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April 23, 2007

The Power of Perspective « Social Issues »

Check out this:

I just got an eyewitness account of the Karl Rove-Laurie David-Sheryl Crow encounter at the White House Correspondents Dinner Saturday night, and it suggests that David and Crow were a bit more confrontational than they portrayed themselves in their own account of the incident, published in the Huffington Post. In their story, David and Crow write, "The 'highlight' of the evening had to be when we were introduced to Karl Rove. How excited were we to have our first opportunity ever to talk directly to the Bush Administration about global warming."

The eyewitness says the person who introduced David to Rove was the New York Times' Maureen Dowd. I want you to meet Laurie David, Dowd said to Rove. (These are all approximate recollections, so no quotation marks.) Dowd said David would like to say hello.

According to David and Crow, the encounter began with a polite request. "We asked Mr. Rove if he would consider taking a fresh look at the science of global warming," they write. "Much to our dismay, he immediately got combative. And it went downhill from there."

The eyewitness remembers it a bit differently. Immediately after Dowd's introduction, the witness says, David began lecturing Rove about global warming. This administration has done nothing on the issue, she told Rove. We face a crisis. The time to act is now. This administration has done nothing

At that point, Rove broke in to say, Well, actually we have done something. Rove mentioned global climate research, at which point David broke in herself to say, You just don't understand. All these questions have been answered. That's worthless. That's useless.

In their account, David and Crow write, "We reminded the senior White House advisor that the U.S. leads the world in global warming pollution and we are doing the least about it. Anger flaring, Mr. Rove immediately regurgitated the official Administration position on global warming which is that the US spends more on researching the causes than any other country."

The eyewitness says Rove asked David if she had read the IPCC report, referring to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which, while confirming a human role in climate change, substantially undermines some of the most catastrophic charges made in Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," which David produced. David said she had read the report. "We felt compelled to remind him that the research is done and the results [the IPCC report] are in," David and Crow write. "Mr. Rove exploded with even more venom. Like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum, Mr. Rove launched into a series of illogical arguments regarding China not doing enough thus neither should we. (Since when do we follow China's lead?)"

In the eyewitness' version, again, David and Crow are a bit more aggressive than their own story suggests. The eyewitness says David told Rove, You need to bring in new people to tell you the truth. Rove mentioned Dr. John Marburger, the White House science advisor. At that point, according to the eyewitness, Crow began poking Rove's chest with her finger, demanding to know what corporations were underwriting Marburger's work. Rove said Marburger had been in academia most of his career.

With Crow jabbing him in the chest, Rove turned to take his seat. Then, the witness says, Crow grabbed his arm. A few more words were exchanged, and it was over. At the Huffington Post, David and Crow described the ending this way: "In his attempt to dismiss us, Mr. Rove turned to head toward his table, but as soon as he did so, Sheryl reached out to touch his arm. Karl swung around and spat, 'Don't touch me.' How hardened and removed from reality must a person be to refuse to be touched by Sheryl Crow? Unfazed, Sheryl abruptly responded, 'You can't speak to us like that, you work for us.' Karl then quipped, 'I don't work for you, I work for the American people.' To which Sheryl promptly reminded him, 'We are the American people.'"

In light of the eyewitness' account, another way of saying it might be, How hardened and removed from reality must a person be to refuse to be jabbed in the chest by Sheryl Crow?

Now, the Corner has a vested interest in disagreeing with Liberals and supporting Republicans and Conservatives. But considering all the people involved, the level of heated rhetoric and action that the Global Warming cause engenders, and the general disrespect and disdain Liberals harbor toward Republican/Conservative leaders, I think the above account is probably more accurate than the one give over at Huffington Post.

And this is why I don't think you can take a woman at her word for accusations of sexual harassment, domestic violence, rape, and division of labor in housework: they feel self-righteous, and spin things in a way that makes their point of view look the best. That doesn't mean that accusations of rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, and lazy husbands are wrong. But since the women absoutely stands to gain if her accusations are believed, there needs to be clear evidence of the accusations before any legal or societal action is taken.

Too often, such evidence is not present.

[shrug]

Not a popular view, perhaps; I expect to be castigated, if any females or liberal males actually read this post (not a certain thing at all, unfortunately), but it is my view, and I have my reasons. I'd be happy to share those reasons with anyone who asks politely.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Aphorism on Money « Aphorisms »
If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars.
-- J. Paul Getty


...literally true.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 14, 2007

Summing Up The Search Strings « Blogging »

For the record:
Yes, Caillou is a whiny brat. We hates him, my precious! So do many other people, according to the search strings that lead people here.

I've still never yet seen the Mentos bird commercial, but it must be pretty good since so many people come to my site looking for information about it. That started because I made a parody of a Mentos commercial, and once people started clicking on my site, hoping to see something about the bird, my page rank for that search rose. Then I started talking about people coming to my site looking for the Mentos bird commercial, and it just got worse.

Yes, there are pictures of the Bush twins in my archives. You've got to look for 'em though, cuz I'm not giving 'em to you that easy.

Nilou Motamed is still very beautiful.

The Zeta is still not the answer, and GM is still in trouble, and I still really don't like the Chevy Malibu that much. [shrug] Sorry, GM fans.

And, of course, there are NO naked pictures of Britney Spears, Mary Kate and Ashley, Linda Carter, Erin Gray, Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi, Nilou Motamed, Katie Couric, Nancy Pelosi, either of the Bush twins, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Susan Estrich, any of the Feministe or Feministing wymyn, Tom Cruise, the '92 Rhein Fire starting backfield, the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, Pokeman Gold, or Madonna anywhere on this site. I'm remaining non-committal about Strom Thurmond and/or Jessica Cutler, though.

And Glenn Reynolds hates Nutter Butters. That's the honest truth, to the best of my knowledge.

Oh, and George Lucas ruined the Star Wars series, the cad.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:11 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack (0)

April 13, 2007

Democratics and the RIAA « Social Issues »

I'm actually surprised Kos dislikes 'em.

Taking control of the common person's life, ruining their enjoyment, and making even partial solutions suck worse than the original problem, all for the purpose of helping rich elites continue raking in the cash.

Yep, that's both the RIAA and the Democratic Party.

Via Glenn Reynolds.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:05 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)
Public Service Announcement « Militaria »

I'm out of the country for the next 10 days, so I may be posting less.

That is all.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 10, 2007

New IMAO Brainfertilizer Comment Policy « Humor »

Because I'm not very funny and often lack creativity, I'm going to completely steal the IMAO Comment Policy and make it my own:

THE IMAO Brainfertilizer COMMENT POLICY

* All comments you make are property of IMAO Brainfertilizer. As soon as a comment is made, we can do whatever we want with it. We can delete it, edit it, or print it out and frame it and sell it on eBay. You do have some rights, though, such as not having to give lodgings to soldiers and not being forced to incriminate yourself in a court of law (though we may edit comments so you incriminate yourself).

* Official policy of IMAO Brainfertilizer is that we don't read your comments. While I do in fact read every comment, if someone comes up to me and says, "Why didn't you do something about this horrible comment?!" My response will always be, "This is the first I've seen of it. I'll do something about it right away!"

* Because I say I'll do something about a comment right away doesn't mean I'll ever actually do something about the comment.

* Comments can be deleted for any reason... or no reason whatsoever. If a comment is deemed offensive, it may be deleted. If a comment is deemed too mean, it may be deleted. If a comment doesn't kiss my feet enough, it may be deleted. If a comment is in the way of an interblog highway, it may be deleted. If I'm fiddling around with blog settings before I've had my morning coffee, many comments may be deleted.

* The main purpose of comments is to stroke the egos of authors. Thus, comments that speak negatively about IMAO are likely to be edited. E.g. "IMAO Brainfertilizer has been going downhill for a while. You've lost your funny" may become "ROTFL! That was awesome! Who wants to have homosexual sex with me?"

* By writing a comment, you are agreeing to be made into a racist. I.e., a recent comment of, "LOL! Great post!" may be turned into "LOL! Great post! I hate black people!" I may also go back and edit all your previous comments so you have a long history of racism if I'm really bored. Nothing personal; I'm just a jerk and I find that sort of thing funny.

* Despite all these caveats, you should know that any of your comments may (and probably will) be used against you in a court of law.

* Finally, and most importantly, IMAO Brainfertilizer is absolutely not responsible for anything that happens in the comments. In fact, we're unaware that IMAO Brainfertilizer even has comments. Just because we own the site, that doesn't mean we have time to click on every link and see what happens. Like there's this link near the bottom that says "Syndicate this site (XML)." What the hell is that? Wow. Now that I finally look at my site, I do have a lot of ads.

I hope this clarifies things. Please continue to enjoy IMAO Brainfertilizer!

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Posted by Nathan at 12:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Alternate Blog Title « Blogging »

"Fertilizante del Cerebro"

That's "Brainfertilizer" in, I guess, Spanish. Or maybe Portuguese.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 09, 2007

Yet Another Mac Slam « Humor »

I've got no beef against Macs, but this is pretty funny.

From Cool Tools 4 Men.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:09 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

April 08, 2007

Google: Still No Easter Logo « Blogging »

Alternate title: "why no google easter art" ?

I'm getting a good number of hits on searches leading people to my 2005 post regarding Google yet again having no special logo for Easter.

So there is a great deal of interest, and perhaps a way to boost hits by readdressing that issue.

If you poke around Google webpage, you should notice that there is no consistency in which 'holidays' they do logos for. They've done a special logo for Braille's birthday. They don't do logos for the lunar new year every year, despite that likely being the biggest holiday (based on numbers of participants) in the world. It seems like their artists have the freedom to do whatever they have an idea for. How many different things are there to do for Easter? Don't you think they get complaints for secularizing Easter (customer: this is the celebration of Our Lord's Resurrection! And you do a cute bunny?!??), and likewise would get complaints for doing religious themes? Imagine the furor from both the atheists and the extremely conservative religious if the two "O"s were changed into the cave mouth and the covering stone rolled away...

Easter is not a national holiday; in many places it is not a state holiday. It is a holiday in each person's heart, and I'm not concerned about what Google does or doesn't do with it.

...now, if they started doing regular Wiccan and Muslim holidays (both being more politically correct than the Judeo-Christian tradition) while still ignoring Christianity, then you might see me getting more upset.

But under the current circumstances? No.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:37 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
1235 Miles in One Day? « The Brain Fertilizer Way »

Wow.
Ann's got me beat. But I think I've equaled Glen.

The most I've ever done was

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Posted by Nathan at 09:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 04, 2007

My Thoughts on Windows Vista « Stuff Important to Me »

I bought a laptop with Vista (Toshiba Satellite) because it was the best deal. I was hesitant because of all the complaints I'd heard about it, but just couldn't justify paying an extra $100 for slower/lesser hardware just to get XP.

I've used it for about 6 weeks now, and I have two impressions:

1) I don't get what all the complaining is about. Vista has run every bit of software I've tried, from old games designed for DOS and Win95 to new music editing software designed for XP, to XP freeware and shareware. The screen does occasionally go black and freak me out...but it lasts only a second and I'm okay with it. Not a single crash yet. No problem with digital rights management, either.

2) I don't get what all the excitement is about. The eye candy is just that: eye candy. I don't need my windows to float in space so I can flip through them like cards. I don't need preview windows popping up like bubbles. The new start menu is fine, but I was okay with the old one. To me, a completely average user, the change was pretty much a non-issue. Maybe security was improved, but I can't see that.

The only thing I truly like about Windows Vista is the cool "Aurora Borealis" (or whatever the name actually is) screensaver. It really reminds me of the real thing, and is hauntingly beautiful.

Side note: my wife's 2-year-old Toshiba Satellite still has significant and apparently unfixable bugs with the East Asian setting on the language bar. So it's not like XP had ever achieved anything close to perfection.

Bottom line: So much of what we do with computers is done so often it becomes a habit, a system. Thus, changing our habits for features that aren't clearly an advantage is annoying; changing our habits to deal with new bugs is even more so. That's the source of Vista complaints, I think.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Best Fantasy Novels/Series « Stuff Important to Me »

Richard Adams, Watership Down

Lloyd Alexander, Chronicles of Prydain

Robert Lynn Aspirin, Myth Adventures

L. Frank Baum, The Oz series (many of the other Oz novels were quite good)

Steven Brust, any/all Drageara novels; Agyar is excellent, as well

Emma Bull, War for the Oaks, the first Liavek collection, and her Borderland stories/novels

Lois McMasters Bujold, The Spirit Ring and The Curse of Chalion

C. J. Cherryh, The Morgaine series (I havent read any of her other fantasy novels yet)

Barbara Hambly, Those Who Hunt the Night and the Sun Wolf and Starhawk series

John Myers Myers, Silverlock and The Harp and the Blade

Terry Pratchett, any of the Discworld novels, but especially The Night Watch

Fred Saberhagen, The entire Swords series (although it is based on the technically Science Fiction trilogy, Empire of the East, the Swords series is fully fantasy)

J. R. R. Tolkein, The Lord of the Rings series, Hobbit (obviously, you cant make a list of top fantasy novels without Toleinbut I want to point out that Tolkeins writings have some significant flaws)

Stephen R. Donaldson, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever

(Comments will remain open, pending spammer activity)

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Posted by Nathan at 07:37 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

April 03, 2007

Women's Anger « Social Issues »

Good conversation going on here.

It is a response, in a way, to this post. Also worth reading.

I may share my thoughts later, but it won't be pretty.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Career Choice, Next Up « Stuff Important to Me »

I'm thinking seriously about going to medical school after I retire from the military...

Thoughts?

(I'll leave comments open until/unless it becomes an irritation dealing with spam)

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Posted by Nathan at 10:24 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
A Must Read from Bill In Iraq « GWOT »

No kidding. You must read this.

A few of my favorite points:

Perhaps cliche to note, but it's ironic that some of the most natural expression of racial and cultural equality is found in a traditionally insensitive and conservative military culture. In my experience, marines and soldiers don't care where you're from, they don't care what color you are and they (mostly) don't care if you've got annoying habits or speak with a funny accent.

If a team member pulls his weight, they'll accept and protect him as only (particularly well-armed) family can ... while good-naturedly eviscerating him for all of the above traits.

True dat.

And:

Even the generically welcome "let's support the troops" mantra rang hollow from many quarters, because, in reality, what were most folks actually doing for the conflict? Many offer support on a superficial level, but interest in even sacrificing a few minutes reading about Iraq is on the wane.

You have to read the whole thing to get the important context of the above statement. There's alot of good stuff to think about in what Bill writes, I don't want to steal his thunder by putting all of it here.

Go read. Now.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 02, 2007

The Torture Debate: Pulling a Fast One « Politics As Usual »

I understand the points Jane Galt and her readers/commenters make, and they make many good ones:

I'd rather be waterboarded than put in the general population of a high security prison. It is entirely possible that life at Guantanamo is more bearable than life at San Quentin, and no, that is not a defense of Guantanamo.

But that hardly constitutes support for torture, which I haven't and don't.

I understand Prof. Reynolds point, and I think it is a good one:

Have you noticed that people who spend a lot of time saying that they're anti-torture often seem to go out of their way to manufacture allegedly pro-torture enemies? It's almost as if it's more about brand differentiation than substance. Fortunately, the sensible anti-torture camp is expanding.

But I think the anti-torture crowd pulled a fast one on everyone when they framed the debate in terms of what each individual would personally allow or do.

I don't think that's the point. We all have our own strengths, our own weaknesses, our own viewpoints, our own principles, our own training, our own experiences, our own tendencies, our own principles.

The principles of a CEO are likely to be different than that of a factory worker, which is different than that of a McDonald's shift supervistor. Each industry has its own ethics, its own value system. And that's okay.

I don't expect a kindergarten teacher to make the same decisions or operate under the same restrictions as a police officer. I don't expect a military officer to see a problem and its solution the same way as an enlisted soldier, or a Dept of Defense civilian.

Most people have never been in the military. Most people have never had to deal with a terrorist actively attempting to continue warfare from inside the prison cell. Most people have never been in a truly life-or-death situation.

Some things, you need to leave to the experts to decide. Delegation is the key to success, because no one can know everything.

At the moment the anti-torture advocates succeeded in opening debate among laymen, the debate became ridiculous.

The U.S. is not a direct democracy, and voters don't have input into every decision. We vote for the people we want on the basis of their stated goals. If we want those goals to be achieved, we accept the methods they use to achieve those goals. If we don't, then we can vote the decisionmakers out.

I want terrorists to be stopped from killing people, not just Americans. If someone is wittingly continuing the battle after surrender and/or capture, then we have the right to kill them immediately. Anything short of immediate execution that doesn't involve maiming or extreme pain is a mercy.

That's the way I see it.

UPDATE:
This isn't to say that torture is right. Or that waterboarding is torture. I'm trying to sidestep that whole issue and point out that amateur oversight is often a bad thing. You have expert opinion for precisely that reason. I can get a second opinion on my brain tumor by seeking consensus from Instapundit, Daily Kos, and my blog readers, but it's unlikely to help me much.

(No, I don't have a brain tumor. It's not a tumor!)

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Posted by Nathan at 10:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)