if the Pope did not apologize, "Muslims' outcry will continue until he fully regrets his remarks."

"The Pope should fall on his knees in front of a senior Muslim cleric and try to understand Islam," Khatami said.


The day the Vicar of Christ kneels before an Islamic Fascist is the day when hell, literally, freezes over.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

AdSense-less

Yep, I've used AdSense. I use it right now for what it's worth. Which, in the case of your average blog isn't a whole lot. It's not a bad program, I suppose, but it doesn't work very well unless you generate a TREMENDOUS amount of traffic on your site. I don't. Would I like to? Yeah, sure, why not... For now though, I'm not getting 100k hits a day.

In using AdSense for... Gosh... Over two years I guess, I've earned less than $15. Worse, I haven't seen a dime of it because they don't pay out until you hit $100 or something like that. I won't see that amount this decade.

PayPerPost, on the other hand, pays you as you earn. I've made dramatically more from PayPerPost rather than AdSense. 10 times as much and I'm only getting started.

Now, you're asking, why I still have AdSense over there to the right if it sucks. Two reasons:

1. Inertia. Too lazy to take it off.
B. There's always the forlorn hope that I might someday get paid. Someday. A long, long time from now.

AdSense isn't dead but it isn't healthy either as far as most bloggers are concerned. I'd say it's just on life support and, one by one, most of us are going to pull the plug when we give up on it.

make money

Bubba Steals the Show

Tearful Clinton Escourts Richards' Casket

The whole friggin article is about Bubba. Bubba said this, Bubba did that, Bubba greeted them, Bubba consoled him... We here at The MediaBlog make a point of calling out and shaming those who ride the corpse. Bubba was practically surfing on Ann Richards' casket!

Funny, I always thought the deceased was the center of attention at a funeral. Silly me. Of course, the Dems have a history of stealing the show at funerals and using them for their own purposes. They did it to Paul Wellstone and, of course, St. Rosa.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do



He may criticize it, but even Robert Scoble is visiting PayPerPost.com!

I've made 10X more money from PayPerPost than from AdSense or any other online advertising program. It really works.

I Get Paid to Blog

Friday, September 15, 2006

With Friends Like These

From The Rose Garden this AM:

BUSH: New York Times, Sheryl?

QUESTION: Hi, Mr. President.

BUSH: Fine. How you doing?

QUESTION: I'm well today, thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: Did you start with, "Hi, Mr. President"?

QUESTION: Hello, Mr. President.

BUSH: OK, that's fine. Either way. I thought it was a friendly greeting. Thank you.

QUESTION: We're a friendly newspaper.

BUSH: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

Let me just say, I'd hate to see unfriendly.

A Picture Is Worth... Well... $2.50

Flickr Photosharing Tips

Everyone knows about Flickr, right? I'll be honest, I came to Flickr a little late and I still have some trouble using it. Lots of features there, right? But maybe you can use a little help. This article is a good starting point.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Liveblogging the Survivor Debut

"Black people don't like being told what to do?"
Why do copier salesmen keep showing up on reality shows?
Why does the Viet Cong guy have a Star of David around his neck?
What the hell is a "roller girl"?
So the Black tribe lost the first challenge... Must be Bush's fault.
Black men take chicken thieven seriously.

Who Knew?



1. Marcellus used to have hair.
B. Marcellus can predict the weather.

I would have taken the fact that he is afraid of roaches as a given

Stop Her Before She Kills Again!

Madeline Albright She Ain't



And that's a good thing!

Excellent article from Time magazine on Fran Townsend, Dubya's homeland security advisor. Smart, capable and, most important of all, great legs to go with that red dress.

Yowza!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

That's A Good Point!

We bought MediaBlog HQ (AKA our humble abode) about a year and a half ago. As first-time homebuyers we were somewhat uneducated about the buying process. Or, put another way, we didn't know jack. We bought our house from the builder, we went with the lender the builder recommended, the closing agent the builder recommended... You get the idea. Now, I honestly don't feel like we got screwed, but that may very well be wishful thinking on my part. I should have taken more time to learn so I'd be ready.

One of the things we knew zippo about was points. I think I sort of understood that buying points is essentially a form of pre-paid interest. It's a way of putting down money up front in order to get a lower interest rate in the long run. This may be an over-simplification, but points are a time vs. money sort of thing. If you're going to be in the house for the long haul then some upfront money for a lower interest rate over the course of the loan makes sense. If, on the other hand, you plan to hit the pavement in a year or two then maybe not so much with the points.

How do I know that? Because I'm the MediaBlog. We know all. Maybe that should be the new motto. Anyhoo... You've just heard... Read... Whatever... Everything I know about the subject. If you need more information talk to a friend, a man of the cloth, a realtor, a lending professional. Of course, it's like bedtime right now so that may not be an option. You wake those people up and they're liable to give you a bum steer. Hows about you go to www.personalhomeloanmortgages.com instead? They can give you a lot of the same kind of information you'd get from mortgage brokers.

So go already.

Yeah, it's a long post. Diapers ain't cheap.

The Real Bitch

I just finished watching The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. You know... Psycho nanny. Anyhoo, I'd forgotten that I don't really hate the Rebecca De Mornay psycho hose beast character. I hate the Julianne Moore bitchy, smokes-like-a-frigging-chimney, mouthy best friend character.

Who knew?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

3 Things We've Learned From Tonight's Reality TV

1. G. Gordon Liddy is insane.
2. Tucker Carlson can't dance.
3. Chilltown rulez!

Like Kevlar... Only Clear

You never know when someone is going to go to the mattresses, capiche?

When the whacking fairy pays you a visit you'll care less about whether your windows are good at keeping the air conditioning in and more about whether they'll keep the lead out. I mean, when the only thing standing between you and eternity is a window, you don't want to take chances, you want to go with the tried and true. Yes, friends, that's when you'll say, "Thank God for bulletproof glass!"

So, check this site out and you'll find everything you need for the family business.

Frigging Crybabies

Church Sign Stirs Anger Among Local Muslims

What did the sign say? "Muslims Can Convert to Christianity Here!"

Gosh... In a church? Convert in a church... Who knew? Yeah, I can see why that really pissed them off. The Muslims are such gentle, tender souls... Religion of peace and all that.

Balls.

Here's the meat of the story:

The church, which was founded by his father in 1977, has between 50 and 100 members, depending on the time of year. It is a conservative church that views Christianity as the only path to God.

"We will not vary from that," (Pastor) McCay said. "If Muslims want us to water it down, that might be all right for you, but we're not biting."

But Janet Onnie, chairwoman of the Venice Interfaith Community Association, said McCay's sign did more harm than good in the effort to bring people together.


Newsflash, Janet... Real Christians are not interested in bringing people together. They're interested in saving souls from Hell. If that means speaking unpleasant truths than so be it. I'm all for loving your neighbor but I'm not for feeding them some ecumenical pablum that will send them straight to Hell. I-Love-You-You-Love-Me-We're-A-Happy-Family is great stuff for purple dinosaurs but it makes for piss poor evangelism.

By all means, speak the truth in love...

BUT SPEAK THE TRUTH!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Never Forget



Don't let go of the anger. Finish the job.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Desert Living

I love Arizona. I've been out there for business a number of times over the last year and I love it. Yeah, it's hot. So? It's hot in Florida. They say that it's a dry heat and even though that's partially a cop out, it's partially true as well.

Someday we may think about relocating to Arizona. When we do, and assuming I win the lottery sometime between now and then, I'll consider having Scottsdale Fine Properties show me what's hot in Scottsdale real estate.

Hmmm...

So I have Ye Olde Tivo set to record the controversial ABC 9/11 movie The Path to 9/11 airing tonight and tomorrow.

Tivo has tonight's episode entitled "The 9/11 Commission Report"
Monday's episode is entitled "Based on 'The 9/11 Commission Report"

One wonders if there was any politics behind the change.

-Shoutout to any Tivo owners who plan to record this. Tomorrow night's episode is broken into two parts because of the President's address which is scheduled for 9:00pm. You may want to double check that you're getting the whole thing.

The Guardian: A MediaBlog Pre-Review

The Guardian

A preview is where we tell you about something that is yet to come.
A pre-review, on the other hand, is where we tell you that something is going to suck when we really don't know what we're talking about because we haven't seen it yet.

This is a pre-review.

Let's see...
Ashton Kutcher... Strike One
Kevin Costner... Strike Two
An Officer and a Gentleman meets Behind Enemy Lines and The Perfect Storm... Strike Three

You're out!

Everything I Know About Chemistry I Learned From The Simpsons

Baking Soda + Vinegar + TNT = Boom!

It Was Good Enough For Honest Abe

My wife would love to have a log cabin. She finds them charming, quaint, etc. etc. etc. I'll be real honest here: they're not for me. I'm a modern, better-living-through-chemistry kind of guy so bring on the vinyl siding.

Now, that being said, this site is a great resource for information on buying, building and maintaining Log Homes. If you're in the market for one, stop by and check it out. It will give you a lot of the information you need before you decide to buy. Check it out so you can make an informed choice.

Katie's Perky Little Hatchet Job

Newsflash, Miss Couric:

They posted signs saying wear a respirator.
They gave out respirators.
After that it's on you. If you CHOSE not to wear it then it's your fault, not anyone else's.

See, here's the problem with Little Miss Perky's mindset... She honestly believes in the nanny state. She believes the government has a fundamental job to protect people from themselves. She believes that it is the nanny state's job not just to provide information but to actually MAKE people take care of themselves.

What the Hell?

Woah... Hold on one damn minute... Why the hell does Katie Couric get Mike Wallace's final spot in the 60 Minutes lead-in? Why does Little Miss Perky get to waltz into the center square?

VOIP? What's VOIP?

Ahem... That's VoIP. Now, how you pronounce that is anyone's guess, but what it stands for is Voice Over Internet Protocol... VoIP... Get it?

Okay, now for what it means. Quite simply, it's making phone calls over the internet rather than over your regular phone system. It's Skype, it's Vonage and a lot of other services and providers. It's a great way for individuals and, particularly, businesses to save money on their phone bills. We here at MediaBlog HQ went from a traditional telephone provider to a VoIP provider and now we save over $600 a year on our telephone service.

Want more information? Check out this site which covers all the ins-and-outs of VoIP. You'll find definitions, links to providers, more details on how this whole thing works and how to get started. It's a great single-site resource for anyone who's ready to talk through the pipes!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Brad Pitt Likes Milk, Spurns Cow

Brangelina to Marry When Everybody Can

We take you now to the Hollywood home shared by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie:

AJ: Brad? When are we going to get married?
BP: Angie, you know I love you. Why do we need a piece of paper?
AJ: Yes, I know, but I want to marry you. You married that ugly-ass skank, why not me?
BP: Babe, we can't do it right now.
AJ: But why not? My 84 rainbow-colored children need the stability of a mommy and a daddy!
BP: Um... Well... Um...
AJ: I'm waiting, Bradley.
BP: It... Uh... It wouldn't be socially responsible for us to get married!
AJ: Huh?
BP: Babe, how can you and I get married when so many of our gay and lesbian friends can't?
AJ: I know, but...
BP: No, honey, we can't get married until THEY can too!
AJ: Well, you may be right...
BP: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!
AJ: I know.
BP: It's that bastard George Bush's fault!
AJ: That bastard! You're so brave, Brad! I love you.
BP: Let's go have sex to celebrate!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Support the American Eleven

Shamelessly cut-and-pasted from an article by Newt Gingrich. Print it out, sign it at the bottom and mail it to your Republican congressman, congressional candidate, senator or senatorial candidate


I call upon the Republican Party to commit itself to the following:


1. Make English the Official Language of Government. The House should pass a bill making English the official language of government, abolishing multilingual ballots and reaffirming that new citizens should be required to pass a test on American history in English. The Rasmussen poll reported that support for English as the official language was 85%. The Zogby poll had it at 84%. Why do Republican leaders find it so hard to side with more than four out of every five Americans? How many liberal Democrats who currently assume they are unbeatable would suddenly have a hard time explaining a series of votes against English to their constituents? Remember, at 85%, there are no anti-English congressional districts no matter what the elite media says.

2. Control the Borders. The House should pass a narrowly focused bill to ensure that the United States can control the border. The current Senate bill is a disaster. It is impossible to pass a "comprehensive" immigration bill in the next two months. The American people overwhelmingly want the borders controlled and every act of terrorism reminds us that having the borders uncontrolled makes us more vulnerable to attack. The House should immediately pass a border-control bill and conservative Republican senators should move every day to bring it up in the Senate. Let Democrats and elitist Republicans block controlling the border and make that a referendum test for Election Day.

3. Keep God in the Pledge. Congress should take two steps to preserve the right to say "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, a right which is supported by 91% of all Americans. The American people feel deeply that our Declaration of Independence is correct in saying that each of us is endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. Beginning with the Supreme Court's 1963 decision outlawing school prayer, the courts have waged a 43-year assault on the core values of American liberty. It is time to return to a balanced Constitutional system. There is no Constitutional case for five lawyers' on the court being a floating majority for a permanent Constitutional Convention.

The American people would rally to the elected branches' taking steps to rebalance the Constitution. First, the House should pass a bill suspending the recent federal district court decision in California outlawing the words "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Second, the House should pass a law blocking the Supreme Court from reviewing the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance (a power of the Congress expressly granted in the Constitution).

4. Require a Voter ID Card. The American people overwhelmingly support (85% in one poll) having a voter id card so we can be sure only legal citizens are voting. Passing a bill to require this in all federal elections would be a big step toward more honest elections.

5. Repeal the Death Tax, for Good. The American people have consistently supported the total repeal of the death tax and the House should simply pass it once a week and attach it to various Senate bills to force the Senate to deal with it again and again. Let liberals explain why they oppose something that more than 70% of the country favors.

6. Restore Property Rights. The American people are deeply opposed to local politicians' being able to seize a citizen's home or business. The Supreme Court's Kelo decision on eminent domain is one of the most unpopular in recent years and is also one of the most dangerous. Anyone who knows the history of local government corruption in America knows it will not be long before some corrupt developers engage some corrupt politicians and this power is exploited at the cost of most Americans. Members of the Black Caucus have been among the most vocal in pointing out that it is poor people who will be the most victimized so rich developers and greedy politicians can make the money off their homes and businesses. The House should pass a powerful bill returning the constitutional law to the pre-Kelo rules and blocking the Supreme Court from reviewing it.

7. Achieve Sustainable Energy Independence. The country is eager for a straightforward new energy strategy for national security, environmental and economic reasons. The combination of $3 gasoline, watching Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Russia get more of our money, and concerns about the environment come together to require real change. The House should meet that need. Starting with Rep. Jim Nussle's (R-Iowa) bill on renewable fuels, adding to it clean nuclear power using new technologies that are safe and produce little waste, developing more clean coal solutions, investing in a conversion to a hydrogen economy, incentivizing conservation, providing tax credits so the auto industry can invest in the new technology and new manufacturing equipment needed to produce revolutionary new vehicles, creating the tax incentives to build the distribution system for biofuels, hybrids, and hydrogen, providing deeper tax incentives for radically better cars (imagine a substantial tax credit for cars exceeding 200 miles to the gallon of petroleum through a combination of E-85 or biodiesel, hybrid use of electricity and hydrogen), and a bill to create state flexibility in exploring off shore with a 50% split in revenue so state legislatures and governors would have an incentive to develop environmentally sound methods of exploration and production.

8. Control Spending and Balance the Budget. The House should pass new budget legislation to control spending, leading to a balanced budget in seven years (the length of time we gave ourselves in the Contract with America and which led to the first four balanced budgets since the 1920s), with special focus on programs liberals will fight to increase spending. Let the country see who is really committed to smaller government with lower taxes and who is committed to bigger government with higher taxes.

9. Tie Education Funding to Teacher Accountability. A major result of the No Child Left Behind legislation has been the clear revelation that a number of schools systems are crippling and destroying children. When the Detroit school system only graduates 21% of entering freshman on time, it is clear the children are being cheated. The American people strongly support reforms designed to save the children. The first step would be to insist that federal funds only go to school systems which require teacher competency and accountability. A clear choice between those who want to save the children and those who want to save the bureaucrats would mobilize the country in favor of dramatic education reform.

10. Defend America From the Irreconcilable Wing of Islam. Terrorism is a real threat. Congress should hold hearings on the recent terrorist activities in Canada, the U.K. and Morocco. The House should move bills that strengthen our security from terrorists with increased powers for surveillance, an overruling of the disastrous Hamdan decision and a series of other steps.

11. Focus on Iran and North Korea. The American people are very prepared to believe we face extraordinary threats from a nuclear North Korea and an Iranian regime actively seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Any actions in Iraq need to be recast in terms of their impact on Iran. A weak America in Iraq will be unable to stop Iran. Stopping Iran is potentially literally a matter of life and death. Congress should hold hearings on the scale of the Iranian and North Korean threat, the statements of their key leaders and the requirements for action to replace these dictatorships before they succeed in killing millions of Americans. The Santorum Iranian democracy bill should be forced out of the Senate in the context of these threats. Everything about Iraq should be debated within this larger and much more dangerous context.

It Sure Beats a Chevette

I went to a small school. My high school didn't offer driver's ed. We also somehow managed to take 10th grade chemistry without doing experiments or actually having any chemicals, but that's for another time.

Anyhoo... Since we didn't have driver's ed as a course offering and since learning to drive from my mom would have put us both in an early grave, I took private lessons from a guy who operated a local driver's ed school. He was okay I guess. I can't honestly say, however, that learning to parallel park a mid-80s light blue Chevette with no power steering was the high point of my teenage years.

driverseddirect is a new (or new to me, anyway) site that offers you the chance to sign up for driver's ed instruction. Instead of a beatup Chevette you (or more likely your teen) will be in a safe, reliable vehicle that won't be an embarassment. Of course, before they ever sit behind the wheel DriversEdDirect will take them through an online course to make sure they're ready. Even better, DriversEdDirect understands that one-size-vehicle doesn't fit all. If your kids are going to be driving Mom's Tahoe they need to learn to drive an SUV. Otherwise when they decide to go through an S-curve and 60 miles per hour just like they did in the small, flat car they learned on... You get the idea. SUVs drive differently and DriversEdDirect offers lessons in SUVs if you like.

Qualified instructors, safe vehicles and the knowledge that their friends won't laugh at them as they sputter past in a jalopy. It's the best of all worlds. Check it out through the link below:

Drivers Ed Direct



Apples and Oranges

A Tale of Two Drive-by Media:

Republican FCC Fines Networks for Indecency?
--SHOCK!
--HORROR!
--OUTRAGE!

Democratic Senate Leaders Threaten Network Over A Movie That Portrays Democrats Badly?
---CRICKETS CHIRPING
---YAWNS
---WHAT'S FOR LUNCH?

It All Started With Them



September 8, 1966 - September 8, 2006

Celebrating 40 years of Star Trek!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Line of the Day

Husband Shoots Pet Chicken, Wife Shoots Husband

"The chicken died at the scene."

You shot my chicken? Die, you bastard! Die!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

That's Good Enough For Me

9/11 Hits TV

Salon reviews several of the upcoming 9/11-related programs...

The fact that they think The Path to 9/11 is biased against Bill Clinton is enough of an endorsement to make me watch it. If Salon thinks it's biased that probably means it's dead on. Anyway, combine that with the fact that Rush has been pimping it and I'm there.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Talking Through the Pipes

I am a HUGE fan of Vonage. Huge. We signed up because we got really frustrated with our local phone company after we moved into our new house. They screwed up our billing and we ended up with lots of services we didn't want and couldn't easily get rid of. The bill that first month was almost $100. Uh no... Homie don't play that.

I looked around, found Vonage, bought the hardware and off I went. I pay less than $20/month including taxes, have extremely reliable service and zero complaints. I've even got it wired so we get Vonage service throughout the house. You really can't beat it.

Now, I didn't really do a whole lot of research before I went with Vonage... Just sort of dived into it... It worked out, but even so... Vonage Forum isn't affiliated with Vonage, but it's a great resource. They have lots of information on the Vonage service and on Vonage as a company. The best part though is the forums. In the forums you can ask questions and get opinions from actual Vonage users. You don't have to believe the corproate PR spin (though in Vonage's case it's pretty darn accurate), you can actually hear from users and get the straight dope. Got a question about the service or about setting up your equipment? This is the place to go. Here is a link to Vonage Forum... Well worth checking out.

Vonage

Crikey!

Stingray kills 'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin

"He came on top of the stingray and the stingray's barb went up and into his chest and put a hole into his heart..."

Geez... Talk about a bad way to go.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The MediaBlog Summary Judgement: Wendy Benson-Landes



Attractive? Yes.
Talented? No.

Today's Off-Topic Obervation

There's nothing worse than a bitchy paralytic.

I'm A Blooming Idiot!

As Mrs. MediaBlog could tell you, I don't buy her flowers as often as I should. It's not that I'm a heel. Really. I swear. I'm a swell guy, just ask me. No, I don't do it because it's hard to pick out the right thing and, to be honest, flowers are little pricey.

Serenataflowers.com is a really attractive site that has a broad variety of assortments available. Different flowers, different arrangements, different prices. Something for just about anyone. I particularly like the Vanilla Essence bouquet for just under 30 pounds.

Yes, I said pounds. This site is out of the UK. So, if you're thinking about stopping after work and picking up some poseys for the little woman, this isn't the place for you. On the other hand, if your mum lives in Hampshire, if your sweetie is a Rhode's Scholar or if you want to express your undying devotion to Keira Knightly through the artistry of flowers, this is the place for you. Here are a few pictures of their handiwork:







Flowers

Taking One For The Team

Rosie's New View

Some of you may not like that we've started introducing a fairly heavy amount of advertising into this blog. I understand that you feel this way. Now, off the top of my head, my response to your concerns is that you can go screw yourselves. My blog, my choice.

However, once the medication starts taking effect I feel a certain obligation to you, my dear readers. For this reason, I am prepared to make a fairly hefty sacrifice. I am going to read and make snide comments about an entire Newsweek article featuring Rosie O'Donnell. I hope that you all will accept this as a peace offer.

---

We begin.

-Rosie blames Oprah for Tom Cruise's outburst. To which we reply, who really gives a crap? I mean seriously. This whole Rosie-loves-Tommy thing is so 8 years ago. It was part of her I-Am-The-Queen-of-Nice-Not-A-Raging-Bull-Lesbian act.

-On Rosie vs. Star:

"We had a little sort of discussion when Martha Stewart was in prison, when I questioned why it is women don't stick up for each other the way other minorities do, such as O. J. Simpson being accused of murder still had the support of the majority of the black community. She was not happy with what I said or the way I said it."

Okay, where to begin? Well, how about the fact that women aren't a friggin minority? Hw about that? How about maybe the idea of reflexively standing up for people solely because they have the same skin color as you or the same genitals is, well, moronic? If I said that I was going to stick up for Dubya (or Bubba or Tom Cruise or whoever else) because he's a white guy I would be impaled and roasted.

-Rosie on why she talked about Star's gastric bypass:

"As a comedian, an artist and a fat celebrity..."

Um, Rosie? You're one for three on that list.

-And then we move on into the typical psycho-babble... Lost her mom, distant father... Waah waah waah... I really don't care why someone is a freak and a bitch. Honestly, really don't.

-And then, finally, there is the thing about how much she's given to charity. That's great. Honestly. Great.

You know, who really gives two sharp short shits about Rosie? Or Tom Cruise or Oprah for that matter. I've said it before, I say it again: these people do not matter.

Baby Needs A New Pair of Shoes!

I think I mentioned a couple of days ago that we here at The MediaBlog enjoy a little wagering from time to time. Online poker mainly, but we're having a college football office pool this year so I may give that a go. Now, I'm not going to lose the baby's college fun, but it's just harmless fun, am I right?

(why am I afraid that lady with the bookstore is calling the police on me?)

Anyhoo... If you want to find out about a lot of information about a wide variety of gambling opportunities then The Gambling Guide is where you want to go. They've got sections on poker, casino games, horse racing, football... You can even wager on Rugby and Cricket.

Cricket??? That's a wicked googly!

I'm guessing this site is aimed toward the British among us but there's plenty of info on here that an ordinary Yank is going to find worthwhile. Lots of good information here.

The Gambling Guide

Benjamin Franklin Roosevelt



Target, previously mentioned in this blog for their willingness to sell the anal cabinet branches out into historical action figures... Always a popular item for the kiddies, am I right?

Funny though, I didn't remember FDR in breeches. Thought his hair was shorter too. And where's the wheelchair? The disabled community is going to be screaming bloody murder over that one.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Thanks For Your Offer

Al Qaida Tape Urges Americans to Convert

My reply?
Go screw a pig.

Cashin' In

As you know, we here at The MediaBlog are big fans of PayPerPost.com

So far we've made $43.00 with another $53 yet to come...
And we're just getting started!

Am I going to quit my day job? No, of course not. This is not a way to make a living, but it's a great way to make a little something on the side by (get ready for a fifty cent MBA word) monetizing your blog.

For myself, all of this money is going toward the we're-having-a-baby-so-we-need-a-rainy-day fund. PayPerPost may not put the MediaBlog-let through Harvard, but a free package of diapers every now and again ain't something to sneeze at.

blog advertising

On Second Thought



On second thought, we may have been somewhat hasty in dismissing Miss Ivanka. While we regret the loss of Carolyn, we are willing to give Ivanka a chance even if we do so with the mute button on.

We hereby offer an apology from all of us here at The MediaBlog. Ivanka, take your top off and we'll forget Carolyn ever existed.

The Difficult Path

Rare Pregnancy a Test of Faith

Very lovely, respectful piece about a couple with conjoined twins who lost the babies this week. This kind of thing is a little tough to read when you're expecting.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Money Talks

You probably don't know it (since blogs are mostly a written rather than a spoken medium), but The MediaBlog is possessed of a lovely, deep and expressive voice. Hey, we may not be the guy who does the movie trailers, but we're not Pee Wee Herman either.

That being said, we have sometimes wondered whether we could make our fortune by going into the highly paid and scandalously easy career of doing voice over work. I mean, we've clearly got the cords that advertisers are looking for when they want someone to do a voice over for their product. Also, we have a face for radio so we would be a natural for doing voice overs. Now, assuming we ever decide to actually give the old voice over career a shot, well go to voice123.com, a resource for those who want to make a career out of doing voice over spots.

-sigh-

Look, I've got a MediaBlog-let on the way. Do you want to pay for my diapers and formula? Didn't think so. Baby's got to eat, am I right???

Taking The Fun Out of Fundamentalist

Customer Takes Action Over Bookstore's Display of Sexually Explicit Book

You know, sometimes I understand why the Lefties think we Thumpers are wackjobs. This busybody housefrau in Mississippi (shocker there, huh?) decides that she doesn't like the fact that her local Waldenbooks carries a book called "The Good Sex Bible" on their discount table where her teenage son could see it. Does she make sure her ever-virginal son doesn't go into that den of Hell Waldenbooks? Nah. Does she have a quiet word with the manager? Nope. She calls the law becase the store is supposedly n violation of some Mississipi law that makes it illegal to display sexually-oriented materials where minors can see them.

Now, we here at The MediaBlog are not encouraging the pimple-set to thumb through a copy of Jugs while they're sipping a Slushie at the Kwiki Mart. That being said, this is not what we'd call porn, soft-core or otherwise. A teenage boy isn't going to be especially aroused by a "good sex" book because the entire concept of "bad sex" is alien to the pubescent mind. It's a contradiction in terms.

Anyway, lady you may want to refrain from sicking the police on everybody. Raise your own damn children and leave the rest of us alone.

And I say that as a right-wing, fundy my own bad self.

What Happens In Vegas...

Given how tight we are, it may come as a surprise to you that The MediaBlog is a big fan of Internet Poker. Hold on... I think the FBI is at the door... I'll be back in 3-5 years.

Okay, thanks for your patience... No, we really do enjoy spending a few hours in an Internet Poker room every few months. Not $100 a hand, not lose the mortgage or the baby's college fund... Just a few hands and a few bucks. Win or lose, and I eventually lose because I... Well... Suck is a strong word but sometimes an accurate one... Anyhoo, win or lose it's a lot of fun.

This is a link to a great site to find out more about playing Internet Poker. Lots of how-to resources along with links, bonuses and all the rest.

Prepare for a Blogapalooza!

A long holiday weekend in the chair in front of the TV.

Get ready for a posting marathon, friends. More of The MediaBlog than you could ever want.