The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Archive for August, 2008

My lovely bride

Posted by Bill Nance on August 31, 2008

How do you know you’ve married the most wonderful woman in the world?

1. She loves your favorite hobbies as much as you do, and encourages you to fully enjoy the ones she hates.

2. You forget to put her blog on your blogroll and not only does she not complain, but you are not told to sleep on the couch.

-Nuff said


Posted in Miscellaneous | 1 Comment »

Blackwater in New Orleans

Posted by Bill Nance on August 31, 2008

Blackwater Security, the folks who have been so widely praised in Iraq, is hiring security personnel to deploy to New Orleans. Requirements? Automatic weapons cards from one of 15 states.

Blackwater security patrolling New Orleans

Blackwater security patrolling New Orleans

from WIRED:

“But perhaps the most startling call for forces comes from Blackwater, the controversial prviate security contractor.  The firm — which famously patrolled New Orleans after Katrina — is “compiling a list of qualified security personnel for possible deployment into areas affected by Hurricane Gustav,” according to an e-mail obtained by R.J. Hillhouse.

They’re looking for current sworn law enforcement officers, with “arrest powers” and “armed status (must indicate Armed and/or Semi Auto. Revolver only not accepted).” The firm is also looking for “current/active/licensed/registered armed security officer[s],” but “only from the following states: OR, WA, CA, NV, NM, AZ, TX, FL, GA, SC, NC, VA, MD, IL, OK.”

Applicants “must be US citizens,” the e-mail notes. “Contract length is TBD.”

I’m all for proper security arrangements when a disaster is threatening to strike. I have no issue with guns, I’m an avid shooter.

But Blackwater? Seriously?  This would make me feel a great deal less safe than my very own Mister Colt on a concealed carry rig.

I’m not sure which is going to be worse: “Heck of a job Brownie,” another Hurricane hitting New Orleans, or the prospect of Rent-a Cops with automatic weapons patrolling the streets.

Hat tip: Caillean

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Comparing Sarah Palin to Dan Quayle is an insult to Dan Quayle

Posted by Bill Nance on August 31, 2008

This is a good clip, just to start off the conversation:

Ok, I won’t make a definitive statement about Sarah Palin’s IQ (though inability to pronounce her native language correctly reminds me of a certain Genius who currently occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue).

Many people have been referring to Dan Quayle as a comparison to McCain’s VP choice; Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. I too was one of these folks, but after a second look, I realize I was grossly unfair in this comparison and I apologize for making it.

Lets have a look at Dan Quayle:

  • BA in political science,
  • Law degree
  • Service in the national guard
  • State politics for 3 years
  • Two years private law practice
  • 12 years in the U.S. Congress and Senate at the time of his nomination for V.P.

And Sarah Palin:

  • BA in journalism
  • Brief stint as a sports reporter for a local TV station
  • Four years on the city council of a town with less than 6,000 year-round residents
  • Six years as mayor of said town
  • 18 MONTHS as Governor of a state with a population smaller than Chula Vista, CA

in an earlier post, I referred to Palin as “Dan Quayle with Boobs.” I apologize to Vice President Quayle. You may be no Jack Kennedy Sir, but compared to Sarah Palin you’re Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Posted in Election 08, humor, John McCain, News & Analysis, Politics, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin and sexism

Posted by Bill Nance on August 31, 2008

I’m a Hillary fan. Let me rephrase that; I’m a HUGE hillary fan.

It’s not because of what she has between her legs, it’s not because I’m a rabid “liberal” (I don’t subscribe to labels in general and certainly not THAT one.)

I’m a fan of Hillary because the lady is my kind of policy geek. She’s smart as a whip and she’s not afraid to let people know it. She has a better grasp of policy issues than almost any politician I can think of (probably better than Bill). She’s tenacious, she’s tough, and she genuinely gives a shit, which is more than I can say for most pols.

I voted for her in the primary, I talked to everyone I know about her and was able to get some people to actually change their votes. I was very disappointed when she lost.

Some people are actually claiming they supported Hillary and are so angry that they are going to vote for John McCain. I’m really having a hard time believing this. I’m of the opinion that a whole lot of this PUMA thing is a Nixonian COINTELPRO operation. Let’s see…Hillary…McCain…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Election 08, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Politics, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

CD of the Day

Posted by Bill Nance on August 31, 2008

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart –The Great Piano Concertos, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Neville Mariner conducting.

Posted in CD of the Day | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Quote of the Day

Posted by Bill Nance on August 31, 2008

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll (one of my favorites)

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In defense of the Clintons

Posted by Bill Nance on August 31, 2008

There’s something I’ve been wanting to say ever since the Democratic primaries started, and I didn’t have a blog until fairly recently, so by the time I had somewhere besides nasty letters in which to say it, the race was over.

Things that have been rumbling around in my scattered mind for a while eventually just insist on coming out, and here I am, up at some ungodly hour of the night, er, morning and out it comes. I can’t help myself.

So here it is. It may not be pretty, but it’s certainly something I’ve had on my mind, and I’d like to say publicly what I’ve been screaming at my television and computer screens for months.

I’m well aware of the Clinton haters. I’ve been reading their babble and listening to their drone for a long time. Even people I otherwise have a lot of respect for are in this group, and I’ve never quite understood it.

Clinton Deragement Syndrome seems to consist of three groups:

1. The rabid conservatives who without cause had it in for them before they ever got to the White House. These people are insane and they’re so closed-minded they might as well have a padlock ’round their noggins. They weren’t rational in 1992 and they still aren’t. I’d try to argue with their position, but they don’t seem to have one other than “we hate them.” The rest is just whatever is handy to use as ammo.

2. The extreme left of the Democratic Party who were pissed-off that the Clintons didn’t try to impose some imaginary socialist paradise by fiat after 12 years of Republican presidents.

Clue for you people: the Clintons, who were core members of the DLC, spent years trying to convince the Democratic party that running to the left of Ted Kennedy doesn’t get you elected; and by the way, it produces lousy policy. They never promised to be knee-jerk radical leftists and Bill would have never been elected in the first place running a repeat of the pathetic campaigns of Mondale and Dukakis. Even in it’s “liberal” phases, America is a conservative country. The Clintons were smart enough to grasp this and stop trying to fight it. Instead they tried, succesfully, to moderate it in the middle of a conservative cycle. -You guys lost the argument. Deal with it. Jack Kennedy wasn’t your kind of progressive. Harry Truman wasn’t your kind of progressive. You think America is going to elect Abbie Hoffman?

3. The LGBT folks who felt betrayed by “Don’t ask Don’t Tell,” and DOMA.

They tried to do more. The fact is, Bill got creamed with the gays in the military issue. He took a lot of punishment trying to improve the situation. He lost more political capital in trying to support a position 75% of the American public didn’t want to hear than the issue was worth in terms of the progress he lost on on other issues. It cost him the loss of the Senate and House in ’94. So it’s not like he didin’t do anything, and it’s not like there was no reason there wasn’t more progress. He screwed up in the way DADT was implemented. It was a BAD screwup. But it wasn’t a plan, it was a mistake. It was intended to be an improvement.

When he signed DOMA he was looking at a veto-proof majority and Congress had threatened to pass a constitutional amendment if he didn’t sign it. (which would have passed in state elections in 1996, don’t kid yourselves)  You would have preferred having to undo the constitution to having to repeal a law? This is called making the best out of a bad situation. Grown-ups have to do this all the time. Deal with it. We are finally getting to the point where DOMA has a decent chance of getting repealed. If he’d not signed DOMA, we’d be stuck with the same law for the next 30 years.

The Clintons were a team, and Hillary was a big part of that team. She was the policy wonk, Bill was the master of the political organizing and leadership. They produced, overall, terrific policy improvements. They weren’t perfect, but after 12 years of Republican mismanagement and fundamental changes in the American political psyche, a lot of it was having to settle for what was possible, not necessarily what was preferred. This is called politics, where you don’t get everything you want. /END RANT

Well. Now that I’ve got that out of my system…I feel better.

-Nuff said

Posted in Left-Wing Nut-Jobery, Politics, Rants, Right-Wing Nut-jobery | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

CD of the Day

Posted by Bill Nance on August 30, 2008

The Who –Who’s Next

Posted in CD of the Day | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

McCain just lost the election

Posted by Bill Nance on August 30, 2008

You know you’ve just blown it as a Republican candidate for president when some of the most strident members of your own party, people who support George Bush to this day, call your first serious presidential decision reckless and irresponsible.

“The McCain campaign is reveling in the fact that Palin is a game changer. But why a game changer when you’ve been gaining? To gratuitously undercut the remarkably successful “Is he ready to lead” line of attack seems near suicidal.” –Charles Krauthammer, Fox News commentator in The Washington Post

“Palin has been governor for about two minutes. Thanks to McCain’s decision, Palin could be commander-in-chief next year. That may strike people as a reckless choice; it strikes me that way. And McCain’s age raised the stakes on this issue.

As a political matter, it undercuts the case against Obama. Conservatives are pointing out that it is tricky for the Obama campaign to raise the issue of her inexperience given his own, and note that the presidency matters more than the vice-presidency. But that gets things backward. To the extent the experience, qualifications, and national-security arguments are taken off the table, Obama wins.” –Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review on-line

Ms. Palin’s experience in government makes Barack Obama look like George C. Marshall.  She served two terms on the city council of Wasilla, Alaska, population 9,000. She served two terms as mayor. In November, 2006, she was elected governor of the state, a job she has held for a little more than 18 months. She has zero foreign policy experience, and no record on national security issues.

All this would matter less, but for this fact: The day that John McCain announced his selection of Sarah Palin was his birthday. His 72nd birthday. Seventy-two is not as old as it used to be, but Mr. McCain had a bout with melanoma seven years ago, and his experience in prison camp has uncertain implications for his future health. If anything were to happen to a President McCain, the destiny of the free world would be placed in the hands of a woman who until the day before Friday was a small-town mayor.” –David Frum, NRO contributor, in the National Post. (emphasis added)

“I think this is the biggest political gamble, just about, in all of American history.” –Pat Buchanan

“She is just not ready to be Commander-in-Chief” –Pat Buchanan

“In picking an unknown, untested, half-a-term woman governor from Alaska to be his running mate, John McCain is following in a long line of reckless men who have rolled the dice for a beauty queen. Except in this case, McCain is taking one of the biggest, boldest gambles in modern American political history,” –Dan Gerstien, Strategist for the 2006 Joe Lieberman campaign.

Posted in Election 08, John McCain, Politics, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Quote of the Day

Posted by Bill Nance on August 30, 2008

This is a special edition of the Quote of the Day in honor of Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin, who believes in the literal interpretation of the Genesis account of creation and wants it taught in public schools.

Do you really want Matthew Harrison Brady as the Vice President of a 72-year-old cancer survivor?

Posted in Election 08, John McCain, Politics, Quote of the Day | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »