Because 40 Degrees Below Zero Keeps Out the Riff-Raff
Syndicate this site
Listed on BlogShares

Monday, May 31, 2004

Didn't Need Crawford
Well, the Wolves season is over. It was a good run, but you can't get past the Lakers when the League keeps throwing their top refs on you.

Wally missed a couple of three pointers that would have made it interesting. I note that the Wolves never really made a sinlge big three coming down the stretch in any of the games -- at least while I was watching. Seems like everytime that a three would have really made a difference and swung things around, they missed it. Game Four in LA had at least three opportunities to hit a big three, but all were missed.

I note that the Lakers didn't miss theirs very often, especially not tonight.

I note as well that I still have not witnessed -- neither in person nor on TV -- Olowakandi make a shot of any type.

I saw Garnett get at least one traveling call and two offensive fouls. How many offensive fouls did they call on Shaq? Dollars to doughnuts it was Bavetta making those calls on Garnett. Offensive fouls are momentum killers. Stern can always count on Bavetta to make the subtle, yet key, game changing calls. Good grief, I have a love/hate relationship with the NBA.

I think I'll email Mark Cuban about this. He'll be interested in the refereeing stuff.

It was a good run. I'm sorry it is over.

Oh, man, oh man, oh man, do I ever hate the Lakers. They've now surpassed the Yankees as my most hated team. I hate Dick Bavetta.

The only good that would come out of a Lakers Championship is maybe two of the biggest jerks in the league, Payton and Malone, will retire. It suddenly occurred to me that they have three of propably the top five jerks in the league on their team.

The Detroit Pistons are my new favorite team. I'm not going to watch any of the Finals games unless they are games where the Lakers can be eliminated. No advertising benefits from me, unless the Lakers can lose it.

And I'm never buying Sprite ever again, even though I like that funny little dude of a doll. I refuse to do my part to support the cabal.

Take that, David Stern.

But, I'm not bitter.

[Permalink] (0) comments
This was posted with about a minute left in the first half.

I note that Danny Crawford isn't working the game tonight, but that the league brought in the really big gun -- Dick "The Fixer" Bavetta.

I wonder what the Lakers record is in the playoffs when Bavetta refs the game. I bet its close to 1.000.

If Bavetta can't do the job tonight, I figure they'll wheel in Crawford for Game 7 just to make sure.

[Permalink] (0) comments
Prediction for Tonight's Game
It's tough to make predictions about the Wolves in the playoffs, since the league has clearly fixed things as best they can for the Lakers to win. Who wins depends so very much on who the league schedules to referee the games.

So my first prediction is that if Danny Crawford referees that game, then the Wolves will lose, as they always do when Crawford refs their playoff games. If Crawford refs tonight, it is just another piece of evidence that the fix is in.

If Crawford doesn't referee tonights tilt (and sadly, I predict he will be) then I believe that the Wolves have a chance. Strangely, I think against the Lakers they are better without Cassell, and I think that the Lakers are hopelessly overconfident. The pressure is on the Lakers, because I assure you that they don't want to play a Game 7 in the Target Center.

Let me add as well that I hate and despise the Lakers. I think they are smug and arrogant. I think Shaq is a jerk and a cheater, and I think he gets away with tons of fouls and travelling. It grates on my ears like finger nails across a blackboard to listen to that big, stupid, lazy whiner complain about getting fouled. I can't stand watching him hop and jump and travel all over the court. The utter lack of integrity of the league in letting him do as he pleases makes me want to puke. Garnett is ten times the man he is, and plays with ten times the skill and ten times the heart. And I hope Kobe goes to jail.

But most of all, I want to wipe that smug, cocky, arrogant smile off of Phil Jackson's face.

[Permalink] (0) comments
Memorial Day
I am sure that I am in utter agreement with my fellow blogger Gary in offering unmitigated thanks to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation on this Memorial Day. We owe these brave men and women our eternal gratitude. We have incurred a debt to them which we can never repay. They have given us a gift -- freedom -- of which we can only hope and endeavor to be worthy.

[Permalink] (0) comments
America, Recuse Thyself!
Why is it that I always find cutting irony and scathing sarcasm so very convincing?

[Permalink] (0) comments

Friday, May 28, 2004

"Keep Our Slaves Safe"
This is probably the most staggeringly stupid column I've ever read in a major city newspaper.

Link from Jonah.

[Permalink] (0) comments
The Fix is In
Even folks in Arizona can see that that fix is in.

And of course Mark Cuban clearly gets it.

It was tough to watch last night, wasn't it?

[Permalink] (0) comments
Well, it was a good run - best record in the West, winning a first round series, beating the Kings, MVP for KG. I know, I know there are still games remaining (game 5 is Saturday in Mpls) but we can all see the writing on the wall. It's over.

KG knows it: "The effort was there. It just seemed like we played against eight people tonight. I'm really at a loss for words right now."

You can't win when Shaq gets to knock down whomever he wants and the refs keep their whistles in their pockets.

As Nick and I said while watching the game, "It would take a miracle for the Wolves to win, and David Stern has outlawed miracles."

Oh well, I've got some yard work to do.

[Permalink] (0) comments

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Why are there so many blind clerics? Actually, to be precise, this guy's missing only one eye - and both hands. The cleric behind the first World Trade Center bombing was blind. Do they have a Clerics With Disablities Act in the Islamic religion, so they advance to the higher ranks faster? Or are they the angriest ones - and therefore attract the jihadists - because they're disabled somehow? I don't know, it's weird.

[Permalink] (0) comments
Catching up
Gary -- good stuff.

I agree -- Carter's presidency probably was as big a disaster as there was in the twentieth century. Derb recently did a review of that fateful year of 1979 and commented on what an unmitigated disaster Carter was. I don't share Derb's sympathy for the guy -- I think he was so full of himself that he thought that the force of his charming personality would carry the day. I guess, in a way, he was right.

As for the DFL -- Linda Higgins is the wife of a friend of mine. I'll have to give him a hard time next time I see him. ;-)

[Permalink] (0) comments
The Fall of Iran
Stephen Hayward, author of the The Real Jimmy Carter, provides some insight into the the Iranian revolution that was entirely new to me:
There was nothing inevitable about the fall of Iran into the hands of the Islamofascists. In fact, the formidable Iranian military, which we had trained (one of our instructors of their officer corps there in the 1970s was Norman Schwartzkopf), was eager to work with us to create a successor regime to the failing Shah, but Carter recoiled from the necessity of imposing martial law to do so. Our failure to do so led to the loss of morale among the Iranian officer corps, such that they stayed neutral in the power struggle that commenced when the Shah left the country. Big mistake; one of ths first things Khomenine didn upon taking power was to execute most of the officer corps. Those lucky enough to escape finished out their lives as taxi drivers in New York and Washington.
Man, are you kidding me? He goes on to analyze:
In retrospect, the fall of Iran may have been the single greatest foreign policy blunder of the last 50 years, not excepting Vietnam. Had Iran not become a bastion of international terror, it is unlikely we would be where we are today. Rather than feel sorry for Carter, we should impeach him retrospectively.
The legacy of the Carter presidency becomes worse and worse as time goes by. He was and is a brainless boob.

[Permalink] (0) comments
Our Fine Legislators
KMSP-TV is reporting that, late in the legislative session, Senate offices were the places to go to take the edge off.
The station showed trash cans full of beer, wine and liquor bottles and suggested that at least some the alcohol of might have been provided by lobbyists. Lobbyists are not allowed to give gifts to legislators.
The station has hidden camera footage of a cooler being taken into the office of Senate Majority Whip Linda Higgins (DFL). Lobbyists, state workers and legislators were also seen drinking in the office of Senate President James Metzen (DFL-South St. Paul). Rep. Scott Wasiluk (DFL-Maplewood) partook from Metzen's "bar" and was later seen on the House floor acting sleepy and unable to understand the proceedings via a monitor from Metzen's office.

I'm sure they must be very proud.

[Permalink] (0) comments

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

A bit ahead of himself
Where's the 'for'?

(via Rich Lowry)

[Permalink] (0) comments
Moore Lies
Michael Moore is a big fat liar.

[Permalink] (0) comments

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Opinions of a Capitalist
Wayne Niddery has a blog. I've known Wayne for many years as part of my TeamB endeavors, and he is a very, very smart guy with an very strong knack for explaining things clearly and to the point. I'm very excited to hear that he has a blog, as the blog medium is perfect for a guy like him. I'd strongly recommend adding Wayne to your daily reading. You won't be disappointed.

Here is Wayne's Atom Feed.

[Permalink] (0) comments

Monday, May 24, 2004

Malone Gets Off Easy
David Aldridge gets it exactly right. Peeler got suspended for two games for elbowing Garnett in the head, and Malone gets no games? Huh? You can even argue that Peeler was provoked, and so that mitigates his actions somewhat. Malone just went ahead and hit Martin in the head because he felt like it. Aldridge also rightly points out that Malone has elbowed many others in the head as well. I clearly remember him knocking David Robinson out cold a couple of years back. The guy is a dirty player, and when dirty players keep doing what they do, they should get escalating punishment. $7500 and no suspension? What a joke.

Who can doubt that the fix is in for LA?

[Permalink] (0) comments

Friday, May 21, 2004

Kings/Wolves Stats on
Here's the Timberwolves vs Kings series wrapup from

I guess maybe I don't know how to read these, as it makes Garnet look bad, though I see that he played 91% of the minutes, and they did lose three of the games by bigger margins than they won the four games.

Interesting stuff, though.

[Permalink] (0) comments

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I Hope Danny Crawford isn't working tonight
Mark Cuban makes note of an anomaly.

[Permalink] (0) comments
+/- for the Spurs/Lakers Series
Here's the final plus/minus numbers for the Spurs/Lakers series. Very revealing. Notice that Duncan and Parker weren't really very productive (negative, in fact), and that allegedly valuable defender Bruce Bowen stunk up the place. I note that Robert Horry was the most productive, as well. He's easily one of those guys that is always in the right spot doing the little things that really make a team win. He came up short this time, but not because of a lack of trying.

You should poke around the site. There's quite a bit of interesting stuff there; I think I mentioned this site before. Also, be sure to read the links from Dan Rosenbaum found on the main page. Fascinating look at the NBA from the eyes of a statistician with a love for the game.

[Permalink] (0) comments

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Mark Steyn on Going Soft
Mark Steyn, as usual, hits one out of the park. I seriously can't believe how clear thinking this guy is.

I've been slowly coming to the conclusion that the United States is no longer capable of conducting a war, because the press and the left in this country simply won't let us. They simply don't want us to ever win any war, and will do everything they can to undermine the effort. To say that this is un-American is an understatement.

Hindrocket over at Powerline made the same point a day or two ago.

If killing 3000 Americans in one blow isn't enough to get us to conduct a real war against a real enemy, then there's no hope for us, and Osama Bin Laden is right about us. If Bush doesn't get re-elected -- a prospect I sadly find more likely each day -- then we are seriously in for it. And Steyn is right -- Bush needs to start sounding more like Rumsfeld and less like Powell. We need more talk about kiling and destroying and defeating, and less talk about apologizing and "bringing to justice".

Kicking Bush out of office will be a clear sign to the terrorists that we don't have the stomach to stand up to them. It will be a clear sign that they can decapitate innocent Americans without fear of retribution or consequence.

The terrorists must be killed. There is no other alternative. If they aren't killed, they will kill us. It is as simple as that.

[Permalink] (0) comments

Monday, May 17, 2004

The Latest from James
Dateline: Baghdad May 9 (06:34)

"An army travels on its stomach." This axiom of war was stated by
Napoleon and remains as true today as it was in the days of horse
cavalry and gobs of gold braid on the front of your uniform.

Not only is nutritious chow necessary for survival, but is also one of
the few pleasures or luxuries that the troops have. On that account,
the command is doing an admirable job. There are (by my uncertain count)
five different chowhalls in this general area. Why so many you
ask�..that's because most of the troops don't have their own vehicles to
drive to chow. All are run by various subcontractors of KBR (Kellogg,
Brown and Root that is). Since we do have our own vehicles we have
sampled all of the available chow halls and declared the champion to be one
belonging to a nearby armored unit. These tankers have it made, there
chow being provided by the talented crew of the "Gulf Coast Catering
Company." It is not clear to me if the Gulf Coast in question is that
of the Persian Gulf (or Arabian Gulf if you please) or the Gulf Coast
of the United States. Either way, the place is clean, spacious and the
food is excellent.

Let's take a visit!

You drive in on a rolled gravel road, around various rolls of
concertina wire, around an M-1 tank or two, and into a jumbo gravel parking lot.
The tanks are invariably parked in a thicket of trees and bushes. Their
front and back ends always poke out, like elephants hiding in a rose
bush. I noted that a photo of this would provide an amusing seek and find
to the folks back home, and Sean (kill joy that he is) stated that they
parked in the ticket for shade, not cover and concealment. (I of course
knew this, but enjoy being purposely perverse.)

The mess hall is surrounded by giant "Texas Barriers" for
protection from indirect fire (mortar and rocket) fragments. (A "Texas
Barrier" is like a "Jersey Barrier", only 12 feet tall. They grow
everything bigger in Texas, as they say.) You line up in a queue that snakes
through the opening in the barrier wall, standing there with all the
tankers (and assorted hangers on like us). Before you enter, depending
on the mess hall you "clear" your weapon by opening and inspecting
the action, and then dry firing it into a "clearing barrel", a
angled 55 gallon drum on the ground full of sand. In case you are two
blind/dumb to see that there is a round in the chamber, this will prevent you
from carry a "locked and loaded" weapon into the chow hall. I
haven't heard of anyone actually firing a live round into a clearing
barrel. This is good news.

(Navigational note: There are two entrances to this jumbo chow hall,
with two separate mess lines moving towards each other along the back
wall. There are two of everything -- two chow lines, two sets of ready food
tables, two drink chillers, etc. We will look at one and infer the

Then it is up the stairs and into the gigantic white metal prefab mess
hall building. Immediately inside the glass doors are a series of
deepsinks for hand washing. (Some mess halls have the sinks outside the
door.) Here there is liquid soap and lots of hot water to wash away all
that "clean dirt" we mentioned in a previous email. Hand washing in
mandatory as it is a health concern as well as a matter of good breeding.
There a massive piles of off white paper towels to partially dry your
hands before you dry them all the way on your pant legs. Then you step
out of the "washing up" alcove and past a soldier who is keeping a
cryptic count of some kind, tabulating some kind of info about soldier
use of the mess hall on a clip board. He will make an annotation as you
walk past.

On your right is a table piled high with disposable plastic plates, the
traditional high end picnic kind with the three compartments. At the
Armor mess hall there may also be a metal tub of "non-alchoholic malt
beverage" in cans, on ice. Some people just love that near beer. Next
pick up your plasti-ware. Get two forks -- there is a design weakness in
the things and they are constantly breaking off at the handle, or
leaving broken tines in your meat. A spare is a must.

There is invariable a TV or two bolted to the wall, showing some
versions of the news (CNN, FOX, BBC, STAR, etc.) Then comes the serving
line with helpful serving dudes in catering uniforms and paper hats. (I am
not sure if they are Iraqis, or guest workers from some third world
nation.) Depending on the meal you might get:
- American Cheese omelets
- Sliced ham
- Bacon
- Link or patty sausage
- Hash browns
- Hard boiled eggs
- Biscuits and gravy
- Grits/cheese grits
- Various "walk away" egg, ham, sausage and biscuit sandwiches

- Vegetable curry (yum, yum)
- Fish in cheese sauce
- Ribs
- Baked chicken
- Spicy sausage
- Hamburgers
- French fries

- Lasagna
- Beef Stroganoff
- Pork chops
- Spice boiled fish
- Curried chicken/lamb
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Mashed potatoes
- Various hot veggies

There are also a number of ready food items in steam/chilling tables
in the center of the chow hall. They have fast, serve yourself food:

- Pancakes
- French toast
- Whole fruit
- Fruit in heavy syrup
- Butter pats
- Maple syrup
- Instant oatmeal and hot chocolate
- All varieties of American cereal (Apple Jacks, Corn Pops,
Cheerios, Coco Puffs, etc) in presealed single serving tubs (which are used as
bowls after the top paper is peeled off. Yummy.
- Etc.

- Various vegetable salads (cucumber, tomato, three bean, etc)
- Cole slaw
- Various pasta salads
- Baked potato bar (chopped onions, jalapeno peppers, bacon bits,
shredded cheese, sour cream, etc.)
- Taco bar (shells, ground meat, salsa, shredded cheese, whole
jalapenos, etc)
- Whole fruit
- Cold cuts and sandwich fixin's
- Condiments.

- Various side dishes
- Sandwich fixin's
- Salad bar
- Tureens of soup
- Etc

There are cafeteria type dispensers for various juices and fruit
flavored drinks. There are big glass front cooers with various canned and
boxed (!!) drinks. The majority are things like Coke, Sprite, and Fanta
with Arabic script on the can. A big thing over her is little drink boxes
with various fruit juices -€�and other things in them. They are enjoyed
using a little flexi-straw which is glued to the box in a cellophane
sleeve . Orange juice, grape juice, mixed fruit cocktail, grapefruit
juice, and my favorite Pink Grapefruit Juice (um, um tart!). All are
produced by the fine folks at KDD (the Kuwait Danish Dairy Company, Kuwait)

The strangest thing to Americans is the little drink boxes of milk.
They are ultra high temperature pasteurized, and so are shelf stable.
(They do not need to be kept cold, but taste much better if they ARE cold.)
The odd thing is the varieties. They have whole, skim and "Half Cream
Milk". The Half Cream is has a high butterfat content, and tastes
like Half-and-Half. It is actually quite tasty, but I fear you would pack
on the pounds drinking it. The other somewhat strange thing is the
flavored milks. There are also li'l drink boxes with chocolate (not so
strange), strawberry (?), and banana (!!) flavored milk. Obviously the
banana is the weirdest to us, but I kinda like it. It is very banana-ish.

You sit in comfortable tables with red vinyl table cloths on them. You
laugh and share and enjoy the blasting air conditioning. (Burr, it's
friggin' freezing in here Mr. Bigglesworth!) Long guns (M-16s, SAWs
and the like) are stowed under the table for the duration of the meal.

After you have eaten your meal, you can always have desert. For all
three meals there is a wide variety of ice cream bars and other treats in
a variety of flavors: chocolate/strawberry; mango/vanilla;
pineapple/vanilla; chocolate/vanilla; chocolate/pistachio; pineapple/coconut; and
the spectacular (Turkish) MAGNUM BAR (a Dove bar on steroids made in
Turkey.) Ummm! It makes me dizzy. :-P

At dinner, in addition to ice cream you have the option of various
cakes, pies, and pastry confection items out of glass fronted pastry
coolers. All in all, if is a vary fine set-up.

After stuffing the last morsel of food into your mouth, you climb to
your feet (Oh, Ma' belly!) and stager out the door. Your trash goes
into refuse cans at the door. Into your 4x4 and try not to doze off on
the way back to the office. Start dreaming about then next meal.

Have a great day, and as they say on the Food Network, "Good Eats!"
You friend,

[Permalink] (0) comments

Thursday, May 13, 2004

The Derb
I don't always agree with the Derb, but I totally agree with him today.

I especially agree with the part about Bush apologizing.

And who was the idiot that thought it would be a good idea to mix men and women in a combat zone?

[Permalink] (0) comments

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Meet my friend James
James is a friend of mine from my days in Illinois. James is one in a billion. He was a terrific leader in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer (Ship Driver, for you civilians), but for reasons that defy all good sense, he was "RIF'ed" (dropped from the Navy as part of a 'Reduction in Force'). James became a Naval Reserve Intel Officer and a civilian analyst at our former command (I am being a bit circumspect, as James is currently in Iraq, and I don't want to break Operational Security). James is as interesting, kind, thoughtful, funny, witty, and intelligent guy as you'd ever want to me. He has to be to have agreed to eat lunch with me so many times while we were together back in Illinois.

James is currently deployed in Bagdad, doing his part to rid the world of the scourge of radical islamic terrorists. He frequently writes letters of exceptional quality to those of us fortunate enough to be on his mailing list. I've urged James to put his marvelous letters in a blog, but he doesn't have the time to do that right now, so he has graciously allowed me to post his wonderful stuff here. There are few people in the world who would make a better dinner guest than James, and I hope that you can pick up his marvelous personality, and his desire to serve his country, through these letters. I'll post more as they arrive.

Dateline: Baghdad, May 8, 23:31
Administrative Cyclone

Dear Kids,
This will be far shorter than the usual, since I have been running around with my hair on fire all day. That means that I didn't have time to compose and send off a nice juicy email. That was the bad news. The good news, at least at this end, was that we got a huge amount of work done. Far more in one day than most Government Offices in D.C. would get done in a year. Today a lot of decisions were being made by big important people and we were called on to give our (well reasoned, of course) opinions on what should be done on a number of fairly important issues. We did not have a lot of warning that this requirement was going to come down from on high, so we were scrambling against a super-tight deadline to get a number of policy papers, military estimates, projections and recommendations ready to go out the door and ready to go in front of some top people. After that I and some of my compatriots had to run off to HQ (in one of the Ba'ath Party's monstrous marble piles) to attend several back to back meetings full of Colonels and Generals. I would have preferred to be quiet, but my boss...the Colonel... had instructed me 'don't be a wallflower'. That is his way of telling me to give in to my natural inclination to behave like a bull in a china shop and force our point of view down the throats of all who were there. I took a more diplomatic course, and bided my time, listening to all the positions of the folks there before charging in like a rhino. It was a pretty interesting series of meetings with American military folk of all the various services and several coalition officers including our Polish comrades.

I have a soft place in my heart for the Poles. They are an intrepid and heroic people, long victimized by geography and their neighbors. About the only thing the Germans and the Russians could agree on for about the past six hundred years is that there should not be a country called Poland. Only the bravery and relentless hard headedness of the Poles prevented them from being wiped out as a nation. Even when Poland disappeared from the map the Poles dreamed of their freedom. During WW II, when their country suffered under the genocidal tortures of the Nazis (who viewed the Poles as sub-humans to be enslaved or exterminated) at least half a million exiled Poles fought in the Allied armies furiously fighting from East (Russia), West (France) and South (North Africa and Italy) to liberate their homeland. Even during the Soviet period the Polish armed forces was known as among the most nationalist (and potentially disloyal to COMINTERN) military in the Warsaw Pact. You could force a Pole to say he was a Communist, but you could never make him believe that he wasn't a Pole.

Now they are handling some very tough territory, dealing with the unrest fomented by some very bad folks. The Poles are demonstrating the usual heroic intrepidness, buckling down and finding a way to get the job done. I'm grateful for to the Polish nation, because the main reason they are here, so far from home, is to demonstrate to the U.S. that they are good allies and loyal friends to the U.S. I never had any doubt about that, but I am grateful to have these intrepid soldiers on my flank. You can always trust them to hold the line. (They also believe in the mission. As recent escapees from cruel totalitarian tyranny the Poles have a uniquely personal view of Iraq, a country that has not yet escaped
from murderous totalitarianism and its twisted aftermath.)

I was impressed with the Polish officers in this meeting. Extremely professional, and knowledgeable about the tactical and strategic situation. I'm glad they are on the case, and I'm glad I got to meet them and hear their views on the situation. It gave me a really useful perspective on what was happening in their zone.

Back to talking about me (my favorite subject). Any way, I contributed a little to the first two meetings but pretty much waited until the third to really weigh in. At the decisive third engagement (oooh, sounds so military) I presented a few comments the officer leading our discussion and things developed well from there. Time to not be a wall flower. Another officer and I were able to lay out our views, and the meeting pretty much unfolded as a discussion of our approach to the subject at hand. This meant that we then had to hurry back to our ever luxurious office trailer and build more briefing papers, and provide more info for a follow-on meeting, but that's what we wanted.

If this all seemed fairly obscure, I'm sorry but hey, that's war. Keep everyone guessing.

After this day of heroic admin the Colonel invited me into his office to watch MASTER AND COMMANDER on the large screen computer monitor. It is one of the good official DVDs, not one of the horribly junky pirated ones they sell on the street in Baghdad. The Colonel really enjoyed all the swashbuckling, and even tolerated my running commentary on obscure 19th century naval stuff that he was seeing. I think he may actually pick up some of the Patrick O'Brian novels that were the film's inspiration. Ah, my plan is working. Soon I will have drawn him over to the dark side, and will convert him from the Army to the Navy.

Interestingly, in all the gore and destruction, the only part that he had trouble with was a scene where a young tawny haired boy midshipman had to undergo 19th century surgery. He was squirming, but I think it was because the boy looked too much like his son for comfort. The Colonel took up rooting for the boy, impressed by his pluck and spirit. In the final battle he watched with concern that his young hero might not make it through alive. Happily, both Colonel and Middie survived the engagement with flying colors.

Well, that's about it. I have to get back to my trailer and get up at 05:00 (I'm sleeping in late.) We call our cycle six Mondays and a Tuesday. Tomorrow being Sunday on the calendar, it is the comfortable Tuesday of the work week. Only about a 12 hour work day (06:00-18:00) rather than the schedule of every other day - 05:30-20:00 (about a 14 hour work day).

Have a great Sunday. I'll be thinking of you all.
Your Pal,

My only complaint in this letter was that he didn't mention the greatest line of dialogue in the history of cinema (from Master and Commander:

Capt. Jack Aubrey: You want your children to grow up singing the "La Marseillaise?"
Crew: NO!

[Permalink] (0) comments

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

This Guy is a Congressman??
Check this out: A guy writes a letter to his congressman objecting to his vote on a House Resolution praising the troops and condemning the prison abuse.

Then, the congressman, Peter Stark, is stupid enough to actually call and leave a message on the guy's answering machine. And of course, we know what happens, then, right? The message gets posted on the web.

What an arrogant jerk! Good grief, you have to listen to the smarmy smuggness of this bonehead. It's stunning.

[Permalink] (0) comments
We're the Bad Guys?
I've been reading the blog at 'a small victory'. It's quite good, and really in line to a large degree to my way of thinking, particularly about the War on Terrorism.

I read this post today and I couldn't help but thinking how right he was.

The post is about the beheading of a man named Nick Berg who's only fault, it would seem, was being American. The video in question here shows him being beheaded. The slime that does this beheads him and holds out his head on the video. Let me repeat that - they behead him and hold out his head on the video. You read that right.

Now, let's compare this to what has been going on in the prisons in Baghdad. They behead a guy, we put a guy on a leash. Yep, pretty much the same thing.


What in the world is wrong with these sick scumbags?

Or more importantly, what is wrong with the sick scumbags in this country who fail to realize that we are at war with these people and they must be killed.

I'm livid with anger over this video. I'm livid with anger over the stupid cowards who perpetrated this vicious act while hiding behind masks. (I'd use stronger words, but this is a family blog). God forgive me, but I want these people to burn in hell.

This is a defining moment. If this single vicious act doesn't gel the American people to the barbarity of the people we are dealing with, then we are lost. If people don't look at that and rise up in righteous anger, then all is lost in this country. I hope and pray that we do, but I confess that I don't know what will happen. I have no confidence that people in this country won't simply cower in fear, rather than rise up and decide to kill and defeat these murdering butchers.

[Permalink] (0) comments
Rall, Tillman, and the Universal Press Syndicate
Sent this email to Lee Salmem ( today. Mr. Salem is the vice-president for print syndication at Universal Press Syndicate, the organization that syndicates the drivel that is Ted Rall. You may recall Ted Rall as the jerk who utterly denigrated the memory of Pat Tillman in his "cartoon".

Mr. Salem --

I recently saw this post:

and decided to email you about the appalling cartoon by Ted Rall concerning a man I consider to be a true hero, Pat Tillman.

I found Rall's cartoon denegrating Tilman to be reprehensible, nauseating, and utter disgusting. I don't use those words lightly.

I feel that this single cartoon should be enough for you to end your syndication of Mr. Rall's strip. You certainly can think of things cartoonists would do to cause you to drop their strip -- and certainly what Rall has done qualifies, doesn't it?

I confess I don't know how, exactly, to "boycott" the Universal Press Syndicate, but I'll be doing my best to do so, and will be posting a request for others to do so on my weblog.

I sincerley hope that you drop Mr. Rall. Such vile hatred has no place in a syndicated comic strip.

Nick Hodges
St. Paul, MN

[Permalink] (0) comments
"I was just doing my job, I did the same thing every other Marine would have done, it was just a passion and love for my Marines, the experience put a lot into perspective."

That's what USMC CAPT Brian Chontosh had to say after winning the Navy Cross, the highest award for valor that the service can give without approval from Congress.

And I suppose he is right. It is the job of every Marine to kill the enemy. But CAPT Chontosh did it in a "ferocious" and "audacious" way. (You can read about what CAPT Chontosh did here). I get all choked up reading stuff like that. Marines know how to kill the enemy.The Marines represent all that is good and strong and right with our country. They embody duty, honor, courage, and a ferocious desire to defend America and kill its enemies. I love that. I just love that.

I should have joined the Corps instead of the Navy, and I would have gotten to hang around with guys like CAPT Chontosh. God bless him.

[Permalink] (0) comments

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Steroids, anyone?
And people complain about Barry Bonds taking steroids.

[Permalink] (0) comments

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Those Pictures
Cal Thomas comments on the pictures of the treatment of some Iraqi prisoners at the hands of some American guards. He makes two great points in this paragraph - 1) those who hate us and want to kill us will feel the same whether we treat them well or ill, and 2) see sentence in bold:
This is one of the great fallacies in dealing with such people: that what the West does influences how they think and their course of action. It is a self-seduction when we in the West believe that acts of kindness, generosity and "evenhandedness" will change people who believe we are infidels, bound for hell and deserving of that final destination (and some think they have been divinely appointed to send us and the Israelis there). We should be kind, generous and humane because that is who we are. But we should not labor under false assumptions that such values alone will change minds and hearts poisoned by years of political and theological propaganda.
And, we do not humiliate them, they humiliate themselves.
Some Arab commentators are repeating the myth that the West has, once again, humiliated Muslims. If there has been humiliation, it isn't the fault of the West. It is Muslims' fault. They took trillions of dollars in oil money, and instead of building a culture dedicated to elevating their people, including women, they have squandered it on agendas and adventures that had the opposite result. Like communism, which blamed the West for its failure to produce a better life for people forced to live under that system, Arab dictatorships must have an external enemy to keep people from blaming their leaders for the misery they have created.
The greatest cost of these pictures will be here at home, the measure of that cost will be seen at the polls in November.

[Permalink] (0) comments
Pretty Funny
This item in John McCaslin's Inside The Beltway in the Washington Times cracked me up.
Actress Drew Barrymore is filming a documentary aimed at persuading young people to vote. She recently happened upon members of the D.C. chapter of, the conservative grass-roots network, as they conducted a Washington protest.

"Can I ask you guys a question?" Miss Barrymore said. "You come out and you protest. Do you feel that it makes a difference? Do you feel that you reach people?"

Group leader Kristinn Taylor answered: "We used to do this down at the White House every Saturday for a couple years when Bill Clinton was there. It goes like this" — and here Mr. Taylor turned to his fellow Freepers, to have them join in the chant. "You guys ready? One, two, three: 'Bill Clinton, we have you surrounded! Drop the cigar, step away from the intern, and come out with your pants up.' "

"Wow," said the actress.

"The first time we did that," Mr. Taylor said, "the Secret Service officer who was working the gate started laughing so hard he doubled over and walked behind the guard shack to compose himself."

[Permalink] (0) comments
Ben Stein
I'm a big Ben Stein fan. He's funny, smart, successful, and conservative. He has a new book out, "How to Ruin Your Financial Life", so Smart Money magazine interviewed him about the book and other things. Did you know he's written 16 books? Here's some of the advice he gives on how to ruin your financial life:
  • Get as many credit cards as you can and then max them out.
  • Don't plan for tomorrow
  • Don't ever worry about your retirement, it's a long way off.
  • Working hard is overrated.
  • Watch late-night financial infomercials and believe you can get rich quick.
Great advice, Ben, I'll be sure not to follow it.

[Permalink] (0) comments

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Baseball Sells Out?
This is an April Fools Joke, right? I mean it seems so bizarre.

[Permalink] (0) comments
Running with Sgt. McNaughton
George Bush may have his faults, but poor leadership, a lack of loyalty, a lack of character, and a lack of respect for those who make large sacrifices for us are not among them.

[Permalink] (0) comments

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

More Stats
Here's another look at the NBA player stats issue that has Garnett head and shoulders above everyone else. (Scroll down about 3/4's of the way on the page....)

[Permalink] (0) comments
Basketball Stats Dream Site
This site totally rocks for basketball stats. It has some amazing statistics, including all sort of interesting things about the Wolves.

For instance, Minnesota has four of the top twenty "Clutch Performers", including Trenton Hassell(!). In addition, the tandems of both Garnett/Cassell and Garnett/Sprewell are two of the best five pairs in the league. (Note that Reggie Miller compromises half of the other three....)

Here's the Timberwolves Page. Note that only Garnett and Casell cause the Timberwolves to get worse when they sit down. Everyone else causes the Wolves to get better when they aren't playing. I note that Olowakandi's overall value is higher than I would have guessed -- he's slightly more valuable than Sprewell. Szczerbiak is actually better than I would have guessed, and my man Erv Johnson lower. N Ote th

Erv is redeemed when you look at this page, where "Five man units" are evaluated. Give Saunders some credit for having the best group of five starting every game.

Other things to note: Give a look at the Spurs page, and see that Duncan isn't even the most useful player on the team! Garnett is well ahead of him in on court and off-court value, though I suppose that that speaks volumes about Duncan's teammates. But who the heck is Matt Carroll? Clearly he should be playing more.

Anyway, what a cool site. I'm definitely going to be pouring over it over the playoffs.

[Permalink] (0) comments
Marginal Revolution
Marginal Revolution, written mainly by a guy named Tyler Cowan, is easily one of the best blogs out there. Almost every post has an interesting, economic take on things that you'd never think about in economic terms. For instance, here's an economic look at dieting. I heartily recommend adding this to your daily reading.

[Permalink] (0) comments
Letter to 1LT Dan
My family and I wrote a letter and sent a "care package" to 1LT Dan in Iraq, the friend of a friend. Here's the letter that I sent a long, judiciously edited to remove some of the more personal details:

You don't know me, but we have a mutual friend in Jay <lastname>. Jay is interning at our church while he goes to Seminary to become an Army Chaplain. He gave me your name so that my wife, my three children, and I could write you and let you know that we are thinking of you and praying for you. Jay is a fine man and is still constantly thinking of you all in his former unit.

Enclosed, you should find some things that I hope you like. I have read that Skittles are all the rage in Iraq, so I have included a couple of bags. In addition, there are some Jolly Ranchers, Sweetarts, and red Twizzlers. Please enjoy them. I was going to send some M&M's, but I didn't think that they make it through the desert very well. If you like them, I'd be happy to send lots more. If you need or want anything at all, please let me know, and we'll do what we can to oblige.

In addition, I've read that you guys want good books. I've heard that you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a pile of crappy romance novels, so I have grabbed some of my favorite titles off of my shelf for you and your troops. Lonesome Dove is, in my view, the greatest novel ever written, and well worth reading. My only fear is that you won't be able to put it down and thus shirk your duties. J Also included is The Firm, which is John Grisham's best. The Key to Rebecca is a great WWII spy novel, and of course To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic. I've also included four books by my favorite author, Frederick Forsythe. Mr. Forsythe is a fine novelist (start with his magna opus The Day of the Jackal) and a strong supporter of the war on terror. I hope that you find these books enjoyable reading and that they help pass the time in Iraq.

Finally, my three children have included some artwork and other items for you. They are sent with love and prayers, and I hope you appreciate their art skills as much as I do.

But of course, no letter of encouragement would be complete without letting you know that we appreciate what you are doing and that we are praying for you. I served in the Navy for twelve years as an intelligence officer, and while I never had to suffer anything worse than a few weeks floating around in the Indian Ocean, I can appreciate and understand the sacrifices you are making and the hardships you are enduring. I've never had to engage in combat, but I imagine it isn't a lot of fun. However, please, please know that we appreciate your service more than we could ever express in this meager care package. You are risking your life to protect me and my family from the very people who would gladly murder us, and we are eternally grateful. We owe you a debt we'll never be able to repay.

We are also praying for you daily. We pray that you are safe, encouraged, and of good cheer. We pray for your safety and the safety of the men under your leadership. We pray that you are able to vanquish your enemies. We pray that your mission will soon be complete and that you will be able to return to your family. Mostly we pray that God will bless you and lift you up. If there are any specific prayers that you would like us to pray, please don't hesitate to let us know what they are. In addition, Jay told us that you have a family, and so if you are so inclined, please let us know as much as you are comfortable with about them so that we can pray for them as well.

I am sure that things are difficult and tough for you wherever you are. Whatever you may be feeling, please know that many millions of us here in America are very, very grateful for what you are doing. Remember that God is calling you to a righteous cause, and he will empower and equip you with all that you need to fulfill that mission.

In closing, we want you to know that you are appreciate, and that we are grateful for your sacrifices on our behalf. We are praying for you every day. Keep your head down, and your aim straight.

I hope he likes the candy and appreciates the sentiment, which is quite heartfelt.

[Permalink] (0) comments
Contact Banterings

With Thanks To
This page is powered by Blogger.
Add Us To Your Blogroll
Get Involved

Your e-mail address:

Put this on your site

Copyright © 2003 By Nick Hodges All Rights Reserved
This page is an enthusiastic expression of our right to free speech.
The original design of this Template is Copyright © 2002 by (Thought I have made a bunch of improvements....)