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Sunday, December 31, 2006

XRLQ: Garnering the Elusive Indeedeheh

I’ll let the post stand for itself:

Fox, CNN and all the other big boys have video of the events leading up to Saddam’s execution, but they all wimp out and stop there. Only one minor network in the U.S. has carried the sensational image of what happened after the trap door was pulled. Rather than strain their server by linking to them, I’ve reproduced the image below the fold.

It’s nerve like his that deserves the extra-special Dave’s Indeedeheh.

See the horrific image.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Two From American Spectator

Have you been reading the blog over at American Spectator? It’s kind of like The Corner with comments. Anyway, here are two samples:

Saddam Celebration, Saddam Sadness

Shawn Macomber’s post ends with this response to a Kos poster’s assertion that “tries to take some of the air out of John Edwards announcing for president.”

We don’t need Saddam Hussein to disappear John Edwards, pal. We already got Obama and Hillary Clinton.

I will be surprised if the Edwards’ bid survives as long as it did in the last race. The man really does fade when the competition has personalities like Hillary and Obama instead of the charmless Kerry or John “The Screamer” Dean.

When Blogs Get it Wrong

In this response to the Rago/Hewitt conversation about “minimal reportage” in blogging, Philip Klein offers this thought:

The informal nature of blogs, the speed of the medium, and the limitless space allows bloggers to brainstorm, debate ideas, throw out theories, get feedback and make use of all the arcane specialized knowledge they may have. On the whole, this is a good thing. However, at the same time, the MSM, which has the ability and resources to do more hands on reporting, and which acts as a filter, deserves respect as well. Obviously, I blog myself and find blogs useful, but I also think some bloggers, ironically, have developed the same sense of elitism and self importance that they deride the MSM for.

Which seems about right to me.

When I read the Rago piece, I couldn’t help but think that, while I didn’t appreciate the way the information was presented, the man wasn’t that far off the mark in his thinking. Here are the truths about blogs in a really large sense: there is minimal actual reporting, they do lean heavily on the mainstream media to do the heavy lifting and then offer analysis, the quality of writing is wildly variable, there seems to be in inherent swarming instinct that kills rational conversation at times, and instant response does impair rigor.

Of course, I won’t spare traditional media some criticism: for example, while instant response impairs rigor, the luxury of time seems to be no guaranty of conscientiousness. Still, whatever complaints I have about traditional media don’t make Rago’s observations wrong. I applaud the writers and personalities that are elevating some sites into something closer to “real” journalism--that is, those sites with original reporting, critical analysis, and professional quality writing. Of the tens of thousands of active blogs, though, how many could honestly be said to occupy that arena?

I’m not proud to say--but I will admit--that ResurrectionSong sure as hell isn’t in that category. At least, not with any regularity. One well-written, intelligent piece every few months (which would probably be overestimating my “good” output by quite a bit) does not make me the equal of people who actually write and report for a living. Honest self-assessment requires that I admit this about myself.

Put it this way: of the blogs that you regularly read, how many of them would you be willing to pay for? I’m willing to bet that the majority of readers would only be willing to pay for the content of one or two (or none) of the blogs that they regularly visit. While some of us may have given up on daily newspapers (dead tree editions simply have a hard time competing with the near-real-time coverage offered online), almost every political junkie that I know has a magazine habit that they’d sell blood to support. When the conversation turns to value--as the Opinion Journal piece is really about--remember that you are willing to pay for what you value.

People come to ResurrectionSong less because they value me as a writer than they value me as a person. Almost all of my regular readers are people that I have met or people that I correspond with somewhat regularly. While I can’t find anything to confirm my suspicions, I imagine that most bloggers on an honest day would say the same.

I still wouldn’t mind kicking the guy in the shins for the “written by fools to be read by imbeciles” bit. Sharply kick him in the shins, in fact. Dammit, I am still proud of some of what I’ve written, some of the conversations that started on this site, and the fact that the people who have come through this site are most certainly not imbeciles. In fact, I wonder if Rago could hold his own in the passionate conversation of a Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash.

The insult was as unnecessary as it was unfounded. Rago had some good points to make, but it’s hard to get to that when the author has just called you either a fool or an imbecile.

None of which explains why I bristle about being called a fool when I just kept darling girl waiting for half an hour while I typed this up. That was probably an example of a bad decision, no? If you’ll excuse me, it’s off to an increasingly late breakfast.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mr. Answer Knows it All (Or At Least He Knows How to Find the Easy Stuff)

Shannon Sharpe

So, you want to know about Shannon Sharpe’s career stats? Well, okay, you probably don’t, but someone did.

Well, check it out. All the stats that you could want--including the two Lost in Baltimore seasons, his not-so-spectacular three rushing attempts, and 815 catches over a fourteen year career. Not only was Sharpe one of the funniest, trash-talkinest, and freakin’ cut players to ever play for the Broncos, he was also one of the best damned tight ends in the history of the game. The Broncos--hell, any team--could use a player of his tremendous skills right now.

And, dude, check out those arms.

On Presidential Candidate Do-Over Edwards

Fan.

Not a fan.

Guess which camp I’d be in.

None of which explains how the wonderful mixture of Vicodin, Advil, and Gozio Amaretto makes me feel when I know I don’t have to go to work in the morning. My head feels all floaty.

Using the iTunes Gift Cards: Champagne Charlie

For those who are interested (and there are precisely two of you (plus one mythical being), this is how I made my first purchase using the $80 in iTunes dough that was bestowed upon me by my friend Jerry, the darling future wife, and some cat named Santa. This is also, of course, a musical suggestion of sorts.

Leon Redbone’s wonderful Champagne Charlie is a good dose of energetic Americana. Redbone’s slurring, deep voice sounds almost as old as the music that he sings. It’s blues, jazz, and ragtime that never fails to get me smiling (with the exception, of course, of its few melancholy moments, like the downbeat blues of “I Hate a Man Like You” and the pose of “If Someone Would Only Love Me"). Mostly, though, it’s plucked guitars, brassy sounds, a little bit of whistling, and even a yodel or two. Really, it’s a classic feel that inspires warm thoughts.

Particularly good to download if you aren’t ready to commit to the album are “Champagne Charlie”, “Alabama Jubilee”, “I Hate a Man Like You”, and “Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now”.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Farewell to a Good Man

Former President Gerald Ford has passed away. He was a good man who acted as a truly dignified presence in the office of the President of the United States of America. Regardless of opinions about his politics, the way that he ascended to the office, or his short tenure, he will be remembered as a man for his time.

Between the ordeal in Vietnam and the devastation of the Nixon presidency, America needed someone who could return honor to the office. Ford was a devoted friend of the nation--a man who could be trusted.

So farewell to one of the good men of politics. His may not have been a remarkable presidency--from the controversy about the pardon of Nixon to the difficulty of the economy, he was not universally admired for his political leadership--but he was an honest, ethical, forthright face of the goodness of America.

Others:
Dean Esmay.
Drumwaster.
NRO (Although the quote is from Mitch McConnell)
Michelle Malkin

Infectuous Meme: Five Things About Me

I won’t force this meme on the unwilling, but feel free to play along. Let me know and I’ll link you up.

Richard Combs, that re-gifting bastard (who happens to be one of the brightest and nicest of the Denver-area bloggers and isn’t a bastard at all (except in the sense in which I’m using the term (and you should probably read his post to understand the reference))) passed the gift of the meme on to me. So, for you my beloved hecklers, are five things you probably don’t know about me.

  1. The Holiday Admission. I can tell you that I honestly never remember a time when I believed that Santa Claus was real. Mrs. Buttersworth, on the other hand, still has a powerful hold on my psyche. I’m still pretty sure that out there in the big world is a real walking, talking bottle of syrup. Go figure.
  2. The Advice to the Kids. My three biggest regrets in life (in ascending order): failing at marriage, failing in the military, and never finishing a degree. The first two have been talked to death, but the third needs a little commentary. I’m a reasonably bright guy who has been reasonably successful in life; but a degree would have given me more opportunities. When you’re young, the world looks like endless open doors. As you grow older, the doors start closing--mostly because change becomes difficult, some because realities (like bills and job demands) intrude. The biggest gift a person can give themselves is an education--it keeps those opportunities open longer.

    And, anyway, college parties are a blast.
  3. Embarrassing Personal Bits. I am probably the laziest, most procrastinating person you have ever met. Well, not really met, exactly, but you know what I mean. In fact, I work hard to keep myself busy because my preferred mode of existence involves couches, remote controls, and more alcohol than you can shake a pointed stick at.

    Or, you know, “at which you can shake a pointed stick.”
  4. Stupid Geek Moment. I really don’t like Isaac Asimov’s books. I’d like to apologize to my geeky brethren.
  5. Strange Anatomical Fact That Probably Makes Me Better Than You. I don’t have wisdom teeth. I don’t mean that they’ve been removed, I mean that they never bothered to show up. Since the only thing they seem good for is making the “haves” miserable and making the “dentists” wealthier, it occurs to me that I am the next step in human evolution. Which, in reference to the tooth thing is pretty cool, but in so many other ways probably can’t be considered a good thing.

Who else is down for over-sharing?

Walter was tagged.

Terribly Important Question of the Day

How many holes does it take to fill the Albert Hall?

And, on a more important note, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas weekend. More will follow this weekend (including filling a certain meme-based obligation that seems to have crept up on me--evil things, memes unnoticed). And for all of the emails that I ignored while in the middle of my vacation from computers, I’ll be answering those this evening as well.

Now, back to Albert Hall…

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mr. Answer Knows it All (But Sometimes You Have to Ask Better Questions)

This evening, someone reached ResurrectionSong with the search “what is the name of that depressing soviet song?” Which, hey, that’s kind of vague, isn’t it? I mean, that’s like asking the name of that “depressing Russian novel.” Really, the field is pretty open from there.

Narrow it down a bit and I’ll be happy to give it a shot.

Jeez.

So, Yeah, About Those Jobs That Americans Won’t Do

Don’t take this as a commentary on my feelings on immigration (either the legal kind or the illegal kind) or my feelings on some kind of guest worker program. Still, I really hate the argument from the unapologetic pro-illegal side that says Americans just won’t do the icky jobs.

Bullshit, I say. Americans will do any job, although they might not always like the work or the pay.

Whatever. The point is this:

The line of applicants hoping to fill jobs vacated by undocumented workers taken away by immigration agents at the Swift & Co. meat-processing plant earlier this week was out the door Thursday.

Among them was Derrick Stegall, who carefully filled out paperwork he hoped would get him an interview and eventually land him a job as a slaughterer. Two of his friends had been taken away by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and he felt compelled to fill their rubber boots.

“Luckily, they had no wives or family they left behind. But it was still sad. They left their apartments filled with all their stuff. I took two dogs one of them had. The other guy had a cat I gave to my sister,” he said.

Greg Bonifacio heard about the job openings on television and brought his passport, his Colorado driver’s license, his Social Security card and even a color photograph of himself as a young Naval officer to prove his military service.

“I don’t want to hassle with any identification problems because of my last name,” said Bonifacio, a 59- year-old Thornton resident of Filipino heritage.

As it turned out, the Colorado Workforce office that was taking applications did not require any identification.

That would come later for those who made it past the interview process.

Bonifacio was hoping to get a job in production or fabrication. So was Nathan Korgan, a former construction worker whose company closed and moved to California.

There is a conversation to be had about the pros and cons of guest worker programs, open immigration, and border security. Like many arguments, though, the whole thing seems to descend into something about “Americans won’t do tough jobs” and some assumption that opposition to illegal immigration is somehow tied into hatred for folks with darker skin.

On the other side, there really does seem to be a contingent with an overwrought fear of the brown hordes coming to destroy our society and a belief that they are completely free-riders in our society. The costs of hosting these “undocumented” aliens isn’t that easy to figure, but the assumption that they don’t do anything to pay their way is simply incorrect.

Every gallon of gas, every purchase at the mall, every contribution of cheap labor, and much more all work to offset the cost of schools, health care, and other social services. I’m not comfortable saying that an illegal immigrant is a necessarily a net positive to our economy (not because the idea is incorrect, but because I don’t feel qualified to make the judgment), but the assertion that they add nothing it wrong.

The debate is too serious to be reduced to petty sniping and lies. So, let’s just kill off the “Americans won’t do the job” myth here and now.

Read more about the job hunters here.

None of which explains why, with Christmas just a few days away, I’ve managed to decorate the tree, but I haven’t sent out cards, finished my shopping, wrapped a single present, or found an opportunity to sing “O, Holy Night” at the top of my lungs to irritate and/or ammuse my co-workers. Their loss.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Stern Hands Down a Stern Warning

Everyone knew Carmelo Anthony was going to be suspended; frankly, he deserved a suspension. He deserved a five, six, or maybe seven game suspension for taking a poke at another player during an altercation with the Knicks that saw ten players ejected and coach Isiah Thomas accused of leveling a threat at Carmelo Anthony before the fight.

A fifteen game suspension for Anthony seems excessive as does the half million dollar fine each of the teams will be paying, especially when Collins, whose flagrant foul of JR Smith sparked the brawl, only faces six games off. It seems even worse that Isiah Thomas, who allegedly warned Anthony not to get caught in the paint--essentially threatening that his players would hit Carmelo with the kind of hard foul that Collins put on Smith--isn’t even facing a public reprimand.

The players deserved suspensions, regardless of whether I agree with the particulars. But while I expect players to be a bit unruly at times, I don’t ever expect a coach to encourage his players to foul with the intent to injure.

I can’t say that I like this response from the league.

Read more.

Update: If you go to ESPN.com right now, you can also watch Thomas’ warning (with the aid of just the tiniest bit of lip-reading).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Two Reminders

The Russians seem intent on reminding us (yet again--if you see what I mean) that they are not our friends, that our interests are not theirs, and that their desire to project power politically runs counter to our desire to keep unstable and unpredictable countries like Iran away from nuclear weapons.

Sergei Shmatko, head of Atomstroyexport, Russia’s state nuclear fuel exporter, said last week that preparations to send fuel to Iran would start next month and the first consignment was expected to reach the Islamic republic in early spring.

The announcement, at a time when Russia is asserting itself as an energy power, has caused anxiety in western countries which are trying to convince the Kremlin to end its nuclear co-operation with Tehran.

I’m beginning to bore myself with (and, yeah, probably y’all) with the talk about Russia, so I’ll try to stop. The truth is, though, that Russia very obviously--like France--wants to be a balance to US power. That’s worth watching.

On a happier note, the Broncos seemed intent on reminding us that they still want to win the occasional football game. It was against the Cardinals, so it’s a little limited in actual meaning, but the Broncos played well for the first time in weeks. The defense was solid, special teams play was improved (if not spectacular), and the running game was solid. Even better, though, Jay Cutler looked confident and well-prepared and his receivers helped tremendously.

The Broncos needed a game like this to get back into their season. Next, though, is the Bengals game which will probably prove to be a much harder test.

None of which explains why I have a tree up with pretty, twinkling lights, but haven’t yet managed to get ornaments nestled in the branches.

I’m such a bum.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Strange Email of the Day: George Michael Wants My Money

Ripped fresh from the inbox (just moments before being consigned to the junk folder):

Mesage from George Michael

Goodday my dear,

In a brief introduction, my name is George Michael. My intention of contacting you is to have a discussion with you regarding an investment that I want to build in your country. Urgently confirm the receipt of this message with your direct telephone number to enable me call you immediately and furnish you with details.

I will be waiting for your reply as you finish reading this message.

Best Regards,

George Michael

I guess I’m just glad he doesn’t want to be my father figure…

Gingerbreak Nazis?

Gingerbread Nazis

This would definitely go in the “What the hell was he thinking?” files.

As an artist, he’s working with an odd limited medium (and just oddly limited sense of good judgment) and an obvious desire to provoke even though he has no real message to send. Gingerbread nazis? And your point is?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Unemployment

There have been some pretty drastic changes at work and, for the most part, they were things that I had predicted given the sales and market position that we’re facing at the end of the year. When I was hired, I was put into a position to support a VP of Marketing in an effort to increase sales and give the company more of a global reach. The end of the year came, goals weren’t met, and changes started coming.

Given the situation, I thought it was reasonable to think that I could soon be out of a job. No VP of Marketing could mean fewer products and, although everyone in the organization seemed happy with my work, less need for me. I thought that come the new year I would be facing my second layoff in as many calendar years, with both of them happening right after Christmas and New Years.

That didn’t happen.

In fact, something else entirely happened.

When the VP of Marketing stepped down, the news went out that the position wasn’t going to be filled. Instead, I was going to be given a promotion to Marketing Manager, taking over a good chunk of the VP’s duties (although without the responsibility of supervising the sales staff) while retaining most of my own job function.

I got a promotion, more headaches, and a shiny new office with a bigger desk.

So, hey, Merry Christmas to me.

In case you were wondering.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bovine Sympathizer!

Turncoat! Traitor!

And he’s probably an unpatriotic vegetarian, too. I hereby denounce Esmay as the Neville Chamberlain of the blogosphere--the kind of man who would make accommodations with the sinister cow masses who have, until now, freely flatulated our planet into the nightmare of global warming.

Gaia does, indeed, weep. And hold her metaphorical nose, too. She might even petulantly say something like “Gross” or “Ewww” while looking mildly disgusted, crossing her arms, and drawing attention to her pert, perfectly formed Rocky Mountains, if you know what I mean.

Er, sorry. Down with cows and stuff like that.

Mmm, tasty cow.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Do it for the Planet. Do it for the Children. (Updated)

The damned, evil cows are a menace to our country; really, a menace to the world.

A United Nations report has identified the world’s rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife. And they are blamed for a host of other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, from producing deserts to creating dead zones in the oceans, from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs.

If each and every one of us would make an effort to eat more cow, then the evil can be stopped. We can stop the bovine evil-doers from destroying “climate, forests and wildlife”, we can beat acid rain once and for all, and we can stop our alien overlords right in their pseudopod prints. If we all pull together as Americans, we can win this War on Bessie.

Whether it be a filet at the local steakhouse, a burger at McDonalds, or that special leather “Gimp” outfit from a nearby S&M outfit, there is something that each and everyone of us can do to make the world a safer and better place.

In a war between us and the cows, I’ve made my choice.

Update: Kindly linked by Dean Esmay who has this question for us:

What will you say to your grandchildren when they ask you what you did in this grand conflict, this generational challenge?

Indeed. And heh. In fact, indeedeheh.

Update Some More: Also linked by Kate, who doesn’t say enough to deserve an “indeedeheh”, but does earn thanks for showing good taste and a sharp eye. Brilliant linking, I say!

One Little Thought About 24

I’m watching the Season 5 DVDs of 24 and I have one terribly important thought:

Never trust issues of national security to hobbits. It just doesn’t work out well.

Scary Tampons

Hathor sent me an email that shows how frighteningly paranoid the leadership in Zimbabwe must be and how willing they are to punish people for petty political reasons.

Read this quote from a ZTCU press release, as reported by the Sowkanele blog.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has just received news that state security agencies last week seized a consignment of sanitary pads meant for distribution to farmworkers in Zimbabwe’s farming areas of Concession and Mvurwi.

The pads were allegedly seized by police and later the dreaded Central Intelligence Organization was drawn into the matter. The ZCTU had given the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ) its allocation of the pads sourced with the help of international partners.

On seizure, the farmworkers were told that the pads had been poisoned by former white commercial farmers, which is a blatant lie as the ZCTU, with the help of international partners and friends sourced for the sanitary ware.

However, the ZCTU is disturbed by this development because the sanitary pads were meant for women who cannot afford them. We deplore the actions of government, done through its security arms.

Robert Mugabe has, in the past, been notoriously hostile to aid coming from Western nations, casting the offers of food aid, for instance, as unnecessary. I can’t help but wonder if his strangely quarrelsome displays of rebelliousness--there can be no reasonable dispute that his country has needed the food aid that he hated to accept--are a display of misplaced pride. Perhaps the idea of accepting aid from the West is a little too much like admitting that his policies have failed in the most extreme sense of the word.

Whatever the reason for his decisions, this seizure is purely wrong and cruel. Many of the women in Zimbabwe can’t afford to purchase their own sanitary pads and the ZCTU worked to alleviate the problem. In many ways, it seems such a small thing, but it is symbolic of a callous government that has failed its people to the point where even this small thing is truly meaningful.

Follow the link to Sokwanele to find out how you can help (that is, if the government of Zimbabwe allows the generosity of outsiders to filter through to her people).

Friday, December 08, 2006

Holy Mother of Odd Run-On Drudge News Flashes

Were the headlines placed together for convenience? Relative importance? To elicit puppy-like cocked-head responses from the masses that saw the words flowing together, but couldn’t quite find the logical join?

Whatever the reason, this caught my eye:

FLASH: Wesley Snipes Said to Surrender in Florida... Bill Clinton Supports Dialogue With Iran...

For what it’s worth, I support the relative importance theory. Make of that what you will.

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