Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Quiet... Too Quiet

Is it just me, or is it quiet in here?

Well, there is stuff to read. Matt has chimed in with some news from D.C. (Hear about "Deep Throat" yet, Matt?) I have been talking about the EU. And the Washington Post has now confirmed the identity of Deep Throat, which I'm sure you'll hear all about in the coming weeks. Actually, it may be all you hear about for the next six months. But if that interests you, click the Wash Post link on the right there, under "News & Links."

No, your other right. Yeah, there.

You could also check out any of our blogs, too. Under "Allied Blogs."

Yup.

Did I mention it was quiet in here?


P.S. And is Jamo still alive? If not, I'd a least like to know when his funeral is.

France Votes "Non"

As I alluded to in an earlier post, France had its big vote on the EU Constitution this past weekend. And they voted it down.

So, it is back to the drawing board and the negotiating table for the EU, but the future is not too bright right now. The essential split between EU members strikes me as an economic one - a free trade bloc headed by the UK and newer members of the EU is opposing the interests and heft of a protectionist bloc headed by France and Germany. France voted the EU Constitution down because it did not let them protect their trade enough; the UK is likely to vote it down because the prospective EU government will interfere too much. I don't see a way for these divergent interests to be reconciled.

From an American standpoint, that may be a good thing. France and Germany have been flogging the EU has a "counterweight" to the United States. Putting all of Europe under one foreign policy, where France and Germany are more equal than the other members and the UK silenced, would not be good for the United States.

More discussion here.

Updates:
A better summary and analysis, from the International Herald-Tribune here.
From the Chicago Sun-Times: A viable "Plan B."
From National Review: The EU Meets Democracy.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

MORE FROM DC

Hey,
As you can imagine things have been pretty crazy arround here recently. With the filibuster and judicial nominations and all that stuff. Its amazing to see how mad politicians can get at each other over something like this. Anyway I had the woderful glorious stupenous (hope you caught the sarcasim) opportunity of answering the phones this pst week. It amazes me how uniformed the american public is. They believe any thing they hear from the other side of the aisle with out investigating it themselves. Both parties do it, everyone is guilty. Most people this past week honestly believed that the republicans wanted to end filibusters all together. In reality they just wanted to end it aginst judicial nominations. The rule that this was allowed has been on the books since the beging of the country. No one has ever used them before, it has sort of become an unwritten rule that you dont. People are also saying that it is unfair that majority rules in this country, figure that one out. They dont realize that while Clinton was president he had nearly all of his nominies approved. Not only that but most of them were quite liberal judges. So everyone lets just jump on the political mary-go-arround. That has been the main thing this week. It was great today, the senate went into recess last night meaning that it was very quiet at work today and will be all next week. It also means that I am able to go to work in geans and a polo shirt. Anyway enough for today, its a long weekend and I plan on making out with a few girls. Just kidding.
Peace from DC,
Matt

Friday, May 27, 2005

And The Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead

Picture

Arrr... So you come seeking adventure and salty old pirates, eh? Surely you've come to the proper place.

The wreck of Queen Anne's Revenge, flagship of the feared pirate Edward Teach (Blackbeard), may have been discovered. Two cannons have already been recovered from a shipwreck off the Carolina coast.

The official website for the project is here.

The Friday Furo Questus

That's Latin. It means he's an educated man. [Now I really hate him.]

There it is, nailed to the door. Until further notice (or considerable complaint), that's the new title. And Adam - it's hard to have a running Churchill quote feature if I don't mention him. So deal with it. But take heart - I've added an additional Thought of the Week feature.

Victor Davis Hanson takes on anti-Americanism abroad:
"A final suggestion for these unhappy and privileged few: To end your obsessions with the pathologies of America and the West, find a way to create your own alternative sports, literature, corporations, soft drinks, and filmmaking in the non-West. It is not that we Americans are mad at what you say. It is just that you have all become so hypocritical, then predictable, and now boring — you are all so boring."

Speaking of anti-Americanism, National Review calls Amnesty International on bias in its latest report. And the Washington Post (!) agrees. From the Post: "...lately the organization has tended to save its most vitriolic condemnations not for the world's dictators but for the United States." But more importantly, such imprecise criticism cheapens the larger debate. [The same could be said for all the insipid "Bush=Hitler" criticism of the whackos - it cheapens both the debate and the crimes that Hitler and Nazi Germany committed.]

Quoting the NRO editorial: "Like too many other NGOs, Amnesty is trapped in a 20th-century mindset where the greatest threat to individual life and liberty stemmed from the actions of sovereign governments. That is simply no longer the case. Although the world remains full of repressive regimes, the most immediate threat to the civilian population in the United States and other democracies comes from pan-national terrorist movements who deliberately target non-combatants as a means of achieving their ends. Amnesty International, like other NGOs, must accept — and start to address — this new set of circumstances."

As for domestic politics, most of the action this past week has been in the Senate, a fact that has caused much cursing. First the judicial filibuster, and now the filibuster on Bolton.

First, UN Ambassador-designate John Bolton. Does anyone out there really think this is about Bolton anymore? After months of exhaustive and whiny investigation, all the Democrats have been able to find is that Bolton has a temper. Well, in case they haven't noticed, we could really use a UN ambassador who kicks butt and takes names. An organization that puts Cuba, Syria and Libya on a committee for human rights issues is not an organization that operates in the real world. If any momentum to reform the UN is going to form, someone needs to go in and shake things up, and Bolton is equal to the task. No, this now is about embarrasing Bush - which is not what we sent them there to do.

Filibuster fallout: Charles Krauthammer on the implications of the compromise in "The Flinch Heard 'Round The World." " ...the compromise legitimized the principle of the judicial filibuster. Until 2001, not once in more than 200 years had a judicial nominee been denied appointment to the court by Senate filibuster."

I don't have a problem with the filibuster - if they would actually filibuster. This voting where all you need is 41% and then you can go home for a long weekend is ticking me off.

Thought of the Week:
"None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license." - John Milton

Churchill Quote of the Week:


"I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: 'I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.'"

Winston Churchill
First Speech as Prime Minister, May 13, 1940, House of Commons

For the rest of the story, check out The Pacific Slope.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

View Number Two: Not Dead Yet

Miracle Max: "Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do."
Inigo Montoya: "What's that?"
Miracle Max: "Go through his clothes and look for loose change."
--The Princess Bride


I just wanted to let everyone know that my blog has a new post, and I will strive to create more. I expect to send another movie review this way. Which movie do you want reviewed? Also, what kind of posts do you like on View Number Two? Do you like the Games List with some fun links hidden about? Do you like the social commentary? Do you want more stories?

Henderson Legs Raise Eyebrows

Patch Adams, anyone?

I don't know about you, but I probably wouldn't want this in my neighborhood. It'd be funny the first few times, but I have a feeling it would get old. Not to mention what it could do to the property value...

NBC5.com - News - Henderson Legs Raise Eyebrows: "But, others aren't so forgiving. The sculpture is, after all, located between two churches."

Revenge Of The Post That Would Not Die

Or, the blogging will continue until morale improves.

I am still waiting for more suggestions, and this post will keep reappearing until I have some.

After long and serious consideration, I have decided that the weekly feature "Freedom Esoterica Friday" needs a better title. However, I haven't had much luck coming up with anything.

So, I want to hear your suggestions. Please leave them in the comments section of this post. You have until Thursday.


Suggestions so far:
"Filibuster Friday"
"Freedom Friday"
"French Secrets Friday"
"Farding Friday" (what in blazes does "farding" mean, anyway?)
"Friday's Fantastic Freedom Fiesta" or "Fantastic Freedom Fiesta Friday"
"The Friday Furo Questus"
"El Dia De La Libertad"
"El dia de nuestra libertad: Fridays!"
"Starting the weekend out right... Thoughts from Tyler"
"T.G.I.F"

Tyler's Ideas: [Yes, I am fully aware these are lame. That is why I am asking for help.]
"Tyler's Weekly Update"
"The Wasatch Review"
"The Friday Reader"
"Does Anyone Read This Stuff?"

The EU Has Issues

The French appear to be headed for a "No" vote on the EU constitution. If that happens, it will be the killing blow to the idea of a European superstate, at least as it has been currently envisioned.

Don't feel too bad. The EU consitution would create a continental government with an unelected and largely unaccountable executive to watch over, overrule, and overregulate.

That is the source of much of the criticism of the EU constitution in Britain.

But that is not why the measure is failing in France. No, there it is failing because the French believe they gave up too much to Britain. Of course, nobody really likes the French anyways: "Europe unites in hatred of French."

And Germans aren't even being allowed to vote on it - their own government doesn't trust them to. That attitude has cost them, and German politics are about to go into upheaval, as the ruling party has called for new elections and embarked on a lurch to the left, going on an anti-capitalist anti-American rant that has already poisoned US-German relations.

In short, the problems come down to economies. Each nation has its own vision of either a free trade or a centrally planned economy, and those conflicting views are practically impossible to reconcile. And given that, a failure to ratify an EU constitution may be a good thing... at least for the US.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

How Many People Does It Take...

...to found the New World?

North America Settled by Just 70 People, Study Concludes
"Previous DNA analyses of the New World's founding looked at just one gene and assumed populations sizes have been constant over time. The new study looked at nine genomic regions to account for variations in single genes, and it assumed that sizes of founding populations change over time. The method favored actual genetic data over estimates used in previous calculations.
"'The estimated effective size of the founding population for the New World is about 70 individuals,' said Jody Hey, a professor of genetics at Rutgers University."


Very interesting. Of of course, "most scientists agree" these early settlers came over a land bridge. Why couldn't they have come by boat?

I hope someone at the BYU anthropology department saw this.

Rambing 'Round The Web

Not wanting to overshadow Matt's Stuff From D.C. post below, I'll keep this short. Just some random stuff going on.

Oh, this is good.
"Helicopters unable to shoot down rogue planes. Military jets flying so fast they sometimes can't communicate with small aircraft. Laser-beam warning systems that work only on sunny days. And radios easily knocked out by a bolt of lightning. Three-and-a-half years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, recent incursions into restricted airspace over the White House and Capitol reveal a system struggling to protect against another assault by air."
I realize that there's some difficulty involved, but here's a really revolutionary idea. How about teaching D.C.-area private pilots how to read a [CENSORED] map? "Hey, I wonder what that is, over there. The tall white spire thingy?"

Heard the latest news from Zimbabwe? Probably not - I expand on that over at The Pacific Slope.

And John Derbyshire makes some interesting observations over at NRO.

How much do you know about intellectual property?

I've spent the last two days at a conference on intellectual property in the global marketplace. Did you know that in this country owning intellectual property (i.e. copyrights, trademarks, patents, etc.) is considered the same as owning tangible objects (i.e. cars, houses, land, and so forth)? How many of you think it's OK to shoplift? Take your friend's car? Then why in the world is it OK to use the internet to take music, software, or video?

One of the basic foundations of our wonderful country is the protection of innovation. Our founding Fathers incorporated such protections directly into the constitution. If we begin to erode the basic fundamentals of protection of intellectual property, then we undermine the very cause of our success!

On the moral side, a lot of internet downloading is STEALING...just as much as shoplifting or car theft. Let us not forget, or rationalize, "Thou shalt not steal."

Weighing really, really, really small stuff

Have you ever wanted to how much your DNA weighs? Some researchers at Cornell University claim to be able to do just that (Link to Article). They weighed a single DNA molecule that tipped the scales at just over one (1) attogram. [i.e. 1x10-18 grams...milli, micro, nano, pico, femto, atto, zepto, yocto]

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Stuff from DC

Hello all,

I have been in DC for a week and a half now. Things here are great. As you can tell by watching the news and such the current hot topic is filibusters and judicial nominations. I don’t have much to add other than that it is a divisive issue. Any way enough about politics.

Here are a few quotes from my trip to the WW II monument.

Pearl Harbor: December 7, 1941
A date that will live in infamy… no matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Battle of Midway June 4-7, 1942
They had no right to win, yet they did, and in doing so they changed the course of a war…even against the greatest of all odds, there is something in the human spirit, a magic blend of skill, faith and valor, that can lift men from certain defeat to incredible victory.
- Walter Lord Author

The Wars End
Today the guns are silent a great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won. The skies no longer rain death. The seas bear only commerce, men everywhere walk upright in the sunlight. The entire world is quietly at peace.
- General Douglas McArthur

Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifice.
- President Harry S Truman

The heroism of our own troops… was matched by that of the armed forces of the nations that fought by our side. They absorbed the blows and they shared to the full in the destruction of the enemy.
- President Harry S Truman

We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of the overwhelming force on the other.
- General George C Marshal

D-Day June 6, 1944
You are about to embark upon the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle.
- General Dwight D Eisenhower

And from the Korean War monument:

Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and people they never met. Korea 1950-1953

Unfortunately as I type this I am listen to Hilary Clinton rant and rave which has put me in somewhat of a bad mood.

For any of you that have the opportunity, you MUST visit Washington D.C. When I have more time I will further elaborate on the goings on here in DC.

Peace,
Matt

U.S. House votes to outlaw computer spyware

U.S. House votes to outlaw computer spyware - Yahoo! News

It's about time. Now, let's see how they plan on enforcing this stuff.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday voted to establish new penalties for purveyors of Internet "spyware" that disables users' computers and secretly monitors their activities.

By overwhelming majorities, the House passed two bills that stiffen jail sentences and establish multimillion-dollar fines for those who use secret surveillance programs to steal credit-card numbers, sell software or commit other crimes.

Offered Without Comment

Two hurt in mock light sabre duel

"Two Star Wars fans are in a critical condition in hospital after apparently trying to make light sabres by filling fluorescent light tubes with petrol."

Monday, May 23, 2005

Lasik, anyone?

Any of you have any opinions about Lasik surgery? Do it? Yay? Nay? Any opinions, success stories, or horror stories? Just curious. I know someone who is SERIOUSLY considering it. An odd topic, I know, but I am interested in y'alls opinions.

Did J.R.R. Tolkien Exist?

A source-analysis of The Lord of the Rings throws his existence into doubt, and questions whether The Lord of the Rings had a single author.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Freedom Esoterica Friday

The Newsweek scandal continues to play out around the world. Newsweek has apologized, but the retraction is not being believed. There's a whole host of reactions on this, but the best I've seen have been from Andy McCarthy, Jonah Goldberg, and today's Victor Davis Hanson column, all at National Review Online. The jist of these reactions are the same: we don't appreciate or realize how Middle Easterners get their information or how they process it, and all of us - from the government to the press to Mr. Average Voter need to realize those differences. And change our behavior accordingly. For the press, that doesn't mean not reporting problems; but that does mean the press should not blow up incidents into claims that they are actually systematic problems and if they do find problems, they need to make sure their evidence is rock solid. That may mean waiting a week.

Here's some talk on Star Wars. Well, not that Star Wars.

One more article to consider: Invasion of the America-Snatchers.
"At the time of our nation’s founding, there were a bunch of Americans who clung to European values. Today we call their descendants “Canadians.” Up north, the government isn’t something to be distrusted so much as something to be obeyed. For example, when the government told the people to switch to the metric system, they did. Our government told us to do the same thing at about the same time, and America barely even noticed. "

Winston Churchill Quote of the Week:



"We have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat, and France has suffered even more than we have." - WSC, speech made during debate to ratify the Munich Agreement in House of Commons, October 5, 1938. Nancy Astor heckled him by calling out "Nonsense."

Munich would blind Europe at a crucial time; France and Britain thought they had established peace, when all they really accomplished was a postponement of the war. An interesting examination of this can be found
here.

This was the result of negotiating with a tyrant, and believing him when he said he wanted peace as badly as you did. How can we negotiate with terrorists, when they have told us that they want to destroy us to our face?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

All Ships Jump To Lightspeed



Off to the theatre. (As is, apparently, everyone else.) See you tomorrow.

May The Force Be With Us

Admiral Ackbar


Did I mention I was excited for Star Wars yet?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Kick Butt It Will


Consider this fair warning: I have now shifted into full-on foaming geeklust. I now have tickets to see Revenge of the Sith.

Go I must, says Yoda.

Red = better athletes.

Okay, that's not exactly what the article says. But make sure all the "Y" fans see this. :>

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Reds have a sporting advantage

Wearing red can boost the prowess of competitors in sporting contests, scientists have claimed.

A report in Nature by Durham University academics suggests donning red kit increases the probability of winning physical contests in a range of sports.

The researchers claim the effect could be down to a deep-seated evolutionary response that works subconsciously to put opponents on the back foot.


Though, I'm pretty sure we all know that it isn't the color that makes us the better opponent. Scientists should study the color blue.

Y Fan: Hey, what's that sucking sound?
U Fan: Uh... probably your team.

"Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it!"

Twenty-five years ago today. Remember Mt. St. Helens.

More at The Pacific Slope.

I Was A Fanboy Once and Young



Tonight, at 12:01 AM, thousands will at long last see "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith."

But I will not be among them, and not by my choice. The pain, the anger...my descent into the dark side has begun...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Look What I Found! Can I Keep It?

From The Columbian: Search for sunken car turns up 4 additional missing vehicles.

"The term "car pool" took on new meaning Monday morning when a man's Honda Accord accidentally rolled down a boat ramp into Lacamas Lake and divers found it and four more submerged in 20 feet of water."

"The water was murky, with only 6 inches to a foot of visibility, so the scuba divers felt their way toward the lake bottom, said SWORD team leader Tim Woodring. They attached the tow truck's steel cable to what they thought was the man's Honda and signaled the driver to haul it in.
'"The first one that came up was a 1983 Mercedes,' Farrell said."

Monday, May 16, 2005

Ambiguous pictures that could mean anything!

Have you ever been to www.ready.gov? It's the US Department of Homeland Security's website. They have a lot of random, ambiguous images. The interpretations on this website are great!

For exmaple:

If you are sprayed with an unknown substance, stand and think about a cool design for a new tattoo.


If you hear the Backstreet Boys, Michael Bolton or Yanni on the radio, cower in the corner or run like hell.

Check out the rest of them here: http://www.msxnet.org/humour/terror_alert

For the Trekkies Among Us

From Star Wars to Star Trek.

James Lileks, on the last "Enterprise":

"I watched Voyager, I defended it, I thought it found its legs eventually and did some nice work. But it had a crippling problem: boring characters who never changed. It had a boring relationship – modern Trek is generally incapable of portraying romance, and the relationship between Hotheaded Devil-May-Care Tom Paris and sullen, sour, uber-bitchy half-Klingon W’hatzrname was never believable. Who would put up with her crap for a day, let alone get married to her six years into an 80 year voyage? Voted Most Likely To Be Found Trussed And Gagged in a Jeffries Tube at the Academy, that one."

"'Deep Space Nine' was everything the nerds and geeks say they want from TV sci-fi, but oh, how they picked the nits. Half the fanbase peeled off during DS9, because it didn’t have with Patrick Stewart screwing up his shiny mug and saying “Engage” in his patented stentorian baritone. "

"Next Generation has many “classic” moments, but so much drearily earnest tripe – and in retrospect the Federation looks so weak and touchy-feely it’s a wonder the Romulans didn’t just knock them over for target practice. Bad romance: Worf and Troi? The big mean feral warrior and the ship’s shrink? I NEED TO MATE. IT IS MY TIME. Worf, I sense you are feeling stress. I HAVE MANIFESTED THE SWORD OF KAHLISS IN MY LOWER UNIFORM. I AM . . . CONFINED. Let’s have some tea and discuss this. YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND. MY PHOTON TORPEDO IS READY FOR THE LAUNCHING TUBE. Sit, you silly fellow! Right here. Mind the flowers. I DO NOT KNOW HOW MUCH LONGER I CAN USE ANALOGIES TO DESCRIBE MY CONDITION. Well, if you have to get back to work, fine, but drop by later and we can talk. Worf! Put that away! Ick! "

Why Do We Listen To These Guys Again?

Oops. Never mind, says Newsweek. (Or should that be Newsweak?)

That inflamatory report Newsweek stood behind, accusing US soldiers of desecrating the Koran? The one that sparked protests throughout the world and riots in Afghanistan that killed 16? Newsweek doesn't stand by it anymore.

Nice job, guys. I know that nothing guarantees a Pulitzer, fame, and international street cred like making the US look bad, but maybe you could do us all a favor and remember two things:
1. People outside of the US read what you print.
2. Just because a story looks good doesn't mean it's true.

Do something really crazy and try to hold yourselves to the same high standards you attempt to impose on everyone else.

Update:
Newsweek has officially retracted the story.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Freedom Esoterica Friday

Submitted for your perusal:

New VDH piece is up -
Remembering WWII.

A
new Mark Steyn column - and a great old column, Death and Decadence.

What is a conservative? Jonah Goldberg offers a definition.



Churchill Quote of the Week:
The new Minister of Fuel and Power, Hugh Gaitskell, later Attlee's successor as leader of the Labour Party, had advocated saving energy by taking fewer baths: "Personally, I have never had a great many baths myself, and I can assure those who are in the habit of having a great many that it does not make a great difference to their health if they have less." Churchill, a renowned bather, responded: "When Ministers of the Crown speak like this on behalf of HM Government, the Prime Minister and his friends have no need to wonder why they are getting increasingly into bad odour. I have even asked myself, when meditating upon these points, whether you, Mr. Speaker, would admit the word 'lousy' as a Parliamentary expression in referring to the Administration, provided, of course, it was not intended in a contemptuous sense but purely as one of factual narration."

Everybody's Doing It

Darth Vader has a blog.

"I would not dare to even dream this had it not come from my master's lips. I cannot explain to you the thoughts I no longer feel ashamed to entertain since I am no longer hiding Luke's identity from him.We could rule the galaxy together, as father and son!

"And I could love again."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Turner

Blogging will be light today.

A friend of ours, Jared Turner, is marrying his beloved Heather today in the Salt Lake Temple.

Congratulations to both, and may they have a long and wonderful life together, and for all eternity.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Canadian Chaos

You may want to pay attention to the news from Canada in the coming week.

Paul Martin’s Liberal government
lost a no-confidence vote last night, and is refusing to step down. The Liberals are attempting to compromise, but they have no credibility with their colleagues at this time.

Apparently, they can get away with this because the no-confidence vote was based on a rider to a motion, rather than a motion. There is a
lot of arguing over whether this is correct or legal – this article is a good explanation of what’s involved. The refusal to step down and call new elections is unprecedented.

There is a lot of parliamentary terms and language to understand.
Here is an article on the Westminster type of government and how it works. This link will be a good place to get the latest info and the backstory on what led to these events. I am going to recommend you go here
on J.J. McCullogh’s
Filibuster site for the ins and outs of Canadian government and politics.

The future is grim – either Paul Martin’s government dissolves, or Canada has its gravest constitutional crisis since the
October Crisis of 1970. If Martin’s government refuses to step down, Canada’s Sovereign (Queen Elizabeth II, acting through her designated representative, the Governor-General of Canada) may have to intervene. In a crisis, the Governor-General can exercise reserve powers, which authorize the Governor-General to force the government to call a new election and step down. This is rare (in Canada, it has never happened), but it happened in Australia in 1975.

Senator Reid, Disappointment

So much for a warmer tone in the Senate by removing Dachle.

In case you weren't aware, Sen. Reid (D-Nevada) gave a speech to a Las Vegas high school wherein he called President Bush "a loser." He later apologized, supposedly.

I say supposedly because yesterday Sen. Reid gave a press conference (see the above link) where he admitted to making a poor choice of words, and then proceeded to blame Bush for everything from the judicial filibuster, the war in Iraq, and the deficit to tooth decay and the missing sock lost in the dryer.

Of course, he failed to mention any solution to any of the above problems.

I was hoping for more from the Senator from Nevada. He had a chance to change how the Dems operate in the Senate, and he has thrown it away.

How disappointing.

President Bush calls to say thanks for the slime-mold beetle

"President George Bush wasn't bugged by having a slime-mold beetle named for him. In fact, he was so pleased that he telephoned former Cornell University Professor Quentin Wheeler to thank him.

Wheeler and co-author Kelly B. Miller, Cornell Ph.D. and currently a postdoctoral fellow at Brigham Young University, published an article in Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, announcing names for 65 species of slime-mold beetles that are new to science. The entomologists also named slime-mold beetles in honor of Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The recently named beetles are Agathidium bushi Miller and Wheeler, A. cheneyi Miller and Wheeler and A. rumsfeldi Miller and Wheeler."

Link to Article

I'm not sure, is it a compliment to have a slime mold beetle named after you?

What Does Tyler Do When He's Bored?

Read webcomics.

Here is one of my new favorites, Vexxar! A sci-fi alien thing, it promises to be a lot of fun.
Picture

There is something about "You have us by the Golgi Apparatus" that speaks well of his sense of humor..

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I think the word that applies here is "schadenfreude."

"An Alaskan jury found Greenpeace guilty Monday on two misdemeanor criminal negligence charges that were filed after the group's ship entered Alaska waters for an anti-logging campaign without required paperwork. Greenpeace's ship came to Alaska to conduct an anti-logging campaign in the Tongass National Forest. The ship was carrying more than 70,000 gallons of "petroleum products'' at the time, court papers said. Under state law, a large non-tank vessel must file an oil spill response plan application five days before entering state waters."

Passion for demanding more regulations apparently does not extend to a passion for obeying regulations.

NPR : Strong Bad Walks in Footsteps of Darth, Lex, J.R.

Finally. Homestarrunner.com headlines on NPR.

NPR : Strong Bad Walks in Footsteps of Darth, Lex, J.R.



And here's another good use of time. The Holy Grail of TV themes:
http://www.barbneal.com/tvthemes.asp

Who Are Those Guys?


It is probably high time for me to introduce this rag-tag assortment of amateur commentators. So here goes:

e.gage, better known as Bryan, is a law student at the University of Idaho. His specialty is injecting some random humor into the blog, as well as sharing some wry commentary on the issues of the day. Check out his weblog, and the great pictures on his photo blog.

Maine Man, Brent, is a manufacturing engineer currently working at a major manufacturer in New England. He is responsible for the lean manufacturing posts, and offers commentary on everything.

Matt is our man in D.C., and recently graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in business information systems. He is spending his first summer as a free man as a Congressional intern, and will be blogging about it on his own weblog.

Jason, better known to us as Jamo (that label will never die), also recently graduated from the University of Utah, with a degree in finance. Right now, he is contemplating women, but he is also considering a future in law school, probably depending somewhat on what Brian tells him about the law school experience. He also runs the Jamoblog.

The Niem, Adam, is our movie and pop culture guru. He usually blogs to vent - but I'm hoping to see more regular posting from him, both here and on his own weblog. He vastly underestimates his writing ability.

Nathan has a masters in bioengineering and is currently working at a small research and development firm. Reading a cool science story? Nate probably found it. He also offers some interesting insights into the human condition.

Tyler. Well, that's me. I can wax either narcissistic or self-deprecating, but always I'm the one using too many words. I am the political junkie of the group, and am heavy on opinions but light on knowledge. I am a chemical engineer with an MBA working for a manufacturing business here in Salt Lake City. I like Winston Churchill, and I run The Pacific Slope.

So who are we? Well, our opinions and political philosophies run from libertarian to downright conservative, both socially and politically.

We have the following in common - we are all members of the LDS Church, and we have all crossed paths at some point in Salt Lake City through fraternities and friends.

And we all thought it would be fun to start a weblog, and see where it went.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Our Man In Washington

In case you didn't see him, we have added a new member to our blogger ranks - Matt Garn.

Matt will be spending the summer as an intern in D.C. this summer, and has agreed to be our man in Washington during his time there. You can read Matt here and on his blog, The D.C. Insider.

Welcome, Matt!

Senator Reid Blasts Senator Hatch

"In the battle raging over President Bush's judicial nominees, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is ratcheting up the rhetoric, stopping just short of calling Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch a hypocrite. Instead, the Nevada Democrat said Friday, "He's been a terribly big disappointment to me."
In Salt Lake City to speak to Utah Democrats the night before their annual convention today, Reid let loose his frustration with his Republican colleagues - particularly Hatch, former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where many Democratic judges were stalled or blocked. Reid takes issue with conservative senators who claim Democrats are obstructing the judicial nominating process.
Reid called Utah Sen. Bob Bennett "totally rational" in their discussions of the issue, but said Hatch is another matter. Hatch claims the minority party has created a crisis in the courts by refusing to vote on the president's nominees.
"I can't imagine how Orrin Hatch can keep a straight face," Reid toldThe Salt Lake Tribune editorial board. "I don't know how, within the framework of intellectual honesty, he can say the things he does."

Just your typical dogfight between Demos and the GOP
view entire story

The Glamorous Life Of The Terrorist

Choosing the life of a terrorist can be hard on you.

Before:

After:


And before anyone says it, that is not me, or anyone related to me, in the "after" picture. Smart alecs.

My last post today... I promise.

I love the summer movie season. I know there are a lot of other movies coming out... but these are the ones that appeal to me.

May:
Revenge of the Sith

June:
Batman Begins
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
War of the Worlds
Cinderella Man

July:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The Island

August:
The Pink Panther (with Steve Martin)

http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/summermovieguide/june.html

Clears That Up

From a 2001 Pentagon press conference:

Reporter: On tunnels and caves, does the United States have the kind of embedded capability that it developed during World War II, during Vietnam, to specialize in going into tunnels, caves, analyzing it, fighting in it? Do we have that special -- (inaudible) -- any more in the ranks?

General Pace: Our specialized approach to caves and tunnels is to put 500-pound bombs in the entrance.

Found thanks to Jay Nordlinger at NRO.

A Complete Waste Of Time

:: WARNING: Do Not Read This If You Have Work To Do!!!!!!!!! ::

A Complete Waste Of Time WARNING: Do Not Read This If You Have Work To Do!!!!!!!!! :: MarkTAW.com

You May Have Missed It

President Bush in Latvia last Saturday:

"Yet we've also learned that sovereignty and majority rule are only the beginnings of freedom. The promise of democracy starts with national pride, and independence, and elections. But it does not end there. The promise of democracy is fulfilled by minority rights, and equal justice under the rule of law, and an inclusive society in which every person belongs. A country that divides into factions and dwells on old grievances cannot move forward, and risks sliding back into tyranny. A country that unites all its people behind common ideals will multiply in strength and confidence."

Full text here.

Oh, and Happy V-E Day!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

How Good Was Your High School

Newsweek Magazine recently ranked the nation's best high schools. To get these rankings they took the total number of AP and IB (International Baccalaureate)tests taken by students in the school and divided that number by the school's total number of graduating seniors.

Utah has twelve schools in the top 1000, including two schools in the top 200: Park City #150 and West (Yeah, that surprised me, too!) #191. Brighton ranked last of the twelve #916. The Bengals ranked below (not in order) Olympus, Highland, Skyline, Woodscross, Bountiful, Davis, and the infamous Hillcrest. Given that most of the schools are from large states like Texas, NY, California and Florida, I think Utah did really well. I only saw one school each from Idaho, Washington, Montana, Nevada and Arizona and only two or three from Colorado, which makes the Beehive state look even better. I'd be interested to see the state rankings if they did it by #of schools on the list over the total number of highschools in the state. Would Utah be #1?

Sorry, but you'll have to copy and paste because I can't figure out how to get the link to work.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7723397/site/newsweek/

Friday, May 06, 2005

Fredom Esoterica Friday

First, a little business. What is this? I go away for one day (ONE DAY!) and look - one entry in three days. (Thanks Adam.)

Oh, and I'm back. In case you were wondering.

New VDH piece is up at NRO. If you don't know who VDH is, follow the link. If you do know who VDH is, follow the link.



Churchill Quote of the Week:
"Indeed I do not think we should be justified in using any but the more sombre tones and colours while our people, our Empire, and indeed the whole English-speaking world are passing through a dark and deadly valley."
Sir Winston Churchill, speech given in the House of Commons, January 22, 1941

I feel so... violated

Behold, the Dukes of Hazard trailer.

Be afraid, be very afraid. The people are destroying my cherished childhood TV shows before my very eyes...

Johnny Knoxville? Burt Reynolds? The only thing they did right was pick Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

View Number Two: Third Time's the Charm

"All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse."
--Benjamin Franklin


The events of today will surly lead to the events of tomorrow. There are aspects of the political landscape in our own country that echo a frightening parallel with the events and philosophies of past enemies. With the twisted lies and views that we weave through today, we may suspect our time is portentious of the most terrible future. We may be right.

General George Washington's Vision

A few Words by Edgar Cayce

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Can Government Fix Education?

Apparently Gov. Huntsman wants to fix Utah's education system so that minorities, who generally perform worse academically, will have better scholastic success. This is a noble aim, but perhaps misguided. I would ask if the problem is even government related? Because if not, does it have the power to fix it?

The article Bob Lonsberry posted on his website yesterday says it's impossible:
That's not a commentary on Latino kids or Samoan kids or black kids, it is a reality of the role of government. The government, schools and society are not the cause of the disparity between the races in educational attainment -- so the government, schools and society don't have the power to remove that disparity.
That power is at home.
It may be wasted, misused or rejected, but it is at home, in the family environment and in the family culture.


Read the whole article:
http://lonsberry.com/writings.cfm?story=1647&go=4

"parents take better care of pretty children than they do ugly ones."

I'm not making that up. That's an actual line from the article.

NY Times Article:
Ugly Children May Get Parental Short Shrift



Researchers at the University of Alberta carefully observed how parents treated their children during trips to the supermarket. They found that physical attractiveness made a big difference.

The researchers noted if the parents belted their youngsters into the grocery cart seat, how often the parents' attention lapsed and the number of times the children were allowed to engage in potentially dangerous activities like standing up in the shopping cart. They also rated each child's physical attractiveness on a 10-point scale.


It goes on like this.

Very, very cool.

The Library of Congress
and
Brigham Young University

are pleased to invite you to attend

"The Worlds of Joseph Smith"
a conference examining religious, social, and
theological contributions of
Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844)
in recognition of the
bicentennial of his birth.

May 6-7, 2005
Coolidge Auditorium
Library of Congress
Washington, D.C.


http://josephsmithconferenceloc.byu.edu/default.asp

Online broadcast info is here: http://byubroadcasting.org/loc/

The Threat in Your Backyard



Enough housekeeping. Now, something cool.

The University of Utah Seismology Department has developed a website which lists the locations of all significant earthquakes in Utah, Idaho, and Montana in historical times, running from about 1870 to the present.

But it gets better. The website also archives contemporary newspaper accounts, personal accounts, and pictures from the quakes.

The map shows the quakes' locations and magnitudes. For the most part, they're where you would expect (Yellowstone and the Wasatch Front) but the ones at Helena, Montana and the 7.3 at Mackay, Idaho were surprises.

Pardon Our Dust [Fixed]

Someone broke the blog. (You should know not to drink and blog at the same time by now.) Working on it.
Update:
Found the problem, a too-long misbehaving hyperlink. Now while I won't name names [coughNatecough] I have fixed the link. Blog all better now.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Time Flies

Given the recent airplane theme, I thought ya'll might enjoy this excerpt from "Lean Thinking," written by James Womack and Daniel Jones.

Since it comes in in the middle, I'll give a little background: The concept of Lean Thinking is that the attitude of bigger and faster generally does not equal better and cheaper (and often isn’t really faster anyway). This passage documents how the airline industry sees value (what a customer is willing to pay for) so much differently than do the passengers.

"As frequent users of [airlines] we have long been keeping detailed notes on our experiences and contrasting our own definition of value with that proposed by most companies in this industry. Our equation is very simple: to get from where we are to where we want to be safely with the least hassle at a reasonable price. By contrast, the airlines’ definition seems to involve using their existing assets in the most ‘efficient’ manner, even if we have to visit Timbuktu to get anywhere. They then throw in added features- like executive lounges in their hubs and elaborate entertainment systems in every seat- in hopes the inconvenience will be tolerable.”

The authors then describe a recent 350-mile trip between two small cities with small airports. The trip, including driving time from the small city to the large one, took seven hours (whereas a very expensive direct charter flight would have only taken 2 hours.)

“Why aren’t airlines… and airframe builders like Boeing and Airbus working on low-cost, point-to-point services using smaller jets instead of developing ever-larger aircraft? And why aren’t they developing quick turnaround systems for small jets at small airports instead of constructing Taj Mahal terminals at the absurd ‘hubs’…(One hour of the seven hours spent on the trip just cited was taxiing time in the Detroit hub and a second was occupied with self-sortation inside the terminal.)”

I don't see how anyone who's ever had to run from one end of a major airport like O'Hare to the other to make a flight just to find that the gate was rerouted to the gate next door to your arriving flight could ever disagree.

Blatant plagiarism.

Stolen from Tyler Farrer's blog.

spiked-science | survey | E=mc2 centenary survey | E=mc2 survey - AtoB
A bunch of scientist were asked the question, "If you could teach the world just one thing..." Here are the responses. There are far too many for one person to view in just one sitting, so what are your favorites?

spiked-science | survey |

Just as I suspected

Finally, an objective commentary on the amount of money women make vs men.

(Link to article)

It's worthy of noting that the general media does not make a fair comparison of men vs women. If you compare unmarried men to unmarried women who share the same job titles and responsibilities, then women actually make more on average. But who's going to report that? Nobody! It would be like putting something positive and uplifting on the evening NEWS. Just doesn't happen. Pitty.

It is really a shame that movements (e.g. civil rights, women's rights, etc.) don't know when to stop. They always want more, to their own detriment I might add. Time to get over it and move on.

[Hyperlink edited by Tyler 5/3/2005]

Fly Much?

A bashing of airports, flying, and the new Airbus A380 as only a Brit can do.

"...Just as the plague rat was carried from Asia to Europe in the holds of merchantmen, the virus of Heathrow will be spread internationally by the Airbus A380. The symptoms of the contagion are crowds of people jammed shoulder to shoulder as if at an old fashioned soccer match, airport staff who have apparently been trained to turn their backs and moon at all inquiring customers, food that is composed equally of dried-out crust and congealed grease and, over-arching and infusing all, a mood of homicidal, simmering anger."

"...If simple neglect did not silence the customers, turning off the air-conditioning usually did: so oxygen levels would drop, the temperature rose, and with the flatulence caused by motionless people eating poor food in a strange atmospheric pressure, the cabin would soon be filled with the gastric gases of a few hundred passengers. And in these enchanting and picturesque circumstances, travellers had to spend eight or more hours.

"After such an ordeal, touchdown would offer only temporary relief. The crumpled passengers would have to make their way past the gum-chewing airport staff, on day release from the local jail, and fight like skinheads at luggage carousels, two counties away from where they landed..."

This guy almost sounds like he tried to fly Southwest out of Salt Lake/Ogden International...

Found at Argghhh!.

The Politics of Business

This appears to be getting ugly, fast.

"The smouldering row between Germany's ruling Social Democratic party and big business turned into a shouting match at the weekend, as Franz Münterfering, the SPD's chairman, drew up a "locust list" of 12 figureheads of capitalism that he said were a scourge on the country.

"Mr Münterfering, who a fortnight ago said private equity investors were like "swarms of locusts" descending on Germany intent on sacking workers and making quick profits, suggested in a document leaked to the local media on Saturday that these "anti-social radicals" were preparing to destroy corporate Germany wholesale."


"...one senior banker said: 'This is nothing but blatant electioneering. The irony is, Münterfering is doing just what he is accusing capitalist investors of doing - namely acting for short-term gain, without a thought to the long-term consequences.'"

Politicians, posing? Perish the thought.

But for a nation that dug itself out of its post-WWII nadir by embracing capitalism, the prevalence of such attitudes is disconcerting.