Friday, July 18, 2003

Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers


They say you can find anything on eBay. They weren't kidding.

Things that make you go, "Hmm."


Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under court order as a result of Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as 2 charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors or Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.”

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A body matching the description of Dr David Kelly - the weapons expert at the centre of the Iraq dossier row - has been found at a beauty spot close to his home in Oxfordshire.

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Senior UK Whitehall sources no longer believe weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq, the BBC has learned BBC political editor Andrew Marr said "very senior sources" in Whitehall had virtually ruled out the possibility of finding the weapons.

They believe they did exist - but were hidden or destroyed by Saddam Hussein before the war.

Former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said the admissions were a "dramatic development" and ex-Prime Minister John Major has called for a full independent inquiry into the basis for war.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Join the club

One of the persistent criticisms of Howard Dean as a viable candidate has been that he's "too liberal." Looking at his record of tax reduction, balanced budgets and positions on gun control and capital punishment, I find that hard to accept, as do others. OK, say the Dean critics, the real reason he's not viable is that his position on civil unions won't fly in the culturally conservative South, which is required to win the Presidency.

If that's so, the apparently NONE of the Democratic candidates can win in the South, as they've all gone on record supporting "equal rights for gays." Looks like Dean's finally been out liberaled.

OK, so you're going to hell, but at least you'll be healthy

New research shows that regular, um, crank yankin' does a body good.

Who knew?

I'm wondering

If we go to war with North Korea while we're still on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan and Liberia, can we officially call it World War III?

Just a thought.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Have they no shame?

For the life of me, I can't understand why Rick Perry and his minions insist on dragging out this redistricting battle.

It should be clear to everyone by now that this extends beyond Democrat vs. Republican fighting. The fact that Sen. Bill Ratliff has said he won't vote for a redistricting plan, and the fact that there may be even more Republicans opposed to it should be enough to alert even the most partisan Republican that this is something that folks just don't want.

Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead, I guess. I suspect that if
this redistricting battle weren't being fought under the aegis of
"quotas for Republicans," we might actually see a plan pass both the
the house and the Senate. Of course, without the political motivation,
I suppose we wouldn't even be here in the first place.

Perry et. al. may think they're doing the right thing, as they are
probably surrounded only by people who think it is the right thing.
But this could backfire big. I can just see the campaign ads now:
"While problems with our schools went untouched, Rick Perry spent
millions of taxpayer dollars fighting a partisan battle for D.C.
demagogues. Rick Perry -- Bad For Texas."

But gross overreaching seems to be the in thing among Republicans
these days. It's not enough to invade one country ... two (and
counting) is better. It's not enough to pass a tax plan that does
nothing to stimulate growth ... make it permanent! And it's not enough
to control the Presidency, the House, the Senate and the entire state
of Texas ... we need a one-party rule!

Give them enough rope, indeed.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Damned Drummers

For those of you out there who think that playing rock and roll is all fun and games ... well, it might be if I played enough.

The problem is drummers.

Exhibit A: My long-time friend Eric. Eric plays drums in the Fighting Brothers McCarthy. He also works for Big Computer Maker up in Round Rock. Eric was out on vacation last week, enjoying a cruise with his wife. That was okay, because Kevin, one of the BMs, was out of town on business. So, no FBM work got done.

But we all had plans -- Eric was back in town this week, Kevin was back in town and Steve was leaving town later in the week for a couple of days. Still, we planned on at least getting a couple of rehearsals in tonite and tomorrow, then pick up again next week when Steve returns.

Until Eric tells us he's being sent to Ireland for two weeks to work on a project.

Two weeks. He just got back from a week in India not long ago.

This is no way to run a rock and roll band.

Exhibit B: Slade, the drummer in the Bill Jerram Band. Slade's self employed, and he uses every hour of every day to further his career. Nothing wrong with that.

Except we haven't heard a word from him all day about a rehearsal schedule for this week. Via a near-constant email exchange, three of us have determined what days we're available, but not a word from Slade. I understand he gets busy ... still, one email telling us whether his schedule is open or not would be nice.

This is no way to run a rock and roll band, either.

Talking with Kevin about this, I think we've put our fingers on the problem.

We don't have losers for drummers.

See, everyone in both of these bands is gainfully employed in positions of some responsibility. Some of us have families to boot. We're "winners." We have lives.

Losers don't have lives. They work, maybe, in slacker jobs of little responsibility. That means they don't have the money to go out of town on long vacations. The certainly don't get sent out of town for weeks at a time. Of course, sometimes these losers really can't play very well either, so there is a tradeoff I suppose.

But who knew that "sticking with winners" equated to "hoist by our own petard."

Oh well.