The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Friday, January 30, 2004

John Kerry's An Ignorant, Blind, Clueless Asshole.

Read this exchange.
Its from the South Carolina Debate.
Is this really the guy the Democrats are going to nominate?

What does he call the airplanes flying into the WTC and Pentagon. Even Howard Dean isn't this clueless. Joe Lieberman should take this and RUN RUN RUN. God Help The Democratic Party.

BROKAW: We're back on stage at the Peace Center for Performing Arts in Greenville, South Carolina, with the seven presidential candidates contesting for the Democratic presidential nomination. South Carolina's primary is next Tuesday.

Senator Kerry, let me ask you a question. Robert Kagan, who writes about these issues a great deal from the Carnegie Institute for Peace, has written recently that Europeans believe that the Bush administration has exaggerated the threat of terrorism, and the Bush administration believes that the Europeans simply don't get it.

Who is right?

KERRY: I think it's somewhere in between. I think that there has been an exaggeration and there has been a refocusing...

BROKAW: Where has the exaggeration been in the threat on terrorism?

KERRY: Well, 45 minutes deployment of weapons of mass destruction, number one.

Aerial vehicles to be able to deliver materials of mass destruction, number two.

I mean, I -- nuclear weapons, number three.

I could run a long list of clear misleading, clear exaggeration. The linkage to Al Qaida, number four.

That said, they are really misleading all of America, Tom, in a profound way. The war on terror is less -- it is occasionally military, and it will be, and it will continue to be for a long time. And we will need the best-trained and the most well-equipped and the most capable military, such as we have today.

But it's primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation that requires cooperation around the world -- the very thing this administration is worst at. And most importantly, the war on terror is also an engagement in the Middle East economically, socially, culturally, in a way that we haven't embraced, because otherwise we're inviting a clash of civilizations.

Saddam’s Pay Off’s.

Disney owned ABC, which has never been accused of being a tool of the right wing, has quite an expose on Saddam’s payoffs. All the usual suspects are listed as having received staggering amounts of money.

In fact, the only person missing from this list is Howard Dean.

Of course, last year he was a nobody (except to me, I predicted his strong challenge in 1996 when he hosted the Democratic Governors Association in Vermont and made his intentions clear). Anyway, I expect as we dig further, we will see smaller sums directed at lots of influential members of the opposition party here (Dean, Kerry, Clinton, Terry McCaulife . . . Scott Ritter anyone) and abroad.

The State of Air Quality

The National Academy of Sciences has just released a report on Air Quality Management in the United States. The Academy is a non partisan organization, recognized by the United States Government, but not a part of it, that is often used to hash out policy differences and to present an unbiased examination of science and facts. This report represents a tremendous endorsement of President Bush's environmental policies. Amongst its five major recommendations are:

(1) Strengthening the science that underlies current environmental regulations.

To many regulations are based not upon any scientific principles, but rather on the well funded media relations operations of the major environmental groups. These groups, with their hundreds of millions of dollars annually in contributions have mastered the art of public deception. They employ scores of so called experts on the issues they project to raise the most funds from, and unleash brutal, personally destructive attacks on the reputations of scientists who dare to criticize their political agendas and the shaky science underlying it.

(2) Expand national emissions control systems by focusing on a technology neutral, market based regulations

This is exactly what the Bush Administration has been pushing. Clean the air, we don't care how you do it. By setting up a market based system where emissions credits can be sold like stock, their is a definite financial incentive to reducing your emissions. It worked beyond imagination with acid rain, and is the foundation of the Clear Skies program.

(3) Transform the SIPs

Under the current Clean Air Act, Congress has directed EPA to set air quality standards for six major pollutants, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, ground level ozone, lead, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide. How those standards are attained is largely up to the individual states who must submit State Implementation Plans showing EPA how they will meet them.

The Academy is recommending that in addition to this process, future efforts to control air pollution focus on what is known as the multi pollutant approach. That is, grouping various pollutants together and finding a cost effective method of reducing them as a group. Again, this was the basis of Clear Skies and is behind the Interstate Air Quality Rule and the Utility Mercury Reductions Rule, both of which were published in the Federal Register today (more on them later).

As much of a triumph as I believe this report is, I do have some concerns. First, the National Academy continues to advocate for further study of Climate Change gases. While I have no problem with further studies (beyond the fact that they are a multi million dollar boondoggle for scientists) since the sound ones all clearly show there is no evidence of anthropogenic climate change (which is different than climate change generally), the continual kowtowing to the Greens is growing rather nauseating.

Second, the Academy once again raises the specter of Environmental Justice. While I don’t think anyone should be forced to endure unnecessary levels of pollution, most industrial facilities don’t locate in poor areas. Rather, wherever they locate, a working class community will often pop up. See, its not too hard to understand. Working class people like to work. Hence, they live where there is work. If they lived where there wasn’t work, they wouldn’t be working. Of course, they could always decide to commute a farther distance from the facility, or work elsewhere, but they generally don’t. Since they moved to the so called nuisance, I don’t see why the facility should be penalized and of course, if it decides to produce its products in China, the working class people living around it will not be working class anymore – they will be in the welfare class and society will be far worse off.

Well, that’s enough for now. More to come later.

Light Blogging

Sorry for the light blogging ... alright, non existant blogging, the last few days. Its been pretty busy here at work, and I just didn't have time.

I'll make it up over the next few days.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Snow Day

Well, as some of you may have heard, the District was hit with some snow yesterday. Last nite we were hit with an ice storm. While trying to chop away the 1/2 inch thick sheet of ice on our SUV I decided I would just take the day off.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet I was able to do a remote log in to the office computer and actually get some stuff done from here. . . . but I was also able to take the son out sledding.

While at work yesterday, I took a stroll around the block and snapped some pictures in Lafayette Park across the street.

The General still watches over the nation.

H Street, N.W.

George's House. Their doing major construction on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. No one really knows whats going on, but they erected these huge green screens to keep the gawkers away.

While the screens are a distraction for me, they have really ruined these folks ability to do their job. What's the use of a 24 Hour White House Vigil/Protest if no one in the White House can see you? The nukies are inside the tent. Thats a Japanese Reporter trying to coax them into appearing on television.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Kerry, Frogs, and New Hampshire

Over on National Review Online's The Corner, they've been blogging up a storm, talking bout tomorrow's New Hampshire primaries. A reader commented about the influence of French descendants on the New Hampshire results and that as a result John Kerry was actually campaigning in French.

I thought the commentator made a good point about Kerry's choice of language since French is regularly spoken through a good portion of New Hampshire (and parts of Vermont).

The national press hasn't really picked up on the importance of this fact and I can only think its because they don't travel too far from the Massachusetts border. Few ever make it North of the White Mountains where French is as common as Spanish in Miami. The same French trappers who founded Quebec settled the state and their descendants still speak the same French dialect as the Quebecois.

It is also vitally important to remember (and again, the mainstream press from New York and Washington certainly is too dense to pick up on it) that in New Hampshire, many people get their news not from Boston but from Montreal and/or Quebec City.

Since moving to D.C. (from the Upper Connecticut River Valley of Vermont), I've been disturbed at how the mainstream press misses this important aspect of New Hampshire life. This year, as in the last election, the focus seems to be on the liberal twits who've at least the sense not to give their money away to the fools running Taxachussets, and populate Southern NH and focus attention at Boston.

New Hampshire's independent, libertarian, spirit does not come from these transplanted Massholes, and while I have few good things to say about Kerry, at least he seems to have the good sense to know what appeals to them.

Monday Song Lyric

Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Juan Non-Volokh has started up a new weekend feature called the Sunday Song Lyric. His first post is a great one - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry by Hank Williams.

Well, here at the Counterpoint Chronicle, we believe imitation is truly the sincerist form of flattery, as well as one of the easiest opportunities to quickly advance the state of the art. Think Gregg Easterbrooks Tuesday Morning Quaterback to Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback.

In that spirit, I hereby present you with the Monday Song Lyric.

This week, we look at the lyrics to PC by the band Brute.

Brute, as some of you might know (but most do not) is a collaboration between the Athens, Georgia Hippy Rock Superstars Widespread Panic and the Athens, Georgia singer songwriter extraordinaire Vic Chestnutt. Mr. Chestnutt is known to most people as Dwight Yoakum's quadraplegic bandmate in the Billy Bob Thorton movie Sling Blade. To those familiar with him though, he is often times described as a modern day Bob Dylan. The New Yorker lists his most recent CD, Silver Lake, as one of its favorite dozen from 2003.

I like to think this particular song was written about and/or for their fellow Athenian, Michael Stipe of R.E.M. fame. I could be wrong on that regard, but its certainly fitting for the shallow, ill advised, ultra leftist liberalism thats so in vogue with our media and Hollywood elite these days.


You're so politically correct it crawls down my neck
Smug as a bug in your righteousness
You talk like you're the original socialist
They all sit at you're feet like you are some maharishi
As you knock off all of the easy targets
And knockup all of the tightest teachers pets

And now you are rich man you bought yourself a band
You're talking tough and you're playing loud
You sure know how to please your crowd
They all rally around you in their sweat shop stylie-man suits
Flashing their bright red union cards
Blaring all your CDs from their oriental cars.

Gore Wars

To those who have been looking for the copy of Kozinski's Gore Wars ... here it is.


John at the Crease is reporting that Jamie no longer sleeps through the night.

Strange, but my son was waking up all night long too. Not sure what it is, but since Christmas, he likes to get up 3 or 4 times a night.

Still, at least I haven't found any gray hair, yet.

Snow Day


My employer thought it best that I come into work. Oh well, blogging will be light today, but look for me to finally get my Presidential Guide and Opinions up tonite when I get home.

Also - I'll have my abortion thing on line too. . . . maybe

Another Loser For Clark

Well, it looks like the Candidate of the Clinton's is in trouble. USA Today
is reporting that he stands a distant third, and falling in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, CNN's latest shows Joe Lieberman passing Clark in the polls as we head into the final stretches in New Hampshire.

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto reported in his Friday Best of the Web column that Wesley Clark hoped picking up the endorsement of the inept and racist former mayor of New York City, David Dinkins would help his campaign out. Like his recent embarrassment with Michael Moore, Clark has picked another fine one to hang his hat with.

As Taranto points out:

When elected, Dinkins was supposed to be a "racial healer," New York having recently been roiled by a couple of high-profile racist crimes committed by whites against blacks.

Instead, during the Dinkins administration almost every summer saw an outbreak of racial violence--the difference being that the perpetrators belonged to "oppressed" minorities. It took Rudy Giuliani to bring real racial peace to New York by getting tough on crime in a colorblind way.

Such a disaster was Dinkins that New York, not exactly a GOP stronghold, has not elected a mayor running as a Democrat in more than 14 years.

As I stated last week, I've got my own story on this racist piece of s*#%! Here it is:

In January of 1994 I was lucky enough to land an internship with Friends of the Earth, U.K. in merry old London, England. It was set up through school and we were set to ship out right after New Years, the first weekend of January. My then girlfriend (now wife) also went with me and continued her art studies in London. Since she didn't want to travel alone, I was going to catch the U.S. Air shuttle and fly from Newark to D.C. a couple of days before our flight left Dulles for Heathrow.

Well, as anyone who lived in the Mid Atlantic at that time remembers, the Winter of 1994 was one of the worst ever with something like 10 storms dropping over 8 inches of snow (or so they tell me). The first of those storms hit big time on January 7, canceling my flight to National. Luckily, my father works in Newark, NJ and knows his way around. He was able to get my large duffle bag, my backpack, and me to Penn Station in order to catch the last train to Washington.

Since it was a bad storm, shutting all airports down, the train was pretty crowded, though most in my car were in relatively good spirits. I say most, because Former Mayor Dinkins was sitting across the aisle from me (Rudy Giuliani had been sworn in the previous weekend). Turns out, D.C. Mayor for Life Marion Barry was getting married that weekend, and Dinkins and his wife were going to attend the wedding. Well, Dinkins was not happy to be forced to mix with the common folks. He quickly put a few drinks in him, as he loudly announced his disgust to his wife. As the drinks stated adding up, Dinkins began making quite a scene, getting visibly upset when a commuter standing over him leaned in too close.

Eventually, I found myself standing behind him on the snack bar line, where he was ordering another drink. It was pretty crowded, and the bar tender was completely overworked, and by mistake, he gave Dinkins a nickel instead of a quarter for change. This, apparently, was too much and Dinkins let out a verbal assault on the poor Amtrak worker (a Union member too!), accusing him of racism (he thought he was short changed because he was black) and when the bar tender apologized and went to get a quarter for him, Dinkins started yelling that "he should never turn his back on him," "do you know who I am," "I am a powerful man and I could get you fired," and that if he wasn't such a "peaceful, timid, man he would hop over the counter and beat the s#&% out" of him. (Those, btw, are all pretty accurate quotes ... or at least the best I can do 10 years later). Eventually, his wife came, grabbed him, and sat him down. As people would look at him (no one really said anything to him ... I think we were all too happy he wasn't mayor any more) he again started in with the racism charges, directed at anyone and everyone who caught his eye,.

Needless to say, it made for quite an interesting train trip. When we finally arrived in D.C., I was forced to wait in line behind his wife to use the pay phone (this was back in the day when most Americans didn't have cell phones). She called Marion Barry's house and while not indicate that her husband caused an out burst on the train, did recount that it was a horrible journey, they treated them like cattle, and they needed to do something about it.

With endorsements from people like this, who really needs votes anyway?

Gettin' A Move On

This is a must see video. Its got cold, snow, Al Gore, Climate Change, and your average eloquent, articulate, and reasoned Democratic voter.

Mars ... WOW!

Kudo's to the folks at NASA!

The Building Museum

why.i.hate.dc is linking to a story on the Washington Post's Sunday Source section. It’s a pretty good assessment of a worthless section of a really bad, one topic newspaper. Actually, almost more than anything else I hate about D.C., I hate the Post.

In describing this ridiculous section, why.i.hate.dc mentions the occasional celebrity interview and gives, as an example, the fact that Mandy Moore likes the Building Museum and knowing that makes the reader feel less intelligent. Well, I had no idea who Mandy Moore was, and besides the fact that she is defiantly HOT, I've got to agree with the general assertion. Especially since I fully agree with Ms. Moore on this subject.

Here's the comment I left:

I don't have the slightest who Mandy Moore is, but I have to agree with her. The building museum is my favorite building in D.C. Especially in the morning on a bright crisp winter day, if you come out of the metro as the sun hits the red brick, with the soldiers of the frieze marching onward, and the brilliant blue sky framing it, there is no building more beautiful or well designed.

It really is a fine building. The interior, though not as attractive as the exterior, is also one of the finest sights in D.C. Plush doesn't adequately describe it. As you walk in, towering, speckled marble, Corinthian columns greet you with attractive fountains on either side.

I used to serve as the general counsel for a charitable fundraiser in D.C. that hosted their annual gala at the Building Museum for most of their first 10 years. Unfortunately, because of problems with our guests in the fountains, they now frown upon large, alcohol fueled, private events at the Building Museum. That’s too bad, but I'll continue to go.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Sickness And Health Part III

Well, I was hoping to be able to provide you with some spectacular pictures from the new Air and Space Museum complex out in Suburban Virginia. Unfortunately, the sickness has continued and we've postponed our trip for another week. Look for the pictures next weekend ... with any luck.

In other news .... It’s snowing right now. Coming down about 2 inches an hour. We already have over 4 inches on the ground and its supposed to grow heavier overnight and continue until tomorrow morning, just before rush hour. That is a lot of snow for around here and will pretty much shut everything down tomorrow. I guess I'll have a snow day, but I really can't afford the time off. I've a lot of work to complete in preparing comments on the Bush Administration's Mercury Rulemaking and Interstate Air Quality Rule - both examples of giant environmental strides made under the current administration.

We'll probably go snowshoeing in the morning with the son and dog. I might have some pictures from that to post too.

PC Speech Police Strike Again - UK Edition

A few days ago, in my first official post, I discussed the rise of that vile mindset, Political Correctness and how it is has created conditions that threaten to force George Orwell's worst nightmare upon us. From the educational quagmire to a nation burdened by frivolous lawsuits, the threat imposed by the PC Thought Police looms larger each day.

Now, Daniel Pipes (who every American with a thirst for a greater understanding of the middle east should read weekly) has a troubling article on the extreme ends to which the PC mantra will go. apparently, in Tony Blair's the United Kingdom the speech police have been charged to eliminate all who dare to disparage Osama Bin Laden. In case you have forgotten, Osama Bin Laden murdered 3,000 innocent civilians on September 11, 2003.

It appears that a guard in England's prison system made an off the cuff remark about the location of a picture of Osama Bin Laden. Upset that his remarks might offend members of the prisons criminal Muslim population (they are in jail after all) the Prison Governor (sort of like a Warden) fired the guard. While the guard has challenged the action, and apparently had some success in front of an employment tribunal, the more frightening part is that the British Government actually supports his dismissal.

A spokesman for the prison stated that the government was "very disappointed" by the employment tribunal and that "the decision to dismiss Mr Rose was fully consistent with Prison Service policy ... to eradicate racism in prisons."

There really isn't anything else to add.

Since first traveling there as a child I've always loved England. I consider the time I spent living there in the mid 90s as one of the highlights of my life. While I understand that something as offensive as this could happen in the United States (indeed, it probably has) it just makes me wonder how could a once mighty empire fall so far so fast and should I accept the loss of England to the forces of evil for good?

It just makes me wonder, are we ill equipped to handle this attack and is it inevitable that we here in the United States will also fall victims to our own internal forces of oppression and insanity?

Shoe Shopping

Hecht's was having a one day sale on shoes yesterday.
The wife dragged me and the boy along.
Ugh. I don't understand women at all.

These are, quite simply,
the ugliest boots ever.

Who Would Wear These?

Site Update

Well, if you were one of the few people to show up at the site over the last few days, you are probably pretty surprised at how good it looks now. I've been working on this since I put the son to sleep and am pretty pleased with my self. Not only did I change the look of the site to something slightly more pleasing to the eye, but I think I did a pretty kick ass job morphing the family into Gottfried Helnwein's Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

I've always been troubled by the painting. Partly because of the subect matter and partly because I don't think parody's should gather more fame than the original. Sadly, very few people know that this was originally an Edward Hopper piece. My version though, takes on a life of its own and hopefully conveys a sense of hope for tomorrow and the future - mostly cause we are still alive at this time. Plus, it fits with the general title of this site.

Anyway, I'm honored to play James Dean, and my wife and son are cast as Humphry Bogart and Marilyn Monroe. Since no one can replace Elvis, I've left him in.

I'm also working on a site of my photography, and hope to have that linked up in the next few days. I've got alot to post and I'll get it up tomorrow. But right now, I'm tired and want to sleep. Goodnight.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Happy Birthday Macintosh

Happy Birthday Macintosh!

20 years ago today, Steve Jobs and Apple changed the world.

Glad were still going strong.

Here's the original commercial.

Here's is the 20th Anniversary update.


I rented S.W.A.T. last night on DVD to watch. It's interesting. Not very good, as far as movies go, but a decent dumb action flik. Its basically 50 minutes of watching the S.W.A.T. guys train and play with cool guns and sniper rifles. The last 1/3 of the movie is about an International Mobster trying to get out of jail. That part actually has an interesting premise: As they are taking him away from the court house, he screams to the TV Cameras that he will give $100 million dollars to anyone who can get him out of jail.

I wonder what would happen were that to really occur. Thats a heck of a lot of money.

Well, beyond that, its a pretty dumb movie, but if you like to watch guns and explosions and stuff like that, its worth the $2.50 rental. Look for it on TBS's "Movies For Guys Who Like Movies" soon.

Art Values

The Online Wall Street Journal has a great piece on art values. When I make my first $10 million, I'm going to get into the art world big time. I've wanted to open a world class gallery for the longest time, but understanding the nature of the business, realize it won't happen for some time. I thank my parents for instilling an appreciation for the visual arts in me. Dad's quite an accomplished painter (though he hates selling his work --- bad bad bad) and they took me around Europe frequently as a child exposing me to the great works.

Its probably the first thing that attracted me to the lovely wife. We met when I was an architecture student at the University of Tennessee and she was an art student. Both schools shared the same building. She's quite good, and was easily the most technically talented in her class. She was a bit of a child prodigy, and has painted in oils since she was about 4 or 5 (or so they tell me). She hasn't been doing much painting recently though, as motherhood is a full time job. But once we get the spare bedroom organized and fixed up, it will become her art studio. It shouldn't take her long to get on the WSJ's list of appreciating art work from that point.

Sickness and Health Part II

Well, the Doctor says he has some sort of gastro-intestinal infection. She said lots of kids are coming in with the same symptoms. She's put him on the B.R.A.T. diet. Eliminate dairy (milk), because it prolongs the infection and eat lots of Bananas, Rice, Apples, and Toast. I hate calling it the BRAT diet cause he's such a good kid ... happiest baby I've ever seen. He'll have no problem with this though, since with the exception of bananas he'd generally prefer to eat Rice Apples and Toast over most everything else.

Presidential Guide

Well, before I post my thoughts on the candidates, I thought you should look at the 2004 AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SELECTOR. Again, thanks go to the Triple S Blog where they apparantly would prefer that no one ever talk about politics. I can understand where Triple S is coming from, it is the source of much anger in this country, but since I've been a political junkie from an early age its just not going to happen.

Anyway, I put in selections, and here is what the Selector spit out:

The Results:

1. Ideal theoretical candidate. (100%)
2. Libertarian Candidate (65%)
3. Bush, President George W. - Republican (55%)
4. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (45%)
5. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (40%)
6. Gephardt, Rep. Dick, MO - Democrat (35%)
7. Kucinich, Rep. Dennis, OH - Democrat (34%)
8. Lieberman, Senator Joe, CT - Democrat (34%)
9. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (34%)
10. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (32%)
11. Green Party Candidate (31%)
12. Phillips, Howard - Constitution (29%)
13. Socialist Candidate (29%)
14. Clark, Retired General Wesley K., AR - Democrat (24%)
15. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. - Democrat (22%)
16. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol, IL - Democrat (19%)
17. Hagelin, Dr. John - Natural Law (14%)

At the top end, I think its mostly accurate (or at least between the first three choices). I have no ideal candidate who agrees with me on every issue. No one should, unless your supporting yourself. I am philosophically a liberatarian before I am a Republican, and have a lot of concerns with some Republican positions. But like any family, Republicans tolerate a large diversity of viewpoints (certainly more than the Democrats) and thats why I almost always vote Republican (I say almost always because I have pulled the lever for Libertarian candidates before - ie: when I lived in Vermont where they stood a chance of winning and Rhode Island where hell would freeze over before a Republican won).

I think Edwards falls about right. He's failry disarming ... and thats one of the things I don't like about him. But generally, he seems to sit on the fence like any good politician. I'm shocked John Kerry places so high, but chalk that up to his political pandering for votes and adotion of such soft positions he wants everyone to like him. Truth his, he should be down somewhere in the 14% range with Carol Mosley Braun, the Socialist Candidate, and Lyndon Larouche.

I'm most surprised about Lieberman, and can't really figure out why he places so low. This poll is all about percentages, and the difference between the Green Party Candidate at #12 and Dick Gephardt at #6 is only 4 points. Still, I would have thought Lieberman ranked higher, closer to the 45% or so that Kerry gets. I like Lieberman alot (falling for the Climate Change hoax notwithstanding) and hope, for the sake of a strong democracy and the Democratic Party, that he is their eventual nominee (though I guess I might be able to stomach Edwards even though i don't care for most of his positions). In fact, I plan on voting for Joe in the primary here in Virginia. So, go figure. I thought he did a great job the other night.

Well, I got to run and get to the Doctors appointment. I'll post more later.


The Triple S Blog is listed at my metro stop on the D.C. Metro Blog map. Thought I'd check it out and this is what he had posted. . . .

No comment necessary.

Sickness and Health

Well, its cold and flurrying here in D.C. today. Northern parts of town picked up the tail end of what appears to be some lake effect snow coming down from the Midwest. We just had a dusting in McLean this morning. Tomorrow though, we are due for what in D.C. is a sizeable storm - 4-8 inches. If it hits, it will probably close things down on Monday. Good grief.

Anyway, I was hoping to post a bunch of stuff today, and I still may - but my son was up sick last night and we've got a doctors appointment at 10:30. He's been sick most of the week, but its a weird sickness. During the day he is his usual extroverted self, but at night, he just keeps vomiting and cant hold anything down. I don't know what it is, but its got me concerned. I do hope he is alright though.

Tomorrow we were planning to go to the new Air and Space Museum out by Dulles Airport. Right now that is on hold, pending the doctor's recommendation.

Anyway, at some point today I hope to put some things up about D.C.'s Mayor for Life Marion Barry, that racist fool, and ex mayor from New York, David Dinkins, my run in with abortion protesters the other day, a review of the presidential candidates and an analysis of their debate the other night. If we go to the Air and Space place, look for some nice photos. I can't wait to prominently place a picture of the Enola Gay in my title bar.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Environmental Prostitution

For the last 15 years or so, its been pretty clear to me that the major environmental groups no longer care about the earth. Rather, their leadership simply prostitutes itself out to various left wing loonies in exchange for cash and power. It first came to light after the Natural Resources Defense Council was caught with its pants down in the alar scare and has been steamrolling since then.

Well, its wonderfully surprising to discover that some terrorists from Greenpeace are now being charged as prostitutes after one of the groups signature terror strikes.

Look for me to write extensivly on this subject in the future.


Maybe Orwell was right. Maybe we have entered that world he warned us about, and Ridley Scott so fabulously portrayed on Super Bowl Sunday, after all.

The slow incursion of PC-speak has been creeping upon us for years. My earliest recollections are from the mid 1980s, when I would routinely get into arguments with a certain friends liberal mother about the threat posed to society from the revisionist historians and speech police invading college campuses and our high schools. She of course, like any good member of the proletariat, denied its existence or concern.

I don't recall any awareness of its impending attack as far back as 1984 (the connections would have been obvious), but this was certainly on the radar by 1987-1988. However, for me to have caught on to what was occurring, when I was simply a punk teenager in the Jersey suburbs (prescient as I was of current events, even back then), means it must have been stewing for a couple of years at least among the left wing liberals terrified over Reagan's success against their Evil Empire.

Nevertheless, as damaging as PC-speak has been to society, Orwell's vision didn't fully threaten us until much more recently.

The attacks of September 11 brought about Congress's quick passage of the Patriot Act (Countertop's Law of Better Public Policy #1 - Whenever a tragic event gives rise to calls for immediate Congressional action, Members of Congress best serve the Republic by going back home, serving their famous bean soup in a homeless shelter, where they can't cause any harm, rather than f*#% things up more by showing up to work.) Since its passage, we have witnessed a frightening expansion of federal policing powers and the threat of an FBI more powerful than even J. Edgar Hoover could have imagined.

This expansion, and its concerns, are not the fault of any one person, but simply a product of Washington, D.C. itself. The President signed what Congress, in its best efforts under a short time frame, could draft. Attorney General Ashcroft, the scape goat of the hour, is simply doing his job by enforcing the law as its written. Most claims of abuse are overstated and based simply on misunderstanding the dynamics of federal bureaucracies. When they come from presidential aspirants with a deep knowledge of D.C., they are duplicitous, or more troubling, representative of a serious lack of intellectual capacity.

Will these powers continue to expand unchecked? Unfortunately, without a serious re-evaluation by Congress and the President, I think they will, and they could lead us into a world like that which Orwell warned about (well, maybe not exactly).

Now, its true, as some have pointed out, that the Patriot Act has been a corner stone of our success in the war on terror. I completely agree with this assertion and fully support its continued use. Furthermore, the inclusion of a sunset provision in the act was a most welcomed and rare sign of reason and foresight by our elected officials. However, I think its important that when Congress begins the process of reauthorizing it, that particular attention is paid to both oversight of the agencies under its jurisdiction, as well as inclusion of prophylactic measures to prevent its perversion by a runaway and unaccountable judiciary.

Government agencies are like the blob. They don't think, they just keep rolling along, absorbing all they can. As I mentioned earlier, when good, well intentioned citizens come to Washington, they take a few sips of the water and go native (thats why I drink bottled water).

In the hands of misguided bureaucrats, interested only in their own power and titles, the Patriot Act can become a dangerous tool. Transformed by a run away judiciary, its powers are frightening. Congress and the President need to proceed towards it reauthorization with due care, and should consider creation of an oversight body, not unlike the Office of Information and Regulatory Policy within the White House Office of Management and Budget, but located outside of Washington, D.C. to best protect its autonomy.

In the meantime, we can thank Apple Computer for reminding us that we still face these serious threats, though with slight, and very much 2004, difference.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

In The Beginning

Well, never one to not try and hop on the train AFTER it has left the station, I've finally decided to get up my own web log, or blog. I hope you enjoy my ramblings and maybe we can all learn a thing or two. As the Great Communicator so eloquently put it, the open exchange of ideas is really the greatest security of a free people.

Of course, when someone shows up and intends to threaten that freedom, we thank the open exchange of ideas amongst those arms makers in the Connecticut River Valley who gave rise to the .357 which so effectively protects.

I suppose any good introduction, as introductions do, should give a little background about me, this blog, and the direction I would like to take it.

Well, I am a thirty something married guy, with a fabulous wife, son and dog, living just outside Washington, D.C. but still "inside the beltway." I'm an environmental attorney and spend my days, nights, and most waking hours trying to educate people about the true state of the environment, and ensure that Congress, and more importantly, the folks at the Environmental Protection Agency think before they act. Sometimes, its a whole lot more difficult than one would imagine. As that patron saint of regulatory oversight, Jim Tozzi, likes to say: every four years we get someone new who swears they'll do it differently, but they all go native. If you've got a suggestion for how we can change that, shoot me an email, I'd love to discuss it.

As you can imagine, with my background, I will probably be spending some time here presenting my views on various environmental matters. Don't fear though, because I do have other interests. Your also likely to read about my delusional rantings on politics and political theory, why my Macintosh computer is superior to your PC (but doesn't hold a candle to my oldCommodore 64), current events, my son, wife, and dog, and of course anything else that's on my mind.

I also hope to spice things up with some real news reporting on the events in downtown D.C. In the coming weeks, look for both some, photo and video reports on all the major events

Generally, I hope to present fairly serious commentary, with a bit of fun thrown in, on a variety of subjects over the coming days, weeks, months, and hopefully years (we will see about that).

I'll mostly be reporting from my homes outside Washington, D.C. and Chattanooga, TN, and wherever else my travels take me. Since I am not paid to blog, its best to look for updates in the mornings and evenings (unless some special event is happening).

So sit back, grab some coffee, and come join me at the counter top.