May 2008 Archives

Tour De Rook

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Leg 14: I biked 18.25 miles in 1 hour, 24 minutes and 46 seconds at an average speed of 12.8 mph. I achieved a maximum speed of 29 mph.

The the gap between leg 13 and 14 is due to my having been sick. I was achy all over, and had absolutely no energy or motivation. Today was the first day where I felt 100%. I actually stayed home from work for 2 days, lounging about in my pajamas and robe, reading The Lord of the Rings. I actually managed to finish "The Fellowship of the Ring" and am now working on "The Two Towers."
The Savaging of Scott McClellan continues. But it is not just the right that is tearing him apart. Several of our own progressive members of Blogstonia appear to be piling on just as righteously. Over at TPM, there are continued posts of Scott's past statements that, by his own recent admission, were misleading and lies. And yet, despite his admissions, he is being ridiculed, mocked, and smeared.

Was David Brock, a man most of us know to have been instrumental in the defamation, and eventual impeachment of Bill Clinton, held to this level of scorn and ridicule? Obviously not, considering his website, Media Matters, is the go-to site for all things propaganda.

Over the last 6 plus years, since the run up to the invasion of Iraq, a nation obviously not capable of mounting any type of attack against us, we have been demanding that the administration acknowledge it's propaganda agenda. Time and again, on blogs and websites across the progressive spectrum, there has been anger and disgust at the lack of honesty and forthrightness.

Now, finally, Scott McClellan steps forward, announces quite loudly, and convincingly, that the Bush administration used propaganda in the run up to the invasion, and what does he receive? Our derision and scorn.

"Where the hell were you back in 2002? Why the hell did you not resign in protest back then?" Here are some links: CampusProgress, The Register-Guardian, MetaFilter, Oliver Willis, All Spin Zone.

Stop. It. Seriously. Stop it right now.

Scott McClellan has stepped forward, just like David Brock, just like Paul O'Neill, just like Richard Clarke. Now, when those three stepped forward, did it make a difference? Did Paul O"Neill's account of the fiasco that is the Bush administration's handling of the economy make things change? Doh! Of course not. Did David Brock's admission of being instrumental in the propaganda machine -- The Mighty Wurlitzer -- of the conservative right result in the failure of the propaganda machine? Do I need to type Doh! again? And do I really need to point out the lack of serious security despite Richard Clarke's admissions? Yeah, I thought not.

Okay, maybe Scott could have done the honorable thing and bowed out earlier. In the end, it would not have mattered one iota. They simply would have filled his position with another mouth piece. Gee, in fact, they've done it twice since he's left.

So, how about instead of bitching about what he didn't do, because it doesn't really matter, and take comfort in what he has done. Because, unlike David, Paul, and Richard, Scott's book, and it's timing, might actually prevent the invasion of Iran. He has become an ally to our cause. How about we accept him?

Besides, if you really want to bitch about someone doing the right thing and preventing this mess, how about you bitch about this. Because, in the end, having a different man as president would have been the only way to prevent the failure that is the Bush administration.
Okay, here it is; King's Bishop X d6 Pawn.

MRBlack 10.gif


Yeah, I still have a passed pawn and he doesn't. Neener, neener, neener!
You have to give Scott McClellan credit.  It takes a lot of courage to stand up and publicly announce that you were wrong.  Now, obviously, Scott has not directly said he was wrong.  But Scott is a well-trained press secretary.  He knows that his message will be seen implicitly as stating he was wrong.  Most of the electorate in our country will see that and internalize his admission.

The benefit of Scott's book is that he is setting an example.  One of the cornerstones of recovery, or sobriety, as well as an integral part of Catholicism, is the concept of confession.  Now, the manner of that confession might be argued, with some claiming confession should be personal and private, while others are okay with public confessions.

In Scotty's case, a public confession appears appropriate.  Mostly because the topic of his confession were the lies and manipulation he conveyed for the administration to the public.  But even more to the point, his current actions give courage to others to acknowledge their experience of being pressured by the administration and corporate executives prior to our invasion of Iraq.

Already a highly visible journalist, Jessica Yellin, and a legacy media anchor, Katie Couric, have come forth, as Glenn Greenwald so amply noted at Salon.  And then there's Michael Turk's message posted at Twitter.

Now, a lot of people are questioning Scott's motive for his disclosure at this time. However, his motive is not the issue. What is important is the unintended consequences of his book.  Or maybe not so unintended consequences.  Regardless of Scott's monetary gain with the release of this book it appears to be a public display of personal introspection; a process that hopefully Scott's example indicates has begun in our nation and will spur others to mirror.

Perhaps the collective visceral shock our nation experienced after September 11, 2001 has finally cleared and we are now recognizing the consequences of the Bush administration's knee-jerk reaction.  Often, after a great shock, people have a tendency to lash out in an effort to protect themselves from further hurt.  Unfortunately, that means those people who normally are our support and comfort are driven away.  And when we finally see that consequence, are aware of its damaging effects, it's still difficult to acknowledge -- both to ourselves and to those important in our lives -- our behavior.

Whereas Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke did come out with books criticizing the Bush administration they never acknowledged or admitted any personal mistakes.  Yes, Richard Clarke did apologize to the families of the victims of September 11, 2001, but only as a surrogate for the Bush administration, not as the man solely responsible for that tragedy.  Also, both of them simply criticized the policies of the administration, they made no moral or ethical charges.

Indeed, Scott's scathing disclosure comes across as an implicit acknowledgment of shared immoral and unethical behavior.  This conveys a spiritual aspect in Scott's action that was missing from all the prior tell-all books released by former administration members.

I think this book will strike a deeper cord in the American electorate than all the past books of former Bush administration officials. It portrays a sense of awakening, of returning to a core set of beliefs. Whereas candidate Bush simply talked the talk about "restoring honor and dignity to the White House" Scott has walked the walk.

Now, to beg the question; is our country awakening and preparing to return to it's core set of beliefs about individual freedom and basic rights? If Scott's book is any indication, we just might be, we just might be.
Bark Bark Woof Woof

Friday Blogaround
Another very busy week. Let's see what the LC has to say about it.

- A Blog Around The Clock: it all started with plants.
- archy: silly people.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof explains the Kool-Aid effect.
- Bloggg: goodbye to Feak.
- Collective Sigh: Memorial Day.
- Dohiyi Mir: the verdict.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: what to wear to the donut shop.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: lots to read.
- Iddybud Journal: cartoon break.
- Left Is Right: Friday fun, including a cheap gas finder.
- Musing's musings: eating in public.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: update those jokes for the internet.
- Rook's Rant: Rook may be right about Scott McClellan.
- rubber hose: permanent bases.
- Scrutiny Hooligans: Liddy Dole runs left, right, wherever...
- SoonerThought: ET caught on tape?
- Speedkill: Of Note.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: voter suppression in Texas.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: balancing act.
- The Invisible Library: the rest of the story.
- WTF Is It Now?? off the Iraq.
- ...You Are A Tree: Hillary and the full Monty.
I can predict that this coming week I'll have a very moving experience.
May be right? Of course I am right..... Ouch! Damn, bit my tongue. That's what I get for having my tongue placed against my cheek.

Well, Jim's already given me his 10th move: e5 Pawn X d6 Pawn.

MRWhite 10.gif


So, he's eating away at my center pawn structure. The bum. What did I ever do to deserve such treatment? Aren't I a nice blogger? Shesh. Well, fine. Just be that way, Jim. See if I care. I guess I'll just have to make that passed pawn a pain in your back row.

Blogger's Chess: My 9th Move

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It's really very simple; Queen to e6:

MRBlack 09.gif

And yes, I know I said I would make my move this morning. So, I got caught up in "The Fellowship Of The Ring." It's that time of the year for me to read Tolkien.
Well, he took the pawn. Jim's 9th move: Pawn at d5 x Pawn at e5.

MRWhite 09.gif

I've already figured out my next move. I'll be posting it later this morning.
Okay, it's a no-brainer: Queen takes Knight at f6, for reasons explained in other posts.

MRBlack 08.gif

Sigh. I am seriously unhappy with the current condition of this game. You know, I spent years developing the habit of not using my Queen right away. I considered it the sign of a weak player. So, what do I do? Yeah, that's right, I play weak. I'm an idiot who sucks at chess.

Oh, and I ended up staying home today. I was not feeling the best; achy with a slightly nauseous stomach. Well, the achiness has gotten worse, and I am having little flare ups of stomach contents that are tickling the back of my throat. Not cool. It also goes a long way towards explaining my pessimistic mood with this game.
So, Jim has made his 8th move: Knight at d5 takes Knight at f6.

MRWhite 08.gif

I am not surprised. It's why I moved the Queen back to begin with. I wanted to be able to take his Knight without disrupting the King side pawn structure or getting stuck with a double pawn on the f file. And had he not taken my Knight, I would have taken his, leaving him with a double pawn structure on the d file. Of course, had he moved his Black Bishop to g5, then I wouldn't have taken his Knight.

Right now, the middle is a mess, my ability to create any type of pressure on him is limited, and he has the momentum. It is times like this that really make me hate chess.

Army of Dude

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Army Of Dude on Memorial Day.


No, not leaning left, but restoring balance.

I've come across some interesting responses from several members of Progressive Blogstonia in regards to Scott McClellan's pending book release. For the most part it's a combination of too little to late, or why believe you now when you lied earlier.

Me? I am of the thought better late then never. What little that has been quoted from his book appears to reinforce what we have been saying since 2000. That a high level member of the "Texas Family" has, for all intent and purpose, defected and validated our point is a big deal. Just because the timing doesn't meet with our approval doesn't mean we shouldn't still be glad Scott actually came out and agreed with us.

And I have to disagree with Mustang Bobby about this story blowing away in a week. I suspect Scott's book will be hanging around for quite some time. And it may have an impact on the moderate Republicans, a particularly disenfranchised segment of the electorate of late.

There are also some who wonder why Scott didn't say something earlier. You know, resign in protest. But having worked in a dysfunctional company in the past, I guess I can understand why it took so long for him to finally come out and speak his mind. When you are neck deep in the chaos, you lose perspective. No doubt there were all sorts of innuendos and implicit messages being bandied about that cloud rational judgment. Not to mention the various resignations to spend more time with family that reinforced the innuendos and implicit messages.

So, while the rest of the arm chair political pundits weigh in with their opinions, I am going to give Scott the benefit of the doubt with his confession.

Now, if you will all excuse me, I am going to get out of my arm chair and hit the shower. I've got to go to work.
I know I said I was not into politics at the moment. But Scott McClellan is coming out with a book on Monday that a CNN White House correspondent called, and I am trying to recall this from memory, candid and straightforward.

Already the Mighty Wurlitzer's screeching harpies are lining up for blood.

Frances Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser to Bush, said advisers to the president should speak up when they have policy concerns.

"Scott never did that on any of these issues as best I can remember or as best as I know from any of my White House colleagues," said Townsend, now a CNN contributor. "For him to do this now strikes me as self-serving, disingenuous and unprofessional."

Only problem with that:

A former spokesman for Bush when he was governor of Texas, McClellan was named White House press secretary in 2003, replacing Ari Fleischer. McClellan had previously been a deputy press secretary and was the traveling spokesman for the Bush campaign during the 2000 election.

He announced he was resigning in April 2006 at a news conference with Bush.

"One of these days, he and I are going to be rocking in chairs in Texas talking about the good old days of his time as the press secretary," Bush said at that conference. "And I can assure you, I will feel the same way then that I feel now, that I can say to Scott, job well done."
Obviously, Scott didn't coordinate this announcement with the White House; it's not Friday. But more to the point, how can they denounce Scott's job performance when the president himself proclaimed a job done well? Yeah, I know, they will anyway.

Damn, just when I thought I'd gotten away, they pull me back in.

Update: Here are two more links; C&L and Politico.com

Blogger's Chess: My 7th Move

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Okay, here's my 7th move: Queen back to d8.

MRBlack 07.gif

It was foolish of me to move her out so quickly. So, time to retreat. Besides, I am not interested in having a weakened King side pawn structure, which would occur if I did not move the Queen back. In fact, it would have been doubly damning, because I would have also had stacked pawns, another pain in the ass.

All of this, of course, premised on Jim actually taking my knight with his knight. No matter what, I am in a bit of a pickle. And I hate pickles.

On Politics

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Yeah, I know. It's been all chess and bicycling of late here at the old Rant. Well, I guess I am just not all that wrapped up in politics or the news for the moment. I am getting on with my life. That's not to say I am completely closed off from the world. I still read my blogs, and get the email updates from the NYTimes and other papers.

See, I just lost the heart to bitch. It wasn't enough. I felt like I was wasting emotional energy by complaining on my blog, without really seeing any positive return. So, I am living my life, doing what I can, and basically not bitching anymore. Bitching has not done it for me.

Who knows. Next week the passion could hit me, and I am back to raising a loud stink. But, until then, I am just going to work, take time to be with my family, play chess, and ride bike.

Tour De Rook-2008

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Okay, so I got the bike back, and I did Leg 13: I rode a total distance of 14.81 miles in 1 hour, 9 minutes, and 3 seconds. I maintained an average speed of 12.8 mph and achieved a maximum speed of 30.5 mph.

Tour De Fuskers

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Okay, I went for a bike ride with The Fuskers™. So, here are the stats: 5.86 miles in 44 minutes and 5 seconds. We maintained a 7.9 mph average with a maximum speed achieved of 24 mph. It was to be a preliminary run for me, with an expected hard workout to follow. Unfortunately, I discovered a busted spoke in my back wheel. So, instead of a leg of the Tour De Rook, I made a pit stop at Erik The Bike Man. 24 hours and $38.40 later I was back up and running with 8 new spokes and an adjusted derailleur.
Well, great. Jim decided to attack both my Queen and my Knight at f6.

MRWhite 07.gif

Not cool. No, not cool at all. So, because he's deciding to be difficult, I am going to have to spend some time thinking about my next move.

I am so relieved it's Towel Day.
Okay, this is a two-for.

First, on Friday I did leg 12 of the Tour De Rook. So without further to do here are the stats: a distance of 13.90 miles at an average speed of 13.2 mph. I achieved a top speed of 27.5 mph with an actual riding time of 1 hour, 2 minutes, and 49 seconds.

There was a nasty wind blowing, which really hurt me on Highway 46/47; a slight incline for about a mile when heading east. Thanks to the various clumps of wooded acres I was hit with alternating cross winds as well as head winds. Yet, in the end, I still managed an increased average. So, I was happy.

Oh, and I stopped twice for stretching.

Second, my 6th move in the Blogger's Chess match against Jim Yeager, formally Mimus Pauly, formally of Mockingbird's Medley: Pawn to e5. I am going to force a capture as if my life depended on it. It doesn't, but I'll pretend.

MRBlack 06.gif


Okay, so Jim has decided not to take the sacrificial pawn and instead move his pawn up to d4.

MRWhite 06.gif

Fine, I give him a free and clear piece, and he just let's it go. Whatever. Pfff!

Oh, and for the song, I was never a fan of it, so I never saw the video. Of course, back in the 80's I was more into drugs and alcohol, not so much into chess.

Blogger's Chess; My 5th Move

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Okay, after much deliberation between the two remaining working brain cells, I have decided on my 5th move; pawn to c4

MRBlack 05.gif

I wanted to open up another route for my Queen. It is not the smartest move, but than, I chose a rather foolish route when bringing my Queen out so quickly.

Friday Stolen Code Blogging

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You know, because, well, I am a lazy blogger. Besides, why redo what Mustang Bobby does so well.

Friday Blogaround
It's a long weekend: Memorial Day, the Indy 500, the start of summer, the end of school. Here's the LC roundup for the week.

- A Blog Around The Clock: Evolution and Creationism in America's Classrooms: A National Portrait
- archy: Great moments in marketing.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: Hysterium.
- Bloggg: Autism: The Musical.
- Collective Sigh: Compare and contrast.
- Dohiyi Mir: the tour continues, then it's off to see Indy! Update: he dug it.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: from the picture gallery.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: job searching?
- Left Is Right: another visit to the V.A. hospital.
- Lefty Side of the Dial: some 'splaining.
- Musing's musings: Michael and my mom should meet and talk hockey.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: Target: women.
- Rook's Rant: the Tour du Rook continues, as does the chess.
- rubber hose: who believes this crap?
- Scrutiny Hooligans: thanks!
- SoonerThought: the most ridiculous ad campaign.
- Speedkill: Florida is like Zimbabwe?
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: Teddy Kennedy.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: another nutball heard from.
- The Invisible Library: Ringo's clothes.
- WTF Is It Now?? History speaks.
- ...You Are A Tree: still alive.
For me, it's a weekend together with my whole family for the first time in many years to celebrate a major event. More on that later.
And yes, I am well aware I have not been blogging about much but chess and bicycling.
Sorry for the delay. I work 10 hour days Monday through Friday, and so don't do much for blogging. So, I didn't get around to making the move in my chess program, do a screen capture, than past that into a graphic program, cut out the chess board, reduce it to the proper size, and export it as a .gif file.

Then, after that, I have to write the post and import the file.

So, now that I am done complaining, here is Jim's 5th move; Bishop to d2.

MRWhite 05.gif

I was expecting as much. Now I have to figure out how to deal with the coming exposure of the Bishop onto my Queen

Opps Corrected

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Okay, I've corrected the mistake I made with the graph on Jim's 4th move. I have decided, despite the change in the position, to stay with my move. I will just have to muddle through. Back to you Jim.

Opps!

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Looks like I screwed up in the current Blogger's Chess match. I miss moved Jim's pawn one too many squares. Looks like I will have to do some re-posting. But I am late for work, and don't have time right now. So, look for corrections later this evening.

Blogger's Chess: My 4th Move

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Okay, I am not sure if this is the wisest of moves, but I am feeling adventurous. So, Queen to a5.

MRBlack 04.gif

There are all sorts of reasons not to bring the Queen out this early, especially unsupported and set-up for a possible hang. 

Tour De Rook-2008

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Leg 11: 14.78 miles at an average speed of 13.0. mph. Actual riding time was 1 hour, 7 minutes, 27 seconds with a max speed of 30.5 mph. I stopped twice during the leg to stretch and again once I got home.

I am starting to feel physically better. My outlook on life has been more positive of late with the daily routine of life being joyful. I am not getting hung up on the future and its possible pit falls.
Well, as can be seen by this comment, Jim is not allowing himself to be distracted by psy-ops, which is disconcerting, considering I have the real thing running around my house, being very distracting. Anyway, as he posted in comments, here is Jim's move; Pawn to d3.

MRWhite 04.gif

I shall be back later this evening, or possible tomorrow morning, with my 4th move.
Okay, turns out I had a bit of time while The GirlFriend™ gussied herself up for today's road trip. So, after due consideration I've made the following move: Queen's Pawn to Queen's 3, or pawn to d6

MRBlack 03.gif


Now, remember, I need sympathy to make it through the day spending time with this person:

The GirlFriend.jpg

Alrighty then. Here is Jim's third move: Queen's Knight to Queen's Bishop 3, or Knight to c3:

MRWhite 03.gif


And I guess I don't have to worry about staying in book as Jim has just broken away from it with this move. However, sometimes a move is simply out of sequence, and a move or two later can see us back in book. Only time will tell. Oh, and of course my next move. I will be posting it later today, or maybe tomorrow.

You see it's my day off and I am spending it on the road with The GirlFriend™. Yes, I know, the challenges I face in the real world. But I am stout. I have the strength and confidence to survive the ordeal with this woman.

The GirlFriend.jpg

I am sure you all have sympathy for me. You do, right? Right?
Time to let the larceny out of my heart and onto the blog. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's Friday Stolen Code Blogging. And now, without further ado, here is Mustang Bobby's hard work for your perusal:

Bark Bark Woof Woof

Friday Blogaround
Running on Pacific Time here, let's check out the Liberal Coalition as seen from the Left Coast.

- A Blog Around The Clock: sleepy teens.
- archy: hey, Rev. Hagee, about those tornadoes...
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: the ugly America.
- Bloggg: when will the women in this country learn?
- Collective Sigh: compare and contrast.
- Dohiyi Mir: roaring mice.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: Suzie on shame.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: Florida Republicans voted against the GI Bill.
- Left Is Right: bits and pieces for the week.
- Lefty Side of the Dial: reading the bible and having doubts.
- Musing's musings: the shoe is on the other foot in Toledo.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: getting Twitterpated.
- Rook's Rant: open China.
- rubber hose: the edwards effect.
- Scrutiny Hooligans: Obama/Webb '08?
- SoonerThought: not exactly what you'd call an upgrade.
- Speedkill: what's wrong with listening to the radio?
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: signs of things to come?
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: the most liberal senator?
- The Invisible Library: Brent Bozell can't read.
- WTF Is It Now?? another Justice Department departure.
- ...You Are A Tree: observations about San Diego.
I'll have my own observations of Los Angeles later when I've adjusted to the time change.
So Bobby, have the cosmic vibrations in California become more loving and accepting?

Okay, here is my second move: King's Knight to King's Bishop 3. Or, Knight to f6.

MRBlack 02.gif


I am staying with the Sicilian Defense/Nimzowitch Variation. Again, it's new to me, so I am hoping my next move is still in book.

Typing Part Deux

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Okay, Karlo over at Swerve Left thinks I shouldn't type unless I can get over 60 wpm. Well, here you go Karlo, my right to type:
 63 words

Speed test


Satisfied?

Jim is claiming to not know the names of openings. However, he has moved the King's Knight to King's Bishop 3, staying in opening book.

MRWhite 02.gif

I can't help but wonder if Jim is engaging in a bit of psyc-ops, hoping to make me underestimate him and so catch me off guard.

Oh no Jim, not this blogger. You won't be penetrating my mind like that. Mostly because there is no mind to penetrate.

I'll be posting my move later tonight. After I've found my mind.

Tour De Rook-2008

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Leg 10: 11.21 miles at an average speed of 13.0 mph. My total riding time was 51 minutes and 9 seconds. I achieved a maximum speed of 29.5 mph. I pushed a bit hard today and as a result ended up with a mild side ache. It usually goes away if I do some extra deep breathing, but not today. Thankfully, it never became so severe that I had to quit pushing myself.
So, I've been playing the Ruy Lopez opening for, well, since I learned that different openings had names. But I have been bored with doing the same old hum drum moves, so I am going to try something different; The Sicilian Defense.

MRBlack 01.gif

Now it's up to Jim.

Blogger's Chess Is Go!

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Okay, so Jim Yeager, the blogger formally known as Mimus Pauly, mentioned in this post that he'd like to play me in a game or two of chess. As he has already posted his move in the comments, here is the board:

MRWhite 01.gif

Now, I am not sure if this game will just be posted here, or also at Mockingbird's Medley, or maybe at Mockingbird Jim. So, until the specifics are ironed out, look for the game to be posted here.

Uncensored China

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New York Times

News of the quake has dominated Chinese television. The state-controlled media have been especially aggressive in their coverage, with reporters fanning out across the stricken region. Home video, cellphone images and commentary have been flowing uncensored onto Web sites.
Quite the contrast with Myanmar, isn't it. I can't help but wonder if China sees the international communities response to that crisis and realize it would be better to be open and cooperative, ask for assistance, and show they care about their citizens.

This really is a level of openness for China that is unprecedented.

Tour De Rook-2008

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Leg 9: 9 miles at an average speed of 11.6 mph. Actual riding time was 45 minutes and 46 seconds, with a 5 minute stretching period. I achieved a top speed of 29 mph.

I would have managed a faster top speed, but some idiot decided he needn't worry about me when turning into his driveway which is located just about at the bottom of the 2nd Street hill. He also almost side swiped me as he passed me going down the hill, so it's not like he didn't know I was there.

Free Classic eBooks

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Get your free eBooks here.

How Fast I Am

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This incident has been popping up for the last couple of days. I first read about it in the Star-Tribune, but just couldn't bring myself to actually make a post about it. I mean, it just can't be that our country is that fucking stupid. Accuse someone of being a Wizard? What next? Drowning of Witches? Unbelievable.

Yet, here it gets traction. But what really makes the whole thing ridiculous is the feeble attempt by the school district to cover its ass:

Tampa Bay's 10 talked to the assistant superintendent with the Pasco County School District who said it wasn't just the wizardry and that Picular had other performance issues, including "not following lesson plans" and allowing students to play on unapproved computers."
So, it wasn't just wizardry? The thing is, it shouldn't have even been mentioned at all. If he was having a problem with actually doing his job, than you say; "Hey, dumb substitute teacher, you ain't doing your damn job. Follow the lesson plans or we will not call you back for other assignments."

See? Now, that was simple.

Obviously, though, it was not even that he was not doing his job. There was no mention of prior warnings, or efforts to redirect this man's performance. He was accused of being a wizard and than suddenly, there is a performance issues.

Now, I could try to down play the whole stupidity of this situation by noting it is Florida, but it still is a part of the United States. Besides, I've got some great blogger friends from Florida, so it can't be as bad down there as this incident implies.

Personal disclosure: I did spend 6 months in Florida when I was in the service, mostly in a drug induced fog. I was stationed in Orlando, taking classes for nuclear power. Amazingly, I passed. I really couldn't tell you about Florida thought, because if I was not studying, I was smoking lots of pot.

To be honest, I smoked so much of it I use to hallucinate. In fact, some days I wonder if I ever really came out of the hallucinations. I mean, George W. Bush as president? Yeah, I am still hallucinating.

Tour De Rook-2008

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Leg 8: 11.16 miles at an average speed of 13.00 mph. I achieve a max speed of 34 mph and garnered 51 minutes and 13 seconds of actual riding time. I stopped to stretch once.

It was pretty windy today, especially down in the Mississippi river valley. According to Weather.com there was an 18 mph wind with gusts up to 26. With the exception of the brief two or three mile stretch of General Sieben Dr. from the high school to County 57, I had either cross winds or they were in my face. All that considered, I did very well today.

Happy Blogiversary To Me

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I couldn't initially remember who coined Blogiversary(talkleft*), but I should note that 5 years ago today I published my first ever post on blogspot. Since than, I've switched to Movable Type, registered my own domain, and lost my archives on several occasions. That is why you won't find my original post on the blog. I do have it saved in a text file on my computer. But it is corrupted, and I can't get the damn thing to import back onto my blog.

* Of course, I found it by searching skippy.

Hypocrite Of The Week

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The Washington Post

Whatever happens in Mississippi, Boehner has enough trouble to preoccupy him here in Washington, where House Democrats have been passing their agenda with little thought for Republican preferences. "The majority has taken, once again, their go-it-alone policy," Boehner lamented yesterday. "It's time for Democrats and Republicans to work together."
Time for Democrats and Republicans to work together? Where the hell was this sentiment when the Republicans were the majorities in both the house and senate? Seriously, how the hell can this man even eat food with that mouth, considering the bullshit it produces.
Bark Bark Woof Woof

Friday Blogaround
What's the news across the nation? Here's the LC look this week.

- A Blog Around The Clock: face symmetry.
- archy: more problems from the Religious Right for John McCain.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: should Hillary quit the race?
- Bloggg: what would you do?
- Collective Sigh: andante discovers the cure for chemo.
- Dohiyi Mir: The Tour de Ntodd is underway.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: Dr. Phyllis Schlafly.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: Four scenic views of Florida.
- Iddybud Journal: a unity ticket.
- Left Is Right: bits and pieces.
- Lefty Side of the Dial: review this podcast.
- Musing's musings: stupid Republican tricks.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: the International Norbert Conspiracy!
- Rook's Rant: Stay in, Hillary.
- rubber hose: those whacky neo-cons.
- Scrutiny Hooligans: North Carolina primary results you might have missed.
- SoonerThought: The Police raise money for public TV.
- Speedkill: Creationists and fake discussions.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: Temper, temper.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: Bryant will be right back...
- The Invisible Library: help Keith with proofing.
- WTF Is It Now?? more Republican family values.
- ...You Are A Tree on the road.
Don't forget: Mother's Day is this Sunday. Call her if you can, or remember her in your own way.
Mother?!?!?! I don't need no stink'n mother.....

Tour De Rook-2008

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Leg 7: 9.6 miles with an average speed of 12.8 mph. I maxed out at 29 mph and achieved a total riding time of 44 minutes and 39 seconds. I stopped to stretch once. Oh, and I took Featherstone Hill.

On a related note, yesterday was the first time that I can remember having french fries since I started biking. I could feel it at the beginning. It took a lot of effort to keep going the first 20 minutes. I would have posted better numbers otherwise. Not that what I did achieve was bad. It was just I could feel the fat in my blood keeping me sluggish for a bit.

Update: Allow me to elaborate; I went up Featherstone Hill.

Please Stay In The Race

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After Obama's decisive win in North Caroline, and Hillary's poor win in Illinois Indiana, it's getting to the point where it's obvious who is going to be the Democratic Nominee. But, here is the kicker, despite the strong indication in Obama's favor, I would rather Hillary stay in the race anyway.

It's like this; the actual run for the Presidency goes until November 2, 2008. There will be no call for McCain to step down if the polling shows him losing. The Democratic nominee and McCain will be going at it until the end.

So, with that said, I believe Hillary needs to keep at it to either show Obama's not a finisher, or for Obama to show us he is a finisher.

Tour De Rook-2008

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Leg 6: 7.67 miles at a leisurely 11.5 mph average speed. I hit a max speed of 21 mph and garnered 39 minutes and 39 seconds of actual riding time. I stopped twice for stretching.

It was cold and overcast, with a brisk breeze that perpetually seemed to blow into my face, regardless of which direction I was riding. I skipped Featherstone Hill, it was just to daunting. I also stayed away from the Mississippi River trails. The wind is always stronger there.

I wasn't looking for any hard workout today. I just wanted to develop a bit of a sweat and keep my metabolism up. Mission accomplished.

Tour De Rook-2008

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Before I go up and make myself some breakfast, here are today's numbers for leg 5: 9.61 miles at an average speed of 13.2 mph. I hit a max speed of 27.5 mph and took a total of 43 minutes and 19 seconds of actual riding time. I took one stop for stretching. This is pretty good. I improved on yesterday's average speed, and today I went up Featherstone Hill. In fact, yesterday I skipped Featherstone Hill completely. So yeah, I kicked butt.

2008 Hugo Nomination List

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Hugo nominations.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Bear and Patrick Nielsen Hayden, both of who I am familiar with by way of Blogstonia.


Tour De Rook-2008

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Okay, I believe these numbers are for leg 3 and leg 4:

Yesterday's leg was 14.29 miles at an average speed of 12.1 mph. I hit a top speed of 33.5 mph (Featherstone Hill) at took a total of 1 hour, 10 minutes and 23 seconds of actually biking. I stopped twice to stretch.

This morning's leg was 5.52 miles at an average speed of 12.9 mph. I hit a top speed of 28.5 (not Featherstone Hill) and took a total of 25 minutes and 35 seconds of actual biking. I stopped once to stretch.

I didn't bother to record the 2nd leg of my 2008 tour because, well because I forgot. It was in the morning sometime last week. It was raining and 58 or 59 degrees Fahrenheit. To be honest, it was one of the most enjoyable bike rides I have ever had. I am regretting my failure to record the numbers. However, I am pretty sure they were in line with the above numbers.

Steve Sarvi Endorsed!

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MN Publius

Our congratulations go out to Steve Sarvi who was endorsed by acclimation after the first ballot......
Way to go Steve!

Now, if you'll all excuse me, I am going to go for a bike ride.
New York Times

he economy lost 20,000 jobs in April, the fourth consecutive month of decline, the government reported on Friday. But the drop was not as sharp as expected, a sign that the economy’s decline may be moderating.
So sorry, but this whole article seems an exercise in putting lipstick on a pig. What would the economist from Philly say? Oh yeah. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is time once again for that age old tradition of stealing code from Mustang Bobby.

Bark Bark Woof Woof

Friday Blogaround
"Tra-la, it's May, the lusty month of May..." (Name that musical*). Okay, enough of that. Time for the first Liberal Coalition blogaround of the month.

- A Blog Around The Clock: the Master Clock.
- archy: Wiener of the Week.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: Right on Wright.
- Bloggg: Buddies.
- Dohiyi Mir: The language of the birds.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: the Congo nightmares.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: Democrats improving against McCain in Florida.
- Iddybud Journal: Holocaust Memorial Day.
- Left Is Right: bits and pieces.
- Lefty Side of the Dial: answering your questions.
- Musing's musings: road trip!
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: watch this amazing origami.
- Rook's Rant: Codpiece Day.
- rubber hose: a reminder?
- Scrutiny Hooligans: Cavort, cavort.
- SoonerThought: Most. Unpopular. Ever.
- Speedkill: apocalyptic art.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: Moore's law and memory.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: what's up with who's down.
- The Invisible Library: get Keith's book.
- WTF Is It Now?? In memoriam.
- ...You Are A Tree: fashion on ice.
*Give up? It's from Camelot.
Oh, and he also has an interesting question of the day, which I am also going to discreetly acquire:

What was the last food that made you gag — that you just couldn’t eat?
I don't mean badly prepared; I mean the food itself that you hate. Mine is acorn squash, yams, and sweet potatoes. Barf.

Looking For A New Job?

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I sometimes get gloomy and sullen at my job. That is when my co-workers ask if I am fed up and looking for another job. I tell them, as long as I do not get a hair cut, I am not looking for another job.

I think someone is looking for a new job.

Codpiece Day

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I have to give Digby credit for coining Codpiece Day. However, Kyle E. Moore over at Comments From Left Field makes the point for the day.

Well, boys and girls, we’re still in Iraq, and since declaring the end of major combat operations, a full 97% of the men and women who have died in Iraq have done so following that potentially great day. And, of course, if we choose to elect John McCain as our next Commander in Chief, we will have many more Mission Accomplished Days to celebrate.
Do I really need to add to that?

Oh hell, of course I don't. Besides, rhetorical question. Duh.

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