Albright Now, Baby, She’s Albright Now

Like her boss, “Mad” Albright is campaigning against attacking Bush for his foreign policy. Because I give her point of view these days the same credibility I would give an Internet Troll, I am going to give her remarks the corrective treatment favored by Frank J. and my beautiful wife by rewriting “cleaning up” her remarks:

US President George W. Bush’s foreign policy “is what we should have been doing in the Clinton adminstration all along.”

“America is much stronger than a multilateral system, they better be on the our side, work with us. Or else it’s America versus the others.”

She said that UN chief Kofi Annan, who has come out against a US draft resolution on Iraq currently before the UN Security Council, was the “best secretary general since the creation, for what that’s worth” of the world body.

All right, that’s getting dull. What could she have said to characterize herself and her peers properly?

“It’s not difficult to be in France and criticise my government. But I’m doing so because I think I am a Dixie Chick because in the Clinton administration, we had the depth and breadth of pop stars.”

On Iraq, Albright said “I fear that there really is chaos there. We don’t know what’s going to happen. One or two Americans a day are killed. We should have sent our soldiers on costly-but-safe excursions that outlasted their exit date by a decade or more, like Bosnia.”

Even if ridding Iraq of its “terrible” leader had its merits, Albright added: “I don’t understand why the war happened now. I would have liked to see us concentrate on Afghanistan because this Karzai guy is a mad tyrant and needs to be overthrown.”

I have to do these things, you understand, to keep this vein in my forehead to keep from throbbing painfully.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Your #1 Source for Recreational Cocaine Lasik Information

Thank you, someone, for discovering that Musings from Brian J. Noggle is the #1 source for recreational cocaine lasik on the Internet!

I am sorry I cannot provide the answers you seek until you provide a bit more information.

Are you a person who uses cocaine “recreationally” and you want to know whether a little blow will affect your vision surgery, or a surgeon who wants to know if you’re really better at your job when you’re feeling schnucking GREAT, man?

Thank you.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Laws of Causality Awry in Middle East

Knight Ridder headline: Killing of 3 in Gaza makes U.S. a target.

Those of us who think linearly, and try to express reality with words, might have phrased it Palestinian Irregulars Target U.S. Civilians, Kill 3 in Gaza, but that implies this act passes for Palestinian military action and that these Palestinians purposefully decided beforehand to attack and kill 3 U.S. civilians, the official storytellers want to describe a different narrative.

In spite of a liberal arts education, I avoid passive voice and write clearly, so I am not qualified to work at Knight Ridder.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Who Chooses When You Can Choose?

In his Chicago Tribune column today (registration required), Steven Chapman identifies inconsistencies on a woman’s right to choose what’s right for her body and her life.

As Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Gloria Feldt puts it, “We stand for the principle that women–in consultation with their families and their physicians–should make their own reproductive and health decisions. Not politicians and not the government.”

But this week, they changed their minds.

Not about abortion. On that intimate issue of women’s physical autonomy, they still believe the government should get out and stay out. But when it comes to breast implants, they think women can’t be trusted to decide for themselves. On the former question, they sound like hard-core libertarians. On the latter, they are models of intrusive paternalism.

You get to free will, Citizen, whenever your betters tell you to choose.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Police Chief Says Press Charges, Get Charged

Certainly you’ve heard the story about the jubilant Missouri football fan who rushed onto Faurot Field after the Missouri Tigers beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers last Saturday, wherein a Nebraska Cornhusker football player rung his bell. If you haven’t, go read the story and watch the video. I’ll wait right here for you.

Okay. So read what the police chief has to say. To sum up, via cut and paste:

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The man punched by a Nebraska football player after the game at Faurot Field last Saturday could face a first-degree trespassing charge, the University of Missouri-Columbia police chief said.

“That is part of the investigation,” Chief Jack Watring said Wednesday.

Fans were told by the public-address announcer to not go onto the field after the game.

Watring said the man who was hit, Matthew Scott of Lee’s Summit, Mo., has been told by investigators that he could be charged himself if he presses action against Nebraska place-kick holder Kellen Huston.

Sorry to make you work for a living, Chief. The investigation, huh? You mean popping the video into your videocassette player and enjoying a nice mocha while a loop shows Scott getting punched by a football player, a professional athlete for all intents and purposes.

If the victim decides maybe a one-game suspension and a forced apology is not enough and he wants just recourse through the legal system, you shall punish the victim for bothering you.

Does anyone else here suspect that the following tidbit, buried in the bottom of the story, might be germane to Watring’s threat?

Scott is not a student at the university, Watring said.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

It Only Takes Me So Long

So it’s only taken me some what, two years, to notice this, but now that I have, it’s under there. Every day when I reboot, bam! It’s in my face:

Based on NT Technology. Windows NT Technology. Windows New Technology Technology.

Sure, it’s not as egregious as PIN Number on an ATM Machine, but come couldn’t you buy better with billions of dollars? I’m only fifty an hour, werd.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Book Review: When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden by Bill Maher (2002)

Well, I’ve gotten a new membership in the Quality Paperback book club, so I can get cheap, household wall friendly copies of books that I might disagree with, violently.

First on the list: When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden by Bill Maher. Anyone else remember him with Geena Davis in Sara? No? His agent’s undoubtedly relieved.

Something about Maher’s political stands as the leading libertarian dished out by HBO bothers me. Some of his stances seem okay, but every time I would watch Politically Incorrect or Real Time with Bill Maher I am yoked into agreement with him just enough that I suffer a physiological response when he expresses something I heartily dispute. So it was good for me to get my hands on this book so I could isolate exactly where we differ.

Fortunately, I didn’t pick up a heavy tome. This book is a quick collection of musings coupled with posters designed for the War on Terror. One, Bill Maher is for the War on Terror, is for a strong response, and recognizes it’s a clash of civilizations. Not toeing the Libertarian isolationist party line, but that’s ok. I don’t either. The biggest thrust of this book is that we need to stiffen up, stop pretending to have security in our airports, and act like we’re at war. Okay, I dig the whole stop-partying-like-its-1999-already thing.

Maher also hits some of the themes of proper libertarian thought when he wants to legalize drugs, continue with free speech, and that the federak government should focus on its two proper roles, police and defense, but a little less on the policing, thanks.

But Maher jumps the libertarian rails when he invokes Barbie E’s Book of Shadows and raises the whole anti-capitalist raise-the-minimum-wage bit. He wants to cut subsidies (yes!) but dispense more foreign aid because we can (not to further our interests, but because it’s nice), and by “we” he means with your compulsory tax donation, friend. Hey, he gives 50% of his income seven figure income, you give 25% of your lower five, what’s not to like?

Also, amid the rallying cries of “Every citizen a soldier!” and “Vigilence is the eternal price of liberty!” (my interpretations, but his bits are entitled “Make Them Fight All of Us” and “Neighbors Looking Out for Neighbors”, I am not stretching it too much), but he’s in favor of gun control (he thinks Reagan could have rammed it through immediately after the assassination attempt). Every citizen a vigilent soldier with a cell phone to call the authorities! Hardly the militia that the forefathers envisioned which Maher almost wants.

I’d recommend the book when it gets remaindered. It’s got a good crystallization of Maher’s thoughts behind his glib comments (the crystals are 1-2 page miniature essays akin to Dennis Miller’s rants but not as clever and just a little more earnest). It’s also a quick read, being short pieces jammed between the sofa cushions of posters and pages containing quotes from the pieces.

Personally, the book has changed my life. I now remember to turn out the light when I leave a room to stop wasting energy. It’s a small part I can play to making the country more energy efficient and lowering my energy bills a small percentage. I’d forgotten its simple importance. I’ll be adamant about doing it until I forget again next week.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Masculine-Writing Women and Men Who Adore Them

Virginia Postrel points to the Gender Genie, which parses a long text string of your writing to guess your gender.

My piece:
Buzzword of the Day: Sanity Check

The Judgment:

(NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.)

Female Score: 574
Male Score: 1068

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

Heather’s piece: John Galt, Vomit, and Sundry Other Bodily Excretions
The Judgment:

(NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.)

Female Score: 1746
Male Score: 2005

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

I think a woman who writes and thinks like a man is sexxxxy!

Also, word to those who would impugn my masculinity by pointing out that my wife has a higher male score than me: note that my differential is greater than hers. I’m sure that’s somewhere in the fine print of the Gender Genie, but I am too busy knitting doilies to read that closely.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Three Things That The World Has Foisted Upon Me To Make Me Feel Old

  • Save buttons. I remember when we actually used those things depicted on the Save button to actually, you know, save information on.
  • Rookies who turned into gritty veteran experience. I remember when Jochen Hecht, also known as “Youngun'” Hecht, broke into the NHL. Now he’s “a veteran guy that’s [sic] tough to lose.”
  • Damn kid Subway workers who turn to one another when a Wham! song comes on and ask, “Do you know that song?”

(Apologies to Ravenwood whom I am channelling.)

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Our City Is Too Good for the Likes Of You, Citizen

A piece today in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about the inner ring suburbs of Milwaukee working to improve their neighborhoods by squelching small entrepreneurs: Tapping out liquor licenses:
Corner taverns squeezed out as communities work to upgrade images, tax revenue

A spokesecrat for West Milwaukee speaks ex cathedra about what the monolithic entity wants, says:

“The times that there are two or three bars on every block is passed,” said West Milwaukee Village President Ron Hayward. “West Milwaukee wants to upgrade its image.”

Got that, citizens? West Milwaukee, the organic entity, has determined that the time of small entrepreneurs running their own taverns is over. Instead, it’s time for West Milwaukee to look like Springfield, Missouri, and Chesterfield, Missouri, and most of the other suburbs in most other towns. Bring on the Applebees! Wait, sorry, I mean:

“What they’re deciding is what’s good for the neighborhood and what’s not,” said Weinzatl [owner of a building denied a liquor license renewal], 36. “When they didn’t have the tax revenue coming in, the Chili’s and Chipotle’s, we were all good enough for them. Now that they have all these opportunities, they’re going to squeeze out the little guy.”

Bring on the Chili’s! West Milwaukee wants to sacrifice its local character to the gods of suburban sameness to sucker in some traffic from Miller Park attendees who wouldn’t walk through the worn wooden doors of a corner tavern with the name of the owner above the door on a discolored Schlitz sign but who would be much happier to pull the jalapeño door handle just like they do once a week out in Sussex.

And the West Milwaukee citizens who would like to run their own businesses?

Melody Nordness, 45, a homemaker and homeowner who has lived in the village for 17 years, had hoped to lease Weinzatl’s space in her first crack as a small business owner. She wanted to create a corner tavern where neighbors could stop in for a beer while walking their dogs, chat about the village goings-on and just sit for a while, she said.

She had already paid for her license and started fixing up the place when she received a letter July 14 providing her with reasons for a denial.

Among the reasons:

“The Village of West Milwaukee Board has identified the need to change the culture of the community, to encourage redevelopment and reduce the property tax burden on homeowners.”

“One of the redevelopment goals identified by the Community Development Authority is to encourage restaurant uses in the village, in lieu of taverns that do not primarily serve food.”

While Nordness got her money back, she wanted the license.

“I was very upset for the fact that I have lived here 17 years, and we wanted to keep this bar/tavern a community-type business,” Nordness said. “We kept them afloat for 17 years, paying the highest taxes in the state of Wisconsin.”

Quiet, citizen! You forget your place. You serve the Government’s needs, not the other way around. Do you not understand that the Government is adjusting your culture as It sees fit to broaden Its tax base or improve Its image to Itself. Love It or leave It by moving to another community just like this one.

And be grateful that the Government has not taken your land for Its own vision of megastripmalldom. Yet.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Gephardt Proves Stingl’s Theorem

Mark Steyn, in the Chicago Sun-Times, says:

At Thursday’s Democratic Presidential debate, Jeff Greenfield asked the candidates why it was that only 34 percent of Americans identified themselves as Democrats — the lowest number since before the New Deal. ”You’re looking at the glass as half-empty, I look at it as half-full,” said former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, demonstrating the command of basic math that has made the federal budget what it is. The Democratic glass isn’t half-empty, it’s two-thirds empty.

Kinda proves Stingl’s Theorem, wot?

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories


Oh, man, now that the Packers choked up a 17 point lead to Kansas City, Cagey’s either going to be:

  • Insufferable (which I would be were it the other way around), which I cannot stand the thought of, or
  • A bigger man than me and not rub my face in the mess that Ahman Green left on the fifty yard line, which I cannot stand the thought of, either.

Doom, despair and agony on me.
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery.
If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.
Doom, despair and agony on me.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Word to Your Grandmother

As part of his weekendly series, Kim du Toit honors Veronica Lake.

The only movie I have seen with Veronica Lake is The Blue Dahlia (which I never finished watching, so don’t tell me if how it ends). She’s got the looks and she’s got the voice, and she’s the complete package. Unlike the sleaze stharlots of today, who run the complete spectrum from vapid to trashy, Veronica Lake’s the kind of woman you would enjoy talking to before and after.

Kinda like this sex symbol. Bangs over the eye and everything.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Buzzword of the Day: Sanity Check

So I am minding my company’s business (since I was on the clock, by terms of the employee licensing agreement I signed when I started, any business conducted on company property is company business, so you won’t catch me selling on eBay things and adding to the company’s revenue stream, werd), when I heard the most blatant buzzword since a couple of jobs ago when I heard a project manager say face time without a smirk on his face. This time, it was a project manager, too, who probably heard the phrase in a project management seminar or took it from a project management magazine, where it was nestled in between the ads for project management software.

This buzzword:

Sanity check

The context: “We’ll perform a sanity check.” I think he meant evaluate the position of the project vis-à-vis (Author’s note: This use of the italicized French term does not represent a “buzzword”; instead, it’s pretension. Please note and appreciate the difference. Thank you.) contractual obligations and customer considerations. However, because it’s the first time I ever heard of a “sanity check,” I can only guess this is what he meant.

From whence did this asylum-escapee of a buzzword originate? Never mind, perhaps the bedlam of the information technology field needs buzzwords and common cues from the world of psychology.

You want a sanity check? Here’s a schnucking sanity check:

Now, take a look at this, tell me what you see, and I can diagnose your particular sickness. What is it you see in this picture?

    I see a leading enterprise-caliber best-in-class solution for….

      Obviously, you’re delusional, and you work in sales or marketing.

    I’m not sure; let me call a meeting to discuss with others what I might see.

      Welcome to project management. Worst part is that after the meeting, you’ll still be unclear about what you see.

    Whoa, that’s a cool new technology/specification that’s not mature yet! We should tear down the complete infrastructure and rebuild all applications and server components to use this new design

      You’re a developer, and heaven help us all, but an influential or lead developer. Here we go again.

    I see a series of lines and arcs that I can understand and describe in elaborate detail.

      You’re apparently in documentation. Don’t bother trying to describe the picture for me. By the time you’re three-fourths of the way through your description, one of those lead developers described above will shake up the Etch-a-Sketch and you’ll have to start over.

    It’s a damn mess. A boondoggle. What am I supposed to do with that? There’s nothing about that that even resembles a picture. Tell me you’re not shipping that out in a frame, for crying out loud.

      Welcome to Quality Assurance. Now please be quiet, we’ve heard enough from you.

You know the worst part about “sanity check”? Not only is it a buzzword, but it’s an inappropriate buzzword because it assumes there’s some sanity to check.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories