Monday, May 31, 2004

2004 Birthday Sonnet for Katie

Another year has gone. Another chance
To sing of birthday feasts, rejoice in love.
And yet, and yet... I fear forgetful dance.
I find that I’m behind and not above.
I find that I’m afraid that you will not
Agree to recognize my simple gift.
It’s just that I was poor. I cast my lot
On fearful doubt and find myself berift.
I thought good work would cancel out my sins
And you’d forgive my foolishness and be
Where love arrives and all of hope begins:
You’re still the largest part of what is me.
I only want to be a part of you,
To find a place in what you want to do.


Happy birthday Katie. I love you.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

I found a pretty cool blog... SnuggHarbor. Check it out ----->

Saturday, May 29, 2004

As we all dig into our long weekend (except us pore guys doing intake and screening down at the copshop... two of us spent the last 12 hours at the JAC... ouch!) feasting on BBQ and wallowing in beer. Don't think I intend to get shorted in any category...

There's this that we should be careful to keep in mind --->.

Monday, May 24, 2004

I think that Pres. Bush is right. It's time to move on and get the job done. We can turn inward and lose ourselves in the easy weaknesses... and fail. Or we can rise to the task and go forward.

I'm sick and tired of hearing about that damned prison. Give it a rest. Let's go on and get things done. Hold on and get it done.

A lot of things are different. For one thing, the young people who are fighting this thing are completely different from the guys like me who fought the last war. Don't believe it? Well... I never saw a door gunner who looked like this.

I was born too soon.


Dan Gilmartin, one of my UCF connections, has a boss named Dr. Richard Crepeau, who is one of those serious baseball fanatics who actually makes sense without the use of psychotropics or shock therapy.

Dan sends this along from Dr. Crepeau:

May 18, 2004

Fishing is a sport that has never caught my
fancy, except for ice fishing
which is largely about drinking rather than
fishing. Growing up in the
state of Minnesota where fishing is akin to a
religious experience it may
seem strange that I have not joined the faithful.

In addition over the
past three decades I have been living in Florida,

the Bass Fishing capital
of the universe, where high stakes fishing is
considerably more popular
than the Tampa Bay Lightning. Here too I have
resisted the allure, or is
it the lure.

I have tried fishing, although I must admit never

fly fishing, and fishing
for me seems to be more a catatonic than a
religious experience. I have
heard people go on and on about fly fishing, I
have read Ted Williams'
comments on fly fishing, I even read the book and

saw the movie, "A River
Runs Through It." Nothing happened. I had no
visions, I was not
transported to another dimension.

Now comes news of another kind of fishing. I must

say that when I first
saw the headline in the New York Times, "How to
Catch Fish in Vermont: No
Bait, No Tackle, Just Bullets," I thought I had
come upon a piece of

Fish Shooting is legal in Vermont where the right

to bear arms has an
ominous meaning even for the fish. And it is
popular. So popular that
after fish shooting was made illegal in 1969 it
was reinstated in 1970
increasing the target species to ten in number.
It is so popular that the
courageous Howard Dean who took on the formidable

political machine of the
Bush family and assorted Democrats refused to
take a public stand on the
issue of fish shooting. It is obviously one thing

to denounce the Iraq War
and quite another to raise doubts about fish

I have heard of shooting fish in a barrel, but
must admit I had never
heard of shooting fish in a pond, river, or lake.

The law places no
restrictions on the firearms of choice for fish
shooting. Presumably no
one has taken an AK-47 to the little "wigglies of

the waterways" although
why should anything associated with this bizarre
activity be presumed by
anyone. If there was any presumption to be made
it would be that fish
shooting doesn't exist.

It does.

So pack up your side-arms, rifles, automatic
pistols, or .357 Magnum's and
head out to Vermont where men are men, the fish
are at a decided
disadvantage, and the state is a madhouse. This
is the sort of thing that
the mentally skewed just couldn't pass up. Maybe
it's something in all
that maple syrup consumed up there, or maybe it's

the winters. In fact
this sounds suspiciously like an activity that
might be hatched in a
drunken stupor in mid-January while ice fishing.

So how does it work?

There are several approaches to the revered
sport. You can simply sit on
the shore of a lake or bank of a stream and take
shots whenever you have a
visual sighting. You might go out in a small
boat, although you should be
careful to calibrate the size of the boat to the
power of the kick from
your fishing weapon of choice. Does displacement
ring a bell? For the more
ambitious you could build a fish blind thus
emulating the millions of duck
hunters across the globe.

For the aficionado however there is only one way
to approach fish
shooting. Climb a tree. Get out on the limb
overhanging the water and get
that bird's eye view of the fish. You will become

part of the landscape,
although there is a danger that your perch could
give way and suddenly the
fisherman could join the swimming prey on Golden

As in all the great sports there is an art to the

activity. Don't actually
shoot the fish. Shoot just in front of the fish,
creating a concussion
strong enough to break the fish's air bladder.
Then when the little
critter floats to the surface you retrieve the
trophy. Shooting the actual
fish makes them unsuited for the table as they
tend to shatter when shot.
Caliber of bullet may also play into this

Vermont fish and wildlife officials continue to
try to ban this sport but
luckily they have not succeeded. For many in
Vermont fish shooting is a
cherished tradition. Ban fish shooting, never!
Next thing you know people
would want to ban guns. Each generation passes
the folk knowledge and folk
wisdom surrounding fish shooting to the next. It
is a family sport, an
intergenerational sport, a Vermont tradition.

There is of course some danger in fish shooting.
Like all sporting
activities a little knowledge and a little common

sense minimizes the
danger. First, you never want to shoot at the
water over ten feet away.
This will virtually eliminate the danger of a
bullet ricocheting or
skipping and skimming over the surface of the
water. Second, you need to
remember that a human being is not a fish. Before

you fire be certain you
are not taking aim at a local swimmer. Size is a
good indicator. Third,
use caution when climbing a tree with a gun. You
never know what part of
your own anatomy might be in the line of fire.
Simple steps such as these
will continue to keep fish shooting a safe sport
and preserve it for
generations to come.

There are in fact few reports of injuries in the
sport demonstrating what
a great sport fish shooting really is, and what a

high caliber of people,
if we can use that word, are attracted to it.

One other word of caution: The next time you are
out along the shore of
Lake Champlain be wary of people in trees no
matter how docile they look.

On Sport and Society this is Dick Crepeau
reminding you that you don't
need to be a good sport to be a bad loser.

Copyright 2004 by Richard C. Crepeau

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Two military guys go into a restroom. One is in the Navy and the other is a Marine. When they are done, the navy guy goes to the sink and starts to wash his hands, while the Marine starts to leave. The Navy guy yells to the Marine, "The Navy teaches us to wash our hands." The Marine yells back, "The Marines teach us not to piss on ours!"

Tuesday, May 18, 2004


I've been sitting here thinking about how much anti-fun it is these days being a kid.

I suppose it's because I spent the day yesterday in the back helping out in screening, where we're dealing with teenagers who have been brought in the night before... mostly from downtown Orlando where the indie/alt bars are filled with orange haired kids and the ex flows like wine in the fertile valley.

Example: 3 young girls brought in on battery, misdemeanor possession, runaway, resisting w/o violence. The usual stuff. Young like fifteen or sixteen. Orange hair... with red/purple highlights.

I guess that the weird hair was cool and with-it about five years ago in the urban centers of up North, but down here in Cracker Florida it just looks dorkie. They are so out of it, but trying so hard to be with it. Sigh.

One of them is weeping uncontrollably. She has never been arrested before and is afraid to call her parents. Once she does she discovers that her mother had not missed her. Now understand, this is 9 AM on a Monday. A school day has begun and her parents had not missed her from the night before.

I notice that she is cleaner than her two buddies. Her clothes are outlandish but fairly clean and she appears to have had a shower in the last week or so. The others... well.

"Why the tears? Worried about what your Mom will do?"

"No. Screw her. I'm just so lonely. No boyfriend. No future. No nothing. I hate all of this."

"Well, your Mom is coming and she can bring you a change of clothes and you'll only miss a half day of school. Not so bad."

"Yeah. I still don't have a date for the prom."

As I was listening to this teenaged angst I was watching her friend picking the blackheads off her arms and scratching like maybe she had nits in her hair. A chubby girl with dead white skin and greasy black nails. A jailhouse tattoo of the letters FTW on her right breast. Just the kind of young lady who is bound to score well in the prom queen contests at the local high school. Ick.

"You'll live." I got up and went and looked at the arrest affidavit... RWOV... she gave the cop a bogus name. Said she was Courtney Love. He didn't recognize it, but his partner, a female officer about five years older than this kid in front of me, did. I imagine that in a slightly previous incarnation, the lady police officer had orange hair and a grieving attitude. Looking for a chance at a different way out of the trap called mortality.

Somehow I always thought that Courtney was more fun.

Thursday, May 13, 2004


My friend Dan Gilmartin comes in with a snip from the NYT. As much as I hate to admit it, these guys have a place to stand.

I love Dan's renaming.... Darth Rumsfeld. I love it. Doesn't change my mind, but it is cute.


Just Trust Us

May 11, 2004

Didn't you know, in your gut, that something like Abu
Ghraib would eventually come to light?

When the world first learned about the abuse of prisoners,
President Bush said that it "does not reflect the nature of
the American people." He's right, of course: a great
majority of Americans are decent and good. But so are a
great majority of people everywhere. If America's record is
better than that of most countries - and it is - it's
because of our system: our tradition of openness, and
checks and balances.

Yet Mr. Bush, despite all his talk of good and evil,
doesn't believe in that system. From the day his
administration took office, its slogan has been "just trust
us." No administration since Nixon has been so insistent
that it has the right to operate without oversight or
accountability, and no administration since Nixon has shown
itself to be so little deserving of that trust. Out of a
misplaced sense of patriotism, Congress has deferred to the
administration's demands. Sooner or later, a moral
catastrophe was inevitable.

Just trust us, John Ashcroft said, as he demanded that
Congress pass the Patriot Act, no questions asked. After
two and a half years, during which he arrested and secretly
detained more than a thousand people, Mr. Ashcroft has yet
to convict any actual terrorists. (Look at the actual
trials of what Dahlia Lithwick of Slate calls "disaffected
bozos who watch cheesy training videos," and you'll see
what I mean.)

Just trust us, George Bush said, as he insisted that Iraq,
which hadn't attacked us and posed no obvious threat, was
the place to go in the war on terror. When we got there, we
found no weapons of mass destruction and no new evidence of
links to Al Qaeda.

Just trust us, Paul Bremer said, as he took over in Iraq.
What is the legal basis for Mr. Bremer's authority? You may
imagine that the Coalition Provisional Authority is an arm
of the government, subject to U.S. law. But it turns out
that no law or presidential directive has ever established
the authority's status. Mr. Bremer, as far as we can tell,
answers to nobody except Mr. Bush, which makes Iraq a sort
of personal fief. In that fief, there has been nothing that
Americans would recognize as the rule of law. For example,
Ahmad Chalabi, the Pentagon's erstwhile favorite, was
allowed to gain control of Saddam's files - the better to
blackmail his potential rivals.

And finally: Just trust us, Donald Rumsfeld said early in
2002, when he declared that "enemy combatants" - a term
that turned out to mean anyone, including American
citizens, the administration chose to so designate - don't
have rights under the Geneva Convention. Now people around
the world talk of an "American gulag," and Seymour Hersh is
exposing My Lai all over again.

Did top officials order the use of torture? It depends on
the meaning of the words "order" and "torture." Last August
Mr. Rumsfeld's top intelligence official sent Maj. Gen.
Geoffrey Miller, the commander of the Guantánamo prison, to
Iraq. General Miller recommended that the guards help
interrogators, including private contractors, by handling
prisoners in a way that "sets the conditions" for
"successful interrogation and exploitation." What did he
and his superiors think would happen?

To their credit, some supporters of the administration are
speaking out. "This is about system failure," said Senator
Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina. But do
Mr. Graham, John McCain and other appalled lawmakers
understand their own role in that failure? By deferring to
the administration at every step, by blocking every effort
to make officials accountable, they set the nation up for
this disaster. You can't prevent any serious inquiry into
why George Bush led us to war to eliminate W.M.D. that
didn't exist and to punish Saddam for imaginary ties to Al
Qaeda, then express shock when Mr. Bush's administration
fails to follow the rules on other matters.

Meanwhile, Abu Ghraib will remain in use, under its new
commander: General Miller of Guantánamo. Donald Rumsfeld
has "accepted responsibility" - an action that apparently
does not mean paying any price at all. And Dick Cheney
says, "Don Rumsfeld is the best secretary of defense the
United States has ever had. . . . People should get off his
case and let him do his job." In other words: Just trust

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Well, we've had a week of gruesome pictures and it's only Tuesday... Wednesday soon... Now we have some video of some ragheads beheading an American contractor.

One of the valuable functions of the blogosphere is that this stuff actually gets disseminated. The mainstream media doesn't have the stomach for it, or they have their heads so far up their own asses that they don't want to give both sides of the story, or whatever.

But it's a good idea for the rest of the world to get occasional reminders of just who they are messing with:

Americans are not dopey, nicey nicey, weaklings who all act like John Kerries with a splinter in his finger. We are the only people in history to actually use nuclear weapons on general populations. We cleaned out whole nations of Indians. We have always been proud of the fact that General Pershing left no enemies behind. Still are.

The big difference between the photos of the prison guards giving out doses of humiliation and the photos of a group of murderers killing a businessman in cold blood is that our guys are smirking and showing off for the cameras while the "warriors of Allah" are hiding behind KKK looking hoods and trying to act tough. What we're telling the ragheads is that OUR WOMEN are better men than the crapulent losers in sandland. And they will have you sucking your own peckers before the whole world. Down, scum! Classic dominatrix fare, eh?

Those creeps are hiding because they KNOW that they are doing something awful and they are ashamed of it. What the boneheads at the prison are doing is saying is that they're not really doing anything so terrible... just rubbing some scumbags' noses in it. And lets face it, that's exactly what they are doing. Acidman has it exactly right when he says that the girl in the prison pictures should be in dominatrix costume. Yeah!

But the rest of the world should give slow pause to the idea that America is nothing but a sleeping giant. There is an old story about the delegation of Japanese diplomats who were supposed to formally notify Roosevelt about the beginning of hostilities in WWII. Roosevelt had the guys sent back to San Francisco by train rather than flying them back. It took two weeks to get across America by train in those days. The yellow peril dudes got there terrified and astounded that they had disturbed such a sleeping giant.

I've always hoped that that particular story was true. My friend Dan Gilmartin can probably straighten me out on the facts. He's usually right about stuff like that. It makes a great story though doesn't it?

So world... understand that nothing has changed. We're still gonna burn down your hooch and kill your water buffalo and set fire to your children and have our women make you act out your worst nightmares. Stand ready for it.


Sunday, May 09, 2004

We can always count on the guys at to bring us the pictures that the other media sources are too squeamish to publish.

OK... the military intelligence guys (there's an oxymoron for you) at Abu Ghraib were having a lot of twistoid-pervert fun in that uniquely Weimar period way of the anal military... at getting theirs back at the guys who fought us. But... is it good policy to take pictures? They look like something that was sketched by George Gross for God's sake. Excuse me, and maybe I'm the dope... but they took pictures? Didn't it ever occur to the guys that they might have to explain their ideas about "fun" to a grand jury (or maybe a hostile Congress) some day? Duh! This is the same kind of blind stupidity that Nixon had when he thought it would be a good idea to tape his rantings so that forensic historians could later hang him up to twist in the wind.

Now today I'm watching one of the Sunday news shows and Lehey (no friend of guys with an R after their name... of course, I can't even spell his name...duh)) and some other guy from one of the oversight committees, is vowing to go after them with a hammer to hit them in the nutsack. Surprise surprise.

How can these otherwise capable representatives of the military/industrial cabal be so dumb? What set of circumstances make it possible for people to think themselves immune from prosecution. We're already hearing variations on the Nuremberg Defense... I was just following orders.... give me a break!

And the associated question -- was any useful intelligence actually acquired with these dangerous methods? My visceral notion is that these kind of methods are a waste of time. One thing is for sure: they're not worth the risk. This kind of brutal and mindless foolishness could very easily cost ... not only Mr. Rumsfeld his job... but his boss too. Just think... four years of that loser Kerry then we can look forward to a double of Hillary. Did I just feel a chill running down my back? Yup. Good Christ! Why do we always have to shoot ourselves in the foot?



Saturday, May 08, 2004


I work in an office that deals with about 35,000 criminal affidavits in juvenile felony cases a year. Juveniles. I'm not talking about the job here, just the fact that our office (intake felony) has a bunch of educted, strong, hard working people doing a difficult job well.... and mostly they're women. It's sort of like all the years that I taught school: there are a few guys... four in my case here, to be precise... but mostly women... young, mixed background, but all college graduates, many multi-degreed professional women.

Now, under normal circumstances that is a great thing for yours truly. An old toad like me is very much in heaven when he can drag a herd of these babes out to lunch and have restaurant waiters give me the "Who's the old pimp?" look. Ah... if they only knew.

Of course, most of these ladies are my daughter's age. And... none of them are looking for anything but lunch (thank goodness). But I've noticed that as time marches on, I have slowed down to the pace that has definitely left me behind. Take TV shows for example.

That TV show "Friends" was the most striking example I've seen lately.

All the ladies in the office put together a group to watch the last show the other night. I mean... they made a BIG deal out of going out after work to a local watering hole, getting slightly wetted, and then they weeped their way through a TV show that apparently was important to them. Then they came in the next day and talked all day about it.


I confessed to Elaine (The Redhead) that I had never seen the show. She pointed out to me that she very rarely has seen me watching TV in the first place. True. But this show was obviously important to these co-workers of mine and it concerned me a little bit that I was so far out of the loop.

At that snippet both the Redhead and my daughter (can there be a more unkind as well as unbiased pair?) laughed in my face. Elaine also pointed out to me that Friends ran opposite a show that I have occasionally watched (CSI) so I never had a chance to see the thing in the first place. She calls it "touchie feelie" TV. Then she pointed out the Tee-Vo doodad that she had put in so that she could oblige me with CSI while taping (or whatever the thing actually does) Friends. Really.

"Is it any good?"

"Well, I like it but I suspect that you won't."

"Really? Why?"

"Well, CSI is a bunch of cop stuff and leaking corpses and scientific hoopla that guys eat up. Friends is just young people being friends."

Kathryn agreed.

So I got my family females to instruct me with a short lesson of pre-recorded Friends video. They were right. I didn't like it.

Sorry. I thought it sucked. At least the last show did. It wasn't bad, it was just slightly lame to me. People don't really act like that unless they're on TV. At least guys don't. Mostly guys sit and watch stuff and drink beers in silence while they do "together" stuff. Only girls do "together" stuff.

Like I said... I don't watch much TV. And apparently what I do watch is so carefuly vetted that I'm trapped in gender definitions before I'm even aware of making choices.

And... absolutely none of the ladies I work with even tried to explain the final episode of their favorite TV show to me. When I asked what they were doing the previous night the two that were eating lunch with me were surprised that I might even be curious about it.

"Oh, it was just a girl's night out. You wouldn't get it."

They're right. I don't.


Friday, May 07, 2004

Allow me to join the chorus. I came across a blog the other day that really rang my bells.

The blog is called Ramblings' Journal and it's by M.H. King. Go look at the post for May 4, 2004. It's about a little known incident that happened in Cincinnati when our Prez reached out to the daughter of a 9/11 victim. There weren't any cameras there or rafts of CNN geeks... just a man who took the time to comfort a child who had lost her mom to the evil that he is trying to fight for all of us.

Made this old cynic moisten up. Believe that.

Go read it.

I've asked the Rambler for permission to put his link up on this site. I think that I'm gonna be reading a lot more of his stuff. My guess is you will too.


Thursday, May 06, 2004

And then there's this ...

There's a link to the pictures if you have the stomach for it.


Wednesday, May 05, 2004

As usual, the Velocidude has it exactly right.

When the pictures came out the first thing I did was check the dates, and yeah, they should have been old news. But... I guess that they were some kind of news. But... we are still in combat mode. Any inflammatory or anti- anti-... what ever you want to call it... can only be something to try to embarrass the President during the campaign. And the truth is that when crap like that comes out and stirrs up the rag heads it costs more American lives.

Should the guilty get pounded? Oh, yeah. Should those responsible be held accountable, including the leadership that allowed such a display of poor judgement? Oh, yeah.

But was it a good idea to put that crap on the front pages of every newspaper in the world? Well, that's one of those things that probably should have been put on the back burner. Covered up? Hell, no. But hung around President Busch's neck? No... absolutely not.

They didn't put those awful pictures of that pregnant woman who was brutally murdered in Israel by the terrorists along with her children on the front page did they? Hell, no. If fact, most folks would not have known that it was such a brutal bloodbath unless they were watching closely.

So, why pump up the jpg's of the prisoners being roughed up? All the news that's fit to print? I suppose so. But the damage done to our war efforts has been considerable. Was it worth it just for some short term political advantage? I don't think so. Is this what we can expect from Mr. Busch's political enemies? I guess so. Loyal opposition, eh? Right. What it looks like to me is... hit 'em where it hurts, even if it means sacrificing American lives. The only losers worse than the perpetrators in the pictures are the venal monsters who are trying to garner political capital from their use. Sigh.

In fact, I'm inclined to think that this is one of these things that actually demonstrates how desperate the Kerry Campers are. Did it change my mind? Nope. How about you?

I didn't think so.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Any amount the Velocigod puts up for the death of the cretins who infect my stuff with adware... I'll double.

Especially the jerks with that damned 1Run4. Grrrrr. There must be a way to find out who these guys are. I'll put a bounty on the bastards that even the Velocidude would become faint and be in awe of.

Surely there is a way to get back at them. Tell me.... tell me how!


Ah... for a quiet life! Other than the fact that I'm buried in paper, things are bumping along with no surprises.

It's interesting that our Stateside consumption of information concerning the Iraq war seems so schizophrenic. On one hand you have the mainstream reporting of outfits like CNN et al... these guys seem to be so far behind the curve and so amateurish that you'd think that they had never heard a gun fired in anger. And on the other side you have technical professionals characterized by Wretchard at The Belmont Club... that mysterious character must be some sort of history soaked specialist out at Quantico with his own USMC sandbox. I mean that there is a fairly steady stream of information coming out of the theater from professional soldiers directed at a professional class of intel specialists with no particular desire to enlighten the masses. And if you didn't know better you'd think that they were talking about two totally distinct and separate conflicts.

Is it possible that the media types are so far out of the loop and so completely unprofessional that they aren't even a factor in the equation? Well... yes. I'm thinking that the strategists in the military have learned over and over that the resident media types are always gonna be their enemies and they automatically put them on the bottom of their need-to-know lists... and as a consequence, the public has no way of being informed about what is going on except from the shadowy image provided by the hindsight provided by the reflection in the Aristotelian cave. Reality is as you perceive it in vague reflections in a mirror of the past. Is this the military's fault? Nope. It's just a shame, that's all.

In the meanwhile, the forces on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan are just going ahead and doing the job with no connection to reportage. Of course, this is the general strategy in dealing with the bad guys over there too, right? Break them up, wear them out, push when you can and run when you have to... and leave the bodies behind. Classic Black Jack Pershing, right? Lovely.

The simple message is... we're winning by taking no prisoners and ignoring the whiners on the sidelines. I love it.