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September 30, 2005

Lack of Posting{Again}

The past week, I've been staying at the Doubletree Suites Times Square in New York, where just because they say they feature high speed Internet doesn't make it altogether so.

To be fair, they do have wired Internet, as most large hotels through an outside firm. Theirs, however, was a complete nightmare -- nearly everything I tried to do encountered "Cannot find page," or "Page unavailable," even such mundane tasks as deleting an email, commenting at another blog, opening an email, replying to an email or accessing my gmail.

I attempted to post several times and the posts were lost as soon as I tried to publish them.

I finally reached the boiling point and got things moving here between the outside company's tech support and the hotel's engineering department, and it turned out that there was some intense technical problem in the hotel's server that involved bandwidth and some other factors well above my own IT knowledge base.

They seem to have done something, what I don't know, that makes the system here work better, though not enough so to throw a major party over, as much as I'd like to just for partying's sake. There are still significant problems.

But then, for those of you who are planning to come to New York and are looking for a hotel, I can't say I'd recommend Doubletree Suites. This is my second time dealing with this chain, the first being about two and a half weeks ago when I attended a conference in Orlando and upon arriving at a Doubletree there, found that they'd screwed up my reservation -- this time was different. They had the accommodation I'd requested, but...

Unlike in other large hotels I've stayed at, these folks have too many employees who don't speak sufficient English in positions where they should, given the fact that this is the U.S. of A., where English is coin-of-the-realm. On too many occasions, orders I put in or things I requested were interpreted quite differently than what I had asked for.

Earlier today, I received a call from the front desk telling me the debit card I'm using here had been declined and they needed a second form of payment. This was impossible, trust me, and I called my bank and was reassured that they had not declined anything. So I called the desk back and had a short conversation with them, and it turned out that they had screwed up by trying to use an approval code a second time, and that never works. The desk manager straightened that out in a hurry.

There were a few other screwups I won't bother getting into.

One of my other gripes has been the fact that for a shameless $2.50 per cup, they serve some cheap, cardboardy canned coffee that prompted me to go out and buy a pound of Starbucks for use in the in-room coffee maker. At $379.00 a night, you'd think they could at least spring for some decent coffee, but these folks are too cheap and greedy for that. I've had better coffee than theirs at greasy spoons in poor, sleazy neighborhoods.

The employees in this hotel are friendly and outgoing and attempt to be as helpful as you could want, but the organization here is a complete goatfuck and they can only work with what they have.

To their credit, they did back out the charges for the lame Internet access, which comes out to $10.00 a day.

For all I know, this post may not make it to the Web. If it does, great.

In short, this is the last time I will ever stay at a Doubletree and I'll most definitely tell friends about the mistake it would be if they did.

Tomorrow, I'll be heading up to Boston for three days, to a great hotel that promises first class Wi-Fi.

I will continue posting from there.

Posted by Seth at 05:48 PM | Comments (2) |

September 24, 2005

Liberal Hypocrisy -- D.C.

Cindy Sheehan arrived in Washington, D.C. the other day and set up her portable Camp Wingnut on the Mall, disgustingly close to the Washington Monument. On Friday afternoon when I went to see it and take a few pics, I was reminded of footage of the end of Woodstock, a few raggedy looking burnouts wandering aimlessly, only this one was adjoined by a field of miniature white crosses that could have been a graveyard for gerbils. Only a few were marked, probably by parents who had lost children in Iraq and were willing to demean their mortal sacrifices and their very memories by adding their names to Cindy's grotesque little travelling sideshow. The ditch lady must have decided that she's better off not labelling the crosses as she did in Crawford and risking having the parents of fallen warriors again show up to rip crosses bearing their own dead children's names out of the ground, admonishing that, "You don't speak for us, Cindy!"

Earlier that day, I had been to Walter Reed, where I had been fortunate, and indeed privileged to meet a few of the young men who had been permanently disabled during combat operations in Iraq. One such soldier, who had lost both his legs, told me that he had been learning to walk with on one prosthesis and was working to master the second. He spoke as though he were describing a new stereo he was buying for his car, no bitterness at all, and said that his injuries were simply a product of war, and that war became necessary when talk was realized to be unproductive. Here was a young man, probably as many as three decades my junior, and he filled me with so much awe and so much respect for him that when I shook his hand and thanked him from the bottom of my heart for his sacrifice, I felt it was totally inadequate. I mean, how can you thank someone enough for giving so much for love of his country?

I asked him about the anti-war liberals who have been holding Friday evening "we support the troops" vigils outside the main gate of the Army hospital complex and how they were viewed by the troops within. He smiled as he told me how on one such Friday night, a motorcycle club called Rolling Thunder had roared in on their Harleys and run the liberals off, and the look of appreciation in his eyes answered my question more than adequately.

The brave heroes at Walter Reed are totally aware that the "we support the troops" vigils are pure malarkey attended by people with liberal anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-America agendas who do not speak for the troops. Even knowing that their transparency fools no one, however, these liberals will continue to play act, while bashing the war and attempting to send a message to these wounded soldiers that they sustained their injuries for naught.

That same Friday evening, the liberals manning the gate experienced a change of program: A number of conservatives had come to town to mount counter-protests against Sheehan's and other left wing groups' who had been massing for their own anti-war rallies. Organizations like RightMarch, FreeRepublic, ProtestWarrior,Move America Forward and others, as well as a lot of just plain pissed off conservatives like me were there for Support The Troops and Their Mission Weekend(unfortunately, other business in New York has prevented me from being able to remain all weekend), and a bunch of us turned up to face off with the vigilistas on that evening. There weren't as many as one might have hoped, about 120 on our side and 50 or 60 on the leftards' side.

They had prior claim to the sidewalks on both sides of the main gate of the hospital complex, we were opposite them in the same positions and signs abounded on both sides of Orange Street. There were police on hand to insure a nonviolent event.

Pictures I took will follow when I've learned how to get them in here, hopefully very soon. I'm still learning my way around the technology herein.

One of their signs said, "Support the troops, give them their full benefits," whatever that meant, and had us scratching our heads, another said, "Quiet Zone, Soldiers Healing." Behind the "quiet zone" sign, someone was playing an acoustic guitar, someone else, it seemed, a tambourine, and before long the liberals began singing. All in all, they were majorly pitiful and we were soon making amused bets as to whether or not they were going to start singing "Kumbaya."

People driving past would swerve toward whichever side they agreed with and honk their horns, often shouting their approval and/or waving. Surprisingly enough as the District of Columbia is a liberal city, we received a lot more "honks" than they did and every single vehicle that drove out of Walter Reed honked for us, ignoring the lefties altogether, knowing them for what they were and what they represented.

When darkness descended, the liberals lit candles, and we were surer than ever that they were about to burst into "Kumbaya."

Our side definitely had louder shouters than theirs whenever shouting was needed, and it was really a lot of fun.

Abruptly, at about 9:15, the leftards began to disperse. I learned the reason pretty quickly: On Friday nights, a restaurant in Washington called Fran O'Brien's Stadium Steak House has groups of Walter Reed patients over for a free steak dinner. They go there by bus and return around 9:30, and for some reason the vigilistas want to be gone before the bus reappears, returning the troops to the hospital.

I'd like to think these treasonous liberals prefer to slink away in shame rather than face true patriots who have sacrificed so much for their country, but somehow I doubt it, as the left has already shown us with profound eloquence that shame is something they know nothing about.

Posted by Seth at 10:24 PM | Comments (33) |

What Media Bias?

I refer you, readers, to a post that so succinctly describes the bias of the Mainstream Media today in its reporting on Iraq that only a complete imbecile could walk away after reading this and still believe that they are getting any kind of fair and unbiased accounts from that quarter. The post is here, at GM's Corner.

Posted by Seth at 09:37 PM |

September 22, 2005

Time To Support Our Troops

Since I'm leaving Washington, DC and heading up to New York this weekend, I headed down to the Tower Bar, here at the Wyndham, for a last tequila with a great bartender named Reggie and afterwards(about now), I've returned to my suite. Pictures At An Exhibition is playing on the living room radio/CD player, cool. A little bit of Mussorgsky to accompany this post, open the fridge and break out a Sam Adams to go with another tequila.
Fitting, a drink in honor of those Americans fighting for freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan as tomorrow{oops, sorry, today as it's after midnight} I'll be headed over to attend a rally in honor of our troops who are now in harm's way on behalf of our great nation.

Ditch Bitch Cindy Sheehan is here. You know, the traitoress who has chosen to demean the mortal sacrifice made by her son during his second enlistment, fighting for the country he believed in, the one his mother does not.

If you're within driving distance of our nation's capitol or it's convenient to hop on a plane and you're of a mind to, or you've got a few bucks you can donate to help, well:

ALERT: What did you do yesterday?

I wrote checks.

First, I wrote a check for $7,500.00. That covers rental, delivery, set up, load out and operation of a sound system to cover at least 20,000 people at this weekend's "Support The Troops AND Their Mission" Rally.

Then I wrote a check for $427.08, to cover our portion of the fee for holding a press conference at the National Press Club last week, announcing our plans to hold this four-day pro-troops series of rallies and counter-protests against Cindy Sheehan, MoveOn.org, and their far-left cohorts coming to Washington, D.C. to "protest".

Next, I wrote a check for $5,414.93. That one was for the stage company, to erect a stage large enough to hold a band, a dozen military families, Iraq war veterans, Congressmen, UK politicians, and loudmouths like me for hours on end.

After that, I wrote a check for $1050.00, for six hours on-site coverage of an ambulance service. Yes, this is *required* by the Park Police for a rally as big as the one we're putting on for the troops.

Finally, I finished off my day by writing a check for $2033.00... for porta-potties. I never knew it cost so much for a couple dozen "johns", but I'm sure willing to pay someone else to pick them up after it's all over.

That was my day. Over sixteen THOUSAND dollars paid out, all for our "Support The Troops AND Their Mission" weekend.

$16,425.01 in just ONE DAY. We've already paid several thousand dollars for transportation, lodging, etc. And there's more bills on the way, totaling MANY thousands more dollars.

I think it's worth every penny, to show the Left, the Media, and the rest of America that the "silent majority" DOES support our brave men and women in uniform. They're willing to risk it all for us.

What are we willing to do for them?

TAKE ACTION: I'll be honest with you -- these events have drained our bank account. We don't have a "sugar daddy" like the Left does, with billionaire socialist George Soros. We need your help NOW.

I need you to make a donation right away, to help us cover these costs. Whether it's $10 or $10,000 -- PLEASE make your best contribution by clicking here:


This is a BIG weekend coming up.

On Friday evening, we'll be taking part in a pro-troops counter-demonstration at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where the forces of the Left will be gathering in a disgusting display of shameful rhetoric, right in the faces of our brave troops that have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. WE will be there to THANK them for their service!

On Saturday, the day that the radical left-wing groups intend to "surround the White House" to demand President Bush's removal, our "Defend the White House" rally begins at 10:00am at the Navy Memorial; our coalition also has a permit for a large area along the parade route to counter the main "anti-war" parade as they pass by.

On Sunday, we've got our HUGE pro-troops rally on the Capitol Mall! This promises to be a well-attended, heavily-covered rally featuring active duty service-men and -women and their families, as well as the families of those killed in action. Speakers will include Gold Star parents, family members of service men and women, veterans, government officials from the U.S. Congress and the Coalition of the Willing, and Iraqi citizens... as well as an appearance by the staunchly patriotic musical duo The Right Brothers.

Finally, on Monday, we'll be joining with military families to lobby congress to "stay the course" of our military missions overseas. The antiwar groups will be lobbying Congress that day -- we'll be there to counter their shrill voices.

More information on all the activities will be announced at each day's rallies and on our website at http://www.rightmarch.com/weekend.htm -- click through for rally details, directions, maps, lodging, transportation, and more!

We MUST NOT let the Left's "anti-war" weekend go unchallenged. The mainstream media would like nothing better than to give our side - the side of the majority of Americans - little or no coverage. So we MUST make sure our pro-troops rally is a HUGE event, so they CAN'T ignore us!

We need you. We need your physical presence... we need your prayers...

And if you can't come that weekend, WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP! The Sunday rally -- and the events around it, including counter-protests on Friday and Saturday, and Congressional lobbying on Monday -- is costing us literally TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.

Please make your best contribution TODAY - this pro-America rally is happening quickly and we need every person reading this to rise up on behalf of our troops. Their cause is just - and they deserve our thanks.

If you've already given, I'm asking you to make a sacrifice, and give again if you can.

If you haven't given yet, THIS IS THE TIME. We need your help RIGHT NOW.

PLEASE, come to D.C. on September 25th if you can -- and please, give your best donation today to make this an event that NO ONE will be able to forget.

Please click through below to make your best donation TODAY, to show these radical leftists -- and the rest of America -- that we're FED UP with their hate-filled nonsense, and that the MAJORITY of this country SUPPORTS our President and our troops:


If you prefer to contribute by check, please mail to:
Dept. Code 7
PO Box 20275
Washington, DC 20041-2275

NOTE: Be sure to forward this message to EVERYONE on your e-mail list who wants to help FIGHT BACK against these radical "hate-America" groups, and show them, the media, and the rest of America that we SUPPORT the troops AND their mission. Thank you!


William Greene, President

I've met Bill Greene, he's a really sincere guy and a patriotic American who bears no resemblance whatsoever to the bureaucrat the phrasing of the email copied above might suggest. He is a powerful looking{the kind you'd like to have as back-up if you were under attack}, well spoken, charactar-filled, ordinary American who loves his country and sacrifices one whole hell of a lot of his own time for the cause of RightMarch, the organization he leads, because he believes in our nation.

RightMarch is an organization dedicated to preserving the freedoms we, as Americans, enjoy as the liberals in this country fight to turn us into a socialist quagmire, attempting to transform the Constitution into The Communist Manifesto with the ACLU as guideon. A commenter at Kira Zalan's blog called Civilwarrior pointed out that

...As for the vaunted, saintly, ACLU, may I remind you that it’s founder, Roger Baldwin, stated: “We are for SOCIALISM, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself… We seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the SOLE CONTROL of those who produce wealth. COMMUNISM is the goal.”

The bold type below is my own, not a part of the above quote but bold nonetheless as I stress the need for support for RightMarch.

These liberals are achieving major inroads into our society via the left-of-center Mainstream Media, and if we want to counter their assault on our American way of life, we have to let our fellow Americans know the truth: Hence, RightMarch.

Support this great organization any way you can, by showing up in our Nation's Capitol this weekend or by donating whatever you can. Bill was totally honest in his email, any money sent will go where it's intended to go, not to massive "administrative costs" as all of us who are involved are here "out of pocket," period.

And our opposition will unquestionably be better financed than we are, due to the largesse of wealthy liberals like George Soros.Help us defend our troops and our country.

Posted by Seth at 10:27 PM |

Crow, As A Delicacy

On the 19th, I posted a forward titled Did You Know? without examining all the facts. Remember the adage that "assume makes an ass out of ume?"

I was instantly called on it by fellow blogger Pat'sRick in my comment section, and he added a couple of solid links to back him up.

In the forward I posted, the author defined many of the friezes and other symbols as connoting religious reference. In addition to Pat'sRick's links, I did some further research and while Moses holding two tablets of stone does appear, the Ten Commandments are not engraved in the tablets.

So, I offer both my thanks to Pat'sRick and my apologies to any readers who might not have been as well informed as my fellow blogger from Alabama.

Blogger Dan Trabue, of A Payne Hollow Visit, who disagrees with me on everything no matter what but is well intentioned and well reasoned on his own side of things, commented that:

Did you know that James Madison also said:

"What has been the fruits of Christianity? ...Superstition, bigotry and persecution."

Did you know that John Adams said:

"This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it."

I'm in the 86% and yet I don't want the Ten Commandments of my God taken in vain by a secular society. So, maybe throw me over with the 14%?

And, who knows? By the time you throw in the separation of church and state fans like Baptists, Anabaptists, some Methodists, Unitarians, and other various members of the 86%, you'll have a much larger group who don't want the Ten Commandments co-opted by The Empire?

And my reply was:


I believe that the Bible{both Testaments} played a very large role in shaping both the society and laws that resulted in the founding of this nation, hence a lot of references to God in our original institutions.

I won't argue that there has not been abuse in the form of harsh excesses along the way by governments using religion to shape policy(look at the Church of England, early Catholicism, fundamentalist Islam in all its 'peaceful' glory), but on the whole, particularly in the west, our society has evolved in its benevolent form because of the values taught in the Bible.

I do not see Biblical references, which promote decency, by our government as the merging of church and state. While The Ten Commandments
promote God{I am the lord thy God, Thou shalt have no other gods before me, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain}, they do not tell you which religion you must specifically pursue to worship Him, and the commandments that do not make reference to God promote living as what common sense would define as leading an honest, decent life.

Prayer in public schools, at least from my experience as a young'n, never involved the advocacy of any particular religion, nor was praying even mandatory; There was simply a moment of silence in the classroom.

Today, those same atheists who ban western religion in any form from schools make Koran studies mandatory in many schools. Why is that okay?

Personally, I believe this entire issue of "seperation of church & state" has been blown up to the point of paranoid overreaction by people whose agendas go further than just that issue. The last time religion was ripped away from a society that society became communist, and the countries that followed it down that road did the same, because there is no room for God, Whose existence might share loyalty with govt, in a totalitarian regime. Communism is an extreme form of socialism, and those same people who are waging war on God, in a manner of speaking, are liberals who are fighting tooth and nail to transform the great system of govt we enjoy in America into a socialist one.

And yeah, even though the forward I posted may well turn out, according to PatsRick's comment above, to feature several inaccuracies(which I will address in another post, and put them right where indicated), the majority of Americans believe in including references to God in our national institutions.

That does not mean the govt is being run by a church, it simply confirms that America believes in God. If a minority does not, well, in an environment of democracy, the majority rules.

FYI, I am Jewish. I don't practice as devoutly as I might, though I try to live as I was brought up to live. My point here is that unlike other Jews who are liberals, I fully support the idea of America as a Judeo-Christian society.

Basically, the author of the forward in question was trying to make the point that I made in my reply to Dan's comment, that America was founded on religious principles. Whom do you suppose the pilgrims were thanking on that first Thanksgiving? Hint, a three letter name, and the same entity we've thanked every Thanksgiving since. One of the things I thanked Him profusely for was my grandmother's awesome chestnut stuffing. :)

I'm fanatical about looking at potential coincidences, and here's something I've noticed: Ever since the atheists won their battle to take God out of our public schools, there has been serious deterioration in a vast number of children's respect for authority figures, parents and one another as well as a massive increase in violence among young people. Are these issues related, or coincidental?

Posted by Seth at 05:38 AM | Comments (9) |

Some Perspectives On The Mideast & Terrorism

It would seem that President George W. Bush's efforts to spread democracy into Islamic society as a way of curbing the recruitment of the young to the "causes" of terrorists are beginning to show results as more and more Muslim journalists and "listened-to" Arabs speak out against terrorism and the Islamic states' positions that encourage its growth. Kira Zalan links to some excellent examples here. Go and have a good read, see you when you get back.

You have to realize that Islamofascist terrorism could not flourish as it has with so many of its practitioners remaining at large if there was a serious effort on the part of the governments of Muslim countries, their clerics and worldwide Islamic communities to do something about it, and if there were no Islamic governments, such as "our friends" the Saudis, Syria and Iran lending support to terrorist organizations.

I very definitely take umbrage with the American left's position that those who indulge in hate speech here in the west are entitled to do so under the umbrella of "freedom of speech," as Kira's first commenter implied, "chastised" thereupon by a number of right-thinking commenters. In order to live in a free society, one must understand that every freedom comes with unspoken responsibilities that are there to prevent abuse that can endanger or otherwise infringe upon the rights and freedoms of others. In the case of Muslim clergy and others who speak to incite fellow Islamics to commit violence upon the rest of us, they are abusing the right to freedom of speech and for the safety of everyone else, despite the portside diatribes to the contrary, need to be removed from our community. There is little to choose between them and those who actually commit acts of terrorism. This ACLU/liberal view that we have to wait until a bunch of innocent citizens are blown up or otherwise butchered before any action is taken is obscene as it demonstrates a total lack of respect for human life.

The Academy For The Constitutionally Challenged weighs in on the reality of the situation here.

Before we continue, you need to understand something, if you haven't figured it out already. These people hate you. They don't want to understand you, and they don't want to be your friend. They don't simply hate your government; they don't merely hate your religion. They hate you and me and our families and our friends. And they won't ask you if it's okay to kill you. They won't file suit in court to find out if it's constitutional. They won't take a vote. They'll just kill you, and I hope to prove that to you.

The reality of the situation is that someone has declared war on us (even if they say we were the first to declare, the following holds true), and we are now faced with three choices. Either we ignore the declaration, surrender to the enemy's terms, or choose to fight back. In an ordinary world, ignoring the threat is tantamount to surrendering, since the enemy will eventually smother us if we do nothing. Again I hear the cries "we did this to ourselves!" And again, I don't care, and it doesn't matter. If you really believe that your freedom did this to you, I can't help you. I would, however, urge you to move, as there are plenty of countries other than ours on the half-free to despotic scale that would love to have you, and it would solve your problem without creating one for me. On the other hand, if you are in the foreign pilicy camp, I might be able to explain why it matters not what you think.

Read the rest, it pretty much encapsulates the entire issue and is extremely well put.

In the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, Gary C. Gambill puts out an interesting analysis on Democratization, The Peace Process, and Islamic Extremism. It's definitely worth reading.

Terrorism is an issue that has been politicized by the left, who seem to believe that trying to get their candidates elected by slandering and obstructing our president and his administration at every turn is more important than the lives of potentially thousands of their fellow Americans. Shame on them, they ought to find another country to live in instead of sabotaging this one.

Apparently in their case, the lesson of 9/11 means nothing.

Posted by Seth at 03:57 AM |

September 19, 2005

Did You Know...?

This is the content of a forward sent me today by a friend and I thought I'd pass it on as it is so relevant in view of the attacks on America's relationship with God by our country's atheists(liberals, the ACLU and other assorted treasonous flotsam). The composition is attributed to Andy Rooney:

DID YOU KNOW? As you walk up the steps to the building which houses the U.S. Supreme Court you can see near the top of the building a row of the world's law givers and each one is facing one in the middle who is facing forward with a full frontal view ... it is Moses and he is holding the Ten Commandments!


As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door.


As you sit inside the courtroom, you can see the wall,
right above where the Supreme Court judges sit,
a display of the Ten Commandments!


There are Bible verses etched in stone all over the Federal Buildings and Monuments in Washington, D.C.


James Madison, the fourth president, known as "The Father of Our Constitution" made the following statement:

"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."


Patrick Henry, that patriot and Founding Father of our country said:

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ".


Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher, whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777.


Fifty-two of the 55 founders of the Constitution were members of the established orthodox churches in the colonies.


Thomas Jefferson worried that the Courts would overstep their authority and instead of interpreting the law would begin making law an oligarchy,the rule of few over many.


The very first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, said:

"Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers."

How, then, have we gotten to the point that everything we have done for 220 years in this country is now suddenly wrong and unconstitutional?

It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore, it is very hard to understand why there is such a mess about having the Ten Commandments on display or "In God We Trust" on our money and having God in the Pledge of Allegiance. Why don't we just tell the other 14% to Sit Down and SHUT UP!!!?

Hat tip, Jodee.

Posted by Seth at 06:01 PM | Comments (8) |

test entry


Posted by phin at 06:22 AM |

September 18, 2005

Ground Zero

This morning I got in a cab and told the driver to take me to Ground Zero. The trip from midtown to downtown took perhaps twenty minutes, and then we were on a familiar street, yet unfamiliar at the same time because there was nothing in front of us but sky and a metal fence where there should have been--
The driver, an Arab, said nothing as he pulled up to the curb before the fence. The fare was ten something, I was so mesmerized by what I saw -- or more accurately what I didn't see, the entire area looked suddenly alien to me and I actually felt momentary fear for some reason I can't fathom, I handed the cabbie a twenty, got out of the taxi and walked slowly to the fence, to that great cavity beyond that simply didn't belong anyplace in my memories, didn't belong in New York and I gazed out upon it, my emotions a mess so that I actually wanted to cry -- but didn't, I just looked and looked, and walked, and looked, and felt... I don't know, tragic. It was so difficult to picture the two awesome towers that had stood there when I had last been here in New York.
There was a sense of loss within me that was as profound as those when I lost my grandparents and my mother, an uncle and numerous friends in years gone by, some of whom had died in my presence. But there was something different here, something really terrible and unearthly, like I was coming home to a mountain that had become a valley in my absence, all its residents gone, dead.


Murdered in the name of God. Someone else's god, a god of destruction and murder, not the God I believe in. Not my God, not the God I worship as a Jew, not the God worshipped by Christians. I knew some people who worked there, friends who on the 11th of September, 2001, ceased to exist. In the name of Allah, the Muslim god, the god presiding over the so-called Religion of Peace.

Sure, I had been through the same uncomprehending to shocked to sad to angry succession most Americans had undergone on that morning in September, 2001, but it had been an emotional reaction from 3,000 miles away, the outrage viewed on television.

Here I was, standing on very familiar ground that had been the site of commodity exchanges I had been to often in the course of a former line of work, the offices occupied by friends and acquaintances, now gazing at an alien landscape that was in reality a kind of graveyard peopled by both innocent human beings and heroes who had attempted to save them and died en masse in the process.

I felt numb when I finally walked away, then, walking aimlessly along Trinity Place, I felt a rage building up inside me and I murmured thanks to President George W. Bush for being the American leader he is and mobilizing the wrathful might of our military in a war on the terrorist scum who had done this to us, overthrowing two dictatorships that had owned some of the responsibility for the mass murder in New York and elsewhere, either by harboring, helping finance, providing training facilities for or by sponsorship of other preparations for what those bastards did to us.

Payback for the grief those godless sons of bitches caused thousands of American families but at least equally as important, the self defense of America in an all-out war declared upon us and all western nations by a satanic enemy purporting to represent all of Islam.

Our President initiated a global war on terror and was followed into the breach by numerous other leaders who realized that we are, indeed, at war, not by our choice but by the declaration of war by the worst enemy we have faced in the entire histories of the United States and the western world.

He was opposed by nations whose reticence was dictated by profit concerns as they violated UN sanctions they themselves had signed off on, by the UN itself as the organization's very leadership was making money off corrupt transactions with Saddam Hussein. He was opposed by American traitors whose opposition stemmed from pure internal partisan politics or from political leanings that by their ultimate nature are against the principals that have made America the world leader we are.

To this day he is villified by those same treasonous entities, but George Bush is willing to weather the abuse in order to carry on a mission whose success will guarantee the perpetuity of those same dissenters' right to criticize their own government, those assholes like Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, San Francisco and Berkeley socialists and others who would see the United States of America destroyed if they had their way. As far as I'm concerned, those anti-American, pro-Islamofascist, liberal traitors can leave this great country and move to France, Canada or some other country that embraces their socialist needs.

For me, Ground Zero represents every reason why we need to decimate every last vestige of fundamentalist Islam on earth, by any means necessary, and those who endeavor to obstruct our doing so can go to fucking hell.

Posted by Seth at 09:52 PM | Comments (2) |

September 17, 2005

New York

Today was kind of a longish day for me, I've been awakening early for some unearthly reason, and getting my day started with the usual long dose of news website and blog reading, answering emails that came in at hours when even I'm asleep and those that arrived early.

I called the concierge in my DC hotel and asked her to get me shuttle flight reservations to New York and hotel reservations as well -- hotels offer all sorts of useful services and when you're travelling a lot, using them makes life much easier. She talked me into taking the Amtrack Acela(a high speed train shuttle), pointing out that it would mean not having to show up an hour early at the airport and do the security routine, giving me more personal time to have a few brews with some friends before grabbing a cab for the short ride to Union Station.

Skipping the airport security routine was a winning idea: I'm not what you'd call a neat, orderly packer and when my checked luggage goes through the X-ray machine, the quagmire within nearly always attracts the beady eyes of the idiotic, boneheaded, otherwise unemployable buffoons who seemingly rejoice in making sure they wrinkle up every damn pressed or neatly folded article of clothing in your suitcase that the TSA hires to open your bags and search them when they observe said quagmires.

As an experiment, a friend of mine recently put these people to a test at one airport. Cigarette lighters, for some inexplicable reason or other, are now forbidden aboard commercial airplanes. I suppose they're afraid Mohammed and Ibrahim are going to leap up from their seats midflight yelling, "Nobody move! We hev Zeepo! Alahu Akbar!"

Anyway, my friend stashed four cheap disposable lighters in his carry-on bag, and after a lengthy search{each time a lighter was found, they searched harder} they managed to find three of them, then they let him go through.

The only difference between the pre and post 9/11 passenger screening agents is that the post ones have "guard card" type training, the kind of thing that can be referred to as an upgrade on paper for liability purposes, more official looking uniforms, federal employee status and a slightly higher pay check. Granted, the upgraded procedures make it more difficult for a terrorist to smuggle the tools of his trade aboard a plane, but it also brings more business to hotel valets when a hapless passenger needs to have his clothes pressed thanks to those heavy handed....

Anyway, this post isn't supposed to be about those inept excuses for security personnel, it's supposed to be about my coming to New York. Though I will say one thing, and that is that there seem to be an awful lot of young Islamic males handling security at our airports, and you fellas and fella-ettes at the ACLU take that any way you want, there's no political correctness at this blog.

So I got to New York at 7:00 P.M., checked into my hotel an hour later(Saturday evening traffic here is like Saturday evening traffic noplace else, it's like one solid vehicle with a lot of moving parts that don't seem to move all that much) and went out to explore. I grew up here and have dwelt here for much of my adult life, but I haven't lived here for over 6 years and a lot has changed. My hotel's in midtown Manhattan on the east side, a nice area, but I headed downtown to Washington Square in the West Village and then wandered over to Bleeker Street in search of a bar where I might relax and enjoy a couple of drinks.

Fuggedadboudit, every watering hole for blocks was packed to the point of people spilling out the doors, and the sidewalks were as crowded as Times Square on New Years Eve. Like I said, it had been a long day and it was more than a little muggy, so I wasn't really into the human density thing, so I decided to return to my hotel.

Tomorrow I plan to go to Ground Zero for the first time, last time I was there we still had those two magnificent towers there and I was taking the E Train out of the subway station underneath. Then there are friends I want to contact whom I haven't seen for several years.

But don't for a minute take the impression that I am in any way feeling even the most remote disparagement where New York is concerned, I was just kinda worn out from the day's travel, the humidity and so forth and was in a listless mood.

New York is the greatest city on earth. There is an invisible yet somehow tangible energy about this town that never stops, no matter what the hour or the day, an electricity in the air, something... In every direction you look there is something to see, monotony remains forever outside the city limits. The people you meet are filled with charactar and possessing of a lively sense of humor, quick on the uptake, constantly busy at something or nothing, but busy just the same, yet appreciative of all that transpires around them and forever ready to give their honest opinions at the drop of a hat. Even immigrants from slow, laid back, "manana, manana" type countries are infected with the pulse of New York, their own personalities adjusted by the powerful ambience of the city to match those of the natives so that ethnic differences are much less apparent here than in other cities, despite the multiculturalism forced upon New York by its liberal majority.

Of course, being a New Yorker who has been living in San Francisco, I have to say that there is a large difference between New York liberals and California liberals. The former base their thinking in reality and as such can give you a more reasoned argument to back up their political beliefs, wrong or otherwise -- they have the intellectual ability to put together facts and come up with arguments based on those facts rather than on slogans and bumper sticker fodder, and when it comes to taking action in time of need, they usually do the right thing. The latter are wingnuts, pure and simple, who will follow a baseless line of reasoning right into the jaws of hell before they'll consider the stupidity of their position.

So my first evening in New York has ended with a room service smoked salmon omelet, a pot of coffee and some brandy, and tomorrow will be an active day for me, reintroducing myself to my exciting, beloved home town.

Posted by Seth at 10:30 PM | Comments (5) |

September 16, 2005

Terror Strip

I did a similar post to this one yesterday, but it was lost in the quagmire of the usual hotel(I'm travelling at the moment, and am staying at a hotel in Washington, DC) Internet access. There will be trackbacks at other sites I linked to, that lead to the since-deleted post that this one replaces.

So, yesterday Mahmoud Abbas claimed he had things under control in the Gaza Strip

The chaos at the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt has been brought under control, according to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
"I think that the Palestinians are perfectly in control," Mr Abbas said during a visit to the Rafah crossing.

Perhaps that was merely an indication of a profoundly distorted sense of reality at work, perhaps it was just a small fib to facilitate the opinion of the rest of the world that all is hunky dory in Gaza.


It's difficult to believe that this could be even a remote possibility, considering that the man and his Fatah government couldn't curtail terrorism, assuming he'd even wanted to, which I doubt, in the infinitely less stressful conditions that existed before the Israelis' Gaza pullout. I say 'less stressful' because at the time, there weren't thousands upon thousands of Palestinians on the move like a thundering herd of animals, looting, burning synagogues and generally acting like...well, animals.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the chaos in Gaza is still going great guns, and the Israelis are in overdrive implementing security measures, the job a major challenge as they've long since learned that they can't depend upon the Palestinian Authority to be of any help. You know, the folks all those western leaders, including our own President{I'm sorry to say as I'm a Bush supporter on most issues and would vote for him again if he could run again}, apparently believe are somehow qualified to manage their territorial affairs of state.

Israel increased the security checks being conducted along the northern border of the Gaza Strip Friday, at the Karni goods crossing and the Erez crossing in northern Gaza, in an attempt to stop weapons and drugs from being smuggled to Gaza from Egypt.

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry's political and security division, said that Israel could not depend on the Palestinian Authority when it came to the security of Israel.

"The Palestinian Authority has always been considered able to make obligations to enforce law and order and unable to execute those obligations," said Gilad.

Concerned over the growing chaos in the Gaza Strip and the incapability of the Palestinian Authority to enforce law and order, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz called for a security belt to be erected on the Palestinian side of the northern Gaza security fence to distance Israeli communities from the chaos in Gaza.

"The aim is to set up a no-man's land which Palestinians will be barred from entering," a Defense Ministry official said.

I've blogged on this before, and my opinion hasn't altered one iota: Israel's ceding the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians and the rest of the world giving the PA vast sums of money over the years do nothing to promote peace in the Middle East.

Giving them Gaza sends them a message that terrorism works, and that increasing same will get them an entirely Muslim, Jewish-free country over time. They made this plain at the outset of the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, when Hamas and friends acknowledged their victory and vowed to terrorize even more. Yet the evacuation continued and the funds are to keep flowing.

Thus far, more of the money(taxpayers' dollars, pounds, francs, pesos, etc. from the U.S. and elsewhere) given to the Palestinian Authority seems to have found its way into the personal coffers of the late and unlamented-by-most Mr. Arafat and his Fatah cronies or been invested in weapons and explosives with which to murder Jewish civilians and any other soft targets who just happened to be in the immediate vicinity, than to bettering the lives of those Palestinians who simply want to live in peace and watch their children grow up.

All in all, the terrorists of Hamas, al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, Islamic Jihad and the rest are getting a great deal. A geographic subdivision all their own in which to stockpile weapons and explosives, congregate pretty much openly without fear of arrest as they plan and assemble the logistics for terror attacks within Israel and then stage these attacks, plus the financing, courtesy of yours and my tax dollars, to bankroll them. What a bargain!

To make self defense even harder for Israel, Gaza borders Egypt, and that country has long been one of the major ordnance conduits for Palestinian terrorist organizations. Despite any promises the Egyptians might make to secure their borders against a flow of arms to the Palestinians, they are an Arab country and Israel knows better than to place any aspects of their security in that quarter -- so they'll have to secure the Gaza-Egypt border themselves.

Israel has promised to deal "harshly" with the Palestinians in Gaza should the strip become a source of continued terrorism, and given the terror the Jews have had forced upon them by the Palestinians, I have no compunction about saying that when this inevitability occurs, the positive aspect will be that whatever the Israelis do, they won't have to worry about any Jewish collateral damage in the Gaza Strip.

In Jewish World Review, Diana West asks What have we paid for with Palestinian handouts?
They say you get what you pay for. But what exactly have we paid for? As recently as Sept. 2, according to Palestinian Media Watch, the PA's "Voice of Palestine" was sermonizing against "heretical" America, exhorting the Muslim faithful to attack Americans in Iraq — just the latest instance of anti-U.S. propaganda carried on PA-run radio. A few weeks ago, the PA's so-called Ministry of Culture released its "Book of the Month," a collection of poetry honoring murder-bomber Hanadi Jaradat. This "Rose of Palestine" killed 29 Israeli Jews and Arabs at a crowded Haifa eatery in October 2003, back when such carnage was still shocking. Palestinian Media Watch also noted a PA government newspaper report about female Hamas terrorists — photographed holding American-made automatic rifles.

All of which should make us wonder: Have we paid for a "peace process," or have we financed holy war (jihad)? Have we supported a "peace partner"? Or have we just helped create a terrorist state?

I believe a grave error has been, and is continuing to be made, and that the result will be the engenderment of exponentially more violence between Israelis and Arabs than we have seen since 1973.

On a lighter note, Vinnie of Vince Aut Morire fame suggests an alternative location for a Palestinian state and, for those of you who plan to travel in the Middle East in the near future, a list of useful phrases that might make your trip more enjoyable.

Posted by Seth at 06:47 AM | Comments (2) |

September 15, 2005

Katrina Today

On reading this morning's Washington Times online, I was pleasantly surprised to find a statement I made in a previous post about Democrat politicians never accepting responsibility for their screwups but instead blaming Bush challenged, as it looks like we have an exception to the rule.

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco yesterday took responsibility for failures and missteps in the immediate response to Hurricane Katrina and pledged a united effort to rebuild areas ravaged by the storm.
"We all know that there were failures at every level of government: state, federal and local. At the state level, we must take a careful look at what went wrong and make sure it never happens again. The buck stops here, and as your governor, I take full responsibility," Mrs. Blanco told lawmakers in a special meeting of the Louisiana Legislature.

I applaud Governor Blanco for stepping up to the plate and admitting her role in the local mishandling of the Katrina disaster.
Of course, being somewhat suspicious of the motives behind the utterings of today's Democrats, I'm kinda sorta wondering if her emulating George Bush in taking responsibility has anything to do with the fact that there seems to be an outcry among a segment of her constituency for her impeachment, and she's trying to make nice. Sister Toldjah's got something on that front, while Raven talks about Captain Wiener's wife Hillary being put firmly in her place and Ogre posts a great funny about a U.N. response to aid for Katrina victims.

No matter how things work out in Katrina's aftermath, I believe the recriminations will go on for a long time on both sides, but it's good to see that with hindsight has come the beginnings of cooperation. We Americans are a resilient people, as we proved after 11 September 2001, and businessmen, yes, the private sector 'way down yonder in New Orleans are already beginning to lay plans for rebuilding what has been destroyed, which is as it should be and always has been in America. The government is there to help, not to facilitate a free ride nor micromanage local affairs, which is also as it should be.

Posted by Seth at 04:07 AM | Comments (2) |

September 14, 2005

My Trading Partner, Mine Enemy

Yesterday morning, at a conference in Orlando, I attended a keynote speech delivered by Colin Powell, and I went away feeling vastly privileged to have been there. Our former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State is profoundly youthful for 68 years of age and his speaking skills are, for lack of a better word, awesome.
He made us laugh with his great sense of humor and at the same time made many good points on many topics, but most of those are for another post -- I'm attempting to obtain a transcript, at which time I will share some interesting highlights on a verbatim level.

There was only one part of his speech, near the conclusion, with which I did not agree, and that concerned China.

General Powell cited Beijing's ongoing weapons buildup and even made reference to their goal of bringing Taiwan back into the fold, as it were, but he emphatically stated that he did not believe we would eventually have to go to war with what he termed{dating himself and the rest of us who've hit or exceeded the half century mark} "Red China." His reasoning was that going to war with China's largest trading partner when their economy is booming and still growing would be counter-productive.

In my opinion, he couldn't be more wrong in that one regard.

China feels it needs more "space," and I can't think of any of their neighboring countries who would be willing to sell them any real estate on the scale they would require. Therefore, they would have to resort to more aggressive acquisition methods, and the only ones that come to mind involve military options. If China were to invade another country for the purpose of acquiring more territory under any pretext, the United States would inevitably spearhead the defense of that country. In that, General Powell was absolutely right while making an unrelated point, that America is always first on the scene when other nations are in trouble. {Despite whining from certain Euro countries and our very own liberals over our Iraq enterprise, my addition here, not Powell's} the retired statesman rightly said that the rest of the world expects that of us.

China feels it still owns Taiwan, and has made much ado about getting it back. The United States maintains a standing promise to Taiwan that should China attempt to reclaim it using their military, we will protect Taiwan.

The only times America has gone back on her word in such events were under Democrat administrations, Kennedy over the Bay of Pigs, Carter over the ousting of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi by Khomeini's insurgency. This will not happen under a Republican administration, which, thanks to the far left anti-American accusatory debacles of today's liberal Democrats, will be enjoyed into the next presidency, hopefully for two terms and maybe the one after that as well.

But I digress.

Because of America's global protective policies cited above, Beijing is well aware that in order to realize any ambitions of expansion or any plans for the reclamation of Taiwan, they will have to take out the United States first.
There is little doubt that in their minds, taking over America would eliminate any use for us as a trading partner, since they would have the goose that lays the golden eggs right there in their hand.

This is not paranoia, it is theory based on the diatribes of modern totalitarian states. Their logic is utterly convoluted by our standards, and while the American left and a good portion of the right are in many ways incapable of thinking outside the realm of established western sensibilities, I assure you that policy makers in many exotic regions are not.

China has been steadily and consequentially building up her war machine since the mid nineties, at the very least, and drafting resolutions that, as far as Beijing is concerned, make their taking back of Taiwan legal.

With a tip of my sombrero to Kira Zalan , there is an article(introduced as purported rather than confirmed, but every inch reflective of previous doctrine we've all heard from Beijing) translating a speech by China's defense minister, Chi Haotian. To read the speech, go to Comment 9 in "Comments" replying to the linked post. But first read the post, it further demonstrates my point regarding the totalitarian mindset in Beijing, and unrelated to this Hard Astarboard post but useful to know, how Yahoo!'s Hong Kong subsidiary burned a Chinese journalist.

The Chinese Dragon, as the Washington Times Op Ed so succinctly puts it, is indeed awakening, and in my not so humble opinion, war will eventually follow.

Posted by Seth at 07:37 AM | Comments (2) |

Enough Of The Race Card

Ah sorry, ladies an' genemuns, but enuff be enuff o dis racial crap!

I've read liberal "opinions" that Katrina the Bitch was the fault of George W. Bush who, according to these idiots, caused the disaster by refusing to sign off on the Kyoto Assininity, thereby allowing global warming{already bebunked as myth by scientists} to create the devastating hurricane that blew along the gulf coast and caused so much devastation, some going so far, because so many poor blacks were stranded in New Orleans, as to label it a "racist" hurricane{owned, of course, by GWB}.
I've read liberal opinions that the poverty that stranded these people was the fault of the Republicans because of our belief in limited government, that we failed them by not awarding them a much larger share of our hard earned tax dollars so they could live a better, if unearned, life, thereby giving them the means to own cars and to drive themselves to safety as Katrina descended.
I've read liberal opinions that the sole reason there wasn't a quicker government response to help in New Orleans was because the victims were poor blacks.
Naturally, all the blame somehow finds its way to Bush, if you take the portside braying of the liberal mainstream media as gospel, which unfortunately millions upon millions of Americans seem to do. It's not their fault, they are simply folks who don't know any better than to believe that venues like CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post and countless others value the truth more than they do partisan Democrat propaganda. Rarely if ever will you find anything that reports positive accomplishments by the Bush Administration on their news programs or in their newspapers, even the most glaringly obvious positive seems to be subdued to the point of nonexistence while the most picayune trace of the negative becomes a blaring epic.
So now every aspect of the Katrina debacle, from the hurricane's creation to the breaking of the levee to the "slow" government response is the result of Bush's "racism."

I lived in New Orleans some years back and got out quite a bit.

It was always a Democrat city, in fact there was always a black mayor when I lived there, first a father(Dutch Morial), then a son(Marc Morial), and since, the son was ousted by C. Ray Nagin.

The city's Democrat mayors and other politicians did absolutely nothing to help extract their large, poor black population from poverty, in fact those who did manage to pull themselves up, along with the politicians, always seemed sort of amused at the terrible joke that served for public education and the poorness of the poor. The locals had a reason for keeping these people down: A tradition of poverty among blacks kept available an abundant low paid, underbenefitted pool for staffing the hotel and restaurant kitchens, street cleaning, housekeeping, garbage collecting and other occupational needs of the tourist dependent city.
The only "help" these Democrats ever gave those particular constituents was welfare-- enough income to keep them alive and "in their place" so they could continue to breed necessary cheap labor, a continuation of the slavery we abolished in most of the country in the early 1860s, only the postwar "masters" didn't have to supply room and board out of pocket.

Crack addiction and street crime were rampant among the black population, murders literally a dime a dozen and the city simply shrugged and went about its collective business, as often as not with a humorous grin.
If there was any racism, it came from the collective of the city's democrat majority.
And the poverty there didn't just spring into existence when Bush took office, it was an institution, sad to say, going back to the end of the Civil War and the "abolition" of slavery.

Enter Hurricane Katrina, the breaking of the levee(the Levee Board was not comprised by engineers, as you'd expect, but by members of the unbelievably corrupt local old boy network, mostly businessmen who had made significant donations to the right political campaigns) and sheer pandemonium.
The Bush Administration had, at the outset, advised the people of New Orleans to evacuate the city, but had been mostly ignored.
Rescue workers were repelled by roving gangs of local blacks bearing arms, many stolen from looted gun shops and sporting goods stores, others already owned as implements of policy among gangs. Local blacks and even police looted stores like it was a new kind of Christmas and the mayor fled when he could have been using large fleets of school buses to evacuate those who would go. The governor, when offered assistance by Bush, had said she "wasn't sure," and needed 24 of what turned out to be crucial hours to decide. This is a governor's decision to make, as local and state authorities "own" their natural disasters.
Yesterday, George W. Bush took responsibility for the "slow" federal response and the FEMA executive responsible resigned. I see that not as admitting to any fault so much as doing a leader's job and taking responsibility for something happening on his watch. I have yet to see a Democrat do the same-- no, he or she would just blame it on Bush.
The truth is, a whole bunch of Democrats failed to do their jobs-- they even failed to implement a documented response plan put together after the last big hurricane that came to town.
The truth is, this whole issue that race is involved may be accurate, but if that's the case it does not rest in the lap of the Bush administration. It rests in the laps of Nawlins Democrats who gave little priority to blacks except as vassals created for cheap labor.

Blacks who march to the false drum of Democrat support need to wake up and realize that they're victims of a great con by a party whose interests are better served by keeping them poor and keeping racism alive.

A pretty on-point Opinion Journal commentary by Brendan Miniter is here

Posted by Seth at 05:15 AM | Comments (2) |

September 12, 2005

I'm Bock!

Yes, I've now moved into my new place, though there's still renovation and redecoration in progress, none of it my own work, but that of the great people I mentioned in my last post: Phin and Sadie, who were responsible for the awesome new look, and Pixy, who hooked me up with Mu.Nu, the ultimate host for any blogger privileged enough to make this elite entity's acquaintance.
To refer to their efforts as "contributions" would be false, because it would insinuate that they weren't the collective prime movers in the rebuilding of my blog. My deepest thanks, therefore, go out to this creative trinity, as much for the excellence of their work on my behalf as for their taking the time to do it for me.

Thanks, guys and gal!

Posted by Seth at 03:50 PM | Comments (9) |

September 08, 2005

Moving Shortly

I will not be doing any real posting in the next few days, my travel itinerary is on the cusp of becoming busy and brisk and next week I'll be at a convention in Orlando whose days will be filled with seminars, workshops and exhibits that will require every iota of my attention.

The rescheduling of the rally that brought me here to Washington, D.C. coincides directly with the convention schedule and I have to attend no matter what. If I can, I'll try to get back up here a little early so as to participate for at least some of it. I had really looked forward to going at it with the LWAGAA (Leftard Wingnuts Against God And America), but the regrettable loss of Chief Justice Rehnquist, rest his soul, resulted in the change of many plans.  

Some great people named Phin, Sadie and Pixy are moving me to a brand new location with a brand new face, and when the dust settles, the new and vastly improved Hard Astarboard's URL will be


Ah'll be bock!  

Posted by Seth at 04:08 AM | Comments (3) |

September 05, 2005


Saturday was pretty laid back compared to the previous days of my stay here in Chicago, slept in, had a long lunch in Germantown with a friend-- we went to a Mexican eatery called Garcia's that she was raving about, a quiet little neighborhood establishment. The food was good, the neighborhood worth exploring, which we did.

Quaint, a lot of old shops of the type that have been mostly replaced in other areas and cities by newer businesses with only a fraction of the charactar of Germantown's own. Two traditional delis on the same block, a Greek restaurant with outdoor tables, an old German sausage store, an open plaza with a fountain, shops that sold pewter and glass and really interesting blown glass goods, a couple of German brauhauses my friend, who had lived in the neighborhood for many years, told me were great places to hang out at. So we had a couple of beers at one.

That night, I had some folks here in my suite for drinks and it turned into an all night party, finally ending after sunrise, so I ended up sleeping well into Sunday afternoon and spent yesterday around the hotel recuperating, as it were, then the evening included a hearty room service dinner of penne pasta in a sauce that was abundant with Italian sausage, and molten lava cake for dessert followed by a couple of hours at the bar before going to bed early in order to get up early.

I'm flying to Washington, D.C. today, and I tend to like getting up really early when I have a plane to catch{it's 5:30 am}.

Tomorrow the counter-rally for Judge Roberts begins, and I'll be there from start to finish. My first political rally, I'm really looking forward to it, and wondering what surprises there might be due to the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist. A lot of the liberal wingnuts are already yelling for a postponement of the confirmation vote, citing both the time proximity of the disaster in the south{they claim it will mean too much on Bush's plate at one time, but as we have seen, this president and his cabinet are more than capable of extreme multitasking -- and George Bush isn't a senator, he won't be voting anyway -- and what some of them term "irreverence" in timing because of Mr. Rehnquist's sudden passing}.

Is the latter a hoot, or what? Democrats concerned about irreverence! Here are people who have no problem using dead military personnel, funerals, natural disasters and any other grave circumstances to press their partisan political agendas, and they've got the moxi to want us to believe they give a flying f--- about irreverence? Gimme a break!

These are people who accuse Bush of failing the people of New Orleans and making a racial issue out of the Katrina horror instead of attaching blame where it belongs, like to the black mayor of New Orleans who let his own people down by not doing his job by adhering to disaster response plans, instead slinking quickly away to safety in Baton Rouge, and the equally useless governor of Louisiana, who was as impotent in her own response as former liberal California Governor Gray Davis was to the exponentially less cataclismic energy crisis we had out there a few years ago.

These are people who, because it fits into their political agenda, ignore the fact that responding to the havoc wrought by Katrina was the direct responsibility of those local excuses for political leaders, not Bush. Democrats' failure resulted in misery and death on a massive scale, and now they want to blame Bush. The left grows more pathetic by the hour, it makes me feel ashamed that these folks are somehow entitled to call themselves Americans.

That said, I'll post some more from Washington, D.C.   

Posted by Seth at 10:14 AM | Comments (2) |

September 03, 2005

The End Of A Perfect Day

So Claire took me to a neat Brazilian place for dinner called Fogo de Chao, a dream come true for a carnivore like myself. I mean, they keep bringing on the meats....  That place rates a zillion yum-stars from me and another half million for  themselves.  That is, beyond any iota of doubt, a place to have dinner. Satisfying in an extreme, an eatery to get down on ones knees and be thankful for. Yummmmmmmmmmmm!

We came back to my hotel for a couple of drinks at the bar and a couple more in my suite, then I put her in a cab and sent her home. Many, seeing her, would wipe the drool from their lips and demand to know why "things" didn't go further, and my answer would be that sometimes friendships are more valuable than intimate relationships.

I learned that the hard way(no pun intended) when I had a fling with a woman I'd grown up with in a near brother-sister relationship. We had a lot of fun and excitement for a couple of weeks, then had differences that cost us our friendship for several years.  Unlike some, I learn from my mistakes.

Tomorrow,{actually, later today} I have some interesting things to do of a casual nature, and will blog on them.

Posted by Seth at 06:16 AM | Comments (2) |

September 02, 2005


Today started early, since I got to bed earlier than anticipated. Room Service breakfast, pretty good, though they were kind of skimpy on the potatoes, and it was the first time I've ever had fresh asparagus spears as a breakfast garnish(unless I was meant to eat 'em, which I didn't) and I was out the door around noon.

My friends Carolyn, Patrick, Elaine and I went to the Navy Pier, one of Chicago's tourist attractions, though a lot of locals also hang out there, there are some good bars and places to eat, plus a lot of good stuff for kids and I actually got to buy and munch on one of my favorite all time snacks, one I haven't enjoyed since the last time I was on the Atlantic City Boardwalk: A funnel cake!

Funnel cakes aren't complicated, they're basically a carnie food of fried dough and powdered sugar, but man, they're GREAT{even more than Frosted Flakes}!

We went for a 90 minute cruise on a four masted schooner named Windy-- I couldn't resist, had to drag the others along, of course, and I even got to help with the line handling. It was a lot of fun. Afterwards, we had lunch outdoors at Bubba Gump's, a shrimp restaurant that I found quite good, then it was off to the Water Tower, a mall that isn't much different from malls anyplace else, except for a glass walled elevator bank wherein you can see all the works and a cute stairstep styled marble fountain between the up and down escalators between the first and second floors that spits water bubbles straight up in the air. While we were at the Water Tower, I opened a T-Mobile Hot Spot account.

Claire, my stock broker friend, has invited me to dinner, but hasn't told me where, so that should be a nice surprise. She's not quite the party animal that most of my Chicago friends are, so I'll have the opportunity to give my liver some quality time.

WELL..... I stand corrected, it appears, much to my surprise and undoubtedly the surprise of many others, that we are not alone where dealing with the New Orleans crisis is concerned, a number of countries have offered to help. I've been kind of out of touch with all the gallivanting around I've been doing since I got here, and when I got back to my hotel awhile ago, I found a comment by Dan Trabue of pacifist fame, http://www.paynehollow.blogspot.com , in which he informed me of my wrongness. Thank you, Dan. See? You're not always a royal payne. :-)

My linking icon has gone dim for some reason and the support folks at squarespace gave me a reply that was the laziest excuse for tech support I've ever received, maybe they ought to start employing the "Boyz From Bangalore," whom I'm sorry to say kick ass on Squarespace support. While I'm in DC, I'm going to spend at least one evening checking out alternative blog venues, maybe Blogger. Anyone got any suggestions?

More later.  

Posted by Seth at 09:44 PM | Comments (5) |

Alarming News From Nawlins

The friend I expected to visit with me last night called to say he needed to put off our drinking session for a night or two as his boss had stressed him out to the point that he could not be friendly to man nor beast. I respect his decision, because he works for Jimmy Lee, a little Japanese entrepreneur whose only friend is money and who treats, out of pure prejudice, his American employees like slaves. I've known Jimmy for awhile. He's one of those slumlords(he owns a fleabag hotel in what was formerly Chicago's skid row, a 17 storey building nestled now between a Comfort Inn and a parking lot in the most expensive zip code in this part of the country) who spends much of his time dodging city agencies in court over numerous code violations.

In the man's defense, he does carry good tenants when they fall on hard times, though he tends to make their lives a living hell in the meantime. This is a case of a guy who arrived in the U.S. as a peon and built his own little empire. He's got a good heart, he just doesn't want anyone to know about it. Personally, despite his seeming greed, I like the man. He does a good job of hiding his humanity, but it is there. He simply wants to see others bust their asses and succeed like he did, and if they don't or can't, he views it as inferiority.

Oh, well.

So I went down to the hotel bar for a drink. Gabriel and Rebecca, the bartenders, were excellent at their job. I had a pint of Pilsner Urquel on draft and a shot or two of Sauza Hornitos. Then I returned to my suite and read the news.

I am distressed beyond belief about some of the things happening in Nawlins, according to the Associated Press.

New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday, as corpses lay abandoned in street medians, fights and fires broke out and storm survivors battled for seats on the buses that would carry them away from the chaos. The tired and hungry seethed, saying they had been forsaken. ``This is a desperate SOS,'' mayor Ray Nagin said.

``We are out here like pure animals,'' the Rev. Issac Clark said outside the New Orleans Convention Center, where he and other evacuees had been waiting for buses for days amid the filth and the dead.

``I'm not sure I'm going to get out of here alive,'' said tourist Larry Mitzel of Saskatoon, Canada, who handed a reporter his business card in case he goes missing. ``I'm scared of riots. I'm scared of the locals. We might get caught in the crossfire.''

I'm having some  technical trouble with links that will change in the near future when I change servers from customer unfriendly Square Space to another forum like Blogger, but here is a link to the story, via the Guardian:


This majorly sucks, but it's not anything non-understandable where human nature is concerned. These people have been yanked from normal life into an existence not unlike pure horror: Their homes are gone, their entire world has turned into a hell few civilized people can understand and the disruption of communications has cut them off from the money they have in their bank accounts, so they are broke, undomiciled and basically "fucked" for the time being. The despair and the frustration are taking their respective tolls.

I've donated money to one relief venue and am going to donate more to another.

We already know that as usual, America is on its own, despite all the help we give other countries in times of disaster, none of those countries nor any of our "allies" will help us.  If you can, please donate whatever you can afford to help the people of New Orleans. If we don't help our own, they will not be helped, because the rest of the world doesn't give a tinker's damn about the United States except when we can do for them.

Posted by Seth at 08:09 AM | Comments (4) |

Back To Posting

And I finally get time to post something, yay!

Chicago is an awesome town. I arrived yesterday evening via the Friendly Skies folks, who served me the first meal I've ever had on a plane that I could say was truly delicious: Smoked salmon with prosciutto and shiitake 'shrooms(I told that to one of the flight attendants, who laughed and said, "That's because we didn't have to cook it").

I decided to go "whole hog" this time out and am ensconced in a suite at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place with a great view of the Chicago skyline from the living room, two full baths, two big TVs, speaker phones all over the place and, most important, high speed internet access. I can also use the Wi-Fi access in a comfortable sitting room off the lobby. When I checked in, I saw all sorts of Cleveland Browns running around the hotel and learned that they were here to play a pre-season game with the Bears. They did, and won 10-0. Boo.

The people here are quick and full of character, but then this is the 2nd City, New York's inland cousin and as such home of the second best pizza in America. OOOOOPS! Around here, them kin be fightin' words, almost as bad as making derogatory remarks about the Cubs.

I spent yesterday evening with several friends I hadn't seen in a long time and there was much imbibing, then I had a casual business meeting with a prospective partner in a small enterprise we're contemplating. Then there was more libation.

I had intended to post after breakfast today, but two significant factors got in the way:

1. The night became morning before I was alone and I finally hit the rack, so by the time I crawled feebly out of bed it was well past the hour Room Service here serves breakfast, and 

2. As I was performing my first-thing-in-the(I can't say morning in this case, so)-day's-period-of-consciousness of checking my email(which includes comments made here at my blog) I was looking at the clock on my computer, forgetting(it had been some night) that it was still set on west coast time, and when I glanced at the face of my faithful Tag, I realized it was two hours later than I'd thought. "Seth," I grumbled, "you be's a moe-ron."

So I had to kind of scramble to shower, shave and get out to meet still another amigo for a cold one, then get to my bank here to withdraw some cash-- It's good to carry some cash when you travel, it comes in handy in any number of ways-- then off to the Nike store as I'd neglected to pack my sneakers before I left S.F. For those of you who have never been to Chicago, Michigan Avenue, in the Loop, can be a financial death trap: It's too damn easy to spend too much money without even making any effort to do so, there's something in the atmosphere of the place, the facades and the presentation of the window displays, that can instantly slam even the most miserly curmudgeon into shopping mode. Having walked past and viewed the window at Johnston & Murphy, after I bought a pair of Nikes I went back and bought a pair of $200.00 loafers. $200.00, cripes! Now I suppose I'll need to go out and buy a picture frame for them, or something. I feel like "The son of Imelda Marcos."

Back to the hotel briefly, to answer emails and my two blog comments, then out to dinner with a trio of friends at the Tavern On Rush. I had blackened Cajun shrimp and a magnificent filet mignon with crab meat, asparagus and hollandaise sauce, an interesting deviation from my usual beef-and-potato simplicity, easily rating 5 yum-stars. And more libations were enjoyed by all. I would highly recommend Tavern On Rush as not only a superb place to eat and drink, but also as part of a good Chicago experience.

It's a good thing that most of the people I know in DC are moderate, family types, or by the end of next week I'd be dead from cirrhosis.

The biggest topic of conversation by far, among all my friends here, has been the destructive assault on New Orleans by Katrina the Bitch. Having lived there in years past, I know a lot of people in New Orleans and wonder how they're making out, as it's impossible to contact any of them. Imagine the scene, whole neighborhoods ripped apart, floods dominating the city, looters, including a few of "Nawlins' finest," rampaging in an orgy of opportunistic assholicism, families and individuals who just last week were going about their ordinary lives now homeless, scared and tragic like refugees from a wartorn country. It breaks my heart to think of friends I can't even contact being in the midst of such a nightmare.

Powerful thunderstorms are an almost daily occurrence during the summer in New Orleans, and one year when I was there, such a storm caused heavy flooding, more than three feet deep, which destroyed the ground floors of tens of thousands of houses and carried away moveable objects such as garbage cans, bicycles and so forth, but that wasn't even a significant fraction of that which has been unleashed by Katrina.

My prayers go out to the people of New Orleans.


Ongoing rescue operations, reparation of the immense damage and the rebuilding of the Crescent City are going to present an obscenely high cost in terms of money, manpower, food, shelter, psychological counselling, building materials and sanitary venues.

That leads to an interesting question: After the tsunami that obliterated a large chunk of Asia, while the U.S. was contributing more to relief efforts than any other country, Koffi & Kompany were berating us for not giving enough. 

Now that parts of Mississippi and Louisiana are suffering from a similar disaster, will those same Kountries offer their help? Or will this be "The Americans' problem" as usual?


Tomorrow will probably be another late riser for me, as I have a friend coming over for drinks(the bar in my suite is down to one ridiculously large bottle of Johnny Walker Black and most of another, equally ridiculously large bottle of Sauza Hornitos tequila, all sorts of mixers, lime slices and assorted Sam Adams and Heinekens) when he gets off work at 11:00, but I intend to spend a good part of tomorrow and most of Saturday taking in some of the more wholesome samplings of Chicago.

Posted by Seth at 01:03 AM |