Today I read that Madam Kerry called people “Scumbags”, I have read she thinks people who do not like her husbands health plan “idiots” and Kerry himself called Hecklers at one of his stump stops “Goons” sent by his opposition… I am proud to be all three :)
Imagine what would happen if George or Laura used this language
Say Hello to 4179 Toutatis,
“…named for the ancient Gallic/Celtic god by whom characters swear loud oaths in the French AstÃ©rix le Gaulois cartoons and comic books…astronomers have determined that this yearâ€™s flyby distance is Toutatisâ€™s closest approach at least as far back as 1353 and the closest until at least 2562.”
It will zoom by at 4 times the Earth-Moon distance, they say. That’s plenty close enough, I say. :)
The “Sky & Telescope” article includes interesting 1992 radar images of Toutatis’s “extremely irregular, almost bowling-pin-shaped body”. It is rather odd-looking.
“… It travels around the Sun in nearly the same plane as Earth, so close flybys are frequent…we know for certain that it will not hit Earth during at least the next 65 years, and that the chance of a collision is extremely minuscule for at least several centuries after that.”
Very Commendable. :)
Read the whole thing. Pay particular attention to the part about how the “topocentric parallax may shift the asteroidâ€™s track as much as 0.1Â° away from the standard, geocentric track calculated on the charted dates for a hypothetical observer at the center of the Earth.” Just as I thought, Dr. Watson! (Saaay, didn’t I see that hypothetical observer in “The Core”? :)
The Republican FUD machine is starting off with a bang this week.
First we have Rep. Dennis Hastert with his comments about Al Qaeda hoping for a Kerry win.
See now, this is the big problem I have with the Republicans. Kerry in his speech criticizes Bush on how he handled the Iraq war. Bush somehow tries to twist that into Kerry saying that having Saddam in power makes America safer, which is clearly NOT what Kerry has said at all. But it sounds scary. Oooh, John Kerry wants to let the boogy man come get you, America! Better pick me instead.
Meanwhile Bush continues to ignore the worsening situation in Iraq, a situation which his own advisors say may be teetering on the edge of civil war. I’m all for not abandoning Iraq, but failing to acknowledge that the situation is bad and changes need to be made isn’t a good thing. Apparently even Republicans agree with that.
It’s been interesting to see Democrats, in the past couple years or so, resort to attacking Republicans with the straw-man charge that Republicans are attacking the Democrats’ patriotism, specifically men such as Max Cleland and John Kerry. Republicans–and especially the president and vice president–have been very careful to take the high road by lauding Kerry’s patriotic service in Vietnam, and even the scorched-Earth speech by Zell Miller at the RNC contained the disclaimer, “It is not their patriotism â€” it is their judgment that has been so sorely lacking.”
Yet maybe it was just the evil Republican in me, but I always have questioned Kerry’s and many other Democrats’ patriotism. I could try to justify my willingness to question Kerry’s patriotism to the liberal-leaning commenters and bloggers on this site, but thankfully someone has made the case for why we should question Kerry’s patriotism far better than I can. There is simply far too much excellent analysis to excerpt, so as they say, read the whole thing.
There’s a second rumination that’s been playing in my head recently. Glenn Reynolds indicated yesterday that the InstaWife was falling into the trap of thinking Kerry must be ahead of Bush in Tennessee because she’s seeing more Kerry signs and bumperstickers, when in reality the polls show Kerry trailing Bush by dramatic margins there. This got me thinking though, as I’ve noticed even in my area of Orange County (the quintessential Red-State-within-a-Blue-State), I’ve seen just as many Kerry signs as–if not more than–Bush signs. I also wondered, What gives?
After thinking about it for a while, it kind of occurred to me that maybe the parallel to the ‘64 presidential election didn’t end after all with the primary defeat of Howard Dean. Recall that when Howard Dean was storming towards winning the presidential nomination, many people saw a rerun of Barry Goldwater and feared his winning the nomination for precisely that reason. Well, imagine if you will that somehow the Republican bigwigs in 1964 got control of their party in time to head off Goldwater’s candidacy and elected a more acceptable candidate like, oh, say, Richard Nixon instead. Would the defeat have been just as devastating, or might Nixon have come closer to pulling off the victory? My hunch tells me that Nixon would still have lost to LBJ, perhaps by almost as large a margin as Goldwater; the base would not have been nearly as emotionally fired up, and LBJ would have coasted to victory on the memory of JFK’s assassination regardless. The long-term damage would have been that the rebirth of conservatism within the Republican Party would likely have been postponed, perhaps indefinitely. Still, it’s possible that at least in that particular election, the Republican hardcore would have plastered their cars and such with Nixon bumperstickers, and for a while it would seem that LBJ was in danger of losing, given Nixon’s narrow defeat in a controversial election four years prior.
Something similar seems to be brewing here. The Democratic base certainly is not fired up about John Kerry, and Dean appears to have been the Dems’ Goldwater, but instead the party apparatchiks were able to head off the certain disaster that would have occurred had Dean been nominated. Yet perhaps they also have headed off the Dems’ ideological New New Left rebirth and left the party to wane dangerously for the next decade until they can once again discover their core principles and figure out how to once again make them attractive to the electorate (European leftists certainly haven’t had as much trouble in this regard). But for now, we see lots of Kerry bumperstickers and Bush hatred in the media, blinding us to the inevitable fact that the lessons of 9/11 are holding with this electorate, and a heedless Kerry will therefore go down in flames. And it won’t be pretty.
“The English — who are very weird, as I may have mentioned — used to hang people for the crime of attempting suicide.”
Heh. (He did mention it before, BTW.)
ANOTHER: “If you’re going to be a lawyer, you’ve got to have reasons. You can’t just say how the case turns out. Unless you’re a judge; then you can do whatever you want.”
STILL ANOTHER: “I didn’t actually sue my sister — partly because she was only six, and didn’t have a lot of assets.”
Someday eighty years from now, when almost everyone here will be dead, someone — maybe the last survivor here, or maybe a descendant of one of us — will go to the information source of that future time that is the equivalent of our Ancestors.com, look up the 1990 U.S. Census for Newington CT and learn that in 1990 there was a head of household named Joe Loy (age 42), a wife named Leanna Loomer (age 41), and a son named Brendan (last name perhaps ambiguous) who was 9 years old. All the chatter here will have died down, all the random pictures will have gone offline, and that single entry may be the window we have to that (for then) long-ago family.
Someone will need to know those crucial bits of data, because that may be all we will get to know about those people unless the researcher is able to put the census data together with a name engraved on a tarnished Music Cup at Newington High School. We will all be dead.
I’ve been looking into just such windows into Brendan’s, Joe’s and my family past. I found an orphaned girl living as a niece at age 14 with people whose name I have never heard of. I found a legendary family curmudgeon at a time when he was a 23-year-old bachelor, servant, and bar keeper. I found a family name written phonetically because the family had JUST arrived from Prussia and probably didn’t speak enough English to know that that was their name being recorded. I found people with occupations such as Farm Laborer, Coal Picker and Housekeeper. And they are all dead, too.
Of course I wonder what will be said of the people listed in the 1990 census in eighty years, in relation to the society and recorded national history of their time. Could they truly have participated in two non-elections back to back? Could they have participated in the re-election of an unexaminable administration surrounded by controversy and malfeasance? Could a by-then aging population of Irish-Polish former redhead and blonde descendants have counteracted the effects of a juggernaut of that time long past?
Maybe they will have thrown off the dead hand of history. It will be dead, after all.
Prof. Tidmarsh: “Why don’t we just have an unchecked adversary system? Lie and cheat all you want… you know, like politics.”
It’s after midnight, so the moratorium is in effect, but this counts as major breaking news…
Toby has escaped! The famed freedom fighter, cat-blogger and ultra-cute 2-year-old kitty made a flying leap from Becky’s back-porch fence this evening, and her current whereabouts are unknown. Becky reports via e-mail from Mesa:
So I was sitting outside [on the back porch]…and I left the door open so the cats could roam around outside. Well, all was well until Toby jumped over the fence! Sasha did the same thing, but she came back, but now Toby is MIA! I’m all worried, even though I know that she’ll come back. I hope she’s okay!
I’m worried too! Hopefully she has as much sense as Sasha. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for Becky to launch a full search & rescue operation, since beyond the fence are other neighbors’ enclosed back porches, and it’s 10:30 at night there, which is well past the bedtime of most of Becky’s neighbors. (It ain’t exactly student housing. :)
If worse comes to worst, Toby does have a tag with Becky’s parents’ phone number on it, so if someone finds her, word should get back to Becky fairly quickly. (Good thing it’s not Halloween season yet — a black cat wandering about could be in serious jeopardy then.)
I’ll keep you posted if I hear any news…
UPDATE: Toby’s home!!! YAY!!! Becky reports:
I went out front to look for her and shined a flashlight all around, and I think she saw the light and got interested, because when I went in the backyard and scanned the fence with the light, her eyes glowed and I reached out and plucked her off the fence. I knew she would come home.
Whew. I’m so relieved! I didn’t say goodbye to Toby when I left this morning — I said goodbye to Robbie, Sasha and Butter, but not Toby (because I didn’t know where she was, and I was in a hurry) — so I’m especially happy that she’s home safe. Becky says she gave her extra pets for me. :)