Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Holiday Schedule Is In Effect

The next couple of weeks I will be spending time with family, both nuclear and extended, I will be doing a little traveling and I will be trying to ignore the news and pretend that all is well in the world.

As a result I have no idea how much I will be posting.

If there isn't anything new here, just check out the links on the right hand side of this page. I am sure you will find some new content someplace over there.


Happy holidays (Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, New Year, Festivus, and what ever else I may have failed to list) to all.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday's Post

Worth Clicking Over and checking out.

Lynn at Big Fat Liberal point out that our children's history lessons, may be a little less that complete.

The name the quote game is being played, to good effect, at Badtux the Snarky Penguin.

A reminder from Oliver Willis just how wrong so many right wing talking heads are.


Another Bombshell

From reporters who still know how to do their job, the British media.

The Government's case for going to war in Iraq has been torn apart by the publication of previously suppressed evidence that Tony Blair lied over Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.


British officials warned US diplomats that bringing down the Iraqi dictator would lead to the chaos the world has since witnessed. "I remember on several occasions the UK team stating this view in terms during our discussions with the US

(bold mine)

I wonder if the US media will even notice this damning bit of new information about the lies and incompetence that has led us to where we are now at in Iraq.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Roy Moore, Clearly Unfit

To have ever been allowed to serve as a judge.

Aside from his actions revolving around his trying to force his religion onto everyone who entered his court, Roy is making it clear that he doesn't understand the bedrock legal principals this nation was built upon.

Roy has decided that a person of the Islamic faith should not be allowed to serve in congress. It appears that he has forgotten one small detail, article IV of the US Constitution.

no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

And Roy's little proposal would seem to be a direct violation of this. Of course, Roy seems to have no problems with violating the constitution.

The gross stupidity of so many of the leaders of the right wing never fails to astound me.

And Roy, one last note. A congressperson is not required to swear upon anything when they give their oath. Keith Ellison (D-Mn) had made the choice to add a personal religious bond to his oath, but that is his choice, not a federal requirement. If a person is going to add a religious bond to an oath, it should be a bond that they embrace. To do otherwise would make the oath useless.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Who Is Calling The Shots In The Iraq War?

President Bush, under the guise of seeking advice, is busy trying to find anyone who will recommend that we ignore the Baker Hamilton report, and say his course. Some may ask why.

It appears there may be a new player in this game, and they are offering some 'recommendations'.

Saudi Arabia has warned Washington it might provide financial aid to Iraqi Sunnis in any fighting against Shiites if the U.S. pulls its troops out of Iraq.

In addition, the Saudies have also made it clear that they do not favor the US entering into any talks with Iran.

Now the reason for VP Dick Cheney's last second trip to Saudi Arabia is clear. It also shines a new light on the sudden departure from DC of the Saudi Ambassador to the US. The Saudies are not pleased, and want to make sure George knows it.

His actions since this trip make it appear that he has noticed.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Iraq Is Still Aflame

The news coming from Iraq doesn't appear to change much from day to day.

The only time that it attracts much notice now, is when the death toll is massive and unignorable.

A powerful car bomb exploded in central Baghdad early Tuesday morning near a crowd of mostly Shiite day laborers, killing 59 people and wounding 149, Lt. Col. Mahmoud Abdul Aziz of the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.

In a separate incident in Mosul, a television cameraman working for the Associated Press was gunned down and killed while filming clashes between insurgents and police, the wire service reported.

It is a rare day when so many die at one attack. Most days the death toll is now the result of dozens of small attacks. Even when we don't get the graphic reminder that we got today, we must remember that while our government is focused on efforts that should have been in place years ago or finding experts who will tell us what we want to hear, we need to remember that every day hundred of Iraqis are dying. And as long as we continue to wander about without a viable plan this will not change.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Professional Incompetence

A few months ago it was discovered that many of those in leadership positions in our war on a battle tactic were clueless about the most basic details of the middle eastern conflict that we were sitting in the middle of.

It appears that at least one incoming Democratic leader is almost equally unequipped to offer true leadership.

In an interview with the editor on national security for Congressional Quarterly, the incoming Democratic chairman for the House Intelligence Committee was unable to answer "fundamental questions" related to the Middle East

This is inexcusable. I might have some degree of understanding if this were 1996, but we have been at war in this region for 5 years now. To not know the basic of who they players are, and how they interact by now shows an enormous degree of disinterest, or stupidity.

It is depressing to discover that so many of those who we send to DC to run the nation, are just not interested in doing it properly.


The Fun Continues

The chest cold moved north.

At least it is almost over.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

But Still 100% Human

Your 'Do You Want the Terrorists to Win' Score: 100%

You are a terrorist-loving, Bush-bashing, "blame America first"-crowd traitor. You are in league with evil-doers who hate our freedoms. By all counts you are a liberal, and as such cleary desire the terrorists to succeed and impose their harsh theocratic restrictions on us all. You are fit to be hung for treason! Luckily George Bush is tapping your internet connection and is now aware of your thought-crime. Have a nice day.... in Guantanamo!

Do You Want the Terrorists to Win?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz


Saturday, December 09, 2006

I Talk Like I Talk

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The South
The Midland
The Northeast
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz


Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday's Links

A young creationist has been given a chance to ask questions of the folks at Pharyngula. There are a lot of post, but it is worth the time.

Over at Science, Shrimp and Grits the effort to allow unlimited lead pollution is discussed.

What is wrong with NARAL is considered at Digby's Hullabaloo.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Shocking News

The Bush administration has lied to us about Iraq.

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration routinely has underreported the level of violence in Iraq in order to disguise its policy failings, the Iraq Study Group report said Wednesday.

The bipartisan group called on the Pentagon and the director of the U.S. intelligence community to immediately institute a new reporting system that provides "a more accurate picture of events on the ground."

Of course, you can not blame just the Bush administration for this deception. Some of the blame has to be placed on the Republican controlled Congress. Their failure to provide even the barest minimum of oversight is what has allowed George and his followers to lie to the American people.

The good news is now, after 5 years of war, the congress will again start to do it's job. Lets hope that the Democrats have the courage to do their job properly.

On second thought, maybe the idea of this President and his admnistration lying to the American public isn't that shocking.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Another Bloody Day In Iraq

While the Iraq Study Group was busy explaining to some of the slower thinking members of the Bush administration and the Republican party that their plan for Iraq is a complete and total failure, 10 more US troops have died in combat.

We now have about 25 dead in Iraq in only 6 days. It looks like December has the potential to be another record setting month for US casualties. Unfortunately for some of the right wing talking heads, there are no US elections to blame this surge in violence on.


Dick Is Going To Be A Granddad (Again)

It seems that Mary Cheney and her partner Heather Poe are expecting their first little one. I am sure that Dick and Lynne Cheney are happy and excited, just as most parents are when their children start to grow their families.

I don't care one way or another, but I do wonder how the culture warriors who love to attack gays, gay 'lifestyles', the gay 'agenda', gay families, and those who support gay families are going to respond to this bit of news.

Do Mary and Dick and Lynne get the tar and feather treatment that is the norm in these cases, or do they, because of their high republican profile, get a pass?


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

History, Accountability and Iraq

Martin van Creveld is a well respected historian. His area of focus is military history, and works out of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is so well respected that he is the only non American author on the US Army's list of required reading for officers. Last week he had a small piece published in The Forward, (linked here via Brad DeLong's blog) that included this little bit.

For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.

The most foolish war, the largest military mistake, in over 2000 years.

That is a very bold statements, but one that a historian of his stature would not make recklessly. This addresses one point about this war that doesn't get much notice from the US media, accountability.

The Bush administration has been wrong about almost everything in and about Iraq. From the cost of the war to the reception we would get, from the number of men needed to the threat Saddam presented to the US. On almost every point, this administration has been wrong. That said, Bush is right about one thing. We are now in Iraq, and now must try to find a way to minimize the damage that the failed state Bush's people have created will cause.

Members of the Bush administration like to use this spin as a shield. They profess, yes things have not worked out as well as one would have hoped, but now we have no choice than to keep fighting the fight. The still insist that their ideas, their views, their plans are the only ones that are reasonable or even viable. The group that has been wrong about everything, still demands respect for their opinions.

As a result we are using up equipment faster that we can replace it. We already have 14 dead this month, reports of attacks on civilians are a daily occurrence, with death totals around 100 a day now the norm.

Holding those who are responsible for the nightmare we have created in Iraq may be the best first step we could take in finding a solution. Gross errors in judgment, especially errors that led to tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of deaths, should not go unpunished. Saddam has now spend his time in the dock, and been judged for his actions in Iraq. Maybe it is time to consider who in the US should be following in his footsteps.


Monday, December 04, 2006

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

The days are getting shorter, the nights longer, there is a nip in the air, and every kid in preschool is a walking experiment in infectious illnesses.

He has a small cough and a little bit of a runny nose. My chest fills like it is full of Cream of Wheat, and dental surgery may be less painful than the coughing I was doing last night.

At least it isn't a head cold.

Only 5 more months till the peak of the sharing season has passed.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday's Collection Of Post

worth spending a little time reading.

Badtux the Snarky Penguin thinks that Jim Webb (D-Va.) may end up being a one term Senator. Badtux may be right.

A story that will bring tears of rage is presented at Seeding Spartanburg.

At Dispatches From The Culture War, Ed notes that Newt Gingrich appears to be launching his 2008 Presidential race on an end free speech platform.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

More People Have Notice, We Have Lost


The Iraq Study Group, which wrapped up eight months of deliberations yesterday, has reached a consensus and will call for a major withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, shifting the U.S. role from combat to support and advising, according to a source familiar with the deliberations.

Bush is still in denial, pretending that 'staying the course' will lead to victory. The truth is Bush has now taken the very Nixionan position of not wanting to lose a war on his watch. He will now spend billions of US dollars and thousands of US lives to make sure that the war he started, the war he lost, is still being fought when he leaves the White House.


A Day Of Sorrow

For the Preschool set everywhere. An illness has forced Greg Wiggle to retire.

I don't think I will break this news to my little man (age 4) until I have to.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

United States Marine Corps Says

we have lost

The U.S. military is no longer able to defeat a bloody insurgency in western Iraq or counter al-Qaeda's rising popularity there, according to newly disclosed details from a classified Marine Corps intelligence report that set off debate in recent months about the military's mission in Anbar province.

The Marines recently filed an updated version of that assessment that stood by its conclusions and stated that, as of mid-November, the problems in troubled Anbar province have not improved, a senior U.S. intelligence official said yesterday. "The fundamental questions of lack of control, growth of the insurgency and criminality" remain the same, the official said.

What has happened here, is like what happens when you try to fight an infection with a quarter dose of antibiotics. For a while it may look like the infection is winning, but as time passes, the infection get stronger, and eventually kills the fool who failed to take all their medications.

I think that there are about 100,000,000 citizens of the United States that the President of the United States needs to make an apology to, starting with the high ranking officers of the US military who said we needed far more men than they were given.


Monday, November 27, 2006

We Had A Wonderful Thanksgiving

at my house. We were kept busy, and on the road, but it was very nice

We hosted an out of town guest. They wanted to see the Biltmore House, so we took them up on Wednesday. We went to visit the In-laws on Sullivans Island for Thanksgiving lunch, then came home for dinner. Friday was the empty the attic day for Christmas decorating, and Saturday was spent watching a little football and doing a little local sightseeing with our guest.

All in all a pleasant 5 day holiday.

While I did work to avoid watching the news, I do understand that in Iraq (and other parts of SW Asia), it wasn't quite as lovely.


Monday, November 20, 2006

It's Thanksgiving Week

I will be trying to cram 5 days of work into a 2 1/2 day work week, so I don't expect to post much.

Plus, lets face it, not much is happening right now.

Iraq is a total mess with no viable solution.

Afghanistan, due to 2 years of neglect, is fast becoming a total mess with no viable solution.


hundreds more die every week while we try to figure out how to un-wet the bed we have made for ourselves.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wisdom, I Like That

Which Animal Spirit Totem Are You?

Your soul is bound to the Fourth Totem, Solomon: The Owl.Solomon appears as an azure feathered owl. He embodies wisdom, judgement, reason, and stability. He is associated with the color azure, the season of autumn, and the element of water. His downfall is farsightedness.You are most compatible with Ravens and Monkeys.
Take this quiz!

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Well, Some Of Them Are Interesting

You scored as A college textbook. You're an authority on something, you just know it. Everyone else does, too, but that doesn't mean they like you. Since you think very highly of everything you say, you charge a pretty penny to entertain your listeners. Those forced to pay do so grudgingly and try to defray the costs of learning from you by selling portions of their access to your charms to others. As a result of this speedy dissemination of your knowledge, you constantly add to your repertoire--and then hike your price. Despite your usefullness, which is rarely in doubt, nobody likes you. They find you didactic, boring and irrelevant--but still necessary.

A college textbook


A classic novel




A coloring book


A paperback romance novel


The back of a froot loops box


An electronics user's manual


Your Literary Personality
created with


Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday, A List Or Worthy Links

I have focused of 3 options for the US in Iraq, Chris Floyd at Empire Burlesque says there are 8. We both agree the likely result, no matter what, will very likely lead to full-blown civil war.

A very good look at terrorism, definitions and causes can be found at American Entropy.

Skippy has discovered who is at fault for the defeat in Iraq, it is the Iraqi's fault.


When They Stand Up, We Stand Down

In one part of Iraq where we expect the Iraqis to stand up, four American mercenaries have been captured.

Five civilian security contractors, including four Americans and one Austrian, were being held hostage Friday morning after gunmen masquerading as policemen stopped their convoy and abducted them in southern Iraq, a U.S. Embassy official in Baghdad said.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Disgusting 'Christian' Behavior

Another Christian fundamentalist displays just how un-Christlike so many of them are.

Junior Matthew LaClair, 16, said history teacher David Paszkiewicz, who is also a Baptist preacher in town, spent the first week of class lecturing students more about heaven and hell than the colonies and the Constitution.

not only did he force his religious views on these kids, he also displayed is lack of fitness to work as a teacher.

Paszkiewicz didn't limit his religious observations to personal salvation, according to the tapes.

Paszkiewicz shot down the theories of evolution and the "Big Bang" in favor of creationism. He also told his class that dinosaurs were on Noah's ark, LaClair said.

So, what is the most unchristian aspect of his behavior?

At first, Paszkiewicz denied he mixed in religion with his history lesson, and the adults in the room appeared to be buying it, LaClair said. But then he reached into his backpack and produced the CDs.

When caught, he tried to lie about it and blame the kid.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

McCain's (R-Az) Iraq Position is Annoying Me

It is clearly based on political posturing and has little to do with reality.

He has stated that he wants to add about 100,000 men to the Army and Marines, and then send 20,000 more troops into Iraq. McCain thinks that these extra troops may be what we need to win in Iraq. While he is promoting this idea he is also stressing that Iraq may be won or lost in the next ninety days.

There are a number of contradictions in his pronouncements that make you question his intelligence or honesty.

First, 20,000 men will not make any real difference. Prior to our attack of Iraq, war games studies and at least one very senior army officer stated that we would need over 400,000 troops to secure Iraq. The current security situation in Iraq is now far worse than it was in 2002. We have about 150,000 men in place, and to have any real impact we need at least 300,000 more. All putting 20,000 more men into Iraq will do is give the insurgents more targets.

The next point that I find highly questionable is the timing. McCain want to grow the Armed forces by 100,000 ground combat troops. This new growth is where the new men are suppose to come from.

The obvious contradiction comes from the fact that he is claiming that the next 90 days are critical to our success, then proposing a plan to meet out goals that will take far longer than three months to work. Right now we are just are meeting our recruiting needs. To do this we have lowered standards, lied to recruits and raised the age limits to the point that grandparents can now join the army as privates.

It is fantasy to pretend that we can find 100,000 new recruits, we are already having to pull out all the stops to get the 70,000 we need each year.

Even if we are able to find an extra 100,000 recruits, there is no chance that we can get them trained up and into the field within the time frame that he is claiming is critical.

It appears that the man who claimed to be leading the straight talk express, has switched trains to the double talk circle route. The end effect is to leave me wondering if the man who would be President is lying to me, or just stupid.


Faux News, Your Bias Is (Again) Showing

You look a lot more like Pravda of the 1970s than a real news network.

It seems that your VP of news has had one of his memo's go public, and it's political agenda is made very clear.

I have to wonder what type of outrage would be displayed from the right if any of the 'liberal' media outlets ever displayed such a calculated effort to pimp the news for one political party over another. What would happen if the head of NBC news, or PBS referred to Mel Martinez (R-Fl.) as a political hack.

In light of the past history of the Republican party, and their dealings with Armstrong Williams and other members of the media, you are left to wonder how much cash Fox news is getting for their propaganda efforts.

By the way, Fox did cover the Allen concession speech. The broadcast almost every second of the over thirty minute long event. Webb's victory speech, the covered it for ninety seconds, with no audio.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Right Wing Terrorist Arrested

The Republican terrorist who is suspected of mailing fake anthrax letters to democratic politicians and left leaning comedians has been arrested.

Investigators identified Chad Castagana, 39, of Woodland Hills, California, as the person suspected of sending more than a dozen threatening letters to media outlets and the homes of public figures in various cities, the FBI said in a statement on Sunday evening.

According to a federal search warrant, among those who received threatening letters were Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show;" talk show host David Letterman; Keith Olbermann of MSNBC; Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, who is set to become Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, both Democrats.

In what should not be a surprise to anyone, this nut-job also appears to have been an poster on the free republic forums and other right wing blogs.


John McCain (R-Az) And His Pet Poodle

Joe Liberman (I-Ct) have opted to support plan B, and send more troops into Iraq.

If they are serious, I hope they mean a real infusion of troops and not just a symbolic gesture. Prior to the war, Pentagon experts and war games called for between 400,000 and 500,000 men to do the job. With the current security situation, those numbers may be a little low. A reasonable goal would be to add about 300,000 with a reserve of another 100,000 if they are needed.

Now, I just what to know where Sen. McCain plans on finding almost half a million troops.

There is good reason to question Sen. McCain's understanding of the situation in Iraq. He has made repeated optimistic projections, that have all been wrong. One would hope that a man who desperately wants to be president would want to look more like great thinker and a lot less like the vapid cheerleader he appears to be.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Birthday U.S.M.C.

Thank You


Fridays Links Of Note

Click over and check them out.

Tim, at Sacraments Wholesale examins who is responsible for booting the Republicans out.

A shining example of Bush bi-partenship is displayed at AMERICAblog.

From World-O-Crap, a look at the Right's reaction to the election and what it all means.


Fighting The Computer

And the computer is winning.

as a result, Friday's posting may be limited.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Speaking Of Recounts

It looks like the victories of Webb and Tester will hold up. Recounts may be an issue, how do Allen and Burns fee about recounts?

Allen, on the morning after the 2000 election as the Florida count churned on.

"we'll need to move America forward as soon as those votes are cast."

That sure sounds like he doesn't approve of them, how about Burns?

Gore "appears more and more like a man who wants to win at any cost." Burns added, "It is time, as some have said, for Vice President Gore to stop being a litigant and start being a Patriot. The good of our nation is greater than any one man, and it is time for Mr. Gore to end these challenges and bow out gracefully."

I know Allen is being now being asked to bow out, I wonder if he will apply this same wisdom to himself?


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld Is Running Away

Republican sources are saying that Sec. Of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is resigning.

I guess he wants to make sure is calendar is clear, since I suspect that in the new couple of years he will be spending a lot of time in various congressional hearing rooms, answering questions under oath.

The Democratic party promised change, and only hours after they are voted into power in the House and Senate, we are seeing it. Now, that is follow through.


A Record Election

In the House, the Democratic party has picked up 29 Seats, and is now the majority ( and there are 13 possible pickups still out there).

In the Senate, the Democratic party has picked up 6 seats, and is now the majority

In the various Governors races, the Democratic Party has picked up 6 more Governors, and is now the majority.

In the battle to control the local state house, the Democratic party has picked up at least 9 chambers, and is now the majority.

and most amazingly, the Democratic party did not lose a single House seat, a single Senate seat, a single Governors seat, or a single state house chamber in the whole election.



Reality, Expectations, and Success

Watching the returns last night was interesting. Early Senate wins in Ohio, Penn, and Rhode Island led to a lot of talk about Democrats taking over the Senate. Over those early hours, a sort of new conventional wisdom developed. The tone of the discussion presented by the talking heads at CNN and MSNBC created the impression that if the Democrats didn't take over the Senate, they would be the losers in the election of 2006.

That is a damn high bar that these media types had put up. If the Democrats did not win 6 Senate seats, all held by Republican incumbents, they were the losers.

It was amazing to hear, not one sitting Democrat in the US House or Senate had been defeated, yet if they did not sweep, they were the losers.

It seemed to be the goal of a few of the commentators to try to develop some sore of narrative where they could continue to talk about the Democrats as losers, and the Republicans as winners no matter the actual results.

In the end, it appears the Democrats were able to do it. Missouri came in for the Democrats, and Virginia and Montana are headed to recounts, but the Democrats both appear to have solid leads over the incumbent Republicans.

To me the results of the night, without adding in the still unfinished results in Virginia and Montana are historic. The Democrats have taken at least 30 Republican seats in the house, without losing one. The Democrats have ousted four sitting Republicans from the Senate, an almost unheard of event, again without losing one of it's own members.

And still, in the minds of some media folks, if the recount somehow breaks for Allen or Burns, and the Dems don't take over all six incumbent Republican seats, the Democrats lost this election.


Who Has 'The' Math Now?

Just a few days before the Election Rove proudly declared that the Republicans would hold on to the House and the Senate. When challenged, he announced that he was entitled to 'the' math.

Rove claimed that the polls "add up to a Republican Senate and a Republican House."

Now that we have a Democratic House, and what appears to be a Democratic Senate, does he still have 'The' math?


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Have Voted

I have done my duty, now we wait to see what happens.

I also visited a couple of other precincts this morning. Early on, the Burbs seem to have moderate turnout, the downtown area was light.


Monday, November 06, 2006

All We Have To Do

Is Vote For Change.

Found at Not Very Bright

Saddam Guilty

Wow, I am stunned (well, not really).

As I have said before, just kill him already. The show trial was a bit of a bust, but the goal remains the same.

I myself am waiting for the Bin Laden trial, now that is a verdict that I would enjoy hearing.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

I Couldn't Resist

Which Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Are You?

YOU ARE RULE 8(a)!You are Rule 8, the most laid back of all the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. While your forefather in the Federal Rules may have been a stickler for details and particularity, you have clearly rebelled by being pleasant and easy-going. Rule 8 only requires that a plaintiff provide a short and plain statement of a claim on which a court can grant relief. While there is much to be lauded in your approach, your good nature sometimes gets you in trouble, and you often have to rely on your good friend, Rule 56, to bail you out.
Take this quiz!

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday's Links

Take the time to check them out.

Sacraments Wholesale welcomes us all to screwedville

Lies, Damn Lies, and Stem Cell Research are the focus of Sunbeams From Cucumbers.

At Seeing The Forest, a reminder that corporate astroturf groups are alive, well and working hard to pervert the vote.


A Hard Choice For Republicans

Is their leader dumb or dishonest?

On Monday George was working for votes in Georgia and his theme, Those who oppose him and vote for a democrat, want the terrorist to win.

On Tuesday George runs to the shelter of Fox news to whine about how ugly the tone of politics has gotten.

Monday he is calling half the nation traitors and terrorist, and Tuesday he is crying because people call him dishonest and dumb. The amazing thing is some of the Faux News views would agree with him. They echo the concept that left is just plain mean and nasty, without ever considering or condemning the behavior of the right.

For the rest of us we are left to wonder, is George as dumb as a post, or just a piece of lying scum.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

SC, For These Folks, Is Fertile Soil

I love my home state, despite it's many flaws.

We are, as a state, undereducated, poor, myopic and often illogical. We have more that our fair share of racist (but there are racist everywhere, it is not only a southern blessing), and dislike intellectualism.

That is why we have become a magnet for groups that no one else in the US wants.

It started when the Christian Exodus announced plans to relocate from Texas to South Carolina.

A Texas group wants conservative Christians to move to South Carolina -- 12,000 at a time -- to form a biblically inspired government and secede from the United States. Decrying a national tolerance of abortion and gay marriage, and the teaching of evolution, hopes to achieve a majority of like-minded Christians in the state by 2016, the planned year of secession.

But the Christian exodus group is not the only group in the US who see the potential of finding a new home in South Carolina. The unique nature of our population is also proving a lure to even more disreputable groups.

In the past few months South Carolina has hosted a couple of self proclaimed major meetings of white supremacist groups. Lexington got to host the Aryans Nations World Congress this summer, and Luarens hosted a fall meeting.

The Aryan Nation, just as the Christian Exodus, see in South Carolina, fertile ground for their growth

For years, Aryan Nations aspired to have an uprising in the Northwest, and turn five states into, literally, The Aryan Nation. With the group staggering from the double whammy of litigation and factionalism, the new goal is more modest: South Carolina.

Aryan Nations' Washington leader, who gave only his first name, Paul, is 60-ish and has a British accent from 25 years in England. Paul outlined possible strategies for the group: establishing a state in Alaska ("few minorities," he said), or a wholesale "South will rise again." Both of those he discounted as impractical, although certainly worthy.

In the end, Paul observed, the best option is to "look at the secession of South Carolina. Start with this state."

What is the attraction of South Carolina?

It's not just that a few ignorant rednecks believe, in their illiterate confusion, that they're somehow "superior." Rather, it's that we still make laws based on such assumptions. The Republican Party since 1964 has consciously made a "racism is OK" pitch to unreconstructed Southerners.

Even scarier, millions of Americans go to churches where racism is part of the catechism, whether blatantly stated or masked by theological mumbo-jumbo.

And, as he observes at the end, this hate is being fomented at the elite media level by so-called "conservatives":

The New York Times commented last month on similar national voter ID legislation: "The actual reason for this bill is the political calculus that certain kinds of people -- the poor, minorities, disabled people and the elderly -- are less likely to have valid ID."

Bushite bomb-thrower Ann Coulter arrogantly conceded the point, writing this month: "Way too many people vote. We should have fewer people voting. There ought to be a poll tax to take the literacy test before voting."

If you think this is to harsh on the south, or southerners (or South Carolinians), consider a couple of points. In races where a black Candidate is running against a white candidate in an area with a majority white population, when looking at his poll numbers is it considered wise to take a few points off his total. People will lie about their support, to hide their racism. And now consider the Tennessee Senate Race. This race has been very tight, and Coker has not been able to get much traction in his effort. Neither man really dominating, and Corkers corruption questions kept Ford in play.

Then the RNC runs their race-bating commercial, and Ford is suddenly down in the polls.

What makes South Carolina such an attractive target for these groups?

We are a small state, we have a small population that could be easy to overwhelmed. The people of South Carolina are overwhelming Christian, and evangelical Christian at that. In addition these poll results show a real receptiveness to some of their ideas and indicate a willingness to accept others.

79 percent of those responding said religion is very important in their lives.

73.5 percent of those responding said the favor changing the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman only.

64.5 percent of those responding said they believe sexual relations between two adults of the same sex is always wrong.

73.8 percent said they feel 'the Bible is the literal word of God and without error.'

52 percent said a religiously based alternative to evolution, such as 'Intelligent Design,' should be taught in South Carolina├é’s public schools.

53 percent said they would favor "a moment of silence for contemplation or silent prayer" in public schools, while 42.4 percent would prefer a 'spoken prayer.'


Truth In Ink


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Stop saying America is #1

, start acting like it is

New Rule: America must stop bragging that it's the greatest country on earth and start acting like it. Now, I know — I know this is uncomfortable for the faith-over-facts crowd, but the greatness of a country can, to a large degree, be measured. Here are some numbers: Infant mortality rate, America ranks 48th in the world; overall health, 72nd; freedom of the press, 44th; literacy, 55th. Do you realize there are 12-year-old kids in this country who can't spell the name of the teacher they're having sex with?

Now, America, I will admit, has done many great things: making the New World democratic comes to mind, the Marshall Plan, curing polio, beating Hitler, the deep-fried Twinkie. But what have we done for us lately? We're not the freest country. That would be Holland


Prop 87 out here in California is about lessening our dependence on oil by using alternative fuels, and Bill Clinton comes on at the end of the ad and says, "If Brazil can do it, America can, too." Excuse me, since when did America have to buck itself up by saying we could catch up to Brazil?! We invented the airplane and the lightbulb. They invented the bikini wax, and now they're ahead?!

In most of the industrialized world, nearly everyone has health care. And hardly anyone doubts evolution. And, yes, having to live amid so many superstitious dimwits is also something that affects quality of life. It's why America isn't going to be the country that gets the inevitable patents in stem cell cures, because Jesus thinks it's too close to cloning!

Oh, and did I mention we owe China a trillion dollars? We owe everybody money. America is a debtor nation to Mexico! We're not on a bridge to the 21st century. We're on a bus to Atlantic City with a roll of quarters.

And this is why it bugs me that so many people talk like it's 1955 and we're still number one in everything. We're not. And I take no glee in saying this, because I love my country, and I wish we were. But when you're number 55 in this category and number 92 in that one, you look a little silly waving the big foam "Number One" finger.


Leaving A Man Behind

About a week ago a US soldier was captured. The US responded quickly and has been working hard to try to find him, and those who captured him. In this effort, they surrounded a portion of Baghdad, set up check points and tried to make sure that he could not be moved from this area until he was found.

Then the Iraqi prime Minister ordered us to stop it. He told us to allow free movement, to remove the check points, in short, to allow the captured American to be moved if our search efforts got to close.


We did.

American soldiers rolled up their barbed-wire barricades and lifted a near siege of the largest Shiite Muslim enclave in Baghdad on Tuesday, heeding the orders of a Shiite-led Iraqi government

Now, it could be just random chance. It could be that the US military's leadership decided that the check points were no longer need, at exactly the same time the Iraqi PM demanded that they be removed. It could just be random chance that we decided to abandon this part of the search effort for our lost soldier just when the Iraqi government told us to quit.

But is sure looks like Iraq told us to leave this man behind, and we agreed.


Just A Point Of Clarification

And it is a sad state of affairs when you have to clarify a joke.

Kerry was calling Bush an Idiot, not the troops.

Tim also pointed this out and then explained what Kerry should have said, when he had to clarify his joke.

"I did not insult the troops. I insulted their Commander in Chief - and I will go on insulting him until the day he leaves office. This president has abused the power and prestige of his office, trampled on the Constitution and sent thousands of brave men and women to be killed and maimed because of his own hubris. I apologize that I did not insult him more plainly and that I didn't clearly communicate that the insult also extends to the Vice President and the Secretary of Defense. Have a nice day."

The fact that Bush appears to fail to understand this, just confirms his stupidity.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Just Another Reason Why

It should be clear to everyone that Iraq is lost.

Iraq police forces are Under the Militias Sway.

Posters celebrating Moqtada al-Sadr, head of the Mahdi Army militia, dot the building's walls. The police chief sometimes remarks that Shiite militias should wipe out all Sunnis. Visitors to this violent neighborhood in the Iraqi capital whisper that nearly all the police officers have split loyalties.

These are some of the guys Bush says have to stand up before we leave. I wonder if their ability to ambush and kill US troops means that they are now ready to serve alone.

one rainy night this month, the Sholeh police set up an ambush and killed Army Cpl. Kenny F. Stanton Jr., a 20-year-old budding journalist, his unit said. At the time, Stanton and other members of the unit had been trailing a group of Sholeh police escorting known Mahdi Army members.


What Else Has Karen Floyd's (R-SC)

Sponsor been up to?

Well Howard Rich has been a busy man.

There is a law on the ballot in four states that says if I want to open a hog farm or a chemical plant next door to your house and you don't want me to do that, then YOU have to PAY ME not to -- you have to pay me ALL THE MONEY I MIGHT HAVE MADE.

It appears he has been busy spreading his views of libertarianism and good government nation wide.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Not All Republicans Are Racist

but, it sure seems like all racist are Republicans.

"Rep. Arza called Rudy Crew the N word, a racial epithet unacceptable in our community," said Sen. Tony Hill, D-Jacksonville, chairman for the group of civic, religious and political leaders. "This behavior cannot and will not be tolerated, and we are demanding that the Florida House of Representatives conduct a full and thorough investigation immediately."

And the excuse making has already begun.

According to a report in The Miami Herald, Arza has apologized, said he had been drinking at the time and would seek counseling.

I suspect that In Vino Veritas applies here. If this ends up causing Rep. Arza (R-Fl) any real trouble, I think he should apply to work for George Felix 'Macaca' Allan (R-Va), I bet Felix would love to work with this soul mate.



Not unexpected, in-fact numerical milestones are not really significant, but still deeply depressing.

The U.S. military death toll in Iraq for October climbed to 100 on Monday


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Election Round-Up - Know Your Foe

Clink on the links below for information on that race.

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

--AZ-01: Rick Renzi

--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

--CA-04: John Doolittle

--CA-11: Richard Pombo

--CA-50: Brian Bilbray

--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

--CO-05: Doug Lamborn

--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell

--CT-04: Christopher Shays

--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

--FL-16: Joe Negron

--FL-22: Clay Shaw

--ID-01: Bill Sali

--IL-06: Peter Roskam

--IL-10: Mark Kirk

--IL-14: Dennis Hastert

--IN-02: Chris Chocola

--IN-08: John Hostettler

--IA-01: Mike Whalen

--KS-02: Jim Ryun

--KY-03: Anne Northup

--KY-04: Geoff Davis

--MD-Sen: Michael Steele

--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht

--MN-06: Michele Bachmann

--MO-Sen: Jim Talent

--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns

--NV-03: Jon Porter

--NH-02: Charlie Bass

--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson

--NM-01: Heather Wilson

--NY-03: Peter King

--NY-20: John Sweeney

--NY-26: Tom Reynolds

--NY-29: Randy Kuhl

--NC-08: Robin Hayes

--NC-11: Charles Taylor

--OH-01: Steve Chabot

--OH-02: Jean Schmidt

--OH-15: Deborah Pryce

--OH-18: Joy Padgett

--PA-04: Melissa Hart

--PA-07: Curt Weldon

--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick

--PA-10: Don Sherwood

--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee

--TN-Sen: Bob Corker

--VA-Sen: George Allen

--VA-10: Frank Wolf

--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick

--WA-08: Dave Reichert


No Rugby????











Field hockey










Ice Hockey






What sport are you meant for??
created with

You scored as Football. You should play football- its the most popular high school and college sport, and creates a ton of school spirit.

What sport are you meant for??
created with


Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday's Links

Just click over and check them out.

Vanity Press has noticed that the ABC News is now making stuff up. And you thought only Fox did that. The Washington Post also covers this, but does a much better job.

Why North Carolina's Nathan Tabor is a absolute fool is explained at Outside The Tent.

Bob Geiger knows who supports vets, and who doesn't.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Americia's 10 Worse Congress Persons

While I can think of a few more who we might want to add, I don't think we can remove a single one of these from the list.

1. The Highway Robber (R-Il)

2. The Dictator (R-Wi)

3. Mr. Pork (R-Ak)

4. The Bribe Taker (D-La)

5. The King of Payoffs (R-Ca)

6. Mr. Bigotry (R-Co)

7. Enemy of the Earth (R-Ca)

8. The Conspiracy Nut (R-Pa)

9. Bin Laden's Best Friend (R-Ky)

10. The Christian Soldier (R-Co)


Fun With Tax Numbers

I was just looking at some tax cut numbers from the tax policy institute, and the impact of the Bush tax cut.

If you earned over $1,000,000.00 last year, (putting you in a group that includes less that 00.2% of the tax paying population, about 280,000 people total) 45.8% of the Bush tax refunds landed in your bracket. In clear language two tenths of a percent of the population is getting over fourtyfive percent of the tax cut.

If you earned between $500,000.00 and $999,999.00 (600,000 in your group, about 00.4% of the tax paying population), your group is getting about 10.8% of the refunded taxes.

For those of us earning between $200,000.00 and $499,999.00 (3.5 million people here, 02.5% of the tax paying population), this group scooped up about 17.4% of the refunds.

Those who are limping along earning between $100,000.00 and 199,999.00, ( almost 10% of the pax paying population 14,000,000 people) you group saw about 14.3% of the Bush tax refunds.

The rest of you, everyone earning less that $100,000, the other 87% of the population, you can share the remaining 12% of the Bush tax refund.

What a deal.


New Jersey -Gay Couples Get Legal Union

The Supreme Court of New Jersey Has ruled that homosexual couples must have access to some form of legal union.

In a decision likely to stoke the contentious election-year debate over same-sex marriage, the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that state lawmakers must provide the rights and benefits of marriage to gay and lesbian couples.

The high court on Wednesday gave legislators six months to either change state marriage laws to include same-sex couples, or come up with another mechanism, such as civil unions, that would provide the same protections and benefits.

This is a very positive step, and it opens the door to what I think is the ideal solution.

New Jersey should get rid of marriage. They should revise their law to give all couples a civil union, and if a couple wants to get married, they can go to their church and get married. The state should only endorse the civil aspect of the union, it is the church's job to seal the religious aspect of the joining.

I know it will not even be mentioned, but it is the solution that they, and every state, should be looking at.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Joe Wilson (R-SC) Incredibly Dishonest

Or incredibly stupid? You make the choice.

From The State.

My view is that there is a level of lawlessness [in Iraq], but that's not equivalent to chaos. I just understand that there is a level of lawlessness; there is a level of lawlessness here in the United States. It shocks me every day that there are shootings even in my neighborhood in Lexington County.

A tip of the hat to Not Very Bright, who noticed the same absurdity.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Iraqi Forces To Take The Lead Next Year

This is according to Gen. George Casey, who it appears learned truthfulness at the knee of Karl Rove.

The top U.S. commander in Iraq said Tuesday that it will take another 12 to 18 months or so for Iraqi security forces to be ready to take over in the country.

Now, if you believe this, I have some land just a few miles southeast of Myrtle Beach I would like to sell to you.

Why do I say this?

Consider Amara.

This is a city in the relatively peaceful south. A large city, maybe 300,000 people, who the Iraqi government has security control over. A city that was captured in a matter of hours by 900 mmebers of the Mahdi Army, a shia militia.

This is the Iraqi force that is ready to be in charge of their own security?

Now lets consider what may have been the flash point that incited the Mahdi Army to act.

The Mahdi Army militia engaged in a military operation in Amara, killing 4 policemen (presumably actually members of the rival Badr Corps militia that was trained in Iran). They also attacked a police station with bombs and mortar shells, causing extensive damage to it. Al-Hayat reports that [Ar.] the renewed violence was set off when the body of the brother (named Husain al-Bahadili) of a major Mahdi Army leader was found. It was headless and showed signs of torture. He had earlier been detained or kidnapped by the police (which has been infiltrated by the rival Badr Corps militia).

So, the Iraqi security forces are infiltrated by members of one Shia militia, who are using their power to take out members of another militia. The attacked militia decided to fight back and was able to force the official security force out of the city.

For another reason why this claim of Gen. Casey is an obvious lie, just watch this BBC video.

The disconnect between reality, and what our officials are presenting is amazing.


Lindsay Graham, He Talks The Talk

But he just can't walk the walk.

Senator Graham (R-SC) is a member of the gang of fourteen, he stood with John McCain in objecting to the Presidents ideas about torture and legal protections, he is even now questioning the state of affairs in Iraq.

"We're on the verge of chaos, and the current plan is not working," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in an Associated Press interview. U.S. and Iraqi officials should be held accountable for the lack of progress, said Graham, a Republican who is a frequent critic of the administration's policies.

Asked who in particular should be held accountable - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, perhaps, or the generals leading the war - Graham said: "All of them. It's their job to come up with a game plan" to end the violence.

The trouble is, Lindsay is all talk, and no action. He like to think of himself as a voice of reason, a sane nonpartisan Senator in a hyper partisan DC. The truth is, while he claims to stand for his principals, when the chips are down, he folds. He (and McCain) folded, and gave the President the power to torture, to imprison for ever, to arrest without judicial review, then claimed this is what they wanted all along.

Sen. Graham (R-SC) now wants to find someone to blame for this failed invasion. He just needs to look in a mirror. He, and all the other Senate republicans (and a few democrats), have failed to perform any oversight. They have refused to do their job, and assure that the administration was staffed with qualified people, they have refused to look into shortcomings in performance, they have excused failures great and small.

He, like every Republican in D,C has been a rubberstamp for the policies, plans, and schemes of the Bush administration. While he likes to pretend that he has stood apart, the truth is, he has talked the talk, but when pressed, he was unable to walk the walk. When it was time for the hard choice, when it was time to take actions, Lindsay couldn't do it, he fell in line and joined the other Republicans in DC and rubberstamped whatever he was told to stamp.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Iraq, The Truth And Our Options

The truth is, Iraq is, right now, a failed state. The government is unable to provide, security (a must see video here), services or opportunity to it's population. In the parts of the nation where we have turned over control to the local force, the various Iraqi militias are far more effective in combat. Iraq is right now a lawless zone, where might is right, and there is little or no hope for improvement.

Stated simply, Iraq is lost. There will be tens, if not hundreds of thousands more dead before a new national form is developed. The only thing left to debate is who those dead will be, in what manner of conflict will those deaths occur, and will these dead continue to include notable numbers of Americans.

To try to continue on the path we have been on for the last 4 years is utter stupidity. Right now we are sitting in the middle of a multi faceted civil war/insurrection, and are the target of everyone. We lack the power to effect change, and our presence continues to inflame segments of the population into taking up arms. If we want to try and salvage something, or if we simply feel a moral responsibility to try to fix what we have broken, we must select one of these two new paths.

We can either redeploy the troops, or triple the number we have in place.

By redeployig our forces, we can assist the Iraqi forces when they are in dire straights, but they will be forced to take over all of the regular patrolling. The police work, the dodging of IEDs. The living every day with a target on our backs will end. The Iraqi government will have to get serious about finding accommodation between the various factions, and will have to take responsibility for the day to day improvement of their nation.

With forces in the Kurdish areas, and in Kuwait (and maybe 1 small base in an isolated area in the center of the nation) we could deploy quickly, but would be out of sight for the vast majority of Iraqis.

By doing this, we do maintain ties to the government, and will have the opportunity to exert some influence in the tenor and direction of the government(s) that finally evolves in the area now called Iraq. There are risks. This action would most likely allow for an increase in domestic fighting, and may directly lead to open civil war (as opposed to the covert one that is occurring right now). The advantage to this plan is it will greatly reduce US lose of life. The disadvantage is, it may greatly increase the lose of Iraqi lives.

If we want to have more control, if we want to continue to have the final voice in Iraq, if we still dream of a US client state in the middle of the Middle East, we have to follow the second option. We have to find another 300,000 combat troops and insert them into the field at once. Overwhelming force is not needed to defeat a third rate army, but overwhelming numbers are needed to police and lockdown a restive population.

It will take time, my guess is 6-8 years, and money, again guessing at 3 trillion dollars, but an occupation force of half a million men should be able to bring calm to the nation. This calm would allow US to go back and try again at the rebuilding of the nation, and may allow us to get some form of secular west friendly government.

I have no idea where we will find another 30,000 men to place in Iraq, much less another 300,000, but that is what it will take.

We have to abandon the absurdity of 'stay for course', or 'adapt and adjust', or what ever Bush wants to call it today. It has failed, and there is no reasonable prospect that the spilling of more Iraqi and American blood on this path will make any positive difference. If we refuse to demand change, we will just continue to see the U.S. Death Toll continue to rise, The Iraqi death toll continue to rise, the cost continue to rise and another years will pass.

Those are our options, now make your pick.


President Bush Lies, Again

Just check out the video.

"Well, hey, listen, we’ve never been 'stay the course,' George.

In case you need reminding, here are just a few examples of Bush calling for us to 'stay the course'

This administration has lied so much that they no longer even know what the truth is.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

One Of A Kind

But, I could have told you that.
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?


Friday, October 20, 2006

A Friday Tradition

A few post that you may enjoy, click over and check them out.

Badtux The Snarky Penguin asks, why did Israel invade Lebanon?

A wonderful post asking who are we, is up at Not Very Bright.

Over at Crooks and Liars, part three of the documentry celebrating the sacrifices of the 101st fighting keyboarders is linked.

More Cheery Iraqi News

In the last 24 hours a couple of events occurred that just further confirm that without a major change in direction, Iraq is lost. In the south, the militia of Muqtada al-Sadr has captured the city of Amarah.

The Mahdi Army fighters stormed three main police stations Friday morning, planting explosives that flattened the buildings, residents said.

About 800 black-clad militiamen with Kalashnikov rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers were patrolling city streets in commandeered police vehicles, eyewitnesses said. Other fighters had set up roadblocks on routes into the city and sound trucks circulated telling residents to stay indoors.

This looks and feels like a drill, testing what works and what doesn't. They will not hold the city this time, but the lessons learned here will be filed away for the day they are ready to make a major move.

In the west, rebel forces in Ramadi felt secure enough to stage a military parade in the center of town.

the masked gunmen staged a military-like parade on the street, carrying banners exhorting people to support an Islamic state in Iraq announced this week by a militant group. They said mosques in the city used loudspeakers to rally support for the new state.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council - an umbrella organization of insurgent groups that includes al-Qaida in Iraq - said Sunday in a videotape that it has established an Islamic state made up of six provinces including Baghdad.

The lead item in the news from Iraq was a series of bombings in Mosul. One extra point need to be made about this event.

The US military withdrew 3,000 troops from Mosul to send to Baghdad, where 15,000 US soldiers are now engaged in Operation Forward Together. Guerrillas in Mosul, Iraq's second largest city with a population of some 1.8 million, some 80% of them Sunni Arab, have taken advantage of the draw-down of US troops there to multiply the number of their attacks on police and the institutions of the new government.

If we continue to stay this course, our loss is assured.


Anti-Tax Absurdity

I don't know anyone who likes to pay taxes. They are necessary but, like the power bill, always unwelcome. That said, the behavior of anti-tax politicians and groups oftentimes prove themselves to be simply detached from reality, or just plain greedy.

Thomas Kean Jr (R-NJ) is running for the Senate, and is, like every republican that can be found, complaining about the tax burden he carries. When asked about income taxes he said "I think my tax burden is too high. I think everybody's tax burden is too high."

In 2005 he earned $202,488.00, and paid a total of $8,146.00, a whopping 4% effective tax rate.

To many who denounce taxes are like Kean Jr., they do it simply out of reflex.