The Arkanssouri Blog.: 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004

Saturday, July 31, 2004


Originally uploaded by Arkanssouri.

A funny thing happened during the Dem convention . . .

. . . Kerry lost ground in the electoral count.

For the past week, I've been printing out the presidential poll page from Here are the results.

One 7/24, Kerry had an electoral vote count (EVC) of 224. Bush had 173. That puts Kerry at +51.

7/25, Kerry's EVC fell to 217, while Bush's rose to 193, narrowing Kerry's lead to +24.

7/26 was a Sunday.

7/27, the EVCs remained stable, leaving Kerry at +24.

7/28, Kerry's EVC rose to 233, and Bush's fell to 188, putting Kerry at +45, still not as far ahead as he was before the convention.

7/29, Kerry's EVC fell back down to 218, while Bush's remained stable at 188. Kerry was back down to +30.

7/30 and today, 7/31, both counts remained stable at 218 and 188. Kerry finished the convention at +30, a net loss of 21 EV's from his position before the convention.

Strategically, Republicans may want to forfeit their convention time and place in New York and let the Democrats have another convention then and there. It seems the more Kerry is in the news, the fewer people want to vote for him.

Last week's poll results.

The question was "At it's core, marriage is . . ."

And here are the results.

A contract between individuals. -- 80%
A religious concept. -- 20%
An arrangement for creating and raising children -- 0%
An economic matter -- 0%

A contract between individuals wins.

Be sure to take the new poll (in the column on the left, if you're new here.)

Friday, July 30, 2004

New Additions.

There are some new additions to my blogroll, if anyone's interested.

It gets worse with MOREnet.

This a a screenshot of what comes up on my screen when I click on the Attack Cartoons link in the left column of this blog.

'Gross?' 'Tasteless?'

Where in the 1st Amendment does it restrict protection to non-gross speech?

And why isn't the ACLU all over this one?

Originally uploaded by Arkanssouri.

Lindstedt, Holden

Google out of the blue began sending me my news alerts again today. In "Missouri Libertarian" I found an article containing this:

For Republicans who don't choose Blunt, we offer only one piece of advice -- don't vote for perennial candidate Martin "Mad Dog" Lindstedt of Granby, who should be campaigning in the attire of a Ku Klux Klan wizard. A self-proclaimed racist, Lindstedt openly advocates separation of races, uses the term "nigger" in speeches and nearly was exiled from a political debate with Blunt at a conference with journalists earlier this summer at Lake of the Ozarks because his diatribe, resembling a speech of Adolf Hitler, quickly took on a violent tone.

and this:

Four years ago, we endorsed Democrat Bob Holden, then finishing his second four-year term as state treasurer, over Republican Jim Talent in a gubernatorial race among the closest in state history. Holden won, and his reign has been among the most infamous in Missouri history.

Simply stated, we can't think of a worse governor than Holden. Practically speaking, he's a private leading a battalion.

Badnarik turns in Arkansas sigs.

He might make it on the ballot there, but the problem is, the 'Mickey Mouses' and 'Oprah Winfreys' haven't been weeded out yet, and he didn't give himself a very big margin for error.

The Presidential Competency Test.

Someone should develop a Presidential Competency Test. If you fail a task in the first round of the test, you should end your campaign.

It should be a fairly simple task. For instance, can you put together an organization that can make balloons fall from the rafters on cue. Apparently, John Kerry can't.

Democrats struggle with balloons

By: Associated Press

BOSTON -- The Democrats have a balloon problem.

John Kerry concluded his acceptance speech Friday night, the jubilant convention crowd cheered and the balloons dropped. A few of them. Too few.

"Go balloons," said convention producer Don Mischer, instructing the balloon droppers. "Go balloons. Go balloons!" His voice was becoming increasingly frantic -- and it was going out over CNN.

"I don't see anything happening," he said angrily. Unknown to him, CNN was running his name and title across the bottom of the screen.

Long minutes after the place was supposed to be a blizzard of balloons and confetti, Mischer was still shouting that it wasn't happening, at least it wasn't right. Viewers saw a lot of balloons, in fact, and Kerry, family members and delegates happily

batted them around. But nothing like the 100,000 that had been supposed to cascade down.

At one point Mischer used a profanity to rebuke his balloon-dropping crew. CNN was still broadcasting his voice.

[It was something similar to 'What the Hell!?!!? There aren't any balloons falling.]

Finally, they all showered down. And Mischer's unhappy moment of TV fame was over.

It was one of the few times I was glad I was watching CNN. I laughed so hard I nearly peed. Especially when the comparisons to a similar trickle of balloons at the Carter Convention began.

What kind of grab-ass operation are they running? How are we supposed to believe these guys can take on al-Qaeda when they get outwitted by BALLOONS?

[Update: Drudge has hilarious audio of the incident here.]

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I am good at directing people where they want to go.

To the nice gentleman who found his way to The Arkanssouri Blog searching for "siber sex" on Google:

I believe the site you're looking for belongs to my friend Callie. It's at

This should be a poll, but I'm not finished with the one I'm running yet.

Pierce Brosnan (whose name I used to confuse with Bronson Pinchot) announced he will no longer be playing James Bond.

Who should the next James Bond be?

A. Tom Cruise

B. Ewan MacGregor

C. Vin Diesel

D. George Clooney

E. Carrot Top

This is f--king ridiculous.

Speaking of Warm Fork Park, I just tried to rate it at the following address:

Guess what? The idiotic, arbitrary, subjective filtering software on the library's computer won't let me in. It says the site is pornographic.

Since I have submitted several site review requests in the past (mostly for gay-themed personals sites that were not pornographic and would have been allowed through if they were heterosexual personals sites) that have gone ignored, maybe Arkanssouri readers will have better luck by emailing the company to complain. The email address is .

Here is my email to them, if you need some inspiration:

Why is MOREnet Arbitrary and Subjective?
Why does it block sites that are not pornographic and say they are blocked for pornography? Such as:

Why does it block gay personals sites that are not pornographic and say they are pornographic when it allows the same content on straight personals sites?

Why do my site review requests go totally ignored?

Why does it block my searches for my own Arkanssouri Blog when there is no pornography on the site?

Arbitrary + Subjective = Reprehensible.

Return of the Turtle

I caught Kyle Petty's turtle crossing the road trying to return to feasting on my squash plants today.

I fixed him.

I took him to Warm Fork Park and released him.

Having to live in that crappy park is punishment enough.

Jergen's "Soft Shimmer" Moisturizer.

Sure, it makes your tan look good, and evens out skin tones, but be warned.

The little gold flecks collect in your fingerprints while rubbing it on and make your hands look like C-3PO's. This is not very noticable under indoor lighting, but if you go outside into the sunlight your hands are way too sparkly.

Other people review the product here.

Kerry's Marxist Campaign Slogan.

Frontpagemag explores the origins of the Kerry/Edwards campaign theme "Let America be America again." here.


Jackson's bizarre, incoherent rant about deconstructing the nature of peanut butter sandwiches.

Overshadowed by the Sharpton and Edwards speeches at the Dem's convention last night, Jessie Jackson's speech may go unnoticed. It was among the most bizarre and incoherent rants, filled with sentence fragments, I have ever heard.

The full speech can be seen here. Here are some samples:

"The Bible speaks of the difficulties of rich young rulers getting into the kingdom," Jackson said. "It is because they are intoxicated by the rarefied air of privilege. (Democratic vice presidential nominee) John Edwards understands using wallpaper for a windbreaker. Peanut butter sandwiches and Kool-Aid. The fear of winter without heat. He grew up on the edge but now stands in the middle of reconciling the breach in our nation."

Lord knows we need a veep who understands the many layers of intricacy of peanut butter sandwiches. What is there to understand? It's peanut butter and bread. Is the choice between chunky and creamy too much to understand? Or the choice between wheat and white?

In 1984 a generation of youth - Mayor Kilpatrick of Detroit, Congressman Harold Ford, Congressman Jackson, Junior, Congressman Lee, Congressman Meeks, Alicia Reece, and Reverend Al Sharpton, Congressman Bobby Rush, and Senator Tony Hill of Florida. Senator Paul Wellstone. Seeds sown are now bearing fruit. The pendulum swings, the morning cometh.

I am reminded of my eighth-grade English teacher, who, when running across a sentence fragment, would write in big red block letters "FRAG".

But a new day is dawning. A new America turning pain into power. Beyond the extreme right wing is a beautiful rainbow of all of God's children. Out of the darkness of the bushes, we see the soaring of an authentic American eagle on the horizon. Hope cometh in the morning.

At about this time, I turned to my mother and asked in all honesty, "Do you have ANY idea what he's talking about?"

She replied, "No, he's just raving."

I said, "Good. I wanted to make sure it wasn't just me."

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

We were mistaken about John Kerry.

The good folks at point out that he may not be Lurch, after all.

Arrest of MO Abortion protestors upheld.

(Story here.)

If the charges were later dropped, wouldn't that lead one to conclude they shouldn't have been arrested in the first place?

As I've said previously, I'm pro-choice. But that doesn't mean people shouldn't be allowed to inform others of exactly what an abortion entails. I won't put a picture in this post, but here is a link to one, if you want to see it.

More knowledge is better than less knowledge.

Your car is watching you.

And as described here, the government will soon make it squeal on you like a piggy.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

With a candidate like THIS, who needs PhotoShop?

Take a look.

But be warned -- you may have to change your pants afterward.

Do we want an absolutely classless First Lady?

(In case you've been under a rock lately, the story of the 'Shove it' incident is here.)

Pundits on both sides of the ideological aisle are missing the larger issue by concentrating on prospective First Lady's untactful "shove it."

One point being ignored is that the remark came only minutes after a speech decrying the nasty tone of the election.  Can you say HYPOCRITE?  I knew you could.

Another point is that that she DID use the word "Unamerican."  Her insistence that she did not is due to one of two possibilities.

A. She is lying.
B. She is so unstable that she does not know she said it.

She owes that reporter, and that newspaper, an apology.  They were only doing what they are supposed to do -- ask for clarification.

Until she gives that apology, she can do more than "Shove It."  She can go f--k herself.

MO Aug primaries -- State Rep., Dist. 153

Gene Oakley

Mike Dethrow

MO August Primaries -- State Senate, District 33

R.A. Pendergrass

Bernie Mowinski
Chuck Purgason


MO August Primaries -- US Rep., District 8.

Stan Cuff

Jerry Cass
Dean Henderson

JoAnn Emerson  (voting history)
Richard Allen Kline

Monday, July 26, 2004

I hope it rains in Stalag Boston.

From the St. Cloud Times Online:

Concerns about terrorism have led Boston officials to dramatically heighten security. The delegates were given a list of items they can't bring into the convention, including handmade signs, coolers, flashlights and even umbrellas.
The Palm Beach Post further characterizes the atmosphere:
As for the convention, well, you'd have to say the general reaction was mild apathy, mixed with a healthy dose of apprehension -- made more palpable by the swarms of police officers, camouflage-fatigued Army National Guardsmen and miles of back-to-back fences that have turned the FleetCenter convention hall into a makeshift high-security prison in the middle of the city.
and goes on to point out a particular incident that reeks of censorship and anti-Arab bigotry:

Like other TV networks, Al-Jazeera, the Arab cable network, sought to have a banner advertising its presence in the upper levels of the convention hall.

Nader Abed, operations head for the network, said Saturday that the sign went up last week.
"They approved the sign," he said. "And then I came back, and it was taken down."

The Al-Jazeera network sign had been hung in the sight lines of the podium, next to one of the Democratic National Committee banners.

"We didn't ask for that location," Abed said. "They put it there."

The DNC responded that the Al-Jazeera sign wasn't the only one removed from the hall. But it was the only media organization's.

Badnarik's first poll.

Granted, a Badnarik poll (and any other poll commissioned by a candidate, for that matter) means about as much as an Arkanssouri Blog poll, but this one probably concides pretty well with reality.


August MO primaries -- Atty. Gen.

David R. Browning

Chris Byrd
Dewey Crepeau

Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon

I heard more boos than cheers.

Boston baseball fans followed their usual pattern of booing and cheering the person who throws out the pitch. Kerry, the crowd's hometown senator, kept smiling as he threw a ball that sank and hit the dirt before the catcher -- a soldier home from Iraq -- could catch it

This article from WorldNetDaily doesn't sound much like "the usual pattern of booing and cheering" to me. It sounds like a lot of booing and a few desperate individuals cheering. Just like it sounded on ESPN last night.

Take a gander at the goofball

Contrast that with
this shot of the President not looking like a total doofus while throwing out the first pitch in Yankee Stadium of the World Series after 9/11.

From the 10/30/2001

NEW YORK (AP) -- President Bush threw out the ceremonial opening pitch of World Series Game 3 at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night, aiming to project an air of normalcy even after the government warned of possible new terror attacks.

Bush received a thunderous cheer as he strode to the mound from the Yankees' dugout, wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with "FDNY," a tribute to the New York City Fire Department.

He stood on the pitcher's mound and scanned the upper reaches of a sellout crowd of more than 57,000, then gave a thumbs-up sign. With flashbulbs popping and dozens of flags waving, Bush lingered on the mound for a moment, seeming to relish the moment.

Then, with a quick windup, he threw the ball just off the center of the plate -- a strike -- to Yankees backup catcher Todd Greene, and walked off the mound to chants of "U-S-A, U-S-A."

"He threw a strike, too," Yankees third baseman Scott Brosius said. "He had a good arm."

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Mo Primaries -- Treasurer

Lisa J. Emerson

Chet Boeke
Al Hanson
William R. Pundmann
Tom Klein
Sarah Steelman
Anita Yeckel
Blaine Luetkemeyer

Jason Klumb
Mark Powell
Mark C. Abel

Saturday, July 24, 2004

New Poll.

I wanted to ask several follow-ups to this one asking what is the nature of marriage.

Such as:

Who should determine whether or not you, an adult, should get married?
A. You and your partner
B. Your parents
C. The church
D. The government

Is a sexless marriage possible?

In order to be considered legitimate, must a marriage produce children?

And several others.  Unfortunately, Bravenet only lets me have one question at a time.

Oh, those Clinton appointees . . .

Does it depend on what the meaning of "possession" is?


Are Wrigley Field's days numbered?

Sounds like it to me.  You don't conceal results unless there's something in them to conceal.
The last great ballpark may be on it's last legs.


Missouri's version of "That bee-yatch set me up!"

From the "Members Only" website of the LeBatards at the KC Star.
Marion Berry would be proud of his fellow Democrat.
As for tearing down Sanders' signs, she said, “I didn't do anything wrong.” She said the signs were illegally put on public easement.

O'Neill disputes that. Of two signs he knows she tore down, O'Neill said, one was clearly legal on private property.

Campbell also questioned whether Sanders set her up and had someone follow and videotape her.

How well are YOU represented?

From the Mercury-News:

A look at Missouri's delegation to the Democratic National Convention

Associated Press

Here is a look at Missouri's delegation to the Democratic National Convention, based on an Associated Press survey of 78 of the state's 88 delegates.

_Gender. Fifty-four percent are women; 46 percent are men.

_Age. Thirty-nine percent are ages 55-64; 27 percent are ages 45-54; 13 percent are ages 65 and older; 9 percent are ages 35-44; 7 percent are ages 25-34; 5 percent are ages 18-24.

_Race. Seventy-five percent are white; 17 percent are black. One percent is Asian; 1 percent is American Indian or an Alaska native.

_Experience. 67 percent are attending their first convention as delegates; 33 percent have been delegates before.

MO primaries -- Lt. Gov. & Secy. of State

Lt. Governor

Mike Ferguson

Patricia (Pat) Secrest
Peter Kinder

Ken Jacob
Rebecca McDowell (Bekki) Cook

Secretary of State
Catherine L. Hanaway - R
Robin Carnahan - D
Christopher Davis - L

Your Tax Dollars Late For Work ...AGAIN.

What is so difficult about showing up for work on time, instead of 15 minutes late like the librarian did ... AGAIN ... today?

Friday, July 23, 2004

Kerry up by 2% in Missouri.

Only problem is, the poll reported in this story didn't include Badnarik.

Governor Primaries

Randall (Randy) D. Langkraehr
John M. Swenson

Karen Lee Dee Skelton Memhardt
Matt Blunt
Jennie Lee (Jen) Sievers
Martin Lindstedt
Jeff Killian
Row W. Lang

Bob Holden
Claire McCaskill
Jim LePage
Jeffery A. Emrick

Tomorrow I'll list candidates for Lt. Governor and Secretary of State.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Photoshop in the wrong hands . . .

. . . leads to pictures like this.

It puts the lotion on it's skin,
Or else it gets the hose again.

East Coast Liberals, West Coast Liberals, and Mississippi Coast Liberals.

This picture of the county-by-county breakdown of the 2000 election is very red, but it seems some of the "flyover people," from Chicago south to Nawlins, went against the "heartland values" model, as did a colony of liberals squatting in the Southwest.

But why is Alaska not included in this map? Did it lose it's statehood in some liberal redistricting conspiracy?

A post too snarky for this blog.

I HAD a post here regarding John Cornyn's "Peoples is turtles" belief, complete with an edited photo of the man holding a sign that says "MAN=TURTLE" in green spray-paint.

But the post decided it could not coincide with the left column of this blog, so one of them had to go.

If you want to see the photo, I put it here.


Sadly, he looks BETTER this way.

Originally uploaded by Arkanssouri.

August Primaries

The August primaries are coming up, so I'll list the candidates for each office, and link to their websites if I can find one for that candidate.  I'll start with Senate.

Kevin Tull

Mike Steger
Kit Bond

Charles Berry
Nancy Farmer
Ronald Bonar

Tomorrow I'll list the governor's race candidates.

I don't know which primary I'll vote in; the Libertarians have only one candidate in all but one race, but I'm leaning toward that primary anyway.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Captions of the day.

"It was about THIS long.  "

"But after only thirty days of taking Enzyte . . ."

Arkansas among top 3 in nation in tax increases.

Story here.

When did parents stop telling kids to be quiet in the library?

Note to parents/guardians of Clinton Puccetti and Brett Sanders:

The library is not the place for loud voices. It is a quiet place.

In other words, be a fit parent and tell your kid to SHUT HIS YAP!


Webrings = PITA*

Webrings bring maybe one or two extra visitors to The Arkanssouri Blog per day. I'm beginning to wonder if maybe it's not worth the hassle.

I had to put their HTML in my template and sign up. In one of my recent upgrades, I apparently inadvertently screwed up part of their HTML tag.

Now I am getting bitchy emails from them daily that my webring account has been suspended.

I am thinking about abandoning the webring experiment.

* PITA -- noun, acronym for "Pain In The Arse."

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Columbia Daily Tribune publisher endorses 'No' vote on Amendment 2.

Story here.




President Clinton's National Security Adviser Sandy Berger - who has been advising the Kerry campaign on foreign policy -- confirms he is the target of a criminal investigation for removing copies of classified terrorism documents from a secure reading room at the National Archives.

Some copies were never returned, press reports said. The documents reportedly discuss the Clinton administration's response to various terror threats.

Berger admits he walked out of the reading room with handwritten notes stuck in his pockets. Copies of classified documents were "inadvertently" removed in a leather portfolio. "I deeply regret the sloppiness involved," Berger said in a statement to the Associated Press on Monday.

The documents in question are said to be critical of the Clinton administration.

But Berger said he had no intention of withholding documents from the 9/11 commission. "To the contrary, to my knowledge, every document requested by the commission from the Clinton administration was produced," Berger said in the statement,

"In the course of reviewing over several days thousands of pages of documents on behalf of the Clinton administration in connection with requests by the Sept. 11 commission, I inadvertently took a few documents from the Archives," Berger said.

"When I was informed by the Archives that there were documents missing, I immediately returned everything I had except for a few documents that I apparently had accidentally discarded," he said.

How does one 'inadvertently' fold up classified material and stuff it into his coat and pants pockets?  I would wager the same way a shoplifter 'inadvertently' stuffs an expensive sweater down his pants.

But let's take Berger at his word and assume it was a case of negligence.  Due to this man's negligence, classified documents are now floating around out there for Gawd-knows-who to find.  Put him in jail.

Maybe if he looks in the bottom of Hillary Clinton's closet, he'll find them.  That's where the Whitewater documents were.




Monday, July 19, 2004

bin Laden/Saddam ties uncovered in 1998.

Thanks to Hotbot, I could do a search for "'Osama bin Laden', 'Saddam Hussein'" that returned only results published prior to September 10, 2001.
Here's one result


Excerpted from: ERRI DAILY INTELLIGENCE REPORT-ERRI Risk Assessment Services-Tuesday, January 5, 1998-Vol. 5, No. 005


NEW YORK CITY (EmergencyNet News) - Newsweek magazine is reporting in its current edition that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is joining forces with Islamic fundamentalist Osama bin Laden to launch a joint terror counter- strike against the United States and Britain. Saddam is said to be reaching out to the terrorist mastermind hoping to tap into bin Laden's network of terrorists.

An Arab intelligence expert, reported to know Saddam personally, told the magazine that: "very soon, you will be witnessing large-scale terrorist activity by the Iraqis." The source claims that the joint attacks would be aimed primarily at U.S. and British targets in the Islamic world.

According to U.S. intelligence sources cited by the magazine, the contacts between Saddam and bin Laden have so far been limited to lower-level agents. An alliance would match Saddam's weapons - including easy-to-hide biological agents - and bin Laden's force of terrorists. Bin Laden is known to covet Iraq's alleged biological and chemical weapons.

ERRI analysts said on Tuesday that they believe that Iraq may attempt to justify the aforementioned terrorism campaign by continually provoking U.S. and British warplanes in confrontatations involving the so-called "no-fly" zones. At least one expert says that Mr. Hussein and his propaganda machine have been portraying recent air-defense engagements as "continued aggression" by the U.S. and telling the Iraqi people and potential Arab allies that they have continually been "at war" since Operation Desert Fox.

And this from 2/17/1999:

Saddam plans to use Laden’s network?

KUWAIT, Feb 17 (AFP) — Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein plans to use alleged terrorist Osama bin Laden’s network to carry out his threats against Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, an Iraqi Opposition figure charged today.

"If the threats are carried out, they will be implemented by groups of Arab Afghans whom Saddam Hussein is sheltering, in the form of bomb attacks," Mr Bayan Jaber told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai Al-Aam.

Mr Jaber, a member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), said Iraq had "offered to shelter Bin Laden under the precondition that he carry out strikes on targets in the neighbouring countries."

But an exiled Saudi dissident has said the Bin Laden, who has been missing from his base in Afghanistan, would never seek refuge in secular Iraq on ideological grounds.
"I think Bin Laden would keep quiet or fight till death rather than seek asylum in Iraq," the London-based dissident, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

Iraq has since Sunday levelled threats at Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for allowing their air bases to be used by US and British warplanes enforcing a no-fly zone over southern Iraq.

The air patrols have since December triggered several clashes in which US warplanes have targeted Iraq’s air defences and other installations.


Eminent Domain Abuse.

From Forbes:

Robbing Peter To Deed Paul
Daniel Fisher, 07.26.04

A Michigan case could put the kibosh on bureaucrats who use the power of eminent domain in creative ways.

That great rumble is coming from Michigan's Supreme Court--mighty enough, perhaps, to send ripples of reversal throughout the land. The decision, expected in late July, involves the strongest challenge yet to a 1981 decision known as "Poletown," in which the court allowed the city of Detroit to bulldoze an entire ethnic neighborhood to make room for a GM plant. A rollback could have impact well beyond Michigan's borders. Judges in other states have repeatedly cited Poletown in allowing the government to grab property from one private owner to give it to another. The Fifth Amendment requires victims of these seizures to be compensated. An open question is the extent to which the amendment limits the aim of such grabs to a narrowly defined public use.

The current case challenges plans by Wayne County, Mich. to build a 1,300-acre office/industrial complex next to the municipal airport. The county already owns most of the land but can't budge a few stubborn holdouts, including Edward Hathcock, an MIT grad who owns a 12-employee factory that makes millwork and kitchen cabinets. The plant, he says, sits dead square in the middle of the proposed project, and he doesn't want to move. Though the county offered him $360,000 for the factory and its 1-acre site (he paid $170,000 in 1985), Hathcock says it would cost far more to replace because of tighter building and safety regulations. Plus, he says, "I have customers who don't even know my phone number, but they know where I am."

The county, which won in the lower courts, says it isn't working for any particular private interest. But the potential payoff, it argues, is too great to be squelched by a few reluctant landowners. "If economic development is not the proper job of government, then it seems our elected bodies should just stay home," says Mark Zausmer, Wayne County's lawyer.

Stay home, says Dana Berliner, a lawyer for the libertarian Institute for Justice who filed a brief to overturn Poletown. She argues that condemnation should be reserved for building taxpayer-owned real estate like roads and police stations, or for ensuring that tumbledown houses, say, pose no physical threat. "It can't be used to play favorites between different owners," she says.

The Michigan Supremes--once dominated by Democrats, now with a 5-to-2 Republican majority--seem inclined to agree. Departing from normal practice, the judges asked the parties whether the precedent should be scrapped, leading a dissenting judge to describe the request as "a road map to an inevitable destination."

Hathcock's lawyer, Alan Ackerman, hopes so, although it might cost him work. "I'm writing myself a 40% pay cut," says Ackerman, who followed his father into a practice that pries more money out of the government in condemnation cases.

What if your dog has five puppies?

The Cape seeks the ability to dictate the number of household pets you can have.

It wants to limit the number of dogs, as well as the number of cats, to four.

How many pets you have is anyone else's business why?

If someone's neglecting them, charge them with neglect. If the dogs bark too much or threaten children, charge them with that.

But the number of pets you have is nobody's business but your own.

MO Libertarian Governor Race.

The KC Star gives it a little publicity here.

Print it out the first time you open it, or they'll try to make you register with them.

NASCAR almost goes up in smoke.

This is how close Nascar came to collapsing.
Like it or not, Nascar needs the Earnhardt mystique, and Kerry doesn't quite fit the bill on that front yet.
So when Junior's Corvette exploded at Infineon Raceway, Nascar gasped right along with Junior's fans.
Get well, Junior.
And don't let it happen again.  We have too much emotionally invested in you.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Slow News Day

Friday, July 16, 2004

OK, maybe I WOULDN'T have voted for him.

Then, in Ditka's typical blunt-speaking fashion, the former coach launched into an unsolicited tirade about a Massachusetts court decision legalizing gay marriage.

"What's the matter with right and wrong? Talk about right and wrong. It's either right or wrong. There's no in-between," Ditka said. "And I'm not going to change, and you're not going to change me, no matter if some judge in the state of Massachusetts or the Supreme Court says it's right. It's not right. Wrong is wrong."
Apparently, Iron Mike is unaware that something can be both "wrong" and none of the government's business at the same time.
Pulling out an old Ayn Rand chestnut, I would ask Ditka"Wrong?  By what standard?"
But then again, maybe Coach Ditka is not the best person to have philosophical discussions with.

Does Rusty Wallace know about this?

If he did, he might rethink his sponsor:
After finishing a bottle of Miller Lite, a part-time municipal judge in Missouri discovered a small mouse at the bottom, he said recently.

But Miller Brewing Co. said it was impossible for a rodent to have gone through the brewing process, which includes pasteurization, without badly spoiling the beer. The low-carb lager was produced in Fort Worth.

"It's not uncommon for any consumer products company to receive similar complaints," said Mike Hennick of Miller. "After analysis, it almost always turns out it didn't happen in one of our breweries."
Story here.

Another SE MO quake.

Shake, baby, shake.

Seat Belt Update.

From the Limerick Post:
A LIMERICK taxi driver who was set upon and beaten over the head by a front seat passenger feared for his life as he struggled to release himself from the seat belt he was wearing."I felt very powerless and very unsafe and was beginning to panic at not being able to get out of my belt,” Raymond Galvin told the Limerick Post.
As well as the attack on Mr Galvin in the early hours of last Saturday morning, Vinnie Kearns of the National Taxi Drivers Union revealed that a taxi driver in Killarney and another in Dublin were, in the past week subjected to "attempts to strangulate them from passengers who tried to wrap the belts around their necks.”

What, *I* am paying for it?

Kansas City Infozine makes the following claim:
The Stop the Wall Tour begins a four month trek around the United States to educate US taxpayers both about the Wall itself and about how US tax dollars are being used to build it.
But it doesn't go into any detail about HOW exactly US taxpayers are funding the wall.
I wish they would have.
Israel can build all the walls it wants as far as I'm concerned.  But they should pay for it themselves.

Not QUITE right, but close.

From a story on the potential for third-parties to affect the presidential election in certain key states:
''The discontented voters, who are in the mood to punish the incumbent, are thinking about casting votes for Nader and Badnarik,'' Jacobs said.
Well, no, not exactly.  For me, it's more a matter of not rewarding Bush than a matter of punishing him.
There are lots of "threats" to the foundations of society that Bush could have proposed addressing through a Constitutional amendment -- eminent domain, for one.  Private property is as much a foundation of American society as "family" is.
And addressing eminent domain through a Constitutional amendment would use the document to curb government powers, not individual liberties.  This would be a more appropriate use of the document.
But Bush didn't propose amending the Constitution to curb or end the practice of eminent domain.  No, he proposed amending it to dictate the sexes of the participants in a private contract.
And I'm not going to reward him for doing so.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Ditka out.


My next poll was gonna be "Ditka: Hot or Not Hot?"

Now it's kind of moot.

My vote would have been for Hot.

Barring a candidacy by Michael Jordan, Illinois Republicans should just write this one off and concentrate on other races.

Snip, Snip.

Since it can't be undone, I would think this would be a situation in which both parents would have to agree to the procedure.

But maybe it's not.

Either way, it's apparently a matter for the courts.

The Squirrel Revolution STARTED as a joke,

but now it's just getting creepy.

Jake's squirrel idea is not just a drey-dreamA YOUNG Sheffield designer has found a way of keeping bushy-tailed rodents in good shape - by developing a squirrel assault course.

Full story here.

Squirrel Assault Course?!?!?!?!!

Quote of the day.

Michael Badnarik:

"I am not stealing votes from George Bush," he said. "I am winning votes for freedom. When someone accuses me of stealing votes, that presumes that George Bush or John Kerry own those votes. Those votes belong to the people, and the people are entitled to cast their vote for whoever they feel is the best person."

Full article here.

The fine art of patting one's own back.

The good folks at have discovered The Arkanssouri Blog.

Welcome, fellow Badnarikians!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Did customs stop a 9/11-style attack last week?

Why doesn't the press report successes in the war on terrorism as much as it does failures?

Leak may torpedo GOP's hopes for a Senator Ditka.


Don't punish the voters for some ambitious bonehead's idiot move. Run anyway.

If I lived in Illinois, I'd vote for you.

Hey, it's not any more implausible than Governor Swartzenegger. Or Governor Ventura. Or Bonzo's co-star becoming President.


al-Qaeda sieze control of Arkansas Highway & Transportation server.

[Here I go again, pasting an entire article.]

Al-Qaida hacker hits Arkansas system

Little Rock, AR, Jul. 14 (UPI) -- FBI agents are examining a state of Arkansas computer server that was transformed into an al-Qaida site, the Washington Post said Wednesday.

The files were removed from a computer operated by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department shortly after they were discovered during the weekend, a government spokesman said.

Links to the files were posted to a message board of a group called al-Ansar. The Web site features photos of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, as well as facts about Islam and links to chat rooms and other Islamic Web sites.

Arkansas Transportation Department spokesman Randy Ort confirmed approximately 70 unauthorized files were posted Sunday to a "File Transfer Protocol" site the agency operates for contractors. FTP sites are widely used throughout the Internet as a way to transfer large files quickly.

Ort said the FBI has confiscated the server where the files were located.

Laura Mansfield, who tracks Web sites for Northeast Intelligence Network, an Erie, Pa., private group of analysts that monitors the Internet for terrorist activity, said hijacking unsecured FTP sites is standard procedure for al-Qaida sympathizers, but it was unusual for them to take over a government site.

"They have no fear of humans now."

[sound of Darth Vader music playing.]

And you thought I was KIDDING about the Squirrel Revolution!

Take this for example:

What began as a peaceful lunch on the New Haven Green one recent weekday afternoon became a scene out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. At the prompting of a squat woman in a long coat and dark glasses, four seemingly deranged, bloodthirsty squirrels crawled up the bench slats and tried to eat our food.
"Give him a bite of your apple, dear!" croaked the elderly squirrel feeder, who returned to toss scraps of bread into their scrambling paws. Any attempts to shoo the animals away only went awry: The squirrels came closer, mistaking the gestures for offerings of food.

Noting our distress, a nearby man distributing copies of Center Talk , a homelessness advocacy newspaper, pointed to one of the squirrels and warned: "Stay away from that one! That's the crazy one!"

It continues:

So what is the best defense against a fearless, fevered squirrel crawling up your pant leg, disturbing the tranquility of your noontime park experience?

"Try waving a stick," Kowalski suggests. "But you might have a hard time shooing them off--they're so used to being fed that they have no fear of humans now."

MO Dem House Candidate On His Way To Being Some Inmate's Bee-yatch.

Note to prospective candidates:

Pay your child support.

Nick Gillespie on Richard Epstein on gay marriage.

In Hit & Run, Nick Gillespie distills Richard Epstein's WSJ piece into two of Epstein's own very astute paragraphs.

[C]onservatives' plea for democratic federalism in defense of traditional values, and then for a constitutional amendment, is wholly misguided. Restore individual liberty to center stage, and this state restriction on same-sex marriages falls to the ground with the same speed as the full panoply of employment regulations, and the extension of antidiscrimination laws into ordinary social and religious affairs.

The path to social peace lies in the willingness on all sides to follow a principle of live-and-let-live on deep moral disputes. Defenders of the illiberal FMA [Family Marriage Amendment] should look to their churches, not Congress and the states, to maintain the sanctity of the marriage.

[The WSJ link will only work for 7 days, so go see it now.]
{Update:] Maybe this Cato link will stay up longer.

If Third Parties Had Voted As A Block.

If Third Parties Voted as a Block for one of the Two Major Candidates.

So let's open up the question and explore what would have happened if all third party voters had voted in unison for either Bush or Gore.

Again, we purge the states where either of the two got 50% or more. That leaves nine states where it MIGHT make a difference -- Florida, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

By definition, those states were the ones where the number of votes third-party candidates received was equal to or greater than the difference in vote numbers between Bush and Gore: Florida (35 electoral votes), Iowa (7), Maine (4), Minnesota (10), Nevada (4), New Hampshire ((4), New Mexico (5), Oregon (7) and Wisconsin (11).

Out of those nine, Gore won Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin, for a total of 44 electoral votes.
Florida, Nevada, and New Hampshire went to Bush, for a total of 33 electoral votes.

The actual electoral vote count was Gore 266, Bush 271. If every single third-party voter in America had voted for Gore instead, the electoral vote count would have been Gore 299, Bush 238. Gore would have won.

And if every single third-party voter in America had voted for Bush instead , the electoral count would have been Gore 222, Bush 315. Bush would have won.

"A Vote For Nader Is A Vote For Bush."

Along the same lines of my Badnarik post, let's see if the "conventional wisdom" that Nader cost Gore the election, and that he might cost Kerry the 2004 election, holds true.

First, like in the Badnarik argument, we begin by culling out all the states where in actuality either Bush or Gore got at least 50%. That leaves nine states where it MIGHT make a difference -- Florida, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

Of these, there were only eight states where the number of votes Nader received was equal to or greater than the difference in vote numbers between Bush and Gore: Florida (35 electoral votes), Iowa (7), Maine (4), Minnesota (10), New Hampshire ((4), New Mexico (5), Oregon (7) and Wisconsin (11).

Out of those eight, Gore won Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin, even without Nader's votes.

Florida and New Hampshire went to Bush. Gore would have won them if all Nader voters voted for him instead. The two states counted for a total of 29 electoral votes.

The actual electoral vote count was Gore 266, Bush 271. If every single Nader voter in America had voted for Gore instead, the electoral vote count would have been Gore 295, Bush 242. Gore would have won.

And if every single Nader voter in America had voted for Bush instead (a very unlikely 'if'), the electoral count would have been Gore 222, Bush 315. Bush would have won.

So, if you assume they would have voted for Gore if they didn't vote for Nader, the Nader vote DID affect the outcome of the election.

So it's pretty safe to assume that any effect Badnarik's voters will have on determining the ultimate outcome of the 2004 election will be more than outweighed by the Nader effect.

"A Vote For Badnarik Is A Vote For Kerry."

I keep hearing this argument from my conservative friends, who don't seem to grasp that a vote for Badnarik is a vote for Badnarik. Nor do they understand that in my view Bush is a different evil than Kerry, but not a lesser evil. The two are equally evil, just in different areas.

But to point out the absurdity of their argument, let's indulge it for a moment. Let's say that for Libertarians the choice is to vote for Badnarik or to vote for Bush, although, given the uncompromising nature of Libertariana, in reality the choice is closer to vote for Badnarik or don't vote at all.

Since the best predictor we have for the near future is the recent past, let's look back at 2000, and magically change every vote for Harry Browne into a vote for Bush.

Does it change the outcome?

First, we begin by culling out all the states where in actuality either Bush or Gore got at least 50%. That leaves nine states where it MIGHT make a difference -- Florida, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

Of these, there were only four states where the number of votes Browne received was equal to or greater than the difference in vote numbers between Bush and Gore: Florida (35 electoral votes), New Mexico (5), Oregon (7) and Wisconsin (11).

Out of those four, Bush won Florida, even without Browne's votes.

New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin went to Gore. Bush would have won them if all Browne voters voted for him instead. The three states counted for a total of 23 electoral votes.

The actual electoral vote count was Gore 266, Bush 271. If every single Browne voter in America had voted for Bush instead, the electoral vote count would have been Gore 243, Bush 294. The end result would have been the same -- Bush would have won.

Interestingly, if every single Browne voter in America had voted for Gore instead, the electoral count would have been Gore 291, Bush 246. Gore would have won.

In other words, by voting for Browne instead of Bush, Libertarians did not affect the ultimate outcome of the election. But by voting for Browne instead of Gore, Libertarians DID affect the ultimate outcome.

But like I said, the assumption that Libertarians would have voted for Bush if they didn't vote Libertarian is a mighty big assumption. Almost as big as assuming they would have voted for Gore if they didn't vote Libertarian. I still think it's more likely they would have stayed home.

If Bush loses the election, it will be because of George W. Bush, not because of Michael Badnarik.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Arkansas loses catfish record.

No taking small children swimming in the streams and lakes of Arkansas.

It's dangerous.

And now that's not even the BIGGEST one.


Your drivers license may be suspended without you knowing about it.

Details here.

Absolutely friggin' ridiculous.

I know . . .

. . . it's a serious story, and it's not nice to make light of such matters.

But this headline just SCREAMS for a snarky observation.


Maybe *I* should sue a corn stalk. Or a watermelon vine. Maybe even a popcorn plant.

Suffering from Dissertation Procrastination Syndrome?

Maybe a stay at Dissertation Camp can help you out.

"If he would have had his seatbelt on he would have drowned."

Not wearing seatbelt saves man from death.

The Powers That Be. Or in this case, the Powers that is.

Marc Powers of the Southeast Missourian explores the parallels between bans on same-sex and interracial marriage.

It's a shame he does so only shallowly.

It seems my assisted suicide of the slugs may have been premature.

The primary culprit may have been Kyle Petty's terrapin. I found him making a beeline for my squash plants yesterday. I took him across the road and gave him to the little boy who lives there.

The slugs were accessories, though, because I found them on the half-eaten zuchinni. So I don't feel too guilty about assisting their suicides.

How do I know the terrapin belongs to Kyle Petty? He had a big red 45 painted on it's top with what appeared to be fingernail polish. And since there's no driver in the Busch series or the Craftsman truck series currently using that number, he HAS to belong to Kyle Petty.

Why do pollsters take national Presidential polls . . .

. . .when we use the electoral college and therefore elect on a state-by-state basis? Have they totally missed the one big lesson of 2000, which is that the national popular vote has squadoosh to do with who gets elected President?

Yet CNN and Fox and the rest of the bunch keep telling us the national poll results.

I'm simplifying this a bit, but let's say nationally Kerry has 10,000,000 votes and Bush has 9,000,000. Suppose Kerry's 10,000,000 are all located in California, Bush's are spread throughout the other 49 states. Kerry would win California and Bush would win the other 49, winning in a landslide.

D.C.'s Political Report gives a much better picture of how the race is shaping up. It takes results from each state. For now, it shows Kerry with 212 electoral votes, and Bush with 194, with 111 electoral votes too close to call and 21 in states where there are no polls available.

While Kerry is ahead, neither has the 270 needed to win.

It also has a nice color-coded map. I tend to focus on the mint-green battleground states, and to a lesser extent the pink and sky blue states.

Lately, D.C. has changed much of his site to "members only," but this is still publicly available.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Anyone else having trouble with Gmail this morning?

It lets me into my inbox, but won't let me open my mail.

Arkanssouri 3.1

Check out my poll. I'm planning on changing the question each Saturday.

Escargot sautee'd in Lowenbrau Special.

Three giant slugs floating belly-up in a pan of beer this morning. Those three won't be eating anymore of my zucchini.

Squirrel Revolution: Day 3.

1. Even in death, attack the human oppressors!

2. Target Kate Fratti to get bombarded with acorns! Just listen to this infidel's blasphemy! "If God were fair, Joe, bears would eat squirrel sandwiches." When the Squirrel State is established, Kate Fratti will be an enemy of it.

Humvee seatbelt failure saves woman.

From the Detroit News:

Peeden, a Reservist who was deployed with the 372nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, said she thinks her life was actually saved by her seat belt popping open because sand clogged its buckle, sending her flying onto the Baghdad highway, crushing her leg.
“When I look at the pictures of my Humvee upside down, I think without a roll bar it was a good thing I was ejected,” said Peeden, an Alabama schoolteacher who was recovering from injuries along with the other three occupants at Fort Stewart in Georgia. “I’m a firm seat belt user. If I’d had the seat belt on I would have been crushed to death. My seat was basically on the ground.”

Did they wear Ray-Bans in the General Lee?

I have no interest in reading this article, but the headline is strange.

The New Federalism: The Confederate States of California.

Do their Klan sheets have 300-thread-count? Does their Skoal come in the flavor of espresso?

I could go on and on.

The dreadful News-Leader asks the wrong question.

It asks "Is marriage a matter of love, or law?"

The right question to ask would be, "What is the government's legitimate interest in marriage?"

The answer, of course, is as a contract between consenting individuals.

And it has no business dictating the sexes of those entering the contract.

I've heard that the FMA denies nobody the ability to get married. If it's similar to the state ban proposed in Missouri, it does. The MO amendment defines marriage as between "One man and one woman."

Does this not deny the intersexed (formerly known as hermaphrodites) the ability to get married to ANYONE?

And yet they insist it's not discrimination.

What's next, a constitutional definition of "man" and "woman"?

Representative: Communion choice a political act.

First, a little disclaimer here -- I am pro-choice. I believe that, human or not, there is no "right" to be inside, and feed off, the body of another person. People are not hosts for other people.

That being said, I'm with the Archbishop on this one.

The giving of, or denial of, communion is a religious, not a political, act.

Old taxes never die.

Unfortunately, neither do they just fade away. "Urgent need for extention" always develops.

News at a glance: State park board to meet Friday

The Missouri State Park Advisory Board will meet at 8:30 a.m. Friday at the Radisson Hotel at 120 S.W. Wildwood Drive in Branson.
The board, which was appointed by the governor to advise the Missouri Department of Natural Resources on issues relating to state parks, will receive updates on the division's budget and legislative issues.

Updates will be given on union-organizing activities, efforts to renew the parks-and-soils sales tax, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition bicentennial.

Reports will be given on the Missouri State Park Foundation, the Missouri Parks Association and the Lake of the Ozarks Operations Task Force. The conceptual development plan for Crowder State Park near Trenton will be presented.

OK, this is nowhere NEAR Arkanssouri . . .

...but it lets me point out where some Arkanssouri policies work pretty well.

The folks in the state of Washington are pondering instant runoffs.

How about ACTUAL runoffs? In Arkansas (and maybe here in MO, I dunno), in primaries (and maybe in general elections, too. Again, I dunno. I dunno a lot of things.) if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, there is a runoff two weeks later with only the top two candidates.

Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Quote of the day.

From WorldNetDaily:

There are those who say that a vote for a third-party candidate, such as the Libertarian's Michael Badnarik or the Constitution Party's Michael Peroutka, is wasted. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, these are the only votes that are not wasted, for positive change will only come from those outside the corrupt bi-factional system. After all, it was neither the Tories nor the Whigs who fought for American independence.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Someone enroll Senator Golddigger in a composition class.

I swear, I was more fluent than this in the sixth grade!

"They are just recovering from war, and the women their are trying to get involved in the political process," Carnahan said. "It's required that they have 30 percent women in their assembly. Of course, this is a Muslim nation, and they don't have a lot of background of women in leadership. So, the idea was to try to encourage them in this new role. I found when I went over there and talked to them that I was inspired by them. I was supposed to be over there inspiring them, but it was really the other way around.

"I came home and I realized that we just really don't appreciate what we have here. Here we have (Kosovo) fighting so hard for democracy, having so many old hatreds and animosities to overcome. We have a lot of problems here at home, but somehow we're able to solve them in a much better way. So, I felt good about their progress, but I felt very proud of what we've accomplished here in America."

How many times in two paragraphs can one person start a sentence with 'so'? And I'm going to overlook the 'their.' It might be some editor that's illiterate in that instance, not Senator Golddigger.

The politics of software.

Big surprise.

Kerry's software comes from hippies and Bush's comes from corporate types.

Squirrel Revolution: Day 2.

To-Do List today:

1. Score a contact high off some killer bud, and bond with and recruit the mentally ill for the cause.

The name game.

John Kerry -- Jerry Kohn.

Sump'n fishy there.

Badnarik in Show-Me State.

True, he was in KC, and is unlikely to swing through Arkanssouri, but at least he was in the neighborhood.

Arkanssouri 3.0

I guess with all the (some would say extraneous) "improvements" lately, it's time to call this Arkanssouri 3.0.

Place your pins on my guestmap, folks. I wanna know where my readers come from.

And yes, I am perfectly aware that sentence ends in a preposition. That's what I did it for.

Who's up for a split infinitive?

Friday, July 09, 2004

Squirrel Revolution: Day 1.

Things for squirrel revolutionaries to do today:

1. Sabotage sunflower crop. If you reduce the human food supply, you are on your way to bringing the species to it's knees.

2. Burn it down. Burn it all down.

3. Shore up the drought alibi.

Q: Can you please tell me what is happening to my poor hibiscus? I have lovely buds and opened flowers that are snapped off at the neck of the stem. I have the plant in a pot on my open patio, so I can't see that a bird or squirrel would be the culprit. As a result, I have had no pretty flowers. Can you help me?

A: Though I tend to blame lots of problems on squirrels (but never birds since they give more than they get), they are not your problem. Drought, caused by uneven watering, could be the cause of this bud drop on your tropical hibiscus. Keep the plant evenly watered

"I couldn't get the seat belt undone."

From the Honolulu Advertiser:

"At the time I didn't know it was engine failure. I immediately thought it was enemy fire," Boushey said from a wheelchair. "I saw a dirt road off to the side and figured I could make it, but I didn't." The helicopter went down in a ditch — a blessing, Boushey said, because the water helped suppress an engine fire.

"I couldn't get the seat belt undone. Water was up to my neck. I started to panic a little bit," he said. Boushey said his leg was pinned and he knew fuel was leaking. "I could smell it and taste it," he said.

Bush Admin. arm-twists through an extension of another erosion of American freedom.

I don't usually read, but I got this link via Reason's Hit & Run.

Other than his characterization of Bernie Sanders as "the great Bernie Sanders," (I hope hope HOPE he was being sarcastic), it's pretty much my sentiments exactly.

Today on the House Floor an anemic but nevertheless heroic attempt by the great Bernie Sanders of Vermont to curb John Ashcroft's ability to peruse our library records and book purchases without warrant or suspicion was, after the 15 minute period allotted for voting, coasting toward a skin-of-the-teeth victory. A minor, if symbolic, blow for liberty.

Alas, it was not to be. Amid rumors of brutal White House arm-twisting the House leadership refused to gavel the vote. Losing by some 18 or so votes they kept it open minute after minute as the arm-twisting became more vicious. Slowly but surely Republicans peeled off, melted under the heavy breath of Bush and Ashcroft. Finally, after more than 30 minutes without a gavel on a 15 minute vote, the last Republican necessary to secure victory caved in (shocking, I know) and switched his vote -- after which the gavel scored another victory for the police state.

Thus goes another day in the Republican controlled Congress. There were some Republican heroes, including -- not surprisingly -- my boss Ron Paul. Thank God those evil Democrats aren't in control to take away our freedom!

Thursday, July 08, 2004

From the D'Oh!!! file:

This is just priceless.

Of course, I guess there's the amputee market out there that he COULD sell them to.

Now THAT was DEFINITELY Dan Dierdorf.

People in Northwest Louisiana, Northeast Texas and even Southwest Arkansas reported seeing a fiery object streak across the sky Wednesday night...

But does Kryptonite make them weak?

This is just bizarre:

Squirrels Use Heat to Threaten Snakes

California ground squirrels look like cuddly, defenseless things. But faced with hungry rattlesnakes, they broadcast red-hot ire to the enemy by heating up their tails. The behavior, reported at a meeting of the Animal Behavior Society in Oaxaca, Mexico, is the first deliberate animal signal known to be communicated via heat.

In the study, Aaron Rundus of the University of California, Davis, put adult squirrels in cages with snakes and filmed the face-off with a heat-sensitive infrared camera. When up against a rattlesnake, the squirrels lashed their tails back and forth, held their tail hairs on end, and emitted a distinct heat glow from their posterior appendage. But the squirrels mustered no such heat response when paired with a gopher snake.

Rundus said the squirrels are warning rattlers in a language the snake can understand. Rattlesnakes use heat sensitive organs on their snouts known as pits to home in on prey. The squirrels can differentiate between enemies and react accordingly, Rundus said, possibly to distract the snakes from more vulnerable young.

Maybe it was Dan Dierdorf.

UFO = Venus.

Or maybe it was swamp gas.

Or ball lightning.

But probably not Dan Dierdorf.

Badger's Legacy

It seems Boston Terriers, thanks to a certain Mastercard ad campaign, have their own Snow Dogs effect.

I'm glad Badger found his way home.

By the way, MY Boston Terrier was a child, not a dog.

His name was Rupert, and some day I will tell you his story.

Unreliable seatbelt.

From the Miami Herald:

Detective Orestes ''Oreo'' Lorenzo was driving home from a late night at work at 11:30 p.m. when he was hit by another car attempting to turn left onto Pines Boulevard from 180th Avenue.

He was thrown from his unmarked police car. It appears his seat belt tore during the accident, said Pines police spokesman David Golt.

Lorenzo was five blocks from home.

Note what this characterization of a characterization does NOT say.

Another word about presumptions and images: An article in a recent National Journal is titled "Free-Market Cheerleader" — and it is about Michael Powell, head of the FCC. Says the blurb in the table of contents, "Michael Powell's free-market cheerleading and self-assured approach mesh well with President Bush's views. . . . Powell has resolutely stuck to the idea that regulating as little as possible is the key to overseeing the vast telecommunications industry . . . Powell says his primary goal is to promote competition and innovation, and he says the free market is proving his critics wrong."

Why do I bring this up? Ho-hum stuff, right? Well, it's just that a lot of liberal Democratic critics — and libertarian ones — portray Michael Powell as some awful Puritan, out to muzzle Howard Stern and perhaps the Dixie Chicks, too. Like John Ashcroft, he is portrayed as the reincarnation of A. Mitchell Palmer or Anthony Comstock or someone. He's supposed to be 1984 guy, this free-marketeer.

Weird how certain beliefs and prejudices get started.

It does NOT say that these certain beliefs and prejuces are incorrect.

Yeah, but is he bringing a gun to a knife fight?

Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee, has a gun for every occasion - including the inauguration ball.

The cybersphere finally regurgitated yesterday's posts.

I was thinking for a while that they were lost out there in the ether, floating aimlessly.

I was about ready to suggest putting them on a milk carton and asking anyone who ran across them to take their little hands and lead them home.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Holden is a joyless old man.

The solution, you twit, is to enforce the littering laws, not to ban glass bottles.

If police resources are stretched too thin to enforce littering laws, how is adding another law they have to enforce going to help the situation? It's not.

Shiner Bock doesn't even come in a can, does it?

Boy on life support after being strangled by seatbelt.

And no, the car wasn't in an accident. The seatbelt just choked him.

Yesterday's Quote of the Day.

"John Kerry," said the Republican National Committee, "was against John Edwards before he was for him."

Kerry vs. the bloggers.

Apparently, a diversity of opinions is not welcome on the Kerry campaign website.

Too often people are concerned with whether or not a statement was impolite. What we need to worry about is whether or not it was incorrect.

And in this case, it wasn't.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Blogger's having some problems publishing.

I'll try to post tomorrow.

3rd parties giving the duopolists ulcers.

From the Moonies:

Gun rights have long been among the top issues for Libertarians, and many took note when the Gun Owners of America issued an alert that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, was considering slipping her proposal to ban semiautomatic weapons into another bill, perhaps this week.
The president, Mr. Badnarik said, has promised to sign a ban on semiautomatic weapons, but Republican lawmakers have prevented the measure from reaching a vote.
"That Feinstein would use parliamentary procedure to slip in yet another attempt to deprive us of one of our most fundamental individual rights is not surprising," Mr. Badnarik said. "The even scarier issue is that Bush has already promised, in advance, to sign such a bill.
"Clearly, when an issue as major as the assault weapons ban is supported by Feinstein, [Sen. Charles E.] Schumer [New York Democrat], Bush and [Sen. John W.] Warner [Virginia Republican], it is yet another indication that both of the major parties are, in fact, the same."

Saturday, July 03, 2004


I stumbled upon some teacher's book-review page.

I couldn't help myself.

I reviewed Atlas Shrugged.

If you'd like to review a book -- Orwell's 1984 or the Illuminatus Trilogy or even Beat Kernan's Democratization in Eastern Europe with a Special Emphasis on Slovakia go right ahead.

No posts Monday, Jul. 5.

Library closed.

I guess the librarians want to celebrate X-Day.

Or maybe it's Tynwald Day they're observing.

Yard Sale Treasures:

Of the past two weeks:

1 VHS tape -- "The Cell" -- $.25
1 VHS tape -- "Biloxi Blues" and 2 other movies -- $.25
1 Joan Jett cassette -- $.25
1 Motley Crue "Dr. Feelgood" cassette -- $.75
1 excellent gas-powered Weed Eater -- $5.00

Adventures in electricity.

Let me start by saying I know squadoosh about electrical wiring. In shop class, I managed to make the light bulb come on through trial and error, but I had no idea how I did it. I can change a light switch and, on a good day, install a ceiling fan, but that's the extent of my electrical knowledge.

So yesterday when I noticed that the backyard outdoor light was on, a light that we NEVER turn on, I assumed one of us had bumped the switch. I went inside and flipped the switch.

The light got brighter.

I flipped it back down; the light got dimmer.

Since I, as I mentioned, know squadoosh about elecrical wiring, I threw the breaker, after several attempts to FIND the right breaker. When I got the right one, it took out the lights in both bedrooms, the living room, and the kitchen, as well as the outlet the air conditioner is plugged in.

It seemed to me that if the switch had burned out, it would stay off and not come on, not the opposite, since OFF was the position it was in when the problem occurred. But I knew light switches are cheap, so I decided to replace it anyway, just in case my reasoning was faulty. I do, after all, know squadoosh about electrical wiring.

So I made a trip to Wally world and picked up a switch ($.54). I installed it, flipped the breaker, and lo and behold the light went off when I switched it to OFF.

Having conquered this obstacle, I went on about my business. Until about 10:30 last night, when the light came on again. With a sense of defeat, I pulled myself out of bed and went down and flipped the breaker. Obviously this was beyond my expertise, and if I'd left electricity running through it, I might have been awakened about 4:00 this morning to a burning house. This morning we're calling my retired electrician uncle.

Have I mentioned that I know squadoosh about electrical wiring?

Gideons leaving Bibles at public schools.

Tony Cobbins asks if there's anything wrong with the practice.

Not if other religions are given equal opportunity to hand out THEIR religious works.

And do you REALLY want Satanists handing out the Satanic Bible to little Junior at school?

Didn't think so.

Excons as campaign workers.

Minnesota Democrats apparently don't know that it's hard to murder or rape someone over the phone.

At least, that's the impression I get from their whining that "the Republicans hired ex-cons too!"
The difference, you simpletons, is that the Republicans didn't send violent and sexual predators TO VISIT PEOPLE IN PERSON!

Seatbelt traps woman in burning car.

This one lived, thank Gawd.

The object came in through the car window, landed on the center console, began making popping noises and caught fire, the report stated. As the car's interior started to burn, Price could not release her seat belt and began to honk her horn. That was when passer-by John Smith, 33, rushed up and used his pocketknife to cut through the seat belt and free Price, the report said. The car burst into flames and was totaled.

The Shawshank Redemption II: Turtle Power!

I don't know why this amuses me, but it does.

But should we be concerned about assisting a turtle being a "citizen assist?"

Go, Cool Hand Max, go.

GMail -- goofy, but in my corner.

I recently accepted Gmail's offer for their email service (

For the first time this morning, I checked the "Spam" folder.

The message I got was a very enthused "Hooray! No Spam here!"

Friday, July 02, 2004

308 Voice on hiatus.

I underestimated the difficulty of running a weblog based on a university 120 miles from where I am. So, unless something noteworthy comes up, the 308 Voice is in a state of suspended animation.

In other words, no day-to-day.

C2: Tacky Overkill.

The Pepsi 400 this weekend will have no less than 9 cars with Coca-Cola's new low-carb C2 as their primary sponsor and paint scheme. VERY tacky. VERY overkill.

The announcers yesterday even wondered how they are going to tell all the cars apart.

Me? I bought a Pepsi Edge this morning in protest. Tastes better anyway.

Maybe he should have named it "Native America."

Oh, please, people. If all you have to bitch about is the name of a cat belonging to the President of a country other than your own, then you ought to count your blessings, call it a day, and not bitch about anything today.

I used to have two cats named after cities (and after cigarette brands) -- Winston and Salem. Did you see the Winstonians and the Salemites in an uproar? No.

Web Of The Incredible Super-Bat Devil.

As someone who was a great fan of comic books well into my '20s, it pains me to say this.

The glut of comic book movies lately is too much of a good thing.

Arkansas organ donor infected with rabies.

I don't like to cut-and-paste whole articles, but this is important.

CDC confirmed diagnoses of rabies in three recipients of transplanted organs and in their common donor, who was found subsequently to have serologic evidence of rabies infection. The transplant recipients had encephalitis of unknown etiology after transplantation and subsequently died. Specimens were sent to CDC for diagnostic evaluation. This report provides a brief summary of the ongoing investigation and information on exposure risks and postexposure measures.


The organ donor was an Arkansas man who visited two hospitals in Texas with severe mental status changes and a low-grade fever. Neurologic imaging indicated findings consistent with a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which expanded rapidly in the 48 hours after admission, leading to cerebral herniation and death. Donor eligibility screening and testing did not reveal any contraindications to transplantation, and the patient's family agreed to organ donation. Lungs, kidneys, and liver were recovered. No other organs or tissues were recovered from the donor, and the donor did not receive any blood products before death. The liver and kidneys were transplanted into three recipients on May 4 at a transplant center in Texas. The lungs were transplanted in an Alabama hospital into a patient who died of intraoperative complications.


The liver recipient was a man with end-stage liver disease. The patient did well immediately after transplantation and was discharged home on postoperative day 5. Twenty-one days after transplant, the patient was readmitted with tremors, lethargy, and anorexia; he was afebrile. The patient's neurologic status deteriorated rapidly during the next 24 hours; he required intubation and critical care support. A lumbar puncture indicated a mild lymphocytic pleocytosis (25 white blood cells/mm3) and a mildly elevated protein. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain indicated increased signal in the cerebrospinal fluid. His neurologic status continued to deteriorate. Six days after admission, a repeat MRI indicated diffuse encephalitis. The patient subsequently died.


The first kidney recipient was a woman with end-stage renal disease caused by hypertension and diabetes. She had no postoperative complications and was discharged home on postoperative day 7. Twenty-five days after transplant, she was readmitted with right-side flank pain and underwent an appendectomy. Two days after this procedure, she had diffuse twitching and was noted to be increasingly lethargic. Neurologic imaging with computed tomography and MRI indicated no abnormality. During the next 24--48 hours, the patient had worsening mental status, seizures, hypotension, and respiratory failure requiring intubation. Her mental status continued to deteriorate, and cerebral imaging 2 weeks after admission indicated severe cerebral edema. The patient subsequently died.


The second renal recipient was a man with end-stage renal disease caused by focal, segmental glomerulosclerosis. His posttransplant course was complicated briefly by occlusions of an arterial graft leading to infarction of the lower pole of the transplanted kidney. The patient was discharged home 12 days after transplantation. Twenty-seven days after transplantation, he visited a hospital emergency department and was then transferred to the transplant center with myoclonic jerks and altered mental status; he was afebrile. An MRI of the brain performed on admission revealed no abnormalities. His mental status deteriorated rapidly during the next 24 hours. A lumbar puncture revealed mild lymphocytic pleocytosis (16 white blood cells/mm3) and a mildly elevated protein. His mental status continued to deteriorate, leading to respiratory failure requiring intubation. A repeat MRI performed 10 days after admission indicated diffuse edema. The patient subsequently died.


In all three patients, histopathologic examination of central nervous system (CNS) tissues at CDC revealed an encephalitis with viral inclusions suggestive of Negri bodies; the diagnosis of rabies in all three recipients was confirmed by immunohistochemical testing and by the detection of rabies virus antigen in fixed brain tissue by direct fluorescent antibody tests. Electron microscopy of CNS tissue of one of the renal transplant recipients also identified characteristic rhabdovirus inclusions and viral particles.

Suckling mice inoculated intracranially and intraperitoneally with brain tissue from one kidney recipient died 7--9 days after injection. Thin-section electron microscopy of CNS tissue of the mice had visible rhabdovirus particles, and immunohistochemical testing detected rabies viral antigens. Antigenic typing performed upon brain tissue from one recipient was compatible with a rabies virus variant associated with bats. Rabies virus antibodies were demonstrated in blood from two of the three recipients and the donor. Detecting rabies antibodies in the donor suggests that he was the likely source of rabies transmission to the organ recipients. Testing of additional donor specimens is ongoing.

Reported by: Univ of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital; Jefferson County Health Dept, Birmingham; Alabama Dept of Public Health. Arkansas State Dept of Health. Oklahoma State Dept of Health. Regional and local health depts; Texas Dept of Health. Div of Healthcare Quality Promotion; Div of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.

Editorial Note:

Rabies is an acute fatal encephalitis caused by neurotropic viruses in the genus Lyssavirus, family Rhabdoviridae (1). The majority of rabies cases are caused by bites by rabid mammals (1,2). Nonbite exposures, including scratches, contamination of an open wound, or direct mucous membrane contact with infectious material (e.g., saliva or neuronal tissue from rabid animals), rarely cause rabies. After an incubation period of several weeks to months, the virus passes via the peripheral nervous system and replicates in the central nervous system. Rabies virus can then be disseminated to salivary glands and other organs via neural innervation (3). Rabies can be prevented by administration of rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) (4), which is highly effective in preventing rabies when administered before onset of clinical signs.

Although transmission of rabies has occurred previously among eight recipients of transplanted corneas in five countries (4), this report describes the first documented cases of rabies virus transmission among solid organ transplant recipients. Infection with rabies virus likely occurred via neuronal tissue contained in the transplanted organs, as rabies virus is not spread hematologically. In collaboration with CDC, state and local health departments in Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas have initiated investigations to identify a potential source of exposure for the donor and to identify contacts of patients among health-care providers or domestic contacts who might need rabies PEP.

The risk for health-care--associated transmission of rabies is extremely low; transmission of rabies virus from infected patients to health-care providers has not been documented (5). The use of Standard Precautions (6) for contact with blood and body fluids (e.g., gloves, gown, mask, goggles, or face shield as indicated for the type of patient contact) prevents exposure to the rabies virus. No laboratory-confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission of rabies among household contacts have been reported (4). No cases of rabies have been reported in association with transmission by fomites or environmental surfaces.

Routes of possible exposure include percutaneous and mucocutaneous entry of the rabies virus through a wound, nonintact skin, or mucous membrane contact. Intact skin contact with infectious materials is not considered an exposure to the rabies virus. Persons with exposure as defined above to saliva, nerve tissue, or cerebral spinal fluid from any of the four infected patients should receive rabies PEP.

Types of exposures in domestic settings for which administration of PEP would be appropriate include bites, sexual activity, exchanging kisses on the mouth or other direct mucous membrane contact with saliva, and sharing eating or drinking utensils or cigarettes. In health-care settings, additional opportunities that can lead to contamination of mucous membranes or nonintact skin with oral secretions include procedures such as intubation or suctioning of respiratory secretions or injuries with sharp instruments (e.g., needlesticks or scalpel cuts). Percutaneous injuries (e.g., needlesticks) are considered exposures because of potential contact with nervous tissue. Contact with patient fluids (e.g., blood, urine, or feces) does not pose a risk for rabies exposure (4).

All potential organ donors in the United States are screened and tested to identify if the donor might present an infectious risk. Organ procurement organizations are responsible for evaluating organ donor suitability, consistent with minimum procurement standards (7). Donor eligibility is determined through a series of questions posed to family and contacts, physical examination, and blood testing for evidence of organ dysfunction and selected bloodborne viral pathogens and syphilis.

Laboratory testing for rabies is not performed. In the case reported here, the donor's death was attributed to noninfectious causes. The role of organ donor deferral is to optimize successful transplantation in the recipient, including minimizing risk of infectious disease transmission to the lowest level reasonably achievable without unduly decreasing the availability of this life-saving resource.

The benefits from transplanted organs outweigh the risk for transmission of infectious diseases from screened donors. CDC is working with federal and organ procurement agencies to review donor screening practices.

Additional information about rabies and its prevention is available from CDC, telephone 404-639-1050, or at
Additional information about organ transplantation is available at


1. Warrell MJ, Warrell DA. Rabies and other lyssavirus diseases. Lancet 2004;363:959--69.

2. Noah DL, Drenzek CL, Smith JS, et al. Epidemiology of human rabies in the United States, 1980 to 1996. Ann Intern Med 1998;128:922--30.

3. Charlton KM. The pathogenesis of rabies and other lyssaviral infections: recent studies. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 1994;187:95--119.

4. CDC. Human rabies prevention----United States, 1999: recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP). MMWR 1999;44(No. RR-1).

5. Helmick CG, Tauxe RV, Vernon AA. Is there a risk to contacts of patients with rabies? Rev Infect Dis 1987;9:511--8.

6. Garner JS, Hospital Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee. Guideline for isolation precautions in hospitals. Infect Contr Hosp Epidemiol 1996;17:53--80.

7. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. Minimum procurement standards for an organ procurement organization. Available at

Why don't they screen for rabies? Why is someone who died in such a condition a candidate for donation anyway?

Listed on Blogwise Blogarama - The Blog Directory
<<-Arkansas Blog+>>