Day by Day by Chris Muir



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sad day, PittGirl hangs it up

How sad that I should break my silence with news that one of the brightest, most talented, and entertaining bloggers I've had the pleasure to read has abruptly closed her blog.
The burghblog has been taken down.
Here's a portion of PittGirl's final post:

I don’t know what I want to say here, but I know I have to say something so I’ll just start writing and you guys read along, okay?

I’ve got to say goodbye to you all.

And that really sucks and I’d be lying if I said I’m not incredibly sad about it because I didn’t realize how much a part of my life this blog has been for three years. It seemed like a little side thing I did and not a very important thing, but now that I’m cutting it away, I’m realizing what a big cut and a deep cut it really is. And how much it is hurting to let it go.

I hope you’ll trust me that I’m doing what I must do, for my comfort level, for my privacy and for my life.

Her perspectives on all things Pittsburgh will be missed. It may be her success that led to this sudden end. Pittsburgh Magazine featured her in a recent cover story, and she was to have been the focus of an article in another Pittsburgh-themed site, Pop City, from where we learn more about why the anonymous PittGirl called it quits:
I don't know what I can tell you other than my identity has been compromised and that means shutting it (the blog) down because of my job. It's important that I be proactive in removing all traces of my writing from the web if there is any risk of my identity becoming public.

Therefore, the blog was nuked this morning after five days of deliberation on my part. It wasn't an easy decision, but I know that it was the right decision for me. I can't say who learned my identity because I don't want that person being the subject of inquiries as to his/her knowledge. It's better this way.
Dennis Roddy, a writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a journalist I've known for decades offers this succinct recap:
In a retirement worthy of Greta Garbo, PittGirl, the sassy and clued-in high priestess of Pittsburgh blogging, called it quits yesterday in a bid to preserve her status as an anonymous celebrity.
I, for one, enjoyed the fact that she chose to remain anonymous. What is most surprising, I guess, is that she managed to retain that status for so long.
We'll miss you PittGirl. I do hope you find a way to share your voice with us on your terms.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Class act

"Tonight — tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama — whether they supported me or Senator Obama.

I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender.

We never hide from history. We make history." -- John McCain, November 3, 2008.


God bless America.

(h/t Deacon Greg)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote!

Update: 10:30 PM
So much for my prognostication skills. The Obama Machine did a stellar job of getting out the urban and youth vote. Much higher turnout that I would have thought. Overall turnout seems extremely high - and despite the outcome, that is a good thing for our nation. We will survive four years of BO, but I suspect it is not going to be pretty.

And John Murtha has no intention of going quietly into the long goodnight. With just over a quarter of the votes counted, the controversial Democrat is pulling away with a landslide victory over challenger Bill Russell. I picked the winner, but missed badly on the margin.

----------
Do it.


Predictions:
McCain takes PA, VA, OH, FL. Tops 330 Electoral votes.
Murtha takes PA 12th by <>
Keith Obamarman melts down live on MSNBC.
That is all.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Autumn in Washington DC

On the job at an event in DC.
I snapped this picture with my phone. It was a Marine helicopter that had just unloaded members of the news media. Another chopper landed nearby and disgorged a party of men in dark suits. VIP of some sort. In the foreground is my work project - a tricked out Hummer filled to the gills with IT gear.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Palin versus Biden

If only . . .
Wouldn't it be great if they put away their rhetoric and decided the winner in ritual combat, like this:


Monday, September 15, 2008

Best Steeler Recap Ever

Yes, I said the best ever. Now get thee over to the Burgh Blog and readeth.

PittGirl, if I can't be one of your self united husbands, can I be your adopted crazy old uncle?

Down the memory hole


The was geek cool chic back in the day. Anybody remember how to use a sliderule? Ingenious devices.
Slip one of these babies into your plastic pocket protector!

(Photo credit: The Slide Rule Museum.)

Sunny Florida


I'm in Tampa, Florida for a conference for telemedicine. Tele-what?
In brief, it is the use of telecommunications technologies to deliver health care remotely. This conference is focused on how to make use of various bio sensors in "smart homes" to better care for individuals who require regular access to the health care system. If you're so inclined, link here for more information.
The hotel is near the Convention Center, along a marina. The picture shows the view from my floor.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 + seven years

Each of us remembers where we were and what we were doing when the world as had had known it ceased to exist on that otherwise beautiful late summer morning. I've not talked much or written about that day, what one of my old psychology professors called a "flashbulb memory."

I was in our television studio / distance learning classroom teaching a teacher how to interact with students who were elsewhere (in the physical sense.) The first word was that there had been some kind of horrible aviation accident in New York, and so we continued the morning's lesson. Then another phone call from our receptionist a few minutes later ended any pretense of productive work that day.

I remember walking across the campus from the studio to my office. It was so still. Earily still, as iff the plants, the birds, and the wind all knew something big was happening. Back at the office, the conference room was full; coworkers watched the live feeds and tape loops from CNN, Fox News, NBC, and CBS. I saw the first replay of the second plane, and then the news out of Washington of a fire at the Pentagon. Within a few minutes, it was confirmed; a third plane into a building.

United Flight 93 had just a few minutes prior flown overhead (not directly above our campus, but nearly over my home about 20 miles away) - the battle for control of the cockpit apparently underway. We knew nothing of this at the moment. The telephone, cell phone, and Internet networks were straining under a massive traffic load, but I managed to get through to my wife. She was worried about our daughter who was driving back from Baltimore that morning. Then came word of a possible fourth hijacked plane; a plane that might be over Western Pennsylvania on a heading for Washington. A few moments later, the local TV station (the one where I had worked for 20 years) began reporting a plane crash in Somerset County. I knew this had to be that mystery fourth plane. Within a couple of hours, the local station was showing live shots of the crash scene. I watched the reporter doing what would have been my job three years earlier. Jon Myers was a tall kid; he grew up that day, reporting from the crash scene. It was at that moment I realized that I did not miss the news business; I was happy to be a consumer. And the news on this day was overwhelming. "Only" 3,000 dead in the collapse of the World Trade Center. It was miraculous that the toll was not higher, but even so, wrenching to the mind and soul.

Later we began hearing reports of heroism aboard Flight 93, while watching the columns of smoke rise above the New York skyline, seeing the beginnings of the effort that quickly transitioned from rescue to recovery, seeing the look on President Bush's face as he was informed of the attack while reading to the young schoolchildren, of hearing the fear in my daughter's voice as she finally got through on her cell phone, asking what has happened and what to do. So many images compressed into one large memory.

Now, seven years later, we hear the tinfoil hat crowd question the facts of that day. We see politicians wanting us to put that day behind us, lest we remember our resolve as Americans to rid the world of the animals who would do such a thing,

We must learn from the events of that day seven years ago.

We must remember.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cole Porter rocked

If you can't say anything nice, play some music.

Light pop harmonies from the mid 1960s such as this managed to expose a new generation to some of the Tin Pan Alley standards of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.



Living where I do, I've always found the Altoona reference amusing.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarahcuda

There's plenty of reaction to Governor Palin's speech:

Betsy's Page offers us not one, not two, not three, but four posts reflecting on the Sarah Palin speech, and reaction to it.

Mr. William Teach at the Pirate's Cove is on top of all things Palin. I love this quote:

"…this feels like when Plaxico caught the game winning catch in the Superbowl. It's like when Arnott scored the Stanley Cup Winner in 2000 for the Devils. When Kirk Gibson yanked one out of the park for the Dodgers. I mean, I feel that good. The best one is when Jeff Friesen scored in game seven to put the Devs up 2-0. Sarah Barracuda is that good."

Pirate's Cove also provides us with video linky goodness, Governor Palin on the Global Warming scam, and links us to a treatise on redneck beauty queens.

Patterico reports on the surprising CBS News analysis of the Palin speech (a "thumbs up.)

Melissa Clouthier has been in "all Palin, all the time" mode for the past several days. She offers thoughtful posts on sexism, media bias, the Left's full-blown panic, and much more. You best just go and browse the entire site.

Kathy at Cake Eater Chronicles lives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and has been offering daily reports and photos from the convention. Her analysis mirror's mine,

"I don't know what else to say but, WOW, did Sarah Palin knock it out of the park. BOOM. Out of the park. Across the street. Knocking out a street lamp."

For a perfect balance of sense and sensibility, one must visit the Anchoress. As usual, she offers a rich, balanced linkfest. Her liveblog of the speech is also worth the read, particularly if you did not watch it live.

Here's Atilla Girl's take,

"I really think she struck a balance, there. She killed 'em. Softly."

Over at the American Princess, Emily discusses how she reacted to the speech, and the surprising response from the MSM.

Gina Cobb liveblogged, posted a lengthy essay on what we can expect from the BO camp and the MSM (yeah, I know, redundant) in the next sixty days, and links to a funny but NSFW (for rough language) comedy sketch on how Senator McCain selected his running mate.

And finally, Deacon Greg posted an interesting read yesterday before the speech that's worth reading, especially in light of Governor Palin's performance last night.

Next we must see how she handles the media (past performance indicates they will also become barracuda chow,) and how well she does in the VP debate against Sen. Biden.

And we wrap up with some music…



Friday, August 29, 2008

GOP VP Surprise



Or so it would appear.
Update: 10:50 AM EDT 8/29/2008
Confirmed!
This is a game changer.

2nd Update: 1:00 PM EDT 8/29/2008
Just as she has been in the few earlier media appearances I've seen, Sarah Palin was poised, confident, and articulate during her remarks at the Dayton VP rally.
This has now become a very interesting campaign.
Governor Palin brings an odd quality to the campaign rhetoric: common sense. It worked for Ronald Reagan, and I think has the potential to give the Republicans a shot at a landslide victory in November. Why? Because her message is about something, not about making us feel all warm and tingly inside.

Want more? All Palin, all the time here at the "Draft Sarah Palin" blog.
And all the regular suspects over there in the blogroll on the right side of the page are all full of OMFG happiness. Go ahead, check them out.

Music for the occasion:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Im going to my room to think

Another one of those bloggy poll things:




Your Personality is Somewhat Rare (ISTP)



Your personality type is reserved, methodical, spirited, and intense.



Only about 6% of all people have your personality, including 3% of all women and 8% of all men

You are Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceiving.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Courage + Believe = Life

"Courage + Believe = Life" was John Challis' motto. He joins Dr. Randy Pausch as another Pittsburgh area inspiration, not just for cancer patients, but for all. John Challis showed us how to live a full and rich life. His life ended Tuesday at the age of 18.
KDKA-TV has this story and a slideshow.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette offers this article.
And Pittsburgh's best blogger, PittGirl sums it up as well as can be done.

Wise decades before the wisdom should have kicked in and mature years before the maturity should have shown up, he was truly an inspiring teenager who faced death, admitted it scared him, but was more worried about how it would affect his family when he was gone.

He was a selfless kid who instead of dwelling heavily on what he could not change, looked to using his reaction to the inevitable, to change those around him. And it did.

Her entire posting can be found here.
ESPN had a touching tribute on SportCenter.

His battle with liver and lung cancer was inspiring, not because he overcame adversity to live his life to the fullest, but that he did so in such a positive way.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Where does the time go?

Wow! It has been awhile since I've last posted here. "Real Life" has a way of doing that. Most of my creative time has been devoted other things; production of a DVD for my town's 100th anniversary, and taking on some propaganda writing assignments for an online community I've joined.
Then, there's been yard work, the Olympics, a week at the beach where I managed a hefty dose of sun poisoning, and a flurry of projects at work.
Meanwhile, the bloggers on the roll over on the right are worth checking out. Go ahead, I don't mind.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Statistics

Not sure of the validity, but it sure makes for interesting conversation:

A 2006 study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year.

Another study found that Americans drink an average of 22 gallons of beer a year.

That means, on average, Americans get about 41 miles per gallon.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch: RIP

Carnegie-Mellon University professor Randy Pausch has ended his battle with pancreatic cancer. In his now famous "final lecture" to students last year, he promoted a very uplifting philosophy. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette offers the story of this remarkable individual's life. The wonderfully talented PittGirl offers perspective as well.

Check out his lecture, Achieving Your Childhood Dreams:



The tissues are on the table.

Monday, July 14, 2008

That New Yorker cover


There's been much written about the kerfuffle over the cover art of this week's New Yorker magazine. Among the best is this from the Libertarian Lawyer, E.M. Zanotti, a/k/a The American Princess. Here's an excerpt:

Obama, who is pretentious enough for ten subscriptions to the New Yorker, seems incredibly desperate to condemn the magazine, though. No one reads it. I guarantee no one outside of Manhattan, most major cities and other regions already thoroughly converted to Obamamania will ever purchase it, and a week from now the New Yorker will be back to putting cubist renderings of national landmarks on its cover. So why care so much? Why shoot a publication willing to lick Obama's loafers until they shine right in the knee?

Although it is the MSM that has placed BO on the messianic pedestal, they will be unable to resist the temptation to pull him back down, because they can. This is going to be an election campaign to remember.



Monday morning funny

You feel shameful laughing at this, and yet you must laugh at the latest from the funniest Pittsburgh area blogger not named PittGirl.

An internal memo from Klein to high ranking CNN executives calls for the network to withhold iconic talk show host Larry King's medication in an attempt "to create a martyr that 'The Most Trusted Name in News' can call its own."

Read the entire post and take some time to browse through the site. No sacred cows to be found at Carbolicsmokeball.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

On Tony Snow, Adam Frey, Randy Pausch, and John Challis

The death of Tony Snow this weekend was not unexpected, nor is the outpouring of love and admiration for this very special role model.

I place Tony Snow with a group of brave Americans from whom we have much to learn.

College wrestler Adam Frey has maintained a fascinating outlook on life in his blog as he continues his battle with some stubborn chemo-resistant tumors.

“I guess all there is to do is go there and kick it in the ass. I am sure God has a reason for this, and I trust him fully. Of course, I hope no offense is taken upstairs when I say I do not really want to go through it…again. Life I think is going through most things you do not want to do in life and only a few you do. I am learning that really fast.”

There’s Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch, whose continued survival is something of a miracle, yet he sees beyond all that.

And most inspiring because such wisdom is not usually thought to reside inside the body of an 18-year-old, is that shared by John Challis, who has been making the rounds of baseball, football, hockey, and other sports venues, bringing tears to tough guy athletes and news media critters alike. Quotes like this one in a recent Pittsburgh Post Gazette article, “A Beaver County church had planned a fundraiser, but John and his family asked the church instead to conduct the event and give the money to a fifth-grade boy in Beaver County who has a brain tumor.

"His family can use it more than we can," John said. "That's just common sense. Someone does something good for you, then you help someone else."

ESPN produced this SportsCenter feature on John:




Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Parlez vous en fran├žais, “I can say WTF I want”

BO [please genuflect at His name] continues his quest to devalue the English language. This from Marketwatch:

At a town hall meeting in Georgia this morning, presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama told an audience that, "you need to make sure that your child can speak Spanish." Speaking in Powder Springs, Ga., the Illinois Senator said that the nation's chief priority should not be for immigrants to learn English, but for American children to learn Spanish.

Just yesterday he chided Americans traveling abroad for making use of the fact that English is the most-spoken language on the planet and is the de facto common language of international commerce.

Okay Senator BO, tell me, how do you say in Spanish, “Die in a fire you MFing piss poor excuse for a community organizer?”

Just asking.

For a more thoughtful perspective, Dr. Melissa has just what your brain needs.

How I spent the July 4th holiday

It's been rather busy here in the land of the MainyYak.
My town has just completed a nearly month-long Centennial celebration that concluded last Sunday (7/6/08) with a banquet for 400 people (that's over half the town's population.)
About three weeks ago the young lady in charge of organizing the banquet called me and called in a marker from about ten year ago. Back in those heady final years of the 20th Century when we were still anticipating the opportunity to "party like it's 1999" Franki extracted from me the promise that I would help her produce a video on the town's history when the centennial rolled around in 2008. Long story short, she was in a panic, and not just with the video project. It seems nobody had a clue about how to put together the speaking portion of the banquet.
And so, I got to emcee the event, arrange the program to accommodate all the planned speakers (and fit in a last minute addition,) and produce the historical video. I managed to finish the video in time, and if you are so incline, can check it out.




The last minute speaker is a guy named Frank Grata. He has moved to Las Vegas where he's seeking his fortune as a comic; specifically a "tribute act." The dude looks more like Rodney Dangerfield than Rodney himself. And he gets even less respect. He reports that one time when he brought a hooker to his room and he dropped his pants, she dropped her price. Check him out at www.rodney2.com.

Friday, July 4, 2008

A little light reading

This document, laboriously drafted by a committee, should be read and reread. We owe it to the Founders, to ourselves, and to all who will come.


IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Post removed

Although this post generated a huge increase of hits to this humble blog, it's too much of an "inside joke" to remain live. It has been archived. Thanks for the visits and for your kind words.
We now return to our regularly scheduled ravings....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I for one welcome our Robot Overlords!


Politicians and pundits are quick to rail against the migration of American jobs to other countries where labor is less expensive. But what about the jobs now being done by workers who demand no paid time off, no sick leave, no pension benefits, and no overtime?
Watch out Sarah Conner, the robots are here! Are we doomed? Drew Carey opines over at Reason.TV. (h/t to Allison Kasic at IWF's Inkwell)




Photo © 2005 Robert Armstrong and blatantly used without permission

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Robots of the world, unite!

Two video clips here for your viewing pleasure.
Use comments to tell me which one you find creepier...
First one:



Second one:

DO NOT CALL E-V-E-R!


Great news for those of us who do not enjoy calls from telemarkerters!

"The Federal Communications Commission has amended its rules to

require telemarketers to honor registrations with the National Do-Not-Call Registry indefinitely.

The previous rules provided that registrations would expire after five years."

If you change your number you will have to reenroll, but otherwise, it's one and done. Unfortunately, some other loopholes remain, for example the DNC Registry does not apply to solicitations by political groups and candidates (however did they miss that one?) or to certain charitable organizations.

Friday, June 13, 2008

R.I.P. Tim Russert


Tim Russert, NBC News Washington Bureau Chief and Moderator of NBC's Meet the Press died of a heart attack while at work today. More here. I thought Russert to be one of the best in the business.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Supremes - Some things you never get used to

Much has been written and said about the Supreme Court decision giving terror suspects detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility the right to challenge their status in Federal Court.
One of the most well reasoned discussions comes to us from the smart, vivacious, and fashionable Emily Zanotti, who offers lines like this, "The three dissenting judges went all Ike Turner on the majority opinion. "
Click on over to the American Princess and enjoy. Then come on back.

I suspect that in coming years, much as history will eventually count George W. Bush as one of this nation's best Presidents, we will look back on this decision and recognize the delicacy with with the Court attempted to balance the various needs of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches.
Can’t say I agree with the ruling, but I begin to grasp the logic. And I give kudos to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Thomas in their strongly worded dissents.

A song for you

Kristin Mainhart (I do not believe we are related) is a talented independent artist in NYC. Her CD Stranger Things is good stuff. Here's one song from the album:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Climate change consensus


I'm in Philadelphia today where the temperature is preparing to soar to 99°.
Must be global warming, right?
Oh, wait, it's snowing today in Washington and Idaho. Must be global cooling, right?
Here's a link to an interesting article on the real scientific consensus regarding global warming over at Pirates Cove.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Inspired silliness


She IS the Internet. Just ask her. She is iJustine a talented (and not unattractive) video/multimedia producer/editor from the Pittsburgh area.
This clip is...
uhhh...
well, you decide...



She also does the lifecasting thing.





(Photo is © Justine Ezarik. All rights reserved.)

Who will McCain choose for VP

Hello there. Long time no blog.
Still busy at work, the golf game is improving, and [insert another lame excuse here].

Now that the Dems have BO - attention shifts to the second banana. My guess is he'll select a woman not named Hillary. If he were to select the New York Senator, he and Michelle would be well served to sleep with one eye open.
On the GOP side, McCain appears to have done a decent job of positioning himself in the center of the political spectrum. A younger (not hard to do), conservative would be an ideal choice. I've written here before of my growing fascination with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. I think she's still a considerable long shot , but she would turn the race in November on it's ear.
Here's a video clip put together by a couple grassroots organizations promoting Gov. Palin.



(h/t Adam Brinkley at Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President)

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Greatest Generation & the latest generation

I'll be updating this one shortly. I have a lot to say.
For now, take a look at nearly 1,000 representatives of the "Greatest Generation" - World War 2 veterans from Cambria County, Pennsylvania.

From WWII Vets Hon...


From WWII Vets Hon...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Quote of the day

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

h/t The Quotations Page

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

So, did you miss me?

Having wrapped up another major writing assignment at work (and it seems with another one looming in the next couple of days,) this seems as good a time as any to offer some words of wisdom.
There's no meter or rhyme to this post, but let's get started.

The presidential campaign remains a hot topic on the intraweb tubes. One thing that keeps nagging at the back of my mind is the huge concern that the Democratic party have decided on a candidate before the convention. The convention system was established in the first place as the method of selection, but in recent decades it has devolved to little more than a formality. I'm showing my age here, but I distinctly recall watching the 1964 Democratic and Republican conventions on TV. Back then coverage was nearly gavel to gavel. That year the Republican nomination was still an open question. The biggest question in my 12-year-old mind was, why did San Francisco have a Cow Palace, and why did the GOP select that site for their convention?

Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater was the presumptive nominee, but many moderate and liberal-leaning Republicans (we would call them RINOs today) opposed his conservative views. His main opposition had come from New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, whose candidacy was scuttled by an ill-timed divorce. Pennsylvania Governor Bill Scranton came on as a reluctant replacement for Happy Rockefeller. Scranton's half-hearted campaign reminds me today of the effort Fred Thompson gave in his brief run for the White House. In any event, it was too little, too late and Senator Goldwater won the nomination. The Democrats had no such political intrigue at there convention, coming less than a year after President Kennedy's assassination. Lyndon Johnson as the incumbent faced no serious opposition, and he went on to easily defeat Goldwater in November.

My point here is not that the GOP had a contentious convention and lost the election. There was little that would have prevented LBJ's election. The importance of the contested convention was that it gave both the left and right wings of the party an opportunity to duke it out and to decided whether the GOP would remain anchored in conservative values, or would become Democrat-lite under RINO leadership. It was democracy in action, and live on TV. (Okay, the real action happened behind the scenes, but still...)

Now the MSM pundits are so concerned that delegates at this year's Democratic convention might actually have to think and make actual decisions about the future of their party. If that is such a bad idea, then why not just do away with the conventions, schedule a national primary and be done with it?

On another note, it's beginning to look as though vice presidential candidates may play a larger than usual role in this year's election. Elephantman of the Draft Sarah Palin site obviously has a dog in this fight, but he points us to an interesting veepstakes polll at Congressional Quarterly. It's an exercise in bracketology. Check it out.

That's all for now. Keep those comments coming.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

John Adams


He was a one term president - the first U.S. President who failed in a reelection bid. But then John Adams was only the second American chief executive. The just concluded HBO miniseries offered a reasonably fair and balanced look at this often controversial public figure. I for one found the theme music (clicky below) haunting. It was also instructional to see how politics has not really changed all that much from the turn of the 19th Century.





Photo courtesy: The Harvard University Collection

Monday, April 7, 2008

3,000 miles from home

This week finds me in sunny (yeah, it's true) Seattle. I'm attending a conference along with several colleagues from my organization.
It was all going pretty well until I stepped across the street to use an ATM. I needed some extra cash because the taxis and shuttles in this otherwise modern city "know not of this 'plastic' you speak of." Anyway, I pop in my card, punch in the PIN and out spits a receipt telling me the card has been confiscated. It would appear my card # has been hacked/stolen. But I can't find out until tomorrow since the bank back in Pennsylvania is closed for the night. I have a backup credit card so it's not the end of the world, just a huge hassle in the midst of a busy road trip.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Hiatus

Wow, things sure have been quiet here.
I began this blog, in part, as therapy to break a lengthy case of writer's block that was directly impacting my ability to do my job (I am a writer after all.)
I continue to read other blogs, and leave comments when the muse strikes, but since I'm back to writing for pay, this site has faced some neglect.
I'm not giving up the blog experience, but do expect little activity here for the time being.

Here's a little music that applies to technical writers as much as commercial music lyricists.


If anybody would care to drop a word of encouragement (or suggest I find something else other than further polluting the Internet with my ravings), it would be appreciated.
God bless.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Childhood's End


Another one of the giants of science fiction's golden age is no longer among us. Arthur C. Clarke was 90 when he died today at his home in Sri Lanka. News accounts here, here, and here.
Clarke was a prolific writer of fiction and nonfiction. He's probably best known as author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but he also developed the concept behind the constellation of communications satellites that ring our planet 23,000 miles above the equator. His idea of a space elevator in Fountains of Paradise has always been one of my favorites, and with the development of carbon nanotubes is now within the realm of possibility.

(Photo from BoingBoing showing Clarke and friends on his 90th birthday.)

DOOM! – details at 11


It appears more people are beginning to consider that Al Gore's Theory of Global Warming and Carbon Credits to Assuage your Liberal/Green Guilt scam lunacy may, after all, be an inconvenient untruth. Christopher Taylor offers up a very interesting post on the reportage of climate change over more than a century that proves the point that the news media's cry of "Doom!" every time the temperatures goes up/down/sideways is nothing new; it's what they do.

The truth is, climate change has always been with us, because the only thing we can predict about the weather is that it will change. That's what makes it weather: it's different from time to time. Over the long term, it can vary from warm to cool, dry to wet, and so on. We'll get more storms a while, then fewer, that's how it works. What we cannot conclude is that we're all going to die in some tremendous climate catastrophe unless we all stop driving SUVs and buy Al Gore's carbon credits.

Are we on this Good Earth going through climate change? Of course we are; variability is a basic ingredient to climate. The larger question is how much does mankind's presence impact climate. When one volcanic eruption dwarf's the entire "carbon footprint" of mankind since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, one has to consider that we are not that significant in the grand scheme. It seems to me solar cycles and tectonic activity are far more important drivers of Earth's climate.

And while we're on the subject of debunking that Oscar-winning Wingnut, Al Gore, my favorite gun-totin', goat ropin' blogger, Stacy makes Weather Channel founder John Coleman her Manly Man for this week, for having the stones to call out Al Gore and his Carbon Offsets for the fraud they are. So says Stacy:

Mr. Coleman however, has been tossed aside by the MSM (sarcastic gasp goes here). They refuse to listen to this man who was actually educated in meteorology, and instead, worship at the feet of a politician. Mr. Coleman’s desire to continue this fight, and force an intellectual debate has him contemplating legal action.

Mr. Coleman's views have not been exactly embraced at the Weather Channel either. A shame that what should be a lively intellectual exercise into real scientific research is instead deigned to be dogma.

What say you?




Remember them as they fight for you!

My niece, who is stationed at a hospital in Iraq, passes this story along:


For those who are unaware, the National Anthem is played before every movie in military theatres in the U.S. and abroad.

This is attributed to Chaplain Jim Higgins, who offers this example of why our service men and women serving in Iraq are among the best America has to offer:

He writes, "I recently attended a showing of Superman 3 here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies, as well as for memorial services and other large gatherings. As is the custom back in the States, we stood and snapped to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature.”
The chaplain’s story continues, “All was going as planned until about three-quarters of the way
through The National Anthem the music stopped. Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments; and everyone would sit down and call for a movie. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.”
“Here, the 1,000 Soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music began again. The Soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. And again, at the same point, the music stopped.”
“What would you expect to happen? Even here, I would imagine laughter, as everyone finally sat down and expected the movie to start.”
“But you could have heard a pin drop. Every Soldier continued to stand at attention. Suddenly there was a lone voice, then a dozen, and quickly the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers, finishing where the recording left off:
"And the rockets red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night
That our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free
And the home of the brave
?"

The chaplain concludes, “It was the most inspiring moment I have had here in Iraq . I
just wanted you to know what kind of soldiers are serving you here. Remember them as they fight for you!”

Let us remember to be ever in prayer for all our soldiers serving us here at home and abroad.



The above photo shows Airman First Class Deborah Korenoski briefing Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne on the work of medical staff at the USAF Hospital in Balad, Iraq.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Troops in Iraq starved for entertainment?

A strange congruence of events has led me to change the topic of today's post. Originally, I had planned to discuss the issues surrounding the soon to be former Governor of New York.
But then I received an email from my niece, a member of the U.S. Air Force, who is deployed to a hospital in Balad, Iraq.
It seems she and some of her fellow service members have managed to find entertainment of an adult nature - a peep show. Here's the photographic evidence:














It's okay to laugh.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I got nothing

Have to write for a living.
Enjoy this blast from my past:

Monday, March 3, 2008

Hunting digital TV signals

This is the output of an excellent tool used to estimate what digital TV stations you may be able to receive over the air. This is from a site called TV Fool, and it is run by a brilliant TV engineer. There are other reception simulation sites out there, but this one is by far the most accurate I've come across.


I'm on the road this week, so expect light posting and even less lurking on my favorite blogs. :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Steeler Nation mourns Myron

Former Pittsburgh Steeler broadcaster Myron Cope has died. He was as much a legend in Pittsburgh as was his creation, the Terrible Towel. More on Myron Cope's passing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

His voice was charitably described as not unlike fingernails on a chalkboard (for you young-'uns, a chalkboard was like a dry erase white board, except it was black, made of slate, and you wrote on it with sticks of chalk - ask your grandparents.) But it was not the sound of his voice but his keen analysis as part of the Steeler radio radio play by play team. He was distinctive, he was local, and there was no question he was a Steeler fan.

Here's a video clip in which Myron tells the tale of the towel:

I ask, she answers

In yesterday's post regarding Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, I asked, "if offered the job, does she want to run on a McCain ticket?"
Based on a video clip posted at the Washington Post's web site, the answer is a qualified "yes."
Check it out:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Looking for the Palin truth



Add Conservative Guy to the increasing number of voices mentioning Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as a running mate to John McCain.
Thomas Cheplick at American Spectator has a glowing profile of the Alaska governor running as today's lead article on the AS web page.

My question is simple, if offered the job, does she want to run on a McCain ticket?

Bonus Quote of the day

I'm off to learn how to be a good leader.
So, during my enforced absence from Internet access, ponder this:

"There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president."
- Kurt Vonnegut

Have a great day everybody!

Friday, February 22, 2008

This is the newpaper of record?


The New York Times hit piece on Sen. John McCain is drawing fire from all corners. This is my take on it.
Here are some other voices:
Still Stacy gives us "Sexing up John McCain"
Betsy Newmark offers "That New York Times McCain story"
Mary Katherine Ham at Town Hall writes, "Will the NYT speak?"
Allahpundit asks a simple question at Hot Air in "Calling all bloggers: NYT ready to answer reader questions on its super keen McCain scoop" (h/t Atilla Girl)
Lemual Calhoon at Hillbilly White Trash (not exactly a McCain supporter) offers insight into this MSM offensive offensive with "And so it begins"

There's plenty more out there. Even McCain's opponents have expressed disgust at this poor excuse for journalism.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Anybody know how to trim the wick on a whale oil lamp?

Anybody remember how to use a slide rule? Do you even know what a slide rule is? Back in the days of rotary telephones, manual typewriters, and choke controls to help start cars on cold mornings, slide rules were essential tools in the physics classroom.

Today they are obsolete, as are these:
1. Dialing a rotary phone
2. Putting a needle on a vinyl record
3. Changing tracks on an eight-track tape
4. Shorthand
5. Using carbon paper to make copies
6. Basking in the lilting aroma of freshly "run-off" mimeograph paper
7. Changing the ball or ribbon on your Selectric Typewriter
8. Getting off the couch to change channels or adjust the rabbit ears on your TV set
9. Popping popcorn over the stove in a pot with oil
10. Changing the gas mixture on your car's carburetor

I recall them all, and had those mad skills (except for the shorthand, although many people thought my
handwriting looked like shorthand) back in the day. Some other obsolete skills are of more recent vintage.

Do you recall:
11. Editing an autoexec.bat or config.sys file
12. Calling "collect" and/or "person to person" on a payphone
13. Transferring files with Zmodem
14. Parking a hard disk
15. Cleaning the head of a VCR
16. Aiming a C-band satellite dish
17. Degaussing a CRT monitor
18. Lotus 1-2-3
19. WordStar 2000
20. Winding a watch

The point of all this is to illustrate not only how much things have changed over the past couple of decades, but
how much the velocity of change is increasing. I shamelessly "borrowed" these from the obsolete skills wiki and
a posting by Robert Scobel.

Now I feel old. Guess I'll brush up on my DOS command line syntax before saddling up the mule for the ride home.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Transition to digital TV - T-minus one year

Confusion abounds over the biggest change in television broadcasting since color was introduced more than half a century ago. In exactly one year television stations will stop transmitting an analog signal. The replacement digital signals are (with a few exceptions) already on the air and providing viewers with newer televisions a new viewing experience.
This does not really matter to about 80% of U.S. households whose television is delivered by cable or satellite. For those who rely on rabbit ears or rooftop antennas (like the fourteen foot monster perched on the roof of my house) good old Uncle Sam has a coupon program to offset most of the cost of an analog converter box to allow standard analog sets to display the digital signals.
Some critics claim the new TV signals will be more difficult to receive. A TV engineer who operates the website TV Fool conducted his own analysis, The Analog Shutdown, for Better or for Worse. It makes for good reading if both statistics and technology float your boat.
The main point here is that change is coming and people in general don't like change.
My charge to you is to help spread the word, especially to older family members who rely on free over the air television, that change is coming, but that it need not be a cause for panic next February 18.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hyperbole made simple

Wendy at Girl on the Right has an excellent post comparing today's definition of "crisis", "quagmire", "disaster", etc with the definition of a couple generations ago.

Both 9/11 and Katrina were mere blinks of the eye of time. The terrorist attacks lasted an hour or two (though the fires burned for 90 days). The hurricane and flooding lasted a day or so. Neither of them could be compared to the lasting hardships of the Depression or even the sacrifices of WWII.

Go on over and read the entire post at GOTR.


Woe is the middle class?

We can forgive the fact that he hails from Cleveland. Drew Carey gets it. Check out this video essay from Reason.tv:



(h/t Lemuel at Hillbilly White Trash)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Winter rainbow



I grabbed this photo on February 6 with my new enV mobile phone looking east from my back yard.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Are you a Democrat, a Republican, or a Redneck?

I think this one has been making the rounds for awhile, but since my sister-in-law was kind enough to share it with me, I figure, what the hell, it's good for a chuckle:


Here is a little test that will help you decide

You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, an Islamic terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you.

You are carrying a Glock cal 40, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.

What do you do?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Democrat's Answer

Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!

Does the man look poor! Or oppressed?

Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?

Could we run away?

What does my wife think? What about the kids?

Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?

What does the law say about this situation?

Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it?

Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?

Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?

Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?

If I were to grab his knees and hold on , could my family get away while he was stabbing me?

Should I call 9-1-1 ?

Why is this street so deserted?

We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day and make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.

This is all so confusing!

I need to discuss with some friends over a latte and try to come to a consensus.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Republican's Answer:

BANG!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Redneck's Answer:

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Click....

(sounds of reloading)

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click

Daughter: 'Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?'

Son: 'You got him, Pop! Can I shoot the next one?'


Wife: 'You are not taking that to the taxidermist

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Veepstakes update

My favorite Michigan lawyer, E. M. Zanotti joins the debate on the merits of having the GOP look north to Alaska for a vice presidential candidate. Here's how the American Princess describes the attributes of Governor Sarah Palin:

Yes, she was Miss Congeniality when she competed for Miss Alaska, she used marijuana when it was legal in her state, loves moose burgers and snowmobiling and is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association ... She’s been a city councilman, a mayor, head of various commissions within the state of Alaska (some of which she quit because her fellow Republican commissioners were too corrupt — a character trait we need more of), and she’s done a hell of a good job as governor and is a total DC outsider.

Now that's an endorsement!
John McCain has to shore up his relationship with the conservative majority of the GOP while trying to avoid alienating his left of center base. Governor Palin would offer a little something for both groups.

Those wacky environmentalists

The global warming crowd soldiers on despite growing evidence that forces bigger than human effort affect our climate. You know, like the Sun. Seems Old Sol may be taking a holiday, something that last occurred in the early 1800s (The "Year without a summer".) Investor's Business Daily has an editorial on the topic of the Maunder Minimum. (h/t Newmark's Door)

An interesting aspect of the solar activity study is that another Canadian scientist would have those researchers locked up for heresy against the Global Warming Lord and Savior, Al Gore. Of course, once his intemperate comments began circulating around the blogosphere and even the MSM, Dr. Suzuki, through a spokesperson said he didn't really mean it. Over at Dr. Suzuki's site, I can find no mention of this kerfuffle.

Meanwhile, at Depleted Cranium (another tip of the hat to Betsy's husband) there's a thoughtful piece that takes environmentalists to task for identifying problems but not offering reasonable solutions.

In our area, a group has taken up the cause of battling against the construction of a wind farm in what they call a pristine wilderness. The area, known as Shaffer Mountain offers fine hunting and fishing, but considering the land is owned by a coal company (which has already mined most of the coal), calling it "pristine" is a bit of a stretch. Leaders of this group reject the NIMBY (not in my back yard) label, but it seems to me that is exactly the point. Another wind farm project located just a few miles from the campus where I work has certainly changed the skyline (see the title banner at the top of this page), and a few folks who live on that isolated patch of mountainside have complained of noise from some of the turbines. In general, most folks around here view the turbines as attributes to the region. The development company Gamesa, based in Spain, has opened a huge factory in our county to manufacture the turbine blades. That's jobs folks.

One final note, ATTENTION Al Gore – it's freakin' 14° outside (an improvement over last night's -1°) – where's your global warming now?


Monday, February 4, 2008

Speak up!

(h/t Stacy at Still Stacy)

I've added a new feature to this blog, at the top of the right column. It's a voice comment widget from Snapvine.
Given my meager rate of posting and the very limited audience here, I'm not exactly expecting miracles, but if you have something to say, be my guest.


As always, thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Second banana is important too


While we await the outcomes of the Democratic and Republican presidential primary season, it's not too early to begin contemplating who the two conventions will pick as vice presidential candidates.

Much was made of Fred Thompson's quick swoon from the race, fueling speculation he might have been after the #2 spot all along. Others are suggesting Mick Huckabee (who appears on the verge of dropping his quest for President) would make a good running mate for Mitt Romney. I don't see either one getting the VP nod, no matter who eventually wins the Republican nomination. If not Huck or Fred, then who?

For now, we can rule out Mitt Romney, if John McCain (if you believe the MSM it's no longer "if") wins the GOP nomination. CBS quotes Romney, "I'm not going to be any vice president to John McCain." It would appear Jeb Bush, the former Florida Governor and brother of President Bush will not push for the number two spot on the Republican ticket. He was nowhere to be seen in the Sunshine State in the run-up to the Florida primary..

Others being mentioned here and there include several state governors, South Carolina's Terry Sanford, Georgia's Sonny Perdue, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, and Alaska's Sarah Palin. "Alaska?!?", you ask. From what I've read about her, Governor Palin is a common sense conservative. She even stood up against Senator Ted Stevens' "Bridge to Nowhere" earmark. And a "Draft Sarah" blog has joined the blogosphere.

Betsy Newmark is also looking at the nation's GOP governors, mentioning Pawlenty and Sanford. Gina Cobb offers Condi Rice as a great choice, especially for Romney. Meanwhile, the Anchoress suspects something is afoot to engineer a brokered convention and deny McCain the nomination.

Now to the Donkeys.

State governors are likely to dominate the long list of potential Democratic VP nominees as well. Pennsylvania's Ed Rendell does not really make a lot of sense for either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama, although it would not be a far stretch to see the former Philadelphia District Attorney as Attorney General in a Democratic administration. BlogKC reports that it appears Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius is being groomed for the national stage, but the Democrats are more likely to seek demographic balance with a tried and true white male. New Mexico Governor (and now withdrawn presidential candidate) Bill Richardson would provide demographic and geographic balance.

Over at Outside the Beltway, the speculation centers on Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen, Virginia Senator Jim Webb, or Indiana's Evan Bayh.

Anybody have some insight or opinion? Share them in comments.

UPDATE:

The Governor of our 49th State appears to be getting more attention, at least within the blogosphere. There’s a report out that somebody at the Daily Kos suggesting a McCain-Palin ticket would be a team the Democrats should fear. I haven’t tracked down the Kos entry to confirm. Meanwhile, over at the New Conservative, there’s a good post highlighting Governor Palin’s conservative credentials.

It is refreshing when, especially in the GOP, there is a politician willing to stand up for ethics, and against corruption... especially in Alaska, where corruption in the government is a common occurrence.

She has a 90% approval rating in her state, and has a broad appeal across the conservative board. She is an outdoorsman, an ACTUAL lifelong hunter, a
conservationist, pro-life, pro-marriage, and a defender of capitalism.

Alaska news media are reporting that the governor remains coy about backing a particular candidate, but has narrowed her choices to John McCain or Mike Huckabee. She is quoted in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, saying, “I would ideally love to speak with them personally on their positions on resources and national security.”

We may be on to something here.