A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

A quick pointer. . .

. . .to a new addition to the Ldotter blogroll: TaxGuru's Ker$tetter Letter has been added, and it looks to be a great place to go for the latest skinny on all matters of taxation. Though I'm no expert, a quick glance convinced me that TaxGuru is as advertised, and you might very well save some bucks by checking into his blog regularly.

Also, there's some great editorial cartoons, as well.

Hat tip, TaxGuru.

Thompson's resignation speech. . .

. . .seems to have touched a nerve with a lot of conservatives who are quick to point an accusatory finger at anyone who dares raise a legitimate point regarding the state of our national security. I think this is an unhealthy development within the party, and that it sets the loyalty benchmark too high.

As an outgoing department head, Thompson is at least somewhat obliged to address the issues that he feels were inadequately remedied during his tenure. And, if Thompson sincerely believes what he said in that speech, he is just as obliged to be honest about it. It seems that many Bush supporters have adopted an overly defensive posture, waiting to pounce on any factoid that might suggest anything short of perfection in our nation's security and the administration's role in maintaining it.

But, stop and think for a moment about the inevitable consequence of Thompson's words. He has raised our nation's food supply as a critically unprotected avenue for terrorists seeking to murder innocent Americans. So, what do you suppose will be the focus in the process of nominating and confirming his replacement? Up until now, Democrats could have demagogued any number of issues, from flu vaccines to the availability of birth control in poor urban areas in the process. But, whether or not he did it intentionally, Thompson has trumped all of that, and the focus will now be exactly where it ought to be.

Even if Thompson's motives weren't pure -- and I'm in no position to say either way -- I don't think this was the departing shot that many conservatives have said it is in their zeal to shield the President from criticism. In the months before the election, I understood this need to question the motives of the people who raised alarmist issues in the context of the presidential race. But, now, the President is no longer running for office, and as eager as the Democrats are to tar him for whatever reason, his seat in the White House is secured, and he has a lot of work to do before this nation is in any sense secure from terrorist attacks.

Like any president before and after him, George W. Bush wants to leave behind a legacy of which he can be proud, and his supporters can point to with pride in having been a part of it. It does neither him, his legacy, nor the interests of the nation any good to accuse Tommy Thompson of disloyalty when he raises a true and very valid point in his departing speech. He may have done this nation a great service in raising the point. Because, now, we have to talk about the security of our nation's food supply throughout the confirmation process.

I kind of like that idea.

Damn Tarheels. . .

What do you think. . .

. . .is the most searched word at Merriam-Webster.com?

Look here and find out. It's a sign of the times, and a fitting development following Brokaw's retirement and Rather's swan song.

UPDATE: I'm not sure which is more disturbing; the fact that there's a word for this, or the fact that so many people have looked it up.

I'm all for home cooking. . .

. . .so, I thought I'd post this article about Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) and his push for the chairmanship of the House Appropriations committee.

Just thought I'd take a moment to boost a fellow Kentuckian. Here's a good blog on Kentucky politics, while I'm at it.

In defense of 80's metal. . .

. . .there was actually some good music made in that odious era of rock music marketing. Somehow, androgyny managed to creep into the business of creating male guitar heroes. Don't ask me what happened. One day, I was listening to Eddie Van Halen bending and tapping his way through another signature solo -- next thing I know, I'm watching C.C. Deville vamp it up in a Poison video. Something went badly wrong, somewhere in the A&R departments of all the major record labels.

I was an Iron Maiden fan in those days. . .and still am. I don't listen to them with the same sense of awe that I once did, but I can still appreciate the merit of their music -- especially as it compares to that of many of their contemporaries. And, you'll get a better account of Alexander the Great's life on their album, Somewhere in Time than you'll get from Oliver Stone's movie.

Some bands with at least a little discernible musical merit were outright victimized by the whole quest for androgyny -- essentially a marketing ploy to sell hard rock music to teenaged girls by presenting a less threatening image than that portrayed by Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and their like in the hard rock/heavy metal genre.

One band that had some musical merit and bad image advice was (dare I say it?) Dokken. If you can set aside the cheese within the image, and the overly polished production on their heyday releases, and just listen to the guitar playing, you'll come away with at least a grudging respect for George Lynch's talent, if you're at all inclined toward that sort of thing.

And, say what you will about 80's metal, it was guitar-centered music that came along just about the time the world was convinced that the guitar would be buried by the synthesizer. It featured impractically vast drum kits when electronic drums threatened to push makers like Sonor, Ludwig, and Pearl out of existence. 80's metal featured brooding bass players in the era that gave birth to the turntable as the instrument of "groove".

As a one-time guitar hero wannabe, I tended to listen to the the kind of music that really fell into disfavor in the early 90's, with the advent of "grunge" -- that is, anything with self-indulgent guitar solos. That's not to take away from the grunge genre, by any means. It produced a lot of talented acts, though I suspect many of them were reformed metal bands following musical trends to success. Alice in Chains and Soundgarden are a couple of notables.

But, the guitar solo was established as the true currency of hard rock by the all-time master, Led Zeppelin, and so, it shouldn't be denigrated as it was throughout the 90's and now, into the 21st Century -- though it is making a comeback. (The drum solo, on the other hand, will probably never grace another mass-market music CD. Which is a shame, if you remember Led Zeppelin's John Bonham on The Song Remains the Same, or have listened to "Bonzo's Montreaux" on the Zeppelin box set.)

The 80's produced a lot of lackluster music, and there's no denying that. Some of the bands that managed to get record deals have me scratching my head to this day. But, before you write off the entire era as nothing more than bombast, hairspray, and mass-market cheese, take time to listen to some of the truly talented musicians who came out of it.

Many of the great guitarists of the time are still emulated today by budding guitar heroes. Yngwie Malmsteen (pronounced "Ing-vay Mahlm-steen") is one of them. Granted, he was about as self-indulgent as guitarists get, using every song as a vehicle for a blistering solo. But, the fact of the matter is, the solos are blistering, and they've caused more than one kid with a Fender Stratocaster to reconsider his life's calling. And, to many parents out there, that's a good thing -- unless they just forked over the bucks for the Stratocaster.

In the beginning, Yngwie was a guitarist's guitarist, making albums consisting mostly of instrumental pieces. With his classical training, pretentious air, and complete conviction that he is the greatest man to ever bend the strings on an electric guitar, he gave his songs names like, "Icarus' Dream Suite, Opus IV" and "Trilogy Suite, Opus V". In fact, Yngwie was so convinced of his musical genius, it made it damn near impossible for anyone to work with him on more than one album release. But, he could flat-out play the guitar, and there aren't many who have heard him that will deny that.

Eventually, he gave in to the trend to turn metal into pop, and hooked up with Joe Lynn Turner (formerly of Richie Blackmoore's Rainbow) to make an album of keyboard-laden syrup and synthesizer driven anthems that would have been more suited to action movie soundtracks of the era -- like Iron Eagle, or some other celluloid atrocity. In fact, if you've heard the song "Montage" from the Team America soundtrack, you'll know exactly what I mean.

Another guitar great from the era is the somewhat mysterious Joe Satriani. His influence on the generation of guitarists that came out of the 80's can't be overestimated. His technique and inventiveness rivals that of Eddie Van Halen, and some say even surpasses it. That's no mean feat, given the near-universal esteem in which Eddie is held among guitar players. If I recall correctly, Satriani actually trained many of the heroes of the era, including Steve Vai, who was originally discovered by Frank Zappa.

Steve Vai eventually went on to play for David Lee Roth after he split from Van Halen to start his own solo career -- of which I was a big fan, at first. Then, it became apparent to me that David Lee Roth without Van Halen didn't do the job any better than Van Halen without David Lee Roth. Apparently, I wasn't the only one to come to that conclusion. After a couple of huge-selling album at the start of solo act, he faded into oblivion, and at one point, even became a Vegas lounge act. But, if you want to hear some great guitar playing, listening to Steve Vai on Roth's first two solo releases will do the job nicely.

If you like a more "progressive" style of old school metal, Queensrÿche is tough to beat. Sure, it's overly produced and a little pretentious at times, but that's what you get when you buy anything with the "progressive" label. Singer Geoff Tate sings in a very high-pitched, but powerful voice with a lot of vibrato which lends to all their earlier releases' "rock opera" feel. Their album, "Operation: Mindcrime" is an all-time classic, and a must-have for anyone with a serious hard rock music collection.

W.A.S.P is another band from the era that should have had more success, though their lack of huge sales numbers is understandable. They never really bought into the whole glamor schtick that took over hard rock at the time. Instead, they sought to project the most perverse, offensive image in the music business -- throwing bloody raw meat out into the audience in their earliest gigs. Frontman/bassist Blackie Lawless, however, was a talented songwriter and musician, behind the flaming codpiece and all that macabre stage makeup. Headless Children is considered a hard rock classic by fans, and even some music critics grudgingly admit it's a great piece of work. The shame is that W.A.S.P was a good enough band to stand on its own, and shouldn't have had to resort to grotesque theatrics, and controversy for the sake of controversy itself, in order to get noticed among the throng of bleached blond pretty boys that came out of southern California at the time. But, whatever had been the case, I suspect that Blackie Lawless would have obliterated the boundaries of taste. He was the Marilyn Manson of his era -- perhaps before his time.

Those are just a few of the acts I listened to as an angst-filled teenager -- and ones that I listen to from time to time, even to this day, in my mid-30's. Sure, a lot of the music back then was pedestrian. And, much of it was purely juvenile. But, if you look a little deeper than the "hitmakers" of the time, you'll find some stuff with musical relevancy. Kurt Loder might disagree with me on the matter, but that's OK. I pay about as much attention to Loder's musical expertise as Michael Moore pays to the serving suggestion labels on Cool whip canisters.

There is more to 80's metal than Poison and Whitesnake, despite what the Loders of the world say.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I hope I haven't bored the reader too much. If so, just think of this blog entry as my self-indulgent guitar solo. I'll be back to more substantial matters, later in the day.

A CabanaBoy/blondie production.
 Posted by Hello

Andrew's apnea. . .

. . .experiences are something I can relate to, as I went through the same thing, back about 15 years ago. I noticed one day that staying awake was a bit more of a challenge, all of a sudden. I could be standing on the production line at the speaker factory where I was working at the time, and just nod off. I began to miss a lot of work due to oversleeping, and simply having no energy to go in. I couldn't stay awake through an entire movie, no matter how good it was. I simply could not stay awake for more than a few hours at a stretch.

After a few weeks of the Rip Van Winkle routine, I finally decided to see a doctor about it. At first, she thought I might have narcolepsy, as I had fallen asleep while waiting for her to come into the examining room. She was actually taken aback when she walked in and found me snoozing, sitting upright in the exam room chair and was just about to walk out and, apparently, get a witness when I snapped awake. After a few questions, she recommended that I go and have a sleep test performed at a local hospital with a department specializing in sleep disorders.

So, a few nights later, I went to the hospital and checked in for the night. I remember it being the first time in ages that I'd had any difficulty in sleeping whatsoever. All the wires and tubes that had been attached to me limited my movement, and the temperature seemed frigid, making it difficult to find a warm comfortable sleeping position, but I eventually dozed off. I awoke the next day not feeling even slightly more refreshed. In fact, I was as tired as I'd ever been, and shivering from the cold to boot.

As one of the specialists was unhooking me from all the wires, she said it appeared I had one of the worst cases of sleep apnea she'd ever seen. Apparently, during the night, I'd stopped breathing an average of 6 times every minute. . .at one point, stopping for a full 15 seconds before resuming. I was eventually diagnosed with "severe central sleep apnea". At the time, sleep apnea wasn't very widely known, and most people had attributed my sloth and sluggishness to the fact that I was 19 years old and obviously staying out until all hours. Which was true -- and an amazing accomplishment, given the degree of my sleep deprivation.

Nevertheless, I was prescribed a C-PAP machine, like Andrew. I tried and tried to use the thing as instructed, but after a couple of weeks of waking up and finding the mask lying on the floor every morning where I'd struggled with it in the night and pulled it off, I finally gave up and went about my life.

My C-PAP machine is God-knows-where these days, and I haven't been back to have my condition checked. I'm not nearly as tired as I was back then, though, which leads me to believe that perhaps it's not as severe as it was at the time. I did fall asleep driving some years back, and had a wreck that set me back quite a ways, but I'm not convinced it was the result of my apnea, rather than simply being awake for too long a stretch for any person.

I do still take fairly regular mid-day naps, but not all the time. And, it isn't always easy to hop out of bed, ready to tear into the day like Michael Moore with a Swiss Colony sample tray. But, all in all, I've been much worse.

Still, Andrew has set me to thinking, and maybe I should get checked again once I get out of school and start making some decent money. After all, I suppose it could get worse just as quickly as it seemed to get better. But, damn, did I hate that machine. I'm not crazy about the idea of having a chunk of flesh carved out of my mouth in surgery, but the C-PAP clearly wasn't working out. I haven't studied up on the treatment options since then, but surely there has to be some other means.

In any case, I'm glad Andrew has found some relief and is feeling better. I wish it had worked as well for me, but there's always next time.

In the meantime, I'll just keep taking my naps, and try to not drive on idiotically low levels of sleep.

Speaking of which. . .good night.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Semi-obscure Reference of the Day

A CabanaBoy/blondie production.
 Posted by Hello

It's a few days old. . .

. . .but I really enjoyed the writing in this entry at Tributaries, Ldotter esgaroth's blog, and wanted to make sure people saw it.

I hope the reader won't think me too terribly sexist when I say I didn't know dames could write like that.¹

Another great thing about the blogosphere -- you stumble across a lot of very enjoyable writing on accident. It's like discovering Peggy Noonan in your local used book store.

Get back to work, esgaroth!

1. A slightly inside joke.

With finals behind me. . .

. . .I can now return the the blogosphere with my usual élan.

My finals went reasonably well, though not as well as I would have liked. Still, getting through any sort of mathematics class without shoving a pencil through my ear canal is a moral victory for me.

Next week is the first of eight covering MS Access, and Powerpoint. I'm looking forward to this block a little more than the last. I still have accounting to endure between now and April. And, as long as I can get through that with my mind intact, I'll be happy.

A note to any potential employer who might be reading this: I am words people -- not numbers people. Please keep this in mind before you fire your current accountant to make room for me.

Wolfgang von Skeptik. . .

. . .has updated with a lengthy essay on what happened to the Old Left, and how gender feminism has led to its demise to the point where, today, it finds itself defending the most brutal anti-feminine regimes on the planet out of some sense of allegiance in a war against men in general, and the "patriarchy" in specific. It's a long, but provocative read that calls out the left on its whorish obeisance to women's studies professors, Upper-West Side artists and writers, and ultimately, Islamic fundamentalists:

"Ask a hard-core feminist to describe religion – 'hard-core' defined here as a feminist who has been thoroughly brainwashed by matrifascism – and even if she claims to be a proponent of feminist spirituality, she will probably tell you that as far as 'patriarchal religion' is concerned, Marx was right: that it is the opiate by which 'the patriarchy' attempts to terrify (or seduce) the world’s oppressed peoples into compliance with patriarchal edicts and capitalist enslavement schemes, and that all the adherents of 'patriarchal religion' should be mercilessly exterminated. The test of a religion, she might say, is 'whether it recognizes that the personal is not only political but theological: in other words, whether it encourages wife-beating versus whether it encourages free abortion on demand.'"

Thursday, December 02, 2004

A MFCB production.
 Posted by Hello

I lost my graphical right arm. . .

. . .to a job, so I've had to learn how to use some photo editing software to create my own images. I'm still trying to figure some stuff out, so if the efforts don't look as polished as normal, please forgive my sloppiness. I have some ins and outs to learn.

Thanks for all the help, blondie!

A MFCB production.
 Posted by Hello

A MFCB production
 Posted by Hello

Tomorrow is finals day. . .

. . .and I have two of them in the morning. Blogging will be light tonight. Hang with me for the next day, or so, and I'll be back to blogging more regularly. After the 17th, I'll have more time on my hands for a couple of weeks, and hope to use it productively, blog-wise.

Thanks for checking in, and please come back.

Thoughts and prayers. . .

. . .go out to The Anchoress and her loved ones in her brother's final days -- perhaps hours.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

After making chili. . .

. . .for the better part of the evening, I finally sat down to check out my hit count statistics. I started noticing hits coming from over at Kitty Litter, so I thought I'd see what was up. It seems she linked to my Don Imus entry today, and it is appreciated.

Hat tip and thanks to Kitty!

CabanaBoy's chili

Adapted from a recipe found at AllRecipes.com, but I was unable to find in order to cite.

2 lbs. Round steak
1 lbs. Hot country sausage.
1 Large yellow onion, finely diced
5 tbsp. Hot chili powder
1 tbsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. Dried oregano
1 tbsp. Packed brown sugar
1½ tsp. Cayenne pepper
1½ tsp. Garlic powder
4 Bay leaves
½ 6 oz. can Tomato paste
3 14.5 oz. cans Diced tomatoes
2 14.5 oz. cans Dark red kidney beans
8 qt. Sauce pan

Chill round steak in freezer for 20 - 30 minutes.
Cut into thin strips, about 2 inches long.
Begin browning round steak and country sausage together, stir in onions, garlic, salt, chili powder, and cayenne pepper -- mix well. Do not drain, unless it's a moral imperative. If you must drain, wait until afterward to add seasonings.

When meat is about medium-rare, stir in tomato paste, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, stir in bay leaves.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2½ hours. Stirring every 30 minutes.

Stir in kidney beans and simmer for another 30 - 45 minutes.

Serve with beer, or peanut butter sandwiches and milk.

Local Moonbat Sighting

A letter to the editor of my local newspaper:

 Posted by Hello

That's right I-man. . .

. . .only radio talk show hosts should be permitted to carry knives. It's one thing for a rehabbed pill popper and one-time professional drunk to carry a hunting knife on his side and whip it out in a New York City broadcast studio, as I've seen you do on your morning show in the past. But, it's entirely another for a 24year old nanny to pack an inch-and-a-half pocket knife and a cap gun on a ranch in New Mexico.

I guess the I-man is one of those latté-drinking, metropolitan cowpokes of legend. One can hardly fault him for emulating the hard-bitten image of such greenhorn legends as The Chamomile Kid and "Frappé" Frank McClintock. But, he has to understand that, when dealing with young nannies from New York, Wild West sensibilities such as his come across as unrefined and crass. Young New York women aren't accustomed to lengthy browbeatings over cap guns and pen knives. It's foreign to their culture, and they're likely to take offense.

UPDATE: I take a perverse pride in the fact that I don't know how to spell chamomile. But, I should at least be a better editor. So, I corrected it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

In case you missed it. . .

. . .over at Power Line, Aussiegirl forwarded to me a link to a first-person account out of Kiev. And, judging from this account, I think the world could use a helluva lot more Ukrainians.

Check in at Aussie's blog regularly to keep up with developments in Kiev. She's got it goin' on, as the kids say.

Hat tip!

I'm stepping out for the evening, so blogging will be light tonight. Thanks for stopping by, and do come back.

The Anchoress. . .

. . .has a link to document that ought to be shown to anyone who, like Chris Matthews, soft-peddles the depth of the viciousness and outright inhumanity of the enemy we face in Iraq. It's in .pdf format, and suitable for printing, in case you have any Luddite liberal friends you'd like to figuratively swat on the nose with a rolled-up hard copy.

It's late. . .

. . .but my laundry is all clean now, and I won't have to worry about it again for another ten or eleven days. In the meantime, I've added another blog to the Ldotter blogroll.

Sisu is running an eponymous blog that is well-written, and very engaging. Here's a piece in which Sisu delivers a well-chilled mackerel to Bill O'Reilly's chops for his treatment of the Swiftboat Vets, which also contains the following bit of sad, but remediable information:

"Today's Chicago Sun-Times chronicles the aftermath of the election for the most notable of Kerry's Band of Brothers -- the one who openly campaigned against him. Mary Laney reports that Stephen Gardner now finds himself broke and unemployed as a result of speaking out against a man he finds 'dangerous.'"

My link will be the tiniest of drops in comparison to the deluge that no doubt followed the link from Captain's Quarters, but I figure every little bit counts. Hang in there, Mr. Gardner. Help is on the way.

Monday, November 29, 2004

AlphaPatriot. . .

. . .has been kind enough to link up to the Pajama Pack with a nice note of congratulations for landing the coveted Lucianne.com homepage link. It is much appreciated, as AlphaPatriot is one of my regular stops (I just now realized that I'd forgotten to subscribe to his RSS feed through Bloglines), and a very popular blog -- one I'm proud to have a link on, and just as proud to blogroll.

Just added. . .

. . .two more Ldotters to the blogroll. The first is The Kaitlyn Mae Book from PatFish, who is an experienced and respected blogger, having worked with fellow Ldotters Kitty and Brain Death over at Kerry Haters where, together, they scooped the world on the Christmas in Cambodia story.

Also, I've added AirForcePundit, which is the labor of Ldotter DCcane. It's a blog dedicated to a love of our military personnel and appreciation for what they do -- with slight favoritism toward Airmen.

Also, you might want to click in with a "Word of the Day" suggestion, now and then:


So all of the liberals around the world have four years to ponder their ignominy. And that reminds me, hopefully this blog will help me to improve my vocabulary."

What a day. . .

. . .yesterday turned out to be! I won't get into the nitty-gritty numbers, but it was the biggest day so far. Several blogs were added to the blogrolls, and I got some kind, supportive comments, which is always nice.

Any readers who would like their blogs added to one of the blogrolls are encouraged to either email me, or let me know in the comments on this thread. If you're an Ldotter (someone who posts messages at Lucianne.com), include the name you post under at Ldot, so I can put that in the little tag that pops up when you hover your mouse pointer over the link.

If you're not an Ldotter, just leave your URL and I'll assume you go on the non-Ldotter blogroll.

I'll be updating throughout the day, but tonight is laundry night, so blogging will be light through the night. I also have class tomorrow morning, and I won't be home to blog until later tomorrow evening. Then, I'm meeting a friend later tomorrow night and probably won't be home until the wee hours.

I will do as much as I possibly can with the blog in what free time I have, however. So, by all means, check in from time to time.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

About the blogroll:

If you hover your mouse over the links in the Ldotter blogroll, a small tag will come up with the individual's Ldot screen name. This is through no html wizardry of my own, however. It's the magic of Blogrolling.com.

Just a helpful hint from El Niño de la Cabana.

While you were Christmas shopping. . .

A CabanaBoy/blondie production.
 Posted by Hello

Another Ldotter. . .

. . .has been added to the blogroll with esgaroth's Tributaries. On first glance, it strikes me as a lively, well-written blog worth checking out on a regular basis. She had this to say about my good fortune at landing on the Lucianne.com front page:

"~ Pajama Pack has made the Big Time on Lcom...damn, I'm jealous as hell. Can I tag along?"

I have to admit a certain beaming pride -- who wouldn't be proud? As for "tagging along" -- we're all in this together. The more the merrier.

Good luck with the blog! Looks and reads great!

So, I'd just walked in. . .

. . .from helping a friend who was having some car trouble (managed a diagnosis, but no repair) and started reading some emails that had come in from fellow Ldotters interested in being blogrolled and a few readers with kind things to say. As I'm going through, I find an email from Ldotter Manyata who, to my astonishment and glee, turns out to be a blogger whose RSS feed I subscribe to -- baldilocks! I've been reading Manyata's posts, as well as her blog, for quite a while now, and I couldn't be more pleased to add her to the Ldotter blogroll. A hearty welcome to baldilocks!

Also, I've added the blog of another longtime Ldotter who is known to have engaged in legendarily long discussion threads on religion, matching wits with one of Ldot's resident atheist provocateurs. His blog won't score any points with the civil libertarian set, but I'm not so sure that's his intended audience. Nevertheless, Engraved-on-His-Hands has been an intelligent, thoughtful poster at Ldot for a long time. And there's plenty of room in the blogosphere for those with strong religious convictions and the gumption to stand up for them.

Also, I've added a new link to the non-Ldotter blogroll. Sweet Eagle thought enough of the blog to be interested in a link, and I'm more than happy to oblige. She's new to blogging, and isn't fortunate enough to have received posting privileges at Lucianne.com yet, so give her some clicks.

Thanks to all, readers and emailers alike, for your time and interest. It's much appreciated, given all the other web sites you could be giving your eyeballs to at any given time.

Simpering, yammering and stammering. . .

. . .his way through another post-mortem on the elections, Michael Kinsley has blessed us with another ode to "progressive" thought -- "To Hell With Values"(requires registration). In this thoughtful analysis, Kinsley tackles the differences between "opinions" and "values," lamenting the very notion that someone would carry the latter, rather than the former, into the voting booth on Election Day.

One difference Kinsley failed to note is that, unlike opinions, not everyone has values, and not all of them stink.

Weh-heh-heh-hell. . .

. . .looky-here. Turns out, the only thing colder than the seat on Michael Moore's exercise bike is his stock in Hollywood these days, according to Film Threat's Frigid 50: The Coldest People in Hollywood 2004.

It's hard to believe Hollywood would turn its back on the man who gave us box office gold like "Canadian Bacon", and idiot box hits like "The Awful Truth."

I'm all for being bold, and I try to be fearless in my predictions, so I'm going out on a limb here. But, I'm betting Michael Moore's A-list days are over. I'd put him on the Z.9 (r)-list, right about now.

But, that's OK, Mike! Read a few Horatio Alger novels and you'll be back on your feet in no time!

Q: What do you get. . .

. . .if you cross Bill Maher and Bill O'Reilly?

A: Blunt force trauma and a countersuit.

OK. . .that was a bit off-side. But, I hadn't even thought about either of them for weeks, until O'Reilly lashed out today, in the Boston Herald.

The crackling. . .

. . .sound emanating from the Ukraine is that of democracy sparking itself to life, and Aussiegirl of Ultima Thule (who, by the way, happens to be of Ukrainian heritage) has the inside skinny on all the goings-on. She was kind enough to forward a couple of links to me through which interested Ldotters can keep up with the developments. First, Orange Ukraine is look through the eyes of observers who are actually on the ground in the Kiev tent cities, telling us how it's all organized.

Also, there's PORA, which as Aussiegirl informs me, translates to "It's time!" in English. And, I don't think she'd lie about something like that.

Check back at Ultima Thule often. Aussiegirl is one of the sharpest Ldotters on the board and always well worth reading.

Welcome to the blogroll. . .

. . .Conservative Canes Corner. I know there's at least one Ldotter participating over there who posts as futrfysician.

Give him some clicks. He's good people. The blog looks great, and promises to be a great read.

On the shooting of the wounded terrorist in Fallujah:

"the Left and their media minions have now made this young Marine their poster boy for U.S. atrocities. Here, we would remind these hypocrites that a few short weeks ago, they were doing all in their power to support John F. Kerry's campaign for the most powerful office in the world. This would be the same JFK who received a Silver Star (with and erroneous "V") for chasing a wounded Vietcong combatant (described as a young boy in a loin cloth) around a hutch and shooting him in the back.

I awoke this morning. . .

. . .and piddled around for a while before getting on my computer. When I finally did get here, lo and behold! It turns out I've got a link on the front page at Lucianne.com!

Thanks to Lucianne, Staff, Mouser, Peepster, Editor, Igor, Igorina, Oblio, Intern, and any member of that tireless crew that I may have neglected to mention! Your work at Ldot has provided me with more knowledge and fun than I'll ever be able to fit into this little blog, so I do my best to hit the high points.

It's been a lot of fun already. And, now that I've gotten reasonably settled as to the basic concept running through this blog, I'm going to turn the comments back on so that anyone may comment. If a site pest comes along and has something stupid or unproductive to contribute, I'll deal with it then.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is now out looking for my Nakamichi receiver and Polk Audio home theater speaker system.

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