Give the Guy a Break

Okay, so as Ann Althouse recounts, John Kerry came to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and misprounounced braht as braat:

Now, I see in Chris Sullentrop’s report in Slate, that Kerry actually did mispronounce brat:

Here in Sheboygan, during a “Kerry-Edwards ’04 Brat Fry,” Kerry adds to the litany [of regional mistakes] Friday by referring to the local food as a short-A “brat,” the way you would refer to a spoiled child. “Brot!” yell members of the crowd. For good measure, Kerry makes the mistake at the end of his speech, too. “Before I get a chance to have some braaats …” “Brots!!” some women near me shout in frustration.

For crying out loud! How inept do your people have to be, when taking you to a brat fry not to tell you “remember it’s brot”?

Okay, so this mispronouncement highlights how Kerry’s not really down with the upper midwest pleble, but look, it could have been worse:

  • He could have called it le Braaat.
  • He could have called it a “bratwurst sandwich.”

    Note: This hyperlink refers to an AP photo caption which says “Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., gets a grilled bratwurst sandwich at a campaign rally in Sheboygan, Wisc. Friday, Oct. 15, 2004. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert).” The hyperlink doesn’t seem too stable, so you might have to click next and previous until you find the photo. Link originally seen on Wizbang!)

  • He could have pronounced the city name She-boy-band.
  • He could have made a remark about he wished he could wash it down with an icy cold Budweiser.
  • He could have praised Mike Sherman, coach of the Green Bay Packers. Undoubtedly, that would have sparked a riot.

So you see, this proves that John Kerry is, as Esquire put it on its June 2004 cover, a political badass. Because he doesn’t make as many verbal gaffes as he possibly could.

Not that you’d hear about it elsewhere than blogs or in a column in a small town paper in the region in which Kerry committed the gaffe, because unlike Bush, Kerry is smart, so these mispronounciations and other misstatements are trifling errata, not insight into his insipid chimpish simplicity.

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Reality, Meet Government

Here in Casinoport the municipal government faces a deficit and wants to raise taxes:

On Nov. 2, Maryland Heights’ voters will decide on several measures, including an increase in the business license tax, proposed by the City Council to address a projected longterm General Fund shortfall.

(Source: The October 2004 newsletter.)

Scientific analysis has determined:

Based on an analysis by the city’s Finance Department, if current levels of revenues and expenditures remain unchanged, the city will face a $4.5 million General Fund deficit over the next five years. Anticipated inflation and cost-of-living increases for city employees are the major forces behind the projected deficit.

You know, I am not an accountant, but if I had to point a finger at underlying causes for a budget deficit, I might look at:

  • The Aquaport, the city’s water park which was constructed when funds were flush and now contributes ongoing expenses, even when funds aren’t.
  • Maryland Heights Center, the city’s community center which was constructed when funds were flush and now contributes ongoing expenses, even when funds aren’t.
  • Redesigning the city logo because the old one was 19 years old. Not only did the city get less-than-free help from professionals, but it then had to apply this new logo to all buildings, vehicles, signs, and so on.
  • The new City Government Center, which will cost $21,000,000 if completed on budget. Again, this will undoubtedly increase ongoing annual expenses.

Thank you. I think a little foresight might have prevented this catastrophe, but the government is only doing its job, which apparently it has conceived of as spending all available taxpayer dollars and then demanding more.

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Sounds Like a QA Problem

You know who’s to blame for this, don’t you?

NASA’s Genesis space capsule crashed in the Utah desert last month because a critical piece of equipment that was supposed to trigger the release of two parachutes apparently was installed backward, space-agency officials said Thursday.

Damn Quality Assurance! They should catch it when the engineers put the switch is put on backwards!

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When The Comedian Says, “But Seriously….”

A paid blogger, which is paid less than and is only as believable as a newspaper columnist, named Kevin Drum draws attention to insubstantive issues in the Presidential race:

Look, I don’t think it’s a transmitter beaming secret prompts into Bush’s ear. But as these pictures from each of the three debates shows, there’s very clearly something there. The White House can’t just blandly write it off as a weird internet rumor when photos from three separate debates all show it.

So what’s going on? The Bush campaign has denied it’s a bulletproof vest but hasn’t otherwise commented. Is it a back brace? A medical contraption? A secret security device of some kind? (If so, it’s not a secret anymore.) Why hasn’t the White House press corps asked Scott McClellan about this and demanded a straight answer? How can they allow themselves to be blown off about something this peculiar?

Shouldn’t someone get a serious answer to this question? He is the president of the United States, after all.

Like a lot of us, Drum confuses earnest with serious, much like academic philosophers confuse authentic with virtuous, real with good, and other concepts that sometimes coincide, but not as often as earnest, authentic, and real people would have you believe.

Unfortunately, although he highlights something and says it’s interesting, he really doesn’t add anything to the story. Unlike yours truly.

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VodkaPundit‘s "Associate" Will Collier: Heretic

Stephen Green, who rumor has it was banished from St. Louis for making a remark about the Chicago Cubs that could be construed as anything other than an insult, allows a guy to use his blog to utters promulgate more heresy:

No drinking-related discussion would be complete without a link to the pride of New Orleans, Chris Rose, who’s my personal favorite newspaper columnist. Check out his take on the Presidental debates, and marital relations (trust me, it works).

Green‘s "associate" has contradicted the blogma that James Lileks is the Most Holy Newspaper Columnist, both regular and extra syndi.

I’d say he should be stoned, but he’s already half way there in an airport in Florida even as we speak.

Friends, don’t let him plea for mercy with the admission

I once bought a broken Donkey Kong, Jr. arcade game for $35. It took another $12 and about an hour to fix it (it’s since been traded for the sweet Asteroids Deluxe that graces my den). Makes me just chuckle in an evil fashion at anybody who pays two grand for one of these.

Yea, verily, for I have looked in the Most Hallowed Tome of the Revered and have found his name lacking. Of course, mine was, too, but I had been removed during an audit after changing ISPs. What’s Green’s associate’s?

Except he’s a witch. Or a heretic. Scroll back up and see; I’ve been on Killer List of Video Games so long in my "research" that I have forgotten what I was accusing him of.

UPDATE: Someone using the name "Stephen Green" in an e-mail has taken umbrage at this post:

Will Collier wrote that piece, not me! And we’re up two games to nothin’.


Upon further review, I have determined that the post on VodkaPundit has been attributed to this "Will Collier" fellow, but as I replied to my e-mail correspondent, I have never seen Stephen Green and Will Collier in the same place. Of course, I have never seen Will Collier or Stephen Green in person, so perhaps I have seen them together and have not known it. But don’t confuse me.

Ergo, I have corrected this piece inline in red.

The rebuttal from the e-mailer claiming to be Stephen Green, and indeed the post itself raise two more scandals:

  • The e-mailer said And we’re up two games to nothin’. revealing that he is a Yankees fan or is trying to slander Stephen Green as a Yankees fan. Don’t confuse me, I am doing old-fashioned investigative muckraking blogournalism here.
  • If Will Collier has the Asteroids Deluxe, Green is sacrificing some geek cred by not immediately enumerating his video game collection. Sure, he’s got a new wet bar we all covet, but that cosmopolitanism cred, and the exchange rate for pure geek creds is low.

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We Had To Destroy the Republic In Order To Save It

Stephen Green reflects on the Democratic Party’s national strategy:

If Drudge has it right, then the Kerry-Edwards campaign is going to do its damnedest to turn our fine nation into a banana republic.

To these guys, winning office is more important than the sanctity of elections. Holding power is more important than the Constitution. Much as I despise at least half of what most Republicans stand for, they don’t seem nearly as willing to trash the system they’re trying to run. Too many Democrats, especially at the national level, just don’t care that our system, our nation is far more important than any single election.

I could mention the Lautenberg Trick in New Jersey. Or Gore’s ballot shenanigans in Florida. Or the voter-registration fraud currently going on in Colorado, Nevada, and elsewhere. Or the Democrat’s successful call to bring election observers into this country. Bring them in from where, Venezuela? Hey, no big deal sullying the reputation of the world’s oldest continuously-functioning democracy, just so long as we can make the Republicans look bad, right?

He forgets to mention Missouri’s decision to run a dead Democrat for Senate in 2000. Which, I believe, Al Franken approved of based on his comments in his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.

In some cases, I think it’s beyond a simple lust for power; with naked ambition, there’s some calculation. I think that at the base level, some vocal members of the Democratic party and some moonbat fringes of Left thought just must rule the Others in the lesser tribes; the rubes from the middle of the country, the undereducated (which means those who think differently), and those who have that dreaded Christian religion.

Because they’re Ubermensch, although undoubtedly there’s a nicer term that they use when discussing it amongst themselves.

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Classical Education Shifts

From this column by Bryan Burwell in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, we find how educated allusions have shifted:

Who could leave with the Cardinals and Astros engaged in a highly entertaining, emotionally draining contest that had more lead changes and mood swings than Sybil?

Do you think he means the oracle or the Sally Field TV movie?

What? You don’t know what either of them means without clicking the links? You damn whelp, go read IMAO or something. Get offa my lawn!

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Kerry Admits He’s A Crook

— MfBJN Exclusive — Must Credit MfBJN —

Here’s telling quote from the debate last night:

KERRY: I want you to notice how the president switched away from jobs and started talking about education principally.

Let me come back in one moment to that, but I want to speak for a second, if I can, to what the president said about fiscal responsibility.

Being lectured by the president on fiscal responsibility is a little bit like Tony Soprano talking to me about law and order in this country.

Help me while I explain the “Interviewed by our WoT allies like Sudan” logic behind this bombshell:

  • The president is fiscally irresponsible, although he really only gets to spend the money given to him by the legislature, which includes the Senate, which contains 98 state representatives who show up to vote on spending bills. But George W. Bush has truly not vetoed any spending, and he has not squeezed the great self-interested bureaucracies that he heads to offer rebates.
  • John Kerry is fiscally irresponsible, at least in the vast volume of public spending and programs and giveaways he’d implement if President. Undoubtedly, he’s voted for gratuitous spending as a Senator (even though he’s tried to balance the social programs with unequally small cuts in military programs).
  • Tony Soprano, a fictional character, is a criminal.
  • Therefore, when George W. Bush (fiscally irresponsible) lectures John Kerry (fiscally irresponsible) about fiscal responsibility, it’s like Tony Soprano (criminal) lecturing John Kerry (?) about law and order.

Irrefutable logic that seems to have fallen and struck its head while taking photographs of a demonstration in Iran.

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Good Software Takes Time

In a piece entitled “Good Software Takes Ten Years. Get Used To It“, Joel Spolsky explains how good, robust software needs time:

To experienced software people, none of this is very surprising. You write the first version of your product, a few people use it, they might like it, but there are too many obvious missing features, performance problems, whatever, so a year later, you’ve got version 2.0. Everybody argues about which features are going to go into 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, because there are so many important things to do. I remember from the Excel days how many things we had that we just had to do. Pivot Tables. 3-D spreadsheets. VBA. Data access. When you finally shipped a new version to the waiting public, people fell all over themselves to buy it. Remember Windows 3.1? And it positively, absolutely needed long file names, it needed memory protection, it needed plug and play, it needed a zillion important things that we can’t imagine living without, but there was no time, so those features had to wait for Windows 95.

I would disagree with the first sentence though; to experienced people working in the software industry, this might come as a surprise, but to many people in the software industry, good software is software that goes out on schedule or satisfies the terms of the contract; quality and usability don’t figure in.

(Link seen on American Digest.)

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Book Review: Misunderestimated: The President Battles Terrorism, John Kerry, and the Bush Haters by Bill Sammon (2004)

My beautiful wife gave me this book for no particular occasion. THIS JUST IN (since she’s watching me type this): she heard Bill Sammon on KMOX radio and thought I would like it, but I repeat it was not for my birthday or Christmas or anything.

And then she read it before I did.

I can only imagine the glee with which the historians of the future will dig into the plethora of primary secondary sources for the politics of our time. Tomes such as Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden, Slander, Treason, Stupid White Men, and other commentary by pundits, comedians, and know-nothings, or the books written by the disgruntled government officials, or whoever wants to make a quick buck off of the suddenly bestselling venomous tome collection.

Future historians will find this book more useful, as it tells the story of the Bush administration, particularly in the run up and execution of the Iraq war, and presents the narrative as the Bush administration would want it written. Sure, it’s lightly partisan, particularly in the choice of verbs to connect a quote to a speaker who disagrees with the Bush administration, but it’s not invested heavily in name calling or scoring cheap points. The book explores how the straight ahead style of the administration often confounds its self-appointed betters.

It’s an encouraging book, and it’s inside baseball in some places, but you’re a political junkie anyway if you’re reading this blog. So read the book if you’d like. Enjoy it while it’s relevant, before it becomes just one more book in the stacks in some university library where it will end up.

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Election 2004 Guest Commentary

In an effort to broaden the commentary here on MfBJN, we’ve sponsored a roundtable-style discussion of Election 2004:

Subcreatures! Gozer the Gozerian, Gozer the Destructor, Volguus Zildrohar, the Traveler, has come! Choose and perish!

What do you mean, choose? We don’t understand!

Choose! Choose the form of the Destructor!

Whoa! I get it, I get it. Very cute! Whatever we think of – if we think of J. Edgar Hoover, J. Edgar Hoover will appear and destroy us, okay? So empty your heads. Empty your heads. Don’t think of anything. We’ve only got one shot at this.

The choice is made! The Traveler has come!

Whoa! Whoa! Nobody choosed anything! Did you choose anything?


Did you?

My mind’s totally blank!

I didn’t choose anything!

I couldn’t help it. It just popped in there!

Enjoy your president, America. He just popped in there.

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Your Data Or Your Life

Maybe I’m just a simpleton working in the very self-important IT world, but when I read Charles Cooper’s latest column, “Access to Tom Ridge or bust“, I found it a little hard to worry that the Department of Homeland Security is spending too little (for the IT industry’s taste) of its limited resources on protecting data:

Industry executives have long complained about the lack of attention given to an issue that rates more important than the occasional photo op.

There’s a pattern here. Both previous cybersecurity czars, Richard Clarke and Howard Schmidt, urged the government to move faster to combat the threat to the nation’s information infrastructure. But whatever progress has come has been at a snail’s pace.

You can understand why the administration is not circling the wagons. Unlike Iraq or the economy, the state of the nation’s Internet infrastructure won’t be on many people’s minds when they enter the voting booths Nov. 2. Out of sight, out of mind–unless, of course, the entire kit and caboodle comes crashing down because of an attack.

Until then, the Bushistas can continue to pursue a policy of benign neglect while pretending to be doing important work. It’s great politics, and isn’t that what this is really all about?

Oh, spare me. If my bank loses my data and takes a couple of days to restore from backups, I’ll be fine. Even if they lose all the money we have in the bank, our Just In Time earning habits ensure we won’t lose a lot of fiscal inventory. Uf the supply chain management of gas facilities prevents me from fueling my truck, I have a bike. I can walk. I can understand the four way stop concept if the stoplights go out, and if some stupid utility company put Internet-ready (that is insecure-already) flow controls that will leave me in the dark, I have pressboard to burn.

But if some jihadist cell streeams over the southern border and snipes, nukes, bombs, or otherwise kills me for the greater glory of its own fevered death fetish, I don’t have to worry about enduring temporary discomfort, ainna?

Self-appointed technomessiahs need to gain a little perspective and learn the difference between life and their livelihoods before lamenting that not enough chow is put in their federal trough. To blame it on the Bush administration’s political concerns is crass.

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