Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ron Paul Test

My friend Tom told me that a post on Ron Paul, any post, will attract traffic to a blog. So I'm seeing if it is true. If I do get any random hits, I will post where they have come from -- I can track locality from Goggle which is cool feature.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Godfather and Mike Huckabee

This is from the ABC News Note:

"The Weekly Standard's Dean Barnett takes apart Huckabee's Foreign Affairs treatise. "In one part of the essay, Huckabee somberly intoned that 'Sun-tzu's ancient wisdom is relevant today: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."
The only problem with citing this ancient piece of wisdom is that it comes not from Sun Tzu, but Michael Corleone."

Of course Michael was quoting his father, Don Corleone.

Interesting that it would be the Huck quoting the Real Don.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

If you know me, you have to look at this

You can take the boy out of Santa Cruz, but you can't take Santa Cruz out of the boy. Here is an e-card I received on my birthday.

Check it out.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Boogie Nights Rule

Seeing the preview for Charlie Wilson's War, co-staring Phillip Seymor Hoffman after seeing I'm Not Here, which had a cameo from Julianne Moore as the Joan Baez character -- I am constantly reminded of the "Boogie Nights Rule." (I think I may be the discover of this rule, if not please tell me where you have seen it.) But the rule is that you can't have a major (or even minor) Hollywood picture that does not include one of the actors from Boogie Nights. In case you forgot, here is a list:

Mark Wahlberg
Burt Reynolds
John C. Reilly
Julianne Moore
Heather Graham
Don Cheadle
Luis Guzmán
Philip Seymour Hoffman
William H. Macy
Thomas Jane

Santa and the NAACP

Edith was watching an episode of Higgly Town Heroes where the problem is that they are in a cabin with no chimney on Christmas eve, so Santa has no way to get in. They solve this by having a bricklayer show up and build a chimney. Edith says, "that's stupid, they don't have to do that. Santa has keys to everyone's house."

That reminded me of a story that my con law professor, Charlie Black told us. He had been the only white lawyer working with Thurgood Marshall on the briefs for Brown v. Board of Education. He said they were working late one night and Thurgood looks around the room at all the faces of the black lawyers and came to him and said --"Charlie, what are you doing here?"

And he said, "well, Thurgood, even in the small town in rural east Texas I grew up in, we'd heard about the N-A-A-C-P. And we knew that they had a big office in New York City. And in that office, they had a big vault. And in that vault, they had the key to the bedroom of every white woman in the South."

"And I vowed that I had to become a part of that organization!"

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

9th Night of Hanukkah

When she was 3 or 4 my Daughter Edith was traumatized my the 9th night of Hanukkah. By then she had gotten the routine down -- candles, presents. So as soon as it got dark on the 9th night, she started chanting "Candles! Presents!". It was a rude awakening.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Red Sox Poltics

Is it that everyone loves a winner, or that New Hampshire gets Boston media and has lots of Sox fans.

This was in a political newsletter I get:

"Jumping on the Red Sox Bandwagon

First we had Gov. Bill Richardson claiming to like the Red Sox and Yankees -- something any baseball fan knows is impossible.

Then, while stomping for votes in New England, Yankee fan Rudy Giuliani was mocked for saying he would actually root for the Red Sox in the World Series. Now, we have "lifelong Red Sox fan" Mitt Romney not knowing how long it had been since the Red Sox won a World Series when they finally got there in 2004. As ABC News notes, "It is a number that millions of Red Sox fans know by heart. It is a number that many kids in Massachusetts know before they can even count." With my beloved Red Sox the World champs again this year, it's funny watching so many politicians trying to become citizens of Red Sox Nation. "

These People Are Crazy

Calls in Sudan for execution of Briton


What kind of people would think there religion would be endangered by a teddy bear?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Putin Dream

I don't usually remember my dreams and I have no idea what this one means. As you may know, one of the ways Putin is thinking about maintaining power -- he is term limited as President -- is to get a stand in to be President while he exercises real control. In my dream, I was that stand-in. I remember thinking that one of the reasons he had picked me was that because I wasn't Russian and didn't even speak the language I would never be able to develop an independent power base to challenge him.

I was supposed to give my first speech and my friend Dave (who teaches Russian History and speaks Russian) was transliterating it so I could give it.

Again, no idea what this means and I certainly have no desire to move to Moscow. In fact, everything that is happening there makes me so glad that my ancestors left when they did.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fired for Being Funny

The announcer on the London Tube (their Metro) was fired for including funny stuff in her announcements:

*We would like to remind our American tourist friends that you are almost certainly talking too loudly."

* "Would the passenger in the red shirt pretending to read the paper but who is actually staring at that woman's chest please stop. You are not fooling anyone, you filthy pervert."

* "Would passengers filling in answers on their Sudokus please accept that they are just crosswords for the unimaginative and are not in any way more impressive just because they contain numbers."

* "Here we are crammed again into a sweaty Tube carriage ... If you're female smile at the bloke next to you and make his day. He's probably not had sex for months."

All the recordings are at:

Saturday, November 24, 2007

NGO v. Non-Profit

I was presenting in Berlin last week about what we are doing in Internet politics here. I realized that one of the concepts I was translating was that what we referred to as non-profit organizations they called NGOs -- non-governmental organizations. In many cases -- Greenpeace, etc, it is actually the same organization. As I pondered it, it is interesting that the assumed actor in our society is a profit making corporation, while over there it is government.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Corruption in Iraq now basis of Nigerian Scam Spam

I just got my first e-mail using the corruption in Iraq as the basis of the Nigerian Scam. As everyone knows, in the Nigerian Scam someone as some ill-gotten gain they need to move out of a country and they want to use your bank account to do it. To work, the ill-gotten gain has to be so notorious that they assume any e-mail recipient will have hear of it, so it marks a milestone in the notoriety of U.S. Government corruption in Iraq that these are now circulating (this is not a particularly good one, as it makes grammatical mistakes of a non-native speaker, although the link to a news article is a good touch -- although no real American in Iraq would link to the BBC):

I am a Civil Staff working under United States Marine Corps operating with the Engineering military Dept unit in Baghdad, Iraq, we discover about $65 Million US dollars that we want to move out but we need a good partner we can trust. This fund is oil money and legal. Click on the link bellow for more information
We will be moving these funds out of Iraq through the assistance of UN diplomatic officer. But the question is can we trust you when the funds get to you? You will take your 30% for the assistance and keep the remaining for us in a safe custody. Your role is to find a safe place for the funds while our own part is sending it to you. Wait Your Reply Michael Joseph

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Food Network Thoughts 3 -- Rachel Ray eats a Turd

It is hard to believe how unrelentingly cheery Rachel Ray is. No matter what is put in front of her, it is always so so so very wonderful. I imagine her being presented with a steaming turd on a plate. "Oh this is so fresh! You can see the steam still rising from it." And then her trademarked smile as she takes her first bite. "And so economical, this is the best turd in San Antonio, I get one whenever I come here."

On thing I do give her credit for, is she is willing to include having a drink with her meals.

Food Network Thoughts 2 -- Iron Chef

Don't get me wrong, I love the American version of Iron Chef. But I do miss the original Japanese version. You would watch it in wonderment at how weird the Japanese could be. On the American version, they will reveal the secret ingredient --- "onions!" or "Parmesan Cheese!" but with the Japanese it would be "Sea Urchin Snot!". And then everyone would go, "oh sea urchin snot, that's good."

Food Network Thoughts 1

I think like most of America we have been watching the Food Network more and more. I think of it is as "Food Porn". We've been through the same cycle of cable watching as the rest of the country -- first it was "Financial Porn" of watching the stock reports, a phase that ended when it became depressing with the end of the tech bubble. (Was working for Juno and watched the stock go from $87 to 87 cents). Then it was HG TV and "House Porn", with shows like house hunters and flip this house and trading spaces. Now that is pretty depressing.

At least we still have food! It's like in the depression when chocolate sales went up, because no matter how bad things got, people could still get a 5 cent Hersey bar. If that ever goes, people will be reduced to watching "Porn Porn".


I changed the settings so now anyone can comment. I did not realize that it was set to only allow registered users to comment. So go for it!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Man came on the Radio

Edith, my seven year old, was sitting in her car seat listening to the radio. Suddenly she says, "What that man is saying, is TRUE. You can't always get what you want."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Watering the Roof

Seeing all the coverage of the fires in S.Cal I remember when we used to have to water the roof in Calabasas. We came close to being evacuated a couple of times, and we once had to put up someone who was evacuated. But this seems worse than anything we used to see 30 years ago (I feel so old writing that).

Growing up there you were just used to it. I have told people S.Cal has seasons -- Green, brown and Fire.

We also have another weather phenomenon -- the First Rain of the Season. It is a truism that people in S.Cal can't drive in the rain. Well, there is a reason for that -- The First Rain of the Season. You see, it doesn't rain for 10 months of the year and during those 10 months whenever some tops off their tank and spills some gas on the ground -- it evaporates. Then comes the first rain and 10 months of petrochemical products comes down with it. Every puddle is an oil slick. I remember being in the car with my brother when he hit the breaks and did a 360 because he hit a puddle on the on ramp.

I was talking to someone in Boston today about the fires and she said that S.Cal scared her. It's funny. Earthquakes and brush fires don't scare me. Earthquakes are land surfing. But snow has almost killed me a couple of times. I still have nightmares about driving in blizzards in SD.

World Series -- 2004 v. 2008

No one seems to be pointing out that this World Series is pitting the 2004 Convention city -- Boston v. the 2008 Convention city -- Denver. Especially as this is the last Series before the Convention.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Swiss accidentally invade Liechtenstein

What else can anyone say. It has to be one of the greatest headlines ever. Read the article.

Although it makes the points that the soldiers had no bullets in their guns -- it doesn't mention that everyone of them had a knife. And every one of those knives had not only a can opener and tweezers, but also a plastic tooth pick that could put someone's eye out at close range.

Feminists have more fun

The Kurds: A People Who Never Got Their Way